After evaluating the performance of many wheelchairs from the popular manufacturers, we found Drive Medical Wheelchair as a highly recommended model for its smooth functioning and practical features to give you maximum comforting experience.
- Best Lightweight Wheelchair
- Best Reclining Wheelchair
- Best Travel Wheelchair
- How to Choose
- Customization, Adjustments, and Accessories
Wheelchairs are one of the most recognized and widely used medical equipment around the world. They play a significant role for patients with impaired mobility. These chairs are equipped with unique wheels that allow for smooth and safe movement in a perfect seated position. These chairs provide incredible care to a variety of people. They are available in wide range of shapes, sizes and movement procedures. If you are immobilized or have a health condition, a suitable wheelchair can help you in doing things that you love to enjoy.
Over the course of this article, we will be providing you with all the essential information that you need to know to purchase the best wheelchair. Choosing the right wheelchair will let you socialize and enjoy gatherings with friends and families. Usually, the wheelchairs divide into two categories including manual wheelchairs that are propelled by user’s strength, and the other group is an electric wheelchair. While looking for different wheelchairs for a patient, you need to consider their specific requirements regarding these categories. Every category directly relates to capabilities and suitability of a wheelchair. We tested several wheelchairs from leading brands and analyzed their performance, ease of use and comfort. Also, we consulted professionals and asked for their suggestions that suit most people with physical disabilities and other conditions. Further, we included a detailed buying guide that will provide you with essential information required to make a wise decision.
Top 5 Wheelchairs
|Best Lightweight Wheelchair
|Best Lightweight Wheelchair
|Best Reclining Wheelchair
|Best Reclining Wheelchair
|Best Travel Wheelchair
Wheelchair Buying Guide
How to Choose
Self-Propelled or Attendant-Propelled
When purchasing a wheelchair, you will want to know the basic types, i.e., whether you can propel yourself or needs attendant assistance. Self-propelled wheelchairs come with distinct specifications. Commonly they feature large black wheels and require push rims on the rear wheels. Whereas, attendant wheelchairs offer handles that can be used to push a single round. These wheelchairs also feature large black wheels and prove to be quite helpful when it comes to driving them through pavements or rough surfaces. Not everyone is capable of propelling; therefore, it’s an excellent choice for people who need added assistance to move around comfortably.
Weight of the Wheelchair
The size and weight of a wheelchair are crucial factors when it comes to carrying around and storage. The weight of the wheelchair is directly proportional to the power required to push it. The heavier wheelchairs need a harder push and vice versa. If weight is a problem for you, look for wheelchairs that are constructed from aluminum frames to minimize weight. Additionally, many wheelchairs come with detachable parts. You can conveniently separate these components to shed off some weight when required.
Ability of the User
While purchasing a wheelchair, one must consider the physical strength as the primary factor. If you are not capable of engaging in physical practices that require a lot of energy, then you can think about a model that comes with power assist wheels or an electric wheelchair. You may want to have a wheelchair that can keep up with foot and bicycle path, therefore, it’s better to have a little faster chair so you can adjust in various situations.
Body Size, Shape, and Build
The physical build of an individual is essential to consider before purchasing a wheelchair. You should look for age, gender, body weight and height to find a right chair for yourself. Also, you can consult doctors or medical experts for recommending you which type of wheelchair is suitable for you.
Primary Diagnoses and Medical Requirements
You are using a wheelchair for specific reasons. Individuals who are suffering from paralysis or amputation will have different needs than those who use the wheelchair to balance themselves and prevent from falling. It’s important to discuss with a consultant as some wheelchairs might not be suited merely to your physical condition and medical requirements.
Your Lifestyle and Habits
Your lifestyle will eventually have an impact on your buying decision. If you are looking to purchase a wheelchair for doing particular work or you just need it for sitting can make a difference as a specific chair might be more suitable for you than the other. Some people might only want a chair to get from one spot to another occasionally while others may want to perform all the activities and task using their wheelchair. You will find a lot of variances in wheelchairs such as difference in wheels, shock absorbing properties and comfort. Therefore, think about the purpose of use before making your purchase.
Personal Preferences and Impressions
Always consider your personal preferences and tastes when purchasing a new wheelchair, knowing the fact you are investing in mobility and access both inside and outside the home. You can look for friends or family member’s suggestions who are using wheelchairs. Also, it’s important to read the customer reviews of your favorite product to know their experience that will help you in making an informed decision.
If you are looking for a wheelchair that can be conveniently transportable, you can consider models that fold up in a scissor-like a manner for compact storage. These designs vary regarding multiple folding parts and provide you with many options that can make storage much more manageable. On the contrary, if storage is not a significant factor for you, consider conventional folding design to keep your purchase cost-effective.
The most typical drive control you will find on electric wheelchairs is a direction controlconnected on one of the arm supports. They are simple to operate; however, you may find them a little tough to learn in the beginning. You may also see these controls to be more or less sensitive, but you can also adjust them according to your suitability. Some of the manufacturers offer different types of drive controls such as handlebar drive controls that you can comfortably fit into existing wheelchairs.
Customization, Adjustments, and Accessories
Wheelchair manufacturers are flexible when it comes to customizing their products. Some of the significant things you can choose and adjust include:
They are available in various lengths and widths. You can look for a custom built a firm position. Also, you can consider for additional support and cushion for more posture support.
Footplates and Armrests
A right wheelchair comes with adjustable footplates and armrests for a comfortable and appropriates seating position.
The height of wheelchairs are fixed so you can look up for a headrest as an optional extra.
These are available in various styles for use with wheelchairs. However, they are not suitable to carry a lot of loads.
Protection against the Cold or Rain
You will find a lot of highly useful items uniquely designed for wheelchairs. For instance, waterproofs are available in different styles and leg warmers to cover the lower half of your body similar to a half-length sleeping bag.
If you take a look at the offering of wheelchair models in today’s mobility market, you will be astounded with a wide range of choice available to you. You will find both manual and power wheelchairs to fit any lifestyle and requirements. From compact travel wheelchairs to sleek indoor models, you can have a chair as per your desire. By understanding the critical features and applications of various models, you will be able to identify which model best meets your needs.