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There are a variety of stair lift types available to suit your home’s layout. Additionally, there are several features that you can choose to customize your stair lift, such as footrest type, rail type, seat type, safety options, and more. With a stair lift, you can make mobility much easier and safer around your home.
Types of Stair Lifts
Stair lifts are a versatile mobility solution with a wide range of customizable features. Before considering the many options available when choosing a stair lift, it's important to understand that there are multiple stair lift types available.
Straight stair lifts are often an ideal choice for homes with a single straight staircase that goes from the main floor up to a second floor or down to the basement. The rail for these units is straight, like the name suggests, and allows the chair that the user rides in to fold up and park out of the way at the base or top of the staircase when not in use. They are cost-effective and we can usually install them within a few days of purchase.
Curved stair lifts travel on a customized rail that fits perfectly to your needs. These custom stair lift rails are most commonly used in homes with stairs that have an intermediate landing or other turn, including pie-shaped steps and even spiral staircases. They are also common in split-level home layouts when the staircase is broken down into multiple adjacent staircases. Custom curved rail stair lifts offer the unique option of extending the rail beyond the top or bottom of the staircase to allow the chair to park out of the way and give others better access to the entrance and exit of the staircase.
Outdoor stair lifts are created out of durable materials that can withstand various weather conditions. These stair lifts are often ideal to add accessibility to porches or decks, or even down to a lake.
Stair Lift Options
Along with the stair lift types, there are a variety of features that you can choose from to make the most out of your stair lift. From function to aesthetics to safety, the Arrow Lift team can help you find the right combination of features to consider when customizing your stair lift.
Installing a stair lift that accommodates your home, and your needs, is important. Here is a list of features that have to do with the function of your stair lift.
AUTOMATIC RETRACTABLE RAIL
When the rail at the lower landing prevents a door from opening or poses a tripping hazard, an automated retractable rail will move the rail out of the way when the chair moves up the stairway. Because it is automatic, this option will work for a rider who is unattended. In other words, a second person is not required to lower the rail, as is required for a manual folding rail (see below). Examples of stair lifts offering this feature are the Stannah Siena 600, the Stannah Starla 600, the Bruno Elite SRE-2010, and the Bruno Elan SRE-3050.
MANUAL FOLDING RAIL
The stair lift option for a manual folding rail provides benefits that are similar to the automatic retractable rail, except that a second person is required to operate it. This is because it folds manually, in such a way that the person riding in the stair lift chair cannot raise or lower the rail while seated on the lift. The Bruno Elite SRE-2010 and the Bruno Elan SRE-3050 offer this feature.
POWER SWIVEL SEAT
A one or two-way power swivel seat automatically turns the chair at the top and/or lower landing. All stair lifts have a seat that swivels at the top landing for a safe exit, but they have a manually operated lever as standard. These power swivel seats are automatic, making them easier to use. This is beneficial for users with impaired use of their legs or landings with very little room. Most models have the top landing option, while the bottom landing stair lift option is only available with some models. The Stannah Siena 600 and the Stannah Starla 600 are examples of stair lifts offering this feature.
AUTOMATIC FOLDING FOOTREST
Most stair lifts fold up when not in use, but this can be tricky sometimes especially at the top landing of your stairs. For your safety, some stair lifts offer a powered or automatic folding footrest. This allows you to fold and unfold the footrest without bending down to the floor or leaning out over the stairs at the top landing. Depending on the model, the footrest folding might be done by pushing a button, by folding up the seat, or by raising a small lever near the seat. Examples of chairs offering this type of footrest are the Stannah Siena 600, the Stannah Starla 600, the Bruno Elite SRE-2010, and the Bruno Elan SRE-3050.
If you have a difficult time bending your knees, an oversize footrest is available on certain models. This allows you to keep your legs further out in front of the seat, ensuring both your comfort and safety when using your lift.
You may be surprised that there are an array of size options for stair lifts available. Some models come with adjustable height chairs, while others offer adjustable width armrests. Also, some models offer standard size or extra-wide seat sizes. Our professionals can assess your staircase and discuss your needs with you to find the right size stair lift for your home.
There are a wide variety of options available to customize your stair lift to fit in with your home’s design and style. Here are some stair lift features available for you to choose from.
UPHOLSTERY COLOR AND STYLE
Your stair lift can look as elegant as the rest of your home. Many of the models we offer have several different seat upholstery options, including various colors, leather/faux leather, and wood trim. It is important to keep in mind that some economy models do not offer customizations and only come in one style.
With most stair lifts, you do not get to choose the color of the stair lift rail. However, at Arrow Lift, we can provide a stair lift with a customized rail color to match your staircase or home aesthetic.
The number one priority when it comes to elevators and lifts is safety. The primary goal of installing a stair lift in your home is to make it easier to go up and down stairs safely. Two features already mentioned above that provide additional safety are the power swivel seat and the automatic folding footrest. Both of these stair lift features enhance safety by making the lift easier to use, especially at the top landing of the staircase. In addition to these two features, there are several seat belt options available that can also enhance safety while using a stair lift.
STAIR LIFT SEAT BELT OPTIONS
Most economy stair lift models have a basic seat belt, similar to a seat belt found on an airplane or school bus. However, many upgraded models have an easier-to-use, retractable lap belt/seat belt. Below is a list of additional seat belt upgrades available:
- Lap diagonal seat belt
- Five-point harness seat belt
- Ankle guides/ankle restraints (for people who cannot control their leg movements)
- Optional safety microswitch so that the armrest control does not work unless the seat belt is secured (this prevents operation by the user unless the seat belt is in use)
SAFETY HARNESS AND ANKLE RESTRAINTS
As mentioned above, safety harnesses and ankle restraints can be important additions to a stair lift. For users with extremely limited mobility or ability to remain in a seated position, a five-point safety harness and/or ankle restraint straps will safely secure the rider while they’re traveling on the chair. These stair lift safety options may be added to any Stannah stair lift.
Find the Right Stair Lift Type for You
Customize a stair lift to suit your mobility needs. The professionals at Arrow Lift are ready to help you decide what will work best for your needs. Contact us to start exploring options because when it comes to stair lifts, there is no “one size fits all”. With over 35 years of experience, we can offer you the knowledge and insight you need to make a wise purchase decision.