Best Electric Wheelchairs to Improve Your Mobility in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 31, 2017
Consider our selection of 5 most powerful and reliable electric wheelchairs and get one to start living an active life again. Mobility electric wheelchairs can offer a great number of useful features to provide you not only with assistance but full independence. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Seat Size
Weight Capacity
Max speed
Power driving range
Weight
Comfort
Warranty
 
PROS

It's a fast folding power chair that can be collapsed and opened in just a few seconds. The package includes an original tough & thick travel bag.

CONS

The travel bag doesn't cover the wheels. 

OUR VERDICT

The Foldawheel PW-1000XL is one of the most lightweight electric wheelchairs in "Heavy duty portable power chair category". It's very manoeuvrable, responsive, comfortable, and well-made. Available with right- or left-hand controller.

detailed parameters
Seat Size

47 x 48.25 x 45.5 cm

Weight Capacity

150 kg

Max speed

8 km/hr

Power driving range

~15 km with 1 original battery
~30 km with the optional 2nd battery
~45 km with the optional 3rd battery

Weight

26 kg (with 1 battery pack)

Comfort

Raisable armrest and foldable footrest, Detachable seat cushion and backrest, Detachable anti-tilt support, Travel bag

Warranty

1 year global warranty

PROS

Adjustable headrest along with reclinable backrest provides extra comfort. The latest Air-Breeze seat/backrest cover is super comfy, detachable, and machine washable.

CONS

It's pretty bulky when unfolded.

OUR VERDICT

It's a durable travel chair that performs pretty well and won't shake your bones to powder. The chair is fully adjustable for superior comfort. It's good both for indoor and for outdoor use. Available with right- or left-hand controller.

detailed parameters
Seat Size

46 X 43 cm 

Weight Capacity

125 kg

Max speed

8 km/hr 

Power driving range

16 km

Weight

39 kg with 2 battery packs

Comfort

Reclinable backrest (4 positions) and adjustable headrest, Adjustable seat depth, Raisable and detachable armrests, Detachable and length adjustable footrests, Air-Breeze seat & backrest

Warranty

1 year global warranty

PROS

Resistant to temperature drops and deformation, the solid wheels of this wheelchair won't crack under heavy loads nor get punctured.

CONS

Rather short driving range.

OUR VERDICT

The Capricorn electric-powered wheelchair is a simple and affordable option for indoors and outdoors. It has a compact design, thus, it's extremely manoeuvrable. The chair will easily fit through narrow doorways and other tight spaces.

detailed parameters
Seat Size

71 (when folded) x 42 x 45.7 cm

Weight Capacity

115 kg

Max speed

6 km/hr

Power driving range

Up to 9.5 km

Weight

55 kg with battery pack

Comfort

Adjustable position controller, Adjustable height, Flip-up armrests, Flip-up footplate, Swivel seat 

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The package includes a seat belt which will ensure even greater safety and security while sitting in this wheelchair.

CONS

The maximum weight capacity could be higher. 

OUR VERDICT

This is a compact wheelchair that is ideal for use in busy environments. Due to a large number of removable parts and ergonomic split design, the Cobalt power chair is very convenient to transport and store.

detailed parameters
Seat Size

45.7 х 38 cm

Weight Capacity

113 kg

Max speed

~ 6.4 km/hr 

Power driving range

~ 13 km

Weight

~ 60 kg

Comfort

Adjustable armrests with removable arm pads, Height adjustable seat and length adjustment on armrests, Folding backrest, Padded upholstery, Flip-up footplate, Rear anti-tip wheels, Seat belt 

Warranty

1 year

PROS

There is a large storage basket under the seat. You can put there your shopping bags, personal belongings, and other stuff you want to keep within easy reach.

CONS

Front wheels are on the small side.

OUR VERDICT

It's an ergonomic wheelchair with soft padded seat and backrest, smooth operation, and easy handling. A reliable electromagnetic brake system works instantly and keeps the chair well at any incline.

detailed parameters
Seat Size

53.2 x 46 x 38 cm 

Weight Capacity

136 kg

Max speed

~ 6.4 km/hr 

Power driving range

~ 20 km

Weight

59.5 kg

Comfort

Flip-up width adjustable armrests, Flip-up height adjustable footplate, Large Storage basket, Padded seat

Warranty

1 year

What is an Electric Wheelchair

One of the essential things for disabled people is, for sure, a wheelchair. It's not a luxury but a necessity as it gives more mobility and independence. Wheelchairs are divided into two types, mechanic and electric. Electric wheelchairs are considered more maneuverable and easy to use. Plus, if you don’t have enough strength to use a mechanic self-propelled chair and don't want to rely on being pushed by a caregiver, an electric wheelchair is exactly what you need. We have reviewed 5 top battery-powered wheelchairs to make your choice easier. Get the one to get around!

If you are looking for a mobile device for really long and fast rides, you may be interested in our review of mobility scooters.

What Features to Compare

Tech Characteristics

Choosing a wheelchair, the first thing you must consider is its weight capacity as the chair should not deform or break under the specific weight. Also, note that if a user's weight exceeds 100 kg, it is necessary to purchase the wheelchair with a reinforced frame. However, the stronger the frame, the heavier the wheelchair. As for the seat size, it determines how comfortable it will be to sit in the chair. For example, if a bariatric user sits in a narrow chair, it will lead to poor blood circulation. And vice versa, if a slim person chooses a too wide chair, it will result in poor fixation leading to spine problems.

Key Features

A price depends on the types of electric wheelchairs, and to understand what you are paying for, consider several main features. The key features of any wheelchair are its design, battery capacity, and, of course, the power that directly affects the maximum speed and driving range. Those who want to be independent and be able to go for long rides should consider the models with a high power reverse. Importantly, some wheelchairs can be used in a manual mode after the batteries get low.

Conveniences

What else you should consider when choosing a wheelchair is how comfortable it will be to sit in. Therefore, you should take a look at all tiny bits such as armrests, footrests, headrest, additional cushions, etc which all add to a user’s comfort and are capable of solving many different problems that the handicapped often deal with - swollen legs, arms, and so on. Some wheelchairs also have cup holders, baskets, saddlebags. The choice is truly vast, so you only need to decide on what’s going to work better for you (or for the one you love). We hope our electric wheelchair review will help you find the best one for your needs.

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Wheelchair88 PW-1000XL

The Best Electric Wheelchair Ever

If you don't want a bulky and heavy power chair, the Foldawheel PW-1000XL model is your choice. It's one of the lightest and most compact wheelchairs on the market. Unbelievable, but this fast-folding chair can be collapsed and opened in just 2 seconds! The chair easily fits a small car trunk and even the backseat of a car. And since this electric wheelchair weighs 25 kg only, taking it in and out of a car won't be a back-breaking process.

This folding electric wheelchair is extremely portable, easily transportable, and convenient to use. It drives very smoothly and fits in small shops and narrow corridors without bumping into anything. It copes well with pavement undulations, low kerbs, grass and even gravel. You'll be definitely amazed at how agile and manoeuvrable this chair is. The wheelchair boasts the anti-tilt support reducing the chances to fall backwards and wide front casters preventing users from getting stuck in narrow gaps. It's the perfect solution to your mobility problems that can really make your life easier!

Review of Wheelchair88 PW-1000XL

Approved for Airline Travel

Basically, airlines don't accept Lithium-Ion or wet-cell batteries as carry-on luggage. Therefore, users should remove batteries to take a chair into the cabin as hold luggage. But that doesn't go for the Foldawheel PW-1000XL model. The thing is that it uses the new technology Polymer-Lithium dry cell batteries that are completely safe and approved for airline travel. The Foldawheel PW-1000XL can operate up to 15 kilometres with a full charge, plus the chair can hold up to 3 batteries to triple this distance. To make travelling by air even easier and safer, the manufacturer has equipped the wheelchair with an easy-to-detach connector on joystick controller. Thus, you won't need to take off the whole cable in order to detach it. This power chair comes with an original thick travel bag for convenient transportation and a high-quality worldwide charger. We would like to point out that the manufacturer provides a global warranty for users no matter where they go. So if you're a frequent traveller, you can hardly find a better option than this power motorized wheelchair.

Wheelchair88 PW-1000XL in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Wheelchair88 PW-1000XL
Wheelchair88 PW-1000XL
 

Wheelchair88 PW-777PL

Comfort Above All

The Wheelchair88 PW-777PL is a super comfortable electric chair for short travels. Its seat is manufactured from a fabric-covered foam material that offers a gentle support for those with muscular dystrophy or curvature of the spine. The backrest and headrest are height-adjustable, while aluminium armrests feature a soft plastic upper surface for ultimate comfort. Of course, it doesn't offer the adjustability of high-end rehab wheelchairs but it's still a good option for those who can't live a day without visiting parks, shops, and various outdoor events. This travel chair performs pretty well and is an excellent option for short trips. It uses a durable Polymer Li-ion battery packs that operate about 16 km with a full charge. The battery packs are fixed on both sides of armrests and can be charged separately from the wheelchair.

With four speed settings, the chair can ride pretty fast. The first and the second settings are good for manoeuvring around the house. The third one is great for keeping pace with your family and friends during a walk outdoors. And at the max speed, this electric-powered wheelchair is very brisk and easy to drive. The joystick is extremely accurate and allows users to make speed corrections smoothly.

Review of Wheelchair88 PW-777PL

Smooth Operation

This wheelchair folds and unfolds just like a baby stroller. Once collapsed, a durable plastic clip at the back of the seat can lock everything into place. The detachable footrest easily folds down, and the joystick can be locked as well. The whole process is extremely simple. However, the wheelchair feels like it's made from one piece during operation. No rattling! No clanking! It's very solid and stable, and everything works with a great mechanical precision.

At 39 kilos (total net weight with armrest, headrest, footrest, and battery), it can support users weighing up to 125 kilos. Being more durable and stable than 3-wheel mobile scooters, the chair is still compact enough to fit virtually anywhere. It performs well, handling cambers, bumps, soft ground, and mushy parts. Plus, the Foldawheel PW-777PL lightweight electric wheelchair claims to handle 13° inclines with ease.

Wheelchair88 PW-777PL in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Wheelchair88 PW-777PL
Wheelchair88 PW-777PL
 

Betterlife at Lloydspharmacy Capricorn

Affordable and Functional

A wheelchair is an essential thing for people with certain disabilities. However, the price for electric models is usually rather high and many users just can't afford power chairs and have to switch to mechanic ones. This wheelchair from Betterlife by Lloydspharmacy is a real gamechanger. It's a reliable, comfy, and extremely affordable electric wheelchair. At less than £800, it offers you the flexibility of pottering around the house or going to a local shop by yourself.

The chair is very manoeuvrable and, hence, it's a great solution for small spaces and narrow hallways. It can easily turn even in extremely tight spaces. The Betterlife wheelchair can't develop very high speeds (max 6 km); however, it allows for 9.5 km of travel on a single charge. Overall, this small electric wheelchair is an excellent value for money.

Review of Betterlife at Lloydspharmacy Capricorn

Attention to Details

Although this folding electric wheelchair is described as a budget model, most of its parts are of high-quality. The Capricorn Powerchair features large front and rear wheels which ensure excellent traction on most outdoor surfaces. We would like to stress that the wheels are solid and aren't susceptible to punctures.

Completed with a sleek metallic finish, the chair looks very stylish. As for the comfort of use, the padded seat has a swivel design that provides customers with easy access to/from the chair. The seat is also adjustable in height so that everyone could find the best position for themselves. The cushioned backrest ensures maximum comfort for your spine. The chair also has a flip-up footplate and armrests. The whole construction weighs 55 kg and can support up to 115 kg.

Betterlife at Lloydspharmacy Capricorn in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Betterlife at Lloydspharmacy Capricorn
Betterlife at Lloydspharmacy Capricorn
 

Drive Medical COBALTX16RD

For Active Users

The Drive Medical COBALTX16RD portable electric wheelchair is a brilliant model for active consumers. It boasts a sleek design, great build quality, and excellent handling characteristics. It uses rear wheel drive system for better manoeuvrability and passability in busy environments and tight spaces. The chair can ride up to 13 km on one charge. For an enjoyable driving experience, the manufacturer has equipped the chair with a user-friendly Dynamic Shark programmable controller. So, it won't be a problem to navigate the wheelchair through doorways and other narrow spaces. The wheelchair can hit a top speed of 6.5 kilometres per hour and handle low inclines (up to 6 degrees).

The swivel seat can rotate 360 degrees and can be lifted up and down to provide users with easy getting in and out. The padded armrests with removable arm pads are also customizable (they can be removed if needed). The footrest is flip up and height adjustable to suit any user.
Review of Drive Medical COBALTX16RD

Highly Transportable

This Cobalt chair is not only agile and comfortable but also highly transportable. The point is that the wheelchair easily splits into 3 sections for easy storage and transportation. The armrests with arm pads are also detachable. Also, the backrest is completely foldable for easy handling. For greater portability, the manufacturer has fitted this chair with de-clutch wheels. Therefore, you can quickly freewheel the Cobalt powerchair wherever and whenever you need.

For extra safety and security, this foldable electric wheelchair is supplied with a seat belt. The seat is very robust and can withstand up to 113 kilos. This stylish wheelchair is available in red and blue colours.

Drive Medical COBALTX16RD in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Drive Medical COBALTX16RD
Drive Medical COBALTX16RD
 

Roma Medical Reno II

Extremely Portable Electric Wheelchair

The Roma Reno II Captain Powerchair is a compact and portable model designed for active use both indoors and outdoors. With the maximum speed of 6.4 km, it is perfect for walking a dog, visiting different outdoor events, and going on picnics. The chair is so portable that it will take up less room than a person with a trolley. Plus, it's equipped with a large storage basket, so you won't need to take one and put it on your lap while doing shopping in the supermarket.

The wheelchair uses a new frame locking mechanism and can be dismantled in mere 5 seconds without any additional tools. You need to simply lift the seat from the base along with a battery pack. You won't have to detach the batteries and other parts of the chair. Once disassembled, the chair takes up even less room than a manual one and is as easy to lift in/out of the vehicle.

The chair boasts a Captain seat (high back) with extra padding for additional back support and comfort. Also, it has flip-up, width adjustable armrests and a flip-up, height adjustable footplate. Owing to the swivel action, the wheelchair can be adjusted to the left or right at full 90º.

Review of Roma Medical Reno II

Never Fails

The Roma Reno II Captain Powerchair can really give you the freedom and confidence to anything you want. It's fitted with a PG drives controller that makes operating very easy. The chair is powered by two 22 Ah battery packs and can go up to 20 km on a single charge. When riding, it's very smooth and quiet. This mighty little powerchair easily manages grass, gravel and small rises on pavements. And its solid tyres are highly resistant to punctures.

Equipped with intelligent, regenerative, and efficient electromagnetic brakes, the chair stops immediately with a push of the joystick. We would like to emphasize that the Roma Reno II chair has been crash tested, so if the safety is your priority, don't look further.

Roma Medical Reno II in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Roma Medical Reno II
Roma Medical Reno II
 

Did you know?

When was the first motorized wheelchair invented?

The first motorized wheelchair was invented by George Westinghouse in the early 1900's. It had a simple design and was rather heavy. A prototype of a modern power wheelchair was created in 1950 by Dr. George Klein, and this invention made a revolution in medicine field. Millions of people who were injured during World War II could regain their mobility. Today, electric wheelchairs boast up-to-date technologies and advanced design.

What can technology offer nowadays?

Partial loss of any limb, let alone the total loss of legs or arms, completely changes the life. However, nowadays, technology and medicine can make the life easier offering high-quality prosthetics. Artificial limbs allow people to do activities they could not do otherwise. The market offers us new bionic prosthetics that significantly differ from mechanical ones.

A bionic knee can replace true muscle activity and adapt for slow and fast walking speeds, while a bionic leg can be even adjusted for cycling, hiking or cross-country skiing. As for upper limbs, a bionic hand is the first fully articulating prosthetic that acts and looks like a real human hand. The artificial hand is controlled by a highly intuitive control system that can read muscle signals to open and close fingers. So, with bionic limbs, people can live a full life once again.

Virtual reality sets can help disabled people walk again!

Scientist say that "Virtual reality sets can help disabled people walk again"! Numerous studies and experiments show that VR sets (glasses and nano-enabled exoskeleton) may help regain partial control over limbs. It all started back in 2014, when the 156 greatest minds of the world launched the program helping handicapped people regain their footing. During this research, scientists have noticed that regular training with VR sets really gave a visible result. VR positively affects the human nervous system forcing nerves to carry messages from the brain to muscles making the body move. As a result of the experiment, many patients gradually began to restore their ability to move the limbs. It's unbelievable, but after a constant use of a virtual reality set, the young woman, who had been paralyzed for 13 years, could move again (though with the help of walkers). At the moment, scientists conduct additional research to bring their discovery into the medical treatment level. Who knows, perhaps, in the near future, VR sets will help disabled people regain their ability to move.

The success of disabled Oscar Pistorius during 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Oscar Pistorius, also known as the "Blade Runner", is disabled since birth. He has his both legs amputated below the knee, yet he achieved outstanding results in sport. Wearing a pair of Flex-Foot Cheetahs (carbon fibre feet), he is a sprint runner who captured the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Paralympics and is the first amputee athlete that achieved great success in 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. The story of Oscar Pistorius is another evidence that impossible is nothing.

The benefits of sport for people with disabilities.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 10% of world's population (roughly 650 million people) have a sensory, intellectual or physical disability. And the main task of specialists working with disabled people is not only to take care of them but also help them to recover. Years of studies have revealed that sport is a helping hand for successful rehabilitation. Whether the aims are competitive or recreational, people with disabilities deserve to have access to physical activity programs. So, what benefits can sport actually bring?

  • Improvements in mental state, social awareness, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
  • Good blood circulation.
  • Better balance and coordination.
  • Stronger muscles.
  • Better self-discipline, better organizational skills.
  • Promotion of valuable life skills.

FAQ:

Q: What is the difference between a mobility scooter and an electric wheelchair?
A: Scooters are designed for outdoor use and feature handlebars and a tiller for steering. Electric wheelchairs can be used both indoors and outdoors. They have a handy joystick and are steered with one hand only. Power wheelchairs are much more manoeuvrable and easy to use. They easily go through narrow doorways and are perfect for use in tight spaces.

Q: Can I lose strength due to using a power wheelchair?
A: Different studies show that people typically don't lose gross motor function because of using power wheelchairs. Moreover, after receiving independence through a mobility chair, gross motor skills will even improve as you'll be more motivated to move and to do things yourself!

Q: Is it safe for a child to drive a power wheelchair?
A: Any small child requires supervision and that also goes for driving a children's electric wheelchair. However, you shouldn't confuse supervision with the lack of independence. You should watch over your kids but allow them to do as much as possible on their own. Keep in mind that mistakes are an essential part of the learning process. So, bumping into the obstacles and walls is a natural step of becoming a proficient driver.

Q: When a power chair is not in use, do the batteries go dead?
A: Typically, no! When the wheelchair is off, the batteries do not draw.

Q: Can I do anything to prolong the battery’s useful life?
A: Yes, you should charge your power chair only when the battery is low. The life of the standard battery is 1,000 charges.

Q: Are power chairs waterproof?
A: Yes. The wheelchairs are designed in such a way that the battery is encased in metal and all cables have a rubber protective housing.

Q: Can the speed be adjusted on an electric wheelchair?
A: Yes, the majority of power chairs usually have a variable speed joystick that can be set between 0 and 8 km/h.

Q: How to care for my wheelchair?
A: The major component when caring for your chair is battery condition. If the battery isn't properly maintained, this might lead to many problems with your electric wheelchair. The battery may become over-worn in case you usually operate the chair at top speeds or leave it plugged into the charger for too long. Also, when maintaining your power chair, don't forget to check wheels from time to time. Make sure that all nuts and bolts are tight.


Sources:

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Publish Date: 2017-10-25 08:48:42