Don’t laugh, but I feel like maybe I’m the last one out there to discover compression socks? Hah! I remember first hearing about them in my early twenties, when I was first pregnant, but I only tried them for the first time about six months ago — and I’m officially converted.

Why would someone want to wear compression socks? They increase blood-flow to your legs, help prevent varicose veins, and reduce muscle soreness. If you have a job where you sit all day long (raising my hand), you might want to give them a try. If you’re pregnant, you might want to give them a try. If you have a job where you stand all day long, you may want to give them a try. If you’re a big exerciser, you may want to try them.

I originally bought compression socks for my flight to Australia last October. I was nervous about sore legs and potential swelling after sitting for such a long stretch on the plane. They worked! And then, when I returned home, I started wearing them a couple of days per week — especially on days where I know I’m going to be sitting still for hours with my laptop.

I’ve determined they’re a simple, easy way to up my quality of life. If you’re new to compression socks, here’s the basic info:

-Compression socks come with different amounts of compression/tightness. You’ll see listings like 20-30mmHg or 15-25mmHg — the higher the number the higher the compression. I didn’t know what amount of compression I would want, so I started with three brands, and a couple different levels of compression.

-Compression socks used to be quite boring and industrial-looking — and you could only find them at a pharmacy or medical supply shop. But these days, they’re everywhere — and happily, they’re really cute! There are lots of stripes and polkadots and handsome designs. Weirdly, there are also lots of themed novelty versions too. Sharks! Flags! Flowers! Rainbow hearts! There are tons of athletic versions too.

-They can be pricey! It’s not unusual to see a $30 or $40 price tag per pair. But there are also some better deals out there. Consider anything you can find in the $5 per pair range to be a good price.

-Heads up, you need to hand-wash or delicate-cycle wash compression socks. And you shouldn’t ever put them in the dryer.

The non-athletic, non-novelty options are my favorites and I’ve collected of bunch of them for you below from a wide range of brands:

Shadow Dot by Sockwell. Available in four colors. 20-30mmHg. $23. It seems like the Sockwell designs feel a bit more serious than other brands.

Navy & Salmon Stripes by Lish. In three different color combos (all really good ones!) 15-25 mmHg. $10.

Argyle by Vim & Vigr. $20. High quality. And maybe my favorite designs. The images at top are also Vim & Vigr.

Circular Stripe by Socklane. Mostly cotton. 15-20 mmHg. $19.

Four Kisses by Lily Trotter. In other color combs too. 15-20mmHg. $40.

Striped 4-Pack by PU Health. 25-30 mmHg. $21. If you’re feeling intimidated, these are a good place to start. Definitely one of the better prices I’ve seen.

Burgundy Rugby Stripe by Vim & Vigr. 15-20 mmHg. $33.

Classic Stripes by HLT-Pro. 4-pack. 20-30 mmHg. $22.

Solid Black by Laite Hebe. 3-pack. $14. It’s actually kind of hard to find basic solid compression socks, but luckily black is easily available.

Your turn. Have you tried compression socks? Are they old news to you? Do you have opinions on the amount of compression you like? Do you have a particular brand you favor? Do you wear them often? Or just once in awhile — like for flights? Did you wear them during pregnancy? I’d love to hear.