The best dressing stick

Apparel

If you feel that the rod of the dressing stick isn’t textured enough to provide a secure hold, make your own grip. Use a hot glue gun to place dots or ridges around the area you hold most often.

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Which dressing stick is best?

For some people, it’s a struggle to manage the everyday task of dressing, including pulling up a zipper or putting on a coat. Dressing sticks help you maintain your independence by cutting down the time and effort needed to dress yourself.

Dressing sticks have a simple yet ingenious design of a rod with hooks at opposing ends. The S-shaped hook is ideal for pulling up zippers or socks, whereas a C-shaped hook helps you slip on clothes and adjust the fit around the shoulders. There are also specialty dressing sticks available, with tools instead of hooks, as well as deluxe sets with other assistive devices for everyday living.

If you’re considering a dressing stick, we invite you to learn more about them with our buying guide. Our top pick, the RMS Royal Medical Solutions’ Mobility Tool for Moving and Dressing, is a 28-inch dressing stick that comes with additional accessories that are helpful for hip- or knee-replacement patients.

Considerations when choosing a dressing stick

Length

Dressing sticks should be selected based on your height. If you’re 5 feet 2 inches or shorter, 24-inch dressing sticks are ideal. Individuals up to 5 feet 10 inches fare best with standard styles, which are 26 inches long. Tall individuals should opt for extra-long dressing sticks that are 28 inches long.

Material

Dressing sticks are made from plastic, metal, or wood and aim to be lightweight. Metal dressing sticks are usually hollow. However, their design means the hooks and tools may pop off. Plastic sticks feature rounded edges but are susceptible to snapping. Wooden sticks hold up to heavy use, though their metal hooks can become dislodged or screw off.

Coatings

Some dressing sticks feature vinyl coatings to eliminate sharp edges that can cause injury or damage clothing. Unfortunately, the thin layer is enough to make the dressing sticks a bit too thick to successfully manipulate smaller zipper holes.

There are also dressing sticks that feature hooks with rubber coverings. This detail provides enough resistance to make sure clothing and items won’t slip off the hook.

Grip

Some dressing sticks are equipped with foam grips so they don’t slip from your hand. Foam grips also provide a more comfortable hold, especially when you’re trying to put on challenging garments.

Dressing stick features

Push-and-pull hook

This hook assists with putting on and removing jackets, skirts, pants, or shoes. These hooks can consist of a single crafted metal piece or can feature a wire that is designed to help with buttons.

S-hook

Instead of a push-and-pull hook, some dressing sticks feature an S-hook. Some users feel they’re easier to manipulate, especially when lifting or pulling clothing like socks or pant legs.

C-hook

At the opposite end of most push-and-pull hooks or S-hooks are C-hooks. This much smaller hook is tiny and narrow enough to pull zippers and shoelaces. Depending on how long the dressing stick is, the C-hook can also be used to pull hangers off high racks.

Shoe horn

If you need help putting on your shoes, opt for a dressing stick with a shoe horn. This tool typically takes the place of the C-hook. More often than not, shoe horns on dressing sticks are made from metal or molded plastic.

Dressing stick price

Basic plastic or metal dressing sticks cost around $10. If you’re looking for dressing sticks measuring at least 26 inches or those made from wood, expect to spend closer to $16. For $20 and above, you’ll find speciality dressing sticks, as well as those packaged with other assistive accessories.

Dressing stick FAQ

Q. Do I need the additional accessories in a deluxe dressing stick kit?

A. It depends on the tools in the kit and what kind of assistance you need. Most deluxe kits are designed with other everyday tasks in mind, including showering or reaching for items. They have specialized accessories as individual pieces, which you might find more helpful than fumbling with a traditional dressing stick.

Q. How can I prevent the metal hooks from popping off my wood dressing stick?

A. Some users recommended screwing them into place tightly and sealing the site with a layer of hot glue or super glue. While it’s not a perfect solution, many find that it helps hold hooks in place reasonably well.

Dressing sticks we recommend

Best of the best

RMS Royal Medical Solutions’ Mobility Tool for Moving and Dressing

RMS Royal Medical Solutions’ Mobility Tool for Moving and Dressing

Our take: Top-rated kit includes all assistive accessories needed, including an extra-long dressing stick.

What we like: Includes a 32-inch magnetic reacher. Stick has ergonomic handles to provide a comfortable, secure grip.

What we dislike: Some bonus accessories aren’t always needed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

RMS Royal Medical Solutions’ Deluxe 28-Inch Long Dressing Stick

RMS Royal Medical Solutions’ Deluxe 28-Inch Long Dressing Stick

Our take: A 28-inch dressing stick with vinyl-coated hooks. Popular for taller individuals.

What we like: Lightweight yet well-made. Bent push-and-pull hook is convenient and easy to manipulate.

What we dislike: Too much weight or tension can warp hooks.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Blue Jay’s Dressing Stick

Blue Jay’s Dressing Stick

Our take: A two-in-one dressing stick with a shoe horn at one end and S-hook on the other.

What we like: The 24-inch stick means no more bending. Foam-covered handle with a comfortable grip.

What we dislike: Hooks might be too thick for some zippers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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