Wheelchair Way of Life: A Guide To Wheelchair Types

Types Of Wheelchairs

Do you require a wheelchair as a result of an illness or injury that has restricted your older adult’s mobility during pandemic? Maybe you’re looking for a wheelchair and mobility equipment for an older relative who lives with you. 

There are many different wheelchairs, each with a unique propulsion system, control system, and technology. Some wheelchairs are intended for daily usage, while others are made for specific tasks or to meet certain access requirements. 

The variety of users necessitates the need for several wheelchairs because no one model or size of a wheelchair can satisfy the needs of every user.

Continue reading to learn more about the wheelchair types you’re looking for.

Features and Components of Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs include many features that make the equipment more useful for the user, but each feature has different versions and different benefits for different users.

The first step in prescribing a wheelchair is determining the appropriate padding and back support for comfort, posture, and seating tolerance. The wheelchair’s configuration can be chosen once the ideal seating product has been identified.

The environment, prognosis, abilities, and activities of the wheelchair user should all be considered when selecting a setup. The wheelchair should be practical in the user’s surroundings, flexible enough to accommodate their prognosis, improve their abilities, and allow them to participate in their intended activities.

Various Wheelchair Types

There are numerous different wheelchairs kinds, and they can be greatly tailored to meet specific demands based on alterations in the fundamental design.

  • Wheelchair with a rigid frame

Wheelchairs made specifically for exceptionally active users who want the best possible performance are known as rigid wheelchairs. Rigid wheelchairs don’t fold; therefore, they have fewer parts, less hardware, and no moving frame components. The frame is stronger, lighter, and does not bend when propelled because it has no moving parts.

A rigid-frame wheelchair typically has a base of support on which the user sits and is not foldable. Some variants have a backrest.

  • Portable frame

A wheelchair with a folding frame has an “X” mechanism built into the frame that allows it to fold sideways. The wheelchair folds when this locked mechanism is released.

The chair’s two locking levers and the wheels include a quick-release mechanism to simplify transporting and storage. 

  • Manual wheelchair

Most of the time, the user propels a manual wheelchair. The basic model can be upgraded with controls; foot leg supports, front caster outriggers, and adjustable backrests. 

The seat’s dimensions (width and depth), height from the floor, and angle (also known as seat dump or squeeze) concerning the horizontal plane can all be changed. A wheelchair specifically designed for a user’s needs is an option.

  • Electric wheelchair

Instead of manual power, an electric motor propels a motorized wheelchair, power chair, electric wheelchair, or electric-powered wheelchair. 

People who are unable to push a manual wheelchair or who may need to utilize a wheelchair across rough terrain or over long distances may find motorized wheelchairs handy. People with heart-related and fatigue-related problems may also utilize them.

  • Folding, lightweight wheelchairs with adjustments

Many ultralight folding wheelchairs resemble lightweight wheelchairs, but they have more adjustments for even finer tuning to the user’s demands. When putting up the chair after delivery, all the changes become apparent and make the difference stand out.

They are made for users who spend a lot of time in a wheelchair each day for most of their mobility demands, have an active lifestyle, and are searching for a little bit higher performance.

  • Bariatric

Heavy duty wheelchairs are built with stronger axles, heavier tubing, double cross braces, gusseted frames, and reinforced upholstery. Heavy-duty wheelchairs that are “off the shelf” or standard will have a weight capacity of about 350 lbs.

What is a suitable wheelchair?

The World Health Organization claims that a wheelchair is necessary when:

  • offers a suitable fit and postural support;
  • reliable and secure;
  • satisfies environmental and user requirements
  • conditions;
  • accessible in the nation; and
  • available for acquisition, upkeep, and services
  • sustained in the nation at a reasonable cost


Having a mobility aid like a wheelchair can significantly enhance your quality of life. It makes it simple for you to move around or for those assisting you to do so. Wheelchairs can help persons in need regain some movement in their lives. There are advantages to using manual, electric, and transport wheelchairs. 

In addition to facilitating mobility, a suitable wheelchair enhances its users’ physical well-being and quality of life by assisting in the prevention of common issues, including pressure sores, the advancement of deformities, and the improvement of mobility.