How to measure for compression stockings in 7 easy steps

How To Measure Compression Stockings: Main Image Showing Measuring Tape - A Pen - And A Paper


In this article, we show you step-by-step how to measure compression stockings.

Before going any further, it is essential to know that finding the proper size is crucial before choosing your compression socks for women or men.

Why? You will find out later!

Also, to help you familiarize yourself with the process, we show you what to do before, during, and after finding your sizing for compression socks.

The last section of this text will answer frequently asked questions about this topic.

Why is it important to measure correctly for compression socks?

Taking the correct compression stocking measurement by following the sizing chart helps to find the best-fitted size for a person with venous insufficiency or varicose veins

Image Showing Properly Fitted Socks When Sizing For Compression Socks

Thus, having a well-adjusted size on the legs, without being too loose or too tight, allows the users to benefit the most from their compression socks.

What is the best time to measure compression stocking sizing?

For best-fitted sizing for your compression socks, we recommend that you take your measurements in the morning as soon as you get out of bed.

Why is this so?

Indeed, the legs of a person suffering from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) are less swollen in the morning. But, as the day progresses, the ankles and legs become swollen.

To avoid getting the wrong size, do your compression stocking measurement in the morning when the edema in the legs is less present.

Steps to follow to find sizing

Measure for compression socks: what to do before?

Before you start to follow the seven steps below to find your compression socks sizing, We recommend following these tips:

  • Prepare a flexible measuring tape
  • Find your compression stockings sizing chart
  • Have bare legs to take measurements directly on the skin
  • Have your feet completely in contact with the ground (flat), especially when taking leg length
  • For best-fitted support stockings, it is advisable to take the same below measurements for each leg separately 

Once you are ready, you can now measure for your compression stockings.

Step 1: take the ankle circumference

You must measure around your ankle in the narrowest part, i.e., just above the ankle bone (the malleolus).


Compression Stocking Measurement: Image Illustrating How Measuring An Ankle Circumference


Step 2: measure the calf circumference

You need to measure your calf circumference at the widest part.


Sizing Compression Socks: A Woman Taking Her Calf Measurement


Step 3: measure the length

This compression stocking measurement will depend on the length of the stockings you are looking to buy:


Compression Stocking Measurement: Image Showing How Measuring Leg Length

If you are looking for knee high support socks, go to step 7.


Knee High Compression Socks To Illustrate How It looks Like While Measuring Size


Step 4: measure the thigh circumference

At this point, position the tape measure on the widest part of the thigh, then take the thigh circumference.


How To Measure For Compression Stocking: Measering Thigh Circumference


If you are looking for thigh high support stockings, go to step 7.


Thigh High Length To Show The Style While Learning How To Measure Compression Stockings


Step 5: measure the circumference of your hips

If you are looking for a compression pantyhose style, measurements in steps 5 and 6 are required to find your compression stockings sizing. 


Compression Pantyhose: To Show How It Looks Like While Finding Compression Socks Sizing


So, once you have taken the thigh circumference, you must now measure the circumference of your hips. 


How To Measure Compression Stockings: Showing Hips Measurement Step


Step 6: measure your waist

The last measurement to take before picking your compression socks sizing is your waist circumference.


Compression Stocking Measurement: Measuring Waist Illustration


Step 7: Choose your size from the compression socks sizes chart

Once you have taken all your measurements, you can go now to the Doctor Brace compression socks you wish to buy.

Then use these measurements to determine your size in the compression stockings sizing chart. This chart can be found in each product description.

Frequently asked questions when measuring your size

What are the steps to follow before buying compression stockings?

The steps will depend on the compression socks type to buy and the required compression grade.

For more details, read about  how to buy compression stockings.

How tight should compression socks be? How do I know if they are too tight?

Compression socks that are too tight may cause skin irritation or leg pain.

Yet, because your socks are tight doesn't mean that you are wearing the wrong size:

  • People with venous insufficiency who have never used compression stockings may have edema in their legs during the day
  • With regular use of these medical compression socks, the swelling may gradually subside, and your socks will feel less tight as a result

That said, you must to take the correct compression stocking measurement as described in the sizing chart. This way, your size would be more accurate.

How to prevent compression stockings from slipping?

Most compression stockings are pre-measured, which is not tailor-made to your legs. In some cases, thigh or knee band may slip off during the day as swollen leg deflates.

Thus, you can opt for special glue designed for compression socks to prevent them from slipping.

How to prevent compression socks from rolling over?

If your compression socks roll over, you may no longer fit the correct size.

In some cases, it may even happen that the compression grade no longer suits you.

In the latter case, you should consult your doctor to determine if you need to change the level of compression initially prescribed.

Why can't I find the proper sizing for my compression socks measurements?

If you can't find the right compression socks sizing for your measurements, you may have to wear custom-made hosiery.

If this is the case, to measure for custom compression socks, contact us without delay to make an appointment.

What size of compression socks should I choose if I am between two sizes?

If your compression stocking measurement falls between two sizes in the sizing chart:

  • The first option is to choose the closest size to your measurements
  • The other option would be to opt for custom compression socks

In summary

Choosing the right size is one of the major decisions when buying compression stockings for women or men.

That is why we have prepared this article for you!

It presents all the steps to follow to measure your compression stockings.

To visualize them, this tutorial prepared by Doctor Brace presents the same steps:



Also, to help you choose the correct sizing for your compression socks, this text contains valuable tips and answers to frequently asked questions.

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Wal Assi

About the author

Wal Assi

Wal combines cutting-edge technical expertise with solid practical experience acquired over more than twenty-nine years, including fifteen years at the helm of companies specializing in orthopedic products and health & wellness products.

Holding a Bachelor of Business Administration, an MBA, and the CFA designation, Wal has an in-depth knowledge of specialized orthopedic products, ranging from compression socks to supports and braces.

In addition to his practical and technical knowledge of various products, Wal keeps up to date by attending continuous training, following new industry trends, and reading scientific and professional articles related to the products distributed by Doctor Brace.

Wal offers reliable and well-researched advice through his writings. His articles reflect his technical and practical expertise, as well as a deep understanding of the needs of his target clientele.