There is uncertainty regarding the most satisfactory technique of lower limb compression following sclerotherapy for varicose veins. We have compared a standard bandaging technique with a high pressure compression stocking in a randomised trial. Efficacy was judged on the success of injections, complications of the treatment and patient satisfaction. In the stockinged legs 144 of 156 injections were successful, compared with 117 of 147 in the bandaged group (P less than 0.001) (Chi squared). The incidence of superficial thrombophlebitis was also reduced in the stocking group. In addition, the stocking technique costs less in materials than conventional bandaging. We would recommend compression stockings for evaluation in sclerotherapy of varicose veins.