Choosing The Right Standard Wheelchair

Choosing The Right Standard Wheelchair

Standard wheelchairs offer a good amount of comfort and functionality. They provide enough support for people with mobility issues. Every individual needs the right wheelchair for their needs. With so many choices, picking the right one would take time.

Discover how to choose the suitable standard wheelchair for you and your loved one. Learn which factors and features to prioritize when selecting and buying one. Use this guide to get the best wheelchair to gain your independence back.

Types of Standard Wheelchairs

Standard wheelchairs are moved using the strength of an actual person. They’re categorized into five main types:

  • Lightweight: This is made of lightweight materials and usually weighs less than 50 lbs.
  • Transport/Companion: This is designed to be pushed by a companion or caregiver, not the user, as they have small wheels.
  • Reclining Back: This has a reclining seat that helps avoid straining the backs of the users.
  • Tilt-in-Space: It has a backseat that can tilt up to 45 degrees for better posture support.
  • Bariatric: This heavy-duty type can support more than 300 lbs.

9 Factors to Consider When Picking the Right Standard Wheelchair

Take note of these key factors when picking the ideal wheelchair for your specific needs:

1. Size and Dimensions

Standard wheelchairs come in a variety of sizes. You must get the one that fits your body type to ensure comfort. The wheelchair size depends on the measurements of its main components:

  • Seat Width

Make sure the wheelchair isn't too narrow or too broad. Measuring how wide your hips or thighs are at their widest part is wise. Then, add a one-inch allowance. This will ensure you have enough space for a comfortable seat.

  • Seat Depth

The ideal seat depth for any user is two fingers shorter than their upper leg length. Measure from the rear of your buttocks to the back of your knee and subtract about two inches.

  • Backseat Height

You can choose either a higher or lower backseat. It’s best to choose a high setting if others will assist you and go for a low setting if you move the chair by yourself. A high backseat goes over the shoulder blades to provide more support, while a low one doesn't.

  • Seat-to-Floor Height

When you sit, ensure your hips, knees, and ankles form right angles, like an L shape. Your knees mustn't be higher or lower than your hips to stay comfortable.

2. Weight Capacity

To ensure you can use the wheelchair for a long time, you need to check its maximum weight. It should match or exceed your weight for comfort, mobility, and safety.

3. Wheels and Tires

The type of tires a wheelchair has influences where you can use the chair. There are two common types of standard wheelchairs:

  • Solid Tires: These can navigate well on hard surfaces as they are solid tires. It’s low maintenance since it can never go flat.
  • Pneumatic Tires: These things can soak up bumps and rough surfaces.

    Solid tires last longer because they can't get punctured. But, the bouncy quality of air-filled tires is good for safety and comfort. It’s best to choose whichever you prefer and prioritize.

    4. Comfort and Support

    These two are necessary to ensure optimal wheelchair experience during your daily activities. A well-designed wheelchair should have good comfort and support features like:

    • Paddings or Cushions: These prevent straining and pressure points while sitting. They make wheelchairs more comfortable to sit on.

    • Adjustable Footrests and Armrests: These can provide personalized support to every user. You can position your feet and arms better to reduce fatigue risks.

    5. Turning Radius

    This measures the space you need to make a complete turn using a wheelchair. In confined or tight spaces, a wheelchair with a smaller turning radius is a better choice. It’s more convenient as it allows you to maneuver through corners and tight spots without a problem.

    6. Storage and Portability

    If you love traveling and going outdoors, you might need to transport your wheelchair frequently. For a portable unit, it should be foldable for easy storage. It should be light enough for easy carrying.

    7. Frame Material

    How long a wheelchair lasts isn't just about how it looks but also the kind of material used for its frame. These are the most common frame materials you can find:

    • Aluminum: This has good durability and is lightweight at the same time, making the wheelchair easy to use for a long time. It’s also more affordable compared to others.

    • Steel: This can be alloy, stainless, or carbon structural steel. It’s an extremely durable material.

    • Carbon Fiber: This lightweight material is lighter than aluminum and titanium. It’s also rigid and has exceptional strength.

    • Titanium: Aside from having a good strength-to-weight ratio, this is also relatively lightweight and corrosion-resistant, making it durable.

    8. Additional Features and Accessories

    Standard wheelchairs may come with various accessories. The most common one is a storage pouch or basket. This is extremely useful if you’re going out as you can keep your essentials in them. Some units may also come with cup or umbrella holders.

    Depending on your preferences and what would be useful, check what extra features and accessories your preferred wheelchair offers.

    9. Cost

    Standard wheelchairs have different price tags. Their costs may vary depending on their brand, build, design, and type. It’s best to decide on a budget when looking for yours. This will allow you to narrow down your choices easily.

    Don’t lowball it and choose the cheapest—they’re usually low quality. It’s best to check their features and reviews and determine if they make the price worth it.



    Getting the right standard wheelchair can be tedious but not complicated. For an easier choosing process, take note of the factors and tips discussed above. This will help ensure that the wheelchair you buy fits your needs perfectly.

    For product options, you can visit our wheelchair collection. We offer a massive selection of quality standard wheelchairs that you can choose from.

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