There are many compression stockings types in the market depending on their length and the pressure they apply. Whenever you want to have any compression stockings for yourself, you need to know all about compression stockings types and grades, so you can choose the best one for dealing with your specific problem among all types of compression stockings in the market. This guide is all about women’s compression stockings and all types of compression stockings, their length and their grades; plus, their authenticity and the viability and if they need any prescription to be bought or not.

What are the Different Types of Compression Stockings?

There are three major types of compression stockings based on the length,style, purpose and the medical approval.

  • Graduated
  • Anti-embolism
  • Non medical support hosiery

Graduated Compression Stockings

an image that shows graduated compression stockings with blue percents

Graduated compression stockings provide the gradient pressure that is strongest at the ankle and gradually loosen up moving closer to the knee. They are specifically advised for several medical conditions like avoiding blood pooling while standing for many hours. Several graduated compression stockings types are used for several specifications. Generally, they are used for mobility and avoiding blood pooling; that’s why, they need the professional fittings.

For avoiding the blood pooling in legs, the length should be extended to the thigh or waist. On the other hand, to increase the mobility and minimise the fluid buildup in the lower leg so it won’t be swollen.

Anti-Embolism Stockings

a lady is wearing a white anti embolism stockings

These compression stockings are used to provide a constant gentle squeezing and pressure to the legs of those people who hardly move. These compression stockings are best to avoid deep vein thrombosis(DVT) and blood clotting during the immobility period.

Non Medical Support Hosiery

A lady is wearing a non medical support hosiery

Non-Medical support hosiery won’t need any medical prescriptions to be bought. They are used for tired legs or travel as potential caution or relief. They provide a gentle constant pressure for mild comfort so they won’t require the prescriptions like other high pressure compression stockings are required.

What are the Different Grades of Compression Stockings?

The different grades of compression stockings mean they have different compression levels and are used for some specific purposes.

There are 4 main grades of compression stockings

  • Over the Counter (OTC)
  • Medical Class 1
  • Medical Class 2
  • Medical Class 3

Over the Counter

A black over the counter compression stocking

Over the counter compression stockings have compression stockings level of 15mmHg to 20mmHg. They don’t need medical prescriptions to be bought because they are considered non medical and apply a gentle squeezing.

Above 20mmHG, all compression levels need the prescriptions to buy medical compressions.

Medical Class 1

Medical class 1 stockings have the compression stockings level of 20mmHg to 30mmHG.

Medical Class 2

Medical class 1 stockings have the compression stockings level of 30mmHg to 40mmHG.

Medical Class 3

Medical class 3 stockings have the compression stockings level of 40mmHg to 50mmHG.

What Compression Stockings Do I Need?

A red short stockings

You should think about a few important points before choosing a specific compression stockings for yourself. Ask yourself about the exact purpose of the compression stockings like why you need the compression stockings and then you may ask yourself about the feasible compression length and the how much compression level you can endure or should be endured. All these steps determine the perfect compression stockings for you.

Let’s elaborate this whole process into a stepwise algorithm.

Compression Level

Suggested Compression Stockings Based on the Specific Needs

Following are some of the major compression types to choose.

  1. If you want it for daily recovery or the sports, you should go for over the counter compression stockings of 10mmHg compression level.
  2. If you need to recover from some mild medical condition like after surgery or if you want it for varicose veins, spider veins or edema, you need to go for 20mmHg to 30mmHg compression level.
  3. If you need compression stockings for coping with the moderate to severe medical conditions like DVT, blood clotting, lymphedema, varicose veins or post surgery recovery, the 30mmHg or above would be suitable.

Length of Stockings

After consulting the compression levels, you should choose the desired suitable length of your stockings that are comfortable to wear and won’t disturb any medical condition.

If you have only swelling in your ankles then the stockings with a length till knee would be sufficient. Only go for the full leg stockings, if you have swelling above the knee.


After choosing the perfect compression level and the length of the compression stockings of any type, the final stage is to get a suitable and reliable material for the compression stockings. You can always consult with a specialist or physiotherapist to guide you about the most suitable allergic fee material for your legs. You can always visit an authentic medical pharmacy or store providing compression socks in Kensington, Maryland or you can just visit an online store to browse all the available options and get the most suitable one for yourself considering the length, material and the compression level.