How Much Does It Cost to Install a Stairlift?

Average range: $3,000 - $5,000
Average Cost
(standard-length straight stairlift, installed)

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Reviewed by Mike Silverstein, accessibility expert. Written by

Whether due to injury, old age, or other issues, some people find staircases quite difficult to get up and down on their own. Fortunately, stairlifts or chairlifts exist to ease the process, allowing the user to take a seat and be transported comfortably and safely up or down the stairs in a matter of seconds. Ideal for older people, arthritis patients, those who use wheelchairs or walkers, or individuals who struggle with stairs for other reasons, chairlifts make it easier to get from one floor of a home to another.

In general, stairlifts cost between $3,000 and $5,000 to have installed professionally. Some straight second-hand models are available for around $2,000, and high-end custom-designed stairlifts for curved staircases can cost up to $20,000. A standard installed straight stairlift costs about $4,000.

Cost to Install a Stairlift

Stairlift Costs
National average cost$4,000
Average range$3,000-$5,000
Minimum cost$2,000
Maximum cost$20,000

Stairlift Installation Cost by Project Range

Second-hand straight stairlift, installed
Average Cost
Standard-length straight stairlift, installed
Custom-designed stairlift for curved staircases, installed

Stairlift Prices by Type

Stairlifts come in various types, depending on where you want to install them. Some stairlifts are designed for standard straight staircases, while others are made for staircases with curves and platforms. No matter which type of stairlift you buy, they all come with key features like swivel seats, safety belts, a back-up battery power source, flip-up footrests, and folding rails. The table below shows some common stairlift types, along with average costs:

Cost of Straight, Standing, Outdoor, Platform or Curved Stairlift

Cost of Straight, Standing, Outdoor, Platform or Curved Stairlift

Type of StairliftAverage Cost
Straight$2,000 - $8,000
Standing$2,500 - $10,000
Outdoor$4,000 - $12,000
Platform$5,000 - $20,000
Curved$8,000 - $20,000

Straight Stairlift Cost

The straight stairlift is the most common kind because most homes are fitted with traditional, straight staircases that do not curve or bend. These stairlifts are easiest to install and the most affordable, costing between $2,000 and $8,000.

Standing Lift Cost

The average cost for standing stairlifts ranges from $2,500 to $10,000. Standing stairlifts allow you to stand on a platform, ideal for those who have flexibility or movement issues that make sitting down and standing up difficult or painful.

Outdoor Stairlift Prices

Outdoor stairlifts cost between $4,000 and $12,000. Stairlifts are not just for inside homes and buildings. They may be fitted to outdoor staircases, such as patio steps, decks, or docks. These stairlifts function like the indoor ones but have to withstand the elements and resist corrosion, so they tend to be more expensive.

Platform Stairlift Cost

Since they involve more materials and a longer installation process, platform stairlifts are costly, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. Platform stairlifts are designed for wheelchair users, offering large platforms on which the wheelchair is positioned for transportation up or down the stairs. These stairlifts are fitted to both straight and curved staircases, and the costs vary greatly, depending on the staircase type and length.

Curved Stairlift Cost

If you have a curved staircase in your home that requires a stairlift attached, you need a large budget because these are the most expensive stairlifts. They must be designed in a special way to negotiate the curves of your staircase, leading to a higher price of around $8,000 to $20,000.

If the high price tag of a curved rail stairlift is a concern, consider looking into the idea of two straight stairlifts as an alternative solution. For example, if the staircase has an intermediate landing or it is tri-level home, you may be able to save money by having two straight stairlifts installed rather than one curved stairlift. It could save you thousands of dollars and still provide you with a safe alternative to climbing the stairs.

Mike Silverstein, accessibility expert.
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Electric or Battery-Powered Stairlifts

Stairlifts are divided into two main categories, depending on their power source. Some are operated by batteries, while others are connected directly to an electrical power outlet, so they do not need to charge or be replaced. The table below shows the average costs of each type:

Cost of Battery-Operated or Electric Stairlift

Type of StairliftCosts
Battery-Operated stairlift$3,000 - $5,000
Electric stairlift$4,000 - $7,000

Battery-operated Lift

The national average cost for battery-operated stairlifts ranges from $3,000 to $5,000. Battery-operated lifts tend to be cheaper because they are simple to install, with no need for new wiring or power outlets. They are also cheaper to run in the long term because they do not significantly impact your utility bills. With a battery-powered unit, the chair charges up when it is not in use and is connected to a base station at the top or bottom of the stairs. On the downside, batteries eventually need replacing and checked over regularly, resulting in more maintenance than electrical lifts.

Electric Stairlift Cost

Electric stairlifts typically cost between $4,000 and $7,000. With an electric stairlift, the lift is connected to a power outlet, just like any other appliance in your home. Since it has a constant power source, it has no need for charging. This means that electric stairlifts tend to be more reliable. They should come with back-up batteries if the power ever goes out while the lift is in use. They tend to be more expensive because you usually need to call in an electrician to install new wiring and a new power outlet as part of the installation process.

Stairlift Costs by Type of Seat

Stairlifts come with a range of different seat types, and the seat you choose affects your comfort level when riding the lift. It also impacts how easy it is to use and how much space it takes up in your home. For example, models with collapsible seats take less space, while those with swivel seats are simpler to use. The table below shows the average costs for stairlifts with different kinds of seats:

Cost of Collapsible, Swivel, Perch, or Angled Stairlift Seat

Cost of Collapsible, Swivel, Perch, or Angled Stairlift Seat

Type of SeatAverage Costs
Collapsible$2,000 - $20,000
Swivel$2,500 - $20,000
Perch$2,500 - $20,000
Angled$3,000 - $20,000

Collapsible Seat

Stairlifts with collapsible seats cost between $2,000 and $20,000. This is one of the most common seat types, and it collapses or folds in on itself to save space when not in use. The footrests and armrests often fold away as well. This can be particularly helpful if you have a narrow staircase or share the home with other people and want to reduce the space your lift occupies. It also reduces the chances of someone tripping over the stairlift or bumping into it.

Swivel Seat

Stairlifts with swivel seats range from $2,500 to $20,000. A swivel seat can swivel around at the top or bottom of the stairs. This can be very useful because it allows the user to get to the top of the stairs, swivel the seat, and then step straight out onto the landing, rather than having to twist and turn their bodies to get out safely. When moving, the seat locks in place to prevent accidental swiveling, and some of the more advanced models offer automatic swiveling, while cheaper options need to be swiveled manually.

Perch Seats

The average cost for stairlifts with perch seats is $2,500 to $20,000. Perch seats are one of the more recent innovations in stairlifts and are designed to save space, letting the user perch or lean against them and be transported up and down the stairs in almost a standing position. They may not be the best choice for those with severe mobility issues, but they can work well in very small or tight spaces where regular stairlifts cannot fit.

Angled Seats

Stairlifts with angled seats vary in price from $3,000 to $20,000. With an angled seat stairlift, the seat is positioned to tilt back slightly when the rider sits. This provides more comfort and security while riding, allowing the user to feel perfectly safe and at ease whenever they need to use the seat. This can be a good choice for very elderly people and those with serious mobility problems.

Chairlift Costs by Brand

There are various brands to choose from when buying a new stairlift, with names like Stannah and Ameriglide being among the leading stairlift providers in America today. Some brands are cheaper than others, while certain brands have stronger reputations for providing high-quality, long-lasting stairlifts. The table below shows some of the popular brands, complete with average prices:

Chairlift Cost by Brand: AmeriGlide, Harmar, Acorn, Handicare, Stannah, and Brunot

Chairlift Cost by Brand: AmeriGlide, Harmar, Acorn, Handicare, Stannah, and Bruno

Stairlift BrandAverage Cost
AmeriGlide$2,000 - $5,000
Harmar$2,000 - $5,000
Acorn$2,500 - $5,500
Handicare$2,500 - $5,500
Stannah$3,000 - $6,000
Bruno$3,000 - $6,000

AmeriGlide Stairlift Cost

Prices for AmeriGlide stairlifts tend to range from $2,000 to $5,000. AmeriGlide is one of the biggest names in American stairlifts, operating all across the nation. It stands out as one of the most affordable options, even offering users to install their stairlifts DIY to save some cash. You can find straight, curved, and outdoor lifts with AmeriGlide, with models like the Horizon, Rubex, and Rave standing out as some of the best.

Harmar Stairlift Price

Harmar is another highly rated stairlift brand, offering a great range of stairlifts, with many models for wheelchair users in particular. This brand is known for its very comfortable seats and offers models like the Pinnacle stairlift and Indoor AC Straight stairlift, with prices ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for most models.

Acorn Stairlifts Cost

Prices for Acorn stairlifts generally range from $2,500 to $5,500. Acorn is an international stairlift company, operating worldwide and providing sleek and modern stairlifts that do not take up much space in your home, while still being relied upon to provide the safety you need. Acorn has also led the way in technological advancements for the stairlift industry, introducing systems like Smart Level and Fast Track on models like the Acorn 130 and Acorn 180.

Handicare Stairlifts Prices

Average prices for Handicare stairlifts are between $2,500 and $5,500. Handicare offers comfortable, dependable stairlifts for those who are disabled, elderly, or unable to make it up and down the stairs safely on their feet. This company also provides excellent customer care, with models like the Handicare 1000 and the Handicare Freecurve standing out as top options.

Stannah Stairlift Cost

Prices for Stannah stairlifts range from $3,000 to $6,000, making this one of the more expensive brands. Stannah is a globally known name in the stairlift industry, with over 200 dealers across the planet. It produces high-quality, reliable stairlift models aimed to bring freedom back into the lives of those who are struggling to make their way up and down the staircases in their homes.

Bruno Stairlifts Prices

Bruno offers one of the more expensive options, with average prices of $3,000 to $6,000. Bruno, also known as Bruno Independent Living Aids, offers a wide selection of straight and curved stairlifts for indoor and outdoor use, such as the Elan and the Elite. Offering smooth, comfortable rides and many options for people with different needs, this company appeals to many customers.

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Cost to Install a Stairlift

In the vast majority of cases, labor costs are included in the stairlift cost because most lifts are installed professionally either by the manufacturer or the dealer you buy from. You may also choose to have a handyman or carpenter install your stairlift instead, ranging from $75 to $100 per hour. Standard straight stairlifts require around 4-5 hours to install, resulting in total labor costs of $300 to $500. Curved stairlifts are more complicated to install, so this process should be entrusted to the manufacturer.

In most cases, the lift is installed on your staircase wall, but some models install directly onto the treads. In either case, this is usually done on the inside wall of the staircase, leaving the handrail free for anyone else walking up or down the stairs. You also need to have an electrical outlet installed near the top or bottom of the stairs, which costs between $120 and $200. You may potentially save money on this by installing it yourself, but you need wiring and electrical experience to do the job correctly.

If your stairs curve or bend, you need a custom rail built and installed. For this reason, measure your staircase before ordering to get the best fit. It is also a good idea to measure your staircase’s height and width before ordering to ensure it fits. The installation cost and length vary depending on the unit size, its configuration, whether it is installed on the wall or treads, and if you have an electrical outlet already installed. Expect the installation to take a minimum of four hours to complete and possibly longer for custom jobs.

Automatic stairlift on staircase for elderly or disability in a house

Stairlift Add-Ons

To improve the experience and convenience of your stairlift, there are various add-ons and enhancements you may choose to purchase. These add-ons are typically optional and usually unnecessary, but they can make the lift easier to use, safer, and more comfortable. The table below shows common add-ons and their average costs:

Cost to Add Remote Control, Lift-Up Footrests, Speed Control, or Sensors to Stairlift

Cost to Add Remote Control, Lift-Up Footrests, Speed Control, or Sensors to Stairlift

Add-OnsAdditional Costs
Remote Control$50 - $150
Lift-Up Footrests$50 - $200
Speed Control$75 - $200
Sensors$100 - $400

Remote Control

Adding a remote control to your stairlift costs between $50 and $150 on average. A remote control is a useful add-on, letting you control the stairlift remotely, just like a TV or other device. When not in use, the remote can usually be stored in small cradles mounted on the wall at the top and bottom of the stairs.

Lift-Up Footrests

Adding lift-up footrests to your stairlift ranges from $50 to $200. This is a relatively affordable optional add-on, and it can save a lot of space and prevent accidents. These footrests can be lifted up and folded away when the lift is not in use, saving space and reducing the risk of trips and falls.

Speed Control

Adding speed control to your stairlift averages $75 to $200. Stairlifts typically travel at very low speeds, maxing out at around 0.34 miles per hour. Speed controls help prevent them from going too fast. This offers an extra level of safety and peace of mind for the user.


Adding sensors to your stairlift costs between $100 and $400. These sensors detect if an object is blocking the path of the stairlift as it moves, allowing it to stop and avoid any accidents or collisions. It is especially useful for homes where children or animals are present.

Stairlift Rental Cost

There might be a situation where you only need to temporarily use a stairlift, such as when recovering from an injury that prevents you from walking up or down the stairs safely. Several companies offer stairlift rentals, allowing you to temporarily have a stairlift installed in your home and removed after a certain time. Costs for this range from $150 to $500 per month, on average. You also need to pay a deposit, which varies from $500 to $1,000, along with about $800 to $1,200 in installation and removal costs.

Stairlift Maintenance Cost

Stairlifts should be checked over by a professional once a year to ensure that they stay in safe working order. During these checks, a stairlift expert looks for any issues that need fixing before they become bigger problems. Many companies offer yearly maintenance check-ups as part of the package when you buy the stairlift. You usually pay an annual fee of around $100 to $200 for these checks.

Portable Stairlift Cost

A recent innovation in stairlifts is the concept of portable or mobile stairlifts. Averaging between $1,000 and $4,000, these stairlifts work a lot like wheelchairs, but they can also go up and down stairs. They have a set of treads on the back and a battery that charges between uses.

To go up the stairs, the treads fold out onto the staircase, and buttons are used to divert power to the treads, allowing them to rotate and pull the chair up or down as needed. An operator must push the buttons and guide the stairlift in the right direction, so these stairlifts cannot be used alone. They are especially useful for caregivers and ambulette personnel.

Safety Features of Stairlifts

Safety is extremely important when it comes to stairlifts, so find one that keeps you safe when using it. When shopping for a stairlift, it is vital to ensure that the minimum safety features are included because there are several important safety aspects that no lift should be without.


All stairlifts must have a belt or restraint to secure the passenger in place. However, the belts and restraints vary from model to model. Some are relatively basic, while others can be difficult to attach. The best stairlifts tend to have easy-to-use seatbelts, ideal for those who have arthritis or weakness in the hands. Some come with harnesses that provide additional security and stability for the rider.

Obstruction Detection

Many modern stairlifts also feature sensors that detect objects in the path of the lift and stop it automatically when obstructions are detected. This reduces the risk of accidents and collisions that could damage the lift, harm the rider, or cause an injury to an animal or person in the lift’s path. Some of the advanced models come with extra sensors that detect when the rider is present in the chair.


High-quality stairlifts should also come with a keylock, which essentially functions like a child lock or safety lock. They have a little key that needs to be inserted into a lock to allow the lift to function. You can remove the key when the lift is not in use to prevent children from playing around with it and accidentally starting it up.

Stairlift outside apartment building

Does Medicare Cover Stairlifts?

Medicare does not usually cover the cost of stairlifts because these items are generally considered ‘home modifications’ rather than ‘medical equipment.’ Some Medicare Advantage plans cover the costs of certain advanced stairlifts. Medicare’s approach to stairlifts is under evaluation and may change from one year to the next, so it is wise to look for the latest information before buying your next stairlift.

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Enhancements and Improvement Costs

Heavy-duty lifts

Stairlifts typically come with a set limit of around 200-250 pounds, but some heavy-duty stairlifts may also be purchased to lift heavier users or those in wheelchairs, offering weight limits of 350 pounds or more. Prices for heavy-duty lifts start at around $5,000.

Custom stairlifts

If you have a complex staircase with curves and landings, the usual stairlifts offered by a manufacturer might not fit, so you need to have one custom-designed to suit your home. This greatly affects the price, adding between $1,000 to $10,000 on average to the total cost.

400+ Pound Capacity

The cost for a stairlift that supports weights of 400 pounds or more ranges from $4,000 to $20,000 on average. The majority of stairlifts have maximum weight capacities of 300 to 400 pounds, but there are heavy-duty models with sturdier designs that transport people who weigh more. Since these models have stronger frames, they typically cost more than average.

Additional Costs and Considerations

  • When one person is using the chairlift, other people in the home should avoid using the stairs at the same time because the space may be too narrow for two people to pass at once, which might cause accidents.
  • Battery-powered stairlifts have the advantage of functioning perfectly normally, even if the power in the home goes out. In contrast, electrical units need some back-up power source to deal with power outages. Electrical lifts also cost more money to run but require less maintenance overall.
  • Stairlifts have weight limits that need to be adhered to. Most units handle up to 200-250 pounds of weight, and heavy-duty units may be required for wheelchair users or heavier individuals.
  • Most stairlifts offer warranties for 1-2 years, but some companies go much further, offering 10 years or even lifetime warranties on their stairlifts. Be sure to check what kind of policy you get from your manufacturer before buying a lift.
  • In most cases, you do not need a permit to install a stairlift, but there are some situations where permits are needed. Check with your local municipality beforehand.
  • It is possible to buy pre-owned, second-hand stairlifts at a discounted price. Several companies resell these pre-owned units to those on limited budgets. In many cases, these units have been used for rentals in the past but are still in great condition and undergo safety checks to ensure they work perfectly. Costs vary depending on the make and model, but you can save up to $1,500 by buying a used lift over a new one.
  • Certain health insurance plans help pay for a stairlift, so contact your health insurance provider to see what they offer before buying a new lift.


  • Can I test ride a stairlift before purchasing one?

Yes, but it depends on where you live. There are a few stairlift dealers that have showrooms with fully operational stairlifts on display. This is a great way to determine if a stairlift is the right solution for you.

  • What is the weight limit on an Acorn stairlift?

The maximum weight limit for Acorn stairlifts is 350 pounds (159 kilograms).

  • How long does it take to install a stairlift?

Usually, stairlifts are installed in 4-5 hours, but it may take longer on a curved or extra long set of stairs.

  • How much does it cost to service a stairlift?

Servicing for stairlifts costs between $100 and $200.

  • Do stairlifts damage stairs?

No, as long as they are installed properly by trained professionals, stairlifts do not damage your stairs or home in any way.

  • How long do stairlifts last?

This varies from one model to the next, but the average lifespan for stairlifts is about 10 years.

  • Can a stairlift be moved?

Most stairlifts are designed to be installed and only used in that one area. Some straight stairlift models may be moved, but curved and custom models usually cannot.

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

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