Best Wheelchair Ramps
If you or a loved one needs a wheelchair to stay independent and mobile, then the logistics of getting in and out of buildings and transportation will be a familiar frustration.
Sadly, ‘accessibility’ legislation hasn’t made a big enough impact and a coffee shop that insists they are suitable for wheelchair users could be anything but!
Mobility ramps for wheelchairs can be useful both at home and on days out. The right one (or two!) could make the difference between lunch in the garden on a sunny day and being stuck inside due to a precarious step.
Safety, ease of use and portability are the main features to look for in a wheelchair ramp. The style and materials used will depend on how and where the ramp will be used.
Our Top Buys
‘KingSaid’ Rubber Kerb Ramps – cheap, heavy duty and robust
- One of the best value car ramps UK shops sell
- Can be used individually and separately
- Robust and hard-wearing
- Fairly portable wheelchair ramp
- Anti-slip tread
- Ideal for kerbs and steps up to 10 cm high.
- 9kg in weight so not easy to transport for ad hoc use
- Not adjustable
‘Aidapt’ VA142C Light Wheelchair Ramp – lightweight and portable
- Lightweight but robust
- Easy to unfold and transport
- Very easy to operate
- Excellent tread for safety in all weathers
- Folds into a suitcase-style carry case with handle
- Made from rust-free aluminium.
‘Homcom’ Wheelchair ramps x 2 – lightweight and retractable
- Made from lightweight aluminium
- Sturdy, stable and durable due to tough but light construction materials
- Retractable from a long length that would be ideal for steep inclines
- Lined with skid-proof PVC carpet
- Easy and quick to install and remove
- Carry bag included for super easy transportation
- High sides to prevent falls.
‘The Ramp People’ anodised, adjustable, fixed threshold ramp – fixed, durable with good traction
- Choice of widths to suit the wheelchair or mobility scooter
- Great as a scooter ramp
- Top and bottom fixing for maximum security
- Suitable for all types of step material
- Adjustable to suit different sizes of step
- Very quick and simple to install
- Designed to be fixed and remain in place long term, made from robust materials
- Anti-slip tread for great traction in all weathers.
‘Mobility Care’ Roll-Up Portable Ramp – a fantastic combination of secure and fixed and removable and easy to store
- An excellent permanent ramp
- Rolls up in moments
- Comes with a carry bag
- Non-corrosive aluminium
- Carries up to 28 stone
- Detachable ‘sides’ to prevent slipping off the edge
- The top has a nifty ‘lip’ so no catching wheels
- Quick and easy to attach and remove.
- Weighs 12kg so isn’t easily portable for some.
Things to consider when buying a wheelchair ramp
Temporary and portable or permanent
Threshold ramps that are permanently attached to the doors of your house need to have the regulation safety features and be robust and hard wearing. Wood and metal are the usual materials and the ramp will need installing on-site by professional fitters.
A temporary wheelchair ramp should be lightweight and portable so that it can be used when you’re out and about or in the homes of friends or family.
A permanent wheelchair ramp will take careful planning. Here’s what to consider:
- Accessibility – which door will you use?
- What obstacles are in the way that will need to removed, moved or built around?
- Are there any planning regulations that you will need to abide by?
- What material to use? Wood is attractive but metal is more practical and long-lasting
- Who will construct the ramp and how long will it take?
- The budget
- The ease of removal should you wish to sell your home.
A permanent wheelchair ramp and platform won’t be available ‘off the shelf’ as it will be a ‘design and build’ project.
The clinical needs of the user
Your GP, consultant and occupational therapist will give advice on the suitability of a particular ramp. Your needs, the wheelchair or mobility aid you use, your home and the needs of any attendants must all be taken into consideration.
- Handrails in the same spot as a permanent wheelchair ramp are a great idea for people who can sometimes walk by themselves as they will provide support. Some ramps come with handrails as they also provide a barrier against the chair falling sideways off the ramp.
- Will the wheelchair user be able to drive up and down the ramp themselves? If they are, then a more gradual slope will be easier for them.
The wheelchair that the ramp will be used for
- Lightweight support scooter ramp
- Electric mobility scooter ramp.
- Lightweight wheelchair ramp.
- Electric wheelchair ramp
The weight and size of each of these types of mobility aid will be different and the ramp you purchase should accommodate it. Check the sizes and weight limits before you buy.
Features to look for in a wheelchair ramp.
If you are purchasing a portable wheelchair ramp that can be taken with you on days out or moved around the home as needed then the weight, or lack of it, is important.
The ramp will need to be lifted to fold it, move it and place it in the boot of a car. Make sure that whoever is going to be doing this can manage the weight of the ramp you buy.
The length of a ramp is vital. Is the rise you need to get your wheelchair up very steep? Is it a wheelchair ramp for steps that you need? If the answer is ‘Yes’ to either of these questions, you will need a long ramp as this will ensure the angle of the slope you need to travel up is gradual.
The folding mechanism of your wheelchair ramp needs to be easy and quick. No-one wants to be endlessly faffing around with a too heavy, cumbersome and complicated piece of kit. If possible, try the ramp before you buy.
The portability of wheelchair ramps is linked to the weight and foldability. Some fold neatly into a suitcase-style case with a handle, others come in a bag. The smaller the ramp folds down the easier it will be to travel with.
Purchasing a product that is built to last is important when it will be a permanent feature of your home. Professional installation, high quality materials and robust construction will ensure your ramp will keep give you access and keep you and the other users safe for a very long time.
Look for a product with a long guarantee for extra peace of mind. Broken and disabled ramps caused by faults should be fixed quickly and efficiently to ensure minimum disruption to your life.
Consider the height of the sides on the ramp you choose. Both temporary and permanent ramps should protect your wheelchair from slipping sideways off the edge.
An anti-slip surface is very important for both the wheelchair user and the people who will be walking on the ramp in icy or wet weather. Choosing a ramp with a chunky carpet liner or a metal ramp with lots of tread for good traction will help to prevent accidents.
The weight the ramp is safe to carry
Check the specifications of the wheelchair ramps UK shops and websites sell. The weight that the ramp can safely take must be listed. For example, mobility scooter ramps must have a higher weight limit than the ones that are best suited to the very lightweight Argos wheelchairs.