Which Custom Curved Stair Lift is Right For Me?

Handicare+Freelift+Stairlift+curved+singel+rail.jpg
 

There are so many options on the web today, we hope this post blog will answer just some of your questions when it comes to curved stair lifts.   Lets start with Yes - curved stair lifts cost more then double of a straight stair lift even though it might have only one little bend.  If I got a dollar every time I heard that over the phone, I would be a millionaire.  Straight stair lifts are mass produced and can be installed within a day.  When you have a bend or a curve on your staircase, it makes it much more challenging and the rail has to be custom fabricated to your staircase.  There are multiple configurations that are standard and the park station can be added at the top and/or bottom depending on what your home floor plan allows at an extra cost.  Here are a few of the more popular curved lifts on the market.  Make sure that you choose the best lift that suites your needs from a dealer you feel most comfortable with and can trust.  Most reputable  stair lift dealers will have a showroom where you can test ride a stair lift.  And most reputable manufacturers will have a network of dealers.  When searching for reviews online most sites are biased.  Some sellers claim to be the manufacturer.  Online dealers are private labeling models that most dealers wouldn't touch and post positive reviews.  There are specific sites pretending to be review sites that are lead generators.  I would recommend staying away from the BBB and checking sites like Yelp, Google and Angie’s List for reviews.  Prices will range between 10 to 15% depending on what dealer or brand you choose.  An average curved stair lift will cost between $11,000 to $15,000.


Twin Rail Curved Stair Lift

twin rail curved stairlift

Twin rail curved stair lifts are most common and have been around for many years.  Most curved stair lifts on the market today offer similar rail design.  Its a great design that has proven to work well for many years. The seat leveling is done by adjusting the space between the two rails.  This mechanical system is reliable considering its using the motor from the chair to level the seat.  If you look closely you will notice there is a gear rack (little teeth) on the rail which required to be greased.  So there are some complaints about the gear rack being exposed especially if you have pets or kids. The seat and carriage sit in front of the rail which allows the track to get close to the wall and allow for some tight turns.  When sitting on the stair lift it does tend to lean a bit forward.  The twin rail system is one of the lower cost curved stair lift systems because it's using standard pipe style rail with a gear rack.  Its available with multiple rail color options at no extra charge.   The unit carries 250 lbs, with extra wall supports a 300 lb option is available. Click here to see some of our installation photos:  https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0k5fk75v3uHB


Freelift Single Rail Curved Stair Lift

Handicare Freelift Stairlift curved singel rail

Single rail curved (Freelift) stair lifts are somewhat new in the industry.  This design comes from Europe and incorporates a clean modern design and feel.  Unlike the twin rail system which levels the seat based on the distance between the rails.  This machine has a bit more technology in it.  The unit has 3 motors and 2 circuit boards and rides on a rack and pinion system, however the leveling of the seat is controlled by a motor which counts the gears knowing exactly where it's located on the track and levels the seat.  If for some reason the seat goes off level the chair will turn off.   Based on this design of the Freelift, this stair lift can operate on steeper incline and will allow for an option called a drop nose which can keep the rail about 10-11" away from the first riser.  In comparison with other stair lifts on the market that may extend between 20-25" past the first step, the Freelift shines.  The Handicare Freelift curved stair lift comes with a rated weight capacity of 275 lbs. There are 3 color options at no additional charge; light grey, cream and coco brown.  This is also for someone looking or a different color.  The 180 turns are a bit wider then most curved lifts. To reduce the width it’s common for the manufacturer to raise the rail on one side and reduce it on the opposite side allowing extra rail to compensate for the distance.  The unit is quite impressive considering that most stair lifts can ride up to a 50 degree slope, the Freelift can ride at a 60 degree angle.  When it comes to a radius, its not a true round rail, we call it "Choppy Radius'.  It comes in sections of straight rail, then a slight bend so you technically get a few sections of straight rails with bends along the way.  If you are looking or a modern look and feel the Freelift is a great choice.

Click here or some of our installation photos: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0k5yeZFh3iWRv


Bruno Curved Rail Stair Lift

Indoor Bruno curved stairlift rail

The Bruno CRE Curved rail has been in production for over 30 years with very minimal change to the rail design.  With a completely different rail system then any other lift in the market.  The Bruno is not a round pipe design rather its a solid piece of steel with flanges  welded on to it allowing the gear rack to be hidden.  No matter what angle you are riding in, the track is the same size.   The Bruno rail system is also the most difficult lift to manufacture and might cost a bit more then a tubular  system.  One of the downsides of Bruno is it doesn't offer a folding track or a reduced lower intrusion rail like the Handicare.   The Bruno CRE rail extends approximately 20" in front of the first riser.  The 180 and 90 degree turns are very attractive and almost look like molding.  The Radius is a continuous gentle curve following the exact measurements of the staircase.  Bruno comes standard with a beige seat and rail but for an extra cost you can choose any color from a RAL chair.  You may also choose custom upholstery to add some texture and color to your chair.  

Click here or some of our installation photos:  https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0k5yeZFh3iWRv 


Acorn Curved Lift Stair Lift

Acorn Curved Stairlift rail

The Acorn curved stair lift is unique and different to all of the above stair lifts.  With a unique modular design, Acorn can install a lift within just a few days unless the staircase is a radius.   This concept makes a-lot of sense but comes at the expense of quality, speed, comfort and reliability.   Acorn sells direct to the consumer cutting out a local dealer.  In our opinion Bruno's model is a better model and customers are much happier.  Dealing with a good local dealer will save you time and money since they know the local code and actually have a shop that is within an hour of your home.  Imagine an auto manufacturer working without local dealers where you can take your car in for service.   Instead you are dealing with a company based out of Florida.  Never a good idea.