Compression Socks Can Be a Great Option During the Day, but Be Careful at Night

Kori Williams - Author

Nov. 7 2023, Updated 1:00 p.m. ET

A man sitting on a bed putting on a dark green compression sock.
Source: iStock

The Gist:

  • Wearing compression socks can help people improve blood flow in their legs during the day.
  • Wearing socks that are too tight can restrict blood flow and cause health issues.
  • Some experts say that there are negative impacts from sleeping in compression socks.
Article continues below advertisement

Wearing compression socks can be a great option for those who struggle with proper blood circulation in their legs. Even if you keep a pair around for long flights or you need the extra support now that you're pregnant, they can be a cost-effective method to keep your blood in all the right places.

Although you may love wearing them during the day, can you sleep in compression socks? Reviews on wearing compression socks are mixed, with some people arguing it wouldn't help more than wearing them during the day, while others express concerns about wearing them all night. Thankfully, there are more than a few experts giving advice for all your compression sock needs.

Article continues below advertisement
A woman sitting on a bed putting on compression stockings.
Source: iStock

Can you sleep in compression socks?

And according to Nike, you can sleep in compression socks. However, experts say there are no health benefits to doing so. YS Robert Kim, M.D., F.A.C.S., and a vascular surgeon at Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center, said this is because when you lie down, gravity isn't affecting the blood flow in your legs. There's also no harm in wearing them to sleep either, so doing so is your choice.

Article continues below advertisement

"When you lay down and sleep, your veins are doing the same work [as when you're upright] but there is no gravity," said Ellen Derrick, M.D., MP.H., F.A.C.S., F.S.V.S., a vascular surgeon and founder of BoxBar Vascular. Your veins are still doing their job when you lay down, so the compression isn't needed.

A man sitting on a bed putting on a dark green compression sock.
Source: iStock
Article continues below advertisement

It might be better to take off your compression socks at night if you wear them all day. The Cleveland Clinic states that wearing compression socks 24/7 can harm your skin. If you wear them for extended periods, it's best to take them off at night and put some lotion on before you go to bed to give your legs a break and let your skin breathe.

Can you sleep in compression socks when you're pregnant?

Yes, you can sleep in compression socks while pregnant, but there is no medically necessary reason. Healthline states that even when carrying around the extra weight from a pregnancy, swelling in your legs and feet is still more likely when you are upright.

Article continues below advertisement

However, Very Well Family states that medical professionals advise that you shouldn't wear compression socks to sleep while pregnant. Kelly Sturm, DPT, CLT-LANA, a physical therapist and certified lymphedema therapist, told the publication that when you're lying down, these socks can "become like a tourniquet" and cut off the circulation in your legs while you sleep. And that makes it more dangerous because you're unlikely to feel this happening.

Remember that regardless of which compression socks you wear, they should never be too tight. Healthline says you should make sure your feet and legs don't feel "numb or tingly" any time while you wear them. That's a sign they are cutting off blood flow, and you need ones with a looser fit.

More from Green Matters

Latest Health & Wellness News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Green Matters. Green Matters is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.