The Best Narrow Wheelchairs for Tight Doorways And Spaces

 

Tight spaces and narrow corridors are a reality in the world of wheelchair users, yet they do not necessarily have to be an obstacle. With the right wheelchair you can maneuver around tight corners and down narrow corridors.

But which of the many wheelchairs would you choose? And which features should it have to make things easier. Here are a couple of pointers to consider.

What Is The Width Of A Normal Wheelchair?

An average wheelchair can have a width of up to 32 inches, with most being in the 21 to 30-inch range. In some cases, the seat cushion itself will measure up to 30 inches in width, meaning that the entire width of the wheelchair can be more than 32 inches. It is common to have the wheelchair up to 10 inches wider than the cushion. With electric wheelchairs the width can extend up to 40 inches or more depending on the weight of the user.

Do Wheelchairs Fit Through Standard Doorways?

These days, the standard width of a doorway is about 32 inches, with many doorways going up to a width of 36 inches. However, there are a decent number of doors that fall on the lower end in width, from 23 to 28 inches, and some even smaller. Older buildings tend to have narrower doorways which can be a real problem for wheelchair users.

How Wide Should A Doorway Be For A Wheelchair?

If you look at the answers of the above two questions, then you will realize that the problem we face is that the wheelchair width and the average doorway are a bit too close for comfort.

According to the ADA accessibility standards, the minimum distance that is acceptable from the face of the door to the other end of the door frame is 32 inches, which coincides with the width of a standard doorway. However, it is important how you take the measurement.

The measurement cannot just be the width of the gap in the wall as if there was no door. The illustration below, taken from the ADA website, explains it clearly.

4.13.5 Clear Width. Doorways shall have a minimum clear opening of 32 in (815 mm) with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop.

Remember that this information pertains to the average wheelchair size. Narrower wheelchairs will have better results.

The Best Wheelchair Features To Keep In Mind

Many of the features you will encounter when navigating narrow spaces also come in handy when storing your wheelchair. The smaller, maneuverable, and lighter it is, the easier it is to store.

Removable And Lightweight

A model that is transportable and narrow is better since transport wheelchairs are naturally smaller and thus able to maneuver through small spaces.

Adjustable arms are always a great idea since they will allow you to squeeze through smaller spaces if the need arises by lowering or removing them. Some wheelchairs have swing away armrests or leg rests, which also contribute to space saving.

Size Of The Cushion

The size of the cushion is also an important factor when choosing a wheelchair. Remember, the size of the cushion is not the same as the width of the wheelchair.

If you would like to fit through a standard 32-inch door, then your cushion size should not be more than 22 inches. In fact, should you want to go through a narrower doorway of 28-inches, you should look at cushion sizes of between 16 and 18 inches.

Normally, the wheelchair width tends to be 8 inches wider than the cushion size. However, not all wheelchairs have this ratio, and some tend to have a smaller difference.

The Best Narrow Electric Wheelchairs 

 

Make

 Model

Width

Turning Radius

FreeRider

Luggie Chair

23 inches

30 inches

Pride Mobility

Jazzy Passport

23.50 inches

24.25 inches

E-Wheels

EW-M45

23.50 inches

31 inches

 

1. FreeRider Luggie Chair Foldable Power Chair

The Freerider Luggie is a folding, lightweight power wheelchair with a width of 23 inches and a turning radius of 30 inches. It has height and width adjustable armrests, and the seat is 17 inches wide. Without the battery and armrests, it has an overall weight of 70 pounds.

It has a maximum speed of 4.5 mph, ground clearance of 3.5 inches, a driving range of up to 22 miles and a weight capacity of 320 pounds. It has 3-inch by 8-inch PU solid tire drive wheels and 1.5-inch by 7-inch PU solid tire casters.

2. Pride Jazzy Passport Folding Power Chair JZPASS

The Pride Jazzy Passport is also a lightweight foldable power wheelchair. It is 23.50 inches wide and has a turning radius of 24.25 inches. The seat is 17.5x16.5-inches in dimension and is made from a strong and durable black foam type of material. The total weight without batteries is 59.8 pounds.

It has a maximum speed of 3.6 mph, ground clearance of 3 inches at the motor, a driving range of up to 7.9 miles and a weight capacity of 250 pounds. It comes with 11.25-inch perforated drive wheels and 8-inch solid casters.

3. E-Wheels EW-M45 Folding Power Wheelchair

Last on our list of narrow power wheelchairs is the EW-M45 by E-Wheels. This powerchair is designed with travel in mind, is light weight and can fold. It has a width of 23.50 inches and a turning radius of 31 inches. The seat is 19 inches wide and 17 inches deep. It weighs just 59 pounds with batteries.

It has a maximum speed of 3.7 mph, ground clearance of 3 inches at the motor, a driving range of 15.5 miles and a weight capacity of 400 pounds. It comes with 8-inch solid front wheels and 12.5-inch solid rear wheels.  

Conclusion

We hope you liked our review of these narrow power wheelchairs to help you easily slip through tight doorways and spaces. Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions or if you would like to see more of these types of articles to our site. 

We also have a special offer you can benefit from by taking 6% of your order.  Simply enter coupon code EW6 at checkout and it will apply the discount.  This offer won't be around long, so act soon!  See product pages for details and if you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 800-682-9444 and one of our agents will be happy to assist you.  We are open every day from 8AM - 8PM est!

If you are more interested and looking for other related articles, our staff compiled a great list of the 7 Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Electric Wheelchair Running Smoothly  and have had some great feedback on that article as well.

Feel free to write me anytime at kellon@electricwheelchairsusa.com if you have any questions or comments.  At Electric Wheelchairs USA, we truly love helping our customers make the best choice for their needs whether it is a power chairmobility scooter, or lift chair.

 

 

 


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