If your feet, ankles, or calves ache on a daily basis or feel very stiff, you would very likely benefit from a pair of compression socks.
In this buyer’s guide, we discuss when one should purchase a pair of compression socks, different types of compression socks, and the best features of cotton compression socks that you should keep an eye out for.
When Do I Need A Pair Of Compression Socks?
You need a pair of compression socks when:
- Your legs get pins and needles or feel numb often.
- Your feet or calves are swollen on a daily basis.
- You do not have enough blood flowing in your feet.
- You are susceptible to blood clots.
- Your feet or lower legs feel very stiff and sore.
- You have varicose veins that are becoming a problem.
- You spend a lot of time traveling or standing on your feet.
Compression socks provide a grip around your feet and legs to help ease all of the above symptoms by improving blood flow. If you are used to receiving swollen feet, a pair of compression socks can contribute to keeping blood from pooling there during the day when putting these on first thing in the morning. Compression socks have been known to help those recovering from surgery who have to spend more time than usual in bed. They keep the blood from stagnating in the feet and help lessen numbness, swelling, and tingling nervous sensations. Joints usually also ache due to fluids that pool in them, and increasing your blood flow with compression socks can help ease this pain as well.
Different Types of Compression Socks
You get different kinds of compression socks (also known as compression stockings) to help keep your feet from swelling. They are divided up as follows:
- High to Low Pressure Compression Socks – different conditions call for different strengths of compression. For those who suffer from blood pooling in their feet, a high strength compression sock is necessary (20-30mmHg). Those who get pain in their joints might only need a medium strength compression sock (10-20mmHg), and those that get cramps or wish to provide mild foot pressure relief should opt for low-pressure compression stockings (less than 10mmHg). If your compression socks hurt your feet instead of alleviating symptoms, contact your local health care provider for assistance immediately, as there is likely a further complication with your condition.
- Long to Short Length Compression Socks – the length of the compression sock does make a difference. Not everyone needs to have a compression from their knees to their toes. Compression socks come in all shapes and sizes, compressing anywhere from around the foot, the ankles, all the way up the calf. For those with edema, diabetes, blood clots, or who suffer from numbness in the legs, a long compression sock is recommended. For foot ache relief, a short, mild compression sock is probably the best. Some compression socks stop after the arch of the foot, depending on if you need compression around your toes or not.
- Natural versus Synthetic Compression Socks – this article is focusing mainly on natural cotton compression socks because cotton is one of the best moisture-wicking materials. Compression socks are usually made with synthetic fibers such as nylon and spandex. A blend of both types of fibers is the best and creates optimal compression. Cotton adds to the comfort of compression socks too by being soft, as does merino wool.
Features of a Good Cotton Compression Sock
Here are some of the best features that your cotton compression socks can have to make them superior quality.
- Seamless – seamless socks are wonderful because they do not have any seams that can rub your feet raw. Instead, they are manufactured using the latest machine technology so that one clean, smooth piece of fabric is created. This is especially important to have if you lose feeling in your feet and can’t discern when there is too much friction inside your shoes.
- Top Mesh Vent – to help you to breathe better, particularly inside the tightest fitting compression socks, a top mesh vent is a good idea. This means that the top part of the sock, sometimes even spanning up the leg, is more porous than the remainder of the sock, allowing more air to flow out, heat to be distributed evenly and naturally allows sweat to be wicked away more efficiently.
- Reinforced Heels and Toes – reinforced heels and toes mean that the sock has extra padding embedded in the stitch work to cushion your heels and toes more. Socks with this feature are twice as more comfortable, and while wearing them, one is less likely to bruise or cause fatigue to their feet. Highly recommended for those with plantar fasciitis, arthritis, diabetes, swelling and edema.
- A Dash of Spandex – most compression socks utilize the wondrous power of spandex (also known as Lycra). This synthetic fiber was invented for its high elasticity and is the most stretchy fiber currently available. Without this fiber, the sock would be too rigid to be able to mold perfectly around your legs and feet, and that would also detract from the perfect compression the sock should provide.
- High Thread Count – thread count is not only reserved for bed linen! A high thread count in a sock means that it was made with many more tiny stitches, which all add up to more sock comfort and softness. Aim for as high a thread count as possible, especially when looking to buy a pair of soft cotton compression socks.
Reviews: The Best Cotton Compression Sock
Here below is a great selection of cotton compressions socks, suitable for any who are seeking foot or leg pain relief!
- These seamless socks will have the blood pumping in your legs in no time, made to enhance the performance of athletes.
- Made to last for years, these socks will not fade in the wash.
- Made from mostly spandex, these socks have fit the majority of those who wear it, effectively aiding in the removal of blood clots and helping alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins.
- These compression socks provide the best strength of compression from 20-30mmHg, depending on your foot and leg size.
- Feel the blood move through your veins as you slip into a pair of these and enjoy the rest of your day with ease.
- Ideal for athletes, but will also work for nurses, those who travel often, chefs, office workers, diabetics, arthritis patients, varicose or spider veins, edema, and unwarranted swellings.
- These soft seamless socks will provide you with the best compression, making them the perfect day to day companion.
- These compression socks provide a full range of compression, 25-30mmHg in the foot and ankle, 15-20mmHg up the calf, and 10-15mmHg under the knees.
- The additional padded arch support helps to alleviate plantar fasciitis, sore foot joints, and arthritis.
- An 80% cotton blend ensures that these compression socks are excellent at moisture-wicking, keeping your feet not only comfortable but feeling fresh all day long.
- Suitable for travelers, nurses, patients, post-operative recovery, thrombosis, diabetic neuropathy, sports, and more!
- Improve your blood flow and say goodbye to numbness and pain below the knees with these cotton compression socks.
- These compression socks are made of the finest quality cotton and are designed to improve blood circulation in the legs and feet.
- Clinically proven to help alleviate pain in swollen areas of the leg and the foot, these cotton compression socks have helped many to function on a day to day basis.
- Made from 80% pure cotton, these socks are soft and moisture-wicking, allowing your feet to breathe even while being constricted.
- The measurements for this sock were taken at various points of the foot, the ankles and up the calf, making a custom size chart that is more accurate than generic compression brands.
- Recommended by physicians for those with swelling, knee or foot pain, edema, thrombosis, numb limbs, poor blood flow, nurses, patients in recovery, and those who travel a lot.
- Here is a pair of cotton compression socks that will not only alleviate pressure, but will alleviate foot odor too.
- The silver yarn cotton blend has been developed primarily to be anti-bacterial, ensuring you can wear these socks for extended periods of time without infecting your feet.
- Wear these all day long, every day, for any of your activities to help keep the blood from pooling in your feet.
- These compression socks have been clinically proven to prevent lactic acid build-up, reducing stiffness in your joints, and keeping you flexible and on your toes.
- The compression is the strongest in the foot, being 20-30mmHg, and decreases as it moves up the calf.
- Reinforced toes and ankles help to cushion your feet, further alleviating the pressure from them.
- Available in more than ten colors to choose from!
- AprilTex is a top brand of compression socks that have been used and approved by many people all round the globe.
- Alleviate the pressure off your feet with this top-quality blend of fabric consisting of 60% cotton, 20% polyamide, 15% spandex, and 5% silver!
- The sock gives 17-22mmHg of pressure evenly all the way up the legs, improving blood flow from your toes to your knees all day long.
- Ideal for those who are going through pregnancy, have varicose veins, travel a lot, or just experience swollen limbs on a daily basis.
- These compression socks have reinforced toes and heels to help take the strain off and redirect pressure away from the feet (making them excellent for tired feet as well!).
- Athletes can wear these socks while running or training to keep their blood flow at a maximum and reduce any foot fatigue.
This mild compression sock made from breathable and cooling cotton can be worn all day every day.
- Very comfortable and flexible design.
- Breathable and cooling cotton materials with graduated compression levels.
- Energizes and reduces swelling in the legs.
- Excellent choice for athletes and travellers.
Premium quality cotton compression socks from VIM&VIGR for men.
- Made from the best quality cotton and elastane.
- Very durable and high functional to reduce swelling and pain in the legs.
- Flexible and comfortable as well as latex-free.
- There is a flexible toe pocket for easy movement and a contoured leg and heel design.
A temperature controlling compression sock made from pure cotton, available in many prints and color options to choose from.
- Compression sock that aids with blood circulation pain, and swelling.
- Fashionable fun designs and prints available.
- It is made from pure cotton and elastane.
- Breathable and stretchable and helps to keep optimal temperatures.
- Breathable and durable compression socks made from high-quality cotton.
- Fashionable and heavy-duty wear design and durability.
- Available in a few neutral color selections to choose from.
- Excellent for athletic and everyday wear.
- A Top quality cotton fiber compression sock.
- Class 1 and Class 2 standard FDA approved edema and Blood flow compression socks.
- Designed and made in Switzerland.
- Made with Nylon, spandex and Supima cotton.
- A pure 80% cotton and spandex compression sock.
- Available in a few neutral color options and different size options.
- Knee-high for optimal support and comfort.
- Durable and breathable design.
Index Table: Top Rated Cotton Compression Socks
Table of Contents
- When Do I Need A Pair Of Compression Socks?
- Different Types of Compression Socks
- Features of a Good Cotton Compression Sock
- Reviews: The Best Cotton Compression Sock
- Physix Gear Sport® Unisex Synthetic Compression Socks Durable Compression Socks for Athletes
- Wanderlust® Unisex Therapeutic Pain Relief Compression Socks Advanced Medical-Grade Cotton Compression Socks
- Absolute Support® Unisex Strong Cotton Compression Socks Firm Cotton Compression Socks for Enhanced Circulation
- CompressionZ® Unisex Maximum Compression Socks Pressure Relief Cotton Compression Socks
- Pembrook® Unisex Compression Travel Socks Reinforced Cotton Blend Compression Stockings
- Dr. Motion® Unisex 5 pack Cotton Compression Knee Socks
- VIM&VIGR® Men's Multi Stripe Compression Socks for Men
- CoolOver® Unisex Medical Colorful Cotton Compression Socks
- WensLTD® Unisex Knitted Cotton Compression Socks
- Sigvaris® Unisex 230 Cotton Compression Socks
- Absolute Support® Unisex Premium Cotton Compression Socks
- Index Table: Top Rated Cotton Compression Socks