Gradient compression stockings have a higher compression around the foot and ankle, which gradually decreases as the stocking travels up the calf. This creates a funnel effect, pushing fluid in the leg upward toward the thigh and away from the foot and ankle. A 20-30mmHG compression stocking would have 30mmHg of pressure around the foot and slowly drop to a pressure of 20mmHg at the top of the calf. This design is more effective than a constant compression stocking due to the directional guiding of fluid away from the problem area.
Low compression stockings (10-15mmHg, 15-20mmHg) are used primarily by healthy individuals looking to reduce achieness and fatigue during everyday activities such as standing at work. Athletes also find them beneficial due to their ability to remove lactic acid from muscles, resulting in less fatigue and better performance.