How Much Does It Cost to Install a Ceiling Lift?

National Average Range:
$4,500 - $8,000
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Reviewed by Nieves Martinez. Written by Fixr.com.

A ceiling lift is a motorized device that uses an overhead track or rail system to lift and transfer a person into a sling-seat from one point to another, such as a bed to a chair or in-bed repositioning. The track system can be permanent (mounted on the ceiling) or temporary (freestanding). Although hospitals and rehabilitation centers have been using ceiling lifts for many years to aid in-patient care, they are also available for home use.

Installing a ceiling lift can be an expensive process. The cost depends on the model requirements and work necessary to support and operate the lift safely. Reinforcing the structure’s subfloor, joists, truss support, and other improvements may be required. The track systems range in size from over-the-bed to every room in the house. The typical consumer pays between $4,500 and $8,000, with an average of $6,000 to install a permanent two-motor straight track ceiling lift system. This project’s low cost is $3,000 for a portable ceiling lift. The high cost is $12,000 for a permanent four-motor lift with an X-Y track system with the most high-tech features.

Ceiling Lift Prices

Ceiling Lift Installation Cost
National average cost$6,000
Average range$4,500-$8,000
Low-end$3,000
High-end$12,000

Ceiling Lift Installation Cost by Project Range

Low
$3,000
Portable ceiling lift
Average Cost
$6,000
Permanent motorized ceiling lift system, installed
High
$12,000
Permanent four-motor lift with an X-Y track system with the most high-tech features

What Is a Ceiling Lift?

Ceiling lifts have electric motors that raise and lower the patient as needed. The lift unit attaches to the track system that is mounted 1 directly on the ceiling or is freestanding, depending on the model. A sling is attached to the lift to support the patient’s body in a mostly sitting position during transfers. Most portable lifts are battery powered with built-in 2 charging systems.

If you are planning to install a portable lift, look for a lightweight model that can easily move rooms. Lifting capacity (how much weight can the lift safely raise and lower) and lift control options are other things to keep in mind when choosing a ceiling lift for your needs. Both the lift and the sling weight limits should match the patient’s weight. If the patient is active and mobile to some extent, he or she may want to choose a lift unit with onboard controls that allow independent operation. Some models also have built-in safety features like speed governors to ensure the lift does not come down too fast, emergency stop and lowering, and slack strap sensors 3.

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Portable vs Fixed Ceiling Lift Cost

One of the biggest decisions homeowners have when choosing a ceiling lift is whether it should be fixed or portable. Both are designed to offer better everyday accessibility for users. However, the specific environment and user needs often make one a better choice.

Fixed ceiling lifts are a permanent investment to a certain space, while portable lifts can be moved for versatility. There is also a price difference with most portable lifts being less expensive than fixed lifts, at around $2,450 to $5,500. On the other hand, fixed lifts cost around $5,500 to $13,500. With a fixed lift, there is no need to carry the motor or track from one room to another. However, expect to pay more than for a portable lift. The stationary track is permanently mounted on the ceiling, across the room, or through the house. Portable ceiling lifts are lightweight units that do not hold as much weight as fixed ceiling lifts, and portable devices must be removed from one track and placed on another section or rail.

Comparison of the Cost to Install a Portable and a Fixed Ceiling Lift

Comparison of the Cost to Install a Portable and a Fixed Ceiling Lift

TypeCost (Installed)
Portable$2,450 - $5,500
Fixed$5,500 - $13,500

Ceiling Lift Prices by Type of Motor

Two motors can be included in a ceiling lift - a two-function or four-function motor. Deciding between the two depends on the level of functionality you require, your budget, and future needs you expect to have. A ceiling lift with a two-function motor tends to be less expensive, costing around $2,500 to $7,000, and has less power, whereas one with a four-function motor is more powerful but can also be more costly for a homeowner, at around $3,250 to $9,000.

A two-function motor allows the lift to raise and lower in place, but the caregiver must move the person physically when on the track or rail. This unit is best for moving someone up or down in bed or simple transfers. Adding two more motors provides greater flexibility by extending the range beyond up and down to include lateral motion. With a fixed four-motor ceiling lift, the user can be assisted out of bed to any point along the track without requiring a caregiver to move them physically.​

Cost to Install a Ceiling Lift With a Two and a Four-Function Motor

Cost to Install a Ceiling Lift With a Two and a Four-Function Motor

TypeCost (Installed)
Two Function$2,500 - $7,000
Four Function$3,250 - $9,000

Ceiling Lift Track System Prices by Type

The track is one of the most important parts of the ceiling lift system. There are two options for the track - a simple straight design for transporting from the bed to a chair or a complex X-Y design with a gate and turntable to carry the patient to the bathroom. If you want the track to extend into other rooms, you need to remove the door header and increase the opening.

In most cases, a single straight track design costs about 30% less than an X-Y design. This is due to the extra parts and additional track needed for the X-Y track. In addition, a single track is easier to hide if aesthetics matter. However, the most flexible option is the X-Y system, which works best if you need the rail to go to more than a single destination like a toilet or shower. Ceiling lifts with a straight track range from $3,500 to $7,500, while an X-Y track incorporated into the ceiling lift may cost from $4,500 to $10,000 installed.

Cost to Install a Ceiling Lift With a Straight and an X-Y Track

Cost to Install a Ceiling Lift With a Straight and an X-Y Track

Type of Track SystemCost (Installed)
Straight Track$3,500 - $7,500
X-Y Track$4,500 - $10,000

Ceiling Lift Prices by Brand

Ceiling lifts are manufactured by reliable medical equipment manufacturers and come in a range of styles, prices, and sizes. For example, the Guldmann ceiling lifts are on the lower end of the scale at $2,250 and above and are known for creating ultra-smooth stops and starts. Prism and Tollos are also brands that offer more inexpensive options. Prism has a variety of options, including portable, fixed, and pressure lift options starting at $2,250. Tollos offers different capacities and can accomodate those of up to 450, 600, 750, and 1,000 pounds and costs up to $4,000.

The price of the SureHands ceiling lift is higher and starts at $3,750 for a convenient and comfortable lift. These lifts have an automatic startup system that can be useful for patients and caregivers. A ceiling Joerns/Hoyer lift also costs in the middle of the pack and is a commonly chosen brand at $4,500 and up. These lifts are known for their compact design to take up little space in a smaller home.

Savaria is the most expensive brand. These lifts are strong and durable but lightweight. While the initial price is more expensive at $6,250, the costs may end up being lower than other lifts over time. These lifts are designed to help patients remain at home or go home from a hospital environment.

Cost of a Guldmann, Prism, Tollos, SureHands, Joerns/Hoyer, and Savaria Ceiling Lift

Cost of a Guldmann, Prism, Tollos, SureHands, Joerns/Hoyer, and Savaria Ceiling Lift

BrandCost (Unit Only)
Guldmann$2,250 - $3,500
Prism$2,250 -$5,750
Tollos$2,750 - $4,000
SureHands$3,750 - $5,750
Joerns / Hoyer$4,500 - $8,000
Savaria$6,250 - $8,500

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Ceiling Lift Sling Cost by Type

Slings are used in combination with ceiling lifts to ensure the patient is lifted and transported safely and comfortably. Here are some of the most common types of slings.

Cost of a Disposable, Hygiene, Basic, Bariatric, Sit-On, Active/Stand-Up, and Custom Ceiling Lift Sling

Cost of a Disposable, Hygiene, Basic, Bariatric, Sit-On, Active/Stand-Up, and Custom Ceiling Lift Sling

TypeCost (Unit Only)
Disposable$25 - $250
Hygiene$75 - $375
Basic$100 - $475
Bariatric$125 - $450
Sit-On$175 - $425
Active / Stand-Up$175 - $475
Custom$200 - $500

Disposable Slings

Disposable slings are a common choice that typically cost between $25 to $250 per sling. These slings are used once and then disposed of. Many of these slings are water resistant. In addition, these slings often come in a pack of 10, so it is easy to stock up and use them as needed. These slings are useful when extra-high hygiene needs are present and can prevent infection. They are available in child and adult sizes.

Hygiene Slings

Hygiene slings cost about $75 to $375, depending on the brand and model. Hygiene slings make toileting more secure for the user. In most cases, these slings have a large cut-out area behind the thighs and up the back so that it is easier to remove pants while using the sling. These slings typically include a support belt at the torso and additional support on the back.

Basic Slings

A basic sling is the most commonly used option and costs $100 to $475. These slings help lift a patient with mobility issues to transfer them to other locations, such as the toilet, shower, wheelchair, or bed. Some are very basic while others are made with premium materials to be more comfortable and long-lasting. Basic slings are washable, so they can be used many times.

Bariatric Slings

At a price of $125 to $450, a bariatric sling is typically used for lifting heavy patients and moving them to a sitting position. These slings are designed to accommodate unique body shapes and sizes while creating a comfortable lifting process. Many of these slings are made to lift patients who weigh 450 pounds or more. This is important because many other slings cannot withstand heavy weights.

Sit-On Slings

A sit-on sling costs between $175 and $425. This sling is designed for patients who spend a lot of time sitting rather than lying down. It allows a caretaker to move and lift these patients while keeping them in a sitting position throughout the process. These slings are made to be more comfortable since they are used for more extended periods. These are often used for patients who spend most of their time in a wheelchair.

Active / Stand-Up Slings

The stand-up sling ranges from $175 to $475. They are designed to lift a patient from a sitting position into an upright but relaxed position. These slings are supportive, comfortable, and wearable with a harness around the torso and straps attached to a support frame, patient hoist, or support bar to keep the patient in a standing position while remaining comfortable.

Custom Slings

Custom slings average $200 to $500 and are the most versatile options. A custom sling is designed to meet the special needs of a patient. For example, a custom sling could be made that accommodates an amputation patient who needs to be lifted in a nonstandard way. When choosing custom slings, the type of material and accessories can be chosen. The sling is customized to meet your specific needs.

Ceiling Lift Labor Costs

Portable ceiling lifts are easy to assemble, and most vendors offer to do it. Since installing the ceiling lift track system should not be undertaken by people who are not experienced in construction, choose a certified ceiling lift vendor to buy your product. You may risk losing the manufacturer’s warranty if the installation is not done by authorized personnel. Most companies provide a free on-site consultation as part of the project to help people decide the size and type of lift they need. They also assess if the ceiling’s structural integrity can bear the weight and make design configurations and adjustments.

Portable lifts only require assembly. With a ceiling track lift, the installation needs to be done by a certified or trained professional to ensure your home can carry the needed weight. Installation can range from $1,500 to $3,500, depending on the amount of work.

Cost Factors

The cost factors associated with ceiling lifts vary based on the system, where you live, and the installation costs. The kind of home you have and how it is constructed also have an effect if a ceiling lift can be mounted in the current space. For example, tracks can be suspended to keep the rails level with a vaulted ceiling, but this may increase the price.

A basic hoist costs about $500 to $1,500, but this does not include a motor or other accessories. Ceiling lifts typically fall between $3,000 and $4,500 for the equipment alone, but this price can be lower or higher, depending on the model. Accessories like weight scales and charger stations can also add up to $500.

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Capacity

Most conventional lifts, both motorized and manual, have weight limits of between 300 and 450 pounds. Since ceiling lift capacities can differ by brand and model, it is useful to consider each option to see what capacity it offers. While a weight range of 300 to 450 pounds is common, some accommodate 600 pounds or more. For patients weighing more than this, bariatric ceiling lifts can typically support up to 1,000 pounds. Regardless of the weight, lifts are never intended for more than one passenger at a time due to safety.

Ceiling Lift Weight

The weight of a ceiling lift can vary and is important to consider when making a purchase. If the lift is moved from one place to another, a lighter weight makes it easier to transport and set up. Some of the lightest ceiling weights can weigh just over 10 pounds, but this is not common. Many ceiling lifts are closer to 30 to 50 pounds. Many motorized ceiling lifts can reach a weight of up to 90 pounds or more. Heavy-duty models with extra accessories tend to be the heaviest, while portable models are often much lighter.

Controls

Most motorized ceiling lifts include hand-held remotes to operate the lift. However, manual hoists and slings do not typically offer this feature because they operate from control panels affixed to the device. Stairlifts and motorized ceiling lifts provide a hand-held remote and safety panel with controls for quick operation or to turn the device off quickly. Whether the controls are on the unit or a remote, buttons can be pressed to move the ceiling lift, turn it on and off, and operate it in all intended ways.

Benefits

Ceiling lifts have many benefits. They allow patients to live in the comfort of their own homes instead of hospitals, and it reduces the chances of injuries to caregivers and patients. Ceiling lifts also keep the floor uncluttered, allowing easy and immediate access to patients, reducing the physical demands on caregivers and increasing their productivity. Patients have a chance to move around more in a comfortable manner, which leads to less strain on the caregiver. It also increases the level of safety in a home for peace of mind.

Safety Features

Depending on your lift, there are safety features to protect the user. For example, ceiling lifts are equipped with safety harnesses and belts to prevent the individual being transported from falling. Other types of motorized lifts like stairlifts have emergency shut-off features when something is blocking or obstructing the path. Sensors are also standard in some high-end lifts that indicate when something is askew. Some lifts have an overspeed governor to ensure the lift does not move down too quickly. An emergency lowering system may also be provided to lower the patient if the power goes out. Sling attachments also prevent sling loops from detaching during use.

Ceiling Lift vs Floor Lift vs Wall-Mounted Lift

Ceiling lifts, which average $4,500 to $8,000, may be more expensive than floor lifts, which cost from $750 to $7,500, depending on whether it is a manual or battery-powered model. However, they have higher rates of utilization because they are readily available at all times. If the floor lift is in a different room, caregivers may prefer to perform a manual lift to avoid wasting time. Ceiling lifts are also more suitable for areas with less space and for repositioning patients in bed. Floor lifts are cumbersome and take up a lot of space in the room. While floor lifts carrying a 450-pound patient may require multiple caregivers for smooth and safe transportation, a ceiling lift carrying the same weight or even more can be operated easily by one caregiver.

A wall-mounted lift ($550 - $6,500) is used in situations where the track cannot be mounted on the ceiling. If the opposite walls are not more than 16 feet apart, a special type of reinforced track that does not need support along the length is mounted on the walls.

Cost to Install a Wall-Mounted Lift, Floor Lift, and Ceiling Lift

Cost to Install a Wall-Mounted Lift, Floor Lift, and Ceiling Lift

Type of LiftCost (Installed)
Wall-Mounted Lift$550 - $6,500
Floor Lift$750 - $7,500
Ceiling Lift$4,500 - $8,000

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Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Sling manufacturer. For safety reasons, always use a sling manufactured by the same company as the lift. Do not use a sling that was not designed for that particular model of lift.
  • Recessed track systems. Recessed track systems provide better aesthetics in patient rooms if you plan to add ceiling lifts during new construction.
  • Weight scale. Some models have optional add-ons like weight scale ($200 - $500) and mid-track charger stations ($150 - $450).
  • Space. Allow enough space for the motor to be parked while the lift is not in use.
  • Rentals. If you are living in a rental, you cannot install a fixed ceiling lift. A portable lift with an overhead track is a better choice.

FAQs

  • What is a patient lift?

A patient lift is a floor-based lift with attached wheels at the base. It can be manual or fully motorized and moved when needed.

  • Who should use ceiling lifts?

Ceiling lifts can be used for transferring people who have decreased strength, balance, or coordination or are unable to move on their own due to age, illness, or amputation. Ceiling lifts also reduce the physical demands on caregivers and enable them to care for their patients with ease.

  • Where are ceiling lifts used?

Ceiling lifts are used in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and homes to facilitate and aid in patient care.

  • How much does it cost to install a chandelier lift?

A chandelier lift is different from a ceiling lift because it is not used medically or to transport humans. A chandelier design kit costs over $1,000 and may be installed using professional handyman’s services, typically $50 to $100 per hour.

  • How much does a hoist cost?

The average cost of a manual hoist is $500 to $1,500 for a very basic hoist without a motor, which may help in assisting and transporting individuals with limited mobility.

  • How do you use a ceiling lift sling?

A ceiling lift is a motorized device that uses an overhead track system to lift and transfer a person in a sling seat from one point to another, such as a bed to a chair or in-bed repositioning. For safety reasons, always use a sling manufactured by the same company as the lift. Do not use a sling that was not designed for that particular model of lift.

  • Does Medicare cover ceiling lifts?

While most hydraulic lifts are included under insurance coverage or funded by Medicare if you have a doctor’s prescription, power mobile lifts are a different story. This is because the power feature is not considered medically necessary. If you want funding for a powered lift, you may have to prove the caregiver has medical limitations preventing him or her from operating a manual or hydraulic lift system. Ceiling or wall-mounted lifts are usually paid for out-of-pocket.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Mounted: A support on which something is attached or hung
glossary term picture Built-in 2 Built-in: An item of furniture, such as a bookcase or set of cabinets, that is built directly into the structure of the room. Built-ins are therefore customized to the room and not detachable
glossary term picture Sensor 3 Sensors: Device that responds to a physical event or change in the environment by emitting an output signal

Cost to install a ceiling lift varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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Woman Helping a Girl on a Ceiling Lift
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