What Are The Types Of Wheelchairs?

What Are The Types Of Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs come in a broad range of designs, each with unique features and capacities. Wheelchairs range from those made for general, daily usage to those tailored for specialized activities or difficulties with accessibility.

Still thinking what are the types of wheelchairs?

Due to user variety, there is a need for a wide range of wheelchair types since no one model or size can accommodate the demands of all users. Wheelchairs should be chosen in collaboration with the user, who should have a firm grasp of the user’s physical demands and a plan for the wheelchair’s application.

Types of Wheelchairs 

Following are some of the wheelchair types and sizes you are looking for!

1. Manual Wheelchairs

The most common form of wheelchair that does not use a motor is the manual wheelchair. They are cheaper and last longer than powered electrical equivalents since they do not need power. These are the types of wheelchairs used in hospitals.

The simplicity of the manual wheelchair also makes it straightforward to service and keep in working order. Compared to electric wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs have far cheaper maintenance expenses.

Foldable Electric and Manual Self Propelled Wheelchair for Multipurpose All-Round-Use

Some main manual wheelchair types are:

Active User Wheelchairs

Active wheelchairs also referred to as sports wheelchairs, are powered by the user and are very lightweight, allowing the rider to propel and navigate in tight spaces swiftly. These are used by athletes so that their legs are squeezed, creating a more stable base of support. These are not commonplace in domestic settings.

Passive User Wheelchairs

For example, some forms of sclerosis and palsy need these to meet their fluctuating movement requirements. A passive wheelchair, with its wide range of adjustments, is an excellent choice if your independence and comfort requirements fluctuate from everyday use. Unfortunately, they can’t move on their own.

Transit Wheelchairs

Short-distance transport is made easy with a transit wheelchair, ideal for moving about an emergency room or care facility. For this reason, another passenger usually pushes wheelchairs used on public transportation. Although they are equipped with brakes and braces for the legs or other conveniences, users cannot propel themselves manually.

Self-Propelled Wheelchairs

As the name implies, self-propelled wheelchairs allow individuals to move themselves. For relatively level areas, this is best accomplished by spinning the grips attached to the back wheels. Despite their small weight, these wheelchairs are not easy to maneuver.

2. Electric Wheelchairs

Most modern electric wheelchairs are built with the user’s freedom and stress-free mobility in mind. All electric wheelchairs also include a manual drive option, allowing users to choose the best mode.

Electric wheelchairs, in contrast to manual wheelchairs, will not be commercially viable until they provide some kind of operator control. Several designs are visually identical to their manual versions, and some even move on their own. They are the best suitable types of wheelchairs for the elderly.

Electric Wheelchair

Indoor Wheelchairs

These chairs are great for quick motorized interior travel. Those on a tight budget will like their basic, compact frames, tiny wheels, and reasonably powerful engines. Indoor-only variants with more features and customization options are available but come at a higher price.

Outdoor Only Wheelchairs

Electric wheelchairs with an outside design are built to withstand rougher terrain and may be used on concrete, asphalt, grass, dirt, and other unlevel surfaces. Wheelchairs explicitly designed outdoors include beefier engines, wheels, and batteries to handle the greater distances necessary for outdoor travel.

Outdoor Wheelchair
What Are The Types Of Wheelchairs? 1

Indoor and Outdoor Wheelchairs

Indoor/outdoor layouts are the sole option for widespread use. These wheelchairs have sufficient power and wheels that can withstand outside situations like paved streets, open-air retail centers, parks, and similar places. They are helpful not just on-road but in certain off-road situations as well.

Transportable Wheelchairs

These wheelchairs may be folded up and stored in a trunk, trunk compartment, or overhead compartment of a car, train, airplane, boat, or other kind of vehicle. They provide the usual advantages of electric motor-propelled chairs while also being easily foldable for storage in the trunk of a vehicle. Numerous modern ones feature built-in folding mechanisms.

Transport Wheelchair Manual Foldable Travel Size

3. Rigid Frame Wheelchairs

Rigid-frame wheelchairs have a single, solid frame that the user rests on. This may be a permanently installed back support or a foldable back support that allows the user to store extra space when not in use.

Easy movement and storage are further facilitated by the wheelchair’s detachable wheels, which are attached through a quick-release system. These frames are often composed of lightweight materials like aluminum or titanium. However, carbon fiber is also an option. Wheelchairs with robust frames may be as light as 10 pounds, excluding the wheels.

The rigid frame has the benefits of being lightweight and simple to transport, and it is also easier to maneuver than a comparable folding wheelchair. The foldable wheelchair, on the other hand, is easier to carry and store since it takes up less room.

Leisure Manual wheelchair compact portable lightweight on Sale Now-ACTIVEWHEELS

4. Folding Frame Wheelchairs

Folding wheelchairs with a foldable frame are characterized by an X-shaped design. Most folding frames have detachable foot supports that fold when the latching part is removed. Rigid frames are uncommon since most are built of aluminum or titanium, both heavy materials.

A rigid-frame wheelchair will last longer than a foldable one since folding wheelchairs include moving components. As a result, more regular maintenance is essential to ensure the continued efficiency of all components.

The same is true for a folding wheelchair; some of the motor energy is dissipated throughout the folding and unfolding process and at every single point of attachment.

Ultra Light Folding Electric Wheelchair Lightweight- Litewheels

5. Positioning Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs with positioning options allow users to change their body orientation while sitting. These chairs often include electric motors and rechargeable batteries for ease of movement and adjustment of posture. Wheelchairs designed for positioning might vary in appearance and function.

For instance, certain positioning wheelchairs are backward-reclining. Some wheelchairs allow the user to elevate and lower their legs and feet. Some even include an automated tilt feature for when the user is in space. Not all chairs have the same range of motion, with some being limited to just one position. There is a wide range of wheelchairs, but here are just a few examples.

Changing the body’s posture in a positioning wheelchair has several therapeutic advantages. For instance, reclining and altering the leg placement may improve circulation and protect against adverse effects like inflammation, ulcers, and cuts. Furthermore, they may provide greater autonomy for those with physical disabilities.

6. Pediatric Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs intended for pediatric usage are tailored to the unique needs of young patients. Manual, electric, and specialty wheelchairs are all included here. However, they are all scaled down for usage by children. Several forms of assistive technology are aimed at children with mobility impairments to allow them to function independently.

The purpose of pediatric wheelchairs is to help kids get used to using them right away so they can function normally and happily. In addition, pediatric wheelchairs are supposed to be customized to the child’s preferences as much as feasible. Pediatric wheelchairs that are both fashionable and safe for use in play might boost a child’s self-esteem.

baby wheelchair
What Are The Types Of Wheelchairs? 2

7. Standing Power Wheelchairs

Among the most mind-blowing technical marvels human ingenuity has produced recently are standing power wheelchairs. These chairs allow the person using them to shift from a seated to a standing posture in a controlled and risk-free manner. Plus, the powered wheelbase of a standing wheelchair makes it easy to go about town.

People with mobility problems might expect even more of a positive impact on their health from using electric standing wheelchairs. People’s health deteriorates when confined to lying or sitting positions since that’s not how they were built. Using the help of electric technology, users of power-standing chairs may easily transition from a seated to a standing posture.

In addition, users may stand up whenever they want to accomplish things like reach for things, do tasks, or have face-to-face conversations. The best power-standing wheelchairs enhance usefulness by combining features from several wheelchair types.

Fully Standing Wheelchair Electric Mobility Aid With Back and Footrest Electrically Adjustable

8. All-Terrain Wheelchairs

There is a wide variety of all-terrain wheelchairs available, each with its own range of motion. The size and strength of some of these models may surprise you. Wheelchairs designed on rough terrain often have broader tires and longer frames to help the user keep their equilibrium.

Some models even have tank treads for crushing through rugged terrain. Users get some leg up while venturing outside thanks to the balloon tires and additional suspension stability. It may be cumbersome to travel in such a wheelchair, but its superior maneuverability more than makes up for the inconvenience.

All Terrain Electric wheelchair Scooter Auto Folding with Smart App Control-Smartwheels

9. Handcycles Wheelchairs

Handcycles, sometimes known as armcycles, are a kind of human-powered bicycle. The motorized steerable wheel is often located at the front on a handcycle, while the two traveling wheels are at the back.

Among wheelchairs, handcycles are by far the most popular choice. Anyone may enjoy the sport of hand cycling, whether for leisurely exploration or vigorous activity. There are versions aimed toward everyone, from casual riders to professional athletes.

10. Mobility Scooters 

Wheelchairs with a more cartlike design are known as mobility scooters. It goes under several names, including electric scooters and power scooters. From their humble three-wheeled beginnings, these machines have progressed to four- and even five-wheeled more stable variants.

The first commercially accessible mobility scooter was most likely sold by Sears in 1954. The American wheeling public was unprepared for this, and the event was a huge flop. The world certainly looks different now. There are now as many variations of mobility scooters as wheelchairs.

Most mobility scooters are operated using tiller controls, have seats that can rotate for convenience, and break down into manageable pieces that can be stored in the baggage compartment of a vehicle. A lot of them are keyed and equipped with lights.

How to Increase the Speed of Electric Mobility Scooters

11. Beach Wheelchairs 

Don’t go near the beach! When the urge to ride the waves hits, most people who use wheelchairs tell themselves this. Most wheelchairs will get stuck on grainy surfaces like sand. 

Wheelchairs designed specifically for use on the beach have made it feasible for those with mobility impairments to spend time on the beach with little effort. Large balloon tires are a standard feature of beach wheelchairs, preventing the chair from being buried in the sand.

Beach Wheelchairs 

12. Bariatric or Heavy Duty Wheelchairs

These chairs have a higher weight limit than regular wheelchairs, wider seats, and more robust frames to accommodate bigger users. The standard weight limit for a bariatric wheelchair is between 350 and 1000 lbs.

Individuals who need a wider seat, more support, and a greater weight capacity would benefit significantly from using a bariatric wheelchair. Wheelchairs may be powered or operated manually.

13. Sports Wheelchairs

Wheelchair sports are just as demanding of specialized gear and technique as any other kind of activity. Paralyzed athletes may now participate in a variety of sports, from crossbow to boccia to wheelchair racing to wheelchair basketball.

Sports wheelchair for sale at Gilani Engineering

There is a wide variety of sports wheelchairs suitable for a wide variety of users, from novices interested in wheelchair sports to expert players and even professional players. Wheelchairs used in sports nowadays seldom resemble their more common ancestors because they have adapted to meet the demands of their respective fields.

They typically don’t fold up (to boost stiffness), have wheels with strong lateral camber (for stability and to facilitate quick turns), and are composed of compact, lightweight components. Seating posture may also vary greatly, with most race wheelchair users kneeling.

Some individuals like the athletic features for daily usage, even though most people who use a wheelchair for sports only use it for that purpose. Others who are disabled, such as lower-limb amputees, might employ a wheelchair just for competitive sports.

Some wheelchairs designed for athletic use are:

Rugby Wheelchairs

Disabled athletes developed this hybrid of rugby, basketball, and handball, unlike any other sport. Wheelchairs can contact one another, and blocking and holding are critical parts of the game. Wheelchair Rugby is played by athletes using custom-built, manual wheelchairs.

The regulations include very stringent requirements for wheelchairs to guarantee everyone plays by the same rules. These standards apply to all wheelchairs used in international tournaments.

Tennis Wheelchairs

Invented in 1976 by Brad Parks, wheelchair tennis is played by the same regulations as regular tennis (as sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation), with the difference that a player in a wheelchair is given two bounces before hitting. The ‘two-bounce rule’ is an official part of the Rules of Tennis. Tennis wheelchairs are designed to be more maneuverable than regular chairs by being lighter in weight.

Using a wheelchair does not change the player’s status; standard contact regulations remain. A placement strap around the player’s hips and/or legs is used to secure them to the chair. Technology developments have contributed much to wheelchair tennis’s meteoric rise in the last few years.

Basketball Wheelchairs

Wheelchair basketball is played by the same fundamental rules as regular basketball, with some slight modifications to accommodate players who use wheelchairs. Wheelchairs have become more advanced with the growth of wheelchair basketball and modern technologies.

How Does Playing Wheelchair Basketball Make You Powerful?
basketball wheelchair sports by Gilani Engineering

In the early days of the sport, players used whatever wheelchairs they had lying around; nowadays, however, basketball wheelchairs have been created for the sport and made of aluminum or titanium, ensuring that they are portable and optimized so they’re suitable for agility and swiftness.

Basketball extra fifth and sixth wheels act as anti-tip mechanisms, making wheelchairs safer and more mobile. The front bumper is meant to move independently of the competitor and prevent them from locking onto it.

Each sportsperson has a unique “camber”—the angle of the wheelbase—that allows for maximum stability and the quickest possible turns.

Racing Wheelchairs

In order to compete on the track or path, a racing wheelchair must have unique features. They are built of lightweight materials like aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber, yet they last much more time than an everyday chair or sports chair.

The primary method of propulsion for a racing wheelchair, as opposed to a reclining handcycle, is moving the wheels on the front and rear of the vehicle instead of using hand pedals by the center of the body. It takes time to become proficient in wheelchair racing.

Racing Wheelchairs
What Are The Types Of Wheelchairs? 3

To Sum Up

Given the wide variety of wheelchairs available, the best choice that suits you is the one with the features that serve your specific demands. However, the level of functionality and ease offered varies widely between wheelchair types. Finding the best wheelchair for your needs is essential to improving the quality of your life.

From beach wheelchairs to bariatric wheelchairs, sports wheelchairs, and race wheelchairs, there is something for everyone. As technology advances, so do the design and features of wheelchair designs.

Whether you need a chair for daily activities or just for sports and recreation, you can find a design that fits your needs. With a suitable wheelchair, anyone with a mobility impairment can enjoy life to its fullest.