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The Best Wheelchairs for Daily Use

a wheelchair resting in a hallway
Jes2u.photo/Shutterstock

Like walkers, walking canes, and any related medical console meant to aid in the mobility of the elderly, ill, injured, and disabled, wheelchair models are in abundance. However, the right wheelchair is harder to find. There are those that lean into their traditionalism and those that accept what the future is capable of. When it comes down to purchasing for you or the wheelchair user in your life, it’s important to note that modern options vary in their uniqueness but still serve to efficiently transport a person to and from throughout their day. So, if you’re searching for a new kind of wheelchair, then here are a few options that we recommend.

What to Look for in Your Next Wheelchair

Consider these factors when making your selection:

  • Intended Purpose: When choosing your wheelchair, it is important to buy understanding what it will be used for. Plenty of wheelchairs are suitable for the flooring of most homes and businesses, but if you know you’ll need this chair to travel far more than the average user would, or if it must be used to get a user in and out of the shower with ease, then no regular option will suffice. Buy with specificity in mind, and you’ll have your perfect seat.
  • Mobility: The right wheelchair should also find its way around multiple settings and terrains. Look beyond the home setting and consider options that work with ease across the ground, gravel, or grass. Additionally, in combination with understanding its intended purpose, the right wheelchair can also provide users with a necessary break in the norm with a motorized option that takes the load off.
  • Comfort: You can’t have a good wheelchair without a bit of comfort on your side as well. Hard plastic gets the job done, but consider options that feature extra padding in all of the right places. Plush materials across the seat, back, armrests, and leg rests should be the standard of comfort in your search. Moreover, make sure your chair is appropriately sized to your body, choosing carefully between an option that is neither too spacious nor too narrow.

Best Lightweight Chair: Hi-Fortune Manual Wheelchair

A durable yet ultra-lightweight option that weighs 13.5 pounds in its frame alone, this Hi-Fortune Manual Wheelchair is ideal for users seeking some of the most efficient portability. This wheelchair for adults is constructed from a magnesium alloy material that makes its frame strong yet easy to maneuver. It has a seat width of 17.5 inches and can support up to 220 pounds distributed across its seat, wheels, and padded armrests and footrests. In addition, this chair also features large rear wheels for advanced performance across outdoor or uneven surfaces.

Best Budget: Drive Medical Silver Sport

Another lightweight, spacious, and comfortably priced wheelchair, this Drive Medical Silver Sport chair offers plenty of perks for most users. With its full arms and swing-away removable footrest, this is a chair that can accommodate a variety of users and their specific medical needs. Its sleek powder coating finish, silver vein steel frame, and nylon upholstery tether it together. Its urethane wheels are well prepared for daily use and beyond and require slim-to-no maintenance while in use. And while some may associate “inexpensive” with meeting the bare minimum in terms of comfort, this chair is still comfortably padded across its arms and backrest.

Best Budget

Drive Medical SSP118FA-SF Silver Sport 1 Folding Transport Wheelchair with Full Arms and Removable Swing-Away Footrest, Black

This wheelchair is sleek, padded, and built to last with its nylon construction and urethane wheels.

Best for Showers: HomCom Personal Medical Rolling Chair

For users seeking a wheelchair that will assist them while moving in and out of every room in the house, this HomCom Personal Medical Rolling Chair is the right choice to help the elderly or disabled to take a shower with ease. Since it’s a shower-accessible chair, it’s equipped with a waterproof, anti-rust construction that makes it easy to wheel in and out of a standing shower. It includes padding on its seat, arms, and backrest, as well as a detachable bucket and seat for assisted evacuation over a commode.

Best for Showers

HomCom Personal Mobility Durable Waterproof Shower Accessible Transport Commode Medical Rolling Chair

This medical rolling chair is ideal for users who require further assistance behind the scenes.

Best Electric Option: Ranger Porto Mobility Electric Wheelchair

For paraplegic users or those who do not wish to tire themselves daily, this Ranger Porto Mobility Electric Wheelchair is a premium option worth shelling out for. Fueled by two 300-watt motors and dual lithium batteries that can travel up to 30 miles on a single charge, this electric wheelchair is quick, easy to navigate, and dependable across a variety of terrain surfaces. It features an excellent turning radius that’s powered by a one-finger controlled sensi-touch joystick. Additional comfort perks include the chair’s intelligent electromagnetic brake design, a surprisingly lightweight frame, and the ability to switch between automatic or manual transportation modes.

Best Electric Option

Best Budget Electric: Drive Medical Spitfire Pro

Of course, while premium options are always a consideration, it’s equally important to keep an eye open for more affordable products. This Drive Medical Spitfire Pro can take users across 15 miles with advanced batteries and settle for 9 miles on any pair of standard batteries. When assembled, it can support up to 300 pounds; when disassembled into five pieces, it can fit easily into most car trunks and back seats.

Best Budget Electric

Drive Medical Spitfire Pro SE 4 Wheel (Standard Batteries)

Covers plenty of ground at half of the cost of premium electric wheelchairs.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »
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