Wheelchairs are medical devices that consist of a seat, a backrest, four wheels, and a frame. Wheelchairs can be propelled by the user, by an attendant, or by a motor. Wheelchairs can help people with limited mobility or disability to move around independently or with assistance. Wheelchairs can also improve the quality of life and well-being of the user by allowing them to participate in social, recreational, and occupational activities.
Here are the 5 Most Common Types of Wheelchairs: A Review and Guide
There are many different types of wheelchairs available on the market, but the five most common ones are:Each type of wheelchair has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the needs and preferences of the user. In the following sections, we will explain each type of wheelchair in more detail and will also recommend some of the best products that we offer at Your Medical Store for each type.
1. Manual Wheelchairs
Manual wheelchairs are medical devices that are propelled by the user or by an attendant using their hands or feet. Manual wheelchairs are usually lighter, cheaper, and easier to maintain than power wheelchairs. However, they also require more physical effort, skill, and endurance from the user or the attendant. Manual wheelchairs can be classified into two subtypes: self-propelled and attendant-propelled.
Self-propelled manual wheelchairs are devices that are propelled by the user using their hands or feet on the large rear wheels. Self-propelled manual wheelchairs allow the user to control their speed, direction, and braking. Self-propelled manual wheelchairs are suitable for users who have good upper body strength and coordination.
Attendant-propelled manual wheelchairs are devices that are propelled by an attendant using their hands on the handles behind the backrest. Attendant-propelled manual wheelchairs allow the attendant to control the speed, direction, and braking of the wheelchair. Attendant-propelled manual wheelchairs are suitable for users who have poor upper body strength or coordination.
Some of the benefits of manual wheelchairs are:
2. Power Wheelchairs
Power wheelchairs are devices that are propelled by a motorized system that is controlled by the user using a joystick, a switch, or a voice command. Power wheelchairs are usually heavier, more expensive, and more complex than manual wheelchairs. However, they also require less physical effort, skill, and endurance from the user, and they can provide more speed, power, and maneuverability. Power wheelchairs can be classified into two subtypes: front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive.
Front-wheel drive power wheelchairs are devices that have the motorized system located on the front wheels. Front-wheel drive power wheelchairs have better traction and stability on uneven surfaces, and they can turn more easily in tight spaces. However, they also have lower speed and less responsiveness than rear-wheel drive power wheelchairs.
Rear-wheel drive power wheelchairs are devices that have the motorized system located on the rear wheels. Rear-wheel drive power wheelchairs have higher speed and more responsiveness than front-wheel drive power wheelchairs, and they can travel longer distances on smooth surfaces. However, they also have less traction and stability on uneven surfaces, and they require more space to turn.
Some of the benefits of power wheelchairs are:
3. Transport Wheelchairs
Transport wheelchairs are devices that are designed to be pushed by an attendant rather than propelled by the user. Transport wheelchairs are usually lighter, smaller, and cheaper than other types of wheelchairs. However, they also provide less comfort and support for the user, and they require more cooperation and participation from the attendant. Transport wheelchairs are suitable for users who need occasional or temporary assistance with mobility, such as traveling or visiting.
Some of the benefits of transport wheelchairs are:
4. Bariatric Wheelchairs
Bariatric wheelchairs are devices that are designed for users who have a body weight of more than 300 lbs or who have a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30. Bariatric wheelchairs provide extra comfort and support for the user, as well as extra durability and stability for the wheelchair. Bariatric wheelchairs are usually made of heavy-duty steel or aluminum frames that can withstand high pressure and weight. However, they can also be large, heavy, and expensive.
Some of the benefits of bariatric wheelchairs are:
5. Pediatric wheelchairs
Pediatric wheelchairs are devices that are designed for children or adolescents who have limited mobility or disability. Pediatric wheelchairs provide comfort and support for the user, as well as growth and development for the wheelchair. Pediatric wheelchairs are usually smaller, lighter, and more colorful than adult wheelchairs. However, they can also be more expensive and require more frequent adjustments.
Some of the benefits of pediatric wheelchairs are:
In this blog post, we have explained the five most common types of wheelchairs, which are manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, transport wheelchairs, bariatric wheelchairs, and pediatric wheelchairs. We have also introduced you to some of the best products that we offer at Your Medical Store for each type of wheelchair. I hope that this blog post has helped you learn more about the benefits, features, and functions of each type of wheelchair, and that you will be able to make an informed decision on which one suits your needs and preferences. If you would like to shop our entire offering of wheelchairs, please click the button below.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at Your Medical Store. We are always happy to hear from you and to assist you with your home medical equipment needs. Thank you for reading this post, and have a wonderful day!
I’m a research writer who loves to share my knowledge and passion for durable medical equipment (DME) by helping people like me find the best solutions for their health and mobility needs.