Best Stair Lift Reviews Consumer Reports: Buying Guide And Top Picks
While it is easy for young people to climb and run down the stairs, for older people, it is not that easy, to say the least. With back and knees becoming vulnerable, climbing up a few steps is not less than climbing the Mt. Everest, which is why it becomes your duty to make special arrangements for them. One of the best ways to overcome the problem of climbing and getting off the stairs is having a stair lift.
A stair lift is a unit that attaches with the stairs and can be controlled with remote control. A person can sit on this chair and go up and down on the staircase without breaking a sweat. To buy the best stair lift, you will have to go through stair lift reviews consumer reports consisting of five amazing products.
Five Best Stair Lift Reviews
1. Universal Stair Lift
It’s quite surprising how a new brand was able to progress in such a short time. The reason why I have reached to that conclusion is that this stair lift is being sold like hot cakes. Yes, it is an American product, and there has to be some hesitation in the users, but that is not the case with this stair lift.
The unit comes with three separate safety mechanisms, so you don’t have to worry at all when taking a ride on this stair lift. Even the foot pan folds up flat to the wall, thus making coming down or going up the stairs a breeze. To install the stair lift, you don’t need to buy any extra length of wire because the power cord directly plugs in the regular AC outlet.
The unit is equipped with an internal rechargeable battery that keeps the unit up and running, so you can go up and down more than 20 times during power outage. The stair lift has a capacity of 350 pounds, which I believe is sufficient for you. If not, then you need to shed some fat. You can easily control the operation using a wireless remote.
A 15-ft of the track is given along the unit, which is good enough for single floor installation. The inclination of the stair lift would be from 25 degrees to 45 degrees. As far as warranty goes, the company offers a 2-year warranty on the battery and 7-year warranty on parts.
2. AmeriGlide Horizon Standard Stair Lift
Sporting a compact design and plenty of unique and interesting features, AmeriGlide Horizon Standard Stair Lift has everything you need to see in a stair lift. This is a slim fit machine that comes with a seat, which can be operated with a lever, and a footrest that you can easily fold up and out.
While it may look like any other stair lift, but its ability to work on steep staircases having an angle of around 55 degrees. When it comes to features, this unit is no short of them, as it incorporates a comfortable chair seat, digital diagnostic display, and lap belt. The weight carrying capacity of this stair lift is 300 pounds.
Moreover, you will get 14.75 feet of track with this stair lift, and if you want more, then you can order it at an affordable price. If you are not satisfied with the product, then you can return it in 30 days and get your money back.
3. Nautilus Stair Lift
This is a worm drive stair lift that works smoothly even after years of use. A battery operated the unit, it can be easily mounted on the steps instead of the wall. To turn the unit on, you need to plug the power cord into a standard wall outlet. You will get a custom piece as per your comfort and the design of your stairs, and since it is a custom product, you won’t be able to return it. The company offers a lifetime warranty on the motor and circuit board.
4. Harmar SL350AC Stair Lift
You are looking at a world-class specimen of how a stair lift should look and work like. It can give any stair lift brand run for its money. It features a carriage on a short section of a dependable extruded aluminum track. The footrest of the unit can be folded up and out, plus you can adjust the height of the footrest. As far as the backrest is concerned, there are three different settings to work with.
You will fall in love with the spacious seat of the stair lift, as it is highly comfortable, courtesy of thick padding and elegant upholstery. When you order this product, you will be asked to give measurements of your staircase, such as length, left or right mounting, obstructions at top or bottom and other details.
The inclusion of Rocker controls with constant pressure functionality makes the stair lift stop immediately if mounts to the stairs are released on either side of the staircase. The company offers a free lifetime warranty on motor and drivetrain, so there is nothing to worry in case any of these things malfunction.
5. Harmar Summit AC/Outdoor Stair Lift
This is another incredible product by Harmar, which looks and works in a similar fashion as that of Harmar SL350AC, however, there are some minor differences between the two stair lifts. You can adjust headrest and footrest according to your comfort level, plus the wide and spacious seat adds to that comfort.
The unit also features rocker controls with constant-pressure functionality, which allows the lift to stop immediately in case the control is released. With this stair lift, you will be getting a large weatherproof cover, internal chassis cover and header cover. As far as warranty is concerned, then the company offers a 3-year warranty on parts of the stair lift.
How To Choose The Best Stair Lift
A stair lift is an electro-mechanical device, which bears the entire weight of a person sitting on it and also ensures that the person comes down or goes up as smoothly as possible. Only a reputed, efficient and reliable stair lift can offer smooth maneuvering at a steep inclination. Let’s find out as to which parameters to consider when buying a stair lift.
Stair lift Tracks
The overall cost of your stair lift depends on stair lift tracks. Basically, there are three types of stair lift tracks available, Curved, Straight and Outdoor. From the name itself, you can make out that the straight stair lift tracks are designed to easily move up and down the stairs, whereas curved stair lift tracks are designed where users need to move smoothly over bends or up onto a landing.
When buying a stair lift, pay attention to the materials used in the tracks, especially when buying an outdoor stair lift because if the quality of the material is not up to the mark, then it won’t be able to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Beyond Track Shape
Once you choose between straight and curved track, you need to go through some other choices as you move ahead with buying a stair lift.
There is one small difference in chairlift models, i.e., track configuration. With the majority of straight stair lifts having a horizontal track with a toothed surface at the center and recessed slots on either side for wheels to keep the chair stable and on track, there are some straight stair lifts, which come with a vertical system.
The configuration is the same, but it is turned 90 degrees, which makes stair lifts take less space on the stairs. Most curved stair lifts depend on a couple of rails to support and guide the chair that has a toothed track behind one of the rails so as to allow the chair to drive itself along.
These tracks have sections at the ends that fold up automatically or manually to ensure that the tracks don’t get in the way of people. If there is a hallway or doorway abutting the staircase, then a foldable track will prevent any accident.
These tracks do the same thing, but the mechanism used to install these tracks allow them to move on their own when the chair is moving as well, which allows the entire assembly to move out of traffic without needing to be folded.
Stair Lift Seats
As the seat of a stair lift being the most important part, it needs to be comfortable and reliable. This can only be found out when you try sitting on the chair. The stair lifts that I’ve reviewed in the above section have comfortable seats, which can be compared to massage chairs, so you can opt for one of those stair lifts.
Types of Seats
When you are sure about the safety features of the seat, it’s time to look at seat design and color, which you will find no shortage of. You can customize the seat as per your requirements, but you need to pay attention to the type of seat you want to have.
This type of seat swivels at the beginning and end of the track, allowing you to get out of the chair with your feet planted on an even surface than stairs.
This type of seat tilts back a bit as you sit down just to make you feel more secure. You will find such features in convertible car seats.
This type of seat folds up when not in use, as you must have seen in movie theatres. This mechanism reduces the amount of space consumed by the stair lift and also bring down the chances of experiencing any tripping hazard.
The speed of the stair lift is not fast at all because the focus is to go from point A to point B in a safe manner. The standard speed for a stair lift is around 20 feet per minute, so you can measure the time that a stair lift will take to bring you up or down the staircase.
Some stair lifts have a rack-and-pinion system, which rotates to move the chair and in others, there is a worm gear, which spirals up and down the track. There is no surety as to which one is better, so you can prefer the one that you think suits your requirements.
Armrests and Footrests
You will rarely find a stair lift that doesn’t have an armrest and footrest because these are so common attachments. Some stair lift chairs come with lighted footrests to ensure safety to rider’s feet.
Standing Stair Lifts
There are some models in which the seats are absent because people are not too comfortable sitting when coming down the stairs or going up. If you too are comfortable on a standing stair lift, then you can opt for one.
You need to check if the stair lift features necessary safety features or not. Features such as seatbelts, obstruction detection, and key locks are of paramount importance, so make sure that your stair lift has these.
A stair lift is a great addition to your house if you have a family member in the house who is not able to move or walk properly. With a stair lift, at least, he/she won’t have trouble climbing or going down the stairs. Now, the only thing left for you to do is buy a stair lift for which, you need to identify the best product. To get hold of the best stair lift, you need to give a rundown on stair lift reviews consumer reports consisting of five top units that are currently being used by the vast majority.