Best Wheelchair Reviews: 15 Models That Deserve Your Attention

Spending days or years in a wheelchair is definitely uncomfortable, demanding and often packed with many unexpected issues. As such, most of us will always try to find a way to make assisting or sitting in the wheelchair easier. One of the best way to do this is to get the best wheelchair so that our experience will be much more smooth sailing.

Getting the right wheelchair may be complicated as they always comes in various sizes, different features, weight and so on. In this article, we will be focusing on the three types of wheelchairs. We will start with the lightweight followed by electric and lastly, the manual wheelchairs. The models listed here are some of the best units according to their respective categories.

Best Lightweight Wheelchairs

For most users, the lightest wheelchair will normally be the right choice. They are obviously the simplest ones to use and they are easy when it comes to movement.

However, there are some models which are better than the others. Check out our tables and reviews in order to get the most suitable choice.

Product Name

Specification

Rating

  • 38 x 22 x 38 inches
  • 29 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • 12" Rear Wheels
  • Price: $

5.0/5.0

  • 33 x 22 x 36 inches
  • 17 lbs (without riggings)
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • 8" Rear Wheels; 6" Front Wheels
  • Price: $

4.8/5.0

  • 24 x 10.8 x 33.5 inches
  • 15 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • 8" Rear Wheels
  • Price:$ 

4.8/5.0

  • 31 x 18 x 36 inches
  • 35 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • 24" Rear Wheels
  • Price: $

4.5/5.0

  • Product Weight: 36 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Price: $$

4.5/5.0

  • 42 x 28 x 35 inches
  • 41 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • 24" Rear Wheels
  • Price: $

4.8/5.0

Top 6 Lightweight Wheelchair Reviews

1. Drive Medical Lightweight Expedition - Best Lightweight Wheelchair for Elderly

Best wheelchair

If you are searching for a lightweight wheelchair for elderly, this model will be the best for you. They are made of super-light materials and yet, very durable and strong. This particular model is one of the best-selling units in the market today.

The folding feature is very advanced and convenient. All you have to do is press them in the middle and fold them flat. Transporting wheelchairs has never been easier. It is quite impressive how the manufacturer was able to make a big and comfortable wheelchair fold into such a small size.

Overall, this model we tested performed well and is specifically designed for elderly people. It also comes with 12 inches flat tires, making it easier to manoeuvre around.

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2. Drive Medical Fly Lite Ultra Lightweight

If you are interested in getting a wheelchair which is made for a busy lifestyle, this model will be the best choice. It is well-made and comes with almost identical features as the first unit we mentioned. However, it has smaller wheels. The front wheels are 6 inches wheels whereas the back wheels are at 8 inches.

Folding the wheelchair is obviously possible, but it is slightly different than other models. Basically, you have to fold the backrest first to get it to a more compact design before actually able to fold it completely. We were not impressed with this feature and believe that it is complicated and has a negative effect on the transporting capabilities.

Rear wheels can be locked and they are unable to accidentally unlock regardless of the type and amount of force you are using. It also comes with a seat belt and using is relatively simple.

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3. Medline Ultralight Transport Mobility Wheelchair - Best Lightweight Wheelchair For Travel

As the name suggests, this wheelchair is perfect for travelers and for users who always travel around. One thing good about this model is that it comes in 3 different colors for you to choose, grey, blue and black.

Then we have the weight. When fully assembled, this model will weigh just under 15 pounds. It offers a decent weight load and comes with excellent advantages and sophisticated features.

The seat is massive, size of 19 inches. We believe most users won’t have any complaints regarding the seat as it will surely meet their expectations, even if they are extremely high.

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4. Karman Healthcare LT-800T Series

Here, we have one of the well-known wheelchair brands. The model we tested was appreciated for several things. The first one is that it is nice and easy to clean upholstery. It is very strong, yet makes the wheelchair comfortable and easy to use at all times. We believe that this type of upholstery should be implemented on all other wheelchairs.

The sitting depth is 19 inches which is standard for most wheelchairs. Besides that, you also get a massive seat with an excellent back rest, making it extremely comfortable to use.

Footrests can be removed or adjusted easily as well. An average user will need just under 4 minutes to adjust them according to his preferences. The weight load is 250 pounds, which is slightly lower than the previous model we tested, but it is reasonably decent.

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5. Invacare Tracer SX5

The Invacare tracer sx5 wheelchair is an interesting alternative to all aforementioned models. The first thing you are going to notice is its bigger design and plenty of advanced features. 

The frame is a masterpiece and it allows plenty of adjustments for the users. It is also very strong and designed to withstand any type of use. However, it can be quite heavy for some. When fully assembled, the wheelchair weigh around 36 pounds, which is more compared to other models mentioned here.

The wheels are made of urethane so they are very durable and comfortable to move around. Don’t forget that the seat is made of high-quality materials as well. There is no need to worry about the maintenance or the durability of the components.

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6. Drive Medical Cruiser III

The Drive Medical Cruiser III is an upgraded version that has been with us for a long period of time. This wheelchair has a lot to offer and we liked the fact that the manufacturer upgrades them occasionally. As you can see, this is the third variation of the original model.

The frame you can see here is new and has been designed in order to meet the requirements of the most demanding people. It allows you to easily adjust the front wheels in three different positions. You can also adjust the wheelchair for a specific need of a user.

The design allows you to use different back inserts and accessories. This is possible thanks to the guide elements which have been redesigned as well. Other improvement includes massive rear wheels and a foldable design.

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Best Electric Wheelchairs

For some of you, electric wheelchairs will be the top option. They do come with impressive advantages such as superb movement, easy to use and they are made to last for a long period of time.

They are also made to be used by the individual, without the help of another person. Check out our tables and reviews in order to find the most suitable electric wheelchairs.

Product Name

Specification

Rating

  • 31.5 x 22.4 x 33.1 inches
  • 44 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 265 lbs
  • 8" Rear Wheels
  • Lithium battery - Up to 10+ miles driving distance
  • Price: $$$$$

5.0/5.0

  • 38 x 25 x 37 inches
  • 50 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 397 lbs
  • Travel Speed: 5MPH
  • 12.5" Rear Wheels
  • LFP Lithium battery - Up to 16 miles driving distance
  • Price: $$$$$

5.0/5.0

  • 35 x 24 x 35 inches
  • 50 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 295 lbs
  • Travel Speed: 5MPH
  • 9" Rear Wheels
  • Dual lithcium battery - Up to 6.25 miles each
  • Price: $$$$$ 

4.8/5.0

  • 31 x 24 x 33 inches
  • 50 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 265 lbs
  • 9" Rear Wheels
  • Lithium ion battery - Up to 15 miles
  • Price: $$$$$ 

4.8/5.0

  • 42.5 x 26 x 36 inches
  • 90 lbs (without battery)
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • 12.5" Drive Wheels
  • Max Speed: 5.5 MPH
  • Lithium ion battery - Up to 15 miles
  • Price: $$$$ 

5.0/5.0

Top 5 Electric Wheelchair Reviews

1. EZ Lite Cruiser: Best Lightweight Electric Wheelchair

The EZ Lite Cruiser is simply an affordable wheelchair model. It is also one of the best lightweight wheelchairs you can have. The weight is only 50 pounds and this includes the battery, the motor, and all other elements. You can also easily fold and transport them anywhere you want.

The overall quality and the design is also very impressive. Although the weight of the wheelchair is light, the weight load is decent at 254 pounds. This means that you don’t have to install a lift on your car. The wheelchair can be easily transported like most manual models and it doesn’t require additional modifications.

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2. Forcemech Navigator

The Forcemech Power have been commonly rated as one of the top 10 electric wheelchairs. They are unique in a way that they can be used on any terrain and can meet even the highest expectations. 

Besides the design of the frame, the rear wheels are also suitable for use on rough terrain. They are non-flat models which are capable of withstanding all possible environments. The same applies to the front wheels, although they are smaller and more suitable for simpler usages.

Some of you may think that due to its unique design, they can be extremely difficult to fold and use, but this isn’t the case. In reality, they can be folded in a matter of seconds and can be fitted to any trunk of a modern car.

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3. Innuovo 5513A - Best Portable Electric Wheelchair

The tested model is superb when it comes to safety features and it is one of the lightest models on the market. When fully assembled and ready to use, the weight will be only 50 pounds.

You will also experience a higher level of comfort. It has fully adjustable foot rests and very sturdy and durable due to its strong construction. This model performed well even under heavy load. The wheels are specifically designed in order to provide a higher level of safety and also to stay operational in all situations.

It's main selling point is a feature known as anti-tipper. Basically, you will be able to stay in an upright position regardless of the terrain and the speed you are traveling.

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4. KD Smart Chair

And now we have a model that has a lot to offer. First of all, it comes with an adjustable backrest which can be set in three different positions.

Then we have a massive seat which is layered with a cushion and also paired with the leg guards. The next best thing is the carrying tray which is located beneath the seat.

This wheelchair is great for travellers and those who are looking for a small and compact model. It is relatively easy to fold. Placing them in any truck of an average car will not be a problem. The battery offers a decent range of 15 miles when fully charged.

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5. Drive Medical Cirrus Plus - Best Folding Electric Wheelchair

This wheelchair is an advanced and sophisticated model designed for those who want something specific and superb compared to other models. The first thing you are going to notice is its wheels. They look very impressive and modern as well.

The next thing we have to mention is the adjustable tension. It makes the wheelchair suitable for different types of users and also can be used in different terrains. We must add that adjusting the tension is extremely easy, you are going to need just a couple of seconds. You will also appreciate the overall comfort and the attention to the details this wheelchair has to offer.

Additionally, you will want to know that this unit also comes with anti-tip wheels and a storage space. There are two batteries included in the package and its weight capacity is 300 pounds.

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Best Manual Wheelchairs

Now we will have to mention something about the best manual wheelchair. For most users, these models are the most practical, affordable and the best part? They do not require any maintenance at all.

They are also lighter than electric models and more compact, hence the best alternative if you are looking for a wheelchair with all the advantages mentioned above.

Product Name

Specification

Rating

  • 38 x 27 x 36 inches
  • 19.8 lbs
  • Quick Release Axle available
  • 20" Rear Wheels
  • Price: $$$

5.0/5.0

  • 25.5 x 38 inches
  • 27.5 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • 8" Front Wheels; 12" Rear Wheels
  • Price: $$

4.8/5.0

  • 41 x 30 x 37.5 inches
  • 36 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 450 lbs
  • 12" Rear Wheels
  • Price: $$

4.5/5.0

  • 30 x 29.25 x 38 inches
  • 31.5 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Quick-release wheels
  • Price: $$

4.3/5.0

Top 4 Manual Wheelchair Reviews

1. Karman Healthcare Ergo Flight - Best Manual Light Weight Wheelchair

The Karman Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight is the first and the best manual wheelchair on our list, weighing just under 20 pounds, the lightest on the market money can buy today. The quality, attention to details and the strength of this wheelchair are very impressive.

The seat is 18x17 inches in size and is very comfortable. Rear wheels are 20 inches big and they are easy to use. They are fitted on a fixed axle.

Other features we like is its limited lifetime warranty, advanced foot rests and above average back rest. In short, it is massive and offers great back support.

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2. NOVA 352 Transport Chair

This particular model is superb for travel and for those who need a small and compact wheelchair. They can be easily folded and will occupy lesser space compared to most wheelchairs in the market.

It's frame is strong and well-made. The 12 inches wheels are decent in size and they can be very helpful if you are looking for a wheelchair that can be used on uneven and inclined terrain. The seat is massive and comfortable as well.

The weight load they can withstand is 300 pounds. Keep in mind that this brand is one of the best in the wheelchair business and this particular model is their more affordable ones. You are going to appreciate its simplicity, the advanced foldability and the other two features that we will reveal right now.

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3. Drive Medical Bariatric

What if you are looking for a wheelchair that can withstand an impressive weight load? Look no further, this model is the best choice. Besides the maximum weight load, there are a few more features that we will have to mention about this particular model.

The frame is extremely strong and durable. The seat is wide and actually wider than most manual wheelchairs. Big and tall people will benefit the most out of this unit.

Its armrests are comfortable and padded as well. In a nutshell, this looks like a simple model, does not offer advanced features, but it has all the basics you are going to need. Most importantly, it is quite affordable.

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4. Medline Premium Ultra-Lightweight

This wheelchair is special as you get to choose between different seat sizes. They range between 16x16 inches and 22x18 inches.

The weight limit is 300 pounds and the wheels are massive for easy movement. Its armrests are adapted for use in restaurants when sitting at a table. The upholstery is made to withstand heavy-duty usages and for long use.

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Buyer's Guide: Things to Consider Before Purchasing A Wheelchair

Choosing a wheelchair for a senior is far from easy. We can even say that it is one of the most complicated choices you are going to make. That’s why you need our buyer’s guide.

Here we will reveal the main factors to consider when looking for a brand new wheelchair and why some features are essential. After you are done with this section, you will be able to make a better decision.

1) Types of Wheelchairs

Before we even move to the main factors to consider, there is one thing to know. Wheelchairs do come in different types, so you must know which type you actually need and when and where it will be the most functional. Keep in mind that all of them can be divided into manual and electric models. There is no need to explain each type

  • Transport Wheelchairs
    These wheelchairs have smaller wheels and they are designed to be pushed by another person. There is no option to propel yourself while sitting in a wheelchair. They are usually made to transport people from one location to another and usually for a short period of time. In addition, you can recognize them if you take a look at the frame. It is simple and massive.
  • Standard Wheelchairs
    Models of this type have large rear wheels and a user can propel himself while sitting. The frame is more complicated than in the first case scenario and they look more sophisticated. In addition, these wheels have comfortable seats and they are generally designed to be used for a long period of time.
  • Electric Wheelchairs
    These are the most advanced and the most expensive models on the market. They have advanced frames, they are very comfortable and they have an electric motor which will provide motion. You will control them with a joystick which is usually located on the right side of the wheelchair.

2) Movement

This is the next or better said the first factor you will have to take into consideration. How will you achieve the movement? Are you going to turn the wheels all by yourself or another person will push the wheelchair?

Those that are designed to be pushed by another individual have smaller wheels, bigger frame and more importantly handles at the back. They can’t be propelled by you. Models which support the user movement don’t have handles, have bigger wheels and rings on the rear wheels which are used to provide the movement.

In order to ensure the safety movement of the wheelchair users, proper ramp should be installed at the house, or vehicles for easy transportation. Check out this post for the best choices of wheelchair ramps.

3) Duration of use

The main question here is how much time you will spend in the wheelchair? If you are looking for a model that will be used for a shorter period of time, you need a smaller and more affordable model.

On the other hand, if you need a model which will be used for months or years, you should pay attention to the comfort and the presence of advanced features.

In the second case, we can clearly see that comfort and the attention to details must be on the highest level. You definitely must invest in an expensive, durable and professional wheelchair.

4) Weight

The overall weight of a wheelchair has a huge impact on the usability. As you were able to see, we mentioned a lot of the lightweight models. They usually weight between 15 and 30 pounds. As such, they are easy to place into a trunk and to move around.

Keep in mind that you will have to move the wheelchair at some point. The weight is an important factor to consider and it should be on the top of your list. We should add that the weight doesn’t have anything to do with the quality. Some lightweight models are extremely durable and strong.

5) Weight Limit

The factor refers to the maximum load a wheelchair can withstand. Some models are rated for 150 pounds, while others for 450 pounds. This matter cannot be generalized and it depends on a specific model and its primary application what the weight limit will be.

Obviously, this factor will be determined by your weight. We believe that it is always better to purchase a model with a higher weight limit, just for the added strength and improved durability.

6) Foldability

All wheelchairs are foldable. This is essential in order to make them usable when traveling by car or a bus. A more important sub-factor is how the wheelchair will be folded. Always look for units that can be folded easily within seconds and which won’t occupy a lot of space.

In general, manual models offer much better foldability. After all, they are lighter, smaller and more compact than electric versions. Try to remember that the weight and weight limit don’t have anything in common with the foldability.

7) Purpose

All wheelchair reviews must include this factor. Where the wheelchairs will be used. Here we can see the differences between models designed for indoor, outdoor or rough terrain purposes. Those that are made for indoor use are generally smaller, more compact and they have smaller wheels. You may want to get a lift installed in your house by thyssenkrupp home solutions.

Models for outdoor usages have bigger wheels and are generally more stable. A special type includes wheelchairs which are designed for the use on a rough terrain. They have heavy-duty wheels and usually extra-tough frames. 

8) Seat

When we think of the seat, we can see two sub-factors. The first one is the size. There are different models out there and they can’t be explained by a single word.

Basically, the size will range between 16 x 16 inches and 22 x 18 inches. Once again, there are a lot of models with bigger and smaller seats. Always choose the size which suits you the best.

The second sub-factor is the comfort of the seat. Yes, all of them are generally comfortable, but some are better than the others. Look for seats which are paired with advanced cushions or etc.

9) Range (Electric Wheelchairs Only)

A very good unit of electric wheelchair must comes with an excellent range. Look for models that offer 15-20 miles of range. It is annoying and time-consuming when you must recharge the battery frequently. Also, it will seriously affect your movement.

Look for models that come with two batteries. By offering this advantage, you have the ability to get 100% better range without any complications. An interesting fact is that the price won’t be higher just because you will get two batteries. In addition, a wheelchair can use one battery at a time.

10) Speed

Speed is usually associated with the electric wheelchairs and it is an important factor to consider if you are looking for a model that can cover a massive distance in the shortest period of time. Some models can reach 6 miles per hour, while others only 2. It is up to you to decide which speed you need.

11) Anti-Tip Wheels

This is a safety feature. Basically, you will have small, extra wheels which will prevent accidental tipping. This safety feature may be simple, but it actually works and it is very important, especially if you are looking for a wheelchair to use on uneven terrain.

We must add that not all models come with this feature. Those that are designed for occasional use and indoor applications usually don’t have anti-tip wheels.

12) Leg Rests

Almost all wheelchairs have one of the two types leg rests. They can be a swing away or height adjustable. It is important to appreciate the comfort leg rests offer for you. They should be big enough to provide a full support and they should be padded with the extra-tough material.

As you were able to see, we mentioned models which come this the most sophisticated and therefore the best leg rests available on the market today. It is an even more important factor to consider if you are looking for a wheelchair for a longer use.

13) Armrests

Armrests are even more important than leg rests. They should be soft, comfortable and massive as well. It is important to add that they should be fully adjustable. Hard and small armrests are far from a great choice to make and they should be avoided.

Here we will also add that a restaurant-style armrests should be considered, but only if you are looking for a wheelchair to use while traveling. The special type of these armrests allows for you to sit closer to a table.

14) Back Support

Back support is an essential factor as well. Here you should pay a special attention to the support the back rest offers for you. It should be massive and if possible adjustable. Make sure that some back rests are not very comfortable and they should be paired with cushions, usually for lumbar support.

15) Comfort

This is a generic factor. If you are looking for a transport wheelchair, then it is less0-important. On the other side, if you are looking for a wheelchair which will be used for a longer period of time, the comfort is a must. Sadly, this matter can’t be generalized and it depends on the individual preference.

Some factors to keep in mind include the size of the wheels (bigger wheels mean better comfort) the type of the seat and the size of the frame. Bigger and models with better seats are obviously more comfortable.

16) Cushion

Here we can see an additional feature. Cushions can be added when needed and they allow you to improve the quality of the wheelchair. You will need a model with a bigger seat and a unit which is massive in size if you are planning to use the cushions.

When we take a look at the cushions only, we can see that you can choose between air, gel and foam models. Gel and air models are usually the most comfortable and therefore our recommendation. Check out more here.

17) Wheels

Wheels can define the wheelchair and make them more stable, more usable or easier to push. There are countless options out there, but at the end of a day, all wheelchairs have 6, 8, 12 or 24-inch wheels.

If you are planning to provide movement all by yourself, bigger wheels are definitely the best option. If you are looking for transport wheelchairs, then you will have to get used to the smaller wheels.

Wheels also affect the speed. Bigger wheels mean higher speed and better comfort as well. It is on you which size of the wheels you will need and which ones will make the most out of the wheelchair you chose. In addition, new models, which come with advanced wheels are superior when it comes to the smoothness they have to provide.

18) Storage

Storage is a small addition which makes a huge difference. Storage usually refers to the tray or a pocket located somewhere in a wheelchair. Here you can choose between so many different options, such as the size, the position of the tray and also the size of the pocket.

Some wheelchairs have both, a tray and a pocket, while others have just one. It is up to you to choose which version you actually need. We want to recommend you the tray. It offers more space and it doesn’t have a negative effect on the overall weight of the wheelchair. Make sure it is located on a right spot, so you can easily reach it at any given moment.

19) Brakes

Brakes are the most essential safety feature a wheelchair has. You will have to take into account the type of the brakes and their simplicity. They must be within your reach at all times and they must be extremely easy to use.

We will add that brakes should be divided into handle-located and wheel located types. The first type is usual for models with handles, which are pushed by other people. The second type is a brake which can be used by a person in a wheelchair.

20) Type of Seat Cover

This is a small factor as well, but it can be more than just important. Basically, you should consider a seat cover which is durable, which is tough and which allows for the skin to breathe. We were able to see some models that offer anti-bacterial seat covers. They are the best in the terms of hygiene.

Here is important to consider the seat cover maintenance. It must be washing machine washable and it should be able to stay immune to the fluids and foods. Don’t forget that some versions can be washed with soap and warm water only. Others are very sensitive and some are extra-tough.

Final Verdict

We reached the end of the best wheelchair article and we will have to tell you one thing more. All wheelchairs come in different sizes, with different features and different benefits. It is important to choose the ones which offer you all the essential features you actually need. Here is our short recap.

Of course, all of this means that each type of wheelchair has the best model. In the case of lightweight wheelchair reviews, you saw that the Drive Medical Lightweight Expedition is the best model. It is the lightest of them all and it is a great value for money.

In the case of best electric wheelchairs, you should choose the EZ Lite Cruiser. This wheelchair will make your life easier and meet even the toughest requirements, thanks to its advanced design and impressive features.

The Karman Healthcare Ergo Flight is the best manual wheelchair. This particular model has all the main features, it is well-designed and it offers great quality.

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