Review of Best Drive Wheelchairs for 2019

Wheelchairs may be the most recognized and widely-used pieces of medical equipment in the world. Drive wheelchairs are commonly known mobility aids for seniors and people who have lost all, or most of their ambulatory ability. They are designed with specialized wheels for a smooth safe movement in a seated position. They give users freedom and make it easy for folks with mobility issues to move around. The market is filled with thousands of wheelchair options to choose from.

The process of picking the best drive wheelchair might not be as quick and easy as many people would assume. It is a daunting task for many seniors with walking needs. Because they provide care to such a wide variety of patients, wheelchairs come in different shapes, sizes, movement methods and special features such as soft mesh seat, armrest and footrest.

Manual vs. Powered Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs come with 2 movement option: manual and powered. Manual wheelchairs have no sort of motorized movement capabilities. They can be moved by the patient themselves or a caregiver. Powered wheelchairs are motorized to provide an automatic, steered movement. While both types provide users with easy, smooth movement, they both have their distinct pros and cons. Electric wheelchairs may offer seniors with long-term mobility issues great benefits, but when it comes to cost and portability, a self-propelled wheelchair is a better option. You can consult a professional physical therapist if you have trouble making a decision. Appropriate advice from an expert means that your health needs are well taken care of.

Which Wheelchair Should I Buy?

To be considered ideal, a wheelchair needs to provide you a smooth and comfortable ride. You need to consider a wheelchair that will serve your specific needs well. Consider how that wheelchair is going to be used before purchasing. If you’re going to use it in a public facility, consider a wheelchair with a weight capacity of at least 250 pounds and an adjustable seat. This way, the wheelchair can accommodate a wide range of residents. For one person, consider the patient’s upper body strength, limitations, measurements and mobility. An active senior can operate a wheelchair on their own while those with physical disabilities may need a wheelchair with electronic steering.

The Best Drive Wheelchairs for 2019

This article will act as a buying guide. We carefully analyzed top-rated wheelchairs and considered vital purchasing factors. We will cover product specifications of each wheelchair, including storage space, seat dimensions, brakes and wheel size. The information is meant to help you or your loved one acquire the best drive wheelchair for your needs.

Medline Lightweight Transport Adult Folding Wheelchair

Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with Handbrakes, Folding Transport Chair for Adults, 12 inch Wheels, Red
  • Medline transport lightweight wheelchair has large 12 inch rear wheels for better performance on uneven outdoor surfaces | Loop-style manual handbrakes are ideal for locking the rear wheels during transfers
  • Transport chair with powder coated aluminum ultralight frame is durable and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs
  • Folding transport wheelchair is portable, making it perfect for easy storage, transport and travel | Back folds down to make the chair more compact
  • Full length permanent armrests | Detachable footrests | Seat belt for safety | Comfortable nylon upholstery
  • Transport wheel chair seat dimensions are 18 x 16 inches | Weighs 23. 5 lbs | Color: Red

If you’re on the lookout for something that is lightweight and easily maneuverable, look no further than this beauty from Medline. Made from durable powder coated aluminum ultralight frame, this wheelchair can accommodate a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds. The design is user-friendly, with easy access to elevating leg rests and flip-back desk arms. You can lower and raise the seat back and arms to your liking. It also features 12” rear wheels that offer better performance even on rough terrain. The loop-style manual handbrakes will ensure that the rear wheels are locked during transfers. For easy storage, transport and travel, the portable back is collapsible.

Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair

Drive Medical BLS18FBD-ELR Blue Streak Wheelchair with Flip Back Desk Arms, Elevating Leg Rests, 18 Inch Seat
  • Cutting-edge wheelchair design makes independent mobility enjoyable
  • Detachable desk arms and premium elevated leg rests provide customizable support
  • 18" padded nylon wheelchair seat ensures lasting comfort and is easy to clean
  • Durable tires feature push-to-lock functionality for safety. Comes with calf strap
  • Overall dimensions: 42"(L) x 24"(W) x 36"(H); Closed width: 12.5"; Seat dimensions: 16"(D) x 18"(W) x 19.5"(H); Armrest height: 8"; Weight capacity: 250 pounds. Comes with push-to-lock wheel locks

Wondering which wheelchair to gift to your aging parents? You’ll never go wrong with the Drive Medical Blue Streak. If you are looking for a portable and customizable wheelchair, you should seriously consider this wheelchair. The cutting-edge design that will make things enjoyable. Thanks to customizable support enabled by a premium swing-away leg-rest, 18” padded nylon seat and detachable desk arms, your rides will never be the same. To offer a smooth ride tires are made of solid rubber and the push-to-lock wheels provide the maximum level of safety. A perfect blend of form and function, the construction quality is impeccable with steel and blue-powdered coated frame.

Drive Medical Cruiser III

Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair with Various Flip Back Arm Styles and Front Rigging Options, Flip Back Removable Full Arms/Swing away Footrests, Black, 20 Inch
  • Carbon steel frame with silver vein finish; Nylon upholstery is durable, lightweight, attractive, and easy to clean; Weighs under 36 pounds (excluding front riggings)
  • Built-in seat rail extensions and extendable upholstery easily adjust seat depth from 16" to 18"; Padded armrests provide additional comfort
  • Composite, Mag-style wheels are lightweight and maintenance free; 8" front casters are adjustable in three positions
  • New frame style eliminates seat guides and allows for custom back inserts and accessories; Dual axle provides easy transition of seat height to hemi-level
  • Precision sealed wheel bearings in front and rear ensure long-lasting performance and reliability; Comes with push-to-lock wheel locks

The Drive Medical Cruiser III is another fantastic option as it offers everything you need from a basic wheelchair – lightweight materials, an adjustable seat depth and padded armrests. Designed for comfort and reliability, this attractive and sturdy wheelchair is easy to fold for storage or travel. It is made of solid carbon steel frame with silver vein finish. It features removable flip-back arms that allow easy transfer. To provide a smooth transition of seat height, you get a dual axle. The mag-style wheels ensure a smooth ride and the chair’s nylon seat covering allows for easy cleaning. The wheelchair can accommodate weights of up to 300lbs.

NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair

NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair with Locking Hand Brakes, 12" Rear Wheels, Removable & Flip Up Arms for Easy Transfer, Anti-Tippers Included, Blue
  • IDEAL FOR TRANSPORT, TRAVEL & SAFETY - Much easier for transporting and travel than a wheelchair. Our unique design is lightweight, simple to maneuver and folds easily and compactly. Comes with secondary wheel locks and removable Anti-Tippers for added safety.
  • MOST VERSATILE DESIGN FOR ALL TERRAIN - Comes with NOVA’s patented locking hand brakes and 12” rugged rear wheels, allowing the companion to control the speed and park the brakes... a must for safety on inclines, bumps and all-terrain. Comes with an adjustable seat belt (adjusts up to 41”) and small storage pouch (9”W x 6.25”H) for keys and cell phone.
  • EASY USER TRANSFER - Flip up and removable padded desk arms make transferring the user from a car, bed or chair much easier. Desk arms allow the user/transport chair to “ride up” to a desk or dining table.
  • EASY TO USE FOOTRESTS - Footrests are easy to remove and lock back into place. They are easy to adjust and come with heel loops so the user can rest their feet. Footplate Height from Floor: 5” - 9”
  • SPECIFICATIONS - Weight capacity: 300 pounds; Seat dimensions: 18.5”w x 15.75”d; Seat height: 20"; Opened overall width: 25.75"; Product weight: 27 lb; Back height from seat: 17.75”; Arm height from seat: 10.5”.

This wheelchair brings ease of use and practicability to the table. Also known as the Comet, standout features include feather-grip brakes on the handles, 12” rugged rear wheels and flip-back armrests for easy transfers. The back and seat are padded and upholstered, and it’s lightweight due to its folding aluminum frame. This model comes with NOVA’s patented feather touch locking handbrakes. The rear wheels lock solidly in place and the handbrakes offer added control. With a seat width of 18.5 inches, this model can comfortably hold up to 300lbs. On purchase, you receive a lifetime limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Karman Lightweight Transport Wheelchair

Karman Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with Removable Armrest
  • Weighs only 30 lbs
  • Seat Size:17 inch Seat, 19 inch Seat, Seat Depth - 16 inch
  • Durable Steel Frame
  • Seatbelt Included
  • Removable Armrest and Removable Footrest

Even if you have a tight budget, you can still find a wheelchair with desirable features. This lightweight wheelchair has a folding design, detachable armrests and footrests, and a wide seat, features that qualify it to our list. Designed to be driven by caretakers, brakes accommodate hands-free operation to minimize strain on caretakers. By letting them press the brakes down without necessarily bending down, this makes frequent stops much easier. Whether you want a wheelchair for occasional use around the neighborhood, or for long trips this model is an excellent choice. For storage, the chair folds in half to take up as little space as possible. The wide seat measuring 19” wide offers options for plus size users.


Wheelchairs serve an important role for folks with impaired mobility. They are an essential and necessary part of seniors lives when they have the need or desire to move around the house or community and have a fully functioning life when walking is no longer possible. When you are ready to purchase, pick with confidence from our recommended products. Whether you’re searching for a stopgap solution when temporarily off your feet or a workhorse to power your way through day-to-day activities, there’s a drive wheelchair for you in our list.

If a wheelchair doesn’t fit the bill, check out some of the best options for rollators or mobility scooters available today!

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