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Compression Classes for Graduated Compression Hosiery

Edited on 6-Apr-2004.

There are two different standards of compression classes for graduated compression hosiery, namely, the British standard (6612) and the European standard (SS-ENV 12718).

The British standard is divided into 3 classes and the European quality into 4 classes according to the level of pressure exerted around the ankle. The European recommended levels of compression are higher than the British levels.



European Standard

ClassSupportPressureCondition
ILight18.4-21.1mmHg
  • Mild varices
  • Venous hypertension in pregnancy
  • Heaviness & fatigue in leg
IIMedium25.2-32.3mmHg
  • Pronounced varices
  • Moderate oedema
  • Inflammation of superficial veins
  • After resolution of mild ulceration
IIIStrong36.5-46.6mmHg
  • Severe varicose veins
  • Post-thrombotic syndrome
  • Pronounced oedema
  • Prevention of venous ulcers
IVHeavyOver 59 mmHg
  • Lymphoedemia
  • Elephantiasis


British Standard

ClassSupportPressureCondition
ILight14-17mmHg
  • Mild varicose veins
  • Venous hypertension in pregnancy
IIMedium18-24mmHg
  • Moderate varicose veins
  • Mild oedema
  • Prevention of ulcer recurrence
IIIStrong25-35mmHg
  • Severe varicose veins
  • Prevention of venous ulcers

There is a wider use of the British standard on this website, published as indicated on the packaging. Shoppers are adviced to check the compression in mmHg (millimeters Mercury) rather than based on the compression classes.

The British standard is more widely accepted because a lower compression in the medical hosiery also results in the hosiery being more comfortable to wear and easier to put on.





Graduated Compression Products

If medical hosiery is what you are looking for, check out the following to find one that could suit your needs:


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