Support stockings are not medical compression stockings. What's the difference?

November 4, 2022

What exactly is the difference between support stockings and medical compression stockings?

If you ask the general public, medical compression stockings are often and incorrectly called elastic stockings or support stockings. Support stockings and compression stockings are two different products which are clearly distinguished from each other.

Support stockings are not a medical product because they do not have the properties of medical aids. They are therefore suitable only for users with healthy veins and for preventing heavy legs, for example when sitting and standing for long periods. The term ‘elastic stocking’ has long since ceased to apply to modern support and compression stockings, as modern materials, colours and patterns are used here.

Support stockings are not medical aids and therefore cannot be prescribed by doctors and reimbursed by health insurance companies. The differences:

Medical compression stockings …

• are medical aids.

• have a medical effect.

• have a defined pressure distribution (German RAL quality assurance GZ 387/1).

• are correctly measured anatomically. are available in different compression classes.

• are used in therapies for the venous and lymphatic system, for example varicose vein disorders, lymphoedemas and lipoedemas.

• are available in predefined series sizes or as individual made-to-measure products.

• are available as round and flat knit variants in many colours, as several length variants, and with different patterns and designs.

Support stockings ...

• have no medical effect.

• have no defined pressure distribution.

• are usually provided in shoe sizes or ready-made sizes.

• can prevent heavy legs.

• available only as round knit series products, i.e. in a few predefined sizes.

• are usually provided only in a small range of colours and fewer length variants, for example only as knee socks.l