A Guide to the Different Stairlift Rail Types

August 26th, 2022

If your mobility needs are changing, it’s never a bad idea to consider installing a stairlift in your home. However, since every staircase is unique, you’re likely wondering how a stairlift might work in your own house. As a premier retailer and installer of new and used stairlifts in Philadelphia, we know how different people’s homes can be — and we know how to match each person with the right stairlift system according to these differences. Consider this your ultimate guide to different types of stairlift rails for your home!

Straight Rails

Straight stairlift rails are exactly what they sound like — rails designed to suit straight staircases. Usually, straight stair lifts are arranged so that the unit is located at the bottom of the stairs. Because of this positioning, most straight stairlift models are designed to fold up, so they remain out of the way when not in use. If you have straight stairs, installers will likely recommend this type of system.

Curved Rails

Before the invention of curved stair lifts, many people with curved staircases needed extra help to reach the top of the stairs — or they had to rely on pricey home elevators. But now, with the use of curved stairlift rails, it’s simple to get up the stairs even across multiple curved flights!

Many brands we sell, such as our Bruno stair lift rentals, are available with either straight or curved rails, so there’s no need to worry that a brand you’re considering won’t work for your specific staircase.

Curved stair rails boast a special advantage over their straight counterparts regarding storage. Because curved rails take advantage of the natural shape of the stairs, curved stairlifts don’t usually have to be folded up. They can remain ready for use at all times, all while being “tucked away” along the side of the stairs. However, investing in a model with a folding seat in smaller spaces such as condos or apartments may still prove beneficial for your overall comfort.


Some types of stairlifts, such as outdoor stairlifts, have specialty rail systems designed to withstand exposure to the elements. These models often have additional stairlift features such as extra-powerful motors or increased weight capacity. Some styles even have retractable rails that come out at the touch of a button!

Specialty stairlift rails are often built in pieces that are arranged around patio stairs or other outdoor entrances. If you have outdoor stairs and enjoy spending time outside, going to social events, or just unloading groceries by yourself, an outdoor stair lift is definitely worth looking into.

Take Charge of Your Mobility!

There’s one thing that straight, curved, and outdoor stairlift rails have in common: they can bring back independence to your life. With the help of a motor, a comfortable chair, and a seat belt, you can get back to doing things you haven’t done in years! Contact the 101 Mobility of Philadelphia team today to learn more or shop new and used stairlifts online anytime. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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