How Heavy Are Wheelchairs?

How Heavy Are Wheelchairs?

As wheelchairs are made for one purpose, a lot of people think that they all come in with the same features, weight, and specifications. Only those who have used them personally will understand the significant differences that each type of wheelchair has. Wheelchairs are made with varying functions, specifications, materials, and weight. If you have wondered how heavy wheelchairs are, this is for you. You will find useful information about a wheelchair’s weight and its relevance to its use. Understanding it better will give you an idea as to what wheelchair can work best for your intent.

Getting to Know How Much a Wheelchair Weighs

Finding out how heavy a wheelchair is will give you an idea of whether it can be conducive and suitable for your lifestyle. A wheelchair’s weight can give you an idea of its purpose, build, and quality. Let us get to know how much a wheelchair weighs and what gives them the varying differences.

Standard Manual Wheelchairs

If you want to get a clear picture of a standard manual wheelchair, think of those that you see in the hospital or the airport. As these are the go-to for commercial use, they tend to be a bit heavier. This is because they are often used frequently, which needs them to use materials to make it sturdier. While these are some of the most affordable options among other types, this may not be ideal for some situations. This includes circumstances that require frequent lifting into cars or for someone to self-propel long distances. As of today, a standard manual wheelchair weighs around 35 to 40 lbs. This measurement may not include the weight of the leg rests, so make sure to check for its presence and consider it on top of its standard weight.

Transport Wheelchair

If you are planning on getting a wheelchair to aid in transport, knowing the wheelchair weight is crucial. As we mentioned, lightweight wheelchairs are easier to maneuver and push from one place to another. This also applies to the area of transportation, whether it is to be transferred into a car, plane, or any carrier. Transport wheelchairs are created to be lighter than the standard ones. These have smaller wheels for easy handling but is not designed to be self-propelling. This type can easily be lifted into a car and pushed wherever, even in long distances. It usually weighs around 15 to 30 lbs. This is the best bet for instances like strolls in the park, mall, or open areas.

Power Wheelchairs

Also known as power chairs or electric wheelchairs, this type of wheelchair has a more complicated build. It is designed to cater to people who do not have enough strength or motor skills to use a manual wheelchair. These usually have a controller, a seat, and a power base, including electrical components, armrests, cushion, backrest, and motor. This can drive around in up to 7 to 20 miles and more. It can run as fast as 4 to 8mph. With all these being said, expect this type to be heavier than the previous ones we mentioned. This weighs 50 to 250 lbs. so you can expect it to be a challenge to lift. However, if you are concerned with the person who is going to use it, there will be not much of a problem as it has a motor to do it. No more self-propelling or pushing needed. 

Lightweight Wheelchairs

We have read about the transport wheelchairs earlier, and we mentioned that they are lightweight. As we speak about lightweight wheelchairs as a kind, we can distinguish one from the other with one huge difference. Transport wheelchairs are not designed for self-propelling; meanwhile, lightweight wheelchairs are.

Lightweight wheelchairs are made to make lifting and moving a breeze. They weigh about 15 to 35 lbs. which makes them very easy to self-propel, push, and lift into cars. They usually come with type frame types. One frame type can be folded while the other with rigid frames. The folding frames are usually for seniors, while the rigid ones are for those who self-propel for long periods. The best part about it is that they are lightweight, versatile, and highly functional.

Heavy Duty Wheelchairs

As the name implies, these wheelchairs are made to be sturdy. They are designed with materials that can take on people on the heavy side. These are made with reinforced frames for maximum durability, and this is also the reason why it is almost the heaviest, among others. These cater to individuals who weigh more than 300 lbs. and because it has a stronger frame and wider seat, heavy-duty wheelchairs can weigh up to 40 to 60 lbs. If you plan to move a lot with this kind, it is advised to get a wheelchair ramp for easier lifting into vehicles. 

Why is Knowing the Weight of a Wheelchair Important?

Apart from knowing the purpose and use of every wheelchair type, emphasis is given to the knowledge of how much it weighs. The maximum capacity of the wheelchair is one thing, but the weight of the unit itself matters too. This will determine the ease and comfort self-propelling can be for the person who is to use it. It also tells of how much manpower or energy is needed to be able to push it around, especially in long distances. And finally, it can determine its suitability for frequent lifting and travelling.


The general rule would be that the lighter the wheelchair is, the easier it is to maneuver and lift. Knowing the weight of the wheelchair you or a loved one is to use will give you a picture of how easy it is to use. This knowledge will give you a chance to get one that can easily fit your lifestyle. It also works to give you an idea of whether a caregiver or the person giving assistance can handle it or not. Consider the information you learned today to get the right one to use.


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