How Much Does It Cost to Install a Ceiling Lift?

Average range: $5,000 - $12,000
Average Cost
(to install a permanent motorized ceiling lift system)

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Reviewed by Nieves Martinez. Written by

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, for example, a bed to a chair or in-bed repositioning. The track system can be permanent (mounted 1 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.

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 both caregivers and patients. In addition, ceiling lifts keep the floor uncluttered, allowing easy and immediate access to patients, reducing the physical demands on caregivers and increasing their productivity.

Installing a ceiling lift can be an expensive process. The cost depends on the model requirements but also the work necessary to support and operate the lift safely. Reinforcing the structure’s subfloor, joists, and 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 $5,000 - $12,000, with an average of $8,000 to install a permanent motorized ceiling lift system.

Ceiling Lift Prices

Ceiling lift installation costs
National average cost$8,000
Average range$5,000-$12,000
Minimum cost$550
Maximum cost$14,000

Ceiling Lift Installation Cost by Project Range

Hydraulic patient lift or standard patient hoist
Average Cost
To install a permanent motorized ceiling lift system
Multi-room fixed ceiling lift

Ceiling Lift Cost by Type

There are many types of ceiling lifts. 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 motors 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 move the patient along the track manually, and the patient can even operate the lift by themself.

When shopping for a ceiling lift, you need more than just a motor. While some lift packages include essentials, such as the tracking, supports, and slings, many do not.

Ceiling Lift Cost


Two function motor


Offers lifting and lowering functionsCaregiver has to move patient along the track



Low initial costRequires effort to move from room to room.



Higher weight capacityMore expensive

Four function motor


Offers lifting, lowering and right and left motionsMore expensive

Two Function Motor

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. The average cost is $2,200 - $4,800 for a two function motor ceiling lift.

Portable Ceiling Lift

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 then placed on another section or rail. The average consumer spends between $2,200 - $5,000 for a portable model.

Fixed Ceiling Lift

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. The cost ranges between $3,000 and $5,500.

Four Function Motor

The addition of two more motors provides greater flexibility by extending the range beyond up and down to include lateral motion as well. 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. Expect costs to be around $3,000 to $5,500.

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Ceiling Lift System

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 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 Costs by Brand

There are many brands to choose from when installing a ceiling lift. Each one has different characteristics and costs. Here is some information about them:

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$6,092 complete kit
Joerns/HoyerCompact design$4,248 portable overhead lift

Types of Slings

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

Types of slings

Types of slings

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

Ceiling Lift Installation 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 will also assess whether the ceiling’s structural integrity can bear the weight and make design configurations and adjustments as required.

It is difficult to estimate an hourly charge for the installation of ceiling lifts because installation by the vendor is typically part of the overall purchase price. Many manufacturers nullify their warranty if you allow anyone besides their technicians to install, repair, or modify the lift in any way. If you do not have a vendor to install your lift, you will need someone with construction experience, such as a contractor or carpenter, to install permanent lifts, typically around $70 per hour.

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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 1 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 1 on the walls.

Garage Ceiling Storage Lift

Finding the right storage solution for your garage can be challenging. In addition to one or more vehicles, most garages also serve as a home for recreational equipment, lawn and garden supplies, sports equipment, and workshops. Overhead storage makes excellent use of the space, but it requires a ladder for access. A motorized ceiling lift eliminates the risks associated with a ladder and the difficulty of carrying bulky boxes up it. There is a wide range in prices because of the numerous variations in square footage, configuration, weight limitations, and material composition. Simple platforms are available for less than $1,000, but most consumers pay $2,500 - $6,000. Installation costs vary depending on the lift specifications.

Ceiling Storage Lift

For bulky but lightweight items, a ceiling storage lift provides a place to store all those things that take up valuable floor space. There are motorized lifts and those that use a rope and pulley system for manual operation. Consumers can expect to spend $225 - $550 for a storage solution that does not require using a ladder.

Ceiling Lift Features

You have to keep several factors in mind while installing a fixed ceiling lift system for home use. The type of structure, concrete subfloors 2, steel joists, wooden trusses 3, 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. 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 will have to remove the door header and increase the opening.
  • In case of vaulted 4 ceilings, you can consider suspending tracks from the ceiling to keep the rails 5 level 6, 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.

Lift Capacity

Most conventional lifts, both motorized and manual, have weight limits of between 300 and 450 pounds. 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.

Lift Controls

Most motorized ceiling lifts include hand-held remotes to operate the lift. Manual hoists and slings, however, do not typically offer this feature because they operate only from control panels affixed to the device. Stairlifts and motorized ceiling lifts provide both a hand-held remote and a safety panel with controls for quick operation or to turn the device off quickly.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Safety Features

Depending on your lift, there are safety features to protect the user. For instance, 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 the track or obstructing the path. Sensors are also standard in some high-end lifts that indicate when something is askew.

There are also more flexible, hydraulic style or manual lifts. These fit in tighter spaces, do not require ceiling installation, and are often available on a rental or short-term basis for those rehabilitating from surgery or medical issues. Both motorized and manual lifts move from side to side and up and down to assist the patient in and out of bed, a chair, tub, or other situation.

Additional Costs and Considerations

  • Most hydraulic lifts are covered by insurance or funded by Medicare with a prescription from your doctor. Power mobile lifts, however, are a different story because the power feature is not considered medically necessary. If you need funding for a powered lift, you may have to prove that the caregiver has medical limitations that prevent operating a manual or hydraulic lift system. Ceiling or wall-mounted lifts are usually paid for out of pocket.
  • 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 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.


  • 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.

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

A chandelier lift is different from a ceiling lift in that it is not used medically or to transport humans. A chandelier design kit can cost over $1,000 and may be installed using professional handyman’s services, typically $60-$90 per hour.

  • How much does a hoist cost?

The average cost of a manual hoist is $500-$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 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 for 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 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 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

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