How To Maintain Compression Stockings

Compression garments and stockings promise many benefits to the wearer: better blood circulation, reduced risk of certain injuries, and more. However, the level of support and performance that compression garments and stockings provide is highly dependent on proper care. Indeed, proper care greatly optimizes the life span and properties of stockings and compression garments.

Médicus is here to inform you of the best practices in this regard. Let’s explore, in the next few lines, the mistakes to avoid and the right steps to take for the proper care of your compression garments and stockings.


The Importance of Good Maintenance

Since these compression stockings and garments are medical products, it is important to take care of them as they take care of you. To ensure that they always provide adequate compression and lose their effect over time, we want to keep them in good condition for as long as possible! And maintenance is the key to a garment or compression stocking with an optimal lifespan.


Here are a few tips that will help you improve their longevity:

  • If you have to wear your compression garments and stockings every day, have more than one so you don’t always wear the same ones. This way, you can wash your compression garments and stockings alternately, which helps keep their properties longer.
  • If in doubt about the effectiveness of a compression garment you’ve had for some time, opt for a new pair. Even if the loss of effectiveness is subtle, it can still have an impact on the treatment plan your compression garment or stockings respond to.
  • Follow the recommendations made by your certified fitter and the manufacturer to the letter. They are there to advise you of the specifics of your compression garment so that you can keep it in good condition for as long as possible.


Good maintenance is good for all types of compression garments, regardless of the physical condition that justifies it.



Put on Your Compression Stockings Properly

There are good steps to take to put on compression stockings or tights in an optimal way. Here is a simple step-by-step procedure and some mistakes to avoid:

  1. Always use suitable rubber gloves when putting on and taking off your garment or use technical aids.
  2. Take your stocking and put it on upside down, leaving only the right side of your foot.
  3. Hold your stocking or pantyhose where the ankle is meant to be, to create an opening, with both hands (as if you were about to put on a sock).
  4. First, insert the toe of your foot and gently thread the heel, then unroll the compression stocking or pantyhose up to your ankle (unroll to the top of your thigh for stockings and knee-highs, to the bottom of your knee for knee highs, or to the waist for pantyhose).
  5. With a little water, or as recommended by your professional, moisten your hands and adjust the stockings or pantyhose from top to bottom, using a vertical massaging motion.


How to Properly Wash Your Compression Products

Due to their medical nature, it is crucial to choose the right wash for both socks and compression garments: a key element to optimize the life span of your compression garments. Here is our best advice:

  • Wash your compression garments, compression stockings or tights by hand with a mild soap. If this is not possible, use a delicate cycle washing machine, always with mild soap.
  • Avoid at all costs the use of bleach or fabric softener: it will greatly affect the quality of the materials that make up your compression products.
  • Dry your compression stockings and garments on a dryer in a clean, dry place. If this is not possible, you can dry them in the dryer, at a very low temperature.
  • Do not wring out your stockings and avoid direct heat (dryer, sun).
  • Never iron your stockings. It could damage the mesh and fabric of your stockings.


With all the products available on the market, it’s easy to get lost. In order to find the right compression garments and to ensure proper care, do not hesitate to contact one of our certified compression fitters!


Your compression stockings are doing you a great service. Over time, they wear out and lose their effectiveness. They should be replaced regularly.


Compression stockings generally need to be replaced

  • Compression 15-20 mmHg: every 3 months
  • Compression 20-30 mmHg and more: every 6 months


For a stocking that lasts a long time, but also for efficient treatment, here are some frequently encountered mistakes, nevertheless easy to avoid:

  • Put on early to avoid swelling, pain, or numbness.
  • Do not apply lotion to your legs before putting on your stockings: dry skin makes it much easier.
  • Avoid applying band-aids on your legs. They could roll off and come off while you put on your stockings. Instead, opt for sterile self-adhesive strips and compresses, which are more resistant to friction.
  • Remove rings, bracelets and any jewelry that may create stitches in your compression stockings or pantyhose while you put them on.


Validated by Annie Pépin, Compression garments clinician at Médicus

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