Stairlift buyers guide

Choosing the right stairlift


This guide is here to help you choose the perfect fit for you and your home. If you still have questions unanswered or would like additional information discussed in this guide then please feel free to call one of our friendly advisors on:
0800 058 8044 / 01925 414771

Choosing a Stair lift

If you are committed to purchasing a stair lift or simply browsing, here at Superglide Stairlifts, we feel it is important to first find out whether or not a stair lift is suitable for your needs. We are here to help you regain your independence and remain comfortable in your own home.

It’s no easy feat choosing a stair lift for the first time, or even the second or third. There are so many options to choose from, it can often be overwhelming. This guide is to help provide an overview in to what stair lift is going to be the most appropriate and cost effective for you.  When we are asked by customers “What stair lift should I choose”, the response is always the same:

The type of stair lift that you will need will be dependent on the staircase on which the lift is to be fitted
What are your personal requirements?

Assessing your stair case can be carried out via two approaches. A quick phone call to one of our advisors will help provide you whether general advice as to whether or not your staircase would be suitable before purchasing your stair case. In some instances, your stair case may have to be assessed via a home visit. This would be carried out at your convenience at no cost. Should there be any structural restrictions our technicians would then provide you with the best alternative to your individual needs.

Types of Stairlifts

When considering what stair lift would be most appropriate for you and your home we first assess what type of stair case you have. This will ultimately predict whether you would require a curved, straight or vertical lift. Each of which aim to optimise the space you have and reduce any obstructions to a minimum.

Straight Stairlifts

Straight stair lifts are amongst the most popular types of stair lifts available today. In most instances they are the easiest to install which can reduce the cost of stair lift fitting services.



The lift is operated along a rail the runs parallel with the main wall. A common misconception is that Stairlifts are fixed to wall, whilst all installations are now carried out by securing the operating rail to the floor of the stair case. This prevents unsightly holes being drilled in to the wall, which would be visible when the stair lift is later removed.
When our stair lift assessment is carried we also measure the width of the stair case. If your stairs we considered to be narrow, then a straight stair lift would be the most appropriate solution as they come in many space saving design options. This helps reduce any obstruction or potential tripping hazards when the stair lift is not in use. In addition, if obstruction is a concern, all stair lifts offer a fold up foot rest. This additional option usually available on both straight and curved stair lifts.

  • Quick install
  • All makes and models
  • Low cost
  • Slim compact designs
  • Latest technology

Curved Stairlifts

If the staircase in your home has a bend which requires you to turn or any curvature in the walls, it will most likely require a curved staircase.  A curved installation can be designed to stop and start further away from your staircase reducing any obstruction.



Curved staircases require precise custom installation in order to fit the dimensions of your staircase and tailor to your needs.

  • Needed if bend or curve
  • Rail is custom built
  • Added customization
  • Space saving models

Perched/Standing Stair lifts

As discussed in the straight stair lift section, we have to assess if your stair case is wide enough to accommodate a stair lift. Stair cases can be too narrow and is a very common oversight when considering a stair lift. If this is the case, then we often recommend perched stair lifts as a viable alternative. Providing the height of the ceiling is tall enough to avoid any harm to the stair lift operator, then this is usually a more appealing option as opposed to relocating sleeping, cleaning and toilet facilities to the ground floor of your home.



This is also an appropriate solution to those who experience discomfort when bending over or being in a seated position. This option offers aid to a range of aliments from severe back complaints to inflexible knee joints.

Safety is always our primary concern. This is why we would not always recommend this type of stair lift to everyone. Those who suffer from dizziness, trouble with balance or struggle supporting themselves when standing would be at risk. In which case we will work with them to find the most appropriate and safest solution available to them.

Vertical Stair Lifts

Vertical lifts, or sometimes referred to as through-floor lifts, allows the operator to travel from one floor to another… vertically. They are a great solution for wheel chair users and those who struggle getting in a seated position.

Vertical stair lifts can provide aid to those that would otherwise not be able to travel from the ground floor upwards. To install vertical stair lifts requires careful planning as structural alterations may be required to install the equipment.

This is the most expensive type of lift in this list due to the amount of time, planning and labour involved.

Outdoor Stair Lifts

If you struggle with limited flexibility in your knees or find steps difficult, then an outdoor stair lift could be for. Outdoor stair lifts have many applications, most commonly to raise parallel to your front/back doors step. Outdoor stair lifts are predominantly the same in indoor lifts expect them come supplied with weather resistant and anti-slip materials.

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