Best Manual Wheelchairs:Our Top 6 Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Manual wheelchair is the main type of wheelchairs in the market. Among so many choices, it is hard to pick the right one. In this guide, we will shed some light on how to find the best manual wheelchairs for seniors and people with disabilities even though you know little about these mobility aids.

Our Picks For Manual Wheelchairs

Short of time? The lightweight wheelchair from Medline is likely to meet your needs. If you are looking for something with high quality, then you should go for the Karmen one. For bariatric users, the Graham Field Paramount Wheelchair comes with 500 lbs weight capacity.

Best Overall
Medline - MDS806550E Lightweight & User-Friendly...
High Quality Option
Karman 24 pounds LT-980 Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair...
500 Lbs Weight Capacity
Graham Field Paramount Wheelchair, 24x18, Desk Arm,...
Medline Lightweight and User-Friendly Wheelchair
Karman LT-980 Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair
Graham Field Paramount Wheelchair
Best Overall
Medline - MDS806550E Lightweight & User-Friendly...
Medline Lightweight and User-Friendly Wheelchair
High Quality Option
Karman 24 pounds LT-980 Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair...
Karman LT-980 Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair
500 Lbs Weight Capacity
Graham Field Paramount Wheelchair, 24x18, Desk Arm,...
Graham Field Paramount Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-05-11 at 18:20

Best Manual Wheelchairs: Reviews

We include 5 self-propelled chairs and 1 companion-propelled chair in this list.

1. Medline MDS806550E Lightweight and User-Friendly Manual Wheelchair – Best Overall

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-05-11 at 18:20

When it comes to ultra-lightweight manual wheelchairs, perhaps few can match the durability and user-friendliness of the Medline.

This wheelchair features a flip-back design with desk length arms, which allow you to easily navigate under tables. Also included are elevating leg rests which ensure maximum comfort and ease.

The durable tig welded frame, as well as the comfortable, breathable nylon upholstery, ensure that the user gets the ultimate balance of comfort and support.

The product weighs about 33 lbs while it can easily support a weight of up to 300 lb. The seat is available in a number of sizes that range from 16×16 inches to 18×16 inches and 20×18 inches.

The height of the chair is adjustable where you can lower the seat each time by about 2 Inches. The low maintenance flat-free tires ensure that you never fall flat in times of crisis.

Pros:

  1. The Medline is extremely lightweight and easy to propel manually.
  2. Flip back design with desk length arms make it easy to use under tables.
  3. The elevating leg rests provide comfort and ease.
  4. The chair features adjustable height.
  5. The durable frame and flat-free tires allow for a reliable ride.

Cons:

  1. The weight capacity is relatively low.

2. Karman LT-980 Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchair – High-Quality Manual Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-05-11 at 18:20

The Karman Healthcare company produces a wide range of high-quality wheelchairs. This manual wheelchair is ultra-light which is only 24 pounds, and the company offers a warranty for lifetime on the product as well, which is amazing.

Both rear and front wheels of the chair are sturdy while the adjustable footrests are conveniently removable for comfort and ease. The chair is also quickly and easily foldable for perfect storage and portability.

One of the greatest attributes of this chair is that the seat height is also adjustable, making it perfect for taller users. You can even contact the company to have extra features or add-ons provided for your needs.

If you’re looking for quality service and company involvement, the Karman 24 pounds Ultra Lightweight Manual Wheelchair is perfect for you!

Pros:

  1. The chair is lightweight for easy transport.
  2. The chair is foldable for compact storage and transport.
  3. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
  4. The seat height and footrest are adjustable for comfort and convenience.
  5. It has sturdy wheels.
  6. The company can give add-ons.

Cons:

  1. It has smaller wheels than most other chairs.
  2. Front wheels aren’t as durable as those of other wheelchairs.
  3. Hand wheels can be uncomfortable for certain users.

3. Drive Medical TR39E-SV Transport Wheelchair – Best Companion-Propelled Model

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-05-11 at 18:20

When it comes to the good companion-propelled wheelchair for everyday use, the Drive Medical Wheelchair simply refuses to go unnoticed.

The wheelchair supports the needs of most wheelchair users who look for an efficient mobility device that is both lightweight and offers great maneuverability.

With its sleek design and 8-inch wheelchair, it allows perfect navigation even within narrow spaces and also guarantees easy control through bystander assistance.

With the chair’s cushioned armrests and swinging moveable footrests, you’re also guaranteed great comfort and convenience.

So, for anyone looking for a fully functional companion-propelled type manual wheelchair with comfort and maneuverability, this is the right one for you.

Pros:

  1. Detachable armrests and swing-away footrests offer customizable support.
  2. 19″ padded nylon wheelchair seat provides comfort and easy cleanup.
  3. The durable steel framework and large wheelchairs make the chair stable.
  4. The design allows maneuverability in narrow spaces.
  5. Foldable for easy and convenient transport and portability.
  6. Low price tag.

Cons:

  1. Narrow design not accommodating for slightly larger users.

4.Hi-Fortune Self-Propelled Wheelchair – Comfortable Manual Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-05-11 at 18:20

We think this is a great chair for seniors who are not on a budget and want something built to last.

The frame is made from strong, ultra-lightweight magnesium alloy that provides sufficient support. The weight is only 21lbs.

The best part? The frame can easily fold down using a quick release hinge for better and efficient storage. So, you can easily store it in the trunk of your car, under your bed, or even in the overhead compartment of planes.

Moreover, included for your premium comfort are padded armrests and swing away leg rests. Afraid of a bumpy ride? Well, the large oversized rear wheels can overcome the most uneven surfaces.

It also includes handbrakes for you to control the movement and speed. However the weight capacity is only 220 lbs.

Pros:

  1. The Hi-Fortune weighs only 21 lbs.
  2. The armrests are padded while the leg ones can be adjusted.
  3. It is easy to control the speed using rear and front handbrakes.
  4. Also included are anti-tippers that allow you to drive up a slope without tipping.
  5. The durable frame and breathable upholstery ensure comfort.
  6. The chair can be folded for efficient storage.

Cons:

  1. The weight capacity is very low.

5.NOVA Medical Lightweight Wheelchair – Wheelchair With Desk Arm

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-05-11 at 18:20


This reliable and durable chair is perfect for all who desire an easy way and independent way to propel themselves.

The weight of this seat is a mere 33 lbs. However, it can support up to 300 lbs. Furthermore, it is equipped with a flip back desk arm which is good for transfer from chair to bed.

Also included are swing-away footrests for your ease and comfort. The best part is that the height of the seat is adjustable due to the dual axle positions. The black chrome finish frame is flame-retardant and durable as well.

The black nylon upholstery is soft and comfortable. It is breathable as well to allow for perspiration. It can be folded down as well for convenient storage and easy portability.

Pros:

  1. The Nova is the perfect wheelchair to propel yourselves.
  2. It is lightweight and can support up to 300 lbs.
  3. You can easily work or eat on a table due to flip back desk arms.
  4. The height of the sea is adjustable.
  5. The upholstery and frame provide ample support and comfort.
  6. It can be folded down for better storage options.

Cons:

  1. It is heavier than other seats on this list.

6.Graham Field Paramount Wheelchair – Best Heavy Duty Manual Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-05-11 at 18:20

The Graham Field’s Wheelchair is specifically designed for bariatric people.

Confused about how to choose a wheelchair size? Well, this wheelchair offers a universal size that is fit for all. The depth of the seat is about 18 inches, about 2 inches longer than other wheelchairs.

It provides a comfortable seat to the user. While the seat itself is lightweight, however, due to its durability and leatherette upholstery, it can support up to 500 lbs of weight.

This wheelchair is equipped with a wide variety of features such as removable armrests, desk arms, swing-away footrests, dual axles, double crossbars, and so forth.

Also included are semi-pneumatic front casters that are durable and sturdy. The Graham field paramount is affordable as well!

Pros:

  1. The seat is lightweight and supports a large weight capacity of up to 500 lbs.
  2. It has a lot of features such as removable armrests, swings away footrests, desk arms et cetera.
  3. The seat is about 2 inches deeper than standard wheelchairs.
  4. The frame is durable.
  5. The upholstery is soft and breathable.

Cons:

  1. It has only one size.

What are the different types of Manual Wheelchairs?

Manual wheelchairs come in many varieties depending on the following:

  • Control:

A manual wheelchair can be self-propelled or transport.

Self-propelled wheelchairs are ones that the user can move on their own if they have control of their upper limbs, whereas lightweight transport wheelchairs are designed with handlebars on the back so that other people like family members, can assist in pushing the chairs forward.

  • Weight:

A heavy-duty manual wheelchair is usually designed for bariatric patients to support weights of up to 700 pounds with reclining features to help mobility and comfort.

The ultra-lightweight manual wheelchairs range between 25 to 40 pounds and are perfect for portability and travel.

If you’re going to get a chair for the average person that promises easy mobility and comfort, ultra-lightweight wheelchairs are a perfect choice.

How Do I Choose A Manual Wheelchair?

Things you need to consider include:

1) Seat Height: The seat height should be adjusted to ensure a person’s feet are 5 cm above the floor to help them move while standing or sitting. People who have knee issues should adjust their seats to a higher height for better comfort and control.

2) Seat Width: A comfortable seat should be 5 cm wider than the user’s hip.

3) Grip Height: This should be up to the height of the average bystander’s waistline to allow other people to comfortably move the chair around.

4) Armrest Height: Depending on the cushion thickness, your armrest height should be 2-3 cm above elbow height for comfort.

5) Footrest Height: This must be about 5 cm from the floor.

6) Backrest Height: For self-propelling users, the optimum backrest height should be 10 cm below armpit level.

You should also looks at the weight capacity, foot rest, arm rest and upholstery.

FAQ

How does a manual wheelchair work?

You can use a manual wheelchair by pushing the round bars around wheels. Others can push it by using the handles on the back.

Who would use a manual wheelchair?

Seniors or patients who have relatively strong upper limb strength can use a self-propelled manual wheelchair. Otherwise, you need to buy a companion-propelled transport chair or a power wheelchair.

Bottom Line:

Hopefully, you have already find the best one in our list of manual wheelchairs. Don’t forget to check the weight capacity, height, product weight, and other features you concern about before making any purchase. Always consult your doctor when buying a mobility aid.

Cherry Yang

Cherry is the editor-in-chief of Mobility With Love. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a master's degree in Adapted Physical Activity. Her expertise includes biomechanics, biochemistry, nutrition, disability studies, and so on.

Leave a Comment