Top 10 Best Narrow Wheelchairs - Mar 2023
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Finding the best narrow wheelchair online can be daunting due to the many brands out there. You should relax for we have spent hours going through reviews of hundreds of wheelchairs to have narrowed the list to only ten. Below are the 10 best narrow wheelchairs we found to be the best value for your money.
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Narrow Wheelchairs Buying Guide
Many wheelchair users have struggled to navigate around their home because their wheelchair is too wide. This is more likely to be a problem in older homes, which tend to have more narrow doorways. These doorways can’t accommodate some wheelchairs. Thankfully, these wheelchairs were designed with small spaces in mind. With a wheelchair like this, you’ll be able to move comfortably, even when small doors.
Many people have limited experience shopping for wheelchairs. Because of this, I’d like to provide answers to frequently asked questions about wheelchairs. From there, I’ll provide a recommendations list and feature guide.
How Wide is a Standard Wheelchair?
You can find wheelchairs that are as narrow as 22″ and as large as 40″. Some wheelchairs could be even wider! Standard wheelchairs, however, are usually somewhere between 24 to 28 inches wide. While your wheelchair shopping, you’ll notice two separate width numbers. One describes the width of the seat. This is the area between the wheels where users will be sitting.
The other number describes the overall width of the chair itself. Armrests, wheels, and hand rims are included in this number. Typically, you’ll find that the total width is between 6 and 8 inches wider than the seat itself.
Can a Wheelchair Fit Through a Typical Doorway?
Most wheelchairs can fit through doorways in modern homes, which are generally around 32″ wide. However, some older properties have much smaller doors. If a doorway measures below 28″, it’s possible that the wheelchair will not fit. Of course, this varies based on the width of the user and the chair itself.
How Can a Doorway Be Measured for Your Wheelchair?
It’s important to remember the width of the opening when you’re measuring your doorway. The ADA describes this as “the clear width.” It’s possible to see a door’s edge when you open it. Typically, the edge blocks approximately 1-1/2″ of your door’s opening. To get an accurate measurement, you’ll want to start measuring at a door’s inner edge and measure the distance to the inner portion of the trim on the opposite side.
Selecting Wheelchairs That Can Work in Narrow Spaces
When you’re selecting a wheelchair, you’ll typically have to decide between a manual wheelchair that the user will be able to move on their own or a medical transport chair that is meant to be used by a person’s caregiver. If there isn’t enough room to navigate through narrow passages and doorways, it may be necessary to invest in a transport chair that’s lightweight.
What You Should Keep in Mind When Buying a Narrower Wheelchair
- What are Your Needs? – Wheelchair users that can propel themselves should look for a chair that allows the user to travel safely through passages and doorways, with enough room for both their hands and the chair’s wheels to pass through the door safely. If a user cannot propel themselves, you will need to look for a transporter chair that has handles a caregiver can push.
- What is The Width of the Door? – You should make sure that the width, height, and length of the seat will comfortably fit the user. You may want to measure another chair you’re still using if you want a better idea of what you should be looking for. Beyond that, pay attention to the width of the wheelchair. In most cases, the width of a normal interior door is 28″. Because of this, the preferred width for your wheelchair would be 27″ or less.
- Can It Easily Be Folded Up? – If you need to transport your chair, you’ll want to look for something lightweight that is easy to fold.
- Have You Considered Restroom Usage? – If a chair is going to be used in the restroom, you’ll want to make sure it won’t be damaged by exposure to water. You should also select something that is simple to clean. Alternatively, you could look for a chair that is made to be used in the shower.
- What Are Your Preferences? – Take all your own preferences into consideration when selecting a chair, from aesthetic preferences to comfort preferences.
- Does the Chair Have the Right Safety Features? – It’s important to consider the safety features that a wheelchair offers. The user’s abilities and the intended use of the chair should be considered. As an example, if someone is going to be getting in and out of the chair regularly, you’ll want to make sure the chair is equipped with locking brakes. With hand-operated brakes, it’s easier for a caregiver to navigate ramps and slopes. When traveling over sloped surfaces or bumpy terrain, a chair with a seat belt may be needed.