6 Best Lightweight Wheelchairs For Easy Mobility + Buying Guide

A light build is always better than heavy frames when it comes to wheelchairs.

Reviewed by Sue Murphy, Registered Nurse Sue Murphy Sue MurphyRegistered Nurse facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Sakshi Bahal MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Edited by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Aditi Naskar MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
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When you depend on a wheelchair for mobility, you need the best lightweight wheelchair to make it easier for you to move around. These mobility devices are of great help to those with different conditions, from injuries to even psychological issues. Whether it is a long-term disability or you need to be in a wheelchair till the time you recover, investing in the right compact wheelchair is important if you would want your everyday life to be a lot easier and more comfortable. This also helps you depend more on yourself and not seek help for everything. With that said, we bring you a list of the best wheelchairs that are light in weight. We have also discussed a buying guide to help you know what all factors to keep in mind when buying one. Read on and pick the best one!

Top PicksCheck Price
Drive Medical Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair
Price on Amazon
Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
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Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair
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NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair
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Sentire Med Forza FCX Deluxe
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Karman Healthcare S-105 Ergonomic Lightweight Manual Wheelchair
Price on Amazon

Benefits Of Lightweight WheelChairs

Lightweight wheelchairs offer enhanced mobility and freedom. They are easy to propel and maneuver when compared to the standard wheelchairs. Here are a few advantages of a lightweight wheelchair:

  • Easy To Maneuver: Lightweight wheelchairs come with large wheels, which eases wheelchair maneuverability. This means you don’t have to put too much effort to maneuver the wheelchair. You can move around swiftly without putting much strain on your hands.
  • Easy To Store: Portable wheelchairs are collapsible and easy to store. This feature helps you save on your valuable home space. You can fold and tuck away the wheelchair underneath your bed or in the tiniest corner of your home until the next use.
  • Easy To Carry: Lightweight wheelchairs weigh only around 14 lbs. Thus, they are very easy and light to carry.
  • Distributes Weight Evenly: Though lightweight wheelchairs weigh less, it doesn’t mean that they can’t support the weight. If you weigh 250 pounds or less, a lightweight wheelchair is a good option to consider. These wheelchairs have a sturdy and durable frame and distribute the user’s weight evenly.
  • Can Be Used Both Indoor And Outdoor: A lightweight wheelchair can be used both indoor and outdoor. Hence, you need not shift from one wheelchair to another for going out.
  • Gives You Independence: Unlike the standard bulky wheelchair models that require the assistance of another person or strain your hands, lightweight wheelchairs empower the user to do the work on their own as they are easy to operate.

Here are the 6 best lightweight wheelchairs you can consider buying.

6 Best Lightweight Wheelchairs

1. Best Overall: Drive Medical Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair

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4.4
Drive Medical Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair Image: Drive Medical

The Drive Medical Lightweight Wheelchair has a durable steel frame and provides reliable stability whether it is used for independent mobility or assistance. The wheelchair weight capacity is 250 pounds, which makes it a good option for many people. It offers superior maneuverability in narrow indoor spaces.

This lightweight folding wheelchair comes with cushioned armrests and swing-away footrests that ensure comfort. The chair and backrest fold flat, which makes it easy to transport. Its comfortable seat makes sitting for long hours a comfortable experience, and the nylon upholstery is easy to clean. Learn more about this product in this video that details a tester’s experience with it.

Color: Silver | Product Dimensions: 33 x 23.5 x 39 inches | Weight: 26 Pounds

Pros

  • Easy to carry
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Offers superior maneuverability
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • The folding mechanism is not great.

Our Tester's Experience

"Assembling this product was easy and its portability and lightweight add to its convenience. Cleaning this chair is quite easy too. The smaller wheels may compromise stability a little, but it's just right for squeezing through tight spaces where standard wheelchairs can't manage."


protip_icon Trivia

Founded in 2000, Drive DeVilbliss Healthcare manufactures durable healthcare equipment to improve the quality of life and promote the independence of the people who use them.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 7,826 rave reviews on Amazon prove why we are so in awe of this product.

2. Best For Outdoor: Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair

The Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair comes with large 12-inch rear wheels for enhanced performance on uneven outdoor terrain. The loop-style manually operated hand brakes are perfect during transfer for better wheelchair mobility. The weight-bearing capacity of this wheelchair is 300 lbs.

This is a foldable wheelchair that makes it easy to store and carry during travel. The back of this chair folds down to make it more compact. It features full-length permanent armrests, a detachable footrest, a seat belt for safety, and nylon upholstery. This video details a reviewer’s experience with the product. It will provide you with added insights about the design.

Color: Red | Product Dimensions: 26 x 24.5 x 37.5 inches | Weight: 22 Pounds

Pros

  • Breathable nylon upholstery
  • Large oversized rear wheels
  • Loop-lock handbrakes
  • Comfortable wide seat

Cons

  • The brakes are quite hard.

Our Tester's Experience

"This wheelchair is a reliable choice for mobility and comfort. Its lightweight design and easy fold-down handles make transportation easy. The assembly is straightforward with the added convenience of removable footrests. The design is durable and a solid choice for assisting with daily activities."


protip_icon Remember

As soon as you receive the wheelchair, unlock the hand brakes by pulling the handle up, then release them. This will ensure seamless movement of the wheelchair.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has received 8,878 positive Amazon reviews from its users, stating its numerous benefits.

3. Best Ergonomic Design: Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair

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4.4

Drive Medical’s Blue Streak Wheelchair features cutting-edge design. The premium swing-away legs and detachable flip-back armrests for advanced versatility and easy transportation of the product. This ergonomic wheelchair design is crafted for comfort to make independent mobility easy and enjoyable.

The solid rubber tires are mounted on composite wheels which guarantees a consistently smooth ride for the user. The wheelchair safety features include a push-lock design. The sleek blue powdered frame is finished with durable wheelchair materials to prevent cracks and chipping. Many reviewers are of the opinion that the nylon upholstery of the chair is easy to clean and low maintenance. Take a look at this video review to learn more about this lightweight power wheelchair.

Color: Blue | Product Dimensions: 36 x 24 x 42 inches | Weight: 41.2 Pounds

Pros

  • 18-inch padded nylon seat
  • Detachable desk arms
  • Push-lock design
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Not safe for uneven terrain.

Our Tester's Experience

"This wheelchair is lightweight, comfortable, and sturdy. It folds easily and fits into tight spaces for storage purposes. It's a very practical choice suitable for use on different floors."


protip_icon Quick Tip

Put the nylon seat cushion in a laundry bag and leave it in a well-ventilated area to dry post-cleaning.

4. Best Easy To Use: NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair

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4.6

The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair is designed to provide easy, lightweight patient transport. This economical chair is easy to maneuver and fold. The secondary wheel locks and detachable anti-tippers add to the safety of this product. The patented locking hand brakes and the 12-inch rugged rear wheels allow to control the speed and park the brakes.

The adjustable wheelchair features include an adaptable seat belt and a small storage pouch to keep your keys and cell phone. The black frame is super sturdy and offers optimum comfort. The removable armrests have a flip-up design that makes transferring the user from a car, bed, or chair much easier. The removable footrests can be locked back into place easily. They are easy to adjust and come with heel loops, so the user can rest their feet. According to reviewers, the wheelchair is lightweight with its seat comfortable and the armrests at the right height.

Color: Blue | Product Dimensions: 16 x 25 x 37.5 inches | Weight: 1 Pounds

Pros

  • Flip-up desk arms
  • Hand brakes
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Quick-release fold-down break
  • Adjustable seat belt
  • Swing-away footrest

Cons

  • Weak construction

Our Tester's Experience

"The chair is easy to assemble and has nimbleness around tight corners. It's compact, which makes indoor navigation easy, and also works well on different floor types. The adjustable arm and footrests make it very comfortable."


5. Best For Heavy-Duty: Sentire Med Forza FCX Deluxe

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4.6

The Forza FCX can be easily folded, without needing to disassemble. This wheelchair for travel includes spacious under-the-seat storage, removable seat cushion and backrest, and a flip-up footrest for optimum level of comfort. The ergonomic design provides maximum comfort.

This power wheelchair has undergone stringent quality inspection and expert evaluation. It can be driven in grass, gravel, or snow – the shock absorbers ensure a smooth ride on all terrains. The heavy-duty front casters and forks are made to handle the impact of any surface as well as high weight capacity. This wheelchair is powered with a 250-watt motor. The smart aluminum craft alloy frame matches the footrest and lends this wheelchair a stylish look. It comes with a joystick that is set for right-handed operation. The maximum weight capacity of this chair is 67 pounds which is amazing. Many reviews indicate that the wheelchair is comfortable, easy to maneuver, and ideal for long-term use.

Material: Carbon Steel | Batteries: 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required | Item Weight: 67 Pounds

Pros

  • Easy storage
  • Travels light
  • Ergonomic design
  • Two powerful motors
  • Solid tires
  • Dual lithium batteries

Cons

  • Not suitable for indoors.

Our Tester's Experience

"This chair is very sturdy and comfortable and navigates various terrains easily. The controller and the chair's turn response may take some time to get used to, but once you get that right this is a dependable option for regular use."


6. Best Travel Friendly: Karman Healthcare S-105 Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Manual Wheelchair

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4

The Karman S-Ergo 105 Lightweight Wheelchair comes with the unique S-Ergo, which is an intelligent S-shaped ergonomic comfortable wheelchair seating. This wheelchair features a tube in the center footplate that provides better leg support. The foldable backrest and seat make it easy to carry this wheelchair while traveling.

The antibacterial upholstery controls and eliminates odor and unsightly stains for better user experience. The ergonomic handrim enhances comfort and mobility so that you are able to propel the chair with minimal effort. Many reviews have indicated that the wide padded armrests offer comfortable support to the elbow. It reduces the risk of developing ulcers and scoliosis. It has a maximum weight capacity of 27 pounds which is amazing.

Color: Pearl Silver | Product Dimensions: 28 x 16 x 36 inches | Weight: 27 Pounds

Pros

  • Easy storage
  • Travels light
  • Ergonomic design
  • Two powerful motors
  • Solid tires
  • Dual lithium batteries

Cons

  • Flimsy footrest

Our Tester's Experience

"I recently had to find a lightweight wheelchair, and this one's an easy lift for car transfers, a real arm-saver compared to some. It also has a snug width that makes it easy to store and navigate small spaces."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Please make sure that you choose a wheelchair that offers safety and ease of movement. A sturdy wheelchair that supports your weight and features safety mechanisms is a great choice.

You will find a wide variety of wheelchairs available on the market with respect to size, color, features, and design. We have compiled a list of the different types of wheelchairs in the next section.

Types Of Wheelchairs

  • Manual Wheelchairs: This is the traditional design for wheelchairs and is propelled by the upper body strength of the user as they move the chair forward or backward.
  • Power Wheelchairs: A few people do not possess the strength to propel the wheelchair manually and require electric chair options. A powered wheelchair is an ideal choice for them as it runs on battery and is controlled by simple switches and a joystick installed in the armrests of the wheelchair.
  • Attendant Propelled Wheelchairs: This wheelchair is propelled by an attendant using a handle. The wheels are small and rimless. These wheelchairs are mostly used as transfer chairs in hospitals or airports to help move a mobility-impaired person.
  • Ridge Frame Wheelchair: A ridge frame wheelchair weighs somewhere around 13 pounds and is constructed as a one-piece frame that cannot be folded. Though this is not foldable, it is more compact and lightweight than other foldable options.
  • Lightweight Ergonomic Wheelchairs: Ultralight transport wheelchairs are ideal for those who spend more time in a wheelchair. Their ergonomic design lends more comfort while sitting for long periods. The lightweight construction allows for improved range of motion, wheelchair transportability, and greater independence.
  • All-Terrain Wheelchairs: An all-terrain wheelchair is a perfect choice for people who travel in different terrain types, even areas without wheelchair accessibility. This wheelchair gives you the confidence to traverse multiple terrains without worrying about the risk of getting stuck or losing control.
  • Sports Wheelchairs: Sports wheelchairs are used in different athletic settings and to play various sports at any level. These wheelchairs are stronger, faster, and more maneuverable.
  • High-Back Reclining Wheelchairs: If you are looking for upper body support and don’t want to shift to a different piece of furniture for support, a high-back reclining wheelchair can help you. You can recline back in the wheelchair and get that upper body support that your body craves for after sitting for long hours.
  • Pediatric Wheelchairs: Pediatric wheelchairs are designed to accommodate children who need mobility assistance. These wheelchairs are available in fun colors and patterns.
  • Bariatric Wheelchairs:Bariatric wheelchairs are designed to accommodate heavier and larger users. These wheelchairs are designed while keeping the needs of bariatric users in mind. The weight-bearing capacity of these chairs is more. The wider seats and armrests accommodate the needs of the users.

Here’s a buying guide with a list of a few factors you need to consider to choose an appropriate lightweight wheelchair. Take a look at this section if you do not possess first-hand knowledge at purchasing or using wheelchairs. We have compiled a few key features that a good wheelchair must have.

Buying Guide – How To Choose An Appropriate Lightweight Wheelchair

  • Weight-bearing Capacity

When buying a wheelchair or testing out different options, make sure you select one according to your body weight. This is very important for the safety of the user. For people with large and heavier bodies, a bariatric wheelchair is a good choice. On the other hand, small or pediatric users should use wheelchairs designed according to their needs for the best user experience.

  • Foldable

A lightweight chair allows for great mobility and independence of the user. One more factor that adds to the brownie points for lightweight wheelchairs is the foldability. Go for foldable options as they are portable and easy to store and carry while traveling.

  • Operation

User-friendly design of the wheelchair is one of the most important considerations that you need to bear in mind while purchasing a wheelchair. Do you want a manual wheelchair or a motorized one? This has more references than just being about the user’s preference. Sometimes, the users do not possess sufficient arm strength to propel the wheelchair, and for such people, a powered wheelchair is an ideal choice.

  • Usage

Before buying a wheelchair, think whether you are going to use it as your primary or supplementary form of mobility assistance. If you require a wheelchair for supplementary support, you can opt for an affordable and lightweight wheelchair. If you need a wheelchair post-surgery for recovery, you may like to consider a stand-up wheelchair. These wheelchairs, apart from providing the basic functions of a wheelchair, also provide standing support for easy ups and downs. For someone totally dependent on wheelchairs for mobility, choosing one with an ergonomic design will be ideal for adequate support and extra comfort.

  • Design

Different designs of wheelchairs, depending on the varied support and positioning needs of the users, are available. Make sure you choose one that fits your requirements. If you are someone looking for upper body support, go for a high-back reclining wheelchair. Those who like to traverse multiple terrains should opt for all-terrain wheelchairs.

  • Purpose

The purpose for which you are buying the wheelchair is also an important consideration. If you want a wheelchair to get in and out of the pool or go to the beach, choose one that has been specifically designed for these purposes. Similarly, transport wheelchairs and aisle wheelchairs are purpose-driven. They are designed for specific settings and functions and help to move patients over short distances in more commercial settings.

Infographic: Tips To Choose The Best Lightweight Wheelchair

Your options are uncountable if you are looking for a wheelchair to help support your movements. The market is flooded with wheelchairs with unique features, so selecting one can be difficult. Check out the infographic below to understand what factors to consider.

Tips To Choose The Best Lightweight Wheelchair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Wheelchairs are often heavy and bulky. If you depend on wheelchairs for mobility, you need to invest in the best lightweight wheelchairs for real-life results. They are easy to lift and will enable you to move around easily. These chairs will make your everyday life comfortable and easier. Lightweight wheelchairs are easy to store, carry, and distribute weight evenly, and can be used indoors and outdoors. The Drive Medical Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair is perfect for those who frequently move through narrow spaces. The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair is great if you want speed control, while the Karman Healthcare S-105 Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Manual Wheelchair offers an ergonomic S-shape seating. The reviewed options in the list also have a comfortable and wide seat. Consider the weight-bearing capacity, design, operation, usage, and purpose while buying the best lightweight wheelchairs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest speed for motorized wheelchairs?

A motorized wheelchair features a maximum speed of 4 mph.

How much does a lightweight wheelchair cost?

On average, a lightweight wheelchair would cost somewhere between $150-$3500.

How much does a wheelchair weigh?

The weight of the wheelchair varies depending on the model and design. Here’s how much different wheelchairs weigh, depending on the purpose and design:

Types Of Wheelchairs Weight
Transport Wheelchairs 15-30 pounds
Manual Wheelchairs 35-40 pounds
Lightweight Wheelchairs 15-35 pounds
Bariatric Wheelchairs 40-60 pounds
Power Wheelchairs 50-250 pounds

What’s the difference between a lightweight wheelchair and a standard wheelchair?

Standard wheelchairs are typically built of steel, weigh 15kg or more, and have limited adjustment beyond size. In contrast, lightweight wheelchairs are made of aluminum or steel alloys, weigh 13-16 kg, are frequently foldable, and feature adjustable armrests.

What is the lightest weight self-propelled wheelchair?

The D Lite Aluminium Self-Propelled Wheelchair is the lightest weight self-propelled wheelchair that is supportive, comfortable, and efficient.

How do you fold a Quickie wheelchair?

• Ensure that the wheelchair’s brakes are locked.
• Grasp the seat with one hand in front and one hand in the rear, standing in front of the wheelchair,
• Gradually lift your seat. The seat should be able to fold in half, and the wheels should be closer together.
• When the seat in the middle is fully raised, the wheelchair should be folded and ready to transport or store.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Sakshi Bahal, understands the functioning of lightweight wheelchairs and has reviewed many such products over the last few years. She has compiled the above list of products based on her expertise, extensive research, and performance reviews posted by first-hand users online. These products are easy to maneuver and carry, have comfortable seating, and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Sue Murphy
Sue MurphyRegistered Nurse
Sue Murphy is a highly skilled and board-certified registered nurse with an extensive 35-year tenure in the acute care setting. She has a wealth of experience spanning various healthcare environments and spent 15 years in the Intensive Care Unit, honing her expertise in critical care.

Read full bio of Sue Murphy
Sakshi Bahal
Sakshi BahalCommerce Writer
Sakshi Bahal is a commerce writer with a master's degree in English Literature from Calcutta University. She was a part of the editorial team of her school magazine. Her love for writing inspired her to take up literature and follow that up with creative writing after completing her education.

Read full bio of Sakshi Bahal
Medha Deb
Medha DebCommerce Editor
Medha Deb is a commerce editor with a master's degree in applied linguistics from the University of Hyderabad, which has allowed her to develop a deep understanding of language and its application in various contexts. She specializes in the areas of beauty, health, and wellness and is committed to ensuring that the content on the website is of the highest quality.

Read full bio of Medha Deb
Aditi Naskar
Aditi NaskarAssociate Commerce Editor
Aditi Naskar has a postgraduate degree in English literature from Presidency University, Kolkata, a bachelor’s degree in education from WBUTTEPA, Kolkata, and a diploma in health and wellness. She is an associate commerce editor with 5 years of experience and specializes in reviewing fitness and health products.

Read full bio of Aditi Naskar