Best Mobility Scooters: Roam Around Your Home And Neighborhood With Ease
Be more independent with these top, highly-rated mobility scooters
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON July 22, 2019
As your body ages, you may need a little help getting around. Or perhaps an injury has limited your ability to walk normally. Either way, investing in a disability scooter can be life-changing. It allows you to zip around your local grocery store, ride up the driveway to get the mail, or perform other functions with ease. Check out our mobility scooter reviews to find the best ones on the market.
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Benefits of Mobility Scooters
- You have trouble walking. Age, illness, or injury can sometimes prevent a person from walking long distances or walking at all. Fortunately, a top-rated mobility scooter can help you get around.
- You want independence. If you struggle with walking and have limited mobility, it can be very isolating. The best mobility scooter will get you out of the house so you can participate in social activities as well as run errands or attend events.
- You want to avoid injury. If you have problems with balance or stability, a power scooter can help. You don't have to worry about falling down while walking because the scooter will keep you solidly in place.
- You don’t want to be a burden. Caregivers do a lot for their family and loved ones. With an electric mobility scooter, you don't have to rely as much on others for their assistance.
- You can enjoy your vacation. Many high-quality mobility scooters have a really long charge that enables you to ride around all day before the battery dies. That means you can travel with friends and family without worry.
Types of Mobility Scooters
If portability is a priority, then look for a folding scooter. You just have to remove the battery pack and collapse the scooter on itself in order to carry it. While they are easy to move and store, there are some disadvantages. They are not intended for rough terrain, and they don't travel very fast (top speed is usually around four miles per hour).
The best mobility scooters for seniors and others who struggle with walking are typically full-sized. Some can carry up to 400 pounds, and they are quite comfortable. They often have high-backed seats, can travel at speeds between four and 12 miles per hour, and can go as far as 30 miles on a single battery charge.
A heavy-duty mobility scooter accommodates larger individuals. They can usually carry as much as 500 pounds. They also feature larger seating areas for comfort. In addition, these heavy-duty devices have the ability to travel over rough surfaces or terrain.
Three- and Four-Wheeled Scooters
A three-wheel mobility scooter allows the rider to have more maneuverability than if they ride a four-wheel mobility scooter. Scooters with three wheels are smaller and can more easily squeeze through tight spaces. One disadvantage is that they have a narrow footrest area. Four-wheeled scooters are much more stable and maybe slightly more comfortable because the footrest area tends to be larger, but they’re less maneuverable.
Pride Mobility is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of mobility products. The company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Exeter, Pennsylvania. It also operates in Australia, Canada, China, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. One top product is the Pride Mobility Go-Go Traveler Elite Plus 4-Wheel Scooter.
Founded in 1985, Golden Technologies is the world’s leading manufacturer of luxurious lift and recline chairs and has also produced growing lines of lift chairs, power wheelchairs, and scooters. The company is based in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, and one of its most popular products is the BUZZAROUND EX Extreme 4-Wheel Heavy Duty Long Range Travel Scooter.
Shoprider, based in Torrance, California, has been manufacturing scooters and power chairs in the United States since 1988. Its aim is to bring advanced features, innovative designs, and affordable pricing to consumers. One top product is the Shoprider Sunrunner 4 Wheel Scooter.
Founded in 2000, Drive manufactures a variety of medical equipment, including power wheelchairs, power scooters, mobility products, rehabilitation products and more. Its corporate office is based in Port Washington, New York. One recommended product is the Drive Medical Scout Spitfire 4 Wheel Travel Power Scooter.
Mobility Scooter Pricing
- Under $1,000: Some folding scooters such as travel scooters are not super expensive, but they move very slowly and cannot tolerate difficult terrain. There are also several other good-quality budget scooters that cost less than $1,000.
- Over $1,000: Premium folding, full-sized, and heavy-duty scooters can cost upwards of $3,000, depending on the features they provide. Three-wheeled scooters tend to be slightly less expensive than the four-wheel design.
When you don't have a lot of mobility, it's easier to gain weight. That's why so many mobility scooters are built to accommodate larger people. However, some have the ability to carry less weight than others. The weight rating refers to the weight of the rider as well as whatever he or she is carrying, such as groceries. Choose a scooter with a weight limit that will accommodate your needs.
A large operating range will allow you to travel many miles on a single charge, which is important if you plan on using your scooter frequently. Some electric scooters have a range of just 10 miles before you need to recharge, while others will have a 30-mile range.
Many medical scooters are not very fast. However, you can find some really cool mobility scooters that travel up to speeds of 20 mph or more. If you have arthritic hands or difficulty executing precise steering motions, a slower scooter may be more your speed. But if it's replacing a vehicle, a faster scooter may be better.
A scooter intended for home-use only does not need to be very portable because you won't be taking it anywhere. But if you want to use your scooter both inside your house as well as around town, you need one that is not too difficult to put in and out of a car or load onto a car carrier.
Be sure to choose a model that accommodates your weight as well as an adjustable steering column and a padded, adjustable seat so it's comfortable to operate. A good mobility scooter will also have a decent amount of legroom and padded, adjustable armrests that help give you a more comfortable ride.
- Storage: Most mobility scooters come with a basket or storage container that can hold a variety of items, such as a wallet, purse, cane, and grocery bags. These storage compartments make it easier for you to go from place to place with all the things you need on a daily basis.
- Battery Indicator: The best electric mobility scooters run on battery power. It's important to have a colored light, LCD bar, or another indicator that lets you know when the battery is nearing depletion. If you want a back-up battery, it can cost as much as $100 or more. However, a second battery will allow you to run your scooter all day and keep riding while the other battery is being charged.
- Tires: If you plan on largely using your mobility scooter indoors, the tires will last longer. The best indoor-outdoor mobility scooter will require good tires with good tread. This will enable you to achieve greater traction on surfaces such as wet sidewalks. It's important to retain control of your scooter at all times.
- Keyed Ignition: If you want to ensure that no one can easily ride your scooter, choose one with a keyed ignition. This will keep people from starting it without your permission. Some models even include alarms, which can also be purchased separately so you feel more protected against theft.
- Ground Clearance: If you plan on riding your mobility scooter a lot outside, you will need a higher ground clearance to get around obstacles (i.e., rocks and branches) that you wouldn't necessarily encounter on indoor floors. This will give you more flexibility if you travel a lot around town.
- Freewheel Mode: This feature allows you to disengage the drive mechanism so you can easily move the scooter without turning it on. This is very useful because you may need to park in a tight space or maneuver in smaller areas. It's also helpful if the parked scooter is in your path and you want to quickly move it out of the way.
- Added Features: Some models have hand-operated brakes so you can stop quickly. Others have headlights, which are necessary if you use it outside at night. Rearview mirrors will enable you to see what's behind you before you back up, which is helpful if you have problems turning your neck or torso. A speed limiter will prevent you from riding too fast.
Best Mobility Scooter Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- If you will be using a mobility scooter inside a house or other facility, look for a product that has a small turning radius. This will allow you to comfortably maneuver around smaller spaces.
- Your health insurance provider, including Medicare, may provide a mobility scooter for free. However, your options may be limited as to the type of scooter you can receive.
- You need to regularly tune-up your scooter to keep it in proper working condition. If it needs to be repaired, you can either have a technician come to your home or you can take it to a repair shop.
- If your home is older, you may need to widen the doors for clearance so you can easily move between rooms. It may be worth it to invest in a narrower scooter so you don't have to make any expensive home improvements.
- You should consider purchasing insurance for your mobility scooter. It may already be covered on your homeowners, renters, or auto insurance, so it's worth checking.
- If you purchase a full-sized or heavy-duty mobility scooter, you will need to buy a lift for your vehicle. These types of scooters aren't easily portable and cannot be broken down. They're also quite heavy. In order to put them in your car, or carry them on the back of your vehicle, you need the proper equipment.
Q: Can I carry a passenger on my mobility scooter?
A: It's unsafe unless it has a factory-installed second seat. Two people may create a balance problem, which could result in injury. In general, they're only intended to be used by one person at a time.
Q: Can I ride my mobility scooter on the road?
A: Most mobility scooters are designed for riding across parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks, but some are roadworthy. Some states prohibit the operation of motor scooters on public and private streets, but laws vary so be sure to check.
Q: Why is a mobility scooter’s turning radius important?
A: The turning radius is the amount of space you need to turn a scooter 180 degrees. A smaller turning radius equals greater maneuverability, which is important in tight spaces such as elevators.
Q: Can I bring my mobility scooter on an airplane?
A: If you have a foldable model, you can bring it on an airplane. Frequent travelers may want to opt specifically for a travel mobility scooter. Just check with the airline about their rules and regulations before booking a trip.
Our pick for the best scooter is the Pride Mobility Go-Go Traveler Elite Plus 4-Wheel Scooter. It has a tight turning radius, is easy to disassemble for transport, and has strong battery life. It also has a swivel seat, which makes it simpler for you to get on and off.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Travel Pro Premium 3-Wheel Mobility Scooter by Pride.