Perch Stairlifts

perch stairlift

This page was last updated on 1 May 2022

Perch Stairlifts In 2022

What is a perch stairlift?

A perch stairlift (also known as a standing stairlift) is a type of stairlift that is designed for people who find it painful to use a stairlift in a seated position.

They are also more compact than a traditional seated stairlift making them popular with people with narrow staircases who want to create more clearance on their stairs.

Perch stairlifts are also simpler to install and typically less expensive than other stairlifts, making them a great solution for individuals who would like a stair lift but find sitting difficult. Simply put, they are compact, reliable stairlifts for both straight stairs and curved stairs.

The difference between a perch stairlift and a seated stairlift

The primary distinction between a perch stairlift and a traditional seated stairlift is that instead of requiring the user to be completely seated, a perch stairlift allows him or her to travel in a perching position.

A perch stairlift features a shortened seat at about waist height, which provides support to the user as they travel, without requiring them to be seated.

The perch seat means that these stairlifts can be an ideal option for individuals with flexibility issues or restricted movement in the knee or hip joints who find sitting painful.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

You can listen to an audio recording of this page below.

 

How is it powered?

A perch seat stairlift works by being powered by a little motor, normally located in the base of the lift. The motor is what drives the lift up and down. A track runs along the stairs, and built into this track is a heated strip that connects to the motor.

Stairlifts may be powered by a battery or connected to your mains electricity supply via a regular wall outlet. A battery-powered perch stair lift allows you to use the lift even if the power goes out. However, do bear in mind that, after continuous usage, the batteries will need to be replaced.

Some stairlift companies offer an option in which your lift is battery powered, but the battery is continually recharged by the rail being plugged into the mains. This way, your batteries will charge continually, but you won’t have to worry about being stranded if the power goes out. It is worth asking a company for a free home survey to see what stairlift best fits your electrical situation. 

Advantages of a perch stairlift

Perch lifts are not for everyone, but they do come with certain advantages.

  • Discreet and slimline design. The perch seat is a smaller design that saves space and has a much smaller, foldable structure. The reduced seat size provides considerably more clearance on tighter staircases. 
  • Easy to operate. The majority of stair lifts have a single button that activates the lift, and it will cease operation automatically when you reach the top or bottom of the stairs. This makes them both safe and convenient to use. Users can lean on the retractable seatbelt for a stable support area.
  • Kinder on the knee or hip joints. They’re a handy option for individuals who have joint or flexibility concerns and find sitting painful. The joints are saved a lot of unnecessary strain from being able to travel in a standing position rather than a seated one.
  • Often more affordable. You might find that perch stairlifts cost you less to buy and maintain than traditional stairlifts. They’re also smaller in size, taking up less room. Because of this, they are a cost-effective solution for individuals on a budget. 

Drawbacks of a perch lift

  • A perch seat requires additional stamina and balance. Unlike seated stairlifts, the perch seat lift (and standing stair lift) requires its user to be able to support their own body weight in a standing position for the duration of the journey.
  • Less comfortable. Due to the shortened seat, some users may find the journey more uncomfortable and may find sitting a more attractive option than a stand up stair lift. 
  • Not good for spiral staircases. Like with other types of stairlift, if you have a complicated layout of stairs in your home, you may struggle to install a perch seat lift. Consider some alternative options, such as a home elevator if you have the space.

Features to look out for

Perch stairlifts come in all shapes and sizes, so to make sure that you are getting the best option for you, check with your stairlift manufacturer whether your stairlift comes with the following features:

Adjustable seat height

The seat height should be adjustable to make yourself comfortable and safe while riding. If you position the shortened seat higher up your body, it should free up more space on the stairs due to your knees sticking out less.

Non slip perch seats

A non-slip surface on the perch seat means that you will be less likely to slide around as you ride the lift. Some companies offer a range of fabrics that have the benefit of comfort and style as well as additional support.

Footrest

Perch seat lifts should have a footrest to keep your feet safe and comfortable while you climb the stairs and provide a stable support area for the user. The foot rest will offer additional support for the rest of your knee or hip joints as you travel.

Powered Footrest

Some models will include a powered footrest. This will automatically fold up the footrest at the press of a button rather than requiring you to bend down to do it manually. Those who find bending difficult or have restricted movement in the knee or hip joints will benefit from this feature.

What if you have narrow staircases?

The width of a stairway is measured in inches. A narrow staircase is one with a width of less than 28 inches. If your stairwell has a width of less than 28 inches, then you’re not alone! Many terraced houses in the UK have stairs that are considered narrow staircases.

Perch stairlifts are actually an ideal solution for smaller homes where a traditional stair lift would be inconvenient. If you have a home with very narrow staircases, perch stairlifts can offer a real advantage over traditional seat lifts.

By making you travel in an upright position and using a shortened seat that sits up higher on the body, the perch seat opens up more clearance on the stairs for other stair users. Most perch lifts even come with a fold up seat and footrest so you can pack them away when the lift is not in use. Look out for models with a motorised footrest for extra convenience.

If you’re not sure whether your staircase is considered narrow, get some guidance from an expert. A stair lift specialist can tell you whether your stairs are wide enough and whether you need to look at curved stairlifts or straight stairlifts. 

Measuring your stairs

If you want to know whether your stair lift will fit your staircase, you’ll need to take both width and length measurements. This is a little more difficult if your staircase is slightly curved since you must also compensate for the bend in the wall.

For a straight staircase, however, it’s quite easy to do yourself. You can simply use a tape measure to measure from the top step to the bottom step. Sometimes stairs are different widths at different points, so make sure to take a range of measurements for the width and measure the widest point.

A stair lift supplier can assist you in measuring your stairs, so don’t worry about getting the measurements exactly right. Many firms provide a free home survey so that they can present you with a variety of models that will work in your home.

A perch stairlift (also known as a standing stairlift) is a type of stairlift that is designed for people who find it painful to use a stairlift in a seated position.

Stairlift Maintenance

Looking after your stairlift properly is very important if you want it to last for a long time. The good news is that perch stairlifts require minimal maintenance and servicing. They only need to be cleaned every six to twelve months, depending on how often you use them.

Here are a few tips on how to prolong the life of your stairlift:

  • Follow the instructions of the manufacturer closely and supervise children around the stairlift.
  • Keep the stair lift clean. Use a damp cloth to wipe it down on a regular basis or as needed.
  • Check the stair lift for wear and tear and report any problems to the supplier as soon as you notice something.
  • Make sure that all of the gears are properly lubricated.
  • Get your stairlift booked in for a service once a year by a qualified technician.

Are perch seat lifts safe?

Some people worry that a perch seat is less safe than a traditional seated straight stairlift since the perched position is less stable than a fully seated position.

Perch seats are perfectly safe, but, to put your mind at ease, here are a few safety features that you should look out for when buying a perch seat lift.

perching stairlift

Over 55 and a home owner? Try our equity release calculator and see how much money you can get from your house, tax-free, in 30 seconds

Safety belt

A retractable seat belt should be incorporated to keep you from falling out of your seat while the lift is in use. Some perch seats will include a built-in function that prevents the stair lift from moving off until the retractable seat belt is in place. This is a great feature to put your loved ones at ease.

Automatic stop

The lift should have safety sensors that automatically stop it when it runs into anything on the stairs, ensuring your safety and preventing damage to your possessions. This is a popular feature for users with pets who like to sleep on the stairs!

Emergency stop

All lifts should come with an emergency stop button in case of unforeseen difficulties. This means that you are always in control of your own movement.

How much do perch stairlifts cost?

Perch stairlifts come in a wide range of prices, depending on the type you choose. They are more costly than seated straight stairlifts but less expensive than curved stairlifts. You can expect to pay between £1,000 and £2,000 for a new perch stairlift.

If you are short on money, consider looking at reconditioned or second hand stairlifts. This is a particularly useful option with straight stairlifts for straight staircases as there is more chance of finding a stairlift to fit your staircase.

If you have a curved staircase, you may still be able to benefit from second hand stairlifts. Reach out to family and friends who have experience with curved stairlifts or contact a charity like Age UK to see if they can help you find the right stairlift for you.

Since stairlifts last up to ten years with the right maintenance, second hand and reconditioned stairlifts can often be in very good shape and are a good investment compared to buying a brand new stairlift. To properly assess your requirements, many stair lift providers will give you a free no obligation home evaluation.

Other types of lift to consider

If a perch stairlift isn’t the right option for you, for example, because you have more restricted movement in the knee or you simply prefer to remain seated while going up the stairs, there are a few alternatives on the market to consider.

Home Elevators

If you have a larger budget and live on more than one floor, an elevator home might be the ideal solution for you. This will allow you to travel between floors without having to use a stairlift. You will be able to travel in either a standing position or in a seat, and there will be no need for a retractable seatbelt. 

Turn and Go stairlifts

This niche design of seated stairlift uses a unique track to better manoeuvre around tight curves. They also feature a swivel seat, which allows the seated user to turn the seat around to face the landing at either end of the lift, making it easy to disembark.

Wheelchair lifts

Wheelchair lifts are useful when you need to move your wheelchair and yourself up and down steps. The wheelchair seat will be more comfortable than a perch seat, and there should be no need for a retractable seatbelt. They come in both indoor and outdoor versions, and installation is simple. These are very common in public areas such as schools and workplaces.

Tips for choosing the perfect stairlift

There is a lot to think about when buying a stairlift, so here is a summary of the key things to think about.

  • What shape is your staircase? This will determine whether you need a straight stairlift or a curved one.
  • How much do you weigh? Make sure that you get a lift with a maximum weight capacity right for you.
  • How tall are you? Your height will also make a difference since you will be travelling in a standing position – if you have particularly low ceilings, make sure that you will fit in the lift comfortably. 
  • Are you able to travel in a standing position? If you find sitting painful then a perch model is an ideal choice as it will accommodate restricted movement in the knee. But if you aren’t able to remain standing, you will need to consider a different type of stairlift.
  • Do you have narrow stairs? If so, a perch stairlift could be a great option for you, but some staircases may be so narrow that even a perch stairlift could cause problems. Make sure to check this out early on in your decision-making process.

If in doubt, talk to a stairlift specialist. They will offer a free home survey without any hard sell sales pressure and help you find the perfect solution for your needs.

Over 55 and a home owner? Try our equity release calculator and see how much money you can get from your house, tax-free, in 30 seconds

Have A Free & Impartial Chat With Acorn Stairlifts

 

Would you like some help to understand your stairlift options?

You can contact us in one of 3 ways:

  • Option 1 – Call us directly on – 0333 567 1612
  • Option 2 – Book an appointment directly in the calendar below, and one of the team will call you back at the chosen time
  • Option 3 – Leave us your contact details and we will get in touch

 

Option 1 – Call Acorn Stairlifts Directly

Monday to Thursday – 8am – 7pm

Friday – 8am – 5:30pm

Saturday & Sunday – 9am – 5pm

Option 2 – Book an appointment, in the calendar below, for a Stairlift specialist to call you back when its convenient

Option 3 – Leave your details and Acorn will get in touch

Leave your contact details below and one of the Acorn team will give you a call to discuss your needs.

Please note that all calls are undertaken by Acorn Stairlifts.

More useful information on stairlifts

A Guide To Stairlifts

This article explains all you need to know about buying or renting a stairlift in the UK alongside information on where to find one.

Curved Stairlifts

Not all stairs are straight, so you may need a curved stairlift to go around a landing,  This article explains how you get a curved stairlift.

Stairlift Rental

Renting a stairlift is a popular alternative to purchasing a new stair lift.  This article explains how the rental process works.

Second Hand Stairlifts

Buying a second hand stairlift is much cheaper than buying a new one, especially if you nay not need it for long.  

Reconditioned Stairlifts

A reconditioned stairlift allows you to get an almost new stairlift for a much lower price than a new one.  This article explains how.

Stairlifts For Narrow Stairs

Thos will narrow stairs will need a specialist chair.  However, there are lifts that could work.  Our article explains what you need to know.

Article author

James Lloyd

I am the primary writer and author for Help and Advice, having originally helped start the site because I recognised that there was a need for easy to read, free and comprehensive information on the web. I have been able to use my background in finance to produce a number of articles for the site, as well as develop the financial fitness assessment tool. This is a tool that provides you with practical advice on improving your personal financial health.

Outside of work I am a keen rugby player and used to play up to a semi-professional level before the years of injury finally took their toll.  Now you are more likely to see me in the clubhouse enjoying the game.

Email – james@helpandadvice.co.uk

Linked in – Connect with me 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a perch stairlift?

A perch stairlift (also known as a standing stairlift) is a type of stairlift that is designed for people who find it painful to use a stairlift in a seated position.

How is it powered?

A perch seat stairlift works by being powered by a little motor, normally located in the base of the lift. The motor is what drives the lift up and down.

What if you have narrow staircases?

The width of a stairway is measured in inches. A narrow staircase is one with a width of less than 28 inches.

Are perch seat lifts safe?

Some people worry that a perch seat is less safe than a traditional seated straight stairlift since the perched position is less stable than a fully seated position.

Share this page

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on linkedin