Live the Independence You Seek Through an Electric Wheelchair
Wheelchairs have existed since the early 1900s, but their importance has never been greater. Manufacturers have not forgotten something as fundamental as a wheelchair as technology advances at dizzying speed. It almost guaranteed electric wheelchairs to emerge sooner rather than later, as consumers demand more and convenience is always top of mind. You may wonder, what is an electric wheelchair and what is the best electric wheelchair out there?
What is an electric wheelchair?
Electric wheelchairs are your average wheelchairs, but with electric-powered motors underneath the cushion seat. The motor helps in propelling the wheelchairs, in case a patient or an older adult who uses the wheelchairs cannot manually wheel the chairs themselves or to avail a more independent movement for themselves. Here are different electric wheelchair designs prescribed to people who cannot use manual wheelchairs, and these can be the indoor or outdoor types.
Types of Electric Wheelchairs
Made to navigate tighter spaces, these wheelchairs’ purpose is for you to move around easily while doing various chores. Its fast-rotating chair and compact design allow you to go through doors and tight spaces like bathrooms. The catch, however, is that indoor types typically have smaller batteries compared to outdoor types, so they might not last as long-- but with its purpose of indoor mobility, do they really have to?
More optimal for outdoors, these chairs withstand rough roads and occupy a larger space. Outdoor-type wheelchairs have larger wheels and batteries, and some had an extra pouch for battery storage. Makers manufactured these types for traveling long distances and doing outside errands like commuting for work or grocery shopping. Truly perfect for those who want to live independently.
Benefits of Electric Wheelchair over traditional ones:
Electric wheelchairs have motors, enabling them to move on their own with a touch of a button. It is helpful for those who want to travel far distances with ease. Manually held wheelchairs need the user’s hands and feet for them to run.
Manual or standard wheelchairs are steel-framed wheelchairs steered by hands or feet. There are few seating sizes and feature options out in the market. Usually, the seat is upholstered in durable vinyl material. This type of wheelchair is best for those who can use their hands and feet and those with caregivers and dedicated attendants. Manual wheelchairs are best for near-distance travel and economical home use.
Electric, or power wheelchairs, use electric motors to make movement easier. These wheelchairs have touchpads or joysticks to use as controls. There’s no need for users to use their upper body strength, as manufacturers designed these special chairs for those who needed ease of use and extra comfort in using a wheelchair. The best electric wheelchairs for exploring the outdoors, whatever terrain, not to mention, high-spec electric wheelchairs have height change, foldable options for easy use, and storage. They are easy to use for children with movement problems.
What to look for in an electric wheelchair
If you want to purchase the best electric wheelchair your money can buy, here are some tips for you:
- If you want to move around comfortably, consider getting front-drive wheels. These are excellent for rougher landscapes and great for everyday outdoor use. When using an electric wheelchair on bumpy roads, monitor the speed to avoid accidents and injuries.
- If you are going to stay most of the time indoors, check out mid-drive wheels. This wheelchair has front and back wheels for stability and easy moving into tight spaces, while the center wheel acts as a steering wheel. The downside of mid-drive wheels is that it is highly unbalanced, because of uneven weight distribution.
- If you want a good balance between the two, buying rear-drive wheels is your best bet. Like the front-drive wheels, these wheels can move to different environments and are perfect for more general use. It also has a faster speed and can carry more weight compared to other types. However, it also has a large turning circumference and is hard to navigate in tight spaces.
What are the best electric wheelchairs?
Best Lightweight Electric Wheelchair
Imagine being able to bring yourself anywhere. You’d be able to move around, visit the places and go sightseeing on your own. It was designed with the adventurous you in mind, someone who wants to get more out of life. Shoprider created the unit for easy disassemble, with a programmable VSI Joystick Controller with Adjustable speed & Battery Life Indicator for ease of use. It operates on two 12 volts/12Ah sealed lead-acid (AGM or gel-cell type SLA maintenance-free batteries), and it only weighs 38.5 lbs! You can also adjust its seat height, directional angle and have armrests and an adjustable food plate. It is also relatively heavy-duty as it has a weight capacity of 250 lbs. You may bring this to airlines for your overseas travels.
Best Reclining Electric Wheelchair
Prolonged usage of wheelchairs may sometimes cause backaches. Have you ever wished for your seat to be comfortable when you’re using it? Then consider this heavy-duty wheelchair with 8 degrees maximum reclining backrest. This super comfortable wheelchair has a full suspension hiding inside the compact frame that protects your body from sudden shocks when moving on bumpy surfaces and has a full seating capacity with thick foam and faux-leather upholstery that is soft to touch. The Merits Health Vision Super also feels secure to sit on, for it has a full-bodied, streamlined frame with a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs. It also has two 24 Volts 300 Watts motors and is powered by a 60 amp Dynamic Shark for powerful performance. The wheelchair also has intuitive brakes that give gentle stops, user-friendly joysticks, flip-up armrest, and flip-down footrest. You even have an option to equip elevated leg rests and elevated seats, and a wheelbase that makes the wheelchair stable all the time. Truly a design made for comfort.
Best Heavy-Duty Electric Wheelchair
Do you want an actual heavy-duty wheelchair that has more weight capacity than others? Then check out this popular electric wheelchair. 6Runner 14 is the best heavy-duty wheelchair in our line, and for a good reason. It has a maximum weight capacity of 450 lbs, the highest as of date. It also has an excellent reclining seat, adjustable seat height, armrests, footplate, and easy battery access. It’s a mid-wheel drive with a suspension system for a smooth ride. With its sleek leatherette design, intuitive joystick panel with an on-off button, easy-to-read battery gauge, speed button, indicators, charging port, and all-in-one joystick, this is the best straightforward heavy-duty wheelchair for you.
Best Outdoor Electric Wheelchair
This folding wheelchair is all about stability. No matter the surface, you won’t feel any bumps along the way. What made the EWheels EW-M43 perfect for outdoor, rough road terrain is its adjustable waist belt, anti-tipping wheels, removable under-seat bags that can carry spare batteries, and flat-free tires. It has a front-wheel suspension that makes it an ideal choice as your all-around mobility tool. For added comfort, this wheelchair has a machine-washable padded cushion seat and breathable cushion cover. It also has an 8 inches front caster with suspension, while the 12 inches flat-free rear-drive wheel makes you travel anywhere. It runs on 12 volts 10 amp lithium batteries on each rear wheel. You can also use this in smaller spaces or go to places with many people as the wheelchair occupies a relatively smaller space than others.
Best Folding Wheelchair
Do you have a lifestyle that keeps you on the go? Do you love camping or visiting the countryside with your SUV? Here’s a multi-functioning folding wheelchair that doesn’t need to be disassembled. Just fold it, and then tuck it away - it’s that simple. The EWheels EW M45 runs on any surface with no problems, whether it’s a gravel road or grass. For maximum comfort, the makers ensure to include a seat with a soft cushion, perfect for the elderly and those with physical conditions like injuries, obesity, and other mobility problems. It can travel up to 15.5 miles. Its four-wheeled design with separate motors powered by two 180 watt motors on each rear wheel and joystick controller for simple control and navigation makes it work best indoors and outdoors. It is also durable, made with materials that can withstand up to 400 lbs of weight, and is lightweight, perfect for cruise ships, ferries, and planes.
Choosing the Right Wheelchair
Ultimately, the choice for the best electric wheelchair will be yours. All of the listed wheelchairs are the best wheelchairs available, given their price point and unique features. I suggest you examine the individual wheelchairs you’ll buy. Is this wheelchair suitable for my wants, needs, lifestyle, and budget? Deciding the right power wheel may not be easy, but I assure you, it’ll be best to plan for the right asset.