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FAQs: Top 10 Things to Know About Straight Stair Lifts

1. What’s the best straight stair lift?

The most important thing about finding the best stair lift is to make sure that it fits your physical needs and that it fits your stair case. Stair lifts on our comparison charts are all considered to be good stair lifts, but you will want to check things like weight capacity, extra features you may need and the style you like.

2. How much does a straight stair lift cost?

A starting price is about $3,000 including the installation for a new stair lift. If you add upgrades such as a powered seat swivel, the price increases from there.

Independent living facility
1 or 2 bedroom apartment
Assisted living facility
1 bedroom, limited kitchen
Nursing home
Monthly housing$1,500 - $3,000$2,500 - $4,000$4,000 - $8,000
MealsOptional (higher cost)3+3+
Personal careNoYesYes
Mobility assistanceNoYesYes
Piggy bank icon with hand dropping coin in

The table above shows the average cost of retirement residence (monthly), assisted living and nursing home.

3. Can I install a stair lift myself?

A stair lift seems simple, but because it is a safety device, you should not install it yourself. Reputable dealers do not sell stair lifts without installation. You are travelling over stairs and any installation mistakes can result in serious injury.

4. Does Medicare cover the cost of my stair lift?

Medicare does not currently pay for the cost of a stair lift. But there may be other programs that assist with the cost of your stair lift. See our funding pages for more information.

5. What are the top  stair lifts on the market?

The most popular stair lifts in North America are likely these brands: Handicare, Bruno, Acorn, Savaria, Harmar and Stannah.

6. Can I rent a stair lift?

Yes, some dealers offer straight stair lifts as rentals. They will charge for installation/removal as well as a rental fee.

7. Can I buy a used stair lift?

Yes, it’s possible to find good quality used and refurbished straight stair lifts. Some dealers offer gently used stair lifts that they will install for you. Beware of buying a used stair lift privately unless you know the quality of it and you have found a professional stair lift installer will to install the stair lift for you. A curved stair lift cannot be repurposed in most cases because it is a custom built product

8. Can a stair lift be removed?

Yes, a stair lift can be removed. There may be some repair work required to patch holes in the stair treads where the rail brackets were secured. Some dealers are interested to buy back gently used stair lifts and will remove them for you.

9. I have stairs with a landing in the middle, can I used 2 straight stair lifts rather than buy a curved stair lift?

Yes, this is possible, but it is not ideal because you will need to stop and transfer from one stair lift to the other. The transfer is not as safe as staying on one chair to travel over the intermediate landing. It will also take more time and be inconvenient to transfer.

10. I am in wheelchair, can I use a stair lift?

In many cases, a stair lift is not the right choice if you are a wheelchair user and you may have to consider a wheelchair lift. But if you can transfer to and from the stair lift easily, you may be able to use it. If you use a wheelchair, your healthcare professional (such as an occupational therapist) can provide you with the best answer about your ability to use a stair lift now and in the future.

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Professional dealer installing straight stair lift
Use a professional installer, which takes a few hours to a full day for a curved stair lift.

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