The Best Folding Electric Wheelchair


Last updated: October 26, 2018




We've rounded up the best folding electric wheelchairs available on the market and tested them.

Jump down to our folding electric wheelchair buying guide if you want to know more about what to look out for when choosing.





Folding electric wheelchair buying guide 2019

Folding electric wheelchairs - also known as power wheelchairs - are a step up from traditional hand-powered wheelchairs. In addition to allowing people with disabilities to get around with ease, they can easily be folded and put away when not in use. Also, being electric powered means that these wheelchairs require no manual effort to move, making them a more convenient choice and a lot easier to use.

With many different folding electric wheelchair models to choose from, the buying process can be confusing. That's why we've created this guide - to help you choose the model that's perfect for your specific needs.

The following are the most important points to take into consideration when choosing your new folding electric wheelchair.

Price

Generally speaking, most electric wheelchairs are in the $1500 to $2500 range. There are, however, some exceptions as you can find some models as cheap as $1000 - sometimes even less.

To reach such a low price, manufacturers usually cut some corners, which affects the overall quality of the electric wheelchair. Since this is something that's used frequently, we recommend getting the highest quality model that you can afford. It might be smart to save some money on the purchase but in the long term, this is the right thing to do.

Range

The range of an electric wheelchair is how far you can get with it on a single charge. This is something that is very important to consider when choosing a power wheelchair, as not getting this right will make the wheelchair unable to keep up with your needs, and in the worst-case could leave you stranded away from home.

If you use your electric wheelchair to get around where you live, you should know the approximate distance you cover on a daily basis. Making sure the chair that distance without needing a recharge will result in a much better experience when using it.

Maximum Speed

If you use your folding power wheelchair outside of your house - which is probably the case - you should always try to get the fastest model. This is important because if the chair is too slow, it'll make covering large distances a tedious task.

Even if you don't need the extra speed when you're buying the chair, this is something that will become important if your use scenario changed. So, it's better to have it and not need than need it and not have it when it comes to speed.

Slope Capabilities

The slope capabilities of an electric wheelchair indicate how steep are the slopes it can climb. So, a wheelchair with higher slope capabilities can climb steeper slopes easily and most importantly, safely.

If you try to climb a steep slope with an electric wheelchair that's not designed to do so, you risk it tipping over. The only way to decide the slope capabilities that you need in an electric wheelchair is by assessing your daily route. If your daily route has plenty of slopes, this is something that's a must-have in the model you choose.

Wheelchair Weight

The weight of an electric wheelchair is something that determines how easy it is to handle. Lighter chairs are always easier to move around and handle in general. If you travel a lot, a lightweight model can make your life much easier.

Unlike what most people think, being lightweight doesn't translate into lower durability. There are plenty of materials that are light and highly durable at the same time. These materials tend to be more expensive so being lightweight is something that's mostly associated with high-quality models.

Maximum Supported Weight

If you're a particularly large or heavy person, you should always check the maximum weight that a wheelchair supports before you buy it.

For safety reasons, you should always get an electric wheelchair that can support your weight. Failing to do so can result in severe injury or cause the chair not to work as expected, so this is something that has to be taken seriously.

Warranty

Folding electric wheelchairs are not some cheap item that you buy every day. They are relatively expensive and as a result, a good warranty is simply a must. Despite the fact that most electric wheelchairs come with a warranty, not all warranties are the same. The first thing that you should check when assessing a wheelchair's warranty is the duration. Since this is an item that's expected to last for years, you should get a model with a warranty that extends for at least one year.

Models with warranties as short as six months should be avoided as they're not guaranteed to last. The second thing you should look for when assessing a model's warranty is what is covered by that warranty.

With a frame, batteries, motor, etc. you need a warranty that'll cover everything. Giving a two year warranty on the frame alone is not anywhere as good as a two year full warranty that covers everything.

Comfort

alt textSome chairs allow you to set the angle of the backrest, increasing comfort for different activities.

The best electric wheelchair isn't really that good if it isn't comfortable. That's why the comfort level of the chair is something you should always keep in mind when evaluating different models.

While some models are generally more comfortable than others, there are factors affecting comfort that are just a matter of personal preference. Things like the seat, the leg rest, and the armrest are the most important things that you should look at when buying a new electric wheelchair.

In most cases, you'll be able to tell if a chair is comfortable for you or not just by looking at it. The distinct seat styles like the captain and the solid pan are greatly different so you shouldn't have much difficulty when choosing.

When choosing a model that's comfortable for you, these are all matters of personal preference. It's all about what you find most comfortable. Just keep in mind your different use scenarios and pick a model that makes them easier.


Mary Cairns's profile picture
This article was written and researched by Mary Cairns.
My name's Mary Cairns and I've worked in the health and personal care field for the majority of my career. I work on Expertly Tested as a reviewer and writer, covering these topics.