7 Advantages of a Lightweight Folding Electric Wheelchair
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In this article we will be looking at the advantages of a lightweight folding electric wheelchair. This will include 7 reasons that we believe they are one of the best possible aids for people with mobility issues.
Folding electric wheelchairs are quickly becoming one of the most popular mobility aids in the UK. They have been around for a few years, but it is only in the last 2-3 years that they have really started to grow in popularity. Prior to this they were still very expensive (usually over £3000), and the weight was also quite heavy in most models.
In the last couple of years this has started to change and there are many lightweight folding electric wheelchairs coming on to the market. As well as the weight, the price has also been coming down. Many decent lightweight folding electric wheelchairs can now be purchased for between £1500 and £2500.
A great example of a light folding chair, is “The1” from Better Products For Disabled. This is currently our favourite folding electric wheelchair in 2020. It is 23.5kg in weight, very compact and only costs £1499. You can also choose to pay this over 12 monthly payments at no extra cost.
We have compared this wheelchair with quite a few other models on the market and our opinion is that it is very under-priced. Its features are as good if not better than most models in the £2500+ price bracket.
What are the advantages of a lightweight folding electric wheelchair?
In this next section we will be revealing our 7 top advantages of a folding electric wheelchair. Including how this compares with other mobility vehicles, such as standard electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
Advantage #1 – Very compact and easy to store
One big advantage of an electric wheelchair that you can fold up, is it fits in a lot of tighter spaces. This makes it much easier to put out of the way when not in use. Most models can be placed neatly in the corner of a room, or in a cupboard where there is no risk of it becoming a tripping hazard.
When we compare this with a standard electric wheelchair, or a mobility scooter, they tend to be more difficult to store away. Often you will need to leave them in an entrance, or hallway. For even bigger models you may need to use an outdoor shed or possibly secure them with a lock and use a rain cover.
Advantage #2 – Can be placed in the boot of a car
A major issue with larger wheelchairs and mobility scooters is transportation. This is particularly true if you are planning to travel by car. Most mobility aids are either awkward or completely impossible to fit in a car for transporting.
A lightweight folding electric wheelchair has two major advantages in this regard:
- They are very easy to fold and unfold. This means they can go from a fully sized wheelchair, to a folded compact wheelchair in a matter of seconds.
- They are considerably lighter than other alternatives. This means that they are much easier to lift in and out of the boot.
Because you can transport this type of wheelchair by car, it means it is a much more versatile piece of equipment. It opens you up to a variety of activities that would not be possible, if it were only suitable for home use.
Advantage #3 – Very small turning circle
The turning circle on most folding electric wheelchairs is very small. The example we gave earlier in this article, was “The1” from Better Products For Disabled. This chair has a turning circle of roughly 1m. This means you have access to a wide variety of locations. Such as:
- Use inside your house
- Smaller shops with tighter isles
- Manoeuvring through tight, awkward pathways
This is an advantage that all wheelchairs will have over mobility scooters. However, due to the layout and design of the wheels on folding electric chairs, this turning circle is even smaller. This means that they are even more manoeuvrable than a standard wheelchair.
Advantage #4 – Excellent battery life
Battery life is a common question for anyone looking to buy a new electric wheelchair. The good news is lightweight folding electric wheelchairs tend to have excellent battery life. This usually ranges from 5 – 25 miles on a single charge.
Most people will not be using their wheelchair over huge distances. So even chairs at the lower end of this range are quite adequate. The batteries are generally lithium ion in newer models, so they also charge quickly and have a good lifespan.
To learn more, we have a more detailed article on electric wheelchair batteries here
Advantage #5 – Perfect for taking on holiday
Just like taking short trips in the car. Many people with mobility issues want a solution, which can be used on a holiday away. This could involve flying on a plane. Unfortunately, this is where most powered mobility aids fall short.
Many are just too big to be transported on a plane and even if it were possible, the batteries that they use are not suitable for air travel.
An electric wheelchair that is lightweight and easily folds, is much more suitable for this type of travel. Also most come equipped with batteries that are suitable for air travel. Even for wheelchairs that do not have airline approved batteries as standard, they can easily buy a travel battery that will work with their own wheelchair.
Advantage #6 – Fits through standard doorways
This is a benefit that really helps if you intend to use your wheelchair indoors. There are a variety of different door sizes in the UK. However, the most common internal door size is 762mm wide. A common wheelchair width is usually between 580mm and 620mm. This gives a good amount of clearance for your wheelchair to get through (between 182mm and 142mm).
It is important to mention that smaller door sizes are sometimes used if space is restricted. Smaller internal doors are typically between 610mm – 686mm. The larger of these two will still fit most chairs although you will need to be a bit more careful.
It is always advised to check the width of the doors in your house before you purchase a new wheelchair. Especially if you intend to use it indoors.
Advantage #7 – Gives the user much more freedom and independence
The last advantage is the freedom you get from a lightweight folding electric wheelchair. They enable you to do far more in your day to day life and most activities will not require assistance from anybody else.
Also, because they are small and lightweight, they can access nearly anywhere that can be accessed on foot. This means activities that were previously not an option become possible.
Finally, they are low maintenance, they will need an occasional clean and it is best to try and avoid getting them wet, but wheelchair maintenance is not something that is extremely technical or time consuming.
As you can see, there are many great advantages to using a lightweight folding electric wheelchair. The main one, is without a doubt the new lease of life that can be gained from any mobility aid. This includes any type of wheelchair or mobility scooter.
Whilst all mobility aids can give you more freedom and independence. We feel that folding electric wheelchairs, just take this to the next level.
We hope you found this article useful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.