10 Different Types of Wheelchairs

Different Types Of Wheelchairs
Photo by Mikhail Nilov

There are many different types of wheelchairs models available on the market. The options can be daunting if this is your first time using a mobility assist. 

Please review the most popular options we listed, and you’ll better understand what wheelchair to choose.

Additionally, a wheelchair is a straight-backed chair with locking wheels that are used to transfer the injured, ill, or those with limited movement. 

For Medicare Part B, these are medical equipment regarded as Durable Medical Equipment even though there are many different sorts and designs.  

They are all ultimately tailored to transport the elderly, the disabled, and people with mobility challenges while also giving them better independence.

In the following sections, we’ll go through different types of wheelchairs:

1. Manual Wheelchair

This type of wheelchair is operated by hand. Any motor does not power it. It has two large front and one smaller wheel at the back.

A person standing behind can also maneuver a manual wheelchair. For this aim, the grips on these wheelchairs are built behind the upper half of the backrest. 

They are two primary categories of manual wheelchairs, categorized by use: 

  • Heavy-duty Chairs: These manual wheelchairs are made to be solid and durable. They are designed specifically for those who are heavier. 
  • Lightweight adjustable chairs: These wheelchairs are portable and foldable when placed inside a car. It is suitable for people to go from their chairs to their vehicles and vice versa. 

Manual wheelchairs are suitable for people who are physically able to move around independently. However, users can rapidly become weak, especially when traveling long distances.

When users don’t take the time to stand for a while, they may potentially acquire other health issues. 

2. Airplane Wheelchair

The airplane wheelchair is also one of the different types of Wheelchairs on the market. Wheelchairs owned by airline firms will make moving people with disabilities considerably easier.

Furthermore, these wheelchair models fit between the rows on flights, are lightweight, and are simple to fold.

Additionally, they include unique safety belts that make the whole process much safer and more straightforward.

Even though most airlines provide these seats before you board, if you anticipate using one regularly, you may want to buy your own.

3. Electric Wheelchairs

Except for getting into the chair, electric wheelchairs are by far the most common type since they give users more flexibility in movement without requiring assistance from a nurse or other caregiver. 

However, even those with severe mobility problems can move around relatively simply once in place.

Furthermore, these wheelchairs are among the best available for those with cerebral palsy and other diseases that impede movement. 

They are somewhat more expensive than their manual equivalents, but the extra cost is well worth it! Additionally, like the folding electric wheelchair, these can be altered and adapted to meet specific needs. 

4. Pediatric Wheelchairs

Pediatric wheelchairs are designed for children and can be motorized or manual. For children with particular mobility disorders to have some degree of freedom, some of these wheelchairs have been modified. 

The pediatric wheelchair’s primary goal is to make it simple for kids to become acclimated to it and feel comfortable using it. 

Additionally, Pediatric wheelchairs have exciting features to raise the user’s self-esteem when interacting with friends. As a result, it’s essential to design the wheelchair, so its users find it attractive. 

5. Basketball Wheelchairs

Basketball Wheelchairs are also one of the different types of wheelchairs. Wheelchair basketball players use special wheelchairs that are optimized for them. 

These wheelchairs are among the most expensive and can run you a little fortune—at least $1,300!

Basketball wheelchairs are adjusted, created, and custom-made for each person. Therefore, no one size is globally defined. 

Additionally, the material used in the manufacture and assembly of basketball wheelchairs is one of the leading causes of their high price. Titanium and other solid and hard metals are used, but they are not cheap.  

6. Standing Power Wheelchairs

Some of the most amazing assistive mobility gadgets technology has created are standing power wheelchairs. 

However, as their name suggests, these gadgets enable users to switch gracefully between sitting and standing positions. 

Thanks to this miraculous invention, users can easily pick up anything from a decent height and move around. 

Additionally, the standing power wheelchair performs all the duties carried out by regular wheelchairs, enabling it to operate at its peak. 

7. Standing Power Wheelchairs

Understandably, not every wheelchair would fit a person properly, and there is no agreed standard size for them. 

People’s needs and sizes vary from place to region and across time. The “made to measure” or “custom” wheelchair becomes a solution to this issue. 

These wheelchairs come in various sizes that may be adjusted to fit every person’s specific needs and body type, size, and weight. 

Additionally, these wheelchairs can be constructed to order, and the cost will vary depending on the materials and technology used. 

(For example, the amount of metal, rubber, and leather utilized, the number of wheels, and the wheelchair’s level of automation.) 

8. All-Terrain Wheelchairs

All-Terrain Wheelchairs are next on our list of different types of wheelchairs.

For anyone with a sense of adventure who likes to explore a variety of terrains, such as beaches, mountains, off-road trails, and more, all-terrain wheelchairs are ideal. 

Larger front and back wheels are placed into them so they can navigate even the most demanding roads, something a standard chair cannot. 

In addition, they have a more potent motor, bigger batteries, and a more robust frame. Although most of these models are power chairs, you can choose a manual chair for different surfaces. 

Furthermore, they are available in various sizes, shapes, features, and levels of suspension support. You should be aware that this wheeled chair requires additional storage space because it is reasonably robust, substantial, and durable. 

9. Bariatric Wheelchairs

High-duty wheelchairs explicitly designed to support heavy loads, bariatric chairs are an excellent option for those who are overweight or obese. 

A standard wheelchair isn’t big enough and isn’t constructed to support considerable weight. Bariatric chairs are therefore composed of more substantial materials like steel. 

These designs are heavier to transport due to their substantial construction. Bariatric chairs often support individuals weighing up to 700 lbs, whereas conventional chairs can support between 250 and 350 lbs. 

These chairs have broader seats to increase comfort and patient quality of life for those who are overweight.

To assist you in storing your chairs, read our assessment of the best wheelchair carrier for small cars. 

10. Tilt Wheelchairs

Last on our list of the different types of wheelchairs is Tilt Wheelchairs. The rear stand of a wheelchair with a tilt feature can be tilted or adjusted to any degree that the user finds comfortable. 

Depending on the wheelchair model, this can frequently range from 30 to 60 degrees. Tilt wheelchairs are built of sturdy steel and alloys, making them hefty but enduring. 

They come in manual and electric-driven versions. However, because they cannot be folded and are frequently challenging to store in or maneuver through small, constricted locations, these wheelchairs are not designed for transportation. 

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