Are Compression Socks for Air Travel Safe?

Keeping a pair of compression socks on for long periods of time may seem a little nerve-wracking, especially if you have never worn them before. It’s very possible that you may feel like they are going to cut your circulation off and leave you unable to walk when you step off the plane!

While it’s perfectly normal to have these worries, thousands of people around the world wear compression socks to prevent DVT, blood clotting and swelling in their legs and feet every day. They are even used in hospitals for patients that are bedridden for long periods of time, as they too are at risk of blood clots. If doctors encourage their use, then that should give you extra assurance that they are safe to use!

Here’s how to ensure that you get the best use out of your flight socks so you can feel completely safe and arrive at your destination feeling great.

woman sitting beside the airplane window

Make sure you have the right size

You wouldn’t buy shoes that were too big or too small, and the same logic applies when it comes to buying a pair of flight socks that fit correctly. If you have socks that are too big, then you won’t get the benefits that they offer. Buy them too small, and you’ll struggle to get your feet in them! And yes, you could feel like your circulation is being cut off.

It’s a good idea to measure your feet and ankles correctly and then choose the right size to fit.

Choose the right compression for your needs

Most people that wear flight socks are able to choose a moderate compression grade of 15-20 mmHg (millimetres of mercury). But if you are pregnant, or have a risk of clotting or swelling, then you will need a heavier compression of 20-30 mmHg. Some extreme cases will need even higher than this.

If you do have a health condition that puts you at risk of DVT and clotting, it’s best to consult with your doctor about the right compression grade before purchasing.

Wear them before and after the flight

Putting compression socks on in the middle of a flight after you’ve noticed your ankles puffing up is going to feel extremely uncomfortable.

Don’t even wait until you are at the airport.

You should put them on at home when you get up in the morning, as this is the time that your legs and feet are the least swollen. You can take them back off again when your body has regulated back to normal at ground level, a few hours after you get off your flight.

Need some help?

If you have any concerns about the safety of compression socks for air travel, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. We have years of experience and will happily guide you through what you need to know as well as help you pick out your first pair of flight socks.

Please note: The information provided here is for general information only and is not intended to act as medical advice. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified, professional advice.

About Heather Gatland

Chief Sock Checker at TXG Socks

After finding that compression socks sped up the healing of an injury, Heather wanted to help others do the same, so founded TXG Compression Socks in Australasia in 2013. With her 6 years of ‘hands-on’ experience working with medical professionals, extensive business experience and Chartered Accountant qualification, Heather knows all the ins and outs of the compression socks market. Heather’s goal of helping baby boomers, like herself, has finally come true. Heather loves researching and sharing her findings on the TXG blog as well as enjoys supporting her customers to get back to feeling happy, energised and active.

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