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Last Updated on September 27, 2023

One of the most common modifications when a person is aging in place is the addition of a stairlift. Some stairlift installations are completely straightforward and are easily installed on regular-width, straight staircases. However, not every residence is built the same, and you may wonder if it’s possible to install stairlifts for narrow stairs or curved staircases. Yes, there are small stair lifts and chair lifts for narrow stairs that can fit just about any size staircase. Please note that the ability to install stair lifts for narrow stairs depends on the height and weight of the person using them, and the space requirements of the manufacturer.

Read on to learn more about stairlifts for narrow stairs and more about compact stairlifts specifically designed for alternatively-sized and shaped staircases.

How Do Stairlifts Work?

To understand if you need a slim stair lift or not, or if your staircase can accommodate a stairlift at all, it’s wise to understand the working principle of a stairlift. A rail attaches to the stair treads, and a chair lift is secured to the rail that runs up and down. A person sits in the chair lift, and the lift takes the person in between floors (stairlifts can also be designed for staircases with landings). The standard for staircases for homes in the US is about 36 inches wide, which most major stairlifts are built to accommodate. However, there are compact stair lifts that are built for smaller staircases. There are several options for stair lifts for narrow stairs.

Minimum Requirements for Stairlifts

While most modern staircases are built to be 36 inches wide, there are often posts or rails that shorten the width, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a compact stairlift. Your staircase is considered narrow if it measures 30 inches across or under. In this case, you may want to pursue lifts for small spaces. If you’re wondering, “What is the smallest stair lift” generally, stairlifts cannot be installed for staircases less than 29 inches—however, customizations can sometimes be made for stairlifts for narrow stairs.

You may need a customized model if your stairs are narrow and curved.

Stair Lifts for Small Stairs

Every staircase is different, and that must be considered as well as the needs of the person primarily using the stairlift. There are types of narrow stair lifts that are standing stairlifts (i.e., the person stands on the lift instead of sitting), but these are for persons who have a fair amount of mobility and stability. Stair lifts for small stairs also have a lighter weight limit and smaller seating, so this must be considered, too.

A talented provider and installation company can help come up with ideas so that a chair lift for narrow stairs can work. In some cases, the technician can remove or adjust the handrails in order to widen the staircase. Safety is always the most important priority.

The Best Stairlifts for Narrow Stairs

It’s subjective as to what stairlifts are best for narrow stairs because of the varying needs of the user and the structure of staircases. However, features to be mindful of when considering a stairlift for narrow stairs include

  • Single-tube track design
  • Higher weight limit (if needed, such as up to 275 lbs.)
  • Power seats
  • Swiveling base
  • Parts warranty
  • Safety sensors

You may find that when looking at stairlifts, you may want to consider other features as well, such as remote control features.

To learn more about stairlifts for narrow stairs or other mobility products that can be life-changing, such as wheelchair ramps or power lifts, contact the professionals at Williams Lift Co. today. We want both patients and caregivers to live their best lives possible.