Differences Between Compression Socks and Stockings

Differences Between Compression Socks and Stockings

Compression socks and stockings are considered in the hosiery garments that provide the graduated pressure on the limbs. They are intended to enhance blood flow, lessen leg discomfort, and prevent or treat numerous disorders involving the legs. Compression socks and stockings have similar objectives but differ significantly in length, compression intensity, design, functionality, fit, and accessibility.

Are you interested to know the fundamental differences between compression socks and stockings? If yes, In this blog, we'll go over some of the key differences between compression socks and stockings. People may choose the compression hosiery that is best for their leg health and well-being by having a greater awareness of these distinctions.

What are compression socks?

In order to provide pressure to the legs, ankles, and feet, compression socks are specialized hosiery. They provide gradual compression because they are made of elastic materials that apply regulated pressure; as a result, the pressure is maximum at the ankle and gradually reduces as it progresses up the leg. Compression socks come in various sizes, lengths, and compression intensities to meet varied purposes.

Compression socks provide some advantages for people with various ailments or lifestyles. By supporting veins more effectively and pumping blood back to the heart, compression socks' pressure aids to increase blood circulation. This can ease symptoms, including aches, edema, and varicose veins in the legs.

Types of compression socks 

Compression socks exist in various styles to accommodate diverse requirements and tastes.

  • Anti-embolism socks

The purpose of compression socks, also known as TED stockings or anti-embolism socks, is to lower the risk of blood clots forming in the legs. In order to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), they apply incremental pressure to the lower limbs.  

  • Graduated compression socks

Gradually decreasing in pressure as it moves up the leg, graduated compression socks are a type of specialized hosiery designed to apply progressive pressure to the legs. They are commonly applied to enhance blood flow, lessen leg pain, and either prevent or treat a few illnesses that affect the legs.

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What are the stockings and their types? 

A form of hosiery called stockings extends up the leg and covers the foot. They are often constructed of synthetic materials like nylon, silk, or other fibers. Several stockings are available, each with unique features and functions. Here are a few popular types of stockings:

  1. Opaque stockings 
  2. Thigh-high stockings 
  3. Pantyhose 
  4. Fishnet stockings
  5. Compression stockings 
  6. Support stockings  

Common Differences Between Compression Socks And Stockings  

Regular Compression socks and stockings have several key aspects and common differences, as discussed below. 

Compression Level: Compression stockings come in a variety of millimeters of mercury (mmHg)-measured compression levels. The compression level reveals how much force is being applied to the legs.  Gradually loosening as it progresses up the leg, this graded compression is intended to be tighter at the ankle. On the other hand, Regular compression socks often gives a more uniform fit without distinct pressure gradients and do not offer this progressive compression.

Length and coverage: Compression stockings are available in various sizes, including knee-high, thigh-high, and pantyhose designs. They are intended to give targeted compression and support by covering particular areas of the leg. On the other hand, compression socks can range in length and coverage from ankle-high to thigh-high or even full pantyhose, depending on the style.

Material and design: Compression stockings are frequently composed of specialized elastic materials that can apply the required pressure and support. They are made to be long-lasting and continuously produce compression. Contrarily, regular socks can be created using a range of fabrics, including nylon, silk, or synthetic mixes. They frequently place a greater emphasis on aesthetics and provide a variety of designs, patterns, and textures.

Accessibility: Since compression stockings are frequently regarded as medical items, a prescription may be necessary, especially for greater compression levels. They are commonly offered by healthcare professionals or at specialized medical supply stores. But without a prescription, regular compression socks are widely available and may be obtained at department stores, clothing stores, and internet sites.


So, these are typical differences between compression socks and stockings. It is crucial to remember that while normal stockings may produce a modest amount of compression owing to their snug fit, they do not deliver the same therapeutic advantages as specialist compression stockings. The exact aim and intended result must be determined before comparing regular  compression socks to stockings.