Choosing Between A Lightweight Self Propelled Wheelchair And A Lightweight Power Wheelchair

In today’s modern age, there are many different mobility aids on the market, but one that remains incredibly popular is a wheelchair. People rely on wheelchairs for lots of different reasons, one of the most common being because they’re unable to walk independently for a long period of time, and it goes without saying that they are a brilliant mobility aid that is able to meet many needs and requirements. Currently, one of the most popular wheelchairs on the market is a lightweight wheelchair, and this in itself has so many additional benefits too. 

When deciding to purchase a wheelchair for the first time, there is no denying that the vast amount to choose from on the market can be quite overwhelming. You will have lots to consider to ensure that you’re investing in the right chair for you. Even if you know you’d like something lightweight, you still need to consider whether you’d like a self-propelled wheelchair or a power chair. So, to help anyone trying to choose between these two different options, below are some of the pros and cons of each. 

Lightweight self propelled wheelchairs

A lightweight self propelled wheelchair is fairly self-explanatory. This is a wheelchair that you will propel yourself by simply pushing the large rear wheels. It is a brilliant option for many and below are the pros and cons of this choice; 


  • Easy to transport and store 

Often, lightweight self propelled wheelchairs are also foldable which makes them easy to carry, put in the boot of a car or store when not in use. In general, folding wheelchairs are an incredibly convenient option. 

  • Less maintenance required 

Due to the fact that the chair has less moving parts and no electrical parts, you will find that they are virtually maintenance-free. Aside from general wear and tear, they tend to be heavy-duty and durable. 


  • Required upper body strength

Of course, because they are propelled by the user, upper body strength is required for this type of chair. You can get manual wheelchairs where the user can be pushed by someone else, but this removes their independence.

  • Harder to use on some terrains and slopes 

Due to the fact that the chair is only powered by the user, it can be difficult to travel over some bumpy terrains and to go up steep slopes. It can also be tiring to travel long distances too. 

Lightweight power wheelchairs

Simply put, a lightweight power wheelchair is a chair that is propelled by an electric motor rather than the user. The user will be able to control the chair with a small lever on the armrest. Below are some of the pros and cons of this type of wheelchair;


  • Easily travel long distances 

The user won’t be exerting any energy when using a lightweight power wheelchair, so they can easily travel long distances. This often means you won’t be restricted at all by your wheelchair. 

  • Travel well over all terrains 

As well as being able to travel long distances, you can also travel over virtually any terrain. Power chairs have different drivetrains, so you can choose something that meets your needs in this regard. 


  • Bulkier and slightly heavier 

Even though you can get lightweight power wheelchairs, they will be bulkier and slightly heavier than self propelled alternatives. This needs to be taken into consideration for things such as transport and storage. 

  • Requires regular battery changes 

Of course, because this chair is electric, you will need to change the batteries to keep it running. This can be inconvenient sometimes and requires pre-planning. 

Choosing the best lightweight wheelchair for you 

Ultimately, there isn’t one chair that is better than the other and choosing between these two options is a very personal decision. Hopefully, the information above will help you to decide which wheelchair is best for you and this will then dramatically narrow down the many different options on the market. Once you have decided between a self propelled wheelchair and a power chair, you can begin to look at the different options you have in these specific categories and ensure that all other aspects of the wheelchair are perfect for you too. 

Whether you decide to invest in a lightweight self propelled wheelchair or a lightweight power wheelchair, when searching for somewhere to purchase your chair from, visit the Karma Mobility website today. We have such a huge range of lightweight wheelchairs and you can guarantee that we will have the perfect chair available to meet all of your individual needs and requirements. To speak to a member of our experienced team about the different options on our website, don’t hesitate to get in touch, we will happily assist you further.