How to Choose the Right Wheelchair Lift

Here at 101 Mobility, we have a motto: “Life. Not Limits.” We believe that no matter your disability, your age, your anything, you should be able to keep on doing what you love without limits in your way. Time and time again, people have shown that we are more than our bodies and that we can always accomplish anything we set our minds to.

If you’re a wheelchair user, you know that getting around isn’t always easy. There’s always some sort of obstacle to overcome, whether that be a set of stairs to your porch or getting your wheelchair into your car. Thankfully there are plenty of products on the market today that can help.

They’re called “wheelchair lifts.”

However, that’s a pretty loaded term. There are lots of different kinds of wheelchair lifts for all different sorts of purposes. There are auto lifts, incline lines, platform lifts, Liftkars… And the list goes on.

With a list so long, how would you know which wheelchair lift is right for you?

We’re here to help break it all down. Here’s a list of the most common wheelchair lift types so that you will be able to choose which is right for your situation:

Platform Lifts

Wheelchair Lift

Platform Lift

A platform lift is what most people think of when they think about a wheelchair lift. Platform lifts serve a simple purpose – to transport you and your wheelchair straight up over any vertical barrier. All you have to do is ride onto its platform, shut the door, push a button, and the device will lift you to the next level. Once you arrive on the second level, you just open the door and exit.

Platform lifts can go by many names (“porch lifts,” “wheelchair lifts”). However, in the mobility biz, they’re referred to as “vertical platform lifts.” Just know that if you ask for a “porch lift” and someone offers you a “vertical platform lift” it means the same thing.

If you’re interested in a lift that will help you gain access to a porch or any other second level in your home/business, a platform lift is the way to go.

Interested in learning more about platform lifts? Click here for more information!

Incline Lifts

Running a little tight on space? Don’t think you have enough room nearby your stairs/incline to install a platform lift? Consider purchasing an incline lift.

Incline Lift

Incline Lift

Incline lifts work similar to platform lifts in that they help a wheelchair user get from one floor to another. However, instead of going straight up, incline lifts travel diagonally along the contours of your staircase, allowing you and your wheelchair to glide right over the stairs themselves. When not in use, incline lifts can be lifted up to be out of the way for friends and family who need to use the stairs as well.

If you’re interested in a getting to a higher or lower level but don’t have a lot of space to spare, an incline lift is the choice for you.

Think an incline lift sounds right for you? Click here for more information!

Auto Lifts

Wheelchair Lift

Auto Lift

Looking to take your wheelchair with you on the open road? No problem! There are tons of options when it comes to carrying your wheelchair along with your vehicle. No matter if you have a sedan, SUV, van, or truck, there’s an auto lift out there for you.

Depending on what kind of vehicle you own, you have a few different options on how your auto lift can store your wheelchair. You can either a) have your wheelchair stored inside of your vehicle by an auto lift or b) have your wheelchair held externally, either in the bed of your truck or by a pull-behind platform.

To figure out what options you have available, it’s best to speak with a mobility/accessibility dealer such as 101 Mobility. We can easily help you determine the best possible solution for your situation.

If you’re ready to load your wheelchair in your vehicle at the push of a button, an auto lift is the right choice for you.

Want to easily store your wheelchair with an auto lift? Click here for more information!

Liftkars

Sometimes installing equipment isn’t a viable option. Perhaps you live in an apartment, you only need the equipment for a short amount of time, or you’re just looking for a product that’s great for on-the-go applications. If any of these cases sound familiar to you, you’ll want to consider purchasing a Liftkar.

Wheelchair Lift

Liftkar

Although Liftkars have to be operated with the help of a caregiver, they allow wheelchair users the opportunity to overcome virtually any staircase, no matter where you are. This unique piece of equipment firmly attaches underneath your wheelchair, lifts you up, and allows the caregiver to effortlessly carry you up or down the stairs. The device will steadily “climb” each step for the user, keeping both you and the caregiver safe.

If you’re searching for the perfect on-the-go/no-hassle device for getting around, a Liftkar is the right solution for you.

Ready to tackle any staircase with a Liftkar? Click here for more information!

Elevators

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the benefits of using an elevator as a wheelchair lift. Although elevators can be somewhat pricier than the other options, they are increasingly becoming more popular in the home. Why? Elevators are luxurious, dependable, and many models do not require a separate machine room, which makes for a quick at-home installation.

Wheelchair Lift

Elevator

The difference between an elevator and a platform lift is that elevators are fully-enclosed, whereas platform lifts are not. This complete enclosure adds an extra measure of safety that’s unmatched.

If you’re looking for the ultimate household solution to travel between floors, an elevator is the right solution for you.

Ready to take your home’s accessibility to the next level with an elevator? Click here for more information!


Still not sure which wheelchair lift is right for you? Not sure where to begin looking? 101 Mobility is here for you. As a leading mobility and accessibility provider, we have many years of experience helping place seniors, caregivers, and disabled individuals with the equipment needed to stay independent in their lives. If you’d like to reach us, call 1-800-809-1905, send us an email at the Contact Us page, or leave a comment below. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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About Brian Havens

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Comments (14)

  1. Kyle Wayne  April 21, 2016

    I like a lot of the themes found on this post. I like to think that no limits exist for those in a wheelchair. It is inspiring that there are so many options for equipment to allow freedom for these individuals. My dad will have to be in a wheelchair for a little while after his surgery, so we are looking for similar equipment. Thanks for all of this vital information.

    1. Jessica Solimando  April 28, 2016

      Thank you so much for checking out our blog! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist your dad after his surgery!

  2. Vincent Burns  February 16, 2016

    I think every lift for a wheelchair is designed specifically for a certain type of wheelchair. Sometimes I think that you almost have to get the wheelchair first and then look at lifts for your home or whatever you need the lift for. Your best bet is to look at what they are designed for. Then you never have to worry about getting the wrong lift.

    1. Brian Havens  February 17, 2016

      Good point, Vincent!

      The weight and width of a wheelchair, power chair, and scooter can have an impact on what type of lift is needed. Some lifts are built specifically for higher weight thresholds, while others are not. The best option would be to speak to a mobility specialist in your area about which lift would be right for your situation.

  3. Clark Heintz  February 15, 2016

    This is a great post about the different types of wheelchair lifts. What brought me to your page is, we are a dealer of motorcycle/ATV lift tables and one of our customers recently sent a photo of our lift being used as a wheelchair lift for his dad, to get from the garage up the steps to the house. We thought it was a great use of this lift, which is a 2500lb capacity. The gentleman who purchased the lift also happens to have some recreational vehicles, so this lift will be used for other purposes as well!

  4. Kiara Woodsland  January 18, 2016

    My husband was in a terrible accident a few years ago, and he was paralyzed from the waist down. He now has to get around in a wheelchair. It would be nice if we had an elevator in the home to get him upstairs. I like that platform lift you shared. Do you know if they make larger ones that go up a whole floor?

    1. Brian Havens  January 18, 2016

      Hey Kiara,

      VPLs typically provide about 4-6 feet of lift. Depending on your location, you might have other available options: stair lift, incline lift, residential elevator, etc.

      The only way to really know what equipment will work for your situation is to have a mobility specialist take a look at the location. At 101 Mobility, we offer free at-home consultations; so there’s no charge to having a professional explain your options.

      To schedule one for your home, call 1-800-809-1905.

      Thanks!

  5. mary wall  December 14, 2015

    Need a second floor vertical platform lift for my husband. please give me a quote

    1. Brian Havens  December 15, 2015

      Absolutely! We’ll have someone reach out to you shortly.

  6. Joel  December 14, 2015

    I didn’t realize there were so many different types of lifts available. I mean, I would have guessed elevators, but not liftkarts. That’s an interesting idea that works well in theory. A friend of mine uses a wheelchair. I’ll have to show this to her. Thanks again!

  7. Ian Johanson  December 1, 2015

    I think I like the incline lifts the best. My grandpa wants to move back into his old house, but it is a split level home and he would have a hard time with the stairs. Can the lift go around corners?

  8. Natalie Darcy  November 12, 2015

    I didn’t realize that there were so many different options for this type of thing. My mother has been having some issues and I thought it was worth looking for ways to solve a problem that I thought was rather particular. After reading this article I actually have several ideas of how I can make her life easier, thank you so much!

  9. Fred Summers  November 6, 2015

    Thanks for all this information on lifts. We just recently had to look at a lift for my grandmother so these options are really helpful to keep in mind. It is quite a change for her and us but I think the right lift will help make it easier.

  10. Michael Williams  October 14, 2015

    My wife is in a wheelchair for who knows how long. The doctor says it could be from years to life. It would be really helpful to get an incline chair lift in our house. We have three floors, which means three staircases. I don’t want her to feel trapped, especially at home.