Self Propelled Wheelchairs: A Complete Guide

When you’re investing in a wheelchair for the first time you may be unaware just how many different options that you have. You will notice that in general, all of these chairs fall into one of two categories; self-propelled wheelchairs or powered wheelchairs. Whilst powered may seem quite self-explanatory, for first-time users, there is often some confusion around self-propelled. 

To help anyone purchasing their first wheelchair who is interested in finding out more about self-propelled wheelchairs, our team here at Karma Mobility have put together an easy to understand helpful guide. Below we will answer all of the most frequently asked questions about self-propelled wheelchairs and provide you with the information you’re looking for. 

What are self-propelled wheelchairs?

Simply put, a self-propelled wheelchair is a chair that the user propels themselves. Whilst they may have handles which enable the user to be pushed, the main design for these wheelchairs is for the user to be able to manoeuvre the chair themselves without the need for assistance. 

You will probably be surprised just how simple it is to use a self-propelled wheelchair. These chairs have much bigger rear wheels which are what you use to propel the chair along. They have push-rims fitted to them which makes moving the chair yourself much easier. 

Who are they suitable for?

Ultimately, self-propelled wheelchairs are actually suitable for more people than you may realise. If you have long term mobility problems but you still have the use of your upper body then they are the perfect solution. 

Often, if people are searching for a mobility aid that can assist them as and when they require help, then a self-propelled wheelchair is a great idea. You can get chairs which are both lightweight and foldable, so they are much more versatile than people think. All you need is the ability to manoeuvre yourself to make the most of a chair of this kind. 

What are the benefits of using them?

There are numerous benefits to choosing a self-propelled wheelchair and here are some that everyone should know about; 


By being able to manoeuvre yourself you are no longer reliant on someone else. You can either maintain or get back your independence and enjoy doing things for yourself. With a self-propelled wheelchair, you can go out whenever you like without any worries and know that you can get yourself where you need to be without having to call on someone to help. For many, they give a new lease of life. 


Many people who have mobility problems can feel incredibly restricted in regards to fitness, but using a self-propelled wheelchair opens up so many different options for you. Every time you use the chair you will be improving your general fitness and getting stronger. There are also many different sports and activities that you can undertake in a self-propelled wheelchair, so you can get back to doing things you used to love. 


It goes without saying that wheelchairs can be quite bulky and take up more room in your home than other mobility aids, but self-propelled wheelchairs won’t be as intrusive. In general, they are much more compact than power chairs and lots of them can also be folded for storage which can be really helpful too. 

Would you like to purchase a self-propelled wheelchair?

Hopefully, the guide above will answer your most pressing questions about self-propelled wheelchairs and help you realise whether they are a solution that will work for you or not. Of course, there are many different types of self-propelled wheelchairs on the market too so, be sure to do your research and make sure the chair you invest in meets all of your needs. 

If you’re searching for somewhere to purchase a self-propelled wheelchair from, visit the Karma Mobility website today. We are very proud to have earned an excellent reputation for product quality and customer service, so you can trust that you’re in safe hands when you turn to Karma Mobility. If you require any assistance choosing the best wheelchair for your needs, please get in touch with our team today and we will gladly provide you with our professional opinion.