How to Put On Compression Socks

by Contributing Writer

Compression socks are thin, long (usually white) socks that provide low-level pressure to the legs in order to keep blood circulating and prevent clots from forming. They are frequently worn after surgical procedures and in cases where a person is known to have poor circulation. They might look intimidating due to their size, but putting on compression socks can be accomplished in a few easy steps!

Items you will need

  • Compression socks (2)
  • A chair or other sturdy surface to sit on

How to Put On Compression Socks

Step 1

Put your hand into the compression sock and extend it down to the heel cup. Your fingers should be pointed toward the toe end of the sock.

Step 2

Holding on to the heel portion, turn the top part of the compression sock inside out. (Your fingers should still be near the toe of the sock.)

Step 3

Remove your hand from the compression sock.

Step 4

Place your foot in the compression sock. Make sure your heel is positioned solidly in the heel cup.

Step 5

Pull the rest of the stocking (the portion that was inside-out) up and into position. For knee-high compression socks, your target height is 1 to 2 inches BELOW the bottom of your kneecap. If you have thigh-high compression socks, aim for the bottom of the buttocks, with the change in fabric thickness occurring 1 to 2 inches below the knee.

Step 6

Smooth out any remaining fabric.

Step 7

Repeat Steps 1 to 6 for the second leg.

Tips

  • Take good care of your compression stockings. Using lanolin or oils can break down the elastic.
    Compression stockings are safe for washing in most personal washers and dryers provided the temperature is not too high. Check the package for specific limitations.

Warnings

  • Don't fold over the top of the sock. It will create too much compression and can cause even more problems. (And it's uncomfortable!)