Electric chairs nowadays come in different styles, offering varied features to provide utmost comfort and great independence to medical patients, specially-abled people, and others who require them. Thus, it is no surprise that as a buyer you can easily get confused about what kind of electric wheelchair will suit you.
This guide will not only list some of the best-motorized wheelchairs available in the market but also give you basic information on how to select the best option. It will highlight the factors you need to keep in mind before making the final purchase.
The basic function of any best electric wheelchair is to help you stay mobile and assist you in accomplishing essential domestic chores so that you don’t have to depend on a helper, or need a helping hand. You can make the best purchase by making a list of what you need as some people like to travel, and thus need a wheelchair which can be comfortably driven outside. Others who do not face a lot of problems and only require a wheelchair occasionally may prefer buying a simpler model.
The decision to purchase an electric wheelchair must not be taken lightly because an electric wheelchair can cost a lot and you sure want full value for our money. So, it is always better to research, gain more knowledge about different products, and then proceed with the purchase.
People who face chronic illnesses, for example, multiple sclerosis, knee or spinal cord injuries are not able to do basic everyday tasks with ease.
Using a manual wheelchair may solve their problem to an extent, but using it requires a certain amount of upper body strength, which can be quite challenging for some. People find using manual wheelchair exhausting and therefore they turn towards best power wheelchair.
Difference Between Manual Wheelchair And Electric Wheelchair
A manual wheelchair is easy to use because it is foldable and lightweight. It also costs less, and is versatile and transportable. An electric wheelchair, on the other hand, is not that versatile as compared to a manual one because it weighs more but it does offer other great features which make it a better option.
Also check – Best Lightweight Wheelchairs
It works wonders for those who have weak arms (like for those suffering from neurological disorders) as it does not require any upper body strength. It allows one to move without putting much efforts and it offers sundry seating options, for example; reline, tilt, or stand. It costs more as it works on battery.
Choosing one from these two options entirely depends on your individual needs, but if you are certain that you want to buy the best power wheelchair, then you are reading the right guide. The first section of our guide deals with some of the most important factors you need to consider before buying the best electric wheelchair.
Important Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Electric Wheelchairs
You may want to begin by assessing your needs first and then selecting the best electric wheelchair. The first step is to consult your doctor or physician and get to know about what you may personally require. It will also help you are able to get opinions from people who have similar conditions as yours. Since doctors, as well as, physicians regularly deal with many people facing similar conditions, you will be able to get the required information. You can also browse online and read articles or blogs which may offer some help.
Another important thing is to visit retail shops if you can, to try and test power wheelchairs to know which one suits you the most. There are a few factors which will help you more and make it easy for you to short-list some models. They are listed as follows:
1. Maximum Safe Working Limit (SWL)
Simply put, it is the weight capacity, as you need to consider what is the maximum amount of weight a wheelchair can support. It is definitely a crucial specification which needs to be considered because it will both affect its performance and the safety it provides.
Generally, electric wheelchairs can support 300 pounds and other models can support from 400 to 450 pounds. If you fall way below the weight capacity of a wheelchair, it is no cause for worry because there needs to be a notable gap between the user’s weight and maximum support capacity of the device.
2. Dimensions Of The Motorized Wheelchair
Wheelchairs are meant to give maximum comfort and make domestic tasks easy for people who use them. So, the most important thing is to buy one which fits you well. The dimensions of the electric wheelchair will inform you how spacious the chair is, as well as how well it can accommodate you. Mostly, electric wheelchairs are specifically made to fit standard door frames and galleries. If you live in a house which is narrower than the standard homes, you should consider the dimension of the chair and see if you’ll be able to move around easily in your house.
A full size electric wheelchair may be a better choice if you tend to spend a lot of days on it or if most of the hours of the day are spent on it. Those chairs offer more comfort as they have larger seats, broader armrests, and footrests. They are more padded and mushy for maximum comfort.
They also offer high travel range (the distance a wheelchair can travel before its battery demands a recharge) as the battery size is larger than other motorized wheelchairs. The weight capacity is generally more than 300 pounds. To increase portability and make electric wheelchairs easy to transport manufacturers reduce the width of the chairs.
3. Battery Range And Speed Of The Electric Wheelchair
This factor is also important to take into account before sealing the deal, especially if you plan on using the electric wheelchair outdoors. You would obviously want to know how much you can travel before the battery is lost. Every model’s specifications mention how long the battery will last and it varies between different models.
Standard electric wheelchairs are designed on a single charge to allow between 10 to 25 miles of total coverage. Other crucial factors to take into account which affect battery range includes the weight of the user, the age of the batteries, the quality of the batteries, and the kind of surface being travelled.
Another factor is speed which is also vital before you buy the best power wheelchair. If you plan on travelling long distances, considering the speed of an electric wheelchair becomes necessary. Choosing for a rear drive motorized wheelchair is also a great option.
4. Adjustability And Portability Are Also Vital
Portability is important for those who share an active lifestyle. If you like to travel frequently, or like to go outside in the neighborhood in the evenings, you may need an electric wheelchair which is not very heavy, is foldable to some extent, and easy to transport in a vehicle or fit into a lift. Electric wheelchairs are not that easily foldable, so many brands offer the option of quick disassembling and reassembling so that it can be comfortably transported, without occupying much space.
Add-ons always sound good, a little extra features are like a cherry on the cake. A lot of models these days come with optional extra features which enable more functionality; for example, they allow you to tilt, elevate the seat, or recline. Such features maximize comfort so you can carry on with your daily tasks. These add-ons also offer a lot of psychological as well as physiological benefits, like preventing sores due to pressure on the back, enhancing the quality of life, and strengthening cardiovascular system, etc.
5. Wheels Of An Electric Wheelchair
You cannot forget the wheels. The speed, stability and tracking depends on the wheels of an electric wheelchair. An important feature to take into account includes the location of the wheels (whether they are in the front, middle, or back of the wheelchair). Usually mid-wheel drive power wheelchairs are termed as the most manoeuvrable.
Rear-wheel drive electric chairs, on the other hand, allow for higher speed and front-wheelchairs are known for driving through uneven surfaces. But front-wheel drive chairs are the slowest of all. Wheels of an electric chair are of two types, pneumatic and solid. Pneumatic refers to wheels which are air-filled. Do note the size of the caster wheels, too. Their size is important because if they are very small then they make the wheelchair less suitable for travelling on rough terrain.
Generally, power wheelchairs only come with two kinds of controllers; joystick or a keypad. They usually help control direction and speed in a few models. While a keypad can also be used to control other varied features like recline, horn, and degree.
Many models need incessant pressure to function, and can easily get damaged if the pressure is lifted from the control. It all depends on the physical state of the user as there are many other types of controllers which models offer:
- Sip and puff controller-you can control the wheelchair by inhaling or exhaling into a tube
- Foot controllers- the wheelchair has controllers like buttons and pedals near the foot rest
- Chin control- the controller is located near the chin works by moving the chin
- Speech control- the wheelchair is controlled by verbal commands
- Head control- buttons are fixed into either side of the head rest
Keep these six factors in mind if you want to buy the best electric wheelchair in the world for yourself. Make a list of what all features you deem necessary and others which you can compromise on. It is an important investment that you’ll make so you’d want to buy one which fits your current needs as well as can be modified to meet your future needs.
The next step is to fix a budget and look for those models which fit within that range. To further help you with the selection process, we have made a list of top 10 best-motorized wheelchairs with all the product details.
This section of our guide lists some of the most popular models of electric wheelchairs by different brands which are available online at Amazon. Keep reading to get a better idea of what’s new in the market as well as learn the evergreen brand models.
Top 10 Best Electric Wheelchairs 2021
1. Sentire Med Forza D09 Deluxe Wheelchair
The first one on our list of top 10 best electric wheelchairs is by Sentire Med and is a lightweight, easy-to-fold chair. So, if you want to travel, you don’t need to bother about disassembling and reassembling it, you can simply fold it and fit it in your vehicle. It’s a compact chair which folds up in less than 5 seconds and can fit any size trunk. It also comes with a handle under the seat for comfortable lifting.
It features two 250-watt motors which enhance its power and speed. It also comes with detachable cord on the joystick so that you can easily remove or place it on either side. It is specially designed to maximize comfort. You can use it on any kind of uneven terrain, be it grass, gravel, or snow and it will ride smoothly. It offers a long battery life and shock absorbers that increase safety, plus sharp turning radius to help you make edgy turns easily.
It is no doubt a durable and stylish electric wheelchair which comes in a small silver colored aluminum aircraft alloy frame. It has matching footrests and needs no maintenance. Being lightweight and compact makes it easy to carry. Extra features include an under seat storage, a removable seat feature, and a seat cover to ease the cleaning process.
2. Foldawheel PW-999UL
This electric wheelchairs’ best feature is that it can be opened and folded plus locked in less than 2 seconds. It may sound unbelievable, but it sure is true. This is compact, lightweight, and easy to carry power wheelchair as it only weighs about 43 lbs. It features latest brushless motor which enhances its power, saves energy, and maximizes durability of the product. The high-quality rubber tires it embodies help to provide better traction and make it quite easy to tackle steeper slopes.
The controller system of this chair is very small and you can detach it without the hassle of taking out the whole cable. The position of the footrests can be changed as they can collapse inwards to offer closer and comfortable stand up position. It features double joint armrests which are strong enough to support heavy weight users and they are easy to lift up so that you can move closer towards the table while eating or doing any other task. It also features a hydraulic anti-tilt support.
The seat cushion, as well as the backrest cover of the chair, is created with air-breeze material so that it becomes easy to wash them. The whole package comes with a padded travel bag and usable charger. Other accessories for this product are also available separately like optional headrest. You can check the brand’s official website to check out more accessories as per your requirement.
3. Forcemech Voyager R2
This is one of the best motorized wheelchairs by the brand US Forcemech. This brand is fully committed to delivering some of the best mobility products. This wheelchair weighs about 43 lbs, which makes this lightweight wheelchair very compatible and easy to carry. It is ideal for those who like to travel frequently as it can be folded and opened within seconds. It is FDA certified, airplane travel approved, and cruise trip ready. It comes in a combination of bright yellow and black colors with footrest, armrest, and under the seat storage.
4. Porto Mobility Ranger D09
Porto Mobility is also a US brand committed to delivering products with offer the best mobility. This electric wheelchair is also airplane travel approved because it is super portable and can be folded within seconds. After it is folded, it becomes so compact that you can fit it in a car trunk. It offers an excellent turning radius of about 33 inches, so you can get around closely packed areas easily. It is a heavy duty electric chair which is convenient for storage, easy to carry, and offers better transportability.
It offers under the seat storage as well as a detachable seat and seat cover to promote easy cleaning. It features a joystick controller for handling. It comes with a 3 year warranty period for frame of the wheelchair, a 1 year warranty period for motor and joystick controller, and a 6 months warranty period for the battery.
5. Porto Mobility Ranger X6
You can travel light and easy with this other model by the same brand; Porto Mobility. But this model differs from the previous model with respect to its extra features. It can be folded in 2 seconds and weighs about 59 lbs to increase portability. It flaunts an aluminum-alloy frame and features a travel bag to make travelling more convenient, be it on the road or on an airplane. It is equipped with one of the best battery systems which is very powerful and delivers long range. It features dual motors and bigger rear tires (about 13”) so that you can use it on hilly areas and inclined surfaces.
The RANGER X6 consists of a spacious under the seat storage area, a removable seat cushion, washable backrest and footrests which can be lifted up for maximum comfort. This wheelchair offers a full size seat and is wider than many other models (almost about 19.6”). It has a weight bearing capacity of 330 lbs. To deliver more comfort it comes with an adjustable armrest as well as adjustable back height. You can adjust it any way you like!
It also features an underneath built-in USB phone charger. To increase comfort and safety it has shock absorbers which ensure a smooth ride. It offers a turning radius of 33 inches to navigate tight areas. A plus point is that it comes with a 5 year warranty for the frame, 1 year for motor and joystick controller, and 6 months for battery.
6. Chair, Ultra-Portable Motorized Mobility Chair
This model is one of the best motorized wheelchairs because of its powerful and innovative design. One extra feature that it offers is that it allows you to choose from 3 different speed settings; low, medium, and high. You can choose any one according to your own comfort. It is good to use in any type of terrain, be it uneven gravel surface, grass, or snow-covered road. It is equipped with two steering levers for accurate control. It is a portable electric wheelchair which is easy to transport, and also airplane compatible.
It is a lightweight model as it weighs about 48 lbs and can handle 265 pounds of weight. The narrow turning radius allows you to turn it with ease. It has a simple functionality and it can be controlled by touch buttons fixed on the steering arm. This kind of control system maximizes comfort so you can effortlessly press the buttons and be in charge. It can travel up to 8 miles per charge and comes with a 240 watt-hour lithium-ion battery. The battery can be charged on the chair itself or can be detached using an anti-theft key for charging anywhere else.
7. ComfyGO New Model 2021 Fold & Travel
This electric wheelchair by ComfyGo is one of the most affordable models mentioned in this list. It definitely costs less than other previously mentioned models, and is equipped with a Bluetooth remote controller which is a plus point. With this type of a controller you can control the wheelchair easily from a distance.
It features 1 lithium battery which can cover whole 12 miles driving distance on a single charge. It comes with a seat-belt for extra safety and an anti-tipper feature. This wheelchair will ride smoothly on any kind of surface, be it grass, inclined surfaces, gravel, ramps, concrete, or bumpy terrain.
8. Folding Electric Powered Wheelchair
This one is an ultra-light wheelchair that weighs around 58 lbs including the battery. Its frame is made of aluminum alloy and it features a 6AH lithium battery. The backseat and cushions are made of breathable material to prevent back sores. It is a compact design which makes it ideal for those who like to be on the go most of the time. After folding, it takes up as much space as any regular sized suitcase would. It promises a smooth ride on any type of terrain like grass, ramps, gravel, or snow.
It is equipped with an electromagnetic brake which makes it easy to stop it. It features 24V brushless motors and has a speed of about 4 mph. It can cover 15.5 miles driving distance in a single charge and it takes about 6 to 8 hours to charge it fully. It has bigger rear wheels (about 12 inches) ,and seat width is also greater (about 18.5 inches). The weight capacity of this wheelchair is 400 lbs. All in all, it is a tough model made of great quality material, which will last long.
9. Electric Wheelchair Elderly Disabled Car Elderly Intelligent Automatic Portable Scooter Multifunctional Folding, Red
The second last product on our list of best electric wheelchairs is an extremely lightweight model with strong front and rear wheels to enhance smooth working. Its lightweight makes it easy to load it into any vehicle or carry it in a lift. It can be controlled by a joystick controller which allows you to keep one hand free for fast stopping.
To increase stability, this electric wheelchair comes with an anti-leaning rear design. It has a few important safety features like stable footrest, reliable construction, and solid rear wheels. It is not only convenient to carry like other models but also provides better safety features to save you from the most demanding situations.
10. Electric Wheelchair Folding Lightweight Supports 360 lbs Aircraft Grade Aluminum Alloy Frame
The last wheelchair model on our list of best motorized wheelchairs is by Cascade Mobility and offers some of the best safety features. It is airplane travel approved and easy to carry in a vehicle. It features 2 brushless motors of 250-watt each and bigger rear tires (about 12 inches). The tires are made of the best quality material to not only increase comfort, but ensure safety as the base component of a wheelchair. It is a portable model as it can be folded in under 2 seconds and compact enough to fit in a car trunk.
The speed of the wheelchair is 4 mph, and it has a weight capacity of 360 lbs. It has a 17-inch seat cushion between armrests to provide ample space. It comes with a detachable connector on a joystick controller that can be detached without removing the whole cable. To enhance the safety, it features anti-tilt support.
Best Electric Wheelchairs – What’s Your Pick?
We hope this guide has given you a basic idea on how to select an electric wheelchair. You can refer to the models listed in this guide or can check other similar models online. To read up more about each product, you can visit the brand’s official website. Best of luck!