Do You Know The Different Types Of Wheelchairs

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Since the first commercially produced wheelchairs, countless different kinds of wheelchairs have been designed and manufactured, especially over the last half-century.

Everything from simple, manual wheelchairs to electric standing, tilting, and reclining power wheelchairs–we have compiled all the different chairs available here.


All the wheelchairs included on our list are not every possible kind of chairs out there.

However, this is a fairly comprehensive list.

We discuss the different types of wheelchairs, their functions, and the pros and cons of each.

Browse through the different wheelchair types and learn more about the possibilities for you or a loved one looking for the right assistive technology.


Manual Wheelchairs

Manual wheelchairs are wheeled chairs that are powered by the use of the user’s hands.

By grabbing the handling around the wheels, the user propels the chair forward, backward, and pivots.

In addition, manual wheelchairs can be pushed by someone else standing behind the wheelchair user.

For this reason, manual chairs have handles located behind the backrest.


There are Different Types of Wheelchairs that are manual chairs to emphasize different uses.

For example, lightweight and foldable chairs are often convenient for placing into a smaller vehicle when moving from a chair and into a vehicle.

Alternately, heavy-duty chairs are useful for holding more weight and are typically more durable.


Manual wheelchairs are great for people who can operate them independently.

However, the downside is that users can quickly become fatigued, especially if they are traveled long distances or moved around for an extended period on their own.

Additionally, constant use of manual wheelchairs can lead to health problems if the user never spends time in a standing position.


Powered Wheelchairs

Power wheelchairs are electric, battery-operated wheelchairs that propel the user forward by use of controls.

A motorized wheelchair like this resolves the issue of fatigue as well as disabilities that restrict the use of manually operated wheelchairs.

Users of powered chairs can go further without tiring and gain more independence when operating a manual chair is difficult or impossible.


One of the downsides to powered wheelchairs is that they are heavier and bulkier than manual chairs.

This comes with the territory since powered chairs need to include a battery and motor at a minimum for mobility.

There are many types of powered wheelchairs.

The most basic power chairs offer the user the ability to drive around, and they are typically operated with hand steering and controls.

However, powered wheelchairs are just one of the Different Types of Wheelchairs available.


Pediatric Wheelchairs

Pediatric wheelchairs are specifically designed for use by children.

This category includes other chairs like manual, powered, and specialized wheelchairs–except all are built for kid-sized users.

Some specialized pediatric wheelchairs are designed to accommodate specific mobility disorders to help children have independence with assistive technology.


For pediatric wheelchairs, the goal is for children to quickly adjust to using their chairs and feel comfortable using them.

Plus, as much as possible pediatric wheelchairs should be designed and styled in the way the child likes.

Fun and decked-out pediatric wheelchairs can help the child’s confidence when interacting with peers.


Positioning Wheelchairs

Positioning wheelchairs offer the user the ability to maneuver into different positions on their wheelchair.

Typically, these chairs are electric and battery-powered for both mobilities as well as positioning.

There is a variety of positioning wheelchair types and styles.


For example, some positioning wheelchairs recline backward.

Other wheelchairs can raise and lower the user’s feet and legs.

Still, other types allow the user to tilt in space automatically.

Some chairs offer every kind of movement capability, while others can only do one kind of positioning.

 Just a few options available in a large variety of Different Types of Wheelchairs.


Many health benefits can be gained by using a wheelchair to move the user’s body into different positions. Reclining and adjusting leg positioning, for example, helps the individual to have better circulation and avoid detriments like ulcers, sores, and wounds. Plus, these can help people with movement impairments do more independently.


Sports Wheelchairs

Sports wheelchairs come in different shapes and sizes, and most are manual wheelchairs.

There are specifically designed chairs for basketball, tennis, racing, and even rugby.

Opportunities for people who use wheelchairs have increased greatly with the technological advancements of sports wheelchairs and the implementation of wheelchair sport itself.


The standard sports wheelchair for basketball features a slanted outward wheel design.

This helps the athlete to maintain balance better while offering more space for upper body movement.

Most chairs of this sort include four smaller wheels beneath the two large main wheels for better stability.

Sports wheelchairs also offer protection for the athlete’s legs to avoid injuries on the court.


All-Terrain Wheelchairs

All-terrain wheelchairs come in many different styles and shapes, with varying potential for travel.

You may be amazed by the size and power of some of these vehicles.

All-terrain wheelchairs use technology like larger wheels and extended designs to maintain balance while traversing uneven ground.

Some designs even use tank treads to plow over obstacles.

Extra suspension support and balloon-style wheels give users another edge to cruise outdoors at will.

Such wheelchairs are usually heavy-duty and difficult transport, but the upside is the opportunity to go where many other wheelchairs cannot!


Standing Power Wheelchairs

Standing power wheelchairs are some of the most impressive technological machines modern science has created.

These chairs allow the user to automatically–and safely–move from a sitting position into a standing one.

In addition, power-standing wheelchairs let the user navigate the world with the motorized wheelbase.

Electric standing wheelchairs promise even more health benefits to users with mobility impairments.

The human body was designed to stand, so when people cannot move into a standing position, their health suffers!

Power standing chairs offer the unique ability for the user to move conveniently into a standing position with the motorized technology.

Users can also stand at will to reach items, do chores, and interact eye-to-eye in social settings, among many other activities.

Top-of-the-line power standing wheelchairs combine the abilities of other kinds of wheelchairs to give users the optimum functionality.


The Best All-Around Wheelchair Type

With so many different kinds of wheelchairs fulfilling various functions, the right chair for you is the one that best meets your individual needs.

That being said, within each wheelchair type, there is a range of quality and comfort.

The right wheelchair will offer the assistance you need while optimizing your overall health.

When it comes to versatility, function, and dependability, there is only one wheelchair that offers the full range of function across wheelchair categories.

This motorized standing wheelchair is the only chair designed with the capabilities of a positioning wheelchair, standing wheelchair, all-terrain wheelchair, and even a pediatric wheelchair.

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Mr. Vincent

International Market Director of TOUSDA, Rehabilitation Therapy Products Experts, Son, Husband, and Father.
Passionate about providing high-quality rehabilitation therapy products, especially wheelchair, electric wheelchair, commode wheelchair, commode chair, mobility aids, walking aids, crutch, walking stick, etc., and share the latest news, tips, blogs, advice, knowledge about the medical industry field.
Excited about TOUSDA's mission to become the premier online medical technology platform that empowers caregivers by spotlighting innovative devices and products to achieve optimal patient response and recovery.


Notes: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care.
Always follow your health care professional’s instructions.

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