Differences Between Manual and Electric Wheelchairs

A woman in a wheelchair petting a cat

Doing your research before investing in a wheelchair is crucial. This ensures that you’re getting a wheelchair that is well-suited for all your needs. Wheelchairs come in many shapes and forms. While some are still built based on traditional designs, many new and innovative high-tech wheelchairs are becoming popular in the market.

If you’re confused between buying a manual and a lightweight power wheelchair, here are some pros and cons to help you decide.

Electric Wheelchair

 An electric wheelchair


The main difference between a manual and an electric wheelchair is that an electric wheelchair is motorized and doesn’t require a lot of upper body strength or a set of extra hands to push you around. An electric wheelchair offers:

  • Independence and mobility
  • Long-distance travel assistance
  • Battery charged and motorized for convenient travel
  • More maneuverable
  • Can be controlled easily with a joystick
  • More luxurious and comfortable


  • It is more pricey
  • Inconvenient to carry around
  • Battery can die at anytime
  • Requires frequent maintenance and repairs

Manual Wheelchairs

Woman in a wheelchair working on a computer

A manual wheelchair doesn’t provide as much mobility and independence as an electric wheelchair. But this conventional wheelchair still has many benefits for wheelchair users.


  • Foldable, lightweight, and portable during travel
  • No maintenance and repairs required
  • Less expensive than electric wheelchairs
  • No battery charge required


  • A lot of upper body strength is needed to propel yourself forward
  • It has thin padding, which isn’t very comfortable for a long-time use
  • Less maneuverable
  • Not suitable for long-distance travel
  • Requires an extra set of hands to move around

Once you’ve gone through all the pros and cons of manual and electric wheelchairs, the final decision is yours to make. Buying a wheelchair also depends on the type of conditions you’re going through. Consult with your physician to determine which wheelchair will be the best for your needs.

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Ranging from lightweight rollators to stand-alone threshold ramps and foldable power stand-up wheelchairs, we offer numerous mobility products at the best rates. Visit our website to buy a wheelchair online today. Contact us to learn more.