Are you looking for an electric wheelchair for yourself or a loved one? They can be expensive, so it’s important to do research to find the one that will best match your needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 11 best electric wheelchairs along with tips on how to find the right one.
- 1Forcemech Voyager - Ultra Portable Folding Power Wheelchair
- 2Hover All-New Move Lite Folding Power Chair
- 3Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair
- 4Porto Mobility Ranger D09 Lightweight Foldable Weatherproof Electric Wheelchair
- 5Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy GP162B Power Chair PTC
- 6Sentire Med Forza FCX Deluxe Fold Foldable Power Compact Mobility Aid Wheel Chair
- 7Karman XO-202 Full Stand Up Power Chair
- 8Hover Model H Hybrid Manual and Power Chair in One
- 9Pride Jazzy Passport Folding Power Chair
- 10Pride Jazzy Elite HD Power Chair
- 11Porto Mobility Ranger Quattro XL Heavy Duty Ultra Lightweight Foldable Electric Wheelchair
Hopefully, you’ll find exactly what you need, so you or your loved one can experience the freedom and mobility that a power wheelchair can provide without the hassle of shipping back a chair that doesn’t work for the person who needs it.
Features to Consider When Buying a Electric Wheelchair
When you’re shopping for a power wheelchair, how do you know what features to pay attention to? Here are some of the things you should consider to find a wheelchair that has everything you need without paying extra for options you don’t need.
Front-, Middle-, or Rear-Wheel Drive
Front-wheel drive power wheelchairs are the most popular option because they do well on all terrain, both indoors and outdoors. Rear-wheel drive wheelchairs tend to do best on outdoor terrain and may have the best speed. Mid-wheel drive wheelchairs work well in large indoor environments where a small turning radius isn’t required.
Since no two people have the same body, physical ability, mobility, or wheelchair needs, adjustability helps ensure a wheelchair perfectly suits the user. Look for adjustable features like leg-rests, footrests, headrests, seat depth, and more.
Some power wheelchairs can be big, heavy, and cumbersome, requiring a lift to get them into a vehicle. If the wheelchair user plans to travel a lot, a portable wheelchair that folds up small enough to fit inside a car trunk can make it easy to travel.
Also, not all power2 wheelchairs are suitable for airplanes or cruise ships, so it’s important to find an airline-approved portable wheelchair if you plan on flying with it.
Turning Radius and Maneuverability
If the wheelchair user lives in a smaller space, then a chair with a tight turn radius will be crucial for getting into tight spaces. Larger turn radiuses can make it difficult to get into the bathroom or around furniture.
Size and Weight Capacity
A wheelchair that fits a short person may not be comfortable for a taller person, and vice versa. A wide wheelchair may not fit through narrow doorways. Many electric wheelchairs have weight capacities of 250 pounds or less and are not designed to accommodate heavier people. Some foldable wheelchairs may still be too large or heavy to easily move.
These are just some of the size considerations you need to keep in mind while looking for the perfect electric wheelchair.
Additional Features, Options, and Accessories
All power wheelchairs come with different options or accessories that may be included or available at an additional cost. The number of features that must be purchased separately can cause a wheelchair to be out of your price range after you add in what you need.
What features are important to the wheelchair user? A cupholder? Storage baskets? Adjustable armrests or leg rests? A color other than black? A programmable controller?
You may especially want to factor in safety features like anti-tippers, lap belts, horns, and backup alarms.
Be sure to factor in the costs of additional accessories into your purchase price - they can add to the cost significantly, sometimes making it worthwhile to invest in a wheelchair with a higher base price that already includes the features you want.
1. Hover All-New Move Lite Folding Power Chair
For a power chair that folds up into the size of a large suitcase, check out the Hover All-New Move Lite Folding Power Chair. It only weighs 50 pounds, has a 300-pound weight limit, and fits into most trunks. Additionally, removable seat covers make it easy to clean.
The reviews for this electric wheelchair are overwhelmingly positive. At 50 pounds, it was too heavy for some to lift into a trunk, but it is light enough for most people to manage. Some customers had a problem with the footrests being uncomfortable or not being able to swing away. Overall, though, people are thrilled with this wheelchair.
As long as you don’t need swing-away legrests or many adjustable features, this is likely to suit your needs well if you are looking for a power chair you can travel with. It’s small enough to fit in most trunks and can go on airplanes and cruise ships.
2. Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair
Are you struggling to find an electric wheelchair with the right seat size? The Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair has 4 different seat sizes to choose from. It’s foldable, has a 300-pound weight limit, is rear-wheel drive, and has a carbon-steel frame.
Overall, customers are happy with this chair. The only complaints were that it can be difficult to control in tight spaces and that it’s on the heavy side. Most people love this power chair.
As long as you (or your caretaker) can manage the weight of this foldable power wheelchair, it is likely to be a good option for you.
3. Porto Mobility Ranger D09 Lightweight Foldable Weatherproof Electric Wheelchair
Are you looking for an electric wheelchair that can handle carpet, grass, dirt, or other uneven terrain? You will probably love the Porto Mobility Ranger D09 Lightweight Foldable Weatherproof Exclusive Electric Wheelchair. It can tackle tough terrain without a problem, and it’s also extremely portable.
One tall user had to sit on several pillows and remove an armrest to get comfortable in this chair. Another found the user manual to be lacking. Mostly, customers are thrilled with this electric wheelchair. More than one mentioned how well it works on grass, dirt, gravel, and other surfaces that aren’t smooth.
As long as the person using the wheelchair isn’t exceptionally tall, this is an excellent motorized wheelchair that will suit the needs of many people. It folds up easily and only weighs 50 pounds, making it easy to transport.
4. Forcemech Voyager - Ultra Portable Folding Power Wheelchair
Are you always on the go? If you travel a lot, you need a lightweight foldable power chair like the Forcemech Voyager - Ultra Portable Folding Electric Wheelchair. It folds up small enough to fit in most car trunks and only weighs 47 pounds (minus the batteries). It has a 33” turning radius and a 285-pound weight limit.
The most common complaint about this chair is that it didn’t have enough power to go over small bumps or keep up with other people walking. Even people who otherwise liked this electric wheelchair felt it was underpowered. Several people also reported problems getting or keeping the battery charged. Some customers also reported problems folding or unfolding the wheelchair.
All in all, this electric wheelchair is a good option for people who are looking for something portable. It’s only of the lightest foldable power chairs on the market, so you can take it just about anywhere. It may have trouble going uphill or handling small bumps, though, so keep that in mind while deciding whether this is the right chair for you.
5. Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy GP162B Power Chair PTC
Are you partially mobile, but need assistance walking more than a few paces? The Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy GP162B Power Chair PTC (EWUSA) may be a good fit for you. Take your pick from 6 colors and 2 seat sizes to make it fit you. It features a 300-pound weight limit and a tight 28.5” turning radius.
There aren’t that many reviews of this product yet, but the few available reviews are overwhelmingly positive. They say it’s easy to assemble, disassemble, and maneuver.
6. Sentire Med Forza FCX Deluxe Fold Foldable Power Compact Mobility Aid Wheel Chair
For included features like a cup holder, storage bags, and a seatbelt, look at the Sentire Med Forza FCX Deluxe Fold Foldable Power Compact Mobility Aid Wheel Chair. In addition to these features that are often an extra cost, this heavy-duty power chair has a 360-pound weight limit and folds down to only 13” x 33”.
There are only a handful of negative reviews. The biggest complaints were about the wheels leaving marks on the floors and struggles with navigating, especially in tight spaces. Most reviews were very positive, and several mentioned the excellent customer service from the company.
As long as you aren’t worried about scuff marks on the floor or living in a cramped home that requires a tight turning radius, this chair will probably meet your needs well.
7. Karman XO-202 Full Stand Up Power Chair
In the market for a sit-to-stand wheelchair? You may be interested in the Karman XO-202 Full Stand Up Power Chair. In addition to the ability to stand the wheelchair user up, it can go up to 25 miles on a single charge, has a 250-pound weight limit, and goes up to 5 mph.
There are only a handful of reviews on this wheelchair so far. One user felt the seat cushion was too thin. Otherwise, everybody said the chair was comfortable, sturdy, and lightweight.
This appears to be an excellent sit-to-stand wheelchair, with several customer reviews confirming this. It’s more expensive than other power wheelchairs, but the ability to stand provides many benefits that may make the cost worthwhile.
8. Hover Model H Hybrid Manual and Power Chair in One
Do you like to push yourself in your wheelchair when you can, but you need some power from time to time, like to get up hills? You may appreciate the Hover Model H Hybrid Manual and Power Chair in One. It’s a hybrid manual and electric wheelchair, and at only 39 pounds, it’s one of the lightest motorized wheelchairs you will find. It has a 260-pound weight limit and can travel up to 8 or 13 miles per charge, depending on the battery type.
Overall, customers are thrilled with this chair. Many people mentioned how this chair has helped them get their independence back. The primary complaints were about the footrests being in the way for transfers and the fact that it’s very difficult for the person in the chair to switch from manual to power mode and vice versa.
This is one of the lightest motorized wheelchairs on the market right now, making it easy to transport. The option to turn it into a manual wheelchair makes it even more versatile than models that must always be used in power mode. All in all, this wheelchair will be a good fit for many people.
9. Pride Jazzy Passport Folding Power Chair JZPASS
If you’re looking for a high-quality, durable motorized wheelchair, check out the Pride Jazzy Passport Folding Power Chair. It includes a 5-year limited warranty on the frame, a 3-year limited warranty on the seat post, and a 13-month warranty on many other parts.
The few available customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with almost everybody mentioning how comfortable this chair is. Other comments say that it is highly maneuverable and fits in the trunk of a compact car.
As long as you don’t need a high max speed or travel distance, this is likely to be a comfortable chair that will suit the needs of many people.
10. Pride Jazzy Elite HD Power Chair
If the weight limit of many other power wheelchairs doesn’t meet your needs, you may like the Pride Jazzy Elite HD Power Chair. This bariatric wheelchair has a 450-pound weight limit and is highly customizable. Create the chair that best suits your needs by choosing the color, joystick mount, armrest type, and more.
There aren’t very many detailed reviews of this product. No complaint was mentioned by more than one customer. Generally, people are very satisfied with this chair and say that the front-wheel-drive and knobby wheels allow the chair to travel over many different types of terrain.
With a maximum weight capacity of 450 pounds, this heavy-duty power chair may be the best option available for a wheelchair user who weighs more than 250 to 300 pounds. It’s highly customizable to make it suitable for any needs, and the knobby flat-free tires and front-wheel drive allow this chair to tackle many types of terrain.
11. Porto Mobility Ranger Quattro XL Heavy Duty Ultra Lightweight Foldable Electric Wheelchair
If you need a motor chair that can go the distance, you’ll love the Porto Mobility Ranger Quattro XL Heavy Duty Electric Wheelchair. With the purchase of a third battery, it has a maximum travel distance of up to 30 miles. It has a 400-pound weight limit, weighs 55 pounds without the batteries, and is foldable.
The reviews on this heavy-duty power chair are overwhelmingly positive. People love that it’s comfortable, it’s easy to transport, it has a long maximum travel distance, and it handles rough terrain easily.
This may be one of the best power wheelchairs on the market right now, with many people claiming it is the best chair ever, and nobody refuting those claims. There is a good chance this chair will work well for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Power Wheelchairs
Who Benefits from an Electric Wheelchair?
Anybody who uses a wheelchair at least some of the time and can’t always propel themselves in a manual wheelchair may benefit from an electric chair. Power wheelchairs aren’t just for full-time wheelchair users.
They’re also a great option for people who can stand and walk short distances but can’t walk very far without assistance.
They can be a great option for people who sometimes propel themselves, but need help going uphill or for extended periods of time.
Electric wheelchairs can also be a great option for caregivers who struggle to transport the person under their care with a manual wheelchair.
Does Medicare Pay for Power Wheelchairs?
Medicare does occasionally provide 80% coverage for the cost of an electric wheelchair since it is considered a piece of medical equipment. However, there are strict eligibility restrictions, which will prevent Medicare from covering the cost of a power wheelchair for many people unless their doctor can show that it is a medical necessity.
Additionally, many wheelchair dealers may not accept Medicare or private insurance.
There is a fair chance you will need to pay for an electric wheelchair yourself. Luckily, many wheelchair dealers offer financing options to help you be able to afford the purchase.
How Heavy Are Electric Wheelchairs?
The lightest power wheelchair on our list weighs 39 pounds without the battery, while the heaviest weighs 178 pounds. Other power wheelchairs not on our list may be lighter or heavier. If the wheelchair needs to be lifted into a trunk to transport it, make sure the wheelchair user or caretaker will be able to lift the weight.
Can Power Wheelchairs Get Wet?
Most power wheelchairs can survive the occasional rainstorm or puddle. However, you should dry it off with a towel as soon as possible to help prevent rust, malfunctions, and corroded electrical components.
How Do You Clean an Electric Wheelchair?
Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean the power wheelchair. Specific instructions may vary, but generally, you should wipe down the wheelchair with a clean, dry cloth at least once a day. Avoid using harsh chemicals, and don’t spray water directly onto the wheelchair.
How Fast Do Power Wheelchairs Go?
Every electric wheelchair has a different maximum speed. Some power wheelchairs top out at 3 miles per hour, while others have a top speed of 6 mph or more. If the wheelchair will mostly be used inside, a slower maximum speed will be just fine. Users who take their power wheelchairs outside a lot may prefer a higher speed to get them from place to place a little quicker.
Can Electric Wheelchairs Fold Up?
Some power wheelchairs fold up, but not all. Foldable electric wheelchairs make for easy storage and transportation. They aren’t necessarily any smaller than normal wheelchairs when they are unfolded - they are still full size.
Look closely at the product descriptions to see whether and how the wheelchair folds up. Some merely fold in half lengthwise, while others collapse into a size somewhat like a large, rolling suitcase. Consider how, when, and where the wheelchair may need to be folded up to pick the best style for your needs.
How Long or Far Can a Power Wheelchair Go on One Charge?
Every electric wheelchair will have a different maximum battery range, so pay close attention to the description. The maximum range often depends on the number of batteries. Some power wheelchairs may have a maximum range of only 8 miles, while others, with additional batteries, may go as far as 30 miles on a single charge.
Depending on the battery type, wheelchair model, and usage, a power wheelchair battery may only last up to 8 hours. With heavy usage or a battery that isn’t very powerful, you may get much less battery life.
If the wheelchair user will be using the chair all day, look for powerful batteries and wheelchairs that allow you to switch from drained to charged batteries partway through the day, if necessary.
How Often Should You Charge a Power Wheelchair?
It’s best to keep the batteries of a power wheelchair “topped up,” so you should generally charge it after every use unless the manufacturer’s instructions say otherwise. Batteries may take up to 12 to 18 hours to charge, so you’ll usually want to charge the wheelchair all night, every night.
For extended use, look for power wheelchairs with removable batteries and keep a couple extra on-hand so you always have fully charged batteries to keep the chair going all day.
Can You Overcharge an Electric Wheelchair Battery?
The charger provided with the wheelchair should have an automatic shutoff to prevent overcharging the battery. If you aren’t sure whether your wheelchair’s charger has this safety feature, contact the manufacturer to find out how to prevent the battery from overcharging.
What Is the Difference Between an Electric Wheelchair and a Motorized Scooter?
While they may look similar at a glance, mobility scooters and power wheelchairs are actually quite different. Scooters have handlebars and often only have three wheels. Power wheelchairs are generally steered by joystick controllers and typically have four to six wheels.
Motorized scooters and power wheelchairs are both mobility products, but electric wheelchairs are generally designed for more use than scooters.
Motorized wheelchairs are a big purchase, and it can be stressful trying to find the best one for your needs. We’ve given you some great options here along with tips on finding the one that’s right for you. Hopefully, you will find the battery-powered wheelchair that’s best for you or your loved one and experience increased mobility and freedom.