A nurse’s professional outfit is not complete without a pair of good compression socks. Part accessory, part medical device, this essential footwear can make all the difference in a healthcare worker’s day.

We don’t need to tell you that standing for twelve (minimum) hours a day is going to leave your feet and legs swollen and sore. But wearing compression socks will help support your circulation and prevent fluid buildup in your lower extremities as you go about your rounds and daily tasks.

Below we’ve listed some of the best compression socks and compression stockings for nurses, and where to find them.

What Makes the Compression Socks for Nurses?

So what should you look for while sock-shopping? Choosing a good pair of compression socks isn’t a tricky task, but there are a few essential qualities you’ll want to look out for to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Size: Compression socks come in sizes which are based on shoe size, ankle diameter, calf diameter and length. It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you wear a sock or stocking not correctly sized for your body, it might not work as advertised. Avoid brands that only come in S, M, or L.

Fit: Ankle, mid-calf, knee, over-knee, or thigh-high. There’s a style and a length to suit every need, and every body in the compression-sock world. Consider how your legs and feet react to long-standing hours and go from there. If you have minimal swelling and soreness, an ankle sock might be adequate to just give your soles a little support. A taller sock might be necessary if you walk away from work with barking dogs.

Pressure: Tension in compression socks ranges greatly, from 8-15 mmHg to 30-40 mmHg. At the lower end of the scale, socks will apply gentle pressure to your legs and feet to keep things flowing. Higher numbers are typically used for patients with varicose veins, or to treat deep vein thrombosis. Nurses in active clinics or hospitals should aim for a mid-range pressure to keep you light on your feet through the day.

Where to Find the Best Compression Socks for Nurses

  1. AvacareMedical.com – A massive online medical supply store they carry everything your clinical heart desires, compression socks included. The Curad knee-highs are some of the best compression socks for healthcare workers, and offer straightforward, sleek, medical-grade stockings available for $16.56. Choose the pressure, size, and fit that works best for you.
  2. Amazon.com -How can you not list this retail giant when talking about where to find medical clothing that is both cute and functional? Just search ‘compression socks’ on their website to find a veritable rainbow of high-quality products and compression stockings for nurses reviews. The Unisex Sports Compression Socks (pack of 6 for $13.99) are made of antimicrobial material and decorated with a fun, colorful heel. The CHARMKING Compression Socks come in a huge variety of colors and patterns, including medical theme, and can be purchased in a pack of 7 for $17.57.
  3. Walgreens – This pharmacy chain carries a number of options from leading medical brands. Highest rated on their online store are the Ultimate Travel Bamboo Compression Socks from +MD. Costing $8.99, this product features moisture-wicking, breathable material and a cushioned sole, for maximum comfort.
  4. Compressionz – This site specializes in compression gear, offering socks AND sleeves AND leggings, should you ever have the need. Their socks are medium pressure, insulated, antibacterial, anti-itch, and available in a diversity of colors and patterns for $18.79 each. If you want to spice up your style, buy a pair with an amusing decal like Breakfast, or Baby Feet.
  5. Sockwell – These are some of the best compression socks for standing all day, but are a little on the pricier side at $26.99 a pair. However, you will feel that you’ve gotten what you paid for when you put them on for the first time. Made from homegrown wool and other natural fibers in the US, they come in attractive, subtle colors and designs. Choose between their Art Deco Moderate Graduated Sock with arch support, and the Elevated Firm Graduated Sock made of 31% merino wool.
  6. Crazy Compression – This brand has some of the best compression stockings for nurses and boasts socks for every occasion, holiday, and mood. Tall socks stand in the 15-20 mmHg range, and go for $30 a pair. Ankle socks retail at $10. This small business is a haven for nurses and other medical professionals who enjoy alternative style; you can find a number of spooky and punky patterns, including Skull and Crossbones and Lots of Bats.
  7. CompressionSockShop.com.au – For the nurses down under, this Australia shop carries products in a number of materials, including breathable bamboo, and comfy cotton. They offer a full range of pressures from 15 to 46 mmHg. These Australian compression socks for nurses have a whole bunch of colors and patterns to choose from in both men’s and women’s styles. Best sellers include the cheeky Nylon Nature with Dots Stocking for 23.00 AUD ($16.29), and the Blue Flower Bamboo Sock for 25.00 AUD ($17.71).
  8. CopperJoint.com – A real heavy-hitter in the compression sock industry, Copper Joint designs unique compression garments for athletes, patients, and medical professionals alike and are some of the best compression socks for swollen legs. Probably a special treat at $35.97 a pair (but sooo worth it) these innovative stockings are made with a copper-infused material, useful in controlling temperature and fighting microbes.

Finding the right compression sock for you should be a cinch with our list of some of the best compression socks available for nurses and healthcare workers. And if you want a scheduling tool that’s just as easy and stress-free, sign up (for free!) today with Medely to take control of your schedule.