wheelchair

Electric Wheelchair Buyer’s Guide: Top Tips & Selection Strategies

Electric Wheelchair

Did you know that the demand for electric wheelchairs is expected to skyrocket in the next few years? By 2024, it is projected that the global electric wheelchair market will reach a staggering $6.8 billion in value, driven by the increasing aging population and the need for improved mobility solutions. With so many options available, choosing the right electric wheelchair can be overwhelming. That’s why we have created this comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you navigate through the selection process and make an informed decision. Whether you’re a senior, a caregiver, or someone with mobility challenges, this guide will provide you with essential tips and strategies to find the perfect electric wheelchair that meets your specific needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Electric wheelchairs are in high demand, with the global market projected to reach $6.8 billion by 2024.
  • This comprehensive buyer’s guide will help you navigate through the selection process and choose the right electric wheelchair for your needs.
  • With careful evaluation and research, you can find an electric wheelchair that provides improved mobility and enhances your quality of life.
  • We have identified four top electric wheelchairs that cater to specific buyer needs: Great to Transport (Pride Jazzy Passport), Great for All Sizes (Merits Heavy Duty Power Chair), Great Value (Drive Medical Cirrus Plus), and Great Battery Life (EV Rider Allure).
  • Scooters ‘N Chairs is recommended as a reputable place to shop for electric wheelchairs.

Essential Features to Consider Before Buying an Electric Wheelchair

Before making your electric wheelchair purchase, it’s crucial to consider certain features. Firstly, not all chairs come with the most-requested features, so it’s important to understand what you’re getting for the price. Consider the performance needs of the chair, including range and capabilities, and how you’ll use it. Additionally, understand the difference between buying in-store and online, especially regarding warranty and return policies. Safety should be your primary concern, but also think about warranty coverage, performance needs, portability, weight capacity, and battery life. Price range for electric wheelchairs can vary from $2,000 to $6,000, so comparing costs and understanding what accessories are included is essential. Lastly, be aware that getting insurance coverage for an electric wheelchair can be challenging and time-consuming.

Types of Wheelchairs: Manual vs Electric

When it comes to choosing a wheelchair, there are two main types to consider: manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs. Understanding the differences between these two options is crucial in making the right decision for your individual needs.

Manual Wheelchairs

Manual wheelchairs are operated by the user or can be pushed by someone else using handles on the back. These wheelchairs are suitable for individuals who possess sufficient upper-body strength and mobility. Manual wheelchairs are ideal for longer distances or everyday activities like shopping.

There are different types of manual wheelchairs available, each offering unique features and benefits:

  • Basic wheelchairs: These are affordable and straightforward models suitable for short-term use.
  • Transport chairs: Designed with portability in mind, transport chairs are lightweight and easier to move around.
  • Folding chairs: These wheelchairs can be folded for convenient storage and transportation.
  • Lightweight and ultra-lightweight chairs: Offering increased maneuverability, these wheelchairs are designed to minimize effort while pushing.
  • Sports chairs: Specifically tailored for sports activities, these wheelchairs provide enhanced mobility and maneuverability for athletes.

Electric Wheelchairs

Electric wheelchairs, on the other hand, are battery-operated and controlled by a joystick. These wheelchairs are suitable for individuals who may not have the strength or endurance to manually operate a wheelchair or require specific features like reclining or positioning. Electric wheelchairs offer a range of options to cater to different needs:

  • Portable indoor chairs: Compact and lightweight, these chairs are designed for maneuverability within indoor spaces.
  • Outdoor chairs: Equipped with sturdier wheels and suspension systems, outdoor electric wheelchairs provide stability and durability on uneven terrains.
  • Power elevating wheelchairs: These wheelchairs offer the ability to raise or lower the seat height, providing ease of access to different environments and enhancing social interaction.

Choosing between a manual wheelchair and an electric wheelchair depends on your specific requirements and physical abilities. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.

Best Electric Wheelchairs for Transport

If portability is a priority, there are electric wheelchairs designed specifically for transportation purposes. These lightweight and foldable options make it convenient to store and transport your wheelchair without any hassle. Two top recommendations for portable electric wheelchairs are:

Electric WheelchairDescriptionWeightRangeWeight Capacity
Pride Mobility Jazzy CarbonThe Pride Mobility Jazzy Carbon is a sleek and lightweight electric wheelchair known for its exceptional portability. It weighs only 43.6 pounds and features a foldable design, making it easy to store and transport. Additionally, it is approved for airline travel, ensuring convenience during your journeys.43.6 poundsUp to 18.4 miles300 pounds
Feather Mobility Ultra Lightweight Power ChairThe Feather Mobility Ultra Lightweight Power Chair is a highly portable electric wheelchair that weighs just 33 pounds. Its compact and foldable design allows for easy storage and transportation. Despite its lightweight profile, it offers a remarkable range and weight capacity suitable for your mobility needs.33 poundsUp to 15 miles300 pounds

These electric wheelchairs provide the ideal solution for individuals who prioritize portability without compromising on performance. Whether you plan to travel by air, car, or public transportation, these lightweight electric wheelchairs are designed to meet your transport needs. Say goodbye to inconvenience and hello to freedom and convenience with these portable electric wheelchairs.

portable electric wheelchair

Best Electric Wheelchairs for All Sizes

For individuals who require a wheelchair with a higher weight capacity or larger seating area, there are electric wheelchairs designed specifically for all sizes. Two top options for heavy-duty electric wheelchairs are the Merits Heavy Duty Power Chair and the Merits Health FWD:RWD Dualer Power Chair.

Merits Heavy Duty Power Chair

The Merits Heavy Duty Power Chair is a great option for larger individuals as it can comfortably accommodate individuals weighing 330 pounds or more. It provides a spacious seating area for enhanced comfort and has a foldable design, making it convenient for transportation. Despite its heavy-duty capabilities, the Merits Heavy Duty Power Chair is surprisingly lightweight, weighing only 57 pounds.

Merits Health FWD:RWD Dualer Power Chair

The Merits Health FWD:RWD Dualer Power Chair is another excellent choice for individuals who require a wheelchair with a higher weight capacity. It offers the ability to switch between front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive, enhancing maneuverability in different environments. With its strong weight capacity and versatile drive options, it provides a comfortable and customizable experience for larger individuals.

FeatureMerits Heavy Duty Power ChairMerits Health FWD:RWD Dualer Power Chair
Weight Capacity330 pounds or moreUp to 300 pounds
Seating AreaSpaciousN/A
Drive TypeRear-wheelSwitchable between front-wheel and rear-wheel
Foldable DesignYesN/A
Weight57 poundsN/A

Both the Merits Heavy Duty Power Chair and the Merits Health FWD:RWD Dualer Power Chair offer exceptional performance, durability, and comfort for larger individuals. Whether you need a higher weight capacity or a more customizable drive experience, these electric wheelchairs are designed to meet your specific needs.

Best Value Electric Wheelchairs

If you’re looking for an electric wheelchair with great value, the Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair is a top choice. It offers an affordable price range and comes with essential features without additional upgrade costs. Additionally, the warranty coverage is comprehensive. Another option is the Pride Go Chair, which combines affordability with quality and comfort. It is lightweight and portable, making it suitable for travel purposes. Both models have received positive reviews from consumers for their safety, comfort, and performance.

best value electric wheelchairs

When it comes to finding the best value electric wheelchair, affordability and quality are key considerations. The Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair provides an excellent balance of price and features. This wheelchair offers an affordable price range, making it accessible to a wider range of individuals. Despite its cost-effectiveness, it does not compromise on essential features, ensuring a comfortable and reliable experience. The comprehensive warranty coverage further adds to its value, giving you peace of mind.

Another noteworthy option is the Pride Go Chair, which is designed to provide both affordability and quality. This lightweight and portable wheelchair offers exceptional comfort and maneuverability, making it ideal for travel purposes. Its compact design allows for easy storage and transportation, providing convenience without sacrificing performance. The Pride Go Chair has garnered positive reviews from consumers, who praise its safety, comfort, and reliable performance.

Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair:

  • Affordable price range
  • Essential features included
  • Comprehensive warranty coverage

Pride Go Chair:

  • Affordable and high-quality
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comfortable and reliable performance

When choosing the best value electric wheelchair, it’s important to consider your specific needs and budget. These two options provide affordability without compromising on essential features and quality. Whether you opt for the Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair or the Pride Go Chair, you can be confident in your choice, knowing that these models have been well-received by consumers for their value, performance, and overall satisfaction.

Best Electric Wheelchairs for Battery Life

When it comes to electric wheelchairs, having a reliable and long-lasting battery is crucial for uninterrupted mobility. If you’re in need of an electric wheelchair with excellent battery life, consider the following top options:

EV Rider Allure

The EV Rider Allure is a top choice for individuals who require a battery-powered electric wheelchair with good battery life. This model comes equipped with a long-lasting battery that can support daily use. You can confidently go about your day without worrying about running out of power.

Pride Mobility Jazzy Air 2

Another option for individuals seeking an electric wheelchair with long-lasting battery performance is the Pride Mobility Jazzy Air 2. This model offers a range of up to 15 miles on a single charge, ensuring that you can navigate through your daily activities with confidence. Additionally, the Jazzy Air 2 has the unique ability to elevate the seat up to 12 inches, providing added convenience and comfort.

With the EV Rider Allure and Pride Mobility Jazzy Air 2, you can enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with a battery-powered electric wheelchair that will keep up with your active lifestyle.

Electric Wheelchair ModelBattery LifeSpecial Features
EV Rider AllureLong-lasting
Pride Mobility Jazzy Air 2Up to 15 miles rangeSeat elevation up to 12 inches

Overview of Different Electric Wheelchair Options

When it comes to electric wheelchairs, there are various options available to cater to different needs. It’s important to consider your specific requirements and intended use when choosing the right option for you. Here’s an overview of the different types of electric wheelchairs:

1. Indoor Electric Wheelchairs

These electric wheelchairs are designed specifically for indoor use, offering compact and maneuverable features. They are perfect for navigating tight spaces and narrow hallways. Some models may also come with advanced turning capabilities, making it easier to move around furniture and obstacles.

2. Outdoor Electric Wheelchairs

For individuals who require an electric wheelchair for outdoor use, there are models built with specialized wheels or tracks to handle uneven terrain. These wheelchairs provide stability and traction, allowing you to comfortably navigate various outdoor surfaces such as grass, gravel, or inclined pathways.

All-Terrain Electric Wheelchair : Powerful, Foldable, 25M Range & Smart Dual Control

Original price was: $1,781.65.Current price is: $1,247.16.

This is the ultimate electric wheelchair. Ultra-lightweight & foldable, crafted from durable aluminum alloy. It ensures smooth rides even off-road thanks to a powerful 500W motor. With remote control convenience & supreme cushioned comfort you can enjoy every ride.

3. Portable Electric Wheelchairs

If portability is a priority, you can opt for portable electric wheelchairs. These wheelchairs are designed to be foldable and lightweight, making them easy to transport and store. They are ideal for individuals who frequently travel or require a wheelchair that can easily fit into a car or airplane.

4. Heavy-Duty Electric Wheelchairs

Heavy-duty electric wheelchairs are built to support higher weight capacities, providing stability and durability. These wheelchairs are designed for individuals who require a higher weight capacity and need a wheelchair that can handle heavier loads. They are suitable for individuals with larger body frames or those who require additional seating support.

Now that you’re familiar with the different electric wheelchair options, you can make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you need a wheelchair for indoor use, outdoor adventures, portability, or higher weight capacities, there is a suitable electric wheelchair available to enhance your mobility and independence.

Funding Options for Electric Wheelchair Purchases

Electric wheelchairs can be a significant investment, but there are various funding options available to help make the purchase more accessible. Understanding these funding options can provide financial assistance and ensure that you can obtain the electric wheelchair you need for improved mobility and independence.

Medicare and Medicaid Coverage

If you are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, you may be able to receive coverage for your electric wheelchair. Medicare Part B typically covers durable medical equipment, including electric wheelchairs, when they are medically necessary. Medicaid coverage varies by state, but it generally provides assistance for eligible individuals who require mobility devices.

Federal Programs and Veteran’s Benefits

There are federal programs and veteran’s benefits that may provide financial assistance for electric wheelchair purchases. For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs offers programs and benefits for veterans in need of mobility aids. Additionally, programs like the Assistive Technology Act and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may provide resources and financial aid for eligible individuals.

Non-Profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities may offer funding options for electric wheelchairs. These organizations can provide financial aid or connect you with resources that can help cover the cost of your electric wheelchair. Research local non-profit organizations that focus on disability assistance to explore potential funding opportunities.

Disability Assistance

Depending on your specific situation, disability assistance programs may be available to help fund your electric wheelchair. State-specific disability assistance programs and grants can provide financial aid for individuals with disabilities. Contact your local disability services agency to inquire about possible funding options in your area.

When exploring funding options, it’s essential to research each opportunity thoroughly and consult with your healthcare provider. They can help guide you through the process, assess your eligibility, and provide documentation if needed. By exploring these funding options, you can make your electric wheelchair purchase more manageable and affordable.

funding options for electric wheelchairs

Funding Options for Electric Wheelchair Purchases

Funding OptionDescription
Medicare and MedicaidCoverage for electric wheelchairs for eligible recipients
Federal Programs and Veteran’s BenefitsFinancial assistance through federal programs and benefits for veterans
Non-Profit OrganizationsFinancial aid and resources from non-profit organizations
Disability AssistanceState-specific programs and grants for individuals with disabilities

Conclusion

Choosing the right electric wheelchair is crucial for ensuring mobility and improving your quality of life. Throughout this buyer’s guide, we have provided you with essential tips and strategies to help you make an informed decision. By considering the essential features, such as performance needs, safety, and price range, you can narrow down your options and find the electric wheelchair that best suits your needs.

Understanding the types of wheelchairs, whether manual or electric, is also important. Manual wheelchairs are suitable for individuals with sufficient upper-body strength, while electric wheelchairs are battery-operated and controlled by a joystick, catering to those who require specific features or need assistance in mobility.

Based on our research and analysis, we have highlighted four top electric wheelchairs for different buyer needs. From the Pride Jazzy Passport for easy transportation to the Drive Medical Cirrus Plus for great value, there is a suitable option for everyone. Remember to consult with healthcare professionals to determine the most suitable electric wheelchair for you and prioritize your individual needs.

With careful consideration, thorough research, and consultation, you can find the perfect electric wheelchair that meets your mobility requirements and enhances your independence. We hope this buyer’s guide has been helpful in your decision-making process and wish you the best in finding the electric wheelchair that will empower you to live life to the fullest.

FAQ

What should I consider before buying an electric wheelchair?

Before buying an electric wheelchair, it is important to consider factors such as performance needs, warranty coverage, safety features, portability, weight capacity, battery life, and price range.


What are the two main types of wheelchairs?

The two main types of wheelchairs are manual and electric. Manual wheelchairs are pushed by the user or someone else using handles, while electric wheelchairs are battery-operated and controlled by a joystick.


What are the best electric wheelchairs for transportation purposes?

The Pride Jazzy Passport and Feather Mobility Ultra Lightweight Power Chair are both excellent options for transportation purposes. They are lightweight, foldable, and portable, making them easy to store and transport.


What are the best electric wheelchairs for individuals of all sizes?

The Merits Heavy Duty Power Chair and Merits Health FWD:RWD Dualer Power Chair are both great options for individuals who require a wheelchair with a higher weight capacity or larger seating area.


What are the best value electric wheelchairs?

The Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair and Pride Go Chair are both top choices for those looking for an electric wheelchair with great value. They offer essential features at affordable prices.


What are the best electric wheelchairs for battery life?

The EV Rider Allure and Pride Mobility Jazzy Air 2 are excellent options for individuals who require an electric wheelchair with excellent battery life. These models provide reliable and long-lasting battery performance.


What are the different options available for electric wheelchairs?

Electric wheelchairs come in various types, including indoor chairs, outdoor chairs, portable chairs, and heavy-duty chairs. These options cater to different needs and intended uses.


Are there funding options available for electric wheelchair purchases?

Yes, there are funding options available for electric wheelchair purchases. Medicare, Medicaid, federal programs, veteran’s benefits, non-profit organizations, and disability assistance can provide financial assistance.


How can I choose the right electric wheelchair for me?

It is important to prioritize your specific needs, consider essential features, and consult with healthcare professionals to determine the most suitable electric wheelchair for you.