A weighted blanket is great when your child is at home or in their bed, but it’s not very portable for on the go settings like school and other activities.
A weighted lap pad works well in these circumstances if your child is mainly seated and not moving around. However, the most portable weighted solution is a weighted sensory vest.
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What Is a Weighted Sensory Vest?
A weighted sensory vest is exactly what you’re probably picturing. It’s a vest that’s worn like most vests, over or under the clothing on the upper body, and contains some form of weight to apply pressure on the body of the wearer.
Some weighted vests also fit snuggly and use compression like compression sheets for autism.
A Variety of Options
The vests come in different materials and styles. The weights are either sewn into them, or they have pockets for adding and removing the weights as needed.
They come in different sizes and many are adjustable with features like removable weights and velcro straps to accommodate a range of individual sizing needs.
What Is a Weighted Sensory Vest For?
Weighted sensory vests, like other weighted products, provide deep touch pressure (DTP) that is believed to create a calming effect and reduce restlessness and anxiety.
This has value for children trying to focus on tasks and achieve outcomes in the school setting and other similar situations.
Positive Anecdotal Reports
Like weighted blankets, studies are scarce and formal documentation of benefits is limited, but the anecdotal reports from parents, teachers, therapists, physicians, and the children themselves is mainly positive and encouraging.
Useful for Many Situations
A weighted sensory vest is useful for any situation where it will benefit the wearer, such as waiting rooms, social events, or appointments.
However, they are most associated with the classroom setting where some children find themselves feeling very restless and having difficulty focusing on immediate tasks like seat work.
Below, we’ve highlighted 3 top-rated weighted sensory vests:
1. Harkla Weighted Compression Vest
Highlights of the Harkla Weighted Vest:
Here are some highlights of the Harkla compression vest:
- The vest is made from soft and durable neoprene and breathable mesh for comfort.
- It combines weights with snug compression for a calming effect.
- It has velcro for adjusting the fit and pockets for the added weights, which can be added or removed.
- The entire digital library is included with your purchase for added support for your child.
- Recommended to be worn for short periods of time to start and to check with your child’s therapist for longer use.
- Comes in 3 sizes (small, medium, large), and they recommend measuring your child to get the best fit for their vest.
- Because of the material and construction, it can probably be worn underneath clothing to conceal it, if the wearer chooses to.
- Comes in 3 sizes
- Combines weighted pressure with snug compression
- Velcro to adjust size
- Made with soft neoprene and breathable mesh
- Includes a digital library
- Can add and remove included weights
- 1% of sales donated
- Plain style
- Sizing can be tricky for growing children
2. Fun and Function Weighted Compression Vest
The highly-rated weighted compression vest by Fun and Function is a valuable product because it combines weighted pressure with snug compression to produce a calming effect.
Highlights of the Fun and Function Vest:
These are the highlights of the Fun and Function weighted compression vest:
- It’s made from neoprene for comfort, extra durability and long-lasting use.
- There are velcro fasteners to adjust for a snug fit for the compression feature.
- The weights can be added or removed for individual preferences.
- There is a mesh insert in each side for breathability and comfort.
- It can be worn outside or underneath clothing, which is great if the person wants to conceal it.
- The manufacturer doesn’t recommend using it for more than half an hour at a time. However, some people report using it safely for longer periods. Check with your physician or therapist for advice.
- This product is recommended to be used under supervision, so it is not meant for sleeping at night.
- Comes in a wide range of 6 sizes (xx-small, x-small, small, medium, large, x-large).
- Comes in 6 sizes
- Made with neoprene and mesh for comfort
- Adjustable with velcro fasteners and removable weights
- Can be worn over or under clothes
- Combines weighted pressure and compression
- Plain looking without many style options
- Sizing can be tricky for growing children
The Fun and Function weighted compression vest is an affordable quality product. They also have other options that are popular and offer more style choices.
3. ZooVaa Weighted Vest for Kids
The ZooVaa weighted vest is another popular product for kids that is a good choice for smaller children. It doesn’t have larger sizes for teens and adults. This manufacturer also emphasizes quality and comfort.
Highlights of the ZooVaa Weighted Vest:
These are the highlights of the ZooVaa weighted vest:
- This weighted vest has a dark denim style exterior, with a soft plush lining for a good look in any setting or at special events.
- The weights are removable for individual needs and the pockets have a velcro flap for security.
- The vest is designed with a zipper for ease of putting it on or taking it off and the sides are elastic to adjust the size for a good fit.
- With removable weights, the vest is also machine washable if you take them out.
- The plush lining interior could create added heat for children who get warm easily.
- This weighted vest doesn’t have a broad size range for teens and adults.
- Stylish design
- Zipper closure
- Elastic sides for better fit
- Removable weights/velcro pocket flap
- Plush lining might be too warm
- No teen or adult sizes
A weighted compression vest might be just the portable option your child needs for getting out and about, where a weighted blanket or lap pad would not make the best choice.