Stair lift dimensions

February 2024 


Stair Lift Dimensions In February 2024


Stairlifts offer a practical solution for individuals facing mobility challenges within their homes, enabling them to navigate between floors with ease and safety. This article discusses the various stairlift dimensions and types of stairlifts available, catering to different staircase configurations and user needs. 

The article will help you do the following:

1. Understand the significance of choosing the right stairlift for your home.

2. Learn about the different types of stairlifts and their specific dimensions.

3. Discover the main topics covered, including seated, curved, standing, and perch stairlifts, as well as considerations you should make for narrow staircases and low ceilings.

4. Recognise the benefits of selecting a stairlift that fits your staircase and meets your mobility needs.

5. Take informed actions post-reading, such as measuring your staircase, consulting with stairlift specialists, and considering installation and maintenance aspects.

Key Takeaways & Learnings From This Page

1 – Stairlifts are essential for enhancing mobility within the home for individuals that experience difficulty climbing stairs, including the elderly and those with physical impairments.

2 – The minimum width requirement for stairlift installation is 28 inches, highlighting the importance of accurate staircase measurements.

3 – Different stairlift options, such as seated, curved, standing, and perch stairlifts, cater to various user needs and staircase configurations.

4 – Curved stairlifts are recommended for staircases with bends or turns, while standing and perch options suit those with specific mobility challenges.

5 – The installation process and the choice between straight and curved stairlifts depend on the staircase’s dimensions and the user’s mobility needs.

6 – Regular maintenance tasks, such as track lubrication and checking for wear and tear, ensure the stairlift’s longevity and reliability.

7 – Consulting with stairlift specialists for accurate measurements and tailored advice is crucial for finding the most suitable stairlift solution.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

Stairlift Dimensions And Stair Lift Specifications 

The dimensions of a stair lift can vary depending on the model, so getting accurate staircase dimensions is crucial. It’s worth noting that stairlifts also have a weight limit, which will also vary depending on the model you pick. 

1 – What Is The Minimum Width For A Stairlift?  

The minimum width for a stairlift to be installed is 28 inches wide. A regular stairlift installation may not work if the stair dimensions are narrower than this minimum width. If you have a particularly narrow staircase, it is best to consult a stairlift expert about installing a bespoke stair lift. Bespoke stairlifts can sometimes be pricey, but they will be the best solution if you have narrow stairs.

 Check with a stair lift manufacturer to see if they will offer you a free quote to help you with your narrow-width stair lift.

2 – Height Requirements For A Stair Lift  

The space between the bottom of your stairlift and the floor should be at least 36 inches high on both sides of your stairs. If your existing staircase is greater than 36 inches tall, certain additional components may be required so that your lift can connect properly.

3 – Stairlift Seats

Stairlift seats are a critical aspect of stair lift design, influencing both comfort and safety. The specifications of stair lift seats, including their width and depth, are designed to accommodate a wide range of users, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit.

When considering stair lift specifications, it’s essential to look at the seat design, which should offer support and stability, especially for users with mobility issues. The choice of a stairlift with a well-designed seat is paramount, as it directly impacts the user’s experience, making it a key factor in the overall stair lift design and selection process.

How To Measure For A Stair Lift and Determine Stair Lift Space Requirements

If you’re planning to install a new lift on an existing staircase, be sure to measure the staircase dimensions first so you can get the right size. The seat length in inches and centimetres are listed under the seat in the specs of new lifts, but you’ll also have to figure out how far apart the tracks need to be.

Track length is determined by measuring from one end of the stairway to the other. Make sure that each stair tread is touched with the tape measure when you measure. To ensure that there is enough extra space for the stairlift, extend your tape measure down to the floor past the first stair treads.

Determining Your Required Stairlift Track Length

The stairlift track length is a crucial factor in the installation process, directly influencing the stairlift’s fit and functionality within a home. Accurate measurement of the staircase is essential to determine the appropriate track length, ensuring the stairlift can navigate the entire length of the staircase efficiently.

The measurement process involves calculating the distance from the bottom to the top of the stairs, taking into account any curves or landings that may require a customised track design. Understanding the specifics of stairlift track length is vital for a painless stairlift installation.

Stairlift Requirements and Installation

Once the staircase width and height measurements have been taken, assembly can begin. First, the lower step is connected to the lower track, while the top track is attached above it. Because the lift takes up a little extra room at each end of the rail, the stairlift technician will double-check your measurements before you get to this stage.

The lift is then bolted to the stairs and lowered into position. Because of the restricted staircase width, this might be a little tougher in narrow staircases. When buying stairlifts, one of the most common concerns is whether or not the walls in their home are strong enough to support a stairlift.

The stairlift rail, however, is connected to the stair tread rather than the walls, so stairlift users need not worry too much about how it will affect their walls.

1 – Straight Stairlift Installation

Straight stairlifts are the simplest to install, given their direct path up and down the staircase. The installation process typically involves attaching a straight metal track to the stair treads, not the wall, ensuring stability and safety.

A stairlift carriage is then mounted onto the track, equipped with a seat, footrest, and safety belt. The entire process can often be completed within a few hours, requiring no structural modifications to your home.

2 – Curved Stairlift Installation

Curved stairlifts require a more bespoke approach due to the unique shape of each staircase. The process begins with a detailed assessment of the staircase, including measurements and photographs, to design a custom rail that perfectly fits the contours of your stairs. 

The installation of a curved stairlift can take longer than a straight stairlift, as the custom rail needs to be precisely aligned and secured to ensure smooth and safe operation.

3 – Outdoor Stairlift Installation

Outdoor stairlifts are designed to withstand the elements and are installed on exterior steps leading to your home. The installation process mirrors that of indoor stairlifts but involves additional steps to protect against weather conditions. This includes using weather-resistant materials for the rail and seat, as well as ensuring the electrical components are fully waterproofed.

For each type of stairlift, it’s essential to have a professional assessment to determine the best fit for your staircase and mobility needs. Qualified technicians should always carry out installation to ensure the stairlift is safe and reliable.

This content directly addresses the need for more detailed technical information on the installation process of stairlifts, enhancing the article’s comprehensiveness and utility for readers considering such mobility solutions.

dimensions for a stair lift

Different Stairlift Options

There are a variety of stairlifts available to suit your home and mobility needs. Here are the key types of stairlifts:

1 – A Seated Stairlift

This is the most popular kind of standard stairlift. The person riding the stairlift sits on a seat connected to the chair lift track. A track built into the side of the stairs guides the chair forward. These are best suited to straight staircases; however, they can also work on curved staircases. Some seats have an armrest across the thighs or even a seat belt to give extra support or protection during transportation.

2 – Curved Stairlifts

If you have a curved staircase, consider buying a curved stairlift model that is better equipped to go around corners. Curved stairlifts for narrow stairs are also available as long as the stairs meet the minimum width requirements for narrow stairlifts. Bear in mind that a curved stairlift may set you back more than a straight stairlift designed for straight stairs.

3 – Standing Stairlifts

Standing stair lifts are a good option for those who find it more difficult to bend their legs or hip joints. However, they are only effective if the lift user can stand on their own without assistance.

4 – Perch Stairlifts

This more niche stairlift is another option for those who struggle with knee problems. The stairlift user can sit on the perch seat without having to bend their knees too much. A perch-seat stairlift can work well on a straight staircase; however, it is sometimes considered a less secure option when installed on curved staircases.

5 – Swivel Seat Stairlifts

These seats are an excellent choice because they allow you to turn your seat so that you can reach the landing more quickly and easily. They can be motorised or manual.

6 – Outdoor Stairlifts

Outdoor stairlifts are available if you have straight stairs outside your home. These fold up and don’t stick out much from the wall when not in use. They also have rubber tracks, making them safe to use outside. They appear a bit different from inside stairlifts but work the same way and can be just as reliable. To make them extra secure, they often have safety bars for support if needed.

Stairlifts For Narrow Staircases

If you have particularly narrow staircases, you may require a stairlift that is specially designed for narrow staircases. These typically require a minimum width of about 26 to 29 inches and will be modelled especially to navigate tight corners and avoid clash points.

They might be costly but will save you a lot of hassle when it comes to navigating your narrow staircase and make it safer for both the stairlift user and other stair users on the narrow staircase.

Options For Low Ceilings

Many stairlifts require a minimum of 7 feet of headroom to be installed, so check that your ceilings meet the minimum required standard before purchasing a stairlift. If you have low ceilings, then you may need to get a custom-made lift.

A stairlift manufacturer will measure your seated height to make sure that you can comfortably fit in the lift when seated. Bear in mind that you will need extra headroom if you opt for perch stairlifts in your home. A stairlift manufacturer will measure your seated height to make sure that you can comfortably fit in the lift when seated. Bear in mind that you will need extra headroom if you opt for perch stairlifts in your home. 

dimensions for a stairlift

Stair Lift Electrical Requirements  

Understanding stair lift electrical requirements is crucial for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of your mobility solution. Stairlifts require a standard electrical outlet to operate, highlighting the importance of having accessible power sources near the staircase. This necessity underscores the need for proper planning and installation, ensuring that stairlifts are not only functional but also comply with safety standards.

Step 1 – Assessing Electrical Outlets

Firstly, assess the proximity of electrical outlets to the staircase. If your home does not have an outlet near the stairs, you may need to consider having one installed by a professional electrician. This step ensures that the stair lift can be powered without the need for unsafe extension cords or significant alterations to your home’s electrical system.

Step 2 – Surge Protection

Secondly, ensure that your stair lift is equipped with a surge protector. Surge protectors are essential for safeguarding the stairlift’s electrical components from potential damage caused by power surges. If your stairlift does not come with a built-in surge protector, it is advisable to have one installed by an expert. This precaution not only extends the lifespan of your stairlift but also enhances its reliability.

Incorporating these stairlift requirements into your planning process will facilitate a smoother installation and operation. By ensuring that your stair lift’s electrical needs are met, you can enjoy the benefits of increased mobility and independence within your home, without compromising on safety or convenience.

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.


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Saving Space With a Compact Stairlift

If you have a narrow staircase with not much room at the bottom of the stairs, then you may need to make some adjustments to the stairlift track. Some stairlift makers may be able to add a hinged track to the end of your stairlift so that the lift can be stored when not in use. Alternatively, a curved track helps move the chair away from the top and bottom of the staircase, creating more space on the landing.

Another way to save space at the end of your stairlift is to look into compact stairlifts. These come with a foldaway seat and folding footrest. Being able to fold away the footrest and the rigid seat when the lift isn’t in use will make sure you have enough space to comfortably manoeuvre in your home.

The stairlifts are designed to be intentionally small, with armrests and footrests that may be folded up and out of the way when the stairlift is not in use. Its small design and foldaway seat make it a useful choice if you live with other people who need to use the staircase and have limited living space.

These compact stairlifts may also be of benefit if you live in a home with low ceilings. Contact your provider and see if you can get a free stairlift quote for a compact model.

stair lift sizes

How Much Do Stairlifts Cost?

The cost of different stair lifts will vary depending on what you require from them. If you are worried about the cost, consider buying reconditioned stairlifts or second-hand stairlifts for your home, as these can be cheaper. Most stairlift providers will provide you with a free quote, so if you have any questions, get in touch with a stairlift specialist to discuss the best stairlift for you.

Our Final Thoughts

This article has provided a comprehensive overview of stairlift dimensions and options, offering valuable insights for individuals considering a stairlift for their home. Here are seven key pieces of information presented in this article:

1. Stairlifts significantly improve home mobility for individuals with difficulty climbing stairs.

2. Accurate staircase measurements are crucial for selecting the right stairlift.

3. Various stairlift options are available to accommodate different user needs and staircase configurations.

4. Maintenance and care are essential for ensuring the stairlift’s longevity and reliability.

5. Consulting with stairlift specialists can provide tailored advice and ensure accurate measurements.

6. The installation process should be carefully considered, especially for homes with narrow staircases or low ceilings.

7. Taking informed steps after reading the article, such as measuring your staircase and consulting with specialists, can lead to a successful stairlift installation.

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
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  • Option 3 – Leave your contact details and Acorn will get in touch with you

Option 1 – Call Acorn Stairlifts Directly


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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

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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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1. What is the minimum width for a stair lift to be installed?

The minimum width for a stair lift installation is typically 28 inches. This dimension is crucial to ensure there is adequate stair lift space requirements for safe and efficient operation.

2. Can stairlifts be fitted on all types of staircases, considering stair lift space requirements?

Yes, stairlifts can be installed on various types of staircases, including straight, curved, and those with landings, as long as the stair lift space requirements, particularly the minimum width for a stair lift, are met.

3. How is the track length for a stairlift determined, and what are the stair lift space requirements?

Stairlift track lengths are calculated by measuring your staircase from the bottom to the top. The process must consider the minimum width for a stair lift to ensure the track can be accommodated within the available space.

4. What options are available for stairlifts in narrow staircases, and what is the minimum width for a stair lift in such cases?

For narrow staircases, specific stairlift models are designed to fit spaces as narrow as 26 to 29 inches, addressing the stair lift space requirements for tighter areas while ensuring safety and functionality.

5. What needs to be considered for homes with low ceilings?

Homes with low ceilings need to verify that they meet the minimum height requirement, typically around 7 feet, to accommodate the stair lift. If the ceiling is lower, bespoke solutions may be explored to meet the stair lift space requirements.

6. How do I choose the right stairlift, taking into account the minimum width for a stair lift and other space requirements?

Choosing the right stairlift involves assessing your staircase’s dimensions, including the minimum width for a stair lift, your personal mobility needs, and any specific features you might require. A consultation with a stairlift specialist can help identify the best model for your home’s stair lift space requirements.

7. Are there outdoor stairlifts that fit the minimum width for a stair lift and meet outdoor space requirements?

Outdoor stairlifts are designed for exterior steps and are made to withstand the elements, fitting staircases that meet the minimum width for a stair lift and other outdoor stair lift space requirements.

8. What are the electrical requirements for a stairlift?

Stairlifts typically need a standard electrical outlet near the stairs. It’s essential to ensure your home meets these stair lift space requirements for installation, including the minimum width for a stair lift and access to power.

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