I have been a bedside nurse for over 30 years and let me tell you the work is rewarding, but it can be exhausting! Often times my legs are so sore and my joints are sore from walking on the cement floors. The only saving grace for me is compression socks or stockings. We will discuss the best compression stockings for nurses.

I have worn compression stockings since the beginning of my career. When nurses are on their feet all day, they are susceptible to varicose veins. There are a couple of criteria that I use when I am buying compression socks.

  1. They have to be at least 15-20 mmHg
  2. And they have to be knee-highs

What Are Varicose Veins? 

Varicose veins occur when a person’s veins become swollen and enlarged. These veins are very uncomfortable and can cause pain. There are many remedies that people can use to help varicose veins.

The most simple remedy is to use compression stockings. Listed are the best compression stockings for nurses to prevent varicose veins. In this article, we will discuss the best compression socks for nurses.

If you are a floor nurse, you spend hours on your feet every day. Standing and walking on cement can cause various leg conditions such as:

  • Swelling
  • Varicose veins
  • Fatigue

It is important to wear quality compression socks to support your legs. 

The ideal stockings should have at least 15-20 mmHg and they should be knee-high’s.They are the best compression stockings for nurses.

Almost 20% of the population will experience varicose veins. Varicose veins can occur:

  • Varicose veins can occur in the groin
  • Varicose veins can occur in the back of the knee
  • Varicose veins can occur in the eyes
  • Varicose veins can occur in the feet
  • Varicose veins can occur in the upper thigh
  • Varicose veins can occur in pregnancy


Varicose Veins Signs and Symptoms

  • Veins that stick out and are usually blue-colored
  • Burning sensation in the legs
  • Legs that feel heavy or ache
  • Cramps at night
  • Swelling of the legs and feet
  • Sensitive skin over the vein
Compression stockings for nurses . Signs of varicose vein

Quality compression socks prevent nurses from having leg fatigue. The following are the best compression socks for nurses

Best Compression Socks for Nurses to Prevent Varicose Veins

Compression stockings or anti-embolism socks are used for venous and lymphatic support. There are many forms of compression socks. These include:

Graduated or Medical Compression Socks

  • Graduated compression stockings exert the greatest degree of compression at the ankle, and the level of compression gradually decreases up the garment
  • They are often used to treat chronic venous disease and edema
  • They are designed for ambulatory patients and are manufactured under strict medical and technical specifications, including consistency and durability, to provide a specific level of ankle pressure and graduation of compression

Best Compression Stockings to Prevent Blood Clots

  • Anti-embolism socks are used to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis in nurses
  • Like graduation compression socks, they provide gradient compression
  • They are designed for bedridden patients and do not meet the technical specifications for use by ambulatory patients
  • Although the terms “anti-embolism socks” and “graduated compression hosiery” are often used interchangeably and both types of stockings offer graduated compression, they have different levels of compression and indications

Best Compression For Non-medical Support Hosiery

Non-medical support hosiery, including flight socks and elastic support socks, are often used to provide relief for tired, heavy and aching legs
.

They usually exert considerably less compression than graduated compression socks.

The compression is uniform and not graduated and they do not need to meet the strictly medical and technical specifications as those of graduated compression stockings.

They can often be bought over the counter without a prescription

These are the type of stockings that nurses need to wear to prevent varicose veins and spider veins.


Nurses stand on their feet all day. Especially nurses that work in the operating room. This can lead to swelling and pooling of the blood.

This is a perfect storm for blood clots or deep vein thrombosis in the legs. Compression stockings are able to increase blood flow, and this will increase circulation.

Also, for nurses who already have edema in their legs, compression stockings can help because they prevent the tissue in the legs from expanding.

Poor blood circulation and insufficient venous circulation are the main causes of varicose veins. Sometimes the valves in the veins do not let blood flow adequately. This will cause the veins to bulge, this budges is known as spider veins or varicose veins.  When a nurse wears compression stockings, the blood is forced back up to the heart and this will prevent varicose veins.


Nurses work extremely hard, oftentimes with no support resources. Patients are getting sicker and nurses are expected to work harder without increased support. This puts a lot of wear and tear on the nurses’ legs, joints, and back. One of the ways to prevent pain is to wear compression stockings.


Cute Compression Socks For Nurses

Although nurses work very hard, we have to have time for humor! Nurses have humorous uniforms, stethoscopes, shoes, and socks.