How To Choose The Best Wheelchair Ramp | A Buyer's Guide
Wheelchair ramps help to boost independence and quality of life for those with reduced mobility.
For many able-bodied people, it's hard to imagine what it's like to worry about getting in and out of restaurants, public transport, bathrooms--all the thing that are taken for granted.
There’s a lot of different options out there - but choosing the right ramp for you or your loved one shouldn’t cause a headache. This guide will help you find the best wheelchair ramp for your needs.
What To Consider When Buying A Wheelchair Ramp
“Where do I need a wheelchair ramp?”
That’s the first question you’ll need to ask yourself when you’re shopping around. The most common places to require a ramp are doorways, steps and vehicles.
For permanent ramps that are going to be used around the home (such as doorways, steps and going over sliding doors) we recommend a sturdy rubber threshold ramp. For portable ramps that are used around the home or for vehicles, we recommend a lightweight material like aluminium. You see, one of the most important things to look for in a portable ramp is the ease of movement. Always check whether you’re able to carry it and that it fits nicely in your vehicle.
Okay, so that’s the short answer. There are still a few more things to look out for…
What To Avoid When Buying A Wheelchair Ramp
Avoid making a purchase without knowing your ramp height, length and width requirements. These will vary depending on your wheelchair size and height of the step - and it’s important you get this right to ensure your ramp is practical and safe in years to come. Avoid ramps that don’t have a good grip surface, such as non-slip tape. This will help you feel safe and secure when using the ramp and prevent any injuries.
Once you’ve decided on a ramp, consider how you will install it. For example, large rubber threshold ramps can be quite heavy - so it’s best to avoid setting it up on your own and get help from an expert.
Now you know what to look for and avoid, let’s break down the different types of wheelchair ramps...
Types Of Home Wheelchair Ramps
Portable Wheelchair Ramps
Portable ramps are a great option for those that need a little more freedom. They’re often made from lightweight materials, without sacrificing durability. Aluminium portable ramps are perfect if you need to use your ramp in a range of different places. Portable ramps come in folding, non-folding and telescopic options…
Folding Portable Ramps are a popular choice, as they can easily be set up, used and stored. These come in a bi-fold option (folds down to half its width) or a multi-fold option (folds down to half its width and length). They’re great for manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs and scooters.
Non-Folding Portable Ramps are lightweight and easy to set up. These are a great choice for navigating small steps. For larger steps or vehicles, we recommend a folding or telescopic ramp, as this will allow you to have a longer ramp length.
Telescopic Ramps are perfect for wheelchairs, scooters, tri-walkers and rollators. They have an adjustable length depending on the situation, and they’re easy to store when not in use. If you like the sound of a telescopic ramp, you should always check that both the front and rear wheels of your wheelchair fit on the ramp at the same time (for more information on this, get in touch).
Threshold Wheelchair Ramps
Threshold ramps help to boost independence around the home. They’re often bulky and heavy, making them a great long-term solution. Threshold ramps are often used in doorways, bathrooms, showers and for going over sliding door rails.
Threshold ramps come in a range of shapes and sizes, and are suitable for scooters, rollators and pedestrian traffic. We recommend choosing a rubber threshold ramp, as these are highly durable. There are also aluminium, plastic and carbon fibre options. Threshold ramps can be moved if needed - but if you’re wanting to move it regularly, it’s best to go with a portable ramp.
Van & Vehicle Wheelchair Ramps
If you need to get your wheelchair or mobility scooter into a vehicle, then this section is for you. Ramp Champ offers a selection of telescopic wheelchair ramps, folding wheelchair ramps or permanent van ramps. When you’re choosing a van and vehicle ramp, you can’t go past aluminium.
Telescopic Ramps are lightweight yet incredibly durable, and they conveniently fold away so you can store them when they’re not in use. Remember for telescopic ramps, make sure both the front and rear wheels fit on the ramp at the same time.
Folding Ramps are a popular option for vehicles. They’re often longer than a non-folding ramp (and a longer ramp is ideal for larger heights, like from the ground to a van). Folding ramps come in a bi-fold option (folds down to half its width) or a multi-fold option (folds down to half its width and length). They can also be stored easily.
When it comes to getting into and out of your vehicle, the gradient is often quite steep due to the change in height. For this reason, wheelchairs getting loaded and unloaded often need to be unoccupied. If you’re looking for an option where the wheelchair can be occupied, we have some permanent ramps that will do the trick, like the WM System.
Installing a Permanent Van And Vehicle Ramp saves you time and physical labour. And if you or your loved one uses a vehicle regularly, then this could be a good option to consider. Permanent vehicle ramps usually support more weight than portable ramps, although they can’t be moved from place to place.
Custom Made Wheelchair Ramps
There’s a huge range of ramps at Ramp Champ, but if you’re looking for something that’s tailored to your needs, why not request a custom ramp? Our custom rubber threshold ramps are a popular option for builders, occupational therapists and those that need a specific size.
Our custom rubber threshold ramps are made to order. We make these right here in Victoria using recycled truck tyres (an extra bonus for the planet!) And although pre-made ramps are a little more cost-effective, by choosing a custom-made ramp you can rest assured you’re getting exactly what you need. Plus, you can grab a free, no-obligation quote.
Shop Wheelchair Ramps