Are all compression socks created equal?

You might be wondering why you can find compression stockings/socks at prices anywhere from $10 to $75 or more. Can the low-priced product be as good as the high-priced product? When it comes to compression stockings/socks, the answer is definitely no. Let us explain why it's just not possible – or advisable – to go cheap.

Close-up of white stockings hanging on a rail

You're buying compression socks or hosiery for health reasons – spider veins, varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, DVT, or edema – so you should consider the manufacturer’s guarantee of quality and medical benefit to be sure you are getting what you’re paying for. Remember, compression garments impact your overall health, so the least expensive item is probably not the best choice.

1932 Woman manufacturing in St. Gallen

More than just socks and stockings

Compression socks and compression stockings have an impact on your wellbeing, so only purchase a product made by a manufacturer that meets high standards of performance. Because the FDA classifies compression hosiery as a medical device, we're registered as a medical device manufacturer. The FDA conducts audits of our facilities.

We list our products with the FDA as both Class 1 devices, intended to control general edema or swelling, and Class 2 devices, which influence blood flow, particularly in the prevention of pooling. We register our quality management system with the FDA, too.

In addition, we are ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certified, which means that the ISO recognizes how our quality management system benefits our customers.

How they’re made makes a difference

At SIGVARIS GROUP, we use state-of-the-art circular knitting machines that we customize with yarn control devices. They're medical machines that regulate the stitch length and the tension of our yarns for precise graduated compression.

With more than over a thousand computerized programs, we make a product We developed our sizing chart from a database of thousands of body scans, using hundreds of standard measurements. It's the industry's most precise medical sizing chart.

This means that at the lowest price point, you’re likely purchasing a shapeless tube, aka a tube sock. A higher price point should equal precise size and shape. Manufacturing precise sizes with precise graduated compression means that we have to invest more in our process than the tube sock makers do.

Our compression stockings are FDA-approved and ISO-certified. This assures you that our products are safe and effective.

Materials matter

Every single one of our products is made with premium quality natural and synthetic fibers. We use only Merino wool, a fine micron-count wool that feels like cashmere. We use only branded extra-long staple cotton, including Supima cotton and rare Sea Island cotton. In fact, we're the only manufacturer using Supima cotton.

We use a premium engineered yarn, LYCRA®, for the inlay yarns that provide graduated compression. Then we cover the LYCRA® with cotton or nylon synthetics for easier donning and doffing. This adds to the final cost of the socks or stockings, but it makes them much more comfortable, so you’re more likely to want to wear them. Bargain brands don’t take this extra measure, resulting in an uncomfortable, rubber-band like feel.

We don't use additives for finishes because we don't need to. Our fibers have a natural premium feel or finish, so we don't have to add silicone or animal products. All we add is a sanitizer – a silver ion wash that inhibits growth of bacteria.

New fibers emphasize performance

We source innovative fibers that enhance performance and durability and, ultimately, health benefits. We use a high-filament synthetic extruded with channels that wick moisture away to help keep your feet dry. We also use a patented, channeled polyester blended with cotton to wick moisture away. It works even better than the more well-known fiber used in some dress and sports socks.

Peachtree_City_Yarn_SIGVARIS_GROUP.jpg

We hold high standards

In the United States, there is no established standard for validating graduated compression levels and the FDA does not test. To ensure precision, we test our own products using European industry standards. Throughout our process of development, design, manufacturing, and testing, our objective is to make something that helps people live better, more comfortable lives.

We will never manufacture the least expensive product on the market because such a product will not improve your health and wellbeing – and that's just not worth doing.

Further reading