People who have trouble navigating stairs due to injury or disability, including those who can no longer walk at all, may be able to take advantage of stairlifts. Stairlifts allow users to sit comfortably in a seat that takes them up the steps using the stairs' railing as a track.

Stair lifts allow people to stay in their homes when they might otherwise need to move. Consumers can choose from lifts with a variety of features to help them retain their mobility and independence.

Top 10 Best Rated Stair Lifts

Handicare's goal is to improve the quality of life for disabled and elderly people. Founded in 1986 as a wheelchair company, Handicare now provides a wide range of mobility products available in more than 40 countries.
As one of the oldest companies, founded in 1984, Bruno has paved the way in the accessibility business for the elderly and disabled. They are most famous for their vehicle lift, but they also provide stairlifts and platform lifts.
AmeriGlide was established, in 2001, with goal to make sure stair lifts were available to as many people as possible. This was accomplished when they became one of the first companies to sell stairlifts on the Internet.
Acorn Stairlifts is known for their worldwide presence. Though the headquarters are in Florida, the company has offices in 6 other countries. The Acorn Superglide Stairlift has been a market leader since it’s inception.
Founded in 2008, 101 Mobility has the goal to be your local provider and installer of the most trusted accessibility equipment. The company is based in North Carolina, but they do have locations in over 25 states across the US.
Stannah, a stairlift manufacturer serving the United States and Canada, offers customizable stairlifts, outdoor stairlifts and more. The lifts work in any type of staircase, whether it is straight, wide, narrow or curved.

Shelley Webb is a registered nurse, geriatric care manager and freelance writer who concentrates on the subjects of eldercare and health.

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What features matter most?

Remote control

Many stairlifts offer the option of a remote control to access the stairlift from far away.

  • Call lift to top or bottom of steps: If a user is on one floor and the stairlift is on the other, the user can call the lift to where it is needed by pressing a button on the remote control.
  • Save power: Users can save the stairlift's power by turning it off via remote control when not in use.
  • Works in conjunction with device control: The device itself may have a joystick or button that controls the lift. The remote will not override this control and can only be used when the stairlift is not in operation.

Swivel ability

Most stairlifts allow the seat to swivel so that it can be turned by hand or turned while a person is sitting in it.

  • Allows users to get in without turning around: Users can simply sit down in the seat and turn it in the direction they want to go.
  • Allows device to turn at top/bottom of steps: The stairlift can very easily be turned around so that it can go in the other direction.
  • Allows for conversation while on the device: Users can turn slightly to talk to caregivers or others while riding the device.


Most stairlifts allow users to quickly and easily adjust the seat.

  • Lever operated: Users might be able to raise or lower the seat by pressing a lever with their foot or hand.
  • Adjustable back and footrests: Users can adjust both the back of the device and the footrest for maximum comfort.
  • Folding seat: The seat can be folded back on some units to create a standing platform or a perch seat.

Safety features

Stairlifts are equipped with a variety of safety features in order to ensure users don't fall or injure themselves while using the device.

  • Safety sensors: Most stairlifts contain sensors that search for obstacles in the device's path such as items left on the steps. The sensors automatically turn off the device and don't allow movement until the obstacles are removed.
  • Aircraft or other strong cable: Cables are designed to hold up to 4,200 pounds so that they won't snap or break while people are using the device.
  • Pressure-sensitive controls: Controls on the device itself are sensitive to pressure; if the user stops pressing the button, the lift immediately stops moving.

Platform options

Many stairlifts offer a variety of platform options to make them useful and enjoyable to a wide range of customers.

  • Sit/stand option: Users can fold the seat back to make a standing platform for those who would rather stand up while being transported up and down steps.
  • Perch seat: Those consumers who have difficulty with their knees may find it easier to get into a perch seat than into a standard seat.
  • Hinged platform: Hinged platforms allow the device to attach to stairs that are located inside a doorway or other narrow space.

Rail shape

Rails for stairlifts come in a variety of shapes and sizes so that they can accommodate all types of stairways.

  • Straight rails: Straight rails go straight up and down steps. These are designed for traditional flights of stairs.
  • Curved rails: Users can go up and down spiral or other curved stairways using these types of rails.
  • L-shaped rails: If a set of stairs suddenly turns at a 90 degree angle – as is popular in modern homes – L-shaped rails can allow a stairlift to travel over them.

Types of stairlifts

Full seated stairlifts

Most people think of full seated stairlifts when they think of a stairlift. These lifts contain a seat with a back and a footrest, both of which are usually adjustable. The user sits down and presses a button on the lift to raise or lower it.

Standing platforms

Users who have difficulty sitting, can't bend their knees easily or prefer to stand may want to use a standing platform. This type of platform allows the user to stand up and hold onto the sides of the lift. These lifts are often narrower than full seated lifts.

Outdoor stairlift

Some stairlifts are specifically made for the outdoors. These lifts attach to wooden staircases so that users can access steps leading to their entryway or can get on and off decks and patios.

Who's it for?

People who can't walk

People who cannot walk at all can benefit from stairlifts, as these devices allow them to move from floor to floor. Depending on the nature of their disability, these users may need assistance getting in and out of the stairlift. The devices were originally invented for polio sufferers, and people who can't walk are one of the target markets for this type of device.

People who have trouble bending their knees

People who have trouble bending their knees will not be able to walk up and down steps easily. A perch seat or standing platform stairlift can help these people get from floor to floor with no trouble.

People who have limited mobility

People who have limited mobility, including needing a cane or walker to keep their balance, can benefit from the use of stairlifts so that they can safely move from floor to floor.

People with heart or lung issues

People with heart conditions, severe asthma or other medical issues that limit their ability to engage in physical activity might want to use a stairlift to minimize the health risk when going from floor to floor.

People who are obese

People who are obese may have trouble with mobility, joint pain, respiratory problems and balance issues and could be aided by a stairlift.

What do the experts have to say?

  • Handicare

    Handicare has healthcare roots going back to the 19th century and has been installing stairlifts since the early 1960s. The company now works with 1300 partners and dealers around the world, about half of which operate in the United States and Canada. Their products provide safe and reliable ways for individuals with physical challenges to get up and down stairs.

    • They offer multiple types of stair lifts: Handicare has both straight and curved stairlifts to accommodate a variety of layouts. They also offer models for outdoor use, and all stairlifts can be further customized to meet consumers’ needs.
    • They do in-home consultations: Interested consumers can contact Handicare and one of the company’s partners will come to their home to do an in-person consultation. They’ll take measurements and 3D images to give consumers recommendations and an accurate quote.
    • Their products have a warranty: All Handicare stairlifts come with a standard two-year warranty and a six-month battery guarantee. Customers who want a longer warranty can purchase an extended service plan.
    • They make safe products: All of the sharp material on Handicare stairlifts is covered by a metal strip, and the tracks are on the bottom of the lift. Both of these features ensure that users and/or the children who visit them will not accidently hurt themselves or damage the lift.
    • They educate consumers: Consumer education is a part of the installation process. After the technician installs the stairlift, she or he will make sure the user knows how to operate the system.
    • Best for People with limited mobility, joint pain and/or those with heart or lung problems.
  • Acorn Stairlifts

    Acorn Stairlifts has been providing quality products since 1992. The company is based in Orlando, Florida, but has distribution centers around the world.

    • Best for People who can’t walk, people with limited mobility, people who have a heart or lung condition, and people who have trouble bending their knees.
  • Accessible Construction

    Accessible Construction, operating in southern California, specializes in modifying homes so that physically disabled people can live comfortably and perform daily tasks. Stairlifts are just one of the options this company provides.

    • They offer wheelchair accessible lifts: Users who can't walk can take their wheelchair right into the stairlift so that they won't require any assistance getting up and down steps.
    • Several models of stairlifts are available: Users can choose the type and design that is most comfortable and safe for them.
    • They offer home elevators in addition to stairlifts: Users can get whatever product is more comfortable for them to use to travel between floors.
    • They provide resources and information for seniors online: Users can check out safety checklists, information about common health issues and other info to help them live higher quality lives via this company's website.
    • Online ordering is available: Users can purchase products directly from this company's website and can take advantage of bundle offers of complementary products.
    • Best for People who can't walk, people with limited mobility, and people who have a heart or lung condition.

  • Ascent Stairlifts

    Ascent Stairlifts has been providing stairlift products since 2008. It offers a variety of lifts to meet users' needs and services the entire United States.

    • They offer 24/7 tech support: Users can reach a technician at any time of the day or night to help resolve problems with the stairlift.
    • Three types of straight lifts are available: Users who have straight staircases can purchase one of three types of lifts, allowing them to choose the model that best meets their needs.
    • They offer three levels of products: Users can get a silver, gold or platinum product. All products are the same quality and meet safety standards, but higher level products have extra features such as digital displays, wireless remotes or extended warranties.
    • Reconditioned lifts are available: Users can save money by getting a lift that is reconditioned rather than one that is brand new. Reconditioned lifts conform to the same safety and quality standards as new lifts.
    • Payment via Paypal is also available: Users have a variety of payment options, including using Paypal or Paypal Credit.
    • Best for People with limited mobility and people with heart or lung issues.

  • Silver Cross

    • They offer comparison charts: Users can easily compare different models and types of stairlifts so they can get the best device for their needs.
    • They provide information to help with local funding sources: Users can find out about local funding for stairlifts if it happens to be available in their area.
    • They sell recycled models: Users who are environmentally conscious or who want to save money on their purchase can get a recycled stairlift that has been safety checked before being resold.
    • Trade-ins are available: Users can trade in their current model to get a reduced price on their next stairlift.
    • Other devices are available: In addition to stairlifts, this company sells walk-in bathtubs, wheelchair lifts and other devices to improve the safety of people with special mobility needs.
    • Best for People who can't walk, people with limited mobility and people with heart or lung issues.

  • Bruno Independent Living Aids

    Bruno has been known as a leader in providing accessibility aids and helping seniors live more independently since 1984. Along with stairlifts, they offer platform lifts and vehicle lifts.

    • Best for People who can’t walk, people with limited mobility and people with a heart or lung condition.
  • AmeriGlide

    AmeriGlide is an online stairlift vendor that offers a variety of products for people who have difficulty navigating stairs.

    • Best for People who can't walk, people with limited mobility, people who are obese.
  • Country Home Elevator

    Country Home Elevator provides stairlifts and other products to assist users in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. It has provided these products for limited mobility customers since 2001.

    • They offer information to aid in avoiding scams: Users who are not familiar with stairlifts can receive information to help them make a wise choice.
    • Professional installation: They provide installation and do not recommend DIY.
    • They offer straight and curved stairlifts for use inside the home: Users can decide which product to install based on their specific needs and preferences.
    • Online estimates: Enquirers can receive a price estimate by e-mail.
    • They offer commercial and residential services: Users can get stairlifts in commercial buildings for employee use.
    • Best for People who can't walk, people with limited mobility, people with heart or lung issues.

  • 101 Mobility

    101 Mobility was founded in 2008 by two men who saw there were not a lot of options in their area for seniors and others with mobility issues. It has grown into a national franchise that serves most of the United States.

    • Best for People who can't walk, people with limited mobility and people with heart or lung issues.
  • Stannah Stairlifts

    Stannah is a stairlift designer and manufacturer founded in 1867. The family-owned company aims to help people stay as independent as possible by providing their customers with high-quality and customizable stairlifts. It also provides safety testing and installation.

    • Best for People who can't walk, people with limited mobility, people who have a heart or lung condition and people who have trouble bending their knees.
  • Look Stairchairs

    Look Stairchairs is a company that specializes in the sales, installation and servicing of stair lifts. Located in Southern California, they have over 25 years of experience and are known for their expertise in stair lifts as well as their professional attitude.

    • Best for Aging or disabled individuals, people who can't walk, people with limited mobility and people who have a heart or lung condition.