Most of us take for granted something as simple as opening a door but for people with arthritic conditions and weak hands, this can be a difficult and painful task. I contacted the gracious people at Great Grips about their Door Grippers and they recently sent to me some of their Great Grip Door Knob Grippers to review. I also received a set of the Great Grips Red and Blue Faucet Grips. Before I offer my review, I would like to let you know more about Great Grips and the company’s founder and inventor of Great Grips, Patrick Going.
ABOUT GREAT GRIPS
Twenty years ago, Patrick Going had an idea for make doorknobs easier for people with arthritis, weak hands and other disabilities. Now with the help of a research team at the University of Colorado Springs, the older versions have been updated and look much sleeker and last longer. According to Going, the older versions were functional, “but it didn’t have the durability and the looks.”
In 1989, Going was the director of the southern Colorado branch of the Arthritis Foundation when he and a friend of his, Bill Youmans, pulled together a plan for Great Grips. They thought the costs would only be around a couple thousand dollars and the idea would only take a month to create. However, it took more money and time than the two men thought it would, and at one point, according to Going, they “we were in the hole $100,000,” but that did not stop them from selling over 1.5 million Great Grips.
About a year ago, Going started to think about ways he could change Great Grips. After much time and coordination, they came up with a newer model that, according to Jess McClure of MIND Studios, is “just light years better.” With a new design, they started to evaluate more economical production ideas. The new grips are made of silicone whereas the older ones were made of thermoplastic elastomeric. Silicone material allows ink to stick on the covers and a company can imprint their logos and other information on the grippers and this way, they are more useful to companies wanting to advertise and wanting to give away the grippers. Newer models glow in the door so you can easily find the door in a dark room so it offers a great safety feature. They are slightly higher in price but there are still reasonably priced.
Great Grips Door Knob Grippers meet the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Accessibility Guidelines §4.13.9 for Door Hardware which states, “Handles, pulls, latches, locks, and other operating devices on accessible doors shall have a shape that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, tight pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. Lever type devices are acceptable designs.” The test they are referring to is called the “closed fist” test. Further, the new ADA/ABA Standards for Accessible Design §404.2.7 states that door hardware has to be operable with closed fist or loose grip. Great Grips offers and meets those standards with a price to most people can afford.
Some awesome facts about Great Grips
• They are easy to install. Depending on hand strength, you may need some help.
• Great Grips can be stretched to 300% of their original size. They fit small interior household doorknobs to industrial high-traffic styles. You can wet them a little before installing to make stretching a bit easier.
• Great Grips are made of a soft & comfortable latex-free material for allergies are not a concern.
• Great Grips can insulate against both hot and cold.
• Great Grips eliminate shock from door knobs when installed.
• Great Grips offers a 30-day return policy.
Since I had an opportunity to review the door grippers and faucet grippers, I can say some great things about the Great Grips products. Despite the fact that my hands were hurting on the day I put the grippers on my doorknobs and faucets, I did not have a problem putting them on once I wetted the insides. Opening doors and faucets became much easier especially on those days where my hands were hurting bad.
The only real quirk I had was that my toddler also had easy access to the doors with the grippers on them. Opening doors suddenly became a snap for him and believe me, he was enjoying it. I decided that I could not have the Great Grips on all the doors if I wanted my toddler to stay out of specific closets and rooms. Now, if they would make doorknob grips that were easy to open for my arthritic hands and could still keep my toddler out.
I received three doorknobs grippers, one that had an ADA logo on it, another with no design but the Great Grips name on it, and third that was glow in the dark model, which I really liked considering I have become an absolute klutz since my diagnoses. I can see the door handle in the dark thereby minimizing a chance of less than graceful incident. The Great Grips people also sent me the faucet grips, which really helped out when turning faucets in my bathroom.
Both the door and faucet grips are also reasonably priced starting at $7.95. You can purchase 20 clear or grow in the dark grips for $60.00. In addition to price, the new clear Great Grips offer an inconspicuous look to any doorknob. They are easy to install and the soft material stretches to fit the knob. The material is durable and can clan be cleaned in your dishwasher. Since the grips are easy to install and remove, you can take them with you anywhere, for example, on vacation.
Great Grips also offers a home modification kit for $16.95 which it makes it easy to enjoy Great Grips in key places throughout your home. The kit includes two clear Great Grips and one glow in the dark grip, and one set of Hot and Cold color-coded Great Grips for use on your faucets.
As far as I am concerned, aside from accessibility for my toddler, I love my Great Grips. And these are the reasons:
• They are convenient and safe to use.
• They are easy to install because they slip over any round door knob and allow the user to open with very little effort.
• They are made of latex free rubber so allergies are not a problem.
• They meet ADA guidelines for people with disabilities.
• They are available in clear or glow in the dark color.
– Clear feature is sleek and unnoticeable.
– Glow in the dark ones makes it easily to find your doorknobs in the middle of the night.
• No static shock.
• Great Grips offers a money back guarantee.
***Update: I forgot to mention the easy open packaging and you all know much I hate calmshell packaging so when I received these, I was relieved that I was able to open them without a long drawn out battle with my hands and whatever torture instruments I could think of. The Great Grips products have easy to open packing so in addition to the assistance they provide, they are easy to open and install. Let’s not, of course, forget the reasonable pricing options.
I was not paid for this review. Great Grips sent me some samples to review. The opinions expressed belong entirely to me. Thank you Great Grips for allowing the opportunity to review your products.