3 min Read

DDA Tech Review: Blots

Tech Review Summary

Category: Device

Sub Category: Sensory

Producer: Speks

Cost: ~$35.00 (varies with vendor)

Product Summary

Blots Silicone Stress Balls are produced by Speks – a company that has provides a series of stress-relieving desk toys. Speks advertises the Blots series as “satisfyingly squeezable desk toys” with the intent that they are to be moved and manipulated as a strategy to reduce stress. Blots are referred to as desk toys, stress balls, and fidget toys on the product website with the perceived target demographic being neurotypical users (or undefined users) needing a tool for stress and anxiety relief. Blots are made of 100% soft textured silicone and come in 3 different shapes: the Slammer, the Splotch, and the Splatter.

Star Ratings
Adaptability:Some Personalization Possible ★★★☆☆
3 versions of Blots are available in different shapes, but all are produced with the same materials and are approximately the same size.
Accessibility:Suitable for Almost All Users ★★★★★
Blots do not pose a choking hazard and are easily cleaned using a clean, damp cloth.They may not be a preferred sensory experience for all users, but they do not have any obvious barriers for use.
Cost vs. Value:Worthwhile Expense ★★★★☆
As a sensory tool, Blots are on the more expensive end of the typical price range but are extremely high quality and have stood up to intensive testing.
Overall Rating:★★★★☆
Final Word

Blots are unique in the way Speks has primarily advertised a sensory tool to a mainstream, neurotypical audience. Sensory supports can be a useful resource for anyone – we all have sensory systems and sensory needs! However, the language used to describe Blots (as stress balls and fidget toys) implies use for specific purposes. Stress balls typically are squishy, manipulable items designed to be pressed and squeezed to relieve stress through the release of serotonin. Fidget toys can come in a wide variety of forms but are generally interactive in nature and meant to reduce anxiety and restlessness – typically advertised for use by youth or individuals with ADHD. Sensory tools or items are intended to stimulate one or more sensory system (ex. touch or sight) and are most often designed as self-regulatory supports for neurodivergent individuals. But there are no significant differences between any of these 3 categories other than the implied intended user – sensory supports can be used by anyone, including Blots.   The Slammer is teardrop-shaped with a loop on the top.

It is great for users who like a firm squeeze or to bounce this Blot against the palm of their hand for more intense proprioceptive (pressure) input. Out of the 3 Blot designs, the Slammer is best suited for individuals with poor fine motor control who may have difficulty holding an item while manipulating it. The Splotch can best be described as a wiggly, 6-spoked cogwheel around a central sphere. It fits well in the palm of the hand and can provide gentle tactile input between fingers. It can also be used for visual/kinesthetic input by holding a single spoke in each hand and rotating the Blot forwards and back using its own momentum as a driving force.

The Splatter gives the greatest variety of input. It is designed as a central sphere with 32 short arms splattering outwards in all directions. Spin it, squish it, pull it, or slam it – it provides fantastic input for the busiest of hands, though could be over stimulating for some users.   Regardless of whether you refer to them as stress balls, fidget toys, or sensory tools – Blots are a high quality hand-held sensory item suitable to almost all users. Though they come with a slightly higher price tag than typical, it is reasonable for the product you are receiving, and I would recommend any of the Blots collection (or all 3) as a solid addition to your sensory toolkit.