A little extended reach can go a long way. Use of a grabber reacher tool can allow those with mobility issues to pick up a dropped remote, throw out a used can, or reach items at the far end of a cabinet or high shelves without assistance. A grabber can make everyday activities, from cooking dinner to cleaning up, possible and safe for people with limited reach.
We’ve researched the most popular grabbers and reachers available, using manufacturer specifications and users’ real-life experiences to select several of the best. At the end of the list of top picks, we’ve also included a buying guide to help you choose an appropriate mobility aid for the senior in your life.
The Best Grabber/Reacher
This highly rated adjustable grabber from Bed Bath & Beyond is perfect for seniors to use in the home or yard—basically, anywhere a hard-to-reach item may be! It’s very versatile! Available in blue and silver, this lightweight reacher has a grip handle that’s comfortable on older hands and grooved pinchers for easier retrieval.
- Wide jaw opening of 5.5″
- Tight grip
- Higher price point than many competitors
- Strong and sturdy construction to pick up heavy objects
- Grabber can be turned horizontal
- Adjustable pole length
- Brand: HealthSmart
- Model: 4336313163
- Weight/Dimensions: 1″ D x 4″ W x 30-44″ H
While the Ettore Grip’n Grab is somewhat light on features, it’s a well-made, easy-to-use product at an affordable price. It’s available with either a 32-inch or 50-inch arm, and both models feature an articulation head that turns 90 degrees. The rubber tips on the jaws allow for precision control, and the aluminum construction is both lightweight and durable for daily use.
Though this tool offers more reach than others we reviewed, the Grip’n Grab’s long aluminum frame is more likely to bend (and, eventually, break) than heavy-duty models. Also, while the grip is comfortable, it’s not quite as soft as some of the other options on this list, so frequent use could lead to comfort issues if the grabber needs to be used frequently to reach places or with heavier items.
- Textured rubber grips allows user to pick up small items
- Multiple length options for different applications
- Sleek profile allows it to fit into tight spaces
- Grip isn’t as comfortable as some other options
- Aluminum arm may bend over time
- 90-degree articulation head with rubberized jaws
- Capable of holding objects up to 5 pounds
- Lightweight aluminum and plastic materials
- Brand: Ettore Products
- Model: 49036
- Weight/Dimensions: 33.5 x 4 x 5.2 inches (32-inch arm model), 0.56 pounds
The main appeal of this reacher is its foldable design, which allows for easy storage. The extra long 32-inch arm is long enough for most applications, and the aluminum alloy construction is dependable enough for light use (though we don’t recommend using it to lift heavier objects).
The textured tip provides accuracy when grabbing small objects, and the full-hand grip is an improvement over a straight trigger grip, since you’ll use your entire hand to squeeze the claw closed. However, the handle is bare plastic, and squeezing it closed requires a strong grip so it could be uncomfortable for some users.
- Folding arm makes this a convenient option for occasional use
- Rotating head turns in 90-degree increments
- Capable of holding objects up to 5 pounds
- Light materials can’t hold larger objects
- Length is not adjustable
- Grip trigger is useful, but not especially comfortable
- Lightweight design with aluminum alloy construction
- Foldable design for easy storage
- Textured rubberized tip for handling small objects
- Brand: ZAYAD Direct
- Model: 4336313163
- Weight/Dimensions: 17.7 x 5 x 1.6 inches (folded), 0.53 pounds
Rather than a claw-like hand, this grabber has a thin head that fits easily into small spaces. The trade off is that it’s not quite as intuitive as some other reachers, but with a bit of practice, it’s no less capable. It features a magnetic tip and a post for hooking items. A clip towards the top of the arm attaches to bed rails, walkers, canes, and wheelchair arms for easy storage.
While aesthetics aren’t a major consideration with reachers, this product probably won’t win any fashion awards; the bright yellow plastic and exposed aluminum aren’t exactly elegant design choices. Still, the workmanship is solid, and while the materials are heavy duty, the grabber itself is fairly lightweight and easy to maneuver.
- Metal post allows users to hook items
- Clips to canes and walkers
- Has a textured gripping jaw with magnetic tip
- Head does not swivel
- Not as intuitive to use as other grabbers
- No padding on grip
- Magnetic tip helps to find small metal objects
- Clips easily to walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids
- Lifetime limited warranty and a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee
- Comes in a 2-pack
- Also available in a 26-inch model
- Brand: Royal Medical Solutions, Inc.
- Model: BD17221
- Weight/Dimensions: 32 x 4 x 1 inches, 0.84 pounds
This reacher might qualify as a niche product, as it’s specifically designed to pick up smooth objects; the jaws have two secure rubber suctioning tips, which attach to lightbulbs, glasses, and other objects without damaging their surfaces. The jaws close tight enough to pick up smaller items, but the suction cups don’t entirely replace the need for larger multi-purpose jaws.
With that said, this is an ideal choice for handling small, more delicate objects, and the 32-inch arm provides plenty of reach without adding too much weight. The lightweight corrosion-resistant aluminum helps to reduce arm fatigue during regular use, and Vive offers a lifetime money-back guarantee.
- Suctioning tips are perfect for smooth items
- High-quality aluminum materials provide durability without adding weight
- Comfortable grip includes a built-in hanger
- Will likely need a second grabber for other types of objects
- 32-inch length might be slightly short for some applications
- Unique suction-cup tip picks up smooth objects with ease
- Ergonomic trigger handle provides plenty of gripping power
- Lifetime money-back guarantee against defects in craftsmanship
- Brand: Vive
- Model: LVA1001
- Weight/Dimensions: 32-inch arm, 0.4 pounds
Unger’s Nifty Nabber from Amazon seems designed primarily for outdoor use, given that it has an ultra-strong gripper and quite a bit of exposed metal surrounding its large rubber jaws. That doesn’t mean that it’s less effective for indoor use, but it is slightly less nimble than some other models. This tool also comes in two length options and is one of the longer models we reviewed.
A built-in magnet towards the tip is useful for picking up small metal items, and the grabber’s powerful enough to lift larger objects. The one significant drawback is the reversed grip, which isn’t quite as comfortable or easy to use as a more traditional trigger-style grip.
- Can handle heavier items with ease
- Strong gripper with magnetic tip
- Available in 36- and 48-inch models for extended reach
- Reversed trigger grip may be uncomfortable for some users
- Gripper head is in a fixed position
- Lifts objects up to 8 pounds
- Built-in magnet for grabbing keys, nails, and other metal items
- Lightweight aluminum pole
- Brand: Unger Industrial LLC
- Model: 92134
- Weight/Dimensions: 36 x 2.6 x 3.9 inches, 0.13 pounds (36-inch model)
Our Best Reacher Grabbers Guide
Reaching assist tools certainly aren’t a one-size-fits-all purchase. You’ll need to consider your senior’s mobility challenges carefully, along with the unique features and specifications of the product in question. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when looking for a grabber pickup tool.
Start by identifying the user’s needs and challenges. What is the functionality needed? Is the user having trouble with out of reach items in the back of the pantry, or do they need to pick up items off the floor? Do they use a wheelchair? Will they need to keep the reaching aid near them at all times?
Questions like this will help guide you to a particular model. They suggest features like reach length, gripper texture for a secure grip, and maximum weight for the items that need to be picked up. When in doubt, start with a particular task and a tape measure. Find the distance between the upper shelf and the user’s maximum reach, for instance, and you’ll have a good idea of what size grabber to look for.
The goal is to allow your loved ones to pursue the activities they enjoy with limited assistance. There’s even evidence that the use of low-cost assistive technology, like a grabber, can improve emotional security and safety in older adults!
Include the user in the purchase decision as much as possible. In one study, occupational therapists looked at the top reasons their patients weren’t using adaptive equipment following hip replacement surgery. They found that, too often, the user of the equipment isn’t included in making the choice. Even when surgery isn’t involved, the implication is that people are more likely to use assistive equipment (including a grabber) when they pick it out for themselves. An article like this one is a great place to start. Caretakers and seniors should discuss the options listed above to make the best decision for their particular needs.
Look for ergonomic handle grips designed for maximum comfort. People are more likely to use their grabbers when they’re comfortable, of course. Look for non-slip handles that are padded, coated with an anti-slip covering, and—perhaps most importantly—sized for the user’s hand.
For users with reduced grip strength, be sure to look for models with lightweight, full-hand triggers. A two-finger trigger is fine for lots of people who use grabbers, but for those who struggle with grip strength, a full-hand trigger will be an easier and more comfortable reaching tool.
Also consider what items your loved one needs to pick up on a regular basis. Those who have trouble with keys, coins, or other metal objects would benefit from a tool with magnetic tips fo easy lifting. Other tools we reviewed have suctioned tips for handling delicate glass items (perfect for around the house), or textured grips for sturdier items.