Straight Stairlifts or Curved Stairlifts – Guide to Choosing a Stairlift for Your Home

There are many reasons to buy straight stairlifts or curved stairlifts. The main reason is to have safe and easy access all areas of your home such as the upper levels or lower levels when stairs present a difficulty. You can decide to have a stairlift installed for all sorts of reasons including age, illness or accident. Stairlifts allow for greater freedom in the home and can be life-changing for those who have one.

Here we shall look at the two main types of stairlifts – curved stairlifts and straight stairlifts – and how to choose between the two. We shall also outline some of the things to take into consideration to get the right stairlift for you, such as whether you want a permanent or temporary installation, how much you are prepared to spend, and whether you can benefit from any additional modification such as a perch option, a motorised swivel chair, or a powered footrest.

Straight Stairlifts – click here to view our range of products

Curved Stairlifts –  click here to view our range of products

Straight Stairlifts or Curved Stairlifts – Which Do You Need?

Whether you choose straight stairlifts or curved stairlifts really depends on the type of stairs you have.

Straight stairlifts are the most common form of stairlift and are suitable for a single flight of straight stairs.

Curved stairlifts are ideal for staircases that have a bend or a curve and are more expensive than straight stairlifts as they must be custom made to suit your staircase. If you have multiple flights of straight staircases, for instance in a multi-storey house or where the stairs change direction, a curved stairlift will allow you to travel all the way upstairs in one go. You may also need curved stairlifts for very narrow stairs with a bend and for spiral staircases.

As curved stairlifts are individually made, there are occasions where two straight stairlifts may be a better option to reduce costs. However this will require a user to get off the first stairlift and onto the second stairlift in order to travel to the top of the stairs. Our experienced engineers can visit you at your home and will be able to assist and advice on which stairlift is more suitable for you.

Choosing a Stairlift – Other Things to Consider

Your Mobility Requirements

In addition to deciding between straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts, you choice will depend very much on your mobility requirements.  People with good mobility can go for basic but effective options such as the Minivator Simplicity, Simplicity Plus and Homeglide models. These are ideal low cost alternatives and offer superb value for money.

More advanced models can assist with the following mobility issues:

The perch, instead of a seat option, is available on many of our stairlifts and is a good feature if you have difficulties bending your knees. The Van Gogh also has a seat pointing downwards at a 45 degree angle so it is ideal for those with limited movement.

If you have limited dexterity, powered swivelled seats makes getting on and off the chair easier than a manual alternative. You don’t have to turn the seat by using a handle as this is all done automatically.  Models that have this feature include the Homeadapt Elite, the Minivator 1000, Minivator 2000 and the Freelift.

A linked or powered foot rest is available on many of our models and means that you do not have to bend down to lift the footrest up manually to fold it away. Models with the powered option include the Minivator 1000, Minivator 2000, and the Simplicity Plus. Manual footrests are more suitable if you have greater flexibility in movement.

If you want greater comfort and a more generous seat size, there are stairlifts models available to suit passengers up to 35 stone. This includes the Elite straight and curved stairlifts will carry passengers of up to 30 stone and the Minivator Straight model has a weight capacity of up to 35 stone.

It is important to buy a model that is right for you now and is also suitable in the future as your needs change. Ransome Mobility can discuss these options with you and will assist buyers with making this choice.

How Long You Will Need It

The next consideration is how long you are likely to want your stairlift for. You may want to think about whether you need a stairlift for short or long term use. If you live in a rented property, for example, you may not want to buy a new stairlift, and opt instead for a rented stairlift which can be dismantled when you move. If this is the case our service for rental stairlifts is still the same and you would pay a £50 installation fee and a monthly rental charge. Do bear in mind this service is only available for straight stairlifts as curved stairlifts have to be tailor made.

If you live in a rented property with a curved staircase, you may decide that a reconditioned stairlift (a stairlift which has been pre-owned) is a cheaper option for you. You may also want a rented stairlift if you have a temporary mobility problem, such as recovering at home from an accident or illness. In this case you may also decide that renting is the better option as buying may feel like too big an investment.

Your Budget

Once you have decided on the mobility features you need and whether to rent or buy, the final choice of model generally comes down to budget.

The cheapest models are a good basic product and offer more limited features but are ideal for those with good overall mobility. Minivator’s Simplicity and Simplicity Plus models have simple, low cost designs and are great value for money.  The Homeglide is another great, no-frills option which is easy to operate and was designed in consultation with stairlift owners, international user focus groups and ergonomic experts.

We have straight stairlifts that are available brand new and fitted from £999 and most of our basic models come with many features as standard such as seat belts for safety, padded seats, adjustable seat heights, fold away arms and footrests, key switches, two remote controls, manual swivel seats and either toggles or joysticks, depending on the make or model. All our stairlifts are battery powered to ensure continuous use, even in a power cut.

Some more enhanced models provide more comfort and enhanced features such as slim line designs and there are even weather proof options to negotiate outdoor stairs. Stairlifts may also have the option of manual or power hinged tracks. These are needed in circumstances where the stairlift track has to go further than the staircase for the user to get on and off safely. Powered foot rests and powered swivel seats are other forms of enhancements that are available as optional extras.

It is possible to rent a stairlift if budget is an issue and this will spread the cost of the stairlift throughout the year, but this option is only available for straight stairlifts as curved stairlifts are made-to-measure.

The last decision to make will be superficial aspects such as seat colour. Some have a range of colour options such as brown, grey, red, green, blue and cream and there are also seats available with either leather effect or woven seat covers. You may also want a slimmer and more discreet design and this all comes down to personal preference.

How Ransome Mobility Can Help

Ransome Mobility is an independent company. We sell a wide range of makes and models from leading manufacturers including Minivator, Homeadapt, Freelift, Access BDD and Platinum – which all have an excellent reputation in the industry. As we are not tied to one manufacturer we will always advise on the best stairlift to suit your needs.

For ultimate peace of mind we also offer a fantastic after sales service with all year round support 24/7, so we can assist you if you have any technical difficulties.  Our straight and curved stairlifts are installed by manufacturer trained engineers. Once everything is in place, our experts will test your stairlift and guide you through exactly how to use it.

Straight Stairlifts –  click here to view our range of products
Curved Stairlifts –  click here to view our range of products