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SpotDif’s 2024 guide to stairlifts

Seeking a cost-effective solution for your stairlift needs? Our 2024 stairlift guide is here to help you compare stairlift models. Read on as we delve into the specifications, features, and distinctions to compare the most common stairlift types in the UK.

Our goal? To provide you with comprehensive insights to identify the stairlift that best suits your requirements — rolled into one accessible resource. We get that choosing a stairlift model for your needs can seem overwhelming — especially when there are so many options out there. So, why don’t we streamline the process for you?

Our platform compares the pricing and key attributes of stairlifts, such as usability, comfort, maintenance requirements, and aesthetic appeal. All of which is guided by the information provided by trusted UK stairlift suppliers.

Find a stairlift suited to your needs with SpotDif by filling in our stairlift comparison form.


Comparing the types of stairlifts available in the UK

Each stairlift model comes with its own set of perks and drawbacks — both of which are important to consider before deciding on your perfect match. We're laying out the most common stairlift types, breaking down their pros and cons. Our goal is to arm you with all the facts, ensuring you make a choice that’s just right for your home and lifestyle.

What is a stairlift and how does it work?

A stairlift is a piece of mobility furniture, designed to whisk you up and down stairs without a fuss. Picture a comfortable chair or platform that glides along a rail attached to your staircase. At the push of a button, it can carry you smoothly to your destination, upstairs or downstairs.

But, how does it work? It’s actually quite simple. At the heart of a stairlift is its motor, nestled within the base, which powers the movement along the rail. This setup ensures a safe and steady ride without the need for any strenuous climbing.

It’s a game-changer for those looking to maintain independence at home, offering a safe, reliable lift whenever you need to go.

Straight stairlifts

Straight stairlifts are the go-to for a direct, fuss-free lift up a straight staircase. Their key perk? Simplicity — making them generally more affordable and quicker to install.

Ideal for those with a straightforward stair layout, they offer a seamless solution to moving between floors effortlessly and safely.


Straight stairlifts are typically wallet-friendly, often coming in as the most cost-effective option. This is because their simple design means less custom work, keeping your pockets happy. They’re the perfect match for those with a straight staircase looking to boost home accessibility without splashing too much cash.


The no-fuss, straight rail design of a straight staircase allows for speedy setups, often within a few hours. This means you can go from consultation to cruising up and down your stairs in no time, with minimal disruption to your day-to-day ongoings.

Durability and maintenance

Straight stairlifts are built for the long haul thanks to their simple construction. Regular check-ups and a bit of TLC are all they need to keep them running smoothly, ensuring you have a dependable lift that gets you from A to B for years to come.

Space requirements

The space requirements needed for straight stairlifts are refreshingly minimal. Their sleek design hugs your staircase, leaving plenty of room for foot traffic. Ideal for narrow staircases or homes where space is at a premium, they prove that adding comfort and accessibility to your home doesn’t have to mean giving up precious living space.

Mobility stairlift being used by someone in their home

Curved stairlifts

Curved stairlifts are the solution for staircases with bends or corners. They shine with their custom-fit design, ensuring a smooth and safe ascent around every twist and turn. Ideal for homes with unique stair layouts, they bring independence to those navigating more complex staircase layouts.


The custom nature of a curved stairlift can mean a higher price tag. This is down to the personalisation and engineering required to match your staircase's unique contours. While they're an investment for those with winding or curved stairs, they're often the only option that can truly make a home fully accessible in these circumstances.


With curved stairlifts, installation can take a bit more time to get everything just right. This means you might have to wait longer to see your stairlift in action, as crafting and fitting the rail to your staircase's specific curves and corners requires precise measurements and manufacturing. But patience pays off, and you’ll end up with a seamless fit that feels like part of the home.

Durability and maintenance

Curved stairlifts are built to last and are designed to tackle any structural complexities. However, it’s important to bear in mind that the bespoke nature of their tracks can mean that any maintenance or repairs might be a tad more involved than their straight-lift counterparts.

Space requirements

One of the main advantages of a curved stairlift is that it’s tailored to your home's specifics, meaning it can usually be installed without any significant alterations to your living space.

However, because they're custom-made, it's harder to repurpose them if you move or want to sell them, unlike straight stairlifts which have a more universal fit. Nonetheless, for those with curved staircases, the tailored design ensures a perfect match to your home's aesthetics and spatial constraints.

View of stairlife going upwards with red cushions

Outdoor stairlifts

Outdoor stairlifts are your ally against the great outdoors — tackling your garden steps with ease. With excellent weather-proofing properties for fighting against the elements, they ensure durability all year round. Perfect for those with gardens or steps to their front door, they offer freedom and safety in outdoor spaces — especially ideal for anyone keen to maintain an active and independent outdoor lifestyle.


Cost-wise, outdoor stairlifts can be a bit more of an investment due to their robust, weather-proof design.


Outdoor stairlift installation is straightforward but requires a keen eye for detail to ensure they stand up to the elements while keeping you safe. They might need a bit more planning, especially in gardens or on uneven outdoor surfaces, but the payoff is often worth it for your independence.

Durability and maintenance

Durability is where outdoor stairlifts really shine, built with weather-resistant materials to withstand the test of time against the UK’s harsh weather conditions. Maintenance is key for this reason — regular checks will keep your stairlift moving smoothly, ensuring leaves, snow, or rain don’t put a damper on its operation.

Space requirements

Outdoor stairlifts are designed to integrate seamlessly with your outdoor steps, without eating into your garden space or obstructing pathways. They’re a smart fit for anyone looking to maintain an active outdoor lifestyle, ensuring every corner of your home and garden remains accessible. Just bear in mind, their weather-hardy nature might mean they're a bit more of a fixture than their indoor counterparts, tailored to stay put and stand strong — come rain or come shine. This is something to consider, especially if you’re thinking of changing properties in the near future.

Standing stairlifts

Standing stairlifts offer a sturdy platform to stand on during your ascent or descent. They’re tailor-made for individuals with issues bending their knees, providing a robust alternative to seated stairlifts.


Standing stairlifts are often a budget-friendlier choice due to their simplified design, lacking the need for a full-seat setup. This makes them a practical option for those looking to enhance home mobility without a hefty price tag.


The installation process for standing stairlifts is usually straightforward and quick, thanks to their less complex structure. The result? Less disruption in your home and faster access to seamless floor-to-floor movement.

Durability and maintenance

Durability is a strong suit of standing stairlifts, built to withstand regular use and standing weight. Maintenance is typically minimal with routine checks to keep it running smoothly.

Space requirements

Standing stairlifts are compact, requiring less room than seated models. This makes them a perfect fit for narrow staircases, maximising available space without compromising your home’s accessibility.

Perch stairlifts

Perch stairlifts are the savvy choice for those who prefer perching over sitting or standing. They come equipped with a small, secure seat to lean on, combining the best of both worlds for comfort and stability. This is especially ideal if you have limited flexibility or if you find sitting uncomfortable.


Perch stairlifts are priced in the middle between straight stairlifts and standing stairlifts, reflecting their specialised nature for those who need them.


Installation-wise, perch stairlifts require a little more precision to ensure the perch seat fits your height and the staircase's profile. This tailored setup means a bit more time before it’s up and running, but we’d say the custom fit is well worth the wait.

Durability and maintenance

Regular upkeep, such as cleaning and occasional checks, will keep your perch stairlift in tip-top condition.

Space requirements

Space requirements are minimal for perch stairlifts, making them a great option for narrow staircases where a traditional seated lift might not fit. Their design optimises available space, ensuring the staircase remains accessible for others when the lift is not in use. A smart choice for compact living environments!

Comparing stairlifts for specific circumstances

Reconditioned stairlifts are a smart pick for those eyeing value without skimping on quality. They're essentially pre-loved stairlift units that have been spruced up to meet safety standards, making them as reliable as they are budget-friendly. Perfect for the cost-conscious without compromising on safety or functionality.

Narrow stairlifts tackle the challenge of slender staircases head-on. Engineered to snugly fit even the tightest of spaces, they ensure that every nook and cranny of your home remains accessible. You may find this model ideal if you have an older home with a narrower staircase.

Heavy-duty stairlifts are designed to support a greater weight capacity. They're built with stronger materials and have a wider seat, ensuring comfort and durability for plus-size users. These stairlifts ensure that everyone has access to safe and comfortable home navigation, no matter their size.

Selecting the best stairlift model for your needs

Choosing the perfect stairlift isn't just about picking a model off the shelf and hoping for the best. That's why we're diving deeper, comparing the ins and outs of different stairlifts to match them up with a range of user needs.

Best stairlift model for limited leg mobility

Perch stairlifts are tailor-made for individuals facing difficulties when sitting or standing for prolonged periods. By allowing the user to perch rather than sit, these stairlifts reduce the strain on the legs and knees, providing a more comfortable alternative.

Best stairlift model for those on a budget

Straight stairlifts take the crown when it comes to choosing a budget-friendly stairlift solution. Their straightforward design and manufacturing process mean they're less costly to produce and install than more complex stairlift models. They don’t need any custom curves or additional weatherproofing, making them the best budget-friendly choice.

Best stairlift model for plus-size users

Heavy-duty stairlifts are engineered with reinforced structures and increased weight capacities to accommodate plus-size users comfortably and safely. These models feature wider seats and robust construction to ensure stability and durability, for individuals who require additional support.

Best stairlift model for limited space

Standing stairlifts are an effective space-saving solution, requiring less room than traditional seated lifts. This means they can be installed in tighter spaces without compromising the stairway's functionality for other users. However, bear in mind that standing stairlift models may not be suitable if you feel more secure travelling while seated.

Best stairlift model for customisation

Curved stairlift units are bespoke, and designed to precisely fit the nooks and crannies of any staircase. This made-to-measure approach means personalised integration and operation, regardless of your staircase's complex structure.

Compare UK stairlift prices

The quickest and most transparent way to compare stairlift prices is with SpotDif. Make the most of your search by filling out our stairlift comparison form and answering a few brief questions. We’ll just need your:

  • Specific requirements: What type of stairlift are you looking for? Do you want any specific features or technologies to enhance your mobility experience?

  • Financing options: If you require financing for your stairlift, you can let us know during the search process — we’ll make sure you receive accurate quotes and information.

  • Contact details: We will ask for your contact details to personalise the search results and provide you with the most relevant information. Rest assured that your information will be handled securely following our privacy policy.


Find great deals on UK stairlifts with SpotDif

SpotDif is the tool you need to find local stairlift suppliers offering the best deals. We’ll scan our network of trusted stairlift brands across the UK and compare their products and prices so you don’t have to. Start your search for a stairlift today with SpotDif.
Frequently Asked Questions
Molly Govus
Health Sector Specialist
My goal is to help you make the most informed decision for your health needs. No smoke, no mirrors — just research-led guidance and money-saving advice.
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