Calm Strips are discreet tactile fidget stickers that you can place on just about any surface. They can help people with a wide variety of mental health conditions and disabilities, including autism, ADHD, and anxiety, to improve their focus and cope with sensory overload, distractions, and stress. In this complete guide to Calm Strips and other sensory stickers, we will discuss some specific use cases and products that our community uses and recommends. I will also share some of my personal perspectives as an autistic adult with a special interest in stim toys, and explain why I think Calm Strips are one of the most versatile fidgets available today.
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Calm Strips Top 6 Picks (As Seen on Shark Tank + More Brands)
The Benefits of Calm Strips
Thanks to their popularity on Shark Tank, Calm Strips fidget stickers have become a go-to solution for people dealing with stress, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, PTSD, and more. Here are just a few of the many benefits they offer compared to other fidget toys you may have tried:
- Technology-Free: Sensory stickers are perfect for those moments when you need something to focus on but don’t want to get distracted by technology such as phones or tablets.
- Versatile: You can stick them anywhere, from the back of your phone case to on a water bottle, keychain, and anyplace else you can think of.
- Silent: Unlike fidget spinners and cubes, Calm Strips don't make noise. You can run your fingers over a sensory sticker without the risk of annoying those sitting next to you in a classroom or work meeting.
- Non-Distracting: Since they are silent and subtle, sensory stickers won't distract you or draw the attention of those around you.
- Appropriate for All Ages: Between Calm Strips and other brands, there are dozens if not hundreds of designs to choose from that can fit anyone's taste, from children to adults.
- Safe: If properly affixed to a large surface, tactile stickers are among the safest fidgets available, as they don't have small parts that could become a choking hazard.
- Low-Cost: Calm Strips are not expensive and can be purchased in bulk to be used in schools. Their versatility makes them well-suited for special education classrooms and inclusive classrooms.
While the concept of fidget tools in general is relatively new, preliminary research seems to support the experiences of people of all ages who find that they promote concentration and reduce stress.
Let's take a look at some specific ways fidget stickers can help you or someone you love.
Calm Strips for Autism Stimming
Children and adults on the autism spectrum (like me) engage in fidgeting behaviors, which our community calls stimming, as a way of processing sensory input and our emotions. Common autistic stims include hand flapping, rocking, spinning, hair twirling, chewing, humming, and playing with fidget toys. We stim when we're excited, happy, sad, anxious, or just because we feel like it. Stimming is helpful and necessary for autistic people, and most stims are healthy and harmless. Positive stimming should be encouraged, as it can help to prevent sensory overload and meltdowns that can lead to harmful stims such as head banging, biting, and self-injury.
Calm Strips are a safe stim for children with level 2 or 3 autism who might put other kinds of toys in their mouth or break them. They are equally helpful for autistic children who need a quiet and easy way to stim during classes, and adults on the spectrum who need to stim at work or in public without drawing attention.
Improving Focus in ADHD with Fidget Stickers
Children and adults with ADHD experience two primary struggles: distractibility and impulsivity. Sensory stickers can help with each of these issues in unique ways.
For people with ADHD whose minds tend to wander during classes or at work, running their fingers along a sensory sticker can anchor them in reality and help them stay focused. And unlike other fidget items, sensory stickers do not make noise and won't distract the people around those using one. The tactile stimulation of a textured sticker can help interrupt impulsive patterns and provide an outlet for movements that might be disruptive.
Calm Strips for Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and PTSD
Anxiety and PTSD can leave people feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from the world around them. Tactile fidgets such as sensory stickers can bring us back to the present and ground us in reality to help prevent or interrupt dissociation.
Many people who experience panic attacks struggle with shame and embarrassment, especially if they have experienced episodes while out in public. Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of, but having a subtle coping tool to use at work or school can help remove the stigma and elevate our self-esteem.
Sensory Stickers for Mindfulness Breathing
As someone who experiences both sensory meltdowns and panic attacks, mindfulness breathing techniques have helped me learn to prevent and minimize the severity of these episodes. However, when you're extremely overwhelmed, it can be hard to remember and follow the box breathing pattern, or even to breathe deeply and focus on your body. These Calm Strips are designed to be used in conjunction with breathing exercises during meditation or while experiencing anxiety or sensory overload. I have one on my laptop in the space next to the touchpad and have used it many times during stressful moments.
Calm Strips for Kids
Fidget stickers are available in many kid-friendly designs and easily stick to notebooks, desks, car seat trays, the backs of mobile devices, and anywhere else you or your child can imagine.
Bulk Fidget Stickers – Supplies for Teachers and Classrooms
All children, neurotypical and neurodivergent, have a natural need to fidget and can struggle to spend hours sitting at a desk without becoming distracted or disruptive. If you're a teacher looking for discounted bulk Calm Strips for your classroom, here are some options.
With so many benefits and options to choose from, Calm Strips are sure to become an indispensable companion for neurotypical and neurodivergent people of all ages. Ever since I saw them on Shark Tank, I knew they would be tremendously popular. Fidget stickers have helped me a lot, and I hope they'll help you too!
Did you see Calm Strips on Shark Tank? What are your favorite sensory stickers to use for yourself or your child?
Share your experience with our safe and supportive community in the comments.
Hey I'm Olivia and I'm a proud Autistic woman. My special interests are cats, stim toys, and electronic music! I love to write and help other Autistic adults find ways to enjoy life in this LOUD world!
Dr. Wilson graduated from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, IL. Dr. Wilson specializes in providing culturally competent and trauma-informed care to patients with physical disabilities. In addition to her private practice, she works as a science communicator, teaching health literacy to middle school and high school students in her local school district.