The 11 Best Compression Socks for Women of 2023

Stay comfortable in the air and on the ground with high-quality compression socks.

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Compression Socks

Travel + Leisure / Kevin Liang

You might think compression socks are reserved for your mom or grandmother, but folks of all ages benefit from the gentle pressure and assisted blood flow that comes with a good pair of compression socks — especially those about to embark on a long-haul flight.

Compression socks essentially assist the body with moving blood from the feet back to the heart. “Since the feet are the furthest away from the heart, blood can pool there, especially when immobile or still for long periods,” explains physical therapist Dr. Autumn Hanson, PT, DPT. “When active, muscles pump the blood from the feet to the legs and eventually back to the heart. However, without movement, the leg muscles cannot help the heart return the blood back to the heart.”

Looking for the right compression socks for your specific needs or lifestyle? Try our top pick, Charmking’s Copper Compression Socks — they’re comfy, effective, and stylish. But, if they’re not for you, we’ve rounded up plenty of other options that’ll help your next overnight flight, or hike through a new city, be as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

Best Overall

Charmking 3 Pairs Copper Compression Socks

Charmking Knee-high Compression Socks 3 Pairs


Why We Love It
  • This set of neutral compression socks is subtle and comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time.

What to Consider
  • The sizing runs small and might not work for larger calves.

Most of us are quick to assume that compression socks equal some sterile or medical-looking contraption that will stand out in a not-so-good way. However, the Charmking Copper Compression Socks do the opposite of that. This set of three pairs comes in distinct neutrals that look more like something out of a Kim Kardashian fashion line, and not a medical garment. The socks also have a compression rating of just 15-20 mmHg so you can easily get away with wearing them all day — whether that’s on a long-haul flight or putting in steps while exploring a new city.

Price at time of publish: $23

The Details: Sizes S to XL | Nylon, spandex | 15-20 mmHg

Best Ankle

Iseasoo Copper Compression Socks for Men & Women Copper Compression Socks for Men & Women



Why We Love It
  • These moisture-wicking copper socks ensure all-day comfort and proper air circulation as well.

What to Consider
  • The ankle-length design won’t help with swelling as much as a knee-high option.

Looking for an ankle-length compression sock that’ll help with circulation in the feet and lower legs? The Iseasoo Copper Compression Socks for Men & Women offer gentle compression from toe to ankle that’ll help reduce swelling and promote blood flow throughout the feet and even into the legs as well. This option is made with a copper-infused anti-inflammatory material and offers a moisture-wicking design that’ll ensure your feet stay dry and well-ventilated even during long-term wear. We also like that these socks are made with a “stay put” cuff that helps ensure they won’t fall down or slip into your shoe while walking.

Price at time of publish: $26

The Details: Sizes S to XL | Nylon, spandex | 15-20 mmHg

Best Thigh-high

Athbavib Thigh High 20-32 mmHg Compression Stocking



Why We Love It
  • This thigh-high sock offers inclusive sizing that’ll work for wider calves and plus-size folks as well.

What to Consider
  • The thigh-high design might start to roll or fall down with long-term wear.

Thigh-high compression socks might not be necessary for flying — unless you’re dealing with serious inflammation or blood circulation issues. That being said, these thigh-high options will serve you well if you’re planning on taking on serious physical activity while traveling. The toe-to-thigh design provides a gentle compression that helps prevent the pooling of blood or fluid retention, making standing on your feet for hours much more comfortable. This pair is available in classic beige or black depending on your style and goes up to 4XL for more universal comfort and fit compared to other brands.

Price at time of publish: $22

The Details: Sizes S to 4XL | Nylon, spandex | 20-32 mmHg

Best Budget

Dr. Scholl's Graduated Compression Knee High Socks

Dr. Scholl's Graduated Compression Knee High Socks


Why We Love It
  • These graduated compression socks are made in the US and are machine-washable and dryer-friendly as well.

What to Consider
  • This sock is quite thick and might be too hot for warmer climates.

Dr. Scholl’s is well-known for its high-quality orthopedic shoe inserts and accessories — and the Dr. Scholl's Graduated Compression Knee High Socks offer the same quality and comfort. The knee-length socks are made using a blend of nylon and spandex that helps to wick moisture and provide ample ventilation while still providing a graduated compression suitable for all-day wear. This option is slightly thicker than the average compression sock, which can be great for winter weather but might be too toasty if you’re traveling into warmer climates or tend to run hot.

Price at time of publish: $15

The Details: Sizes 4 to 12 | Nylon, spandex | 10-15 mmHg

Best Stocking

Lin Performance 20-30 mmHg Compression Stockings



Why We Love It
  • This open-toe stocking was made to offer firm compression for those who experience major swelling or blood pooling issues.

What to Consider
  • The open-toe design isn’t great if you’re going to be wearing sneakers or closed-toe shoes.

The Lin Performance 20-30 mmHg Compression Stockings provide ample compression from foot to thigh with a graduated pressure that becomes lighter at the top. This is a great option for those who experience significant swelling or blood pooling when sitting for long periods of time — but it might not be the best option for those looking for gentle compression for all-day wear. You’ll also want to keep in mind that this option features an open-toe design which might not be the best choice if you plan to wear them outside the house or hotel room.

Price at time of publish: $13

The Details: Sizes S to XXL | Nylon, spandex | 20-30 mmHg

Best Wide-calf

CopperJoint Wide Calf Copper Compression Socks Wide Calf Copper Compression Socks



Why We Love It
  • This copper-infused option goes up to 5XL and was designed to support those who have wider calves.

What to Consider
  • The copper design and logo aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing.

Compression socks were designed to fit snugly and feel a little tight — but they shouldn’t be cutting off your circulation or feel uncomfortable in any way. If you have wider calves or want a looser fit, look to the Copper Joint Wide Calf Copper Compression Socks. This special design was made to provide the same benefits of gentle compression to those who prefer a little more room for comfort. At the same time, the copper-infused fabric helps provide pain relief as well as moisture-wicking properties that’ll keep your feet dry and well-ventilated.

Price at time of publish: $19

The Details: Sizes S to 5XL | Nylon | 15-20 mmHg

Best Zippered

Lemon Hero Health Zipper Compression Socks for Women



Why We Love It
  • The smart zippered design makes it easy to pull on and pull off this pair of compression socks.

What to Consider
  • They tend to leave temporary indentations on the skin.

Putting on and taking off compression socks isn’t for the faint of heart! It can be difficult to yank the tight-fitting stockings from your ankle to your knees — and even more difficult to pull them off once you’ve been wearing them for a full day. That’s exactly where the Lemon Hero Health Zipper Compression Socks for Women come into play. The fully zippered socks are easy to put on thanks to the built-in zipper design that runs along the side of the sock. The only downfall is that this pair tends to run small so you might want to go up a size or two larger than what you’d usually wear to ensure an optimal fit.

Price at time of publish: $18

The Details: Sizes M to 6XL | Polyester, spandex | 15-20 mmHg

Best for Athletes

Paplus Low Cut Compression Running Sock with Ankle Support



Why We Love It
  • This pair offers a breathable material with a supportive sole for runners and athletic types.

What to Consider
  • They are probably the least compressive socks on our list.

Sure, there are endorphins and endurance and all kinds of plusses that come along with running, but it can still be pretty hard on the body. The Paplus Low Cut Compression Running Sock with Ankle Support was designed with runners in mind and helps to decrease swelling in the ankles and feet that can sometimes occur on long and strenuous runs. The Paplus sock also features a breathable but supportive sole to help cushion the impact on the concrete. The moderate compression is gentle enough to wear for long periods of time but firm enough to ensure proper circulation and prevent swelling.

Price at time of publish: $26 for 6 pairs

The Details: Sizes S to XL | Nylon, polyester | 15-20 mmHg

Best Style

Aoliks Compression Socks for Women



Why We Love It
  • This colorful set is cheerful and fun while still providing firm compression when it’s needed.

What to Consider
  • The top of each sock tends to be a bit tight compared to similar styles of compression socks.

Some of us just need a little personality in our sock drawer — and the Aoliks Compression Socks for Women certainly aren’t short on it. The colorful set of compression socks comes with cheeky designs like pineapples and cacti but doesn’t skimp on what it was made for: to provide firm compression from toe to thigh. This set offers a compression rating of 20-30mmHG, which is firm enough for those experiencing serious swelling or blood pooling when sitting. That said — it might be too firm for those looking for a sock they can wear for the entire day.

Price at time of publish: $33

The Details: Sizes S to XL | Nylon, polyester | 20-30 mmHG

Best Sleeve

TechWare Pro Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve



Why We Love It
  • This minimal sleeve provides subtle compression through the ankle and into the legs.

What to Consider
  • The open-toe design can be tough to wear out of the house or with closed-toe shoes.

This tiny ankle sleeve might not look like much, but it provides 20-30mmHG of compression, which is considered to be very firm. This option can easily be thrown into your carry-on for a quick change on the airplane, or used to help support arthritic or injured ankles or feet. It’s also a great option for preventing sprains or stress fractures while hiking or setting out for a long day of walking through the city. The open-toe design can be tough to wear with closed-toe sneakers but the firm compression allows you to slip a regular sock underneath the sleeve as needed.

Price at time of publish: $17

The Details: Sizes S to XXL | Nylon, spandex | 20-30 mmHG

Most Breathable

Comrad Stripes Knee-High Compression Socks



Why We Love It
  • They'll keep your feet cool and dry while traveling.

What to Consider
  • To avoid shrinking, they should be hung up to dry.

Comrad's stylish and comfortable compression socks are breathable, but they don't sacrifice compression quality since they're actually designed to increase circulation and reduce soreness and swelling. The moisture-wicking nylon will keep your legs supported throughout long-haul flights without causing excess sweat. These socks are designed with SmartSilver Ions to eliminate odor and keep your feet fresher for longer, too.

Price at time of publish: $28

The Details: Sizes S to XL with some wide options | Nylon, spandex | 15-20 mmHG

Tips for Buying Compression Socks

Understand compression levels

It’s important to understand the different compression levels and which level would work best for your specific needs or lifestyle before making a decision on a pair of compression socks. The millimeter of mercury — or mmHg — ranges from 10 mmHg to 40-50 mmHg. That said, the most common mmHg for over-the-counter compression socks will be anywhere from 10 to 30 mmHg. If you’re looking for something to wear on a daily basis, you’ll want to consider starting with 10-15 mmHg, which is considered light pressure. If you’re looking for something to use on a long flight, you’re better off looking for 20-30 mmHg, which will provide firm pressure and enough support for long-term sitting.

Choose the most effective materials

Compression socks are not unlike regular socks in that you’re going to be wearing them, walking around, and probably getting a little sweaty. Look for socks that have some combination of spandex and nylon to help ensure you’re getting proper moisture-wicking and ventilation. It’s also worth considering a pair of copper-infused compression socks for added anti-inflammatory and blood circulation properties.

Pay close attention to sizing

Compression socks should feel snug, but they shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or cut off your circulation. On the other hand, if you’re wearing loose-fitting compression socks you may as well not be wearing them at all. Your compression socks should fit comfortably and stay up without having to adjust them over and over. They should be loose enough to pull in place relatively easily and shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort at all. If you think your compression socks are too small, don’t try to break them in as they could cause serious health problems. Instead, exchange them for a size larger.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do compression socks work?

    “Compression socks work by applying gentle pressure to your lower legs which helps encourage proper circulation and blood flow from your feet back to your heart. Proper circulation is necessary to support oxygenation and nutrient delivery to your whole body,” explains Kris Adair, MSN, FNP-BC, and Owner of Adair Family Clinic & MedSpa. “Sometimes when we stand too long or eat salty foods, circulation and blood flow to our lower legs can become sluggish or take longer to get back to the heart causing swelling, soreness, discomfort, and stagnation of blood and the delivery of nutrients to our body. Wearing compression socks helps reduce these issues significantly.”

  • Who should use compression socks?

    Compression socks are helpful for a variety of people, including diabetics and those who are pregnant as they can improve circulation. According to Adair, “During pregnancy, the weight of carrying a baby and the change in circulation can cause lower leg and ankle swelling,” she explains. "Wearing compression socks for pregnant women will help manage these symptoms and provide much-needed relief during this time. Keep in mind that during pregnancy or for a specific medical condition, it is important to talk with your provider as certain types of compression socks are better and safer for use to encourage proper circulation, blood flow, and reduce swelling.”

  • Are compression socks good for flying?

    “Compression socks are great especially when flying,” says Adair. “The change in cabin pressure, altitude, and weather can directly change the way our body circulates blood, often leading to fluid retention and causing swelling in our lower legs, ankles, and feet. Wearing compression socks before getting on a plane will help provide gentle pressure to your lower legs encouraging proper circulation, and reducing swelling and discomfort.”

  • How long should I wear compression socks?

    The length of time to wear compression socks depends on the activity or reason for wearing them. For travel, Adair recommends wearing compression socks for the duration of the flight or travel day and then they can be removed as this is beneficial to support circulation, and reduce swelling and discomfort.

    “For the general benefit of wearing compression socks, it’s best to wear them during the day for about 8-12 hours, and then they can be removed in the evening when you’re able to rest or put your feet up,” says Adair.

  • How do you choose the right level of compression socks?

    For daily wear and short trips, you don't need a high level of compression. Generally, 10-15 mmHg is enough for everyday use, after workouts, and even for flights. Higher levels of compression socks, 40-50 mmHg, should be reserved for medical recovery. You should consult with your doctor after any medical procedure, or to manage any medical conditions, before you decide to wear compression socks.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, T+L contributor Kaitlyn McInnis used her experience as a travel writer and lifestyle editor to curate the best women’s compression socks to suit most needs.

In compiling this list, we also spoke to Autumn Hanson, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at The Costello Center, and Kris Adair, MSN, FNP-BC, and Owner of Adair Family Clinic & MedSpa.

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Updated by
Taylor Fox
Taylor Fox, Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure
Taylor Fox is a Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Taylor holds a Master’s in Geography and has been a writer and editor for over seven years.
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