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power wheelchair

To make sure we always provide the latest information, this page was last updated on 1 September 2020.  

The best electric wheelchair in the UK

How to choose an electric wheelchair or power wheelchair?

Power chairs (also known as electric wheelchairs or EPWs) are a great option for anyone with limited mobility, or individuals with disabilities or long-term illness.

They can offer significantly increased independence thanks to their electric motor and easy to use navigation controls. In this blog we’ll explain:

–       What a power wheelchair does, and how it could benefit you

–       Things to look for when choosing a provider or mobility shop

–       How to pick a power chair that suits your needs

Power chairs offer a great way to get about for anyone with mobility issues or disabilities. Her we share tips to help you decide whether a powerchair is right for you, and how to choose a model that best suits your needs.

What is a power chair?

Power chairs are a type of wheelchair incorporating an electric motor or battery for ease of use. They also feature a highly manoeuvrable ‘joystick’ for easy operation. They are offer a valuable alternative to manual wheelchairs and can be used both outdoors and throughout the home.

As they require minimal mobility and effort to steer and operate, they are well suited to individuals with limited use of the hands and arms.

Topics and products covered on this page

Our Number 1, and best rated, electric wheelchair

GEEFSU Folding Electric Wheelchair

Why we rated this the best

  • This powered wheelchair features a compact and lightweight design – weighing just 32kg without the battery – so can be easily stowed away.
  • Designed with added safety features such as electromagnetic braking system, shock absorbers and anti-corrosion materials, to give you peace of mind.
  • Ergonomically designed with adjustable headrest and armrests as well as breathable fabric cushions with added lumbar support.
  • Includes bonus features such as umbrella holder and cup holder, making this the best electric wheelchair.

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This is rated our best value for money electric wheelchair

DJM Best Electric Wheelchair UKR

What you need to know

  • This is one of the best powered wheelchairs because it has the option of being used as a manual wheelchair as well, giving the user freedom of choice.
  • Includes a horn button and joystick controls for ease of use.
  • Armrests are adjustable to improve comfort.
  • Seat and backrest covers can be easily removed to clean, which is useful for maintaining hygiene.
  • Top speed of 6km/hour and miles per charge of 15–20km depending on user weight and terrain.

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The best of the rest

WISGING Portable Electric Wheelchair

What you need to know

  • Takes just 6–8 hours to fully recharge, and has the option of combining two batteries for double the distance.
  • Aluminium base frame produces a super light weight design, weighing just under 27kilograms with the battery!
  • The foldable design makes this one of the easiest to store powered wheelchairs, and the price includes a travel bag to improve portability away from the home.
  • The small front driven wheel enhances manoeuvrability, making turning easier.
  • Lots of accessories can be added to customise this powered wheelchair to your needs.

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KHXJYC Electric Lightweight Wheelchair

What you need to know

  • Has the option of left hand or right hand controller to suit the user’s preference.
  • Takes just 3 seconds for the chair to be fully folded, and weighs just 16 kilograms, making this one of the lightest powered wheelchairs on the market.
  • Top speed of 6km/h and the lithium batteries provide up to 12.4 miles range.
  • Easy to use control system with waterproof joystick. The lightweight design and simple control system are also useful if the user’s health requires someone else to care for them.
  • Features a useful pocket on the back of the chair.

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DGPOAD Heavy Duty Electric Wheelchair

What you need to know

  • The sturdy carbon steel body frame ensures durability.
  • Maximum user weight of 150kg!
  • The electromagnetic braking system is a reassuring safety feature, along with shock absorbers and anti-roll rear wheels.
  • This chair can also be used as a manual wheelchair, which is a useful feature in case the battery is running low.
  • The chair can recline up to 150 degrees, so can be adjusted to maximise your comfort.
  • Price includes free delivery.

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Electric Wheelchair by KWK

What you need to know

  • Competitive price point that includes free delivery and return as well as 2 year warranty.
  • Quick folding and lightweight design are useful for storage and portability.
  • Shock absorbent front wheels to improve the user’s safety.
  • Recommended user weight of 100kg.
  • Charges in just 8 hours.
  • Attractive patterned design.

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RDJM Dual Function Wheelchair Electric

What you need to know

  • Very reasonably priced and manufactured by a reputable company making this the best power wheelchair for outdoor use.
  • Wear resistant tyres are suitable for use on the road and other outdoor terrain.
  • The foldable backrest makes it easier for this item to fit in the car boot.
  • Features a joystick, power indicator, horn, speed indicator, and increase and decrease speed buttons.

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Compact Electric Chair

What you need to know

  • Super fast folding is great for users who lead busy lives or love to travel.
  • Ergonomically designed with a tilted backrest and hollowed out cushions.
  • The cushions can be easily removed and cleaned which helps to maintain personal hygiene, so they can always feel as good as new!
  • The battery can last up to 20km depending on user weight and terrain.
  • Anti-fall seat belt gives the user peace of mind.
  • Top speed of 6km/h.
  • Controls available for both the user and any medical or care staff.

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GJHW Foldable Powered Wheelchair

What you need to know

  • Top speed of 6km/h and functions such as speed indicator and increase/decrease speed buttons are included.
  • The tyres are inflatable and wear resistant, enhancing durability.
  • The 360 degree joystick is simple to use.
  • The batteries can last for up to 20km and the power indicator light will help the user keep track of when the chair needs to be charged.
  • One of the cheapest powered wheelchairs on the market.
  • Seat width of 51cm accommodates a broad range of sizes.

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Portable Electric Wheelchair

What you need to know

  • This chair folds down to a compact shape that can be easily stored away in the home or car boot.
  • The shock absorbent wheels provide comfort when riding over bumpy terrain and also enhance the safety of these electric wheelchairs.
  • These powered wheelchairs include under-seat storage.
  • The joystick can be placed on the right or left side depending on the user’s preference.
  • Stylish blue design.

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RDJM Dual Function Foldable Wheelchair

What you need to know

  • Includes adjustable speed and a horn.
  • The joystick controls can be placed on either side of these electric wheelchairs depending on the user’s preference.
  • The batteries can last for up 20km depending on user weight and terrain.
  • These powered wheelchairs are designed to be quick folding for easy storage in the home and for portability.

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RDJM Deluxe Electric Wheelchair

What you need to know

  • Sturdy design made with anti-corrosion materials improve durability.
  • Suitable for users up to 150 kilograms.
  • The batteries can operate for up to 15miles when fully charged.
  • The joystick is simple to use and can be attached to either side of the chair, depending on the user’s preference.
  • Includes a range of features to improve comfort such as shock absorber wheels and a tilted backrest.

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Heavy Duty Electric Wheelchair by KWK

What you need to know

  • Available in a range of colours to suit the user’s preference.
  • The control panel includes a 360 degree joystick, horn, accelerate and decelerate buttons, battery charge level, speed indicator and power on button, so the user has everything they need right next to their hand.
  • The batteries can support a distance of up to 25km when fully charged (dependent on factors such as user weight and terrain).
  • The lightweight and folding design makes this a great chair for those who like to travel, and also makes it simple to store within the home.

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Super Lightweight i-Go Powerchair

What you need to know

  • Includes under seat storage which is especially useful when the user is out and about.
  • The excellent folding technology makes this chair easy to transport.
  • Weighs just 19.8kg so is incredibly lightweight despite the sturdy frame.
  • Maximum user weight of 100kg and a top speed of 5.9km/h.

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Motion Healthcare Folding Power Chair

What you need to know

  • These wheelchairs have a simple control panel which includes a joystick and four buttons for controlling direction, speed and power.
  • The chair can last for up to 10 miles and can reach a top speed of 4mph when the battery is fully charged.
  • The chair can be folded to a very compact size, enabling quick storage and simple portability.
  • Treaded back wheels provide added stability.
  • These wheelchairs are ergonomically designed with contoured cushions and adjustable footrests.

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Motion Healthcare Foldalite Pro Power Wheelchair

Why we rated this the best

  • This wheelchair that’s been designed for adults comes with an easy to use control panel and a joystick for directions.
  • The compact design allows you to convert it into a compact design for easier transportation.
  • People looking for bump-free rides will be impressed since the power wheelchair has an adjustable footrest, leg guards, backrest and a sophisticated suspension system.
  • On a fully charged battery, this power wheelchair can cover up to ten miles with a maximum speed of 4 mph.

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Lith-tech smart power chair 2

What you need to know

  • This is a small foldable power wheelchair that guarantees maximum portability.
  • It is a well-built product that is comfortable and easy to control
  • Aside from being smart looking, this is a fully functional wheelchair that can navigate gravel.
  • The power chair has two batteries that can be charged on or off the chair.

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Foldawheel PW-1000XL

What you need to know

  • The wheelchair features a powerful and brushless motor that allows you to move around quietly.
  • The fold-open-lock mechanism allows you to fold it into a compact package for easy transportation.
  • The package comes with two lithium batteries that allow you to cover up to 18 miles.
  • It is fabricated from the best quality materials.

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Foldawheel PW-999UL

What you need to know

  • Aside from the two-year warranty that comes with this power wheelchair, the package also includes a travel bag.
  • This is a lightweight and compact power wheelchair that is easily portable.
  • The two lithium batteries allow you to operate the wheelchair for 16 miles.
  • It features the latest brushless motors that ensure you enjoy quiet rides.

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Mobility Power Wheelchair with Reclinable Backrest

What you need to know

  • This power wheelchair is built with comfort in mind as it features an adjustable headrest and a reclinable backrest.
  • At only 68lb, you can easily transport this wheelchair as it is lightweight and easy to handle.
  • The durable body has been fabricated with aluminium alloy.
  • The seat covers can easily be removed and washed.

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lightweight electric powerchair

What you need to know

  • The wheelchair features a foldable design that allows you to easily transport it without having to remove the lithium battery.
  • With the 24V 11.5AH Panasonic battery, you can achieve a maximum speed of 4 mph with up to ten miles range.
  • The padded backrest and a seat cushion guarantee maximum comfort.
  • It is suitable for both left and right-handed individuals since controls can be changed on either side.

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Roma Medical Wheelchair

What you need to know

  • The twin drive wheels guarantee great traction.
  • This wheelchair speed setting allows you to easily navigate different terrains.
  • The wheelchair can easily be dismantled for transportation.
  • The removable battery pack allows you to have an easy time recharging.

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Bangeran Electric Wheelchair

What you need to know

  • This wheelchair has been built with easy storage in mind.
  • It has a braking system that is safe and secure.
  • The product has a humanized design that includes breathable cushions that can be removed and cleaned.
  • The sturdy high carbon steel frame, as well as the waterproof and corrosion protection on the joystick, ensures that your wheelchair remains in functional conditions.

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Aluminium Lightweight Powerchair Mobility

What you need to know

  • This is a highly portable power wheelchair that easily folds.
  • It has a removable lithium batteries and a lightweight aluminium alloy frame.
  • The wheelchair can easily be stowed away in vehicles for travel.
  • It is a compact product that comes with a user-friendly remote controller.

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What’s the difference between mobility power chairs and mobility scooters?

Mobility scooters and mobility power chairs are very similar – so it’s easy to get mixed up between the two.

Mobility scooters

–       Are designed differently to power chairs – they look like scooters and have two or three wheels.

–       Can be customised to suit your needs and preferences

–       Feature a swivel seat and handlebars

–       Require stability, balance and strength to operate.

–       Are not easily foldable or portable

–       Can be used outdoors but are generally not suitable for indoor use

–       Are powered by rechargeable batteries

–       Are easy to assemble and use

–       Are quite nippy and speedy compared with other wheelchair types

–       Are heavier compared with other wheelchair types

–       Not suitable for travel

–       Can be expensive compared with other types of wheelchair

–       Are better suited to those with limited mobility and the capacity to walk a few steps

Powered  wheelchairpower wheelchair

–       Have a variety of seating options available

–       Are stable and secure – suitable for individuals with poor balance and very low mobility

–       Can be used to travel for long distances

–       Flexible and foldable – can be easily fitted into the boot of a large car or adapted vehicle

–       Have different modifications available including a variety of battery choices, wheels and more

–       Can handle rough terrain

–       Can be used outdoors and indoors

–       Handles with just the touch of a button

–        Have a tight turning radius, allowing you to take narrow corners easily

–       Lightweight models are available

As you can see above, mobility scooters are like a lower specification version of electric wheelchairs or power chairs.

If you are looking for a cheap power wheelchair, click here.  This will take you to some of the cheapest available today.

 

What types of people are powered wheelchairs best suited to?

Power chairs are best suited to individuals with significant mobility issues, severe disabilities or debilitating illness. They are best for if you need to be able to get around the house without assistance.

Things to look for when shopping for a power wheelchair

When shopping for a power wheelchair there are a few things you should look for. With so many mobility providers to choose from it can be difficult to know which company to go with. Things to look out for when shopping include:

Reputation and reviews: Unfortunately there is a lot of money to be made in the mobility industry – which means there are some unscrupulous companies out there. Your safety is a priority – so you want to make sure that your provider is selling genuine products that have been properly checked and sourced from reputable suppliers.

The best way to determine this is to look for impartial reviews and testimonials – you can usually find these online. You could also ask family and friends for advice – it’s best to go for companies you have a word of mouth recommendation for from someone who has previous experience with them.

Price: Price is naturally important – and if you have a set budget it’s not productive to go and search in places that don’t cater to what you can afford. Prices are generally cheaper online – but it is best to go and look at the wheelchairs in person to get a real feel for them and sit on them. If you find a selection of models you like online make a note and head down to a mobility shop in person to take a proper look before making your decision.

Range of products: Choice is important – and specialist mobility shops will have plenty of it. It’s best to choose a specialist shop that knows and understands the importance of finding a good match and a wheelchair that perfectly suits your needs.

Aftercare: Aftercare is key – as it’s best to have complete peace of mind and know that if something goes wrong it can be fixed easily. Most electric wheelchairs have a guarantee or warranty from the manufacturers themselves, but retailers sometimes provide their own plans. These may be available for a fixed yearly fee. It’s useful to be able to take your wheelchair for servicing and check-ups at one central location, too.

Gut feelingGut feeling is massively underestimated when making big purchases. How do you feel about your chosen retailer? Was the salesman pushy? Was the place clean? If it’s an online shop – is the website clear and easy to understand? Is it professional and well designed? These t

hings matter – so if you’ve got a bad gut feeling about a place or site it’s better to steer clear.

Click here if you want to see the price of some of the best value chairs in the market today.

What should you consider when picking a powerchair?

Once you’ve chosen a mobility shop you feel you like and trust, it’s time to go about purchasing your powerchair. Key things to consider include:

Specify your needs: Consider your mobility needs and what you’ll be using the wheelchair for. How do you cope currently? Perhaps you use a stick or a frame at home and a mobility scooter when you’re out and about. Ensure compatibility with your current situation – especially if your home is very small, or you live in shared accommodation.

Things such as the radius of corners, width of doors and height of your bed and chairs could dictate the model of wheelchair you go for. You may like to ask your specialist, general practitioner or healthcare professional for help with this.

Determine affordability: It’s important to determine your budget early on. How much do you have to spend? Knowing your budget allows you to shop flexibly and without worry over affordability. Before settling on a figure, do some research to make sure that it is realistic in line with your needs.

Remember that this is a significant investment and should be something designed to last several years.

Decide on specification: Various power base placements are often available – including rear-wheel, front-wheel or mid-wheel drive. The type you choose will depend on which is most comfortable and easy for you to control – but also your preferences.

For example, a rear-wheel drive is better for faster speeds, medium-wheel drive is ideal for tight turns and small spaces. Front-wheel drives are slower but handle rough terrain better. You may need to try out a few models to help you decide.

Choose the right seat for youComfort matters. You’ll likely be sitting in the seat of your power wheelchair for some time, so it’s important to ensure that the seat is perfectly suited to you. Various cushion and backrest materials are available including gel padding, contoured foam and air flow. Some are specially developed to reduce pressure sores for those spending a lot of time daily in their chairs.

– Customisation: If you have special or advanced needs there are customisation options available, such as voice control and size. This is important to consider should you need it now or if there’s a possibility that you will require customisation in the future.

Ask for additional advice and supportIf you’re unsure about anything, ask friends and family for their advice and support. You may also like to consult a different healthcare professional or your GP if you haven’t done so already.

Size: Various sizes of wheelchair are available. These accommodate different weights and sizes to suit a range of needs.

Battery life: Different power wheelchairs will have varying batteries and capabilities, therefore each one will have a slightly different battery life. The type you choose will depend on the daily use you have planned for your wheelchair. Will you be using it all day, every day? Or will it be reserved for trips out shopping or general activities? The level and amount of use will dictate the size of battery and wheelchair type you opt for.

Where can I go for more advice?

If you’re still feeling confused about which type of wheelchair is right for you and how to choose the best option to suit your needs there are several places you can go for advice and support.

Your first port of call is your general practitioner, specialist, healthcare professional or social worker. They will be able to advise you and can help you to understand how a wheelchair may benefit you. Your prognosis is also important – as it may be best to invest in a more advanced model now if it’s likely your needs will change in the future

A helpful video for you

Want to learn more? Well here is a useful video that provides you with more useful information when looking to make a purchase.

Meet the author

Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

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