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Guide: How to Measure for Compression Stockings – (with Pictures!)

Introduction

Measuring for compression stockings is only possible when there is an experienced fitter involved. If you are here reading this context, then you might be looking for a guide on how to measure for compression stockings. Well you are at the right place and without any further ado let’s start on with the guide:

What are compression stockings?

They are unique and specialized items designed in order to help prevent the occurrence of disorders such as edema, phlebitis, and thrombosis. They are mostly worn around the leg to compress the limbs and made up of certain materials, so there is all the elasticity we need. They are made to function in order to create a certain type of pressure on the legs, ankles, and feet. 

Is it hard to measure compression stockings?

No, In fact, it is completely easy to measure for compression socks and stockings both. A few spots on your legs will have to be measured through with complete care, and there is some measurement steps involved as well after this, so let’s start on with the preparation of those steps. 

Tools needed:

  1. A pen
  2. A notebook 
  3. Measuring tape
  4. Sample stockings

What is needed to be measured?

There are certain spots on the legs that are needed to be measured for compression stockings overall, and both the upper and lower leg parts have to be observed significantly, and the measurements should be noted down in the notebook or notepad, whatever is available at your side. Then carefully, with the help of the tools listed above, you will have to find out the:

  • The circumference of ankle.
  • The circumference of the calves.
  • The circumference of thighs.
  • The length of the whole lower leg part for the specific knew high stockings. 
  • Calculate and measure the total length of the leg for thigh-high and pantyhose compression stockings.
  • Then the shoe size has to be also measured.
  • Height of the person.
  • Circumference of the hip for the pantyhose compression stockings.

Measurement steps:

Here are the steps finally for the compression stockings:

Ankle circumference:   

Measuring the circumference of an ankle is quite easy. In fact, you can do it in seconds by just putting the measuring tape around the area above the ankle bone and taking the exact measurement.

The chances of wrong readings can occur due to some reasons such as a bad ankle, swelling, or twist.

But then you have to postpone the measurements until the swelling is gone completely obviously, and you can take the exact rightful readings.

Calf circumference:

This is a rather tricky job, and measuring the calf muscles is not exactly a piece of cake. You will have to find the largest calf in order to take measurements, and finding it is the hard part, plus you will also have to handle the measuring tape carefully whilst taking the readings, and the large calf muscle can be anywhere in the back of the leg.

Every person has a different shaped calf muscle, and it can develop over time, too, so that would mean that your measurement can change too.

In order to get the exact reading place your fingers in the middle of the leg at the back and apply a high amount of pressure, you will slowly feel the muscle line, and you can take your measurement.

Lower leg measurement:

For knee-high compression stockings, especially, it is highly necessary to consider taking the whole lower leg measurements.

This is also known as calf-length measurement, and it can be taken when you are sitting on a spot with good leg posture. It is recommended to avoid silly mistakes when taking these measurements, such as not keeping the leg straight or the muscles tight etc.

The measuring tape should be kept aligned and taken straight up from the floor to the bended knee part. Here in the figure, we can see clearly how the person is holding the measuring tape and taking readings.

Height:

To confirm your calm length measurements, you can calculate your height. There are standard measurements that have been calculated according to heights, and this scale helps save a lot of time as it is a shortcut in order to achieve bigger results.

An example is that people with the height 5 feet, 6 inches have a calf-length of 15-16 inches approximately. This is simple evidence of how you can utilize your height for certain readings.

Thigh circumference:

Right under the buttocks, you have to find the widest part of your thigh in order to get the accurate measurements. You can measure this part of the thigh as a circumference, and this is where the stop is located for thigh-high compression stockings.

This measurement is for both thigh-high and pantyhose compression stockings, but knee-high compression stockings also need these measurements or at least a slight bit of the knowledge.

Full Leg length measurement:

This measurement is a necessary aspect of all types of compression stockings, and in order to measure and get yourself your exact size, you have to cover every part of the leg, including the full leg length, of course.

You can make the person stand, and from the floor to the buttocks, the measurement tape will go straight up, and when it stops at the ending spot, you will note down the readings. If you want to avoid silly mistakes, then make sure not to go way too high for the measurements and always let the tape stop right to the buttocks only.

Hip measurements:

These measurements are necessary for the pantyhose and waist-high compression stockings, and measurement of the hip circumference has to be check marked in order to create one.

Pantyhose stockings have a special feature most of the time, such as a control top from the hip to the waist. To measure the hip, you have to simply take the measurement tape and measure around the thigh 1-3 fingers width down from the creasing line of buttocks.

Helpful tips:

Here are the following tips for both knee-high and pantyhose compression stockings:

  • Take all your measurements first thing in the morning when your legs haven’t worked all day and our perfectly relaxed. This is the perfect moment to take accurate readings for the compression stockings. 
  • The measuring tape should be flexible enough to be stretched down all the way from the bottom to up. If that is not possible and you weren’t able to find one like that, then take a string and lay it on the ruler or retractable tape measure. 
  • Never estimate your readings and convert them into whole numbers to make them even. The readings for compression stockings should be really accurate, and this can only happen if this task is taken seriously, and all the readings are precise enough. 

Levels of compression stockings: 

If you want to choose a certain type of compression stocking for yourself, then understanding the level of compression stockings is an essential part of the process. There is a range of numeric digits to indicate the amount of compression a material has. 

The standard and over the counter compression levels of these stockings are 15-20mm Hg, and the other levels are termed as medical 1 (20-30mm Hg), medical 2 (30-40mm Hg) and medical 3 (40-50mm Hg). 

The knee-high compression stockings most widely have level medical 1 (20-30mm Hg) compression, and this way, a competent compression is provided to the legs without being super strong at the same time. For athletes and people with leg swellings, these knee-high compression stockings are best because the 20-30mm Hg level is ideal. 

There are varieties of styles in which this level is present, and that is not only knee-high stockings but also pantyhose, thigh high, and maternity pantyhose as well. 

To alleviate heaviness, swelling and aching in the legs about to be moms are also getting the heck of these compression stockings and mainly use 20-30mm Hg ones. 

Find the right compression sock for you:

There are a lot of ways from which you can find the ideal compression sock for yourself, and those ways can consist of a few easy steps:

Choose the level of compression:

For daily wear and sports recovery, it is recommended to use 15-20 mm Hg compression level stockings. These are easy to wear and carry, as well as improve the circulation of heat and blood levels inside your body without tightening up the host’s legs. 

As for mild symptoms, medical recovery, and sports recovery, the 20-30 mm Hg compression stockings are the best. These are ideal for spider veins, edema, and post-surgical use, as well. 

To balance out severe symptoms of different diseases, promote medical recovery and health, the 30-40 mm Hg compression levels are perfect. 

Decide if you want a stocking or a sock:

The knee-high compression socks are made for the area under the curvature of your calf. These stockings might seem really elastic, but you cannot put them up to the knee in order to test out. 

According to the compression you must be wearing, it is possible that this stocking can cause dangerous conditions for you, so you have to use them wisely. 

As for the thigh-high and pantyhose, the stockings can be of some use, but pregnant women are most likely to get them. 

You can find out about which one you need by checking out the area in your leg which needs this recovery and the exact part as well. 

Styles:

There are many types of fabrics and materials out there in the new modern era now, and gone are the days in which the style was only iconized by a small number of people. There are durable opaque fabrics, sheer styles, and sports materials. 

All of these are useful, unique, and relaxing, which means you can select them by the fabric style but also how it shall help you. 

Opaque ones are more for men than women, or we can say they are unisex, and then the sheer style is only for women; it is lightweight, transparent, and stylish at the same time. 

Final words:

It is important that compression stockings should be measured carefully and with all the tips in mind. Secondly, there are certain side effects of getting compression stockings, so if you are new to all this, then you should learn how to use these. 

On an everyday basis, compression stockings have potential risks and therefore require a precise application and close enough monitoring, especially for people with greater skin damage. 

When there is an occurrence of complications, it is vital that all actions must be taken earlier. There are times when the degree of treatment and the extent of injuries have gone too high, and all issues have stopped responding to the treatments. 

This is where the compression stockings come in so they should be used but with the proper care, keeping the side effects in mind.