Best Chair Lift for Stairs

For older individuals who have mobility issues and difficulty navigating stairs at home, a stair lift might be the best solution. These devices enable people with injuries or other challenges to safely navigate flights of stairs in a seated position.

Since looking after senior mobility can be a challenge, finding high-quality accessibility solutions is the best way to promote safety for your loved one. The top stair lift companies today include Harmar, Stannah, Lifeway Mobility, Acorn, and more. Read on to learn which products and features are the most appropriate for your needs.

Top Stairlift Options for Seniors in 2021

When choosing a stairlift for adults, consider features such as a power swivel seat or a folding footrest that can improve the useability for seniors. Don't forget to check the type of stair that it will be used on, along with seat height and cost when comparing different brands.

Best Overall Option: Bruno Elan Straight Stairlift

  • Straight stair lift
  • New
  • Supports users up to 300 lbs
  • Installation to within 6" of wall or obstruction
  • 1-year labor warranty on parts covered by a lifetime warranty

A relatively affordable indoor option for most older individuals is the Bruno Elan stairlift. It has a narrow vertical rail design to maximize space for other family members and an ergonomically designed armrest control for easy operation. The retractable seat belt is a welcome safety feature that can be used with just one hand.

Best Curved Option: Acorn 180

  • Curved stairlift
  • New
  • Supports users up to 265 lbs
  • Fits directly to the staircase, not the wall,
  • 12-month manufacturer’s warranty with extended options

Our pick for the best-curved stair lift is the Acorn 180. It offers a comfortable and stable ride due to the self-leveling carriage, ensuring that older individuals have a safe journey and a soft spot. Unlike some other products, it can be installed within days instead of weeks. The battery power option is also rather handy in the event of a power outage.

Best Affordable Outdoor Option: AmeriGlide Outdoor Deluxe Stair Lift

  • For outdoor use
  • New
  • Weight capacity of up to 250-350 lbs
  • 16ft maximum track length
  • 2 years warranty for component parts and 5 years for the drive train

A model that can cater to your outdoor needs is the Deluxe Outdoor lift by AmeriGlide. It comes with 3 protective covers for protection against the elements but is not intended to be used in snow and ice. Although it is marked as self-installable, customer evaluations note that the instructions are difficult to manage. Because of this, contacting the company for assistance might be the best option.

Best Customizable Straight or Curved Stair Option: Stannah Starlah Stairlift

  • For straight or curved use
  • New or rental
  • Weight capacity of 350 lbs
  • Installation to within 6" of wall or obstruction
  • Lifetime warranty for new stairlifts

The Starla model is a high-end option for those willing to spend more on high-quality engineering and top-tier design. It comes in a variety of upholstery finishes, wood trims, and colors to match the interior of your home. The safety sensors detect any obstacles in the lifts' path and the nightlight function helps users avoid hazards in the evening.

Best for Maximum Durability: Harmar Pinnacle SL600HD Straight Stair Lift

  • For straight rail use
  • New
  • Weight limit of 600 lbs
  • Up to 40' (12.2 m) of travel
  • Warranty of 3 years on parts, 10 years on gear rack, 1 year on battery

For older people looking for durability and comfort, the Harmar Pinnacle HD model has an extremely high capacity, high-backed wide seat, and reinforced footrest for safe transfers. This signature stair lift has a powerful lifting capacity and 85° swivel, needing little to no maintenance for users. It also comes with an optional key lock and retractable seat belt.

Best for Narrow Curved Stairs: Handicare Freecurve

  • For spiral, steep, and narrow curved staircase types
  • New
  • Weight limit of 275 lbs
  • Can be used on staircases as narrow as 27.2 inches
  • Limited lifetime warranty of 2 years

For families with limited space in their homes, the Handicare Freecurve can be tailor-made to your specifications. The unique PhotoSurvey system takes accurate measurements and helps you visualize what your new lift will look like in your home. It is built specifically for curved and narrow stair types using a single-tube system that maximizes movability with a swiveling seat.

The Freecurve comes in three stairlift models in terms of seating, with different fabric finishes and 5 color choices.

Quick Guide- Best Lift Belt For Elderly Individuals

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a stairlift?

Stairlifts can be a great option for those who are not able to walk down the staircases but still have some mobility. They fit in most homes and give you back that much-needed independence as they help lift up your seat and slide it around on the railings of a staircase, making them perfect additions to any home where there is an old or difficult set of steps.

Can stairlifts be fitted to any staircases?

The simple answer is yes, stairlifts can be fitted to any staircases. There are options available for narrow staircases and curved or straight flights of staircases, with each option coming with additional features you can include.

Why are curved stair lifts so expensive?

Curved stairlifts can be even pricier than their straight counterparts. This is for two reasons: one being that curved railings have a higher labor cost of manufacturing due to the time-consuming work needed in cutting them out from steel sheets into curvatures according to your specifications, and another reason being that installing a curve railing takes much more time as well.

How long does it take to install a stair lift?

A straight indoor or outdoor stairlift usually takes two to three hours for installation. The dealer technician may arrive with the rail pre-cut in length, but it is more common that they take final measurements at your home and cut the rail outside before securing it on your stairs.

What is the difference between a stairlift and a chair lift?

A stairlift is a seat that individuals can sit on to ride up the staircases. It's designed for those who use walkers or other collapsible assistive walking devices, whereas chair lifts are designed to carry both wheelchair and person at the same time.

At the end of the day, it's best to carefully measure the dimensions of your staircase and have a skilled professional handle the installation of any stair lifts, once you have your chosen stairlift model. This can spare you any mechanical issues with your motor or other safety issues down the line and give you greater peace of mind.

Although there are self-install stairlifts on the market, it’s best to have a skilled professional handle the installation. Installing stairlifts is a complex project with safety concerns and an experienced technician can help ensure years of trouble-free operation.

To learn more about other items and accessibility solutions for seniors that can improve their quality of life, read on at Senior Strong.

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