Over 650 million people worldwide were obese in 2016. Obesity comes with its own mobility problems since the legs are unable to carry the excess weight of the body.
A bariatric wheelchair is designed for the convenience and mobility of plus-sized patients. In this article, we will talk about manual bariatric wheelchairs. We have covered electric bariatric wheelchairs separately.
A lot goes into choosing a wheelchair. But for overweight users, wheelchairs need to have certain specific characteristics to make the life of its user easier.
- First and foremost is the obvious wheelchairs for overweight people should have higher weight carrying capacity. This means a stronger and more robust frame, durable construction, and sturdier wheels. Bariatric wheelchairs should be able to carry at least 350 pounds of weight. In this article, we discuss wheelchairs with a minimum weight capacity of 400 pounds.
- Because overweight users also tend to be broader too, bariatric wheelchairs should have be wider with a deeper seat so that the user can sit more comfortably.
- Bariatric wheelchairs should is its capacity to carry weight (above 350-400 pounds), its wider and deeper size, stronger and more durable frame and body, and its height adjustability.
To compile our list of the best manual bariatric wheelchairs, we selected the top ones on the basis of their features, durability, and user feedback. We read user manuals, visited different Facebook groups and spoke to actual users about their experience of using their wheelchair so that we can bring out the pros and cons of using one.
If you are in a hurry, the table below gives a quick snapshot of the top 5.
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Our Top Choice – Drive Medical Bariatric Wheelchair
The Drive Medical Bariatric Transport Chair FoldingOutdoorFull Length Arms with 12 Inches Rear Flat Free Wheels, Red, 22 Inches is our top choice for the best bariatric wheelchair for seniors because of the following reasons:
- It supports weights of upto 450 pounds
- The aluminum frame makes the chair lightweight even though it is a heavy-duty wheelchair
- Large 12 inch rear wheels for negotiating even rough terrains
- Seat width 22 inches, large enough to carry even most obese individuals
- Swing-away footrests and padded armrests for extra comfort
- Folds compactly for easy storage
Best Bariatric Wheelchair
#1 Drive Medical Bariatric Transport Chair
The 22″ Bariatric Aluminum Transport Chair with 12″ rear wheels by Drive Medical can support individuals up to 450 lbs.
That makes it perfect for heavy individuals. It has an attachable push bar with a padded foam grip that makes it easy for someone to push the user while moving.
The padded armrest is of length 16 inches that make the chair comfortable for the user to relax while sitting on the chair.
The back of the chair is 16 inches, which is foldable. This makes the chair portable and convenient to store. This transport chair comes with swing-away footrests and fixed, padded, full-length desk arms for additional comfort.
The seat to floor height is 21 inches, and the nylon reinforced upholstery seat is 22 inches, which makes the chair highly durable.
The chair also has two carry handles that make it easy to carry the chair when folded. There is a lever on the side of the chair that makes it easy to adjust the armrest, and lock wheels make the chair highly safe and durable.
- Weight capacity is 450 lbs.
- Seat size is 22 inches, perfect for heavy individuals.
- The padded armrest, foldable footrest makes the chair very comfortable and sturdy.
- The heavy-duty aluminum framework makes the chair strong and durable.
- The red color of the chair makes it look attractive.
- It would be easier to lock the chair from the position of the pusher.
- No instruction manual available that makes assembling the chair for first-time users a bit difficult.
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#2 Invacare Tracer IV Wheelchair
This strong and sturdy wheelchair by Invacare Tracer has a weight capacity of 450 lbs. This aspect makes it a perfect option for people who are disabled.
With a heavy-duty carbon steel framework of 24” width and 18” depth, the chair is really strong and long-lasting. The armrest and the desk rest of the chair are padded to give the user maximum comfort while sitting on it.
Front caster wheels are 8” semi-pneumatic, and the rare wheels are large with size 24” which are composite pneumatic tires that provide a smooth ride.
The seat is made of black vinyl fabric and heavy-duty inners that make the seat highly comfortable and easy to clean.
Seat to floor height is adjustable due to dual axles. Height can be changed from 17.5” to 19.5″ according to the requirement of the user.
- The said weight capacity quotient of the chair is 450 lbs.
- Vinyl fabric makes the seat strong and easy to clean.
- Front wheels are small with size 8″ and the rear is of size 24”.
- The carbon steel framework makes the chair highly durable.
- Seat width is 24” that makes it comfortable for heavily weighted users.
- The framework has gusseted sides and 14 gauge steel braces.
- Dual axle make the seat adjustable from 17.5 inches to 19.5
- Not suitable for hardwood surfaces.
#3 NOVA Bariatric Transport Chair
NOVA wheelchairs are available with locking hand brakes that make it perfect for slopes and bumpy terrains. It makes it easy for the person who is pushing the user to control the stability and the speed of the chair.
The flip-up arms make it easy to transfer the user in and out of the chair, while also making it convenient to use under any table or desk.
The front wheel is of 8” and the rear is of 12″ which makes the ride for the user comfortable. An extra-wide seat of 22 inches is perfect for heavy individuals.
The lightweight foldable aluminum framework makes the chair ideal for outdoor activities and traveling.
The seat belt is adjustable and has plastic clips for extra safety. It is strong enough to carry weight up to 400 lbs.
- The versatile wheel design makes the chair perfect for all-terrain.
- The removable padded armrest and footrest make it perfect for the user to move in and out.
- The weight capacity of the chair is 400 lbs.
- Ideal for traveling and outdoor activities.
- Lightweight and portable chair.
- Removable anti trippers add to the extra safety of the user.
- Screws may loosen up and need tightening.
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#4 Everest And Jegging Traveler HD Wheelchair
The Traveler HD is built with a heavy-duty frame to support bariatric users up to 500 pounds.
With critical load-bearing capacity and long-lasting embossed seats with double liner, this wheelchair is very durable.
There is a chart pocket on the seat that makes it easy to store basic things that the user needs like medicines, phones, etc.
The heavy-duty carbon steel framework includes double cross braces and diameter axles of 5\8”. There are three seat widths available to choose from 18”, 20” and 24”.
This heavy-duty wheelchair enables caregivers to accommodate large and heavy patients. It is a lightweight and durable device. The hammertone paint is long-lasting and makes the chair look great.
Here we have a product video featuring Everest And Jegging Traveler HD Wheelchair.
- The weight capacity is 500lbs.
- The caster fork and two-position axle make the seat adjustable up to 2 inches.
- Hammertone paint is long-lasting and durable.
- Black letter seat with double lining is available in 3 sizes 18”,20” and 24”.
- A little more costly than other chairs.
- Bulky due to the heavy-duty carbon steel framework.
#5 Bariatric Wheelchair by Mckesson
Mckesson’s heavy-duty 24-inch wheelchair has swing-away footrests and removable desk arms that make it stand out. The carbon steel framework with a triple-coated chrome finish makes the chair attractive and chip-proof.
Double embossed vinyl upholstery possesses qualities such as durability, being light in weight, highly attractive, as well as easy-to-clean.
Push-to-lock wheel breaks add to further security of the user. Swing-away footrests are equipped with tool-free adjustable length riggings.
The dual axle provides independent movement for the user. Molded handles provide comfort and secure grip to the assistant of the user.
- Weight capacity of 450 lbs.
- 24” wide seat of vinyl material makes the seat comfortable and easy to clean.
- Urethane tires with dual axel make it convenient to propel the chair.
- Carbon steel framework with triple coated chrome finish.
- Reliable 8” front caster wheels are available with a push to lock system.
- The chair is not easily foldable.
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What Should You Look For Before Buying a Bariatric Wheelchairs?
One always searches for good quality products at a reasonable price. Here are a few parameters to keep in mind while buying the best bariatric wheelchair.
Electric Bariatric Wheelchair
While in this article, we have discussed manual bariatric wheelchairs, if you can afford it, an electric bariatric wheelchair is an excellent choice as a transport medium for the obese.
Strength and Durability
It goes without saying that a bariatric wheelchair has an advantage over other wheelchairs. A bariatric wheelchair is perfect for heavy-weight people. It has the strength to support a capacity of 700 pounds. You can depend upon the 14-gauge braces, which offer strength for uncountable years of usage. The frame is constructed with heavy-duty carbon steel that provides sufficient strength.
Space and Comfort
Bariatric wheelchairs not only serve the benefits of a conventional wheelchair, they are a complete solution to all your mobility problems. The sleek design accommodates large users without compromising on the comfort element. The heavy-duty stretchable vinyl or upholstery liners material allows a huggable seat and backrest. It not only provides sufficient support at the center of gravity but also appropriate tilt to rest your back. The ample space at the footrest will not make you feel cramped and uncomfortable.
Usually, wheelchairs take up plenty of space. It also makes it difficult to fit in the car’s trunk. If your usage requires movement in a car, a foldable bariatric wheelchair will give you the benefit of easy storage and convenient transportation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Who should buy the bariatric wheelchair?
Usually, a bariatric wheelchair is a perfect support for obese patients. It guarantees support for users whose weight is between 700 to 1000 pounds. People suffering from pulmonary, osteoarthritis of lower limbs, or cardiovascular issues find it easy to breathe by titling on the backrest. People with disabilities, weak muscles, spinal cord injuries, or bone fractures can use the bariatric wheelchair.
How is a bariatric wheelchair different from other wheelchairs?
Though all wheelchairs offer mobility, a bariatric wheelchair is far more sturdy and reliable than conventional wheelchairs. Tracer IV bariatric wheelchairs are made from reinforcing 14-gauge braces, heavy-duty carbon-steel frame, stretchable vinyl or upholstery liners to make the user comfortable and secure.
What is the maximum weight limit of the best bariatric wheelchair?
The heavy-duty bariatric wheelchair has the capacity to comfortably seat a user up to 700 to 1000 pounds. Also known as the wide wheelchair, it extends up to 30 inches. Thus, it does not cramp its user while sitting.
Is it possible to carry the bariatric wheelchair in a car?
Not all models can be folded and carried in a car. A versatile foldable bariatric wheelchair is easily accommodated in your car’s trunk. You can choose a folding model of the bariatric electric or self-propelling wheelchair.
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A good bariatric wheelchair must be extremely strong, with deep and wide seats, strong cushions and back/arm rests, and a high weight carrying capacity. The ones we have selected for you above meet all of these criteria.
In our opinion, the Drive Medical Bariatric Transport Chair FoldingOutdoorFull Length Arms with 12 Inches Rear Flat Free Wheels, Red, 22 Inches is definitely among the best choice among the various options that we have considered, as it is lightweight, durable, has a width of 22 inches for the seat, padded armrests and swing-away footrests.
If you are looking for a value for money option, you can also consider the NOVA Heavy Duty Bariatric Transport Chair with 400 lb. Weight Capacity, 22” Extra-Wide Seat with Locking Hand Brakes, Flip Up Arms (for Easy Transfer), Anti-Tippers, 12” Rear Wheels, Color Red, which can easily come under your budget.
While we make every effort to provide updated and correct information, the advice given in this article and website should not be construed as “medical advice”. Please consult with your physician or medical practitioner before using any wheelchair. Each individual may have his or her unique issues and your medical practitioner is the best person to decide the best bariatric wheelchair for your case.
Read our complete coverage of products for the plus-sized:
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- Best Heavy Duty Toilet Safety Frame or Safety Rails
- Best Bariatric Bed for Home Use
- Best Bariatric Knee Brace
- Best Bariatric Protein Shakes
- Best Bariatric Briefs
- Best Bariatric Shower Chair