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Stairlifts VS. Platform Lifts: Which Is Best For Your Home?

Key Takeaways:

  • Stairlifts and platform lifts can both help improve accessibility in the home, but they have different capabilities and applications.
  • Stairlifts are best suited for straight staircases with no turns or landings.
  • Platform lifts are more flexible and can accommodate multiple levels with turns and landings.
  • Platform lifts provide a larger seating area than a standard stairlift.
  • When considering your mobility needs, weigh each option’s pros and cons!

If you suffer from limited mobility and are having difficulty using stairs, you may be searching for an accessibility solution. With so many options available, you may feel overwhelmed as it can be challenging to decide which one to choose.

Different types of lifts can help people navigate stairs and regain mobility. Still, the most suitable option depends on various factors such as the user’s mobility, space available, house design, and cost.

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of stairlifts vs. platform lifts so you can decide which one best suit your particular needs.

What Is a Stairlift?

It is a type of lift designed for carrying a seated person up and downstairs. The operation is simple: you sit in the chair, use the controls to direct it in the desired direction, and it will safely and comfortably carry you up or down the stairs. One of the significant benefits of stairlift installation is that it is an affordable solution for navigating stairs and providing more mobility in your home.

Stairlift installation is an excellent solution for those who want to be able to go upstairs without making significant changes to their home. They can be installed on almost any staircase and do not require excessive building work.

Although stairlifts may appear very similar, there are numerous differences between the many models available on the market. You should consider the following:

  • The look of a stairlift – Does the design of the stairlift complement the aesthetic of your home?
  • How it is controlled – Was the hand control designed with accessibility in mind?
  • Comfort features – Does the chair have a cushioned seat, and is the footrest sufficiently wide?
  • Safety features – Is the seatbelt easy to fasten? Also, are there safety edges on the stairlift if there is an obstruction in the way?

Before choosing the right stairlift for you, consider all these factors. Research and read reviews to ensure that you select an A+ reviewed and rated mobility and accessibility equipment provider such as Safe Home Pro.

Who Benefits from Stairlift Installation?

As previously mentioned, almost anyone can benefit from a stairlift installation. You need to be able to sit upright in a chair and ensure that you are securely seated until you reach the other end. If you are a wheelchair user, you must be able to transfer from one chair to another, which can be done with or without assistance, depending on your situation.

Where Can Stairlift Installation Be Done?

A stair lift can be installed on your stairs regardless of length, width, shape, location (indoors or outdoors), or material. The installation process is quick and clean, as the stairlift is fixed onto the stairs, not the walls. There is no need for building work, and the installation takes less than a day. As long as there is a power outlet near your stairs, a stairlift can be installed smoothly, catering to multiple staircases and floors.

The Pros of Stairlifts

Installing a stairlift is cost-effective as it requires no construction, is cheap to operate, and can be easily removed. It is also quick to install and operates exceptionally quietly. Additionally, it provides a comfortable riding experience and conveniently folds away when not in use.

Stairlift Cons

The location of a stairlift installation is restricted to a staircase and cannot be changed. Moreover, this device is less subtle than a home lift. Additionally, it has a limited capacity and cannot transport heavy objects like a wheelchair.

What Is a Platform Lift?

A platform lift is a device that can move along a rail attached to stairs, providing access to different floors. Sometimes, it moves straight up instead of at an inclined angle – this is known as a “Vertical Platform Lift” or “Porch Lift.” The device can carry individuals who use a wheelchair or are standing or seated on a flip-down seat.

This is an excellent option for transporting people and items up and down the stairs. A platform can be installed to provide access to one or multiple flights of stairs, making it the perfect solution for accessing your entire house.

Who Can Benefit from A Platform Lift?

A platform lift can be used by anyone, regardless of whether they use a wheelchair or not. It can smoothly transport you up and down the stairs and carry heavy items safely, making it a convenient option for transporting heavy goods.

Where Should a Platform Lift Be Installed?

Most platform lifts require installation on the step, similar to stairlifts. However, due to their vertical rise, VPLs can be installed adjacent to the staircase, connecting the ground level to the upper floor. The good news is that platform lifts can be installed on all types of staircases, indoor or outdoor, straight or curved, and at any length.

However, platform lifts, being large, cannot be installed on very narrow staircases as they need ample space to move up while being unfolded. A platform lift can fold up when not in use, allowing for more space on the steps. You only need a power outlet by your staircase to install a platform lift and help you navigate your stairs.

The Pros of Platform Lifts

A platform lift is affordable, easy to set up, quiet, and capable of transporting heavy loads. It is a cost-effective solution that requires no construction work and can be folded up and stored away neatly when not in use. Additionally, it can be easily removed if needed.

Platform Lift Cons

It may not be as comfortable or may be unsuitable for certain types of staircases. Additionally, it is more noticeable than a home lift or stairlift.


Which Type of Lift Should You Choose?

When deciding between a stairlift and a platform lift, consider the size of your staircase, your budget, and how comfortable you need the ride to be. If you’re looking for a quick solution that’s easy on the pocket and doesn’t require extensive building work, stairlifts may be the right choice.

On the other hand, if you need more flexibility in terms of transportation options (e.g., transporting heavy goods), then platform lifts are also an excellent option.

It’s important to remember that only professional mobility and accessibility equipment providers can provide suitable installations and good after-sales services for both types of lifts. Contacting a provider will ensure that your lift is correctly installed with minimal disruptions and costs.

Safe Home Pro is a certified “Aging in Place” mobility and accessibility equipment provider in the Greater Charlotte Area. We offer a vast selection of quality, affordable mobility, and accessibility equipment for your home or vehicles. We also provide professional installations, maintenance, and repairs. Learn more about our products by calling (704) 604 0193 or emailing us!