How to choose the right type of wheelchair?

Manual wheelchairs have always been a popular, affordable mobility aid choice. They are designed to provide mobility to people who do not have enough lower body strength required for walking independently but still have the necessary upper body strength to manually propel their chair. The speed and direction of the wheelchair is controlled using hand grips on the wheels.

Manual wheelchairs come in a large selection of styles and sizes based on your needs. The size of the wheelchair is determined by the user’s height and weight. Manual wheelchairs can accommodate pediatric to geriatric users. Most manual wheelchairs are the general-purpose but some models are designed for specific needs such as active sports. Most manual wheelchairs can also be folded down to make transportation easy and save space.

What manual wheelchair sizes are available?

Manual wheelchairs come in many sizes. Pediatric Wheelchair models are available in a variety of colors and types to suit children of all ages. Pediatric Wheelchairs generally have a seat width of 11” to 16”. Adult wheelchairs are also available in many sizes and types. Standard Adult Wheelchairs generally come with a seat width of 18” to 22”. For individuals requiring wider seat sizes, bariatric wheelchairs models are also available which offer seats sizes up to 26” wide and weight capacity of up to 600 lbs.

Which wheelchair style is best suited for my needs?

There are several types of manual wheelchairs designed for different needs and situations. Popular wheelchair types include lightweight wheelchairs, standard chairs, transport wheelchairs, sports wheelchairs, recliner wheelchairs, shower wheelchairs, and bariatric wheelchairs. This is one of the most important choices because the wrong wheelchair can prove to be totally useless or even dangerous to the user’s health.

1. Lightweight Wheelchairs

A lightweight wheelchair typically weighs less than 27 lbs. which makes moving around easier. Lightweight Wheelchairs are generally for users who weigh less than 300 lbs. Lightweight wheelchairs are recommended if the user can self-propel with some difficulty or has someone that pushes them. Lightweight wheelchairs are the most popular type of wheelchairs which can do anything a standard wheelchair can but weigh a lot less.

2. Standard Wheelchairs

Standard Wheelchairs are designed for users under 300 lbs. Standard Wheelchairs generally weigh up to 45 lbs. and come with a folding frame to transport the wheelchair. These are generally less expensive as compared to other wheelchair models.

3. Transport Wheelchairs

Transport Wheelchairs are designed for occasional use and are lightweight and easy to transport. Many transport chair models have a folding back and fit in a car trunk very easily. Users in a transport wheelchair cannot be self-propelled by hand as all the wheels are 5”-8” in diameter.

4. Sports Wheelchairs

Sports Wheelchairs are high-end performance wheelchairs that use the latest technology and utilize the lightest materials such as carbon fiber and titanium to ensure maximum maneuverability and speed. Sports Wheelchairs are designed for athletes, keeping a particular wheelchair sport in mind. They out-perform standard wheelchairs in almost every aspect but are much costlier.

5. Recliner Wheelchairs

Recliner Wheelchairs are recommended for people who spend long hours in the wheelchairs or for people who need to be in the prone position at times. The reclining mechanism is attendant operated with levers much like a bicycle brake lever. Recliner Wheelchairs are generally heavy and hard to transport.

6. Shower Wheelchairs

Mobile shower chairs are designed for safe transport to and from the shower. Shower chairs have aluminum frames and stainless steel hardware that are rust-resistant, making them ideal for use in the shower. /commode chairs fit over most standard and elongated bowls for over-the-toilet use as well.

7. Bariatric Wheelchairs

Bariatric Wheelchairs are designed for people weighing 300-1000 lbs. They feature a seat width of 24”-30” and have reinforced frames. Bariatric Wheelchairs feature superior durability and reliability. Some heavy-duty wheelchair models are very heavy and can be difficult to transport.


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