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Cotton Compression Socks – The Complete Guide (with Pictures!)

Image of woman wearing open toe cotton compression stocks

Compression socks come in various sizes, materials, compression, and length such that you will have a hard time choosing the best socks for your leg. However, cotton compression socks are one of the socks to wear for great comfort.  Cotton compression stockings are designed for extra comfort and flair which makes you look elegant whenever you wear it. Lovers of nature, sport, and leisure will appreciate the importance and effectiveness of cotton.

Special cotton yarn is used in making cotton compression stockings which are knitted on the socks inside directly in contact with the skin. People with very sensitive skin will find this sock very useful for enhanced comfort and general well-being.

If you haven’t worn compression socks before or you have tried other compression stockings materials, I urge you to try out a cotton compression stocking to feel the difference and enjoy its amazing benefits. However, before wearing cotton socks, there are things to consider and also know about these comfy socks. Read on to learn about this great pair of socks!

Key Features

Cotton socks are mixed with fibers to help regulate the temperature, especially in fluctuating climatic conditions. Below are the features of cotton socks:

  • Ideal for men and women with a very sensitive skin
  • Great thermoregulation
  • The finest mix of fibers ensures easy sliding in and out of the stocking
  • Suitable for 1,2 and compression classes

5 Things You Should Know about Cotton Compression Stockings

Do your legs feel sore and achy after your 12-hour shift job? Are you experiencing difficulty fitting your legs into your shoes after your long, tiring shift at work, probably because you didn’t get the chance to sit down all day? Does your regular job leave you feeling worn out, with your knees and elbows stiff or swollen? If this applies to you, I’m guessing you must have come across compression socks and braces.

Interestingly, you can use them as well. There’s every probability that you’ve used or have heard of those made from synthetic materials, which to some people is stuffy and discomforting. Thankfully, an effective solution to this is available. Cotton can be used as an excellent alternative to synthetic materials in making compression socks, elbow braces, and compression knee braces. 

If you require a sturdy elbow or knee brace or you’re considering buying compression socks, we have stated below five things you should know, to guide you in making the purchase and avoid regret. You may be shocked at the first point!   

1. Cotton is a Good choice for Compression Socks and Braces 

image of white compression socks made with cotton

Compression socks are produced using different materials, ranging from Spandex, Microfiber, Lycra, and Cotton. Materials like Spandex and Spandex and Lycra play a significant role in the elasticity of compression socks; however, comfort and breathability cotton provide is second to none.    

You may experience some negative impact on your feet and legs if you wear socks the whole day while working a 12-hour shift. It, therefore, stresses the importance of choosing cotton compression socks when making a pick of a fabric to prevent damp, sore, and smelly feet when the day is over.        

A wide variety of materials is also used in making braces for the knee and elbow. They can be a mixture of plastic, metal, foam, elastic, and narrow strips from spandex, Lycra, microfiber, and many more. The only challenge is that synthetic fibers cause irritation and keep the wearer uncomfortable.   

On the other hand, you can make the most of your compression garment if it is worn for an extended period. The choice of cotton as a material for your compression socks or braces helps in reducing your chances of developing skin irritation or discomfort as your skin is given enough breathing space through the content. In general, you have more suitable compression equipment. Cotton, by nature, is hypoallergenic, which means the degree of allergies is minimal. No more itchy, stuffy synthetic materials. Think of a breathable, hypoallergenic, anti-odor, and antibacterial compression equipment, just for your comfort. 

2. Cotton Compression Braces and Socks are effective 

It’s essential that you know compression hoses and braces are not only being hyped, but they also work. They are not just some cheap gimmick that won’t stand the test of time. Compression socks have a unique way of impacting positively on your health and making you comfortable, most notably when you stand up for long hours. Cotton compression braces, on the other hand, provide you with the necessary support, without sliding or bunching. They are made to keep you comfortable the whole day.    

What are Compression Socks?

Compression socks refer to socks made for medical purposes, loosely interwoven to apply slight pressure on your legs to boost blood flow and circulation. Pressure applied to the leg may be consistent, that is uniform all over the sock, or graduated, which means more pressure is applied at the ankle area, then it slowly reduces as it goes up the leg.     

How Does it function?

These socks function by imitating the natural processes of the body in circulating blood via the legs. The contraction force exerted opposes gravity, helping blood circulation back to the heart.  If you notice any abrupt change in your body mechanics, like in air travel, for instance, or you are standing all day, thus increasing gravity levels, your body’s actions may not just be sufficient.     

Compression socks give your feet to your legs a graduated compression while imitating your body’s mechanics and improving natural activities, thus boosting blood and fluid circulation through your body. Rather than experience pooling around your legs, blood flows back to the circulatory system freely, thus minimizing pain, swelling, and blood clots in the process.  

What Are Compression Braces?

Image of compression braces made of cotton

They are also called support, sleeves, and wraps, and can be worn or wrapped around the body, to provide support for areas where they are needed. They can also be used for patients with a medical history of being injured or having pain in a particular joint area. Knee and elbow braces are the most frequently used compression braces, most notably for nurses. For instance, a nurse who complained of pain around the knee after standing for a long time or walking can benefit from using compression knee braces.  

The functioning of Compression Braces 

In design, compression braces are made to provide your joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons with added support. They are useful in reducing pain caused by arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis, or a tear of the meniscus. Compression braces have a way of protecting your body from strain and trauma. They provide compression support all over the body, thus vital units of the joint are supported and can move quickly. 

3. They are made in varying sizes and Strengths

Compression socks don’t come in a universal size, and there are always individual preferences. The shape, fitting, and health condition of the person are put into consideration in making the decision of the right pair for you.   

What level of Compressions Do I Need?

The measurement for compression is in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), similar to that of blood pressure. The Compression level to be used is dependent on the underlying reason for using the device. In general, higher compression levels mean more severe health conditions or situations. 

image showing level of Compression guide

Mild Compression (8-15 mmHg) – Best for regular users, a person who wants to use it to reduce swelling, pain in the leg, and smaller varicose veins. This is the most appropriate for athletes or nurses, who don’t have any other medical conditions but just wear it to have strong legs.

Moderate Compression (15-20 mmHg) – This can be used casually, but is best for use in severe medical conditions like pregnancy or while traveling on air. It is the lowest compression level, capable of reducing the susceptibility to Deep Vein Thrombosis

Firm Compression (20-30 mmHg) –  Best for use in the prevention, for instance, pre and post-surgery, or in treating more severe health conditions like minor edema or swelling, severe varicose veins, and superficial thrombophlebitis.  

Extra Firm compression (30-40 mmHg) – They are generally used to treat severe medical conditions. They can also be useful in the treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pre and Post-high-risk diseases, as well as a state, is known as Chronic Venous Insufficiency.  

Severe Compression (40-50 mmHg) – Being the highest compression level, they are used only in chronic cases like Chronic Venous Insufficiency, Deep Vein Thrombosis, and Severe Lymphedema. 

Apart from compression strength, ensure you get a compression sock with the right fit for your legs, concerning the size of your foot, length, and width of your calf. You can get these Cotton compression braces in four sizes. Just choose from small, medium, large, and extra-large. Then, wear them all day to provide the comfort and support you need. 

4. They can be used not just for medical reasons

image of white cotton socks for medical reasons

Compression hoses and braces are very useful for the treatment of various medical conditions; however, they can also be used in other situations.  

Surgery

In your experience as a nurse, you must have come across a patient who is wearing compression socks. People often use braces as a post-surgery device to further support the area affected.      

Air Travel

Traveling by air for long hours is often very stressful, and can result in harmful medical situations. An abrupt stop in functioning can pose a threat to health, leading to the condition known as Deep Vein Thrombosis, even on air. Constant position changes, walking down the aisle regularly, putting on loose clothes, and wearing compression hoses while flying is what differentiates a beautiful holiday from a visit to the hospital.      

Pregnancy

In a situation where your mother, while pregnant with you, had varicose veins, there is every possibility that you’ll develop it as well. An increase in blood volume and hormone levels during pregnancy makes the Venous walls weak, and there is a risk of developing varicose veins at this point.  

However, this condition can be prevented simply by using compression socks. The added Compression improves circulation, keeping your legs fresh.  During pregnancy, most mothers complain of an ache in either of the knees or elbows. Cotton compression braces offer extra support to enhance your movement. 

Work and Exercise

After your shift, do you go home feeling exhausted, finding it difficult to sleep because you’re exhausted, and your legs are tired and weary? The solution might just be under your nose. Wearing compression socks boosts blood circulation, reducing edema( swelling) and leg pain, even if you were on your feet the whole day.

As a runner or athlete, you must be acquainted with the advantages you gain from compression socks; it’s effects on your endurance, and reduction in muscle weakness. Interestingly, athletes have joined the crowd using compression hoses, and they are enjoying the fantastic benefits that added compression offers.  

People don’t wear compression braces solely for recovery after surgery. Being a nurse, you must be familiar with a scenario where your legs are tired after a long shift or an elbow is sore from taking vitals and checking temperatures repetitively. You stand to gain a lot from using compression elbow or knee braces. They help to relief your knee and legs from the pain and aches. Athletes will attest to the fantastic support compression braces give. Nurses can also see the vast benefits extra support provides.        

5. They are available in a variety of colors and patterns

Everything is evolving; old beige stockings like that of your grandma are no longer in vogue. Trendy socks are available in modern designs and creative styles. Are you a kitten lover? You can get just about anything imaginable to suit your personality and style.        

To a nurse, compression socks can serve as a lifesaver, easing off fatigue and pain in the leg, and maintaining proper functioning, even while not working. Knowing all these about compression socks, your journey to having strong legs is on its way. Consider getting one of these comfy socks, enhance your looks, and make your leg feel great.