If and when the time comes for a mobility device, the last thing you want is a heavy, clunky wheelchair that is hard to push and travel with. Wheelchairs come in a shapes and sizes... and weights! There are many factors that affect the weight of a wheelchair. Some of these you can control but many you cannot. As someone who works with wheelchairs every day, I put together this buying guide of the best lightweight folding wheelchair reviews. After reading these reviews and comparisons, choosing the best lightweight wheelchair for you will be easy!
Last update on 2017-10-23 at 20:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
NOTE: For the purpose of this guide, I am reviewing manual wheelchairs - the ones that you push by yourself. For lightweight folding electric wheelchair reviews, I have a separate article you will want to read.
With most standard wheelchairs, the manufacturer makes most of these decisions. The best lightweight folding wheelchairs are ones that weigh less than 30 lbs with all accessories. Insurance companies also classify wheelchairs by their weight.
CAUTION! Be very careful when you read weight statistics for wheelchairs. Some wheelchair manufacturers play games with this number. Always read the fine print of the wheelchair specification used to determine the weight. I have seen weights reported that did not include any arms or footrests. Sometimes, the weight reported is a size of wheelchair that most people would not actually use, like a 14" wide chair.
Is buying a wheelchair is a new experience for you? Not really sure where to start? Jump over to my Definitive Buying Guide on How to Buy a Wheelchair Online. This article explains how to measure for a chair and what all of these terms and options mean.
Transport chairs are also worth considering for people who need a lightweight wheelchair. It does depend on the needs of the user however. Some people need a wheelchair they can move themselves and some do not. Check out this article for more differences between a wheelchair and transport chair.
In general, transport wheelchairs are the lightest overall. Most transport chairs weigh 20 lbs or less. Standard wheelchairs weigh between 26 and 40 lbs each. Power wheelchairs are the heaviest at 100 lbs plus.
Using Medicare coding criteria as a guide, a lightweight wheelchair weighs less than 35 lbs and an ultra lightweight weighs less than 30 lbs.
Today, most lightweight wheelchairs are made of aluminum - even the more expensive ultra lightweight wheelchairs used by paraplegics and wheelchair athletes. Titanium used to be the most common but costs have led to the increase of aluminum chairs.
Lightweight wheelchairs are a tremendous benefit. This is especially true for seniors who have caregivers who cannot lift a standard wheelchair. Lighter wheelchairs are also easier to propel for users.
I really hope this article has helped you find the best lightweight folding wheelchair for you and your needs. If you have any questions or other suggestions, please leave them in the comment section below and I'll get right back to you!
I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.
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