Powerchairs vs lightweight wheelchairs – a user’s guide

Shopping around until you find the right mobility aid is vital if you want to get one that truly meets your needs. When you are choosing between powerchairs and lightweight wheelchairs from Karma Mobility, they both offer different qualities when it comes to helping you get around and integrating them into your life.


As the names suggest, lightweight wheelchairs usually offer a lighter load than powerchairs. There are also ultra-lightweight models. These are often fixed frame due to the materials they are made out of and the fact that folding mechanisms add weight.


Even though they are heavier, powerchairs assist with manoeuvrability. They are usually battery-powered and steered using a joystick. Some have different kinds of controls for people who do not have the full use of their hands.

Lightweight wheelchairs are self-propelled or designed to be pushed by someone else.


Wheelchairs come in lots of different sizes. This is something you will need to explore when you are deciding which model to go with. Most lightweight wheelchairs fit through standard size doors. Some fold away for ease of storage and so that they can be easily transported.

Generally speaking, powerchairs are larger and fixed-frame although there are exceptions to this. They usually require you to have some adaptations to your vehicle in order to transport them.

Level of technology

Obviously, a motorised powerchair has more technical parts that need servicing. Many come with warranties or even service contracts. This is something that varies from dealer to dealer. Karma Mobility has stockists all over the UK and Ireland, so you can shop around and find one that offers the services that you want.

Lightweight wheelchairs are simpler, but they still need attention. It is important the all moving parts are kept oiled. Any screws need periodic tightening. It is also essential to keep an eye on the tyres in the same way as you would with a car. The tread needs to be deep enough for grip. Any tyres that show signs of wear should be replaced. Karma Mobility has a range of spares and accessories so you can easily get the things that you need.


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