Preference of lid design characteristics by older adults with limited hand function

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Although opening jars is problematic for older adults, little is known about the best interface design for jar lids.

Purpose of the study

To evaluate preferences in current and new lids for persons self-reporting difficulty with opening jars.


Participants were twenty-six older females with hand pain. Preference ratings were obtained for twenty-four current and forty-two new lid designs of different sizes, shapes, and textures.


Current lids with taller heights, larger diameters, and textured sides were preferred. Texture compensated for limitations of shorter and smaller diameter lids. Preferred characteristics in new smaller diameter lids included taller height, non-circular top shapes, and concave side shapes. Taller height, regardless of shape, was preferred for new medium diameter lids. Least preferred for small and medium lids was the short height, traditional circular shape.


The preferences of jar lids made by elderly females with hand pain support the recommendations commonly suggested by clinicians to increase the height, diameter, texture, and shape of jars, especially for lids smaller than 40 mm.

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