Wheelchair Buying Guide
Find the wheelchair that provides the right levels of comfort, support and mobility to help you get about day-to-day.Shop all Wheelchairs
Before you start
You'll need to think about a few different aspects relating to how you're going to be using your wheelchair.
Will you be travelling long distances?
If you are, look for wheelchairs with more durable tyres that can withstand punctures. The larger and wider the wheel, the easier it will tackle uneven terrains.
Will you need to transport it?
If you'll need to lift your wheelchair into the boot of a car, opt for a lightweight model that weighs less than 15kg or one that breaks down into different parts.
Are you able to push yourself?
If you can't manage this, it's better to opt for a wheelchair with handles at the back that can be pushed by someone else or an electric powered wheelchair.
How much do you weigh?
Wheelchairs usually have a maximum user weight of 18st. If your weight is more than this, you may need to buy your wheelchair from a specialist supplier.
What are the different types of wheelchairs?
Suitable for anyone who is physically able to push themselves. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, they have larger back wheels fitted with pushrims for propulsion. The large back wheels make self-propelled wheelchairs suitable for longer and regular trips.
Ideal for anyone who needs extra help with pushing. Transit wheelchairs feature smaller back wheels for easy manoeuvrability in compact spaces. They're very lightweight and easy to fold down, making them ideal for short, occasional trips.
Generally heavier and larger than manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs are suitable if you can't push yourself, or if you need to stay in your wheelchair most of the day. They're powered by a battery motor and steered using a control joystick. Some can be broken down into different pieces for travel.
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What else should you consider?
Seat Width & Depth
It's best to choose a wheelchair that is 5cm wider than your hip measurement. For the correct seat depth, measure the distance from your lower back to the hollow of the knees and subtract around 4cm.
Footrests should be around 5cm from the ground and the back of your thigh should be touching the seat when your feet are in the footrests.
A key safety feature on self-propelled wheelchairs, these small wheels at the back of the frame stop the wheelchair from tipping backwards.
Armrests should sit 2-3cm higher than your arm when positioned at a 90 degree angle. Removable or flip-up armrests can help with getting in and out of the wheelchair.
This guidance is provided to assist you to pick the right product for your needs. It should not be treated as professional health advice. You should seek advice from an appropriate medical practitioner if you have any concern about any product's suitability to you.
Here to help
Want to know more? Here's some advice and information that you may find useful.
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If you're registered disabled, you could be eligible for a VAT refund on specific mobility and living aid products. To make a claim, simply send us an eligibility declaration, obtained from the HMRC website, a receipt of your purchase and your name and address.
Send these 3 items by email to Taxdept@argos.co.uk or by post to The Tax Department, Argos Ltd, 489-499 Avebury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 2NW. If your product is eligible, you'll then receive your VAT refund.
If you need any support, please call us on 0845 640 2020.