Best Wheelchair Arm Rest Reviews 2020

If there's one thing all wheelchair users crave, it’s comfort. An arm rest is one of the few accessories that can actually improve comfort while increasing the functionality of the wheelchair. However, there are different arm rests available and making the choice may be affected by the health condition of the wheelchair user. To help make your selection process easier we looked at the best wheelchair arm rest brands out, and now have 5 featured arm rests from trusted brands that offer the necessary support and comfort required. At the end of the day, the choice is up to you, so feel free to explore other arm rests by these brands if you feel that the featured ones aren’t suited to your condition.
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Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Design
Attachment
Size
Material
Arm Rests
Our Top Choice
Duro-Med Wheelchair Arm Rest
Committed to improving the standard of living of the elderly and disabled persons, Duro-Med manufactures products that help maintain well-being and independence.
Increased comfort. Soft fleece material. Easily attachable. Machine washable. Extra 4.5-inch deep pouch for storage. Arm rest pads kept on with Velcro.
May shift sometimes during use.
With pouch
Hook and loop closure
10 x 9 inches; 0.5 pounds
Denim/fleece
2 arm rests
Best Value
Essential Medical Supply Sheepette Arm Rest
Essential Medical Supply, as the name implies, supplies different medical products that are designed to meet the need arising from challenging physical conditions and lifestyles.
Distributes pressure evenly. Stays in place. Machine washable and dryable. Can be cut to adjust to certain lengths. Easy assembly. Highly comfortable.
Off white color will show stains easily.
Arm rest only
Hook and loop closure
12 x 9 inches
Sheepette synthetic sheepskin
2 arm rests
AliMed Extended Width Arm Rest
Members of the health care industry, including facilities that provide long-term care, depend on AliMed for safe and quality medical supplies.
Wider surface. Foam padded with plastic base. Vinyl cover wipes clean easily. Provides upper extremity support. Slip onto original arm rest for easy installation.
Doesn’t fit arm rests that are more than 2.5’’ wide.
Extended width
.Slides into existing arm
6 x 17 inches; 2.2 pounds
Plastic/foam/vinyl
1 arm rest
Posey Deluxe Lateral Arm Rest
Posey ensures safe and effective health care by manufacturing quality and innovative products that maintain the users quality of life and well-being.
Soft and water-resistant. Wipe-clean vinyl cover. Self-releasing straps. Adds 2 inches of height to armrest.
Doesn’t come in a pair for both wheelchair arms.
Extended width
Straps
6 x 17 inches; 1.2 pounds
Foam/vinyl
1 arm rest
Ottobock Tri Quality Wheelchair Arm Rest
Dedicated to improving the life of people living with disabilities, Ottobock Tri Quality manufactures health care products that are functional and efficient.
Full length size. Vinyl foam padding. Comes with installation hardware. Easy to install. Suits most manual wheelchairs.
Doesn’t fit most powered wheelchairs.
Padded replacement
Screws
14 x 2 inches
Plastic/foam/vinyl
2 arm rests

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Watch Our Wheelchair Arm Rest Review

What is the Best Wheelchair Arm Rest?

An arm rest could resolve arm and elbow discomfort, offer shoulder and upper body support, elevate the arm and prevent muscle fatigue but it’s all dependent on the style and design of the arm rest chosen. Now that you’ve read our buying guide, making the best choice from the following featured products should be a simple job.
Our Top Choice
The Duro-Med Wheelchair Arm Rest adds comfort to the wheelchair and comes with a pouch that’s 4.5 inches deep and that can be used to carry and store different items such as glasses and mobile phones. Still looking for a useful addition to your wheelchair? This Wheelchair Seat Cushion from Duro-Med may be just what you’re searching for, as it supplies extra comfort and support to any wheelchair.

Duro-Med Wheelchair Arm Rest with Pouch


Features
Duro-Med has been known for manufacturing living aids that promote the independence of people with disabilities as well as people who are simply getting on in years. With more than 35 years in the business, all Duro-Med’s products have been proven to help the elderly and people with special needs to live comfortably. From wheelchairs and folding bed boards to seat cushions and bed wedges, Duro-Med has consistently strived to produce high quality medical materials that add vitality and maintain the dignity and quality of lives of those that need it.

If you want to upgrade your wheelchair to a comfortable, handy and functional unit, look no further than the Duro-Med Wheelchair Arm Rest. With a hook and loop attach system, this arm rest comes with a Velcro patch that ensures it stays put on the wheelchair. It also comes with a 4.5-inch deep side pouch that can serve as a storage compartment for small essentials such as reading glasses, pens, TV remotes and other handy items. The arm rest itself is made of soft, comfy fleece to increase the convenience of using this wheelchair while the storage pouch is made from tough, durable denim. Together, they’re machine-washable and won’t damage with repeated washing. This arm rest comes as a pair and measures 10 by 9 inches while weighing 0.45 pounds and won’t significantly increase the weight of the wheelchair.

You can take a quick look at other wheelchair accessories by Duro-Med:
  • The Duro-Med Wheelchair Bag – a waterproof hands free bag that’s durable, lightweight and can easily attach at the back of the wheelchair and can be used to store/carry multiple things such as phones, glasses, water bottles and many more items
  • The Duro-Med DMI Comfort Wheelchair Cushion – it can also work for recliners and chairs that require more softness layer. It molds to the contours of the body and is packed with polyester fiberfill for maximum coziness. It also features a material that’s highly adsorbent for patients with urinary incontinence
  • The Duro-Med Back Support Cushion Pillow supports the lower back by getting rid of tension and keeping the spine in the correct alignment. It also prevents bad posture and back pain that may arise from slouching
Best Value
The Essential Medical Supply Sheepette Wheelchair Arm Rest provides maximum comfort as it’s made from a dense synthetic sheepskin material that distributes both arm and elbow pressure evenly. Interested in relieving pain and increasing comfort while sitting on the wheelchair? The Essential Medical Supply Fleece Covered Wheelchair Cushion can be the difference.

Essential Medical Supply Sheepette Wheelchair Arm Rest Pads with Hook and Loop Closure


Features
Essential Medical Supply is a broad-based provider of durable home medical equipment and living aids that ensure life is made easier and safer for those with physical conditions that require help. Its living and disability aids include walkers, canes, wheelchairs, crutches, home and hospital beddings and everyday essentials. So for high quality medical supplies that are safe, comfortable and that ensure independence for seniors and people with disabilities, Essential Medical Supply is the go-to brand.

A lot of people complain about skin breakdown at the arm and elbow when resting their hands on the arm of a wheelchair due to uneven pressure distribution at those points. One of the easiest ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to make use of the Essential Medical Supply Sheepette Wheelchair Arm Rest. This is because it’s made from synthetic sheepskin, which is quite thick and allows more air circulation than most arm rests. It comes in a pair for both arms of the wheelchair and is attached by hook and loop closure that goes round the whole pad. This attach system ensures that the arm rest remains in a fixed position for safety measure. Washing this arm rest is easy as it can easily be removed and machine washed when needed. It’s also dryer-friendly. While it weighs less than half a pound, the dimensions of this arm rest measure 14 x 3 x 5 inches but can be easily cut to suit desk length arms.

Here are other functional wheelchair accessories by Essential Medical Supply for your consideration:
  • The Essential Medical Supply Wheelchair Bag – a large nylon bag that’s waterproof and has a zippered top with loop straps to fit over the handles of the wheelchair. It can be used to carry different essentials and has a reflector strip for increased safety
  • The Essential Medical Supply Wheelchair Cup Holder that attaches easily to a wheel chair or walker. It will fit most drinks and comes in a bright blue attractive color
  • The Essential Medical Supply Sheepette Wheel-Chair Seat and Back attaches to the wheelchair via a hook and loop strap system and helps relieve pain and distribute pressure while sitting to avoid skin break-down
  • The Essential Medical Supply Transfer Board – it comes with a one hand cut out and can be used to transfer wheelchair users to or from the bed. It’s made from tough wood, measures 8 x 30 inches and has a carrying capacity of 250 pounds
The AliMed Extended Width Wheelchair Arm Rest allows the arm to rest on a wider surface, which automatically reduces the risk of slipping when the arm is shifted. Not content with arm support alone? Improve the sitting posture of the user who leans towards the affected side by adding AliMed’s Lateral Arm\/Body Support to the wheelchair.
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AliMed Extended Width Wheelchair Arm Rest


Features
AliMed has become synonymous with quality medical and healthcare products that improve the quality of life of its users. No wonder it has become the preferred brand for operating room equipment and supplies, orthopedic braces and splints, wheelchair cushions and accessories, infection control and patient handling solutions by hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, long and short term care facilities and therapists. Along with its quality, AliMed also ensures that the consumer’s satisfaction is 100% and it does so by providing price friendly products that can be trusted and an unrivalled customer service.

Many users want an arm rest that can support the arm without increasing the height, and yet very few arm rests can boast of such a feat. Luckily for you, the AliMed Extended Width Wheelchair Arm Rest belongs to that rare class. Instead of a height increase, the width is the enhanced dimension. This lets the arm accept all the weight in the usual position without forcing it to remain in a fixed position. So users with flaccidity, edema of the upper extremity or elevated tone can tolerate this arm rest without the skin tear or break-down risk that accompanies other troughs and trays. They could also change positions in the wheelchair and not worry about slipping of their arms or harm to the shoulder joint and arm due to uneven pressure.

Petite patients or those with a small frame also stand to benefit from this arm rest. If placed in an opposite configuration, they’re provided with improved weight bearing and support of the upper extremity without the need to lean to any side. This arm rest has a durable construction of a plastic base with a rigid foam top that’s covered with a vinyl material that can’t be removed. Maintenance is easy since all you need to do is spray any disinfectant of your choice and wipe clean. This wheelchair arm rest weighs 2.2 pounds and has 6 W x 17 L inches as its dimensions.

AliMed has other arm rests that you can check out:
  • The AliMed Sheepette Wheelchair Armrest Pads measures 12 x 9 x 1 inches and is made from thick synthetic sheepskin for added comfort. It is capable of relieving pain and pressure on the elbows and arms
  • The AliMed Sheepskin Wheelchair Armrest Pads is made from premium quality sheep wool which ensures that comfort and optimal pressure distribution is achieved
  • The AliMed Premier Wheelchair Arm Tray slides onto the arm of the wheelchair and provides a secured support to prevent the affected arm from tilting
  • The AliMed Lateral Stabilizer Armrest Bolster comes with a polyester cover and offers a bolstered support to improve positioning of the arm and increasing stability and comfort
For those that require arm elevation and/or lean laterally, the Posey Deluxe Lateral Arm Rest adds 2 inches to the height of the wheelchair’s armrest for better support and comfort. Its water-resistance also means easy cleaning. If you prefer fur surface to vinyl, check out the more affordable Posey Synthetic Fur Arm Pads for wheelchairs.

Posey Deluxe Lateral Arm Rest with Self-Releasing Straps


Features
Most patients and caregivers want the same thing – safe health care, and no brand embodies this as much as Posey. For the past seventy-nine years, it’s been known for advanced and quality product solutions that ensure an environment that’s safe for patients while minimizing injury risks and reducing providers’ expenses due to falls. Posey has also realized that the input from patients and caregivers are invaluable and help to identify and address patient safety requirements, that’s why it emphasizes on building customer relationship and making them a part of the product creation process.

Comfort and extra support cannot be over emphasized for a wheel chair user and the Posey Deluxe Lateral Arm Rest offers both. It has a 16 inches long and 7 inches wide padded surface that allows the arm to rest comfortably. Patients that require arm elevation stand to benefit from this arm rest as it adds a height of 2 inches to the arm rest. This lends extra support to the shoulder and prevents degradation of the arm’s skin due to gravity pull. Those that lean laterally would also love this arm rest as it’s specially contoured with padding that extends below the arm for hip support.

Apart from the structure, this arm rest is soft padded and has a vinyl cover that’s water-resistant and can easily be wiped clean. This is an added advantage as the wheelchair user wouldn’t want an arm rest that would be difficult to clean and maintain. The arm rest sits tight and has straps that can be self-released by the user. So you can relax as the arm is kept in position and there’s no risk of slipping during use. One other unique thing about this arm rest is that it’s designed to be used interchangeably on both arms of the wheelchair, so there's no need to get two.

Here are other wheelchair accessories from Posey that you may also like:
  • The Posey Torso Support for Wheelchair offers extra support around the chest region to prevent leaning, tilting and forward sliding. It’s made of a soft and breathable material and keeps the patient positioned in a wheelchair
  • The Posey Hugger Lap Cush allows for better upper body positioning, provides comfortable support for the elbows as well as a semi-hard surface for food and other things
The Ottobock Tri Quality Wheelchair Arm Rest has a black vinyl covered foam padding for extra comfort and support for both the shoulder and elbow. Moreover, it’s compatible with most manual wheelchairs. If a black arm rest doesn’t suit you, maybe try the fully padded Buckskin Vinyl Armrest by Ottobock Tri Quality. It provides extra support and comfort when needed!

Ottobock Tri Quality Wheelchair Arm Rest with Vinyl Padding and Hardware Included


Features
There's only one reason why a company would be around for close to 90 years – consistency in quality, and that’s exactly what Ottobocks Tri Quality stands for. All of its products go a long way to achieve its goal which is to help restore mobility and vigor to people living with disabilities and/or protect the little mobility left. Its health care products have also become the number one choice amongst patients and caregivers due to the uninhibited independence and patient freedom it offers. It’s no wonder that when it comes to prosthetics, orthotics, power/manual wheelchairs, rehab products and medical care, Ottobocks is ideally positioned at the top.

We all know the importance of a wheelchair, but it needs to be comfortable to a certain degree to encourage its user. While there are several ways to improve its comfort, one of the fastest ways is to get a good arm rest. A good arm rest such as the Ottobock Tri Quality Wheelchair Arm Rest can be the difference between a happy and sour patient. It comes fully padded with foam for more support and is covered with vinyl. The vinyl covering makes it waterproof in case of liquid spill and is easy to clean. If you’re a caregiver, you’d certainly appreciate the usefulness of this cover material.

Its foam padding is held in place by a black plastic base with 8 mounting holes. These holes allow the arm rest to be easily mounted on the arms of the wheelchair and is compatible with most models of manual wheelchairs. To also make installation easier, this arm rest comes with its own hardware. Measuring 14 inches long and 2 inches wide, those that require arm elevation may not complain about the lack of height, but if extra comfortable support for the elbow and shoulder is what's on your mind, then this is the arm rest for you.

Ottobocks Tri Quality has more wheelchair arm rests that you may like:
  • The Ottobocks Tri Quality Plastic Full Armrest – a 14-inch full length arm rest that’s suitable for E&J and Invacare wheelchairs
  • The Ottobocks Tri Quality Urethane Armrest Pads – a 10-inch desk length arm rest with a universal fit for most manual wheelchairs
  • The Ottobocks Tri Quality Waterfall Armrest Pads – these measure 10 inches long and 3 inches wide and offer the required support and comfort in wheelchairs

How Do I Choose the Best Wheelchair Arm Rest?

Confinement to a wheelchair is not the end of the world. Just as in scooters, with the right accessories in place, a wheelchair can be upgraded from a transportation device to a full-fledged luxurious and comfortable ride. If you think it’s impossible, take your time to read this short story below:

“When Mr. Adams lost the use of his limbs, he thought it was the end of the world. He was depressed for months and getting him to see the world as it was before his accident was very difficult. I practically had to beg him each day to eat and live. After a while, he started to respond. His father got him the best folding wheelchair to aid his mobility. It was my job to get him in and out of it. After the first 2 weeks of constant use, he refused to get on the wheelchair. After much persuasion, he blurted out that it was too uncomfortable and his arms felt sore afterwards. His father asked me what should be done to help and I suggested a good wheelchair arm rest. The rest they say is history. Today, Mr. Adams looks forward to getting into his wheelchair and living his life happily and comfortably.” By Stan McCaughey (Mr. Adams’ care giver)

From the above illustration, the accessory that made all the difference was the arm rest. So, what exactly is it? Well, it’s simply an upholstered or padded arm which can attach to a wheelchair and offers more comfort and support to the user. With this brief definition, who wouldn’t want one? It’s quite important and may also lend support to other body parts including the hip, shoulder and elbow.

There are different types available on the market and are recommended for different uses. Patients that require arm elevation, need upper extremity support, lean laterally or need to stabilize the torso stand to benefit most from a wheelchair arm rest. At the end of the day, reduction of skin damage and sores, improvement of the range of motion of the arm and the arm’s muscle strengthening are things a good arm rest achieves. So why don’t you increase positioning, bracing and balance by making an arm rest part of your wheelchair? But if you need a mobility aid (just not in the shape of a wheelchair), you can also look into walking canes and wheel walkers.
Price
If you were asked to place a price tag on comfort, how much would you be willing to pay? $100, $1,000, $10,000 or even $1,000,000? Yeah, you read that accurately, a million dollars. While you’re still debating on that, you may be surprised to find out that you can get a good and comfortable armrest for less than $100. Quite unbelievable, right?

For a mild cost somewhere between $20-$100 you can transform your wheelchair from an ordinary transportation device to a fully functional and highly comfortable unit. There are wheelchair arm rests that can cost more or less than the range of our featured products, however, you should be more careful about those that are perceived as cheap wheelchair arm rests. If you’re asking why, it’s because they may be made from flimsy materials and may make you more uncomfortable. Yes, it’s quite possible.
Features
There are some factors that should be considered before selecting an arm rest for your wheelchair. Although the style of arm rest chosen will ultimately depend on the physical and health condition of the wheelchair user, we’ve tried to compile a list of the general features that an arm rest should have. We’ll try to explain each feature and how it ultimately leads to more comfort and better support.

Here’s the main features of your average wheelchair arm rest:
  • Type and design
  • Attachment
  • Size
  • Material
  • Package
Construction and Design
Before selecting an arm rest for your wheelchair, there are several questions that must be answered in order to ensure you’re selecting the most suitable arm rest. Questions such as, which part of the body requires most support, if you intend to work from your wheelchair, what other activities are carried out in your wheelchair, and so on. The answers to these questions will help you understand the type and design of the wheelchair arm rest that would best suit you.

Type of Arm Rest

Fatigue of the arm muscles is one of the nightmares of wheelchair users, and using an arm rest is one of the best ways to eliminate it. The type of arm rest used goes a long way to reducing skin damage around the arm and elbow. Wheelchair arm rests can be broadly classified into 2 categories – full length and desk length arm rests. Please note that they may fall into other categories, but these 2 are the most common classifications. Full length arm rests (about 15 inches or more) normally spread the full length of the wheelchair’s current arm rest and are more common. It allows the user to have a greater area for gripping and provides further support for those that may want to mount trays on their wheelchairs.

Desk length arm rests on the other hand are approximately 4 inches shorter and allow the user to get nearer to the table or desk. So if your work requires a table, the desk length arm rest would be more ideal to prevent the bumping and inconvenience that would be accompanied by a full length arm rest.

Body Support

People with disabilities such as paralyzed arms or partial/full stroke will require a different arm rest from senior citizens that are unable to work unaided but retain upper body mobility. For those in the former category, a wheelchair arm rest that’s designed to support the upper extremities including the shoulder and neck would be more beneficial. Those arm rests usually have an elevated height to prevent uneven distribution of pressure which leads to skin damage and sores. Those in the latter category will benefit from wheelchair arm rests that are designed to prevent the arm from slipping during movement, e.g. an arm rest with a wider surface.

Materials

A wheelchair arm rest could be made from several materials, but the most popular construction materials are foam, fur and fleece. The foam padding used in arm rests are usually firm and are covered by a vinyl or leather material. Those that are vinyl covered are normally water-resistant and more durable. They could also come in several colors. The foam may become less firm with time, but it could take some time to get to that stage. Fleece may be gotten from sheepskin and is highly breathable, which is an advantage for those who have lost mobility in their arms. It’s usually favored by caregivers because it can also be machine-washed and dried. Who wouldn’t want to be spared the hassle of hand washing and sun drying? Fur, on the other hand, is quite comfortable, warm and stylish, just like fleece; bear in mind, though, that it shows stains easily and may require frequent washing, which may reduce its durability.
Performance and Ease of Use
No matter the level of comfort offered, if the arm rest doesn’t safely attach to the wheelchair, then its entire purpose is defeated. An arm rest may attach either by hook and loop (Velcro) or sliding on the arm, or by screwing it to the arm. Care must be taken when attaching by any means to prevent sliding away of the arm rest during use which can lead to another accident. Of course, this is very undesirable. To ensure that it doesn’t happen, check the compatibility before purchasing. Arm rests that are attached by screws should come with the necessary hardware and the mounting holes should be equivalent to those of the wheelchair.

Although arm rests increase comfort and function, some wheelchair users prefer not to use it because it may increase the general weight of the wheelchair. To prevent this from happening, it’d be advisable to go for arm rests that don’t weigh a ton. It’d be better to stick with one that weighs less than 2 pounds, especially for active and manual wheelchair users.

Some arm rests come in pairs while others come singly. Those that come in pairs are usually preferred with patients who still have mobility in their arms while the single ones may be used by those with partial or full loss of mobility in the arm. The single ones should also be capable of being used on both arms without any fuss. Some may also come with additional storage pouches for keeping essentials such as pills, reading glasses, TV remote, etc.

Maintaining the arm rest and keeping it clean at all times should also be a priority. Black colored arm rests won’t show stains while brightly colored arm rests and those made of fur and fleece would. Vinyl-covered arm rests should be wiped clean with disinfectant while others can be machine-washed when needed.

Get the Best Wheelchair Arm Rest of 2020!

Now that you have all the information you need to select an elite wheelchair arm rest that’ll provide you with extra comfort and support, why not go ahead and confidently make that purchase!

Our Top Choice
Duro-Med Wheelchair Arm Rest
Best Value
Essential Medical Supply Sheepette Arm Rest
AliMed Extended Width Arm Rest
Posey Deluxe Lateral Arm Rest
Ottobock Tri Quality Wheelchair Arm Rest