If you or a loved one use an electric wheelchair or plan on purchasing one, knowing how much they weigh will become critical. After all, you may need to transport the wheelchair for travel.
How Much Does an Electric Wheelchair Weigh?
Electric wheelchairs vary in weight between 50 to 250 pounds. Generally speaking, the heavier the wheelchair, the greater the durability, though this is not always the case.
Why Is the Weight of an Electric Wheelchair So Essential?
You need to know the weight of your wheelchair for various reasons. Lighter wheelchairs are generally easier to maneuver, but they can lack durability, especially for those who are overweight.
You need to consider your lifestyle when purchasing an electric wheelchair. Will a loved one be able to lift the wheelchair for transport, or will the weight require a ramp?
What Determines the Weight of an Electric Wheelchair?
There are a few factors that determine how much an electric wheelchair weighs. Examining the following will help you when you are selecting the right wheelchair for yourself or a loved one.
One of the most common materials for electric wheelchair frames is aluminum. This metal is used because it is lightweight yet durable.
Today, some manufacturers are using tubular steel to make electric wheelchairs. Steel is going to offer a higher level of durability and allow for a higher weight limit, but it will also be heavier to transport.
The seat of an electric wheelchair is one of the most significant factors in how much an electric wheelchair weighs. The seat materials can have different components, including the materials of the cushions.
Generally, seat cushions made of air are going to be much lighter. Cushions made with foam and gel are going to be much heavier. Cushions made with foam or gel will last longer and offer more comfort.
The accessories are also a factor determining the weight of an electric wheelchair. Anything extra you add to the wheelchair is going to add to the weight.
Some accessories can be removed for transport, so keep this in mind.
The battery is also a determiner of the weight of a wheelchair. Some batteries are heavier than others. The heaviest of batteries are those that are high-capacity and last longer between charges.
You will need to weigh the weight against power offerings to determine which is more important to you.
Tips for Choosing an Electric Wheelchair
Now that you know the typical weight of electric wheelchairs and some of the components that determine the weight, it is time to select the right one for your needs.
- The seat is going to be one of the most essential components, especially when spending a long time in the chair. Choose a wheelchair that has a comfortable seat that reduces pressure points and offers ample back support.
- The turning radius is also a critical consideration. Smaller turning radiuses are especially important for maneuvering through your home. The average electric wheelchair has a 20 to 35-inch turning radius.
- The battery life is also an important consideration. If you use the wheelchair for long periods, you will need to search for a chair that has a long battery life. The battery life of most wheelchairs ranges from 10 to 25 miles.
- The stability level offered by the wheelchair is also a critical factor to consider. Make sure the chair is stable enough so that it will not tip over.
Safety Tips for Using an Electric Wheelchair
Using an electric wheelchair offers mobility and maneuverability that manual chairs cannot. When using a power wheelchair, you should practice the following safety tips.
- Make sure to remain patient in learning how to use your new power wheelchair.
- Charge the battery each night to provide it with plenty of power for the following day.
- Try to avoid depleting the battery by more than 80%.
- Turn off the wheelchair during transport.
- Do not place too much weight on the footplates or armrests.
- Practice caution on slippery or uneven terrain.
- Regularly check the tire inflation.
- Perform regular maintenance.
Now, you know the weight of most electric wheelchairs and what it takes to choose the right one and use it safely. Using this information will help you avoid problems when shopping for a wheelchair or transporting the one you currently own.