Why Use a Stairlift?
Stairlifts are mechanical seats that lift people up and down stairs. If you are recovering from an injury or have a condition that reduces your mobility, you need a stairlift to reach and get down from the upper floors of your home.
There are two types of stairlifts: straight and curved stairlifts. While a straight stairlift travels in a straight line along the stairs, curved stairlifts are required for stairs with landings and bends. Some of our favorite stairway lifts, like the Bruno Elite Stairlift and the Acorn 120 Superglide Straight Stairlift, travel in straight lines. However, some excellent stairlifts like the Acorn 180 Curved Stairlift are meant for stairs with bends.
Stairlifts: What to Look For
All stair elevators look alike and share core features, but stairlift manufacturers differentiate their products with additional features and improved capabilities. We've identified the key features to look for in a stairlift when considering one for your home, and you can find more information by reading our articles on stairlifts.
Each stairlift has a maximum weight capacity. Usually, this ranges from 250 to 400 pounds. While a high weight capacity makes for a heavy stairlift, a stairlift with low maximum weight capacity not only climbs too slowly, but may also be unsafe to ride for heavy users.
Stairlifts run on electricity, but to keep them running during power outages, they also must have battery backups. Battery-powered stairlifts run smoother and quieter than those that run solely on AC electricity from the power grid. In some models, the battery charges only when the chair is at its base station. However, other stairway lifts can recharge anywhere on the track laid along the rails.
A stairlift ride is short, but it must also be comfortable. This means that a stairlift seat must be ergonomic, secure and adjustable. Most stairlifts have padded seats with seat belts. Both the seat and the footrest should fold away when a stairlift is not in use. Swivels and height adjustments are other seat features that separate the premium stairlifts from the good ones.
The best stairlifts have cutoff sensors in their carriages and footrests. These sensors monitor the path of a stairlift for obstructions. When there is an obstruction in the way of a stairlift, these sensors immediately pull it to a stop, helping prevent accidents and damage to the stairlift.
A stairlift with a key switch cannot be used without its key. A key switch prevents unauthorized use of a stairlift. This feature is especially useful in houses with children. Without the key to activate it, the stairlift stays at its base station and continues to charge.
Call and Send Controls
A call and send feature is an important capability for a stairlift with multiple users. Stairlifts with this feature have infrared remote controls to call them down or send them up the stairs. This is especially useful for couples who share a stairlift.
Stairlifts ensure that every floor of your home is accessible to you even when climbing and descending stairs become difficult. Make sure to get a full-featured stairlift from a supplier that offers home installation and maintenance services.