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Cheap Wheelchair Reviews: 7 Best Affordable Wheelchairs

There are thousands of wheelchair models in the market and each one claims it is a great choice for you. However, the truth is choosing a wheelchair that could accommodate your needs is not so easy especially when you are on a budget.

cheap wheelchairs

In this post, we will lay out a guide so you can easily find the best cheap wheelchairs in the market and understand how to get a cheap but good wheelchair for yourself or your loved ones.

Best Overall
Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair with...
Best Cheap Manual Wheelchair
Drive Medical Blue Streak Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchair...
Best Cheap Transport Wheelchair
Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with...
Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair with...
Drive Medical Blue Streak Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchair...
Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with...

Flip-up padded armrests.

The seat can be adjusted to hemi-height.

Durable.

Beautiful blue coating.

Foldable.

Easy to operate.

Companion brakes included.

Lightweight.

12" big rear wheels.
Best Overall
Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair with...
Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair with...

Flip-up padded armrests.

The seat can be adjusted to hemi-height.

Durable.
Best Cheap Manual Wheelchair
Drive Medical Blue Streak Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchair...
Drive Medical Blue Streak Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchair...

Beautiful blue coating.

Foldable.

Easy to operate.
Best Cheap Transport Wheelchair
Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with...
Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with...

Companion brakes included.

Lightweight.

12" big rear wheels.

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-09-27 at 03:15

How Much Do Cheap Wheelchairs Cost?

If you are new to the world of wheelchairs, it is hard to know how to define an “inexpensive wheelchair”. Usually, the prices vary according to the types and sizes of wheelchairs.

A typical manual wheelchair will cost around $200 to $1000 and a normal transport chair will cost about $150 to $450. Aside from that, the wider the seat width, the higher the price tag. Since the wider seat width is always equal to bigger chair size and more materials are needed to make the chair.

As for power wheelchairs, they always cost around $1800 to $3000, some models even can be priced at nearly $30000. 

In our reviews, we have tried to find the best value on the market and make sure their price are below the average.

Best Cheap Wheelchairs: Reviews

1. Drive Medical Cruiser III Manual Wheelchair – Best Cheap Wheelchairs Overall

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-09-27 at 03:15

We will start our review by setting the bar high with this Drive Medical Cruiser III wheelchair. In our view, it is the best affordable wheelchair that most users will like.

Made with carbon steel, this wheelchair is sturdy and could bear up to 300 lbs. For people with average body size, it will provide you a smooth ride on most surfaces without worrying about it breaking suddenly. 

One thing that sets this Drive Medical wheelchair apart from other models is that the seat height can be adjusted from 19.5″ to 17.5″. The hemi-height seat makes it possible for users to propel the chair by feet. This can help people with weak hands regain valuable independence. 

In addition to that, it also comes with flip-up armrests which are known for encouraging transferring. People who want to stay close to the table will benefit from this feature as well. This feature is not always included in “cheap wheelchairs”.

This is a foldable manual wheelchair, while it is by no means an ultra-lightweight model, you can manage to fold it into the trunk of your car.

Pros

  • Affordable price.
  • Flip-up padded armrests included for transferring.
  • 300 lb weight capacity.
  • The seat height can be adjusted to hemi-height.

Cons

  • No companion brakes.
  • The brake is a bit stiff for users to operate.
  • A bit heavy for women and seniors to lift.

2. Drive Medical Blue Streak Manual Wheelchair – Best Cheap Manual Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-09-27 at 03:15

This is another popular wheelchair from Drive Medical and we think it should be included in our list. It is a feature-rich manual wheelchair without being tagged with an exorbitant price. Actually, it has a really low price tag.

Coming from a reputable brand, this chair is made out of durable steel, and for us, the icing on the cake is the snazzy blue frame.

The big mag wheels are low maintenance and handle most even surfaces well. Even though it is better to use it indoors, it would not be problematic if you want to use it outside of the house occasionally.

It also has a back pouch to carry personal items and the foldable frame ensures you could store it in the back of your car.

Even better, the manufacturer offers some customization options. You can order a chair with a seat width of 16″, 18″, or 20″ and opt for swing-away footrests or elevating footrests.

The weight capacity is 250 lbs, which is pretty standard in a manual wheelchair. 

Pros

  • Low price tag.
  • Beautiful blue coating.
  • A few seat widths available.
  • Foldable.
  • Easy to operate.

Cons

  • Not for large man.
  • 41 lbs product weight is heavier than some models.
  • Lack adjustability.

3. Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with Handbrakes – Best Cheap Transport Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-09-27 at 01:32

In general, transport chairs are cheaper than manual wheelchairs as they often use smaller wheels and less complex mechanisms. People who lack upper body strength or arm strength will choose to buy a transport chair. 

As the name of this Medline transport chair suggests, it only weighs only 23.5 lbs. The lightweight product weight, in tandem with its foldable design, makes it a great portable wheelchair in the market. Caregivers will love this chair as it is incredibly easy to lift and fold.

We also like the 12″ rear wheels which improve the maneuverability on bumpy roads. It also handles indoor surfaces well. 

Safety is a top priority for everyone using a wheelchair – particularly people with poor body control. Luckily, the manufacturer designs this chair with safety in mind.

Except for the seat belt, it also includes a pair of hand brakes for a companion. The loop-style brakes ensure the caregiver can deal with any expected and park the chair whenever needed. 

With so many great features, the price point of this transport chair is incredibly low. This chair is a no-brainer for you.

Pros

  • Lightweight. The product weight is only 23.5 lbs.
  • Companion brakes included. This chair is safe to use.
  • 12″ rear wheels for better maneuverability.

Cons 

  • You may feel uncomfortable if you intend to spend hours in the chair.

4. Pride Go Chair – Best Cheap Power Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-09-26 at 21:29

Thanks to technology development, people with very limited mobility can move freely today by using an electric wheelchair. That said, you can go out by yourself as long as you can control the joystick.

However, investing in a powered wheelchair will cost you thousands of dollars generally. Therefore we took deep research and finally find this Pride Go chair from Pride Mobility which is affordable and of good quality.

The turning radius is a mere 25.5″, meaning that it can go through narrow doorways and hallways easily. Even though it is not foldable, it does have amazing portability since it has a feather-touch disassembly mechanism. 

This results in a chair that can be easily disassembled into 5 small pieces and the heaviest part is only 36 lbs. In this way, you can lift and store it into a tight space such as trunks or a small corner.

Regarding the performance, this chair can drive up to 13.2 miles for a single charge and the speed is up to 3.7 mph. While it is not the most powerful one, it fulfills the basic tasks well.

In addition to that, the armrests are adjustable and has a 5-point swivel seat, making it a user-friendly wheelchair.

Pros

  • Good portability. You can dissemble it into small parts.
  • The turning radius is small for better maneuverability.
  • The battery performance is great.
  • Adjustable armrests for added comfort.

Cons

  • The performance on uneven surfaces are not so great.
  • The adjustability for the seat height is limited.
  •  Anti-tippers of this chair stop the chair from climbing some inclined ramps.
  • HCPCS code is K0899 which is not coded by DME PDAC. 

5. ProBasics Standard Reclining Wheelchair – Best Cheap Reclining Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-09-26 at 21:29

If you are a wheelchair-bound user, have severe health conditions, or just want to take a snap in the chair, then a reclining wheelchair would be a better fit. Due to the extended backrest, reclining wheelchairs usually cost more than standard wheelchairs.

Probasic is the brand from Carex and this standard reclining wheelchair is one of the cheapest models in the market.

The seat width varies from 16″ to 22″ and the weight capacity increases from 250 lbs to 400 lbs. The model is likely to accommodate you. 

The back can be fully reclined, allowing to find a comfortable posture and alleviate pressure and pains. If you will spend hours in the chair in your day-to-day life, then this would be a godsend. 

Where safety is concerned, along with the anti-tippers, the wheels are set back to the frame to avoid tipping. It also embraces companion brakes.

This reclining chair has removable armrests and elevating footrests to add more convenience for wheelchair users.

Pros

  • There are a lot of customization options
  • The back is fully reclined.
  • It is very safe.
  • The mag-style wheels handle indoor surfaces well.

Cons

  • The seat and back is not very comfortable. You’d better buy an extra cushion.

6. Medline – MDS806550E Lightweight & User-Friendly Wheelchair – Best Cheap Lightweight Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-09-27 at 05:34

Normally, the lighter the wheelchair, the higher the price tag. When we find this Medline lightweight wheelchair we are so exciting as it combines the price and product weight perfectly. It is so cheap that there are not many counterparts that can compete with it.

Regarding the weight, it weighs mere 33 lbs which is lighter than the majority of standard manual chairs. Along with that, it collapses into a compact size, making storing it a breeze.

It is also very comfortable to sit in. Both the seat height and back height are adjustable, allowing your body to be in its best posture possible. It features elevating footrests that are swing-away and accommodate possible swelling. Plus, the padded armrests can swing away so that you can stay close to the table while eating or talking.

The mag-style wheels with flat-free tires work well on indoor surfaces and the chair can handle up to 300 lbs. Add to that the seat width varies from 16″ to 20″, and it can fit most users.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • The material is strong and durable.
  • Flip-up padded armrests included.
  • Elevating footrests for added comfort.
  • 300 lbs weight capacity.
  • Adjustable back height and sit height.

Cons

  • The connections are a bit flimsy.
  • No companion brakes for added safety.

7. Everest & Jennings Traveler HD Bariatric Wheelchair – Best Cheap Heavy Duty Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-09-26 at 21:29

There are fewer options for bariatric wheelchair users and since heavy duty wheelchairs are made to bear more weight, they will cost you more money.

This bariatric wheelchair from Everest & Jennings will get you the most bang for your buck. The strong carbon steel frame, in tandem with double cross braces, ensures this chair can bear up to 500 lbs.

For added durability, this chair uses reinforced upholstery with heavy-duty lining so that it will easily get tear and wear with use.

In addition to that, this inexpensive wheelchair offers 3 seat width options: 20″, 22″, or 24″, allowing virtually everyone can find a good fit. You can also choose from a desk armrest or a full armrest. Besides, the seat height is also adjustable somewhat.

This chair doesn’t have any fancy features, but it is a strong mobility device to support your daily life.

Pros

  • Can support up to 500 lbs.
  • Adjustable seat height
  • Reinforced upholstery and braces.

Cons

  • It is not very comfortable for long-term use.
best affordable wheelchairs

Where Can I Buy A Cheap Wheelchair?

Instead of renting a wheelchair, sometimes, buying a cheap wheelchair can save you more money in the end.

We advise you to find these affordable wheelchairs online. In this way, you can compare the prices and search for deals from different online stores.

Regarding the website, Amazon, Walmart, and Homedepot are always good places to go. We also suggest checking some specific sites in this industry such as Spinlife and 1800 wheelchairs. You can also order the wheelchairs from some manufacturers’ official sites directly.

Of note, it is also possible for you to get a free wheelchair or get a used wheelchair at a really low price.

How To Find Cheap Wheelchairs? 

At first, you have to decide which type of wheelchair you want. Then you will go to the websites and look for the right category or just simply enter a keyword such as “manual wheelchair”.

Next, you can sort chairs by price and ratings to get some good candidates. The last step is to compare the features and read customer reviews to help you make your mind. Don’t worry, you can find good and cheap wheelchairs within a few steps.

If you are not in a hurry, you can wait for Black Friday or other shopping events to get the best price. Another tip is to subscribe to their newsletter. Sometimes they give special offers there.

Why Some Wheelchairs Are More Expensive?

There is a big range between the cheapest wheelchair and the most expensive wheelchairs. Understand why these chairs are so expensive will help you to clear your mind and know which are the priorities for you while buying an affordable wheelchair.

Brand

Brand plays an important role in wheelchair prices. Some brands such as Invacare and Karman manufacture more expensive models. While their products are solid and have a lot of awesome designs, you can always find some alternatives with lower prices.

Better material and workmanship

Manufacturers try to cut costs as more as possible when making affordable wheelchairs, but they could spend more on a high-end model. Usually, they can earn more by selling an expensive product.

Some expensive models will use aluminum to make the frame. Aluminum is strong but more lightweight. You can also find some models made with other new materials.

Except for the frame, they also use better material in wheels, upholstery, footrests, and armrests.  

When you take a close look, you are likely to find some small defects in a cheap wheelchair. Sometimes the connections are flimsy, the footrests can’t stay in place or the wheels are not parallel. A higher-end chair will have fewer issues.

Added safety

To some extent, inexpensive wheelchairs have fewer safety features. For example, it is hard to find companion brakes in cheap wheelchairs especially cheap manual wheelchairs. Anti-tippers are also missing in most models. 

Added comfort

Expensive wheelchairs tend to be more suitable for long-term use. They often have a comfortable seat. For example,  some seating frames are ergonomically designed.  The handrims are also easy to reach and operate.

Regarding the upholstery, they often come with plush cushions to relieve pressures and avoid bed sores.

More adjustability

In order to let you sit in a perfect posture, expensive models will offer more adjustability. Aside from the flip-up armrest, you can also adjust the arm height. The seat height and back angle are also adjustable and rear wheels have a quick-release function. Some brands offer a variety of options to order a specific chair for yourself.

More accessories

Cheap wheelchairs have limited accessories but some pricey models included some accessories such as seat cushion, cup holder, back pouch, basket, and so on.

What To Look For When Buying An Inexpensive Wheelchair?

Even though you are likely to get a “basic wheelchair” without too many bells and whistles in the end, there are some factors to consider still.

Durability

You don’t want a flimsy chair that lasts for a few weeks. Therefore, it is paramount to check the durability of the chair. There are plenty of cheap wheelchairs with good durability. A shortcut is to read customer reviews to know how long the chair will last.

Weight capacity

Don’t buy a chair that can’t handle your weight. Normally, the weight capacity should be 50 lbs above your body weight. If you are bariatric, go for a heavy-duty model directly.

Product Weight

Lightweight wheelchairs are easy to push, lift and propel. Therefore, you should read the product pages carefully to see how much is this wheelchair weigh exactly. Note that the product weight manufacturer claims don’t include the footrests in general.

Make sure you or your caregivers are able to handle the chair. Otherwise, you are going to abandon it in the end. It is a waste of money regardless of how cheap the chair is.

Warranty

Buying a cheap wheelchair doesn’t mean it will not have a good warranty. In fact, some models even have a limited lifetime warranty.  Hence, we suggest you read the manual carefully so that you can get a hassle-free experience.

Verdict

A good wheelchair could be a cheap wheelchair as soon as it can cater to your needs. Spend some time, it is not too hard to find a great and affordable wheelchair online or you can start by checking the models on our list. Note that you shouldn’t sacrifice durability, weight capacity, safety, and warranty even if you are buying a budget wheelchair.

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