The 9 Best Compression Socks for Pregnancy, Tested and Reviewed by Verywell Family

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These socks can help soothe and support your swollen, achy feet

<p>Verywell Family / Marcus Millan</p>

Verywell Family / Marcus Millan

Medically reviewed by Andrea Chisholm, MDFact checked by Rich Scherr

While an occasional foot massage from your partner is certainly warranted during pregnancy, a pair of compression socks can do wonders for treating and preventing swollen, achy feet. Through a snug fit and gentle pressure and support to your lower legs, compression socks help encourage blood flow, which in turn can reduce swelling in your calves, ankles, and feet. Compression socks may even help reduce dizziness related to nausea and vomiting when worn in early pregnancy.

When shopping for compression socks, podiatrist Salma Aziz, DPM, MS, says pregnant women should start with a mild compression of 15-20 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). This is the same scale of measurement used for blood pressure and indicates the level of compression at different parts of the sock.

You should also consider how comfortable the socks are and whether they provide measurable relief. “Listen to your body,” says Dr. Aziz. “If you’re feeling discomfort while wearing your compression socks, it’s time to remove them, elevate your feet, then put them back on once your swelling has gone down.”

In addition to consulting with two board-certified podiatrists about what pregnant women should look for in compression socks, our editors tested 26 different pairs while sitting and standing for long periods of time at home and at work. While wearing their socks over the course of at least one week, they paid close attention to the fit, feel, support, and how their legs felt after wearing them.

Best Overall: Levsox Compression Socks

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  • Flexible, snug fit

  • Feel silky against skin

  • Choose from packs of 3, 4, or 6


  • Only one length available

These socks not only feel amazing, but they look it, too. We loved how snug and silky they felt against our skin and were obsessed with the wide variety of cute patterns. Our personal favorite were the navy socks with red foxes (pictured below), and we even got compliments while wearing them!

Unlike some compression socks, Levsox were easy to slip on and didn’t irritate our skin at the cuff. They felt snug yet flexible—almost like a good pair of leggings—and felt like they were giving our arches and heels a little massage.

Although they only come in knee-high length, Levsox still hold great value. We were pleased with the price range, and the fact that we got multiple pairs per order was a nice surprise. What’s more, these socks hold up well after being washed and dried, which makes them a practical choice for those who plan to wear them often.

Price at time of publication: $19-$35

Key Specs: 
Size Range:
S-XL | Materials: 90% nylon, 10% spandex | Pressure Level: 20-30 mmHg

<p>Verywell Family / Rebecca Sheehan</p>

Verywell Family / Rebecca Sheehan

Best Budget: CHARMKING Compression Socks

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Buy at


  • 8 pairs of socks per pack

  • Comfortable enough to wear for 12 hours 

  • Reduced foot pain and swelling


  • Feet felt sweaty while wearing them

After having surgery on her foot, one of our editors wore a pair of Charmking socks for 12 hours per day for about three weeks. She was pleasantly surprised to find that she experienced less pain and swelling each day that she wore the socks. In fact, she liked them so much that she plans to wear them even after her foot fully recovers.

We also love that these socks are budget-friendly. Each pack comes with eight pairs of socks that cost less than $3.50 per pair. There are 30 different styles to choose and they come in two sizes: small/medium or large/x-large.

Whether she was sitting or standing, our editor felt like her legs were supported by the Charmking socks. Although her feet sometimes felt a little sweaty while wearing them, she liked that they allowed her to move freely and didn’t cut into her skin. Overall, she thought these socks were great and would happily pay more for them.

Price at time of publication: $19-$30

Key Specs: 
Size Range:
S-M and L-XL | Materials: 85% nylon, 15% spandex | Pressure Level: 15-20 mmHg

Best Basic: Away Travel The Compression Socks

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  • Made with organic cotton

  • Provide a cooling effect on feet 

  • Made our legs feel less tired after a day of work


  • Limited sizes available

The Compression Socks by Away are more than just your average pair of compression socks. Although they come in basic black or navy blue, they’re made with Away’s anti-odor technology, so they can be worn multiple times without having to be washed.

After testing these socks, we found them easy to put on and they stayed in place all day. In fact, after wearing them to work and happy hour, one of our editors had nothing but praise for these lightweight, high-quality socks. Her legs felt supported and less tired after a day of wear, and she liked that they felt soft and secure without being too tight.

Although these socks come in four sizes (S-XL), there’s limited availability in black, so you might have to go with navy blue. No matter which color you choose, we think you’ll love that they’re made from a blend of breathable, organic cotton and Coolmax polyester, which provides a cooling effect on your legs and feet.

Another thing we like about these socks is that they have minimal seams, which makes them extra comfy, and they hold up well after washing. Although they’re more expensive than the other options on our list, the fact that we wouldn’t change a thing about them makes these socks a worthwhile investment.

Price at time of publication: $35

Key Specs: 
Size Range:
S-XL | Materials: 45% organic cotton, 25% Coolmax polyester, 20% Lycra, 10% nylon | Pressure Level: 15-20 mmHg

Related: The Best Pairs of Maternity Underwear for Pregnancy and Postpartum

Best Durable: SockWell Women's Elevation Firm Graduated Compression Socks

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Buy at


  • Held up well after multiple washes

  • Notable improvement in the circulation to our feet

  • Soft fabric made with merino wool and bamboo


  • Hard to get on at first

If you’re going to pay $30 for a pair of compression socks, you’ll want to make sure they stand the test of time. Our opinion of the Sockwell Compression Socks is that they’re of good quality and the fabric wears well. We also like that they show no signs of shrinking or pilling, even after multiple washes.

At first, putting these socks on was challenging due to the higher compression level. A tutorial on how to put them on can be found on the Sockwell website. Once they were snugly in place, we could immediately tell that the fabric was soft, breathable, and wouldn’t cause our feet to sweat. We also love that they’re made from a blend of merino wool and bamboo, which are sustainable materials and help regulate your body temperature.

To help improve symptoms related to her autoimmune disease, one of our editors wore these socks for hours at a time. Although they felt relatively tight, she liked that they didn’t slide down her legs and that the fit was secure without being restrictive. After wearing the socks for a full day, she said that her legs felt great and experienced a significant improvement in the circulation to her feet.

Price at time of publication: $30

Key Specs: 
Size Range:
S-M and M-L | Materials: 31% merino wool, 31% bamboo rayon, 30% stretch nylon, 8% spandex | Pressure Level: 20-30 mmHg

Related: The 7 Best Iron Supplements for Pregnancy of 2023

Best for Strong Compression: Bombas Women's Strong Compression Socks

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  • Soft, comfortable, and stylish

  • Can be worn under jeans

  • Won’t slide down your legs


  • Left an indentation on our legs

Our editor who tested the Bombas was pregnant and took frequent airline trips, making her a great candidate for compression socks. She’d been a longtime fan of the brand and could attest to the fact that these socks were just as soft, comfortable, and stylish as other Bombas products she’d worn.

While wearing these socks in her second and third trimesters, our editor didn’t experience any swelling in her legs, ankles, or feet. She described the compression level of these socks as medium, since they required some effort to pull on and off, but didn’t compress to the point of discomfort. At times, she forgot she was wearing them, even under straight-leg jeans.

Overall, our editor had a positive experience with these socks. Although they did leave a slight indentation on her legs, she reported that they never slid down her legs and were something she looked forward to wearing on her cross-country flights.

Price at time of publication: $36

Key Specs: 
Size Range:
S-L | Materials: 72% polyester, 11% nylon, 9% elastane, 8% cotton | Pressure Level: 20-30 mmHg

<p>Verywell Family / Andrea Mandell</p>

Verywell Family / Andrea Mandell

Related: The Best Pregnancy Pillows to Help You Sleep for Two

Best for Light Compression: Bombas Women's Colorblock Compression Knee High Socks

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Buy at


  • Hugged our feet without feeling constricting

  • Kept our feet warm in the winter

  • Made from stylish, high-quality material


  • Felt tight at the cuff

  • Left an indentation on our legs

Our editor who tested the Bombas Everyday Compression Socks was accustomed to wearing her own pair due to a medical condition. As one who is savvy about compression socks, she could attest to the fact that these Bombas fit great and hugged her feet and legs in all the right places. Although they felt tight at the cuff, she could move her feet freely while wearing them and her legs felt less tired as a result.

While not a direct benefit of wearing compression socks, our editor was pleased to see that these Bombas kept her feet warm in the winter due to their thick material and how well they improved her circulation. However, the thickness also meant that getting them on and off required some serious effort.

True to Bombas fashion, these compression socks are made with high-quality materials. We love that they resemble a pair of retro tube socks and have unique, stylish details. Although they’re $28 per pair, we think they’re worth it because of the fit, fabric, and effectiveness.

Price at time of publication: $28

Key Specs: 
Size Range:
S-L | Materials: 67% cotton (Supima), 17% polyester, 10% elastane, 6% nylon | Pressure Level: 15-20 mmHg

Related: The Best Pregnancy Shoes for Comfortable Feet, Even When You Can't Reach Them

Best for Lounging: Comrad Cozy Compression Socks

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Buy at


  • A comfy combination between slippers and compression socks

  • You won’t want to take them off 

  • Held up well after multiple washes


  • Compression was too light

These warm, soft, and incredibly cozy socks from Comrad are a cross between slippers and compression socks. To test them out, we wore them often over the course of several weeks and even slept in them because they were just that cozy.

Surprisingly, these socks feel like they’re made from organic materials even though they’re mostly nylon. The soft fabric felt good against our legs, kept us warm in the winter, and held up well after multiple washes.

Although these socks provided a pleasant sense of pressure to the bottom of our feet, the compression level was not much different than your average knee-high sock. Since they’re considered the lightest compression level available, they didn’t offer much support and lacked the power to enhance circulation in our legs. However, we can still claim they are the most comfortable socks we’ve ever worn and would highly recommend them for those who work from home and need only light compression.

Price at time of publication: $32

Key Specs: 
Size Range:
S-L | Materials: 81% feather nylon, 16% nylon, 2% spandex, 1% polyester | Pressure Level: 10-15 mmHg

Best Looking: Comrad Knee-High Compression Socks

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Buy at


  • Bold ombre design that stays vibrant after washing

  • A game changer for airline travel 

  • Infused with silver antimicrobial ions to prevent odors


  • Didn’t feel like we could comfortably wear them for more than 8 hours

If you’re going to wear compression socks, you might as well wear a stylish pair, like Comrad’s Knee-High Double-Dip Ombre socks. We loved the cute design and vibrant colors, and were pleased to see that the ombre effect stayed intact even after being washed several times. We also liked that these socks felt like they were made with high-quality material and were infused with silver antimicrobial ions to keep our feet feeling fresh and odor-free.

To gauge the effectiveness of these socks, we wore them while working in an office, getting our hair done, and traveling in an airplane. When it came to travel, these socks were a game changer, but we were ready to take them off after about eight hours. Even so, we enjoyed wearing these socks and liked that our legs felt supported, less tight, and more invigorated while wearing them.

In terms of fit, these socks hugged our feet and legs in a snug and cozy way. They stayed firmly in place while wearing them and never gave us the feeling that they were constricting or too tight. Although they are $32 per pair, we feel comfortable recommending them because they aren’t typically used as everyday socks.

Price at time of publication: $32

Key Specs: 
Size Range:
S-L | Materials: 91% nylon, 9% spandex | Pressure Level: 15-20 mmHg

Related: The 12 Best Pregnancy-Safe Body Washes of 2023

Best for Exercise: Lululemon MicroPillow Compression Knee High Running Sock

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  • Improved exercise performance

  • Provide a pleasant, massaging effect 

  • Targeted areas of support throughout foot and leg


  • Toe seams felt uncomfortable

  • Compression level is vague

Although these Lululemon socks are specifically designed with runners in mind, we found them to be beneficial for a variety of forms of exercise. Whether we were running, walking, or spinning, these socks supported our ankles, reduced fatigue in our legs, and improved our overall performance.

It’s unclear to us what the pressure level is for these socks. While they’re advertised as “light” compression, Lululemon does not provide a measurement in mmHg. In our opinion, the compression level of these socks feels like a firm hug around our calves, heels, and the arches and tops of our feet. We could feel the specific support areas, such as in the shaped, knit heel, which allowed for the right amount of movement during exercise. And since they provided a pleasant massaging effect, we also wore them while recovering from exercise.

If we could change anything about these socks, it would be the toe seam. We found ourselves having to rearrange the socks several times so that the seam wouldn’t irritate our toes during a workout. However, these socks have held up through many miles on the road, dozens of Peloton sessions, and several trips through the washer and dryer, so we think the $38 price tag is worth it.

Price at time of publication: $38

Key Specs: 
Size Range:
S-L | Materials: 93% nylon, 7% elastane | Pressure Level: Light (not specified)

How We Rated Compression Socks for Pregnancy

  • 4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best compression socks we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

  • 4.5 to 4.7 stars: These compression socks are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

  • 4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great compression socks, but others are better.

  • 3.5 to 3.9 stars: These compression socks are just average.

  • 3.4 and below: We don't recommend compression socks with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Tested Compression Socks for Pregnancy

To determine which compression socks would make our list, our editors tested 26 different pairs of compression socks in their homes and at work. To learn about the benefits of wearing compression socks and what shoppers should look for when purchasing a pair, we consulted with two podiatrists: Diana Levin Valencia, DPM, and Salma Aziz, DPM, MS, a Diplomate of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery Fellow.

While wearing the socks, our editors monitored their feet and legs, including how they felt while wearing the socks and if they appeared less tired and swollen at the end of the day. They wore the socks while standing or sitting for hours at a time and made sure to wash them between each use. After at least one week of wear, our editors rated each pair of socks on fit, feel, support, and value so that we could narrow our list down to the nine best pairs of compression socks.

In addition to testing the compression socks, we spent more than two weeks researching their uses and benefits. During this process, we found claims that certain fabrics used in compression socks may expose users to Bisphenol A (BPA), a harmful chemical found in plastic. To clarify these claims, we consulted with Jeanne Conry, MD, PhD, former President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and current President and Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Health Leadership Foundation and President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO).

What to Look for in Compression Socks for Pregnancy

Compression Level

There are two types of compression socks: uniform (or non-graduated) and graduated. Uniform compression socks have the same pressure level throughout the sock, while graduated compression socks have a range of pressure. This range is divided into two parts, with more pressure by the feet and less pressure by the knees.

While uniform compression socks are meant for those who are bedridden, such as patients who just had surgery, graduated compression socks are designed for people who can sit and stand. They help prevent blood and fluid from pooling in the lower legs, ankles, and feet by helping your veins pump blood upward towards your heart.

There are five levels of graduated compression socks:

  • Light Compression (8-15 mmHg): best for mild pain and swelling caused by sitting or standing for long periods of time.

  • Class 1 Compression (15-20 mmHg): best for preventing fluid build-up and the most common level available over the counter. According to Dr. Aziz, 15-20 mmHg is the best level for pregnant people.

  • Class 2 Compression (20-30 mmHg): best for preventing varicose veins and venous insufficiency, a condition in which the veins don’t return blood to the heart efficiently.

  • Class 3 Compression (30-40 mmHg): best for those with chronic venous insufficiency.

  • Class 4 Compression (40-50 mmHg): best for treating lymphoedema, a condition in which lymph nodes and blood vessels are swollen due to blockage or damage.


Typically, compression socks are made from a fabric blend consisting mostly of elastane (spandex or Lycra), nylon, or polyester. Elastane is a synthetic fiber that can stretch up to 500% of its original shape and can withstand this process many times before wearing out. It’s also quite durable and highly resistant to body oils, sweat, and detergent. Elastane is the primary component that helps your tight-fitting compression socks stretch up your legs.

Nylon is another type of synthetic fiber that also gives stretch to compression stockings. It’s known for being lightweight and is often used in stockings, tights, and yoga pants. Polyester, a third type of synthetic material, is known for its strength and durability and helps compression socks dry quickly.


Fit is an important aspect of compression socks, as it determines if you’ll continue to wear them. Compression socks that are too tight might actually have negative effects on your body, such as cutting off your circulation.

The Levsox Compression Socks are our best overall choice because they felt snug and silky against our skin with a Class 2 Compression (20-30 mmHg)—which felt like a quality pair of leggings on our skin but is slightly tighter than the average compression sock. For something with a little less pressure, try our best budget pick, Charmking Compression Socks, which are Class 1 Compression (15-20 mmHg) and come with eight pairs per pack.

Comfort and Relief

In order to wear compression socks for a meaningful amount of time, they have to be comfortable and provide you with relief. Depending on your needs, relief might feel like less swelling, pain, or pressure in your legs, ankles, and feet.

A pair like the Comrad Cozy Compression Socks will keep your feet and legs warm in the winter and may just be the most comfortable pair of socks you ever wear. We also like The Compression Socks by Away because they’re made with organic cotton and had a cooling effect on our feet. Another great choice is the Sockwell Women's Elevation Firm Graduated Compression Socks because they’re made from bamboo and merino wool and provided a significant improvement in the circulation to our feet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you wear compression socks while pregnant?

Throughout the course of pregnancy, your body will create and circulate about 45% more blood than before you were pregnant. This is because your heart is working harder to meet the needs of your placenta and organs. You will also retain more water while pregnant, which can cause swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet. By increasing circulation, compression socks can alleviate the symptoms of increased blood volume and fluid retention.

“During my pregnancy, I experienced the benefits of wearing compression socks,” says Dr. Aziz. “They can help eliminate swelling, alleviate aching feet, and even prevent varicose veins and blood clots. However, a pregnant woman should not necessarily worry about blood clots unless she is told by her doctor that she is at risk.”

While swelling is normal during pregnancy, a sudden increase may be a sign of preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous complication that’s marked by high blood pressure. If you are concerned about your swelling, notify your doctor right away.

Is it safe to wear compression socks throughout your entire pregnancy?

Compression socks are a safe, non-invasive way to reduce swelling and achiness in your legs, ankles, and feet while pregnant. While you probably won’t want to wear them all day, every day, Dr. Aziz suggests that the length of time worn depends on the individual and her activity level.

“The best time of day for a pregnant woman to put on her compression stockings is first thing in the morning,” Dr. Aziz says. “She should first elevate her legs to reduce swelling and then slip them on. While wearing them, she should listen to her body. If she’s feeling uncomfortable, it may be time to remove the socks, elevate her feet, then put them back on once the swelling has gone down.”

What mmHg compression socks do you need for pregnancy?

“The average gradient of compression stockings is 15-20 mmHg, which is medium-grade,” says Dr. Aziz. “In general, this is a good level for pregnant women to wear, as anything tighter can cause negative adverse effects.”

Is there BPA in Socks?

In 2022, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), a California-based activist group, found amounts of bisphenol A (BPA) higher than the state’s allowed levels in over 100 popular brands of socks, including Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, and Adidas.

BPA is used as an additive in certain synthetic materials like polyester and spandex, which are commonly used in socks. BPA is a known endocrine disrupter; in children, it may interfere with the development of their nervous system, affect behavioral development, and lead to childhood obesity. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that more research is needed to confirm the adverse health effects of BPA, and the science of BPA absorption through skin has not been settled.

Despite the CEH’s warning, no recalls have been made and no other independent or government organizations have confirmed the findings. If you prefer to avoid polyester and spandex as a safety precaution, look for options made with cotton and other natural fibers.

Should you be worried about wearing compression socks made with elastane, nylon, or polyester?

According to Dr. Conry, not necessarily. “Compression socks are a very important means of treating circulatory difficulties in pregnancy, particularly pain and varicose vessels,” says Dr. Conry. “The benefits of their use outweigh the small, theoretical risk of BPA exposure—but points to the need for a regulatory industry that tests and minimizes exposure to potentially toxic chemicals.”

Why Trust Verywell Family

Laura Lu, M.S. is an experienced health writer who has a Master of Science degree in Health Communication. Her work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, Media Psychology, Brit+Co, and, to name a few. She wore compression socks during and after both of her pregnancies to help improve circulation in her legs and feet and prevent spider veins. Now that she’s several years postpartum, she enjoys wearing her Comrad knee-high and ankle socks while working from home and riding on her Peloton.

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