Benefits of Compression Clothing- [4 Things to Know Before You Buy]

If you are reading this, I can assume that you have at least been introduced to compression wear. I can also assume that you have some further questions about the benefits and uses of compression clothing.

While there is a wide variety of compression wear ranging from socks, pants, sleeves, shirts, etc., I will just be focusing on compression pants for the purposes of simplification.

Some popular questions surrounding this new trend typically include-

What is the difference between compression leggings and other leggings/yoga pants?

Is there a correlation between compression leggings and weight loss?

Is it harmful to use compression wear for an extended time?

Is there any substantial evidence supporting the benefits of compression wear?

Luckily for you, I will answer these questions for you.

Compression Leggings and Yoga Pants Compared

While your everyday leggings, tights, or yoga pants are typically made from thinner materials such as cotton, compression leggings are usually made from Lycra and polyester. The reasoning behind the differences in material relates back to the uses of these products.

Compression leggings were first used to prevent conditions such as varicose veins from starting or progressing. They were first common in the medical field to improve recovery times and circulation.

Compression later became popular among athletes because of the promise of improved circulation, clearing the blood of metabolic bypasses such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid, repelling moisture from the body, and aiding in proprioception.

Because yoga pants and normal leggings are made from softer, more giving material, they do not offer the pressure of compression leggings. They are typically used for fashion statements or lighter exercises allowing for free movement of muscles and joints.


Compression and Weight Loss

Is there a correlation between compression garments and weight loss?

While there are conflicting studies surrounding this topic, many people, including professional athletes, swear by the effects of them.

Probably the most common benefit of using compression for weight loss is the illusion it gives. Because of the pressure the material puts on the body, it shapes the body causing it to appear thinner and more contoured. The pressure may also cause tightening of the skin and gives a micro-massage that breaks up and reduces the appearance of cellulite through constant, gentle pressure.

Aside from illusion, compression garments cause the body to sweat which can result in reducing water weight. Along with this, the material pulls the moisture off of the body allowing it to evaporate more effectively.

While there is no conclusive research to suggest that wearing compression legging will definitely lead to weight loss, the loss of water weight and the firm appearance they give to the body is a positive for many people.


Extended Wear and Health Issues

Myth-Compression garments are dangerous when used extensively.

There is no evidence that suggests that extended wear of compression garments may inflict any danger or health issues.

Contrary to this belief, compression socks or leggings can be beneficial while traveling. The science behind this is when a person travels they are forced to be in more constricting positions, which can lead to lowered circulation, resulting in blood clots.

Using compression garments during travel can aide in improved blood circulation, which can help prevent blood clots in the lower extremities.


Compression Garments and Athletes

Since weight loss and exercise go hand and hand, I will discuss the thoughts behind professional athletes using compression garments.

With the idea of compression helping with circulation, muscle support, and the supporting of performance and more precise movements, it is a no-brainer that athletes flock to these products.

Circulation– the pressure that is distributed by the compression garment may cause blood to pump out of the legs faster. This allows increased circulation, which helps clean out the blood of metabolic byproducts more effectively.

Jiggle– When you exercise, the muscles vibrate or ‘jiggle’. Using the compression holds the muscles in place and reduces their movement, also resulting in reduced metabolic byproducts.

Athletes appreciate the claims that these leggings rid the body of metabolic byproducts more efficiently because byproducts, such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid, cause the muscles to feel sore and weak after a workout.

Proprioception– The definition I found states, “the perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body.” An example of this would be “your ability to sense the surface you are standing on without looking at the surface.”


Is There Substantial Evidence That Suggests Real Benefits?

Te-Oranga School of Human Development and Movement Studies performed a study on 44 healthy participants. Within the study, the participants were asked to perform active joint repositioning tasks with their dominant and non-dominant legs. These studies included data with and without compression garments below the knees.

The study concluded that compression garments may improve proprioception of the knees, regardless of leg dominance.

This is beneficial for athletes because they can better sense their bodies in space and may see an improvement in performance.

Aside from compression leggings being worn for comfort and fashion, the surrounding health benefits have caused a spike in their popularity.

Leave us a comment below, and let us hear your opinion on compression leggings!

Do you wear compression garments, or will you start after reading this?


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    13 Replies to “Benefits of Compression Clothing- [4 Things to Know Before You Buy]”

    1. I do not know about the weight loss benefits of compression clothing, but I can attest to the comfort. I’m in the restaurant business and had a coworker swear that her compression socks worked and made her feel better after a long shift, and I was skeptical til I finally wore a pair. I can say that my feet have never felt as good after a shift! These are a life saver for any job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time. 

      1. I am so glad to hear that you have found some comfort! There is nothing worse than walking around with aching feet.

        Thank you for leaving a comment. 

    2. I was actually one of the people that thought that these types of clothing were extremely dangerous due to the amount of time that your body is being compressed to this material. For example, when you’re laying on your stomach on your bed, it tends to be a little uncomfortable after a certain time. Doesn’t this happen with these clothing iteams as well? 

      1. I would like to add a disclaimer that I am in no way a doctor, so the information I find is from research that I have personally done. I would say that it varies with every individual, but I have heard from several people that it can be uncomfortable, especially for people that are new to wearing compression clothing. I have also heard from others about how much better they feel!

        I would say that it really depends on everybody individually. From what I have found, there does not appear to be any harmful side effects. I can only assume, that with time, there will continue to be research and improvements in this area.

        Thank you for your feedback!

    3. Hi

      I still think that  compression cloths are still in their infancy and we still need more research to find if it lives up to  the promise it holds.  I can remember my mum using compression stocking after she had a total knee replacement and what she said is that they are very uncomfortable. She couldn’t wait to get rid of it. This leads to the question is about the level of comfortability of using compression cloths, as it is no point looking thin if you feel so uncomfortable in the process. You never know but in the future it may get even more comfortable. I cannot see it  causing harm but we need more research Thank you for the interesting article 


    4. From my own little research that I’ve been able to so about compression legging, I believe it can be said to aid the process of weight loss regardless what ever anyone Calla it. Having the ability to squeeze the body to sweat and reduce body water weight, definitely it has affected the actual body weight, whether it is fat weight or water weight, it’s still called Weight. The benefits you’ve listed here in this article are very true and overtime, the need for compression clothing have risen to a high State. Thanks.

    5. Thank you for educating us about compression clothing. I’m sure that many people are mistaken in thinking that compression clothing constricts blood flow and disturbs the circulation of blood, rather than improving it. I most definitely thought that compression clothing restricted circulation rather than improving it. Thanks for giving us the facts. 

      1. Yes, I believe you are correct. Even for myself, not being in the medical field per se, I was led to believe the same. There are even different levels of compression to fit all different shapes and sizes, so I would think having the correct size is also very important.

        Thank you for your feedback!

    6. I really like the comparison between compression leggings and yoga pants, they should be treated from the angle of their use, yoga pants is mainly used for exercises, easy and smooth movement of the body in it, also it’s fashionable while compression leggings have extended use from just only fashion, it actually works for body modifications in the sense that it can tighten the flesh to a whole hold and also help with water weight reduction. Most times, what many people do is to write about some of these things but they actually don’t have enough understanding about it. Thanks for putting this together, it’s very thoughtful and informative.

      1. Thank you! Through my research, I noticed I would find some parts of information here and there, but I had a hard time finding an article that encompassed several aspects of this topic. There is also not a lot of studies performed on this topic, so over time I am sure new information will be surfacing. 

    7. Thanks for sharing with us this useful information about compression clothing because with this I have have got to know the benefits of compression garments for example during travel they can improve blood circulation which can help to prevent blood clots something which I have loved because my wife wants to travel, am going to purchase her some compression garments thanks keep sharing 

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