Wheelchairs serve many people in many ways. Beyond their basic function as a mobility device, these products help people with a wide range of needs that vary greatly from person to person.
To accommodate this diversity, these medical aids are made with different features that can considerably increase their price tag. For this reason, wheelchairs can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. A basic model provides utilitarian needs, while top-of-the-line models are used for specific functions for special situations.
Factory Direct Medical offers a wide range of wheelchairs that come with their own price points and user features. Having provided years of customer service, one question we keep getting asked on a regular basis is: “Why are some so expensive, while others are not?”
Let’s answer this question by posing one of our own:
How do you determine the cost of a wheelchair?
Factory Direct Medical wheelchairs come in four main varieties; each variety serves a specific purpose that caters to a specific need.
This rundown explains the difference between the four main varieties that we offer, and why they are priced that way. Although this isn’t a hard and fast rule, the main factors that determine the cost of a wheelchair are construction and features.
- Price: $115–$325 (including discount)
- Weight: 17.4–26.5 lbs
- Materials: Aluminum & steel frame
- Example: Featherlite Transport Chair CH1044
Transport chairs are mobility devices in which users are designed to be pushed by their caregivers. Also known as “companion wheelchairs,” these devices are equipped with four small wheels instead of two large wheels matched with two small ones. Transport chairs are unique from their peers because they do not enable any kind of independent mobility.
Because they aren’t meant to travel long distances and are usually equipped with basic features, transport wheelchairs are priced comparatively lower than their peers. Factory Direct Medical’s transport chairs have an average price of $220, and are made to be easily foldable and portable to suit the needs of its users.
- Price: $225–$450 (including discount)
- Weight: 34–43 lbs
- Material: Steel, PVC vinyl
- Example: Economy Wheelchair CH1090
This is the most common model. They are made to be durable and versatile, meeting the broadest range of needs for its users. These mobility devices allow users to propel themselves, or be pushed by another person using its handlebars. They are designed for daily use, and can be easily folded up for travel and storage.
FDM’s standard wheelchairs are made from steel and PVC vinyl that make them more rugged. This also slightly adds to their heft, making for an average weight of 37 lbs. Their steel construction helps them be more economical and durable, making them a very popular choice for many customers.
Our lineup comes standard with a large number of features that many more expensive models cost extra to have.
Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs
- Price: $325
- Weight: 35 lbs
- Material: Aluminum
- Example: Lightweight Wheelchair CH1096
This product line is lighter and easier to carry than the standard variety, and come with a higher cost. For this money, users are getting a convenient and versatile mobility device that gains many of its properties from its aluminum chassis.
These products are suited for everyday living and provide many practical benefits. With their aluminum frames, this lineup is very portable and are strong enough to hold weight capacities of up to 300 lbs.
Folding Electric Wheelchairs
- Price: $2300–$4100
- Weight: 55lbs–84lbs
- Materials: Aluminum alloy, aluminum/magnesium alloy, powder-coated aluminum frame
- Example: 3G Platinum Folding Electric Wheelchair CH4080
At the highest end of the pricing spectrum are Factory Direct Medical’s folding electric wheelchairs. At an average cost of $3,200, these mobility products provide a multitude of features that justify their high price point.
Due to the added installation of a motor and battery, this lineup is much heavier than their peers. To give it strength, they are built with frames featuring aluminum alloys. As a result, these products enable users to comfortably travel all day long without ever getting tired.
As we see, wheelchairs are made using different materials and construction methods that result in a broad range of prices. Determine your needs and consult a healthcare professional to find out which is the best for you.
Want to learn more about Factory Direct Medical’s lineup of wheelchairs? Browse our website for our manual and powered varieties, check out our wheelchair catalogue, or read our e-book on folding electric wheelchairs!