View The Best Bariatric Wheelchairs To Buy In 2022!

Top Seller
Compass Health ProBasics Heavy Duty K0007 Wheelchair, 28
Compass Health ProBasics Heavy Duty K0007 Wheelchair, 28" x 20" Seat with Legrests, 600 lb Weight Capacity
Top Seller
Karman Healthcare Bariatric Wheelchair – KN-920W
Karman Healthcare Bariatric Wheelchair – KN-920W
Top Seller
FEI Sentra EC Heavy Duty Extra Wide Wheelchair, Detachable Full Arms, Elevating Leg Rests, 30
FEI Sentra EC Heavy Duty Extra Wide Wheelchair, Detachable Full Arms, Elevating Leg Rests, 30" Seat

Introduction to Bariatric Wheelchairs

What is a bariatric manual wheelchair? Well, 'bariatric' refers to the treatment, prevention, and causes of obesity. It is commonly used in medical settings, and you may have heard of bariatric surgery before. This relates to any surgeries performed with the aim of helping a patient with obesity. So, a bariatric wheelchair is a special chair that's designed to support and transport obese individuals.

Compass Health ProBasics Heavy Duty K0007 Wheelchair, 28
Compass Health ProBasics Heavy Duty K0007 Wheelchair, 28Compass Health ProBasics Heavy Duty K0007 Wheelchair, 28Compass Health ProBasics Heavy Duty K0007 Wheelchair, 28

We'll begin with the ProBasics Heavy Duty K0007 wheelchair from Compass Health. This chair offers a heavy-duty design that is capable of withstanding a lot of weight. The K0007 range actually features a plethora of products for the same price. They come in different sizes and weight capacities, but the one on our list is the 28" x 20" 600 lb option. The product number is WC72820DE, which should help to avoid any confusion. This is an incredible product for a few reasons. It comes in at under $500, making it a budget option for people that don't want to spend too much. Don't let this low price fool you; it's certainly not cheap in the quality department. The seat can handle loads up to 600lbs, and it has adjustable casters to alter the seat position. The armrests are padded for additional comfort, and there's a ruggedness to this product that means it can handle transfers from indoors to outside.

Of course, you get leg rests with additional padding, and the 24" wheels are thick and sturdy. It does everything you need a bariatric wheelchair to do, but without any glitz and glamor. If you want loads of additional features and customization, this isn't the product for you. If you care about excellent value for money, it might be your best choice.

KEY FEATURES OF THIS BARIATRIC WHEELCHAIR

  • Heavy-Duty, slide tube silver vein steel frame
  • 8" x 2" semi-pneumatic casters are adjustable in 3 positions
  • Dual axle provides easy transition of seat height to hemi-level
  • 24" rear urethane wheels with durable hand rims
  • Removable desk length arms with padded armrests

SPECIFICATIONS OF THIS BARIATRIC WHEELCHAIR

  • BRAND: Compass Health
  • WEIGHT: 51 - 64 lbs
  • WEIGHT CAPACITY: 450 - 600 lbs
  • SEAT WIDTH:22" | 24" | 26"| 28"
Karman Healthcare Bariatric Wheelchair – KN-920W
Karman Healthcare Bariatric Wheelchair – KN-920WKarman Healthcare Bariatric Wheelchair – KN-920WKarman Healthcare Bariatric Wheelchair – KN-920W

Karman Healthcare is one of the most trusted brands in the wheelchair industry. This offering is wonderfully affordable and gives you a variety of additional features to pick and choose from. While it's not the biggest option around - the seat is only 20" wide - it still packs a punch that helps it stand up to the big boys. From a weight capacity standpoint, it has a mid-to-high capability with a maximum load of 300lbs. So, this isn't an option for anyone that's looking for a super heavy-duty wheelchair. What we love about it is that it provides a great level of customization for the owner. You can choose between two different leg rests, a selection of seat and back cushions, and nine optional accessories. Adding these things to your heavy duty wheelchair will increase the price, but it still comes in as one of the cheaper options around.

It's a very stylish bariatric wheelchair that won't have any trouble moving around a house or hospital. The 24" wheels ensure great stability from the base, while also making the wheelchair suitable for outdoor use. There's not much we can say from a negative standpoint. The only problems are related to the size and weight capacity. This isn't a chair for everyone, but it is a brilliant choice if you meet the size and weight requirements.

KEY FEATURES OF THIS BARIATRIC WHEELCHAIR

  • High quality steel construction
  • Detachable padded armrests
  • Adjustable Seat Height
  • 7″ x 1″ Front casters
  • Double padded vinyl upholstery

SPECIFICATIONS OF THIS BARIATRIC WHEELCHAIR

  • BRAND: Karman Healthcare
  • SEAT WIDTH: 20"
  • WEIGHT CAPACITY: 300 lbs
  • WEIGHT:41 lbs
FEI Sentra EC Heavy Duty Extra Wide Wheelchair, Detachable Full Arms, Elevating Leg Rests, 30
FEI Sentra EC Heavy Duty Extra Wide Wheelchair, Detachable Full Arms, Elevating Leg Rests, 30FEI Sentra EC Heavy Duty Extra Wide Wheelchair, Detachable Full Arms, Elevating Leg Rests, 30FEI Sentra EC Heavy Duty Extra Wide Wheelchair, Detachable Full Arms, Elevating Leg Rests, 30

The Sentra EC is a phenomenally well-made bariatric wheelchair. Right away, it's ticking the crucial aspects of a good heavy duty wheelchair. All of the materials are reinforced to allow a maximum capacity of 700 lbs on the seat. This is coupled with a 30" seat, making it one of the wider options you can buy. Many people see this as the perfect size as there's enough width to accommodate the average obese person, but it's not too wide to fit through doors.

Going back to the materials, this chair is made out of reinforced steel gussets for the utmost durability. A reinforced nylon upholstery ensures you don't have to worry about rips, while the steel spoke wheels are very sturdy. As with all bariatric wheelchairs, the seat is tilt able and adjusts to the individual sitting on it. This makes the chair incredibly comfortable and easy to sit in for hours at a time.
The design is very industrial, yet it still retains an element of style. This is a chair you'd be proud to show people, not something you're afraid to wheel outside. It also has detachable arms and elevating leg rests, allowing you to alter the chair depending on your comfort requirements.

The elephant in the room is the price of this bariatric wheelchair - it's significantly more expensive than the previous two products. When you look at the lack of customization options and features, it's easy to wonder why this is the case. To put it simply, the price reflects the quality of the materials used when making the product. It isn't cheap, but you get what you pay for. This is built to last and can withstand whatever life throws at you.

SPECIFICATIONS OF THIS BARIATRIC WHEELCHAIR

  • BRAND: Compass Health
  • WIDTH: 30"
  • WEIGHT CAPACITY: 700 lbs
  • WEIGHT:81 lbs
Convaquip Bariatric Wheelchair - PB-WC72620DS
Convaquip Bariatric Wheelchair - PB-WC72620DSConvaquip Bariatric Wheelchair - PB-WC72620DSConvaquip Bariatric Wheelchair - PB-WC72620DS

The last stop on our trip through the best bariatric manual wheelchairs is this product from Convaquip. It offers a modest 26" seat width, complete with a maximum weight capacity of 500lbs. When compared to the previous three options, it sits somewhere in the middle.

At first glance, this looks like a stylish andlightweight wheelchair. However, looks can be deceiving! It has a reinforced frame that makes it a very heavy-duty piece of equipment. There are semi-pneumatic casters that you can adjust to three different positions depending on which is most comfortable. Speaking of which, the footrests are also adjustable to infinite levels! You don't get many customization options, but Convaquip does offer an optional padded leg rest on each side. This is a favorite among many customers because it helps to ease tension on the calf muscles.

All in all, it's easy to operate, feels really sturdy, and provides the essential features. For many people, this product may be the perfect fit as it's not overly expensive but retains a higher level of quality than some of the cheaper products.

KEY FEATURES OF THIS BARIATRIC WHEELCHAIR

  • Heavy-duty, slide tube silver vein steel frame
  • Dual axle provides easy transition of seat height from adult to hemi level
  • 24" rear urethane wheels with durable hand rims
  • Removable desk length arms with padded armrests
  • Heavy-duty vinyl padded upholstery with chart pocket on back
  • Easy push to lock wheel locks

What are Manual Bariatric Wheelchairs?

Let's begin by defining this product to avoid any confusion. The best approach is to break things down term by term. We'll start with the two most obvious words: manual wheelchairs. Effectively, this refers to a wheelchair that doesn't have a motor. As such, it is pushed along either by the user or someone behind the chair.

Next is the very important question: what is a bariatric wheelchair? Well, 'bariatric' refers to the treatment, prevention, and causes of obesity. It is commonly used in medical settings, and you may have heard of bariatric surgery before. This relates to any surgeries performed with the aim of helping a patient with obesity. So, a bariatric wheelchair is a special chair that's designed to support and transport obese individuals.

How do bariatric wheelchairs differ from standard ones?

If you compared a standard manual wheelchair with an obesity wheelchair, you'd notice a few telling differences. Firstly, bariatric wheelchairs are designed to be wider. Naturally, this helps to accommodate the larger individual sitting in the chair. The whole reason these wheelchairs exist is that many obese people struggle to fit in the dimension of a standard wheelchair.

Similarly, bariatric wheelchairs are constructed using heavy-duty materials. All of the materials used in construction are reinforced to provide additional support and stability. Again, this is because of the extra weight bearing down on the vehicle. A standard wheelchair can usually hold around 250-300 lbs worth of weight. You do get some that handle heavier loads, but this is the industry average. As you can tell, people suffering from obesity will be above this threshold. Therefore, they need a heavy duty wheelchair that can handle loads of 300-400 lbs and above.

Manual Bariatric Wheelchairs will have larger and thicker wheels than a traditional version. This is also to help with the extra weight, and to provide more durability. You'll also find that most of these wheelchairs offer more cushioning and support in the seat and backrest to alleviate some of the common pains associated with obesity.

Among these differences, a bariatric manual wheelchair will still provide the same functions as a regular wheelchair. It still gives the user support and independence, but on a larger scale.

To summarize, these are the main ways a bariatric wheelchair differs:
- Made from reinforced materials
- Thicker wheels and tires
- Wide seats
- More support in seat/backrest
- Able to withstand much heavier loads

Who needs manual bariatric wheelchairs?

These wheelchairs are designed for any individual that's classed as obese. As such, they are also referred to as obese wheelchairs or wheelchairs for heavy people. Medically speaking, the definition of obesity isn't directly linked to how much you weigh. It's impossible to say that anyone over a certain weight is clinically obese. Instead, it's worked out based on your BMI (Body Mass Index) which takes into account your weight in relation to your height. On this scale, anyone with a BMI of 30 and above is obese.

If you fit into this category, you may need a bariatric wheelchair. However, it also depends on the extent of obesity and how it impacts daily life. Heavy individuals will struggle with the activities of daily living: walking up and down stairs, standing up for long periods, etc. Nevertheless, many obese people will continue to walk around independently, without putting themselves at risk. Therefore, a bariatric wheelchair would not be necessary for instances like this.

These wheelchairs are for cases where an obese person struggles with different aspects of their life. If you can't walk without pain or shortness of breath, a wheelchair may be necessary. It's also useful if you have back or joint pain that stems from your obesity. These issues are common, leaving many people with no way of moving around without feeling some sort of discomfort. A bariatric wheelchair will help make life easier.

Of course, this type of wheelchair is only necessary if a standard one doesn't suit your needs. Some obese individuals are just over the threshold, meaning they still fit in regular wheelchairs. A special chair is only required if you can't find one that fits your weight demands or size requirements.

Lastly, manual bariatric wheelchairs are commonly used after surgical procedures. They are not always seen as a permanent solution for everybody. Some people only need them when recovering from bariatric surgery, and they can try to walk around afterward.

We appreciate that's a lot of information to take on board, so here's a rundown of all the people that might need a bariatric wheelchair:
- Obese individuals that struggle to walk on their own
- Obese individuals with additional health problems - back pain, shortness of breath, joint issues, etc.
- Obese individuals that no longer fit standard wheelchairs
- Patients recovering from bariatric surgery

Image Source (CC0 License)

What are the benefits of a Bariatric wheelchair?

Why do people need bariatric wheelchairs? Well, we've touched upon the central reasons in the previous section. Bariatric manual wheelchairs are designed to give people a sense of independence, while also helping with pain management. Many obese individuals suffer from back pain and sores that make life extremely challenging. Having a wheelchair will take the pressure off their joints and ease any sores around the body. This can have significant health and lifestyle benefits.

A lack of pain will help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Obese people are prone to inflammatory diseases due to the stress their bones and joints are under. It's not uncommon for arthritis to form in the hips, knees, and ankles. In turn, this can reduce the need for prescription pain medication, offering a natural and clean way of relieving pain.

Going back to the point about independence, many obese people spend their lives stuck inside. A fair few are bed bound, purely because walking around causes too much pain or puts their health at risk. With a bariatric manual wheelchair, they can get up and enjoy the outdoor air - or go shopping. While these chairs can be pushed by a helper, they can also be controlled by the user, which further adds to the independence.

So, the underlying benefits are as follows:

  • Reduce the risk of health complications
  • Ease pain caused by the pressure on joints
  • Provide obese people with more independence
  • Added safety by reducing the risk of slip & fall accidents

Key features of Bariatric Wheelchairs

As you've already seen, bariatric wheelchairs differ in their construction from regular manual wheelchairs. If you discount the main structural differences, are there any additional features found in these chairs? The short answer is yes, there are! Let's go through some of the most important features to look for when buying your manual bariatric wheelchair:

Starting with the seats, let's look at the tilting and adjustable features. They seem like luxury additions, but both features play a critical role in altering weight distribution and comfort. Tilting seats allow the wheelchair to accommodate an obese person's center of gravity. If the seat didn't tilt, all of their weight would go down on one spot, which is part of the reason why regular wheelchairs only handle up to 300lbs. The tilt lets a user move the seat based on their center of gravity and weight distribution. Not only does this prevent the bariatric wheelchair from breaking, it also makes things more comfortable for the person.

Adjustable seats are seats that can be moved up or down. This plays around with the sitting position of the user, allowing them to feel more comfortable. When combined with the tilt function, this feature can provide a better posture for the person in the seat. As a result, this can help alleviate breathing problems and other niggling pains associated with obesity.

Cushions have the last word on the seat features. Typically, these are sold separately by manufacturers and third-party suppliers. However, you might find some bariatric manual wheelchairs that include cushions in the package. Effectively, they offer more comfort and help take more pressure off the spine, alleviating pain, and stopping sores from forming.

Speaking of sores, leg and footrests will tackle the same problem. These features let the user prop their legs up, taking further stress off the joints. It can also prevent chafing against the wheelchair, which eliminates any skin ulcers and sores.

Finally, you should look for bariatric wheelchairs with solid rear tires. This means that they aren't pumped full of air like traditional tires. Why is this a thing, and what is the purpose? Well, it relates back to the need for these chairs to deal with a lot of weight. By using solid tires, you're guaranteed to never deal with a popped tire. Bariatric wheelchairs with traditional air-filled tires can still handle heavy loads, but there's obviously more risk of them popping compared to a solid tire.

How wide are Manual Bariatric Wheelchairs?

This is a common question that most people have when buying this type of wheelchair. If these chairs are designed to accommodate people with a wider build, how wide will they be? The answer is a little murky as most manufacturers provide a list of options to choose from when purchasing the chair.

Generally speaking, the seat width can go up to around 32 inches, with the overall width of the wheelchair getting closer to 40 inches. Again, this depends on the product, and you do get some that go above this, but a 32-inch seat is the average. It's common to see widths starting at around 20-inch and slowly going upwards.

Can you fit bariatric wheelchairs through standard doorways?

Naturally, if you're concerned about the width, this will be your main worry. Can an extra-wide obese wheelchair get through a standard doorway?

According to Home Guides, the average doorway is 36 inches wide. However, you can get some that are slightly narrower at 30 or 32 inches. Therefore, most bariatric wheelchairs can fit through a regulation doorway with no issues at all. It can be a slight squeeze for some chairs, but they should get through.

This is definitely something to be aware of when choosing your wheelchair. Our advice is to measure the width of the doors in your house - and the hallways as well. Be sure that you can actually fit the wheelchair through them before you buy them. If you require an extra-wide wheelchair that doesn't fit through your doorway, you may have to consider altering your home to accommodate it.

Are bariatric wheelchairs covered by Medicare?

If you have a Medicare plan, will it cover the cost of a bariatric wheelchair? The answer is yes...and no. Overall, most wheelchairs do fall under a Medicare policy because they're a medical necessity. This is where things get a bit debatable as to the allowance of a bariatric wheelchair.

The good news is that if you need a bariatric wheelchair, you will most likely be covered by Medicare. Think back to the earlier section on who needs these wheelchairs. You'll remember some of the factors we stated: obese individuals with health complications and restrictions stopping them from going about their lives. Under these conditions, your wheelchair is considered a medical necessity, meaning it is covered.

How much will Medicare cover?

Medicare Part B will cover 80% of the costs of your bariatric manual wheelchair. The remaining 20% will have to be funded by your own money. Still, this makes bariatric wheelchairs far more affordable for a lot of people in need.

To qualify for this coverage, you have to provide some evidence to your health care provider. This consists of a signed note from your doctor saying that you need this piece of equipment (the doctor must participate in the Medicare program). It will detail your specific condition, why you need this wheelchair, and so on.

Electric vs. Manual Bariatric Wheelchairs

This entire guide is about manual bariatric wheelchairs, but there is an alternative. Just like other wheelchairs, you can find an electric version for obese individuals. These chairs are sometimes calledpowerchairs, but we'll call them electric to avoid any confusion.

What are the main differences between the two? Electric bariatric chairs are powered by a motor, meaning you can move faster than in a manual one. This also allows for more independence as there's no need for anyone to help you move. They're also designed for outdoor use, meaning there's less chance of parts or wheels being damaged outside.
On the other hand, manual wheelchairs are much cheaper and easier to maintain. The starting prices tend to be a few thousand dollars less, thanks to a lack of parts and technology. All of the electric parts come with a price - they need to be maintained. The addition of all these extra pieces also leads to a higher chance of accidents happening. With more parts, there are more things to break, leading to costly repairs! Plus, you don't have to worry about running out of charge when you have a manual wheelchair, and many people can still propel them without the help of anyone else. Check out theTop Best Wheelchairs on the Markethere! 

Electric Bariatric Wheelchairs

Manual Bariatric Wheelchairs

Very expensive

More affordable

Can move faster than manual versions

Less maintenance

Easier to operate

A lower risk of repairs being needed

More rugged for outdoor use

More portable

Harder to use indoors

Suited for indoor and outdoor use

No need to worry about running out of battery

Key criteria when choosing a bariatric manual wheelchair

Before we jump into the reviews, let's look at a buyer's guide to bariatric manual wheelchairs. Some of the things we've previously mentioned will come up in this section, but it's a way of collating all of the information together. Essentially, you will see all of the main factors to think about before purchasing your wheelchair.

This includes the following:

  • Price
  • Size
  • Weight capacity
  • Additional features

Price

Clearly, this is different for each person. As you already know, Medicare will cover 80% of this if it is an essential purchase for your health. So, this can allow you to work with a slightly larger budget than you realized. For context, we sell bariatric wheelchairs that range from under $500 to over $2,000. Granted, we only have one product in that higher price range, but there are a few that fall into the $1,000 region.

Consequently, it's up to you to decide how much you can afford to pay for this chair. Remember that your health and your quality of life is potentially at stake here. It's an item that you will use every day, so you're going to get your money's worth. Work out a budget, speak to your financial advisor if you need support, and you'll soon have a ballpark figure for how much you can spend.

Size

The size of your wheelchair depends on the size of the person using it. Here, you have to consider how wide the seat will need to be. Your doctor should be able to help you out as they may have some bariatric wheelchairs that you've used before. Understand the width before buying as you don't want to purchase something that's too narrow.

Weight capacity

Similarly, weigh yourself to consider what weight capacity you need. Some bariatric wheelchairs can withstand over 500lbs, while others are closer to 300lbs. To avoid buying a chair that breaks instantly, you have to figure out what the weight capacity should be.

Additional features

Look back at our earlier section to go back over the features of bariatric manual wheelchairs. We would say that adjustable seats are pretty vital, and leg/footrests are equally important. As for any added extras you see on the models, it's entirely up to you to decide if you need them.

Use this section to help you work your way through the different products in our reviews. Make sure that a wheelchair ticks all of the boxes before you decide to buy it. Now, we can finally move on to the best bariatric manual wheelchairs!

The best bariatric wheelchairs reviewed

If you have made it this far, you should have all the knowledge needed to make an informed decision on your bariatric wheelchair. We understand that the research process can be long and taxing. So, we've done all of the dirty work for you. Our team has cut out all of the lesser products and found the top obesity wheelchairs.

Which manual bariatric wheelchair is right for you?

We have selected four different bariatric wheelchairs that make the cut as the best around. How do you know which one is right for you? To start, refer back to the buyer's guide just before the reviews. This will refresh your memory on what to look for when buying these wheelchairs. As some extra help, here's our summary of the reviewed products!

Which wheelchair is the best for people on a budget? TheCompass Health: ProBasics Heavy Duty K0007is the winner in this category, despite the fact it's not the cheapest. It offers the best value out of all the options and is suited to a broader range of people.

Which wheelchair is the best for people with mid-to-high weight requirements? Here, it has to be theKarman Healthcare: Bariatric Wheelchair KN-920W. This affordable wheelchair packs loads of features into a small package for people with weight requirements up to 300lbs. Any more than this, and you'll need one of the other products.

Which wheelchair is the best middle-of-the-road option? We have to say that theConvaquip: Bariatric Wheelchair - PB-WC72620DStakes the biscuit in this domain. It sits right in the middle of all the options, offering a decent price and excellent features.

Which wheelchair is the best for durability, stability, and weight capacity? Of course, it's the FEI: Sentra EC Heavy Duty Extra Wide Wheelchair 43-1934. This bariatric wheelchair combines exceptional functionality, fantastic comfort, and top-class materials in one package. If you can afford the price, it's well worth considering.

On that note, you've reached the end of our guide to the best bariatric manual wheelchairs. Hopefully, it's provided you with all the knowledge you need to get the top wheelchair for your requirements.

Why buy your bariatric wheelchairs at Scooters 'N Chairs?

Here at Scooter 'N Chairs, we aren't a mindless, soulless company, we care about each customer and each purchase.

We are here to assist you with the most personalized, patient and friendly team on the market, who find no question too trivial and will personally research any questions or queries you might have, until you are totally comfortable you have found the perfect bariatric manual wheelchairs to purchase. For any questions about our top-of-the-line elevating seat electric wheelchairs, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly customer service team. We are available by phone, livechat, email - these details can be found on our contact us page linked above.

Check out more of our Ultimate Guides on Wheelchairs Below:

1. Find The 3 Best Beach Wheelchairs for Summer 2022 

2. The Best Bariatric Mobility Scooters of 2022

3. The Best Ultra Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs of 2022

4. The Best Tilt-In-Space Reclining Wheelchairs For Sale in 2022

5. The Best Heavy Duty Power Wheelchairs for Outdoor Use in 2022