What is the minimum width for a stair lift

Are you considering installing a stair lift in your home? One important factor to keep in mind is the minimum width required for the stair lift to operate safely and effectively. Ensuring the right width is crucial to guarantee the user's safety and comfort during the boarding, travel, and disembarking process. In this article, we will explore the importance of determining the minimum width for a stair lift and provide guidance on how to determine the right width for your specific needs.

Why is the minimum width important for a stair lift?

When it comes to stair lifts, safety should always be the top priority. Having the right minimum width is essential to avoid the risk of injuries and accidents for the user. Here are a few reasons why it is crucial to ensure the stair lift meets the minimum width requirements:

Avoiding the risk of injuries and accidents

One of the key aspects of a stair lift is facilitating safe boarding and disembarking of the wheelchair. The minimum width allows for smooth and secure movement throughout the stairs. Having enough space to maneuver and turn the wheelchair ensures that the user can comfortably and safely enter and exit the stair lift.

Complying with safety standards

Meeting the minimum width requirements is not only important for the user's safety but also for compliance with local and national accessibility regulations. Failure to meet these requirements may result in fines or penalties. By ensuring the stair lift meets the minimum width guidelines, you protect yourself legally and demonstrate your commitment to safety.

How to determine the minimum width required?

Now that we understand the importance of having the right minimum width for a stair lift, let's explore how to determine the width that best suits your needs:

Consider the size of the wheelchair

The width of a standard wheelchair typically ranges between 22 to 24 inches. However, if you are planning to use a power wheelchair, keep in mind that these can be wider. Take accurate measurements of the wheelchair's width to ensure it will fit comfortably on the stair lift.

Take into account the maximum weight allowed

The stair lift has a load capacity, which includes the weight of the user and the wheelchair. Make sure to consider this when determining the minimum width required. Ensure that the stair lift you choose can safely accommodate the combined weight of the user and the wheelchair.

Consider the mounting points

Stair lifts require rails or guides to be securely mounted on the stairs. Take into account the space needed for the rails as well as the distance between the mounting points on the steps. This will help ensure that the stair lift is installed properly and functions smoothly.

Evaluate the available space on the stairs

Measure the width and height of the stairs to determine the available space. Additionally, take note of any obstacles or additional limitations such as doorways or narrow hallways that may impact the installation and use of the stair lift.

Examples of recommended minimum widths

While the exact minimum width required may vary depending on the specific stair lift model and configuration, here are some general guidelines:

Straight staircase stair lifts:

A minimum width of approximately 750 mm (29.5 inches) is often recommended for straight stair lifts.

Curved staircase stair lifts:

For curved staircases, a minimum width of approximately 900 mm (35.4 inches) is typically recommended to allow for smooth navigation around the curves.

Incorporating an additional margin

It is always a good idea to add a little extra width to ensure comfortable and safe movement. This additional space allows for easier maneuvering and turning of the wheelchair, providing peace of mind for the user.


Determining the minimum width for a stair lift is essential to ensure the safety and comfort of the user. Taking into account factors such as the size of the wheelchair, the maximum weight allowed, the mounting points, and the available space on the stairs plays a significant role in choosing the right stair lift for your needs. By considering these factors and incorporating an additional margin, you can provide the user with a stair lift that meets their needs and ensures a safe and convenient mobility solution.

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