Straight stairlifts or curved stairlifts? Low weight capacity or high weight capacity? Indoors or outdoors? Many of the decisions you need to make when buying a stairlift are easy and your preferences and mobility needs will answer these questions for you.
But what about the cost and safety features? What about warranties, installation, customer service, and authorized dealer location? These things differ greatly from company to company, so, in this guide, we'll highlight two of the biggest and best: Bruno Stairlifts and Handicare Stairlifts.
If you're in the market for a new stairlift, there's a good chance that both of these companies have appeared on your radar.
Let's take a look at both of them and see how they compare.
Warranties = Equal
Both Handicare and Bruno have limited lifetime warranties that will protect you through the life of the product. That usually means you will be covered for a period of 10 years, although that doesn't apply to the seat or the battery and is often limited to the motor and gearbox. Such warranties are common in this industry, as they cover the things that can fail due to manufacturer error, as opposed to misuse or poor maintenance.
Motor and gearbox warranties should cover you for repairs and other potentially expensive issues. Simply make sure you take good care of your stairlift to avoid any issues that are not covered by the limited lifetime warranty.
Features and Quality = Handicare
In terms of variety, Handicare has the edge over Bruno. It has more stairlifts in its range and also allows for a few different upholstery options and other customization features. As far as the safety features go, however, they both tick a lot of boxes.
There are safety sensors, space-saving manual folding rails, and a secure seat belt. The stairlifts go all the way up and down to allow for a little clearance, making them safer for people with limited mobility. You'll find a variety of power features and standard features across different stairlift models, and both manufacturers excel in this area.
Weight Capacity = Bruno
Most stairlift manufacturers limit their products’ maximum weight limit to just 300 pounds. It's more than enough for the average user but it will leave a small percentage of obese users out of the loop. However, Handicare stretches to a maximum weight capacity of 350 lbs. while the Bruno Elite goes up to 400 lbs., putting it ahead in this comparison.
Bruno Stairlifts vs. Handicare Stairlifts Overall = Equal
There are several areas in which both Bruno and Handicare excel. As noted above, both have great warranties, and you can choose from a wide selection of straight lifts and curved lifts. There are indoor models and outdoor models and both stairlift companies are great at helping people with limited mobility.
Bruno stairlifts have a greater maximum weight capacity, Handicare has many types of stairlift (including color options, upholstery options, and more) and both are reasonably priced. It's hard to separate the two, but they are not alone, and there are many other great stairlift companies out there, including Acorn Stairlifts, Stannah Stairlifts, and Ameriglide.
If you want to find the best stairlift, make sure you include multiple manufacturers in your search. Compare and contrast while looking at factors like price, warranty, features, and installation. Lastly, don’t forget to ask about financing options, and take your time, as the stairlift that you choose could be in your home for the next decade, so it's not a decision that you should rush!