Buying Guide: How to Choose The Right Wheelchair

It is really a frustrating situation, when you or your dear ones have mobility problems. It may be your temporary or permanent physical disability. We don’t know whether you will be able to get cured fully.

However, the modern technology has introduced wheelchairs of various designs to reduce your discomfort. Without others’ assistance, you may move from one site to another. Use your wheelchair and do your everyday activities. This is the best assistive device that you can have for your purpose.

The first and oldest wheelchair was invented for Spanish King Phillip II. In 1800s, the design of the wheelchairs had some similarities to the present models. 

However, the modern wheelchairs are designed to give you several benefits.

  • Help with mobility
  • Makes the seniors and physically disabled person independent
  • Give comfort to the legs
  • Assists you with socialization as you may move to any outdoor place

How to Make out Wheelchair Sizes

Wheelchairs of various categories are of different sizes. However, you have to know the major dimensions.

You should also measure the doorways and elevators. Especially the door of bathrooms and hallways has limited space for access. We have presented the regular seat width of different wheelchairs:-

  • Bariatric chair- 8"
  • Transport wheelchair- 3"
  • Reclining chair- 8"
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    Foldable chair- 8"

Seat-to-floor wheelchair height is the notable factor to you, and this height may range between 18" and 20". The height between 17.5 and 18.5" is known as the hemi height.


Know the Wheelchairs of Variety of Types

Wheelchairs are different weight ranges, and from this standpoint, we have categorized them in two ways.

1. Bariatric and Heavy-Duty Wheelchairs

You may have a weighty figure, and that’s why you can choose the heavy-duty wheelchair. This wheelchair is the best for accommodating your weight and size.

It has a sturdy, large frame, having wide seats. Most of these wheelchairs have the capacity of holding 700 pounds of weight. The weight of the users gets distributed throughout the space.

2. Lightweight Wheelchairs

Some users prefer ultra lightweight models, and usually, their weight may range from twenty five pounds to forty pounds. These wheelchairs are portable. While you travel to any place with the chair, you may choose this model. Fold the wheelchair when you are on a car ride.

The back wheels of this chair are large, and the users may grip these wheels for moving the chairs. You can find nylon upholster in these chairs. However, the lightest ones do not always have the cushion on the seat.

Cushion seats are additional accessories which can be easily bought. Find out more here.


Manual and Electric Wheelchair

Depending on the way you are driving the wheelchair, we have found two types: 

1. Manual Wheelchairs 

They are the best models for different users: 

  • The users who are highly dependent on the wheelchair throughout a day
  • The users who have the ability to walk by using a stick and are looking for a wheelchair to travel a long distance

You should have strength in arms to move the chair with your own effort. While you cannot do it, you may need to rely on an attendant.

The best manual chairs have integrated push-handles that enable others to move the system. In our opinion, the Medline Ultralight transport chair is indeed a good purchase. Check out more from our detailed review.

2. Electric Wheelchair

While you do not have much strength for propelling the chair, you can rely on an electric wheelchair. It is also of various categories-

  • Indoor - The wheelchair is intended to be used at any smooth flooring surface, like a shopping mall or your home.
  • Outdoor- The wheelchair has big wheels that may move through any uneven surface
  • Sports Wheelchairs- Intended for enjoying any sport, like rugby or basketball
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    Reclining Wheelchairs- Your attendant has adjusted the tilted position to make it comfortable for you
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    Pediatric Wheelchairs- These are designed for the kids, and thus, they have a smaller frame.

Factors to Consider While Buying A Wheelchair

To purchase the wheelchairs, you have to concentrate on these factors.

The Users’ Ability

We’ve already stated that your physical strength and the surrounding terrain are the major factors to purchase a wheelchair. While you can’t apply much energy, you may look for the electrically powered wheelchair. This helps you in moving the wheels fast.

Wheels of the Chairs

The simplest wheelchair designs have 2 back wheels (24″) and 2 front wheels (7 to 8″). There are wired spokes in these back wheels. The tires for these wheels can be- Solid, Semi-Pneumatic or Pneumatic.

The hand rims of the wheels are linked to their outer side to help you in controlling without touching the dirt. Front wheels may have a diameter of 8″.

Height of Wheelchair’s Seat

For the adult users, the chair’s seats have a height, ranging from 19 to 20 inches. However, the taller users have to look for the higher seat. 

Type of Seat

In some wheelchairs, you can find slings, adjacent to the upholstery. You can find the use of Velcro for securing the upholstery in the right place. You may search for removable or foldable solid seat.

Special cushions are also essential to lots of users to sit on the chair comfortably.

Adjustability of The Seat Width

While the seat width does not suit you, it can cause sore to you. You may lean towards one side, when the seat is very wide. Too much deep seat will also result in issues. That is why you must use the wheelchair with the right seat.


Who Makes the Best Wheelchair

Now, if you are searching for the reliable branded wheelchairs, you may rely on the products on Drive Medical and Invacare. Both these brands offer durable wheelchairs of various designs.

Cruiser III, Poly-Fly GT, Cirrus Plus folding power wheelchair and Silver Sport Reclining wheelchairs- these are some of the popular products of Drive Medical.

On the other hand, Invacare has released and manual wheelchairs of sturdy frames, high-quality seat and wheels. You will also get wheelchair accessories from these brands.

Conclusion

Thus, look for the best wheelchair that serves you for several years. The cost of wheelchairs can vary on the basis of what model you have chosen. Read our guide to pick the most suitable wheelchair.