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Things To Know About Wheelchair Weight & Sizing

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How much does a wheelchair weigh?

The weight of the components of wheelchairs might differ even when they feature similar parts.

Furthermore, there are numerous sorts of wheelchairs, and many of them can be adjusted depending on the demands of the user.

Please keep reading to know more about how much a wheelchair weighs according to its type.

READ MORE: Best Manual Wheelchairs

Why Should We Be Concerned About Wheelchair Weight?

It’s crucial to consider wheelchair weight while looking for effortless propulsion or moving the wheelchair frame into the car.

senior couple holding each other's hands

Most users prefer a lightweight wheelchair. Moving less weight reduces exertion for disabled people.

In contrast, weight is not a primary concern for stronger upper body athletes. They can choose a heavier wheelchair or look for alternative solutions to save money.

Even as weight is essential, your clinical need should come first.

You can opt for a backrest, body posture corrector, and seat cushion that best suits your needs. Those with weak core muscles would benefit from a wheelchair with a backrest.

Finding a suitable wheelchair seat also affects the frame size. It depends on the seat and frame size to determine the wheelchair’s center of gravity. These factors will improve wheelchair weight and balance.

What Should Be the Average Weight for Wheelchair?

Wheelchairs come in numerous styles, and each design has a different weight range for an average wheelchair user.

I’ve categorized the common types of wheelchairs based on your needs and included details on the maximum weight of each type, as well as recommendations on who should use each wheelchair type.

How Much Does a Standard Wheelchair Weigh?

Basic wheelchairs are typically seen in airports and hospitals. Since they are built for commercial usage, they generally are heavier because they are also quite durable.

multiple wheelchairs in a row

Standard manual wheelchairs weigh between 35 lbs to  40 lbs, with the typical weight around 30 pounds.

The contrast is a result of the materials used in the frame and widely varies in weight.

How Much Does a Power Wheelchair Weigh?

The mobility options provided by power chairs are diverse, including seats, arms, and legs, to meet a wide range of users’ needs.

electric wheelchair with large wheels

Power wheelchairs weigh from 50 and 250 pounds. This type of wheelchair can travel up to 4 mph (miles per hour) or 8 mph at maximum speed.

It lets you get around without having to stay in one place for more than 20 miles of driving range.

Check: The Best Lightweight Folding Power Wheelchair

How Much Does a Motorized Wheelchair Weigh?

men_in_electric_wheelchair_petting_dogs.jpeg

When you don’t have much upper body strength, motorized wheelchairs are the best solution for those who want to preserve a strong sense of independence.

The weight of motorized wheelchairs ranges from roughly 50 lbs to around 250 lbs. However, batteries provide additional weight

Batteries may or may not be included in the total weight.

How Much Does a Lightweight Wheelchair Weigh?

Lightweight wheelchairs are designed for lifting and moving. Quickly pushed, self-propelled, and lifted into a vehicle.

It can weigh between 15 to 35 lbs. However, keep in mind that the lighter wheelchair, the more it costs. But you won’t regret buying a lightweight chair.

doctor pushing a transport wheelchair

Lightweight wheelchairs come in two frame types: folding and rigid. Folding frames are ideal for senior citizens (65+). Tough frames are suitable for younger users (18-65). 

Don’t forget to also check out transport wheelchair reviews!

How Much Does an Electric Wheelchair Weigh?

Because they are equipped with an electric wheelchair battery, electric wheelchair weight is among the heaviest wheelchairs around. It is also known as a heavy-duty power wheelchair or bariatric power chair.

Depending on the chair’s features and technologies, the weight of electric wheelchairs varies from 150 pounds (68 kg) to over 250 pounds (113 kg).

What to Consider When Choosing Right Size Wheelchair?

Since we already know that weight of wheelchairs is one of the essential features. We will now discuss the things to consider when choosing the right size wheelchair.

Choosing the right size wheelchair can significantly improve your quality of life by ensuring that you are not held back by anything, regardless of your age or the disability that prevents you from getting around on your own.

Seat Width, Depth and Height

While checking out the seat width of your wheelchair, make sure the hips are not being squeezed or pinched while sitting. The seat should be large enough to accommodate them.

A seat should only be wide enough for you to reach the wheels without fully stretching to avoid issues with motion sickness. Moreover, the wheelchair should be kept away from your hips to prevent pressure sores.

A comfortable seating position is critical for avoiding blood vessel constriction in the legs. It is recommended to sit at least two inches away from the back of your knee when on the wheel.

Furthermore, the wheelchair’s seat height must be tall enough so that your heels reach the floor to ensure you can quickly move your feet. Also, higher seat height is easily achievable for those users utilizing footrests.

Armrest, Footrest and Backrest

Make sure that armrests can be fitted to a wheelchair depending on whether the arms require assistance or not.

While sitting in a wheelchair, users should also ensure that their legs do not hang off the chair. Another thing to remember is that their legs should not be pushed up too high to avoid pelvic tilt.

Suppose you suffer from a back condition or are more vulnerable to sores and wounds.

In that case, it is preferable to consider a full-length backrest and an additional headrest to provide the most considerable amount of support possible.

Appropriate Wheelchair Weight

The weight capacities vary depending on the wheelchair manufacturers. As a result, make sure that you choose the most appropriate wheelchair for your specific requirements.

Check out different types of wheelchairs and their corresponding weight mentioned above.

READ MORE: Narrow Wheelchair Dimensions

FAQs

Can a wheelchair fit through a 24-inch door?

In general, wheelchairs are between 24 and 27 inches wide. An accessible doorway should be at least 32 inches wide for a wheelchair to operate and move easily through it.

What is the width of an electric wheelchair?

25 inches. Electric wheelchairs are typically 25″ wide.

Conclusion

The weight of the wheelchair might make it difficult to move, particularly if the user has a medical condition that has limited mobility. So, it helps to know how much a wheelchair weighs while buying for one.

Now that we have provided the essential information you need, we hope you find the ideal wheelchair for your specific needs.

black big manual wheelchair

How much does your wheelchair weigh? Let us know in the comments below!

About Claire Bonneau

Claire is registered nurse with experience in freelance medical writing. She is very passionate about geriatric nursing and seniors care and education (it is her favorite area of nursing). She worked with many seniors ina variety of medical settings to provide high-quality education and instructions about medical conditions and proper self-care. Follow her n LINKEDIN

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