Best Wheelchairs for Seniors

Learn about the best wheelchairs for seniors, their features, read reviews, check out tips for buying a wheelchair and view our selections.

Best Wheelchairs for Seniors for 2022

The best wheelchairs allow our elders or our dearly loved disabled or diseased people to lead a dignified life. Wheelchairs help in giving mobility freedom to the disabled or seniors allowing them to be independent. 

Though wheelchairs are not the ultimate comfort option, they are the best way to make their lives more convenient. 

This article provides in-depth knowledge about the features required for designing the best wheelchairs for seniors to improve their quality of life. Now, let’s get into the topic without any delay.

Our Top Reviews

Invacare Tracer SX5 Wheelchair

  • It weighs around 34 pounds making it easy to transport.
  • We can adjust the seat height between 17.5” to 19.5” using the built-in dual axles seat heights facility.

Read Review

Drive Medical TR39E-SV Lightweight Folding Transport Wheelchair

  • This chair weighs about 26 lbs. and can handle a weight capacity of 250 lbs.
  • Some accessories like foam wheelchair cushions and leg pads are included to provide the user safety and comfort.

Read Review

Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight

  • The seat heights are adjustable using the dual axles provided. 
  • The front and rear wheels are sealed to maintain their longevity.

Read Review

Featherweight 33 lbs. Power Chair

  • Foldability- The chair folds super small. 
  • The light weight of 33 lbs.

Read Review

Drive Medical Cirrus Plus

  • The seat can be padded back and front for reclining purposes.
  • A storage pocket is included at the backside of the seat.

Read Review

Types of Wheelchairs for Seniors

When picking the best chair for your elders, you should go with deep research and brainstorm all the possible options. As it is a big and long-term decision, you should decide with utmost care.

The user’s comfort is the top priority. Jot down the requirements or the features your chair should have on your iPad, and check them with your consumer and in online stores. The most important question is – how the chair moves?

Either with the physical force or some external force. Other factors include weight, style, performance, comfort, and foldability. All these are discussed in detail in the coming sections of this article, so keep reading.

Wheelchairs are categorized into two types – the first type will work using physical force and are called manual wheelchairs. The second type will work on external electric power and are motor-driven or electric wheelchairs.

Types of Manual Wheelchairs

Manual Wheelchairs work either by the occupant force or by the companion-propelled force. It consists of the pushing bars and the handles on the back that cause the chair to move forward. These are economically cheap and easy to store and transport compared to the electric Wheelchairs. Manual Wheelchairs are further categorized below

1. Standard Wheelchairs

This wheelchair is designed in a traditional way, not easier to transport and propel because of its heavy weight. It was designed with very cheap material and did not offer any comfort to the occupant. Frequent use of the chair cannot sustain for a long time. The Weight of the standard wheelchair is around 36 pounds.

2. Lightweight Wheelchairs

These are designed for active people and weigh less than the standard Wheelchairs. Some customization features such as backrests, footrests, and armrests are included to provide comfort to the user. It is easy to transport because of its low weight, less than 36 pounds. Some versions are available in Lightweight variations, such as High-Strength lightweight wheelchairs and Ultra-lightweight wheelchairs.

3. High-Strength lightweight wheelchairs

The chair’s weight is between 30 to 34 pounds, and it is more durable than the standard wheelchairs. These chairs provide comfort during travel and are ideal for a person who loves traveling.

4. Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchairs

These chairs are lightweight, easy to control, and weigh less than 30 pounds. People who spend much time in a wheelchair can benefit from ultra-lightweight wheelchairs.

Types of Electric Wheelchairs

Electric Wheelchairs work with the help of rechargeable batteries and motors. Batteries will work for 10 miles after continuous use. These chairs consist of 4 to 6 wheels. They offer stability and provide a chance of movement for those who are bound to the room due to some health problems. 

Electric Wheelchairs are categorized into three types:

1. Front-wheel drive

Two large drive wheels are placed at the front part of the chair, with two smaller casters at the back part. The combination of these wheels and casters provides stability and flexibility to the chair. 

The chairs can go over bumps and curbs up to 2 inches high. Due to their small rotating radius, these drive systems can fishtail when turning at high speeds.

2. Rear-Wheel drive

Two large wheels used for driving are placed at the backend of the chair and two casters at the front end. Even at high speeds, these chairs can maintain stability and flexibility. These chairs are suited well for outdoor and rough terrains. 

3. Mid-Wheel drive

These chairs are designed by fixing six wheels to the chair. Two big wheels at the front part, two small wheels at the center, and the other two wheels at the back side of the chair. These are ideal for smaller indoor and flat outdoor spaces because of their tighter turning radius. On softer terrain, these wheelchairs can sink and lose traction. They are more difficult to transport and are reserved for people who need a wheelchair with a high weight capacity of 600 pounds.

Our Top Wheelchair Reviews

After thoroughly researching the wheelchairs available in the market, we have listed the best products in the manual and electronic wheelchairs. They are best in both performances as well as value for the price.

Manual Wheelchair Reviews

Invacare Tracer SX5 Wheelchair

Best Overall


  1. It weighs around 34 pounds making it easy to transport.
  2. We can adjust the seat height between 17.5” to 19.5” using the built-in dual axles seat heights facility.
  3. They are manufactured from high carbon steel, stronger than stainless steel.
  4. It comes with 14 gauge cross braces that add strength and durability to the chair.
  5. Footrest offers three elevations.
Invacare Tracer SX5 Wheelchair

Why Is It A Good Choice?

Highlights of this wheelchair include variable sizes, armrests, and footrests. The customization option for adjusting the seat height from 17.5” to 19.5” helps fine-tune the seat for the user’s convenience. You get superior maneuvering performance from urethane rear tires mounted on a “No Flex” wheel.
When compCompared other manual wheelchairs, these come with 5 different styles of padded leg rest- Aluminum footrests, composite footrests, Economy footrests, and padded Aluminum footrests, and Padded composite footrests.


  • Custom options are available to adjust the seat height.
  • Anti-tippers are included to prevent falling from the chair.
  • Provides high mobility performance with urethane rear tires.


  • It can rust if left in moisture-prone conditions.
  • Requires constant maintenance.

Drive Medical TR39E-SV Lightweight Folding Transport Wheelchair

Best Value


  1. This chair weighs about 26 lbs. and can handle a weight capacity of 250 lbs.
  2. Some accessories like foam wheelchair cushions and leg pads are included to provide the user safety and comfort.
  3. The wide seat width is 19 inches, and the seat-to-floor height is 39 inches.
  4. It provides a silver vein finish to protect the chair from scratches.
Drive Medical TR39E-SV Lightweight Folding Transport Wheelchair

Why Is It A Good Choice?

It is designed to fold into your user’s required size for easy carrying and storing. Compared with the other manual wheelchairs, they come with a swing-away footrest and a safety seat belt. The seat is made from nylon material that is easy to clean, and upholstery is included for easy folding of the chair. An attractive silver vein finishing is done to protect from scratches. The chair has fixed full arms, desk arms that can be detached, and a foldable back.

Compared with manual chairs like Invacare Tracer SX5 and Drive Medical Cruiser III lightweight, this chair comes with many customizable options in arm rests and footrests to enable customizable support.


  • It consists of a durable frame to provide stability to the occupant.
  • This chair is a great value for money with the advanced features included as per the user’s comfort.
  • A large seat is provided to sit well in the chair for a long time.


  • Not many customizable options are included in this chair.
  • The user cannot move the chair without any self-propelling force.
  • Composite wheels are not so great for outdoor rolling.

Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight

Least Expensive


  1. The seat heights are adjustable using the dual axles provided. 
  2. The front and rear wheels are sealed to maintain their longevity.
  3. It comes with a carbon steel frame covered in silver vein finishing.
  4. For easy transportation, you can detach the armrest.
  5. Front rigging is easily adjustable without any tools.
Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight

Why Is It A Good Choice?

This chair has enormous features at a low price compared to the other wheelchairs. Included features are swing-away footrests, detachable armrests, and a desk-length flip-back.  Dual axles are included for easy adjustment of the seat height. 


  • Requires low maintenance
  • The chair weighs around 35 to 38 lbs and is easy to transport
  • It is a great choice for those looking for a high-quality product on a low budget 


  • No Cons

Electric Wheelchair Reviews

Featherweight 33 lbs. Power Chair

Best Overall


  1. Foldability- The chair folds super small. 
  2. The light weight of 33 lbs.
  3. Support- This chair has a 1-inch seat, back cushions, and padded armrests for super comfort. 
  4. Airline Approved- the removable lithium battery allows the chair to be taken on an airplane.
Featherweight 33 lbs. Power Chair

Why Is It A Good Choice?

Its highlight features are its light weightiness in the electric wheelchairs. It is easy to fold, transport, and store. You can travel up to 13 miles on a single battery charge.

These wheelchairs are provided with dual axles for adjusting the chair height at different positions.


  • It is the lightest electric wheelchair which is around 33lbs.
  • The featherweight power chair collapses easily and folds into one piece.
  • This chair can be taken on an airplane.


  • Produces heat while operating.

Drive Medical Cirrus Plus

Best Value


  1. It looks similar to the manual wheelchair with the batteries and motors under the seat with a controller.
  2. The seat can be padded back and front for reclining purposes.
  3. A storage pocket is included at the backside of the seat.
  4. Includes a power failure alarm.
  5. Comes with a length-adjustable controller mount and adjustable tension upholstery. 
Drive Medical Cirrus Plus

Why Is It A Good Choice?

Efficient portability and an attractive steel cross-brace frame are highly desirable in wheelchairs. Its padded armrest that can be adjusted and detached as necessary makes it a good choice for high customization requirements. 

You can also add elevating leg rests that are sold separately. An adjustable seat belt is also included to provide more safety. An integrated programmable PG controller is programmed to monitor and operate the wheelchairs easily. 

The movement of the chair can be adjusted by the programmable controller making it the best among the other electric wheelchairs here.


  • Lightweight, customizable, attractive wheelchair made of a carbon steel frame. 
  • Customizable options are included for easy adjustment of the seat and rolling position.
  • This chair was tested for ANSI RESNA requirements to provide the consumers with additional security.


  • Difficult to pick the items stored in the basket.
  • This chair weighs around 97.2 pounds; while transporting the chair, you will require assistance.

Features to Consider for Your Wheelchair

Wheelchairs can greatly improve the quality of life. Choosing the right one is important to help you get around and do the things you enjoy. When you are planning to buy wheelchairs for your loved seniors, immediately consult a medical professional or a physical therapist. You will be given a wheelchair assessment referral. A wheelchair examination can help you determine which model is best for you and whether you should use one. 

When evaluating wheelchairs, you should take the following characteristics into account:

1. Comfort

Every wheelchair that is used frequently needs to be convenient. Here, the seat should be given the highest importance. The majority are either composed of vinyl or nylon. Some chairs can benefit from a cushion or personalized back support to make them more comfortable. Seat width and depth are other crucial factors to consider for ensuring that the user is completely comfortable. 

2. Cushions

The relaxation, comfort, and durability of a wheelchair seat can be improved by adding a cushion. Three types of cushions are widely used- Gel cushions can provide additional comfort, positioning cushions can improve a user’s navigational skills by correcting posture, and preventative cushions can decrease pressure and friction during prolonged use.

3. Type of Wheelchair

When choosing a wheelchair, this is probably the most crucial consideration. First, decide if you prefer traditional manual wheelchairs or more powerful electric wheelchairs. If you need more assistance, have a specific medical condition, or have restricted mobility, an electric wheelchair best suits this purpose.

If you only need a wheelchair occasionally or temporarily, a manual wheelchair might be more appropriate for your needs. Some people prefer one type over the other for personal or financial reasons.

If you opt for a manual wheelchair, you must choose between self-propelled and attendant-propelled wheelchairs. Wheelchairs that can be used independently have larger wheels and hand rims.

4. Size and Dimensions

The size of a wheelchair is important. It is critical to choose the correct size chair; otherwise, you may have difficulty fitting into it if it is too small or slipping out if it is too large. Make sure to get the width and height of the chair right.

Height, weight, and age factors should all be taken into consideration. Remember that wheelchairs come in various shapes and sizes for children and adults. Do not forget that each chair has a weight restriction. All models will display the overall seat dimensions (width and height). Examine them thoroughly and opt for a well-fitting chair.

5. Adequate Arm and Footrests

The purpose of the arm and footrest is to support and comfort you. They must be strong and secure when you enter and exit your wheelchair. There are numerous styles available for arm and footrests. Due to their length, range of motion, and ability to swing, your arm and leg rest will give you more comfort, flexibility, and adaptability.

6. Easy to Transport and Storage

Your chair’s portability and storage capabilities are among the most crucial elements. It must fit in your car and be light enough for you to lift and fold it. If you just use the chair only occasionally, it will need a storage place when not in use.

7. Durability

The chair you select should have robust wheels that handle all surfaces. Look for tires with low maintenance requirements and low repair costs, such as foam-filled tires. Choosing a chair with high traction is important if you live in a place with severe winters or a house with slick surfaces.

8. Backrest

Your requirements, health status, mobility, size, and other factors will affect the level of assistance you receive. You must choose a chair that offers good head and back support. If you need a lot of support, tilt-in-space wheelchairs have a variety of settings that you can choose from to personalize the chair to your needs and ensure total comfort.

How Much Should a Wheelchair Cost

Are you looking to buy a wheelchair for yourself or your loved ones and confused with the prices? The price of a wheelchair varies depending on the comforts they offer to the customer. Knowing them beforehand will help in getting a great value for your money.

Let us know how much does a manual and electric Wheelchair costs?

Manual Wheelchair Cost

The price you should be paying for a manual one depends on the features you require for your wheelchair. Features include special wheels, frames, restraint pins, reclining, customizable headrest, armrest, footrest, and seat position options. Some wheelchairs are designed for sports and bathroom purposes.

Standard wheelchair costs between $100 to $300

A lightweight wheelchair with the mentioned features will cost between $1,000 to $2,000

Electric Wheelchair Cost

These are expensive when compared with the electric chairs. These will cost between $3,000 to $30,000. Generally, a standard electric wheelchair consists of 4 to 6 wheels placed at the chair’s front, rear, or middle. 

You can also get a programmable wheelchair where you can customize the chair performance. Adjusting the brakes, speed, damping, and even storing your belongings in the basket provided to the electric wheelchair. If you require the utmost comfort, go with a rehab power chair that can be manufactured based on your custom requirements.

How to Purchase a Wheelchair (Does Medicare Cover It?)

You can buy the wheelchair at an online retail store or directly from the wheelchair selling offline stores. 

You will also have a special option: Medicare will cover 80% of the chair expenses. To avail of it, you should meet the guidelines defined by Medicare. 

  1. The physician should give a prescription stating the requirement for a wheelchair.
  2. Your health condition does not support you to move around the home without any assistance.
  3. You are facing difficulties in doing your basic routines without the help of a walker, cane, or crutch.
  4. Your wheelchair supplier and the doctor should enroll their details in Medicare.

If you meet the requirements, Medicare will finalize the amount you should be paying, and the rest will be taken care of by them.


Each of the best wheelchairs in manual and electric types has its specific features, technology, accessories, and so on. The comprehensive information about them is furnished here, so it might be easy to pick the best ones after reading this guide. I hope this information is sufficient to pick the best wheelchair for seniors.

Choose carefully as it will stay with you for many years, and don’t go with something that will not support your need for any reason. Invest your money in a good appliance and enjoy the service for a long time.