For a lot of us in wheelchairs navigating tight or small spaces can bring on unneeded stress and struggle that come with having to navigate tight spaces. These are just the realities that wheelchair users live in. Because of this finding, the best narrow wheelchair can easily help you navigate skinny hallways and door widths without feeling like you can’t get throw them properly.
With so many wheelchairs on the market, how do you know what wheelchairs are the best for maneuvering about tight hallways, corners, and doorways? We have put together some of our best recommendations when it comes to choosing the best narrow wheelchairs for your situation.
Top Narrow Wheelchair
1. Karman S-305 Ergo Manual Wheelchair
The Karman S-305 is our top choice when it comes to the best narrow wheelchair for tight spaces.
With only an overall width of 24″ -26″ this particular model is narrow enough to navigate most doorways or hallways.
It comes standard with excellent comfort features for all day use. Not to mention it has a good weight capacity for most users.
At only 29 lbs. This chair is very lightweight and can be picked up by most users for easy transport.
- 1. Karman S-305 Ergo Manual Wheelchair
- wheelchair widths
- Will a wheelchair fit through an average doorway width?
- ADA recommended standard width on doors
- Wheelchair Accessible Hallway Widths
- Best 5 narrow wheelchairs
- Narrow Wheelchair Comparison Chart
- The 6 Best Narrow Wheelchairs
- 1. Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair
- 2. REVO Slim-Line Daily-Living Wheelchair
- 3. Drive Silver Sport Wheelchair
- 4. Drive Cruiser X4 Wheelchair
- 5. Breezy 600 Manual Wheelchair
- 6. Excel K4 Lightweight Wheelchair
- Getting your home ready for wheelchair accessibility
- What to look for when purchasing The best narrow wheelchair
- Frequently asked questions about narrow wheelchairs
- Our final thoughts on the best narrow wheelchairs
Wheelchairs come in different widths and sizes so they can accommodate a wide range of different body types. The seat width is one of the most important measurements when choosing a wheelchair. When speaking about a wheelchair seat width we are referring to the dimension of the upholstery seat where the wheelchair user sits. This is in between the armrests.
The proper width is needed so the patient can have the most comfortable experience possible. Choosing the wrong width can lead to higher chances of pressure sores while sitting, the chance of falling out of the wheelchair, and a bad overall experience when using the wheelchair. Also, remember that even though some ultralight wheelchairs are extremely light some still have a wide width making them difficult to navigate in tight spaces.
The same holds true for a seat that is too wide for the patient. This can lead to safety issues and the inability to properly access the hand rims to self properly the wheelchair.
When purchasing a wheelchair you will find the most common seat width is from 18 inches to 22 inches. But for adults, we see a wheelchair seat of 22-inches s the most purchased width in a wheelchair. Regardless of this, you need to make sure you are properly fitted for a wheelchair and not squeeze into a seat width just because it’s the most common size used.
Will a wheelchair fit through an average doorway width?
In general yes a wheelchair will fit through an average doorway width. Most doorways will have a width that is between 23 and 27 inches. Most wheelchairs have a seat width that will be from 18 to 22 inches making it possible for a wheelchair to fit through.
Do keep in mind that this is a tight fit and typically can only be done with the wheelchair is going through a straight line leaving a little room on each side of the chair. Even when a wheelchair user approaches the door at a very slight angle it can possess a problem because there is no room to spare.
ADA recommended standard width on doors
The accessibility standard recommendations from the ADA say that there should be at least a 32-inch wide width through the doorway. This measurement gives more width than what should be needed leading to a much easier time when a wheelchair needs to go through a doorway.
The height of the door should also be 80 inches with locks and handles at 48 inches from the floor. Or lower if need be, but not higher.
If there is a lip or threshold that is higher than 1/2 inch it should have a ramp installed to make the transition easier when using a wheelchair. Even portable wheelchair ramps for the home can be used to safely get over small thresholds.
Wheelchair Accessible Hallway Widths
Hallways are another concern for those in wheelchairs. Some hallways are so tight that navigating them in a wheelchair can be challenging. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there should be a minimum of at least 36 inches wide for hallways.
For turns of 180 degrees, there should be at least 36 inches in all directions. However, we know that this might not always be the case, and choosing the best narrow wheelchair can help navigate smaller doorways and hallways.
Best 5 narrow wheelchairs
|Our Rank||Narrow Wheelchair||Our Score|
|1.||Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair||4.9/5|
|2.||REVO Slim-Line Daily Living Wheelchair||4.8/5|
|3.||Drive Silver Sport Wheelchair||4.7/5|
|4.||Drive Cruiser X4 Wheelchair||4.6/5|
|5.||Breezy 600 Manual Wheelchair||4.7/5|
|6.||Excel K4 Lightweight Wheelchair||4.5/5|
Narrow Wheelchair Comparison Chart
|Key Specs||Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair||REVO Slim-Line Daily Living Wheelchair||Drive Silver Sport Wheelchair||Drive Cruiser X4 Wheelchair||Breezy 600 Manual Wheelchair||Excel K4 Lightweight Wheelchair|
|Weight capacity:||250 lbs.||300 lbs.||250 lbs||300 lbs.||250 lbs.||300 lbs.|
|Wheelchair weight:||29 lbs.||34 lbs.||37.6 lbs.||32 lbs. – 36 lbs.||28 lbs.||33.5 lbs.|
|Seat width:||16″, 18″||18″||18″||16″ – 20″||14″ -20″||16″ -20″|
|Seat depth:||17″||17″||15.75″||16″, 18″||16″ -18″||16″, 18″|
|Overall width:||24″, 26″||21.5″||24″||23″ -27″||21″ -27″||23.5″ -27.5″|
|Overall height:||38″||N/A||30″, 36″||36″||36″||38″|
The 6 Best Narrow Wheelchairs
An excellent overall choice for a narrow wheelchair is the Karman S-305 Ergonomic Manual Wheelchair. With an overall width of 24″ – 26″ this chair should have no issues navigating tight hallways or doors.
The anti-bacterial upholstery and Ergonomic S shape seat make sitting in this chair really comfortable even for prolonged periods of time. With a good weight capacity and weight of only 29 pounds, this wheelchair can be taken anywhere with little effort.
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
- Product weight: 29lbs.
- Overall width: 24″, 26″
- Overall Length: 43″
- Seat-to-floor height: 18″ -20″
- Footrests: Swingaway, Elevating
Score: (4.9 / 5)
- Excellent comfort
- Very lightweight
- Ergonomic seat
- Great for travel
- Swingaway legrests
- Can be pushed easy
- Little more expensive than some other manual wheelchairs
Bottom-line: Those looking for a narrow and lightweight wheelchair to get around a smaller home or tighter hallways should keep the Karman S-305 on their short list of the best narrow chairs. It has all the comfort and ability of any larger chair.
What others are saying:
Excellent wheelchair for smaller spaces. Lightweight enough that I can bring it anywhere.Linda S.
One of the best wheelchairs i have used. Lightweight, easy to use indoors and out.Ralph P.
This wheelchair has been so easy for my Mother. Easy and lightweight to push when we are out.Mark S.
2. REVO Slim-Line Daily-Living Wheelchair
REVO Slim-Line Daily Living Wheelchair
Our top choice for the best narrow wheelchair is the REVO Slim-Line Daily Living Wheelchair. This is one of the narrowest wheelchairs you can get at a slim 21.5″ overall width. There are no bells and whistles to this type of chair and is strictly for indoor use. With a great weight capacity of 300 pounds and a product weight of only 34 pounds, this chair can navigate almost any hallway or doorway.
With a very thick 3-inch, padded seat cushion and breathable back ventilated design this chair really is comfortable for those looking for a true indoor narrow wheelchair. This chair is also easy to get around because of the extra-large 20″ rear wheels and 5″ front casters. For those looking for the best narrow wheelchair for indoor use, this should be at the top of your list.
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
- Product weight: 34 lbs.
- Overall width: 21.5″
- Seat width: 18″
- Seat depth: 17″
- Rear wheel size: 20″
Score: (4.9 / 5)
- Narrowest wheelchair we found
- Excellent weight capacity
- Very comfortable contoured design
- Can maneuver tight coners and hallways with ease
- Only for indoor use
Drive Silver Sport Wheelchair
Are you looking for a well-built, easy-to-use manual wheelchair that is narrow, lightweight, with just the features you need? IF so, the Drive Silver Sport Wheelchair may be for you. This is a very economical, well-built, and dependable wheelchair with a narrow 24″ width that will get you in and out of most doorways and hallways with ease.
This chair is also comfortable with its padded armrests that are full-length. The Urethane tires are on composite wheels that are not only low maintenance but also provide excellent stability for the user.
This is a great cost-effective wheelchair that is great in narrow situations.
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
- Product weight: 37.6 lbs.
- Overall width: 24″
- Overall Length: 43.5″
- Overall height: 30″ ,36″
- Seat width: 18″
- Seat depth: 15.75″
- Armrest: Full length
Score: (4.7 / 5)
- Push to lock wheels
- Competitve pricing
- Swing-away footrests
- Padded armrests
- Urethane tires
- Armrests are not removable
Drive Cruiser X4 Wheelchair
The Drive Cruiser X4 wheelchair only weighs 32 to 36 lbs and is extremely strong because it’s constructed out of carbon steel and aluminum. With an overall width of 23″ -27″, this chair should have no issues getting through most entry points or hallways. It is considered a narrow and strong manual wheelchair.
We love that this wheelchair also has three separate axles that adjust the seat to different heights so the user can find just the right height for the best experience while using the wheelchair. It can also the angle the seat back for even more comfort while using the chair.
The armrest height can be adjusted as well really making this wheelchair customizable over many others in its price range.
- Weight capacity: 350 lbs.
- Product weight: 6.8 lbs.
- Seat width: 16″, – 20″
- Seat depth: 16″, 18″
- Seat-to-floor height: 17″ -19″
- Overall width: 23″ -27″
- Overall lenght: 43″
- Armrest: Full lenght – flip back
Score: (4.6 / 5)
- Excellent strength
- Excellent customization
- Narrow for tight spaces
- Easy to push or propel
- Great weight capacity
- Maintenance free mag-style wheels
- Chair is a little heavier then some others in its class.
Breezy 600 Manual Wheelchair
The Breezy 600 is a lightweight and very narrow wheelchair that can be brought along almost anywhere you go. At only 28 pounds it is very easy to lift into a vehicle for travel and narrow enough to navigate almost any door or space.
Made from a lightweight aluminum side frame with a padded seat sling for extra comfort it is a favorite for those looking for a lightweight and narrow style manual wheelchair.
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
- Product weight: 28 lbs.
- Overall width: 21″ – 27″
- Overall Length: 34″
- Folded width: 12″
- Overall lenght: 34″
- Overall height: 36″
- Rear wheel size: 20″ -24″
Score: (4.7 / 5)
- Very lightweight
- Easy-to-travel with
- Very narrow
- Aluminum sideframe
- Padded seat sling for better comfort
- Weight capacity is lower than some other chairs in its class
Excel K4 Lightweight Wheelchair
Medline’s Excel K4 Wheelchair is a basic but well-built and sturdy narrow style wheelchair that can be used both indoors and out. We love this wheelchair because of its dual height axles and with a weight of only 33.5 pounds it makes taking the chair with you easy.
With the virtually maintenance-free wheels and the sealed bearings that help to keep dirt and other particles out of the wheels, you will find there is little upkeep while using this chair.
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
- Product weight: 33.5 lbs.
- Overall width: 23.5″ – 27.5″
- Overall Length: 32″
- Folded width: 12″
- Overall lenght: 32″
- Overall height: 38″
- Rear wheel size: 24″
Score: (4.8 / 5)
- Maintenance free wheels
- Well priced
- Flip-back removable armrest
- Seat could be more comfortable
Getting your home ready for wheelchair accessibility
If you are new to using a wheelchair you may be noticing that your home is probably not wheelchair accessible making it easier for and safer for you to use your wheelchair at home. For those of us who need to use wheelchairs within the home here are some areas that you should focus on to get your home wheelchair ready.
Front, back, or side entrances
The main entrance or an entrance that you will use to enter the home should be fast at least 33 inches so you can safely get the wheelchair in and out of the home. Also, you need to think about thresholds and if you will need a wheelchair ramp to safely navigate the step up and step downs if any exist.
Carpet and thick mats can cause wheelchairs to become harder to propel. Removing these types of flooring can make using the wheelchair much easier around the home. Hardwood or laminate flooring can easily be put down to make using a wheelchair easier and safer.
Door handles and locks
Being able to reach a handle while sitting in a wheelchair is something you need to think about. Same for a lock. All handles and door locks should be 48 inches from the floor or lower. This measurement should allow for anyone sitting in a wheelchair to be able to easily turn a handle or lock.
Furniture should be moved so there is ample room to move the wheelchair without hitting or getting wheels stuck on the corners of furniture. When this happens it will increase the risk of flipping or falling out of the wheelchair. Moving tables, couches, end tables, and more can reduce the risk of falling making it safer to navigate around the home.
Using a bathroom in a wheelchair can be tricky. Because of this mobility aid companies have manufactured wheelchairs that can be used in the shower and also have toilets built-in under the seat. Transferring to a toilet can also be tricky and there are minimum heights that a toilet should be from the floor.
The toilet seat should be 16 inches or less from the floor. You can also utilize shower and toilet grab bars to easily pull yourself up and then use those bars to sit again easier and safer while in the bathroom.
What to look for when purchasing The best narrow wheelchair
The wheelchair width is what you are searching for so you need to know what that is on the wheelchair you are interested in purchasing. Every wheelchair has a seat width and an overall width. The seat width is the length of the seat you will be sitting on.
The overall width of the wheelchair is the longest measurement of the chair in terms of its width and will be longer than the interior seat width. The chairs we mention above are pretty narrow and should make for a good choice when looking for a narrow wheelchair for tight spaces.
Most of these narrow wheelchairs that we reviewed are lightweight to almost ultralight in some instances. There are benefits to having a lightweight narrow chair especially indoors. You can move a lighter wheelchair easier, propel the chair easier, and turn it with less effort.
Narrow wheelchairs a lot of the time are not used over great periods of time like the types of wheelchairs. Because of this, the user may find themselves getting in and out of the chair often. Swing-away footrests make it really easy for the user to get in and out of the wheelchair safely without the risk of tripping on the footrest.
Frequently asked questions about narrow wheelchairs
Do wheelchairs come in different sizes of seat widths? Yes, wheelchairs come in a few different sizes. However, the most common size is 20, 18, 26 inches in the seat width. Heavy-duty wheelchairs will have even wider-width seats.
Are transport chairs better for narrow sports? They could be as the yare really narrow overall. However, you can not self-propel a transport chair on your own. You will need a caregiver to push you so they may not be right for you if you do not have someone to help you at all times.
What is the narrowest manual wheelchair you can buy? From our research, is the Revo Slim Line Daily Living Wheelchair. It has an overall width of only 21.5″ and can get you into almost any door or hallway.
Our final thoughts on the best narrow wheelchairs
Narrow wheelchairs are important for those that require a way to use a wheelchair while navigating narrow doors and hallways indoors. These types of wheelchairs are great at providing a safe and efficient way to get around these types of situations when a standard-width wheelchair might be too wide.
While narrow wheelchairs are excellent for indoor use they may not be the right chair for outdoor conditions are not as ideal as indoor making the wheelchair perform poorly. Because of this, someone that needs a wheelchair for outdoor use will most likely be better off finding a different type of manual wheelchair for these conditions.
Choosing the best narrow wheelchair can make navigating the home much easier than using other types of chairs. We hope this in-depth review of narrow wheelchairs has shed light on your next purchase.