Your Guide to Stairlifts for Narrow Stairs

Stairlifts for narrow stairs

  • You can install stairlifts for narrow stairs on staircases with narrow layouts, using models like perch that especially accommodate tight spaces.
  • Staircases with a width of at least 66 cm (26 inches) can generally fit a small stair lift.
  • Standing and perching stairlifts are ideal for narrow stairs, with specific models like the Acorn 130 and Acorn 180 being top choices.

Navigating narrow staircases can be challenging for individuals with mobility and accessibility limitations. Luckily, various types of stairlifts are available to resolve this problem. 

These include straight stairlifts, which are suitable for staircases with no curves, curved stairlifts designed for stairs with turns or landings, and perched stairlifts that allow users to be in a more upright position during the ride.

When choosing the right stairlift for your narrow staircase, consider factors such as your home’s layout, budget, and specific mobility requirements. These will help ensure that you choose a stairlift that best meets your needs and provides safe and reliable help in navigating the stairs.

This guide covers the different types of stairlifts, those for narrow spaces and top models on the market.

Have a narrow staircase? You’re not alone! Many UK homes, especially older ones, have staircases narrower than 800mm wide, and we’ve helped thousands find the perfect stairlift solution. 

Get 3 FREE, personalised quotes from trusted providers who specialise in stairlifts for narrow stairs. Use the quick form on the right and start enjoying your home again!

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Can you put a stairlift on a narrow staircase?

putting a stairlift on a narrow stairs

Yes, you can absolutely install a stairlift on a narrow staircase. Modern stairlift models are specifically designed to fit in tight spaces, prioritising both safety and comfort. 

Technological advancements have made it easier than ever to install stairlifts in tight spaces, ensuring accessibility for all.

Key features for narrow stairs:

  • Compact design: Specifically engineered to fit in limited space.
  • Folding features: Seats and footrests fold away when not in use, saving space.
  • Standing and perching options: They require less legroom, which is ideal stairlifts for narrow stairs.

Benefits of stairlifts for narrow stairs:

  • Enhanced accessibility: Creates an inclusive living environment for everyone.
  • Effortless movement: Allows smooth and safe travel between floors.
  • Space-saving: Foldable features and slim designs save available space.
  • Increased mobility: Standing and perching options provide greater flexibility for users.

Thanks to continuous innovation, it’s now easier than ever to install stairlifts on narrow stairs. By choosing a stairlift made for narrow stairs, you can maintain your independence and create an inclusive environment at home. These modern models not only meet practical needs but also improve the comfort and welcoming ambience of your living space.

What is the minimum width of stairs for a stairlift?

minimum width of stairs for stairlift for narrow stairs

The minimum width of stairs for a stairlift installation is 71 cm (28 inches). This width ensures the safe installation and operation of the stairlift, as highlighted in the UK Care Guide’s article, “Your Guide To Stair Lift Dimensions”. If your staircase is narrower, you might need a bespoke stairlift solution.

The article also notes the importance of accurate height measurements and seat design for stairlift installation.

Experts from Stannah and Stairlift Guru confirm that the minimum width for straight stairlifts is around 68 cm (27 inches), while for curved stairlifts, is slightly wider at about 70 cm (28 inches). Options like standing or perching stairlifts for narrow stairs can be suitable for particularly narrow staircases, with some models requiring a minimum width of just 66 cm (26 inches).

Best stairlifts for narrow stairs

The best stairlifts for narrow stairs vary based on the width of your stairs, whether they are straight or curved, your mobility and accessibility requirements, and your budget. According to Stairlift Guru, standing and perching stairlifts are typically the best options due to their space-saving design. Let’s explore them in more detail. 

Small space standing stairlifts

standing stair lift for narrow stairs

Standing stairlifts are perfect for small spaces and people who can’t bend their knees or prefer standing. They take up less room than traditional seated versions. The Acorn 130, praised by Age UK Mobility for its compact design and cost between £2,000 and £3,000, is a popular choice. It features a slimline build with foldable components, maximising space on narrow staircases. 

Pros and cons of standing stairlifts for narrow stairs

Pros and Cons of standing stairlifts for narrow staircases

✔️Pros

Space-saving design: Ideal for very narrow staircases as they require less space than seated stairlifts.

Flexibility for users: Suitable for users who have difficulty sitting or bending their knees.

Compact footprint: Foldable features minimise space usage when the stairlift is not in use, keeping the staircase clear.

Increased mobility: Allows users to travel in a standing or perching position, which can be more comfortable for some individuals.

❌ Cons

Balance requirements: Users need to have good balance and strength to use these stairlifts safely.

Less comfort: Standing or perching can be less comfortable for longer durations compared to sitting.

Limited support: Provides less support than seated models, which may not be suitable for users needing significant assistance.

Higher cost: Specialised design for narrow spaces can be more expensive than basic seated stairlifts.

 

Best model for standing stairlifts:

  • Acorn 130 standing stairlift: the Acorn 130 is a top choice for narrow spaces due to its compact design and efficient use of space.

Key considerations for standing stairlifts:

  • Acorn 130: According to Age UK Mobility, this model is a top choice for narrow spaces and is known for its intuitive controls, safety sensors, and smooth ride.
  • Cost: Expect to pay £2,000-£3,000 for a new Acorn 130, with reconditioned models available for less.
  • Suitability: It is best for users who require partial seating support or prefer to stand. Its foldable features make it convenient for narrow staircases. It may be less suitable for those with balance issues.

Cost of Acorn 130 standing stairlifts for narrow stairs

Type New cost  Reconditioned cost 
Acorn 130  £2,000-£3,000 £1,500-£2,500

These costs are estimates.

Perch stairlifts

perch stairlifts for narrow stairs

Perch stairlifts, which cost between £2,500 and £4,500, are brand new from Stannah and offer a middle ground between standing and sitting positions. They are designed for those who want some support but find traditional seats uncomfortable. These models offer a more upright position and can be customised for both straight and curved staircases.

According to Stairlift Guru, perch stairlifts offer additional support and stability, making them a practical solution for those requiring a balanced combination of comfort and support while navigating stairs.

Pros and cons of perch stairlifts for narrow stairs

Pros and cons of perch stairlifts for narrow staircases

✔️Pros

Ideal for narrow spaces: designed to take up less space, making them suitable for very narrow staircases.

User flexibility: Suitable for users who find it difficult to sit or bend their knees.

Increase space usage: Foldable features increase space usage when the stairlift is not in use.

Enhanced upright mobility: Allows users to maintain an upright position, which can be more comfortable for some individuals.

❌ Cons

Requires good balance: Users need to have good balance and strength to use these stairlifts safely.

Less comfortable for long use: Standing or perching can be uncomfortable for longer durations compared to sitting.

Limited support: Provides less support than seated models, which may only be suitable for some users.

More expensive: Can be more expensive than basic seated stairlifts due to specialised design.

 

Best models for perch stairlifts for narrow stairs:

  • Stannah Sadler stairlift: Ideal for narrow, straight staircases. Its semi-standing position offers support without sacrificing space.
  • Handicare Perch Stairlift 1000: A versatile option for both straight and curved staircases, providing safety features like a retractable seat belt and safety sensors.

Cost of perch stairlifts for narrow stairs

Type New Reconditioned
Handicare perch 1000 £3,000 – £6,000 £1,800-£2,500
Stannah sadler  £2,500  –  £4,500 £2,000 + 

These costs are estimates.

Straight stairlifts

straight stairlift for narrow staircase

Straight stairlifts are designed for staircases without curves or turns, which makes them easier to install and a more affordable type of stairlift. Experts at Stairlift Guru highlight their ease of installation and cost-effectiveness, with the new Acorn 130 straight model costing around £2,000 to £2,800.

These stairlifts offer features that enhance user convenience and safety. According to Handicare, many models include battery backups for continued operation during power outages. The Brooks Lincoln’s slimline design ensures minimal space occupancy, allowing others to pass comfortably.

Unicorn Stairlifts mentions that you can fold up the arms, seat, and footrest to maximise space when not in use, making them perfect stairlifts for narrow stairs. Living Made Easy notes that models like the Acorn 130 have user-friendly controls and safety features such as seat belts and swivel seats. Dolphin Mobility points out that the rails can be customised to fit the staircase length, ensuring a secure fit. Overall, straight stairlifts provide a practical and efficient mobility solution. 

Pros and cons of straight stairlifts for narrow stairs

Pros and Cons of straight stairlifts for narrow staircases

 

✔️Pros

Simple installation: Straight stairlifts are simpler to install, even in tight spaces.

Cost-effective: Cheaper than curved models, making them a budget-friendly option for narrow staircases.

Quick setup: Installation can often be completed quickly, reducing disruption.

Dependable: Fewer moving parts mean less maintenance and higher reliability.

Wide compatibility: Can be installed on most straight staircases without significant alterations.

❌ Cons

Limited to straight stairs: They can only be used on straight staircases and are not suitable for stairs with curves or landings.

Visual impact: The rail may be quite visible on a narrow staircase, potentially impacting the visual appeal.

Not ideal for very narrow stairs: May not be suitable for very narrow staircases requiring additional space-saving features.

 

Best models for straight stairlifts for narrow stairs:

  • Acorn 130: This model is renowned for its slim design, single-rail system, and foldable components, maximising space on narrow staircases, according to Acorn Stairlift. Its compact nature and reputation for reliability make it a popular choice, as highlighted by Acorn Stairlifts, Affordable Stairlifts, and Living Made Easy.
  • Brooks Lincoln: This stairlift focuses on comfort and functionality. It boasts a slimline profile, customisable rail (Dolphin Mobility), and foldable features for optimal space-saving. Plenty Mobility commended it for its reliability and quality, making it a practical choice for long-term use.

Cost of straight stairlifts for narrow stairs

Type New Reconditioned
Acorn 130  £2,000 – £2,500 £1,000-£1,800
Brooks Lincoln  £2,200-£2,800 £1,500-£2,200

These costs are estimates.

Curved stairlifts

Curved stairlift for narrow staircase

Curved stairlifts are ideal for people with limited mobility in homes with narrow curved staircases. While more expensive than straight models, new ones cost around £4,000, and reconditioned ones start at £2,500. They offer unparalleled safety and convenience on complex stair layouts.

These stairlifts are custom-made to fit the exact dimensions of your staircase, expanding usable space and reducing obstruction, as noted by Age UK Mobility. Innovative design features like swivel technology in the Thyssen Flow 2 by Thyssenkrupp enable smooth navigation around tight corners, according to Dolphin Mobility. Compact rails and slimline designs further optimise space efficiency, making them perfect stairlifts for narrow stairs.

Reputable stairlift companies such as Acorn, Brooks, and Handicare offer a range of curved stairlift models to suit different needs and budgets.

Pros and cons of curved stairlifts for narrow stairs

pros and cons of curved stairlifts for narrow staircases

✔️Pros

Custom fit: Made to match the exact shape of your staircase.

Safe: Provides excellent safety on complex stair layouts.

Compact: Compact rails and slim designs make better use of space.

Smooth control: Swivel technology allows for smooth movement around tight corners.

❌ Cons

More expensive: Costs more than straight models, new ones around £4,000 and reconditioned ones from £2,500.

Complex installation: Custom installation can be more time-consuming and detailed.

Best models for curved stairlifts for narrow stairs:

  • Acorn 180: Praised for its slim profile and ability to fit on staircases as narrow as 27 inches, this model’s customisable track and foldable features make it a top choice for narrow curved stairs, according to Affordable Stairlifts and Think Stairlifts.
  • Stannah Siena 260: Renowned for its smooth and quiet operation, this model boasts a compact track and can be installed on either side of the staircase to save space. According to We Compare Stairlifts, the foldable components of this product are a key reason why users favour it for its space-saving features.

Cost of curved stairlifts for narrow staircases

Type New Reconditioned
Acorn 180  £4,000 – £5,000 £2,500 – £4,000
Stannah Siena 260 £4,950 + £3,200 – £3,700 

These costs are estimates.

By choosing the appropriate model, you can ensure that the stairlift fits seamlessly into your narrow staircase, providing both functionality and comfort.

What is the smallest stair lift in the UK?

the smallest stairlift in the UK for narrow staircases

The smallest stair lift in the UK depends on whether you have a straight or curved staircase. The ultra-slim track and compact design of the Handicare 1100 make it widely considered as the smallest stair lift for straight staircases. Experts at Stairlift Experts and Senior Stairlifts specifically highlight the Handicare 1100 as the narrowest straight stairlift model.

However, for curved staircases, the Thyssen Flow 2 stands out as the smallest option, capable of fitting on staircases as narrow as 610mm wide. This is because of its innovative swivel technology that allows the seat to rotate around tight corners, minimising the required space. Dolphin Mobility confirms this, stating that the Flow 2 is often the only viable option for very narrow curved staircases.

While other slimline stairlifts like the Bison 80 and Minivator 950 are available, the Handicare 1100 for straight staircases and Thyssen Flow 2 for curved staircases remain the most compact options, making them ideal for homes with limited space.

 

Stairlift model Staircase Min staircase width Max user weight
Handicare 1100 Straight 610mm 160kg (25 stone)
Thyssen Flow 2 Curved 610mm 137kg (21.5 stone)
Bison 80 Straight 670mm 160kg (25 stone)
Minivator 950 Straight 700mm 136kg (21.4 stone)

Get the best prices on narrow stairlifts

get the best stairlift prices

Navigating narrow staircases can be a real challenge if you have limited mobility. Finding the right stairlift can make a huge difference, offering both independence and safety at home. When looking for stairlifts for narrow stairs, it’s crucial to get more than one quote to ensure you find the best fit and value.

Stairlift quotes typically include the cost of the stairlift itself, installation fees, warranty terms, and any additional features or customisations. By getting multiple quotes, you can compare these aspects to secure the best deal that suits your specific needs and budget.

Obtaining quotes from multiple providers helps you:

  • Compare prices: See what different companies charge for similar models and features to ensure you’re getting a competitive price.
  • Evaluate features: Examine the various features each stairlift offers, such as slimline designs, customisable rails, and foldable components, to find the best fit for your narrow staircase.
  • Review warranty and support: Understand the warranty terms and after-sales support, which are crucial for long-term peace of mind.
  • Expert guidance: Our expert reviews and recommendations will help you make an informed decision without the need for extensive research.

Is your narrow staircase making everyday life a challenge? Don’t worry, we understand. Let us help you regain your freedom and confidence with a stairlift designed for your unique home.

Complete our quick form to receive 3 FREE, no-obligation quotes from reputable stairlift providers who specialise in stairlifts for narrow stairs. Get started below!

Get Prices Now

FAQ

Can you put a stairlift on a narrow staircase?

Yes, you can put a stairlift on a narrow staircase. Modern stairlift models include standing and perching stairlifts. These stairlifts for narrow stairs fit compact spaces effectively.

What is the minimum width for a stair lift?

Most staircases with a width of at least 66 cm (26 inches) can accommodate a compact stairlift. It is advisable to consult with a specialist to assess your specific staircase dimensions.

What is the best stair lift for narrow stairs?

The best stairlifts for narrow stairs are standing stairlifts and perching stairlifts, which are typically the best options due to their space-saving design. These types of stairlifts fit narrow staircases efficiently, providing safe and comfortable solutions for users. 

What is the best standing stairlift for narrow stairs?

The best standing stairlift for narrow stairs is the Acorn 130 Straight Stairlift, which offers a compact and foldable design.

What is the smallest stair lift?

The Handicare 1100 is widely considered the smallest stairlift for straight staircases, thanks to its ultra-slim track and compact design. For curved staircases, the Thyssen Flow 2 stands out as the smallest option, capable of fitting on staircases as narrow as 610mm wide. 

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