Basic Knowledge of Stairlifts

The minimum stair width required for stairlifts from Dolphins range is 624mm for straight lifts and 690mm for curved lifts. Some companies may not be able to cope with these dimensions as their products are possibly not as versatile.   

When measuring, ensure:

  • The dimension is between the tightest point
  • To check if there is a window sill or other obstruction within this dimension
  • The distance between spine and toe is less than the width of the stairs
  • The user has full movement of knees.
  • The user can swivel there hip to alight at the top of the stairs?
  • Whether the user will need a grab rail


Remember a straight lift only goes straight. It does not continue along the landing.
If the lift runs along the top landing the stair lift is now deemed curved and could cost three times as much! The height from foot rest to floor also increases.

If a client has less than 90 degree movement of there knee a Perch lift would be required.

If a Perch lift is required, ensure:-

  • The user can stand for thirty/forty seconds between floors
  • They are not prone to dizziness
  • They are not prone to collapse
  • The height from floor to ceiling is the users full height plus 300mm  



  • The user can motivate themselves around at the top floor
  • They can they use the levers
  • If not install a powered swivel but make sure the seat height to footrest is not compromised as it will affect the users ability to use the lift if it is too high
    (Some manufacturers increase the seat height by 60mm)


The distance at the lower end of the stairs should be no less than 400mm from nosing to door way.

If there is an open space at the bottom of the stairs a hinge would have to be fitted.

  • Always fit an automatic hinge as a manual one is very heavy
  • Also asses the fire escape route if it is a main exit


  • Most users prefer independent linkage so they can back up on there Zimmer and sit back and then lower the footrest in their own time if it is linked then they could knock there ankles which could become sore.
  • Always fit a linkage when the user is sight impaired.


To cope with the ageing process we have found it is best to fit a device which can be pushed by the back of the hand so there are no concerns about finding buttons. Most companies provide a joy stick control.

These are the major points which can be investigated prior to our visit which we hope will assist you to make an informed decision.

For more information, please contact us via email at or by phone on 01202 669194.