When it comes your mobility, you have a lot of options at your disposal. The many types of Mobility Scooters offer a range of benefits quite different from electric or standard wheelchairs, and other mobility aids. Your mobility needs and lifestyle will determine the best scooter for you. From heavy duty mobility scooters, to lightweight travel scooters, a range of style and feature options enable you to pick the perfect device for your lifestyle. Our guide will help you consider the most important questions about your mobility needs, and select the best model from top-reviewed mobility scooters.
TYPES OF MOBILITY SCOOTERS
This type of mobility scooter is ideal for indoor use. They often have turn radiuses 12-18 inches smaller than 4-wheeled models, allowing them to take tight corners and easily navigate within your home.
These more-stable models lack the tight turn radius of their 3-wheeled cousins, but make up for it by being ideally suited for the outdoors. Many feature a wheel structure that can tackle even quite uneven paths. 4-wheeled models also tend to offer a higher weight capacity than other, smaller models.
4-wheeled scooters typically boast a longer battery life, and are capable of traveling at higher speeds than 3-wheeled models. One sticking point for these models is that, due to their weight, they can be difficult to transport without a lift.
The name says it all. Most 4-wheeled scooters do better outdoors than smaller models, but certain brands offer scooters designed specifically to tackle the great outdoors. If you need a lot of fresh air in your day, and often encounter uneven surfaces, look for this type of design. You’ll get the features your outdoor lifestyle needs. Make sure you pay attention to how far a model can travel if you plan on taking your scooter long distances.
Travel Mobility Scooters
Travel scooters can be either 3- or 4-wheel models and are a great option for shopping and vacationing. They’re lightweight and packable, making them easy to store in the back of a car. Travel mobility scooters can typically be either folded or disassembled. Their smaller frames also make it easy to get through crowded destinations on your next family vacation. One drawback to this type of scooter is that they tend to have smaller, less cushioned seats, making them less comfortable for everyday use.
Heavy Duty Mobility Scooters
These 4-wheeled models are designed to support a higher weight across their sturdy structure. Many of these models are also great options for uneven outdoor terrain, if you’d like to use your scooter to get from point A to point B.
LIFESTYLE CONSIDERATIONS & OPTIONS
With thousands of options, narrow your search field by considering your needs in a few key areas. Specs for different scooter models vary greatly, so preferences in even a couple of these categories can bring ease to your search.
Where You’ll Use it: Do you need a scooter to get around your home, ride down the street to the grocery store, or take with you on your next family vacation?Where you will use your mobility scooter is the biggest factor to narrow down your mobility choices. While AARP is encouraging transport authorities to improve transport for seniors, it’s not yet commonplace. Many people choose to invest in a scooter to make short trips around town. This gives you more independence while we wait for public transit to catch up.
Speed: If you will use your scooter outdoors, you may want to consider a higher max speed. Conversely, if you will be using your scooter primarily inside your home, high speeds could cause frequent bumps with walls and door frames.
Class: Class 2 scooters are licensed for use indoors or on a sidewalk and travel at up to 4 mph. Class 3 scooters are perfect to ride on the street, featuring lights and indicators. They travel at up to 8 mph.
Terrain: As mentioned, many models can tackle outdoor terrain. If you live in an area where you’ll be traversing very uneven ground, ask your provider whether the model you’ve selected is designed for such conditions.
Turn radius: Using your mobility scooter inside? Opt for a tight turn radius to accommodate narrow hallways.
For Your Comfort:
User weight: It might seem that a model made to carry more weight is always better. But for someone with a petite build, these will often be too big, making them uncomfortable over long periods.
Front or rear wheel drive: This decision is mostly preferential and can be a bit hard to make unless you’ve tested out a few scooters before, so we recommend trying out a couple models. Generally, rear wheel models can handle higher speeds and longer distances.
EXTRAS AND ADD ONS
Portable: Planning to take it on vacation? Make sure you know exactly how to collapse or disassemble your travel mobility scooter.
Motorcycle styling: Some scooters are more sleek than others. If you have a certain look you’d like, such as this bright model from e-Wheels, have a photo available while you compare models. Know your budget before considering style additions, as they tend to increase your final cost.
Canopy: If you’re using your scooter to run errands, a canopy can keep you going on a rainy day.
Airline approved: If you frequently fly to visit family or on vacation, you might consider an airline-approved model. These models meet FAA standards. Airline-approved scooters usually have compact batteries, are lighter, and collapse to be easily gate-checked. If you enjoy cruising, these also work well onboard.
OUR TOP PICKS FOR MOBILITY SCOOTERS
Hoveround offers mobility scooters in a range of price points, starting under $700. Their wide range of options make it easy to find the right model for you, once you know what you’re looking for. While they tend not to offer a ton of glitz and glam in their scooters, Hoveround makes a number of accessories, ramps, and other extras that can improve your mobility experience.
Pride Mobility is one of the most popular providers of mobility scooters in the United States. They cater to a wide range of clients, with scooters designed to tackle the great outdoors, fold tight for air travel, and provide the ultimate luxury experience. Pride Mobility’s Victory 10 and Revo 2.0 models claimed the top two spots on Retirement Living’s ranking of top-reviewed scooters.
e-Wheels is best known for their recreational scooters. Many of these are 3-wheeled models that come in a variety of bright colors to match your style. These scooters may be a great fit if you intend to use your scooter primarily to get around outdoors. They also carry a line of medical scooters, which are FDA certified, and come in stylings you’d expect for a mobility scooter.
TIPS FOR PURCHASING YOUR MOBILITY SCOOTER
Once you’ve selected the right model, or at least narrowed it down to 2 or 3, you’ll need to make sure you get the best deal on your purchase. If you’re on medicare, there’s a good chance you can use this to cover at least part of your scooter purchase. Your doctor will need to write you a recommendation stating that you need a mobility scooter, and you’ll need to purchase from a provider who accepts medicare (most do). VeryWell Health offers some great tips for purchasing your mobility scooter. Once you’ve found your perfect scooter, be get a warranty and make sure you keep any necessary paperwork, just in case. Then take time to enjoy the ease your new purchase brings to your everyday life.