What are The Types of Stairlifts Available Today? People with limited mobility have more options than any previous generation. From straight Acorn stair lifts to curved stairlifts, there are deluxe and basic models available for everyone. Prices range from used models in the low $1,000s to luxurious new styles well over $3,000. People on a fixed income can take advantage of financing or payment plans offered by most manufacturers.
The criteria for judging the quality of a wheelchair stair lift falls into a handful of categories, aesthetics, durability and performance and price. Not all expensive lifts are good values, and not all cheap models are inferior. A few brands have risen to the top of the industry consistently, including variations of the acorn chair lift, Sterling and Bruno. Each model has its advantages and disadvantages depending on price, time on the market and intended use.
If the unit if for outdoor use, the stair chair lift needs to be completely weather-proofed and covered when sitting dormant. Ameriglide is a manufacturer who receives consistent good marks for their outdoor models. The outdoor Ameriglide AC lift is priced under $2,000 that will connect to GFI outlets on the outside of the house. The outlet must be a covered GFI to prevent weather-related power shortages. In prepared locations, this unit can be self-installed in a day’s time. Ameriglide has professional installers as well.
Sterling has high ratings on several of their disabled lifts. Their inventory is diverse and both the 1000 and 2000 models receive excellent scores for consistent reliable performance and styling. Based out of the UK, ‘Sterling’ is a branch of the parent company Minivator Ltd. They provide indoor and outdoor stairway elevator products.
Both the 1000 and 2000 are designed with sleek aluminum rails and an unobtrusive fold-up design that blends in with the home when not in use. Sterling chairs are flame retardant and ‘wipe clean.’ The 2000 offers a little more adjustment in the seat back, footrests, armrests and swivel radius. The 1000 runs on a ½ hp motor while the 2000 runs on a 24v DC battery. DC operation provides a smoother ride for the user.
An important consideration when shopping is whether the home requires a straight or curved stair lift. Some retailers recommend two lifts for two sets of stairs with a landing, but this is not viable for people who need help transferring to the other chair. Curved stairway assistance will be more expensive and complicated to install, but may be the best solution for many families.
Before shopping, compare models online and do extensive research. Be prepared before speaking with a salesman. The extra time spent researching will help the shopper get exactly what they need and want without spending too much money.