Stairlifts have a maximum weight limit that’s usually around 300 lbs. This may vary slightly depending on the manufacturing company and features of the stairlift. Later in this article we will discuss options for people that exceed this weight limit.
Who Needs a Stairlift?
Stairlifts are for people with mobility challenges that keep them from being able to walk up or down a flight of stairs. More specifically, they help keep the elderly in their multi-floor homes when they are advanced in age. Usually, this is cheaper than relocating to a new home or moving to a full-time nursing home.
Stairlifts may also be used by people with illnesses that affect their mobility. Usually, these people are overweight and/or obeise. The latter group will require heavy-duty stairlifts that can accommodate their weight.
Why is Weight Limit Important?
Surprisingly, many people do not think about weight limit when purchasing a stairlift. Even when they do, many do not consider that the stairlift may need to be used in the future by someone else who is overweight or obese. The more weight a stairlift can accommodate, the sturdier it is.
Since stairlifts are expensive, and thus costly to replace, it is important that yours can accommodate people with different weights.
How Much Weight Should an Average Stairlift Support?
On average, normal stairlifts will support 280 – 350 pounds, which leaves a lot of headroom for people who are not overweight. This bracket also accommodates most slightly overweight people. It is not advisable to purchase a stairlift that supports less than 280 pounds, so make sure that yours will support at least 300 pounds.
Apart from the weight limit, other factors to be considered include the design features of the seat such as armrests, footrests, seat size, and safety features.
What is a Bariatric Stairlift?
Bariatric stairlifts are designed to accommodate overweight and obese individuals. Most bariatric stairlifts can support up to 500 pounds. Apart from their larger carrying capacity, these stairlifts are larger, stronger, and built with extra safety features. As a result, they are more expensive than regular stairlifts.
Most bariatric stairlift seats will be designed to face down when in motion, thus reducing the tension on the stairlift’s rails. Additionally, the seat can swivel to help the bariatric patient get off once they get to their destination. The seat turns 180 degrees from facing the stairs to facing the destination.
Most bariatric stairlifts are designed for straight and wide staircases. Curved staircases tend to narrow at corners, which may keep a bariatric seat from passing through. If you have a curved staircase in your home, it’s important that you consult a stairlift manufacturer for a customized bariatric stairlift.
Are Bariatric Stairlifts Customizable?
Most stairlift manufacturers will allow you to choose the fabric, color, and upholstery for your bariatric stairlift.
What is a Heavy Duty Stairlift?
Heavy duty stairlifts are similar to bariatric stairlifts in that they are designed to accommodate extra weight and pressure. They usually take up more space on the staircase, but some heavy duty stairlifts are normally sized. These stairlifts are known for their strength, safety, and durability.