Know the Difference: Wheelchairs vs. Transport Chairs

While the differences between a wheelchair and a transport chair may seem minor at first glance, choosing the right mobility solution can have a major impact on your recovery, mobility, and daily life. Whether you are recovering from an injury, a surgery, or looking for a more long-term solution to help you get around, understanding which chair is right for you will play a key role in getting more out of every day.

Read below for a better understanding of the important differences between wheelchairs and transport chairs.


Self-propelled vs. Assisted.

The primary different between a wheelchair and a transport chair is that wheelchairs are self-propelled, meaning the person sitting in the chair propels the chair into motion. On the other hand, a transport chair is designed to be pushed from behind by a second person. This difference may seem simple, but it presents a choice that can have major ramifications for your mobility and daily wellness.

Differences at a Glance

- Wheelchairs

  • 2 large wheels and 2 smaller wheels
  • Often heavier (~25 lbs minimum)
  • Less transportable 
  • Used for longer periods and trips
  • Highly customizable in size, comfort, style, and more

Transport Chairs

  • 4 smaller wheels 
  • Lighter weight (~20 lbs)
  • More easily folded and transported
  • More suitable for short trips
  • Less commonly customized
  • Typically 17” or 19” wide seats

Which Option is Right for Me?

Essentially, if you require a long-term, daily mobility solution to help you get around on your own, you will want to acquire a wheelchair. We have a variety of wheelchairs available both for purchase and to rent.

Browse Wheelchairs >

Explore Rentals >

However, if you are unable to self-propel a wheelchair or need a temporary assisted solution while recovering from an injury or surgery, a transport chair is most likely the proper solution for you. We also carry a wide range of transport chairs to rent and own, which you can explore below. 

Browse Transport Chairs >

Explore Rentals >

Next Steps: Getting a Professional Assessment

It is recommended that you get a professional assessment before purchasing equipment like a wheelchair or transport chair – especially if you think you may qualify for full or partial reimbursement.

- Professional Assessments

Our in-store specialists would be happy to assist you in finding the right mobility solution for your needs, and help you navigate the funding assistance process.

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Funding Assistance

In order to help you get the financial assistance you need, we have put together online resources which outline funding assistance programs available in Canada.

Explore funding assistance >

Wheelchair and transport chair rentals

Whether you’re recovering from surgery or an injury, need a temporary solution while your chair is under repair, or just prefer the flexibility of renting, we offer a variety of rental agreements to keep you mobile, safe, and comfortable.

Rental Pricing Guide

- Standard Wheelchair

$90 per 28-day period
Standard wheelchairs have a narrower seat and are meant for general needs.

 Rent Standard Wheelchair >

- Bariatric Wheelchair

$95 per 28-day period
Bariatric wheelchairs generally have a wider seat and are designed to be more comfortable and easier to use.

Rent Bariatric Wheelchair >

- Transport Chair

$70 per 28-day period
Transport chairs have smaller wheels are meant to be assisted, rather than self-propelled.

Rent Transport Chair >


General Disclaimer
This information is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.