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Hoveround Power Chairs vs. Mobility Scooters


Not all mobility solutions are created equal. Canes, walkers and manual wheelchairs have their limits. That’s why, for over 30 years, Hoveround has specialized in offering a wide range of motorized mobility devices designed to provide more convenience and to meet each individual’s needs.

When Should You Consider a Mobility Solution?

  • You limit activities—indoors or out--due to lack of mobility.
  • You avoid social events due to difficulty walking.
  • Lack of mobility results in boredom or depression.
  • A medical condition makes it difficult for you to stand or walk easily.
  • You're having difficulty climbing up or down the stairs.
  • You feel unsteady on your feet even with a cane or walker.
  • You lose your balance easily or have already fallen.
  • Family or friends have commented that you seem to have difficulty getting around or they fear you may fall.
  • A physician has recommended a mobility solution for your safety and convenience.

Types of Mobility Solutions

Power Chairs (also known as mobility chairs) are motorized chairs that run on long-lasting, electric batteries. The user controls the direction and speed of travel with a joystick on the chair’s armrest.
Mobility chairs offer exceptional maneuverability making them useful inside homes, shops, and restaurants where you may encounter narrow halls, sharp corners, or want to pull close to tables, desks, or counters. Scooters wheelchairs (power chairs) are primarily prescribed by physicians for users who require full-time mobility assistance.

Mobility scooters are predominantly used outdoors since their design and length  often precludes them from being used in tight spaces. They are available in a wide range of models, from small, portable travel scooters to all-terrain luxury models and bariatric scooters.
Mobility Scooters offer part-time or occasional convenience. They allow their users to more easily enjoy visits to shops, parks, and social events that would otherwise require walking an otherwise difficult distance with family and friends. For more detailed information about the scooter side of scooters wheelchairs, please visit our Mobility Scooters page.

An electric stair chair lift, or simply a stair lift, is an over-the-stairs, motorized lifting device that runs along a rail or track. With the touch of a button or the flick of a switch, a stair lift glides the user up or down the stairs, safely and comfortably.

Stair lifts are highly recommended for people who have staircases in their home and who use a cane, walker, manual or electric wheelchair for their daily mobility needs, or for anyone who is concerned about falling when climbing the stairs.

Differences Between a Power Chair and a Mobility Scooter

Power Chair Mobility Scooter
Smaller, compact size Longer, lower solution with center seating
Operated via joystick on the armrest Operates with a tiller for bicycle-like steering
Tighter turn radius is easily maneuverable through hallways and around corners. Longer size creates a broad turn radius for less maneuverability in tight areas.
Operates on a variety of surfaces indoors and out Operates on a variety of surfaces but used primarily outdoors.
Can pull close to work surfaces, countertops, sinks, and tables Front tiller design obstructs the user’s ability to pull close to tables and counter areas.
Primarily prescribed for those who need full-time mobility assistance Primarily designed for occasional use in traversing distances outdoors.
Flexible solution can be customized to medical needs including, but not limited to; oxygen holders, skin protection and positioning cushions, and elevated leg rests. Standardized solution less able to adapt to a user’s medical needs.
Often covered by Medicare, Medicare and private insurance if deemed medically necessary and with a valid doctor’s prescription. Usually purchased out-of-pocket by individuals for use part-time and outdoors.

What Is Your Best Mobility Solution?

Your lifestyle and needs determine the mobility product that is best for you. Hoveround’s Mobility Solutions Comparison Chart compares a Hoveround power chair and a mobility scooter to help you make the best decision. You can also read this article for more information about mobility scooters.
In general, however, if you need help to walk and maneuver at home or other interior spaces on a regular basis, a power chair is the best choice. If you are comfortable walking short distances but tire easily or have difficulty with longer distances outside the home, and intend to use the device only in those circumstances, a mobility scooter may be your best choice. And a stair lift can be helpful to anyone that has trouble with or is concerned about climbing stairs.
Talk to a Hoveround Mobility Expert. In our 30+ year history, Hoveround has helped over 300,000 people regain their independence and freedom by providing the best mobility solutions from scooters wheelchairs and stair lifts.

Our Mobility Specialists are available to offer advice at no obligation to you. They can explain the various mobility solutions and help you find the option that's best for you—one that can help you remain safe, mobile, and independent for years to come.

Call us toll-free to learn more: 1-800-542-7236 

Let us help you find the product that's right for you.

Call us toll-free today at 800-542-7236