Stairlifts for a Narrow Staircase

Carrying out in-depth research before investing in anything like a new stairlift is crucial, but there is no ‘exact size’ that can meet the needs of all individuals with mobility problems.

Alot of UK houses, especially older ones (built before the 2010 building regulations came into place), feature narrow stairs or steep stairs. If you fit the above criteria, you’re likely to assume that you don’t have enough space to can accommodate a stairlift.

However, in the UK, many highly known and popular stairlift companies offer stairlifts for narrow staircases. The slim design of these stairlifts enables the users to use a stairlift effectively even on narrow staircases.

Most of these stairlifts have a compact design, enabling you to fold up their arms and footrests whenever you’re not using the lift. Thus, this creates enough room on the stairs, for the other individuals to use the staircase when the stairlift is not in use.

The exciting part of the redesign is that some narrow stairs can accommodate a standard seated stairlift. However, this stairlift needs to be fitted on a looped/curved rail or track.

Also, it’s vital to invite a trained stairlift assessor from a well-accredited provider to your home to assess and decide on the best stairlift that suits your needs. This can often be achieved by a paid home assessment, though some more established stairlift providers are able to provide a free stairlift assessment. This can be booked in at a time and date of your convenience.

What Width Does My Staircase Need to be for a Stairlift?

Most standard sized stairlifts have a minimum width needed in order to accommodate a stairlift being fitted with enough clearance for the user to ride safely and comfortably up the stairs. This width equates to around:

-750mm wide (around 29.5inches) for a straight stairlift (fitted on a straight staircase)

-850mm wide (around 33.5inches) for a curved stairlift (fitted on a staircase that has, twists, turns or bends)

A stair is said to be narrow if it has a tread that is narrower compared to the above width. However, not to worry, there are multiple stairlifts on the market which accommodate for a narrow staircase!

Why Would My Staircase Width be a Problem?

There are multiple reasons a narrow staircase can be a huge problem.

The first notable problem is that you’re likely to pose a safety risk when riding a seated stairlift. Those using this stair are at risk of injury by bumping into the banister or wall.

Another notable problem is that other users of the staircase may be unable to walk beyond the stairlift without tripping, banging into it or simply there just not being enough room.

Stairlift Solutions for Narrow Stairlifts

Compactly Designed Staitlifts

Some stairlift manufacturers have countered the problem of Narrow Staircases by sleek and compact designs of their stairlifts, these often are small stairlifts which don’t protrude far from the wall, it is also possible for smaller footplate for those who have full flexion at the knees.

Standing and Perch Stairlifts

Standing and perch stairlifts are designed for those who find it hard to bend their knees. Also, these stairlifts are the perfect option if a person endures pain when sitting down because of the limited movement in their hip joints. Other than this, these lifts are the most preferred because of the ability to reduce the minimum width needed to fit stairlift safely on a narrow staircase.

For standard lifts, they consume more space because of their seat where the user sits whenever traveling up and down the stairs. However, when using standing and perch stairlifts, the user does not entirely sit, and instead, they perch or stand up as they travel up and down the stairs.

Standing and perch stairlifts are the perfect option for the elderly, less mobile or disabled individuals whose properties feature narrow stairs. Thus, these lifts allow them to remain independent in their houses. However, enough space is needed here so that the user can stand throughout as travel up and down.

The design of the standing and perch stairlifts is the reason for the lower weight capacity compared to the seated stairlifts. Other than this, these lifts need the users to perch or stand up safely until when they get off. Also, perch stairlifts cost less compared to curved stairlifts but more when compared to straight stairlifts.

Curved Stairlifts

There are some cases where conventional seated stairlifts work excellent on narrow staircases. Here, you need to install a curved lift with customized rail or track, which you can lift whenever you’re not using the lift. This stairlift leaves enough room for users to travel up and down without the lift getting in their way. However, curved stairlifts are more expensive compared to standing and perch stairlifts. The customized rail or track costs high compared to the standard straight stairlift.

Turning Stairlifts

Some stairlifts like the Modul-Air from Otolift have the ability for the entire seat to turn while coming up the stairs, this ensures that your knees are coming up the stairs backwards rather than the generic from the side, the creates the much needed space.

What Next? | The Step to Take Next to get the perfect stairlift

Consulting a stairlift expert is the right step to take if you plan to fit a stairlift on narrow staircases. After visiting your home and assessing your stairs, the stairlift expert will advise you on the safest option stairlift to purchase.

The stairlift expert will use their experience and several years of experience to decide on the best stairlift that fits all your needs. For example, they can advise you to go for a perch stairlift if you always find it hard to bend your knees, or advise to park the stairlift around the corner using curved track if the stairlift needs to be used by carers or family members.

The advice given by the expert will be free of charge.