Our ongoing mission to find trendy mobility aids has taken us on a search for stylish wheelchairs. We’ve had a look around and come up with a selection of wheelchairs that are a little sleeker and more design focused than the average chair.
One thing that is frustrating when looking for a more attractive looking wheelchair is that there are so many possibilities that seem to be stuck in the design process. We’ve written about this a bit in the past with our Wheelchairs of the Future post but when you’re actually looking for something stylish to buy you can find a load of really cool wheelchairs that have just never been put on sale. Leveraged Freedom Chairs, Mobi Folding wheelchairs, Hubless Wheelchairs and many other really innovative designs remain in the concept stage of design and seem as if they are destined to stay there. This can feel torturous for someone looking for a really interesting, modern wheelchair.
However, there are loads of stylish chairs out there if you know where to look. There are lots of lightweight, sleek chairs which have made the need to look good more than a mere afterthought. We’ve compiled a selection of some of the trendiest wheelchairs that you can buy:
Nomad describe themselves as offering “bespoke wheelchairs and mobility solutions”. Again, their chairs are really lightweight (that’s a term that is going to come up a lot) and look simple, streamlined and uncluttered.
Nomad say that they base their design around the ideas of form, function and fabrication. The form consists of a single, complete wheelchair with pieces that all designed to fit together, rather than what you often get, which is a collection of distinctly different parts you have to assemble. This gives a more distinctive style to the chair.
In terms of function, Nomad promise a comfortable, silent and smooth ride. The fabrication part of the their principles promises the highest quality build. They say that through these beliefs they “represent the perfect fusion of stylish design and durable construction to give you optimum performance which you can rely on.”
Nomads come in a selection of different seat colours, which look comfortable and gorgeously stylish. Their pared back design is really simple and attractive. There’s a brochure and order form on their website as well as contact details in case you want to order a demo.
These are a cool and a little bit different. As you probably know, most wheelchairs have two small front wheels and two larger wheels behind them which generate the power needed to move. But these wheelchairs have departed from that convention and placed one smaller, steering wheel behind the main wheels.
The result of this is that it gives the chair excellent stability and makes it more comfortable on surfaces which are less smooth than a traditional wheelchair can cope with. It’s a clever redistribution of weight which leads to a comfortable ride and eliminates problems such as tipping backwards when you accelerate.
The negative aspect is that it does, at first, sight seem like it might be quite difficult to get into. Trekinetic say that this problem is averted thanks to the fact that the footrest retracts for easy entry. It still looks like it might be a bit of a challenge getting in – it looks quite deep – but, in fairness, we’d have to try it out before confirming this.
Trekinetic wheelchairs look like they are good fun and they have an unusual and innovative design. They also fold up for transportation. Trekinetic’s other wheelchair, the K-2, which is also available, has more of an emphasis on being suitable for all-terrain use, rather than the model we’re featuring which is the more stylish GT-3. The GT-3 is priced from £4,295 and you can find your local dealer here.
Colours have a range of fun and stylish wheelchairs. They’re innovative and a bit youthful. One noticeable thing about them is that many of them have wheels which have been designed very simply and stylishly – i.e. without loads of spokes. There also really adjustable in their design – you can pick the colours, seat positioning and other aspects that you prefer. As the name suggests, they come in a wide range of colours. We’ve picked out a couple of their models, but there are loads of other Colours Wheelchairs to look at.
The Boing! gets its name because of its advanced suspension system. The innovative suspension system created by Colours Wheelchairs removes much of the impact and vibration from the road making a more comfortable ride without adding much weight to the wheelchair. The Boing! is apparently the wheelchair that Aaron Fotheringham used to do his famous wheelchair backflip.
The Zephyr has been called the ‘Ferrari of Wheelchairs’. Every detail of it is built by hand to the exact specification of the customer. The parts are welded together rather than screwed in meaning that it is silent and smooth to use. It also means that users have to know exactly what they want before they make the decision to buy a Zephyr. Once it’s been put together, there is very little scope for turning back.
Colours actually advise that only experienced wheelchair users but this chair. Their website says: ” Our customers build each Zephyr by hand. You design it! You build it! You are the engineer!” If you know what you want then this is a really good route to go down.
However, whether it is available or not in the UK is a little confusing. The UK website Recare do list the Zephyr amongst their products but also say that it’s exclusively built in the USA. So that’s something to look into.
Other Colours wheelchairs are definitely sold in the UK through Recare although they may well be available elsewhere. You can give them a call to find out about prices. They’re really cool and fun chairs! (By the way, we’ve realised that the pictures we’ve shown of these aren’t altogether that colourful but they do come in lots of variations).
These chairs are very simple, lightweight and sleek. You can chose to have one made from Titanium, Aluminium or Carbon depending on your needs and requirements. They also come in all black or with a yellow footrest, as in the picture below. They’re light but able to withstand rigorous everyday use. They’re simple but stylish.
These are available at GBL Wheelchairs in London and at Bromakin Wheelchairs, which also carries a lot of the other chairs featured in this post. Bromakin “recommend this chair as a versatile & configurable choice to suit a wide range of personal requirements. Especially suited to new-users who are still perfecting their seating position.”
You may have come across these before as the design process of Carbon Black was made into a documentary for the BBC.
These stylish wheelchairs are designed by Scottish inventor Andrew Slorance who decided he wanted to make the ‘perfect’ wheelchair. Slorance is himself a wheelchair user so he understands the problems that current wheelchairs have. He has set out to make a product that will shift the perceptions of the wheelchair towards being something that is actually desirable.
He says that his company, I Imagine, “is focused on one objective: designing and producing ground breaking products that will directly empower our customers. Made almost entirely from carbon fibre, Carbon Black is one of a kind, the like of which have never been seen before.”
Carbon Black uses Formula 1 technology, blended with an eye for style, to create an attractive minimalist wheelchair. The chair was shortlisted for Design of The Year 2012 by the London Design Museum.
These wheelchairs are not on sale at the moment but there is good news on this front. I Imagine are currently in the process of finishing the production chair off. Once they have made some minor alterations, based on feedback from their soft launch, Carbon Black will be fully on sale. They have told us that they hope and intend to have the finished product on sale in the next three months. This is good news because they look like they’re going to be really cool.
Quickie wheelchairs are really cool and lightweight. They have recently launched a new generation of chairs – the Helium, the Xenon and the Shark.
The Quickie Helium is their model of rigid, manual wheelchair. They say that it is “the lightest, most manoeuvrable manual wheelchair ever conceived.” New and highly innovative ultra-light materials mean that the fully-welded Quickie Helium Pro weighs from just 3.7kg without its wheels and only 6kg with them on.
Previous generations of Quickie Helium wheelchairs have been used by Paralympians as their everyday chair including ‘The Quadfather’, Peter Norfolk OBE (wheelchair tennis); Nyree Kindred MBE (swimmer); Mel Clarke (archer) and James O’Shea (swimmer). These chairs are really sleek and stylish as well as being ultra lightweight and comfortable.
Quickie have also designed a stylish folding wheelchair called the Xenon. In terms of style, it looks pretty similar.
In order to create a design that can fold up for transportation you inevitably lose an element of rigidity. Normally this makes the chair less comfortable and stylish but, on the Xenon, Quickie have done a good job of minimalising this loss. It still looks good as well as being really practical – folding up to the smallest possible size. Because of the extra ‘stuff’ involved in making the Xenon fold up, it is a little heavier than the Helium.
To find out more about the new generation of Quickie wheelchairs – including the Shark model we mentioned but haven’t gone into detail on because it’s a sports chair rather than for everyday use – visit their website or if you want to find your nearest dealer click here.
For all the chairs included in this list prices vary depending on personal specifications. We have tried to provide as many details as possible, particularly on where to buy them, but our focus was primarily on just rooting out the most stylish wheelchairs we could find. As we said, they are all on sale (OK, Carbon Black may not be on sale quite yet) rather than proposed designs that would be cool but haven’t been made.
We think we’ve found a good selection of the most stylish wheelchair designs that are currently available, we hope you’ll agree there are some nice looking chairs in our list. If you have any more suggestions please get in touch with us through our Facebook page – particularly if you have seen any stylish powered wheelchairs which we haven’t really included- and we can look into writing about them in the future!