Useful Guide To Picking Which Wheelchair Is Easiest To Push

Written by GrigorinaLoa
Last Updated :

If you’re wondering which wheelchair is easiest to push, I recommend lightweight wheelchairs. They’re more flexible to maneuver, giving you and your loved ones more freedom.

Of course, there are several different types of wheelchairs on the market, and they all have their own perks that make them useful for different occasions.

Read on to learn more about your easy-push wheelchair options.

Key Takeaways:

  • Invest in a lightweight wheelchair with optimum wheel size and axle placement to reduce the effort required to push.
  • Look for wheelchairs that offer adjustable seat heights, easy-to-use brakes, and extra support features such as lumbar supports and armrests.
  • Consider factors such as terrain, weight capacity, and ease of transportability/storage when selecting a wheelchair.

What is the Difference Between a Wheelchair and a Transport Chair?

A wheelchair is a manual or powered DEVICE used by individuals with limited mobility to propel themselves and get around. 

man and woman having coffee in a public place

It typically has large, rigidly constructed wheels and armrests with brakes that can be used to STOP the chair.

On the other hand, transport wheelchairs are lightweight wheeled chairs designed for SHORT trips and transfers only. 

They are NOT meant to be used in place of a wheelchair, as they lack the features and structure of a standard wheelchair. [1]

Pro Tip: You will often find transport chairs at hospitals for taking patients between rooms or to their cars so they can go home.

If you’re in the market for a mobility device, don’t miss ‘manual wheelchair vs power wheelchair‘. Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of each type to help you make an informed decision for your individual needs.

What Are the Different Types of Wheelchairs?

Wheelchairs are mobility aids designed to support individuals who have difficulty walking, and the following are several types of wheelchairs available, each suited for specific needs and environments.

1. Lightweight Wheelchairs

Lightweight wheelchairs are the EASIEST to push of all types. Their frames are made from aluminum and titanium, making them lightweight while still STRONG and durable for everyday use.

Pro Tip: They have smaller wheels, making them more maneuverable and easier to fit into tight spaces. In addition, they tend to fold up quite nicely for storage.

2. Transit Wheelchairs (Small Wheels)

Transit wheelchairs have small wheels and a FOLDING frame, making them the most portable type of manual wheelchair. They are also easy to push as they are lightweight and maneuverable.

Additionally, bariatric wheelchairs are often used for SHORT trips, such as shopping or social outings, making them the perfect choice for those who need a wheelchair for everyday use.

3. Self-Propelled Wheelchairs (Large Wheels)

Self-propelled wheelchairs have LARGER, rigid wheels, and armrests with brakes. 

They are designed for those who need more support and stability when using a wheelchair, as they provide a more COMFORTABLE ride.

Self-propelled wheelchairs are HEAVIER than lightweight wheelchairs, making them more difficult to push. They are also considered to be heavy-duty wheelchairs due to their BULKY frames.

They often have larger rear wheels and are some of the most DURABLE wheelchairs around – ideal for a wheelchair user that is a little clumsy with driving (it happens to us all).

Pro Tip: These chairs are very comfortable for wheelchair users, especially those who have trouble physically supporting themselves.

Looking for the right manual wheelchair can be overwhelming with so many types available. Check out our guide on “types of manual wheelchairs” to help you make an informed decision.

Join me as we master the art of smoothly and safely maneuvering a wheelchair in this quick guide:

Which Type of Wheelchair is Easiest to Push?

Lightweight wheelchairs are the easiest to push of all types. They have SMALLER wheels, making them more maneuverable and easier to fit into tight spaces. 

casters on wheelchair

Additionally, they are lightweight and easy to transport, making them IDEAL for those who like to travel and get out of the house a lot.

Looking for the right mobility solution can be overwhelming. If you’re unsure about the difference between a wheelchair and a transport chair, our guide can help you make an informed decision. Check out our article today!

Do Ergonomic Handles Make a Difference?

Ergonomic handles help ABSORB the shock of pushing a wheelchair, making it easier on wrists, hands, and arms.

This can make a BIG difference for those who frequently push heavy wheelchairs, as well as for caregivers who have to push their loved one’s wheelchair for extended periods of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Bigger Wheels Make a Wheelchair Easier to Push?

No, bigger wheels do not make it easier to push a wheelchair. In fact, larger wheels can make it harder to maneuver as they tend to be heavier and less agile.

What Makes a Wheelchair Hard to Push?

A wheelchair can be difficult to push for a number of reasons, including a heavyweight frame, large wheels, and poorly designed ergonomics.

How Can You Make a Wheelchair Easier to Push?

The best way to make a wheelchair easier to push is to choose the right type of wheelchair for your needs. If possible, opt for a lightweight wheelchair with small wheels and ergonomic handles.


When choosing a wheelchair, it’s IMPORTANT to consider what type is the easiest to push. 

Wheelchairs with a lightweight frame are generally easier to maneuver and push than heavier self-propelled wheelchairs.

Additionally, ergonomic handles can help absorb shock when pushing the wheelchair, making it EASIER on your wrists, hands and arms. 

Make sure to take all these factors into consideration when selecting the right wheelchair for you.

nurse assisting the man in a wheelchair


1: Ultimate Guide to Buying a Wheelchair | Scootaround. Scootaround.com. Published 2013. Accessed January 4, 2023. https://scootaround.com/en/wheelchair-buying-guide

About Author

Grigorina discovered that writing is her vocation early in her school years. Since then, she's taken part in several literary contests. For the past three years, she's also been an ELS teacher, pouring her heart into showing children and adults how important English is for their future. She has a Bachelor's degree in Applied Linguistics, an ESL Teacher's degree, and a Master's degree in Accounting. Follow her on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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