For the average person, you’ve probably never given much thought to the act of reaching over a counter to access something. Simple tasks like getting items from top cabinets and switching off lights come naturally to you. But if you use a wheelchair, you may have some difficulty reaching for such items.
Fortunately, revolutionary advances in power wheelchairs have led to the invention of elevating seats. These lift seats not only provide greater accessibility but they also enhance your independence. Read on to learn why you should invest in an elevating power wheelchair.
Types of Power Wheelchairs with Lift Seats
Before we delve into the benefits of a power wheelchair with elevating seat, it’s important to note that there are two main types:
Single Post Elevating Seat
In this case, the lift seat is supported on a single post that consists of a rotating rod. This rod is spun using an electric motor. It is this rotating action that raises the wheelchair. To lower the chair, all you need to do is get the rod to spin in the opposite direction.
Less common than a single post lift seat, the scissor mechanism also employs a threaded rod. But with this option, the frame of the wheelchair seat is supported on the four corners as opposed to a single middle point.
This type of support system is recommended for heavier users since it provides greater stability than the single post elevating seat.
How Safe Are Elevated Power Wheelchairs?
First of all, it is important to mention that all wheelchairs must pass a strict FDA safety test before they can be used by any rider. It is also common sense to reason that elevating the electric wheelchair will make the center of gravity higher, and in doing so, create a wheelchair which is less stable in motion.
However, there are a number of wheelchairs that are capable of maintaining the same stability regardless of seat position such as the Merits Health P327 and the Pride Jazzy Air 2. Just to be on the safe side, we would not recommend extending the seat all the way to the max, while riding on uneven terrain at top speed.
What Is The Height Of A Power Assisted Wheelchair Seat?
Power assisted wheelchair elevating seats start at a height of about 20 inches when on the lowest setting. This is of course dependent on the model you choose. The lowest seat setting on these elevating seats might be just a bit higher than the average height for all powerchairs because of the lifting mechanism taking up that extra space under the seat.
These lower seat settings, which are approximately between 20 and 22 inches, are programmed that way in order to allow you to sit at a table and be on the same height with other seated people. The height that the power wheelchair goes up to at the highest level depends on the model.
The Pride Jazzy Air 2 has one of the highest heights, with a seat to floor measurement, when in the elevated state, of up to 33 inches. The higher a model’s seat can elevate, the sturdier the wheelchair has to be built to keep 100 percent stability and safety when moving at that height. Then again, the higher the seat can elevate the more expensive it is.
Benefits of Power Wheelchairs with Lift Seats
Ease of Transfer
One of the things that wheelchair users struggle with is transfering themselves onto beds, seats, toilets, cars and many more. Often, the beds and sofas are too high to reach, increasing the likelihood of sustaining injuries during this process.
By purchasing one of these power wheelchairs that has an elevated seat, you’ll find it so much easier to move from the wheelchair to other places. In addition to simplifying this activity, the elevation technology also reduces strain and pain that you’re likely to feel on your hips and knees during the transfer.
Boosts your Self-Confidence
A key benefit of using an elevated wheelchair is the ability to communicate with people on the same level. If you’re talking to someone who is standing, all you need to do is raise your seat and you’ll be at eye level with them.
This can boost your self-confidence significantly. You will no longer miss out on conversations and discussions happening around you. Similarly, your friends, family and colleagues won’t have to bend to be able to speak to you at eye level.
It’s a no-brainer that wheelchairs are indispensable tools for persons with mobility issues. They help you move from point A to B without being assisted by anyone.This allows to lead an independent life to some extent.
Power wheelchairs with elevated seats take independence to a whole new level. With the ability to transfer yourself to your bed, draw the curtains and reach for items from top shelves, these tools can help you lead a completely independent life.
You’ll be able to access items at a grocery store, pick your favorite books from the local library and even order coffee at the coffee shop. Essentially, these pieces of equipment help you live independently both at home and outside of your home.
Top 4 Power Wheelchairs with Elevating Seats
1. Merits Health P327
The P327 from Merits Health Products is one of our favorite picks for powered wheelchairs with an elevating seat. The standard option for this seat does not have an elevating seat option, so make sure you select the elevating seat option when looking at this chair. This chair has incredible features that make it ideal for any wheelchair user.
For instance, the elevation technology used on this seat is quite simple. You’ll raise the seat 10" in seconds from the standard height to the elevated height.
Another thing we love about the P327 is its ultra comfortable padded captain seat. The headrest is height adjustable and the armrests are both height and width adjustable, you will be sure to find the most comfortable position for your needs.
And while this does not impact your comfort, you also get to pick from two different color panels of red or blue to show your style and flair.
Things we like
- Highly-customizable; the headrest, armrests and footplate are all adjustable
- Raises and lowers in seconds
- Allows you to drive safely at just under 5 mph in the raised position
- Comes with two color panel choices of red or blue
2. Pride Jazzy Air 2
As you might have guessed, this is an improved version of the Jazzy Air if you have seen that before. This is why it shares many of the attributes found in its predecessor. Still, there are subtle differences between the two.
For instance, Jazzy Air 2 boasts an improved elevation technology that works more swiftly. This one can raise the wheelchair to an extra 12 inches within 11 seconds.
It also comes in more color options such as Matte Tanzanite, Matte Black Pearl and Matte Garnet Red.
But what truly sets this power wheelchair apart is the fact that it can be elevated or lowered when it’s in motion. So if you want to reach for a book from a top shelf, you can raise the seat to your preferred point while you’re moving towards it. Thanks to this feature, you can take part in the present.
When set to maximum elevation, Jazzy Air 2 can reach speeds of 4 mph. It also boasts a remarkable drive range of 16.2 miles.
Things we like
- Comes in a sleek design
- Features excellent stability
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Blends elevation capability with speed
3. Merits Health P312
Featuring state-of-the-art technology, Merits Health P312 is another power chair worth looking at. This tool gives you the ability to shift from front-wheel to rear-wheel drive in a matter of seconds.
What’s more, it allows you to raise your seat 6 inches higher. We also love that it has a sizeable load capacity of 300 lbs.
The Dualer also boasts swiveling mechanism. You can rotate it 180 degrees so you can start navigating in your desired direction.
This wheelchair is equipped with sturdy wheels that make it suitable for the outdoors. It’s also quite compact so it won’t be difficult to maneuver through tight spaces.
Things we like
- Has a forward and rear drive
- Can be navigated through narrow doorways
- Sturdy enough to accommodate 300 lbs.
- Angle and height-adjustable seat
4. Merits Health P301
The P301 is a heavy duty power wheelchair by Merits Health Products is a mobility aid that effortlessly combines functionality and comfort. This unit is one of the few bariatric power chairs to offer not only a large weight capacity, but also an optional power elevating seat!
With a unique suspension, adjustable comfort features, and excellent maneuverability, this chair is sure to perform while giving you superb comfort. The P301 is very adaptable! So whether you use it riding around town, or riding it at home, this chair is up for the task.
With its 450 pound weight capacity, 22" wide seat, 20 mile battery range, and 5 mph top speed, this chair offers remarkable features for an electric wheelchair that elevates.
This power chair has the ability to elevate from a height of 24" up to 29". Now you can reach items that were not once possible, so instead of asking someone to help you in reaching for that item, you can do it yourself. Reclaim your independence!
Things we like
- Can support up to 450 pounds
- Offers a sleek design
- Comes with an impressive 20 mile battery range
- Comfortable captains seat that elevates, swivels, and tilts back
Are You Ready to Buy A Power Wheelchair with A Lift Seat?
An investment in an elevated electric chair is undoubtedly a major investment. An investment that can last you a lifetime. When choosing one, it is important that you pick one that can accommodate your daily needs. Therefore, you ought to consider the following points:
Suspension and Wheel Configuration
Electric wheelchairs that have an elevating seat are equipped with a suspension, located near the wheels, that can handle a number of indoor and outdoor surfaces. However, the models that are more durable and are feature rich have a much more stable system.
They have an independent suspension located at the front and the rear, and a large wheel in the center. These models offer better stability and are sturdier and safer, even if moving around in an elevated position.
The longer you sit in a power wheelchair with an elevated seat, the more you would want to ensure that you have a comfortable ride. Most power wheelchairs with elevated seats come standard with padded seats and other additional comforts.
However, certain models might have more seat adjustment and modification features. Something else that you would want to pay attention to is the headrest, armrests and backrest. Are they removable, and how far can they be adjusted?
Most elevated power wheelchairs come equipped with batteries that can last a range of approximately 10 to 20 miles. You want to pick a model that will take you far enough without having to recharge the battery. Also, some models give you the option to upgrade to a battery with a longer battery life.
Power wheelchairs with lift seats offer several perks. They enable individuals to access elevated areas, perform tasks at a similar height as everyone else and be at eye level when conversing.
If you’re looking to invest in one of these wheelchairs, we recommend Jazzy Air 2. Available in 3 different seat sizes and 10 different colors, it has a seat that can be raised to the highest position within 11 seconds. It’s also very customizable for your comfort, giving you the freedom to adjust the headrest, armrests and footplate. Not only that, but it is made by Pride Mobility, which is one of the leading mobility brands in the industry.
We also have a special offer you can benefit from on any of our power chair with elevating seats. You can take 5% off your order! Simply enter coupon code ELEVATE5 at checkout to apply the discount. This offer will expire by the end of the month, so don't wait too long. See the product pages on our site for more details. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us at 800-682-9444 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perhaps you are looking for a different type of power wheelchair to get around. Check out our blog article about the Top 5 Power Wheelchairs with Highest Weight Capacity in 2021.