Arguably the most important component of a stairlift – and certainly the part that you will be having the most interaction with during your stairlift usage – is its seat. When selecting your stairlift, you probably focussed on the shape of the lift track, the capabilities and features of the lift and the aftercare and warranty options. Maybe you paid very little attention to the seat design.
Stairlift seats are available in a variety of different sizes, shapes and designs, each tailor-made to suit certain individuals and users. We’ve listed a brief description of some of the main types to show just how they could help you.
Standard Stairlift Seat
Standard, or basic, seats are ideal for users with moderately impaired mobility who find the stairs a struggle. These basically designed units include a back rest and two armrests, one of which will have a built in lift control.
These seats will very often be at the lower end of the scale in terms of price. They can also be fitted with extras such as seatbelts or foldable appendages – such as seat, footplate and armrests. This foldability is ideal if you lack the space required for a full size stairlift.
Due to their small stature, children will find using a full size seat difficult, awkward and maybe even dangerous. If the stairlift is designed for your child to use, you will need to fit a child sized seat.
Resembling a child’s car seat, these seats will be designed using moulded foam and will provide a much more snug fit for your child. They will also be fitted with seatbelts to ensure security and peace of mind.
Luxury Lift Seat
The moulded shape and extensive upholstery of a luxury, or ergonomically designed, seat offer enhanced comfort to users. If you suffer from joint pain or find it difficult to sit on a standard seat for any length of time, this could be the option for you.
Unfortunately, due to their size, the luxury seat is unsuitable for narrow staircases or for homes in which space around the staircase is limited. These seats do not generally have folding parts, making them only suitable for wider staircases.
Perfect for narrow staircases, the perch seat is a fascinating innovation in the development of the stairlift unit. While using the seat, the user remains in an upright position with their legs almost straight and at full extension. This feature of the stairlift makes it ideal for lift users suffering from knee, hip or back pain.
What’s more, as the user remains almost in a standing position during their journey up and down the stairs, the perch seat takes up a lot less horizontal space. This makes the units ideal for homes were staircase width is limited.
Another somewhat esoterically designed seat is the saddle. The saddle was born from research into how different seating positions affected different lumbar and joint conditions, and resembles an enlarged version of a bicycle saddle.
If you suffer from one of a variety of joint, limb or upper body pains, the design of a saddle seat could truly help you get the best out of your stairlift in a pain-free way. Saddle seats will also feature raising, lowering and tilting functionality, making it easy to transfer into and out of the lift.