Choosing the right platform lift can be a game-changer, whether it’s for enhancing accessibility in your home, office, or any public space. It’s not just about picking the first one you come across; it’s about finding the perfect fit for your specific needs. Let’s dive into this step-by-step guide on how to choose the right platform lift for your needs.

Understanding Platform Lifts

First things first, what exactly is a platform lift? A platform lift is a type of elevator designed to move people, and sometimes goods, between different levels. Unlike traditional elevators, platform lifts are typically more compact, cost-effective, and easier to install. They come in various styles and functionalities, making them a versatile solution for improving accessibility.

Why You Might Need a Platform Lift

There are numerous reasons why you might consider installing a platform lift. Perhaps you have mobility issues and need an easier way to navigate between floors in your home. Maybe your business needs to comply with accessibility regulations, or you want to make your public space more welcoming to all visitors. Whatever the reason, a platform lift can provide a practical, inclusive, and user-friendly solution.

Types of Platform Lifts

Now, let’s get into the different types of platform lifts available.

1. Vertical Platform Lifts

Vertical platform lifts (VPLs) are designed to move straight up and down. They’re ideal for short distances, like between two floors or a raised entrance. VPLs are often used in homes, schools, and public buildings where space is limited.

2. Inclined Platform Lifts

Inclined platform lifts are installed along the stairs and are great for existing staircases. These lifts are perfect if you need to navigate multiple floors but don’t have the space or budget for a traditional lift. They’re a popular choice for both residential and commercial properties.

3. Portable Platform Lifts

Portable platform lifts are a flexible solution, particularly useful in temporary or multiple locations. These lifts can be moved as needed and are often used in event spaces, schools, and places of worship.

Key Features to Consider

When choosing a platform lift, there are several key features to consider. Let’s break these down to make your decision easier.


Consider the weight capacity you’ll need. Think about who will be using the lift and if it needs to accommodate wheelchairs, mobility scooters, or multiple people at once. Most residential lifts have a capacity of around 225kg, but you can find models that handle much more.

Size and Space

Measure the space where you plan to install the lift. You’ll need to ensure there’s enough room for the lift itself and that it can travel the required distance without obstructions. Also, consider the size of the platform – it should be large enough to accommodate its intended users comfortably.

Power Source

Platform lifts can be powered by different means – hydraulic, electric, or battery-powered. Hydraulic lifts are powerful and smooth but can be more expensive. Electric lifts are efficient and often quieter. Battery-powered lifts are a great backup in case of power outages but might have limitations in terms of capacity and speed.

Ease of Use

Make sure the lift is user-friendly. Look for intuitive controls, smooth operation, and safety features such as non-slip surfaces, secure handrails, and emergency stop buttons. Accessibility is key, so the lift should be easy to operate for all potential users.


While functionality is paramount, the look of the lift can also be important, especially in residential settings. Many lifts come with customisation options, allowing you to choose colours and finishes that blend seamlessly with your decor.

Installation and Maintenance

Installation and maintenance are critical aspects to consider. Here’s what you need to know:

Professional Installation

Always opt for professional installation. A certified installer will ensure the lift is set up correctly and safely, adhering to all local regulations and standards. They can also provide valuable advice on the best location and type of lift for your specific situation.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your lift in top condition. This includes routine inspections, servicing, and addressing any issues promptly. A well-maintained lift is safer, more reliable, and has a longer lifespan.

Cost Considerations

Cost is often a major factor in the decision-making process. The price of a platform lift can vary widely depending on the type, features, and installation requirements. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Initial Purchase Price – This includes the cost of the lift itself, which can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of pounds.
  • Installation Costs – These can vary based on the complexity of the installation and any necessary modifications to your property.
  • Maintenance and Repairs – Factor in the ongoing costs of regular maintenance and any potential repairs.

It’s crucial to set a budget but also to consider the long-term value and benefits of the lift.

Benefits of Installing a Platform Lift

Installing a platform lift comes with numerous benefits:

  • Increased Accessibility – Enhances mobility for individuals with disabilities, elderly people, and anyone with temporary mobility issues.
  • Compliance with Regulations – Helps businesses and public buildings comply with accessibility laws and standards.
  • Convenience – Makes everyday tasks easier, whether it’s moving between floors in your home or helping customers in a commercial setting.
  • Property Value – Can increase the value of your property by making it more accessible and user-friendly.

Making the Final Decision

Choosing the right platform lift involves careful consideration of your specific needs, the features available, and the costs involved. Here’s a quick checklist to help you make the final decision:

  • Assess Your Needs – Determine who will use the lift and how often.
  • Research Options – Look into the different types of lifts and their features.
  • Consult Professionals – Speak with lift installers and accessibility experts.
  • Set a Budget – Establish a realistic budget, including installation and maintenance.
  • Evaluate Safety Features – Ensure the lift meets all safety standards.
  • Consider Aesthetics – Choose a lift that complements your space.


Choosing the right platform lift might seem like a daunting task, but with the right information and a clear understanding of your needs, it becomes much easier. Remember, the goal is to improve accessibility and convenience, making life easier for everyone who uses the space.

By Mike

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