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A Guide to Buying Stairlifts: Lifelong Solutions For Safe, Comfortable Living

Updated: Oct 4

There are many different types of stairlifts, from straight, curved and even outdoor solutions. Buying a stairlift for your home is a big commitment, they aren't always cheap and you'll want to find one that suits your exact needs, the following article will help answer some of the most common stairlift questions to help inform your decision.



What type of stairlift is right for me?


The type of stairlift you choose will depend on your individual needs, in most circumstances stairlifts can be adapted to the individuals needs, whether that be installing safety features and accessories, or remote controlled features. Another thing to consider is the shape and style of your staircase at home. These are all components that your local stairlift engineer can guide you through upon an evaluation.


Who are stairlifts for?

Stairlifts are generally associated with the elderly who struggle to walk up and down the stairs. This could be due to conditions such as; restricted mobility, hip replacements, heart conditions or reduced strength and flexibility from old age.


Stairlifts are an essential home adaptations for people of all ages with limited mobility. You could be an amputee, recently had an operation or suffer from conditions such as arthritis. Stairlifts help to make your home both safe and independent.


When it comes to deciding whether a stairlift is the right solution for you, an occupational therapist can initially assess whether a stairlift would be necessary for your wants and needs. Then a stairlift engineer can assess what type of stairlift would be the best fit for your property and your mobility.


Temporary Stairlifts

You don't need a long term ailment or condition to qualify for a stairlift. Engineers and occupational therapists have now recognised that a stairlift rental is an essential service in some cases. For example, if you have recently had an operation that has limited your strength, mobility and flexibility, a temporary stairlift would be essential on your road to recovery.


What are my stairlift options?


The most common stairlift options are Straight or Curved, depending on the shape of your staircase at home. The quality of equipment ranges from very basic to sophisticated, but each has its own limitations and benefits.


Straight Stairlifts



Straight stairlifts are the simplest and one of the most cost effective options. In most cases a straight stairlift can be installed on either side of the staircase, providing that both sides are wall and not railing, stairlifts are even able to be installed past a door or radiator with retractable railings. Your staircase must be wider than a minimum of 75-80cm in order to be eligible for a staircase installation that prevents any fire hazards in the case of an emergency.


Curved Stairlifts






Curved stairlifts are slightly more expensive than your average straight stairlift. However, they do offer more variety; a curved stairlift is able to curve around your entire home, meaning if you live in a home with multiple stories you will be able to travel to your desired floor and depart at any point. A curved stairlift is also recommended for those who cannot approach the first step of the stairs to reach the straight stairlift, experts will be able to install the stairlift at a curved angle in order for you to board safely and comfortably.


Outdoor Stairlifts


If you love your garden and are looking for ways to increase mobility whilst outside, getting a stairlift for your garden steps could be the right choice for you. Outdoor stairlifts come with a range of options, such as waterproofing and having the choice between a straight or curved stairlift to ensure that travelling around your garden is made as smooth as possible.


Customer fact: Most outdoor stairlifts come weather resistant, with a lock that can control its use.


Stairlift Add-Ons


Practically all stairlifts are completely customisable, whether you require further safety features, softer pillowing or a footrest, your stairlift can be designed with your needs in mind.


Popular additional features with Stairlifts:


1. Grocery carriers (basket underneath)

2. Side arm shelf or newspaper pouch

3. Alternative seat belts for disability purposes

4. Weather proof seat covers (for outdoor stairlifts)

5. Retractable footrest


How do I choose the right stairlift?


Before purchasing your stairlift, it's very important to ask yourself what your needs are and what you want from your stairlift. There are many different types of stairlifts to choose from, all of which have their pros and cons. Ultimately you’ll also need to consider other essential factors such as your staircase type and pricing.


Additional features such as grocery carriers, alternative seat belts and retractable footrests can turn a basic stairlift into a high-tech but also a higher priced stairlift. Although it is important to put your health & mobility above price tags, affordability is a major drawback for stairlifts.


However, there are opportunities to receive grants and funding for essential adaptations such as stairlifts. There government grants available throughout England and Wales as well as stairlift rental options that are available with a wide range of providers that can ensure you are able to maintain living independently in your home.


How much does a stairlift cost?


In the U.K a stairlift can cost anything from £2,000 to £10,000 depending on its type, functionalities, additional features and labour costs. However it is also possible to get rental stairlifts in which you pay a small deposit typically £500-£1,000 and pay the rest of the price weekly or monthly, usually with a slight additional charge.


You can also apply for disability grants to help with funding your home stairlift adaptations, otherwise you can check for reconditioned stairlifts which are usually cheaper, but may come with a bit more wear and tear.


Reconditioned Stairlift

Purchasing a stairlift can be a financially difficult decision. For this reason it's essential that there are is a wide variety of options available for those who need mobility aids, from stairlift rentals, government grants and reconditioned stairlifts.


There are a wide range of reconditioned stairlifts now available to purchase from as little as £495, which is considerably cheaper than new stairlifts. Reconditioned stairlifts come in straight and curved options, they aren't about having a quick fix but providing you with sustainable and affordable adaptations for your home.


If you opt to buy a reconditioned stairlift from a private source this may come with reliability and safety concerns. We recommend buying reconditioned aids from a reputable company and/or provider so you can be assured that your stairlift meets all safety and reliability standards.


How often should stair lifts be serviced?


Just like other engineering equipment a stairlift should receive a manual servicing every year, to ensure that the safety features are up to date and no damages, whether internal or external exist. This will mean your warranty will still be covered. Your stairlift will also need a battery change every 3-5 years, this can be done on your yearly servicing to ensure you don’t need to have a separate call out.

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