We figured we should expand a bit on the type of topics we cover to have something for the less fortunate people as well. Yes, this is not exactly a fitness topic, but it’s definitely going to be useful for some anyway, especially those who have mobility issues or have someone in the family who does.
With that being said, let us tell you that you can find a really wide range of wheelchairs today. Many of them come with their own unique features, so you would probably want to be a bit specific with your requirements in order to choose one that fits the bill perfectly for you.
As for what to keep in mind, the comfort, convenience, whether self propelled or caretaker propelled, pricing, etc are believed to be some of the more important factors to consider. Now, without further ado, let’s jump straight to finding out what the different types of wheelchairs bring to the table.
Types of Wheelchairs
As mentioned above, wheelchairs come in many different types to suit the needs of different people. The price, design as well as the features may differ quite a bit from one type to another.
We will be talking about what seem to be some of the more common types of wheelchairs out there.
This wheelchair requires you to either self propel or have a caretaker propel it. However, most sub-types of this wheelchair require self-propelling, though there are some that call for the assistance of a caretaker.
This is primarily because they are designed in a way that it wouldn’t be possible for the person sitting on them to reach the wheels.
An ergonomic wheelchair is usually considerably more lightweight and durable than manual wheelchairs. It also comes in a well-thought-out design that’s aimed at helping the disabled person avoid common health issues such as pain in lower back and bottom.
It’s one of the most popular types of wheelchair, but that’s hardly surprisingly given what it has to offer. Apart from what we mentioned above, it also comes with a reasonably good level of cushioning, which not only means better comfort, but also better durability as it helps it be considerably more resistant to attacks from bacteria and other microorganisms, staining as well as odor.
Ultra Lightweight Wheelchairs
The name itself does a pretty good job of explaining what this wheelchair is all about. Basically, if you’re looking for a wheelchair that’s surprisingly lightweight, well foldable but still sufficiently durable, an ultra lightweight wheelchair may turn out to be a great fit for you.
Similarly, it’s probably also going to be ideal if you or the disabled person you’re buying it for travels frequently. The weight is usually just in the range of 24-35 pounds, which adds to the portability – making it more convenient to use while traveling.
An ultra lightweight wheelchair may actually also come with many other impressive features, depending on how much you’re willing to shell out. The style, fit and performance is something that may vary as well, with obviously the more expensive products turning out to be better.
Apart from that, the other features that many ultra lightweight wheelchairs come with include swing-away footrests, flexible frame that lets you adjust the height according to your convenience, as well as other adjustable components.
Although similar to ultra lightweight wheelchairs, lightweight wheelchairs actually seem to the more popular option today. This may be because they offer a lot of advantages that are similar to their “ultra” counterparts, but are usually still priced considerably cheaper.
However, it seems one of the most important reasons for their popularity is also the fact that they are believed to be a much-needed upgrade for those typical heavy wheelchairs out there, which are considered to be a very poor option if you’re plagued with physical problems.
The lightweight ones, however, manage to offer a big-time relief from those issues, and have apparently hence become a mainstream option nowadays.
As far as the weight is concerned, it may range from 29-35 lbs. However, many times, these wheelchairs are designed specifically to deal better with a particular health condition or better suit some particular lifestyle options. And despite not being as lightweight as ultra lightweight wheelchairs, they still weigh significantly less than other typical options.
This also helps them offer better portability and flexibility (being easier to fold). However, you may also want to keep in mind that usually, the maximum weight capacity is 550 lbs or less.
First things first, a transport wheelchair is specifically designed to be ultra portable, which makes it the best option for traveling hands down. Some of its key features include a lightweight, portable frame and ultra small wheels.
However, as the wheels are very small, it’s not possible to self propel this wheelchair. Any person using it is going to need the help of a caretaker. This is the reason it’s also known as a “companion wheelchair”.
These wheelchairs usually weigh 18-29 lbs, and come with features that add to the convenience and comfort such as armrests, swing-leg rests and side panels.
These wheelchairs seem to be the most common option out there. While they don’t come with many of the advantages that some of the other types of wheelchairs discussed above do, but they seem to be a pretty good fit all the same, especially for their price point.
Unless you’re looking for something too cheap, you may be able to find a durable product with good back support for a decent price. Here are some of the important technical specifications of this wheelchair:
- Weight – usually over 35 lbs
- Seat width – 16-20 inches
- Maximum weight capacity – up to 250 lbs
Many of them come with armrests, and are reasonably durable and well designed.
There are also some other types of wheelchairs such as recliner wheelchairs, tilt wheelchairs, active wheelchairs and more. However, they are not as common as the ones discussed above, and usually believed to be ideal only if have some very specific needs.