Health & Medical

Everything You Need to Know About Stair Lifts (3 Main Types)


You will also find a step that you can use when getting into your seat, and that will provide you with extra stability while you’re seated.

Finally, there are also some stairs on the market that have sensors that will automatically stop the chair if it runs into something left on the stairs. While you will be in control of your seat, you may not notice something left on the steps, so this feature is an added precaution for your benefit.

Stair Width:

We very briefly touched on the minimum stair width required for adding a stairlift in your home. The reason that you’ll need stairs that are at least 36” wide is to accommodate you in a seated position, as well as the added space required by the placement of the chair rail.

The railing cannot be installed directly against the wall or stair skirt, so there needs to be room to hold the rail a few inches away.

If there is only one person in the house that requires this lift to move up and down the stairs, you won’t need to worry about continually navigating around the chair on the steps. These chairs fold up against the wall when they aren’t in use so anyone else in the house can walk down the stairs normally, without the chair impeding their path.


When you buy a stairlift system new and have it professionally installed, you should receive a guaranty on both the lift itself and the labor. Labor warranties typically last for about a year, while warranties on your chairs will vary based on which company you choose to use.


For those looking for a less permanent solution, renting a chairlift system is also an option. Rental would be useful for someone having surgery that will limit mobility for a short period. It will also make sense if someone with limited mobility will live with you for a relatively short time.

Rental prices will vary based on location and company; however, most places will give you the option of rent-to-own. Renting-to-own will most likely come into play if something that you thought was going to be a temporary situation becomes more permanent.

Stair Lift Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the most commonly asked questions for those looking for a stairlift. Please contact us if you have more questions that need to be answered.

How Much Does a Stair Lift Cost?

Stairlifts can be a costly piece of machinery. Because they are complicated to install, just getting one placed in your home can break the bank. However, there are other choices.


Let’s look at the costs for the different types of stairlifts first.

  • Straight stair lift: $2,100 to $5,000
  • Pre-owned stair lift: $500 to $2,000
  • Custom curved stair lift: $10,000+
  • Straight outdoor stair lift: $3,500 to $6,500
  • Curved outdoor stair lift: $12,000+

Another choice for stairlifts is to rent one. If you are only going to need one for a few months or just cannot afford to pay for one outright, you can rent one. The prices range from $250 to $500 a month.

Does Medicare Cover a Stair Lift?

Although Medicare typically does not pay for a stair lift, there may be special cases where you can get it approved. If you live alone and have to get up or down the stairs for your daily living routine, it is possible that you can get it covered.

Medicaid will help you pay for a stair lift in most cases. In fact, as long as it helps you avoid being placed in a nursing home, there are several Medicaid programs that you may be eligible for. Check with your Medicaid office for more details.

If you or your spouse has ever served in the military, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) has some options you can try. These are some of the reasons why you may be eligible.

  • If your disability is related to your military service, the VA healthcare will pay for it if you have a home visit and skills evaluation.
  • If your disability is not related to your military service, you could get help from the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit.
  • Another program called Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services could possibly help you.
  • The VA also has grants that can assist you in paying for a stair lift.

What Kind of Stairs Can Be Fitted for Stair Lifts?

You can get a customized stair lift to fit any stairs for the right price.

Whether you have a railing or not, or if your stairs are curved, a stair lift can be installed on any type of stairs.

The main thing that is needed is the right width. As long as your stairs are wide enough, you should find a stair lift to fit.

How Wide Should Stairs Be to Install a Stair Lift? 

Typically, your stairs will have to be at least 28 inches wide for a straight stair lift and about 30 inches for a curved stairlift. The space has to be wide enough for you to sit on the seat while moving up or down without getting stuck.

But if your stairway is too narrow, there may be a solution for you anyway. If you are able to perch on the edge of a chair, you can use a higher seat, so your knees do not stick out. This allows you to get up or down without hitting the wall. If your stairs are not wide enough or there is another reason why you cannot get a stair lift installed, you may want to consider installing an elevator instead.

Can Stair Lifts Go Around Corners?

If you have a curved staircase or corners, you can get one to fit your stairs, but it will cost you more. While a curved stair lift costs a lot more than a straight stair lift, if you have curved stairs, you may have no choice. A curved stair lift can take you around spirals, corners, and over landings.

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