What Should I Consider When Buying a Lightweight Power Wheelchair

What Should I Consider When Buying a Lightweight Power Wheelchair

Posted by Susan T. on Mar 19th 2024

When it comes to purchasing a lightweight electric wheelchair, the decision-making process involves more than just selecting a mobility aid; it's about choosing a companion that will impact your daily life and independence.

In this blog post, we delve into the essential factors that should guide your decision. From understanding the nuances of battery life and maneuverability to considering comfort and adaptability, we aim to equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed choice.

Whether you're a first-time buyer or looking to upgrade your current lightweight power wheelchair, join us as we explore the critical aspects to consider, ensuring you find a wheelchair that aligns with your lifestyle and mobility needs.

But first, let’s look at the benefits of a lightweight electric wheelchair.

Benefits of a Lightweight Electric Wheelchair

Discover the transformative advantages of a lightweight electric wheelchair, designed to enhance the independence and comfort of its users. These motorized wheelchairs are not just about mobility; they are about revolutionizing daily life for individuals requiring mobility assistance.

Below, we outline the key benefits that make a lightweight power wheelchair an essential tool for improving the quality of life and expanding the horizons of its users:

  • Motorized wheelchairs improve users' quality of life.
  • Eliminates the need for manual exertion, reducing fatigue.
  • Allows for effortless travel over long distances and rough terrains.
  • Equipped with a joystick for easy maneuvering without assistance.
  • Features customizable seating for enhanced comfort: adjustable backrests, seat cushions, and leg rests.
  • Includes safety features: anti-tip wheels, seat belts, and braking systems.
  • Enhances mobility, enabling participation in social events.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Lightweight Power Wheelchair

Just because someone you know uses a particular model, do not assume it is the right choice for you. Your mobility needs can be very different from one or more of your friends who use wheelchairs to move around. When evaluating your options, consider your needs and then choose a lightweight power wheelchair that can meet them.

Here are some things to check when selecting a power wheelchair.

Your Lifestyle and the Wheelchair’s Intended Usage

Consider how and where you plan to use your wheelchair. If you'll be using it mainly indoors, consider wheelchairsfeaturing a compact design that allows the user to maneuver tight spaces. If you need help navigating public spaces, look for a wheelchair with durable tires, good suspension, and a longer battery life.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Since you will possibly spend hours in your lightweight wheelchair every day, make sure the model you are considering comes equipped with comfort features such as adjustable armrests, seat and leg support, and backrest angle. Look for an electric wheelchair with ergonomic features such as an ergonomic grip, an adjustable backrest angle, and an ergonomic S-shape seat frame. Such features can help prevent pressure sores and improve posture.

Size and Weight Capacity

Ensure the wheelchair can accommodate your weight. Also, consider the size of the wheelchair in relation to the spaces you'll navigate, including doorways, hallways, and vehicle lifts. Make sure the wheelchair’s seat is wide enough to accommodate your hips.

Battery Life and Range

Check the battery life and range of the wheelchair you are considering. If you plan to use your wheelchair for extended periods or long distances, look for a model with a larger battery that can store more energy, allowing the wheelchair to cover a longer distance on a single charge. Keep in mind that the larger the battery, the more it weighs.

Maneuverability and Control

Check how easy or difficult it is to control the wheelchair. Familiarize yourself with the different types of joysticks and other control mechanisms and select the one that best fits your needs. Some electric wheelchairs have alternative drive controls for individuals with limited hand mobility.


If you travel frequently by air or car and plan to carry your wheelchair with you, look for a lightweight model that can be easily disassembled or folded.

Durability and Maintenance Requirements

Before buying an electric wheelchair, assess its durability. Make sure it uses a lightweight yet durable material such as aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber. Check its frame to ensure it has minimal flex and is capable of absorbing shocks and stresses without bending or breaking.

Make sure the wheelchair’s seat uses tear-resistant materials and consider how easily the upholstery can be cleaned or replaced. High-quality padding that retains its shape over time is also a good indicator of durability. Check the manufacturer’s warranty and make sure the spare parts of the wheelchair are easily available.

Consider how easy it is to maintain the wheelchair. Wheelchairs with modular components are easier to maintain. Ask what types of maintenance tools you will need to tighten, repair, and replace wheelchair parts. The fewer and more common the tools needed, the easier it is to maintain a wheelchair. Check the materials used in the wheelchair and go through any special cleaning instructions. Some materials may require special care or be difficult to clean.

Cost and Insurance Coverage

Cost is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an electric wheelchair. Look for a wheelchair that suits your budget. When calculating the total cost of a wheelchair do not forget to consider maintenance and repair costs. Check with your insurance provider to see how much they are willing to pay for your power wheelchair.

Reviews and Recommendations

Read user reviews on third-party review sites and consult with a healthcare provider such as an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist. A healthcare professional can provide valuable advice based on your specific needs.

Mobility Masters offers a full range of mobility solutions. Our products are designed with user comfort, safety, and convenience in mind. To learn more, call 800-936-7006.