Carrying food and drinks can be challenging with limited mobility and dexterity issues. Thankfully, with the Tipsi Tray, a one-handed no spill tray, you can easily move cups, mugs, plates and crockery independently without risking dropping or spilling anything.
Here, we share everything you need to know about the Tipsi Tray and how it is the best single-handed product for disabled people on the market.
Buy the Tipsi Tray one-handed no-spill tray for £35.95 on the Disability Horizons Shop
What is a Tipsi Tray?
The Tipsi Tray is an ingenious one-handed no spill tray that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It is made to help you carry with one hand, no matter how shaky your hands are or how difficult you usually find it to carry items safely on a traditional tray.
It was designed by entrepreneur Robert Simpson and demonstrated on BBC’s Dragon’s Den in 2021. Since its appearance on the show, the Tipsi Tray has become a very popular product and as it stands, Disability Horizons is currently the only retailer with Tipsi Trays in stock.
How does the Tipsi Tray work?
The Tipsi Tray is designed to be carried one-handed and ensures items remain steady and level. You should carry the tray by your side rather than in front of you. This means you can always see your feet whilst walking.
The Tipsi Tray is incredibly level and stable, meaning you will never spill your drinks again! It works on the simple physics principle of centripetal force. When the tray is held in the hand, items on the tray sit far below the centre of rotation.
When the non-slip tray is moved around, the contents remain still on the tray as the centripetal force overcomes the force of gravity.
On top of that, the tray is made from a polyurethane rubberised coating, which provides a firm grip on plates and glassware. Simply put, items on the tray stay flat and level relative to the handle.
3 accessible Tipsi Tray action ideas
The Tipsi Tray is designed to make life easier for anyone who would benefit from using a tray one-handed. The unique design allows easy use for those with balance problems, dexterity issues and disabilities – such as Parkinson’s disease or cerebral palsy – which makes carrying a standard, traditional two-handed tray a lot more difficult, or even dangerous.
Here are three accessible ways you can use the one-handed no spill Tipsi Tray in the home and when dining out:
1. Carrying food and drinks in the home
The Tipsi Tray is perfect around the home for the afternoon tea run or single plate.
Using this one-handed tray in your home means you can use your other hand to hold banisters, open doors or use a walking stick when walking through the house with food and drink.
2. Hosting dinner parties and barbeques
At 14 inches ad weighing 1.5kg, the Tipsi Tray would be ideal for serving food and drinks at dinner parties or barbeques. It has enough surface area for a dinner plate and a drink or up to eight to nine glasses or mugs.
Again, using this one-handed tray means your other hand is free to open doors and walk through the house with ease to the dining room, lounge or garden to serve your guests.
In addition, if you fancy showing a party trick to your family and friends, the Tipsi Tray can be spun around overhead with a drink on top – as demonstrated on Dragon’s Den (Be warned – it is an extreme skill and not part of its intended use!).
3. Dining out at cafes, restaurants or events
The Tipsi Tray handle is completely removable, allowing easy storage and taking it away with you.
For instance, if you go to a café, restaurant or event that serves refreshments, you could use your Tipsi Tray to collect food and drink from a buffet, canteen or bar independently and make your way through crowds safely.
Meet the designer of the Tipsi Tray
Southampton entrepreneur Robert Simpson appeared on Dragon’s Den to try and secure investment for the Tipsi Tray in 2021. The prototype was built by his grandfather Andrew Townson in Yorkshire in the early 1980s, to help him carry food and drink around his house.
Robert exclusively shared with us how the Tipsi Tray developed into the modern, versatile device it is today:
“After my late grandpa used a primitive balance serving tray for years and seeing how much it helped him I knew I had to develop and improve the design to help others the way it helped him.
I began work on Tipsi Tray, the Single Handed serving tray designed to make life easier and safer in the home and hospitality industry.”
Robert also told us about his appearance on Dragon’s Den and how the business has grown since:
“What an experience [Dragon’s Den was], despite not receiving investment in the Den I came away from the experience with a hugely positive attitude. Sara Davies sang my praises and I didn’t actually see much value in their potential investment.
The retail market isn’t what it was when Dragon’s Den was more popular and having ‘doors opened’ is no longer the priority for brands going on the show.
Ecommerce is where the future of retail is and that’s why we try to sell only online through trusted retailers like Disability Horizons.
He added: “Tipsi Tray is a vast improvement on what was previously available on the market. Weak plastic single-handed trays were commonplace, uninspiring and based on ancient designs.
I wanted contemporary, classy and something that wouldn’t look out of place in a modern kitchen. You can see for yourself in the stainless steel design of the Tipsi Tray.”
Watch Robert Simpson demonstrate the Tipsi Tray on Dragon’s Den:
Alternative one-handed trays
With the Tipsi Tray being a popular product and selling fast, we, fortunately, have a couple of alternative one-handed trays that could benefit your independence too.
From January 2023, Disability Horizons received the very first batch of the new Topple Trays, a brand new and improved design of the Tipsi Tray, which is much smaller, lightweight and portable.
Weighing in at 750 grams (26 ounces), this no-spill tray is 55% lighter than the original Tipsi Tray. The Topple Tray is easier to carry and more functional with a comfortable stainless steel handle.
Rather than removing the handle, the Topple Tray has a folding and locking handle that folds down on top of the tray and locks in an upright position simply by sliding the tube down into place. When folded the Topple Tray is thin and easy to store and when the handle is upright, is strong and secure. The Topple tray was also designed by Robert at Single Handed Products and was created specifically because many people find the Tipsi Tray too heavy, particularly older and some disabled people.
This single-handed carry tray uses an ingenious design that keeps the centre of gravity at a lower point and the movement of the cups and liquid to such a minimal level you’d have to try very hard to spill anything!
The Swinging tea tray uses a four-cord design to equally distribute weight across all four corners of the tray. As long as all four cords are being grasped, the tray will remain completely stable. The ultra-strong cords are available in three colours, black, white and grey. (subject to availability)
The Buckingham Walking Frame Caddy is a simple walking frame attachment that fits onto most standard non-folding wheeled walking frames.
It combines both the functions of a trolley tray and basket allowing you to safely carry items around your home while still using your walking frame. This reduces the risk of falls and accidents.
The Tipsi Tray is available to buy on the Disability Horizons Shop.
By Disability Horizons
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