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Best wheelchair

Which wheelchairs are best?

Whether you’ve sprained an ankle or broken your leg, self-propelled wheelchairs are ideal for short-term use and recovery. These types of wheelchairs are easy to transport in any standard vehicle and usually fold or collapse. They are a cost-effective option and often are cheaper to buy rather than rent, even when used for a limited time.

When choosing which wheelchair is best, think about who will be using the wheelchair and where. The Karman S-305 Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair is a comfortable, lightweight, durable chair that is great for someone who needs easy portability.

What to know before you buy a wheelchair

Size and weight capacity 

Before purchasing a wheelchair, consider the size and weight of the user. A wheelchair used by a small child does not need a heavy-duty frame, whereas a larger user will appreciate the durability and sturdiness of one. Have an expert fit you for your wheelchair. This ensures you get the proper size.

Primary use locations

If you will use your wheelchair mostly in one indoor location, measure the doorways to ensure your choice of wheelchair will fit easily through them. For a wheelchair that will be used frequently outside, purchase a chair with durable, flat-proof wheels.

Ease of transport and storage

For someone who is always on the go, a wheelchair that is easy to collapse and transport in the trunk of a car is a convenient option. Look for a wheelchair that folds in on itself and has removable footrests. This also makes it simple to store the wheelchair in a closet when it is not in use.


Check and see if the wheelchair you’re considering has a warranty. If a part of your chair breaks, you don’t want to have to pay an expensive repair bill. This is even more important if you’ll be using your chair often or on rough terrain.

What to look for in a quality wheelchair 

Armrest and footrests

All wheelchairs come with some form of armrests. If comfort is your chief concern, opt for a wheelchair that has padded armrests. There also are armrests that curve in a way that makes them easier to navigate under tables. Not all wheelchairs come with footrests. For those that do, they often are removable and adjustable. Many footrests swing out of the way without detaching for easy standing.

Chair weight

If you’ll frequently be transporting your wheelchair by car, look for a wheelchair with an ultra-lightweight frame. These wheelchairs can weigh as little as 29 pounds. Having a chair that is easy to lift in and out of a trunk will save your back and shoulders from strain.


If at all possible, test your wheelchair before buying it. Sitting in the chair itself gives you the best information about whether or not it is a comfortable fit. If you can’t test it out first, read reviews about what others had to say about the chair’s comfort and quality. Chairs with a poor design can cause back pain and other discomfort.

How much you can expect to spend on a wheelchair

A wheelchair costs $100-$800. The more expensive wheelchairs usually are lighter in weight while still remaining durable.

Wheelchair FAQ

Q. Do you need to get fitted for your wheelchair?

A. Getting fitted for your wheelchair by an expert is essential. Using a wheelchair with the wrong fit can lead to numerous aches, pains and other health problems. A wheelchair that fits you properly is comfortable to sit in and operate.

Q. Is it better to rent or buy?

A. Before deciding to rent or buy, compare costs. If you only need a wheelchair for a few days or for one event, renting might be a better option. However, for a user who needs a wheelchair for several months, purchasing can be more cost effective. Don’t forget to factor insurance coverage into your considerations.

What’s the best wheelchair to buy?

Top wheelchair

Karman S-305 Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair

What you need to know: This is an excellent wheelchair that is comfortable, durable and lightweight.

What you’ll love: The wheelchair has ergonomic armrest pads, handrims and seating system. The seat pad is antibacterial and comfortable. The chair only weighs 29 pounds.

What you should consider: This chair is more expensive and its quick-release wheels can be difficult to operate.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top wheelchair for the money

Drive Medical Cruiser III

What you need to know: This is an overall good wheelchair for an affordable price.

What you’ll love: This lightweight wheelchair has flipback arms that make for easy transfer. It is lightweight and foldable, making it convenient to store. The padded nylon seat is comfortable and easy to clean, and this wheelchair fits larger users well.

What you should consider: This wider wheelchair can be difficult to navigate in tighter spaces.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Medlife K4 Lightweight Wheelchair

What you need to know: This sturdy, comfortable wheelchair works great for use at a table or desk.

What you’ll love: The desk-length arms make this wheelchair comfortable to use while sitting at a table. The configuration is highly versatile, with both arm and leg rests being adjustable. The frame is sturdy and relatively lightweight with the entire chair weighing only 45 pounds.

What you should consider: This wheelchair does not come with shock absorbers, so this can make using it outside a bumpy ride.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Morgan Freeman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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