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Best Overall: Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks at Amazon
"A sock that has comfort and the right amount of support."
Best Odor Reducer: Vitalsox Italian Compression Socks at Amazon
"Its material helps keep the socks smelling fresh and keeps them dry."
Best Style: NewZill Compression Socks at Amazon
"Offers eight different colors, including bright rainbow stripes."
Best Budget: Dr. Scholl's Travel Mild Compression Socks at Amazon
"The perfect pair of compression socks — no bells and whistles necessary."
Best Maternity Socks: MadeMother Compression Stockings at Amazon
"Designed to fit during all stages of pregnancy."
Best Multiset: Quxiang Copper Compression Socks at Amazon
"Highly recommended by doctors and sports trainers."
Best for Long Flights: Wanderlust Air Travel Compression Socks at Amazon
"For long, international flights, invest in these high-performing socks."
Most Innovative: Blitzu Compression Socks at Amazon
"Developed and refined for years to ensure optimal performance."
Best Ankle Socks: Charmking Compression Socks at Amazon
"Helps relieve plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon, heel pain, and more."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks
For a sock that has comfort and the right amount of support, Physix Gear Sport’s compression socks are a top choice. The sleek, black socks have a futuristic, blue design pattern on the heal that is double-stitched for added support. They're made of washable Lycra fabric that won’t lose its form and have 20 to 30 mmHg of compression. The breathable material won’t slip, reduces inflammation, and provides relief from sore muscles. They are slightly thicker than a dress sock, but they do not pinch the skin. And in addition to wearing them on long flights, these compression socks are comfortable for jobs that require people to be on their feet all day.
Best Odor Reducer: Vitalsox Italian Graduated Compression Socks
These circulation socks are made with 70 percent Silver Drystat, a unique, patented material that builds silver ions right into fibers to inhibit the growth of bacteria. This helps to keep the socks smelling fresh and keeps them dry, but they also have a patented gradual (lighter) compression for maximum blood circulation that was developed by Italian-based company Arcos Srl. The four-way stretch system ensures a comfortable fit, with elasticized bands that cradle ankles and foot arches. The fabric is soft against the skin and they come in seven different colors ranging from classic white to lime green or hot orange; they're a popular choice among athletes and travelers. These socks have 12 to 20 mm/HG of compression.
Best Style: NewZill Compression Socks
Like fun, colorful socks? Take a look at the NewZill compression socks. The company offers eight different colors, including bright rainbow stripes, hearts, and polka dots that make them easy to spot in the sock drawer. The socks are also very functional and have a patented Clima-Pro system to help keep them breathable and odor-free. The socks prevent cramping, fatigue, and swelling for those long journeys. Made of thick, warm material, the socks have 20 to 30 mm/Hg of compression and make great gifts for frequent travelers or anyone with leg pain. Reviewers noted that, although the socks provide support, they do not pinch or leave marks.
Best Budget: Dr. Scholl's Travel Mild Compression Socks
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect pair of compression socks (no bells and whistles necessary), look to Dr. Scholl’s. When it comes to preventing swelling and reducing pressure on the muscles in your legs, ankles, and feet during a lengthy flight, these socks are a stellar pick. They’re made from 95 percent nylon and five percent Lycra Spandex and are specifically cotton-free in order to help reduce moisture absorption that can lead to irritation. These compression socks have a mild compression level (just 10 to 15 mmHg) that applies slight pressure at the ankle (this pressure then gradually moves up the leg, to efficiently reduce swelling all over); there are two pairs per package and they fit women's shoe sizes 4 to 10.
The men's version is available here.
Best Maternity Socks: MadeMother Maternity Compression Stockings
If you’re pregnant, the Maternity Compression Stockings from MadeMother can help relieve leg stress due to traveling and carrying pregnancy weight. Many mothers report swollen legs, feet, restless feet, and general leg pain when pregnant, so traveling, walking, and sitting for long periods can add to the discomfort. The compression stockings are designed to fit during all stages of pregnancy and can aid in providing medical-grade graduated compression pressure. The socks provide 30 to 35 mmHG to the ankle, 20 to 26 mmHG to the legs, and 16 to 21 mmHG by the knee. They are made of nylon, are nude in color, and have an open-toe design.
Best Multiset: Quxiang Copper Compression Socks
If you suffer from swollen or crampy legs and feet when you fly, a multi-set of compression socks is a worthwhile investment. QUIXANG's Copper Compression Socks — which are sold in a set of seven — come highly recommended by doctors and sports trainers for their ability to promote oxygen flow and blood circulation while also preventing fatigue, swelling, and spider veins. Durable and comfy, the socks provide a 15 to 20 mmHg compression and contain copper fibers that help revive and refresh your blood. These socks also have antibacterial properties to promote foot health and keep your feet dry and odor-free.
Best for Long Flights: Wanderlust Air Travel Compression Socks
For long, international flights, invest in high-performing compression socks like this pair from Wanderlust. With true medical-grade graduated compression, they offer 25 to 30 mmHg at the foot and ankle, 15 to 20 mmHg at the middle of leg and calf, and 10 to 15 mmHg under the knee. This allows for the perfect amount of pressure for everyday use and they're easy to put on and take off. They're also packed with tech features, including a seamless toe enclosure for preventing any blisters or friction, a soft foot padding that provides protection for your foot, and comfortable cuffs that keep the socks in place without feeling too tight. Even more, the compression socks help relieve plantar fasciitis, swelling, arthritis, and other leg pain experienced from overnight travel.
Most Innovative: Blitzu Compression Socks
Boasting "the world's most advanced compression technology," Blitzu has developed and refined these compression socks for years to ensure optimal performance. This innovation is demonstrated by combining kinesiology taping with compression fabric to reduce leg pain and swelling. With 20 to 30 mmHg compression, these socks also help promote blood circulation. They're durable enough to last nine-hour flights or six-mile walks, making them appropriate for everyday wear and outdoor activities, including running, hiking, cycling, weightlifting, and more. Plus, the compression socks are made of premium materials with 360-degree stretch for extreme comfort.
Best Ankle Socks: Charmking Compression Socks
Ankle compression socks offer the benefit of a more snug fit that's more likely to stay in place than longer socks. These socks from Charmking are particularly noteworthy, which come in fun, colorful designs. For comfort, the toe and heel sections are reinforced, while the breathable socks wick moisture away. Another huge advantage of ankle compression socks is the ability to help relieve plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon, heel pain, and other discomforts. These socks' short length means they're easier to hide and are also ideal for sports, including yoga, cycling, running, and more.
How We Tested
We bought three top-rated pairs of compression socks and our reviewers tested them for 30 hours. We asked our reviewers to consider the most important features when using these compression socks, from their material to how effective they were. We've outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in Airplane Compression Socks
Fit and height In general, the higher and tighter the sock, the better the compression, since more of your legs are covered. Most stop at the knees, but some designs can reach up to your mid-thigh, which is ideal for someone suffering from a pre-existing medical condition. A few reach only above your ankle and don’t cover your toes—perfect for travelers who suffer from plantar fasciitis.
Fabric All compression socks are designed to stretch and provide pressure, but the kind of fabric they’re made of should also be taken into account. Many are made with breathable Lycra, while others are made with thicker fabric for warmth and comfort. Some companies also integrate fabric technologies into their designs to help fight odor and static or to wick away sweat.
Application In addition to the desired compression, also consider any other needs you might have while wearing these socks. Basic compression is ideal for flying, but others are designed specifically for pregnant women or are FDA-registered to address specific medical conditions. Some socks also excel when worn while running, hiking, or playing sports by increasing airflow and reducing the build-up of lactic acid in your muscles.