5 Best Stabilizing Spoons for Parkinson’s & Tremors

Stabilizing spoon

I watched my grandfather struggle with Parkinson’s Disease so I know that adaptive devices like stabilizing spoons can make all the difference in your quality of life. I’ve done the reading and comparing so I can break down the best stabilizing spoons for tremors.

See the end of the article for more information on adapting to tremors. It stability is an issue, check out my post on shower seats.

What Are the Best Stabilizing Spoons?

Gyenno parkinson's spoon and charger Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Really works to counter tremors
  • Can buy a fork attachment
  • Automatically activated by movement
Price: $189.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Silverware set Amazon Customer Reviews
  • They look just like normal silverware
  • Weighted handles lessen tremors
  • Dishwasher safe
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Liftwear spoon set Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Smart device counters tremor movement
  • Spoon, fork, and spork attachments
  • Automatically activated by movement
Price: $199.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Black handle adaptive silverware Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Easy to pick up design
  • Dishwasher safe
Price: $22.85 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
silverware with thick black handles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Wide easy-grip handle
  • Food-grade silicone and stainless steel
Price: $13.69 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Gyenno Steady Spoon

    Pros:
    • Smart device counters tremor movement
    • Can be converted to a fork (sold separately)
    • Six-month satisfaction guarantee
    • Automatically turns on and off with use
    • Slowly learns your tremor and adapts
    • Medical grade materials
    • 3 hours of use on one full charge
    Cons:
    • Cost can be a deterrent
    • Not a miracle for extreme tremor
    • Needs to be regularly charged

    Probably the best stabilizing spoon option on the market is the Gyenno Steady Spoon. It’s an electronic smart utensil that uses stabilizing technology to sense the movement of your tremor and then move in the opposite direction which ultimately keeps the spoon more stable.

    You really have to see it to believe it so check out the video below to watch it in action. 

    The smart device can distinguish between purposeful movement and tremor and over time learns the patterns of your tremor to better counter the shaking so it’s the sort of thing where if it doesn’t seem perfect at first, give it a few more tries as the device learns more. 

    I love that there are no settings to mess with. When you pick it up it automatically begins to stabilizing your movements and when you set it down it goes into sleep mode to conserve battery. A full charge on this wireless spoon can last around three hours so while you’ll likely have to charge it regularly, you can still get several meals out of a single charge.

    The spoon comes with a charging dock and cord. There’s also a separately sold fork attachment for the Steady Spoon to expand the foods you can eat with it. 

    The major downsides are that the large handle is great for some folks but it can be bulky for others. Also, it doesn’t look like a normal utensil so if self-consciousness is an issue, it will help with the tremor but still not pass for a regular spoon out in public.

  2. 2. Vive Weighted Silverware

    Pros:
    • Won't stand out like more obvious adaptive utensils
    • Weighted handles help reduce tremors
    • Dishwasher safe
    • Stainless steel
    • Comes with fork, spoon, deep soup spoon, and knife
    • Can help folks feel more normal
    Cons:
    • Not for advanced tremor
    • Could be too heavy for some
    • Weighted may work for Parkinson's more than Essential Tremor

    One trick to counter-acting a tremor is to add weight. The shaking is significantly less when holding heavy items than when you’re holding something lightweight. These weighted silverware are designed to use their heft to lessen tremors.

    The set comes with a fork, teaspoon, extra-deep soup spoon, and a knife that is half smooth and half serrated as a sawing motion tends to work well for folks with tremor. They are dishwasher safe and made of long-lasting stainless steel.

    Maybe the absolutely best part about them is that they look like normal silverware. Adaptive tech is fantastic but so often it can really call attention to itself when you’d rather it blended in. These utensils from Vive won’t make you stand out the way other more obvious spoon stabilizers do. 

    That makes them great for use in restaurants–places a lot of people who have difficulties eating often avoid because you can feel singled out and more observed. 

    They aren’t perfect for everyone as weighing down a spoon handle can only do so much for advanced tremors, but they’re still worth a try for those with less extreme tremors or even just as your dining out silverware set.

    Sometimes it’s impossible to put a price on feeling normal when you’re dealing with a change in your abilities. 

  3. 3. Liftware Steady Starter Kit

    Pros:
    • Smart device learns your tremor patterns over time
    • Electric movement cancels out tremor
    • Attachemnts are dishwasher safe
    • Spoon, fork, and spork options
    • They provide sheet to predict if Liftware will be helpful
    • Includes small charging dock
    Cons:
    • Price can be a deterrent
    • Not a miracle for extreme tremor
    • Must buy other attachments separately

    The Liftware Steady is another smart device that takes the same technology cameras use for image stabilization and applies it to a spoon. The mini computer in the handle of the spoon recognizes your tremor and moves opposite to attempt to cancel out the shake. The company launched back in 2013 so they’ve been at this a while and have a few different designs including the Liftware Level.

    It will learn your tremor patterns over time so, in theory, it will work better the more you use it. There are no settings to worry about with this one either as it turns on automatically when it senses movement and then turns off when not in use. 

    I like that the charging dock for the handle is very small and that the spoon attachment is dishwasher safe. You can also buy a fork attachment and spork attachment separately which is nice.  

    As with anything, how much the Liftware is effective depends on your level of tremor and I like that they include a chart that quantifies your level of tremor and predicts how helpful the Lifeware will be for you. Click through to their seventh image here for the sheet.

  4. 4. Celley’s Adaptive Eating Utensils

    Pros:
    • Dishwasher safe
    • Stand makes them easy to pick up
    • Weighted to reduce tremor
    • Serrated knife
    • Easy-grip handle
    • Stainless steel
    • Affordable
    Cons:
    • Lighter than the Vive set (could be a plus)
    • Not enough for moderate to severe tremor
    • Bulky

    This affordable option uses weighted handles to reduce the level of tremor which can be effective for mild to moderate tremor. The neatest thing about these is the little lip at the top of the handle that makes them sit at an angle when you put them down.

    Their little permanent kickstands make them so much easier to pick up than silverware that lays flat because you can quickly get your fingers under them. These are a good choice if you have trouble gripping and holding onto your utensils but don’t have a severe tremor. 

    They’re weighted but at about half the weight of the Vive set for a good middle ground. I like that they are dishwasher safe and that the knife is serrated for easier use. 

  5. 5. Non-Weighted Adaptive Utensil Set

    Pros:
    • Wide easy-grip handles
    • Dishwasher safe
    • Non-weighted
    • Made of food-grade silicone and stainles steel
    • Textured grip
    Cons:
    • Not for moderate to severe tremor
    • Mainly for folks who have issue gripping small silverware
    • Not going to cut it for most folks with tremor

    Having a disability is expensive. I get it. I live it. So if you need to see if the cheaper option is good enough to get by, consider non-mechanical easy-grip utensils. 

    If the tremor is light enough or gripping traditional silverware is difficult, this might take the edge off, but these are not a good fit for moderate to extreme tremor. 

    The wide, textured grip is made of food-grade silicone and is non-weighted for folks who are dealing with limb weakness making it easier to hold. I love that these are dishwasher safe because our lives are busy enough as it is.

    This is a good option for people who are constrained by budget and who don’t have a very extreme tremor.

While it wasn't a tremor, I've had bouts with my autoimmune disease that left me unable to bend my fingers at all for months, making feeding myself extremely difficult. While it shouldn't be, it's embarrassing to need help with these simple, everyday things.

As a cane user and wheelchair user in the past, adaptive technology is important to me and I know full well how much it can help.

Different tremors and different needs

There are many different types of tremors but I'm going to focus here on Parkinson's tremor and Essential Tremor

Parkinson's Tremor occurs is the majority of folks with Parkinson's and is unique in that it is considered a "resting tremor." This means the tremor is triggered when that part of the body is at rest.

This is why someone's hand my shake when resting in their lap but the tremor is reduced when they move their hand to pick something up. As a result, movements like lifting a spoon to your mouth that are slower or involve pausing can be affected. 

For resting tremors, movement countering devices tend to have the best success. 

Essential Tremor is a condition where the tremor general occurs during action and is better at rest. This still puts action like mealtime at a disadvantage since they hover right in the middle between movement and holding something still.

With Essential Tremor movement canceling devices are often quite effective but weighted utensils can also help reduce tremor. 

Keep in mind that a lower portion of people with Parkinson's can also have an action tremor along with the more typical resting tremor.

Other techniques for minimizing tremor

Do what you can to de-stress. I know you're probably feeling more stress than ever right now with the frustration and possibly embarrassment, but getting more riled up only makes the tremor worse. 

Do your best to be gentle with yourself where you are and take some deep breaths when you're feeling overwhelmed before you try again.

Forget what Miss Manners taught you and eat with your elbows on the table. That extra support and stability can go a long way to reducing tremors.

In addition to stabilizing spoons, take advantage of other adaptive tools like Scoop Plates designed for folks with coordination issues and No-Slip Placemats for keeping plates in place.

For more information check out the Parkinson's Foundation Mealtime page and the Tremor Fact sheet from the NIH.

See Also:

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