Help – I can’t get these compression socks on (or off)!
If you’ve watched all the videos on properly putting on, or taking off your compression socks and you’re still having trouble, this blog is for you. Let’s face it – putting on and taking off compression stockings is a challenge. Don’t let your frustrations win out and give up, try out some of these tips, tricks and tools to help you get your socks on and off easily.
Let’s start with how to get your socks on. This video demonstrates three different ways to put your compression stockings on – the heel pocket method, wearing donning gloves, and using a stocking donner:
The heel pocket method is a great way to get on stockings made from a thick fabric or socks that provide a high level of compression (over 20 mmHg). Don sheer or less firm compression socks with donning gloves to protect delicate fabric from snags and runs. Donning gloves are great for anyone with limited hand mobility, arthritis, or have weak hands or fingers - it gives you a better grip on the fabric. Gloves are the easiest, cheapest and most effective tool available to help you put your compression socks on.
Wearing pantyhose? Here’s a helpful video on putting on compression pantyhose.
The Best Donning Gloves:
Donning gloves are a great assistant for getting socks on, as well as off. The Jobst donning glove is unique because it is actually a cotton mitt with the palm and fingers dipped in a latex solution to grip onto support hose. It is a loose fitting glove which can be easier to put on for people with limited hand mobility. On the downside, there are no ridges or nubs on the latex which limits its ability to move stockings up the leg. We have heard from customers that this glove wears out too quickly.
If you are sensitive or allergic to rubber (latex), try the latex free Juzo donning gloves. These gloves work well for protecting the fabric, but do not have any nubs to help grip the garment. If you want something that will get a strong hold on the sock, try these: Sigvaris Latex Free Donning Gloves.
The Medi glove has textured fingers and palms for additional gripping power to help you get the compression stocking over your foot and heel. Then you can use your palms to slide the hose up your legs rather than pulling. The Sigvaris glove is our highest-rated glove and features very pronounced ridges that makes it easy to don stockings and armsleeves. Here’s what our customer’s have to say about Sigvaris gloves:
“My donning gloves are my best friend in the mornings. I would not be able to get my socks on without them. I also use them to remove my socks in the evening. Great product. I have tried other gloves and have to go back to the Sigvaris brand.”
“These are the best donning gloves that I and/or my patients have found for compression stockings of all materials and compression amount. I have been working with patients who have Lymphedema and are required to wear high amounts of compression. It’s a struggle to get them on even when you have the strength and mobility, so these gloves are a great aide for everyone. The price is very reasonable compared to other compression stockings manufacturers.”
The Best Stocking Donners:
If you have trouble bending over or crossing your legs, stocking donners do the work for you. Donners come in regular and wide-calf sizes, as well as some for putting on armsleeves and pantyhose. Long story short – there’s a donning device to make anyone’s life easier! Stocking donners require patience and practice and are most useful for individuals who have trouble bending at the waist. Since there a lot of donners to choose from, we’ll cover our customer’s favorites.
Sigvaris launched the SIMON donning and doffing aid in 2018 – and it has been getting amazing feedback from customers. The SIMON is convenient for a number of reasons – its long arms are perfect for anyone with limited bend at the waist or strength in their hands and arms. Unlike many of the bulky donners on the market, it can fold down for easy storage or travel. It can be used for knee highs, pantyhose and thigh highs – it can also be used to help take your stockings OFF. This is available in four different sizes – based on your calf measurement. Check out the video below to see just how magical it is:
Here’s what our customers have to say about the SIMON aid:
“Very satisfied. Ordered it because I couldn't get thigh highs support hose on. Makes putting on both the thigh high and knee high stockings and quick and easy task.”
The Jobst and Medi stocking donner’s have the classic fixed style that our customers have been using for years. Simply stretch the stocking over the frame and step into the sock until your foot is on the floor. Slowly lift the handles to work the stocking up your leg. Both Jobst and Medi offer donners designed specifically for larger calves. Here’s how it works:
Once you master using the Juzo Slippie Gator, you’ll be incredibly happy with it. This tool is especially useful for customers who have a lot of trouble bending over to touch their feet. Using a leg sleeve with handles and a rubber foot pad, you’ll be able to quickly and comfortably pull your stocking on in minutes. Like the Doff ‘n Donner, the Gator can be used to put stockings on and take them off.
A healthcare worker told us, “I bought the Juzo Slippy Gator to try with some of my clients. Most people I work on can’t bend over, much less pull compression socks up. The Gator is a great tool and has moved two of my clients to independently donning their socks.”
Watch this video to learn how to use the Juzo Slippie Gator:
The Easy-Slide for Open-Toe Stockings is only available for open toe socks and stockings, but it is simple to use and makes putting open-toe socks on a breeze. It’s getting rave reviews from customers and therapists alike.
“This device makes placing compression stockings on my patients a breeze. No more pinching, no more struggling to place the stockings on the patient. Saves me quite a bit of time in my busy day.”
This video shows you how the Easy-Slide works:
Going somewhere? The Magnide Easy-Slide for Closed Toe Stockings is washable and easy to transport. This is one of the easiest closed toe stocking donners available. Here’s how it works:
The Juzo Slippie and the Easy-Slides for open and closed toe use slippery and durable “parachute” nylon fabric that you put on your leg and pull the stocking over. Using your new favorite donning gloves, work the stocking up the leg and pull the donning aid out from the top of the stocking or through the open toe. If you wear closed toe stockings, make sure you are using a donning aid designed specifically for closed toe style stockings.
Tips and Tricks:
Once the stocking is in the right position, use the palms of your hands to smooth out any wrinkles. Your stocking is applied correctly if the toe is in the toe box, the heel in the heel box and their are no wrinkles around the ankles or leg. Ideally, your knee-high should end about one inch below the crease in your knee. Never pull the stocking up the calf or thigh by just the top of the garment.
If you have swelling or edema, it is best to don your stockings early in the morning when you get out of bed. Our legs start to swell while we are standing and the compression stockings applied early will keep the swelling down throughout the day.
Before you put your compression socks on, apply baby powder, corn starch or Alps Fitting Lotion to help the stocking glide up your leg more easily. As an added bonus, this lotion protects sensitive skin and makes dry, chapped skin feel silky and smooth.
Help! I can’t get these compression socks off!
Now let’s talk about how to get your stockings off. Taking compression socks off can be as difficult as putting them on, especially when dealing with a higher compression, full length pantyhose or the heat of summer. First you want to grab them from the top of the stocking where the fabric is, NOT the top band. Grabbing them by the top band can cause them to rip so be sure you are holding the fabric of the stocking. Once you have a grip on the sock, slowly fold the stocking down your leg, similar to peeling a banana. Then, you should be able to slip it right off your foot. Here is a helpful video on how to take your compression socks off:
The gloves we mentioned above under Donning Gloves, not only help you get your stockings on, but can help you take them off as well. Same for the Sigvaris SIMON, and Doff N’ Donner, both of these aids assist in getting your stockings on and OFF! The Medi Butler Off works like a shoe horn in reverse, slide the horn into the top of your stocking and gently push down. As a bonus, it makes a great, long handled shoe horn too! Here’s what our customers have to say about the Medi Butler Off:
“Ingenious. Makes everything possible.”
“For me, this tool is the perfect length. A convenient handle for my hand. And the best for last, is that HOOK on the back,to push the stockings off. I feel like I have help now,(I just love that little hook!)”
The Easy-Off Stocking Removal Device takes the strain out of removing your compression stockings. It reduces friction to minimize the physical strain experienced when your removing your stockings. One of our customer reviews says:
“I love this product! I no longer have to depend on my husband to put on my stocking. I use it with the Sigvaris ridged gloves and the stocking just slips over my foot and over the ankle. I have MS and can't hold my leg up as shown in the video but I just place my left foot over my right knee and slip on the stocking. It is NOT hard to use at all. Also we travel a lot so the fact that it takes up almost no space in a suitcase is a BIG plus.”
Do you have another tool that helps or tips and tricks to share? Let us know in the “Comments” section. Check out all of our donning and doffing aides at BrightLife Direct. If you are still struggling or have questions, give us a call at 1-877-545-8585.