* This post is written by one of our volunteer content creators - it is not sponsored. *
Once you become dependent on the use of a wheelchair, it is natural to feel as if you are giving up an element of your independence and identity. I particularly struggled with the fact that my chair didn’t exactly represent "me", as it was boring - but what could I do to customise it? To my surprise, I quickly discovered many wonderful ways in which we can personalise our wheelchairs, so I decided to highlight my favourite ideas in a trio of blog posts! My first instalment showcased a variety of wheel adaptations, whereas this post is all about wheelchair blankets, covers, and cosies. Most specifically, products that are available in a variety of size, styles, and colours!
NiCosy Wheelchair Blankets are made from a single sheet of hand-cut polar fleece, in a wide variety of colours and prints. You can opt to have an additional ‘soft shell’ waterproof layer if you are looking for a blanket that would be suitable for all weather conditions, but this is currently only available in over 70 colour/pattern combinations. Either way, you can purchase your own made to measure blanket via the NiCosy website, or order one of their standard-sized blankets, both of which are designed to attach to most wheelchairs with ease!
Upon speaking to the Managing Director Jane, she was kind enough to provide me with the following statement to provide further information about their products:
“The bottom of each blanket is left open as per the polar fleece so that people using mobility scooters can feel the platform, and of course, the snag-free Velcro seam makes it easy for people of all abilities to get in and out. Each Nicosy comes with an extra extendable strap so that it can be attached to different seats and not just a wheelchair. It can be used in a car, on an armchair, or even a recliner. They are also machine washable at a low temperature and are reasonably priced, which isn't too bad considering it will keep you warm for years to come.”
Now let's have a look at the BundleBean Wheelchair Cosy, shall we? This waterproof, fleece-lined product comes in two sizes (adult and kids), both of which are available in five different styles (plain black, blue and white polar bears, grey elephants, navy and pink flamingos [my fave], and grey metallic lightning clouds). These funky patterns also match their range of spoke guards that I mentioned in my previous post!
All the BundleBean cosy’s are waterproof, warm, and easy to transport in a matching stuff-sac! They have a decent-sized pocket designed to keep your hands warm, although it can also be useful for storing essential items. They also fit neatly on to most wheelchairs and can even be used without the user having to get in and out of the chair. They are easy to use with no fiddly fixings, non-restrictive and super cosy!
Kinetic Balance creates and produces a wide range of apparel for wheelchair users, including a line of Raindek Wheelchair Parkas, designed to keep your legs dry and warm in a stylish way. Available in a variety of styles, sizes, and colours, the Raindek also includes several discreet access features to ensure the user's physical requirements and personal preferences are met. For example, multiple leg straps, zips on both sides and easy to grab toggles!
The Raindek can be used in conjunction with most wheelchairs and does not require users to get out of their chair. Then after use, can be rolled up and transported in a small bag. They are extremely light in weight, come with large easy-access pockets and can be used in conjunction with other items from Kinetic Balances, such as jackets, jeans, and backpacks.
As you can see, NiCosy Blankets, BundleBean Cosy’s and products from Kinetic Balance are all designed to keep wheelchair users warm, yet they all vary in price, style, and ease of application. However, this means that there is something out there to meet everyone’s budget, ability, and design preferences! You can even mix and match these products to ensure you have something for every occasion or eventuality! Either way, you know now that you don’t have to compromise your style to stay warm!
I’m sure you could discover even more options online, which I would love to hear about in the comments! Alternatively, if you would like to chat about any of my ideas for customising your wheelchair with snazzy blankets and cosy’s, please feel free to leave a comment or message me directly via Instagram!