Folding vs. Rigid Wheelchair Frames

February 16, 2024
Folding vs. Rigid Wheelchair Frames
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How To Choose & Which Is Best For You

If you’ve been struggling with choosing the right wheelchair frame, or you’re just not sure where to start we can help you out! One of the most common dilemmas you may face on your wheelchair shopping journey is whether you should choose a folding or rigid wheelchair frame. 

Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages and understanding the difference is essential for making an informed decision. We’ve outlined a series of pros and cons for rigid and folding wheelchair frames that you should keep in mind when you’re shopping for a new wheelchair. 

Folding Wheelchair Frames

Up first is folding wheelchair frames, these are some of the pros and cons you should keep in mind if you’ve been looking for a folding wheelchair frame. 


Portability & Storage: Folding wheelchair frames are designed for super easy transport and storage so they’re great if you travel a lot or are short on storage space in your home. They can be folded up super compactly making them great for travel and tight spaces. 

Adjustability: Folding wheelchairs often come with adjustable parts so that users can modify the wheelchair to their liking. This may be seat height, footrests and other customisable features. 

Versatility: The ability to fold the wheelchair means it’s super versatile for pretty much any environment, whether you need to transition from cars to planes or public transport folding wheelchairs allow you to do that with little hassle. 


Weight: Folding wheelchairs can sometimes be heavier than rigid wheelchairs because of the folding components which may have a negative impact on the ease of use for individuals. 

Rigidity: Even though the technology has improved a lot, folding wheelchairs still aren’t as rigid as more traditional non-folding options. This can impact overall stability especially if users have unique and specific motor needs. 

Rigid Wheelchair Frames

Now let's jump into the pros and cons you might want to keep in mind if you’re looking at a rigid wheelchair. 


Lightweight & Sturdy: Rigid wheelchairs are better known for their sturdiness and the fact that they are lightweight, if a lightweight wheelchair is something you’re looking fior, a rigid frame might be the best choice for you. 

Efficiency: Rigid wheelchairs are generally more efficient because they don’t have added weight from folding mechanisms getting in the way. If you need a wheelchair that performs at its most efficient at all times, a rigid wheelchair might be the better choice. 

Low Maintenance: Rigid frames tend to be more low maintenance than their folding counterparts because they don’t have moving parts that require regular maintenance. If you are looking for a simple and easy to maintain wheelchair, a rigid frame is probably the best choice!


Storage: Rigid wheelchairs are less convenient to store since they aren’t able to fold up, if you travel frequently or have limited storage space in your home a rigid frame may not be the best option for you. 

Adjustability: When compared to folding wheelchairs, rigid frames may have less customisable and adjustable features so they may not be suitable for individuals who need specific modifications when it comes to their wheelchair set-up. 

How Can Ausmed Health Help?

If you’re looking for a team of experts to guide you through the many challenges of choosing a wheelchair – including whether to choose a rigid or folding frame – our team at Ausmed Health has you covered. 

Our knowledgeable team can run you through the pros and cons of folding and rigid wheelchairs so you can be sure that you are making the best choice for you and your unique wheelchair needs! 

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