The Straight & Curved Stairlift Buyers Guide®


A Free Information Databank to Learn All About the Stairlift, Global Leading Manufacturers, Reviews, How to Choose a Stairlift and How to Buy a Stairlift!

Curved Rail Stairlifts

Curved Rail Stairlifts


Stair Lifts Glossary and FAQs Questions


The Stairlift


Stairlift Manufacturers

Acorn Stairlifts
Bison Bede Stairlifts
Brooks Stairlifts
Bruno Stairlifts
Freelift Stairlifts
Handicare Stairlifts
Harmar Stair Lifts
Harmar Summit Stair Lifts
Hawle Treppenlifte Stairlifts
MediTek Stairlifts
Minivator Stairlifts
Pinnacle Stair Lifts
Platinum Stairlifts
Precision Stairlifts
Savaria Stairlifts
Stannah Stairlifts
Sterling Stairlifts
Summit Stair Lifts
Summit Lifts Stairlifts
ThyssenKrupp Access Stair Lifts
TK Access Stair Lifts


Models of Stairlifts


Features and Options

Automatic Speed Adjustment
Battery Powered

Controls - Stairlift Controls
Diagnostic Digital Display
Directional Switch Controls
Drive Systems Types
Dual Braking Systems
Fail-safe Overspeed Governor
Features of A Stairlift
Fold-up Design 

Hinged Rail
Key Lockable Isolation Switch

Limit Sensors
Modular Rail System
Options For A Stairlift
Padded Seat & Backrest
Perch Seat Stairlift
Rack And Pinion Drive
Remote Control
Ride Quality
Safety Cut-Off Sensors
Safety Handrail
Safety Seat Belt
Self-leveling System

Sit or Stand Stairlift
Slimline Fold-Up Design
Soft Start / Stop Action
Stand Stairlift
Swivel Seat
Travel Speed
Weather Proof Stairlift


Classes of Stairlifts

Curved Rail Stairlifts
Straight Rail Stairlifts


Types of Stairlifts

Indoor Stairlifts
Outdoor Stairlifts


Styles of Stairlifts

Chair Lifts
Perch Stairlift
Sit or Stand Stairlift
Stair Lifts
Wheelchair Stair Lifts



Purchasing a Stairlift

Buyers Guide

Stairlift Buyers Guide
Is There A Stairlift Buyer's Guide Checklist?
Should I Buy New or Pre-Owned?


Buying Online

New Stairlifts
Used Stairlifts
  A Good Used Stairlift

  Certified Pre-Owned Stairlifts
New Stairlift vs. a Used Stairlift
  Rebuilt Stairlifts

Cost and Price

Can I Obtain a Free Cost Estimate for a Stairlift Price?

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


Stairlift Glossary of Terms

Internet On-Line Purchase

Buying Online
Important Factors
Selling a Stairlift Online
Should I Buy A Stairlift On-Line?
Tips and Important Issues
What to Watch Out For


Certified Stairlift Installers
Fast Track Installation
Installation Time
Professional Installation
Safety Warning
  AEMA - Accessibility Equipment Manufacturer’s Association

  ASME - American Society of Mechanical Engineers


Benefits of Professional Service
Certified Stairlift Technicians

Self Service
Used Pre-Owned Stairlift


Important Topics

Benefits of a Stairlift

Affordable and Cost Effective
Aid for Disabled Persons
Aid to Recover from Injury/Surgery
Comfort and Safety
Eliminate Fear of Falling
Freedom & Independence 
Peace of Mind
Perch Seat Benefit
Safety & Convenience
Solution for Climbing Stairs
Stay Active Outdoors

Who Uses a Stairlift?

Those Who Wish to Remain in Their Home
Those with Difficulty Climbing Stairs
Those with Sports Injury
Elderly People

How are Stairlifts Built?

Components of a Chair Lift
Major Assemblies
Chair Seat
Perch Seat
Carriage Assembly
Carriage Assembly with DC Battery
Rail Track System
  Modular Rail System
  Fast Track Installation

How are Stairlifts Powered?

21st Century Battery Powered Stairlift
AC and DC Power
AC/DC What is the Difference?
DC Rechargeable Battery

Different Types of Drive Systems

Rack and Pinion
Winch Drum Cable Winding Machines
Polymer Worm Drive


Are Stairlifts Safe?
Arthritis Foundation Ease of Use Award
Bifocal & Trifocal Glasses Stairs Safety
Birth to Elderly Falling Safety
Caregivers and the Elderly
Child Safety on the Stairs
Children Stairlift Safety
Grandparents and Grandchildren
Is a Stairlift Safe?
Loss of Electrical Power
Power Generator
Pregnant Woman Safety
Safety and the Stairlift
Safety Codes and Standards
Safety Features
   Battery DC Power
   Dual Braking Systems
   Failsafe Overspeed Governor
   Key Lockable On-Off Switch
   Limit Sensors
   Safety Edge Cut Off Sensors
   Safety Seat Belts
   Slimline Design
   Swivel Seat Chair
   Simple Paddle Controls
   Smooth Start/Start
   Wireless Remote Control
Safety and the Stairlift
Safety Tips about Stairlifts

Safety Tips to Avoid Falling Down Stairs
Self-Installation of Stairlift
  Warnings from AEMA and ASME
  Warnings and Precautions
Stairlift Maintenance
  Certified Technician
  Self Service
State and Local Jurisdiction Safety Codes
The Stairlift Safety Do-Not’s




Advice from the Experts
Doctors’ Advice about Stairlifts


Arthritis Foundation


Care Givers

How Stairlifts Help Users and Care Givers


Ease Of Use

Is A Stairlift Easy To Use? 


Health Issues

Health Issues with Stairs


History of the Stairlift

First Stairlift Manufacturer
Modern Stairlifts
Stairlift History
The First Stairlift
Other Names of Stairlifts 


Growth of the Stairlift Industry
Guide to Modern Stairlifts
Important Resources



Stairlift Manufacturer Reviews
Stairlift Model Reviews 


Important Questions



Are Stairlifts Affordable?


Benefits of A Stairlift

Should I Move or Stay in My Home?
Will A Stairlift Help Me Regain My Independence?
Will A Stairlift Make Life Easier?
Will A Stairlift Make My Life Safer? 


Cost And Price

Can I Obtain a Free Estimate for a Stairlift Cost?



Are All Stairlifts the Same?
Stairlift Manufacturers


Ease Of Use

Is A Stairlift Easy To Use?


Internet On-Line Purchase

Buying Online
Important Factors
Selling a Stairlift Online
Should I Buy A Stairlift On-Line On The Internet?
Tips and Important Issues
What to Watch Out For



Does Medicare Cover the Cost for A Stairlift?


Rent or Lease

Can I Rent or Lease a Stairlift? 



Can I Self Install a Stairlift Myself?
How Long Does It Take To Install a Stairlift?



Can I Self Service a Stairlift?
What Are The Benefits of Professional Service?

Used Pre-Owned Stairlift
Can I Purchase A Used Pre-Owned Stairlift To Fit My Staircase?



Who Can I Talk To For Stairlift Advice?
Who Makes The Best Stairlift?
Who Should Use A Stairlift?
Who Uses A Stairlift?
Who Will Service My Stairlift?



What Are The Benefits Of A Stairlift?
What Do I Look For In A Stairlift?
What Do I Need To Know About Stairlifts?
What Happens If There Is A Power Outage?
What Is A Stairlift?
What Is The Cost Benefit Of Owning A Stairlift?
What Kind Of Service Is Required To Maintain A Stairlift?
What Kind Of Warranty Comes With A Stairlift?
What Should I Be Cautious About Concerning A Stairlift?
What Types Of Stairlifts Are Available?



How Are Stairlifts Built?
How Are Stairlifts Powered?
How Do I Pay For A Stairlift?
How Do I Research A Stairlift?
How Do I Choose A Stairlift?
How Is A Stairlift Made?
How Should I Acquire A Stairlift?
How Stairlifts Help Users and Care Givers



Where Can I Obtain a Cost Estimate For A Stairlift?
Where Should I Acquire A Stairlift?



When Should I Acquire a Stairlift?


Why A Stairlift?


Which Stairlift Is Best For My Use?

Stairlift Glossary

DC (battery) power

Acorn Stairlifts pioneered DC Battery technology in the stairlift industry. This was chosen due to the inherent advantages of safety, smooth power delivery and the ability to operate normally during a mains power outage failure.

Learn More ... Battery Power

Diagnostic digital display

Some Curved Stairlifts and Straight Stairlifts may be fitted with a digital diagnostic display which states the current status of the stairlift.

Learn More ... Digital Display

Dual electronic and mechanical braking systems

Fitted as standard on certain stairlifts are double safety braking systems which means that the stairlift is unable to descend unexpectedly or at speed. This is an essential safety feature that is imperative to have on your stairlift.

Learn More ... Dual Braking System

Fold-up seat & footrest

Some stairlifts have a fold-up seat, arm rests & footrest. When not in use, the seat, arms and footrest of the stairlift can be folded away to provide easy access to the stairway.

Learn More ... Fold-up Design

Heavy duty Stairlift

Heavy Duty - Specifically designed for individuals who may be of a larger persuasion. Check the maximum weight capacity on either the outdoor, perch or straight stairlift.

Learn More ... Heavy Duty

Infra-red remote control

The stairlift can be 'called' or 'sent' up or down the stairs by using a remote control similar to a TV remote control.

Learn More ... Remote Control

Lockable isolation switch

A stairlift can be locked with a key so that others (children, for example) cannot use it. The stairlift continues to charge when locked.

Learn More ... Isolation Switch

Overspeed governor

Some lifts have a safety internal overspeed governor (OSG) feature as standard equipment. This system controls the speed of the stair lift to prevent sudden or rapid uncontrolled descent.

Learn More ... Overspeed Governor 

Paddle switch control

'Paddle' switch control. The up and down motion of the stairlift is operated by a simple paddle switch on the arm(s) of the chair. Dual paddle switch controls come as standard on some straight stairlift and curved stairlifts.

Learn More ... Paddle Switch

Rack and pinion drive
Certain stair lift tracks uses a secure rail structure with Rack and Pinion Drive to provide a smooth and stable movement up and down the stairs.
Learn More ... Rack and Pinion
Safety cut-out sensors

Special safety sensors in the stair lifts carriage and footrest prevent it from moving if an object is obstructing the path of the stairlift.

Learn More ... Safety Sensors

Smooth start / stop action

The stairlift's upward and downward movement begins smoothly and slowly, without jarring or sudden stops. This enables you to have a smooth ride up and down your stairs.


Some stairlifts offer smoother rides than others and gives a gentle ride every time.

Learn More ... Start / Stop Action

Stand option

With a Sit and Stand Frame, choose the seated position or stand on the footrest. The special folding steady security bar is for stability and is ideal for anybody who may have problems bending their knees.

Learn More ... Stand Option

Perch option

Perch / Stand Option Stairlifts enable users, who have problems with sitting down, to experience a comfortable journey gliding effortlessly up and down the stairs.

Learn More ... Perch Option

Swivel seat
Stairlifts may have a Swivel Seat with a safety locking catch for easy dismount at the top of the stairs. You can swivel the chair when you reach the top of the stairs, so that you are safely facing away from the staircase when you get off. The Swivel Seat allows easy and safe dismount without the need to twist the body or legs.
Learn More … Swivel Seat   
Weight capacity

This refers to the maximum weight a particular stair lift will carry.


The stairlift maximum weight capacity specification is supplied by the manufacturer.


A Heavy Duty Option maximum weight capacity on either the straight rail, outdoor, perch or stand option is clearly specified.


Learn More ... Weight Capacity

Stairlift Questions

Stairlift Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)






How will a stair lift look in my home?

Stairlifts are designed with an aesthetically pleasing, tasteful and understated appearance; to become a piece of furniture designed to work with your interior.
There are a range of products, to provide access to all the levels of your house without compromising its appearance, expressly designed to blend suitably and to become an ideal feature in the home. 




Arrange for a Free Survey,
Site Evaluation and Consultation

If I arrange for a free survey, will I be obligated to purchase?

A Survey and Consultation is typically completely free and without any obligation to buy anything. A surveyor should only visit your home if you specifically request it, allowing you to tell them about your individual requirements in the comfort of your home.
A surveyor can accurately measure your stairs, assess your specific needs and discuss your options and opportunities. Once your staircase has been surveyed, a manufacturer is able to give you your own free, fixed written quotation. It is then entirely your decision - in your own time - whether to buy or not.





What is a battery powered stairlift?

A modern stairlift can be powered from rechargeable batteries which uses direct current (DC) as to earlier designed stairlifts mostly had alternating current (AC) drive motors which ran at full mains voltage (around 100 volts in North America, 230 volts in Europe).
Battery Power by direct current (DC) supplied by rechargeable batteries, a stairlift can deliver a smooth, ultra-quiet and safe ride quality. The batteries are usually maintenance-free and charged by a safe 15 volt AC adapter, which is stepped-down from the domestic mains supply with a transformer.
Using this method of power for your stairlift has many advantages. If there is ever a power failure in your home your stairlift continues to function, so you will never get stranded.

DC Battery Powered stairlift advantages:

  • There is no mains voltage power (100 volts in North America, 230 volts in Europe) connected to your stairlift.
  • As the battery power supply is onboard the stairlift itself there is no trailing cable, as with AC powered lifts.
DC battery power gives an extremely smooth and near silent operation and also allows a 'soft start / soft stop', this means that there is no jolting or lurching as your stairlift starts or finishes its journey. This adds to the feeling of safety and stability

Batteries and the Charger


Do batteries and the charger come with the stairlift?

Yes, if the stair lift is battery operated.

Battery Charger


Do I plug the stair lift charger into a standard household outlet?

Yes, just make sure the outlet is not connected to a light switch.

Batteries Last


How long do the batteries in a stair lift last?

With normal use, they stay good for an average of 3 years. There are several factors involved in the life of a battery. Type of stairlift, weight of the passenger and length of travel. Make sure your batteries receive an annual maintenance check-up

Batteries Over Charged


Will it harm the chair lift if the batteries are over charged?

Most battery chargers will not allow the batteries to over charge.

Replacement Battery Cost


How much do replacement batteries cost?

The batteries that power stair lifts are very common, off-the-shelf items, available from any battery supplier. They cost is in the region of $70.00 to $80.00 per pair.



What are the Benefits of a Stairlift?


  • Access to the Upstairs Again
  • Age in Place
  • Avoid Remodeling the Home
  • Conserve Personal Energy
  • Gain Peace of Mind
  • Keep Your Independence
  • Prevent Accidents on the Stairs
  • Rediscover Your Home.
  • Remain in Familiar Surroundings.
  • Retain Your Freedom.
  • Save Not Moving Your Home
  • Stay in the Home You Love
  • Stop Navigating the Stairs




How will I know which stair lift is best for me and my home?

A manufacturer stair lift Survey and Consultation advisor will assist you with an accurate needs and cost benefit analysis for a stair chair that will fit your requirements and provide you with the best price and savings for your personal stair lift.
Whether you call for an indoor or outside stair lift, a disability solution for climbing stairs is available with a consultation, service, and the price you require to help you to buy the very best solution for your needs and wishes.
A stairlift may be a possible alternative for an expensive home elevator or wheel chair lift,



Is a Stairlift Easy to Care for and Maintain?

Yes. A stairlift is designed to last for many years and is easy to maintain. Principally stair lifts come with a manufacturer's warranty; the duration of warranty can vary depending on the manufacturer, make, style and model of stairlift you choose.
Further, the installation advisor can discuss the provisions of the warranty, which may be included with the purchase and the options for an extended service and maintenance plan.
A manufacturer trained installer will show you how to clean your stairlift track and rail  with a dry cloth and maintain care for the chair seat and carriage.



Cost to Buy


How much does a stairlift cost?

Because every staircase is different, and people's requirements differ, a manufacturer can tailor a solution to individual needs. Because of this, to quote a final price on a website would be misleading.
A stairlift is manufactured and fitted especially for you and to your staircase dimensions. It will be built to your own specifications with your individual options to suit your requirements and budget.

The cost price of a stair chair lift depends on many factors:

  • Are the stairs narrow?
  • Are you considering a chair lift with important Safety features?
  • Do you have a straight or curved stair way?
  • Do you have problems bending your knees?
  • Do you need a fold-up rail or power folding rail?
  • Do you need a space saving slimline Fold-up Design stairlift
  • Do you need an Ease of Use Paddle Switch for comfortable dexterity
  • Do you need automatic stairlift arm, seat, and footrest folding options?
  • Do you need the chair lift to turn the corner, at the bottom or top of the staircase?
  • Do you need the stairlift out of the way of the stairs when it is parked?
  • Do you want a DC Battery Power operated or AC powered stairlift?
  • Do you want a Dual Braking System on the stairlift?
  • Do you want a high end stair lift with custom upholstery
  • Do you want an Overspeed Governor for personal Safety on the stairlift?
  • Does the stairlift stop in front of a doorway at the bottom of the stairs? 
The answer to these and many other questions will help a manufacturer determine which stair lift is best for you, your home and your budget!
A free no-obligation home Survey and Consultation and Site Assessment is available from manufacturers to help you to determine the features you need and want for a correct installation and the proper lowest cost for Stairlift Prices.

Cost to Run


How much does a stairlift cost to run?

A battery stairlift has very low running costs due to the rechargeable battery that is fitted as standard. The rechargeable battery means that the stairlift isn't constantly using power when not in use, but "tops up" the battery when needed.
Calculations are based the appliance running on 240v.
60w Incandescent Bulb 12w Eco Bulb Stairlift
250mA (milliAmps) 50mA (milliAmps) 90mA (milliAmps) (Trickle Charge) to 420mA (milliAmps) (Full Charge)
Note: This is just a guideline comparison between a light bulb and a stairlift. Results may vary in real life usage.



I have a disability! Will a stairlift be suitable for me?

Stairlifts have been designed to ease difficulty for many disabilities. Manufacturer advisors are highly trained and sensitive to your needs. A manufacturer advisor will talk to you concerning your circumstances and discuss the options available to you.
A free no-obligation home Survey and Consultation and site assessment is available from manufacturers to help you to determine how to ease your difficulty with the stairs.



Door at the top of my stairs

Can a stair lift be installed if there is a door at the top of my stairs?

Yes. A number of stairlift models can be installed for doors at the top of stairs. There may need to be a modification to the rail installation to accommodate the landing height at the top of the stairs. 





Are stairlifts hard to use for people with arthritis?

No! The Arthritis Foundation created the Ease-of-Use Commendation Program to encourage manufacturers to design user-friendly products and packaging that could be recommended to the millions of people living with arthritis.

EASY AS 1-2-3


Are stairlifts easy to buy?


1. Call for a FREE Quote
2. Call for a FREE DVD
3. Call for a FREE Stairs Measurement
all with no pressure and no obligation
Manufacturers simply want to provide information about the benefits of the stair lift, how it can improve the quality of your life and help you regain your freedom and independence. Then it will be up to you - in your own time - to decide whether a stairlift is right for you. Manufacturers offer free no-obligation Survey and Consultation.



Are stairlifts easy to operate?

Stair lifts can be operated by a simple, Paddle Switch on the arms of the chair, a switch which is designed to work with minimal pressure, to move the stairlift up and down the staircase. A Paddle Switch is suitable for people with arthritis, people with poor grip strength or people who are visually-impaired, You simply need to gently press the paddle in the direction of travel to start the stair lift.



What are the electrical requirements?


DC Battery Power Operated Units

The electrical requirements for a DC unit are very low. Over 95% of units sold worldwide use DC Battery Power. Modern stairlifts are typically low voltage DC Battery Power units and just an existing household outlet in used to power this type of stairlift. Most stairlifts are supplied with a 25’ low voltage electrical wire to plug into a standard outlet. An electrician is not required to add a dedicated line, so both time and cost are saved.

AC Mains Power Operated Units

Plug an electric stair lift into your home's household outlet for power. The power runs directly from the outlet to the motor.










Is there a stair lift for someone who cannot bend comfortably at the hips?

Yes. A Perch Stair Lift allows you to use a stairs lift without having to strain your hip.



How does a chair stair lift work?

An inclined rail track is attached to a staircase. A motorized carriage is attached to the rail track so that the chair carriage can move up or down the staircase on the rail.
A chair seat with a safety seat belt is mounted onto the carriage, plus a foot rest and two arm rests. A hand controller switch is pressed in the direction that the user wants the chair carriage to move either up or down the staircase to a landing.
The entire system is powered by either DC Battery Power or AC electricity power. With new Technology, over 90% of modern lifts use a rechargeable Battery Power pack and a Rack and Pinion quiet, reliable, and low maintenance drive system. Older technology uses AC electricity power with a pull cable winding machine drive system.



How fast will it go? I’m worried I’ll be frightened to use it.

Modern battery operated stair lifts are designed to have a soft, slow start so there is no sudden movement. They glide smoothly up or down the stairs at a gentle slow speed. You can just relax, sit back and ride, All better models have a seat belt for your safety. A fully charged Battery Power stairlift will even work during a power outage.



How do I learn to use a stairlift?

Before a professional installer leaves your home, they will make sure that the stairlift is thoroughly tested, and then will demonstrate the use and all the safety features to you and your family. It is important that you are perfectly happy and know how to use the lift properly.

How easy is it to get on and off?

Some stairlifts have a Swivel Seat, which makes it easy to turn away from the stairs and to get on or off without having to twist or turn your body. You can use the armrests to push yourself up. The armrests can be raised separately, which is especially useful if you are getting on from a wheelchair.





Length of Time to Install

How long does it take to install a Stairlift?

The time it takes to install a stairway lift depends on the steps or treads, internal or external use, the staircase design, layout and configuration, its length and any considerations of the landings environment, obstacles or doors at the top or bottom of the staircase and finally the specific user’s needs.
Most straight rail stairway lifts for straight staircases can be installed from 1 to 3 hours.
A curved rail stairlift for a curved staircase will take longer to install due to the custom configuration and measurements of the curved turns, bends and angles.

Prepare the home for Installation

Do I need to do anything special to prepare the home for a stair lift?

An existing household outlet is needed to power a stairlift. If you don't have an electrical outlet near the staircase to support the operation of the stair lift; you would need an electrician to install a conventional household outlet before the stair lift is installed. Most stairlifts are supplied with a 25’ low voltage electrical wire to plug into a standard outlet.

How is the stair lift secured on the staircase?

The stair lift rail track is bolted or screwed directly to the stair treads. The rail requires rail brackets about every 3-4 ft to keep the stair lift rail track secure.



Buy a stair chair off of the internet

Why not just buy a stair chair off of the internet for self-installation? They are cheaper.

Maybe not! Cheaper is not always less expensive. A bargain may have an adverse consequence.

Make sure you buy the right stairlift the first time. Most people can only afford one stairlift in a lifetime.

If you purchase for self-installation you most likely will purchase older technology or a discontinued model. The problem of parts availability will soon be of concern.
If you buy off the Internet you may have to install it yourself with no experience with site evaluation, local jurisdiction codes, user safety and after care service. You may have no labor warranty and very often may purchase an inferior product. Most of the reputable manufacturers sell, install and provide service directly to customers or through dealers.

Compare prices

Definitely conduct a cost price comparison.


I want to buy the right stairlift the first time!

Most people can only afford one stairlift in a lifetime. Make sure you buy the right stairlift the first time.

Some manufacturers will sell, install and support your purchase directly to you at an affordable price and many times at a lower cost budget then you might expect for you in comparison.
A free no-obligation home Survey and Consultation and Site Assessment is available to you from manufacturers to help you to determine the stairlift safety features you need; to receive an affordable price, a correct installation and a cost saving and reliable aftercare service program, to save you time and money and to help you determine the proper investment for your stairlift.







Problems bending knees

I have problems bending comfortably at my knees; can I use a stairlift?

Shouldn't be a problem! The Perch Stair Lift allows you to use your stairs without having to strain your knee joints. A Perch Stairlift is particularly useful for those with limited knee articulation and for installations where the stairway is unusually narrow. If the staircase is at least 26" (66cms) wide, a Perch Stairlift is a solution.




How long does a stairlift last?

Modern stair lifts are very durable and reliable pieces of equipment. Many stair lifts are built using the very highest quality components and workmanship. You can be confident with a better built affordable stair lift, which will give many years of faithful service, provided the stairlift is maintained properly. Make sure you purchase a well-known brand name manufacture stairlift to assure future parts availability and stairlift support.



Weight Capacity

What is the weight lifting capacity of stair lifts?

The lift weight capacity for a stairlift user can range on various stair lift models from approximately 265 pounds to 500 pounds.



Lock the stair-lift

Can I lock the stair-lift to avoid misuse from others?

Yes. Some stair lifts have an on/off key Isolation Switch that allows you to limit who can use the stair lift.
DANGER! Do not allow children to play with the stairlift. It is advisable to switch off the stairlift and remove the key. Chairlifts should not be used without adult supervision.

Locking Catch


A chair swivel seat with a locking catch

The Swivel Seat of the stairlift turns for ease of access at the top of the stairs, and locks to prevent accidental slipping. A stairlift can come with a swivel seat to allow easier mounting and dismounting of a stair lift without twisting the body.
The stair lift seat swivels and locks into position, which enables you to use the stair lift with ease and safety. The swivel seat locks in position via a locking catch located on the seat.
The stair lift will not operate unless the seat is in the correct riding position. You can be confident that your journey on the stairs will be easy, safe and secure.




Does Medicare cover any of the costs for buying a stairlift?

Medicare does not presently cover stairlift products. Unfortunately, they do not consider stairlifts a “medical necessity”.




I have narrow stairs, will a stair lift fit?

Yes. A Slimline Stairlift, a Perch Stairlift and some Sit or Stand Stairlift models are designed for narrow stairs.





What happens if something is left on the stairs and gets in the way of the stair lift?

Stair lifts have built-in safety sensors that will detect obstructions on the stairs, such as objects that have been dropped or pets. The sensors will respond by automatically stopping the stair lift so that the any obstruction can be safely removed.



Easy to operate

Are stairlifts easy to operate?

Most of the lifts being manufactured today are very easy to operate. There are two simple responsibilities required of the user:
1. Hold the drive lever paddle switch control on the end of the arm, pushing it toward the direction you wish to travel, until the lift stops at the top or bottom landing.
2. When at the top landing, simply swivel the chair seat away from the staircase, so that your feet are now on the top landing and you are facing in the same direction as if you were walking up the stairs.



Stair lift outside

Can a stairlift be installed outside?

If you have outdoor front steps or back door steps, or steps to access your garden, there are a number of Outdoor Stairlift models available. An Outdoor Stairlift works in the same way as indoor models, but is manufactured specially for exterior use for any weather.
All of the metallic parts may be powder coated so they won’t rust in damp conditions. A stairlift can be designed to be heat and UV resistant and designed to be suitable for use near the sea so that it won’t be damaged by salty air.
An outdoor stairlift can be fitted to solid concrete, solid wood or metal steps. Some stairlifts have been tested to work in any type of weather and will operate at any temperature from 14˚F up to 104˚F (USA and Canada) or -10˚C up to 40˚C.




How are stairlifts powered?

The 21st Century modern stairlifts generally use Rack and Pinion and Battery Power from rechargeable batteries, which use DC direct current.
The earlier 20th Century stairlift design mostly use alternating current (AC) electric powered drive motors with a winch (with a cable wrapped on a drum), used to pull in (wind up) or let out (wind out) a stairlift chair carriage, which can run at full mains voltage (around 100 volts in North America, 230 volts in Europe). An "energy chain" runs alongside or through the rail to carry the power voltage cable from the supply point to the carriage.

What is the difference between an AC powered chair lift and a DC Battery operated chair lift? What are the pros and cons?

An AC alternating current electric powered chair lift unit is powered by plugging it directly into a standard household outlet.
A DC direct current Battery Operated Stairlift (BOS) receives its operating power from typically two standard 12V batteries. The batteries are charged through the use of a wall powered charger. The 2 x 12 volt, 7.2 amp/hour sealed maintenance free batteries are located inside the stair lift carriage unit and are wired in series to output 24v DC.
The DC powered stairlift is powered by an internal battery pack that is charged from the wall outlet via a transformer that reduces the voltage to a safe level. This means that there is no hazard from electric shock.

If the electricity power goes out during a power outage, the AC powered chair lift will not operate.

If there is a home electrical power failure during a power outage, the DC battery powered chair lift will operate for as long as the batteries last for (typically 20 round trips).
With normal use, the batteries stay good for an average of 3 years. They cost in the region of $70.00 per pair. Typical cost for a 12V battery is $35 each.



Power failure


What happens if there is a power failure, will I be stranded?

• An A/C electric operated unit will not operate during a power outage.
• A Battery Power stairlift will continue to work even if you have a power cut.
A DC Battery Power and advanced Technology in stairlifts was designed for inherent advantages of safety, smooth power delivery and the ability to operate normally during a power failure.
A fully charged battery will complete approximately 15 to 20 return trips on an average staircase. The actual number is dependent on the length of stairs, angle of the staircase and the weight of the user.



Can a stairlift interfere with a pace maker?

Tests are done to ensure that a stair lift and the remote controls meet or exceed the FCC guide lines for safe RF Emissions.



How long does the process take to learn about, choose, buy and install a stairlift?

It’s as Easy as 1-2-3:

• First of all you need to talk to a stairlift expert
• Set up a home appointment for a free Survey and Consultation
• Discuss your needs and receive answers to all of your questions
• Receive a no-obligation stair measurement and a free price quote
• If you make a decision, a stairlift can be installed in hours or days
It’s that Easy!






Rail attach to the wall


Does the rail attach to the wall?

No. The rail track is designed to attach to the stair treads with support brackets. Attaching the rail to the stair treads ensures maximum stability.


Will I need to redecorate after my stairlift is installed?

The Stairlift is fitted to your staircase, not the wall; so there's a minimum of disruption to your home, and no unsightly repairs to be made.


Is there a need to have rewiring done in my home?

No. A power cord or charger simply plugs into a household power outlet.




Safety features:


What about safety features?

• DC Battery Power
• Dual Braking Mechanical and Electrical Systems
• Failsafe Overspeed Governor
• Key Lockable On/Off Isolation Switch
• Limit Sensors
• Edge Cutoff Safety Sensors
• Safety Seat belt
• Simple Directional Paddle Switch Controls
• Smooth Start / Stop Action Motion
• Swivel Seat Chair
• Wireless Remote Control(s)


Adjustable seat height

Ability to change the seat height to suit individual needs can greatly improve the comfort and safety of the ride.



Does an AC electric stair lift need to be serviced on a regular basis and if so how often?

Yes, an electric AC cable chairlift should be serviced every 2-4 months. Track Cleaning and Lubrication: Every 2-4 months, wipe out the inside of the track channels. Apply a thin coat of light body general purpose grease (lithium) to the vertical surfaces of the track channel where the chassis wheels roll. Have the stairlift inspected at least once a year. Regular maintenance helps to prevent expensive emergency service calls. Safety mechanisms need to be tested on a regular basis. Safety mechanisms can wear over time and need to be evaluated on a regular basis.

Does a DC Battery Power Rack and Pinion stair lift need to be serviced on a regular basis and if so how often?

Yes, dust the track with a dry cloth periodically. Schedule one annual service inspection. Also check and change the batteries in the remote controls when needed.


How much space


How much space does a stair lift use?

When not in use, the stair lift can be folded up, maximizing space on the staircase for others to walk. The space the stairway lift takes up depends on the make and model, but on an average, a slimline stairlift takes up about 13" overall depth when folded and typically opens to about 23" overall depth from the wall.


Ruin my stairs


Will installing a lift ruin my stairs?

Generally, the brackets used to support the track are secured using relatively small (approx. 3/16”) standard wood screws. Modern stairlifts have been designed to spread the weight load across your entire staircase, reducing the need for multiple brackets.

Using the stairs


Can other people still use the stairs?

Yes, modern stair lifts have a slimline design seat, arm and foot rest that can be folded up when not in use, leaving plenty of room for other stair users to walk up and down the stairs. A Fold-up design straight stairlift can measure in depth approximately13” from the wall, when folded up.


Curved lifts are larger units and take up a few inches more depending on the type of stairs. With a wraparound feature at the bottom of your stairs, a stair lift can tuck away allowing others to use the staircase, and keeps the chair out of the way.

What happens if my husband/wife has used the lift to go upstairs and I’m stuck downstairs?

Stair lifts with a Remote Control, similar to a TV remote, can be ‘called’ or ‘sent’. if someone else in your house uses the stair lift and you need to ‘call’ or bring it back to where you are, simply use the Remote Control and the stairlift will travel on the rail to you for your use.



Curved staircase


My stairs are curved; do they make a stair chair lift that does turns?

Yes, a Curved Stairlift is designed for more complex staircases. With a wraparound feature at the bottom of your stairs, a stair lift can tuck away allowing others to use the staircase, and keeps the chair cleanly out of the way.

Shape of staircase


Can stair lifts be installed on any shape of staircase?

There is a variety of stair lifts that will fit almost any stairs. A Survey and Consultation will provide excellent information concerning the shape of your staircase.

Staircase configuration


Can a stair lift handle any stair way configuration?

Request a no-obligation free Survey and Consultation from a manufacturer to have your staircase stairs measured and evaluated. Discuss your personal requirements, needs and abilities.
A professional surveyor will make a recommendation as to the stairlift model, Safety features and options which will meet your needs.

Pie shaped set of steps


My stairs have a pie shaped set of steps at the bottom - do they make a stair lift that will accommodate those types of stairs?

Yes a Curved Stairlift can accommodate pie shaped stairs at the bottom, middle or top of a staircase.

Hardwood stair treads


I have hardwood stair treads - will the stair lift installation damage those treads?

No, it should not damage them, but the stair lift rail does get bolted or screwed into the stair tread, so there will be holes. Any repair to the stairs following the removal of a stair chair lift is usually the responsibility of the home owner.

Staircase width


How do I know if my staircase is wide enough to fit a stairlift?

• A Slimline Perch Stairlift: The overall depth (with footrest down) from the wall is 23.5”. Folded Approx. 13.5”
• A Slimline Chair Stairlift: The overall depth (with footrest down) from the wall is 23”. Folded 13”
There are stairlifts specially designed for narrow staircases. Have the staircase steps measured but also take into account the safety, comfort, needs, size, abilities, leg room and weight capacity of the user.

There are many factors in addition to the staircase width to consider. Essentially, a home evaluation Survey and Consultation is necessary to determine the Safety, Convenience and Comfort of the installation for the person using the stairway lift.


Speed adjustment


Can the speed be adjusted on a stairway lift?

Yes. A Curved Stairlift has a unique Auto Speed programmed feature to slow down the stairlift on cornering on staircase turns for your comfort and safety. The stairlift also will slow down as it reaches the stopping point at the top and the bottom of the rail on the staircase.

Variations and options


Why are there so many variations and options of stairlifts?

Different models and options of stairlifts address different needs:
• Staircase configuration
• Staircase measurements
• Floor landing obstacles
• Stair access by others
• Narrow stairs
• Interior or exterior locations
• Health issues
• Weight capacity
• Personal requirements
• Personal needs
• Personal abilities

What is a Stairlift?

A stairlift is a motorized lift used to move riders between levels in a home or business. 




Store my stair lift


How do I properly store my stair lift for extended periods of non-use?

Stairlift models vary. Contact the manufacturer with brand, make, model and serial number and ask them for complete details on how to properly store your chair lift.


I live in a split level home. Will a stair lift work in my home?

It is possible to install a stairway lift in a split level home.





How do I get off the stairlift at the top landing?

A Swivel Seat is important. A Stairlift, with a seat swivel, allows the user to easily swivel the seat at the top landing, so that their feet are securely planted on the top landing.
A Swivel Seat adds to the safety and comfort of the user not having to twist the body. The seat acts as a barrier to prevent a user from falling down the stairs, while they get on and off their lift.
A custom Curved Stairlift has the capability to make an additional bend onto the top landing and finish on the landing or hallway.






Using a stairlift is easy.


• Sit yourself on the seat
• Rest your feet on the footrest
• Put on your lap seatbelt
• Push the control Paddle Switch in the direction you want to go
• In approximately 30 seconds you’ve traveled a flight of stairs
• At a top landing, operate the Swivel Seat to turn onto the landing
• Undo the seatbelt
• Lift yourself out of the chair with the armrests








What kind of warranty comes with a new stairlift?


Warranties vary by manufacturer.

A Stairlift may come with a fully comprehensive warranty from a manufacturer for parts and labor for a specific period of time, for any component that should fail due to faulty manufacture; the manufacture will repair the lift in your home.

Some warranties may not cover labor and there will be a charge for travel time and a home appointment visit. Some manufacturers may not cover all parts and workmanship and may only warrant the drive motor or the lift frame.


You must make sure to read and discuss the warranty with the manufacturer to understand:


• What is covered?
• What is not covered or excluded?
• What are the costs to you (if any) during the warranty period?
• What may void the warranty?
• The length of the warranty.
• The parts and labor coverage.
• Is the warranty a full, limited or unlimited warranty?
• How many home visits are at no charge during the course of the warranty?
• Will the manufacture come to your home or must you send the stairlift back to the manufacture for repair?
• Does the manufacturer have a parts exchange program?
• Is maintenance and repair covered?
• What are the optional extended service and maintenance plans?



Maximum weight


What is the maximum users weight that a stairlift will carry?

Certain Heavy Duty stairlifts are rated up to 500 pounds passenger weight capacity. 


Will a stairlift work for a wheelchair user?

Yes, however, the person who uses the wheelchair will need to be able to transfer from their wheelchair onto the stairlift. A second wheelchair must be located on the second floor.
Swivel seats, folding arm rests that push up or out of the way, adjustable seat heights, and seat padding help to aid wheelchair users.






Stairlift Research:

Important Questions:

What is a Stairlift?   •   Why a Stairlift?   •   What are the Benefits of a Stairlift   •   Who Uses a Stairlift?   •   Who Should Use a Stairlift?   •   Are Stairlifts Safe?   •   What Happens If There is a Power Outage?   •    Is a Stairlift Easy to Use?   •   How is a Stairlift Made?   •   Are All Stairlifts the Same?   •   What Types of Stairlifts are Available?   •   How Do I Research a Stairlift?   •   What Do I Look for in a Stairlift   •   Are Stairlifts Affordable?   •   What Do I Need to Know About Stairlifts?   •   Who Makes the Best Stairlift?   •   How Do I Choose a Stairlift?   •   How are Stairlifts Built?   •   Which Stairlift is Best for My Use?   •   When Should I Acquire a Stairlift?   •   Where Should I Acquire a Stairlift?    •   How Should I Acquire a Stairlift?   •   Can I Rent or Lease a Stairlift?   •   Should I Buy a Stairlift On-Line on the Internet?   •   Can I Self Install a Stairlift Myself?   •   Can I Self Service a Stairlift?   •    Are Stairlifts Battery Powered?   •   What Kind of Warranty Comes with a Stairlift?   •   What Kind of Service is Required to Maintain a Stairlift?   *   Who Will Service My Stairlift?   •   Can I Purchase a Pre-owned Stairlift to Fit My Staircase   •   Who Can I Talk to for Stairlift Advice?   •   Can I Obtain a Free Estimate for a Stairlift Cost?   •   Where Can I Obtain a Cost Estimate for a Stairlift?   •   Should I Buy New or Pre-owned?   •   How Do I Pay for a Stairlift?   •   Does Medicare Cover the Cost for a Stairlift?   •   What Should I Be Cautious About Concerning a Stairlift?   •   How Long Does It Take to Install a Stairlift?   •   Is There a Stairlift Buyer's Guide Checklist?   


Important Resources:
History of the Stairlift   •   A Stairlift Buyers Guide   •   Guide to Modern Stairlifts   •   Features of a Stairlift   •   Options for a Stairlift   •   State and Local Jurisdiction Safety Codes   •   Health Issues with Stairs   •   Falling Down Stairs   •   Doctors Advice about Stairlifts   •   A Stairlift Glossary of Terms   •   Stairlift Manufacturer Reviews   •   Stairlift Model Reviews   •   A New Stairlift vs a Used Stairlift   •   Certified Pre-owned Stairlifts   •   A Good Used Stairlift   •   Advice from the Experts   •   Certified Stairlift Installers   •   Certified Stairlift Technicians   •   Safety Tips About Stairlifts   •   Safety Tips to Avoid Falling Down Stairs   •   How Stairlifts Help Users and Care Givers   •   Growth of the Stairlift Industry   •   Should I Move or Stay in My Home?   •   What is the Cost Benefit of Owning a Stairlift?   •   Will a Stairlift Make My Life Safer?   •   Will a Stairlift Make Life Easier?   •   Will a Stairlft Help Me Regain My Independence?