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Compression Stockings Wear and Care Guide

Compression Stockings Wear and Care Guide

Compression stockings are tight to begin with, and thus, it might get difficult to get on for elderly people. But do they have to do be this difficult to get on? Let us show you how to make it easier to put on compression stockings with the help of some old tips and tricks, and even some devices. Let us take you through the donning process in detail and make it simple at every step of the way.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly pull on compression stockings and stay comfortable for the whole day.

  • Consult our Compression Therapy Guide for the right stocking

Compression stockings come in 4 main compression levels. Their compression is measured in millimeters of mercury or mmHg. The higher the mmHg, the higher the stocking’s compression level! So make sure you are wearing the right stocking for you. Physicians may recommend a compression stocking, and in the below compression levels, and you can also consult our Compression Therapy Guide.

  • Low compression socks have 8-15 mmHg
  • Moderate compression socks have 15-20 mmHg
  • Firm compression socks have 20-30 mmHg
  • For extra firm compression, there’s 30-40 mmHg.

2) Turn the sock/stocking inside out

Remove any jewelry on your fingers to avoid damaging the fabric of the stocking.

Grab a portion of the sock and put your other hand inside the socks till the heel end. Use your fingers to grab the heel and pull it out. Now the sock is inside out with 2 layers and the heel being on the front.

3) Place your foot inside the sock.

Now gently place the toes of your foot in the heel opening of the sock. Slowly slide the sock under your heel.

4) Unfold the second layer of the sock

Place your fingers in the second layer of the sock around your foot and pull it over the heels and till it reaches below your knee (assuming this is a knee-high stocking). Do this slowly to prevent stretch or tear in the sock. The top band of the knee-high stocking should be two finger widths down from your kneecap.

5) Smooth out the wrinkles

Gently smooth out the wrinkled areas or pull the top of the sock to clear the wrinkles. Try to avoid pulling the top of the sock as this may cause tears or unnecessary stretching of the fabric. If you feel it is necessary, do it gently and slowly.

Video on how to wear compression socks

If you are someone with arthritis or you have decreased hand strength you may also wear rubber donning gloves to put on your compression stocking.

When wearing donning gloves the process of wearing compression stockings are much easier. The gloves also protect the fabric from damaging over fingernails or jewellery.

How to Wear Compression Stockings with Gloves?

1) Fold the top band of the stocking over.

Fold the top band of the stocking over and place your fingers firmly on the inside of the stockings. The top band is a silicone material that could end up getting damaged even with the gloves on. This is why folding it is a necessity.

  • Pull the stocking on your foot

Point your toes then place your foot inside the sock/stocking and pull on it up as far as possible.

  • Unfold the top band.

Once the sock has gone up as much as it can, smooth out wrinkles and then unfold the top band.

  • Smooth out wrinkles.

As mentioned earlier, smooth out any wrinkles and try to avoid pulling on the top of the sock too much.

Video on how to wear compression stocking with gloves

How To Take Off Compression Stockings?

Getting the compression stocking on alone isn’t enough. You also need to know how to take them off. You could hurt your leg or destroy the material while trying to take it off.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to take off compression stocking.

1) Fold the sock gently.

Starting from the top band, fold the sock gently till you reach the heel of your foot.

2) Pop the sock off the heel

Once you reach the heel of the foot, place your thumbs inside the sock and gently pop it out from the heel and then slowly slide it off your foot.

Video on removing compression stocking

This method is more common and you can try it without wearing gloves. However, during the summer heat or if the compression is a bit too firm, it becomes difficult to take them off without damaging the fabric. We suggest to wear donning gloves and then try to remove them.

While wearing donning gloves, the process is changed a bit.

How To Take Off Compression Stockings With Gloves?

1) Hold the top of the fabric

Do not hold the top band. As mentioned before, the top band’s silicone material could be damaged because of the pressure you exert after wearing the donning gloves. Firmly hold the part right under it.

2) Fold the sock down

Once you gain a firm grip, slowly fold the stocking down your leg in one go. Do so until the top band of the sock goes past the heel of the foot.

3) Slide the sock out

Trying to pull on the top band to get the socks out will cause damage so it is wise to use the gloves and slide the socks gently out the foot. Do this a couple of times till the top band of the sock goes past or covers the toes of your foot. Now simply slide or slowly pull the sock out completely and you’re good to go.

Video on how to remove compression socks with glove

With this guide you will be able to wear and remove your socks or stockings with ease.

If you are having a hard time putting on these socks even with the steps mentioned on this guide then you may be interested in investing in an apparatus that can aid you in wearing and removing compression stockings.

There are many such accessories available.

Five Suggested Product Accessories To Help

1.     Sock Aid

The flexible sock aid allows you to put the sock on the product which will stretch it enough for you to place your foot inside it and slowly slide into the sock.

 Image of sock aid

Where to buy: link



2.     Stocking Donner

The stocking donner will help you wear and remove the stocking comfortably. Place the stocking in the middle frame and pull the stocking down till the end and then slide your foot into the stocking. Now slowly hold the two handles on the side and pull them up till you reach the top band of the stocking. This will ensure comfortable wear without any wrinkles or damage.

Image of stocking donner

Where to buy:link

                                               Video on using Stocking Donner

3.     Doff N’ Donner(With Cone)

The Doff N’ Donner works with a sleeve and a cone(must buy separately). Place the cone somewhere stable and then slip the stocking over the cone. Next slide the sleeve down to the base of the cone and then grab the top band of the stocking and pull it up. Stop when the top band reaches the top of the cone and then roll the sleeve off the cone with the stocking.      

Now simply place your foot in the open part of the sleeve where the heel is and roll the sleeve upto your knee. That’s all there is to it.

If you don’t have the cone, that’s alright. You can still use the sleeve alone to wear your stocking. Simply slip the stocking onto your arm and repeat the same process on your arm.

 Image of Doff n Donner

Where to buy: link

Watch this video to better understand the process


4.     It Stays Body Adhesive

This accessory is used to keep your stocking up for the whole day in case your stocking doesn’t come with a gripping top band. Simply apply it to the area of the skin where the top band reaches and then wear your stocking without worry. The adhesive does not cause skin irritation or inflammation. The adhesive is removed only by applying water on the skin.

Image of It Stays

Where to buy:link

5.     Super-Grip Application Gloves

These are the gloves mentioned in the steps above. The gloves are especially useful for people with decreased hand strength or hand grip, for people with arthritis or any hand injury and even for the ladies with long nails and jewellery. The gloves make it much easier to wear the compression stocking and they’re much cheaper than any other product as well.                    

Image of Gloves

Where to buy:link

We hope this guide helped you find the right method and product to help you wear and remove the compression stocking you’ve bought.

Next article Recovery and Prevention: Conditions Where Compression Therapy Can Help