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Mobility Scooters vs. Electric Wheelchairs: What’s Right For You?

If you or someone in your family is experiencing mobility problems, due to illness, age or disability, you are probably interested in buying a mobility scooter or an electric wheelchair. Well, it’s important to note that although both of these are great at providing more mobility and helping you or your loved one stay active, each option comes with individual features that can make one better suited for a certain condition than the other.

Selecting a mobility device with the wrong features can surely compromise the user’s freedom and flexibility and this is a mistake you want to avoid. That is why, before you start searching for electric chairs or mobility scooters online, you need to consult your physician or physical therapist to ensure you select the right device. Below are some helpful bits of information regarding the differences between an electric wheelchair and a mobility scooter and the possible benefits they might offer to you or your loved one.

First, let’s see what they have in common. When shopping for electric chairs and mobility scooters online you will notice that both devices are electric and they come with a battery pack that powers a motor system that drives the wheels. Both of them don’t require the user to do any work or a caregiver to move around, and they can be used indoors as well as outdoors, although this depends on the particular model you choose. Most modern electric chairs and mobility scooters can be disassembled and this makes it easy to fit them in the trunk of a car.

Now, let’s talk about their differences.

Mobility Scooters

These usually come with 3 wheels, utilize a rechargeable battery pack and are operated using handlebars. Because they can tackle tough terrain and steep inclines, they are a great option for outdoor use. Mobility scooters are recommended for individuals with mild to average mobility issues that can comfortably control the scooter with their hands, for example elderly individuals who find it painful or difficult to walk or stand for long periods of time but can still stand, sit and walk on their own.

It is important to understand that mobility scooters require more skills to operate than an electric chair and the user needs to able to maintain balance – especially when driving outdoors. Furthermore, scooters are not suitable for small homes since the person would need more space in order to turn the scooter around.


Electric Wheelchairs

People with more serious mobility problems tend to choose an electric wheelchair. Featuring a sensitive joystick or touch controls, electric wheelchairs require minimal effort to operate and they are also more customizable in terms of comfort compared to mobility scooters. They allow individuals to adjust the seat height, foot rests, armrests, reclining angle and various other components depending on the specific model. All of these do not only make this option more comfortable, but also easier to get in and out of.

Electric Wheelchairs

Electric wheelchairs can turn in tight spaces and are easy to manoeuvre between rooms and around furniture. They are great for indoor use even in small homes, but they are quite heavy and not suitable for extensive outdoor use or long distance traveling.

All things considered, mobility scooters are the best choice for people with enough body strength to walk, sit and stand on their own. Those with more serious mobility limitations should consider an electric wheelchair.


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