As with normal socks, compression socks come in many different forms. Not only are there different sizes and styles of compression socks but there are also different levels of compression that the socks can provide. The amount of compression or “squeeze” that these socks provide are measured in millimeters of mercury also written as mmHg which is a measure of pressure.
The higher the number the more pressure the socks will provide to your legs. The best compression socks are the ones that balance comfort and health benefits. The article is to be used as a guide. It is advised that you discuss with your primary care physician if compression socks are right for you. Below are the 5 most common levels of compression
Mild compression has a compression rating of 8-15 mmHg. This level has the lightest compression. This level of compression sock provides enough pressure in the legs to reduce slight swelling of the feet and legs, moderately reduce fatigue from extended time standing, and slightly better your circulation in your legs. This is a good entry level compression sock as it provides some benefits while also easing you into the slight squeeze feeling that compression socks give.
Medium compression has a compression rating of 15-20 mmHg. This level is one of the most commonly sold non-prescription levels of compression sock. 15-20 mmHg provides enough added pressure to significantly improve circulation in the lower legs, more so than the 8-15mmHg level. This added pressure is enough to help with mild swelling of the legs, swelling due to pregnancy, reduce spider veins, as well as reduce the risk of getting deep vein thrombosis (DVT) from prolonged periods of time sitting.