How to Choose the Right Wheelchair For You

By November 25, 2016Blog


When people start looking for the perfect wheelchair, a few things come to mind including pricing, comfort, and your daily needs.

We can provide you with a variety of standing wheelchairs, caregiver-propelled wheelchairs, and self-propelled wheelchairs.

To choose the right wheelchair you need to have a good strategy. This will help ensure you get the right wheelchair. You should use research to ensure you’re getting the right type of wheelchair for your needs.


Manual Wheelchairs

This category can cover more than 10 types of manual wheelchairs. Some of these wheelchairs are caregiver-propelled, and others are self-propelled.

Most wheelchairs in this category are self-propelled. The exception is the Transport and Travel wheelchair. These chairs need to be pushed by the caregiver, the rear wheel size does not allow for the user to reach the wheel.


Ergonomic Wheelchairs

These foldable wheelchairs feature ultra-lightweight frames made of T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum and feature a Patented Ergonomic S-Shaped Seat Frame. These seats relieve pressure from the body and prevent lower back and bottom concerns.

The ergonomic wheelchair series has Aegis Microbe Shield cushions. This provides anti-microbial barriers that offer protection from deterioration, staining, and odor which are caused by a fungus, bacteria, and other types of microorganisms.

Karman Healthcare has received raving reviews on this series. This positive customer feedback makes it one of the most popular wheelchair series in the industry.


Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchairs

These ultra-lightweight wheelchairs feature weights from 25 to 34 pounds. This is a great choice for people who need a durable, foldable, and lightweight wheelchair.

This category covers many various wheelchair accessories and options. If you’re looking for a wheelchair that offers perfect performance, style, and fit. These wheelchairs offer stock and optional components that are adjustable and removable. You can include a height-adjustable frame and swing-away footrests.


Lightweight Wheelchairs

The Manual Lightweight Wheelchair is an upgrade, over the heavy wheelchairs. The heavier units can worsen your condition which may lead to additional physical problems. Over the last decade, foldable and lightweight wheelchairs have become the industry norm.

Lightweight wheelchairs range from 29 to 34 pounds. These chairs can cover a wide range of lifestyle options and conditional needs which may cater to you. Although these ultra-light wheelchairs are light, it offers several advantages over generic wheelchairs, which are more portable and easy to fold.

This series offers wheelchairs in ranges from 14-inches to 30-inches high, with a 550-pound weight capacity.


Transport Wheelchairs

Transport wheelchairs are foldable, making them the perfect solution for people who are looking for a portable lightweight frame, featuring smaller rear wheels, which will allow for more portability.

Since smaller wheels are used, these chairs are designed to be propelled by caregivers or other individuals. This explains why they are often called “companion chairs”. The chairs in this category weight 18 to 29 pounds. Most of these wheelchairs have side panels, fixed armrests, and swing leg rests.


Standard Wheelchairs

Standard Manual Wheelchairs are the most common type of wheelchair in use. If you need a standard wheelchair with long-lasting support and durable frame, check out our standard wheelchairs.

A Standard Wheelchair may weight over 35 punts, have a 16 to 20-inch seat width and features detachable or fixed armrests. Many wheelchairs are made of steel frames and may be a consistent and economical mobility choice. Most standard wheelchairs can support as much as 250 pounds.


Recliner Wheelchairs

A reclining wheelchair is designed to allow users to recline at incremental angles comfortably and safely. Some of the reclining wheelchairs come with stock Elevating Leg Rests. On some reclining wheelchairs, these leg rests are optional.


Tilt Wheelchairs

Tilt Wheelchairs can help to prevent some serious health issues, including pressure sores to allow a wheelchair user to tilt the seat position to find a comfortable setting. If you balance the weight of the user in the tilting motion, the pressure on the user’s bottom and back is significantly reduced.


Active Wheelchairs

This is also referred to as a Sports Wheelchair. This active wheelchair is great for users that have an active lifestyle or who enjoy playing sports. The ultra-light frame is well suited for a person’s daily needs. One of the many features of this series is Seat Height adjustment.


Bariatric Wheelchairs

This is also called the Extra-Wide Wheelchair or Heavy-Duty Wheelchair, known for these reinforced cross braces, and extra weight capacity. We offer a maximum weight capacity of 550 pounds and a 30-inch maximum seat width.


Pediatric Wheelchairs

We offer pediatric wheelchairs that cater to caregivers and parents who care for young people with various conditions and disorders. Our wheelchairs offer assisting technology for many disorder types. The rehabilitative Benefits are outlined in our pediatric stand-up wheelchair series.


Standing Wheelchairs

Power Stand Up Wheelchairs features electrically powered drive. The wheelchair can be set in multiple positions from standing mode to sitting mode and all the angles in between.

Many Standing Power Wheelchairs have an easy access joystick controller and many other features. This series allows a user to drive while in the standing position.

Wheelchair Dimensions and Sizing


Wheelchair Seat Width

The first thing you can do is look into the available seat widths. This is important since there is a specific size each person needs. The most common size for wheelchair models are 16-inches, 18-inches, and 20-inches. However, some models only provide an 18-inch seat.

Pediatric Wheelchairs may have an average 14-inch seat width. Bariatric wheelchairs may have a 30-inch seat width.


Seat Depth

The Wheelchair Seat Depth is the measurement from the front of the wheelchair seat to the back of the seat. If you want to right seat depth for the wheelchair, while the user is sitting straight, measure the back of the user’s pelvis to the back of their shins.

The easiest method for finding the new wheelchair’s seat depth is to use a previous wheelchair that was comfortable before. Measure the previous wheelchair’s wheel depth.


Seat to Floor Height

You can determine the right Seat to Floor height to measure from the floor to the seat. Depending on the wheelchair user’s needs, it’s important to determine if the person’s feet are dragging on the floor, dangling on the floor, meaning the seat to floor height is too low or too high.

If a person is used to propelling themselves using their feet, then getting the right Seat to Floor height is important, since their seat will need to be lower than the standard height.


Back Height

You can determine the backrest height by measuring from the top of the backrest to the top of the seat, which is also the bottom of the backrest. The back height can be extended with optional accessories, which makes the backrest higher, which may be needed by a tall user.



Basic wheelchairs armrests come in two categories: full length and desk length. Full-length arms offer extra arm support. Desk length arms allow a wheelchair user easy access to desks and tables.

There are optional armchair features available for most wheelchairs, including adjustable height arms and removable or flip-back arms which allow for easy transfers.


Leg Rests

There are two leg rests including elevating and swing away models. Swingaway leg rests allow the user to get in or out of the wheelchair because the leg rests rotate to the side.

Elevating leg rests include a calf pad. These pads are used to raid legs and prevent swelling. With both of these models, the leg rests are completely removable. Some of these models have leg rests that include tool-free adjustments which can change the leg rest length.


Adjustable Backrest

Some wheelchairs offer adjustable height backrests which provide user comfort. If a user is shorter or taller than average, then this feature will be appreciated.


Dual Axle

The dual axle wheelchair allows you to adjust a chair from standard to hemi height, which is about 2-inches lower than standard. Hemi-height allows the user to propel the chair using their feet. It allows the seat height to be lowered for users under 5 feet in height.


Quick Release Wheels

Some wheelchairs have a quick release button to remove the rear wheels for transport and compact storage. This feature is designed for people who are looking for ultra-portable wheelchairs.

Other Resources

There is plenty of information available on the web on how to choose the right wheelchair to meet your requirements and personal needs. Here are some resources that can help you in finding the best wheelchair for you.

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