These Sustainable Compression Socks Are Beloved by Nurses, Athletes, and Pregnant People

These six pairs of sustainably made compression socks have been vetted for comfort and performance by nurses, gym rats, and pregnant people.


Jul. 1 2024, Published 10:07 a.m. ET

Person wearing compression socks with hiking sneakers up the side of a mountain
Source: iStock

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Whenever I fly, I book an aisle seat. Ever since I stepped off of a flight one day with swollen feet and ankles that stayed that way for two full days, I realized I needed to be able to get up and move around in the airplane cabin to prevent swelling. I also wear compression socks as an extra defense against this unfortunate phenomenon.

Compression socks are tighter-than-typical socks, usually to the knee, designed to improve circulation and prevent swelling. Not only do they tend to be soft and comfy, but there are also some cute compression socks for women out there that dial-up my airport style, so I'm hardly complaining.

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The 6 Best Compression Socks for Women

Best Overall: Maggie's Organics - Organic Cotton Compression Socks, 1 pair($18)

Best for People On Their Feet All Day: EcoSox Bamboo Compression Socks, 1 pair ($13)

Best for Pregnancy: Quince Recycled Maternity Compression Socks, 3-pack ($30)

Best for Travel: Comrad Recycled Cotton Compression Socks, 1 pair ($32)

Best for Athletics: Zensah Recycled Shakeout Socks, 1 pair ($15)

Best for Severe Medical Conditions: LEVSOX Viscose for Bamboo Compression Socks, 4-pack($23, was $29)

Compression socks aren't just for flying, of course. Their benefits extend far beyond that to nurses and other kinds ofworkers who spend all day on their feet, pregnant people, people who exercise a lot, surgical patients in recovery, people who live with conditions like edema or varicose veins, seniors, and anyone looking for extra support. I found six pairs of compression socks for women that are quite frankly fashionable, and they're all made sustainably using recycled and renewable materials, including bamboo, which also happens to be odor-resistant. Keep scrolling to find your perfect pair.

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Compression Ratings, Explained

Here's a little cheat sheet to help you better understand compression ratings when shopping for compression socks.

Mild Compression (8-15 mmHg)

Moderate Compression (15-20 mmHg)

Firm Compression (20-30 mmHg)

Extra-Firm Compression (30-40 mmHg)

Medical-Grade Compression (40-50 mmHg and above)

Maggie's Organics - Organic Cotton Compression Socks, 1 pair

For daily wear, a light compression will do. Maggie's Organics makes these organic cotton compression socks with a 12 mmHg compression rating and in three go-with-everything neutrals. This kind of gentle support is also great to wear on airplanes and after a gym session. They have graduated compression, which means the strongest pressure is at the ankle, and it gradually decreases up the leg. Maggie's Organics socks are knit and dyed in the USA under Fair Trade conditions. What's not to love?

Materials: 68% organic cotton, 26% nylon, 6% spandex

Top review: "What a discovery! This is the best quality in socks I’ve ever purchased. They were so well cushioned that I worried they would make my shoes too tight, but the fit is perfect with no slipping."

$18 at Maggie's Organics
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EcoSox Bamboo Compression Socks, 1 pair

Got a job that keeps you on your toes...literally? EcoSox Bamboo Compression Socks are great for hospital workers, restaurant workers, and beyond thanks to mild compression (8-15mmHg) and a moisture-wicking blend that includes breathable bamboo viscose, keeping your feet dry and odor-free. They're also designed to prevent blisters, reduce muscle fatigue, and keep your blood pumping.

Materials: 70% bamboo viscose, polyester, rubber

Top review: "I have slight swelling in my ankles from 27 years of being on my feet at my job. I have worn other compression socks before but these are the most comfortable socks I own! I can wear them all day and never know they are there."

$13 at EcoSox

Quince Recycled Maternity Compression Socks, 3-pack

Pregnant and dealing with swelling or varicose veins? Quince hears you. The brand makes this three-pack of moderate compression (15-20 mmHg) socks specifically for maternity woes. Each knee-high pair is designed to reduce soreness and inflammation while improving circulation — and they're comfy enough for all-day wear, because comfort is paramount when you're expecting. enhancing circulation and relieving pain. There's more than 60 percent recycled content in each sock and come in wide widths, too.

Materials: 68% recycled nylon, 12% nylon, 15% polyester, 5% spandex

Top review: " I’m 7 months pregnant and these have been my saving grace since I’m a nurse and run around everywhere. I definitely told everyone I knew about these."

$30 at Quince
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Comrad Recycled Cotton Compression Socks, 1 Pair

Looking for something a little more colorful? These limited-edition Recycled Cotton Compression Socks by Comrad come in blue denim and red hues and wide widths.They provide medium to firm support (15-20 mmHg), which is great for things like swollen pregnancy calves or deep vein thrombosis pain. The thick, cozy socks are designed for long periods of standing or sitting, travel, and post-exercise recovery. These eco-friendly socks offer breathable comfort, anti-pinch technology, and all-day support, too. And they're so soft.

Materials: 46% recycled cotton, 46% nylon, 6% elastane, 2% polyester

Top review: "I wouldn’t even know they are compression socks! As someone who had a double hip replacement when I was 27 and travels a lot I rely on compression socks. Absolutely love this brand!"

$32 at Comrad

Zensah Recycled Shakeout Socks, 1 pair

Attention, gym rats and sports lovers: compression socks are great for improving circulation, decreasing the risk of cramps, and supporting muscle stabilization during intense physical activities, reducing muscle fatigue. This pair by Zensah, which is mid-height instead of knee-high, also helps you recover faster post-workout by encouraging your body to remove metabolic waste from your muscles. And they use more than 60 percent recycled materials, which we love.

Materials: 33% Recycled Nylon, 30% Nylon, 13% Recycled Polyester, 12% Recycled Spandex, 5% Acrylic, 5% Rayon, 2% Lycra Spandex

Top review: "Feet felt great after a week of mountain hiking. Worth every penny and more."

$50 at Zensah

LEVSOX Viscose for Bamboo Compression Socks, 4-pack

In situations like post-surgery recovery or severe edema, you need that extra compression. LEVSOX firm compression socks, made partially of bamboo, offer a firm 20-30 mmHg graduated compression that's up to the challenge. And look at them: they're adorable! Each pair is designed to alleviate moderate to severe varicose veins, reduce significant swelling, and support chronic venous insufficiency. These eco-friendly socks are also super cozy.

Materials: 80% viscose for bamboo, 17% nylon, 3% spandex

Top review: "I have a leg injury that requires a compression sock to be worn daily. I have ordered so many, it is unreal. I always have found them to be so very tight at the top that they almost cut off my circulation, they very reason I have to wear them to begin with. I have tried so many sizes, so many companies, it isn't even funny. However, when I began wearing these socks, NO problem with the tops being too tight or extremely uncomfortable. I will be ordering all of my compression socks from this company from this time forward!"

$23 with coupon (was $29) at Amazon
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