If you’ve ever tried to use a blanket or throw with a wheelchair, you know the struggle:
- Too long
- Too short
- Gets caught in the wheels
- Slides off the lap
- Too bulky
Blankets can keep you warm and comfortable. They help to maintain circulation and help to keep those aches and pains caused by cold at bay. Wheelchair blankets also offer you or your loved one a way to maintain some modesty and dignity. It isn’t always easy to adjust clothing while sitting in a wheelchair. A blanket keeps you confidently covered.
The fact is, when it comes to blankets for wheelchairs, just any old blanket won’t do. You need something that will keep you warm but also not become a lesson in blanket-wrestling.
It’s surprising to a lot of people but there are actually blankets designed specifically for use with wheelchairs. Before you buy another blanket, check out our tips for finding the perfect wheelchair blanket.
Choose the Right Blanket for the Job
Choose a blanket specifically designed for use with a wheelchair. You may love the blanket on your bed, but it isn’t a great choice for a wheelchair. Standard blankets are designed to use on beds making them way too big and bulky to safely use with a wheelchair. Think about how you or your loved one will be using the blanket. Is it mostly for travel? Will you be out and about, possibly needing something water repellent? Do you live in a warmer climate? Look for a blanket that meets the user’s most important needs.
Choose the Right Size
You want something that is large enough to sufficiently cover you, but not drag on the floor or get caught in the wheels. When choosing a wheelchair blanket, the most popular size is about 36-39” wide by about 42” long. As with most products, size will vary a little bit by manufacturer. Wheelchairs vary in size too. If your loved one has a larger wheelchair, you may want to choose a blanket that is a bit wider. The important thing is to be mindful of length so that the ends of the blanket don’t get caught in the wheels. Not sure? Take some rough measurements and look for something with those general dimensions.
Choose the Right Weight
Some blanket materials can be really heavy and too warm, making them uncomfortable. Look for a blanket that is made of lightweight, breathable fabrics that provide warmth without being uncomfortable. If you live in a colder climate, look for materials like fleece. If you live in a warmer climate, look for a “summer weight” blanket. For example, waffle-weave or “honeycomb” fabric is a comfortable, breathable fabric perfect for lighter weight blankets.
Look for No-Slip Options
One of the biggest challenges with wheelchair blankets is that dreaded “slip”. Not everyone has the ability to hold a blanket in place. Even if you can hold it in place, why would you want to? Look for blankets with straps or fasteners that attach to the wheelchair to hold the blanket in place. Straps or fasteners ensure that your blanket will stay put and not end up in the wheels.
Look for Pockets
Who doesn’t love pockets? Some blankets have pockets that can help to keep needed items close by. Some blankets have a lap pocket. A lap pocket gives your loved one a place to keep their hands toasty warm.
Look for Flexibility
How will you or your loved one use the blanket? Wheelchair blankets are great for indoor use but are also great for times when you or your loved one are away from home. If you tend to be on-the-go, look for a wheelchair blanket that can easily go with you. For people who travel, look for blankets that travel well. Lighter weight materials tend to be more foldable, easier to pack, and easier to use on planes, on buses, or in cars.
Look for Easy Care
Let’s be honest, life is messy. Blankets get dirty. If you’ve ever washed a blanket, you know how cumbersome that chore can be if the blanket is made from heavy fabric. When choosing a wheelchair blanket, look for materials that are easy to care for, machine washable and dryer friendly.
Aside from being practical, wheelchair blankets make a thoughtful gift for someone you love. At Classy Pal, we offer several wheelchair blankets that are practical and beautiful. With several styles and colors to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect blanket for you or your loved one.