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Buyers Guide:
Straight Stairlifts

Buyers guide – Straight stairlifts


A stairlift is a guarantee of freedom for anyone who struggles with mobility around their own home. Choosing to purchase a stairlift means that you have a greater chance of retaining your independence, remaining in your own home and not having to look towards alternative arrangements.


Of course, you can’t put a price on freedom, but if you could, a stairlift would probably be the image that would accompany it!


Of course, purchasing a stairlift isn’t an easy task and you need to be sure that you’re investing your cash in a product which not only suits your mobility needs and your home, but which also fits in with your budget.


You are sure to have many questions concerning stairlifts, but in this buyer’s guide, we will help you understand all you need to know about purchasing the most common type of household stairlift – a straight stairlift.


Who is a Straight Stairlift Suitable For?


If you have a straight staircase, i.e. it doesn’t have any bends or curves, then a straight stairlift is the option for you. This is the regular type of stairlift you will no doubt have seen in pictures. It runs from the bottom to the top, or vice versa, of a straight set of stairs, helping you to move up and down your floors without struggle or risk of falls or injury.


Of course, all stairs are slightly different in length and width, but this isn’t a barrier to purchasing a straight stairlift. Prior to shopping for your ideal straight stairlift, you simply need to have your stairs measured properly, so you can obtain a quote for the right length. You might worry that your stairs are too narrow, but again, this shouldn’t be a barrier. Most stairs are amenable to stairlifts, and our range of Companion stairlifts are known to be some of the narrowest in the business.


Put simply, if you have mobility problems and your home has a set of straight stairs that you struggle to navigate, this type of stairlift will give you greater independence and will ensure that you retain your dignity in the process. You don’t have to rely upon friends or family members to help you up or down the stairs, you don’t have to worry about the potential for tripping and falling, and there’s no need to consider a bungalow. A straight stairlift is the ideal option.


What do You Need to Think About When Purchasing a Straight Stairlift?


First things first, ensure that your stairs are truly straight and have them measured accurately from bottom to top. You should also measure the width of your stairs, so you can choose the model accordingly. If you have any questions about the width, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help put your mind at rest.


Aside from size, there are a few others considerations you need to give some thought to before jumping in and making a purchase.


  • Budget – Straight stairlifts vary in price according to length, model, features, and whether it is new or reconditioned. It is possible to hire a straight stairlift if you want to ‘try before you buy’, but this will always cost you more over the long-term. Reconditioned stairlifts often work out up to 50% cheaper than a new model. It is possible to receive financial assistance when purchasing a stairlift, via a local council grant. This isn’t guaranteed for everyone however, and you will need to undergo an assessment of needs.
  • Model – There are many different companies who specialise in stairlifts, such a Acorn, Companion, Stannah, etc. It’s important to do your research and shop around. Again, we’re happy to help you whittle down your choice!
  • Installation – Make sure that the cost your stairlift includes installation by an experienced and registered stairlift installer. This will cut down on any worries you have about damage to your home (if your installer is professional, there should be no damage) and the time it should take to install your new stairlift.
  • The features you want – We’ll talk about standard and extra features in a moment, but you need to consider what features you want or need prior to shopping around, so you can ensure you find a model which fits the bill perfectly for you.


The Standard Features on a Straight Stairlift


Remember that all models vary slightly, but there are several standard features that a high quality straight stairlift should have.


  • Foldable seat, foot and arm rests, to avoid bulk when you’re not using the stairlift
  • Wireless remote controls to call and use the stairlift – you have two remotes; one is used on the ground floor, and the other is used on the second floor
  • 90 degree seat swivel. This ensures that when you reach the first floor, you can get off facing the landing, without having to twist and potentially fall
  • Sensors to detected obstructions on the stairway
  • Lap belt for your safety
  • Long life batteries which do not need maintenance . This means that if you have a power cut, your stairlift will continue to work


What Extras Should You Look For on a Straight Stairlift?


The basic features may be enough for you, but it’s worth knowing about the extra features some models include. These might be useful to you and your situation, therefore enhancing your quality of life.


A few common extra features include:


  • Retractable rails for space saving on the stairs
  • Extra slim design, ideal for narrow staircases
  • Swivel seat which automatically turns at both the top and bottom of the stairs (most turn at the top)
  • Coloured rail to fit in with your decor
  • Safety harness for extra security whilst moving


What You Need to Know About Straight Stairlift Installation


Most people assume that installing a straight stairlift is going to cause damage to their staircase decor, and perhaps even the carpet. A highly experienced and registered stairlift installer will not cause any marked damage to your decor and no structural changes will be required.


A straight stairlift runs up and down a straight rail. This rail is installed around 6” away from the wall, so as the stairlift is moving up and down, it doesn’t scuff or move against your wallpaper or paintwork. The footrest is also a few inches off the ground, so there will be no damage to your stairway carpet either.


Every household is slightly different, so we can’t give a definite timescale for how long your straight starlight will take to be installed. However, in most cases this can be done within a few hours, and certainly not more than a couple of days for event the most complicated of straight stairways.


As before, you should check that your purchase includes installation by a registered stairlift installer. This is usually a no-brainer, however asking the question will ensure that you have the highest quality end result.


How Much Can You Expect to Pay For a Straight Stairlift?


Again, we can’t be specific here because there are many variables involved. However, an average amount for a regular staircase with easy installation would be around £1850. Some models will be more expensive than this, e.g. if they have several extra features. For a more definite answer, contact us for a free, no obligation quote. This will give you more information how much you can expect to spend and you can set your budget accordingly.


The upfront cost of a brand new straight stairlift is quite high, even thought this is generally considered the cheapest of the stairlift types. In that case, you could consider a refurbished model. This will cut your price down by up to half and you will still receive a warranty and high quality product with installation included.


How Much Does it Cost to Run a Straight Stairlift?


Many people worry that a straight stairlift is going to take a large amount of power and therefore increase the electricity bill beyond measure. The good news is that today’s straight stairlifts are designed with sustainability in mind and they’re very economical to run on a daily basis.


Of course, the general amount depends on how often you use it, but provided you use your stairlift a few times every day, e.g. whenever you need to up and downstairs only, you’ll find that the cost of running is extremely low. Many manufacturers compare the cost of running a new stairlift to boiling a kettle! It’s certainly not going to cost you the same amount as running your home air conditioning unit, that’s for sure.


When shopping around for your ideal straight stairlift, it’s worth asking about running costs. Some models work out a little more economical over the long-term and if you want to keep your electricity bill low, opting for one of these types of straight stairlifts is the better option for you.


Warranty And Servicing Options For a Straight Stairlift


The warranty and servicing options for the particular stairlift vary according to the company you choose. However, the biggest names in the business, such as Acorn, Companion, Stannah, etc, all have long warranties to give you extra peace of mind. Most new stairlifts receive a 1 or 2 year full warranty and should you require any repairs during this time, someone will come to your home to fix whatever the issue is.


Outside of your warranty period, large stairlift companies have registered engineers who are licensed to repair and service these particular models. Engineers are on call 24/7, so whenever you have a problem, you can call and speak to someone who can help you.


When you purchase a straight stairlift, you’re not left out on your own as soon as the installer has left the premises. We understand that this is a large investment for you and your home and as such, warranties and servicing programs are on hand to ensure that you never feel alone if something happened to go wrong.


Maintenance Requirements


It’s very likely that you will use your new straight stairlift on a daily basis, probably multiple times during a day. In that case, your stairlift will need to be maintained occasionally, to check everything over and ensure nothing needs repairing or replacing inside.


Whether you have chosen a reconditioned or brand new stairlift, you should arrange a maintenance check by a registered engineer every 12 months. Just as you would have your boiler or your air conditioning unit checked, your straight stairlift also needs its own version of an MOT.


Between services however, you can do your best to avoid problems and keep your stairlift in good condition.


  • Make sure that are no obstructions along the rail at any time
  • Give the rail a dust weekly, using a dry cloth – never use a wet cloth
  • Keep the stairlift controls out of the way of children!
  • Don’t let your grandchildren or visiting children play on your stairlift
  • Check the maximum weight for the stairlift and ensure it isn’t exceeded at any time


Straight Stairlift Companies to Think About


Hopefully by now you’re seriously considering purchasing a straight stairlift, and that’s great news! Your next task is doing some research into the different straight stairlift companies around. By doing this, you can make an informed decision on which one is best for you. There are some stairlift companies you will certainly have heard of, but perhaps some you haven’t.


Some of the best straight stairlift companies to consider are:



Stannah Stairlifts are certainly one of the most celebrated and most commonly known, however that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out some of the other high quality companies around too. For instance, Acorn and Companion Stairlifts are both very sound choices, and some of our best selling stairlifts belong to these two company names.


Age UK Stairlifts are also a household name, but checking the models available throughout the various different brands gives you a far better chance of finding the the model that suits you best. Remember, this is a investment in your quality of life and as a result, you should take your time getting the choice right.


Here at Stairlift Comparison, we have chosen to work specifically with Acorn and Companion. The reason? We believe they are two of the highest quality stairlift companies in the business, offering value for money to customers. Companion have developed some of the most compact stairlifts in the world, whilst also having a large range of options available. In addition, Acorn have excellent aftercare and a promise to install your chosen stairlift within 24 hours.


Put simply, we want you to have the best experience, and we believe these two companies hit the mark.


We can answer any more questions that you may have, too. 


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