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The Best Wheelchair

Last updated on February 20, 2023

We looked at the top 9 Wheelchairs and dug through the reviews from 35 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Wheelchairs.

Best Wheelchair

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Wheelchairs

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
Pros
Cons
 Top Pick

Vive Mobility Adjustable Compact Wheelchair

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Vive

Mobility Adjustable Compact Wheelchair

Since this wheelchair is lightweight and folds up nice and flat, it's ideal for travel. It has a 300-pound weight capacity, measures 19 inches in width and comes in a choice of black or bright blue. There's a seatbelt for safety and padded armrests for comfort.

Overall Take

Budget-Friendly PickIf you're searching for an economical wheelchair, you'll find this one has an affordable price tag.

 Runner Up

Invacare Tracer IV Padded Armrests Vinyl Wheelchair

Invacare

Tracer IV Padded Armrests Vinyl Wheelchair

Comfort is king when you opt for this high-end wheelchair. The sleek upholstery features a thick inner lining and is embossed for added strength and style. The 22-inch wide seat and armrests are padded for comfort, while the wheels are designed to provide a smooth ride.

Overall Take

Most ComfortableIf you need a wider seat, this wheelchair also comes in a width of 24 inches.

 We Also Like

Drive Medical Cruiser III Easy Clean Nylon Wheelchair

Drive Medical

Cruiser III Easy Clean Nylon Wheelchair

A comfortable riding experience and portability make this wheelchair a good choice. This model features precision-sealed wheel bearings for durability. Its carbon steel frame makes it easy to change the back inserts. The low price also makes it a winner.

Overall Take

Sturdy Steel FrameAlthough this wheelchair is more affordable than other models, it has a carbon steel frame that makes it extremely durable.

Pros
" Rolls smoothly. Quick-folding for transport, with removable leg cushions. Fits larger users well."
Cons
"Does not collapse"
 Strong Contender

NOVA Adjustable Transport Wheelchair

NOVA

Adjustable Transport Wheelchair

For those on the go, this wheelchair is a popular choice. Its design makes it easy to fold it up and store away. The braking system is designed to function whether the chair is being controlled by the passenger or pushed by a caregiver. A smooth riding experience and feather-touch handbrakes make navigating a breeze.

Overall Take

Cinch to FoldWith its lightweight design and ease of use, this transport wheelchair is the perfect option for running errands.

Pros
" An excellent braking system"
Cons
"With the chair weighing almost 30 pounds, some people found it a little tough to lift easily."

Buying Guide

When it comes to wheelchairs, there are more options than ever. You can find cushy, comfortable chairs designed for hours of sitting or lightweight, basic models for short-term use. Some are designed to get you from Point A to Point B quickly, navigating even the toughest terrain, while others are built with portability or durability in mind.

Before you start shopping, it can help to outline what you’ll need in a wheelchair. Will the rider primarily be steering, or will someone be pushing from behind most of the time? Will it need to be used to sit at a desk or table all day? When it isn’t in use, how will it be stored?

One major issue with wheelchairs is portability. Unless you plan to only use your wheelchair at home, you probably need to be able to fold it up and place it in a vehicle trunk at least occasionally. Some wheelchairs easily fold and store, while others have elements that make that a little more complicated. If the wheelchair will be used outside the house infrequently, this probably won’t matter as much as other features, but it’s still worth considering.

Comfort can vary widely from one wheelchair to another, but the seat cushion and back, armrest and footrest all play into a chair’s comfort level. If you plan to only occasionally use the wheelchair, you may not need a plush model with extra cushioning, so you might trade comfort for more portability. Some wheelchairs have something called “desk arms,” which ensure you can continue to use your wheelchair for seating when you roll up to a desk or table.

Safety factors in as well. Some wheelchairs come with seatbelts to keep you securely locked in place. The brakes on your wheelchair are also an important factor. If you plan to do most of the wheeling around yourself, pay close attention to the passenger-controlled brakes. However, some wheelchairs come with handbrakes designed for the person pushing to control stopping.

If you plan to carry items around, you should also consider adding on a wheelchair bag, which acts as a backpack. Some wheelchairs come with a handy pouch that you can use for smaller items, such as keys or a cellphone.

All the features on your wheelchair won’t matter if it wears out only a few months after you buy it. Some wheelchairs are built to last, with frames that can hold up even with constant use. Rust resistance is another factor you’ll see on some wheelchairs. Others include special wheel bearings to keep the wheels reliably moving.

Since everyone is a different height and build, the right wheelchair can be a very individual decision. Look for a wheelchair that can adjust for various heights, but it’s also important to pay close attention to weight limits. While many wheelchairs can support up to 300 pounds, you’ll find that some have an even lower limit, such as 250 pounds. Also, pay attention to the placement of the foot and armrests since those can help determine whether a wheelchair is comfortable for its rider or not.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
16

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the wheelchairs available to purchase.
9

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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35

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Chair Institute, Help And Wellness, Aging in Place, Gadgets, Healthy Howard.

113,140

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 9 Wheelchairs and also dug through the reviews from 35 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Wheelchairs.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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What to Look For

  • If you ever need to pack your wheelchair up, it’s important to ensure it’s easily foldable. This is especially true if you need to toss it into the trunk of a vehicle. The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair is designed for portability, packing in removable leg cushions and a frame that folds up quickly. The Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair is also designed to fold up quickly and allow you to remove the leg cushions. The footrest can make it a bit tougher to fold up, though.
  • Weight will also factor into how easily your wheelchair is to transport. There are models that come in at only 23.5 pounds. The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair is 30 pounds.
  • As important as it is to be able to get around in your wheelchair, it’s equally important to be able to come to a stop when necessary. The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair comes with a great braking system that works whether you’re doing the braking or the person pushing you is.
  • For those who will be pushed in their chair, handbrakes are essential. The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair has patented Feather Touch handbrakes that are reliable even on sloped terrain. Some options feature loop-style handbrakes that lock the rear wheels while the passenger is being transferred. Others don’t come with handbrakes, which is best for those who will be doing most of the driving on their own.
  • Whether you’re riding around your house or tackling cracked city sidewalks and grassy lawns, you’ll need a wheelchair that offers a smooth ride. The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair features a smooth, comfortable riding experience.
  • It’s important to note that some chairs have a maximum weight capacity of only 250 pounds, compared to the NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair, which maxes out at 300 pounds.
  • Wheelchairs can endure some tough treatment over their lifetimes. It’s important to find one with lasting power to keep things moving forward. The Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair has precision-sealed wheel bearings in both the front and the rear to ensure many years of reliable performance. Consider a wheelchair with a frame that is powder-coated so that it resists rust.
  • The Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair is made of a carbon steel frame. This design makes it easy to switch out back inserts.
  • One bonus of some chairs is their removable antibacterial seats, which help you resist infection.
  • If you’ll be spending hours in your wheelchair, comfort is essential. Look for a wheelchair that features ergonomic contouring. Additionally, a seat that is adjustable is idea, so that you can find the height that works best for you.
  • Some models aren’t as comfortable, as they are designed for short-term use. They’re best for those recovering from surgery or who only occasionally use the wheelchair for short time periods. In addition to its seating not being as plush, this type of wheelchair can’t be raised to adjust for height differences.
  • If you’re looking for an affordable wheelchair, stick with the Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair, which retails for less than $200. The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair will cost you at least $100 more. On the higher end of price are wheelchairs that top $600.
  • If you already have in mind how the wheelchair will be used, you can match it to the wheelchair you choose. The Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair can have difficulty getting through tight spaces due to the way the front legs stick out. Others may not be the most comfortable, but they can handle any terrain, which is a huge benefit if you plan to use it outside of your home frequently.
  • Some wheelchairs come with something called “desk arms,” which make it easy for you to ride the wheelchair up to a desk or table and use it as a chair while you’re seated there. The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair and Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair both offer this feature.
  • Some wheelchairs come with seatbelts, which add an extra layer of safety as you move around. The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair’s seatbelt can adjust up to 47 inches. It also has a pouch that can hold keys or a cellphone.
  • Storage can come in handy when moving around in a wheelchair. Not all wheelchairs come with this feature. However, you can purchase a wheelchair bag for a nominal fee that acts as a backpack and hooks on to the back of your chair. This is also a way to carry your oxygen bottles or medical supplies.

More to Explore

With nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population having some type of disability, it’s more important than ever that services be accessible to everyone. Those wheelchair-accessible buildings and parks in your local area aren’t the only ways this is happening, though. Tech companies have realized the importance of accessibility as well.

Airbnb is building a feature into its app that will make it easier for disabled customers to find features such as wheelchair-accessible listings. Not to be one-upped, Google is also prioritizing accessibility, with an update to its maps that helps wheelchair-bound users to navigate areas.  Ridesharing service Uber is making progress in this area as well, with a feature called WAV that will let customers hail a wheelchair-accessible vehicle as conveniently as any other type of vehicle attached to its service.

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