How Much do Wheelchairs Cost – A Common Question
" How much do wheelchairs cost? " - This is a loaded question, because the answer is dependent upon many factors. It’s not a case of “a wheelchair is a wheelchair”. There are motorised wheel chairs, standard wheelchairs and lightweight wheelchairs. So, the best way to answer the question, is with another question: What do I need from my wheelchair?
Different Types of Wheelchairs
1. Standard Wheelchair
A straight, standard wheelchair, which is made of steel, with nylon seating and armrests (which may - or may not - be removable) will cost you roughly $500. This is a basic, functional wheelchair, and its intended use is simply to give someone mobility.
2. Lightweight Wheelchair
An ultra-lightweight wheelchair, with an aluminium frame, which is usually collapsible, is a more ergonomically designed chair. Most often it has larger wheels and is more easily manoeuvrable. It offers an easier ride and is ideal for someone who likes to be more active. These lightweight chairs range in price between $700 and $2000.
3. Power Wheelchair
For those who need more assistance, there is a power chair. They are controlled by means of a joystick, which controls speed and direction. They are generally plusher, offering more support and cushioning. They are available in rear or front wheel drive, which you should choose based on the terrain you’ll be travelling. These “long distance” chairs cost between $1200 and $2500.
4. Tilting Wheelchair
Let’s take a look at tilting wheelchairs, which are designed with long term comfort in mind, allowing the user to tilt the chair in a variety of ways, to take the pressure of the lumbar area and buttocks. After many hours in a chair, the ability to adjust the angle and tilt is a welcome relief. Tilting wheelchairs range in price between $300 and $1700, depending on the number of adaptations are required.
5. Paediatric Wheelchair
Paediatric wheelchairs, for growing people, or the more petite user, are available in a huge range of prices. From $150 to $1500, these chairs need to be chosen with the user in mind. For a fast-growing child, who could quickly outgrow the chair, one might like to try and spend a bit less on a wheelchair. However, like with all things “you get what you pay for” comes into play here, so be careful not to compromise on comfort for the sake of saving a dollar or two.
6. Active Wheelchair
Active wheelchairs are specifically designed with the sporty types in mind. They are very lightweight and have sturdy frames to allow for sporting activities. They are built for speed and agility and are more compact than most. These chairs range in price from $1000 to $3000.
7. Bariatric Wheelchair
Then we have the chair designed for the heavier folks. These are known as Bariatric wheelchairs and they can handle up to 550lbs in weight. They offer durability, reinforced support and a wider seat, usually around 30 inches to allow for the larger user. Pricing ranges between $300 and $3000.
So, as with everything, a wheelchair will cost a vastly different amount, depending on what you intend to use it for. But one can safely say that, if all you want is a basic chair to give you a bit of freedom, then you can look at spending as little as $150.
However, if you intend to do track events, or play basketball, you are looking at spending as much as $3000.
Check out our verdict on the best wheelchairs and discover which unit is best-suited to your lifestyle.