Your preferences and personal needs determine what the best stairlift is for you. That being said, some features make certain stairlifts standout, and they’re discussed in detail in this article.
Do You Need a Stairlift?
Some people consider buying a stairlift once their knees grow weaker with age. Housing a person, such as a parent, with similar aging challenges may also prompt one to consider buying a stairlift. Additionally, an injury or illness may render a stairlift a necessity.
Keep in mind that stairlift installation costs are high. The prices range between $2,000, for simple straight designs, and $10,000, for advanced designs. This is a significant investment, but compare this to the cost of paying for a nursing home or relocating to a new house and you’ll find the cost to be justifiable.
8 Things to Consider When Picking the Best Stairlift for You
Weight (Carrying Capacity)
This is one of the first things that you should check when purchasing a stairlift. Because this is a long-term investment that may be used by different people, go for a stairlift with the highest carrying capacity.
Enhanced Safety Features
When it comes to stairlifts, safety is paramount. Safety features in a stairlift include seatbelts and object sensors that detect obstacles on the stairlift’s path. The best stairlift will have sensors for both live and inanimate objects. Seat belt sensors are also essential.
Additionally, limit switches that engage once the chair reaches the top or bottom of the staircase may be included. They allow the stairlift to safely park, and the battery to recharge.
Always consider the terms and conditions of the warranty included with your stairlift. A lifetime warranty is ideal and offered by some companies.
Some stairlifts come with a remote control, which makes operating the stairlift easier. With a remote control, a user can operate the stairlift from different parts of the house. For example, when one is at the bottom of the staircase they can direct the lift to come down to where they are.
Swivel ability distinguishes low-end stairlifts from high-end ones. Swivel chairs are desirable on a stairlift because they:
- Allow users to access the seat without having to turn around, bend, or make similar movements that may be uncomfortable. Once seated, the user can turn the seat in the direction that they want
- Move from one floor to another by changing direction once they get to the top or bottom of the floor
- Allow the user to turn while in motion. This may be helpful when the user needs to talk to a caregiver or respond to something urgently
The Adjustability of the Seat
A stairlift may be used by different people, all of whom may physically differ from one another. Consequently, the best stairlift will have a seat that can be adjusted to accommodate different body types.
Some stairlifts have levers that may be used to adjust the seat. Other seats have adjustable backrests and footrests so the user can adjust the seat for maximum comfort. Some seats can also be transformed into a standing platform to accommodate those who struggle in a sitting position.
The best stairlifts offer the user the option to sit or stand. Another option is a perch seat. This is ideal for users who have knee problems and prefer a perch seat that will support their knees.
Cost and Financing Options
Although this is listed last, it is one of the most important factors when buying a stairlift. When considering cost, don’t go for the lowest price. Instead, buy the product with the greatest value, and figure out a way to balance your needs with the maximum price you’re willing to pay.