This guide discusses the TOP-5 best electric wheelchairs and the benefits they offer to people with mobility limitations. You will learn what aspects such as distance, speed, adjustability you should consider when you are in the market for this kind of equipment. You will familiarize yourself with video reviews of these products available online and the way this kind of equipment operates. The guide also elaborates on the reasons for using power wheelchairs instead of manual ones, mentioning their key benefits. You will learn valuable recommendations from specialists on how to use these devices safely as well as get answers to the most frequently asked questions.
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TOP-5 Best Electric Wheelchairs
Below, you will find the TOP-5 best products at a price ranging from $1,500 to $3,700. These models differ by design and technical specifications, such as maximum speed and weight capacity. In particular, they have a different driving range, with the high-end EV Rider wheelchair featuring as much as 20 miles on a charge. Since comfort and convenience matter a lot, the review includes portable and compact options with adjustable parts, smooth ride, and protection against bouncing. You may pick a lightweight and foldable model for easy traveling or a heavy-duty and powerful one for extra security. Now, let’s take a closer look at each of them.
1. Powerful & Quiet Electric Wheelchair with a Lift Seat Elevator | EV Rider
I really like this super powerful device that gives the user almost unlimited possibilities. This wheelchair is capable of traveling a much greater distance, with a driving range amounting to 20 miles. Also, this model has more powerful 450-watt motors than the previous one. And you will move faster as the wheelchair offers a maximum speed of up to 5 mph.
Apart from that, you can adjust the height of the seat as well as of the headrest and armrest, which is particularly convenient. The seat can be elevated by up to 12 inches while the side panels are easily removed, if needed. No wonder that all this affects the price, making the product twice as pricey compared to other items on the list. Is it worth it? No doubt, it is. One more advantage I would like to mention is that this unit works very quietly. Although this may not be that important when you use it outdoors, I know people who find it really annoying to operate a noisy wheelchair, particularly in public spaces.
The downside to this model is its weight amounting up to 230 pounds so this is not the best option for those who need to change modes of transport frequently while moving around the city or have to travel abroad. That said, it has a larger weight capacity that amounts to 350 pounds.
EV Rider: Check the current price
2. Best Comfortable Power Wheelchair | Jazzy Select 6
I recommend this option to those who spend more time indoors as it is more like a mobile armchair. Indeed, you will look like a boss behind the desk and feel comfortable enough to work with papers for a long time. This wheelchair with a maximum incline of 6 degrees will provide you with the greatest comfort. Apart from the option for reclining back, this model offers three other seat options that include power elevating, high-back, and captain's seat.
Actually, when I said that this product was best for indoor use, I meant the design. With a top speed of 4 mph, it is fast enough and can travel up to 15 miles on a charge. At the same time, it rides smoothly and maneuvers easily due to its six wheels. The product comes with a lap belt for extra security while the Active-Trac Suspension feature allows the user to safely move over rough terrain. Both footplates and hanger brackets can be adjusted to suit your needs better.
Jazzy Select 6: Check the current price
3. Best Compact & Lightweight Electric Wheelchair | Jazzy Passport
It seems that this model was created to dispel a myth that a wheelchair is a burden. Being surprisingly lightweight and compact, this item can be easily folded and unfolded for comfortable transportation and storage. At the same time, the product is made of sturdy and durable materials, so you can be confident in your investment.
With a weight of 60 pounds, it can support the weight of 250 pounds and will be a suitable option for a large-size person. Powered by two 180-watt brushed motors, the product comes with a rechargeable 24-volt lithium-ion battery that weighs just a few pounds. According to the manufacturer, the battery lasts long and you will be able to travel about 10 miles on a charge. By the way, the charger is also included in the package and comes with the producer’s 6-month warranty.
This electric wheelchair is pretty fast and can reach speeds of 3.6 mph. A swing-away joystick is adjustable and allows you to find your best driving position. Another benefit I would like to highlight is convenience and the comfort it delivers. The unit has a specially designed foam seat and backrest, and a large foot platform.
The item boasts a number of features that make it more comfortable to use. For example, there is a storage pocket at the backrest and a larger bag under the seat. You can also take drinks with you while traveling and place them in a cup holder. On top of that, this model comes with a forty-inch lap belt, something that will make your traveling much safer.
Jazzy Passport: Check the current price
4. Portable Powerchair with Bluetooth | Drive Titan LTE
This item will cost you about $1,500 with a 30-percent discount. Apart from being a budget-friendly option, this chair is portable enough with a weight of a bit more than 90 pounds. Yes, it is heavier than Jazzy Passport and is not foldable but, from my perspective, has a more comfortable seat. Another advantage over Jazzy Passport is that this one moves faster, reaching 4.20 mph, which makes it second only to EV Rider on our list.
Still, this fact does not make this powerchair a good choice for traveling long distances as its battery charge will be enough just for 8 hours without recharging. That is why I recommend this option to those who do not go out for a long time. Sure, today, most public spaces are equipped with power outlets but personally, I would not risk getting stuck somewhere mid-way.
But if you still decide on this option, keep in mind that the device will be quite convenient to use on the go as it is transportable and can be disassembled. The Drive Titan LTE has a 200-watt motor and comes with a swing-away joystick. Separately, it is worth noting that you can use Bluetooth capabilities for diagnosing and fault detection.
Drive Titan LTE: Check the current price
5. Best Affordable Medical Powerchair | Cirrus Plus
This classic model is a good choice for those people with disabilities who have difficulty in operating a wheelchair on their own and need assistance. With two handles located at the back of the seat, it is convenient for a nurse to hold and drive. This does not mean that the device is hard for the user to operate; quite the opposite. The product has a number of benefits and below, I am going to elaborate on them.
First of all, it combines high speed (5 mph) with a long battery life that gives you more distance with the battery — up to 15 miles. While not being the heaviest model in this review, this device can support up to 300 pounds and, therefore, can be safely recommended for people who are overweight.
Now, let’s see how convenient it is. One of the major advantages of this model is that you can fold it up to transport or store without problems. With a turning radius of 35 inches, it is easy to maneuver. You will sit comfortably in the wheelchair because its backrest is padded and the seat is cushioned. Moreover, the height of the armrest and upholstery can be adjusted while the legrests have both the elevating and swing-away options.
Cirrus Plus: Check the current price
What Do Buyers Say
In this video, a blogger is elaborating on a Jazzy Select 6 wheelchair purchased by a disabled person Robert McGee. You can see that it is easy to maneuver even in a compact little apartment. A two-wheel drive unit with six wheels on the ground, it is amazingly quiet and is great both for indoor and outdoor use.
Another video shows the chair turning on itself and driving smoothly. It has a great suspension and the seat that is adjustable to any position. A joystick can be put on the right or on the left depending on your needs.
Now, let’s compare it with the Jazzy Passport model reviewed by Mobility Scooters. The first thing the blogger has emphasized is how lightweight the product is and how easy it is to fold and unfold. He says that it is so comfortable that he would rather sit on one of these than his own vehicle’s one. You can adjust the speed by pressing a button while the joystick is adjustable on the fly at any given time so that you could be in full control of your wheelchair. If it runs out of a battery, you can come to each motor and put the chair into neutral, which will allow you to manually push the chair.
This review features a P15 version of the EV Rider model. You will see how to disassemble the unit, remove the chair from the base and fold it up and then assemble it back. Keep in mind that the sequence of operations is very important. First, pull the lever, swing it out and remove. After that, you should remove the battery box, disconnect the controller and then, move to the front to remove the chair.
Cirrus Plus wheelchair is very popular among customers, with some buyers saying that it is the best electric chair they have ever owned. In particular, they highlight the level of comfort and power it delivers. While the chair is transportable and easy to fold up, it feels solid when you sit in it. In addition, customers note that it is convenient to drive in the dirt as it takes the user up. And finally, the price is great for what you get from this product. The only downside they mention is its relatively heavy weight and there was a complaint about weak packaging.
How an Electric Wheelchair Works
A wheelchair is propelled by electrical power and comes with two main sets of wheels. Additional wheels are often added for extra stability and to prevent tilting. It also includes a battery that is the heaviest part of the equipment and a control system. Seats, backrests, and armrests can be padded for extra comfort.
Heavy-duty models come with additional reinforcement in the area of the engine, battery, and frame for more stability. As a rule, the battery is recharged and is enough for covering a distance of up to 20 miles and more on a charge. The unit is steered by a joystick that can be adjustable and used both on the right and the left side of the chair.
Meanwhile, a study shows that about 18% of users are injured annually as a result of the breakdown of the equipment. That is why it is important to regularly maintain your wheelchair. Your arsenal should include the following tools: tire pump and lever, several screwdrivers of different sizes. Pay special attention to such areas as the frame, wheels, and electrical system.
Why Use an Electric Wheelchair And What Benefits Does It Offer?
A wheelchair is a vital necessity for people with mobility limitations and you can choose between manual models and electric ones. Since the latter are significantly more expensive, it is worth elaborating on the benefits they offer to understand whether electric wheelchairs are worth buying.
What are the arguments in favor of electric devices?
- Benjamin Salentine from the University of Illinois notes that the main benefits of this option include increased comfort, energy conservation, more stability, additional accessories, and options. Still, these devices are less portable and much heavier (mainly due to the battery) and significantly pricier. Apart from that, they are more expensive and complicated to maintain and repair.
- set of safety rules Canadian scientists from the University of British Columbia, electric wheelchairs have a positive impact both on health and quality of life.
In my view, the advantages clearly overshadow the disadvantages. The only real stumbling block is whether a person can afford it. Let’s dwell on such benefit as extra comfort as for people with limited physical capabilities, this is a top priority.
So electric chairs do not involve the upper body strength and are good for people with limited arm movement. All you need to do is control the device using the attached joystick.
Electric models are better when used both outdoors and indoors. Outdoors, you will be able to safely develop higher speeds and cover large distances without getting tired. More importantly, you will easily overcome the difficult terrain and hilly area. Indoors, this kind of device provides more maneuverability, allowing users to direct through narrow paths and other small areas.
One of the essential benefits of these devices is the possibility for adjustment of the seat height and backrest, with some models being able to elevate the user high enough.
And finally, they offer some extra features, such as the incline option, that are particularly beneficial to those who have difficulty with repositioning themselves.
What To Look For When Buying a Powerchair
There is a number of factors that determine the performance of a powerchair. You should consider these factors before you make a purchase in order to choose a model that will suit your needs best.
Drive Wheel Configuration. There are three main options: a front-wheel, rear-wheel, and mid-wheel drive wheelchairs. The latter is preferable in many ways. In particular, this type of an electric wheelchair is capable of doing a complete 360-degree turn, maneuvers better, has good traction, and is very stable. On top of that, such models are more user-friendly and convenient for users.
Top speed. Different models have different max speed and I recommend you the items that can develop up to five miles per hour. This will allow the user to reduce the travel time, something that is a clear advantage for any person with mobility limitations.
Distance. This indicator shows a distance that the wheelchair can cover on a charge. Otherwise speaking, this is about how long the battery lasts. It is important that the device can overcome a distance of at least 15 miles on a charge so that you could safely travel around the city.
Weight capacity is the weight that the device supports. Generally, models with a 300-pound capacity will suit an average user. Keep in mind that the chair should be able to handle at least 15 kg more than the weight of the user. This will ensure your safety and provide the stability of the chair.
Adjustability. The more parts of the device are adjustable the better. Also, you should consider foldable models that are easier to transport and store. Advanced models allow the user to adjust the height of the seat as well as of the headrest and armrest.
How to Use An Electric Wheelchair: Beneficial Tips From Specialists
Although most models are intuitive and quite easy to handle, there is a number of recommendations that you should follow to get the most out of it. The National Institute for Rehabilitation Engineering has released a set of safety rules for users of electric chairs. Let’s take a closer look at them.
- Mechanical brakes. Make sure that your wheelchair comes with mechanical brakes and they function well. They will allow stopping the chair if something goes wrong.
- Dealing with inclines. Do not drive across an incline, only up and down. Otherwise, the chair is more likely to tumble over.
- Bypass obstacles. Whatever great your wheelchair is, even a small stone can deflect it to one side. To avoid this, you should drive cautiously on uneven surfaces.
- Check the battery. Before going outdoors, make sure that you have fully charged the battery. Otherwise, it can die in the middle of the road without any power source nearby.
- Stay connected. Do not go outside without a mobile phone. You never know what kind of incident or failure may occur so it may happen that you will need help.
- Weather conditions. You should better not to go outdoors during heavy rain or snow flurry, if not necessary. Not only will you damage the pricey equipment, but you will also jeopardize your security.
- Maintenance. Inspect your wheelchair on a daily basis to make sure that it functions well. Once a month, the device should be inspected by a professional technician, preferably from the seller or producer.
Which electric wheelchair is best?
From my perspective, the best model should include all key features, be the most comfortable for disabled people, fast enough and cover large distances. In fact, there are two models to choose from depending on your lifestyle. The first one, EV Rider, would be a wise choice for those who live or want to live an active lifestyle. It has the adjustable backrest and armrests as well as removable side panels. More importantly, the seat can be elevated by up to 12 inches, if needed.
Alternatively, you may opt for Jazzy Select 6, an extremely comfortable wheelchair with cushioned seat and backrest. This option is good for those who do a lot of paperwork and need to relax their neck and back. In addition, it will look respectable in the office, at a conference or in any other business environment. Both models cover large distances at a charge and can develop high speeds, something that makes them the best bet for outdoor use.
Can electric wheelchairs be pushed
Yes, it can. To this end, you will need to release the brakes for each motor.
Can they get wet?
Although these products are designed for outdoor use as well, excessive sediment may cause corrosion of metal parts of the equipment. Try to avoid going outside under such weather conditions. But if the device gets wet, dry it with a towel and place it in a warm place for about 10 hours. Inspect the equipment before using again.
How to charge an electric wheelchair?
Position the equipment near a power outlet and turn off the controller power. Plug the charger into the socket located on the controller. Wait until the battery is fully charged and then, unplug the charger.
Will Medicare cover an electric wheelchair?
This kind of equipment is covered only when medically necessary and prescribed by a doctor.
Table of Contents
- TOP-5 best electric wheelchairs
- What do buyers say
- How an electric wheelchair works
- Why use an electric wheelchair and what benefits does it offer?
- What to look for when buying a powerchair
- How to use an electric wheelchair: beneficial tips from specialists