The Best Stair Lifts for Seniors

When did the upstairs become a distant, far-off land? For seniors with mobility issues, stair lifts have become a life-saver.
Senior woman sits on a stair lift going up at home

When did the upstairs become a distant, far-off land? For seniors with mobility issues, stair lifts have become a lifesaver.

Stair lifts, aka chairlifts, are motorized seats mounted directly to your staircase, designed to get you up and down with. They are crafted to produce gentle movement, allowing wise seniors with mobility issues the ability reclaim the upstairs of their house.

But every piece of technology has its pros and cons, right? In today’s Senior Assistance Club guide, we’re taking a deeper look at stairlifts and chairlifts for seniors and understand if it’s a viable option for your household.

Types of Stairlifts for Seniors

There are three types of stair lifts for seniors available on the market today:

  1. The straight stairlift is the most common and affordable type of stairlift. It is designed for use on a straight staircase with no landings or curves.
  2. The curved stairlift is custom-made to fit a staircase that has curves or landings. It is generally more expensive than a straight stairlift, but it offers a much smoother ride.
  3. The portable stairlift is a battery-operated stairlift that can be easily installed and removed as needed. It is ideal for those who need a stairlift on an occasional basis or for those who live in a rental property.

Why Are Stairlifts So Popular?

According to Population Reference Bureau, 16 million adults aged 60 and older are living alone in the United States. A stairlift enables seniors to stay in their home and remain independent.

The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University (JCHS) reported in 2020:

“Households age 65 and over are increasing faster than any other age group”

2020 data from JCHS confirms: “Over the next decade, the population age 75 and over is expected to grow from 23 to over 34 million people, an increase of 48 percent.“

As the U.S. population grows older, more people live with issues of mobility. A stairlift allows seniors to remain active, live independently, and live happily in their own home. Seniors with arthritis and other joint issues will be able to move around their home once again without any assistance.

And because stairlifts allow seniors to no longer go up and down the stairs themselves, it is also a good way to fall-proof your home.

What Makes the Perfect Stair Lift?

Older man uses a stair lift in his home

Depending on individual physical needs, stairlifts may be useful for internal as well as external staircases.

Costs vary with the least expensive being for straight staircases. Curved staircases are more costly because they need customization to create a track that follows the curve. Outdoor stairlifts can be useful for ensuring easy movement from a driveway to a porch, to and from a garage or boat dock.

How Much Do Stairlifts for Seniors Cost?

The cost of a stairlift for seniors varies depending on the type of stairlift, the size and layout of your staircase, and any custom features you may want. A straight stairlift typically starts at around $2,000, while a curved stairlift can cost upwards of $5,000. Portable stairlifts are less expensive, starting at around $1,000.

7 Tips for Skillful Shopping

Depending on specific mobility needs, experts recommend an exploratory approach. In addition to online research, use these 7 tips to be a skillful shopper.

• Visit a Showroom

Many cities offer showrooms to try out items for personal comfort, ease, and visual appeal.

• Talk to Owners

If you or someone in your family and friends circle knows a person with a Chairlift, reach out. Most people are happy to help. They know the ins-and-outs of making the best decision, evaluating local sellers, and choosing the model that fits specific requirements.

• Comparison Shop

To shop and make a confident decision, it helps to get full estimates and compare prices. Test different models, if possible, in person. Keep a record of your ‘try-before-you-buy’ experiences.

• In-Home Consultations

Many manufacturers and resellers offer in-home consultations. Your specific home, garage, or driveway may have unique features, which could affect overall costs.

• New, Refurbished or Used

Additionally, decide if a new, refurbished or used model is appealing. This decision can also dramatically impact the total cost of a Stairlift installation.

• Special Features

Special features vary across different makes and models. Some have seat belts. Stairlift seats may be more comfortable to different people. Some feature armrests, others are open on the sides. Some have footrests. Operating options include push buttons, pressure sensors and joysticks. Find the special features that match your comfort, needs and preferences.

• Personal Standards

In reviewing the options, compare marketing descriptions with your personal experience of comfort and safety. This is a new part of your home. Make sure it matches your personal standards for comfort, ease and functionality.

5 Top Brands

Senior woman at home in front of a high-tech stair lift

Experts in home mobility highlight 5 of the top brands for Stairlifts: Handicare, Bruno, Stannah, Harmar, Acorn and AmeriGlide


  • Offers a lifetime warranty on some models
  • Highly customizable – straight or curved
  • Innovative leaders in solving mobility issues
  • U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri founded in 1986
  • Global headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden


  • Offers limited lifetime warranties
  • Top pick for straight stairlifts
  • Family-owned business
  • Made in the USA
  • Offers lifts with 300-400 lb. capacity


  • Best value with cost-conscious options
  • Offers free quotes
  • Offers rental options
  • Manufactures 7 stairlifts including straight, curved, and outdoor model
  • Family business since 1867


  • Straight, curved, and outdoor models
  • Can be customized
  • Offers financing options if over 62 years old
  • Offers new, used, or refurbished
  • No obligation quote
  • Installed within days


  • Offers straight, curved, and outdoor models
  • Budget-friendly prices
  • Offers new, and reconditioned stairlifts
  • Offers financing options if over 62

Stairlift FAQs

• How do I know if I need a stairlift?

If you have difficulty climbing stairs, a stairlift for seniors may be a good solution for you. A stairlift allows you to safely and easily travel up and down your staircase without having to worry about falling or losing your balance. If you are considering a stairlift, we recommend that you consult with a stairlift dealer to get the advice on the best stairlift for seniors for you.

• How long does it take to install a stairlift?

It typically takes around 4-6 hours to install a straight stairlift and 8-10 hours to install a curved stair lift. Portable stair lifts can be installed in as little as an hour.

• Is a stairlift for seniors covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover the cost of a stairlift, but some private insurance plans may offer coverage. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to see if they offer any coverage for stairlifts for seniors.

• What are the weight and height restrictions for a stairlift?

Most stairlifts have a weight capacity of around 300 pounds. As for height, most stairlifts are designed to accommodate people up to 6 feet tall. If you are taller than 6 feet or weigh more than 300 pounds, you may need to purchase a custom stairlift.

Assistant Club Summary

Maintaining your mobility, living independently and being able to live in your own home are top priorities. As we age, stairlifts can help individuals navigate different levels of their home, stay active, and recover from medical procedures.

In addition, outdoor models can help people stay active. Whether the driveway is steep, or steps are slippery, a stairlift helps easy movement in and out of the house.