Graduated compression is best.
Compression stockings can be just support hose or graduated compression hose. Graduated compression means that the compression is highest at the ankle and decreases to the thigh, thus, pushing the blood back up the leg. These are the best support hose to wear. Stocking should begin just below the toes and extend either to just below the knee or to the upper thigh. There is no need to wear compression hose 24 hours a day. If you have significant swelling then you may want to consider a bed where you can elevate your feet to decrease the swelling while you are sleeping. If the stockings feel good to wear at night then you will do no harm by wearing them,but it is not necessary to wear them continuously .
Best way to utilize compression stockings
The whole idea of wearing compression stockings is to help prevent swelling from building up in our legs. Swelling typically occurs throughout the day while we are walking around, standing, or sitting down at work or home. Most people notice that their swelling is the absolute worst at the very end of they day and that when they wake up in the morning it is not bad at all. Compression stockings should be worn during the day to help us fight the effect of gravity, which is trying to keep the fluid in our legs rather than allowing it to return to our heart. Once we lay down and go to sleep the fluid doesn't tend to build up in our legs because we are flat, therefore do not need to wear the stockings at night time.
Length of graduated compression stockings - mid calf, knee, thigh or higher ?
You can wear graduated compression stockings as much as you like - some only wear them when they are on their feet or sit at work (8-10 hours a day) and others, like me, wear them all the time, taking them off when i shower twice a day and promptly wear them again - even during sleep. Find what works for you !