If you or a loved one is using a wheelchair, accessing the various areas within the house or even outside can become difficult. Most houses are not built to be wheelchair friendly. The same applies to public places as all public places may not have the facility to offer wheelchair access. That is where a wheelchair ramp becomes useful. Temporary or permanent wheelchair ramps are available in the market so that people in a wheelchair can have access to different areas without having to make major renovations in the house or at a public place. The best wheelchair ramps are as good as concrete ramps and are good for both indoor and outdoor use.
Why Should You Buy a Wheelchair Ramp?
If you have a person who is dependent on a wheelchair, temporarily or permanently, buying a wheelchair ramp is the best that you can do. By doing so not only will you ensure a better life for your loved ones, but also make your home or any other place friendly for those in a wheelchair. Using a wheelchair ramp has the following benefits:
- You needn’t renovate your property to add a concrete ramp.
- It is of great help to the disabled as well as the elderly.
- The risk of tipping at different places is greatly reduced.
- They can easily match the décor of the place.
- They are easy to install or maybe totally portable.
- They are convenient for everybody.
Types of Wheelchair Ramps
Just as wheelchairs are of different types and must be chosen according to need, wheelchair ramps are categorized into different types and the choice of one, or more of them depends on your requirement. The most common types of wheelchair ramps are:
Permanent Ramps: As the name goes, this type of wheelchair ramps is sort of permanent in nature. They are heavy, made of wood or metal, and are usually fixed at a particular place where wheelchair access is difficult. They are ideal when you or someone else needs to use the ramp on a permanent or long term basis.
Temporary Ramps: Temporary ramps can be moved from place to place and are ideal when you have to use a ramp to access different areas of the house or different public places. These ramps are easy to transport as well. They are an ideal choice of aid for disabled visitors or if you have to shift houses quite often.
Folding Ramps: As the name goes, these ramps can be folded at the center for easy storage. These are usually quite long ramps that allow access to vehicles or high elevations. You can also find tri-fold ramps in the market that take up much less space.
Suitcase Ramps: These ramps are a type of folding ramps that comes with a handle for ease of carriage.
Telescopic Ramps: If you want to use the same telescopic ramp at many places, telescopic ramps are the best fit. They can be expanded and can, thus, be useful for accessing different heights.
Solid Ramps: These ramps are usually made of metal like stainless steel or aluminum and thus, last a very long time. They can be moved from one place to another, but doing so is a bit difficult. Storing them is a problem as well. It is best to leave them in one place because they do not rust.
What to Consider When Looking For The Best Wheelchair Ramps?
Since a wheelchair ramp will play an important role in ensuring the safety of the elderly or disabled while using a wheelchair, the choice of the ramp must be done very carefully. Any mistake and the ramp could prove useless, or worse, cause accidents. That is why the following factors must be considered while choosing a wheelchair ramp:
Your Requirement: Your needs are, undoubtedly, the most important thing that you need to consider while making a purchase. Do you want to use the ramp indoors or about the house for hazards like raised landings, door thresholds, etc. or do you need to use the ramp for vehicle rises, porch steps, etc.? You may also want to use the ramp in public places where there is no permanent ramp for wheelchair access. The choice of the ramp must be such that all your requirements are fulfilled. If you feel that you would need more than one ramp to get you to all places you want to, both indoor and outdoor, the purchase of the ramp must be made accordingly. Or you could find a ramp that would be best for all places. So, knowing your requirements is the first step towards deciding the best wheelchair ramps.
Ramp Type: As you already know, ramps are categorized into different types and which type will be best for you will depend on how and where you want to use the ramp. For example, if you need the ramp to access the door threshold, all you need is an entry ramp. But if you want to access a few stair steps with your wheelchair, a suitcase ramp would be the best fit. You could also choose between portable and permanent ramps. If you want to access an area with more than 30 inches of vertical rise, you need a permanent ramp, whereas portable ramps can be easily shifted from one place to another to be used according to need.
Weight Capacity: Even the best wheelchair ramps will fail to offer you the service that you need if it has a weight carrying capacity less than what you require. Different ramps have different weight carrying capacity and you have to check the product specification to know the carrying capacity of the ramp. For example, if you plan to use the ramp just to get the wheelchair in and out of a vehicle, a ramp that can support the weight of the wheelchair should be good enough. But if you would be riding the wheelchair while it goes into the vehicle, you must look for a ramp that can support the combined weight. If someone would be helping you up the ramp, his/her weight must be taken into account as well. Usually, quality wheelchair ramps can support many hundreds of pounds; however, it is better to check out before you make a purchase.
Material: Wheelchair ramps are made from different materials. However, ramps made of aluminum are the most preferred ones for a variety of reasons. Aluminum is a very light metal and is quite tough too. As such, ramps made of aluminum are durable and lightweight which makes it the perfect choice as ramp material. Moreover, ramps made of aluminum are also resistant to corrosion, rust, and heavy use. This means that the ramps can be used quite frequently and for a long time to come without a replacement.
ADA Recommendations: If you are planning to buy a wheelchair ramp for a person with little or no mobility at all, it is best to follow the ADA approved measures. The American with Disabilities Act has a fixed set of recommendations for the Occupied and Unoccupied ramp standards for the safety of wheelchair users. Usually, the gentler the slope is, the safer it is for the users. That is why you should invest in longer ramps rather than saving money by buying shorter ramps.
Weight: The weight of the ramp is no doubt a deciding factor. Heavier ramps are useful as a threshold or permanent ramps that aren’t often removed. But ramps that are meant to be used with vehicles for easy access or to be used in public places as and when needed must be lightweight so that carrying them with you isn’t a problem.
Safety Features: While choosing the perfect one from the best wheelchair ramps available, it is important to find out whether the product comes with the necessary safety features or not. A necessary safety feature is the use of the traction or grip tape on the ramp. This is placed at the very top of the ramp where the wheels start rolling. The use of the grip tape causes traction so that the wheels do not roll down all too suddenly and cause accidents. With the grip tape right at the top, it is easier to control the wheelchair while on the ramp. A ramp that has a standup border on both sides is also useful in preventing the wheelchair from getting sidetracked. A carrying handle could also be useful for easy portability.
Storage: If you are planning to go for a portable ramp, this is a factor that you must consider. Ramps that can be folded are ideal for porting. The ramps fold up in many ways and it is essential that you find out how much space it will take up when folded so that you can have enough space for storing it while on the go.
Price: Last but not least is the price of the ramp. While cheap portable ramps are available for around $50, the best wheelchair ramps may cost a few hundred dollars. However, going cheap isn’t always a better choice. Make sure that the ramp you are about to buy is sturdy, well-built, has good traction, and durable so that it is safe to use and can last you quite a while.
Best Wheelchair Ramps with Reviews
1. Titan Ramps Aluminum Wheelchair Entry Ramp & Handrails (10 ft):
If you are looking for a heavy-duty wheelchair ramp, then this solid aluminum ramp from Titan Ramps is the best that you can buy. This ramp is made out of aluminum which is corrosion free and comes with durable construction as well. It includes handrails at waist height which makes it one of the best solutions for any home. Also when you consider the fact that the handrails included are rounded, you can certainly rest assured that this can provide the required safety as well. As far as its application is concerned, you can consider it as versatile for sure. From rolling a wheelchair to walking with a cane, you can do it all. The handrails can be removed in case you are required to do so. And with an extended font and back lip, you can always trust this ramp not to slip from where it is posted. This ramp is a single module really. It does not require you to assemble any item and is capable of holding at least 850 lbs of weight. Due to the fact that it can carry that much weight, for obvious reason the ramp is a bit heavy at 132 lbs. Although this ramp is good enough for most of the wheelchair and even scooters to roll on, this might not be a good idea to carry this thing around with you.
- Handrails are waist height makes it easier to hold on to it while you walk with a cane or crutch
- Handrails can be removed as and when required
- Has a capacity of supporting 850 lbs of weight
- Solid aluminum construction
- Lip extension and back and front offers a non-slip guarantee
- This ramp is a single module so storing it might be a bit difficult
- Quite weighty and big too
- You cannot fold it
- Weight might be an issue if you need to carry the ramp with you
See Also: Best Wheelchair Ramps
2. Prairie View Industries SFW330 Portable Singlefold Ramp, 3 Feet x 30 Inch:
According to the wheelchair ramps reviews, this is another wonderful quality wheelchair ramp from PVI. With a capacity to hold 800 lbs of weight this ramp allows even the motorized wheelchairs to roll over with ease. This is truly one of the best and durable wheelchair ramps that you can buy. It has 3 different length options to fit their requirements and since you can fold this tamp, it becomes really easy to carry it from one place to another or store it in a van to carry along.
- Black grip with no-slip surface
- Includes welds instead of rivets which makes the ramp stable
- You can fold it and carry it along with you without much hassle
- With 800 lbs of weight capacity, you can roll on wheelchairs and scooters with ease
- Can’t be fitted to different kind of slopes
- Assembling is a bit difficult
3. Pvi Single Fold Scooter And Wheelchair Ramp:
If you are thinking of buying a single fold ramp, this particular ramp from PVI is the perfect choice for you. It can be folded easily, really easy to carry with you and allows you to store it anywhere you want. Apart from easy folding and storing option, you can unfold it with ease as well. Safety is the most important aspect of designing a wheelchair ramp and this portable ramp from PVI is no exception. This ramp comes with non-slip tape, anti-skid surface and most importantly high traction as well which makes it safe and effective for you to use at home and any other doorway.
It is made out of aluminum so you do not have to worry about the quality of this wheelchair ramp and since aluminum is corrosion free, you can use it in any kind of weather condition you want. If you go through wheelchair ramps reviews you will see that this ramp is perfect for rolling scooters and wheelchairs but walking on it with a walker or a cane might not the best idea. This 7 ft. long slope can support 800 lbs of weight which is really high and efficient.
- Comes with a non-slip surface
- The unit relies completely on welds instead of rivets
- You can fold it with ease and it includes nylon made carrying handle as well
- 800 lbs of weight support capacity are good enough to carry scooter and wheelchair
- You get more than what you pay for
- Provides complete safety for the users
- Available in different size
- Stable, long-lasting and durable too
- You might have to buy a different size of ramps to fit different size of slopes
- Assembling the ramp might be a bit difficult
- Manual and video instructions are not that clear
4. Prairie View Industries WCR630 Portable Multi-fold Ramp (6 ft):
WCR630 is one of those that has great strength, provides efficient performance and comes with a folding design. Includes pinch-proof hinge and provides a high level of security. You can fold it with ease and provides you with required safety as well. You can split it into 2 parts to transport it from one place to another.
It’s made out of aluminum which makes it light in weight. It has a 30” width which is good enough to roll a wheelchair in and a scooter as well. It offers adjustable ramp height but you will have to know the right height of the ramp so as to use it for the wheelchair to the perfection. Construction is quite durable and is capable of holding at least 800 lbs of weight which is really remarkable.
- Perfect to use when its wet condition outside
- The efficient level of stability and traction to roll scooter or wheelchair
- Wide enough space for wheelchair
- Setting up is really easy
- A bit difficult to dismantle when done with the ramp
- According to wheelchair ramps reviews, it might be biting a heavier than expected
- There are metals right at the edges which might be dangerous at times
5. Prairie View Industries Threshold Ramp:
In case you are thinking of buying a threshold ramp, then this particular ramp from PVI is the right choice for you. Although the threshold on this ramp is limited, still its good enough for the seniors to get over the bumps. Due to its lightweight, and small size it’s really easy for anyone to carry it to a car or unload it as and when they need it. With this ramp at your disposal, taking a wheelchair through a small bump is not an issue anymore. You can easily use this ramp to good effect on wheelchairs and people walking with a cane. With a sold traction and kind of slight slope, this can be the easiest of the ramps to work with. And when you consider the fact that you get a warranty on the product for a lifetime, this can surely be at the top of your list of wheelchair ramps.
- Comes with a non-slipping high traction surface
- Installing this device is really easy
- Made out of durable aluminum
- It can be securely installed on any type of surface
- Comes with a minimum threshold which is not really ideal for the large stairs
- You cannot fold it so you need to carry it the way it is
- Although it can fit most of the wheelchair sizes but not be suitable to fit the whole doorway
- According to wheelchair ramps reviews, it might have a problem with the electronic wheelchairs
6. Titan Ramps 6’ Aluminum Multifold Mobility Ramp, Portable:
If you are looking for a stable and durable ramp that can fit the stairs, then this aluminum made a portable ramp from Titan Ramps is going to be the best choice for you. This ramp can be easily used for porches, landings, curbs, steps, etc. which makes it versatile as well. With a length of 6 ft, this ramp can help anyone climb the slopes with ease. And when you consider the fact that it includes a non-slip grip on the surface, you are surely going to choose this product over any other in the market.
- Includes holes and angled lips which help in stabilizing the ramp
- Handles are made of a ramp which makes it easier to carry
- Clip resistant surface makes it easier to roll the wheelchairs and scooters
- Even if there are staircases of 3-4 steps, this ramp can work fine
- Not really affordable
- As per wheelchair ramps reviews even after folding the size remains a bit bulky
- Not much hinge support is available which might be a bit problematic at times
See Also: Lightest Wheelchairs
7. Titan Ramps MF8 Aluminum Multi-fold Wheelchair / Mobility Scooter Portable Ramp (8 ft):
Looking to by a portable aluminum ramp? You can certainly think of buying MF8 from Titan Ramps. With just 53 lbs of weight, this ramp is truly portable and is capable of carrying 600 lbs of weight at the least. For obvious reasons, rolling a scooter or wheelchair on this ramp is not an issue at all. But what makes this ramp stand out from the others is the compact design that allows this ramp to fold to a really small size. Not only that, but it also helps in storing the ramp when you are done as well. The body is made out of solid aluminum which makes it durable and corrosion-free. Setting up the ramp is super easy and it does not include any hassle at all. And when you consider the price of this ramp, it’s quite affordable too.
- It has a compact design
- Fine grip and soft handle
- Stable ramp with pre-drilled holes gives you required safety and security
- Not really a ramp on which you can walk
Wheelchair ramps are a boon to the elderly and disabled as well as their family members and caregivers. With a ramp, accessing different parts of the house as well as public places becomes easy and risk-free. Moreover, buying the best wheelchair ramps is not a difficult job. And it will cost only a hundred dollars or so. So, buying one or more ramp as per your needs is the best thing that you can do for your loved one or for others with mobility issues.