Acorn Stair Lifts Review 2024

Mar 15, 2023
Fact Checked
We evaluated Acorn Stair Lifts, so you don’t have to. See if Acorn has the right stair lift for you.
Best Customer Reviews
High customer satisfaction
24/7 support available every day of the year
Indoor and outdoor options are available

When planning home modifications, falls prevention is an important consideration to ensure the health and independence of older adults aging in place. Falls are one of the leading causes of injury in older adults, with 28% of all Americans over 65 falling every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1

Home modifications, including stair lifts, can help prevent falls by providing you a safe way to go up and down the stairs. These motorized chairs travel along a track that is securely attached to your staircase. If you or a loved one experience reduced mobility, research shows home modifications tailored to your specific needs can help you to stay safe and independent, maximize function in your home, and reduce your care needs.2 An occupational therapist can conduct a home assessment and determine what your home modification needs are, including the need for a chair lift. To find an occupational therapist, check out

Our Reviews Team selected Acorn Stairlifts as one of the best best stair lift brands on the market due to its high customer satisfaction, competitive prices, and the brand’s unique app. Our comprehensive review can help you decide if Acorn is right for you.

Why you can trust our expert review

Our Reviews Team recommends products and services we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We’ve spent more than 100 hours carrying out in-depth research on home stair lifts to give you the most accurate review. To make our selections, we:

About Acorn Stair Lifts

Established in 1992, Acorn is an independent stair lift manufacturer headquartered in Florida that manufactures its lifts in the UK, and distributes them across the world. The brand’s high reputation is one reason our Reviews Team deemed it one of the best stair lifts on the market. We like Acorn because you get basic, no-frills stair lift options that are dependable and come with year-round customer support.

Acorn stair lifts, including installation and maintenance services, are highly rated by customers on trusted sites, like BBB and Trustpilot. Support is available 24/7 during the initial one-year warranty with an option to extend it.

Table 1 Comparison of Acorn Stair Lifts, as of February 2023



Starting price


Maximum weight capacity (lbs)

130Straight$3,000–$4,000Indoor or outdoor350

Pros and cons of Acorn stair lifts

Pros Indoor and outdoor options available High customer satisfaction 24/7 support available Next-day installation is possible for most lifts Complimentary Acorn Club app
Cons Short initial warranty length No financing options Low weight capacity compared to other brands Limited customizations available Technician shortage in some locations

Acorn stair lifts review

Acorn 130 Straight stair lift

130 Straight Stair Lift

The Acorn 130 Straight stair lift is the most popular and basic Acorn model. It comes with a swivel seat, which rides a single-rail track that is mounted to the stairs. As you reach the top of the stairs, you can turn the seat toward the landing for an easy exit.

This model comes with standard features that compare similarly to other stair lifts on the market, including a rechargeable battery. You won’t have to worry during a power outage, because the lift will continue to operate for 10 up-down cycles. You also won’t get stranded. If your seat is on the opposite landing, you can call it back with a remote calling system. When the chair isn’t in use, the retractable seat belt rolls back into its container, and you can power the entire unit off by turning the key switch.

If a problem is detected in the functioning of the chair, a diagnostic display on the chair lights up with a code. The display is about the size of a quarter located next to the key switch. If the chair has a problem, the user manual lists the various codes and the correlating issue, which could include a poor charger connection or an unlocked swivel seat.

The default weight capacity on this lift (280 lbs) is lower than most stair lifts on the market. But you can ask for the “HD” version to increase the weight capacity to 350 lbs if necessary.

You can also opt for the hinged rail add-on feature, which allows you to fold the rail away. This comes in handy if you have a doorway at the bottom landing and want to remove the tripping hazard a rail might create. Acorn customer support told our Reviews Team that the cost of this feature depends on staircase measurements, so the price is specified later in the purchase process.

Acorn hinged rail option at the bottom landing
The Acorn hinged rail option at the bottom landing

The 130 also has an outdoor option with identical dimensions and features starting at $3,500–$4,500 with installation. This option comes with weather-resistant materials and a weather-proof cover, which you can place on the lift during rain or snow for protection.

The weather-proof cover for the Acorn 130 outdoor stair lift

Watch the this video on the Acorn YouTube Channel for a demonstration of the 130 Straight stair lift.

Acorn 180 Curved stair lift

Acorn’s 180 Straight Stair Lift

The Acorn 180 Curved stair lift is the Acorn option for curved staircases. Built approximately 1 inch deeper and wider than the 130, the 180 offers the same standard features, including a swivel seat, retractable seat belt, backup rechargeable battery, remote control calling system, and a diagnostic display. Unfortunately, this model does not offer a higher weight capacity upgrade. Typically, curved lifts across the industry have lower weight limits because the turns require extra support.

Most companies need about two weeks to manufacture curved tracks exactly to the measurements of your staircase. To cut down on turnaround time between ordering and installation, Acorn developed its FastTrack system, which uses a modular rail to fit along curved staircases. The track’s parts can be installed the next day. As an added bonus, this track uses a single rail, while most curved tracks use a double rail. Single rails are sleeker and more discreet in the home, so the staircase doesn’t seem so crowded. In general, double rails are better for curved staircases, since curved staircases require extra weight support when stair lifts round corners.

Similar to the 130, the 180 comes with a hinged rail option, but if you choose this option you’ll sacrifice the FastTrack rail, which is made from a different material than the hinged rail, and the material needs to be consistent with the rest of the track. Acorn customer support told our Reviews Team that adding a hinged rail to the design could cost an additional $1,000 due to the production costs required to curve a traditional metal rail during manufacturing. This also adds time to the manufacturing process, so you won’t receive your stair lift for a few weeks.

Watch the this video on the Acorn YouTube Channel for a demonstration of the 180 Curved stair lift.

How much do Acorn stair lifts cost?

Acorn stair lift prices start at $3,000 for straight lifts, and $10,000 for curved lifts. This is slightly lower than average prices: straight stair lifts tend to start around $3,500 with installation, while curved stair lifts start closer to $10,000 with installation. But stair lift prices vary greatly depending on the type and the retailer. Acorn customers normally spend about $4,000 for straight lifts, and about $12,000 for curved lifts.

Acorn manufactures and distributes its own stairlifts, which means you purchase straight from the manufacturer without going through a dealer. Dealers often serve as the go-between for most manufacturers, so stair lifts can reach a wider population. Depending on local living costs and internal business practices, dealers have the freedom to adjust the price. It’s important to note that each dealer could have a slightly different price point. Acorn doesn’t use dealers, so prices are more predictable across the board.

Does Acorn offer financing options?

Acorn is one of the few manufacturers that does not offer financing options.

Some manufacturers, like AmeriGlide, offer financing options during the purchase process. Others, like Harmar, leave financing options up to the dealers that sell the brand’s products.

Does insurance cover stair lifts?

Insurance rarely covers a stair lift.

Private and government policies, like Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C), require a doctor prescription and substantial documentation that prove medical necessity to consider coverage. Your insurance company may recommend you try navigating your home with an assisted device first, like a cane or walker, if appropriate.

Medicaid offers a Home and Community Based Services program, which may in some states provide a waiver for at least partial coverage. Call your state Medicaid office, as programs differ between states.

Nationwide programs like Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together can help find low-cost or used stair lifts for those that need them. These organizations also rely on volunteers who can install the stair lifts at little or no cost.

Ask your local Habitat for Humanity or Rebuild Together for more information.

You can also check NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp to see if there are other programs available in your community. Enter your ZIP code and select the help you’re looking for to browse your options.

How to buy Acorn stair lifts

Purchasing an Acorn stair lift takes a few steps.

First, you must call Acorn customer service to receive instructions on how to measure and take pictures of your staircase. To ensure the Acorn team can provide an accurate quote, a professional will walk you through the steps of measuring your staircase, which include:

Customer support may also ask for images, so they can get a good understanding of your staircase shape, especially if it has curves.

Once you have all the measurements and images, you’ll send them to Acorn and schedule a virtual appointment to talk through your options and your free quote. If you decide to move forward with the purchase, you’ll pay and schedule an installation day. Most installations take about four hours.

In some cities, technicians can come out to your home and measure your staircase for you. If you would like this service, ask the customer service representative if a technician is available in your area. This service was previously offered nationwide, but COVID-19 caused a long-term personnel shortage, making it difficult for Acorn to offer this service everywhere.

Acorn stair lifts repair, warranty, and after care

All Acorn stair lifts come with a one-year warranty on all parts and labor, including the motor, gears, and circuitry repair or replacement. Although warranties vary across the industry, a one-year warranty is shorter than average. Based on our Reviews Team’s research, most stair lift warranties are at least two years, with some going to five or 10 years.

Acorn customer support and in-network technicians are available 24/7. But due to the company’s personnel shortage nationwide, this may depend on your location. Like most companies, Acorn will not cover inflicted damage from misuse.

Unlike other manufacturers in the industry, Acorn covers a maintenance visit toward the end of the warranty period to make sure the lift is performing safely. At this time, the technician will give you information about extended warranty options. An Acorn representative told the Reviews Team that extended warranties vary, but the company can work with you to find a plan that meets your needs. Keep in mind that the initial warranty is short compared to other brands, like Bruno and Harmar, which offer lifetime coverage on indoor lifts, so you may want to consider purchasing the extension.

If you don’t opt for an extended warranty, Acorn recommends you hire a professional to maintain the lift once per year to ensure it stays safe and operable. You should clean your stair lift and the track daily to remove dust and dirt that may accumulate and affect circuit and gear function. Refrain from using harsh cleaning agents, like bleach or abrasive tools, that may damage the lift. You can use household polish on the rail and lubricant on the track to keep the lift running smoothly. Also, remember to keep the stair lift clear of clutter, which can limit the lift’s accessibility and create tripping hazards around the stairs.

Acorn safety features

All Acorn stair lifts come with standard safety features:

The diagnostic display on Acorn Stairlifts is located next to the key switch on the unit, and it alerts you when the chair needs attention.
The location of the diagnostic display on the unit, currently showing the letter “R”

Acorn App: Acorn Club and StairSafe

The Acorn Club app is a unique perk that’s compatible with both iPhone and Android. When you purchase an Acorn stair lift, you gain access to the Acorn app customer portal, which you log into using a username and password that is created during the purchase process. Here, you can access your product ownership documents or submit a service request through the contact form. You can also troubleshoot your stair lift using the brand guide on the app. If you’d like to take a look at extended warranty information, the app also has a section to browse different options.

Acorn recently launched a new app feature called StairSafe. It monitors your stair lift activity, including the installation date and your usage down to the time and day. If family members and caregivers have access to your StairSafe account, they can monitor your activity and ensure your safety.

Acorn customer service and reviews

You can reach Acorn customer service by calling the brand’s 24/7 support line at 866-873-6574. Acorn can also be contacted by submitting a contact form through the website or Acorn Club app.

When the Reviews Team reached out to Acorn, we waited two minutes before speaking to an agent. They didn’t try forcing sales and spent almost 10 minutes on the line to ensure our questions were answered. Overall, our experience was positive and informative.

Customers have also praised customer service, frequently mentioning positive experiences with Acorn technicians and phone support representatives. As of this writing, Acorn has an A+ score with BBB and 3.98 out of 5 stars from more than 175 reviews. A majority of reviews are five-star, with reviewers thanking specific technicians for their work, but a few one-star reviews referenced delayed service. One reviewer detailed a parent’s poor experience interacting with a salesman who used pushy sales tactics.

On Trustpilot, Acorn has 4.8 out of 5 stars. About 84% of the reviews are five stars and mention positive interactions with technicians and quick service. While the majority of the reviews are positive, negative reviews reported design flaws, like a short rail on the top landing, which can be dangerous if it stops the chair too close to the top of the stairs. More recently, we’ve seen some negative customer reviews surface regarding delayed service, or reviewers that couldn’t find any technical service in their area. Although 24/7 support is available over the phone, in-person support is largely dependent on your location due to the Acorn COVID-19 personnel shortage.

Acorn has better customer service ratings than most other brands assessed by the Reviews Team. Bruno, Stannah, and AmeriGlide are close competitors with comparable reviews on Trustpilot.

What to consider before buying Acorn stair lifts

While Acorn stair lifts may be a great option for you, consider these details before investing:

Lack of customization

Acorn can be a great option if you’re looking for a standard stair lift. But if you require modifications in order to meet your needs, it may not be the best choice for you. The Reviews Team called the Acorn support line and asked if seat modifications were available. They responded that each seat and track are measured to fit the user’s needs, but this is not clearly stated on the website. Other brands, like Stannah, are transparent on their websites about options and modifications.

Stannah has a wide range of standard and add-on features that adapt to the home and the user, which are clearly stated online. While Stannah stair lifts are more expensive, with prices starting at $3,400–$8,500 with installation, depending on your staircase shape, you’ll find:

“Riding up the stairs can be a short period of time, but it’s a period of time where you shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable,” said Brittany Ferri, an occupational therapist in Rochester, New York. If you need to modify your chair lift to make it safer and more comfortable to operate, you shouldn’t compromise.

Be sure to disclose all your needs to your Acorn technician to see how they can modify your lift, if necessary. If they can’t meet your needs, it’s OK to keep shopping.

Other stair solutions

Acorn specializes in stair lifts, but there may be other home modifications that can better meet your needs.

If you use a wheelchair regularly, a stair lift is not the best solution. You would need two wheelchairs, one at the top landing and one at the bottom, to transfer to and from a stair lift successfully on both floors. This may be a practical solution for some, but not for everyone, especially if it’s difficult to transfer out of your wheelchair. In this case, you may want to look into wheelchair ramps and wheelchair lifts.

Wheelchair ramps

A wheelchair ramp is a more affordable solution than most lifts, with costs starting at $1,000–$4,000. This is a common solution for front porches and garages, so you can enter and exit your home without leaving your wheelchair, but ramps do take up space. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, for every 1 inch of height, there must be at least 12 inches of ramp to create a safe five-degree slope. If you have multiple stairs, you could be looking at a long ramp.3

Wheelchair lifts

You have options that take up less space. “In some cases, wheelchair ramps are not the most accessible options,” Ferri explained. “There are instances where a ramp can block other people from using an entryway, prevent cars from being stored in the garage, and otherwise get in the way of those living in the home. In cases such as these, it’s possible wheelchair lifts are a better fit. They can be placed outside to allow someone to get in the house and around the stairs more efficiently.” They can also be placed inside to access multiple floors in the home.

Wheelchair lifts take up less space than a ramp, but they are more costly than a stair lift. The starting price for a wheelchair lift is $2,000–$30,000 with installation, and vehicle lifts that transport a person sitting in a wheelchair into a car can have a total cost of $20,000–$30,000 or more. Although they can be an expensive solution, wheelchair lifts could be worth the investment. Many Americans with restricted mobility will choose to stay at home because day-to-day travel—exiting your home, accessing your car—is difficult, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.4 But research shows it’s critical for your mental health that you’re able to access your community and stay engaged with others.5

Stair climbing exercises

Home modifications like stair lifts can help you feel safer on stairs, as well as prevent falls as you access other floors. But if walking is your main mode of mobility, you should continue practicing stair climbing. Whether it’s at a neighbor’s house or a curb in a parking lot, stairs can present challenges anywhere. A physical therapist or occupational therapist can monitor and help you practice your stair climbing.

“Practice makes perfect,” said Brittany Battle, a doctor of physical therapy at Duke University Hospital. “In physical therapy, we break down the task of climbing stairs to identify where the patient is having difficulty. We find ways to address that need. For example, someone may have weak quadriceps muscles, making stairs difficult to climb. We can work on exercises to improve quadriceps strength. Then, in a few sessions, we can retry the stairs to see if there’s improvement.” Physical therapists can also help you practice balance, improve coordination, and support bone health, so you feel empowered to tackle your everyday activities.

A physical therapist helping a patient perform step ups to improve stair climbing skill.
A physical therapist works with a patient to improve the strength and coordination needed to climb stairs.

How we reviewed Acorn Stairlifts

Based on our expert consultations and research, we determined the following factors to be important for our readers when shopping for a stair lift:

We had all of our selections medically reviewed by an expert in the field to ensure each brand and model is appropriate for our readers’ needs.

Bottom line

Acorn might be a good fit for you if you’re looking for a basic stair lift with standard features. The brand’s high customer service satisfaction shows it’s a trusted company.

Offering only initial coverage for one year, Acorn falls short when it comes to its warranty, especially compared to the lifetime warranties on indoor lifts offered by Bruno and Harmar. Due to an Acorn personnel shortage from COVID-19, some areas in the country don’t have technicians available, so you may not get next-day installation or in-person support. Ask customer support if your area has Acorn technicians that can provide maintenance on your lift within a few days if necessary. Otherwise, expect slower response times.

Acorn may not be the best option if you need additional modifications to your stair lift, like a higher weight capacity. And although Acorn lifts are priced below many competitors, the lifts are still a steep investment, and Acorn does not offer financing. If you’re looking for more affordable options, visit a local stair lift dealer, like 101 Mobility, to browse the store’s general inventory for pre-owned lifts or to finance a new one.

Frequently asked questions

Straight stair lifts start at $3,000–$4,000 with installation, while curved stair lifts start at $10,000–$13,000, so they vary in price depending on the type of lift you buy. People normally spend about $4,000 for straight lifts, and about $12,000 for curved lifts.

No, Acorn does not buy back stair lifts.

Rechargeable stair lift batteries last between three and five years.

Medicare coverage for a stair lift is rare. Medicare, particularly Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part B, may consider coverage if the lift has been deemed medically necessary by a doctor with a prescription.

It’s rare to find a stair lift at a low cost, never mind free. But you can look into government and state programs that can help cover at least part of the cost. Check out NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp to see if there are local programs available that offer assistance.

Nationwide programs like Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together can help find low-cost or used stair lifts for those that need them. These organizations also rely on volunteers who can install the stair lifts at little or no cost. Ask your local Habitat for Humanity or Rebuild Together for more information.

According to the Acorn FAQ page, its lifts use about the same amount of electricity as a small television on stand-by.

The Acorn 130 Straight stair lift can carry up to 350 pounds, while the 180 Curved stair lift can carry up to 264 pounds.

Stair lifts and maintenance costs can be tax deductible, but you need to prove it was a medically necessary purchase by keeping your doctor’s prescription for the lift on hand. Keep the receipt for tax season, and list your expense as an “itemized deduction” for medical purposes. See the IRS website for further instruction.

You should professionally service your stair lift once per year. It’s also important to perform regular upkeep on your own, like dusting or wiping dirt off the seat, controls, and track to prevent mechanical or electrical issues. Refrain from using harsh chemicals that may damage the lift.

Have questions about this review? Email us at


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Older Adult Falls Reported by State. Found on the internet at
  2. Carnemolla, P., & Bridge, C. Housing design and community care: How Home Modifications Reduce Care Needs of Older People and People with Disability. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. May 2019. Found on the internet at
  3. United States Access Board. Guide to the ADA Accessibility Standards. Found on the internet at
  4. Brumbaugh, S. Travel patterns of American adults with disabilities. Bureau Of Transportation Statistics, US Department of Transportation. Jan. 3, 2022. Found on the internet at
  5. Xiang, X., & Brooks, J. Correlates of Depressive Symptoms Among Homebound and Semi-Homebound Older Adults. Journal of Gerontological Social Work. Jan. 27. 2017. Found on the internet at
Nicole Hernandez is a writer and physical therapist who empowers people to make informed decisions about their health as a writer and clinician. She has written for NCOA,, and physical therapy clinics to educate readers on fall and injury prevention, rehabilitation, home modifications, and other clinical themes including hearing aids and medical alert systems.
Brittany Ferri Headshot
Brittany Ferri Medical Reviewer
Brittany Ferri, PhD, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, author, writer, and business owner. She specializes in mental health, teletherapy, geriatrics, and medical writing. Clinically, she has worked in assisted living facilities, hospitals, and home health agencies. She attended Quinnipiac University for her Master’s and Saybrook University for her PhD in Integrative Mental Health.
Kathleen Cameron
Kathleen Cameron Reviewer
Kathleen Cameron, BSPharm, MPH, has more than 25 years of experience in the health care field as a pharmacist, researcher, and program director focusing on falls prevention, geriatric pharmacotherapy, mental health, long-term services and supports, and caregiving. Cameron is Senior Director of the NCOA Center for Healthy Aging, where she provides subject matter expertise on health care programmatic and policy related issues and oversees the Modernizing Senior Center Resource Center.
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