Best Wheelchairs for Elderly

Best Wheelchairs for Elderly (2020): 23 Models for Comfort, Lightweight, Foldable & More!

By Maurice

Best Wheelchairs for Elderly

Chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, are common among the elderly. Muscles, joints, bones, and tissue all weaken and degenerate as humans age. Thus, you see the elderly using mobility aids such as walking canes and wheelchairs.

Where canes may be ideal for short distances, they are not suitable for long distances or for bed-bound individuals. You will have to get a wheelchair for older adults unable to take a single step without assistance.

In this article, we review some of the best available wheelchairs for the elderly. Here you will find their features, pros and cons, as well as buying advice to help determine which one is right for you.

Best Wheelchairs for Elderly

Carex Transport Wheelchair - 19 inch Seat - Folding Transport Chair with Foot Rests - Foldable Wheel Chair for Travel and Storage

The Carex transport chair is a lightweight steel frame wheelchair. It is foldable, which ensures ease of portability.  It comes with a safety belt and removable footrests, making it a functional mobility aid for seniors.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 300lbs.
  • Seat – 19 inch
  • Foldable – ease of portability
  • Steel frame
  • Removable footrests
  • Safety belt included

Pros

  • The wheelchair features a foldable design which makes it easier to carry. Its compact design fits effortlessly in the car.
  • The chair comes with a safety belt to ensure optimal protection for the partially or fully immobilized seniors.
  • The removable footrests are both for comfort and safety. The older adult can rest their foot on it when seated and can move them out of the way when getting in and out of the chair.

Cons

  • The wheelchair cannot be controlled manually, so you will need to have an attendant with you at all times

Who is it Best For?

It is the perfect medical transport wheelchair. It is ideal for seniors who need to make regular visits to the hospital.

Drive Medical BLS18FBD-ELR Blue Streak Wheelchair with Flip Back Desk Arms, Elevating Leg Rests, 18 Inch Seat

The Drive Medical wheelchair features an ergonomic design to ensure optimal functionality and comfort. The wheelchair is foldable, allowing you to carry it with you wherever you need to go. The arm and leg rests are padded and movable. You can adjust the leg rest to the position that suits and can even keep one leg elevated at 180 degrees to aid recovery.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 250lbs
  • Seat – 18 inches wide
  • Wheel locks included
  • Calf straps included
  • Flip-back arms
  • Movable calf and foot support

Pros

  • The chair comes with padded flippable armrests, allowing you to move them out of the way if need be.
  • The leg rests are movable, so you can adjust them at an angle that suits you best.
  • It also includes a calf strap as an additional safety feature for those with an immobile lower half.
  • The wheels come with a safety lock that operates on a push to lock mechanism. You don’t have to worry about the wheelchair rolling away.
  • The chairs’ large wheels allow the user to control it manually.
  • The chair features nylon seats and covers, which are easy to clean and maintain.

Cons

  • The assembly process has multiple steps, which can be confusing for many.

Who is it Best For?

The wheelchair by Drive Medical is ideal for those recovering from injuries. It is also ideal for wheelchair-bound individuals as its movable arms and adjustable leg rests ensure optimal comfort for the user.

Drive Medical K320DFA-ELR Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair with Various Flip Back Arm Styles and Front Rigging Options, Flip Back Removable Full Arms/Elevating Leg Rests, Black, 20 Inch

Cruiser III by Drive Medical is a more advanced wheelchair with a higher weight capacity. Its dual axle, removable, safety lock, and flippable armrests provide additional ease of transfer. The chair features a wide seat, and the padded and adjustable leg and footrests provide optimal comfort to the user.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 350lbs.
  • Seat  - 16” x 19” x 18”
  • Flippable armrests
  • Padded arm and leg rests
  • Adjustable leg rests
  • Safety lock
  • Dual axel

Pros

  • The dual axel and safety lock ensure stability and security during patient transfer.
  • Features such as the padded arm and leg rests make the chair extremely comfortable to use.
  • The armrests and footrests are removable, which ensures additional ease of use.
  • Its large wheels allow for manual control.
  • The chair is foldable and easily transportable

Cons

  • The chair comes with multiple assembly steps, which can be confusing for many.

Who is it Best For?

The model is ideal for those who seek a lightweight, durable, and functional chair. Cruiser III by Drive Medical is the chair to buy if you are looking for something to use for the long-term.

Drive Medical Lightweight Expedition Transport Wheelchair with Hand Brakes, Red

The expedition Transport Wheelchair by Drive Medical is an excellent lightweight chair for the elderly who require regular check-ups. It is foldable into a compact piece ensuring ease of portability. It also comes with hand brakes, companion activated wheel lock, and a safety seat belt.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 300lbs.
  • Seat – 19" x 19" x 16"
  • Hand brakes
  • Foldable
  • Seat belt included
  • Wheel locks – companion activated

Pros

  • The chair features hand brakes and companion activated locks, both of which ensure the safe transportation of the patient.
  • It also comes with a seat belt for the elderly person’s safety in case the companion may need to press the brakes in an emergency.
  • The chair folds into one compact and easily storable piece.

Cons

  • It cannot be operated manually.

Who is it Best For?

The chair is ideal for aged individuals who need to make regular visits to the hospital with their caretaker.

Drive Medical Silver Sport 2 Wheelchair with Various Arms Styles and Front Rigging Options, Black, 20 Inch

The Sport 2 Wheelchair is another ideal option for those looking for a wheelchair for long-term use. It features a wide, comfortable seat with a carry pocket on the back for storing your essentials. The removable footrests, padded arms, and easy to use wheel lock system all make it an excellent option for the elderly.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 350lbs.
  • Seat – 20” x 16” x 17.5”
  • Steel frame
  • Removable footrests
  • Push to lock
  • Carry pocket

Pros

  • The chair features a convenient storage pocket making it ideal for daily use by the elderly. They can store their essentials in the back pocket.
  • The chair’s large wheels allow the user to use it manually or have an attendant steer it for them.
  • The push to lock system keeps the wheelchair securely in place when parked
  • The wheelchair features durable nylon covers over the padded arm and leg rests. It is also easy to clean and maintain.

Cons

  • The chair’s plastic footrests are not as durable as the rest of the features.

Who is it Best For?

It is ideal for those looking for a daily use wheelchair for the long run.

Drive Medical TR37E-SV Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair, Fixed Full Arms,17-Inch Seat

The TR37E-SV is another transport wheelchair by Drive Medical. Its superb design allows the user to steer the wheelchair effortlessly. It is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. It comes with swing-away footrests for ease of patient transfer and a seat belt for security.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity - 250lbs.
  • Seat – 18" X 17" X 16"
  • Foldable
  • Swing away footrests
  • Easy to clean

Pros

  • The chair is extremely lightweight and allows for superior maneuverability both indoors and outdoors.
  • It comes with a wide comfortable seat and padded armrests for superior comfort.
  • The nylon covers are durable and easy to clean and maintain.
  • The footrests swing away for ease of patient transfer.
  • The chair also has a seat belt to keep the patient safe and secure when moving.

Cons

  • It is not operable manually.

Who is it Best For?

It is best for those who need a lightweight transport wheelchair that is easy to steer.

2020 New Remote Control Electric Wheelchairs Lightweight Foldable Motorize Power Electrics Wheel Chair Mobility Aid (Large)

If you seek a more independent lifestyle, this is the wheelchair for you. It is remote controlled and waterproof. The chair has a 13-mile travel range and features memory foam cushioning for optimal comfort. The arms are movable for ease of use. You can easily flip them up when getting in or getting out.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 365 lbs.
  • Seat – 19.5” wide
  • Detachable joystick control
  • Electromagnetic brake
  • 33 inch + turning radius
  • Travel range 13+ miles
  • Waterproof control system

Pros

  • The chair features a remote-controlled system that is waterproof and detachable for ease of use.
  • The chair comes with a charger that you can use worldwide.
  • The seat and armrests feature memory foam padding making it extremely comfortable to use.
  • It features an intelligent mechanism, including on/off indicator lights, speed indicators, horn, and even an intelligent braking system that ensures the chair stops smoothly.
  • You can also increase or decrease the speed for optimal comfort.

Cons

  • The wheelchair doesn’t come with a seat belt, which you may have to purchase separately as an accessory.

Who is it Best For?

The wheelchair doesn’t come with a seat belt, which you may have to purchase separately as an accessory.

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

You can take customizable comfort to the next level with Medline’s lightweight wheelchair. It is easy to use and steer and comes with various customizable features that provide optimal comfort to the user. You can flip and move the arm and footrests out of the way when transferring the patient. You can also elevate the leg rest, which is ideal for those with swollen feet or those who are recovering from an injury.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 300lbs.
  • Seat  width – 16” / 18” / 20”
  • Removable arms
  • Adjustable leg rests
  • Easy to clean
  • Swing away footrests
  • Adjustable backrest

Pros

  • The chair is extremely lightweight, making it easy to steer and maneuver.
  • The removable arms and swing away footrests allow for easy patient transfer.
  • You can extend or elevate the leg rest to keep your legs elevated if need be.
  • The chair’s nylon covering is durable and easy to clean and maintain.

Cons

  • The chair may be difficult to use manually and may require a companion.

Who is it Best For?

It is best for those looking for a wheelchair with a wide seat. You can choose from one of the three available seat widths.

Medline Ultralight Transport Wheelchair with 19” Wide Seat, Folding Transport Chair with Permanent Desk-Length Arms, Red Frame

The transport wheelchair by Medline is ultra-light, weighing only 15 pounds. You can fold it into one flat piece and stow it away in the trunk of the car. The chair also comes with a few additional features such as a cup holder, a seat belt, and hand grips providing optimal comfort to the user.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 300lbs.
  • Seat – 19” wide
  • Padded nylon arms
  • Swing away and lockable footrests
  • Cup holder
  • Hand grips
  • Seat belt

Pros

  • The chairs ergonomic design includes clips with the swing-away footrests that allow you to secure the footrests to the side and out of the way for safety.
  • It also comes with a seat belt that prevents the elderly from falling out of the chair when being transported.
  • The cup holder is ideal as it allows the elderly to keep water or juice nearby, which allows them to stay hydrated.
  • The chair is easy to clean and maintain as it features nylon upholstery.

Cons

  • The chair is not suitable for manual use.

Who is it Best For?

It is best for seniors looking for a comfortable, functional, and lightweight wheelchair.

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

The handbrakes on this transport wheelchair by Medline take it to the next level.  The seat belt, removable footrests, and handbrakes all make this an exceptionally safe to use transport wheelchair. It features a rust-resistant, lightweight yet sturdy aluminum frame, making it a very durable wheelchair for the elderly.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 300lbs.
  • Seat – 18" x 16"
  • Powder-coated aluminum frame
  • Portable
  • Seat belt
  • Detachable footrests
  • Nylon upholstery

Pros

  • The portable and lightweight wheelchair is very easy to use and maneuver.
  • It features excellent safety features, including a seatbelt, detachable footrests, and handbrakes.
  • The nylon upholstery is durable, making it ideal for outdoor use, and it is also easy to clean. You can wipe down the chair with a wet cloth before storing it.

Cons

  • Cannot be controlled manually.

Who is it Best For?

It is ideal for those looking for a weather-resistant wheelchair for outdoor use.

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

The bariatric wheelchair is ideal for those recovering from bariatric surgery. It features an extra-wide seat and has removable desk arms. You can remove them during patient transfer or when the patient needs extra space and reattach them whenever the elderly need support.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 500lbs.
  • Seat – 24” wide
  • Removable desk armrests
  • Detachable and swing-away footrests
  • Foldable
  • portable

Pros

  • The chair features an extra-wide seat, making it ideal for people who require more space
  • The wheelchair is large enough to be comfortable but lightweight enough for easy maneuvering.
  • The arms are padded and are removable. You can detach them to give the user more space or flip them up for ease of patient transfer.
  • The footrests are also detachable and also swing away for ease of patient transfer.
  • The chair is easy to carry as it folds into a compact piece that you can carry wherever you go.

Cons

  • The chair is larger than others and may be a little too heavy for some people to steer.

Who is it Best For?

It is ideal for people with bariatric problems or those who have a heavy frame.

Medline Strong and Sturdy Wheelchair with Desk-Length Arms and Swing-Away Leg Rests for Easy Transfers, 20” Seat

If you are looking for something sturdy, this is the wheelchair for you. It features a TIG-welded frame, which makes it ideal for use by people with heavier frames. The nylon upholstery is also durable, so you can use it both indoor and outdoor without worrying about wear and tear.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 300lbs.
  • Seat – 20” wide
  • Nylon upholstery
  • TIG-welded frame
  • Adjustable seat height
  • Swing-away footrests
  • Padded arms
  • Foldable and portable

Pros

  • It is a sturdy wheelchair with TIG welds, making it ideal for those who need one for long term use.
  • You can increase or decrease the seat height by 2 inches to find the height that suits you best.
  • The footrests swing away and fold to one side, allowing for ease of use during patient transfer.
  • The padded arms and seats all feature nylon upholstery, which is durable and easy to clean and maintain.

Cons

  • The chair is substantially heavy and may be hard to steer.

Who is it Best For?

It is ideal for those who need something extremely durable for long-term use.

Medline Comfort Driven Wheelchair with Full-length Arms and Elevating Leg Rests for Extra Comfort, 18” Seat

The Medline Comfort Driven Wheelchair offers an ideal combination of comfort, functionality, and durability. Its premium welded frame makes it a strong and sturdy wheelchair ideal for long-term use. The chair features full length, padded desk arms that provide support to the entire arm. You can also adjust the height of the seat to suit your requirements.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 300lbs.
  • Seat – 18” wide
  • Nylon upholstery
  • Elevating leg rests
  • Adjustable seat height
  • Swing-away footrests
  • Full-length desk arms

Pros

  • The chair features full-length desk arms that support the entire arm providing optimal comfort.
  • You can also adjust the seat height in 2inch increments allowing for better customizability and comfort.
  • The chair features a sturdy premium welded frame that ensures optimal durability.

Cons

  • The chair may be too heavy for some to maneuver.

Who is it Best For?

This is ideal for people looking for something durable and functional for outdoor use.

ProBasics Standard Wheelchair - Flip Back Desk Arms - 250 Pound Weight Capacity - Black - Elevating Leg Rest - 18" x 16" Seat

The ProBasics Standard Wheelchair features high-quality vinyl upholstery that is not just easy to clean but also resists mildew and bacteria formation, making it extremely hygienic. It comes with elevating leg rests that are padded for extra comfort. The swing-away footrests also feature help hoops as an additional safety feature to keep the patient’s feet firmly planted.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 250lbs.
  • Seat – comes in 16", 18", and 20" width
  • Frame material - Slide tube steel
  • Vinyl upholstery
  • Wheel lock
  • Swing-away footrests
  • Heel hoops
  • Elevating padded leg rests
  • Padded armrests

Pros

  • The wheelchair comes with super safety features such as the push to lock wheel locks and heel hoops to help prevent accidents.
  • The swing-away footrests allow for easy patient transfer.
  • The leg rests are padded and adjustable, allowing the patient to keep their legs in a position they find comfortable.
  • comfortably cool even during prolonged use.

Cons

  • It only supports a maximum of 250lbs.

Who is it Best For?

It is ideal for those who sweat a lot and would like a wheelchair that is hygienic and low maintenance.

Porto Mobility Ranger D09 Lightweight Foldable Weatherproof Exclusive Electric Wheelchair, Portable, Brushless Powerful Motors, Dual Battery, All Terrain Folding Power Wheelchair (Silver, Standard)

If you want to lead an independent lifestyle, this is the wheelchair for you. It offers a 15 miles range, joystick control, cruising option, all on a sturdy frame with a powerful motor, providing optimal comfort to the user. You can flip the arms away and get in your chair and take a stroll in the park or go grocery shopping.

Features include:

  • Weight Capacity – 396lbs.
  • Travel range – 15+ miles
  • Foldable
  • Cruise setting – 5mph speed
  • Turning radius – 31.5
  • Flat and puncture-free tires
  • Flippable armrests
  • Joystick control

Pros

  • The electric wheelchair comes with a 360-degree joystick control make maneuvering the wheelchair extremely easy and comfortable.
  •  You can cruise on the wheelchair at a constant speed of 5mph.
  • The wheelchair features a durable mechanism with a sturdy frame and flat and puncture-free tires.
  • The chair is lightweight and can easily travel 15+ miles comfortably.
  • The armrests are flappable, allowing you to get in and out of the chair comfortably.
  • The chair is air travel approved and folds in a compact package within 5 seconds for ease of use.

Cons

  • It does not come with a safety belt, and you will have to purchase that as an accessory.

Who is it Best For?

It is ideal for those who are looking for a long-range electric wheelchair.

Porto Mobility Ranger World's Lightest (only 41lbs) Foldable Electric Wheelchair

The Porto Mobility Ranger is a lightweight yet durable electric wheelchair. It is perfect for those who travel frequently. It has a long travel range, adjustable speed, and a detachable joystick remote control. It also comes with dual storage pockets, ensuring the elderly has all their essentials with them at all times.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 265lbs.
  • Seat – 20”
  • Turning radius – 33”
  • 360-degree joystick control -detachable
  • Frame material – Aluminum Alloy
  • Dual flippable arms
  • Under-seat storage
  • Backrest storage
  • Adjustable travel speed - 4mph
  • Travel range -16miles

Pros

  • It is a lightweight electric wheelchair that is very easy to fold, store, and carry.
  • It comes with multiple storage pouches, providing ample storage options to the user.
  • The electric-powered wheelchair features a detachable joystick remote control system, allowing for independent control.
  • The arms are flippable, so you can swing them up and out of the way when getting in and getting out of the chair.
  • You can adjust the travel speed or cruise at the standard 4mph for around 16 miles.

Cons

  • The chair only supports up to 265lbs, which is a lower weight capacity than many others.

Who is it Best For?

The chair only supports up to 265lbs, which is a lower weight capacity than many others.

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

The wheelchair’s recline features set it apart from its competitors. The chair’s back reclines up to 180 degrees.  It also features detachable armrests and swing-away footrests for ease of patient transfer. The wheelchairs additional safety features include a push to lock wheel locking system and anti-trippers.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity -300lbs.
  • Seat – 20” wide
  • Detachable armrests
  • Swing-away footrests
  • Elevating, padded leg rests
  • Anti-trippers
  • Wheel lock
  • Reclining backrest – up to 180 degrees
  • Padded headrest

Pros

  • The chair features a padded headrest and a reclining mechanism for ultimate user comfort.
  • The padded desk length armrests provide support to the complete arm.
  • The chair also comes with multiple safety features, including a push to lock wheel lock system, anti-trippers, and swing-away footrests.
  • You also get padded elevating leg rests for additional comfort.

Cons

  • The plastic footplates make it a little less durable than other wheelchairs.

Who is it Best For?

It is ideal for lightweight individuals looking for a bariatric wheelchair. The chair is wide enough to be comfortable and also features a reclining function that enhances the user’s comfort.

Karman Ergonomic Wheelchair Ergo Flight with Quick Release Axles in 18" Seat, Pearl Silver Frame

If you want the functionality of a wheelchair but the ease of use of a transport chair, this is the one for you. The chair is durable and features an anti-bacterial seat covering, making it ideal for long-term use. The footrests are removable and come with a safety edge. Other features include companion brakes, shaped seat framing, and flat-free tires.

Features include:

  • Seat – 18” wide
  • Flat free wheels
  • Removable footrest
  • Anti-bacterial covers
  • S-shaped seat frame
  • Companion brakes

Pros

  • Companion brakes
  • The removable footrests feature a resting edge for optimal comfort. They also ensure the patient’s feet don’t slip off the chair.
  • It folds into a compact, easy to carry package.
  • The companion brakes enhance the chair’s safety features.
  • Its s-shaped seating frame prevents the formation of ulcers and many other problems.

Cons

  • It does not include a safety seat belt, which can be dangerous for the user.

Who is it Best For?

It is ideal for those looking for a lightweight wheelchair

The Eagle HD by Quick N Mobile is truly a mobility aid that improves the user’s life. It has a long travel range, quick-charging battery, folds within one second, and features a weather-resistant coating protecting it from wear and tear.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 400lbs
  • Seat – 19” wide
  • Foldable
  • Powered by 250watt motor
  • Travel range 30 miles – a single charge
  • Weather-resistant coating

Pros

  • With a 30-mile travel range, the chair is ideal for those who like going on long walks or need a chair for all-day use. You can even recharge the chair in the middle of the day, as it only takes 30 minutes to charge.
  • The chair is portable and folds up within one second.
  • It comes with a weather-resistant coating making it ideal for outdoor use.
  • The 360-degree joystick control makes it extremely easy to use and control.

Cons

  • There are a lot of accessories that you will have to purchase at an additional cost, such as leg rests.

Who is it Best For?

It is ideal for those looking for an electric wheelchair with a long travel range and fast-charging battery for daily use.

The IQ-8000 features a shock-absorbent mechanism that keeps the user super comfortable and prevents the risk of accidents or injuries. The chair’s joystick remote control is easy to use, allowing the user to travel at a speed of 4mph. The chair folds into one compact piece within 3 seconds.

Features include:

  • Weight capacity – 300lbs.
  • Maximum speed 4mph.
  • Folds within 3 seconds
  • Joystick remote control
  • Shock absorbing design
  • Range – 10+ or 17+ miles

Pros

  • The chair folds into a super compact piece within 3 seconds and can easily fit into a car trunk. It is also air travel approved so you can take it with you wherever you go.
  • Its joystick remote control system makes it easy to use and steer.
  • The chair features a shock-absorbent mechanism that keeps the user comfortable even on rough roads.
  • You can also choose from the 10+ miles travel range or the 17+ miles travel range.

Cons

  • It can be confusing to use for some seniors.

Who is it Best For?

It is ideal for those who want a compact, medium travel range wheelchair

The All-Terrain Power Wheelchair is ideal for all your picnic trips. The chair can travel up to 20 to 30 km on an 8-hour-long charge. Its electromagnetic braking system makes the chair safe to use, and its joystick control system makes it easy to use. The chair’s elongated backrest with a headrest keep the user comfortable and also double as a normal sitting chair when parked.

Features include:

  • Weight Capacity – 150kg
  • Seat – 20” wide
  • Travel range – 20-30km
  • 8hr charging time
  • Electromagnetic brakes
  • Foldable footrest and backrest
  • Flippable armrest

Pros

  • The chair features flippable armrests for ease of patient transfer.
  • The footrests and backrests are foldable, which makes it easy to transport and store.
  • The chair has a very decent travel range of up to 30 km when fully charged.
  • The heavy-duty tires allow the user to travel comfortably even on the bumpiest roads.

Cons