Why choose a perched or standing stairlift?

23 January, 2024
Stannah standing stairlift

Based on your needs, health, and reduced or restricted mobility, stair lift companies provide stairlifts to fit your home and lifestyle.

Different types of stairlifts

3 pic stairlift

There are two main types of stairlifts: seated and standing (or perched). The more commonly used seated stairlifts have a proper seat, while standing stairlifts have a perch seat for the user to lean on. Regardless of the type of staircase, both types can be installed on straight or curved stairs.

Standing stairlifts or as commonly known perched stairlifts

People in the UK with limited hip movement or difficulty bending their legs and knees usually use standing stairlifts. The elevated perch seat enables the user to maintain a standing position that has been adjusted to their height. Plus, the seat takes most of the passenger's weight and reduces the strain on their legs. You can also fold the seat away for a smaller footprint, allowing others to still use the stairs.

Reasons for choosing a perched stair lift

  • As mentioned previously, the standing stairlift is the perfect solution for users with mobility limitations. A standing stairlift is also a good solution for older people with stiff joints or conditions like arthritis and multiple sclerosis that affect walking or balance.
  • For users who would prefer standing while using the stairlift they won't have to sit down. Perched seat stairlifts offer a comfortable ride as they make getting on and off easier and more convenient. Its seated position would help you regain your confidence as you won't need any assistance when sitting down or getting up from the stairlift. 
  • Perched stairlifts are ideal for narrow staircases, with their compact design, they don't take as much space as a traditional lift. As long as there is enough overhead space, you can safely stand while travelling up and down the stairs.

Benefits of a perched or standing stairlift

As we grow older, our stability declines. Most people worry about losing balance and falling, and ultimately injuring themselves. The right stairlift removes anxiety and gives you the confidence and freedom to move between floors without fear of falling. You just step on the stairlift, lean on the perch seat and buckle up before you go up and down the stairs.



Perched stairlifts have

  • Safety features like seat belts
  • Folding arms and footrests 
  • Pressure-sensitive edges to comply with UK regulations

Most stairlift companies can offer perched stairlifts for narrow stairs. Stannah, as a UK stairlift manufacturer and supplier will install a stairlift designed to fit specifically your staircase.

During a home survey, our Stannah experts will give you advice specific to you and your home, they’ll check 

  • Your staircase type

This will determine the type of stairlift that is suitable for your stairs, straight or curved. Because of the nature of a curved staircase (with one or two turns), our curved rails are specifically designed to ensure the best possible fit on your stairs. 

  • Is there a plug socket close to your stairs (within 1 metre)

Your stairlift runs on a battery, so you’ll need to plug it into a socket to enable it to charge automatically, even when you’re not using it. If you don’t have a spare socket, we can arrange to have one installed for you. Your stairlift needs to be powered at all times, so it will still have enough battery in the unlikely event of a power outage. Your stairlift uses up very little energy and if you have it unplugged, it can damage the battery pack. We advise you to leave it turned on at all times, to ensure the best possible battery life.

  • Sufficient head clearance 

If you bump your head on the ceiling when climbing your stairs, it might be necessary to take some measurements. Making sure there’s enough head room, especially when installing a standing stairlift is of outstanding importance and it’s a top priority for us. If you can easily stand on your stairs, in most cases we can fit a stairlift on them.

  • Adequate stair width


The minimum staircase width needed for the installation of your chair lift depends on the type* of stairs you have as well. Plus, we’ll have to consider if there are any obstructions, such as furniture or radiators at the top or bottom of your stairs. These width requirements measure from the furthest obstruction, meaning that any obstacles can reduce your staircase width.

  • Is there an obstacle at the bottom of your stairs (door, passageway or handrail)
Depending on the type of obstacle, after checking if you have a handrail and measuring your stairs, we’ll advise on which side of the stairs works best to fit your lift.

If there’s a door at the top or the bottom of the stairs, we’ll make the relevant adjustments to ensure that there’s enough space to swivel the chair and get on and off your stairlift safely.

We have stairlifts designed specifically for narrow staircases and these are ideal for those with limited movement in knees and hips. The Sadler has a perch seat, meaning you are almost standing as you travel up and down the stairs and your knees won’t knock against anything on the way up. The seat, arms and footrest fold up easily when not in use. It also comes in different sizes to accommodate people of different heights.

All new Stannah stairlifts come with 2-year warranty as standard or 1 year with every reconditioned stairlift. Following a free home survey, where our Stannah expert will take all the necessary measurements and checks, they will provide you with an accurate and free, no-obligation stairlift quote.

Once your stairlift has been manufactured, our Stannah stairlift engineers will safely install your lift, ready for you to use. This will allow you to use it and feel more confident moving around your home.

*Typically, straight stairlifts have a minimum staircase width of 28” / 71cm, while most curved stairlifts need at least 30″ / 76cm of width (depending on the shape of its turn).

Stairlifts made for you

All our stairlifts whether straight or curved are customised to suit you and your home so call now to arrange a visit to get your FREE personalised quote!