The Different Types of Home and Portable Wheelchair Ramps

Ramp for wheelchair entry with metal handrails

It's estimated that there are currently around 2.7 million wheelchair users in the United States. Unfortunately, although the situation is improving, there are still many public areas that are not wheelchair accessible. Having your own portable wheelchair ramp in these situations can be of great use.

And if you or a loved one uses a wheelchair, it is certainly worthwhile to install a wheelchair ramp at your home. But which type of ramp is best for you? Continue reading and we'll walk you through the different types of home and portable wheelchair ramps. 

Threshold Ramps

A threshold ramp can be composed of either metal or rubber. They're designed so that they can sit flush against the lip of a curb or the threshold of a door. Generally, threshold ramps are between one and six inches in height. They're also very lightweight and you can use them on both the outside and the inside of a doorway.

Threshold ramps are easy to use, cost-effective, and provide excellent mobility solutions to people who use wheelchairs, scooters, or walkers to get around.

Lego-Style Threshold Ramps

Although this ramp does resemble the popular children's toy, it's not actually made out of Lego. Granted, that doesn't mean it's not possible to make a wheelchair ramp entirely out of Lego

A Lego-style threshold ramp is lightweight and able to allow water to flow through it. These ramps can be used on the doorway both inside and outside. They are typically available in 1.5-inch heights and 7.5-inch heights. 

Many of these ramps can support up to 300 pounds. 

Folding Ramps

Folding ramps typically consist of either a tri-fold (four panels) or bi-fold (two panels) with hinges placed between each of the panels. The tri-fold ramps fold over three times while the bi-fold ramps fold over only once.

It's worth noting that folding ramps aren't ADA-compliant and they don't have handrails. So they should not be used for commercial use. You can place a folding ramp over a set of stairs that lead into your house, for example.

Suitcase Ramps

A suitcase ramp is one of the best ramps when it comes to portability. These are usually around four feet long and they can support around 800lbs. A suitcase ramp can lay directly on top of a small set of stairs so it's also useful for home use. 

This kind of ramp is also not ADA-compliant so it should be used for personal use only.

Telescoping Ramps

A telescoping ramp is made of two narrow, separate channels. These channels are typically no wider than one foot each. The ramp can retract and extend so that it can reach your desired length. 

The channels are placed next to each other and are meant to line up with the wheels on your wheelchair. Telescoping ramps are especially helpful when it comes to getting into vans that are not wheelchair-accessible, however many people in wheelchairs struggle to have proper headroom when sitting in their wheelchair in an unconverted vehicle. Telescoping ramps aren't always compatible with mobile scooters because the wheels often don't properly line up. 

Rollable Ramps

Rollable wheelchair ramps are one of the easiest ramps to take with you on the move. These ramps can fold which makes them very easy to carry. They also come in various sizes. Most rollable ramps are made out of aluminum and they're durable as well as lightweight. 

The surface is non-slippery so you can step or roll on it with ease. These ramps are especially useful when moving in and out of buildings and vans that are wheelchair-accessible. 

Modular Ramps

When it comes to wheelchair ramps specifically for home use, you may want to opt for a modular ramp. This kind of fixture is more permanent and larger than the other ramps listed above. Luckily, you don't need a building permit because it is possible to break this ramp down and reassemble it somewhere else. 

This fixture is made out of ramp sections that are built off-site and then brought to your home to be quickly assembled. Aluminum is one of the best materials to make modular ramps out of, especially for outdoor use. This is because aluminum is cost-effective and it doesn't warp or rust.  

Permanent Ramps

This is another good choice for home wheelchair ramps. They're typically made out of concrete or wood. You can't adjust or move this ramp after it's been set in place.

You will thus need a building permit to construct it. Unlike a modular ramp, this kind of fixture is built totally on-site. This means that construction and installation time will take longer than for a modular ramp. 

These ramps are often installed instead of modular ramps when the homeowner also wants the ramp to fit the aesthetics of the home. 

The Importance Knowing About the Different Types of Wheelchair Ramps

As we can see from the list above, there are all types of wheelchair ramps available to us. They range in size, cost, and portability. While all of these ramps can be helpful, there are some that will likely be more helpful to you than others. 

Before purchasing a wheelchair ramp, you should first think about what you expect to get out of the ramp and what your budget is. You'll also have to consider how big the ramp is and how much weight it can support. And if you get a portable ramp, you'll have to think about how you intend to carry it with you. 

Are you currently looking to purchase wheelchair ramps or other mobility solutions? Contact us today and see how we can help you!

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