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    How to Measure for Compression Socks: A Comprehensive Guide

    How to Measure for Compression Socks: A Comprehensive Guide

    This article will guide you on how to measure size for compression socks to ensure proper fit.

    june 19, 2023   |    3 Mins Read


    Compression socks offer numerous benefits for individuals seeking improved blood circulation, reduced leg swelling, and enhanced athletic performance. However, to maximize these advantages, it is crucial to measure accurately for compression socks.

    Pro Tips on How to Measure for Compression Socks 

    • Your legs will be less swollen in the morning, so you'll get a more accurate measurement.
    • Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. 
    • A flexible but non-stretchable measuring tape will give you the most accurate measurements.
    • Measure the circumference of the ankle at the narrowest point above the ankle bone.
    • Take the measurements in the morning or early in the day when swelling is minimal.
    • Measure against bare skin to get the most accurate results.
    • Make sure the foot is flat on the floor and the leg is at a right angle to the foot during measurement.

    How to Measure for Knee High Compression Socks?

    how to measure for compression socks

    Accurate measurements are crucial for obtaining the right size of compression socks. Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to measure calves for compression socks and to measure the key areas properly:

    Ankle Circumference:

    1. Take the tape measure and place it around the thinnest part of your ankle.
    2. Make sure that it's snug but not too tight.
    3. Record the measurement in either inches or centimeters.

    Calf Circumference:

    1. Measure the widest part of your calf, typically around the calf's thickest area.
    2. Keep the tape measure parallel to the ground for consistent measurements.
    3. Record the measurement in inches or centimeters.

    Calf Length:

    1. Sit with your legs at a 90-degree angle and measure from the floor to the bend behind your knee.
    2. Ensure the tape measure is straight and vertical against your leg.
    3. Note down the measurement in inches or centimeters.
    Read our guide to learn how to put compression socks on.

    How to Measure for Thigh High Compression Socks?

    1. Ankle Circumference: Just like with knee-high socks, start by measuring the circumference of the narrowest part of your ankle.
    2. Calf Circumference: Then, measure around the widest part of your calf.
    3. Thigh Circumference: While standing, measure the widest part of your thigh. This measurement is typically taken about 3 inches below the buttocks.
    4. Leg Length: While standing, measure the distance from the floor to the fold of your buttocks (or where you want the top of the stockings to reach).
    Record all the measurements in inches or centimeters.

    What Compression Levels Are Available?

    1. Mild Compression (8-15 mmHg): This level of compression is often used for those who have tired, aching legs, especially after standing or sitting for prolonged periods. They can also help minimize the risk of varicose veins for individuals on their feet a lot.
    2. Moderate Compression (15-20 mmHg): This compression level is often recommended for individuals during travel to prevent deep vein thrombosis. It is also useful for those who are pregnant, have varicose veins, or are experiencing mild to moderate leg swelling.
    3. Firm Compression (20-30 mmHg): Often recommended for moderate to severe varicose veins, moderate leg & ankle swelling, and to prevent recurrence of venous ulcers. This level may also be prescribed for post-surgical use or during pregnancy.
    4. Extra Firm Compression (30-40 mmHg): This level is used for severe varicose veins and lymphedema. It is often used in post-surgical and post-sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose veins and spider veins.
    5. Heavy Compression (40-50 mmHg and above): Heavy Compression (40-50 mmHg and above): These are used for severe conditions such as severe lymphedema, deep vein thrombosis, and chronic venous insufficiency. They are usually used under specialist supervision.

    Now that you're familiar with the levels, you might be wondering just how snug these socks should be. To find out more about the ideal fit, check out our detailed guide: How Tight Should Compression Socks Be?.

    What Size of Compression Socks Do I Need?

    When it comes to selecting compression socks, it is crucial to choose the right size based on your measurements. Wearing compression socks that are too tight can restrict blood flow and cause discomfort, while socks that are too loose may not provide the desired level of compression and therapeutic benefits.

    compression socks size chart

    Once you have these measurements, you can compare them with the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer. Note that each manufacturer might have slightly different sizing charts, so always refer to the specific chart provided for the socks you're buying.

    By carefully determining the appropriate size, you can experience the full advantages of compression therapy advantages of compression therapy including improved blood circulation, reduced swelling, and enhanced leg support. 

    FAQs About Measuring For Compression Socks

    What if I don't see my shoe or calf size listed on the compression sock chart?

    If your shoe or calf size is not explicitly listed on the compression socks size chart, it's advisable to select the size that closely matches your measurements. Generally, compression socks are quite elastic and can adapt to slight variations in leg size. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the socks are not too tight or too loose, as this could compromise the efficacy of the compression. 

    What should I do if my measurements fall between two sizes of compression socks?

    If your foot measurement falls on the borderline between sizes, such as a women's size 6 or 12, or a men's size 10 or 13, you have options to consider. Depending on how shoes usually fit you, you can choose to size up or down. Additionally, remember to take your calf measurement into account when selecting the appropriate sock size.

    If you're still unsure about which size to choose, it is advisable to opt for the smaller size that aligns with your measurements. The best compression socks for men and women should fit comfortably without being too tight. It is important to ensure a snug fit to fully enjoy the benefits of compression.

    Should I measure both of my legs for compression socks or just one?

    Yes, you should measure both of your legs. There can be slight differences in size between your two legs, and it's important to get the right fit for each leg to ensure the compression socks work effectively. You might find that you need different sizes for each leg, and that's perfectly fine. Some companies even offer mixed size pairs for this reason.

    If I gain or lose weight, will I need to change my compression sock size?

    If you've recently experienced significant weight changes, it's advisable to re-measure your legs to ensure your compression socks are still the correct size for you. This is because weight gain can increase the circumference of your calves, ankles, and thighs, while weight loss can decrease these measurements.


    Claire Evans worked as the content marketing manager at Koprez. Claire combined a background of writing and editing, marketing, and patient education to best serve consumers, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone who relies on the Koprez brand for helpful information.

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