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Best wheelchair 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated June 1, 2019
Best wheelchair of 2018
Before you spend your money on wheelchair, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types. The above tidbits will bring you closer to selecting wheelchair that best serves your needs and as per your budget.
Below you can find 3 reviews of the best wheelchair to buy in 2018, which I have picked after the deep market research. Here are my top picks with detailed reviews, comparison charts and buying guides to help you purchase the perfect item for your needs.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this wheelchair win the first place?
I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
Why did this wheelchair come in second place?
Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office.
№3 – Medline Premium Ultra-lightweight Wheelchair with Flip-Back Desk Arms and Elevating Leg Rests for Extra Comfort
Why did this wheelchair take third place?
It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials.
wheelchair Buyer’s Guide
This guide will help you to choose a wheelchair that provides the comfort, support and mobility you need to help you get about day-to-day. We’ll describe the difference between self-propelled, transit and electric wheelchairs and explain specific wheelchair features to make getting out as easy as possible.
Transit & travel wheelchairs
These wheelchairs are suitable for anyone who needs extra help with pushing. Transit wheelchairs are typically fitted with handles and feature smaller back wheels than self-propelled wheelchairs for easy manoeuvrability in compact spaces. They’re very lightweight and easy to fold down, making them suitable for fitting into a vehicle for transportation. Transit wheelchairs are ideal for short, occasional trips and can be used as a back-up chair to your primary one.
Electric wheelchairs are suitable if you have restricted movement and can’t push yourself, or if you need to stay in your wheelchair most of the day. They’re powered by a battery motor and steered using a control joystick. Electric wheelchair batteries need to be recharged overnight so you’ll need to store it near a socket. They’re heavier and larger than manual wheelchairs which can make them difficult to transport. Some portable electric wheelchairs are designed to be used indoors and can be broken down into different pieces for travel.
Anti-tip wheels are small wheels at the back of the wheelchair frame positioned a few inches from the floor. They’re designed to stop the wheelchair from tipping backwards and are a key safety feature on self-propelled wheelchairs.
Seat width and depth
A correct seat width and depth ensures even weight distribution across the wheelchair seat. It’s best to choose a wheelchair that is 5cm wider than your hip measurement. To find out the correct seat depth for you, measure the distance from your lower back to the hollow of the knees and subtract around 4cm.
Useful information & advice
This guidance is provided to assist you to pick the right product for your needs. It should not be treated as professional health advice. You should seek advice from an appropriate medical practitioner if you have any concern about any product’s suitability to you.
From visiting family and friends to popping to the shops, mobility scooters are a great way of retaining your independence. This buying guide will explain what you need to think about before you make your decision, the two types of mobility scooters available and key features to look out for.
The control panel of your mobility scooter tells you things like the speed you’re travelling and how much battery life your scooter has. It should be simple to use so you feel comfortable and confident to travel independently. This is particularly important if you’ve got limited mobility and strength in your hands.
Mobility scooters usually have 6, or inch wheels and this is related to where they are intended to be used. Scooters which are going to be used indoors or for short distances will generally have smaller wheels. On-road mobility scooters will have more durable, larger tyres.
Smaller mobility scooters usually have solid rubber tyres that are puncture-proof, whereas larger models have pneumatic tyres (tyres filled with pressurised air), which are more comfortable but need to be checked for deflation regularly.
Lights and mirrors
Mobility scooters which can travel at 8mph are allowed to travel on-road. These mobility scooters will automatically include extra features like rear-view mirrors and front and back lights for driving at night.
Curbs, steps and raised surfaces make getting about trickier, a portable ramp can make everyday journeys as smooth as possible.
Excel Venture Electric Wheelchair
Powerchairs come as three different styles, these include rear wheel drive, mid wheel drive and front wheel drive. All these drive systems have their advantages and disadvantages and below we’ll talk about what each system has to offer.
Rear wheel drive
Mid wheel drive
Mid wheel drive powerchairs have three sets of wheels, one at the front, one at the back and a set in the middle which propel the chair. These powerchairs look a lot different to standard powerchairs, but the mid wheel drive makes them feel much more stable and also means that it can turn around in the tightest space.
Front wheel drive
As you would expect, front wheel drive powerchairs have their drive wheels at the front. These types of chairs are lightweight and are often more compact than other powerchairs, although they do suffer from poor dive quality and are harder to control compared to the other two types.
Front wheel drive powerchairs allow the user to get closer to desks and tables, making them a popular choice for indoor use.
Powerchairs are usually controlled by a simple joystick which can be fitted to either armrest of the chair to accommodate both right and left handed users. More sophisticated powerchairs have the option to control other features of the chair including maximum speed and acceleration, and can also come with built-in battery indicators to show you when it needs to be recharged.
Foldawheel Electric Wheelchair
As the user will be spending an extended amount of time in the powerchair, there are a number of features to consider when it comes to comfort. Adjustable seats give the user a myriad of settings to choose from to make sure they are comfortable when using the chair. Other accessories can also add to the comfort of a powerchair including extra seat cushions, lumbar supports and even headrests.
Featured January Sale CareCo Riser Recliners
When purchasing a transport wheelchair, there are many different factors to consider. The seat cushion, arm rest, and foot support are important parts of the chair and should all be made of quality to avoid future headaches. Before your purchase, always make sure that the seat width is adequate as that is one of the most common limiting factors about wheelchairs.
The seat width of the chair will single handedly decide whether or not you will be comfortable in the wheelchair. The way to measure this accurately is to take a measurement of one hip to another and base your adjustments on that. Remember that it’s always better to be in a wheelchair that is slightly larger instead of too small.
Seat Cushions For Travel Wheelchairs
Most quality wheelchairs will have cushions that are designed to prevent fatigue while sitting in your wheelchair. These chairs will also include positioning cushions. Positioning cushions are designed for adjusting posture.
They make sure that your posture doesn’t get negatively affected whilst sitting in the wheelchair. The third type of cushion is called the preventive cushion. Preventive cushions are made to prevent you from getting sores or pains while sitting in your wheelchair. This is very important especially if you plan on staying in your wheelchair for long periods of time without moving.
Components Of Travel Wheelchairs
When you’re looking at different wheelchairs, take a look at the type of arm rest to determine its usefulness. Most wheelchairs either come with a full arm rest or a desk arm rest. A full arm rest is usually the standard travel wheelchair design that allows you to keep your entire arm on the rest. This is ideal for comfort especially if you have a larger upper body.
The desk arm rest on the other hand, has a much shorter arm rest that allows easier access to desks or tables. Imagine the way an office chair interacts with a desk by situating inside of it. A desk arm rest can be comparable to this scenario. Obviously the desk arm rest lacks in comfort when compared to its full arm rest counter-part but what it lacks in comfort, some would say it makes up in mobility.
A transit wheelchair, also known as a transport wheelchair, is one that requires another person to push and guide the wheelchair to its route/destination. The rear wheels are often either the same size or slightly larger than the front wheels. A person sitting in the wheelchair cannot use it without the assistance of another.
Trick Out That Wheelchair With Wheelchair Accessories
A wheelchair can be a very boring place to be unless, of course, you’ve tricked out that chair with wheelchair accessories such as those I’ve selected on this article.
For those in wheelchairs, these tush cushions are instrumental in keeping them more comfortable and safe – pressure sores are greatly reduced when using these thick, soft, cushions.
A wheelchair Lap Blanket
This wheelchair lap blanket will keep your loved one’s lap warm yet will not hinder the wheels of the wheelchair. The lap blanket straps right to the wheelchair and is tapered so no tangles will occur. This is a great Christmas stocking stuffer for your favorite wheelchair rider.
A Cushy Seat is A Must as A Wheelchair Accessory
Some chairs are only required to be used temporarily. People who suffered a fractured leg, have undergone surgery, or any comparable short-term illness might be advised to make use of a wheelchair for a number of weeks based on the degree of the injury or condition.
If the need for using a wheelchair is only temporary, the patient might be able to lease one or borrow a wheelchair rather than buy a new unit.
Other customers might have a more long-term condition, and this kind of situation often calls for the patient to employ a chair for an extended period of time. The buyer has to invest in a model with high-quality construction that is capable of enduring wear and tear for a longer time.
The materials that the chair is made of, and the way it was designed and manufactured, should be excellent and sound.
Wheelchairs for outdoor use
In case the user wants to employ their chair out of doors, they will need a chair with additional features. Powered or motorized wheelchairs are ideal for outdoor conditions because it will not obligate users to move them throughout walkways and inclines.
These chairs will spend an ample amount of time traversing over rough surfaces, like parking lots and walkways, the tires should have great quality and must be durable.
Being seated in the wheelchair all day can be a rather uncomfortable task if the seat is not cushioned and shaped in an appropriate manner. In case the wheelchair is too rigid or creates tension or pressure in unsuitable areas, it can lead to chafing, sores, and poor posture.
This makes the chair a device that the user will avoid rather than a beneficial unit meant to provide mobility. As consumers look for the best wheelchair, they must guarantee that the back, seat, and armrests of the wheelchair have enough padding, and are fixed in place correctly.
Medline Transport Wheelchair with Brakes
Transport wheelchairs make your loved ones and their companions free to move from one location to another without being a burden.
Measured against common wheelchairs, the transport chair needs a companion or caregiver to move the chair around. It is lighter than a standard wheelchair, and it more compact, which makes lifting and storing the chair easier.
This model from Medline has loop-lock handbrakes that can be worked easily, and for transfers, it is recommended for locking the rear wheels. It also includes a seat belt, is compact enough to make folding and assembly easy, and also includes nylon upholstery, armrests and removable footrests.
Drive Medical BLS18FBD-ELR Blue Streak Wheelchair
The Blue Streak Wheelchair from Drive Medical offers high-quality mobility that features a well-thought out structure and materials. It meets the expectations and needs of a wider variety of users who are into independent mobility and comfort.
The item features a strong blue frame with powder coat finish, a black cross bar and durable nylon upholstery that is stylish, yet easy to clean and maintain. It has tires that are made from firm rubber material, and which provide extreme durability too.
It does not require much maintenance, and it comes with convenient and workable push-button lock brakes with elevating leg rests. This is indeed something that you have to check out if you are into freedom and comfort.
On the lookout for an affordable transport wheelchair that is light enough yet can take plenty of weight? Look no further, for Drive Medical’s Fly Lite Ultra-Lightweight Transport Wheelchair is something that will cater to the needs and comfort of people with a mobility handicap.
It is durable, made with prime aluminum material, is easy to clean and maintain and it also includes a handy carry pocket located at the back so users can carry their everyday needed items along with them.
The unit also includes a seat belt for added safety, and has swing-away footrests that are height-adjustable. The excellent back release allows easier folding of the back, thus making the chair a cinch to carry and store.
MedMobile Self Transport Folding Wheelchair
The manual wheelchair is the kind of unit that an incapacitated individual needs so they can move and become mobile once again, without the help of a motor or a companion.
You can select from a self-propelled model, which obligates the rider to move the chair forward by means of their limbs. To choose the proper wheelchair, it is required that you do your research first then decide which model, features, and price point suits you or the patient best.
You can choose a model that features bigger rear wheels, which are typically self-propelled models like this MedMobile Self-Transport Folding Wheelchair. The model has a seat width of 19” and a depth of 16”. It also includes front casters, removable footrests and armrests, and is capable taking in up to 250 pounds of weight.
Drive System & Design Characteristics
Most modern battery powered wheelchairs have designs that can be classified as either Rear Wheel Drive (RWD), Mid Wheel Drive (MWD), or Front Wheel Drive (FWD). Each configuration is determined by the location of the drive system in relation to the users center of gravity. All three systems have unique driving and handling characteristics that will appeal to the different needs of the user.
Front-Wheel Drive wheelchairs offer exceptional indoor/outdoor maneuverability with a design that mounts large wheels in front of the seating area.
Front-wheel drive chairs are great all around wheelchairs that are suitable for outdoor use but will tend to fishtail at higher speeds. For this reason they are typically manufactured to travel slower than other power chair varieties.
Mid-Wheel Drive wheelchairs offer excellent indoor maneuverability because the wheels are located directly under the user.
The one area of concern for a mid-wheel drive system is the ability to maneuver outdoors, over hills, and across tougher terrain.
A mid-wheel drive system needs to remain on stable, flat surfaces for optimal performance.
Rear-Wheel Drive was the design for the original powered mobility device.
They are stable, maneuverable, and offer the highest top end speeds available in a power wheelchair market (see speed chart below).
The major disadvantage with this design is that turning radius will typically increase compared with the front and mid configurations.
The most popular modern power wheelchair offered by retailers is the platform style.
This style incorporates a powered base with a completely separate seating system.
Platform wheelchairs are often considered a more stable option compared to the traditional powered wheelchair.
They are also easier to transport since the seat can be completely separated from the base.
There are a number of other specialty power wheelchairs on the market as well including reclining and (rehab) tilt-in-space wheelchairs.
Reclining wheelchairs have a seat backing that is completely independent of the chair allowing for separate functionality.
The tilt in space wheelchair, on the other hand, not only reclines but completely shifts the weight of the user.
The entire chair, including the seat, backing, leg & arm rests can be aligned to the users preference without assistance. The Karman tilt-in-space wheelchair uses the intelligent 0-3center-of-gravity weight shifting to shift pressure and reduce bedsores. With newly designed swing in and away footrests, as well as flip-back armrests that are height adjustable, this chair is sure to provide optimum comfort.
One of the more recent alternatives to powered mobility is a hybrid or power assist system.
The PW-800AX is a dual function power wheelchair with standard large rear wheels, meaning you can row manually as usual and drive by power when you are tired.
It takes just a few seconds to change from power mode to manual mode, so it helps to take away fear of running out of battery in the middle of your trip.
It is lightweight, foldable, easy to use, practical, efficient and stylish. With that in mind, there is no compromise when it comes to functionality, quality and durability.
The power-assist system is designed to increase the number of revolutions per pass thus giving the user a noticeable increase in propulsion efficiency. The power systems are light enough to be easily attached and remove to the frame of a manual wheelchair making transportation easier.
The Golden Compass HD offers you a stable, center-wheel-drive platform and an articulating chassis for stability over tough terrain.
The EZ Lite Cruiser (above) is leading the revolution in personal mobility. It is extremely convenient due to its compact size and ability to be transported in just about any vehicle.
Not only can you can store the EZ Lite Cruiser in your home or garage, but you can conveniently take it with you in a personal vehicle such as a Car, Truck or SUV. It is also extremely convenient to take on an Train, Bus, Cruise Ship or Airplane.
The EZ Lite Cruiser is composed of a lightweight aluminum alloy that is extremely durable and can handle passengers weighing up to 26pounds.
Electric Wheelchair Wheels & Tires
There are a number of options when in comes to the wheels and tires of your power wheelchair. Most retailers typically offer tire options: Pneumatic (air filled), foam filled, or solid rubber.
Pneumatic tires offer an extremely smooth and stable ride. The air and tread on the tires hug the road. They really only have one drawback, they often require more maintenance, will often lose air, or if punctured, can go completely flat.
The foam filled and solid rubber designs are also popular options. Even though you’ll feel every bump and indent in the road, you’ll have the peace of mind that they will never lose air or go flat. It usually comes down to user preference between one design or the other.
Some of the other controlling options are
Sip and Puff – commands are given by inhaling or exhaling with an attached tube.
Head Controls – switches are added to the sides of the headrest.
Electric wheelchair users typically have limited strength in their arms and torso, and thus need an external power source for assistance.
The battery used in most power wheelchairs is a (deep cycle) lead acid battery that is either a wet cell, a gel cell, or an AGM (absorbed glass matt) battery. Although they look and feel similar, electric wheelchair batteries shouldn’t be confused with car batteries. They are vastly different in design and use and should never be interchanged.
Wet cell batteries typically hold a charge for longer and offer more power than the gel cell variety. Their major drawback comes down to maintenance issues and leakage during transport.
They are not recommended for travel because of the acids that are housed within the unit. If tilted or cracked the battery could spill and corrode the vital electrical systems, wiring, or motor of your wheelchair.
Many air and cruse lines will often refuse to transport any motorized wheelchair if it is powered by a wet-cell battery. Wet cell batteries are relatively inexpensive compared to gel cell and thus are still very popular.
Gel cell batteries were developed to alleviate some of the safety and maintenance concerns that were involved in transporting an electric wheelchair.
Gel cell batteries are sealed and dry with no potential for spills. This is due to the silica gel that suspends the acids (electrolyte) in the battery. So if they are broken or punctured they will not leak.
Gel-cell lead-acid batteries were developed to be maintenance free and should be approved for storage on most airlines and cruise ships. The disadvantage of gel-cell batteries is that they usually have less capacity and are more expensive.
Power wheelchairs typically utilize – 1volt deep cycle batteries that must be re-charged on a regular basis.
The batteries make them significantly heavier than most manually powered chairs, making it necessary for the wheelchairs to be manufactured with a stronger sturdier frame to support the battery, motor, the user, and any additional adaptive equipment.
The gradient depends on the size of the ramp, for one that is longer than 5m with a maximum flight of 10m, a 1:20 gradient is suitable; 1:1if the ramp is longer 2m; and 1:1if it’s shorter than 2m.
If your premises doesn’t allow for or need a ramp at the DDA suggested gradient, get in touch with Bentley Fielden today on 0800 611140 to discuss your needs.
The key thing to ensure when buying a temporary ramp is that it provides you with the appropriate gradient for your needs. Another thing to remember when thinking about buying a ramp that can be moved is whether someone is available to offer assistance, if and when required.
If you have any questions about the requirements of a wheelchair ramp, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Bentley Fielden by calling 0800 611140.
Disclaimer: The information and advice given on this website is to the best of our knowledge, and Bentley Fielden accepts no responsibility if acted upon. We advise you contact your architect, building control, planning department, highways department and local fire authority if in any doubt. Please note that this explanation is provided as a guideline – if you need further information, we would recommend reading Part M of the Building Regulation in more detail.
The drive wheels will be found in front of the passenger’s placement. Front Wheel Drive Wheelchairs are quite stable for off-road usage or unbalanced surfaces and can climb minor obstacles. The passenger has to be mindful of turning since a majority of the chair’s body is in the seat’s rear. The wheelchair’s total speed is slow since, during high speeds, it usually over-steers. The typical high speed is approximately between to 5½ mph. The total turning radius is approximately 25″ to 28″.
Rear-Wheel Drive Wheelchair Manual
For the most part, the most stable chairs are Rear-Wheel Drive Wheelchairs. They have the greatest top speeds you can get (which are approximately six mph). However, they are troublesome to get through tight spots due to a 33” turning radius. That said, when driving up hills that are steep, the chair usually leans backward on its anti-tip tubes (stopping the chair from falling back).
Center-Wheel Drive Wheelchair Manual
With Mid-Wheel Drive Wheelchairs or Center-Wheel Drive Wheelchairs, the passenger’s gravity center is balanced with the driver wheel’s middle. When in small spaces, Center-Wheel Drive Wheelchairs are easy to maneuver. The top speed is approximately five mph, while the total turning radius is approximately 24″ to 26″. The downsides of center-wheel drive wheelchairs are the potential of the rear or front caster getting caught when driving on unbalanced surfaces. There is also the potential of center wheel drive suspension when driving down curb cuts with a steep turn (so no contact with the ground is made).
Pediatric Power Wheelchairs Manual
Each parent must think about their child’s independence and mobility. Kids with special requirements desire normal treatment. It is the responsibility of parents to offer their loved ones freedom by selecting the proper wheelchair. Pediatric Power Wheelchairs come in a few different versions. Pediatric rear-wheel drive wheelchairs are quite sought after because they move quicker, but are troublesome to turn. Front-wheel drive wheelchairs have sharper turning abilities and have moderately reduced pace (in comparison to rear-wheeled wheelchairs because they tend to turn quite suddenly). Mid-wheel drive wheelchairs have the sharpest turning abilities of them all and are usually unbalanced when the passenger is about to start or stop.
Power Wheelchair Seating Systems Manual
Power Wheelchair Seating Systems are designed to accommodate the passenger’s growth and functional seating requirements. Custom Wheelchair Seating Systems usually come in frame widths that range from 10″ to 16″. For seat depths, they range from 8″ to 20″, allowing sufficient growth space. Many modern power wheelchairs permit stock seating system changes on advanced personalized wheelchair seating systems, allowing the wheelchair to be more customized and efficient for the passenger. Modern Power Wheelchair Seating Systems permit the passenger to recline, tilt, elevate, recline, or a mix of them all.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your wheelchair wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of wheelchair
- №1 — Medline Lightweight Transport Adult Folding Wheelchair with Handbrakes
- №2 — Medline Lightweight and User-Friendly Wheelchair with Flip-Back
- №3 — Medline Premium Ultra-lightweight Wheelchair with Flip-Back Desk Arms and Elevating Leg Rests for Extra Comfort