The human body can be unpredictable. One moment you’re moving around and having fun, then, in an instant, everything changes; you may be struck by a car, or get hit by a crippling disease. Quite often, things can become difficult if life changes without notice, and the next moment you’re having a hard time moving from one place to the other. There’s good news, however: an electric wheelchair can come to your rescue, and you’ll be able to go virtually everywhere you need to as if nothing ever happened. Isn’t it nice? Well, it all starts with finding the wheelchair that has what it takes.
One of the things you may gain from considering is whether you want an electric wheelchair that you can use indoors or outdoors. Perhaps the best part is that most of these wheelchairs are built for multi-purpose use. Also check out whether your chair will be easy to transport in your car, especially if you’ll need to do so quite often. We’re sure you need the same convenience when going to the office or participating in any other activities, so you may want to factor in the type of vehicle you’re using to be sure you’ll have an easy time with the portability.
The speed is also important since you’ll need to move around conveniently. And while at it, remember to consider how much battery range you’ll need, as this goes a long way in helping avoid inconveniences. Not forgetting, you can also make the most of the differences in weight capacity, especially if you’ll be bringing your crutches, backpack
or your laptop
if you usually work on the go. It should take on your weight and any additional luggage necessary.
Besides, the need to move fast shouldn’t compromise your comfort. Look out for the armrest and leg rest features. Also, ensure the design, and perhaps the seat cushion
caters to your needs, especially if you’ll be on the chair for long hours. This goes along with the quest for the best seating style that can offer the best comfort. Do you need a solid pan, captain’s design or rehab style? It all depends on your preferred type, but deciding beforehand is crucial.
You can always get more with these chairs, and the best to do is check out our review of the top five options and see for yourself, but don’t forget to look at their important features first.
Considering the features and benefits a powered wheelchair can offer, there’s no denying these chairs are the real deal. When it comes to the price, though, you’ll be amazed at how fairly these chairs can be priced for their quality. If you’re willing to spend any amount between $1,000 and $3,000, you can get yourself a great wheelchair. This may seem like a lot, but it’s definitely worth it, and if you want a better quality chair, then all you need to do is to put a little more money on the bid.
Another thing you cannot forget is the fact that any wheelchair will be priced according to its features and the material it’s made of. If you’re going for the one with such features as an ideal joystick, sturdy tires, and great comfortable padding, the price goes up. Similarly, if you want to buy from the best brand in the market, then you can be sure to pay a little more.
Most importantly, the thing you need to watch out for is when there’s a surprisingly cheap electric wheelchair on offer, since it’s unlikely to be anything but a bust. Going for the very cheapest option will only cause you more frustration and headaches down the road. Such products lack important features like armrest, sturdy tires and sufficient power to keep you going, and thus the whole chair is compromised. Therefore, it won’t offer you the performance you expect.
For any electric wheelchair to offer what it’s meant to, the features have to come first. This aspect means the difference between getting the real deal and ending up with a chair that you cannot make use of.
When it comes to checking the features, these are some of the things to go for:
- Size – Well, electric wheelchairs come in different sizes and weight, so there’s always something for everyone. But it can be a big plus to consider when making your decision for easy portability or heavy-duty use.
- Type – From folding travel to rear-wheel drive, frontal wheel drive, heavy duty as well as center wheel-drive, the options for types could leave you spoilt for choice. But this is simple; it’s just a matter of what chair would work best for you.
- Maximum Speed – Using a wheelchair doesn’t mean spending all day trying to get from one point to the other, and this is what motor wheelchairs are all about— speed. Well, the aspect of speed isn’t equal across the board. Some have a maximum speed of up to 3.7mhp, and others 10 mph; others could also clock up to 16mph. You only need to weigh your options and decide which speed is efficient and safe for you.
- Maximum Weight Capacity – Ranging from 250 pounds all the way to 330 pounds, electric wheelchairs come in all sorts of different weight capacities. The only thing that determines your choice here should be your weight, as well as whether you’ll need to bring additional items onboard. The bottom line, though, remains that these chairs are well-built and sturdy enough to carry what you need them to.
- Warranty – So you’re setting out to purchase your selected electric wheelchair, but you need to shop with confidence — there’s no better way of getting this than with a warranty. Well, from one to 2-year warranties to as long as a lifetime warranty, these chairs bear different warranty types depending on the brand you go for. You’ll always have a reason to overcome your worries.
Construction and Design
An electric wheelchair and a manual wheelchair look quite similar in design, but the electric one is usually faster and more efficient, all thanks to several factors. Here are some of the things that give this chair an edge:
The first thing you’ll notice in the design of these chairs is the variety of types. This ranges from the configuration of the wheels to the design of the chair itself. If you’ll be using it quite often, then going for a folding design is advisable. Besides, you can consider the sturdier heavy-duty type, which is built to cope with almost any task.
These chairs are also constructed with different power options, from the center-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, to rear-wheel drive. You can always get more options with the mode of propulsion, but collectively they go a long way in offering the best you can get for a natural movement. Not forgetting, the maneuverability is also as excellent, and comfort is guaranteed.
Armrest and Leg Rest
Another interesting thing about these chairs is the full range of options when it comes to the arm and leg rest. Different designs are tailored to offer more than just comfort, so you’ll not get tired within minutes of sitting on the chair. What’s more, the wheelchairs are also designed to offer a variety of sitting options as well. Whether you want to go the captain’s way, choose the rehab, or go for the solid pan, you can always get the one that best fits your desired sitting style. Besides, if you know, you’ll be spending most of the time on your chair, considering one with extra padding, backrest, and headrest go a long way too.
For easy use, electric wheelchairs usually come with a joystick and other controls that are worth checking out as well. This can be configured differently to cater for either right-handed or left-handed people. It’s therefore important that you make your choice based on the best installation for you. Even better, most wheelchairs come with a swinging joystick, which is easy to move to any side you are comfortable with, and you can easily keep it out of the way when on a table.
Most electric wheelchairs can be quite bulky; some can weigh up to 200 pounds. It’s thus important to take note of this when making your purchase, especially if you intend to travel with your chair a lot. If you can find a wheelchair that’s other hand foldable, on the, then this won’t be as much of a problem. However, the size and weight are essential to keep in mind when shopping to be sure you get the right one.
Performance and Ease of Use
You need to get a wheelchair that can go the distance in enhancing your mobility. This calls for one that can take the road head on and still perform at its best, which means incorporating the following features into its design:
For more flexibility, these chairs are capable of attaining sharp turning radius for added maneuverability. This makes the wheelchair not only easy to control, but you won’t be too tired at the end of the day, especially considering that you’ll still need to use it tomorrow and into the future.
The other thing you cannot miss to note is the ability to customize your chair to fit your requirements. Among the many things you can customize are a supportive back and the seat cushion
s. Besides, you can also make the most of a tilt and recline in most chairs for more comfort, and even more so if you’ll be sitting for hours on end. This can definitely come in handy if repositioning yourself with your arms is proving to be too difficult.
Wheels are among the crucial features you cannot overlook when shopping for the right wheelchair. Most of the wheels feature foam filled tires, either polyurethane or flat free. The best part about this kind of tires is that they’re easy to maintain. Besides, they can be convenient in case of a bumpy ride if the terrain is rough, not to mention that they don’t lose air easily.
You can hardly talk of the electric wheelchairs without mentioning the element of power. Well, these chairs run on battery-powered propulsion that not only makes your ride super easy but also fast and efficient. Besides, most are built to retain charge for long enough to keep you going where you want to without inconveniences along the way.
The other primary and most essential thing you’ll love about wheelchairs is that you can use it virtually anywhere; whether you want one for indoor or outdoor use, an electric wheelchair is likely to allow to navigate either environment. Together with the added mobility and the other advantages, powered wheelchairs give you all you need to get there with ease.
When it comes to the idea of what’s best in the electric wheelchair category, it’s totally down to what you’ll be needing the chair for. We also understand that price will play a large role in the selection process. We featured brands with a wide price range, as well as products with a whole host of different features to make the job of shopping around slightly easier for you. Now that you’re well-informed on the features to look out for, the next thing to do is get browsing for the right wheelchair!
By now you should have a better understanding of what type of chair you’re after and what’s on offer for you. If you aren’t a fan of the selected products we’ve decided to feature, all our brands have a large variety of products on offer, so you’re sure to find the best electric wheelchair for your wants and needs. Now all that’s left to do is to start shopping!