Manual Wheelchair Vs. Electric Wheelchair: Comparing Advantages

Manual Wheelchair Vs. Electric Wheelchair: Comparing Advantages


Wheelchairs are an integral part of Canadian life. About 1 percent of the population uses a wheelchair, accounting for some 288,800 Canadians. As a significant number that affects many households, wheelchairs have become a common purchase for many consumers. 

Wheelchairs come in two varieties, with each offering its own distinct advantages. 

The first variety is the manual wheelchair, the kind often seen in hospitals and are pushed around. Second is the electric wheelchair, a motorized variation of the wheelchair that can be controlled with a joystick. 

Although their purpose for moving people around remains the same, these two types of wheelchairs are very different. Do you know the difference? How do manual wheelchairs compare against electric wheelchairs? 

Let’s take a look at the advantages of each type.

Manual Wheelchair Advantages

  1. Lighter weight: Manual wheelchairs usually weigh between 15 and 60 lbs, making them easy to manage.
  2. Easy to load in vehicles and stow away: Strong, foldable chassis can be lifted into a car trunk by a single person.
  3. Lower priced: No complex parts mean higher affordability.
  4. Simpler, requiring less maintenance: A simpler design means fewer things can go wrong. Manual wheelchairs do not require servicing or recharging.
  5. Easier for caregivers to manage: Manual wheelchairs are convenient and versatile, making them ideal for using with caregivers.

Electric Wheelchair Advantages

  1. Easier to move: Can be moved with the push of a joystick, or the swipe of a touchpad. 
  2. Greater long range independence: Allows users to travel farther without experiencing fatigue.
  3. Enhanced mobility: Users can go wherever they want, whenever they want. 
  4. Lower strength requirements: Doesn’t require any strength to use.
  5. Greater user stamina: Won’t tire users out. Can be used all day long.
  6. Less arm and shoulder strain: Users are not required to push themselves around with their arms, and won’t strain their bodies.
  7. More suitable for independent mobility by hemiplegics: Users afflicted with movement disorders or paralysis will benefit more from an electric wheelchair.

To conclude, even though both have their advantages, the right wheelchair for you depends on your needs. Properly assess your needs alongside your budget, and you’ll be able to choose the right wheelchair for you. Please read our blog to help you discover the best types of wheelchairs.

As always, please follow the instructions of your healthcare provider. When choosing a wheelchair, select the one that suits your clinical needs. Get one that enhances your posture and reduces the risk of other conditions. Consult a physiotherapist if needed.

Looking for a wheelchair? Factory Direct Medical offers a wide range of electric and manual wheelchairs. Our online store also features scooters and walking aids. Come see for yourself!