We know that applying compression hose can be challenging. At Vein Institute of PittsburghSM we have a lot of experience helping patients with these issues and applying the compression stockings ourselves. Over the years we have come up with some tips and tricks for donning (applying) and doffing (removing) compression hose. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Open-toe stockings
  2. Consider open-toe stockings so that certain donning equipment including “slippy socks” may be used. This device, similar to a sock but made out of rip-proof paper or silky fabric, is applied to the foot and then the open-toe compression stocking is applied over it. This donning aid helps you to more easily apply the stocking over your heel and onto your foot. Once the stocking is in the correct position, the slippy sock can be removed through the opening in the foot of the stocking, leaving the compression hose in place.

    Some stocking brands provide a slippy sock in the box. A few of these brands include Juzo®, Jobst®, medi® but there may be others. The brand of stockings that you choose when filling your prescription is up to you. Additionally, some durable medical equipment vendors (DME’s) sell these slippy socks at a small price. Other patients buy them inexpensively from online retailers such as ForYourLegs.com.

  3. Slippie Gator® device by Juzo®
  4. This ingenious device can be used for both open and close-toe compression hose. These can be purchased at many DME’s and online.


    Other inventive donning devices are also available. Explore your options.

  5. Proper positioning
  6. We generally find that compression stockings are easier to apply and remove if one is in a seated position with his or her hips flexed, such as sitting on a firm bed or sofa where one can more easily reach your legs.

  7. Time of day
  8. Stockings are easier to don shortly after awakening. Generally, the legs are their least swollen upon waking; this is the ideal time to apply the stockings. Some patients may alter their morning bathing schedule to accommodate this and bathe before bed instead during their compression hose therapy.

  9. Gloves
  10. Applying gloves, such as normal household dishwashing gloves, helps individuals grip and pull their compression hose up more easily. Gloves also prevent patients with long or acrylic fingernails from easily causing rips or runners in their stockings during donning and doffing.

We hope you that you find these tips useful. If you discover additional tips, please share them with us! Please don’t put off treating your painful, unattractive varicose veins because of compression hose – as you can see, they are quite manageable to apply with the right tricks and some patience. We are here to help, so call us today at 724-934-8346.