The table below gives a snapshot of the best adaptive utensils for arthritis, if you are looking for a quick overview. Or you can scroll down for detailed reviews.
Last update 2020-07-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
“Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.”
– Emily Dickinson
To have a delicious, well-cooked, nutritious meal is one of those joys of life whose value can only be understood by those who struggle to get it. Especially when it is lying ready, in front of them. But the struggle to bring the food from the plate to the mouth is so humiliating that it becomes a chore that you dread every day. Yes, we are talking about patients of arthritis who can sometimes struggle to reach the food on their plate to their mouths.
Here, adaptive utensils for arthritis come handy. Adaptive utensils, as their name suggests are adapted to the unique needs of their users. Arthritis, one may be surprised to know, is not a single disease. It is a collection of more than 100 diseases and syndromes that cause joint pain. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children are afflicted with one or the other form of arthritis.
One of the most debilitating forms of arthritis is weakness or loss of dexterity in the hands. This can take many forms, such as shaking hands, difficulty in gripping things, loss of strength to be able to pick up objects, difficulty stabilizing a utensil and many others.
Different kinds of adaptive utensils for arthritis
Adaptive utensils for arthritis can be of many different kinds. These include weighted utensils, bendable flatware, spill proof cups etc. All of them have a common objective – to help food reach from the table to the mouth in a dignified and safe manner.
In this writeup, we will discuss our top picks for adaptive utensils for arthritis. Since this is a vast topic, we bring to you the best product from each category.
Best Weighted Utensil – BUNMO Weighted Cutlery
First up – a set of utensils which allows you to continue to eat with cutlery that does not appear to be any different than a normal fork, knife and spoons.
Each utensil in the BUNMO weighted utensils set (of a knife, a fork and 2 spoons) weighs more than 7 ounces, therefore making a great set of utensils to hold and control using shaking or trembling hands. Another special feature about the utensils is the deep spoons which help to prevent spilling
The set of utensils looks and feels just like a regular set, and comes along with a handy chef style travel bag for easily taking with you wherever you go. The material used is rustproof stainless steel.
- Heavy to use, perfect for trembling hands
- Deep spoons to avoid spillage
- Look and feel just like normal utensils
- Easy to carry bag
- Dishwasher friendly
- The utensils can be too heavy for some people
Best Non-Slip Handle – Pulse Non-Slip Flatware
Another solution for hand tremors, this time slightly less discrete: Non-weighted, non-slip silicone handle ended utensils (set of 4, again). The idea here is that the large, non-slip (textured) handles are easy to grip and will avoid spilling of food. Also due to the large size, they help prevent tremors in the hand.
Each utensil is made from food-grade silicone and high-quality stainless steel. The set carries a money-back guarantee as well.
The handles come in 3 colours – grey, black and red and the set is safe for dishwasher use.
- Large handles for easy pick up and use
- Come in multi-colours
- Avoid spilling of foods
- Fork tines are squared off, making it difficult to dig into thicker meats
- Spoons could have been made deeper
- The utensils can be too heavy for some people
Best Utensil Padding – Vive Foam Tubing
One way to go about it is to convert your old cutlery into arthritis-friendly utensils. This can be done by adding the right-sized tubing to the rear end of the utensil.
The Vive Foam Tubing pack consists of 9 sets of foam tubing that can be adapted to various types of utensils, pens, pencils, combs, silverware, toothbrushes and more! here we will focus more on the utensils part though.
These foam tubings have a soft but non-slip grip which does not absorb odours from the food and is easy to wash (both by hand and by the dishwasher)
The product comes in 12-inch sizes, so you can cut them as per requirement and based on the item to be picked up.
There are three distinct types of foams, one with a 1.9cm hole, the second with 0.9cm hole and the last one with 0.6cm hole in the middle. Each type of foam has its use – the largest one is best for knives and thicker utensils, the middle one is best used for spoons and forks, and the thinnest is more apt for other things such as toothbrushes, pens, pencils etc. The product also comes with a 60-day unconditional guarantee.
- Multi-sized, multi-coloured for several uses
- Soft but non-slip grip
- Dishwasher friendly
- Easy to cut up as per need
- The smallest diameter foam does not fit toothbrushes/pens easily
- As the neck of utensils is thinner than the end, the foam can sometimes have a wobbly effect
Best Utensil Holder – Sammons Preston Universal Cuff
The universal cuff eliminates the need to use the handgrip for holding items, thus circumventing the problem of trembling hands and weaker grip entirely.
The cuff fastens around the wrist, and it carries a small pocket where a utensil or other items can be fitted. This makes the utensil perpendicular to the hand while using, making it a lot easier to eat
The leather cuff is soft and comfortable to wear. It has an elastic band which holds it perfectly to the grip of the hand.
Best Bendable Cutlery – Mars Super Easy Grip Flatware
Bendable utensils have a twist built into their shafts which allows them to bend at an angle to the handle. The person holding them does not have to perform the difficult step of bending his/her hand to eat food.
The Mars Wellness 3 piece set (knife, fork and spoon) is completely bendable on either side and also has a special ergonomically designed non-weighted, ribbed and textured grip for holding the utensils easily.
The utensils are made with premium quality stainless steel and are dishwasher friendly.
- Easy to bend yet sturdy and durable
- Wide, ribbed and textured grip for easy holding
- Customizable bending action to suit the needs of all
- Can be a bit short for some people
- At 10.4 ounces, the weight is a bit much for people with very little hand strength
Best Offset Spoon – Sammons Plastisol Coated
In some cases, it is difficult for arthritic patients to get food into their mouth without making a jerky or biting motion at the end when they are putting the food in their mouth.
The stabbing motion can cause injury to the mouth, teeth or gums and lips. Plastisol coated spoons are useful in reducing the extent of injury in such cases. At the same time, these spoons protect those users who may have temperature sensitivity.
The Sammons Preston bendable plastisol spoon combines the benefit of both a bendable spoon as well as plastisol coating. It has a 4.5-inch long handle with 1- 0.75-inch diameter and has a lightweight and durable grip. It is BPA and phthalates and latex-free.
The spoon comes in various options – left offset, right offset, spoon or spork. You can choose the best option as per your need.
- BPA, phthalates and latex-free plastisol coating
- Available in multiple options
- The handle may be too large to eat comfortably.
- Expensive as compared to other option
Best Spill-Proof Mug – Independence 2-Handle
For persons with weak or trembling hands, sipping their morning coffee or hot cocoa in the evening is an arduous task that requires extreme concentration.
Regular cups are heavy to lift, open at the top (thus prone to spilling) and can be held only by one hand – making them difficult to balance.
This spill-proof, clear cup has several advantages built into one: It is clear, so you can see the contents at all times. It has handles on two sides for picking up easily and is extremely lightweight (only 4.8 ounces).
It has two types of lids -a straw holder and sipper. It can be used for both hot and cold liquids, is BPA, phthalate and latex-free and is very economical!
- Easy to hold and use, lightweight, clear and multiple handles
- Spill-proof lids (either straw holder or sipper)
- BPA, phthalate and latex-free
- Some users have complained the cup may not entirely spill-proof
- The material tends to crack over time
Best Rocker Knife – T-Grip Rocker Knife
Rocker knives are easy-grip knives for people who have difficulty controlling a normal knife. The handle holding the knife is parallel to the knife itself, which is made in a crescent shape and used in a to and fro motion.
The T-grip rocker knife is made from stainless steel, designed with smooth edges to avoid cuts. It features a comfortable rubber handle with non-slip grip.
The utensil is easy to clean both by hand and dishwasher and can be used both with an underhand and overhand grip
Adaptive utensils give confidence and ease while eating. We hope that this list gets you started on finding the correct adaptive utensil for arthritis, as per your needs. If you are a caregiver, you should like our article on how to make your elderly parents more independent.
We have covered other adaptive equipment that an elderly might need. As a caregiver, you will appreciate having a lightweight transport wheelchair to help facilitate movement within the confines of a building or a home. For those who like to be outdoors, we have reviewed power wheelchairs and rollator walkers for for outdoor use.