Best electric wheelchair

Medical Supplies & Equipment

For indoor use, make sure your chosen electric wheelchair is narrower than your doorways.

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Which electric wheelchairs are best?

Wheelchairs allow their users to get from point A to point B with a freedom that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, but there are still individuals who have trouble operating a manual wheelchair or aren’t able to operate one at all.

In this case, an electric wheelchair is a preferable choice, allowing people to get out and about without needing someone to push them. Our top electric wheelchair is made by Innuovo and is a solid FDA-approved choice. Read our guide for electric wheelchairs and to see our three favorite options.

What to know before you buy an electric wheelchair

Travel vs. full-size

First, consider whether you want a travel-size electric wheelchair or a full-size model. Travel models are more compact and lightweight than full-size electric wheelchairs. They’re usually foldable so they can be packed up for use at different locations, which is convenient if you want to go on an outing with a friend or family member who doesn’t have a vehicle set up to accommodate an unfolded wheelchair. Full-size electric wheelchairs are best for day-to-day use, especially for long-term or lifelong wheelchair users. They tend to be more comfortable and have a better range of features than travel models.

Drive type

Choose between front-wheel, mid-wheel, and rear-wheel drive. Front-wheel-drive models are great for maneuvering in tight spots but aren’t particularly fast-moving. Mid-wheel drive electric wheelchairs are the easiest to maneuver so they’re great for indoor use, but they’re not great over rough ground. Rear-wheel drive options are swift and highly stable on all terrain, but not particularly maneuverable.

Battery

Lithium-ion batteries are the most common choice in new electric wheelchairs since they’re powerful and long-lasting. The batteries on an electric wheelchair should charge quickly and be easy to change. 

What to look for in a quality electric wheelchair

Controls

Electric wheelchairs are usually controlled by a simple joystick, but you can find models with additional adaptations to accommodate the needs of different users.

Seat

The seat of your electric wheelchair should be comfortable and well-padded to avoid pressure points. Some models feature a headrest.

Armrests and footrests

Armrests and footrests tend to come as standard with electric wheelchairs, but not all are created equal. They should be adjustable for the comfort of people of different heights. You may also prefer a wheelchair with removable armrests and footrests if you don’t use them all the time.

How much you can expect to spend on an electric wheelchair

Electric wheelchairs aren’t cheap, but in some cases your insurance provider covers all or part of the cost. You can find some basic travel models starting around the $1,000 mark, but the quality doesn’t tend to be great. You need to spend at least $1,500-$2,000 for a quality lower-end model and as much as $3,000-$5,000 for a high-end full-size model.

Electric wheelchairs FAQ

Q. Is there a weight limit for electric wheelchairs?

A. All electric wheelchairs have a maximum weight limit, which varies depending on the model you choose. Standard travel or full-size electric wheelchairs usually have a maximum weight limit of between 200-300 pounds, but you can also buy bariatric models, which have higher weight limits and are designed with the needs and comfort of the larger wheelchair user in mind.

Q. Can I recline the seat of my electric wheelchair?

A. Reclinable seats can help to relieve pressure, provide comfort, and aid in the ease of some personal care. Some electric wheelchairs allow you to recline the seat, so be sure to check before buying if this is a feature you require.

What electric wheelchairs are best to buy?

Top electric wheelchair

Innuovo Intelligent Foldable Electric Wheelchair

Innuovo Intelligent Foldable Electric Wheelchair

Our take: If you want a foldable electric wheelchair, this is a fantastic choice combining comfort and maneuverability.

What we like: The updated joystick steers incredibly, while the electromagnetic braking system brings you to a halt quickly and easily. A well-padded seat provides comfort on the go.

What we dislike: Small wheels and solid tires aren’t great on rough ground.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top electric wheelchair for the money

Porto Mobility Ranger D09

Porto Mobility Ranger D09

Our take: A foldable chair that is a great choice for travelling.

What we like: It’s easy to fold for transportation and has comfortable seat cushions that are also easy to remove to clean or to fold the chair.

What we dislike: Not really weatherproof.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Pride Mobility Jazzy Heavy Duty Power Chair

Pride Mobility Jazzy Heavy Duty Power Chair

Our take: A solid full-size choice that’s great for day-to-day use. It’s certainly not the cheapest model, but it’s worth the money.

What we like: The mid-wheel drive makes this electric wheelchair extremely maneuverable. It has a great suspension, and the dampening system alleviates problems with vibrations.

What we dislike: It’s not a portable option.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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