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What is the Difference Between a Stair Lift and a Chair Lift?

There are various alternatives for traveling from one floor of your house to another if you have trouble climbing stairs. For several individuals, the stair lift appears to be the most practical and cost-effective option between elevators and platform lifts.

If you’ve been looking for a stair lift online, the phrase “chair lift” may have also come up. So what makes a chair lift different from a stair lift? And how does it influence the choices you make? Read all that you need to know in this article.

What Is A Stair Lift?

A motorized chair known as a stair lift glides along a rail firmly fastened to your stairs. A stair lift is designed to make it easier for people who have difficulty ascending steps to reach the lower or upper floor of their house and outdoor space.

There are various types of stair lifts, such as curved rail, straight rail, indoor, and outdoor. This item is excellent for people who have trouble walking up stairs but still can stand or even carry weight.

Two 12-volt batteries power a stair elevator, and a regular wall socket regularly recharges them. Due to the battery power, a lift will function even if there is a power outage. Nonetheless, they can also be useful for wheelchair users with sufficient upper body strength to aid in moving from the wheelchair to a lift.

A folding seat, arm, and footrest are included as standard options, as well as an offset swivel seat, 2 wireless calls including send remotes, and a foldable seat to accommodate foot traffic on the stairs.

What Is A Chairlift?

A chair lift commonly referred to as a wheelchair lift and a platform lift, serves the same purpose for wheelchair users. Chair lifts, however, operate differently. Vertical platform lifts are the most popular kind. A vertical platform lift travels directly between floors instead of following a rail up the steps.

Rolling your wheelchair onto the platform is how you operate a chair lift; many chair lifts feature a little ramp that moves to serve as a small safety barrier when the lift is moving. The lift’s built-in settings can be used once you are on the platform. For safety reasons, chair lifts, apart from stair lifts, are typically covered on 3 sides.

An inclined floor lift might be a good substitute if your house is too small for a vertical platform lift. Inclined platform lifts are mounted on rails attached to walls and steps, but when not used, they may typically be folded up against the wall.

What Exactly Is The Difference Between Stairlifts And Chair Lifts?

The terms “chair lift” and “stair lift” are interchangeable. Both phrases are frequently used in the same sentence. However, it is worth mentioning that several modifications to the standard stair lift can be used to accommodate various physical needs.

You must also know that the most recognizable kind of stair lift is undoubtedly a chair lift. The chair lift seat is connected to a motor that travels along a track along the stairs. To accommodate straight staircases, stairs with turns, bends, and half-landing, chair lifts are available as both straight and curved stair lifts.

For people who find it difficult to balance while standing yet find comfort in sitting, chair lifts are the best option.

Comparison Of The Costs And Features Of Chair Lifts And Stair Lifts

You can choose from various chair plus stair lift designs, and every manufacturer creates and markets lifts with distinct specifications and costs. We can offer some broad guidelines, though. Remember that before making a final choice, you should speak with a stair or chair lift expert because the features you need and the price depend on various criteria.

•      Features for Stair lifts

There are two primary stair lifts: seated stair lifts and standing stair lifts.

1.                   The padded chair in the seated stair frequently lifts his arms. When the lift is moving, it may be equipped with safety straps for further security.

2.                  Standing stair lifts are built for those who find it difficult to rise from a seated posture. They might have a high bar and perhaps even a stool that the user can lean against.

Many stair lifts, but not all, also come with the following features:

1.                   A motorized swivel seat that can be adjusted to allow the user to walk out onto the landing with ease.

2.                  Seats, arms, as well as footrests that fold up.

3.                  Wireless remote controls

4.                  A backup battery for power outages.

•      Costs of Stair lifts

The features you choose and the shape of your stairs will affect the price of your stair lift. Because they frequently require specially made rail parts, curved lifts are generally more costly.

A straight stair lift will cost you, roughly speaking, between $2,000 to $5,000. Costs for curved stair lifts typically range from $8,000 to $14,000. Premium features on stair lifts could cost a lot more money.

•      Characteristics of Chair Lift

As we’ve already explained, chair lifts come in vertical and inclined versions. Features of both categories to watch out for include:

1.                   Platform side walls.

2.                  A ramp that automatically folds.

3.                  Top and bottom limit switches.

4.                  Top and bottom lift calls, as well as send buttons.

5.                  A backup battery for use in power outages.

Additionally, make sure the weight capacity, as well as the platform size of the platform lift, fit your requirements.

•      Costs of Stairlifts

The cost of wheelchair lifts is higher than that of stair lifts. The least expensive alternative is an incline lift, which will cost you between $3,000 to $4,000 to install on a set of straight steps.

For curving staircases, inclined platform lifts are substantially more expensive, frequently exceeding $8,000 or even more based on the complexity of the stairs.

The gear and assembly for a vertical platform lift that goes from one floor to the next will probably cost $10,000 or even more.

The price of a vertical platform lift that travels a few levels is roughly $4,000; however, shorter vertical lifts are less costly and suitable for small steps.


By the end of this article, I hope you can now understand the difference between stair lifts and chair lifts. Although they both have a lot of things in common, you cannot ignore the fact that they both function differently and for different types of stairways.

So with that being said, you can now easily decide which one to purchase.

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