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Say the words “support tights” and most of us will immediately think of not so glamorous grannies.  Support hosiery certainly has a very unattractive image but it is myth that support tights are just for old ladies and invalids. Just about everyone can benefit from support tights and you may be surprised by just how much modern products are challenging the dowdy image of support hosiery.

Why you need support?

When you walk around your calf muscles act as natural pumps which help blood move up your leg and back towards your heart.  When you stand or sit still for long periods of time this pump is not working and this can cause poor or sluggish circulation.  This is a particular problem for people that spend long days sitting at a desk (isn’t that just about all of us these days), people who are travelling (particularly on long haul flights) and those that stand still for long periods standing still such as shop assistants or hairdressers.  If you have ever experienced a heavy aching feeling in your lower legs this could be down to poor circulation and you could also benefit from wearing support hosiery.

How support hosiery works

Support hosiery works by applying pressure to the ankle and lower legs.  That compression is graduated to decrease as it moves up the leg so that it helps to push blood up the leg and back towards the heart.  Their soothing, massaging effect ensures healthy circulation and helps prevent health conditions like varicose veins (a particular concern during pregnancy) or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

The support hosiery on the MyTights.com website comes in a range of different support levels.  In the UK we describe support levels from light to extra firm.  Some of the products publish the mm Hg level of their support products other just the “Support Factor”.  mm Hg stands for Milimetres of Mercury at 0°C  – that’s how they measure pressure and believe me both our lives are too short to explain in more detail! The table below is a handy guide to how the mm Hg matches up to the support level and support factor:

Support Level mm Hg Support Factor
Light 6 6
Medium 8 8
Firm 10 10
Extra Firm 12 12
Extra Extra Firm 15-24 15-24
Medical* 25+ 25+

Please note: Medical grade compression will require a prescription from your doctor, however we recommend checking with your doctor before using any compression above factor 15.

Everyone is different so, unless you have been ordered to wear a specific mm Hg by a doctor or nurse, I’d suggest starting with the lightest support you think you need and then move up the scale until you find the level offers the most benefit but still feels comfortable.

None of the products we sell are considered to be medical grade, they are generally offer much lighter support than surgical support stockings which you can get on prescription.  If you have a medical condition and you need even higher support factors than the ones listed here, do speak to your chemist or visit John Bell & Croyden who may also be able to supply.

What to choose

The most popular range of support tights and stockings we stock are from Elbeo.  A very traditional type of support hosiery, they have many devoted fans.  They tend to be popular with our older customers many of whom have been wearing Elbeo support tights for years.  Elbeo firm support tights are sometimes recommended by doctors and nurses to patients with mild conditions.

For something a little more youthful and glamorous try the Falke Shaping Support 20 Tights*.  They look great on the leg and they have a really good control top which slims down the waist, hips and bottom.  If you prefer a higher denier this style is also available in 40 denier too.

Bringing a little glamour to the MyTights.com website are the Levante Relax Support Tights which come in Firm and Medium Support versions.  Regardless of the fact that they are support tights, these really are beautiful products.  They have a lovely matte finish and a semi sheer appearance which is actually nicer than many ordinary hosiery products.  A light control top is an added bonus to make sure your figure looks great too.

If you want something with a slightly lower denier then the Pretty Polly 15D Light Support Tights represent great value for money and come in light or medium support.  Perhaps not as exceptional as the Falke and the Levante, these are priced for everyday use but their lower denier is really handy for summer outfits.

If you want something with extra benefits we can’t recommend highly enough the Charnos Energising Support Collection.  Coated with a unique blend of Vitamin E, Sea Kelp and Shea Butter, these provide protection from premature ageing, stimulation of blood flow and intense moisturisation, as well as perking up tired pins!

Our range doesn’t stop there, either – we have flight socks from Scholl and extra extra firm support styles from Cette too, so we suggest browsing our entire collection to find your perfect support.

Anyone that sits at a desk all day or spends long periods of time standing can benefit from wearing support hosiery to ease that tired achy feeling in your legs and to help guard against health conditions that can be caused by poor or inconsistent blood circulation like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or varicose veins.  The modern support products are anything but dowdy so it is possible to stay look after your health and look great at the same time.

*Just to complicate things, Falke describe their support tights as Support Category 3 rather than with a Support Factor. Support Category 3 offers Firm Support



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