Knee high stockings should not be pulled up too far. They should finish about 3-4cm below the crease behind the knee, and the top band of the product should be flat against the leg. On no account should they be allowed to ‘roll’ at the top, or double over if the wearer thinks they are too long. It is better to wear them down the leg, so that the top of the product is in the correct position, below the knee and then simply smooth out any wrinkles down the stocking.

If thigh length stockings are desired it must be noted that those with a ‘grip top’ silicone band are more suited to those with fairly average/normal leg sizes. If the leg is too big at the thigh, they will have a tendency to roll which must be avoided. For those with a ‘V” shaped leg and a fleshy knee area, knee high stockings are often difficult to fit as they will always tend to roll. In such cases a thigh length stocking may be more suitable.

Stockings should always be applied first thing in the morning before moving around too much. Oedema often reduces when the leg is elevated (at night during sleep). Hence it is important to apply the stockings when getting out of bed or just after your morning shower. A stocking may not remove swelling once it has appeared so it makes sense to apply them as the first thing you do.

If flying, put on the stockings the morning of the flight ... don’t wait until you get to the airport. Do not wear medical stockings to bed (unless specifically instructed by your doctor to do so).

Measurement should be taken first thing in the morning. If one measurement indicates a larger size than another, always select the larger size.

Preventative stockings can have a height/weight grid for sizing. While these provide a useful guide, actual measurements should always still be taken.


First determine size from the height/weight grid below. For maternity products use pre-pregnancy weight. ‘W’ size on the grid apply to a fuller shorter figure and are only available in 140 waist high (pantyhose) products. Maternity pantyhose are only available in size 1-4.

Now check that size against the ankle measurement in Chart 1. If one measurement indicates a larger size, then always select the larger size.