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Updated onJun. 01, 2022

Best Basic Wheelchairs For Seniors

With today’s technology and medical advances, it can sometimes be difficult to find simple, easy-to-use products. It’s always good to get back to the basics and make your life a little simpler, so we’ve put together a list of some of the best basic wheelchairs for seniors to use.

How We Found the Best Basic Wheelchairs For Seniors

8 Reviewers
50 Products Considered
12 Hours of Research
6 Products Reviewed
3 Top Picks
Best For Transport

Best For Transport

Medline Steel Transport Wheelchair with 19″ Wide Seat, Easily Folds for Travel and Transport
Price not available

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Features and Specifications

  • Item Package Length: 23.495cm
  • Item Package Width: 62.23cm
  • Item Package Height: 76.2cm
  • Item Package Weight: 13.925 kg
Pros
  • Lighter than regular wheelchairs

  • Sturdy

  • Easy to push and pull

  • Fits nicely under dining room tables

  • Adjustable leg rests

  • Independent foot brakes

  • Folds up easily

Cons
  • Does not run well on grass

  • Wheels are rough

  • No way to latch the leg rests for storing

The Medline Steel Transport Wheelchair is a great choice for moving someone with low mobility from one place to another. The simple design makes it easy to use. The lightweight but sturdy frame allows for productive transport.

Made from carbon steel with a silver powder coat, this wheelchair is made to be reliable and long-lasting. The seat is made from nylon upholstery and is comfortable to sit on. Equipped with footrests, users will find they can sit easily in this wheelchair.

The chair features a foldable back, letting you transport and store it easily.

Our Verdict

Lightweight, functional, and easy to use, this transport wheelchair makes taking care of loved ones easier.

Best Wide Seat

Best Wide Seat

Medline Strong and Sturdy Wheelchair with Desk-Length Arms and Swing-Away Leg Rests
$490.00

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Features and Specifications

  • Comfortable and durable ride | Desk length arms and swing away footrests make transfers easy
  • This wheelchair features a long-lasting, attractive hammertone finish | Durable nylon upholstery is comfortable
  • Premium welds stand up to rigorous use; Durable tig-welded frame in gray powder coat finish.
  • Mag wheels with smooth-rolling, flat-free tires | Foot powered movement increases mobility with 2” seat-height adjustments (hemi-height)
  • 300-lb. weight capacity | 38-lb. product weight, without leg rests | Seat dimensions are 20 x 16 inches
Pros
  • Extra wide seat

  • Easy to use and access

  • Comfortable materials

  • Adjustable axle to raise or lower the seat 2 inches

  • Foldable for storage and transport

  • Sturdy and durable construction

  • Removable arms for easy dining/desk use

  • Adjustable footrests

Cons
  • Heavy

  • Plastic wheels not good for outdoor use

  • Nuts need to be tightened often

The Medline Strong and Sturdy Wheelchair is made to be extra wide with a 20-inch seat for those who feel more comfortable with a little extra space. With this extra room, you will find yourself in a comfortable ride that is built to last.

Made with a long-lasting, durable hammertone finish on premium welds, this wheelchair is not only sturdy but attractive. The nylon upholstery seat is comfortable and durable as well.

The mag wheels offer a smooth ride with easy-rolling, flat free tires. Additionally, users have the option to use foot-powered movement, which increases mobility.

Comfortable, desk-length armrests and a swing-away footrest help make this product an easy-to-use piece of medical equipment.

Our Verdict

The extra-wide seat and sturdy construction of this chair make it excellent for anyone who needs a little extra room and support.

Best User-Friendly

Best User-Friendly

Medline Lightweight and User-Friendly Wheelchair with Flip-Back Desk Arms
Price not available

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Features and Specifications

  • Durable, tig-welded frame with gray powder coat finish has removable, flip-back desk-length arms that make it easy to navigate under tables and removable, swing-away leg rests to simplify transfers
  • Breathable nylon upholstery and custom adjustability (dual-axle hemi-height and back height) provides a more comfortable user experience
  • Smooth-rolling latex tires are solid and flat-free to ensure reliability and long durability
  • Hemi height-adjustable axles raise and lower seat by 2″
  • The lightweight wheelchair supports up to 300 lbs weight capacity
Pros
  • Easy to maneuver

  • Sturdy and durable

  • Comfortable

  • Adjustable seat back for additional comfort

  • Removable arms

  • Easy access for transfers

  • Lighter than other wheelchairs

  • Quality materials

Cons
  • Could be lighter weight

  • Plastic side might scrape against the wheel

This wheelchair is extra user-friendly. This Medline product is lightweight, making it excellent for transportation and use everywhere. Equipped with detachable, swing-away footrests, transfers are also made quick and simple.

The seat is made from nylon upholstery, which makes it durable as well as comfortable for the user. The premium welds ensure you get extended, long-term use.

The mobility you get in this wheelchair is excellent due to mag smooth-rolling, flat-free tires and foot-powered movement.

Flip-back, desk-length arms make dining anywhere easy and allow you to sit at any table. This is additionally streamlined with the ability to adjust the seat height up or down 2 inches.

Our Verdict

Easy to maneuver, both for self-propelling and caregiver use, this wheelchair makes transport easy for everyone.

Best Lightweight

Best Lightweight

Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with Handbrakes, Folding Transport Chair for Adults
$159.99

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Features and Specifications

  • Medline transport lightweight wheelchair has large 12 inch rear wheels for better performance on uneven outdoor surfaces | Loop-style manual handbrakes are ideal for locking the rear wheels during transfers
  • Transport chair with powder coated aluminum ultralight frame is durable and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs
  • Folding transport wheelchair is portable, making it perfect for easy storage, transport and travel | Back folds down to make the chair more compact
  • Full length permanent armrests | Detachable footrests | Seat belt for safety | Comfortable nylon upholstery
  • Transport wheel chair seat dimensions are 18 x 16 inches | Weighs 23.5 lbs | Color: Red
Pros
  • Super lightweight

  • Strong and durable frame

  • Available in red or blue

  • Convenient handbrakes

  • Easy to operate

  • Adjustable footrests

Cons
  • No independent brakes or operation

  • Arms don’t go under every table

  • Hard to fold for transportation

Weighing just 23.5 pounds, the Medline Lightweight Transport Adult Folding Wheelchair gives you all the strength of a heavy-duty wheelchair without the bulkiness. This wheelchair is easy for caregivers to maneuver, featuring convenient handbrakes.

The 12-inch back wheels are designed to give you better performance, especially on uneven ground.

A wider seat makes this chair more comfortable, while the nylon upholstery is durable and meant to last. The full-length armrest is made to accommodate all sizes. The footrests are also detachable.

This wheelchair’s frame is made from coated aluminum, and the whole thing is completely collapsible for storage and transportation.

Our Verdict

If you move around and travel a lot, a lightweight wheelchair is the right choice for you; this model folds and weighs so little, so you can easily travel with it.

Best On A Budget

Best On A Budget

Drive Medical Blue Streak Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchair With Flip-Backs Arms
$151.48

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Features and Specifications

  • Lightweight Folding Wheelchair: These cutting-edge wheelchairs for adults and seniors make independent mobility enjoyable via specialized features; just 41 pounds, the portable wheelchair folds to a compact 12.5-inch width for transport or storage
  • Durable Design: This transport wheelchair features durable tires enhanced with push-to-lock functionality for added safety; model features a 18-inch seat, swing-away footrests, and flip-back desk arms
  • Smooth, Stable Ride: Easy to push with solid yet lightweight wheels, this single axle wheelchair is easy to maneuver and fits through most doorways
  • Flipback Armrests & Swing Away Footrests: Lightweight wheelchair features padded “desk” style arms that make it easier to sit at a desk or table and flip back for transfer; swing-away footrests are removable
  • Dimensions: Overall: 42 inches in length x 24 inches wide x 36 inches in height; closed: 12.5 inches wide; seat: 16 inches depth x 18 inches wide; armrest: 8 inches in height; weight capacity: 250 lbs
Pros
  • Adjustable armrests to use at tables/desks

  • Folds up easily

  • Easy to maneuver

  • Features storage pocket on the back

  • Good brakes

  • Durable

Cons
  • Not lightweight

  • Shorter than other wheelchairs

  • Front wheels are made of plastic

  • Not made for outdoor use

Medical products like wheelchairs are more often than not on the pricier side, but they’re usually a necessity. The Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair is a quality product that won’t break the bank.

The large, durable tires make mobility a breeze, while the push-to-lock function aims for safety when braking. At the same time, swing-away leg rests and detachable arms make this wheelchair very versatile. Use it at any table or desk with ease, and transport or store it conveniently.

Made from durable, finished steel, the frame is sturdy and reliable, resistant to cracks and chipping. The seat is made from nylon upholstery and features a cross brace for extra support.

Our Verdict

Wheelchairs are expensive, so if you need to find one within your budget without skimping on the details, we recommend this model.

Features & Specs

  • Seat widths available in 16, 18, and 20 inches
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Supports up to 250 pounds
Pros
  • Highly customizable

  • Durable and strong carbon steel frame

  • Added strength with cross braces

  • Sleek look

  • Adjustable padded armrests

Cons
  • Heavy to pick up

  • Not easy to adjust the height

  • Footrests are plastic and feel cheap to some users

If you want only the highest quality for you or your loved one, the Tracer EX2 is an excellent option. This wheelchair is a standard chair that comes in a variety of seat width options and arm lengths. With several options for accessories and size, this wheelchair is highly customizable.

Every wheelchair includes 8-inch rubber casters, composite hand rims, blue vinyl upholstery, and padded arms. The armrests are removable, making this chair excellent for all dining and desk options.

The carbon steel frame is durable and includes a 14-gauge cross brace for extra strength.

This model also allows you to choose from several options, including oxygen tank holders and multiple leg rests. Additionally, the frame is warranted for a lifetime, making it a secure commitment.

Our Verdict

For the most customization and highest quality materials, this wheelchair is the way to go; it’s great for anyone requiring special accommodations.

Quite simply put, a wheelchair is a chair with wheels. Used in medical situations, these tools are specially designed chairs that are fitted with wheels to help someone get around when walking is difficult or not an option.

Remember, being in a wheelchair shouldn’t mean you lose your independence or mobility. Choose one that works best for you, and you may find your life gets a little easier.

There are various kinds of wheelchairs on the market, ranging from push wheelchairs to electronic versions, but they all fill the same general need. They allow mobility where mobility would otherwise be impossible.

About 1.85% of people in the world require the use of a wheelchair. That may not seem like a lot, but consider that there are about seven billion people across the globe. 1.85% of that is about 131 million people.

The reasons behind those who need a wheelchair are vast and varied. Some people who use wheelchairs will use them temporarily, while some will need them for the rest of their lives. Medical conditions that cause individuals to require a wheelchair include the following:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Scoliosis
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Among these reasons are many more.

Additionally, those who are suffering from physical injuries may require the temporary use of a wheelchair. Common injuries like a broken leg to more serious injuries like a spinal cord injury can prompt you to utilize a wheelchair until you are completely healed.

While less severe fractures centered on a foot or ankle do not require a wheelchair, you may find it easier to move around using one.

Lastly, individuals who have a hard time moving around may use a wheelchair either occasionally or permanently. These people are typically elderly, and have found their bodies in a general “wearing down” phase. The gradual degeneration of the body can make it harder to walk or stand for long periods of time, which can limit one’s activities.

A wheelchair can help seniors continue to participate in activities or family events rather than needing to sit them out because of fatigue.

The kind of wheelchair you need may depend on your unique situation. You will need to choose your wheelchair based on various things, such as:

  • Feel and fit
  • Ease of use
  • Age and weight of patient
  • Diagnosis
  • Places you intend to use it
  • What you want to use it for

The above items all matter greatly. For example, if you are of a heavier weight, you’ll most likely need a wider wheelchair. At the same time, someone who needs a wheelchair because they are too weak may need a different kind of wheelchair than someone with a broken foot.

When it comes to mobility, there are generally two options: transport chairs and basic wheelchairs. Transport chairs are wheelchairs that are made to be pushed by someone other than the person in the chair, i.e., a caregiver or family member. A basic wheelchair is one that can be self-operated, or self-propelled. Before making a purchase, a user needs to consider their ability to operate a wheelchair on their own. Someone who has a broken leg but is in good health otherwise will be able to operate a basic wheelchair. Someone in their 80s with low strength may not be able to do so. Some basic wheelchairs include foot propel technology that lets you use your feet for movement as well. Someone with weaker arm strength might consider this option.

Basic categories that branch off of these two are lightweight wheelchairs, ultra lightweight wheelchairs, and heavy-duty wheelchairs. The weight of your wheelchair comes into play when you consider how often you will be traveling. A lightweight wheelchair is easier to lift in and out of cars, while a heavy-duty wheelchair may be better to keep in the house. In addition to the weight of your wheelchair, you will also have to consider your own weight. Most basic wheelchairs are equipped to support up to 300 pounds. However, some lightweight designs may support less. At the same time, people diagnosed with obesity may need to look for more heavy-duty type chairs.

Whatever your situation may be – a temporary injury, a lifelong condition, or a general worn-out feeling, a wheelchair could be the answer you have been looking for. Remember, being in a wheelchair shouldn’t mean you lose your independence or mobility. Choose one that works best for you, and you may find your life gets a little easier.