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How Much Does a Wheelchair Weigh?

“How much does a wheelchair weigh” is a common question that most wheelchair buyers will ask. Yes, weight matters and it is a metric that will affect your experience every day.

How Much Does A Wheelchair Weigh

In short, a typical manual wheelchair weighs between 30 lbs to 45 lbs while an electric wheelchair weighs between 50 lbs to 200 lbs.

We will answer this question in detail in the following article.

Why Is Wheelchair Weight Important?

If you have been a wheelchair user once, you will know how important weight is. In general, the lighter the wheelchair,  the easier it is to propel, push and lift.

For those who use a manual wheelchair and propel the chair by themselves, the effort they need to take for operating the wheelchair can make them frustrated and exhausted.

The lighter weight always means that they can save some energy for every action. Just imagine how many actions they will take every day and you will understand why so many people are looking for a lightweight wheelchair.

The wheelchair weight is also crucial for helpers and carers. They often play a role in pushing the chair or lifting it into the car’s trunk. Therefore, they have to make sure if they are capable of fulfilling the task.

People with relatively more upper body strength don’t care much about how much does a wheelchair weigh, however, it is a paramount question for people with weak hands.

What To Pay Attention To When Checking The Wheelchair Weight?

check wheelchair

The wheelchair weight shows on the product page or manual doesn’t always equal the real weight the chair has.

The typical practice for wheelchair manufacturers is that they will exclude the weight of footrests when calculating the wheelchair weight.

So you have to bear in mind that the actual weight you get will be 3 to 4 pounds heavier than they claimed.

Some brands even advertise their chairs with weight without wheels and footrests. In this case, the actual weight can increase even more.

Another issue you might need to watch out for is that some wheelchair models come in a few sizes but the manufacturer only claims the weight of their smallest option.

For example, you can order the chair with a seat width of 16″, 18″, 20″, but the seller will show the weight of the chair with a 16″ seat width.

If you are buying an electric wheelchair, the weight often doesn’t include battery weight.

How much does a Standard Manual Wheelchair weigh?

A standard manual wheelchair often weighs from 30 lbs to 45 lbs. You can often find them at hospitals, shopping malls,s or airports. Some are foldable and some don’t which you have to carry with an extra wheelchair carrier.

Usually, they are made out of steel. While steel frame is durable and suitable for commercial use, they are heavier than the aluminum ones.

How much does an Electric Wheelchair weigh?

Generally speaking, an electric wheelchair could be bulkier as it is equipped with a motor and batteries. If you plan to carry it with a wheelchair carrier, then this is not an insurmountable issue. Otherwise, a lightweight and foldable one could be a better choice.

The weight of an electric wheelchair varies from 50 lbs to 200 lbs in general. 

How much does a Transport Wheelchair weigh?

transport chair

Normally, a transport wheelchair often weighs from 20 lbs to 30 lbs. This is due to the fact that they have much smaller wheels especially rear casters. People sitting in the chair can’t operate the chair by themselves and most models are foldable as the aim of these chairs is for transportation.

How much does a Lightweight Wheelchair weigh?

A lightweight wheelchair refers to wheelchairs that focus on taking the burden from users’ shoulders by using lightweight materials. Hence, lightweight wheelchair includes different types of wheelchairs. It could be a lightweight manual wheelchair, a lightweight transport wheelchair, or a lightweight electric wheelchair.

A lightweight manual wheelchair weighs between 18 lbs to 30 lbs and some brands use T6 aluminum to manufacture the chair in order to deduct the weight further.

In a similar vein, the weight of a lightweight transport chair varies from 14 lbs to 25 lbs. They will be slightly lighter than the manual ones.

The weight of a lightweight electric wheelchair ranges from 45 lbs to 120 lbs.

How much does a Heavy Duty Wheelchair weigh?

Heavy-duty wheelchairs are specially designed for bariatric users. As these chairs need to be able to hold up more bodyweight, usually over 350 lbs, they often use a wider seat and a stronger frame.

These designs will translate to heavier wheelchair weight, so a typical heavy-duty wheelchair weighs from 45 lbs to 60 lbs.

Don’t Just Consider the Weight!

Yes, the lighter the chair, the better. However, there are a few factors to consider when buying a wheelchair.

You should put safety as a top priority. It is not wise to sacrifice safety just for a few pounds weight. So make sure if the chair has a seat belt, anti-tippers, or companion brakes especially when you or your loved ones don’t have the ability to control the chair well.

How you will use the chair is also important. Such as, if you will go out more often than not, a wheelchair with large wheels would serve your purpose better. 


We think you have got the answer about “how much do wheelchairs weigh” according to this post. Even though a lightweight wheelchair can cost more than a standard wheelchair, it will save a lot of effort in your daily life. 

However, don’t just focus on the wheelchair weight, think about safety, comfort, and durability before making a final purchasing decision.

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.

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