A Guide To Choosing The Right Stairlift

Choosing a stairlift can be confusing when there is so much choice available on the market! From curved and straight, and choosing additional features, there is a lot to consider before making your purchase.

Senior Stairlifts hope to make the decision a lot easier for you by offering expert advice on features, needs, and costs plus anything else you can think of.

Below is a guide to some of the things you will need to consider when choosing your stairlift – however, for advice that is specific to your home and circumstances, we recommend booking a free consultation with one of our stairlift experts.

Stairlift Types

When choosing a stairlift, the choice you make will largely be based on what type of staircase you have. Do you have a standard staircase? A curved one or is your staircase particularly narrow?

We offer two types of stairlifts:

Straight stairlifts – this is the most common type of stairlift and is fitted to staircases that are, as the name suggests, straight up and down.

Curved stairlifts – this option is used in houses where there is a curved staircase or a staircase with a midway landing and change of direction.

Deciding between a curved or straight stairlift will usually be straightforward as it depends on the type of staircase you have! However, with your stairlift type decided you will then need to decide which of the Handicare models we offer is best for your needs.

Stairlift Features

Each of the Handicare models we offer is split into two groups – straight and curved, but within each group, there are different models to choose from with their own unique features and varying costs.

For example, for straight staircases, we offer four different models from Handicare, each with its own features. Each model provides the following as standard:

  • Folding footrest
  • Adjustable seat belt
  • Swivel seat
  • Safety sensors
  • Internal backup battery
  • Two remotes

But some models have additional extras you can choose from to make life a little bit easier such as a powered swivel seat or powered footrest fold. These options are great for people with very limited mobility, so again, the decision will come down to your needs.

Some models, such as the Handicare 1000, are also available with a hinged rail which can either be manual or powered. This enables you to flip the stairlift rail up when it isn’t in use – ideal for staircases where space is tight at the bottom of the stairs.

A Guide To Choosing The Right Stairlift

Another consideration when choosing the right model is the seat type. Stairlifts usually come with a standard type of seat or a ‘perch seat’. Standard seats are comfortable but are bigger than a perch style seat. Perch seats are ideal for people who find sitting uncomfortably as they allow the user to travel up the staircase in a more upright position but with the support of a seat to rest on – no need to worry about safety either as perch seats do still feature a seat belt for security.

Although weight needs to be considered when choosing a stairlift, most Handicare models we offer can comfortably carry up to 21 stone and we also have options for those needing something a little more robust.

Cosmetic Appearance

Although stairlifts do for the most part look alike, there may be some cosmetic options you want to consider before choosing your stairlift.

One of the main concerns people often have about stairlifts is they will look very bulky and obscure a lot of the staircase. Whilst we have options for even the narrowest of staircases which may be a necessity for access reasons, some people choose to have a slimmer profile stairlift just because they prefer the look of them.

The Handicare 1100, for example, is one of the slimmest stairlifts currently on the market and might be the right choice for you if you are looking for the most unobtrusive option possible.

Many of our models also come with a choice of colours for the fabric covering the seat – this may appear to be a small detail but being able to pick a shade that is either close to the colour scheme of your home or a neutral option can be important for some people.

Site Surveys

The easiest and most convenient way to choose a stairlift is for one of our friendly consultants to visit your home and carry out a stairlift survey.

The survey doesn’t take long at all – we’ve had years of experience and have encountered every type of staircase you could imagine so can offer true expertise and help you decide which stairlift is right for you.  

We take measurements from your staircase, assess the space, type of staircase, and consider any other factors you mention before recommending which of the models we offer will be most appropriate for your home.

Once you have decided which model you would like to install, you then need to decide if you want to buy a new stairlift, rent one, or purchase a reconditioned model.

Buy Or Rent?

Once you know your staircase can comfortably fit a stairlift and there won’t be any installation issues, you can choose to purchase a brand-new model, a reconditioned stairlift, or rent a stairlift.

This decision is entirely down to you and often comes down to budget or how long you think you will need a stairlift for.

A new stairlift will cost more than a reconditioned model and you will have access to the latest stairlifts but reconditioned stairlifts are also often quite new models too and are a great affordable alternative.

Of course, any reconditioned stairlifts we offer are very thoroughly checked before installation and any worn or older parts will be replaced. Safety is a priority with stairlifts, and it is no different with reconditioned models.

As mentioned, stairlifts are also available on a rental basis where you will pay an installation cost, the first six months upfront and then rent your stairlift on a month-by-month basis. This isn’t an ideal option for anybody looking for a longer-term solution as it would likely work out more cost-effective to buy a stairlift if you are going to require the use of one for a couple of years. However, this is a great option if you know you aren’t going to need a stairlift for a long period of time.

For example, rental works out great for people who are in recovery from surgery and only need temporary help getting up and downstairs.

Although the decision on buying will come down to your circumstances, our expert consultant will be able to offer you their guidance and expertise, showing you the cost difference between all the options we have available.

Still Can’t Decide?

Are you still struggling to choose a model of stairlift or are you not even certain which type you need? Please contact us and we will be happy to offer you advice over the telephone or book a consultation to survey your staircase.