What to look for when selecting a wheelchair

The common phrase of being ‘confined to a wheelchair’ simply isn’t true. Wheelchairs are there to liberate those who would otherwise be unable to visit places such as shopping centres, restaurants and cafes, public spaces or even offices and other places of business.

With a wheelchair, people who would otherwise be confined to the house can regain their independence and travel easily to all the places they need to. A wheelchair needs to fit each individual person’s needs, and with so many different types on the market it can be difficult for people to find the right chair for them.

Here we share what exactly you should be looking for when deciding on a wheelchair to make sure you find the right fit for you:

Manual Chairs

These types of wheelchairs are powered by the person sat in the chair using their upper body strength to push forward on the rims of the wheels. These chairs obviously require a degree of physicality that won’t suit every wheelchair user and are generally the preferred option for those with leg mobility issues that still retain all of their upper body mobility and strength.

Original manual chairs used to be heavy contraptions but today’s models are streamlined and super lightweight whilst retaining their rigidity and strength. This means they can be moved with less effort than earlier models and are more ergonomically designed to better traverse the environment. Always sit in a chair before buying to ensure the measurements are aligned perfectly.

Power Chairs

If the wheelchair user is unable to use their upper body to push the wheelchair forward then one fitted with an electric motor and controllable joystick is the best option. These power chairs come in many different shapes and sizes, all of which cater to different needs. So make sure you are clear on your requirements when purchasing a chair so every need is met.


If you are considering a power wheelchair, battery life is something you should take into further consideration. Nobody wants to be left stranded when a chair runs out of energy. Some models have a battery life that is easier to manage than others. Always make sure the batteries are of the 24-volt “deep cycle” variety which ensures power over long periods of time, as opposed to 12-volt batteries that you would find in a car, for example, which are required for short bursts of speed.