June 20, 2023

Choosing the Right Compression Level: A Comprehensive Guide


Compression garments have gained significant popularity in recent years due to their various health benefits and performance-enhancing properties. These garments, made from elastic materials, exert controlled pressure on specific body parts, aiding in blood circulation, muscle support, and recovery. However, not all compression garments are created equal, as they come in different compression levels to cater to individual needs and activities. In this article, we will explore the different compression levels available and when to use each for optimal results.

Understanding Compression Levels

Compression garments are classified into different compression levels, typically measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). This measurement indicates the amount of pressure the garment applies to the body part it covers. The higher the mmHg value, the firmer the compression.

1. Mild Compression: 15-20 mmHg

Medium compression garments offer moderate pressure and are a popular choice for various purposes. They are commonly used by athletes during workouts to reduce muscle fatigue and enhance performance. Additionally, medium compression is beneficial for individuals with mild to moderate varicose veins or those prone to swelling and edema.

When to use:

  • Athletic activities to enhance performance and reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Improve circulation.
  • Traveling.
  • Mild to moderate varicose veins.
  • Mild swelling and edema.

2. Firm Compression: 20-30 mmHg

Firm compression garments provide higher pressure and are suitable for more severe medical conditions. They are often recommended for individuals with moderate to severe varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and post-surgery recovery. Athletes recovering from intense workouts or injuries may also benefit from the enhanced support provided by firm compression wear.

When to use:

  • Moderate to severe varicose veins and venous disorders.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prevention and management.
  • Post-surgery recovery and rehabilitation.
  • Athletes during recovery from injuries.
  • Mild to moderate edema or lymphedema

3. Extra Firm Compression: 30-40 mmHg

Extra firm compression garments exert the highest level of pressure and are typically prescribed for serious medical conditions. They are effective in managing severe edema, chronic venous insufficiency, and preventing the recurrence of ulcers. It's essential to use extra firm compression garments under the guidance of a healthcare professional due to their potent effects.

When to use:

  • Severe edema and lymphedema management.
  • Chronic venous insufficiency.
  • Prevention of ulcer recurrence.

Choosing the Right Compression Level

Selecting the appropriate compression level is crucial to ensure the garment's effectiveness and prevent any adverse effects. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right compression level:

1. Activity Level

Consider your activity level and purpose for using compression garments. For everyday preventive wear or mild discomfort during travel, low to medium compression levels are suitable. However, for intense physical activities or post-surgery recovery, firmer compression levels may be more beneficial.

2. Size and Fit

A well-fitted compression garment is essential for its effectiveness. Ensure you measure yourself correctly and follow the manufacturer's sizing guidelines to find the perfect fit.

3. Medical Conditions

If you have specific medical conditions, you should consult with a healthcare professional before choosing a compression garment. They can recommend the appropriate compression level based on your needs.


Compression garments are a valuable addition to promoting better blood circulation, supporting muscles, and aiding in various medical conditions. Understanding the different compression levels and when to use each is vital to ensure you reap the maximum benefits from these garments.

Whether you are an athlete looking to enhance performance or someone with venous disorders seeking relief, there is a compression level tailored to your specific needs. Remember to consult a healthcare professional if you have any medical concerns or conditions, and always choose a well-fitted, high-quality compression garment to experience the best results.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions about the compression level you need or what garment is best for you, reach out to us at support@medityhealth.com or give us a call at (866) 945-4766.


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