The 411 on Replacing Compression

Posted by Shannon on Jan 23rd 2024

JAN 23, 2024

Learn the 411 on When and Why You Should Replace Your Compression Products

How do you know when it’s time to replace your compression? Everyone knows when it’s time to replace your regular socks. They get threadbare, and maybe develop a hole in the toe or heel. Because compression socks are a medical device, there is a different standard to when you should replace them.

Woman using tape measure to measure leg

How Often Should They Be Replaced?

Most compression socks and hosiery garments will hold their compressive nature for approximately 3 to 6 months. Therafirm compression products are guaranteed up to 6 months when following care instructions before they need to be replaced.

Why Does Compression Need to Be Replaced So Often?

Its all about the compressive nature. Your physician prescribed a certain compression level based on the condition thats being treated. Even with the most diligent care, any and all compression will lose elasticity over time. When the elasticity is decreased, the strength of the compression will decrease. Your condition requires a certain amount of pressure to be effective. When the compression breaks down, you are no longer experiencing the proper levels for your treatment.

Woman wearing Ease Microfiber Knee Highs in Coal

What are Some Signs Your Compression is Breaking Down?

The socks arent as tight as they once were. When youre wearing compression, youll know it. Youll feel the snugness on your legs. While not uncomfortable, there is a significant difference from wearing regular socks. If your socks are starting to feel like regular socks, or if the tightness is not as noticeable as it once was, it might be time to replace them.

Youll probably notice a decrease in tightness before your socks significantly lose elasticity. However, if you notice your compression socks wont stay in place, its definitely time to replace them.

Man wearing Core-Spun Patterned Support Socks in Diamond

Are There Other Reasons to Replace Compression?

The biggest reason to replace compression outside of the 6-month point is when the size of your legs fluctuates. Compression is properly sized by measuring the circumference of your ankle, calf, and if it applies, your thigh. When compression is doing its job, your swelling decreases, which in turn decreases the size of the garment you need. Similarly, when youve gained or lost enough weight, the size of your legs can change and your compression is no longer properly sized. Whenever the size of your legs changes, its important to re-measure and be fitted with a new size.
Another reason to re-evaluate your compression socks is a change to your condition. If your condition worsened or improved, your physician may want to change your compression level in addition to your size.
Woman wearing ThearaSport Athletic Compression Socks in Red

Is There Anything That Can Be Done to Make Them Last Longer?

The most important thing you can do is to follow the care instructions included within your box. Each product has care instructions specific to that product, so be sure to use the correct one.
Another handy tip is to handle your compression with care as youre putting them on, especially if theyre more of a nylon stocking instead of a sock. Just like standard nylon stockings, compression stockings can snag and create holes.
Finally, remember the adage that says you get what you pay for. When it comes to a medical device, you want to ensure you have a quality one and not a cheap knockoff. A quality compression sock will last longer and be more effective than a cheaply made version regardless of brand or style.

*This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments.


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