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Power Wheelchairs and Scooters – All The Major Differences

Power Wheelchairs and Scooters
Written by Brian G Smith

As we grow older, our mobility decline, and moving from one place to another becomes a bit harder. Many encounter health challenges like dementia, mini-strokes, or other health issues and disabilities that ends up obstructing their movement. Fortunately, the use of power wheelchairs and scooters to get around serves as one of the best alternatives for most seniors.

It’s no doubt, there are varieties of mobility scooters and power wheelchair out there that comes with reliable features and are built to perfectly fit into any situation; this makes it a bit difficult for most people to decide which will serve best. This article is an overview of power wheelchairs and scooters, their pros and cons, and the steps to adhere to when making a choice.

What Are Power Wheelchairs?

Power wheelchair, when compared to the conventional fold-away wheelchair, has lots of remarkable features. It is sophisticated and more technologically advanced; it comes with different features and functions to make movement easier.

Most times, they are designed with 4 or 6 wheels depending on the size. These wheels are there to help you get over obstacles easily. It also comes with a joystick that is used to control the movement of the wheel. Power wheelchairs can be used to cover 10-20 mile on a single charge; it is accompanied with different seat movement which allows its users to sit upright, recline, lean forward or assume any position they want.

What Are Mobility Scooters?

The mobility scooter is one of the most used and affordable scooter types used by most elderly with mobility issues. It is designed for both outdoor and indoor and can get to over 10 miles on a single charge. The machine is accompanied by Lots of benefits, and comes in three different designs:

  • The three Wheel– these designs are known to produce more specificity when it comes to restricted corners; offers more space to accommodate the legs compared to other models.
  • The four-wheel– this mobility scooter is made to withstand weight up to 500 Ibs, built to provide its rider with enough stability than the three-wheel scooter.
  • Compact scooters– for instance, in places where transportation or storage space is limited, the compacted scooter can be folded easily to make placement possible. This is possible in vehicle, van, or home.

Things to Consider When Choosing

Here are some factors to consider; this will help you evaluate which of the scooters above most suit your need.

  • Does your current insurance plan cover mobility or power wheelchair scooters?
  • What budget range can you go for?
  • Where do you intend to use the machine? How spacious is the place, and what’s the topography?
  • Will there be a moment you want to transport the machine? If yes, will the machine get to the location you want?
  • Do you want to use the machine occasionally or daily?

The Pros & Cons Power Wheelchairs and Scooters

wheelchair vs mobility scooter

Pros of Power Wheelchair

The power wheelchair has lots of advantages.

  • The wheelchair is more compactable then a mobility scooter. It comes with a small turning radius, which tends to make it suitable for tight indoor corners, like the bathroom, elevators, and hallways.
  • Power wheelchairs are designed with highly adaptable seating options. It comes with a pressure redistributing backrest and cushion, footrest, and perfect control that can move the wheelchair to any position and direction, making it easy for users with postural defects to gain more comfort.
  • Those who intend using the chair in a van find the device more secure since it safe when used in moving vans.
  • Its joystick can be controlled with your eyes, mouth, or foot movement; it all depends on how it is programmed.
  • Lastly, the presence of a joystick makes it easy for users that surfer one disability or the other to have full control over the equipment.

Cons of power wheel

Let take a look at some of the cons associated with the power wheelchair.

  • The power wheelchair is heavy, compared to the conventional wheelchair; this make lifting the chair difficult for individual and certain trailers due to the weight.
  • Most power wheelchairs are not foldable; this makes it difficult to fit the device into cars.
  • Power wheelchairs are quite expensive, with a price range that starts from $4,000 to over $10,000.
  • Power chairs are designed with little ground clearance; this make this wheelchair unsuitable when used on steep ramps or uneven terrain.

Pros of Mobility scooter

  • The device has an aesthetic appearance, which makes them look more attractive; it comes in different sizes, styles, and colors.
  • Many mobility scooters exist, including the two-wheel, three wheels, and a variety of compact designs that can be used to conquer space.
  • Mobility scooters are designed with a basket that can be used to transport belongings like a purse and other items from one spot to another.
  • It comes with turn signals and lights, which are there to ensure your safety, especially for those who love traveling over a distance.
  • Lastly, it is less expensive and comes with a price range that starts from $1,500 or even lower.

Cons of Mobility Scooters

Like the power wheelchair, even the best mobility scooters have cons too.

  • It is not safe to use the scooter in a van; this means they are not suitable for long-distance travel.
  • It difficult to maneuver by seniors with disability on their hands and arms.
  • The scooter uses a large radius when it comes to turns; this make it less maneuverable in tight corners.

The scooter seat has less range of adjustment compared to power wheelchairs; this make it less comfortable when used for protracted period.


Whichever saves best from the power wheelchairs and scooters, the summary here is to go for what falls between your budget ranges and it’s durable enough to carry you around.

About the author

Brian G Smith

“Hey, are you out of your mind?” - this is what I often hear when people see me performing some really dangerous stunts. While most people use scooters to commute, I use mine to hone my stunting skills. Yes, that’s me, Brian Smith. I’ve a small group of like-minded people in my team that love to do all sorts of stunts with their kick scooters and skateboards. My fans also ask me to teach them a thing or two every now and then. This is why I am here. In my leisure time, I like to write about what I do with my scooters and what I am going to do next. One thing I want to say to all my fans - Don’t hit the streets without proper information and training..

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