Best Wheelchair Ramps

Wheelchairs and other assistive devices offer opportunities for users to, work, engage in social activities, and access services such as healthcare. Wheelchair ramps are an important part of this.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 3.6 million Americans with travel-limiting disabilities do not leave their homes because they are disabled or housebound. Having the freedom and independence to leave home and participate in society is a huge boost to the handicapped individuals' emotional, social and physical welfare.

Topics We Will Cover Relating to Wheelchair Ramps

  • What the Americans with Disabilities Act is
  • How to pay for a wheelchair ramp
  • Types, materials, and styles of wheelchair ramps
  • Charts to help you decide what type of wheelchair ramp work best for your situation

What is the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 provides comprehensive civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications.

The ADA's Standards for Wheelchair Ramps

  • Ramps may have a maximum slope of 1:12.
  • Ramps must be a minimum of 36 inches wide.
  • All edges must be protected to keep anyone from slipping off.
  • All ramps shall have top and bottom landings as wide as the ramp itself and at least 60 inches long.
  • Landing size must be at least five feet square.

Will Insurance Help Pay for a Wheelchair Ramp?

Unfortunately, Medicare will not pay for wheelchair ramps. However, there are a variety of options to explore to help offset or pay the entire cost of the ramp:

  • National Directory of Home Modification and Repair Resources
  • Some medical facilities, such as hospitals help with the cost of medical devices
  • Your local senior center
  • Veterans can apply for coverage through TRICARE for Life to supplement Medicare Part B to help cover the costs that Medicare does not pay. Also, check with The Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services Program
  • Habitat for Humanity

How to Choose a Wheelchair Ramp

Choosing a wheelchair ramp to fit your needs can be overwhelming.

Some of the factors to consider are:

  • Type of assistive device: wheelchair- manual or electric(power chairs), or a scooter, walker, cane, crutches, etc.
  • Will this be a temporary (post-surgery or illness) or a permanent solution?
  • If temporary, consider looking into a ramp rental.
  • Where will the ramp(s) be used? Doorways, thresholds, stairs, car or van?
  • Permanent (secured to home or grounds) or a portable ramp needed?
  • If permanent and outdoors, consider the materials the ramp is made of.
  • If using a portable ramp consider the weight, and ease of setup. Will the person setting the ramp up have any difficulty doing so?
  • If using a portable ramp, will it fit in the vehicle?
  • Weight-bearing capacity and dimensions of the ramp.
  • Cost and warranty

What Are the Most Popular Wheelchair Ramp Designs?

Wheelchair ramps come in many different styles and materials. Wood, aluminum, and steel are the most common materials, Anti-skid materials are sometimes added to the surface of the ramps.

Most ramps fall under the following types:

  • Threshold Ramp: This is usually a single piece, rarely more than two feet in total length, with a typical rise of three or four inches. As the name implies, a threshold ramp is often deployed in front of a doorway or curb with a high threshold. Sometimes a second ramp is required to make the transition even safer.
  • Modular Ramp: Modular ramps are usually found outside homes and businesses. They may be installed either semi-permanent or permanently. They are constructed of wood or metal and are usually ADA compliant. They can be made into many configurations to accommodate the outside structures and use.
  • “Suitcase” Ramp: These ramps are popular choices because they fold for transport and can accommodate many different types of assistive devices. It can be used on a semipermanent basis, but it’s more often carried by an assistant on trips to inaccessible locations.
  • Telescoping Ramp: These ramps come in two pieces and are spaced for the wheels to fit in. They are a good solution when there is an awkward or limited space to work in. However, these ramps are only recommended for manual wheelchairs and cycles.

What You Should Know About the Weight Capacity of Wheelchair Ramps

When considering a wheelchair ramp the weight capacity is a crucial factor. The weight of the individual, the assistant, and any other devices (oxygen tanks, personal effects, etc) must be taken into consideration. Below is the average weight for manual and electric wheelchairs and power scooters.

Important: These are average weights. Always check the specifications for the exact model that will be used with the ramp. 

  • Manual wheelchair- 48-60 lbs, footrests add another 1-2 lbs
  • Electric wheelchair- 50-250 lbs
  • Power Scooters 38- 400 lbs

Best Wheelchair Ramps

We evaluated a selection of wheelchair ramps based on the following criteria:

  • Use (indoor/outdoor, portable, permanent, or temporary)
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Durability
  • Selection
  • Cost
  • Weight limitations
  • Ease of setup and use
  • Customer service

Threshold Ramps

Versa

Transitions

EZEdge

Height/Rise

1" - 6"

1.9" - 5.8"
Depending on model

1" - 2.75"
Custom sizes available

Width

36"

36.25"

Varies

Length

5”-36”

11.8”-35.9”

Varies

Weight

0.5 lb - 12 lbs

5.15 - 15.15 lbs

3 lb - 14.8 lbs

Capacity

800 lbs

700 lbs

No load limit

Cost*

$89.99 - $287.99

Starting at $77.99

Varies

Check with company for cost

VersaRamp Lightweight Threshold Ramp

The Versa Ramp, manufactured by Silverspring mobility has a wide selection of lightweight threshold mats in sizes from 1 inch to 6-inch rise. Its weight capacity is a hefty 800 pounds, which is an advantage when heavy wheelchairs, motorized scooters, and larger individuals use the ramp. The price point for this, compared to other ramps makes this more affordable than other mats, however, according to consumer reviews, the mat doesn’t seem to last under harsh outside conditions or heavy use for an extended period of time. This is an ideal mat for temporary use post-surgery, rehabilitation, lighter weight individuals, and covered areas where the mat isn’t exposed constantly to the elements.
Construction Material(s): Waterproof coating
Warranty: 5-year warranty with a 30-day risk-free trial

What We Liked:

  • Lightweight- largest one weighs only 12 lbs.
  • Very affordable price point- which is great if this ramp is used in a temporary fashion
  • 800 lb. capacity
  • 30-day free return policy
  • HSA + FSA Eligible

What Could Make It Even Better:

  • Can slip away from threshold when using an electric wheelchair- recommend nonslip mat or tape for extra security
  • Limited warranty compared to other mats
  • Some users note that the springiness of the ramp can feel a bit unstable

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Transitions Angled Entry Ramp

The Transitions Angled Entry Ramp manufactured by EZ ramp is a great threshold ramp for uneven floor or walkway areas. The individually adjustable legs are designed to allow the ramp to be leveled up to 2 inches each over uneven terrain. The ramp can be installed permanently with anchoring hardware that is included, along with predrilled holes to secure the ramp to the surface. The aluminum cast in treads are slip-resistant and very sturdy. Ideal for a long-term threshold ramp, especially power wheelchairs and power scooters.
Construction Material(s): Aluminium
Warranty: Lifetime warranty

What We Liked:

  • Adjustable legs mean it can be installed on irregular surfaces
  • Wide ramp, measures 36”
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Can be installed permanently
  • Heavy duty

What Could Make It Even Better:

  • Not as portable as some ramps, could be difficult to set up in different areas
  • The aluminum cast in treads is skid-resistant, however, it could be a hazard if snow and ice built up in the treads.
  • The anchor bolts are designed for bolting into wood, not cement or other materials. Would need to obtain correct bolts to anchor.

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EZEdge Transition Wheelchair Ramp

EZEdge Transition wheelchair ramp is an interesting threshold ramp that is a permanent solution to access home thresholds. It has an unlimited weight capacity, can be accessed from 3 angles, and is ADA compliant. It comes with a 10-year warranty, durable and maintenance-free once installed. All mobility devices can benefit from its design, stability, and unlimited weight limit.

What We Liked:

  • EZEdge Transition Wheelchair Ramps can be applied surfaces including but not limited to concrete, tile, VCT, marble, wood, asphalt, natural and synthetic fibers, and painted surfaces.
  • ADA compliant
  • Made from recycled tires
  • Unlimited weight limit

What Could Make It Even Better:

  • Permanent installation needs either a skilled installer or contractor to install
  • Once installed it cannot be moved

Check Current Price At:

Modular / Semi-Permanent Ramps

Modular XP

Gateway 3G

Breeze

Height/Rise

Up to 60"

4"

1:12 rise for ADA compliance

Width

36", 42" & 48"

36"

36"

Length

4x4, 4x5, 5x5, 5x6, 5x8, 5x10, & 6x6

36" up to 10 ft

Varies

Weight

Varies

44 lbs and up

Varies

Capacity

100 lbs per sq ft

1,000 lbs

1,000 lbs

Cost*

Starting at $649.00

Starting at $299.00

Check with company for cost

Modular XP Ramp Systems

Modular XP Ramp Systems offers many different options in sizes and configurations to accommodate most situations. It is an all-aluminum ramp, offering permanent or semi-permanent solutions. There are several widths to choose from- 36”,42” and 48” These ramps can accommodate rises up to 60 inches.

What We Liked:

  • Wide range of sizes and configurations
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Optional handrails
  • Permanent or semipermanent installation

What Could Make It Even Better:

  • Installation usually requires more than one person
  • Instructions can be confusing
  • Support railings at end of the ramp do not have support posts

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Gateway 3G

Gateway 3G ramps are a simple solution that requires no assembly unless optional rails are installed. They can be set up right out of the box and are easily moved if needed. They are somewhat heavy; however, the sturdiness of the ramps is impressive. Overall customers are very satisfied with this ramp.

What We Liked:

  • Three styles: Ramp only, ramp with two-line handrails, or ramp with vertical picket handrails.
  • Self-adjusting ground transition plate
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Weight capacity 1,000 lbs
  • Optional handrails- vertical picket or two-line

What Could Make It Even Better:

  • A few customers report rails did not line up with holes drilled to assemble to base ramp
  • Concerns voiced that may be hard to clear snow or ice off due to ribbed anti-slip surface
  • Somewhat heavy

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Breeze Ramp

National Ramps “Breeze” ramp is the only modular ramp with an open mesh high traction surface that allows water to pass through. This results in little to no puddles on the ramp. This style is National Ramps' most popular ramp and is ADA compliant. Being a modular ramp allows for many different configurations for almost any challenging access to the home, garage, or office.

What We Liked:

  • ADA compliant
  • Water doesn’t puddle up on the ramp due to the open mesh design
  • Has a variety of configurations
  • Best ramp for snowy areas, snow sweeps off and through the mesh
  • Detailed series of installation videos to help with install

What Could Make It Even Better:

  • Skilled installation required
  • Can be pricey
  • Ramp can be taken apart and moved if needed, but this would be a very involved process.

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Portable, Suitcase & Telescoping Ramps

Brand

Easy Access Suitcase

PVI Multi Fold Reach

Ruedamann Adjustable

Height/Rise

Curbs up to minivans & SUVs

Varies

15.7” recommended

Can be used up to 23.5”

Width

29.5"

30" - 36"

6.3' inside

Length

2, 3, 4, 5, 6ft

5 ft - 8 ft

8 ft folds to 48.5"

Weight

6 - 15 lbs

34 - 76 lbs

26.3 lbs

Capacity

800 lbs

800 lbs

600 lbs

Cost*

$109.00

$465.00

$249.00

Easy Access Suitcase Ramp

The easy access suitcase ramp is a very popular portable or permanent ramp that is packed with a variety of uses and options. To begin with, the ramp's ergonomic handles make transporting it an easy chore. The separating hinges allow for wider wheelchair access if needed. The nonskid surface helps maintain safety whole in use, and the ramp comes with predrilled holes at both ends to secure with bolts if a permanent ramp is required. The easy access ramp also comes in a trifold model where additional length is required.

What We Liked:

  • Ramps hinges can be separated for wider wheelchairs
  • Single fold ramp has easy carry handles
  • Self-adjusting bottom
  • transition plates
  • Slip-resistant surface
  • Fits in the trunk of a car
  • Lightweight
  • Has optional top lip extension that can be added to help clear the rear bumper when loading the wheelchair or scooter into the van or SUV

What Could Make It Even Better:

  • Due to the center hinge separating feature this ramp is not recommended for 3-wheel scooters.
  • Lip edges are very sharp, injury is possible.
  • Users seemed to be overall pleased with the ramp; however, it tends to flex when in use.
  • If using the top lip extension, the weight capacity drops to 500 lbs.
    No optional rails for this model

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PVI Multifold Reach Ramp

If a longer portable ramp is required, the PVI multifold reach may fit your needs. This ramp has an 800 lb. capacity, can be separated into two parts, and folds like a suitcase. Its sturdy construction is popular and noted by users. Because it is a longer ramp it does weigh more. This is an important consideration for the caregiver who is setting up the ramp. The patented center hinge eliminates a pinch point and adds strength.

What We Liked:

  • Safety guide and DVD included
  • Slip-resistant surface
  • Multifold reach has extended hook platform to anchor to back of van or SUV to clear bumper
  • Sturdy, good quality noted
  • Has bubble level guide on-ramp to help level for safety

What Could Make It Even Better:

  • Ramp is heavy, caregivers report that this could be an issue when trying to set up and transport
  • Caregivers note that the ramp was challenging to open. Hinges somewhat stiff.
  • Because of its longer length, even when folded it may not fit in car trunks.
  • Pins that secure the unit for transport could be a little longer

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Ruedamann Telescoping Ramp

Telescoping ramps can be a handy alternative to a portable suitcase ramp. Due to the longer folded length, these ramps can be difficult to fit into the trunk or other areas they may be stored. Telescoping ramps are a good idea in tight-fitting spaces, where even a foldable ramp might be difficult to set up. However, these ramps have their limitations. They are mostly recommended for manual wheelchairs and cycles. Their narrow ramp width prohibits wider tires from access.

What We Liked:

  • Ruedamann telescoping ramps utilize all-metal components to secure the length.
  • Wider floor width compared to competitors
  • Anti-skid materials on-ramp
  • Nonskid rubber pads on the back of the top of the ramp prevent slipping
  • Comes in sizes from 6 feet to 8 feet

What Could Make It Even Better:

  • Limited use, only recommended for manual wheelchairs and bicycles
  • Must measure width at top and bottom of ramp in order for successful deployment of wheelchair use
  • Some customers bring a marked yardstick to line up and keep in the provided bag for this purpose

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Other Ramps Reviewed

After extensive review, the above ramps offer the best value and quality for their intended use. The ramps listed below also had some good features that users may find desirable and also have good reputations.

HOMCOM
Lightweight Portable Folding Wheelchair Ramp

ORFORD
Non-Skid Wheelchair Ramp

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brooke Lounsbury, RN worked as a home health and hospice nurse for many years. During her time working with patients and families, she saw the pressures and strain of what caregivers went through while caring for loved ones. Lack of resources to help caregivers prompted her to start a support group for caregivers in her area.

Since then Brooke has turned to writing courses for nurses and content writing.

In her spare time, she enjoys time with family, her dog and travel.

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