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Best Wheelchair Brands: 6 Top Wheelchair Brands for Every Need

By jwilder

Best Wheelchair Brands

The best wheelchair brands are the ones that understand how to balance price, comfort, and medical benefit for the more than 2.7 million wheelchair users in the United States.

With so many different companies advertising their wheelchairs, it’s hard to know which ones provide the best value and medical benefits. Read our guide to the best wheelchair brands to learn about the top 6 manufacturers and see 24 of the best wheelchairs on the market!

What are the Main Types of Wheelchair?

When wheelchairs were first invented, there wasn’t much variety in their design or function. Today, however, you can benefit from decades of improvements and innovation; wheelchairs come in different shapes and configurations and have different purposes.

Before buying a wheelchair, it is very helpful to know the different types of wheelchairs. This will help you choose one that works for you and doesn’t exclude features you need (or include features you don’t need).

Manual Wheelchairs

Manual wheelchairs are what most people picture when they hear the word “wheelchair”. They have large rear wheels, usually 24 inches in diameter, that users push themselves with. The large rear wheels give wheelchair users lots of control and maneuverability; they don’t take very long to learn how to use and the wheelbase allows easy turning and pivoting. To top it off, they tend to be the cheapest wheelchairs

These wheelchairs provide a lot of exercise that seniors need and can even improve respiratory and gut health! Manual wheelchairs, convenient though they are, can be pretty tiring to use. Most people aren’t accustomed to propelling themselves with their arms, and using a wheelchair can wear you out quickly. Not only that, overuse of a manual wheelchair can cause muscle injuries.

This means manual wheelchairs are best used in short-term or short-distance scenarios. If you don’t need a wheelchair for more than a few months or you don’t typically travel far while using it, manual wheelchairs are a great choice. They’re affordable, convenient, and make you feel independent and healthy!

Electric/Powered Wheelchairs

electric wheelchair

Getting an electric wheelchair is the most sensible option for many permanent wheelchair users. They save your arms the trouble of pushing yourself and open up more opportunities for getting out of the house and around town. They’re not the magical solution to limited mobility, but they do give increase your freedom and provide a very safe way to stay mobile.

Electric wheelchairs are powered by large batteries and can typically travel between 5 and 15 miles before they need to be recharged. Some electric models are designed to accommodate serious medical needs, while others have a more recreation-focused approach. Before getting an electric wheelchair, make sure you know whether or not it will accommodate your needs!

These wheelchairs are ideal for people who lack the dexterity or ability to propel themselves in a wheelchair, such as people who have MS, cerebral palsy, or have had an accident that limited the use of one or both arms. They’re also perfect for people who want to stay independent, traveling around the neighborhood or to a nearby store/doctor’s office without needing assistance.

Transport Wheelchairs

Transport chairs are essentially a variation of manual/traditional wheelchairs that have four small wheels instead of the standard “two large and two small wheels” configuration. This means that the user cannot propel themselves and must rely on a caregiver to help them get around.

While this does limit the user’s ability to move independently, it also makes transport wheelchairs supremely light and portable because they don’t have large, bulky wheels. They’re great for short-term or hospital use, as well as for travel, but not for seniors who don’t have someone around to push them when they need it.

At a Glance: Best Wheelchair Brands







Best For

Drive Medical Blue Streak Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchair With Flip-Backs Arms & Swing-Away Footrests

Drive Medical Blue Streak




41.25 lbs

Jack of All Trades

Invacare 9000 SL Durable Light Weight Wheelchair, Desk-Length Arms, 20" Wide Seat, Flat Black, 9SL_PTO_47874

Invacare 9000 SL Manual Wheelchair

30.5" (D)



40.25 lbs

Long term use

Karman Healthcare 19.8 lbs Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair, Pearl Silver, 18"x17"

Karman Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair




19 lbs

Padded Seat & Back Upholstery

Medline - MDS806550E Lightweight & User-Friendly Wheelchair With Flip-Back, Desk-Length Arms & Elevating Leg Rests for Extra Comfort, Black, 18" Seat

Medline - Lightweight & User-Friendly Wheelchair




34 lbs

Soft & Comfortable

NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair with Locking Hand Brakes, 12" Rear Wheels, Removable & Flip Up Arms for Easy Transfer, Anti-Tippers Included, Blue

NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair




27 lbs

Versatile Design

Pride Mobility JAZZY1450 Jazzy 1450 Electric Wheelchair - Viper Blue

Pride Mobility JAZZY1450 Electric Wheelchair




195 lbs

Inclines Safely & Efficiently

What are the Best Brands of Wheelchairs?

If you take a look around the internet, you’ll notice dozens of companies advertising their wheelchairs as the lightest, easiest to use, and safest. That can make it pretty difficult to know which companies are trustworthy and which ones are out to make a quick buck.

Luckily, we have experience with all sorts of different wheelchair providers and know which ones truly make products that benefit seniors. Here are a few of the best wheelchair brands:

1. Drive Medical

Company Background

Drive Medical opened for business in 2000 and has been providing safety and medical products for seniors across all categories. From shower rails to wheelchairs, and from medical beds to CPAP masks, Drive Medical has affordable, long-lasting options for all seniors.

Drive has a reputation for providing their medical equipment at very reasonable prices. They’re based mostly in the US, although they have offices and warehouses across the globe. Most Drive products sold in North America are designed and manufactured locally, so you can trust that you’re getting a wheelchair of high quality.

What Type of Wheelchairs Do They Make?

Drive has a wide range of wheelchairs across all the major categories. Their most popular products, however, are manual and transport wheelchairs that people value for their reasonable prices, lightweight designs, and durability.

Popular Wheelchairs from This Provider

Drive Blue Streak Wheelchair: a simple, lightweight manual wheelchair that is a “jack of all trades” wheelchair- great for almost any need.

Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair with Flip Back Desk Arms, Swing Away Footrests, 18 Inch Seat

Drive Silver Sport 1 Wheelchair: another popular manual wheelchair that people love for its narrow frame that perfectly accommodates petite users and fits into smaller spaces.

Drive Medical SSP118FA-SF Silver Sport 1 Wheelchair with Full Arms and Swing away Removable Footrest, Black

Drive Silver Sport Reclining Wheelchair: Functional and affordable tilt wheelchair that is just as great for taller users as it is those with severely limited mobility.

Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining Wheelchair with Detachable Desk Length Arms and Elevating Leg Rest, Silver Vein, 20 Inch

Drive Medical Fly Lite Ultra-Lightweight Transport Wheelchair: This transport wheelchair weighs just under 17 pounds and is a great model for use in a home/assisted living setting. It’s also ideal for travel or as a backup to a mobility scooter or electric wheelchair!

Drive Medical Fly Lite Ultra Lightweight Transport Wheelchair, Black Frame, 16.5 lbs

2. Invacare

Company Background

Invacare is one of the oldest and most trusted names in mobility. Since 1885, they have been providing wheelchairs and other mobility-related medical devices to seniors and other persons across the globe. This company’s products are generally more on the expensive side, but they aren’t criticized for being overpriced; they’re simply not the “cheap wheelchair” company.

Invacare’s wheelchairs are known as being some of the most comfortable and durable on the market. They can last more than a few years while requiring little maintenance or upkeep; this is what justifies the extra price for many seniors.

What Type of Wheelchairs Do They Make?

Invacare designs and produces all major types of wheelchairs in their Ohio headquarters. Some of the electrical components for their powered wheelchairs come from China, a standard practice across many industries. Assembly and delivery happen right inside the USA, however.

Popular Wheelchairs from This Provider

Invacare 9000 SL Manual Wheelchair: A lightweight manual wheelchair that provides exceptional comfort in the seat, back and footrests. This wheelchair weighs just under 22 pounds, an impressive statistic for a manual wheelchair!

Invacare 9000 SL Durable Light Weight Wheelchair, Desk-Length Arms, 20" Wide Seat, Flat Black, 9SL_PTO_47874

Invacare Tracer IV: This heavy-duty model can support up to 450 pounds and has comfortable desk-length arms that allow users to sit at a table, desk, or bench without leaving their chair.

Invacare Tracer IV Heavy-Duty Wheelchair with Desk-Length Arms, 22" Seat Width, 450 lb. Weight Capacity, T4X22RDAP

Invacare TDX SP: A high-end powered wheelchair that is designed to be comfortable and useful to seniors or other persons for years on end. Great emphasis is placed on comfortable seating and a stable wheelbase that helps users navigate and maneuver over the course of their day.

Invacare TDX SP Power Electric Wheelchair - Rehab Seat

Invacare Tracer SX5: This premium reclining wheelchair gives users a lot of stability and padding for the head and neck and allows a caregiver to safely help them in and out of the chair.

Invacare - TRSX5RC8P / T94HAP Tracer SX5 Recliner Wheelchair, with Desk Length Arms and T94HAP Elevating Legrests with Padded Calf Pads, 18" Seat Width

3. Karman

Company Background

Based in San Jose, California, Karman Healthcare has a very popular line of wheelchairs, assembled in the USA. They pride themselves on being the company that drives innovation in wheelchair technology and boast a selection of over 100 wheelchairs.

What Type of Wheelchairs Do They Make?

Karman focuses on making manual and electric wheelchairs, but each category has many subcategories. Some of their most popular electric wheelchairs are called “standing wheelchairs” because they have a function that moves the user into a mobile standing position.

Many of their manual wheelchairs come with premium, extra-soft seats and lightweight aluminum designs. For the past 27 years, seniors have been purchasing Karman wheelchairs that help them get around more conveniently and comfortably.

Popular Wheelchairs from This Provider

Karman Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair: A wheelchair that weighs under 20 pounds usually can’t replicate the thick and comfortable seat cushion that comes with this model. If you’re looking for portability and comfort combined, this is the wheelchair for you!

Karman Healthcare 19.8 lbs Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair, Pearl Silver, 18"x17"

Karman Transport Wheelchair with Brakes: Handbrakes on a transport wheelchair help prevent accidents and are a great choice for seniors who need a “go anywhere” backup to their electric mobility aid.

Karman 23 lbs Transport Wheelchair with Companion Brakes

Karman Xo202N Standing Wheelchair: A top-of-the-line standing wheelchair that can meet the most serious medical needs. Comedian Jay Leno once purchased this model for a friend in need!

Karman Xo202n Full Power Stand Up Wheelchair, 16 Inch

Karman Tranzit Go Power Wheelchair: This is a very capable electric wheelchair, that can take you safely across grass, gravel, and even light snow. If you’re looking for a mobile, lightweight electric wheelchair, this is it.

Karman Healthcare Tranzit Go Power Wheelchair Foldable Lightweight Silver

4. Medline

Company Background

Medline got their start in the medical world before the First World War and has grown into one of the world’s largest providers of medical devices, including wheelchairs. Made in factories across North America and the rest of the world, Medline has a solid reputation for low prices and a focus on providing real medical benefits to seniors no matter what their need.

What Type of Wheelchairs Do They Make?

Medline specializes in manual and transport wheelchairs and does not make any electric models at this time. This is because Medline is more of a general medical equipment company than a mobility-focused company. Their wheelchairs reflect this and are designed to meet specific medical needs for both short-term and long-term wheelchair users.

Popular Wheelchairs from This Provider

Medline Lightweight and User-Friendly Wheelchair: This is a very standard manual wheelchair, without any of the excesses that make other companies’ wheelchairs so expensive. It’s light, easy to push, and comes with simple yet comfortable padding.

Medline - MDS806550E Lightweight & User-Friendly Wheelchair With Flip-Back, Desk-Length Arms & Elevating Leg Rests for Extra Comfort, Gray, 18" Seat

Medline Extra-Wide Bariatric Wheelchair: A very comfortable heavy-duty wheelchair that can support any user up to 500 pounds. It’s also easy to upgrade with seat cushions, oxygen tank holders, and other accessories thanks to its simple design.

Medline MDS806900 Excel Extra-Wide Bariatric Wheelchair, 24" Wide Seat, Desk-Length Removable Arms, Swing Away Footrests, Chrome Frame

Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with Handbrakes: One of Medline’s most popular models, this chair has taller wheels than other transport wheelchairs which, combined with the handbrakes, make it very safe and easy to use.

Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with Handbrakes, Folding Transport Chair for Adults, 12 inch Wheels, Red

Medline Strong and Sturdy Wheelchair: This is a basic, affordable wheelchair that is suitable for most users. It’s a great choice for short-term recovery and rehab, and a great wheelchair to use daily, provided you’re not traveling too far- it’ll wear you out!

Medline Strong and Sturdy Wheelchair with Desk-Length Arms and Swing-Away Leg Rests for Easy Transfers, 18” Seat

5. Nova

Company Background

Nova was formed in California in 1993 and is focused on a word that you might not expect to be the driving motivator of a wheelchair maker: joy. They design products that do a bit more than get the job done; they truly help seniors enjoy fuller and more independent lives.

Nova’s wheelchairs and other mobility aids are built and shipped from California and Illinois. This company has built a strong reputation for long-lasting products that make using a mobility aid better than many seniors expect.

What Type of Wheelchairs Do They Make?

Nova makes non-powered wheelchairs exclusively; no electric models are in their current lineup. This allows them, as a smaller US-based company, to focus more on making their line of wheelchairs and transport chairs the best they can be!

Popular Wheelchairs from This Provider

Nova Lightweight Transport Chair: Loaded with safety features like handbrakes, anti-tip wheels, and a comfortable safety belt, this transport chair is a great choice for any senior who needs a safe option to help them get from A to B.

NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair with Locking Hand Brakes, 12" Rear Wheels, Removable & Flip Up Arms for Easy Transfer, Anti-Tippers Included, Blue

Nova Heavy Duty Bariatric Transport Chair: Virtually identical to the lightweight model above, this transport chair can support a user up to 400 pounds and is ideal for short-term use and short-distance rolling, such as in a hospital!

NOVA Heavy Duty Bariatric Transport Chair with 400 lb. Weight Capacity, 22” Extra-Wide Seat with Locking Hand Brakes, Flip Up Arms (for Easy Transfer), Anti-Tippers, 12” Rear Wheels, Color Blue

Nova Lightweight Manual Wheelchair: This wheelchair weighs about 30% less than other standard wheelchairs, and has flip-back arms that make it easy to get into and out of the chair. It includes anti-tip wheels that are helpful outside, but this wheelchair is still best-used indoors.

NOVA Lightweight Wheelchair with Flip Up Desk Arms (for Easy Transfer), Adjustable & Easy Release Footrests, Safety Anti-Tippers, Choose from 3 Seat Widths - 16”, 18”& 20”, Weighs only 32 lbs.

Nova Lightweight Portable Transport Wheelchair: This transport wheelchair is a lot like the first Nova chair above, but stripped of all excess weight, making it an excellent choice for road trips and other scenarios where portability is important.

NOVA Medical Products 19" Lightweight Transport/Wheelchair, Blue

6. Pride Mobility

Company Background

Pride Mobility isn’t the typical wheelchair maker; in fact, most of their products aren’t even wheelchairs. Pride was created in 1986 and has been behind some of the most popular and recognizable mobility scooters, especially their “Jazzy” product line.

What Type of Wheelchairs Do They Make?

Pride Mobility is all about the power- everything they make is powered by batteries, and their most popular products are off-road capable mobility scooters. Their products are assembled in America out of parts manufactured in Asia, making them both powerful and affordable.

Popular Wheelchairs from This Provider

Pride Mobility Jazzy 1450: With a 600-pound weight limit, one of the highest on the market, the Jazzy 1450 is surprisingly nimble. It’s able to negotiate corners and inclines safely and efficiently, and travels up to 15.7 on a single charge!

Pride Mobility JAZZY1450 Jazzy 1450 Electric Wheelchair - Viper Blue

Pride Jazzy Sport 2: A compact motorized wheelchair that has rugged tires and a stable wheelbase that allow you to safely travel indoors and out.

Pride Mobility JAZZYSPORT2 Jazzy Sport 2 Electric Wheelchair

Pride Mobility GO Chair: This wheelchair provides exceptional maneuverability (it can turn nearly at a zero-degree angle) and lots of comfort to any senior who needs a more stable electric wheelchair to use anywhere they go.

Pride Go-Chair Travel Power Wheelchair, Blue

Conclusion: Best Wheelchair Brands

Any of the 6 wheelchair brands above is a safe place to get a wheelchair that will help you feel safe and mobile, whether you need a wheelchair for a few months or a few years. They all have their own unique strengths, so make sure you consider how each company’s wheelchairs might fit your needs and desires. Have you found the right wheelchair for you? Do you have any more questions about these wheelchair brands? Let us know in the comments section below!

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