Best Manual Wheelchairs in 2022: For Weight, Seniors, Budget, Comfort, & Sturdiness

One of the most common pieces of home medical equipment, a wheelchair needs to match the specific needs and requirements of its users. It is essential for you to spend plenty of time considering which wheelchair best accommodates your circumstances.


How We Chose the Top 6 Wheelchairs

For this review, we only analyzed manual wheelchairs – the ones that are self-propelled by the user (no automated, electric wheelchairs).

Here’s what we took into consideration:

  • Weight
  • Seniors
  • Budget
  • Comfort
  • Sturdiness

Our Top Picks

After reviewing the manual wheelchairs available in 2022 for online and in-store purchase, we chose our favorite options for each category listed above. 

Here are our takeaways:

1) Overall Best: Featherweight 13.5-lb Manual Wheelchair

Like the name shows, the Featherweight 13.5-lb Wheelchair is exceptionally light and easy to transport. However, the manufacturers did NOT sacrifice durability for the ideal weight! Made with high-quality materials, you’ll get many years of use out of this home medical device.

Because the chair isn’t too heavy, it’s also much easier for caregivers to maneuver around, fold up, and toss into the trunk. With an integrated braking system similar to a bicycle, the easily accessible wheel locks are extra secure. Read the customer reviews.

Key Details:

  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Chair Weight: 19 lbs. (13.5 without wheels)
  • Seat Width: 18 inches
  • Seat Depth: 16 inches

2) Best for Weight: Karman Ergo Flight Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair

An EXTREMELY lightweight wheelchair, the Karman Ergo Flight chair is only 18 pounds! Not only that, but it is simple and convenient to fold and transport, the backrests folding down to make it even more compact.  

That’s not to say the chair isn’t well-made or comfortable. The unique S-style seat shape helps relieve any back pressure users may experience, promoting good posture while in the chair for long periods of time. Read the customer reviews.

Key Details:

  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs.
  • Chair Weight: 18 lbs.
  • Seat Width: 16 or 18 inches
  • Seat Depth: 17 inches

3) Best for Seniors: Medline Lightweight & User-Friendly Wheelchair

According to customer reviews, this wheelchair is #1 in reliability and comfort…as well as simplicity! With soft, breathable nylon seats, removable elevating leg rests, and an adjustable seat back, it’s ideal for seniors who hope to remain active for years to come. It is lightweight and extremely sturdy, supporting up to 300 pounds.

Key Details:

  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Chair Weight: 15 lbs.
  • Seat Width: 19 inches
  • Seat Depth: 16 inches

4) Best for Budget: Drive Medical Cruiser III Lightweight Wheelchair

Considered one of the most durable wheelchairs in the home medical equipment market, the Drive Medical Cruiser III is ALSO very affordable. 

But the benefits don’t end there! The carbon steel frame makes it easy to use back inserts and other chair accessories. The footrests can be elevated to the user’s liking, and the armrests can be flipped back. This wheelchair is truly high quality – the biggest bang for your buck. Read the customer reviews.

Key Details:

  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Chair Weight: 41 lbs.
  • Seat Width: 20 inches
  • Seat Depth: 16 to 18 inches

5) Best for Comfort: Invacare Tracer SX5 Wheelchair

The Invacare Tracer SX5 is ergonomically designed for maximum comfortability. The seat is adorned with a heavy-duty inner liner that prevents any sort of stretching. Coming in a wide range of sizes and offering various armrest and leg rest options, you’ll have no trouble finding a chair to fit you the best! Read the customer reviews.

Key Details:

  • Weight Capacity: 250 or 300 lbs. (depending on size)
  • Chair Weight: 34+ lbs.
  • Seat Width: 16, 18, 20, or 22 inches
  • Seat Depth: 16 inches

6) Best for Sturdiness: NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair

Built to safely navigate more difficult environments and terrains, the NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair makes it easy to travel without a hitch. To maximize safety, the chair also features a just-sensitive-enough handbrake that needs very little pressure to bring the chair to a stop. Read the customer reviews.

Key Details:

  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Chair Weight: 27 lbs.
  • Seat Width: 18.5 inches
  • Seat Depth: 15.75 inches


Prefer to buy your wheelchair in-store?

Use our home medical equipment locator tool to find a supplier in your area .

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