Three Reasons Why You Should Invest in Donning Aids

You know you should wear your compression garments, but it’s exhausting to pull that tight fabric over your legs every day. If you’re struggling to don your compression socks, a compression stocking “donner” could be a great solution to your troubles. Below, we explain the four main types of donning aids, plus three reasons why you might want to buy a donning aid.

armsleeve slippie

Types of Donning Aids

There are four main categories of donning aids that you can use separately or together to put on your compression garments. They are:

Donning Gloves

Donning gloves are made from either a purely rubber material, much like cleaning gloves, or a fabric glove with the palm and fingers dipped in rubber. These gloves give you a good grip on the compression fabric as you don the garment. They also protect the material from fingernails, rings and other things that might snag or otherwise compromise it. Gloves are usually latex-free, but, if you have an allergy, check the label just to be sure.


As the name indicates, these donning aids are made from a slippery or slick material that helps you slide the fabric over your skin. Slippies are available for the legs, arms and feet. Each slippie works a little bit differently, depending on the body part and compression garment, but usually you’ll slide the slippie over your limb, pull the compression garment over it, and then remove the slippie so the compression garment sits right next to your skin.


These metal wire contraptions can help you don compression stockings and sleeves. To use them, take the tube of compression fabric and turn it inside out over the semicircle of wire in the middle of the donner. Then insert your foot or hand into the sleeve and use the donner to pull the compression garment up your leg or arm. Donners come in multiple sizes, so be sure to measure the size of your limbs before buying one so you don’t become stuck.

sigvaris doff n donner

Sigvaris Doff N’ Donner

Sigvaris’ revolutionary Doff N’ Donner system involves two components, a cone for rolling up the stocking and a sleeve for putting it on your arm or leg. If you spend precious minutes every day trying to struggle into your compression stockings, the Doff n Donner system could be the right choice for you.

Reasons to Invest in Donning Aids

So why might you consider getting donning aids, whether for yourself or on behalf of someone else? There are three main reasons that people usually buy a compression stocking donner:

They help elderly patients put on compression garments by themselves.

Compression garments can be hard to put on at any stage of life due to the tight, non-stretchy fabric. For older adults, mobility issues can further complicate the donning process, even though they’re often at the point in their lives when they most need to wear compression socks or sleeves. If you have an elderly patient or loved one in your life, donning aids can help them put on compression gear by themselves and maintain a bit of independence while still getting the benefits of compression.

They extend the life of your garments.

Compression socks and other products are compromised if you stretch out the material as you put it on or catch the fabric on your fingernails as you struggle to pull it up. Donners and slippies ensure that you don’t unnecessarily distort the material as you don the garments, while the gloves protect the fabric from snags. While donning aids can certainly be an investment in and of themselves, they also work to protect your investment in compression gear by prolonging the garment’s life.

small denovonner

They ensure patients wear compression gear properly.

Investing money in compressions socks and sleeves doesn’t do you much good if you don’t wear the garment properly or if you don’t wear it at all because you can’t put it on. If you struggle to put on compression garments, it can be hard to stay motivated to wear them properly, but a compression stocking donner makes the process much easier and reduce the room for error. Donning aids make sure that you or your patients wear compression garments properly so you or they receive maximum benefits.

Choosing the right donner for your needs isn’t always an obvious process. That’s why our Ames Walker customer support staff is always happy to help with any questions you have about your order, from donning aids to the compression stockings themselves. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us about picking the right donning aid for you!


About the Author

Kaki Zell - Vice President of Sales, Marketing, eCommerce at Legs-4-Life LLC Kaki holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She’s been working in the medical device industry for over 11 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greensboro Science Center.  

Written March 2019 | Page last updated May 2022


MedlinePlus. “Latex Allergy” 

ScienceDirect. “Donning Devices (Foot Slips and Frames) Enable Elderly People with Severe Chronic Venous Insufficiency to put on Compression Stockings” 

ShareCare. “What are the Symptoms of Mobility Impairments?” 

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