4 Best Wheelchair Lifts of 2024: Elevate Your Mobility

Jan 26, 2024
Fact Checked
Reclaim your home and independence with a wheelchair lift. This review covers all the best wheelchair lifts in 2023 for optimal accessibility around the home. Brands like Bruno, Harmar, and Affordable Lifts are stand-outs.
Lifeway Mobility
Affordable Wheelchair Lift Options
Professional Installation & Service After Install
Local Teams & Accessibility Experts
Installs Bruno and Savaria Lifts
Editor’s Pick

Key Takeaways

As the American population ages, more people report decreased mobility. At least 18% of Americans who report altered mobility are age 70 or older, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. And many use at least one assistive device to aid in mobility, like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. [1] Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Travel Patterns of American Adults with Disabilities. Jan. 3, 2022. Found on the internet at https://www.bts.gov/travel-patterns-with-disabilities

But mobility changes don’t mean losing your freedom to move around your home and community. Many people choose to use a cane or wheelchair to improve their confidence, safety, and independence while moving about. If you use a wheelchair, then you may also benefit from a wheelchair lift for your home. Wheelchair lifts are a type of stair lift that function as a substitute for stairs where a ramp isn’t suitable, both inside and outside your home.

Wheelchair lifts have two main categories: vertical and inclined. Vertical platform lifts act like elevators to transport you to other floors, and inclined platform lifts travel along your staircase diagonally on a wall-mounted track to transport you to the next landing. Some home wheelchair lifts are powered by your home’s electricity, while others are powered by a rechargeable battery. All lifts are high-priced, but there are options to reduce the cost.

As you consider your options, consider our Reviews Team’s top picks for the best wheelchair lifts in 2024.

A quick look at the best wheelchair lifts of 2024

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 wheelchair lifts to give you the most accurate review. To make our selections, we:

The best wheelchair lifts

Brand Starting price Type Power source Financing Maximum weight capacity (lbs) Visit Site
$7,000 – $25,000 Vertical and incline platform lifts Household current or rechargeable battery Available 750 Get Free Quote
$7,000 – $25,000 Vertical platform lifts Household current or rechargeable battery Refer to dealer 750 Get Free Quote
$10,000 – $25,000 Vertical and inclined platform lifts Household current or rechargeable battery Refer to dealer 1050 Get Free Quote
$3,999 – $13,495 Vertical platform lifts Rechargeable battery Available 1000 Get Free Quote
$6,300 – $7,500 Vertical platform lifts Household current Refer to dealer 750 Get Free Quote

Best wheelchair lifts of 2024

Most Customizable: Bruno

Bruno vertical platform lift
Excellent customer reviews (4.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot)
Available from multiple dealers nationwide
Offers up to 10 feet of lift height, depending on model
Multiple customizations available, including larger platform sizes and alternative controls
Does not sell inclined platform lifts
Only the 3200 model comes with rechargeable batteries as a default
Call stations are not included in the starting price

With more than 2,200 five-star reviews on Trustpilot, Bruno gets our “Editor’s Pick” due to its positive reputation among both dealers and customers. Bruno has also won multiple awards for innovation, manufacturing quality, and product success. After checking further into Bruno, the Reviews Team agreed that it offers one of the best lines of wheelchair lifts on the market.

Bruno wheelchair lifts

Bruno offers three vertical platform lift models to travel between floors: two 3100 series models, which are the most basic, and the 3200 model, which is slightly more advanced.

The 3100 series includes two AC (household current) powered models, each with the option for adding a DC (rechargeable battery) power source. The 3153 (AC)/3153B (DC) model has a maximum lift height of 4.4 feet, and the 3175 (AC)/3175B (DC) model has a maximum lift height of 6.25 feet.

The 3200 model has a maximum lift height of 10.25 feet, with a rechargeable battery as its default power source. This model is ideal for taller decks, tall-ceilinged first floors, or low-ceilinged basements.

The 3200 has a few different options you can add on, like a telephone kit as a safety measure in case the lift gets stuck midway. And only the 3200 model has the option to add power-assisted gates, which allow you to control the door’s position with a control panel switch—a bonus for those who prefer the assistance.

All models come with plenty of safety features, including:

All three models also come with options to modify your lift to make it more accessible and safe, including:

The Reviews Team identified a few negatives with Bruno wheelchair lifts. The company only offers vertical wheelchair lifts, no inclined lifts (i.e., wheelchair lift for stairs), which may not accommodate everyone’s home. Bruno also doesn’t automatically include landing call stations with its products. Call stations call the lift to the floor you’re on, which can be a useful feature, especially if multiple wheelchair users live in the same residence. If you want to be able to call the lift to your location you’ll have to pay at least $100 extra for this optional feature.

Bruno purchase process

The purchase and installation process depends on the dealer, although many dealers have the same process. Dealers typically send a professional to your home to take measurements and assess your environment and unique needs. Then they’ll explain your options and calculate an exact quote.

Once you purchase the wheelchair lift, the dealer will order it and schedule its installation. It could take a few weeks to receive your order, especially if you choose to customize your lift with several additional or alternative options. But installation takes less than a day unless home modifications need to be made, like installing a concrete slab for the lift to sit on at the bottom landing. If home modifications are part of the installation process, it could take a few days to install.

Payment options

Bruno works with dealers all over the nation to distribute wheelchair lifts. For specific price quotes and financing options, you’ll have to talk to a dealer. Visit the Bruno website and click the red Find Dealer button at the top of the page to get a list of dealers in your ZIP code.

Customer service and reviews

Customer reviews are positive overall. On Trustpilot, Bruno has 4.8 out of five stars, with more than 2,200 five-star reviews out of 2,560 total reviews. Most of the positive reviews state that Bruno lifts work well in the home and meet their needs. Negative reviews tend to comment on installation or maintenance issues. Although many of those complaints involve a dealer and not the company, Bruno has replied to nearly all of the negative reviews in an attempt to resolve them, even if it was the dealer’s error.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Bruno an A+ score, but the brand has very few customer reviews, with two out of five stars from just four reviews. Negative reviews tend to reflect issues with the dealer rather than with the product.

Bruno customer service is available via phone, 24/7, at 800-454-4355. When a member of our Reviews Team called the customer service line, they found it easy to navigate and were talking to a customer agent in less than five minutes. The agent took their time discussing Bruno models and customizations and was able to answer most of our questions. Further questions, like pricing and customizations, were directed to a local dealer.

Most Home Lift Options: Savaria

Savaria Omega inclined platform lift model
Many lift options available to fit your home
Available among multiple dealers nationwide
Wide range of safety features available
Offers up to 14 feet of lift height
Multiple customizations available
Long warranty
Dealers report excess maintenance calls
Few credible customer reviews

Savaria gets our pick for “Most Home Wheelchair Lift Options” because of its wide range of available products and lift modifications to fit your home and unique needs. Savaria offers both inclined and vertical platform lifts for residential use. Most brands do not offer a wide variety of home wheelchair lifts, but Savaria offers six lines and 11 models.

Savaria has options to fit a wide variety of needs. Larger enclosed vertical lifts and curved inclined lifts are higher in the price range, while short, open-air vertical lifts and straight inclined lifts are lower in the price range. With all of these options, choosing the lift that’s best for you can be confusing. Dealers who sell Savaria products can help guide you in the right direction with a home assessment.

Savaria vertical platform lifts


Prolift is a fully enclosed indoor lift that feels like an elevator. It has a lift height of up to 14 feet, a standard weight capacity up to 1,000 pounds, and an optional capacity of 1,050 pounds. The upgraded Prolift HD version has a standard weight capacity of up to 1,400 pounds. It has customizable decor options, like a plywood interior and recessed lighting. Safety features include emergency alarms and stop buttons, and a back-up battery. You can also choose common options like larger platform sizes, a telephone, and keyed control panels. This lift runs on a household current.


M2lift is an indoor or outdoor lift most suitable for porches. It’s rust resistant for extreme climates and battery powered for reliable operation during power outages. It includes call stations with keyed access. Safety features include obstacle sensors, emergency stop buttons, and an emergency alarm. The only optional feature available is lift height, which ranges from 15 inches to 6 feet, 3 inches, all with a 750-pound maximum capacity.


Multilift is an indoor or outdoor lift available in multiple entry and exit configurations to fit the access points needed for your home, like entering the narrow side on the first landing and exiting the wide side on the second landing. It carries a maximum of 750 pounds, with a standard lift height of 4 feet and an optional lift height of up to 6 feet. It comes with keyed access to the lift, non-skid flooring, and multiple platform sizes. Safety features include an emergency button and obstruction sensors. This lift is also available fully enclosed, or as a mobile unit with a maximum travel height of 4 feet. All lifts run on household current.


V-1504 is an indoor or outdoor lift with a lift height of up to 23 feet, making this model the tallest lift available. It’s available in multiple entry-exit configurations and platform sizes, with a 750-pound capacity. It has multiple customization options, including frame color, powered door operation at the control panel, custom glass and door material, larger button controls, and a telephone. Obstruction sensors are not included, but can be added. The V-1504 Enclosure is the fully enclosed version of this lift, while the Prestige and Lux are fancier models with upscale material options. All lifts run on household current.

Savaria inclined platform lifts

Savaria inclined platform lifts are battery-operated, with charging stations at each landing to ensure the lift is charging while at rest. Note that the charging stations must have outlets nearby to operate.


Delta is a lift designed only for straight staircases—it can ascend a single flight of stairs with a travel height of up to 80 feet and a standard weight capacity of up to 660 pounds. The platform can be folded out of the way manually or with optional motorized power to keep the stairway unobstructed for other stair users, and is available in multiple sizes. The lift is suitable for indoor and moderate outdoor climates only. Safety features include obstruction sensors, a non-skid platform, keyed access for call stations on either landing, an emergency stop button, and safety arms that surround the user during travel.


Omega is a lift designed for multiple flights of stairs with landings or curved staircases in indoor or outdoor moderate climates. It has a travel height of up to 164 feet, carries up to 550 pounds, and is available in multiple platform sizes with either manual or motorized foldaway options. Safety features are the same as the Delta.

Savaria purchase process

The purchase and installation process depends on the dealer, although many dealers are the same in their approach. Dealers often send a professional to your home to take measurements and assess your environment and your unique needs. They will take you through your options and calculate an exact quote.

Once you purchase a lift, the dealer orders it from the manufacturer and schedules its installation. It could take a few weeks to receive your order, especially if you chose several additional or alternative options for your lift. The installation itself takes less than a day unless home modifications are needed, like installation of outlets at landings for inclined platform lift charging stations. In cases like that, it could take a few days for the installation to be complete.

Any Savaria wheelchair lift purchase comes with a 36-month warranty for all parts, so long as the lift is serviced by an authorized Savaria dealer. This warranty length is longer than most. All major and minor parts of the lift are covered, but the warranty explicitly states that it does not cover consumable items like light bulbs and batteries, cosmetic components like metal panes and buttons, malfunctions from misuse, or periodic maintenance like painting and caulking in or around the device.

Payment options

Savaria works with dealers in the United States and Canada to distribute wheelchair lifts. For specific price quotes and financing options, you’ll have to talk to your local dealer.

Customer service and reviews

BBB gives Savaria an A+ rating, but the business is not accredited and has zero reviews. Savaria does have a heavy presence on Facebook with more than 2,000 followers, but it doesn’t post any reviews and its posts don’t have many comments. It’s difficult to get an idea of customer satisfaction, although two dealers our Reviews Team spoke with warned that some Savaria lifts have frequent, minor maintenance needs.

Customer service is easy to reach by phone at 855-728-2742, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET. You can also email the company with general questions at info@savaria.com. We spoke to a representative on two different occasions with no hold times, but they’re quick to refer you to a local dealer for detailed information about their products instead of providing the answer themselves.

Best Portable Lift: AmeriGlide

AmeriGlide Hercules II DC 750 Portable model
Lower starting cost than many brands on the market
Financing is available online
Offers up to 14 feet of lift height
Multiple customizations are available
Rechargeable battery is included
High weight capacity is available
Longest warranty on this list
Only one type of residential lift available
Confusing ordering process
Installation is not included

AmeriGlide offers a small variety of vertical platform lifts for the home. You’ll also find inclined platform lifts on its website, but they’re only for commercial properties. But our Reviews Team especially liked the AmeriGlide Hercules 750 lift, which has the most customizations available, and the unique Hercules II DC 750 Portable version, which is portable. That means the wheelchair lift can be installed in one location, and moved to another location without the need for an expert to assist. Portable lifts are not offered by most brands, and because AmeriGlide offers it at a lower starting price than others at $8,795, our Reviews Team named it “Best Portable Lift.”

A portable lift could be handy if you foresee a change in your home’s layout or plan to move homes. It can also be a helpful feature if you’d like to resell the lift, as it can be more easily moved to the next owner’s home, compared to permanent lifts.

AmeriGlide Hercules II DC 750 Portable lift

The Hercules II is a basic but affordable lift compared to other models in this review. It offers standard features that mirror many of the features offered by other brands, including:

It also includes features not offered by most other brands, like a rechargeable battery and automatic ramps that fold out or fold away as you exit or enter the lift.

Note that this portable lift is slimmer than most default sizes. The width measures 34 inches, which is narrower than the standard 36-inch width, so it may not fit all wheelchairs. Be aware that slim, portable lifts are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to ADA.gov, due to its accessibility limitations, so take this into consideration as you choose your best lift. [2] ADA.gov. ADA Standards for Accessible Design Title III Regulation 28 CFR Part 36 (1991). March 14, 2014. Found on the internet at https://www.ada.gov/law-and-regs/design-standards/1991-design-standards/

AmeriGlide purchase process

The AmeriGlide purchase process requires more consumer involvement than most. It doesn’t send a representative to evaluate or measure your home. Instead, you’ll need to make sure on your own that the lift will fit. At checkout, you must choose the parts you’ll need to install your lift. Most of the options listed at checkout have little to no description, and our Reviews Team felt the process could be a little overwhelming to people who are new to wheelchair lifts.

Shipping is calculated at checkout, but if you live outside of the eastern and east-central states, you can expect to pay between $300–$1,000 or more in shipping costs. Delivery options, like shipping directly to your home with fork lift assistance, can add another $250–$1,495. If you need professional installation, you will need to pay an additional cost to hire someone. You won’t have this option at checkout, but you can call AmeriGlide and the company can arrange to send a professional technician to install your lift. The cost for installation varies by your location and the size of the lift, but can be at least a few hundred dollars.

Every lift comes with an extensive warranty that beats any other lift in this review. You’ll get five-year coverage on the motor and gears, and two years of coverage on component parts like circuit boards. AmeriGlide also covers your battery for 30 days after installation. Be aware that the warranty excludes labor costs, including repairs and maintenance.

Payment options

AmeriGlide offers financing through its partnership with Bread. Be aware that annual percentage rates range from 6.99%–29.99%, depending on your approval. You can apply online at checkout.

Customer service and reviews

Customers have a mostly positive experience with AmeriGlide, rating the company 3.9 out of five stars on Trustpilot with 436 reviews. Positive reviews praise helpful customer representatives before purchase, but negative reviews report lack of customer support when changing an order or servicing faulty parts. Some reviewers report difficult assembly with self installation.

You can contact customer service at 800-580-0831 from Monday through Friday between 8 a.m and 5 p.m ET. You can also contact the company by email at customerservice@ameriglide.com.

A member of our Reviews Team spoke with a customer service agent and found them to be knowledgeable about AmeriGlide products. The representative took the time to answer our questions and followed up by emailing product brochures to guide us in our selection. Our team member reported an overall positive experience with AmeriGlide customer service.

Best Outdoor Lift: Harmar

Harmar Highlander II model
Offered at dealer locations nationwide
Offers up to 14 feet of lift height
Some customizations are available
Rechargeable battery is available as a backup (does not replace household current)
Long warranty
Self-monitoring circuit board detects issues before they can damage the lift
Only one type of residential lift available
Call stations not included

The Harmar Highlander II offers lots of useful features, earning it our Reviews Team’s pick for the “Best Outdoor” lift. Not only does it offer multiple customization options, it also offers newer technology that improves its reliability as an outdoor wheelchair lift.

Harmar wheelchair lift

The Highlander II is the only wheelchair lift Harmar offers, but our Reviews Team liked the diversity of its features.

Standard features include a maximum 750-weight capacity, paddle control buttons that are larger and more responsive than smaller buttons, weather-resistant powder coating, and stainless steel hardware for rust resistance. You also get safety features like obstruction sensors, emergency stops, and both a manual lowering tool and backup battery if power sources fail while you’re between levels.

Additional features include call stations, automatic folding ramps, a grab bar for added security, and larger platform sizes. You can also add a backup battery called ReadyUPS, which is an uninterruptible power supply that stores backup power in case of an outage. If the power goes out, you can use the lift for up to five up-down cycles.

What makes Harmar unique is the technology that makes it a reliable choice as an outdoor lift. The Smart Sense feature uses a circuit board that monitors the lift to detect markers like motor temperature and cycle count to determine how the lift is performing. If the lift needs attention, the light indicators (called the Guardian System) on the lift will light up in a pattern that correlates with a particular issue specified in your product manual. Since outdoor lifts can be exposed to harsh weather conditions, the Smart Sense and Guardian System features add peace of mind that you can count on your lift to get you in and out of your home.

The Highlander II LED indicators.
The Highlander II Guardian System indicators.

Our Reviews Team also liked the non-wheelchair lift outdoor options Harmar offers, like ramps, and its car storage solutions, like hitches and hoists, to make on-the-go daily activities accessible.

Harmar purchase process

Harmar is sold almost exclusively at dealers nationwide. You can search the online directory by entering your desired product, your ZIP code, and the mile radius you’re willing to travel to find your nearest certified dealer. See below for an overview of this process.

The Harmar online directory to find local dealers.

To find a Harmar dealer near you, search the directory by selecting your desired product, your ZIP code, and the mile radius around your ZIP code that you’re willing to travel.

The purchase and installation process depends on the dealer. Dealers often send a professional to your home to take measurements and assess your environment and unique needs. They will explain all of your options and calculate an exact quote.

Once you purchase a lift, the dealer orders the wheelchair lift and schedules its installation. It could take a few weeks to receive your order, especially if you chose several additional or alternative options for your lift, but installation takes less than a day unless home modifications are necessary, which could extend the installation process by a few days.

All Harmar wheelchair lifts come with a three-year warranty on all parts, including electrical and motor malfunctions. The warranty explicitly excludes labor costs, batteries, or paint jobs.

Payment options

Harmar works with numerous dealers nationwide to distribute wheelchair lifts. For specific price quotes and financing options, you’ll have to talk to your local dealer.

Customer service and reviews

Harmar has a good rating on Trustpilot with 3.8 out of five stars, but based on only two reviews. Both reviews are positive, stating that the lifts have given their users a reliable solution to remain independent. Harmar also has 1,800 followers on Facebook, where 64 reviewers rated the company an average of 3.2 out of five stars. Positive reviews state that their products are well worth the price and work well in the home, while negative reviews report inconsistent operation and difficulty finding maintenance professionals while under warranty.

You can reach the Harmar customer service line at 800-833-0478, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET.

You can also fill out a feedback form online if you wish by clicking the contact us link at the top of the website. A member of our Reviews Team called and was able to speak with a representative after a five-minute hold. The representative was helpful in answering our questions about the wheelchair lift, and offered to connect us with a local dealer for more information.

What are home wheelchair lifts?

Home wheelchair lifts are a great mobility solution for those who need to access different floors or levels. Wheelchair lifts come in two main categories: vertical platform lifts and inclined platform lifts.

Types of wheelchair lifts

Vertical platform lifts

Vertical platform lifts are similar to elevators. They use a platform to help you go up or down to other floors in your home, but they don’t usually come in an enclosed shaft like an elevator. Instead, they travel in an open-air tower that serves as the travel path. The platform itself is surrounded by a half-wall barrier for safety.

Vertical platform lifts are great accessibility solutions for home entrances with stairs to the porch or patio, and for multi-level homes. Some lifts travel a few feet, while others can travel up to three floors. You can also find vertical wheelchair lifts that grant access to vans without leaving the wheelchair. Companies like BraunAbility convert vans to hold vertical lifts so that wheelchair users can be accommodated without having to transfer seats. Just like home vertical platform lifts, you can stay in your wheelchair as you’re moved safely into the car.

Vertical platform lifts take up space. The platform’s floor space needs to be at least 36 inches wide by 48–60 inches long, depending on your home’s door placement and the space at each landing. There also needs to be at least 80 inches of headroom clearance to accommodate everyone, including larger power wheelchairs that sit higher off the ground and any standing passengers that are accompanying the wheelchair user. Lifts are also very heavy, since they must carry up to 750 pounds to meet ADA standards, which ensure accessibility to all intended users. [3] Internal Revenue Service. About Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses. Found on the internat at https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-publication-502

The ADA’s minimum length and width requirement for each door configuration.

The platform must be at least 48 inches by 36 inches if the doors are on the narrow ends. If the doors are on a narrow and wide end, then the wide end must be 60 inches.

Most companies or dealers can install a lift without needing to make any major home renovations, but that largely depends on the home’s layout. If the lift would require an adjustment to your ceiling and upper level floor to allow access to multiple levels, an inclined platform lift or home elevator could be more cost-effective for you.

Inclined platform lifts

Inclined platform lifts are very different from vertical platform lifts, but they accomplish the same thing by transporting a person in a wheelchair to a different floor. These lifts are accessibility solutions that travel along staircases, using a platform and locking bars to safely accommodate people in manual wheelchairs. The platform rides on a track that’s mounted on the wall and, depending on manufacturer and model, can travel along straight or curved stairways. Inclined platform lifts are not designed to carry loads of more than 550 pounds and so are not recommended for power wheelchairs, which are much heavier than manual wheelchairs

Inclined platform lifts require a larger footprint than a vertical platform lift. The platform itself must meet the same requirements for safety, but because of the track length along the staircase, the occupied space is more noticeable.

These lifts can usually be installed without major renovations, but some require wall mounts, which can damage the walls when they’re removed. If you’re renting your home, you’ll have to talk to your landlord first, before ordering a lift—not so they can give you permission, but to facilitate collaboration with the installer, ensuring the lift meets safety and accessibility requirements. According to the Reasonable Modifications Rule under the Fair Housing Act, your landlord must permit accessibility modifications in your home so long as your modifications do not cause undue administrative or financial burden on the landlord, which is determined on a case-by-case basis. [4] Medicare. Patient Lifts. Found on the internet at https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/patient-lifts Find more information about Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications on the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development website.

Standard features in wheelchair lifts

All wheelchair lifts come with certain features that must comply with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A18.1 and A17.1 Safety Standards. These standards are the guidelines of all wheelchair lift manufacturers to make sure they are safe for all intended users. This includes requirements for structural support, access ramps, minimum dimensions, and weight capacity. If you want to ensure your lift is safety-code compliant, look for the ASME certification on the brand website, or talk to a professional who can verify it for you.

Note that meeting ASME Safety Standards is not the same as being ADA compliant. While the ASME A17.1 and A18.1 certifications ensure that the lift is safe for use, ADA compliance ensures that the lift grants accessibility and unassisted operability to everyone in public and business environments. Home wheelchair lifts don’t have to follow ADA compliance since it is a community standard, but they should follow ASME Safety Standards.

You should expect to see the following standard features in all wheelchair lifts:

Every wheelchair lift needs a power source. Some lifts are plugged into an outlet and function on household current. Other lifts run on a rechargeable battery, with the power station that keeps the battery charger plugged into a household current. The advantage of rechargeable batteries is they can continue to power the lift in the event of a power failure for at least a few trips so you’re not left stranded on the platform or on one level of your home.

How much do wheelchair lifts cost?

Wheelchair lifts vary in cost, but starting prices generally range from $2,000–$30,000, depending on your needs. You can find different prices for the same lift, depending on the dealer. And there are many customization options and home environment considerations—like platform sizes or weather-resistant coating—that could cause the price to fluctuate.

The biggest variables are lift type and travel distance, but customizations can come with a hefty price tag, too. Let’s see what that looks like for each type.

Cost of vertical platform lifts

Vertical platform lifts vary from a starting price range of $4,000–$30,000. Lifts that need to travel only 4–6 feet, such as the distance from the ground to a home entry or porch, stay lower in this price range than lifts that need to travel to second floors. Usually, installation is included in the cost, but that depends on the dealer.

Cost of inclined platform lifts

Inclined platform lifts vary from a starting price range of $2,000–$15,000. Wheelchair lifts for straight staircases tend to cost less. Lifts that need to travel across landings or curves will cost more because the track must be custom-made to fit your staircase.

Cost of wheelchair lift customizations

Most brands offer optional features and customizations to meet your needs. Each added feature can increase the price of the lift, but this depends on how much the original lift needs to be modified and the cost of additional parts.

Small modifications, like enlarging control buttons or swapping buttons for joysticks, could add a few hundred dollars to account for the different parts. Major modifications, like switching the power source from household current to a rechargeable battery, or increasing weight capacity, could add a few thousand dollars because it alters how the product is manufactured. Adding a third floor to a vertical lift or adding turns to an inclined lift can spike the cost closer to the $15,000–$30,000 price range because of the added materials, manufacturing time, and installation effort.

You may save some money by implementing some superficial wheelchair lift modifications yourself. Brittany Ferri, an occupational therapist in Rochester, New York, told our Reviews Team that some modifications can be added after purchase to make a lift easier to use. For example, “Sometimes we can add tactile bumps on different controls to make it easier to feel where switches are located,” said Ferri. If you plan to add modifications to your lift, make sure they do not damage the lift’s parts, as repair may not be covered due to what the manufacturer would consider device tampering.

Pros/cons of wheelchair lifts



How to buy a home wheelchair lift

Buying either a vertical or inclined platform lift typically requires two steps:

Step one: measuring for a wheelchair lift

You should always measure your home to ensure your wheelchair lift will fit. Most manufacturers and dealers advise getting a professional survey of your home to ensure the lift is appropriate.

In both instances, an electrical outlet must be nearby. If there is no outlet to power the lift or recharge station (if you opt for a rechargeable battery source), you’ll need to hire an electrician to install at least one outlet.

Surveyors may also ask about your specific accessibility requirements to determine which customizations can best accommodate you. For example, many vertical platform lifts have grab bar add-ons for added safety during travel. If you have a heavy power chair and need caregiver assistance, the AmeriGlide vertical platform lift can increase weight capacity to 1,000 pounds to accommodate you, your chair, and your caregiver in one ride.

Once you agree on the model, features, and price, you’ll move forward to the manufacturing and installation process.

Step two: manufacturing and installing the wheelchair lift

After your order is placed, it could take at least two to three weeks for your order to be manufactured and shipped to you, depending on whether customizations are added to the lift. This is especially true for inclined platform lifts that ride curved staircases, because the track needs to be custom made to fit the shape of your staircase.

The Bruno manufacturing warehouse, where lifts are made and shipped.
One Reviewer visited the Bruno manufacturing site, where lifts are made and shipped.

Both vertical and inclined platform lifts take at least 4–6 hours to install. Some lifts, like the AmeriGlide vertical platform lifts, can arrive fully assembled, which reduces installation time but increases shipping cost. If there are additional home modifications needed to accommodate the lift, the installation time will extend by a few days.

Most manufacturers and dealers advise hiring a permitted professional to do the installation. Check your state and local ordinances, since many states (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin) will fine you for installing lifts unpermitted due to safety concerns.

Most manufacturers roll the installation fee into the quoted price. AmeriGlide are the only brands in this review that do not automatically do so because neither company offers installation. Instead, you’ll need to call a third-party lift installation service to help you install the lift properly. This can potentially cost an extra several thousand dollars.

Installing a vertical platform lift is a simple process compared to inclined platform lifts because the product is limited to one large unit placed in one area of the home. It’s typically fully or partially assembled on arrival. Installation can get more complicated if the lift travels to multiple levels in the home, requires an enclosed shaft, or if home modifications are needed to accommodate the lift, like removing boundaries to the top landing for entry and exit space.

Installing an inclined platform lift is more involved, especially if the staircase is curved. The installing technician will place the track first, mounting it securely to the wall for the entire length of the staircase. Then, the platform is securely attached to the track and ready to test run. On curved stairlifts, installation takes longer to ensure it fits each turn perfectly to allow for a smooth ride.

Wheelchair lift maintenance and warranties

Wheelchair lifts require maintenance once every year through the manufacturer or dealer that sold you the lift. Sometimes, this is covered in the lift’s warranty, but not always.


Most wheelchair lifts last 10–20 years with proper care. Day-to-day maintenance includes dusting gently around electrical equipment with a dry cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners, especially around buttons and circuitry.

If your lift is outdoors, cleaning the surface of the lift frequently can help keep grime out of the nooks and crannies that lead to internal mechanical equipment like gears. Clearing snow and ice from the lift will help prevent corrosion so your lift stays safe and accessible.

You’ll need to hire professional maintenance every year or every 750 up-down cycles, whichever comes first. Most dealers will have a list of local professionals you can contact. Some states, like Oregon, have strict maintenance policies and checklists designed to keep the lift safe and operable. This includes lubricating gears, checking latches and hinges for faults, and ensuring the lift’s circuitry is damage-free.

Should your lift malfunction, call the dealer or technician who installed the lift. Every company on this list sells their lifts through a network of licensed dealers. Your dealer’s technician will come to your home and assess the issue. If the malfunction requires replacement parts, they will call your lift’s brand and order parts. If your lift was installed through a local dealer, your technician may have a part on hand. Repairs depend on technician availability, so find out if your area has enough technicians to service your home in a timely manner. Remember that your lift is important for your home accessibility, and you don’t want to wait longer than one to two days for a repair.


Wheelchair lift warranty lengths vary, depending on the manufacturer and dealer. They typically cover at least a year for major components like gears and motors, with lesser coverage times for smaller parts like buttons and barriers. Warranties tend to cover the cost of replacement parts, repairs, and labor—but not all companies have the same coverage. To fully understand your warranty, ask about coverage length and terms for these specific parts and services:

All warranties cover manufacturing and installation defects, but they do not cover wear-and-tear or damage inflicted by an external source. For example, if your dog chews your power cord, you’ll need to pay for a replacement out of pocket.

How to save money on wheelchair lifts

Wheelchair lifts are expensive, but they can play a huge role in your ability to access your home and community. What are some cost-saving strategies to help lower the financial barrier?

Ask insurance for coverage

Insurance rarely covers wheelchair lifts. Part B Medicare’s policy states that it may cover patient lifts as prescribed durable medical equipment (DME), but this refers to Hoyer lifts or ceiling lifts that help caregivers transfer patients from beds and chairs. Wheelchair lifts don’t usually make the cut.

But if the wheelchair lift is deemed medically necessary, Medicare may cover it, as long as a doctor writes a prescription with medical justification for the device.

Medicaid may offer coverage, although this differs state-to-state. Most Medicaid programs will offer assistance for stair or wheelchair lifts through Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers, which help cover at least part of your expense. Call your local Medicaid office to see how you can qualify for a waiver or any other programs available in your state.

If you have private insurance, call and ask about what’s covered under your policy. It may provide at least partial coverage, or the insurance company can direct you toward local or government programs for assistance. You can also check online tools like NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp to see what benefits are available in your area by entering your ZIP code and selecting the assistance you need. Local programs like Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and Veterans service organizations are also excellent resources for advice on wheelchair lift cost, coverage, and installation.

Get a tax deduction

Wheelchair lifts and maintenance costs can be tax deductible. You’ll 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. You can find more information on the IRS website.

Purchase a used wheelchair lift or rent instead

Many manufacturers and dealers have used wheelchair lifts at their warehouses. Some dealers, like 101 Mobility, have select locations that buy back and refurbish pre-owned wheelchair lifts to sell in their used inventory. But the company warned our Reviews Team that used lifts have waiting lists because of their popularity. Some lifts are difficult to purchase used, like curved inclined platform lifts. Curved staircases require custom-built tracks. If you have a uniquely curved staircase, you may have to invest in a new lift customized for your specific staircase. Keep in mind that warranties are different for used lifts than new ones, so ask a professional for those details before you purchase.

You can also try searching on Ebay and Amazon, although wheelchair lifts are hard to find on these sites. The Reviews Team found two vertical platform lifts available on Ebay for as low as $1,500, and one vertical platform lift on Amazon with hidden pricing. There were no inclined platform lifts listed on either site. Any lift you find on Amazon or Ebay will not come with a warranty because secondhand wheelchair lifts are a liability.

If you’re looking for a wheelchair lift to serve as a temporary mobility solution, you may want to consider renting instead of buying. After discussing this option with dealers like Lifeway Mobility, buying and reselling may be a better option than renting because of the custom nature of most lifts to people’s homes.

Finance the wheelchair lift

Some manufacturers or dealers offer financing options to lower the initial cost. You can check with the wheelchair lift’s retailer to see how you can apply. If you do qualify, you’ll pay an upfront fee followed by monthly payments until the wheelchair lift is fully paid off.

Who are wheelchair lifts best suited for?

Wheelchair lifts can provide increased freedom in your home and community. More than 8% of Americans report mobility-related travel restrictions that limit their ability to leave home and interact with their community. Of these people, 11.2 million are age 65 and older, and 15.5% of those with mobility-related travel restrictions use manual or power wheelchairs. As a result, they tend to restrict their day-to-day travel, which can leave them increasingly homebound over time. [1] Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Travel Patterns of American Adults with Disabilities. Jan. 3, 2022. Found on the internet at https://www.bts.gov/travel-patterns-with-disabilities Research shows that staying homebound can cause or increase feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. [5] National Library of Medicine. Correlates of Depressive Symptoms among Homebound and Semi-Homebound Older Adults. April 2017. Found on the internet at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845464/

Anyone who uses a wheelchair full-time should consider getting a ramp or lift to replace staircases and support social and emotional health. If a ramp isn’t the most accessible option, experts recommend exploring a lift.

“In some cases, wheelchair ramps are not the most accessible options,” Ferri told us “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.”

Ferri also explained that wheelchair lifts are not for everyone. “People should have good safety awareness, judgment, and motor planning” when using a lift,” said Ferri “The same goes for memory—if they got training on the sequence and what to do in an emergency, they should be able to recall that on their own each time they use [the lift].” If you or a family member are noticing cognitive changes, you may want to consider a safer option.

If you’re unsure whether you’re able to independently and safely operate a wheelchair lift, call a dealer and make an appointment to visit their showroom with a family member to see if you can test run a lift with their guidance and on your own.

What to look for in the best wheelchair lifts

When you’re looking to buy a wheelchair lift, your first considerations should be safety and accessibility. No matter the price, if the lift cannot safely meet your needs, the investment isn’t worth it. Look closely at the safety features and modification options to make sure the brand and model can meet your needs. Ask yourself the following questions:

The Bruno vertical platform lift detecting a ball beneath the lift
The Bruno vertical lift halts operation after detecting a ball to prevent potential damage to the lift.

If you’re unsure about your accessibility needs, ask your doctor for a referral to an occupational or physical therapist. They can point out details you may not have considered, like which control configurations are best or how to get in and out of a lift safely. You may also be referred to a social worker or case manager who can set you up with a home safety specialist, a professional who closely analyzes homes and recommends safety modifications.

Once you know what you need, look at the price tags. Compare lift types and brands to find something in your budget range. Talk with different dealers and ask them to show you all of your options and whether they provide financing opportunities. If you had a home safety specialist assess your home, keep their phone number on hand so that you can call them and ask for advice if you run into any roadblocks.

How we chose our top picks

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

Wheelchair lifts serve as a great alternative to stair negotiation for those who use a wheelchair full-time. Although they’re expensive, there are affordable options, like financing or buying used.

The market is full of great wheelchair lift brands, but these picks have cleared our reviews process as the best and safest quality. Consider each one carefully, as they all have unique features that may fit your needs best.

If you’re not sure what’s best for you, consult with a dealer to get a home evaluation, or ask your doctor for a prescribed clinical assessment. Physical and occupational therapists are also qualified to assess your individual needs and recommend features that can be useful. Some are even qualified to assess your home environment for appropriate home modifications that can lower your falls risk.

Frequently asked questions

In most cases, no. Medicare rarely covers wheelchair lifts for vehicles, even if you have a prescription from a doctor. Some Medicare Advantage plans may consider coverage, but approval is rare.

Medicare does not usually cover wheelchair lifts. Some Medicare Advantage plans might, but it is still difficult to get any type of insurance to cover wheelchair lifts.

Wheelchair lifts range greatly in cost. Depending on the type of wheelchair lift and necessary modifications to fit your needs, you’ll pay between $2,000–$30,000 starting price.

Wheelchair lifts for vans can be quite costly. Lifts that allow you to remain in your wheelchair to enter the van can cost $20,000–$30,000 without modifications. These lifts require complete van remodeling, which is why the starting price is so high. You also have the option to buy a new or used converted van with the lift already installed.

Wheelchair lifts have a control panel that allows for independent operation. While you’re on the lift, you can control the switches to select which direction you want to travel. With some lifts, you can add controls to automate gate opening, too. If the wheelchair lift is on the opposite landing, you can use a remote or wall-mounted calling system that “calls” the lift to you.

Professional installation is highly recommended to ensure safety. An improperly installed lift can be dangerous. Ask the lift’s manufacturer or dealer whether professional installation is bundled into your price. If not, hire a professional to do the work. Third-party installation can cost between $500–$5,000, depending on the lift and the amount of effort required, but it’s worth the peace of mind.

Some dealers and manufacturers have rental programs for temporary use. Dealers don’t encourage this, though, due to the custom nature of most wheelchair lifts.

Wheelchair lifts work by using a platform to transport you to a different level. Vertical platform lifts allow you to travel up or down to different floors, similar to an elevator. On inclined platform lifts, the platform travels diagonally on a wall-mounted track along a staircase. All lifts are independently operable, which means you can guide the lift yourself.

Most vertical platform lifts are allowed a lift height of up to 14 feet, but the maximum height depends on your state’s law. Some lift companies claim their lifts can travel up to three stories.

Most inclined platform lifts have a maximum track length of 16–40 feet, depending on the brand and model.

Commercial wheelchair lifts can be more costly than home lifts. Prices start around $15,000 and can go as high as $75,000, especially if building modifications are necessary.

Weight capacity depends on the type of lift. Standard vertical platform lifts carry up to 750 pounds with options for heavier weights, while inclined platform lifts carry up to 550 pounds.

For help from a professional, you might turn to an occupational therapist. An occupational therapist can provide a home assessment and make recommendations for home modifications that allow aging in place. These changes could involve modification to the main level of a home for optimal function, inexpensive options for bed placement, and bathroom modifications, such as elevated seats, improvised lighting and grab bars. To find an occupational therapist with expertise in home modifications, visit the Home Modification Occupational Therapy Alliance (HMOTA). The HMOTA is a worldwide network of occupational therapists that specialize in home modifications. An occupational therapist can also help you decide if a wheelchair lift is right for you, and if so, what lift product best meets your needs.

Have questions about this review? Email us at reviewsteam@ncoa.org.


  1. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Travel Patterns of American Adults with Disabilities. Jan. 3, 2022. Found on the internet at https://www.bts.gov/travel-patterns-with-disabilities
  2. ADA.gov. ADA Standards for Accessible Design Title III Regulation 28 CFR Part 36 (1991). March 14, 2014. Found on the internet at https://www.ada.gov/law-and-regs/design-standards/1991-design-standards/
  3. Internal Revenue Service. About Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses. Found on the internat at https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-publication-502
  4. Medicare. Patient Lifts. Found on the internet at https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/patient-lifts
  5. National Library of Medicine. Correlates of Depressive Symptoms among Homebound and Semi-Homebound Older Adults. April 2017. Found on the internet at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845464/
  6. United States Access Board. ADA Accessibility Standards. Found on the internet at https://www.access-board.gov/ada/#ada-410
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, AginginPlace.org, 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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