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For people who have difficulty getting up and down the stairs, there are several options for moving between the floors of your home. Between elevators and platform lifts, the stairlift seems to be the most convenient and affordable solution for many people.

If you’ve been searching for a stairlift online, you might have also come across the term ‘chair lift’. So, what’s the difference between a stairlift and a chair lift? and how will it affect your decision-making?


What’s the Difference between a Stairlift and a Chair Lift?

A stairlift and a chair lift are the same thing. Both terms are often used interchangeably, although chairlifts are mostly installed outdoors, tackling steep terrains or outdoor staircases. However, stairlifts are designed for indoor and outdoor use, specifically addressing accessibility needs within a home.

Moreover, chairlifts are typically installed on straight pathways, providing a straightforward solution for outdoor accessibility. Whereas stairlifts can be customised to fit a variety of curved stairs, straight or spiral staircases, offering a tailored solution for indoor mobility challenges.

Lastly, chairlifts are often visible from the exterior of a home and may not prioritise aesthetics as much as functionality. Stairlifts, on the other hand, are designed to seamlessly blend with home interiors, ensuring they complement the overall aesthetics without compromising functionality. Both of these devices are effective when it comes to using the stairs.


Chair Lifts

Chair lifts are perhaps the most recognisable type of stairlift. A chair lift features a seat attached to a motor that runs on a track along the staircase.

They are made of a motorised chair attached to a rail system, allowing users to ascend or descend stairs effortlessly. Chairlifts are commonly seen in homes with outdoor stairs, providing a solution for those who face difficulties climbing or descending steep pathways.

You can find chair lifts as straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts to suit both stairs with turns, bends, straight staircases and half-landings respectively. Chair lifts are ideal for individuals who have difficulty balancing when standing and are comfortable sitting.


Perch Stairlifts

A perch stairlift is designed for users with limited movement in the knee or hip joints and find sitting down a challenge. Featuring a smaller seat and arms for support, users can ‘perch’ in a comfortable upright position as they travel up and down the stairs.

Similar to standing stairlifts, perch stairlifts offer extra support. The user rests on the small seat in an ‘almost standing’ position whilst alleviating pain in leg joints and muscles.


Sit or Stand Stairlifts

A sit or stand stairlift brings more choice to the home. Sit-stand stairlifts are perfect for homes with multiple users with differing physical abilities, or for individuals with fluctuating mobility. With a footrest and grab rail, users who experience pain or discomfort when sitting can opt to stand up. With a fold-away seat, users who can sit in comfort can choose to sit down as they use the stairs.


What Lift is Right For You?

When deciding between a chairlift and a stairlift, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and the layout of your home. If you rely on a wheelchair, a chairlift might be the most suitable option. However, for other mobility challenges, especially on staircases, a stairlift is the ideal choice.

It’s worth noting that advancements in technology have led to innovations in both chairlifts and stairlifts, enhancing their efficiency, safety features, and user-friendly controls. Manufacturers now offer a range of customisation options, ensuring that the chosen mobility solution aligns seamlessly with the user’s requirements and preferences.

Moreover, consulting with professionals in the field of mobility solutions can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on the specific layout and requirements of your home. They can assess the feasibility of installing a chairlift or stairlift and guide you in making an informed decision that prioritises both functionality and aesthetics.

If you’d like to know more about the differences between the different types of stairlifts, call our friendly team on 0800 644 7766 who’ll be happy to give you advice. Or arrange for a FREE home assessment with a no-obligation quote, and you could have a new chair lift installed before you know it.