Relying on a best electric wheelchairs or other mobility device does not involve the limitations and high prices of before, thanks to the new era of electric wheelchairs.
Power wheelchairs are a completely different product in the mobile world and buying the right one means knowing exactly which features will make a difference for you.
Specs and features can be confusing if you’re looking for a wheelchair for the first time, so we’ve designed this comprehensive buying guide to make your search easier.
The best electric wheelchair should be reliable, comfortable, and offer convenience, but beyond these features, it probably has its own specific needs that need to be met, which is what makes each person’s quest so unique.
Here are the 10 Best Electric Wheelchairs.
Let’s take a look at the Best Electric Wheelchairs!
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Finding the best was next up on our list of challenges. After several hours of testing, we decided on a few models that we think are suited.
A Comparison of our Favorite Best Electric Wheelchairs
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Electric Wheelchair Buying Guide
Electric wheelchairs are also called power wheelchairs and motorized wheelchairs. They are a life-saver for people who have injuries on their legs and lost their mobility. People choose electric wheelchairs because they are not able to propel themselves. Some want to avoid injuries on their back that result from pushing themselves on a manual wheelchair too often. Caregivers also find it helpful to relieve the physical strain they might have from an un-powered wheelchair. Some simply just want to fully enjoy how much freedom an electric wheelchair can bring! What if you injured only one leg and just need a mobility aid for a short period of time? Go for a knee scooter instead.
Despite all the benefits of using an electric wheelchair, seniors or people with disabilities might hesitate to make the purchase. Understandably, there is a large selection of wheelchair models, brands, variations, pricing, and special features available for sale, it can get intimidating sometimes especially for beginners.
Electric Wheelchair Basics
To help you better understand electric wheelchairs, here we collected some terminologies often found in the product descriptions. They will make it easier for you to pick the right chair and make your shopping experience easier.
1. Turning Radius
The turning radius is the smallest u-turn that a power wheelchair can make. If you plan to use your wheelchair indoors or in tight spaces, you want a chair that has a small turning radius. A turning radius between 20” and about 35” is common. Bulky power chairs usually have large turning radiuses, but other factors like the angle of the footrest and the wheel drive can also affect the turning radius.
2. Front-, Mid-, & Rear Wheel Drive
Some people are confused about the difference between front wheel drive, mid wheel drive and rear wheel drive. So, all electric wheelchairs have four or six wheels. Among all the wheels, 2 of them receive power directly from the motor. The rest of the wheels, in other words, casters stabilize the power chair. Front wheel drive and rear wheel drive power chairs tend to provide the smoothest rides and handle outdoor terrain the best. While mid wheel drive power chairs usually offer the smallest turning radius and are perfect to be used indoors or in tight spaces. Consider which wheel drive to choose can definitely help you pick a power chair that is best for your needs.
3. Driving Range
A power chair’s driving range is the miles it can run consistently on one single charge of battery on smooth terrains. Range varies widely, from 8 miles to up to 25 miles. If you plan to travel long distances with your power chair, then prioritize the driving range factor. Additionally, the driving range will be shorter if it is for heavy users, or when the outdoor terrain is rough.
4. Weight Capacity
Take into account the weight of the rider and the weight of the personal belongings in the chair. The weight capacity should well exceed the total weight on the chair. It is crucial for safety that the chair can accommodate weight, so be sure to check the weight capacity of the wheelchair before purchase. Most electric wheelchairs can withstand a total weight of 250 pounds. If you are a heavyweight user, look for “Heavy Duty Power Wheelchairs” or “Bariatric Electric Wheelchairs”.
5. Portability, Disassembly, & Foldability
Many electric wheelchairs can easily fold or disassemble into smaller, separate lightweight parts. This feature works well when you need to lift the chair into or out of your vehicle. It is also convenient when it comes to travel and storage in a tight space.
For high-end, advanced electric wheelchairs, you can configure them according to your specific needs. For example, you can choose your seat, back, footrests, wheels, and other components of the chair for a perfect fit and optimal comfort. One thing to notice though is that the more you are able to customize a power chair, the more expensive it will be, and less likely can you return this chair after the purchase.
7. Warranty Limits
For electric wheelchairs, not all daily wear and tear will be covered by the manufacturers. Normally the metal frame of the power chair has the longest limited warranty coverage. Other parts of the power chair tend to have shorter limited warranty coverage. To learn about the warranty of a specific power chair, simply read the warranty agreement provided by the manufacturer. Additionally, when you see, for example, “2 years limited warranty”, it indicates the highest amount of coverage in the warranty.
How to Maintain an Electric Wheelchair?
Getting the right power wheelchair for your needs is important. This can be a significant investment but it will definitely be your ticket to mobility and freedom. To extend the lifetime of your power wheelchair, you need to treat it with proper care and maintenance. This can potentially reward your chair with more than 10 years of daily use. So, how to properly care for and maintain your power wheelchair? Here are just a few tips for you to follow.
1. Read the instructions on the owner’s manual carefully.
Note down the serial number of your chair and the phone numbers you need for after-sales service.
2.Keep your electric wheelchair dry.
Damp or wet conditions are not ideal and can seriously damage the chair, especially for the electrical parts. You should always try to:
- Avoid extreme weather conditions and store your chair in a dry place.
- Wipe up any moisture or spills immediately.
- Make sure your chair’s protective plastic covers and shrouds are secured in place.
- If your chair’s electronics get soaked wet, stop using the chair immediately. Dry it off and call a service professional for help.
3. Make sure your electric wheelchair tires are in good shape.
Tires play a critical role in an electric wheelchair’s performance, just like they do to your car. If you have solid tires, you don’t need to worry about getting flat tires since there is no air in them. Inspect them regularly for tread wear and you are good to go. On the other hand, if you have pneumatic tires, check the tire pressure regularly and replace them when needed. It is also best to keep a spare tire and inner tube handy just in case of a blowout.
4. Take care of the batteries.
Don’t store your batteries in extreme temperature environments. For example, don’t leave them in your steaming hot car for a long period of time in the summer. Don’t store them in a freezing environment. Besides, you can charge the batteries of your chair overnight and it will be ready for your next day’s ride. Avoid leaving your chair plugged in after it is already fully charged. Today’s electric wheelchairs usually come with smart chargers, they shut off automatically after the battery is fully charged.
One last point to pay attention to in terms of batteries is that you want to charge them from time to time regardless of whether you need to use the chair or not. So don’t store them all year long without recharging them. It is helpful to extend their lifespan by recharging them from time to time.
5. Replace broken parts when needed.
Stay familiar with your motor’s normal sounds so you will notice quickly if anything is different than how it normally should be. Replace the part if you think it is broken, cracked, frayed, or worn. Getting a part should be easy by contacting the manufacturer or seller.
Hope you find our electric wheelchair maintenance tips and guidance helpful!
What Are the Advantages of Using an Electric Wheelchair?
You control where you go
Electric wheelchairs are also called power wheelchairs, with one, you’ll no longer need anybody to push you around. It gives you the total freedom to go anywhere you want at any time! With a joystick, you control how the chair moves: when to set off, when to stop, when to go faster, and when to slow down the pace. Your caregiver or you will never have an exhausting trip again because electric wheelchairs never get tired as long as it has battery left.
Reduce injuries & incline easily
Moreover, you’ll never need to worry about injuring your arms and shoulders, or trying to propel yourself up to a hill and inclines with a manual wheelchair. When you get a power wheelchair that’s right for you, you’ll immediately find yourself happier in life because you’ve gained your mobility back! YAY!!
With all the advantages of getting a power wheelchair that meet your needs, what else is making you hesitate about purchasing one? Let me guess. Are you worrying that an electric chair is too bulky and heavy to move in and out of a car or for storage at home? Don’t worry about it! There’re a lot of chair models available in the market that are foldable/collapsible such as Forcemech Voyager R2. Some other electric wheelchairs that can be disassembled are CTM Mid-Wheel Drive Chair, Pride Go-Chair, and so forth.
How Do We Choose a Right Electric Wheelchair?
Electric wheelchairs are a modern innovation that can effectively help people with physical difficulty and senior people gain freedom. With the right electric wheelchair, many people can improve their lives, do daily chores, and enjoy their lives much better. Having an electric wheelchair is also beneficial for caregivers to reduce the physical burden from having to constantly push a non-motorized wheelchair.
Despite all the benefits of using a power wheelchair, it is important to find a suitable power wheelchair. There are so many electric wheelchairs available offered by different brands and it might confuse a lot of buyers/users. That is the reason why Mobilityseeker.com decided to write up this comprehensive review and guide to help with your purchase of a power wheelchair.
Here in this section, we will talk about how we selected the top electric wheelchairs to review and recommend.
We looked at product reviews everywhere to really learn about these electric wheelchairs with real user experiences. And then we filtered and picked the top electric wheelchairs to recommend to our readers.
– Electric Wheelchairs For Different Needs
The top rated electric wheelchair for some people is lightweight, portable, and foldable because users intend to travel with their electric wheelchairs. Some other people, however, are looking for a suitable power wheelchair for a heavy person or for riding on tough terrains. Some plan to ride the power chair indoor, some may want to enjoy their outdoor adventures with the chair. Therefore, in our review, we have specifically listed out which power wheelchair is the best for which occasions for your convenience.
Buying a battery powered wheelchair that suits you requires an investment of substantial time and money. A warranty can come in handy. For example, when the chair frame or a certain part wears out, you can always contact the seller to have it fixed for free. Most of the products have a limited lifetime warranty on the frame, and a few months or years limited warranty on other parts of the chair. Therefore, when we did our research, we eliminated companies that offer no warranty. Mobility Seeker strives to find the best motorized wheelchair for YOU.
Electric Wheelchairs FAQ
Shopping for a new electric wheelchair can be a lot of fun if you know what you’re looking for, but it can also be confusing if you’re new to this type of device.
Portability mobility accessories like electric wheelchairs come in all shapes and sizes which is why the search for the right one can be confusing.
To help you out, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions about electric wheelchairs to give you a rundown on what they’re all about.
ARE ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIRS COVERED BY MEDICARE?
Eligibility for a Medicare-covered scooter or wheelchair has become stricter in recent years.
Where once it was easier to get a prescription from a medical professional for an electric wheelchair now they are only given to seniors and others who meet the criteria of Medicare Part B and where it is medically necessary, otherwise a standard manual wheelchair may be offered.
HOW TO GET A WHEELCHAIR THROUGH MEDICARE?
In order to qualify for a wheelchair through Medicare, there are strict criteria that must be met and it must be deemed medically necessary to get one.
You must have a face-to-face appointment with your doctor or another qualified health professional and they will be able to write you a prescription for a mobility device.
This can then be taken to a wheelchair store or supplier for a discounted price on a wheelchair.
HOW DO YOU TRANSPORT A POWER WHEELCHAIR?
Most modern power wheelchairs have been designed for transport so they either fold away or disassemble into a smaller size.
Some compact wheelchairs are able to fit on airplanes and others are made for standard size cars, and they might collapse down into a smaller shape or have a few separate parts that can be disassembled.
HOW TO REPLACE BATTERY ON ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR?
A replacement battery on an electric wheelchair is usually organized through the manufacturer as they have specific requirements to fit the device.
It’s always best to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines when you purchase a new electric wheelchair to see what’s recommended before attempting to replace the battery yourself.
WHAT IS THE RANGE OF ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR?
All electric wheelchairs come with their own features and specifications, including the range which means how far they’re able to travel.
A standard electric wheelchair can go anywhere from a few miles up to 25 miles, and it depends completely on the quality and power capabilities of the device as well as the top speed and condition of it.
CAN YOU DRIVE ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR ON THE ROAD?
An electric wheelchair or standard manual wheelchair should not be driven on the road under any circumstances.
There are some instances where you’re able to travel with your electric wheelchair on a road, like a pedestrian crossing, but otherwise, it’s deemed unsafe for both the user and the other people around you.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MOBILITY SCOOTER AND ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR?
There are a few key differences between mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs, including the overall shape and wheels.
A mobility scooter uses a tiller and handlebars to steer where an electric wheelchair is operated with a joystick.
There are four wheels on a scooter compared to six or more wheels on a wheelchair, including two main wheels and four smaller ones.
WHAT ARE THE BEST POWER WHEELCHAIR BRANDS?
Pride Mobility: It is one of the highest and best leading brands for power wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and lift recliners. Pride Mobility products generally range between $1,00 to $5,000.
Drive Medical: It is the best option when you have to buy medical equipment. They have folding, standard drive, and heavy-duty electric chairs with a limited lifetime warranty. Their products fall in the $1,500 to $2,500 range.
ARE ELECTRIC POWER CHAIRS ARE AIRLINE APPROVED?
Basically, the type of battery operation decides whether the wheelchair is airline approved or not. However, many wheelchairs are approved for airline travel.
WHY ARE ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIRS SO EXPENSIVE?
Lots of research and mechanism goes into building an electric wheelchair. The machines are designed, researched, and made of the highest quality to offer you the best experience.
Once you add the price, you can see why the wheelchairs are expensive.
CAN AN ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR SUPPORT MY WEIGHT?
Most wheelchairs can accommodate a user’s weight of fewer than 300 pounds. However, there are many best electric wheelchairs for heavy person available online that can carry a weight of 330 pounds.