Thursday, November 30, 2023

Comfytemp Weighted Heated Vest: AD - A Sponsored Review


Disclaimer: I have been given Comfytemp Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief as part of a product review. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

Chronic pain is, unfortunately, not uncommon amongst those of us with chronic illness and with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, we often have abdominal pain at the very least. However, part of my Abdominal Migraine is torso pain that extends to the top of my shoulders as well as neck pain due to degeneration in my cervical spine. It was with these thoughts that I looked forward to testing the 

This specific weighted heating pad by Comfytemp fits like a cropped jacket, zips in the front, and has adjustable straps for the sides and arms so that the vest is adjustable to fit sizes Small, Medium, and Large with the arms adjusting up to 16 inches and the chest adjusting up to 47 inches. There is heating in the neck, shoulders, arms, and full back and the heating pads of the vest in the shoulders and upper back are filled with micro-glass beads. This vest is electric; the electrical cord with control is detachable from the vest to allow for machine washing, although I did not test wash the vest.

I have never used a weighted blanket before and although weighted blankets have been shown to aid with anxiety reduction and other benefits, I have panic attacks when I feel confined by fabrics and when something is too near or too tight around my neck. For this reason, I don't believe I would like a weighted blanket as I have become anxious even when only using a heavy comforter. The first time I tried on this specific Comfytemp Heating Pad, straight out of its packaging, I experienced a panic attack upon fully zipping the vest as the collar was touching my neck too much for my comfort level. However, when I straightened out the vest while I regained my composure, I have been able tolerate the vest without experiencing anxiety since, even when napping with the vest on. 

Due to the attached electrical cord during use, it would not necessarily be easy to sleep for long periods while wearing the vest as the cord is attached to the left side of the vest. This would not necessarily be an issue for someone who does not move a lot in their sleep and is sleeping on the correct side to prevent from laying on the electrical cord. Lying on the cord does not impede the vest from functioning properly, however, I do not like to lie on cords when sleeping, I move a lot in my sleep, and I often require using the restroom during the night, sometimes urgently. When I wore the vest while napping, it was after a full day of work and my left shoulder blade was particularly hurting. I looked forward to wearing the vest in attempt to reduce my shoulder and back pain. While lying on my left side with the vest on, I adjusted the side straps to keep the vest's heated pads that are filled with micro-glass beads as close to my back as desired. I was able to fall asleep and when I awoke from my nap, my back and shoulder felt immensely better from the heat. I have worn the vest in this manner on more than one occasion for pain in the same shoulder/upper back area with similar results each time.

The vest has 9 levels for heat with a timer option that ranges from 30 minutes to 9 hours for automatically shutting off the heat. I tested all 9 heating levels and found that the vest heated rather quickly but was not a searing heat that would be considered painful even on bare skin. When reducing the heat level, it took a few minutes for my body to register the difference in temperature, but I was able to notice a difference as I increased and decreased the temperature through all 9 levels. 

What I don't like about the vest is the arm straps. I understand the reason for them to allow for a wide range of arm sizes to fit the vest arms and to secure them, but I found them cumbersome and awkward for putting on and off the vest - something my other family members who tested the vest also voiced. The Velcro straps felt uncomfortable if they weren't aligned properly to prevent touching the skin, I couldn't simply remove the vest as I had to unstrap the Velcro straps from one another and at times, I had difficulty putting on the vest because the Velcro straps were attached to different parts of the vest and kept reattaching before I could put the vest fully on. Instead, I would prefer a thin, soft, loose fabric on the underside of the arms of the vest to fit more naturally like an article of clothing.
My parents tested this vest as well. My mother often times is cold and thoroughly enjoyed wearing the vest. So much so, I believe my father is purchasing one for her. My parents both found it to be "fairly comfortable" and felt the warmth of the vest around their neck, upper chest and shoulders particularly. They found it a "bit confusing to put on initially" and reported "big gaps on the side when adjusted". My mother has chronic pain but was not experiencing any pain while testing the vest for a weekend. However, she stated she thought the vest would be helpful in reducing her pain had she been experiencing any pain in those areas of the body during her trial test. My father particularly thought the vest would be nice to wear if working a desk job or while lounging.

My partner, Mike, also tried the vest. He has chronic nerve pain in his neck that at times also radiates into his shoulders and upper back. Mike found the vest to be on the uncomfortable side as for him, he really needed a larger size. He was able to zip it up completely, although I was surprised by this. He said that it heated quickly, and the warmth felt nice. However, once he became too hot he did not want to turn the heat level down to allow the warmth to dissipate to a more comfortable level - he stated he was too hot to wait for that. His shoulders and back were not hurting when he tested the vest although I suspect the heat may have been helpful with pain there for him, had he been having any during his trial periods. He primarily has pain in the back of his neck and did not feel that the collar of the vest provided any pain relief for him. Part of this reason though was because the collar did not stay up against the back of his neck enough for the heat to be of any potential use. Mike said that he wished that the vest was battery operated so that he could wear it without being limited to one space and especially to be able to wear it outside. 

Oddly enough, I remember thinking several months ago about how I wished there was a heating pad product that was not just a regular heating pad but instead could stay close against my back and move with me in different body positions without having to readjust the heating pad placement. I did not think such a thing existed, it never even occurred to me to do a search for such a type of heating pad. But now I'm aware of such items available through Comfytemp and I am thoroughly impressed with the variety of heated items Comfytemp has available. Overall, I am very pleased with and would recommend the Comfytemp Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief vest and will be wearing it regularly, in fact I am wearing it as I finish this review.

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