best electric wheelchairs

Best Electric Wheelchair in 2021 (Comparison, Buyers Guide and Payment Options)

We must admit that electric wheelchairs have changed a lot of lives for the better. Apart from improving a person’s sense of independence and enabling them to perform their tasks and everyday activities more conveniently, an electric wheelchair relieves physical strain for both wheelchair users and their caregivers who’ve been using a manual wheelchair for a long time.

However, switching from manual to motorized wheelchairs can be a tough decision to make. Seniors are often hesitant to make a purchase, and it usually results from a hefty price tag, complex insurance processes, and whether they can get accustomed to a new chair.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to learn more about reputable names in the electric wheelchair industry, their financing options, and the 5 best electric wheelchairs with all the features necessary for travel and home use.

How We Chose the Best Power Wheelchair




There are several key factors we kept in mind while choosing the best electric wheelchair. These include the price, battery life, warranty, financing options, and the quality of basic features one electric wheelchair has.

Best Electric Wheelchair Comparison




We have chosen the five most reputable electric wheelchair brands whose products are worth considering. Take a closer look at the following comparison chart that contains essential information about each of the brands:

Electric Wheelchair Brand

Model We Chose

Warranty on Frame

Medicare Coverage Available

Financing Available

Average Price

Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair 5 years No Yes $1,495
Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair Lifetime Likely Depends on the dealer $1,575
Pride Mobility Go-Chair Travel Power Wheelchair 5 years Likely Depends on the dealer $1,509
Porto Mobility Ranger D09 3 years No Yes $2,499
Hoveround Hoveround LX5 Electric Wheelchair 5 years Likely No $2,495

Warranty

Buying a new electric is a substantial investment, which is why a warranty plays a vital role in choosing a specific model. In addition, a warranty helps you ensure your investment wasn’t in vain and that you can rely on the company if the problems occur within the first year or more. That’s why we excluded companies without a warranty.

Price

Since electric wheelchairs are heavy-duty devices, you may see that some models may cost about $10,000. Still, you may find decent products from $1,000 to $6,000.

Wheel Drive

Electric wheelchairs typically have from four to six wheels. However, only two wheels can receive power directly from the motor, while the rest will stabilize the chair. There are three types of wheel drive. While the mid-wheel drive is the best for turning around in tight spaces, front- and rear-wheel drive provide smooth rides and can handle outdoor terrain better than the mid-wheel method.

Turning Radius

The turning radius refers to the smallest turn electric wheelchairs can make. If the turning radius is smaller, the chair is more suitable for indoor use and small spaces. A typical turning radius goes between 20” and 35,” but you may notice that bigger chairs tend to have larger turning radiuses.

Keep in mind that the angle of the footrest and the wheel drive impact the turning radius.

Travel Range

The travel range refers to the mileage the electric wheelchair can travel before you need to recharge it. It varies from 5 to 20 miles, and it can be shorter than the manufacturer states if the wheelchair user is heavy, the terrain is rocky, or the battery is too old.

If you are looking for the best travel electric wheelchair, ensure you get one with a high travel range so that you can spend more quality time outside.

What is the Best Electric Wheelchair You Can Buy Today?

1.      Best Lightweight Electric Wheelchair: Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

Key features: Compact; Easily maneuverable; Basket under the seat for personal belongings

Maximum speed

Ground clearance

Turning radius

Travel range per charge

Maximum weight capacity

Wheel drive

Dimensions

3.5 mph 2.5” 26” Up to 15.5 miles 300 lbs. Rear 36” x 22.5”

The Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair is an excellent rear-drive electric wheelchair that allows you to get around in tight spaces quite easily. You can quickly break it down into four lightweight pieces and transport it wherever you want.

This power chair is incredibly easy to use. It is highly maneuverable and excellent for apartments, airplanes, and getting in and out of small bathrooms. In addition, it can accommodate users up to 300 pounds, who agree that this chair is a perfect combination of comfort, support, and durability.

PROS// Easily removable batteries for quick charging; Lots of storage; Suitable for indoor and outdoor use; Available in six vibrant colors.

CONS// Not comfortable enough to spend a whole day in it.

Customer review from Amazon: Ease of assembling and operation. Great size for our home style. My wife loves it.

2.      Best Foldable Electric Wheelchair: Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair with Footrest and Batteries

Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair with Footrest and Batteries

Key features: Highly adjustable; Seat belt, heel loops, swing-away footrests, and calf strap; Best value

Maximum speed

Ground clearance

Turning radius

Travel range per charge

Maximum weight capacity

Wheel drive

Dimensions

5 mph 4” 30” Up to 15 miles 300 lbs. Rear 42” x 24”

The Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair from Drive Medical is proof that you don’t need to break the bank to get a high-quality motorized wheelchair with great amenities. It comes with free batteries, cushions, seat belts, and other features that provide passengers with incredible opportunities.

Apart from being functional and highly maneuverable, this electric powerchair is comfortable due to its padded armrests, cushions, and swing-away footrests. Additionally, it is packed with an array of safety features for enjoying everyday activities with peace of mind.

PROS// Portable; Flat-free, non-marking tires; Padded, adjustable, and removable armrests; 6-degree climbing angle.

CONS// It can be difficult to assemble, and the user manual can be confusing.

Customer review from Amazon: It suits me to a T and handles beautifully. I got the feel of it in less than 5 minutes. This chair gives me the mobility I need to do the things I want to do.

3.      Best Travel Electric Wheelchair: Pride Go-Chair Travel Power Wheelchair

Pride Go-Chair Travel Power Wheelchair

Key features: Available in 8 colors; Improved agility; Suitable for traveling

Maximum speed

Ground clearance

Turning radius

Travel range per charge

Maximum weight capacity

Wheel drive

Dimensions

3.7 mph 1.8” 25.5” 8.7 – 13.2 miles 300 lbs. Rear 28.5” x 25.5”

When we talk about the best electric wheelchair for the elderly who love spending quality time on the road, we must mention the Pride Go-Chair Power Wheelchair. This chair offers the ultimate comfort and convenience you’ll notice while transporting it or maneuvering through tight spaces.

The Go-Chair provides smooth movement and enough storage to take your belonging wherever you go. It is excellent for gaining more independence and mobility whether you use it at home or while traveling.

PROS// Five-piece disassembly; Big footplate; Highly adjustable armrests; Best electric wheelchair for home use and outdoors.

CONS// It could be better if it had more ground clearance.

Customer review from Amazon: This was affordable, shipped free, easy to put together myself, turns on a dime, and has speed control. This was perfect for my now 94-year-old mom.

4.      Best Power Chair for Everyday Use: Hoveround LX5 Electric Wheelchair

Hoveround LX5 Electric Wheelchair 1

Key features: Designed for everyday use; Unmatched comfort and support; The soft-touch joystick control

Maximum speed

Ground clearance

Turning radius

Travel range per charge

Maximum weight capacity

Wheel drive

Dimensions

4 mph 2.5” 22.7” Up to 12 miles 300 lbs. Rear 38” x 24”

Hoveround electric wheelchairs feature an exceptional Round for a Reason® design, which provides straightforward navigation in tight spaces and corners without damaging furniture or walls. The LX5 model is no exception. It offers great amounts of flexibility, freedom, and independence to passengers, allowing them to enjoy any given opportunity.

The LX5 is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It can withstand slight obstacles and deliver top-notch comfort and support throughout the day.

PROS// All-day comfort and support; Unique Round for a Reason technology; Heavy-duty electric motor; Quiet.

CONS// It is too slow.

Customer review from Amazon: For me, this was a very good decision. Two motors, a comfortable seat, and no jerky movements from the controller. Best to you.

5.      Best Heavy-Duty Power Wheelchair: Porto Mobility Ranger D09

Porto Mobility Ranger D09

Key features: Lightweight and heavy-duty; Powerful and sturdy motor; Side batteries

Maximum speed

Ground clearance

Turning radius

Travel range per charge

Maximum weight capacity

Wheel drive

Dimensions

5 mph 3.7” 33” Up to 18 miles 400 lbs. Rear 34” x 23”

The Porto Mobility Ranger D09 is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a heavy-duty yet lightweight electric wheelchair. It can withstand up to 400 lbs., allowing you to fold it and put it in compact car trunks easily. Another excellent feature includes side batteries you can pop out quickly, making your wheelchair lighter and more suitable for transporting.

The Ranger D09 rides smoothly through mud, grass, gravel, dirt, snow, and even sandy surfaces. It is convenient for indoor and outdoor use, and you will always feel safe thanks to electromagnetic brakes for enhanced protection.

PROS// Gets around tight areas easily; Climbs up steep hills; Airline-approved; Long battery life.

CONS// The seat might be too low for tall users.

Customer review from Amazon: I like the ease of folding the chair, putting it in the trunk of my car. Driving the chair is a breeze.

Electric Wheelchair Payment Options

Since electric wheelchairs can be pretty expensive, users tend to explore different payment options based on their budget and specific needs.

The most common payment solutions include:

  • Medicare: A Medicare-enrolled doctor will need to verify you need an electric wheelchair to perform everyday activities around your home. However, Medicare often approves older styles only or offers coverage for rentals.
  • Private insurance: A private insurance policy often covers the same amount as Medicare does. Consult your insurance company to get more details about the coverage you can get.
  • Rentals: The amount of money you’ll pay for a rental wheelchair depends on the location and company. It usually costs about $15 a day or $450 a month. This is a convenient option to consider after surgery or when your regular wheelchair is being repaired.
  • Out-of-pocket: If Medicare or your insurance policy won’t cover a new wheelchair, you’ll need to buy one out-of-pocket. If you’re on a tight budget, consider more cost-effective solutions for everyday functionality.
  • Financing plans: If you cannot pay the total price out-of-pocket immediately, you can take advantage of a company’s payment plans. This may come with small interest fees.

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