Supporting ourselves and the people we care about becomes more involved as the golden years approach, but with mobility aids in the home, health and wellness issues can be far more manageable. Purchasing a stairlift is often highly beneficial for people who have prosthetic joints, significantly reduced mobility or a disability that makes navigating a multi-level home cumbersome. Still, for so many reasons, buying a stairlift can be an onerous process.

No matter what, it will be a significant investment. Then after shuffling money around and planning a budget to make room for the purchase, buyers are faced with a period of waiting, fine print perusal, and the administrative headaches that can come with hiring contractors to install a stairlift.

However, if you spend a bit of time researching what you need, then do some comparison shopping, you can end up with a quality stairlift that allows you to stay in your home, without the hassle and danger of moving up and down the stairs unaided.

We have compiled a list of the best stairlift manufacturers for 2019, and we’ve included a buying guide to help you navigate the purchase process. The companies listed here stand by their engineering and design by offering strong warranties and industry-leading customer service. Unlike big-box or generic stairlift brands, all of the manufacturers on our list sell their products either directly to consumers or through a brand-certified network of dealers and installation teams tasked with upholding the manufacturer’s standards of quality.

Contributing Expert

Christina Drumm Boyd, BHS, CSA, GCM

Christina is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) who is passionate about seniors and their families. For decades, Christina has worked at all levels of the senior health care industry, serving as director of admissions and marketing for assisted living, nursing homes, memory care, and independent living communities. She also served as a support group facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Association. Her educational training is in Human Services Counseling.

Before taking her elder care services nationwide through Virtual Consultations, Christina Drumm-Boyd founded Care Connect of Hampton Roads (CCHR) in Virginia in 2006. More than a decade later, CCHR continues to grow in size and popularity as it provides comprehensive guidance and access to quality elder care services.

The 8 Best Stairlift Companies

Stairlift Types AvailableStraight Stairlifts Base Price RangeCurved Stairlifts Base Price RangeBest Overall Feature
AmeriGlide Stair LiftsStraight, Curved, Outdoor$1,689 to $2,099$8,114Best for Competitive Pricing
Harmar StairliftsStraight, Curved, Outdoor$2,195 to $3,995$13,999Best for Larger People
Bruno Independent Living AidsStraight, Curved, Outdoor$3,200 to $5,200$10,500Best Overall Quality
HandicareStraight, Curved, Outdoor$2,580 to $3,680$6,190 to $8,590Best for Accessibility Features
101 MobilityStraight$3,400 to $3,500N/ABest Stairlift Dealer
Stannah StairliftsStraight, Curved, Outdoor$2,995 to $5,695$12,000 to $15,000Best for Custom Options
Acorn StairliftsStraight, Curved, OutdoorPrices available with in-home consultationPrices available with in-home consultationBest for Fast Delivery and Installation
SavariaStraight, Curved, Outdoor$2,750 to $3,450$8,800Best Standard Package

AmeriGlide Stair Lifts

Best for Competitive Pricing

AmeriGlide Stair Lifts is an American manufacturer and second-hand dealer offering one of the largest selections of stairlifts in the country, which means they have options to fit any budget. Its stairlifts are available for sale directly from the company in new, certified pre-owned, or factory reconditioned varieties and price ranges, and may be used in either in-home or commercial settings.

Unlike stairlifts bought from big-box stores, AmeriGlide products are sold tax-free. But what makes AmeriGlide’s prices especially competitive is the fact that they may be the only stairlift manufacturer that allows buyers to install their own lifts or hire their choice of installation specialist. Buyers who have carpentry or machine installation experience can save up to $1,025 by opting to shoulder the risk of handling their own AmeriGlide stairlift install.

The HorizonThe Horizon PlusThe RubexThe RaveThe Platinum CurvedThe Horizon OutdoorThe Outdoor Deluxe
PricingFrom $1,249 used to $1,689 newFrom $1,799 refurbished to $1,899 newFrom $1,349 used to $2,099 newFrom $1,999 refurbished to $2,099 newFrom $6,293 used to $8,114 new$2,568$3,195
Stairlift Rail TypeStraightStraightStraightStraightCurvedStraightStraight
Maximum Weight Capacity300 pounds308 poundsUp to 350 pounds350 poundsUp to 352 pounds300 pounds350 pounds
Key FeatureHighly affordable modelUpgraded seat with Ergo option and color choicesEconomy option built for easy installationSlimline design has 11-inch footprint when stowedFits multi-tiered and more complicated stairsMost affordable outdoor modelBuilt for larger people
Upholstery OptionsVinylPleatherVinylVinylPleatherWeather-resistant vinylWeather-resistant vinyl
Seat Color OptionsBeigeBlue, grey, red or beige
BeigeBeigeBlue, red or beigeBeigeLight almond
Rail Color OptionsWhiteWhiteWhiteWhiteWhiteWhiteWhite

AmeriGlide Stairlift Models

AmeriGlide accommodates a greater range of budgets than many other stairlift companies by offering a versatile range of models, all with standard and upgradable options. Among AmeriGlide’s offerings are used and factory-reconditioned lifts, heavy duty models that can carry greater weight, and AC-powered lifts that will run directly off your home’s electricity rather than relying on partial battery power.

Features common to all AmeriGlide stairlifts include:

  • Infrared remote controls can transmit signals through obstructions
  • Joystick controls can be installed in either right or left armrest
  • Key lockable chairs
  • Manual swivel seat
  • Manual fold-away
  • Heavy duty versions available for straight, curved and outdoor models
  • Emergency stop sensors
  • Emergency reverse function
  • Stair-mounted for easy installation

The Horizon is AmeriGlide’s most affordable option for people with straight, single-tiered stairwells. It comes with a beige vinyl seat and almond-toned hardware and features all standard AmeriGlide specifications. The Horizon has a slim, 13.5-inch footprint when folded away.

The AmeriGlide Horizon straight-track model comes with:

  • Constant pressure joystick control
  • Key locking
  • Manual swivel seat
  • Digital diagnostics display above the footrest
  • Standard safety features like emergency stop and reverse

The Horizon Plus is AmeriGlide’s most comfortable straight-lift option, available with either an ERGO Standard or ERGO Plus seat. AmeriGlide is currently advertising an upcoming option for a space-saving seat for the Plus called the ERGO Space. The ERGO Space option will have a shorter backrest with a deeper curve to seat the rider farther back, reducing knee projection. The ERGO Space seat will also position the rider two inches closer to the wall, making this option great for narrow or high-traffic stairways.

  • Can be installed on steeper staircases up to a 62-degree incline
  • Seats come in a range of colors
  • Widest seat available at up to 22 inches
  • ERGO plus seat option provides greater comfort and saves space
  • Fully adjustable seat back and pad
  • Ergonomic joystick installed where hands lay naturally
  • Manual swivel seat
  • Dual footrest-raising levers are manual and linked
  • Retractable reel seatbelt
  • Seats come in beige, red, grey or blue
  • Digital diagnostic display in easy-to-read armrest position

The Rubex stairlift can be seen as a holdover from less advanced times in AmeriGlide’s manufacturing history; its features are more basic than those of its new standard straight-track model, the Horizon. The Rubex may come with added fees for features that come standard with AmeriGlide’s other models, such as key locking.

Still, for bargain hunters, the Rubex remains a great option for its ease of self-installation, its high maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds and its lower-cost AC power option. This straight-track stairlift is appropriate for stairs of 15 feet or less in length as adding rail extensions or footage reductions can cost nearly $100 more for the Rubex than it would for the Horizon.

The AmeriGlide Rubex features:

  • An AC version that can carry up to 350 pounds
  • AC version costs $160 less than DC (battery-powered) for the basic package
  • Key-lockable base and lockable remote control options for up to $278.30
  • Option to add grocery basket for $250.90
  • Standard 19-inch seat upgradable to 21 inches for $212.80
  • Built for easy self-install

The Rave model is AmeriGlide’s slimline option, offering one of the smallest profiles in the industry with a 22.5-inch footprint when in use and 11 inches when folded away. This model is ideal for narrow staircases, such as those commonly found in basements or older homes, and is also a great option for people who use their stairlift in a space with lots of foot traffic.  

Features of the AmeriGlide Rave include:

  • Best option for longer stairs (up to 70 feet)
  • Ultra-compact with a 22.5-inch footprint in use and 11 inches when stowed
  • All-metal construction
  • Height-adjustable seat
  • Seat is 19 inches wide and 14 inches deep
  • Taupe vinyl seat swivels at top of stairs only
  • Key-lockable upgrade option
  • Track runs 6 inches over your top landing for safer dismount
  • Quiet operation

In homes where staircases present a design challenge due to twists, turns, and multiple levels, AmeriGlide’s Platinum Curved model can be adapted to nearly any configuration. The Platinum Curved stairlift is stocked with AmeriGlide’s premium features, including ERGO seats and an option to upgrade the standard, manual fold-away, and swivel functions to an automatic version.

Note: The AmeriGlide Platinum Curved is not self-installable due to the high complexity of its curved rail system. The cost of installation is included in the purchase price.

The AmeriGlide Platinum Curved includes the following features.

  • Custom-designed to fit nearly any staircase (multi-level, spiral, etc.)
  • Automatic fold-away and swivel seat upgrade options
  • Twin rail leveling system
  • Ergonomically designed seat
  • Retractable seatbelt
  • Pressure-sensitive carriage and footrest
  • Maximum track length of 19 feet
  • Wireless call stations included in price
  • Digital diagnostics display embedded in armrest
  • Footprint of 25.6 inches when in use and 14.3 inches when stowed
  • Comes in three seat colors and two ERGO seat options
  • Custom rail color options
  • Options to add landing stop points and extra battery-charging points

AmeriGlide’s Horizon Outdoor model is great for patios, lakeside docks, and other outdoor spaces. The Horizon Outdoor is a lot like the indoor Horizon; it comes with all of AmeriGlide’s standard features and is only available in beige vinyl seating. However, this unit has added weather protection and comes with a protective covering.

  • Most affordable outdoor option from AmeriGlide
  • Well-protected electrical and mechanical components
  • Comes with all-weather cover
  • Maximum track length of 55.25 feet
  • Anodized aluminum rail
  • Digital diagnostics display embedded in armrest
  • Beige vinyl seat
  • Comes with all standard features of the Horizon indoor model

AmeriGlide’s Outdoor Deluxe is the company’s heavy-duty model for outdoor stairs, featuring a higher-capacity carriage that can lift up to 350 pounds as well as an option for a larger seat up to 21 inches wide. This model comes with three all-weather covers to protect all mechanical and upholstered components.

It should be noted that the stairlift’s high weight capacity only applies when it is used on shorter stairs. For stairs of 16 feet or longer, the carrying capacity of the Deluxe is reduced to 250 pounds. The Outdoor Deluxe runs only on electricity (AC), has no digital diagnostics display, and must be upgraded for armrests to fold away when stowed (this feature not available with the extra-wide seat).

Features of the AmeriGlide Outdoor Deluxe include:

  • Option to add a grocery basket for $250.90
  • Price includes three all-weather covers for seat, chassis, and track header
  • Maximum track length of 25 feet
  • Extruded aluminum rail
  • Seat width of 19 to 21 inches
  • Seat depth of 14 inches
  • Footprint of 24.25 inches when in use and 14 inches when stowed
  • Key locking option available for call/send remote and base for up to $278.30
  • Grocery basket available

AmeriGlide Stairlift Safety Features

In an effort to make its stairlifts available to consumers with more constrained budgets, AmeriGlide offers models with different power functionality that come at more affordable prices. The company’s AC-powered Rubex stairlifts (non-battery assisted) save buyers about $160 off the Rubex’s regular price. The benefits of a more affordable stairlift are obvious, but with the removal of battery power, safety concerns involving electricity bear consideration.

During a power outage, an AC-only stairlift will cut off along with a home’s electricity, potentially stranding the rider mid-way on their stairwell until power returns. Battery power is capable of keeping a stairlift running for six to twenty minutes in an outage. Battery operation is also said to add an extra layer of protection from electrocution and power surges, but because AmeriGlide’s stairlifts undergo rigorous testing and approval by independent regulatory agencies, AmeriGlide stairlift owners are well-protected from these worst case scenarios.

Safety Controls

  • Footrest safety sensors. AmeriGlide’s stairlifts all come standard with an array of sensors embedded in the footrest. These sensors will bring the stairlift to a halt should it meet an obstruction on the stairway or rail.
  • Swivel safety switch. The swivel safety switch locks your stairlift’s seat in place after you swivel to the side for dismount onto your stairway landing. This ensures that there is a stable barrier between you and the stairs below as you exit the lift.
  • Seat-mounted safety belts. AmeriGlide stairlifts come with safety belts anchored to the seat rather than the back or armrests. This provides a more secure and stable ride.
  • Cable tension safeguards. If the load-bearing cables on your stairlift should lose tension at any point, the cable tension safeguards ensure that the chair will stop to allow for a safe dismount.
  • Limit switches. These switches engage when your chair has traveled to the top or bottom of your stairs, ensuring that the stairlift pulls into a parked position over a battery charge point automatically.
  • Pressure controls. AmeriGlide’s pressure controls only operate with continuous pressure from the rider’s hand. All you have to do to stop your stairlift from moving is release the joystick, or for a quick reverse, press the joystick backward.
  • Non-slip footrests. All AmeriGlide stairlifts come standard with non-slip footrests so that whether you are riding indoors or outdoors, getting on and off your stairlift feels as stable as possible.

Testing and Quality Assurance

AmeriGlide is certified by both Intertek (ETL), which independently enforces North American safety standards, and Underwriter Laboratories (UL), enforcing what is known as the American National Standards (ANSI) for quality and safety in manufacturing. AmeriGlide’s manufacturing sites are subject to quarterly surprise inspections and all of the materials and assembly methods comply with strict rules and guidelines to ensure consumer safety.

Costs and Financing

AmeriGlide is one of the easier brands to shop with as it is also a seller of other brands, and thus is much more open about pricing than companies that only sell proprietary models. Where other manufacturers are unlikely to divulge any pricing information until an installation specialist can visit your home, AmeriGlide publicly lists prices for every model, option, and upgrade they have available.

While AmeriGlide does not include the cost of your (optional) measurement or installation services in the purchase price, you can purchase from them without paying a sales tax. The only states where buyers would pay an initial sales tax are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, but even in these states the tax can be waived with a prescription for a stairlift from your doctor.

In the states of Kentucky and Alabama, stairlift buyers who wish to use AmeriGlide’s self-install option must purchase a stairlift installation permit and/or pay for state inspection of their handiwork. AmeriGlide offers to facilitate this process for a fee of between about $90 and $350, with inspections at the higher end of the cost spectrum.

Upgrades for Straight-Track AmeriGlide Stairlifts

AmeriGlide’s upgrade options consist primarily of rail extensions as the company considers a length of 15 feet standard for its straight-track stairlift models (excluding the Rave, which can fit longer stairs). The following are added costs you can expect if your stairs are longer than a standard, straight-track AmeriGlide rail system, or for other rail system upgrades.

  • Double stairlift Installation Service: $875
  • Extra rail price per-foot: $50
  • Rail joint kit (required for every extra 8 feet of rail): $43
  • Rail leg (to stair-mount extended rails): $29
  • Folding rail (space-saving option): $945

Upgrades for Curved-Track AmeriGlide Stairlifts

The upgradable options for AmeriGlide’s curved stairlifts get a bit more complicated. They have options to accommodate any stairway configuration and that includes spiral stairs, multi-tiered stairs, and everything in between. The following is a comprehensive list of all AmeriGlide curved rail upgrades, including prices for color options, additional charge points, and other add-ons.

  • 90° Flat turn segment: Free
  • 90° Spiral turn segment: Free
  • 90° Large radius turn segment: Free
  • 180° Flat turn segment: $657.99
  • 180° Spiral turn segment: $657.99
  • 180° Large radius segment: $657.99
  • Additional rail per-yard (standard length is 19 feet): $246
  • Spiral section (one section required for every 2 steps): $535
  • Additional 90° bend segment for two total: $657.99
  • Special non-90° bend: $1,087.99
  • Top landing option (track that overruns the top landing): $132.99
  • Bottom landing option (track that overruns the bottom landing): $131.99
  • Intermediate landing stop: $263
  • Additional battery charge (park) point: $132.99
  • Custom rail colors: $793

Sale Prices

AmeriGlide offers reduced rates on certain types of stairlifts that they carry. While sale prices are subject to change, the following table demonstrates discounts currently available at AmeriGlide.com.

Reduced-Rate ModelsReason for Price ReductionAverage Discount
Demo UnitsStairlifts that have been used and displayed at trade showsUp to $1,000 off
Used StairliftsAcquired by AmeriGlide through its buyback program$350 to $1,850 off
Factory ReconditionedStairlifts that have been professionally repaired and cleaned for resale
Up to $100 off
The Rubex ACAn older straight-track model that uses electric rather than battery powerUp to $160 off

Financing Options

AmeriGlide has partnered with FirstBank to offer financing that is insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. FirstBank financing may be available for buyers 62 and older who own their homes. To apply for financing for your AmeriGlide stairlift, contact AmeriGlide at (855) 484-9938 between 8 am and 9 pm, seven days a week.

Another option to help you pay for your AmeriGlide is PayPal financing. AmeriGlide offers 6-month financing through PayPal online, and applying is a very simple process as it is initiated during online checkout while you purchase your stairlift. To use this option, inform an AmeriGlide sales person that you would like to use the PayPal “Bill Me Later” function and they will help you through the process.

Maintenance Costs

Aside from basic cleaning and the occasional spot of grease on your stairlift’s works, owning an AmeriGlide stairlift comes with very few long-term obligations. On average, most people need to replace their twin 12-volt, 7-amp stairlift batteries once every three years. AmeriGlide offers this battery for sale on its website, but savvy buyers should be able to find the same type of battery for a fraction of AmeriGlide’s listed price. However, if you do decide to buy your stairlift batteries outside of your lift’s manufacturer, carefully check your owner’s manual to ensure that you get the correct kind.

Purchasing and Installation

In an effort to create the most consumer-friendly buying process, AmeriGlide has streamlined and simplified both purchasing and installation. Purchases can be made directly through AmeriGlide.com and less tech-savvy consumers can call the AmeriGlide sales team at (800) 790-1635.

AmeriGlide Stair Lifts stores are also located all over the United States and in Toronto. Visiting a store is a great option for those who prefer to try before they buy. Floor models are available to help you get a strong sense of the look and feel of the many AmeriGlide stairlift models.

Installation

Once it’s time to bring your new (or used!) stairlift home, the installation process comes with a range of options to suit your budget, ability level, and personal preferences.

AmeriGlide allows buyers to take their own pre-installation measurements, and in case you’re not a handyman, they provide a simple measurement video guide to walk you through the process. Also available is a PDF measurement worksheet that you can download to record your measurements as you go, then submit to AmeriGlide’s installation team if you wish to have them install your lift for you.

AmeriGlide’s stairlifts are designed to be easy for consumers to install themselves and the process generally takes about one to three hours. However, if you prefer professional installation, you can add this option during the online checkout process. You can also request installation services in-store or over the phone by calling (855) 823-8183.

AmeriGlide’s costs for installation include:

  • Professional installation: $575
  • Professional installation of Platinum Curved model: Free
  • Self-installation: Free
  • Professional installation + measurement package: $725
  • Installation on concrete, steel or tile stairs: $300
  • Installation in remote or limited-access locations: $285
  • Double stairlift installation service: $875
  • Hot rush service: $100

AmeriGlide cannot offer professional installations in the state of Oregon, so if you live in that state, you would have to hire your own choice of contractor to complete your installation.

Return Policies

For orders that are canceled after measurements and payment have been completed, AmeriGlide charges a 25 percent cancellation fee to pay for resources and the labor of its workforce. If your stairlift’s rail has not yet been cut when you cancel your purchase, this fee is reduced to either $250 or 25 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less.

AmeriGlide custom-makes its curved stairlift rails, and as such, they cannot accept curved stairlift returns. On the other hand, straight stairlifts can be returned within five business days of receipt. Refunds are, however, unavoidably less than the full purchase price.

AmeriGlide deducts the following costs from stairlift returns:

  • A 15 percent restocking fee
  • A $199 freight fee for the initial shipment to your home
  • The full cost of return shipping
  • A refused shipment fee of $700 (if the shipment is refused by the recipient)

Warranties

AmeriGlide stairlift warranties are never extended beyond a 10-year period, but its warranties do cover the most crucial component of the stairlift — the drivetrain — for two to five years.

To make a warranty claim for a stairlift bought directly through AmeriGlide, call (800) 922-3659. If you have purchased an AmeriGlide stairlift through an authorized dealer, you’ll need to contact the dealer to initiate any claims.

Warranties on new AmeriGlide stairlifts.

New, indoor stairlifts made by AmeriGlide come with a five-year drivetrain warranty and two-year coverage of all other parts.

Warranties on new AmeriGlide outdoor stairlifts.

Outdoor lifts are covered for one year. It should be noted that no outdoor stairlift is built to be operated in snow, ice, or inclement weather, and may require more frequent servicing if you live in an area with more severe weather conditions.

Warranties on heavy-duty stairlifts.

AmeriGlide Heavy duty stairlifts (HD) come with a two-year warranty on the drivetrain and all other parts.

Warranties on reconditioned stairlifts.

AmeriGlide’s reconditioned stairlifts come with a three-year warranty on the drivetrain and one year of coverage on all other parts.

Warranties on used stairlifts.

AmeriGlide’s Used Stair Lifts are warranted against parts failure for one year. Cosmetic damage commonly comes with a used lift, and AmeriGlide cannot cover this damage under warranty.

Warranties on stairlift chairs.

AmeriGlide lift chairs come with a 1-year, in-home parts and service warranty.

Good to know:

Whether you purchase your AmeriGlide stairlift through an off-brand dealer or directly through the manufacturer, when you make a warranty claim, you can be charged for things like labor and travel — things that aren’t covered by AmeriGlide’s warranty. It’s better to understand these kinds of charges when you make your claim than to be caught unawares after the work is done.

Harmar Stair Lifts

Best for Larger People

Harmar Stairlifts is an American manufacturer and one of the most trusted stairlift brands in the world. Its manufacturing centers are in Missouri and Florida, and rather than shipping its customer service jobs overseas, all Harmar customer service centers are based in the U.S. Harmar specializes in fast delivery, supportive customer care, and perhaps most importantly, top-quality engineering.

Where Harmar truly shines is in the long-term convenience and efficiency of its mechanical engineering. No other manufacturer of quality stairlifts can beat the 600-pound weight capacity of Harmar’s Pinnacle HD stairlift, and every Harmar machine comes with a highly capable motor and a battery that is double the size of nearly all other stairlifts.

The PinnacleThe Pinnacle PremiumThe Pinnacle Heavy DutyThe SL350-ACThe SL350-ODThe Helix Indoor/Outdoor
Pricing$2,995$3,995$5,695$2,195$3,195$13,999
Stairlift Rail TypeStraightStraightStraightStraightStraight OutdoorCurved
Maximum Weight Capacity300 pounds350 pounds600 pounds350 pounds350 pounds for stairs up to 16 feet long350 pounds
Key FeaturePatented drive system offers greater stabilitySpace-saving profile of only 10.5 inchesHighest weight capacity stairlift on the marketAffordable option comes pre-installed on a rail segmentFunctions in temperatures as low as 0 degreesCan adapt to challenging stairwell configurations indoors or outdoors
Upholstery OptionsVinylVinylVinylVinylMarine-grade vinylVinyl or marine-grade vinyl
Seat Color OptionsBeigeBeigeBeigeBeigeBeigeBeige
Rail Color OptionsWhiteWhiteWhiteWhiteSteel greyWhite or steel grey

Harmar Stairlift Models

Harmar’s stairlifts each come with a drivetrain that best suits the device’s specific application, whether indoor, outdoor, curved, or heavy duty. All come with a comprehensive suite of safety features, though seatbelts that retract and key locking are upgrade options on most models.

All Harmar stairlift models include:

  • High-capacity, 24-volt batteries offer longer battery life (not on AC model)
  • Speeds of 20 feet per minute are slightly faster than average
  • High-capacity batteries provide up to 40 trips in power outages
  • Rail systems do not require greasing
  • Carry at least 300 pounds
  • Option for automatic, mechanical folding rail saves space
  • Safety sensors stop the stairlift on meeting obstructions
  • Infrared remote controls send signals through obstructions
  • Swivel seat cutoff switch for safe dismount
  • Stair-mounted for simpler installations
  • Seats and footrests fold to a stowed position
  • Ergonomic controls positioned where hands rest naturally

The Pinnacle is Harmar’s standard straight stairlift. It is one of the most compact standard models on the market, with an 11-inch profile when folded away. The Pinnacle’s oversized worm gear is a patented technology that offers a higher level of stability than many other stairlifts.

Features of the SL300 Pinnacle include:

  • Seat depth of 16 inches
  • A smoother ride thanks to the patented helical worm gear drive system
  • Grease-free maintenance
  • Applicable track length up to 32 feet with 15.6 feet considered standard
  • Options for key locking and retractable seatbelt
  • Suitable for inclines up to 45 degrees

The SL350AC is Harmar’s economy option. It comes pre-attached to a short length of rail and operates directly through household electricity rather than utilizing a 24-volt battery. It features a fully adjustable backrest and footrest and operates on a somewhat dated cable drive system rather than a worm gear drive.

Features of Harmar’s AC option include:

  • Seat depth of 14 inches
  • Seatback is adjustable to three positions
  • Footrests adjustable to two different heights
  • Cable drive system
  • AC powered means it runs off your home’s electricity
  • Track length up to 25 feet with 15.6 feet considered standard
  • Suitable for inclines up to 45 degrees

Harmar’s straight-track outdoor model can operate in temperatures as low as zero degrees. The SL350-OD is made with materials specially adapted to be weather-resistant in a range of extreme temperatures and features all of Harmar’s standard safety features.

  • Seat depth of 14 inches
  • Non-slip footrest
  • Extruded aluminum track
  • Marine-grade vinyl seating
  • Cable drive system
  • Protective all-weather covers for header, internal chassis, and chair included
  • Suitable for inclines up to 45 degrees
  • Key locking option available

The Pinnacle Premium is Harmar’s best option for exceptionally long stairs, and it offers the smallest stowed footprint in the industry at just 10.5 inches. This model also comes equipped with a retractable seatbelt and a 350-pound carrying capacity.

  • Seat depth of 16 inches
  • 10.5-inch stowed footprint is the smallest in the industry
  • Patented helical worm gear drive system for smoother rides
  • Reinforced nylon polymer gear rack reduces long-term maintenance
  • Track lengths of up to 70 feet with 15.6 feet considered standard
  • Diagnostic indicator lights
  • Appropriate for inclines up to 45 degrees
  • Key locking and folding rail options

Harmar’s Heavy Duty model is the highest-capacity stairlift available. Most HD stairlifts can carry from 350 to 400 pounds, but with the benefit of Harmar’s patented drivetrain, the Pinnacle HD is the best option for larger people. It also features a generously padded and more ergonomic seat than Harmar’s other models.

Features of the Pinnacle HD include:

  • Seat depth of 16 inches
  • High-comfort seats for larger individuals
  • Patented helical worm gear drive system for smoother rides
  • Reinforced nylon polymer gear rack reduces long-term maintenance
  • An 85-degree seat swivel for safer dismount
  • Track lengths of up to 40 feet with 15.6 feet considered standard
  • Appropriate for inclines of up to 45 degrees
  • Options to add retractable seatbelt and key locking


The Helix is Harmar’s most feature-rich option and a single-lift solution for curving or multi-tiered stairs. The Helix comes in both indoor and outdoor configurations and can stand up to long years of harsh weather by offering one of the industry’s only all-steel rail systems. This model handles curves more smoothly than many other curved stairlifts because Harmar uses True-Curve rail bending in its fabrication process.

  • Premium upholstery and ergonomic seat design
  • Track lengths of up to 124 feet with 20 feet considered standard
  • Steel rack and pinion drive system
  • Seat depth of 15 inches
  • Steel (rather than aluminum) rails
  • Rails available in beige or black
  • Simple-connect rails with lighter chassis for easy installation
  • Outdoor package comes with weather-resistant features
  • Wider seat available up to 21 inches
  • Custom rail color and fabric options

Harmar Stairlift Safety Features

Most stairlifts are partially battery-operated so that they can keep moving for a time in the event of power outages, and so that riders have an added layer of protection from power surge and electrocution. Nearly all DC-powered stairlifts come stocked with two 12-volt batteries, though there are companies like Stannah which offer the option to upgrade to larger batteries for a fee.

With Harmar, stairlifts arrive equipped with a high-capacity, 24-volt battery. In the event of an outage, users can still take an impressive 40+ trips up and down their stairs on the amount of power this battery is able to store.

All but one Harmar stairlift comes with this battery — the SL350-AC Stairlift — which runs directly off of household AC power. This can present a safety hazard to buyers who live in storm-prone areas as there is the risk of getting stuck mid-way up or down the stairs if there is an outage. However, the SL350-AC is Harmar’s most widely accessible stairlift as it is often sold at about $800 less than the standard Pinnacle model.

Safety Controls

  • Swivel seat cut-off switch. Harmar stairlifts feature a cut-off switch that engages when the chair is swiveled to the side as the rider dismounts. This causes the seat to lock in place in its swiveled position until the switch is disengaged, providing a stable barrier between the rider and the stairs below as they exit their stairlift.
  • Bi-directional footrest obstruction sensors. An array of sensors embedded along the edge of your stairlift’s footrest can see obstructions on the stairs ahead and stop the chair to allow the rider to clear their path.
  • Final limit switch. Your lift will stop and park at the same points after every ride you take. This keeps the chair positioned over essential battery charge points to ensure that it retains a constant charge.
  • Chassis obstruction sensors. If there is ever an obstruction on your stairlifts rail system, sensors embedded in the chassis will see them and stop the chair, allowing you to clear the way.
  • Slack cable brake with cut-off switch. For cable drive units like the Harmar SL350-OD Outdoor model and the AC model, if your cable should ever go slack for any reason, your stairlift will engage an automatic braking system to keep things under control.
  • Constant pressure controls. Moving your stairlift requires constant pressure from your hand on the ergonomic joystick, so if you should ever need to stop or reverse your chair in an emergency situation, a simple push or release of the constant pressure control is all that’s needed.
  • Centrifugal overspeed brake. Your stairlift comes with a speed governor that will engage if it ever senses that you are moving too quickly or too slowly.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Harmar’s stairlift models are all weight-tested at several times the advertised load capacity and undergo life-cycle testing at or above industry standards. Harmar is certified by both Intertek (ETL), which independently enforces North American safety standards, and Underwriter Laboratories (UL), enforcing what is known as the American National Standards (ANSI) for quality and safety in manufacturing.

Costs and Financing

Purchasing a new Harmar stairlift can cost between $2,195 and $14,000 depending on your specific needs. To find out about pricing for upgrades and custom options, shoppers are encouraged to reach out to a Harmar customer service representative or contact an authorized dealer. Used Harmar lifts can be found online or locally with dealers who are part of the Harmar Authorized Dealer Network.

The average maintenance costs you will pay to keep your Harmar stairlift running through the years is difficult to calculate. Wear and tear on your machine will vary with how often or how seldom it is used, and the yearly prices for Harmar’s service contracts are not readily available online. However, any brand of stairlift is unlikely to have a big impact on your power bill as they consume minimal power with average use — about as much as a small television on standby.

Long-term stairlift owners will incur upkeep costs for:

  • Main battery replacements
  • Remote control battery replacements
  • Service agreement premiums
  • Replacement parts and service not covered under warranty or service agreement

Most stairlift buyers will have occasion to replace their lift’s main battery at an average rate of once every three years. Most stairlifts take two 12-volt, high-capacity batteries or one 24-volt battery, and these can easily be found for about $10 to $35 apiece. Major stairlift brands also include a remote control that will need regular, 9-volt battery changes, likely to run you only $1 to $5 per battery.

Financing Options

Because Harmar certifies the dealers of its stairlifts, financial matters like warranty claims and financing are handled through the Harmar Authorized Dealer Network. Dealers may offer financing through their choice of institution, though it is uncommon for financiers to offer payment plans for stairlift purchases.
As a major national retailer of Harmar products, 101 Mobility advises Harmar purchasers that they do not offer financing as many financiers of mobility equipment are likely to charge an otherwise avoidable sales tax. However, there are still multiple options for low- or no-interest financing for people who require mobility aids.

Purchasing and Installation

Rather than offering direct sales through an online store, Harmar provides a customer care team to help consumers find an authorized dealer in their area. A store locator tool is also available at Harmar.com where interested buyers can find multiple locations without the hassle of ever speaking to a customer service representative.

If you’re searching for specific pricing info on any options and upgrades that Harmar offers, talking to a representative at 101 Mobility may be your best bet. Harmar is one of four top brands they offer, and there are 101 Mobility stores located in 38 states, making them readily available to most buyers.

Installation

Installing a straight-track Harmar stairlift should take anywhere from an hour to one full day. Curved stairlifts can be much more complex, so both the wait time on orders and installation can take longer. Most curved stairlift installs can be completed in one to two days.

Harmar trains and certifies what it calls Certified LiftSquad Installers in order to guarantee consistency and quality in the installation process. All LiftSquad participants are vetted by Harmar to confirm that they are insured and meet certain standards of accreditation. LiftSquad members must take a Harmar-sponsored technical training certification course to be accredited as certified installers and must retake the course at least every five years thereafter to remain certified.

Warranties

Harmar Stairlifts warranties are offered by Harmar and honored by their Authorized Dealer Network, and cannot be extended beyond three years after the initial warranty term except in the case of the SL600 Pinnacle Premium, which comes with a limited lifetime warranty. After purchasing your stairlift, Harmar asks that you register your product within 10 days of purchase to activate your warranty coverage.

Authorized dealers are able to offer their own, additional warranties on used Harmar stairlifts, such as 101 Mobility’s first-year service warranty, but Harmar warranties are non-transferrable, which means they do not transfer to a new owner if a stairlift is re-sold as used or refurbished.

In the event that you must make a warranty claim, you will need to contact the dealer from whom you purchased your stairlift. Note that, in the process of fulfilling your claim, your dealer may charge you for labor, service, travel and other associated costs unless these expenses are covered under a service warranty.

The terms of coverage on each Harmar model include:

The SL300 Pinnacle.

The standard Pinnacle model has parts coverage for a 2-year duration, gear rack (mechanical components) coverage for 10 years and 1 year of battery coverage.

The SL350-AC.

Harmar’s AC stairlift comes with parts coverage for 3 years.

The SL350-OD Outdoor model.

The standard outdoor model gets 3 years of parts coverage.

The SL600 Pinnacle Premium.

Harmar’s Pinnacle Premium comes with a limited lifetime warranty on parts and its gear rack (mechanical components) and 1 year of warranty coverage for the 24-volt battery.

The SL600-HD Pinnacle Heavy Duty model.

The Pinnacle Heavy Duty model has parts coverage lasting 3 years, 10 years of gear rack (mechanical components) coverage, and 1 year of battery coverage.

The CSL500 Helix.

Harmar’s curved-track Helix model comes with 2 years of parts coverage and 1 year of battery coverage.

Good to know:

Many stairlift dealers and manufacturers — including Harmar — require that buyers who wish to maintain their warranty coverage must have their stairlifts serviced by an authorized technician at least once per year. Failure to do so can result in your warranty becoming void. Set reminders for yourself to have your stairlift serviced each year to get the most mileage out of your warranty.

Bruno Independent Living Aids

Best Overall Quality

Bruno Independent Living Aids is a family-owned, American stairlift manufacturer that has been in business for 35 years. Bruno sells stairlifts in markets all over the world and is a key brand for the largest residential stairlift dealer in North America, 101 Mobility.


The overall quality of Bruno’s product line comes from a mix of practical features, innovative design and high standards in manufacturing. Even Bruno’s entry-level stairlift, the Elan, offers a complete feature profile to fit almost any user’s needs. All models utilize Bruno’s unique vertical rail system that adds stability using less space than possibly any other stairlift rail. What’s more, Bruno’s manufacturing systems are ISO 9001 certified, proving that the company’s high standards of workmanship are consistently applied to the production process, creating quality machinery for every stairlift order.

The ElanThe EliteThe Elite CurveThe Elite OutdoorThe Elite Curve Outdoor
Pricing$3,200$4,100$10,500$5,200$13,000 to $14,000
Stairlift Rail TypeStraightStraightCurvedStraightCurved
Maximum Weight Capacity300 pounds400 pounds400 pounds400 pounds400 pounds
Key FeatureUnique rail design offers an unobtrusive profile for tighter spacesPremium, stylized seatBest option for larger peopleTested in extreme weatherCustom curved rail extendable for longer stairs
Upholstery OptionsVinyl or burgundy leatherVinyl or burgundy leatherVinyl or burgundy leatherMarine-grade vinylMarine-grade vinyl
Seat Color OptionsTan, brown, maroon, charcoal or olive, or burgundy leatherTan, brown, maroon, charcoal or olive, or burgundy leatherTan, brown, maroon, charcoal or olive, or burgundy leatherBeigeBeige
Rail Color OptionsSilver or champagneSilver or champagneSilver or champagneSilverSilver

Bruno Stairlift Models

Bruno’s stairlifts come in any configuration a person could need, including the rare curved-rail outdoor model. The standard features available on all Bruno stairlifts are equally as comprehensive, including audible diagnostic readouts for people with diminished eyesight and a suite of practical safety features.

Standard features of Bruno’s stairlifts include:

  • Onboard audio/visual diagnostics for easy status updates
  • Continuous-charge strips that charge batteries wherever chair is parked
  • Manual swivel seats with automatic option for easy boarding/unboarding
  • Manual fold-away storage with automatic footrest folding option
  • Obstruction sensors
  • Uses battery power in an outage
  • Call/send remote controls

Bruno’s most popular straight stairlift, the Elan, comes with a comprehensive set of standard features and a few practical upgrade options. The Elan is specially designed to glide close to the wall of your stairs and fold away into a tight parked profile, leaving lots of room for foot traffic.

Features of the Elan stairlift include:

  • Lifetime warranty on all major components
  • Smooth, quiet operation
  • Option to add remote-controlled swivel seat
  • Option to add power or manual folding rail
  • Automatic footrest fold-away when armrests are folded
  • Low-profile rail design leaves ample stair space
  • Vertical rail construction hides all mechanical components
  • Seat is 17.5 inches wide with 20-inches between armrests
  • Electromagnetic braking system
  • Onboard audio diagnostic readouts

The Elite stairlift provides a more premium look and a softer seat than Bruno’s standard model, the Elan. This stairlift is capable of safely handling up to 400 pounds and comes with both audio and visual diagnostic readouts, intended for people who have limited eyesight or hearing.

Features of the Elite stairlift include:

  • More premium look
  • Generously padded, ergonomic seats with multiple height adjustments
  • Designed to leave maximum free space on stairs
  • 17.5-inch seat is upgradable to 21.5-inch seat
  • Armrest width adjustable up to 21.75 inches
  • Lifetime warranty on all major components
  • Onboard audio and visual diagnostics for easy updates
  • Option to add remote-controlled swivel seat
  • Option to add power or manual folding rail
  • Automatic footrest fold-away when armrests are folded

The Elite Curve is Bruno’s signature stairlift and is the most adjustable option for larger people. It comes with all functions available on the Elite straight-track model, but with the added benefit of being custom-built for buyers so that it can fit into any stairway configuration. The Elite Curve also comes in a few upholstery and color upgrade options.

Features of the Elite Curve stairlift include:

  • Attractively styled and upholstered seat provides thicker padding
  • Tall vertical rail for added stability
  • Adjustable footrest height and armrest width
  • Option for a larger, 21.5-inch wide seat
  • Larger footrest option adds an extra two inches
  • Onboard audio/visual diagnostics for easy status readouts
  • Parking and charge points added for middle landings
  • Option to extend rails along the wall over top and bottom landings

Capable of carrying up to 400 pounds, the Elite Outdoor comes with most of Bruno’s standard options for the Elite indoor straight-track model. The Elite Outdoor also features a waterproof cover that secures to the seat to ride along with your stairlift, protecting it even when in use.

Features of the Elite Outdoor stairlift include:

  • Marine-grade vinyl padded seat
  • Waterproof cover that travels with the chair
  • Anodized aluminum rail with covered gear rack
  • Performance-tested between 0 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Adjustable-width armrests up to 21.75 inches
  • Durable, outdoor paint protects steel surfaces
  • Height-adjustable seats
  • Extended rail lengths available
  • Emergency stop when obstructions are sensed on track or stairs
  • Non-slip footrest

No matter the distance, angles, and elevation of your outdoor stairs, the Elite Curve Outdoor can handle it all. This is Bruno’s premium outdoor model, and as such, it carries the highest cost of all Bruno stairlifts. The Elite Curve Outdoor is the premier curved outdoor stairlift in North America.

Features of the Elite Curve Outdoor stairlift include:

  • Fits twists, turns and corners of challenging stairs
  • Marine-grade vinyl padded seat
  • Waterproof cover that travels with the chair
  • Anodized aluminum rail with covered gear rack
  • Performance-tested between 0 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Adjustable-width armrests up to 21.75 inches
  • Durable, outdoor paint protects steel surfaces
  • Height-adjustable seats
  • Extended rail lengths available
  • Emergency stop when obstructions are sensed on track or stairs
  • Non-slip footrest


Bruno Stairlift Safety Features

Battery power is an important modern safety feature present in most stairlifts. Bruno’s stairlifts all feature two 12-volt, high-capacity batteries that keep stairlifts in operation even in a power outage. Batteries are charged via a connection to household energy, sending a current to continuous-charge strips positioned wherever chairs are parked when not in use.

Sometimes referred to as “ADC” power, this combination of electricity and battery power provides an added layer of protection from power surge and electrocution, and also keeps riders from becoming stranded if their power should go out in the middle of a ride. Some manufacturers attest that their batteries can provide up to 40, or even 60 trips during a power outage, but the average amount of time that a stairlift can continue to function on battery power alone is six to twenty minutes.

Safety Controls

  • Obstruction sensors. Bruno’s stairlifts come with an array of spatial sensors that stop the chair from moving if an obstruction is sensed on the rail or on your stairs.
  • Offset swivel seat. The seats of Bruno’s stairlifts come standard with a manual swivel function that allows the rider to turn towards their landing and lock the chair in the turned position for a safe dismount. Bruno also offers a power swivel function that can be operated with the use of a remote control.
  • Non-slip footrest. Footrests on Bruno’s stairlifts come with a pebbled finish that significantly reduces the likelihood of a fall, either indoors or outdoors.
  • Audio/visual status indicator. When prompted, status indicators will read aloud any diagnostic codes or low-battery prompts for the rider, and Elite model stairlifts also come with visual readouts.
  • Soft start and stop. Your Bruno stairlift gradually starts and stops to make rides as smooth as possible.
  • Continuous charge. Charge strips are arranged alongside the Bruno stairlift rail system, allowing the battery to charge wherever the chair is parked so that you’ll never be caught with a dead battery.
  • Constant pressure controls. Stopping and reversing a Bruno stairlift is as easy as releasing or reversing pressure on an ergonomic joystick embedded in the armrest.

Testing and Quality Assurance

All Bruno stairlifts are certified by independent quality assurance agencies like Underwriter Laboratories (UL), in accordance with the American National Standards (ANSI) for quality and safety in manufacturing. They are also an ISO 9001 certified manufacturer, which means they have a highly standardized system of quality assurance in their manufacturing processes. Performance testing on outdoor models involves deeper testing for things like weatherproofing and cold/heat resistance.

Costs and Financing

Bruno’s straight-track stairlifts cost between $3,200 and $6,000, and its curved-track models run from $10,000 up to $16,000, with outdoor models dominating the high end. While some consumers may balk at these prices, Bruno is well-known by dealers to be such a solid brand that long-term costs are likely to stay exceptionally manageable. Bruno offers lifetime warranty coverage on select models, and being the most widely sold stairlift brand in the USA, Bruno’s local availability and long-term customer service are unmatched.

Financing Options

As Bruno stairlifts are not sold directly through the manufacturer, financing options depend on the authorized dealer from which customers purchase their stairlift. The largest national dealer of Bruno stairlifts, 101 Mobility, does not offer financing, noting that most financing companies will charge an otherwise avoidable sales tax for a stairlift purchase. However, 101 Mobility does offer suggestions for low- or no-interest financing options on all brands they carry.

Purchasing and Installation

Buying a Bruno stairlift cannot be done directly through the manufacturer, so to start the purchasing process, you’ll need to find a dealer. Most top-brand stairlift manufacturers have a national network of authorized dealers in place who can guarantee their quality assurances and warranty coverage. Even if you’re considering buying used or renting a stairlift, you will want to find legitimate dealers.
Bruno is one of the most widely stocked and sold brands in the country, and their top residential dealer, 101 Mobility, has more than 70 locations across most states. Trying before you buy is within reach for most consumers interested in Bruno products. To get a feel for Bruno’s design and comfort level, find your nearest 101 Mobility store location.

Installation

Once installation begins, Bruno estimates that straight-track installs are likely to be completed within one workday or less, but up to two or three days may be needed for custom curved installs, depending on the complexity of the stairlift’s design.

The specifics of your Bruno stairlift delivery and installation will also vary depending on what installation specialists your retail dealer contracts with. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to research the history of client satisfaction for any dealer you are considering buying through. The largest national dealer of residential Bruno brand stairlifts is 101 Mobility — a company that includes the cost of installation in the purchase price of a new Bruno stairlift.

Like many stairlift dealers, 101 Mobility guarantees that their installation specialists have undergone brand-specific training and are certified to do the job. The contractors they look for all have years of solid experience before 101 Mobility offers to train and certify them for deployment to a buyer’s home.

Warranties

Bruno’s warranties offer separate terms of coverage for what they consider major components. Major components of Bruno stairlifts are mechanical parts that are subjected to the most movement and friction throughout their lifespan. They include:

  • The drivetrain
  • The motor
  • The gearbox
  • The rail system

Because Bruno offers extensive warranties, and because the top North American dealers provide added warranty coverage, long-term costs should be largely confined to those incurred by user wear and tear or battery replacements. Bruno stairlifts use two 12-volt batteries that have an average life of three years. These can be purchased from your local dealer or potentially found online at a lower price.

The Elan stairlift.

Bruno’s standard straight-track model comes with a lifetime warranty on all major components. All other parts are covered for two years, and Bruno guarantees 30 days of labor coverage to pay for costs involved in service calls, such as fees for travel and employee compensation.

The Elite stairlift.

The Elite also offers lifetime coverage of all major components and two years of coverage for other parts. A 30-day labor contract covers costs for service calls.

The Elite Curve.

The Elite Curve offers five years of coverage on all parts and critical components.

The Elite Outdoor.

The Elite Outdoor provides five years of critical component coverage and two years of coverage for its other parts.

The Elite Curve Outdoor.

Bruno’s outdoor curved model comes with five years of critical component coverage and a two-year parts warranty.

Good to know:

Buying Bruno stairlifts from nationally authorized dealers can provide an added layer of warranty coverage. The largest Bruno dealer in the country, 101 Mobility, provides a one-year service contract to cover any parts that may malfunction due to manufacturer error. While this sort of coverage is commonly offered by other dealers, 101 Mobility also covers costs associated with services provided in your first full year of ownership, such as a repair team’s travel and labor expenses.

Handicare

Best for Accessibility Features

Handicare was founded in the UK, but has grown to become an international organization in 20 countries and an industry leader in mobility equipment manufacture. With its stairlifts’ high quality, comprehensive standard packages, and highly customizable design, Handicare was a contender for more than a few of the other “Best” awards conferred in this guide.

The factor that makes Handicare stand out from the competition, other than its industry-first Slide Track and Zero Intrusion straight rail options, is the high-accessibility design elements of its newly crafted Xclusive stairlift. The Xclusive is not just another stairlift; it’s an accessibility solution, even suitable for people who have dementia or severe joint discomfort.
With its color-contrasted and high-visibility user controls, simple-to-access battery housing, and softened hand rests for people with arthritis, nearly anyone can have a more capable and secure stairlift experience with the thoughtfully designed Xclusive. Add the upgraded Active Seat option to the Xclusive’s moderate base price, and you’ve got one of the best stairlifts available for people with limited mobility.

The 950The 950 PlusThe XclusiveThe 1000The 2000The FreecurveThe 1000 OutdoorThe 2000 Curved Outdoor
Pricing$2,580$3,080$3,680$3,580$6,190$8,590Pricing available with consultationPricing available with consultation
Stairlift Rail TypeStraightStraightStraightStraightCurvedCurvedStraightCurved
Maximum Weight Capacity310 pounds310 pounds286.6 pounds350 pounds 300 pounds for perch seat250 pounds 300 pounds for heavy duty kit300 pounds350 pounds 302 pounds with folding rail250 pounds 300 pounds with heavy duty kit
Key FeatureFolds away to an 11.25-inch stowed profileSmart Seat comes in 6 color options with adjustable height, width, and depthHigh-accessibility featuresBest seat options for people with reduced joint mobilityOne of the most inexpensive curved stairlifts availableLargest variety of mobility-supporting featuresWeather resistant even in harsh climatesCurved option for complicated outdoor stairs
Upholstery OptionsVinylVinylVinylVinylLeather grain or vinylVinyl, polyurethane or faux leatherWeather-resistant materialsWeather-resistant materials
Seat Color OptionsSandCocoa, sand, slate, ruby, sapphire or jadeCreamCocoa, sand, slate, ruby, sapphire or jadeSmart seat: Brown, wine, beige, midnight blue, forest green or Kelly green
Simplicity seat: Beige
Style seat: Brown, maroon or red
Elegance seat: Bordeaux red, cream or cocoa brown
Alliance seat: Bordeaux red, cream or cocoa brown with dark wood trim
Classic seat: Anthracite (green), Bordeaux red or beige
Cocoa, sand, slate, ruby, sapphire or jadeSmart seat: Brown, wine, beige, midnight blue, forest green or Kelly green
Simplicity seat: Beige
Style seat: Brown, maroon or red
Rail Color OptionsWhiteWhiteWhiteWhiteIvory, beige, brown or your choice of powder-coated RAL colorIvory, beige, brown or your choice of powder-coated RAL colorWhiteWhite

Handicare Stairlift Models

Handicare stairlifts all come standard with an impressive array of features, including key safety features common in modern, quality stairlifts. With the added option of a heavy duty kit, which adapts any Handicare stairlift to carry up to 350 pounds, and the high standard adjustability of each Handicare seat, most buyers can take advantage of any Handicare model, regardless of their weight or size.

Features common to all Handicare models include:

  • Heavy duty kit takes chairs up to 350-pound capacity
  • Two wireless remote controls
  • Sensors stop the chair when obstructions are sensed
  • Ergonomic paddle controls
  • Swivel seats in manual and powered options
  • Powered folding rail option
  • Continuous charging function
  • Adjustable seat height
  • Carpeted footrests
  • Manual emergency stop
  • Plug-in powered battery operation
  • Fold-away seat, footrests, and armrests
  • Key-lockable

The Xclusive is Handicare’s best option for people with severely diminished eyesight, or who are losing the full use of their hands due to arthritis. The Xclusive’s user controls are designed with contrasting colors to make them always visible, and the lift’s soft, ergonomic hand rests and easy-to-open battery terminals allow arthritic users to enjoy their stairlift pain-free.

Features of the Xclusive stairlift include:

  • Re-designed battery terminals make changing batteries easier for users
  • Ergonomically engineered paddle control designed for people with arthritis
  • Soft, high-wear hand rests shaped to cradle the curvature of the hands
  • Rounded seat provides a more supportive ride and a softer look
  • Swivel seat turns at both top and bottom of stairs for easy sitting/standing
  • Onboard diagnostics display
  • Seat depth of 15 inches
  • Fold-away width of only 13 inches
  • Maximum rail length of 22 feet
  • Maximum inclines of 52 degrees
  • Option to add footplate spacers to add 2 inches of legroom
  • Options to add power folding footrest and power swivel seat function controlled via an armrest switch

Handicare’s most popular model, the 950, comes at the company’s entry-level price point for straight stairlifts. It offers a suite of standard features that make it a strong choice for people with restrictive budgets.

The 950’s extra-slim stowed profile is built to leave maximum space for foot traffic on your stairs and can be streamlined for even greater space savings with the manual folding rail or Slide Track upgrades. However, on 950 stairlifts that have either of these rail options, the lift’s carrying capacity is reduced from 310 pounds to 265 pounds.

Features of the 950 stairlift include:

  • Option to include manual folding rail or Slide Track rail
  • A Zero Intrusion option for stairs with doors positioned close to stairs
  • Seat depth of 14.5 inches
  • Armrest spacing of 18.65 inches
  • Continuous charging keeps battery going no matter where you park
  • Ergonomic paddle control designed in part by occupational therapists
  • Extended seat option adds three inches between chair and footrest

The 950 Plus comes with all of the standard features of the 950 model, but adds the option to upgrade from the manual swivel seat and footrest fold-away features to powered versions to reduce strain in using the stairlift. Another key feature is that the 950 Plus comes with the Smart Seat, adding a high level of adjustability and six color options.

Features of the 950 Plus stairlift include:

  • Seat depth of 15.75 inches
  • Extended seat option adds three inches between chair and footrest
  • Option to add powered swivel seat and powered footrest
  • Option to add a body harness for added stability
  • Continuous charging keeps battery going no matter where you park
  • Ergonomic paddle control designed in part by occupational therapists
  • Option to include manual folding rail or Slide Track rail
  • A Zero Intrusion option for stairs with doors positioned close to stairs

The Handicare 1000 is a straight-track stairlift that comes with seating options for those who have mobility issues in their hips, backs or legs. The perch seat option is particularly suited to those who find it difficult to get comfortable in a fully seated position and instead prefer to maintain an upright posture.

Features of the Handicare 1000 include:

  • Choice of 6 upholstery colors
  • Smart or Perch seats available for the comfort of people with limited flexibility
  • Body harness add-on available
  • Seatbelts retractable for all seating options
  • Optional powered or manual folding rail
  • Manual swivel seat and footrest fold-away

The 2000 Curved stairlift is a highly customizable option suited to multi-tiered or twisting stairs, and at $6,190, it is one of the most affordable curved stairlifts you’ll find. This model accommodates four of Handicare’s seat options, including the Simplicity, Style, Smart and Perch chair configurations.

Features of the Handicare 2000 stairlift include:

  • Comes with three chair options — the Simplicity, Style or Smart seat
  • Multiple seat upholstery and color options available
  • Twin rail system for added stability
  • Rails come in your choice of three standard colors or a custom color
  • Option to add Velcro seatbelt


The Freecurve is one of the few single-rail curved stairlifts on the market, lending it a less obtrusive profile. This model starts at a base price of $8,590 when buyers choose a rail that overruns their top or bottom landing, or $9,590 with the added option of an intermediate landing. The Freecurve comes with Handicare’s largest standard feature set for mobility and sensory aids, including the Active Seat upgrade that helps users lift themselves to a standing position or sit down gently.

Features of the Freecurve stairlift include:

  • Joystick can be place on left or right armrest
  • Multiple color and design options available for rails and seats
  • Compatible with Handicare’s full range of automatic and powered options
  • Onboard diagnostics display
  • Option to add an LED illuminated footrest
  • Active Seat option provides greater support getting into and out of your chair


The 1000 Outdoor is Handicare’s straight-track model for outdoor spaces, and it comes with all of the 1000 indoor model’s standard features and upgrade choices. It features weather-resistant surfaces and can withstand temperatures as low as 0 degrees. The folding rail upgrade option reduces the 1000 Outdoor’s carrying capacity to 302 pounds.

Features of the Handicare 1000 Outdoor stairlift include:

  • Comes with UV-resistant, slate-grey upholstery
  • All-weather cover included
  • Onboard diagnostics display
  • Choice of 6 upholstery colors
  • Smart or Perch seats available for the comfort of people with limited flexibility
  • Body harness add-on available
  • Seatbelts retractable for all seating options
  • Optional powered or manual folding rail
  • Manual swivel seat and footrest fold-away
  • Optional powered footrest fold-away can be operated from seat base or armrest


The 2000 Outdoor is Handicare’s curved-track model for outdoor spaces, and it comes with all of the 2000 indoor model’s standard features and upgrade choices. It features weather-resistant surfaces and can withstand temperatures as low as 0 degrees. While both 2000 models have a lower carrying capacity than the 1000 models, adding Handicare’s heavy duty upgrade kit brings the 2000 Outdoor’s capacity to 300 pounds.

Features of the Handicare 2000 Outdoor stairlift include:

  • Comes with UV-resistant, slate-grey upholstery
  • All-weather cover included
  • Onboard diagnostics display
  • Comes with three chair options — the Simplicity, Style or Smart seat
  • Multiple seat upholstery and color options available
  • Twin rail system for added stability
  • Rails come in your choice of three standard colors or a custom color
  • Option to add Velcro seatbelt

Seating Options

Handicare offers four different types of seating for its premium models to meet the needs of people who may have reduced joint flexibility, arthritis, or other mobility issues. Each of these seats comes in its own range of color options and a unique upholstery style.

The Simplicity seat.

Handicare’s basic stairlift chair, the Simplicity seat, comes in a single color option with leather grain upholstery.

  • Seat pad size — 15 inches deep
  • Armrest width — 19 inches
  • Footplate to seat height — 19.5 to 22.8 inches

The Style seat.

The Style seat is Handicare’s upgrade from their standard Simplicity option that gives users the option to choose upholstery in cherry red, vanilla beige, or ivory white.

  • Seat pad size — 15.3 inches deep
  • Armrest width — 17.75 inches
  • Footplate to seat height — 19.5 to 22.8 inches

The Smart seat.

Handicare’s Smart seat features a large seat cushion and a high level of customizability, with fully adjustable height, width, and depth.

  • Seat pad size — 14.25 to 16.75 inches deep
  • Armrest width — 18.25 to 22.5 inches
  • Footplate to seat height — 19 to 24.8 inches

The Perch seat.

The Perch seat is for people with limited joint mobility who are more comfortable riding in an upright position rather than riding fully seated.

  • Seat pad size — 12.5 to 16.75 inches deep
  • Armrest width: — 18 inches
  • Footplate to seat height — 25.6 to 34.5 inches

Handicare Stairlift Safety Features

Handicare stairlifts are “ADC” powered, meaning they operate with the use of a battery that is charged via household, AC electricity. Each stairlift comes with two 12-volt batteries, and these typically last an average user about three years before they need replacing. Handicare has engineered their stairlifts to make changing the batteries as simple as possible, with the Xclusive model being the newest, and possibly the best example of this feature.

The major safety benefit of battery power is that in a power outage, Handicare stairlifts can keep functioning for up to 40 trips, or an average of 20 minutes, up and down the stairs so that riders will never be stranded. Thanks to Handicare’s continuous charge functionality, batteries are kept fully charged as long as your Handicare remains powered on, no matter where you choose to park your chair.

Safety Controls

  • Obstruction sensors. Handicare stairlifts all come standard with an array of sensors embedded in the footrest. These sensors will bring the stairlift to a halt should it meet an obstruction on the stairway or rail.
  • Swivel lock. The swivel safety latch locks your stairlift’s seat in place after you turn to the side for dismount onto your stairway landing. This ensures that there is a stable barrier between you and the stairs below as you exit the lift.
  • Constant pressure controls. Handicare control joysticks and ergonomic paddles only operate with continuous pressure from the rider’s hand. All you have to do to stop your stairlift from moving is release the joystick, or for a quick reverse, press the joystick backward.
  • Safety belts. Handicare stairlifts come with the option of an across-body harness, retractable seatbelt or Velcro seatbelt.
  • Diagnostic displays. Handicare models come with diagnostic displays to warn of mechanical or battery issues.
  • LED footlights. The Handicare Freecurve comes with white LEDs to light the footrest when it is folded down awaiting use.

Testing and Quality Assurance

The design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of Handicare stairlifts are assessed and certified by multiple independent agencies. Handicare’s products have earned multiple ISO standards certifications for quality in consumer goods. Handicare stairlifts are tested extensively for their load-bearing capacities and long-term durability.

Costs and Financing

Handicare’s straight-track stairlifts cost between $2,580 and $3,680, and its curved-track models run from $6,190 up to $8,590, with outdoor models commanding higher, unadvertised prices. Handicare offers lifetime warranty coverage on select models, and being one of the top stairlift manufacturers in the world, Handicare stairlifts are available locally through most mobility equipment retailers. Stairlift dealers act on behalf of Handicare to foster long-term customer service relationships with their buyers.

Financing Options

Financing for Handicare stairlifts might be available through any major dealer of the brand, and may differ significantly depending on which authorized dealer you choose to shop with. A leading national dealer of Handicare stairlifts, 101 Mobility, advises that while they do not offer store financing, there are multiple low- and no-interest financing options for mobility equipment shoppers, such as zero-interest credit cards and loans or grants from organizations that serve people with disabilities.

Purchasing and Installation

While consumers cannot purchase a Handicare stairlift directly through the manufacturer, authorized dealers are available online, over the phone and in stores. Authorized dealers are brand-certified to guarantee manufacturers’ quality assurances and warranty coverage. Even if you’re considering buying used or renting a stairlift, it’s imperative to find legitimate dealers.

Handicare is one of the most widely stocked and sold brands in the country, and the top residential dealer, 101 Mobility, has more than 70 locations across most states. To try out Handicare’s design and comfort level for before you make a purchase, simply find your nearest 101 Mobility store location.

Installation

Once an installation begins, Handicare estimates that straight-track installs are likely to be completed within one workday or less, but up to two or three days may be needed for custom curved installs, depending on the complexity of your stairlift’s design.

The specifics of your Handicare stairlift delivery and installation will also vary depending on what installation engineers your retail dealer contracts with. The largest national dealer of residential Handicare brand stairlifts is 101 Mobility, which factory trains, certifies, and hires its own installation teams. This particular dealer always includes the cost of their installations in the purchase price of a new Handicare stairlift.

Warranties

Handicare offers product-specific warranties on its stairlifts, with most featuring lifetime coverage of the stairlift’s most important mechanical part — the gearbox. In addition to Handicare’s manufacturer warranties, your stairlift dealer may offer further coverage. Buyers who purchase through 101 Mobility receive a one-year service warranty, which covers all costs associated with any services needed for your stairlift, including things like travel expenses and labor fees.

The Handicare 900.

Handicare’s introductory straight-track model comes with lifetime coverage of its motor and gearbox and a two-year parts warranty.

The Handicare 900 Plus.

The feature-rich version of Handicare’s 900 stairlift, the 950, also comes with lifetime coverage of its motor and gearbox and a two-year parts warranty.

The Handicare 1000.

The 1000 offers a two-year comprehensive warranty on all parts and vital mechanical components.

The Handicare 2000 Curved.

Like the 1000, Handicare’s curved-track 2000 model offers a two-year comprehensive warranty on all parts and vital mechanical components.

The Xclusive.

Like the 1000, Handicare’s curved-track 2000 model offers a two-year comprehensive warranty on all parts and vital mechanical components.

The Freecurve.

The Freecurve offers a two-year comprehensive warranty on all parts and vital mechanical components.

The Handicare 1000 Outdoor.

Like the 1000, the 1000 outdoor model offers a two-year comprehensive warranty on all parts and vital mechanical components.

The Handicare 2000 Outdoor Curved.

Handicare’s outdoor version of the curved-track 2000 model offers a two-year comprehensive warranty on all parts and vital mechanical components.

101 Mobility

Best Stairlift Dealer

There’s a reason why we have mentioned 101 Mobility multiple times in our guide to the top stairlift manufacturers. While 101 Mobility is not a manufacturer, it is a nationwide stairlift dealer/installer with over 70 store locations, as well as the preferred partner of four of the top mobility equipment manufacturers in the country. Bruno, Handicare, Harmar, and Savaria have entrusted the bulk of their residential stairlift sales and installments to this company.

Bruno and Harmar have created private label stairlifts to bear the 101 Mobility name and they each come with all of the features and options offered with standard stairlift models from these brands. The 101 Pinnacle by Harmar is one of the most compact stairlifts available, measuring only 10.5 inches wide when stowed. 101 Mobility’s model by Bruno offers a strong option for people who have reduced eyesight, as its accessibility features make it easier to use without the aid of a caregiver.

The 101 Mobility Stairlift by BrunoThe 101 Pinnacle by Harmar
Pricing$3,400$3,500
Stairlift Rail TypeStraightStraight
Maximum Weight Capacity300 pounds350 pounds
Key FeatureAudio diagnostics readouts are usable by people with reduced eyesightExceptionally compact stowed measurements with an automatic folding rail option
Upholstery OptionsLeatherVinyl
Seat Color OptionsBrownTwo-tone brown
Rail Color OptionsSilverWhite

101 Mobility Stairlift Models

The 101 Mobility by Bruno is a private label branded stairlift engineered for 101 Mobility by Bruno, one of the dealer’s top-selling brands. It comes with all standard features you can expect from Bruno and is well-suited for people with poor eyesight who do not have the aid of a caregiver. This stairlift is upholstered in brown leather and is covered by Bruno’s manufacturer warranty.                            

Features of the 101 Mobility Stairlift include:

  • Bruno’s standard safety features
  • Leather upholstery
  • Manual footrest and armrest fold-away
  • Armrest paddle-switch control
  • Wireless call/send controls (2)
  • Highly padded seat with multiple height adjustments
  • Vertical rail hugs the wall to save space
  • Sleek and unobtrusive profile
  • Continuous charge strips charge batteries wherever chair is parked
  • Onboard audio diagnostic readouts for easy status updates

The 101 Pinnacle is 101 Mobility’s private label stairlift created by Harmar. It is a standard straight stairlift, and with its 10.5-inch profile when folded away, it’s one of the thinnest and lightest models on the market. The 101 Pinnacle’s oversized worm gear is a patented Harmar technology that offers a higher level of stability than many other stairlifts.

Features of the 101 Pinnacle include:

  • Seat depth of 16 inches
  • A smoother ride thanks to the patented helical worm gear drive system
  • Grease-free maintenance
  • Applicable track length up to 32 feet, with 15.6 feet considered standard
  • Options for key locking and retractable seatbelt
  • Suitable for inclines up to 45 degrees

Stairlift Safety Features

Both private label stairlifts offered by 101 Mobility are battery-powered, which ensures that they will continue to run for up to 20 minutes in the event of a power outage. Battery power also provides an added layer of protection from power surge and electrocution. Batteries are continuously charged via household electricity while the stairlift is powered on, so users should leave their 101 Mobility lift powered on whenever possible to keep the batteries fully charged. Your stairlift’s track will come with battery charge strips arranged along the rail wherever the chair can be parked so that batteries are charged while the chair is not in use.

Safety Controls

  • Obstruction sensors. 101 Mobility stairlifts come with an array of footrest sensors that stop the chair from moving if an obstruction is met on the rail or on your stairs.
  • Offset swivel seat. The seats of 101 Mobility stairlifts come standard with a manual swivel function that allows the rider to turn towards their upper landing and lock the chair in the turned position for safe dismount.
  • Non-slip footrest. The footrest surface of 101 Mobility’s stairlifts significantly reduce the likelihood of a fall.
  • Audio status indicator. The 101 Mobility by Bruno stairlift is stocked with status indicators that read aloud any diagnostic codes or low-battery prompts for the rider. The 101 Pinnacle comes with a digital diagnostic display positioned on the chair’s pedestal.
  • Soft start and stop. 101 Mobility stairlifts start and stop in a gentle, gradual fashion to make rides as smooth as possible.
  • Continuous charge. Charge strips are arranged alongside the 101 Mobility stairlift’s rail system, allowing the battery to charge wherever the chair is parked so that you’ll never be caught with a dead battery.
  • Constant pressure controls. Stopping and reversing a 101 Mobility stairlift is as easy as releasing or reversing pressure on an ergonomic control embedded in the armrest.

Testing and Quality Assurance

101 Mobility stairlifts are manufactured by Bruno and Harmar in their North American factories, and are thus subject to the same testing and quality assurance tests as any stairlift offered by those brands. 101 Mobility products are all ISO certified, and are tested at above-average weight capacity over many years’ worth of simulated cycles to ensure that both models will stand the test of time.

Costs and Financing

Because 101 Mobility does not offer a curved-rail stairlift or an outdoor option, costs for their straight-track stairlifts consist of a flat fee which includes all installation expenses. Buying a 101 Mobility stairlift will cost between $3,400 and $3,500.

Financing Options

While 101 Mobility does not offer in-store financing, they do have suggestions for buyers who need a little help with their purchase. Zero-interest credit cards are an option, as are reverse mortgages and home-improvement loans. For low-income seniors and people with disabilities, there may be local organizations or government programs to help with the purchase and installation of a stairlift.

Purchasing and Installation

101 Mobility has more than 70 stores across the country, so for most people, buying is as simple as locating the store nearest you. If the closest store is still too much of a drive, there is also the option to purchase over the phone or online. To initiate a stairlift purchase with 101 Mobility, call (888) 258-0652 or visit them online at 101Mobility.com.

For businesses that have multiple locations in need of a comprehensive accessibility profile, 101 Mobility offers their Strategic Partnerships program. 101 Mobility works with multi-location businesses to plan and execute a mobility program designed specifically for that business’ building layouts and decor.

Installation

101 Mobility’s installation engineers are factory trained, so they are highly capable of installing stairlifts, wheelchair lifts, auto lifts, and more for every brand that 101 Mobility sells. Installation specialists are closely screened before they are hired, ensuring that when you allow them into your home, you can trust that they have been carefully vetted.

Installers will use courtesy cloths and boot covers when necessary, and before they leave your home once the installation is done, they will always clean up after themselves, adjust your stairlift to the proper height for you, and make sure you are comfortable using your new stairlift. The installation process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Warranties

Because 101 Mobility’s private label stairlift models are manufactured by two top brands, Bruno and Harmar, warranty coverage for both of these stairlifts will be the same as those offered on Bruno and Harmar proprietary models. For warranty information on the 101 Mobility Pinnacle, click over to our Harmar warranties section. To see warranty information on the 101 Mobility by Bruno, see our Bruno warranties coverage.

In addition to these manufacturer warranties, the 101 Mobility service warranty covers incidental costs, like transportation and labor, for any service visits conducted within your first year of ownership.

Stannah Stairlifts

Best for Custom Options

From its humble beginnings as a crane and hoist manufacturer in England in the 1860s, family-owned Stannah Stairlifts has become an award-winning accessibility equipment manufacturer with locations all over the world. Stannah now has three U.S. headquarters in Massachusetts, New York, and California, as well as a trusted dealer network with locations in every state.

Stannah’s feature models, the Starla and the Siena, stand out in the mobility device industry for their custom design appeal. Both can be ordered with such a broad range of options that nearly every part of these devices, from its cushions to its rail systems, may be made with custom colorways, even including an option to add wood trim in one of two finishes.

A Stannah stairlift is tailored to the individual circumstances of the user, not just in terms of one’s personal sense of style, but also by offering highly specific safety and accessibility options. Buyers can initiate a simple, three-part design and installation process to create a stairlift that is unique to their needs and blends with their home decor, all with the benefit of industry-leading functionality.

The Starla 260The Starla 600The Siena 260The Siena 300The SadlerThe ScoutThe 320 Outdoor
Pricing$12,000 to $15,000$5,695$12,000$4,395Pricing available with consultation$2,995$5,900 to $8,000
Stairlift Rail TypeCurvedStraightCurvedStraightCurvedStraightStraight
Maximum Weight Capacity300 pounds350 pounds300 pounds350 pounds300 pounds300 pounds300 pounds
Key FeatureLarge selection of premium options with a custom curved railLarge selection of premium optionsStandard model designed for narrow stairs that require a custom curved railStandard model designed for narrow stairs and larger peopleDesigned for people with low joint mobility and curved or multi-tiered stairsEconomy option with basic comfort and safety features for narrow stairsHigh tolerance to salt spray and extreme heat and cold
Upholstery OptionsVinyl or woven fabricVinyl or woven fabricVinylVinylWoven fabricVinylWeather-resistant plastics
Seat Color OptionsBrown, light beige, green, red or stone, plus, dark or light wood trimBrown, light beige, green, red or stone, plus, dark or light wood trimTan, ivory, cranberry, pine, walnut or midnight blueTan, ivory, cranberry, pine, walnut or midnight blueBeige with light wood trimNut brownLight grey
Rail Color OptionsCurved rails come in choice of pearl, nut brown, jet black, window grey, beige or ochre brownBeigeCurved rails come in choice of pearl, nut brown, jet black, window grey, beige or ochre brownBeigeCurved rails come in choice of pearl, nut brown, jet black, window grey, beige or ochre brownPearlSteel grey

Stannah Stairlift Models

All Stannah stairlifts come with a set of standard features that promote independence for the user, including two remote controls that can send or call the chair to your preferred position. The remotes can be locked with the use of a key and come with wall mounts so they can be positioned at the top and bottom of the stairs.

Other standard controls and safety features include:

  • Can fit any length stairs
  • Ergonomic slimline control built into armrests where hands lay naturally
  • A comprehensive suite of safety features
  • Option to add supplemental safety features
  • Option to upgrade to a larger and longer-running battery
  • Manual and automatic seat swivel functions available
  • Easy fold-away mechanisms
  • Multiple style choices
  • Anti-slip footrests
  • Automatic hinged rail option for straight rail models
  • Chair position lock and fold-away come in either manual or power configurations
  • Options for people with limited manual dexterity or joint immobility

Stannah’s newest edition, the Starla model, can be ordered in both straight and curved configurations and features a tilted seat for added comfort and security. What makes this model stand out is its potential for customizability. With multiple upholstery, trim, and color options for nearly every part of the Starla, including six colors for the rail, this model is made to blend into the decor of your home. The Starla’s standard package includes pearl-toned rails, a manual swivel seat and footrest, Stannah’s light touch hand control, and a retractable seatbelt.

Other available features of the Starla include:

  • Wood trim available in dark and light finishes
  • Your choice of waterproof vinyl or woven fabric upholstery
  • Bi-directional seat swivel option
  • Manual or powered footrest folding
  • Push-button and manual footrests do not require bending over to fold away
  • High-backed and generously padded

The Siena model is best for people who desire a few custom options and a high-quality stairlift but do not require the high customizability of Stannah’s more expensive Starla model. This model is also well-suited to more narrow staircases, as the seat’s curved back provides a deeper, and thus space-saving seated position. The Siena’s vinyl upholstery comes in tan, ivory, cranberry, pine, walnut or midnight blue.

  • Waterproof vinyl seat upholstery
  • Color options available for rails
  • Wider seats and footrests available
  • Curved seat back for a more deeply-seated position
  • Slim profile
  • Curved 260 model can be anchored to either side of your stairs
  • Easy fold-away mechanism does not require bending over

Stannah’s outdoor model is a rugged, all-weather version of the indoor models that retains those chairs’ functionality and safety features. While Stannah does not currently offer outdoor units with curved tracks, stairlift users can install more than one straight rail model to navigate complex stairways. The straight tracks can be made to fit any length of stairway.

  • Withstands extreme temperatures and salt spray
  • Compatible with minimum stairway widths of 27”
  • Light grey coloring
  • UV-resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Sensors stop the chair on contact with debris on the track or stairs
  • Comes with a fitted, all-weather cover
  • Comes with all standard options for indoor stairlifts
  • Controlled with an ergonomically-positioned joystick

Stannah’s Sadler model is specifically designed for people who have difficulty bending or pain when they bend at the hip, knee or back. The seat is positioned to maintain an upright position, or “perch,” while keeping the user secure while in motion. Added safety features and a powered tilting seat make the Sadler an exceptionally supportive stairlift.

  • Powered tilting seat gently raises and lowers users for easy sitting and standing
  • Saddle-style seat reduces joint strain by forming upright posture
  • Immobilizing seatbelt restricts movement of the chair until it is buckled securely
  • Curves to travel beyond the top stair all the way onto the landing
  • Adjustable height
  • Footrest automatically folds to the wall when one armrest is raised

Stannah’s economy model, the Scout, is for practical users who do not desire the bells and whistles of other models, but who still want the high-quality functionality and safety features that come with all Stannah stairlifts. It should be noted that while the Scout’s price point is attractive, it is only suitable for people with low-level mobility issues.

  • Small form factor ideal for basement stairs
  • Comfortably supports people with minimal mobility issues
  • Swivel seat can be locked in place for safer transfer to and from chair
  • Center-clasp seatbelt
  • Comes with vinyl upholstery and two remote controls
  • Safety sensors stop the chair on contact with obstructions
  • Anti-slip footrest
  • Adjustable height
  • Ergonomic controls

Stannah Stairlift Safety Features

Battery-operated models like Stannah’s stairlifts are the best option for those who live in storm-prone or otherwise power outage-prone areas. Your battery-powered lift will protect you from a power surge and electric shock, and if your electricity goes out during a storm or outage, your stairlift will continue to be operable for an average of six to twenty minutes with the standard battery package. This means there’s no risk of getting stranded in the middle of your stairs when the lights go out.

All of Stannah’s stairlifts are powered by two 12-volt, high-capacity batteries which continually charge via your home’s electricity. The benefits of battery operation are largely safety-oriented, though it is also true that battery-powered stairlifts are quieter than electric models. Stannah gives consumers the option to purchase a Heavy Usage Kit, which provides a larger battery terminal to accommodate more power, keeping your lift running for twice as long as the standard battery.

Safety Controls

  • Seat sensors. Stannah stairlifts come standard with sensors built into the seat of the chair that will stop the stairlift until you are securely positioned.
  • Safety sensors. Each stairlift has ten safety sensors arranged around the footrest to stop the lift if it meets an obstruction on your stairs or the track.
  • Arm isolation. Arm isolation technology prevents the chair’s controls from being toggled until the downstairs-facing armrest is pulled down and locked into place.
  • Immobilization seatbelt. The safety belt on the Sadler model for people who require an upright perch position must be fastened before the lift can be started.
  • Folding rail. The optional folding rail automatically raises and lowers as the chair slides away from it on the track, removing obstructions to make room for doors and hallway passage.
  • Swivel seats. A swivel seat comes in either a manual or powered configuration and locks the chair in place to block the stairlift user from falling backward as they turn to dismount at the top of their stairs. Stannah also offers the option of bi-directional swiveling to offer added convenience at the bottom of your stairs. Lifts equipped with a power swivel function can be swiveled using the included remote control.
  • Seatbelt options. Stannah offers diagonal and five-point harness configurations for added support of the upper body.
  • Optional parking kit. The parking kit allows users of curved rail stairlifts to park the chair a short distance upward from the landing to remove potential obstructions.
  • Heavy usage kit. This option provides a larger battery that can support twice the number of journeys as a standard battery.
  • Reduced-size footrest or offset footrest. Optional footrest sizes are available for especially narrow or steep stairs.
  • Optional door-closing device. This device is positioned for use where the chair may run into an open door during travel.
  • On/Off control. Every Stannah stairlift comes with a conveniently placed on/off control embedded within an armrest where it can be reached quickly by the user.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Stannah stairlift carriages are tested over the equivalent of 10 years of average use and motors are tested with over 100,000 journeys. Stannah’s stairlifts are independently tested and approved under multiple EN 81 European Safety Standards and the ISO 9386 Worldwide Standard for Stairlifts.

Costs and Financing

Stannah’s stairlifts come with so many options to customize your purchase that prices can vary significantly. The base price of their economy model, the Scout, starts at $2,995, and Stannah’s indoor straight stairlifts can cost as much as $5,695 without any feature upgrades. Stannah’s website notes that due to their extensive experience as stairlift manufacturers and the many options they offer, stairlift shoppers with economy budgets may be able to find cheaper options.

With installation included, most straight stairlifts cost between $2,500 and $5,500, though a curved stairlift will often cost about twice as much, running up to $14,000. However, for people who may only need their stairlift for a short time, perhaps while recovering from a hospital stay or during a visit from a relative who has mobility issues, Stannah stairlifts are available to rent from authorized dealers.

Financing Options

New Stannah stairlifts can only be purchased through a Stannah store or by initiating a purchase online, and Stannah does not offer financing options. However, if purchasing a used Stannah stairlift, dealers may offer their own in-house financing or use the financial institutions of their choice.

For information on the cost of Stannah stairlift, contact them at (888) 282-9659 to initiate an in-home evaluation, or visit Stannah-Stairlifts.com to find an authorized dealer near you.

Maintenance Costs

With Stannah, initial costs will vary depending on the options you select for your stairlift and the type and length of track that is suitable for your space. Long-term costs are likely to include annual premiums to keep your stairlift covered for maintenance after your warranty expires, as well as any parts or repairs not covered under the terms of your warranty or service agreement.

After an average of three years of use, most people must also buy a replacement battery for their stairlift. Stannah’s lifts use two 12-volt, high-capacity batteries, which cost anywhere from $10 to about $35 per battery to replace. Stannah’s Heavy Usage Kit upgrades the battery to a larger type, which lasts longer but costs more to replace. Stannah Stairlifts batteries are available through your local authorized dealer or by contacting Stannah directly.

Purchasing and Installation

When buying with Stannah, the first step in the process involves speaking with a representative to evaluate your needs using a thorough survey. Then an appointment is set to measure and evaluate your home, at which time a representative will answer questions you may have regarding price, warranties, or anything at all. The last step in the process is when your Stannah representative advises you about the best stairlift for you and your home and provides your free price quote.

Stannah emphasizes the after-purchase customer support they offer, noting that all buyers of their products receive free consultations, call-out servicing, and clean, fast installations. You may initiate the purchase process by contacting Stannah at (888) 282-9659 or by visiting them online at Stannah-Stairlifts.com.

To find a Stannah store nearby, visit Stannah-Stairlifts.com/find-a-dealer. Even if you plan on buying used through an unaffiliated dealer, visiting a showroom can give you a chance to see and feel a Stannah chair in person.

Installation

Stannah custom-makes all stairlift purchases for the customer, whether you buy a straight rail model or a curved, and thus more complex, stairlift. While composing chairlifts with custom fabrics and rail lengths take time, the process is unlikely to take more than a week or two. Stannah’s stairlifts will arrive at your home in Green Apple Award-winning, minimalist packaging designed to be easily recyclable.

Installation of Stannah stairlifts generally takes no longer than half a day. Installation engineers are personally trained by Stannah representatives and have access to proprietary technology which allows them to measure your stairway to within a tenth of an inch. Before they leave your home, your engineers will help you find the right height adjustment for your needs, make sure you are comfortable using your new stairlift and clean up any mess left by the installation process.

Warranties

One of the benefits of buying with Stannah is its extensive manufacturer’s warranty. It includes the following terms:

  • For critical components of their straight stairlifts, including the motor, gearbox, and rail, Stannah offers its customers a 10-year warranty for new stairlifts.
  • Curved Stannah stairlifts include parts coverage for two years and lifetime drivetrain coverage.
  • Parts and components that malfunction due to normal wear and tear during the warranty period will be replaced for you.
  • Stannah operates a call-out service and offers current warranty holders priority service windows.

After purchasing your Stannah stairlift, the company asks buyers to complete a product registration form online or by mail within 30 days.

Once the period of use that is covered by your warranty expires, you will be given the option to enter into a service agreement. Most service agreements cost a few hundred dollars per year and offer less inclusive coverage than the original warranty, as the machine being covered has aged.

Good to Know:

Depending on whether you buy through Stannah or through a dealer not included in their authorized dealer network, your warranty and financing options can vary significantly. Stannah cannot guarantee warranties provided by an unauthorized dealer, and unauthorized dealers cannot guarantee a Stannah manufacturer’s warranty. To find store locations included in Stannah’s network, visit Stannah-Stairlifts.com. Otherwise, consider contacting Stannah online or by phone and let them refer your query to an authorized dealer nearest you.

Acorn Stairlifts

Best for Fast Delivery and Installation

Acorn Stairlifts is a United Kingdom-based manufacturer that has been in business since 1992 and is one of the largest stairlift companies in the world. Acorn may be the only company of its kind to exclusively sell directly to consumers rather than employing licensed dealers or third-party installation engineers. Its dedication to service and design has led Acorn to innovate new ways to fabricate and install stairlifts.

Acorn’s curved stairlift models — intended for more complex staircases — are constructed using a unique modular design called FastTrack. The FastTrack rail system removes the long waiting period many stairlift buyers must endure while their curved stairlift rails are custom built in a factory. Acorn also emphasizes features that give its lifts unusually fast and easy installations, such as the stair-mounted (rather than wall-mounted) design, which alleviates the need to make alterations to your home’s construction before your installation can begin.

The Acorn 130The Acorn 180The Acorn 130 Outdoor
PricingPricing available with consultationPricing available with consultationPricing available with consultation
Stairlift Rail TypeStraightCurvedStraight
Maximum Weight Capacity350 pounds265 pounds350 pounds
Key FeaturePerch, sit and stand options for people with reduced joint functionFaster than average installation and deliveryComes with a weather-resistant cover and keyed lock
Upholstery OptionsVinylVinylWeather-resistant vinyl
Seat Color OptionsBeigeBeigeBeige
Rail Color OptionsSteel greySteel greySteel grey

Acorn Stairlift Models

Acorn’s stairlifts come in three models, with options for larger people, indoor or outdoor use, and straight or curved stairs. All models ship from Acorn’s factories complete with a comprehensive suite of features intended to promote convenience, safety, and long-term satisfaction. These include:

  • Lockable while not in use
  • An auto-stop function for debris on the track or stairs
  • Battery powered for quieter, safer use
  • Slimline options for narrow stairwells
  • Low power consumption
  • Fast installation due to innovative design
  • Optional hinged rail folds away to remove obstructions for doors and hallways
  • Remote control to send the chair where it is needed

The 130 — also called the Acorn Superglide — is Acorn’s standard stairlift model. It features most of the same functions as the Acorn 180 and 130 Outdoor. With Acorn’s sensor system and intuitive controls, the 130 offers a simple yet safety-enhanced option.

  • Most affordable model
  • Nearly silent movement
  • Retractable seatbelt
  • Intuitively designed controls embedded in armrests

Acorn’s 180 model is intended primarily for use on curved or multi-tiered staircases and utilizes a modular FastTrack rail system to ensure that your stairlift rail is the best fit for your space. Another feature of the 180 is its customizability for people who have difficulty bending at the knee, hip, or back, and who are more comfortable in an upright posture when seated.

  • Perch, sit and stand options for people with reduced joint function
  • Rails can curve past the top stair to deposit the rider on their landing
  • FastTrack system offers the fastest delivery and installation in the business
  • Can fit almost any staircase

Acorn’s 130 Outdoor model is built to withstand the elements and provide safe passage to and from your home. While the outdoor model has many of the same features as the curved-rail 180 model, such as the perch, sit, and stand seating posture options, Acorn does not currently offer curved rail systems for outdoor use. People who require a stairlift on curved or multi-tiered outdoor stairs will often have multiple straight lifts installed on the same stairwell.

  • Comes with all-weather, fitted cover
  • Waterproof and UV-resistant
  • Withstands extreme temperatures
  • Perch, sit, and stand options for people with reduced joint function

Acorn Stairlift Safety Features

On top of being a quieter ride, stairlifts that run on battery power can be safer and more dependable than purely electric models. Acorn’s stairlifts are powered by a battery which continually charges via your main electricity supply. This means that there is no risk to the user of electric shock, and that the chair will continue to function for an average of six to twenty minutes if your power goes out. This makes Acorn a good option for people who live in storm-prone areas.

Acorn’s lifts charge themselves using “charge points” positioned on the rail, close to the end of the rail where the chair would naturally sit on standby. If, for any reason, your stairlift is not charging, it will emit a warning tone to indicate either that it is not positioned on a charge point or that there is another issue keeping the stairlift’s battery from charging.

In the event of any kind of malfunction, including failure to charge, the lift’s digital readout will indicate an error code that corresponds to a potential issue. Error codes are numbered and listed in the user’s manual.

Safety Controls

  • Footrest safety edges and carriage safety pads. These features contain sensors that will stop the chair when they make contact with an obstruction on the stairs or the chair’s travel rail.
  • Speed governing device. The speed governor prevents excessive speed in the event of mechanical failure, ensuring that your stairlift moves at a consistent and gentle pace.
  • Swivel seat switch. This mechanism prevents movement of the stairlift when the seat has been swiveled to 45º or 90º. The swivel function allows the user to turn themselves toward the landing when they are ready to dismount the lift. When in the swiveled position, your chair becomes an immobile barrier between you and the stairs below.
  • Final limit switch. This switch prevents the stairlift from traveling too far along the rail, ensuring that the chair remains parked over a charge point to keep its battery charged when not in use.
  • Downside arm interlock. An Acorn stairlift’s seat arms must be in the down position for the stairlift to operate, providing a safe and secure ride.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Acorn puts its stairlifts through a rigorous testing process before they are approved for use. This involves operating the lift through the average equivalent of 11 years of use with 25,000 return journeys. Before each stairlift leaves an Acorn factory, its carriage is checked 29 times by a large quality assurance team. Installation engineers follow a fully standardized, 37-point installation process.
Acorn’s stairlifts are independently tested and approved under the EN 81-40:2008 European Safety Standards and the ISO 9386-2:2000 Worldwide Standard for Stairlifts.

Costs and Financing

Most stairlifts cost from $2,500 to $5,500 after installation, and sometimes less if you purchase a pre-owned unit. However, due to the customized nature of Acorn’s FastTrack rail system, cost estimates are not readily available without an in-home consultation.

Financing Options

Acorn Stairlifts does not advertise its financing options online, but the company does offer in-house financing. If asked, a sales person will send an Acorn engineer to your home to inform you of your financing options as they measure your stairs for potential installation.

Purchasing and Installation

Acorn is one of the few, if not the only stairlift manufacturer that exclusively sells directly to consumers rather than through dealers. Pre-owned Acorn products can be found by visiting local retailers, but new units must be purchased directly from the company.

To request pricing information or to schedule a home assessment by a technician, contact Acorn online at AcornStairlifts.com or by phone at (866) 873-6574. There is also one physical location in the US where people who happen to live near Orlando, Florida may be able to see and sit in a chair before initiating a purchase. Find them at 7001 Lake Ellenor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32809.

Installation

Before purchasing your stairlift, an Acorn installation representative will make an appointment to come to your home and assess the space, determining which track configuration would offer the most appropriate fit and providing exact estimates. Once that is done, if you decide to place an order, next-day installation may be available in some areas, though this is usually only offered for straight stairlift orders.

Most stairlifts can be delivered and installed by licensed Acorn engineers within just a few days after measurements are taken, rather than weeks. The installation process itself takes only a few hours due to the simplified nature of Acorn’s FastTrack rail construction. Acorn states that engineers will always ensure that you are comfortable using your stairlift and will clean up any debris before they leave your home.

The FastTrack System

Acorn’s guarantees of quick delivery and installation are made possible by the FastTrack rail system. Acorn’s stairlift tracks are constructed from premade, modular sections of high-strength aluminum that come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be interlocked to create multiple rail configurations.

While most stairlift manufacturers must either take an extended period of time to customize and build a curved stairlift, or otherwise install a pre-made stock rail system for straight lifts, Acorn has the option to select a configuration of FastTrack modules that best suits the particularities of your staircase. However, it should be noted that if your staircase is highly irregular, a more exact fit may be available through other stairlift brands.

Warranties

A 12-month, non-transferrable warranty is issued upon the installment of your lift. This warranty will cover one 12-month, scheduled service plus any damage or failure of the device, as long as an Acorn representative can assess that the cause was faulty parts, manufacturing or installment.

If you realize that you no longer need or want an Acorn stairlift that you’ve already had installed, you will have 14 days from the date of installation to cancel your purchase. Acorn representatives will disassemble and collect your stairlift at no cost to you and refund your purchase price within about two weeks.

When your warranty period is up, rather than an extended warranty, many stairlift companies offer what’s called a service agreement. Acorn service contracts become available after the initial 12 months of warranty coverage are up, and a yearly fee is paid as a premium for the agreement.

Though these contracts can cost hundreds of dollars, they may be worth it if you plan to keep and make use of your stairlift for another full year, or if you foresee that you may need to leave the lift unused for extended periods, which can raise the risk of malfunction.

Good to Know:

It pays to read your Acorn Stairlifts owner’s manual. If it is assessed that you have improperly used your stairlift — according to the definitions of improper use laid out in your user manual — then you will be held responsible for any repair costs you incur. It may also void your warranty if you do not perform routine maintenance on your stairlift, which includes basic cleanings and checking for full functionality of certain components once every few months. The specific upkeep guidelines can be found in your user’s manual.

Savaria

Best Standard Package

Savaria is a Canadian mobility equipment company that makes everything from home elevators to wheelchair lifts. Savaria is unusual in that they own a small network of North American dealers rather than certifying existing dealer/installers, as is common for the industry. But perhaps the greatest thing about Savaria is the high practicality of its stairlifts’ basic features.

While all stairlifts come with plenty of options for premium safety and design upgrades, Savaria includes a set of standard features in the price of all of their models that should soundly accommodate most buyers’ needs. Not all manufacturers include adjustable armrests or a 350-pound weight capacity as standard, but Savaria stairlifts are all made to comfortably hold people of most sizes.

The K2The SL-1000The Stairfriend
Pricing$2,750$3,450$8,800
Stairlift Rail TypeStraight Indoor/OutdoorStraightCurved
Maximum Weight Capacity350 pounds350 pounds350 pounds
Key FeatureExceptionally small fold-away footprintContinuous-charge charges batteries regardless of parked positionOut-of-the-way parking deposits the rider around the bend of their landing
Upholstery OptionsVinylVinylVinyl
Seat Color OptionsBeigeBeigeBeige
Rail Color OptionsWhiteWhiteWhite

Savaria Stairlift Models

Savaria provides a highly pragmatic set of features as standard on all of their stairlifts, including large, 24-volt batteries, adjustable armrests, and weight capacities of 350 pounds. Savaria models also come with safety features and upgrade options that make them a solid contender in stairlift manufacturing space.

Savaria’s standard features and options include:

  • Two infrared remote controls that send signals through obstructions
  • Retractable seatbelts
  • 24-volt batteries
  • Non-slip footrests
  • Swivel lock seats for safer dismount
  • Stair and rail system obstruction sensors and auto-stop
  • Soft start and smooth stop operation
  • Mounts to either side of your stairs
  • Option to add flip-up rail
  • Option to add emergency stop button
  • Option to add continuous-charge system

Savaria’s most popular model, the K2, has one of the smallest folded-away profiles in the industry, making it a great option for people with high-traffic or narrow stairways. It is a straight-track model lift appropriate for single-flight, straight stairwells, and offers the option to add a fold-away rail for a less intrusive profile.

Features of the Savaria K2 include:

  • A 10.75-inch profile when stowed
  • Fits stairs up to 32 feet long and inclines of up to 55 degrees
  • Maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds on inclines over 45 degrees
  • Quiet and smooth-riding rack and pinion drive
  • LED status lights to indicate battery life and diagnostics
  • Can be installed to the left or right of stairs
  • Adjustable arm width up to 20 inches

The Savaria K2 also comes with the option to upgrade to an outdoor stairlift. The K2 outdoor package will come at an increased cost. It is suitable for moderate climates and includes:

  • Stainless steel rack and support legs
  • Zinc hardware for rust resistance
  • UV-rated, water repellent, closed-cell foam seat
  • Seat cover
  • Sturdy clip seatbelt
  • Upgraded battery for long-lasting charge in variable temperatures

The SL-1000 was designed as a commercial stairlift, for use in public buildings such as churches and offices. To accommodate people of different shapes and sizes, the SL-1000 has Savaria’s most plush foam seat and features an onboard digital diagnostics display.

The SL-1000’s features include:

  • Small fold-away footprint of 13.75 inches
  • Height adjustable up to 25 inches
  • Seat is 21 inches wide with armrests adjustable up to 21 inches
  • On-board diagnostics display
  • Extra-generously padded seat
  • Appropriate for commercial applications in some states

Made to fit any stairway configuration, the Stairfriend can be adapted to multiple tiers, hard turns and spiral staircases. This model comes standard with a length of rail that overextends stairs and runs along the wall at the top landing to deposit the rider safely and unobtrusively. The Stairfriend may also be used in public spaces depending on regional regulations.

Features of the Savaria Stairfriend include:

  • Appropriate for commercial applications in some states
  • Travels stairs up to 45 feet long at up to a 52 degree incline
  • Folded width of 15.5 inches
  • Choice of medium or large seat
  • Dual-rail design for added strength and stability
  • Choice of vinyl or synthetic leather seat
  • Adjustable arm width up to 21.5 inches
  • Overspeed brake

Savaria Stairlift Safety Features

All of Savaria’s current stairlift models are “ADC” powered, meaning they operate chiefly with the use of a battery that is charged via household, AC electricity. Included batteries are 24-volt cells that are twice the size of an average stairlift battery.

The major safety benefits of battery power are that it offers an average life of about three years, and that in a power outage, Savaria stairlifts can keep functioning for up to 40 trips up and down the stairs so that riders will never be stranded.

A key safety feature of Savaria’s stairlifts is their continuous-charge capability. Savaria’s lifts have small charge points positioned in places along the rail where the seat can be parked. This ensures that Savaria stairlifts are always charging, as long as they are powered on. This makes the battery unlikely to ever unexpectedly go dead.

Safety Controls

  • Obstacle sensors. A standard feature of Savaria stairlifts is an array of obstruction sensors positioned along the seat’s footrest and the chassis to stop the chair if it should meet a barrier on either the rail or your stairs.
  • Seat swivel and lock. This feature allows the rider to turn their seat toward the top landing to dismount their stairs and locks the chair in position to act as a stable barrier between the rider and the stairs below.
  • Soft start and smooth stop. Savaria’s stairlifts reach their 15 feet per minute speed in a gentle, gradual push, and come to a stop just as easily.
  • Overspeed brake. This feature comes standard with all but the K2 model (buyers of the K2 have the option to upgrade to the overspeed break). It functions as a speed governor in the event that the stairlift exceeds its usual speed of 15 feet per minute.
  • Non-slip footrest. Savaria’s footrests come with a pebbled surface that makes boarding and unboarding your stairlift much less likely to result in a fall.
  • LED status lights. Savaria stairlift chairs come with an arrangement of small LEDs to advise the rider of any issues, including low battery power and mechanical malfunction.
  • Zinc hardware. Savaria’s outdoor package includes mechanical components that are made from zinc to discourage rusting.

Testing and Quality Assurance

All Savaria equipment is rigorously tested in North America for its load-bearing capacities and life-cycle durability. Savaria stairlifts are ADA compliant and are certified by Underwriter Laboratories (UL), which enforces what is known as the American National Standards (ANSI) for quality and safety in manufacturing.

Costs and Financing

Savaria’s straight-track stairlifts cost between $2,750 and $3,450, and its curved-track model starts at $8,800, with outdoor straight and curved models in the highest price bracket. Savaria stairlifts are sold locally through select mobility equipment retailers, and while prices may vary among different dealers, buying through 101 Mobility or the Savaria Direct Group is likely to give buyers consistent pricing regardless of their geographical location. Stairlift dealers act on behalf of manufacturers like Savaria to foster long-term customer service relationships with their buyers.

Financing Options

While Savaria does not offer financing options for stairlifts sold through the Savaria Direct Group, buyers may find financing offers depending on their location and the dealer they choose.

As a major national retailer of Savaria products, 101 Mobility advises people interested in financing their Savaria that they do not offer financing, as many financiers of mobility equipment are likely to charge an otherwise avoidable sales tax. However, there are still multiple options for low- or no-interest financing for people who need mobility aids.

Maintenance Costs

After a Savaria warranty has run its course, any parts that wear out or otherwise malfunction will need to be replaced at the owner’s expense. However, if you take good care of your stairlift and continue to keep it clean and running smoothly after your warranty term is up, long-term costs are unlikely to be a major issue.

Because Savaria stairlifts come standard with a larger-than-average, 24-volt battery, it is unlikely that your battery will need to be replaced within less than three years, regardless of how heavily you use your stairlift. When it does come time to replace your battery, these can be found online for less than $50.

Purchasing and Installation

Purchasing a Savaria can be done in one of two ways: You can go through an authorized dealer, such as 101 Mobility, or, if you live near one of five Savaria Direct Group locations, you may purchase directly from Savaria by visiting one of their manufacturer-owned stores. Purchasing directly through Savaria will get you the 36-month parts warranty, and purchasing through a dealer like 101 Mobility is likely to add an extra layer of warranty coverage.

Installation

Installations of straight stairlifts should take only about one to three hours, though installations of curved stairlifts can involve broadly differing spatial circumstances and are thus likely to take at least one full day to complete.

Savaria selects its dealer and installer network based on their record of expertise and the length of their experience. All installation specialists must be certified by Savaria and undergo continued training sessions to stay up to date on industry best practices and Savaria’s quality assurance standards.

If you purchase your Savaria stairlift through an authorized dealer rather than through the Savaria Direct Group, it’s best to research customer satisfaction with the dealer’s previous installs before making a selection. Savaria stairlifts are sold by major retailers, including 101 Mobility, which has more than 70 store locations across the country. 101 Mobility provides added installer certification and training and gives buyers warranty coverage for their first year of service call-related expenses, like travel and labor.

Warranties

Savaria offers a simple, single-item warranty on all of its stairlifts that are sold in North America. They provide 36 months of coverage for all stairlift parts as long as engineering or manufacturing error is at fault for any malfunction.

To maintain warranty coverage, your Savaria stairlift must be serviced regularly by an authorized Savaria dealer on a schedule that is disclosed in the owner’s manual. Regular servicing for most stairlifts must take place once per year, but more frequent and/or extensive upkeep may be required to maintain warranty coverage for Savaria’s outdoor units.

Savaria’s warranty only applies to stairlifts installed by authorized Savaria dealers. This warranty does not cover:

  • Batteries
  • Accidental damage
  • Acts of God
  • Any kind of misuse, abuse or vandalism
  • Improper installation or placement
  • Structural or cosmetic parts subject to normal wear and tear
  • Drive belts
  • Mechanical switches
  • Light bulbs
  • UPSs (uninterruptible power supplies)

Good to Know:

Dealers of Savaria stairlifts may offer extended warranties or service agreements at their own discretion, but buyers should be careful about accepting an extended warranty. Salespeople often overestimate the likelihood that a major appliance will need servicing, so it’s best to always research any warranty terms and guarantors, no matter how reputable your stairlift dealer may be.

What Is a Stairlift?

Stairlifts are battery powered chairs that glide on a track to help people with limited mobility maintain easy access to every level of their home. Whether your stairs are indoors or outdoors, short or long, and whether they are straight, curved or multi-tiered, there’s probably a stairlift for you. Below you’ll find some basic information on the different types of stairlifts that are available to help you find the best option to suit your needs.

Types of Stairlifts

Straight Stairlifts

A basic, straight stairlift is the most inexpensive form of the machine, though it is, of course, only suitable for people who have average, straight stairs. In homes that have straight staircases with multiple tiers and landings, installing more than one straight lift is an option. This may even be less expensive than purchasing a single curved stairlift since these can cost up to ten times more apiece. Still, navigating a multi-tiered stairwell using more than one straight lift makes transferring from one chair to another at each landing a necessity.

Curved Stairlifts

Curved lifts must be custom-made after purchase as curved stairways are not a well-standardized feature of home design. A curved lift can be engineered to fit with nearly any stairway, even for spiral stairs and uneven, outdoor terrain. However, a highly curved stair may present stairlift design challenges, such as reduced carrying capacity or rail length.

Wheelchair (Platform) Lifts

For those who require the use of a wheelchair in the home, wheelchair lifts are designed to bear a much heavier load than average stairlifts. These lifts utilize a large platform topped by a high-walled, roll-in box that limits movement of the chair while the lift is in motion, though some instead utilize un-walled platforms that lock in place between the wheels, supporting a chair by its frame.

Vertical Lifts

In homes where stairs are bordered by a wall over which a person can be vertically lifted to an upper landing or floor, use of the stairs can be avoided altogether. Vertical lifts attach to the wall beside your stairs, and thus will sometimes require home alterations to reinforce the weight-bearing capacity of the wall itself. Vertical lifts can be found in multiple styles to accommodate a seated or wheelchair-bound rider.

Portable Stairlifts

A portable lift is ideal for wheelchair users who frequent less easily accessible buildings or who may not be able to self-evacuate in an emergency. It is essentially a large-platformed dolly on a motorized, caterpillar track, and it moves freely, unattached to any surface. While a friend or caregiver who can lift at least 60 pounds must be available to help maneuver a portable stairlift, this style of lift has proven an invaluable tool in emergency situations and day-to-day travel outside the home.

A Stairlift’s Main Components

User Controls

  • Hand controls: Modern stairlifts are designed with all kinds of mobility challenges in mind, so a key feature of any stairlift is an ergonomically positioned hand control. Hand controls are mounted in the right or left armrest, and many manufacturers allow buyers to choose which armrest position they prefer. A user can move their stairlift by applying a small amount of constant pressure to a paddle-shaped switch or joystick, with paddle switches positioned to sit between the fingers where hands naturally lay. The constant-pressure feature allows a rider to quickly stop or reverse their stairlift with ease by simply releasing the control or applying pressure in the reverse direction.
  • Power buttons: Power buttons are positioned either within reach of a rider on the armrest or on the pedestal of their chair. Users are advised to keep their stairlift powered on so that the batteries can continue charging while the chair is in a parked position.
  • Fold-away levers: Levers for fold-away are usually mounted near a stairlift’s seat, so these often do not require much bending at the waist to engage. A fold-away lever can be used to fold the seat, armrests and footrest so that the chair becomes flattened to the wall, making your stairlift less obtrusive to foot traffic while it is parked. Fold-away systems can often be upgraded to function automatically with the push of a button.
  • Swivel-seat levers: Swivel-seat levers can usually be found on either side of the seat. Swivel seats allow riders to safely turn their stairlift seat toward the top or bottom landing of their stairs and then lock the seat in position, bracing the user to safely sit or stand. Swivel-seats can often be upgraded to function automatically with the push of a button.
  • Diagnostic displays: A diagnostic window may be found on a stairlift’s pedestal, armrest or remote control. If there is ever a functional issue, such as a low battery or malfunctioning mechanical component, diagnostic windows will display an error code that matches up with a corresponding explanation in the user’s manual of what the error code means.
  • Remote call systems: Most stairlifts come with a set of two remote controls that can be carried by the rider or set into wall-mounted cradles, though some call systems may be wall-mount only. Remotes function to bring the stairlift to your position, either at the top or bottom of the stairs. Most modern remotes offer infrared functionality that sends a signal over a long distance and through any obstructions between the stairlift chair and the remote. Some remote controls have the capacity to control automatic fold-away or swivel-seat functions.
  • Seat adjustments: All stairlift chairs are height-adjustable, allowing for more legroom between the footrest and seat base. Part of the stairlift installation process should involve your installer helping you find the right height adjustment and setting that up for you. Other adjustments may be possible, depending on the brand and model of your stairlift. Many lifts come with adjustable armrests that create more room in the seat and some feature adjustable backrests as well to accommodate taller people.
  • Folding rails: Most stairlifts offer the option to upgrade to a folding rail in either a manual or remote-controlled configuration. For spaces where there is a door very near the top or bottom of the stairs or where there is limited room for foot traffic, your rail can fold on a hinge to save space. A folding-rail segment is the end section of stairlift track. It folds back onto a more out-of-the-way section of rail, leaving the first or last few steps completely open. Some manufacturers may offer slimline rail options as well, or other innovations like Handicare’s Slide Track rail, which travels a short distance as the chair moves, sliding it along the wall away from the final few steps and toward the rider’s destination.

Rail Systems

Stairlift chairs house motors that pull the rider along a rail mounted to the homeowner’s stairs by bolted-down, metal brackets. Some rails, such as those used with vertical lifts or wheelchair platforms, may be bolted to a wall instead.

Stairlift rails come in many brand-specific shapes and sizes, though they are usually made of extruded aluminum and can be mounted to either side of your stairs. Straight-track stairlifts commonly run on one rail while curved lifts glide almost exclusively on a double-rail system that adds stability. Curved rail systems must be custom-made for a buyer’s home, and due to the high variability of curved stairs, added costs for things like extra lengths of rail and other hardware can pile up quickly.

Motors and Power Supplies

If your stairlift uses battery power, it will come with either two 12-volt batteries or one 24-volt battery, and these have an average lifespan of three years. While the lift is powered on and in a parked position, batteries are continuously charged via charge strips or charge points arranged along the rail.

Some stairlift models operate exclusively on your home’s electricity. These stairlifts, usually called AC models, carry a slightly lower price tag than battery-powered options. However, an AC model can leave you stranded on the stairs if there’s a power outage. Batteries store power and can support up to 20 minutes of usage without household electricity.

Drivetrains that motorize stairlifts are housed within the seat’s base and are most commonly found in the “rack and pinion” configuration. The average speed of a stairlift motor is 15 to 20 feet per minute (FPM).

How to use a stairlift

Your user’s manual becomes especially important when it comes to how you use your stairlift. Your installation specialist should carefully demonstrate exactly how it’s done, but reading the user’s manual is always in the buyer’s best interests.

The features specific to your model of stairlift are intended to produce a carefully orchestrated user experience, giving you the safest and most strain-free use of your machine. Manufacturers of different stairlift brands prescribe a specific “order of operations” to guarantee safe and easy use of their products, so the order in which a user folds down their stairlift chair for use, swivels the seat into a front-facing position, belts in, and takes off should be a brand-specific process.

What not to do.

Another way your user’s manual benefits you as a stairlift operator is by showing you what not to do. Certain actions, like using your stairlift to carry heavy packages or pets, can present serious risks. Manufacturers will sometimes go so far as to void a warranty if your stairlift or property is damaged under such circumstances.

Who Should Consider a Stairlift?

The average stairlift buyer is someone who has already faced a reduction of mobility due to age-related circumstances, a lifelong disability, or a debilitating hospital stay. However, there are people for whom a stairlift purchase represents a proactive decision, figuring into their plans to age in place or accommodate a loved one for a short time at home.

Aging in Place

The AARP has found that at about 71 percent of people between ages 50 and 64 wish to remain living in their own homes as they age, but that number climbs to 87 percent for people who have already reached 65. As care services for the elderly and disabled are becoming more accessible than ever before, people with limited mobility now have alternatives to relocating to single-level homes or care facilities.

Those who may eventually lose their ability to safely manage their stairs and anyone at an increased risk of falls can have a safer, and potentially cheaper homelife with the one-time purchase of a stairlift. And considering that stairlifts can also accommodate in-home wheelchair users, the option of installing a lift can be part of almost any conversation about aging in place.  

Temporary Users

It is now common, even for people in limited income brackets, to install stairlifts that might only be needed for a few years, or even for just a few months. For example, sometimes a stairlift can make recovering from an intensive surgery a less burdensome process. The devices may also be useful if family members who require assistance on stairs move in or come for extended visits.

Though going through with a short-term stairlift installation can seem extreme, most installations do not require any home remodeling, and some dealers and manufacturers offer un-installation services for $100 or more. Buyback programs through companies like 101 Mobility will also pay aftermarket prices for a used stairlift, which is useful for people who must install their lift with no certain knowledge of whether it will be used for the short or long term. You can also rent a stairlift through many of the same reputable dealers and manufacturers listed in this guide.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Stairlift for Your Home

Determine Your Price Range

When thinking over your budget for a stairlift purchase, it can be difficult to plan for additional costs that can crop up for things like accessibility upgrades or extra hardware for longer stairs. However, stairlift manufacturers tend to stock their standard models with specs and features that are suitable for the majority of users, and most brands offer many of the same upgrades as well.

As stairlifts are single-function machines, there is little variation between the features offered by most top brands. If Harmar or Bruno has it, AmeriGlide and the other companies we’ve listed here probably offer it too. However, each brand will have their own prices for added features.

Even if you know you will need to add extra features and upgrades, to get an idea of each brand’s relative costs, start your search by looking at brand-specific price ranges for standard models. Keep in mind that curved stairlifts must be custom-made, so their listed prices can vary significantly depending on your stairway design. To familiarize yourself with the potential costs of building a custom curved rail, take a look at AmeriGlide’s entry in this guide.

The following table shows price ranges for new stairlifts from seven of the eight top brands covered thus far in our guide to the best stairlift manufacturers of 2019. These price ranges include both indoor and outdoor models, with outdoor stairlifts representing the higher end of the cost spectrum.

Stairlift ManufacturersPrice Range for Straight LiftsPrice Range for Curved Lifts
StannahFrom $2,995 to $8,000From $12,000 to $15,000
AmeriGlideFrom $1,689 to $3,195$8,114
SavariaFrom $2,750 to $3,450$8,800
HarmarFrom $2,995 to $3,195$13,999
BrunoFrom $3,200 to $5,200From $10,500 to $14,000
Handicare (indoor prices only)From $2,580 to $3,580From $6,190 to $8,590
101 MobilityFrom $3,400 to $3,500No curved option available

Compare Costs for Renting or Buying Used

Renting is a good short-term option for people who need a straight lift for only about six months or less. Stairlift rental can be a great option for those who are recovering from an injury or surgery, or who will have a family member with limited mobility in their home for a time.

However, continuing a rental beyond three to six months can easily result in expenses beyond the average cost of buying a new stairlift. For stairlift users who desire a long-term option that is cheaper than purchasing new, used and factory refurbished stairlifts can cost hundreds less.

Renting a Stairlift

Renting a stairlift comes with startup fees as well as recurring monthly costs to be based on the average price of the model you choose. Startup fees are likely to include installation, uninstallation, service visit coverage and a security deposit. Average costs for each of these items frequently fall into the following ranges.

  • Stairlift installation: $350 to $600
  • Stairlift uninstallation: $200 to $500
  • Service visit coverage: $100 to $300
  • Security deposit: $200 to $800, depending on chosen equipment
  • Monthly rental costs: $180 to $300 per month depending on chosen equipment

Curved stairlifts are almost never offered as rentals due to their customized curvatures, and straight stairlift rentals may be difficult to find for unusually long or short stairs.

Buying a Used Stairlift

Prices for used stairlifts vary broadly depending on things like brand, stairlift age and the dealers who sell them. Used stairlifts can be found at often significant discounts — usually steeper discounts than used lifts that have been factory reconditioned. An exact price range for used stairlifts is impossible to quantify here, though it is not uncommon to find a used lift at a discount of $300 to $800 off.

Buying used can come with certain risks as the stairlift you choose may have a shorter remaining lifespan due to previous use. Costs for service calls and replacement parts may become an issue with a well-used lift, and for people who are highly dependent on their stairlift, an unreliable product can present a major problem.

Buying a Refurbished Stairlift

Some manufacturers sell used stairlifts of their own brand after refurbishing them at the same factories where new stairlifts are made. In factory refurbishing, parts showing signs of wear are replaced with new, proprietary parts, including torn or stained upholstery and mechanical components. Reconditioned lifts usually come with manufacturer warranty coverage. Buyers of factory reconditioned stairlifts can expect discounts of about $100 to $500 off.

Consider Upgrading for Comfort and Accessibility

Finding the right stairlift brand for your needs should involve a review of both the standard and upgradable options each vendor offers. Even if you’re on a tight budget or if you just aren’t the type to pay for extra bells and whistles, most stairlift upgrades are engineered for practicality and can make life much easier for people who have joint pain or limited mobility.

Upgrade options can be found to support physical comfort, to blend a stairlift into your home’s decor, to save space in narrow places and to provide support that you or your loved one will appreciate as your care needs increase. The following are commonly offered stairlift upgrades.

  • Automatic seat swiveling: While all stairlifts come with a swivel-seat function that allows the user to turn their chair toward the stair landing to more safely sit down or dismount their stairlift, it’s common to find powered versions for an added fee. Manual swivel seats must be engaged either by manipulating a lever mounted next to the seated rider or by planting one’s feet on a stairlift’s footrest and pushing the chair to swivel toward the landing. Powered swivel seats turn at the push of a button and are a welcome addition for people who have pain or weakness in their hands, hips or legs.
  • Automatic folding rails: For stairs with limited space near the landing, manual folding rails are a common upgrade that provide more space toward the end of a stairway for foot traffic and doorways. Automatically folding rails, however, may be much easier to operate, as the segment of rail that must be lifted with a manual configuration can be awkward to maneuver.
  • Cosmetic upgrades: Though most stairlift manufacturers stick with a relatively basic set of color and design choices, some offer upgrades to upholstery color, rail color and seating fabrics. Stannah, Bruno and Handicare offer a particularly broad range of color and upholstery options.
  • Comfort seats: Most stairlift manufacturers carry a premium option that comes with a more ergonomic or thickly padded seat. There are also options to add high-accessibility functions to seating, such as a perch design that maintains upright posture, or assistive seats that gently aid the user in standing and sitting.
  • Extended rails: Both straight- and curved-track stairlift rails can be extended or cut down to suit the length of your stairway. Most manufacturers have specific footage that they consider “standard” for their stairlift rails and will add charges for rail installations of greater length. When building a curved stairlift, the tightness of your stairs’ turns and how many turns there are will also factor into how much you ultimately pay. Note that for some manufacturers extending either a curved or straight rail or adding a folding rail option can potentially reduce the lift’s carrying capacity.

Find a Reputable Dealer

Authorized Dealer Networks

Once you’ve found a few stairlift brands to consider, search their websites to find store locations for their authorized dealer network. These are stairlift retail stores that have contracts with manufacturers. They can usually guarantee a manufacturer’s warranties and installation standards, and have their installation engineers factory trained to install the stairlifts of their preferred brands. Some stairlift brands will also sell directly to the public online or by phone, but buying through an authorized dealer can add some advantages such as additional warranty coverage and nearby locations.

Researching Dealers and Manufacturers

Learning more about a brand or dealer before you buy is also an important part of the process. As a first step, check a company’s consumer reviews with the Better Business Bureau. There, users can find reviews that cite specific product and customer service grievances, so it may be helpful to write these down as you read through the reviews section. Submitting a review with the BBB can be a detailed and time-consuming process, which makes it likely that consumers who complete BBB reviews are more committed to the process than those using other product review outlets, like Yelp or Facebook.

The Better Business Bureau also assesses businesses, giving them a letter grade, though grades should not be taken at face value. These grades are based on a variety of factors, including how quickly the company responds to complaints, how accurately they represent their products or services and whether they have appropriate licensing, among other considerations. To learn more about what Better Business Bureau ratings actually mean, visit their Ratings Q and A section.

Look for Strong Warranties

There are many warranty features to look out for when making a stairlift purchase. While nothing is as useful as going through a specific warranty with the help of a knowledgeable dealer, below you’ll find some common aspects of stairlift warranties that are of particular importance.

  • Installation guarantees: Find out if a manufacturer and/or dealer’s warranty will cover you in the event of an improper installation.
  • Drivetrain coverage: A drivetrain contains the mechanical components of a stairlift that are subjected to the most friction and movement, making it a high priority for warranty coverage.
  • Lifetime parts coverage: While outdoor and curved-rail stairlifts are less likely to come with lifetime parts warranties, some manufacturers do offer lifetime warranties for parts not included in the drivetrain. Note that parts coverage does not include wear and tear caused by average use.
  • Non-transferable warranties: If you’re buying used, while original manufacturer warranties for stairlifts are almost always non-transferrable to second-hand owners, your dealer may provide their own coverage. Sometimes, the term “non-transferrable” also applies to stairlifts that have been moved from one home to another by the same owner.
  • Authorized dealers: If buying your stairlift from a dealer rather than directly from the manufacturer, ensure that the retailer is included in the manufacturer’s authorized dealer network, as unauthorized sales can void a warranty.
  • Extended warranties: If you are ever offered an extended warranty after your original warranty expires, make sure the dealer or guarantor is affiliated with the manufacturer of your stairlift. Extended warranty sales have become a large industry, so it’s not uncommon for salespeople to offer unnecessary or unhelpful coverage in pursuit of a commission.

Tips for Caregivers

Open a dialogue about finances.

To find out if your loved one has qualifying long-term care insurance or other coverages that could mitigate the high cost of a stairlift, you’ll need to openly approach a conversation about finances. Many of us tend to avoid conversations like this as it can feel intrusive or disrespectful to ask a parent or friend about their personal resources. The best way to find out how to help your friend or family member save some money and get the support they need is to just ask, and to do so in open respect of their independence.

Many people find that planning these conversations in advance is a helpful approach, and consider tactics to break the ice. Caring.com senior living expert Christina Drumm-Boyd relates that, “Starting with a narrative of another senior’s story who had a positive outcome related to advanced planning can often be very helpful in developing productive dialogue.”

Consider your loved ones’ accessibility needs.

There are stairlift features that benefit people with particular physical challenges. For example, Bruno models come with an audible diagnostic readout function and color-contrasted user controls for people with limited eyesight, as well as a battery housing that makes batteries easier for people with arthritis to change on their own. Acorn and Handicare offer stairlifts with perch-style seating for people who may be uncomfortable riding in a fully seated position due to limited joint flexibility. Whatever your loved one’s biggest physical hurdles may be, a stairlift feature set that would benefit them personally may be available.

Emphasize the importance of using the stairlift once it’s installed.

For anyone who has reduced but functional mobility, falls on the stairs are a still serious risk. Once a stairlift is installed, a person who can still walk may find it tempting to just go up and down stairs the “natural way” when they can. It can seem faster and more sensible to do so in the moment, rather than to ride up the stairs at 15 feet per minute in a cushy little seat. When thinking over a stairlift purchase, help your loved one realize that they might have to face the temptation to climb the stairs on their own. Remind them of how important it is to use their lift whenever possible, especially when they are alone at home.

Consider buying a stairlift that you can easily move or uninstall.

If you’re planning to eventually sell your home or if you’re uncertain of how long your stairlift will be needed, consider buying a stairlift from a dealer or manufacturer that offers financially viable un-installation services and a buyback program. Research what your shipping costs would be after uninstalling your stairlift, and find out if such costs are covered under a warranty or buyback agreement. When buying a stairlift that could potentially turn out to be a short-term necessity, consider shopping high-quality brands that are more likely to retain some of their resale value. If you’re certain that you will only need your stairlift for very a short time, stairlift rental may be the most cost-effective option.

Payment Assistance for Stairlift Purchases

Many people cannot make large, out-of-pocket purchases for a big-ticket item like a stairlift. Financing is sometimes available for people who buy through manufacturers or dealers, but depending on the brand you’re buying and what region you live in, this is not always the case. And if you do find financing, it’s common for financial institutions to charge stairlift buyers sales tax just to simplify the financing process, even though this purchase is supposed to be sales-tax exempt.

Fortunately, there are multiple sources of coverage to support mobility equipment purchases for both middle class and low-income consumers. The following outlets offer grants, low-interest loans and lines of credit that may help you keep your home safe and accessible with a new stairlift.

Low-Interest Home Improvement Loans

Home improvement loans are usually offered for repairs needed after an emergency situation, such as interior flooding or a natural disaster, but they are also available to pay for accessibility upgrades such as the installation of a stairlift. These loans may be offered by state and local government agencies or unaffiliated banks, and usually involve deferred interest.

Zero-Interest Credit Cards

For people with fair to excellent credit, a zero-interest card may be an option for making a stairlift purchase. These cards offer zero interest for a set period of time, and some offer people with fair credit the opportunity to transfer a balance from an existing credit card to take advantage of a long, interest-free term with a new card.

Private and Long-Term Care Insurance

Many people don’t realize that some personal insurance and long-term care insurance plans will help pay for the purchase of a stairlift. To find a plan that could qualify you for this coverage, you may need to spend some time comparison shopping. If you happen to have an accountant or financial advisor, one of their most important jobs is helping their clients find the right insurance policies. The insurance shopping process becomes far simpler and more productive when you have a knowledgeable guide — and someone who can help you figure out if your stairlift is tax deductible.

Financial Assistance for Low-Income Stairlift Buyers

Medicaid Waivers and State Entitlements

It is difficult to say for sure whether a stairlift purchase can be covered by Medicaid as each state determines the terms of their own coverage for stairlifts. However, it’s not uncommon for people receiving their Medicaid benefits through a waiver program to get some coverage for a stairlift purchase.

Waiver programs are available for people whose health status makes them eligible for nursing home care, but who wish to instead receive home- and community-based services much like those offered in a nursing facility in the comfort of their own home. Waiver programs are capped in most states, meaning they receive a limited amount of funding every year and thus can only accept a limited number of recipients. If you or a loved one may qualify for nursing home care, find out if your state’s waiver program can cover a stairlift purchase by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging.

The Area Agencies on Aging

The Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) is a national organization that works with the federal government to deliver resources and information to America’s aging population. The AAA is able to distribute funding allocated by the Older Americans Act Title III to help low-income seniors install stairlifts. The Area Agencies on Aging have readily available locations throughout every state. To learn more about them or to find an office near you, visit PayingForSeniorCare.com.

The Department of Veterans Affairs

The VA offers financial support for veterans and their family members who require home- and community-based services, home modifications, or durable medical equipment. Though determining if you qualify can be a long and challenging process, for low-income seniors and people who require the assistance of a caregiver at home, the effort can be well worth it. For more information on Veterans’ Affairs financial assistance programs and to find out if you may qualify, call (877) 222-VETS.

The Federal Housing Administration

The FHA is a department within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. They help low-income people finance qualifying purchases by insuring mortgages and loan refinances so that lenders can give with confidence. To find out if you qualify or for more information, find your local HUD office at HUD.gov or call (800) 225-5342.

Non-Medicaid State Assistance Programs
In every state, there is likely to be a list of nonprofits and other organizations that provide a safety net for local elders and people with disabilities who require home modifications and accessibility aids. For example, low-income people with disabilities in the state of Georgia can turn to the Center for Financial Independence and Information for help, or to a number of their affiliates, such as First $tep, Credit-Able and Tools for Life. To find assistance programs in your state and local area, contact your nearest Area Agency on Aging.