Striped compression socks

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Most people think of compression socks as something that older adults wear. But when you’re pregnant — especially as you get further along — compression socks become your BFF, helping relieve painful swelling in your legs and feet.

“When should you wear compression socks and what are the best options for pregnant women? Let’s get into it.”

If you have never tried compression socks, you might be at a loss for what to do with the right amount of compression. We focused on the features to pick our top picks.

  • gentle compression.
  • It is easy to put on.
  • Customer reviews.
  • price

Pricing guide

The majority of these socks are under $20.

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20–$35
  • $$$ = over $35

Best budget-friendly compression socks

Charmking Compression Socks

  • Price: $
  • Material: nylon
  • Pressure level: 15 to 20mmHg.
  • Sizes: small/medium or large/extra large

The recommended compression is 15 to 20mmHg. You can choose from a wide range of patterns and colors to stay stylish.


  • “It’s reasonably priced and comes in a pack of three.”
  • There are a variety of colors and patterns.
  • There are two sizes available.


  • Only one level of compression is offered.

Best easy-on compression socks

Lemon Hero Zippered Compression Socks

  • Price: $
  • Material: spandex, nylon, and Lycra
  • Pressure level: 15 to 20mmHg. or 20 to 30mmHg.
  • Sizes: medium, large, extra large, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X

Compression socks are hard to put on. Lemon Hero created a design that uses a combination of zippers and open toes to get around your calves. You can zip them up by slipping your feet into them. They have a zip guard that protects your legs.


  • It was designed to be easier to put on.
  • As you put your legs on, the zip will not pinch them.
  • There is a wide selection of sizes.


  • Some people may not like the feeling of wearing socks.

Best fashionable compression socks

Comrad Knee-High Compression Socks

  • Price: $$
  • Material: nylon (some also contain recycled cotton and spandex)
  • Pressure level: 20 to 30mmHg.
  • Sizes: small, medium, large

Comrad has compression socks in chic colors and subtle patterns that make you feel fashionable.

“They have antimicrobial elements in the fabric. You are likely wearing them multiple days so no judgement if you don’t wash between wears. Comrad makes a line of compression socks from recycled cotton if you care about sustainable living.”


  • There are a variety of colors.
  • Features designed to help limit odors.
  • If you want an eco-friendly option, the company makes a line of sustainable socks.


  • If you prefer solid-color socks, they may not be appealing.

Best copper-infused compression socks

FuelMeFoot Copper Compression Socks

  • Price: $
  • Material: nylon, polyester, and copper fiber
  • Pressure level: 15 to 20mmHg.
  • Sizes: small/medium or large/extra large

Not everyone wants a pair of compression socks that screams boring and looks like something out of a pharmacy. The FuelMeFoot Copper Compression Socks are stylish and effective — score! You can opt for simple black or one of the brand’s louder prints. We also like that these knee-highs feature mild compression and infused copper ions to help reduce odor.


  • They provide a lot of coverage.
  • The company claims copper ion will help reduce odor.
  • “The designs don’t look like something from the pharmacy.”


  • Only two sizes are available.

Best patterned compression socks

Aoliks Compression Socks

  • Price: $–$$
  • Material: nylon and polyester
  • Pressure level: 20 to 30mmHg.
  • Sizes: small/medium or large/extra large

Three pairs of tubular compression socks are a great way to channel your inner child. These graduated compression socks are good for any time of year and are lightweight so they are good for people who prefer to spend most of their time outside.


  • The light weave is good for all seasons.
  • There are a variety of fun patterns and prints.
  • Offer graduated compression.


  • The light weave is great for warm climates but not so great for cold ones.

Best splurge-worthy compression socks

VIM & VIGR Cotton Compression Socks

  • Price: $$$
  • Material: cotton, nylon, and spandex
  • Pressure level: 15 to 20mmHg.
  • Sizes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (based on calf width, size guide available here)

These socks are super comfortable and can be worn all day. They come in a lot of different colors and patterns, and are easy to roll on.

VIM & VIGR also offer medical-grade compression socks. The Montana-based company partnered with vascular surgeons to develop their compressions socks.


  • There are different sizes come in.
  • There are unique patterns as well as plain black.
  • Roll on easily.


  • The priciest option on our list.

Product Price Sizes Pressure Fabric composition
Wanderlust MadeMother Maternity Compression Socks $ medium 25–30 mmHg at foot and ankle, decreasing to 10–15 mmHg under the knee cotton and rayon
Charmking Compression Socks $ small/medium or large/extra large 15 to 20mmHg. nylon
Lemon Hero Zippered Compression Socks $ medium, large, extra large, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X 15 to 20mmHg. or 20 to 30mmHg. spandex, nylon, lycra
Comrad Knee-High Compression Socks $$ small, medium, large 20 to 30mmHg. nylon
FuelMeFoot Copper Compression Socks $ small/medium or large/extra large 15 to 20mmHg. nylon, polyester, copper fiber
Aoliks Compression Socks $–$$ small/medium or large/extra large 20 to 30mmHg. nylon, polyester
VIM & VIGR Cotton Compression Socks $$$ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (based on calf width) 15 to 20mmHg. cotton, nylon, spandex

In addition to choosing a gentle compression. level, keep the following in mind when shopping:


Compression socks are the same size as regular socks. They are usually offered in lettered sizes that correspond with your shoe size. Most of the socks come in two sizes, small/medium and large/extra large.

“Before purchasing compression socks, be sure to check the company’s size chart.”


The goal of any compression socks is to provide gentle support and pressure. If the fabric is digging into your skin and leaving marks, the compression is too strong. If you have to, opt for a lighter compression level or skip these socks altogether. The socks should not be so tight as it can cause numbness or tingling in your legs, feet, or toes.

Although compression socks are designed for extended wear throughout the day, pregnant people are usually not advised to wear them to bed. It is most likely safe, but not always.

Ease of use

Normally, you can’t put compression socks on like you would a regular pair of socks. Most compression socks must be rolled onto your legs, much like you would a pair of pantyhose. Keep this in mind, as leaning over and rolling on a pair of socks or stockings will become significantly harder as you reach the end of your pregnancy!

Pull-on styles that include zippers are a great alternative during pregnancy.

Cost vs. value

Compression socks cost more than regular socks. Some brands offer multipacks, while others only sell single pairs.

“There is a case to be made for wearing compression socks throughout your third and second trimesters, even if you don’t need them early on. Compression socks can help.”

Reduce swelling

Considering that your body produces about 50 percent more blood when you’re pregnant, it’s not surprising that you might have swelling from all of that extra fluid. And this can translate to pain or discomfort.

Compression socks or stockings can help reduce swelling in the legs. If you are on your feet all day, they can help.

Compression levels

Normally, compression socks come in five levels of compression.

  • Mercury is 8–15 millimeters.
  • 15 to 20mmHg.
  • 20 to 30mmHg.
  • 30–40mmHg.
  • 40–50mmHg.

The smaller the compression level, the lighter the effects. You’ll note that all the socks in this guide fall within the 15 to 20mmHg. range, which is good for many people wanting to relieve swelling and leg aches. They’re also best if you plan on wearing them for prolonged periods.

However, you may benefit from 20 to 30mmHg. compression if you have more moderate swelling. If you have severe swelling, chat with your physician or midwife before opting for a higher compression level.

Improve circulation

When you’re pregnant, changes in your hormones can make your blood more likely to clot and lead to other conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This risk is also increased because your growing uterus can put more pressure on your veins. But compression socks can help prevent blood clots by helping prevent your blood from pooling in your lower legs and feet.

Relieve aches

People complain about their legs being sore or achy during their pregnancies. Compression socks can help ease pains and improve circulation.

Minimize varicose veins

Varicose veins — the dark purple or blue veins that show up on your legs — occur when the valves in your veins aren’t working properly. They’re a common side effect of pregnancy. But compression socks and stockings are designed to improve circulation and help minimize or prevent the appearance of varicose veins.

Pregnancy comes with a lot of bodily changes that often can’t be avoided. Swelling is one of those things that’s generally part of the pregnancy experience.

Swelling should be mild. It may get worse as your baby grows.

You should seek a professional opinion when swelling becomes abnormal. These include:

  • significant swelling in your hands, face, or around your eyes that comes on suddenly or gradually worsens (could be a symptom of preeclampsia, a rare but dangerous condition)
  • when swelling affects only one leg (could be a symptom of deep vein thrombosis, an uncommon but dangerous condition)

If you ever feel like something is off, or you are concerned about any swelling, always reach out to a doctor.

When should you start wearing compression socks during pregnancy?

“You can wear compression socks in the first few weeks of your baby’s life, but you may need them more in the second and third trimesters. The third trimester is when feet swelling is most common.”

How can I reduce swelling in my feet during pregnancy?

The usual two-way street that is your blood flow, going from your heart to your feet and then back up, becomes a bit of a traffic jam later in pregnancy. Your feet swell as it becomes harder for your blood to flow back up.

But you don’t have to just live with it. Remedies for swollen feet include wearing compression socks, limiting sodium in your diet, eating more potassium, staying hydrated, and elevating your feet.

Can I sleep in compression socks?

The answer is yes, but you may not need to. When you are standing and moving around, compression socks are more beneficial than regular socks because you are more prone to swelling. If you try sleeping in compression socks, make sure they are not too tight, because they should not make your feet feel numb.

There is no reason to be in pain over swelling or achy legs. If you wear the right compression level and socks, you can help ease this type of pain during your pregnancies.