Review of Harkla's Weighted Compression Vest

Has your child been told by a professional that a compression or weighted vest could help them focus, deal with anxiety, or do better in school? While the practice of using these tools is somewhat new for children, "calming vests" have been used for pets for a while. The mere act of feeling hugged can have a profound effect on people, too.

Harkla, a brand we already trust for weighted blankets and other calming products (and a company we have an affiliate relationship with) just released their weighted compression vest line. They sent us a sample of the Large size for our sons, and here's what you can expect from one.

First, this size of vest works for my kids ages 11-13, but my kids are on the slender side. I can also fit into this vest, which is very adjustable, although it doesn't come down as far on my abdomen as it does for kids. The compression feeling is very adequate, however, and the additional weight keeps the vest in place and feeling more snug. It also allow for the deep pressure or "Deep Touch Pressure" that kids who need to self-regulate might find more pleasing. 

The vest can be used with or without the weights; these are entirely removable and can be adjusted up or down for what feels best to the wearer. Note that the weights are included in the price, so you don't need to them. Currently, I don't see any additional weights sold separately. 

The children's compression vest is easy to take on and off, thanks to the completely open sides. It's easier to put on with help, however, so I would recommend an adult be there to do the adjusting. Once you figure out how it best fits your child, you can remember the placement of the velcro and adjust it the same each time. Older kids can presumably get used to putting one on themselves after they figure it out.

As far as how long to wear the vest? That's up to you, the child, and your professional. Positive effects are experienced immediately upon putting the weighted pressure vest on, for kids who like the feeling. Keep in mind that everyone is different. If your child experiences feelings of claustrophobia, or the vest makes them more anxious, this may not be the tool for you.

20 minutes has been a common amount of time to get a calming feeling from the vest, refocus, and get on with the day. Because the vest is so slim, it could be worn under a coat or a sweatshirt if you wanted to wear it outdoors.

As with any tool, use it with care and listen to your child. I love the quality and flexibility of this vest. I would recommend it to anyone who has been advised to give a weighted or compression vest a try. Since you can tighten it to your liking, and adjust the weight, it is a good value to families who want two vests in one. You can buy all sizes of the vest directly from Harkla here.


What's the difference between weighted vests and compressions vests?

While these products are technically two different things, the Harkla vest in this review offers both functions. It applies pressure through gentle compression and offers a heaviness to give an additional sense for those who like weight (like a weighted blanket.) When deciding between a weighted vest vs compression vest, figure out what needs your child has. Or, don't choose at all! This vest offers both in a high-quality product. 

Do they make weighted compression vests for adults?

While Harkla doesn't currently offer weighted compression vests for grown-ups, they do exist. Shop around to find a reputable dealer that offers products with a money-back guarantee.