The Best Stairlifts For Seniors

Best Stairlifts For Seniors In April 2024

This article discusses the best stairlifts for seniors in the United Kingdom, focusing on various types, such as straight, curved, and outdoor lifts, alongside leading stairlift manufacturers and features that enhance safety, comfort, and independence. 

It aims to guide you in selecting the ideal stairlift for your home. The article will help you do the following –

1 – Understand the importance of selecting the right stairlift for seniors’ safety and mobility.

2 – Learn about the different types of stairlifts available and their specific features.

3 – Discover the main topics covered, including stairlift types, features to consider, popular manufacturers, and safety innovations.

4 – Recognise the benefits of understanding these topics, such as enhanced safety, comfort, and independence for seniors.

5 – Take informed actions post-reading, like researching specific stairlift models or contacting manufacturers for quotes.

Key Takeaways & Learnings From This Page on Stairlifts For Elderly Users

1 – Stairlifts for seniors are essential devices that enhance mobility and independence by safely transporting individuals with limited mobility up and down stairs.

2 – There are various types of stairlifts, including straight, curved, and outdoor models, designed to accommodate different staircase configurations and user needs.

3 – Key features to consider when purchasing a stairlift for seniors include remote control operation, powered swivel seats, retractable seatbelts, and safety sensors.

4 – Technological innovations in stairlifts, such as battery backup systems and digital diagnostics, improve user experience and ensure reliability.

5 – Safety is paramount, with modern stairlifts incorporating obstacle sensors, swivel seats, safety belts, and emergency stop buttons to protect users.

6 – The cost of stairlifts for seniors varies depending on the type, features, and whether the model is new or reconditioned, with prices ranging from £2,000 to £10,000.

7 – Before making a purchase, it’s crucial to compare stairlift features, types, and manufacturers to find the most suitable option for your needs.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

What Is a Stairlift?

A stairlift is a motorised device that transports people with limited mobility safely and comfortably up and down stairs. Various types of stairlifts accommodate different staircase designs and user requirements. Stairlifts provide numerous advantages for seniors, including:

1 – Maintaining autonomy in their dwellings

2 – Making everyday life easier is more convenient and accessible

3 – Eliminating the danger of falls and injuries

4 – Providing a safe and secure method of accessing various levels of the home

Types of Stairlift For Elderly Users

There are various types of stairlifts for seniors to accommodate different staircase configurations:

1 – Curved Stair Lifts

Curved stairlifts are designed for curved, twisted, or spiral staircases. These stairlifts have custom-made rails that conform to the staircase’s unique shape.

2 – Straight Stair Lifts

Straight stairlifts are intended for staircases without bends, landings, or curves. Straight stairlifts are installed on straight rails and are typically less expensive than curved stairlifts.

3 – Stairlifts For Narrow Staircases

Some stairlift models are designed with narrow staircases in mind. They have compact designs and features, including foldable rails and slim seats.

4 – Stairlifts For Spiral Staircases

Spiral staircases typically require custom-designed curved stairlifts, as their unique shape and design necessitate a more complex rail system.

5 – Outdoor Stairlifts

Outdoor stairlifts are constructed from weather-resistant materials, such as marine-grade vinyl, to withstand the elements.

A Guide To The Different Types of Staircases For Straight Stairlifts

A – Straight Staircase

This is the easiest and cheapest type of staircase to install a stairlift on. However, if your staircase is narrow, you may want to consider compact stairlift models. 

B – Straight Staircase Followed By A Step

This type of staircase may present a problem if the user needs help managing the final step. A bridging platform may help, however, they are not a particularly popular option today due to health and safety concerns. A curved stairlift may be necessary in this case. 

C – Straight Staircase With A Fan Turn

Stairs with a fan turn will require a curved stairlift to navigate the 45-degree angle

D – Split Staircase

Split staircases require either two straight stairlifts or a curved stairlift. The most cost-effective option will depend on your installation company and the length of your staircases. It’s important to note a user will have to dismount the stairlift twice if you install two straight stairlifts, which may cause them discomfort.

A Comparison Of The Most Popular Straight Stairlift Models In The UK | April 2024

Below is a comparison of the most popular straight stairlift models available in the UK and a breakdown of their key features. 

Model Acorn 130 Straight StairliftHandicare 1100 Straight StairliftStannah Starla 600Bruno’s Elite Indoor Straight
Weight Capacity159kg140kg136kg 182kg
Power Swivel Seat?YesYesYes, and customisable with safety sensors Yes
Minimum Staircase Width26″ 21″28″27″
Fold-Up Width310mm 320mm340mm386mm
Type of RailAluminium single railFriction rail system with drive rollersSlim-line railVertical rail with covered gear rack
Price (approx.)From £2,000 From £2,200 From £2,200From £2,800
Average Speed12cm per second15cm per secondNot SpecifiedNot Specified
Max Rail Length30mNot SpecifiedNot SpecifiedNot Specified
Space Between Armrests44.5 cm45cm48cm55cm
Warranty1 Years3 Years2 Years2 Years

Speak To An Acorn Straight Stairlift Specialist Today

Call  0333 567 1612 to discuss your requirements and see what the best option might be for you.

Features to Consider When Purchasing a Stairlift for Seniors

There are several key stairlift features you should consider when purchasing a stairlift for seniors:

1 – Remote Control and Powered Swivel Seat

A remote control allows the user to summon the stairlift to their location, while a powered swivel seat facilitates safe boarding and exiting.

2 – Retractable Seatbelt and Safety Features

Safety features, such as retractable seat belts and safety sensors, are necessary to protect the user during use.

3 – Additional Features and Battery Back-up

Some stairlifts include additional features, such as power-folding footrests and swivelling seats for the user. A battery backup system ensures the stairlift will continue functioning during a power outage.

Safety Features and Technological Innovations in Stairlifts For Seniors 

Ensuring the safety and comfort of stairlift users is paramount. This section discusses the advanced safety features and technological innovations that modern stairlifts incorporate, including the best stairlifts for the elderly, offering users peace of mind and a secure experience.

1- Safety Features 

Modern stairlifts, particularly those designed as stair lifts for the elderly, come equipped with a range of safety features designed to protect users – 

a) Obstacle Sensors 

These sensors detect objects on the staircase, automatically stopping the stairlift to prevent collisions. This feature is crucial in preventing accidents and ensuring the safety of stair lifts for the elderly.

b) Swivel Seats

Powered swivel seats allow for safe and easy dismounts, reducing the risk of falls at the top of the stairs. This is especially beneficial for the best stairlifts, which prioritise user safety.

c) Safety Belts

Similar to car seat belts, these ensure the user is securely fastened during the ride, an essential feature for stair lifts for the elderly.

d) Emergency Stop Buttons

Located on the stairlift’s armrest, these buttons can immediately halt the stairlift in case of an emergency, a vital safety feature for all stair lifts for the elderly.

2 – Technological Innovations

In addition to safety features, stairlifts now boast several technological advancements that enhance user experience, making them some of the best stair lifts available:

a) Remote Control Operation

Users can call or send the stairlift to the top or bottom of the stairs, making it convenient for multiple users in the same household. This feature enhances the usability of stair lifts for the elderly.

b) Battery Backup

Ensures the stairlift remains operational even during power outages, providing uninterrupted access between floors. This is a critical feature for the best stair lifts, ensuring reliability.

c) Adjustable User Settings

Some models offer customizable settings, allowing users to adjust speed, seat height, and sensitivity for a personalized experience. This adaptability is key in stair lifts for the elderly, catering to individual needs.

d) Digital Diagnostics

A display panel provides real-time information on the stairlift’s status and any maintenance requirements, simplifying troubleshooting and upkeep. This innovation supports the maintenance of the best stair lifts, ensuring long-term reliability.

By incorporating these safety features and technological innovations, stairlift manufacturers are committed to delivering mobility solutions and ensuring the safety, comfort, and independence of their users, particularly when it comes to stair lifts for the elderly.

Different Types Of Staircases For Curved Stairlifts

A – Quarter Landing Turn

With a quarter landing turn the user can either disembark at the top of the first staircase, depending on how many steps there are, or install a curved stairlift to navigate the platform. 

B – Quarter Fan Turn

A quarter fan-turn is when the stairs turn 45 degrees without a platform. A curved stairlift will be necessary for these stairs. 

C – Curved Quarter Fan Turn

A curved quarter fan turn is when the stairs turn 45 degrees without a platform. What distinguishes these from diagram B is that the wall also curves. These stairs require curved stairlifts. 

D – Half Landing Turn

In a half-landing turn, two straight staircases are connected by a landing platform. You can either fit two straight stairlifts, provided the landing between them is level, or a curved stairlift which traverses the wall of the landing. 

E – Half Fan Turn

In a half-fan turn, two straight staircases are connected by a 180-degree turn. These staircases require a curved stairlift. 

F- Three Straight Staircases

In diagram F, three straight staircases are connected by two landings, making a 180-degree turn. These require either three straight stairlifts or a curved stairlift, which would be a costly and frustrating procedure. 

G – Curved Half Fan Turn

In this diagram, three straight staircases are connected by two 45-degree turns. These staircases require a curved stairlift as it is unsafe to disembark a stairlift on a curved stairlift. 

H – U-Turn

In diagram H, two straight staircases are connected by a 180-degree curve. These require curved stairlifts. 

I- Winding Staircases

Diagram I demonstrates a straight staircase followed by a 270-degree turn. These require curved stairlifts.

A Comparison Of The Most Popular Curved Stairlift Models | April 2024

Below is a comparison of the most popular curved stairlift models in the UK and a breakdown of their key features. 

Model Acorn 180 Handicare Freecurve Stannah 260 Recon Thyssen Flow 2
Weight Capacity 120kg 136kg 120kg 125kg
Power Swivel Seat? YesYes, at an additional costYesYes
Fold-Up Width33.5cm 44cm 40cm 34cm
Type of RailSlimline Single-RailSingle RailPowered Or Manual Hinged Rail Slim Aluminium Rail
Price (approx.)From £4000£4,200£3,400From £4,195
Average Speed15cm per second13cm per second12cm per second15cm per second
Max Rail Length30m 35m Not Specified Not Specified
Space Between Armrests19″17″20.5″18″
Warranty12 Months 2 Years 1 year 1 Year

Speak To An Acorn Curved Stairlift Specialist Today

Call  0333 567 1612 to discuss your requirements and see what the best option might be for you.

"A stairlift is a motorised device that transports people with limited mobility safely and comfortably up and down stairs."

Alternatives To Stair Lifts For Seniors

Alternative mobility solutions for the elderly include wheelchair lifts and wheelchair ramps for those with limited mobility. However, these alternatives may not offer the same level of independence and convenience as stair lifts designed to make daily life easier for elderly individuals with limited mobility.

Before choosing the most suitable stairlift, it is essential to conduct research on and compare stairlift features, types, and manufacturers.

The UK Care Guide works in partnership with Acorn Stairlifts. 

Here are 10 reasons why they are the best stairlift provider in the UK.

Stairlifts made in the UK
Same day home appointments available
Next day installation available
Slimline models that fold away conveniently when not in use
Hinged rail designs to eliminate any trip or hazard
Affordable and reliable with low running costs
Some can be fitted quickly and easily to the stairs, not the wall
Amazing feedback and testimonials
Some require no structural changes to your home
Market leading experience in the UK

Call Acorn now on 0333 567 1612 to get a quote or to discuss your stairlift requirements.


Book a callback, in the calendar below, for a time that suits you.

How Much Do Senior Stair Lifts Cost?

Depending on factors such as the type of stairlift, its features, and whether it’s new or reconditioned, the price of a stairlift for seniors can vary significantly. Straight stairlifts are typically less expensive than curved stairlifts, while outdoor stairlifts with weather-resistant materials may be more expensive.

Stairlift prices can range from £2,000 to £10,000, with installation fees varying by manufacturer.

Straight stairlifts are typically less expensive than curved stairlifts because they have a more straightforward design and require less customisation.

Reconditioned stairlifts can be less expensive than brand-new models, but it is essential to ensure that they meet safety standards and come with a warranty from the manufacturer.

What Is The Difference Between a Stairlift And a Chairlift?

A stairlift is a motorised device designed to transport a seated individual up and down stairs, with features such as seat belts and safety sensors to ensure a safe and comfortable ride.

The term “chairlift” can refer to two distinct types of lifts: a stairlift and a device used in ski resorts to transport skiers up a slope. When discussing senior access solutions, it is essential to distinguish between these two types of lift. 

stairlifts for elderly

How Do Outdoor Stairlifts Differ From Indoor Ones in Design and Functionality?

Indoor and outdoor stair lifts are durable and able to withstand outdoor elements. Outdoor stair lifts are constructed to withstand external environmental factors like weather and temperature changes.

To protect the outdoor stair lift from corrosion and other damage caused by exposure to the elements, they are constructed with weather-resistant materials such as marine-grade vinyl.

Remote controls for outdoor stair lifts may be waterproof or weatherproof.

How Can Stair Lift Companies Help Seniors Find the Most Suitable Stair and Chair Lift?

Companies that manufacture stairlifts, such as Stannah Stairlifts, Acorn Stairlifts, and Handicare, play a crucial role in assisting users find the most appropriate stairlifts for the elderly.

By providing a variety of stair lift types, such as straight, curved, and outdoor stair lifts, these businesses accommodate a variety of staircase configurations and user needs.

They offer customised evaluations and consultations considering mobility needs, staircase design, and desired stair lift features such as seat belts, power swivel seats, and power folding footrest rails.

Additionally, reputable stair lift companies provide professional installation services to ensure the lift’s safety and proper operation. In addition, they offer maintenance and repair services to keep the stairlift in prime condition.

By collaborating closely with the best stairlift companies, seniors can make informed decisions and select the stairlift that best meets their individual needs, preserving their independence and making daily life easier.

Enhancing User Experience and Comfort in Stairlifts

User experience and comfort are critical factors in the design and functionality of stairlifts. This section outlines the ergonomic features and considerations contributing to a comfortable and user-friendly stairlift experience.

1 – Ergonomic Design and Features

The ergonomic design of stairlifts plays a vital role in ensuring user comfort and safety:

a) Adjustable Seats and Footrests

Many stairlifts offer adjustable seats and footrests, allowing users to find the most comfortable positioning for their height and physical needs.

b) Padded Seats and Backrests

To enhance comfort, especially during longer rides, stairlifts often feature padded seats and backrests, providing additional support and cushioning.

c) Easy-to-Use Controls

Ergonomically designed controls, such as simple toggle switches or joystick controls, ensure that users of all abilities can easily operate the stairlift.

2 – Customisation for Individual Needs

Recognising the diverse needs of users, stairlift manufacturers offer various customisation options:

a) Choice of Upholstery

Users can select from a range of upholstery options to match their home decor and personal preference, contributing to the aesthetic appeal and comfort of the stairlift.

b) Adjustable Armrest Width

For users requiring more space, some stairlift models allow for adjusting armrest width, ensuring a comfortable fit for users of all sizes.

c) Temperature-Regulated Seats

A few high-end models come with temperature-regulated seats, providing warmth in colder climates and a cooling effect in warmer conditions, enhancing the user experience year-round.

Maintenance and Longevity of Stairlifts

Understanding the maintenance requirements and longevity of stairlifts is essential for ensuring their optimal performance and extending their lifespan. This section provides detailed guidance on maintaining various types of stairlifts and what users can expect regarding longevity and warranty.

1 – Routine Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is key to the smooth operation of stairlifts. Here are some tips to keep your stairlift in top condition:

a) Regular Cleaning

Keep the track and chair clean from dust and debris to ensure smooth operation. Use a dry cloth to wipe down the track and chair weekly.

b) Battery Checks

Check the battery level monthly for battery-operated stairlifts and ensure it’s fully charged to avoid unexpected downtime.

c) Lubrication

Apply lubricant to the track as recommended by the manufacturer to facilitate smooth movement and prevent wear and tear.

2 – Troubleshooting Common Issues

Encountering minor issues with your stairlift can be common. Here are some common problems and how to address them:

a) Stairlift Stops Working

Check if the stairlift is properly plugged in and the power switch is on. Also, ensure the battery is charged if it’s battery-operated.

b) Unusual Noises

Squeaking or grinding noises may indicate the need for lubrication or that debris is caught in the track.

c) Slow Operation

If the stairlift is moving slower than usual, it may be due to a low battery or an issue with the track’s alignment.

3 – Understanding Warranties and Longevity

The lifespan of a stairlift can vary depending on the model and how well it’s maintained. Here’s what to consider:

a) Expected Lifespan

Most stairlifts have an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years, depending on the brand and usage.

b) Warranty Coverage

Warranties can vary significantly between manufacturers, typically 1 to 5 years. Some may offer extended warranties covering major components like the motor and track.

c) Replacement Parts

Familiarise yourself with the availability of replacement parts for your stairlift model, which can affect its longevity.

Installation Process and After-Sales Support

Choosing the right stairlift involves understanding the installation process and the level of after-sales support provided. This section aims to guide you through these crucial aspects.

1 – Installation Process for Stairlifts

The installation process varies depending on the type of stairlift you choose:

a) Straight Stairlifts

Installation typically takes a few hours, as these models run on straight tracks which are quicker to set up. Homeowners should ensure the staircase is clear of obstructions before the technician arrives.

b) Curved Stairlifts

These require a more complex installation process due to the customisation of the rail to fit the staircase’s specific curves and angles. Installation can take a full day; in some cases, a preliminary visit may be needed to take precise measurements.

c) Outdoor Stairlifts

Similar to straight stairlifts in terms of installation time, additional preparations may be needed to protect the equipment from weather conditions.

2 – After-Sales Support

After-sales support is a critical factor in ensuring the longevity and reliability of your stairlift:

a) 24/7 Customer Support

Many providers offer round-the-clock support to address immediate issues or concerns after installation.

b) Annual Check-Ups

Regular maintenance checks are recommended to ensure your stairlift remains in optimal condition. Some providers include these as part of their after-sales service package.

c) Warranty and Repairs

Understanding the warranty provided with your stairlift is crucial. It can cover anything from parts to labour for specific periods. Ensure you know what is included in your warranty and how to claim it.

d) Training and Guidance

Post-installation, some providers offer training sessions to ensure users are comfortable and confident in operating the stairlift safely.

stair lift for elderly

Our Final Thoughts

This article has provided a comprehensive guide on stairlifts for seniors in the UK, highlighting the importance of choosing the right stairlift to ensure safety, comfort, and independence for elderly individuals. Here are 7 key pieces of information presented in the article, along with actionable steps – 

1 – Stairlifts are vital for seniors with limited mobility, offering a safe way to navigate stairs.

2 – Understanding the differences between straight, curved, and outdoor stairlifts is crucial for selecting the right model.

3 – Features like remote control operation and powered swivel seats significantly enhance user safety and convenience.

4 – Safety features, including obstacle sensors and emergency stop buttons, are essential for preventing accidents.

5 – Technological advancements, such as battery backups and digital diagnostics, ensure the stairlift’s reliability and ease of maintenance.

6 – The cost of stairlifts varies, and it’s important to consider both the initial purchase price and long-term maintenance costs.

7 – Researching and comparing different stairlifts and manufacturers can help seniors find the most suitable stairlift for their needs, ensuring their continued independence and quality of life.

Have A Free Consultation With A Stairlift Specialist

You can contact an Acorn stair lift specialist in one of 3 ways:

  • Option 1 – Call directly on – 0333 567 1602
  • Option 2 – Book an appointment directly in the calendar below, and one of the team will call you back at your chosen time
  • Option 3 – Leave your contact details and Acorn will get in touch with you

Option 1 – Call Acorn Stairlifts Directly


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Friday : 8am – 5:30pm

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Call us on : 0333 567 1602

Option 2 – Book an appointment, in the calendar below, for a callback when it’s convenient

Option 3 – Leave your details and Acorn will get in touch

Leave your contact details below, and one of the Acorn team will give you a call to discuss your needs.

                                                      Please note that Acorn Stairlifts undertake all calls.

Meet the author

Tom Walker

Tom is a Content Writer and Editor for UK Care Guide, having previously acted as Head of Online for the Manchester Historian, and also the former editor for The Peterloo Institute.

Tom is a graduate of the University of  Manchester with a BA (Hons) History degree. 

His particular specialisms include writing on issues relating to later life (e.g. stairlifts, live-in care) and elderly care, having previously worked in a care capacity.  


How can I find the best stairlift companies in the UK?

To find the best stairlift companies in the United Kingdom, conduct extensive online research and solicit recommendations from family, friends, and healthcare professionals. Stannah Stairlifts, Acorn Stairlifts, and Handicare Stairlift Systems are among the best stairlift companies in the United Kingdom. These companies offer various stair lift types, including straight, curved, and outdoor stair lifts, as well as user-friendly safety and comfort features. In addition, you can read customer reviews and testimonials to learn about their experiences with various stair lift companies and models.

What are some essential factors to consider when choosing a stair lift for seniors?

When selecting a stair lift for a senior, it is essential to consider some factors to ensure that the ride meets their needs and preferences. The type of staircase (straight, curved, or outdoor), the user’s mobility requirements, and the desired stair lift features are examples of these variables (such as a power swivel seat, secure seat, and seat belt). Consider the weight capacity of the stair lift, as some models are designed for heavier users. In addition, it is essential to compare the prices, installation fees, warranty options, and financing plans offered by various stair lift companies.

What are the differences between straight, curved, and outdoor stair lifts?

Stairlifts are designed for straight staircases without landings, turns, or bends. Installed on linear rails, these lifts are typically less expensive than curved stair lifts. In contrast, curved stair lifts are custom-made for curved, twisted, or spiral staircases, with rails that conform to the staircase’s unique shape. To withstand the elements, outdoor stair lifts are constructed of weather-resistant materials, such as marine-grade vinyl. Each stairlift type accommodates a variety of stair configurations and environments, thereby meeting a variety of requirements.

How can I ensure the safety and comfort of a stair lift for seniors?

To ensure the safety and convenience of a stair lift for the elderly, it is necessary to choose a model with essential safety features and user-friendly design elements. The stair lift’s comfort-enhancing features, such as power swivel seats, user swivel seats, and power-folding footrests, enable the user to sit safely and comfortably while using the device. Consider stair lifts with safety sensors, manual emergency stops, and retractable seat belts to prevent accidents and ensure a safe ride. A reputable stairlift company will likely offer installation and maintenance services to ensure the lift’s functionality and long-term dependability.

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