Transport Wheelchair Vs Standard Wheelchair: Which Better for you 2021

If you want to live your life to the fullest, you must have the ability to move around comfortably. You should be able to go anywhere, anytime, and do it with your legs by walking there. But, what if your legs are not capable of lifting your body because of a disability. Getting a mobility ride can solve the problem, making the movement much easier and comfortable. 

Getting mobility equipment for people who have disabilities can be a daunting job because of the overwhelming options available. If you’re new to selecting the mobility chair, you might mistake the transport wheelchair vs standard wheelchair; but they’re different devices. Both of them have their distinct characteristics to make the differences between them. Stick to the article to understand the differences between them and to choose the right one:

Transport Wheelchair Vs Standard Wheelchair: How Are They Different?

It may seem the same between the transport wheelchair vs standard wheelchair as they have a similar purpose to serve. But there are plenty of reasons that make the differences between them, such as: 

transport wheelchair vs standard wheelchair

Wheel Size Differences

The biggest and the most visible difference between the transport wheelchair and a standard wheelchair is their wheel size. You can easily recognize them with distinctive wheel size differences. Transport wheelchairs come with significantly smaller wheels than standard wheelchairs. Standard wheelchairs come with two 24″ wheels with an external rim for the rider to grasp and self people. 

They will also have two smaller wheels in the front, 8″ in diameter for the direction. On the other hand, the transport wheelchairs come with two smaller 12″ wheels in the back and two 8″ wheels in front. You cannot grasp the rims and cannot self propel to go forward with the transport wheelchairs. Someone has to push you forward from the back to go forward with these wheelchairs. 

Braking Differences

Both the transport wheelchairs and the standard wheelchairs come with pushing mechanisms in their back. However, only the transportation wheelchairs come with dedicated handbrakes in the pushing handles, except for some cheap chairs. The braking mechanism in the handles enables the pushing companion to control the wheelchair and push the break whenever needed. 

On the other hand, the standard wheelchairs don’t usually come with handbrakes on the back handles. So, whenever you’re navigating on steep slopes or vice versa, you can’t put a brake on the wheels to stop. You have to rely on the strength of your hands to hold on tight on the handle rims and the pushing handles.  

Handling Differences

Transport wheelchairs come with smaller wheels, so they cannot navigate in rough terrain properly. If you’re living in a place where you have to go out a lot and run the chair rough, you shouldn’t get a transport wheelchair. However, they have handled in the back with proper breaks to push forward and break if needed. 

On the other hand, the standard wheelchairs come with robust, bigger wheels on them. You can run the wheelchair in rough terrain and also have to push handles in the back. So, your companion can push you forward while you’re assisting with your hand by grabbing the rims and propelling. 

Comfort Level

Let’s face it; wheelchairs are not a luxury item where you sit for comfort or spend a lot of good time in it. Instead, it’s a mobility chair you don’t want to ride in the first place anyways. However, you have to sit on it for obvious reasons, and that time should not have to go rough on you. So, while comfort is a concern, the wheelchair will surely beat the transport chair for a long ride. 

If you’re planning to sit on it for hours, more than 2-3 hours, you must go for a wheelchair because they tend to be more comfortable. But, if you have to go out and ride the chair only for 1-3 hours a day, you can go to a transport chair; it won’t hurt your back. With the added puddings and reclining functionalities of wheelchairs, you will be much more comfortable with them. 


When it comes to adjusting the chair according to your body size and comfort level, the debate becomes complicated. Although the standard wheelchairs are far better than the transport chairs in general, high-end pricy transport chairs are also good. However, if you’re on the same budget for either of them and need adjustability, consider getting a wheelchair. A transport chair with a much higher price may give you an excellent fine-tuning capability, which you can have from a lesser price. 


The transformation could be a great feature to consider having in a mobility chair, especially if you’re trying to recover. With a few adjustments here, you can easily turn a transport wheelchair into almost a walker. You can adjust or fully remove the handles of a transport wheelchair and have a much bigger space to move your body. The same goes for the footrest; you can adjust or remove them to make room for your legs to stretch or exercise. However, with a standard wheelchair, you won’t get as many transforming capabilities as a transport wheelchair. 

Which Should You Choose Between Transport Wheelchair or Standard Wheelchair?

Choosing between the transport wheelchair or standard wheelchair depends on what purpose you have for the chair to serve you. If you have to sit in the chair for most of your day, you should go for the standard wheelchair instead of the transport wheelchair. The standard wheelchair will give you much more comfort than the transport chair in the long run. 

Which Should You Choose Between Transport Wheelchair or Standard Wheelchair

Plus, if you have no person to push you around available all the time, a standard wheelchair with a bigger rim is the only option. However, if you don’t have to stay out for long and have a companion to push you around, go for the transport wheelchair. It will come in handy to fold or transform easier, especially if you’re trying to recover from an injury and need to exercise for your hands and legs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the differences between the transport wheelchair and standard wheelchair that you also should know about: 

Are wheelchairs waterproof?

Yes, wheelchairs are waterproof; you can take a shower and wash the chair with water. However, if it’s a wheelchair with a fabric seat and backrest, it may get wet, but you can dry it.

Are all wheelchairs foldable?

Not all wheelchairs are foldable; there are rigid wheelchairs available too. If you need to fold the wheelchair and fit it into a small space, you should get a foldable wheelchair.

Are wheelchairs hard to push?

If you don’t take good care of the mechanism and the wheels, they will start to get stiff over time. You must keep them on maintenance to get the easiest and the most comfortable push.

Final Thought

Some options in the mobility chairs may lead you to endless confusion when it comes to selecting a proper mobility chair. Although there are motorized, standing, and other high-tech wheelchairs, basic wheelchairs are the key options. However, there is a common dilemma in selecting the regular wheelchairs as well; it’s between the transport wheelchair vs standard wheelchair. 

Both of them can be a great help when it comes to helping individuals around with ease and comfort. But, as they serve differently with their distinct features, you must choose the right one. Follow the adobe-mentioned criteria to choose your next mobilizing chair and get the freedom you want to move around independently or with a companion.

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