Compression stockings are thin densely woven stockings that exert compression, or pressure, on the legs, thighs, and/or waist to promote for better blow flow to the the heart.
Types of compression stockings
Non-gradient support stockings apply equal pressure the full length of the hose, from toe to above the calf. You can find them in open and closed-toe styles. Not meant to be attractive though one day someone will come up one that looks less medical.
Gradient stockings work a little differently. They apply a graduated pressure, starting tighter at the ankle and slowly decrease in pressure toward their tops. Gradient stockings are only available in closed-toe styles.
What Is the difference between medical support stockings and support hose?
Generally speaking, the more severe the vascular problem, the more pressure is required from a stocking. Support hose have a compression level at or below 20 mmHg while compression stockings are 20 mmHg or above.
Support hose can be purchased over the counter, while medical support stockings may require a prescription and a fitting by a medical professional if the compression level is above 40 mmhg or if they are custom made.
Available fit of support stocking
There are four lengths of compression wear: knee-high, thigh-high, waist-high (This includes both anti-embolic and gradient stockings), maternity length (fits over the belly).