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Types of stairlifts

There are several different types of stairlifts available that can help people with limited mobility regain their independence at home. Before you buy a stairlift, it is of vital importance that you talk to an expert about which one would be best equipped to help you. Read on for a helpful beginners’ guide to different types of stairlifts, and make sure you have the right stairlift at home for you.

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What types of stair lifts are available?


  • Straight stairlifts
  • Curved stairlifts
  • Standing or perch stairlifts
  • Narrow stairlifts
  • Reconditioned stairlifts

Straight stairlifts

One of the most common types of stairlifts is the straight stairlift. This option is designed for straight staircases that do not feature any curves or bends. Straight stairlifts feature a chair and a straight stairlift rail which are fitted to the stair tread. Because the track is not fitted to the wall, this type of stairlift is often the easiest to fit, will not clash with the decorations of the home and is often the cheapest option.

This kind of stairlift can generally benefit anyone with straight stairs who has limited mobility, including those with aching or painful joints and those with a disability or condition that affects their mobility, such as multiple sclerosis or osteoarthritis.

Curved stairlifts

The other most common type of stairlift is the curved stairlift, which is designed to provide those with a disability an easy way of using curved stairs, such as spiral staircases or stairs that turn corners. The chair of the stairlift will be mostly the same as that of a straight stairlift, but the track will instead be curved. The curved rail allows the user to enjoy a smooth ride that can handle all kinds of turns, including 90° and 180°.

People with a staircase that is mostly straight with a curved section at the top or bottom may be tempted to have a straight stairlift installed and opt to walk through the discomfort of aching joints for the first or last few curved steps. This is not an advisable solution.

A straight stair lift would certainly help make the journey easier, but ignoring the last few steps means that this stairlift solution is not a long-term answer to the problem. It is important to keep in mind that a health condition can deteriorate - even if we do all we can to prevent it - so it may be a good idea to choose a curved stair lift that runs from the very top of the stairs to the very bottom to prepare for every eventuality.

Standing or perch stairlifts

Standing or perch stairlifts allow the user to travel up the stairs from a standing, rather than a seated, position, which could be particularly useful for those who find sitting difficult due to aching or painful joints at the knee or hip.

The perch stairlift is the best option for those who find the seated position uncomfortable but equally would find it difficult to stand for a minute or more. The perch seat is very small and sits just below the bottom, allowing the user to have a supportive perch to rest against, enabling them to travel in a position close to standing. A standing stairlift would not have the perch seat but would come with similar safety guards and seatbelts.

Narrow stairlifts

Another type of stairlift that many find useful are narrow stairlifts, also known as slim stairlifts. A slim stairlift is a good compromise for those who want a seated stairlift but have a fairly narrow staircase at home.

Whilst essentially the same as a normal seated stairlift, whether curved or straight, the narrow stairlift's chair design is slimmer than larger models but can still provide all the necessary comfort, safety features, and support for aching joints.

Reconditioned Stairlifts

Reconditioned stairlifts are used stairlifts that have had a previous owner but that have been reconditioned to make sure they are fit to be used in a new home. People tend to buy these kinds of stairlifts to save money, but buyers should make sure they purchase from a reputable source.

Handicare, providers of Age Co Stairlifts, ensure that every one of our reconditioned stairlifts meets the safety and reliability standards of a new stairlift.

Type of stairlift Features Stair type
Straight stairlifts Versatile, easy to install, cost-effective Straight staircases
Curved stairlifts Tailored to your home, navigates bends and curves Curved staircases
Standing or perch stairlifts Comfortable for those who struggle to sit Straight and curved staircases
Narrow stairlifts Slimline design, saves space, unobtrusive Straight and curved staircases
Reconditioned Stairlifts Second-hand, meets safety standards, cost-effective Straight and curved staircases

Frequently asked questions about different types of stairlift


What are the different types of stairlifts?

There are several types of stairlifts available: straight stairlifts, curved stairlifts, standing or perch stairlifts, narrow stairlifts, and reconditioned stairlifts.

What kind of stairlift do I need?

The type of stairlift that you need will depend on your level of mobility and the layout of your home. To determine the right stairlift for you, get in touch with the experts at Handicare and arrange for a free home visit.

Is there an alternative to a stairlift?

If you are looking for help getting up and down the stairs but are unsure if a stairlift is right for you, a home lift could be a good alternative. Learn about our homelifts and get in touch for more information.

Can I get help to purchase the type of stairlift I need?

There are options available for financing a stairlift, such as stairlift grants from charities and local councils. Learn more by reading this dedicated stairlifts grants advice guide.

Key information about stairlift types

  • There are numerous types of stair lifts available, including straight, curved, perch, and narrow stairlifts.
  • The right stairlift for you will depend on your home and mobility level.
  • You can determine the type of stairlift you need by requesting a free home assessment.
  • Homelifts can be a good alternative to stairlifts for some people.
  • Grants and funding are available to help certain people buy a stairlift.

If you are interested in having a stairlift installed, make an enquiry today. We have a wide range of stairlift models available, and the experts at Handicare will be able to advise you on making the right decision.

Have questions about stairlifts? Take a look at our helpful advice guides, covering a range of topics, including stairlift removal, , stairlift installation, stairlift aftercarestairlifts for parents, and other essential stairlift information

There are many types of stairlifts available. Read our guide to stairlift types to learn about stairlifts and how to choose the right one.

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