Ceiling Lift Installation Cost

The cost of installing a ceiling lift is $6,000‚Äč.

In this guide

Ceiling lift
Ceiling lift vs. floor lift vs. wall-mounted lift
Types of Ceiling Lift Motors
Popular Brands
Types of slings
Installation Considerations
FAQs

How much does it cost to install a ceiling lift?

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

Ceiling lifts have many benefits. They allow patients to live in the comfort of their own homes  instead of hospitals, reduces the chances of injuries to both caregivers and patients, keeps the floor uncluttered thereby allowing easy and immediate access to patients, reduces the physical demands on caregivers, and increases their productivity.

A portable powered ceiling lift with a lifting capacity of 440 lbs and a 2-post track system will cost around $6,000.

Ceiling lift

Ceiling lifts have electric motors that raise and lower the patient as needed. The lift unit is attached to the track system that is mounted 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 inbuilt charging systems.

If you are planning to install a portable lift, look for a lightweight model that can be easily moved from room to room. Lifting capacity (how much weight can the lift safely raise and lower) and lift control options are other things to keep in mind while 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 inbuilt safety features such as speed governors to make sure the lift does not come down too fast, emergency stop and lowering, and slack strap sensors.

Ceiling lift vs. floor lift vs. wall-mounted lift

Ceiling lifts ($8,000-$14,000) may be more expensive than floor lifts ($529-$9,500 depending on whether you are going for a manual or a 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. Also, ceiling lifts are 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 lb 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 ($3,500-$8,000) 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.  

Types of Ceiling Lift Motors

TypeProsCons
PortableLow initial costRequires effort to move from room to room.
Two function motor ($1,600-$4,200)Offers lifting and lowering functionsCaregiver has to move patient along the track
FixedHigher weight capacityMore expensive
Four function motorOffers lifting, lowering and right and left motionsMore expensive


Permanent ceiling lifts are usually found in homes where the ceiling track passes through many rooms. The lifting unit cannot be detached from the track.

In portable lifting systems, you can detach the lifting unit from one track and use it on another track. They are usually used for short-distance transfers but can be moved around the house as needed.

Ceiling lifts with two function motor offer lifting and lowering functions, but require the caregiver to push the patient along the track.

Ceiling lifts with four function motors move up, down, right and left, which means that the caregiver does not have to manually move the patient along the track and even the patient can operate the lift himself.

BrandCharacteristicsCost
GuldmannSmooth starts and stops$1958-$2,355 motor
PrismPortable, fixed and pressure lift models$2,037-$5,698 fixed ceiling lift models
TollosAvailable in 450 lbs, 600 lbs, 750 lbs and 1000 lbs models$2,439-$3,654 lift unit
SureHandsAutomatic start at any point$3,424-$5,411 lift unit
SavariaLithium-ion battery lasts longer and recharges faster$6092 complete kit
Joerns/HoyerCompact design$4,248 portable overhead lift


Types of slings

Slings are used in combination with ceiling lifts to make sure that the patient is lifted and transported from place to place in a safe and comfortable manner. Here are some of the most common types of slings available.

TypeFeaturesCost
Hygiene slingsFor transferring patients to toilet, has cutouts for convenience$70-$235
Basic slingsStandard slings suitable for most people$77-$390
Bariatric slingsUsed for bariatric patients$95-$450
Custom slingsSuitable for people with special needs like amputees$140-$380
Active/stand-up slingsFor patients who have some degree of weight bearing ability and are able to participate in transfer$150-$450
Sit-on slingsSuitable for people who spend long periods on the sling$250-$400
Disposable slingsSingle use slings that can withstand waterFrom $395 onwards for a pack of 10


Installation Considerations

You have to keep several factors in mind while installing a fixed ceiling lift system for home use. The type of structure, concrete subfloors 1, steel joists, wooden trusses 2, etc., amount of space available, obstructions like lights or water sprinklers in the ceiling, and even the seismic rating of the area can impact the budget and feasibility of the project.

  • The track is one of the most important parts of the ceiling lift system.  You can either go for a simple, straight design that allows the patient to be transported from his or her bed to a chair or a more complex X-Y design with a gate and turntable for carrying the patient to the bathroom. If you want the track to extend into other rooms, you will have to remove the door header and increase the opening.
  • In case of vaulted ceilings, you can consider suspending tracks from the ceiling to keep the rails level, but it may be harder and more expensive to pull off.
  • If obstructions like elaborate shower enclosures and skylights make it difficult to install ceiling tracks in a bathroom, you can consider putting in a wall-mounted lift.
  • A ceiling lift meant for bariatric use may require additional structural support in the form of ceiling bracing and anchoring.
  • Allow enough space for the motor to be parked while the lift is not in use.
  • If you are living in a rental, you will not be able to install a fixed ceiling lift. A portable lift with an overhead track will be a better choice for such cases.

Labor

Portable ceiling lifts are easy to assemble and most vendors offer to do it. Since the installation of the ceiling lift track system should not be undertaken by people who are not experienced in construction, make sure you 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 will also assess the structural integrity of your ceiling to bear the weight and make designs configurations and adjustments as needed.

Additional costs and considerations

  • While most hydraulic lifts are included under insurance coverage or funded by Medicare as long as you have a prescription from your doctor, power mobile lifts are a different story. This is because the power feature is not considered medically necessary. If you are looking for funding for a powered lift, you may have to prove that the caregiver has medical limitations that prevent him from operating a manual or hydraulic lift system. Ceiling or wall-mounted lifts are usually for paid out of the pocket.
  • For safety reasons, always used 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 can provide better aesthetics in patient rooms if you are planning to add ceiling lifts during a new construction.
  • Some models have optional add-ons like weigh scale ($200-$500) and mid-track charger stations.

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 can be moved from room to room 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.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Subfloors: The bottom-most layer of a floor, supported by joists, over which finished flooring material is laid
2 Trusses: Structural framework used to support a roof

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.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Amarillo, TX
-15%
Anaheim, CA
+21%
Arvada, CO
-3%
Athens, GA
-9%
Austin, TX
+13%
Beaumont, TX
+10%
Braselton, GA
-14%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Dale, TX
-42%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denton, TX
+17%
Denver, CO
+1%
Easton, PA
+13%
Fenton, MO
+14%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Hurst, TX
+13%
Independence, MO
+8%
La Habra, CA
+19%
Lancaster, PA
+3%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Laurel, MD
+26%
Leander, TX
+4%
Lexington, KY
+1%
Longview, TX
0%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Lubbock, TX
-22%
Lynbrook, NY
+31%
Manchester, NH
+33%
Marietta, GA
+10%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milford, CT
+21%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Mission, TX
-40%
Murray, KY
-25%
New Lenox, IL
+25%
New York, NY
+77%
Norfolk, VA
-6%
Oakley, CA
+30%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Ontario, CA
+19%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Oshkosh, WI
+11%
Ozark, AL
-25%

Labor cost in your zip code

Methodology and sources