11 Best Motorized Wheelchair Options for Older Adults

In this article...
  • Get advice on how to select the best motorized wheelchair for your needs. Simplify research by comparing the key features and potential drawbacks of top models.

Motorized wheelchairs make it possible to complete daily living tasks, run errands and travel despite disabilities and medical conditions that limit mobility. By learning what to look for in a motorized wheelchair, you can select the one that is best for your needs.

Who Might Benefit From a Motorized Wheelchair?

Anyone who has difficulty walking may benefit from a wheelchair. Motorized options may be beneficial for those who struggle to use self-propelled wheelchairs and want to be able to move independently without the assistance of a caregiver. In addition, you may want to use a motorized wheelchair instead of a manual model to reduce fatigue when you'll be traveling long distances.

Does Medicare or Insurance Cover a Motorized Wheelchair?

Medicare may cover the cost of a motorized wheelchair in some cases. The Medicaid program in some states will also help pay for a power wheelchair under certain circumstances. Whether a private insurance plan will pay depends on its durable medical equipment and mobility aid coverage guidelines.

Important Considerations When Choosing a Motorized Wheelchair

When comparing motorized wheelchairs, you'll encounter long lists of specifications and features. While this may seem overwhelming, choosing the right one for your needs becomes simpler when you focus on the following key considerations.

  • Your medical needs: Your medical provider may recommend that you buy a chair with certain features such as a reclining seat. Following their advice is essential to choosing a wheelchair that is likely to be safe and beneficial for you.
  • Your height and weight: Look for a motorized wheelchair that has a maximum height and weight limit that works for you.
  • Chair weight: How heavy a wheelchair is affects portability for travel. Generally, chairs intended for daily use and those with long battery lives weigh more than others.
  • Folding mechanism: Whether a chair folds and how easy the folding mechanism is to use affects how easy it will be for you to travel by car, train or plane.
  • Which wheels receive power: Nearly all motorized wheelchairs have six wheels. Two receive power from the motor and the others stabilize the chair. Mid-wheel drive chairs deliver power to the middle set of wheels to improve maneuverability. Rear- and front-wheel drive chairs may travel over rugged terrain more easily.
  • Wheel characteristics: The size and type of wheel impact how smoothly the chair rolls and what type of terrain it can travel over.
  • Turning radius: A chair with a smaller turning radius will be easier to maneuver in tight spaces than a larger one.
  • Speed: Chairs that travel at speeds of 6 miles per hour or more let you move at double average walking speed for faster transport.
  • Travel range: The travel range tells you how many miles a motorized wheelchair can travel on a single charge.
  • Controls: The location and type of control affect how simple the chair will be for you to use.
  • Comfort features: Padding, tilt mechanisms and adjustability all impact how comfortable a chair is to sit in for long periods of time.
  • Where and how you'll use it: For daily use, you may want a chair designed for comfort and long battery life. If you intend to only use the chair for travel, the weight and folding ability may be more important.
  • Warranty: Most wheelchairs only carry a 6-month to 1-year warranty on electronic parts. Frame warranties vary greatly. If you intend to use your chair frequently, choosing one with a warranty of at least 10 years can help ensure your chair stands the test of time.
  • Price: Prices for electric wheelchairs typically start around $2,000, and the highest-priced models cost more than $10,000. Establish a budget before you shop and compare payment plans and financing options as needed.

11 Best Motorized Wheelchairs

The following motorized wheelchairs boast key features that separate them from other options on the market. However, they also have some potential drawbacks that you should keep in mind as you shop.

1. Feather Power Chair

The Feather Power Chair is an economically priced option designed for life on the go. Weighing only 33 pounds and able to fold flat in seconds, the chair is simple to transport in the trunk of an average automobile. On a single charge, the chair can travel distances of up to 11 miles, and its 10-mph top speed makes it the fastest option on this list. For peace of mind, the frame carries a lifetime limited warranty.

Key Features

  • Economically priced
  • Lightest-weight option at 33 lbs.
  • Easily folds to a compact size for travel
  • Fastest model at 10 mph
  • 11-mile travel range
  • Lifetime limited warranty on the frame

Potential Drawbacks

  • Weight capacity of only 250 lbs.
  • May not have adequate padding for all-day comfort
  • Larger turning radius

2. Metris Atlantis Heavy-Duty Bariatric Power Wheelchair

For those who need an ultra-strong motorized wheelchair for daily use, the Metris Atlantis Heavy-Duty Bariatric Power Wheelchair may be the ideal solution. Its strong chassis and wheels can support up to 600 pounds, and the extra-wide seat is amply padded for comfort. With a 32-mile travel range, the chair can typically be used for daily activities and travel without having to recharge. A lifetime limited frame warranty protects your purchase.

Key Features

  • Economical price for a daily use wheelchair
  • Highest weight capacity at 600 lbs.
  • Longest travel range at 32 miles
  • Lifetime limited warranty on the frame

Potential Drawbacks

  • Weighs 304 lbs.
  • Doesn't fold
  • Top speed of only 5 mph

3. Evolt Traveler Power Chair

The Evolt Traveler Power Chair offers value for the money with a low price point and an array of features. The chair weighs only 50 pounds and is simple to fold for travel. Dual motors and large back tires make it powerful and rugged enough to travel easily over all types of outdoor surfaces.

Key Features

  • Lowest-priced option on this list
  • Lightweight at 50 lbs.
  • Easy-to-use folding mechanism
  • Large 12" back tires for extra traction
  • Dual motors increase power

Potential Drawbacks

  • Lowest weight capacity at 220 lbs.
  • Short travel range of 5 miles
  • Frame warranty only lasts for 1 year

4. Hoveround LX-5 Power Wheelchair

If maneuverability is your biggest concern, the Hoveround LX-5 Power Wheelchair may be the chair for you. Its round base gives it a very tight turning radius, and a 12-mile travel range ensures it can go the distance. To keep you comfortably supported during all-day travels, the seat features an innerspring coil system similar to what's found in mattresses.

Key Features

  • 300-lb. weight capacity
  • Small turning radius
  • Round base improves maneuverability
  • 12-mile travel range
  • Innerspring seat for comfort and support

Potential Drawbacks

  • Weighs 173 lbs.
  • Slower top speed than some other models
  • Frame warranty only lasts for five years

5. Rolstoel Model H Hybrid Manual and Power Chair in One

The Rolstoel Model H Hybrid Manual and Power Chair in One is a great option for those who want the freedom to take long trips without having to stop and charge. Once the battery dies, the large 22-inch back wheels let you self-propel and continue traveling. An easy-to-use push-button design and lightweight frame make the chair highly portable, and you can mount the controller on either side to suit your needs.

Key Features

  • Weighs only 39 lbs.
  • Easy-to-use push-button folding mechanism
  • 22" back wheels for manual self-propelled operation
  • Controller can be mounted on either side

Potential Drawbacks

  • Travel range may be as short as 8 miles
  • Weight capacity of only 260 lbs.
  • Frame warranty only lasts for 1 year

6. Quickie Q500 M Power Wheelchair

Ideal for daily use, the Quickie Q500 M Power Wheelchair is engineered with comfort in mind. All-wheel suspension gives you a smoother ride, and the power backrest lets you precisely adjust the degree of recline until you find a seating position that works for you. Mid-wheel drive functionality and a tight turning radius allow you to navigate narrow areas with ease.

Key Features

  • 300-lb. weight capacity
  • Mid-wheel drive with tight turning radius
  • Power recline mechanism for seat
  • All-wheel suspension

Potential Drawbacks

  • Highest-priced standard seated wheelchair on this list
  • Frame warranty only lasts for 5 years
  • Weighs 355 lbs.

7. AirWheel H3S Auto Folding Smart Chair

With the AirWheel H3S Auto Folding Smart Chair, getting ready to hit the road is as simple as pushing a button. Remote control lets you fold and unfold the chair automatically and can also be used to operate the chair as needed. When fully charged, the chair can roll for up to 15 miles, and the padded seat cushion keeps you comfortable along the way. The wheelchair is one of the only models to offer an optional gravity-based steering control for those unable to use a standard joystick.

Key Features

  • 286-lb. weight capacity
  • Remote control
  • 15-mile travel range
  • Three control options
  • Soft seat cushion with washable cover

Potential Drawbacks

  • More expensive than other travel wheelchairs
  • Large turning radius
  • Slowest top speed
  • Frame warranty only lasts for 1 year

8. Drive Medical Cirrus Plus HD Power Wheelchair

The Drive Medical Cirrus Plus HD Power Wheelchair allows heavier adults to enjoy the convenience of a motorized chair designed for travel. It can support up to 450 pounds and folds flat for easy transport. A travel range of 15 miles makes it capable of covering large distances. For your peace of mind, the chair frame carries a lifetime limited warranty, and the electronic components are backed by two-year warranty protection.

Key Features

  • 450-lb. maximum weight capacity
  • Folds flat for easy transport
  • 15-mile travel range
  • Simple-to-use controls
  • Limited lifetime warranty on the frame
  • Longer warranty on electronics than other chairs at 24 months

Potential Drawbacks

  • Weighs 105 lbs.
  • May not provide enough padding for all-day comfort

9. Golden Compass Sport Electric Wheelchair

With the Golden Compass Sport Electric Wheelchair, you don't have to sacrifice comfort to enjoy the benefits of tight turning and a long travel range. The springless articulating chassis delivers rugged traction and reliable stability, so you're free to take on tough terrains. Armrests adjust for angle in addition to width and height, giving you more ways to customize the chair to suit your needs.

Key Features

  • 300-lb. weight capacity
  • Very tight turning radius
  • 24-mile travel range
  • Highly adjustable arms
  • Springless articulating chassis traction and stability
  • Dynamic Linx Smart Controller for ease of use

Potential Drawbacks

  • More expensive than other power wheelchairs
  • Weighs 185 lbs.
  • Slower top speed than some other models

10. EZ Lite Cruiser Deluxe Regular DX12 Power Wheelchair

The EZ Lite Cruiser Deluxe Regular DX12 Power Wheelchair is a convenient option for frequent travelers. You can fold it up with the push of a button or use the quick release mechanism to split the chair into three pieces for easier transport. For comfort, the chair boasts one of the thickest seats and backrests.

Key Features

  • 305-lb. maximum weight capacity
  • Weighs 62 lbs.
  • One-touch fold
  • 15-mile travel range
  • 2" foam padded seat
  • Quick release splits chair into three pieces for transport
  • 10-year limited warranty on frame

Potential Drawbacks

  • Slower top speed than some other models
  • Large turning radius

11. Karman XO-505 Power Wheelchair

If your medical provider recommended a standing wheelchair, the Karman XO-505 Power Wheelchair may be the ideal choice for your needs. Nearly every part of the chair is adjustable for comfort and support, and the chair can travel up to 25 miles on one charge. Navigating tight spaces is no problem thanks to a tight turning radius and mid-wheel drive design.

Key Features

  • Allows for standing use
  • 25-mile travel range
  • Backrests, footrests and armrests are highly adjustable
  • LCD display for easy operation
  • Mid-wheel drive with tight turning radius for maneuverability

Potential Drawbacks

  • Most expensive chair on this list
  • Weight capacity of 250 lbs.
  • Doesn't fold
  • Weighs 298 lbs.
  • Frame warranty only lasts for 3 years
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