Best Mobility Scooters of 2024 – Forbes Health

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Best Mobility Scooters of 2024 – Forbes Health

Mobility scooters provide far more than just convenience—they can truly make a meaningful difference in the lives of older adults who may otherwise be unable to leave home. “As people are living longer, being able to maintain independence in older age becomes more important,” says Alan Castel, Ph.D, professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and author of Better With Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging. For individuals whose ability to walk unassisted is diminishing, a mobility scooter can mean independence and staying connected to loved ones.

In order to locate the best mobility scooters, the Forbes Health editorial team analyzed data on over 100 scooter products. Our ratings take into account price, comfort, portability, usability, safety and more. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

The Forbes Health editorial team prioritizes the accuracy and integrity of the data collected. Our ranking is based on quantitative data and is free from conflicts of interest. We carefully fact check the information featured in our ranking and are committed to producing rankings and supplemental content about medical supplies that readers can trust. You can read more about our editorial guidelines and our mobility scooters methodology for the rankings below.

The Golden Technologies Companion 3-Wheel Full Size Scooter comes with added legroom and footroom so you can stretch out while you ride. When not in use, this scooter folds and disassembles for easy storage. A front basket provides standard storage space, and additional accessories from the Golden Technologies website, such as a walker holder or cup holder, can be added to the scooter as well. The scooter also includes a troubleshooting guide under the foot mat for on-the-go assistance.

This scooter comes in a three- and four-wheel version and can be ordered for left- or right-handed drivers. When it comes to luxury features, comfort suspension springs and a plush, high seat back offer a smooth, supportive and comfortable ride. Additional accessories, such as a cell phone or cane holder, are also available for purchase through the Golden Technologies website. It’s also travel-friendly, as it breaks down into multiple parts for transport.

Another standout scooter from Golden Technologies, this vehicle features a heavy-duty design with all-terrain capabilities. Meanwhile, it maintains a smooth and comfortable ride with its extra large seat, according to the company. Reaching a top speed of 7 miles per hour, the scooter can travel up to 18 miles on a single charge. It also features a deep front basket to hold your belongings while on the move.

Made for personalization, this Pride Mobility scooter comes with interchangeable controls, meaning it caters to both left- and right-handed drivers. The swivel seat enables the user to see from all angles, and the scooter is also easy to disassemble into multiple parts for transport in smaller vehicles. It even comes with a USB charging port so you don’t have to worry about your devices losing power when you’re out and about. Pride Mobility also sells several accessories to upgrade the scooter, such as cane and/or crutch holders, additional storage baskets and a rearview mirror.

Designed for active, on-the-go riders, this Pride Mobility scooter features a premium suspension for extra cushion and comfort, a fully adjustable captain’s chair and a lighting package that includes front and rear flashing hazard lights and a low pathway light for your safety. The tiller can be customized for left- and right-handed users, and a standard storage basket on the front of the scooter plus a storage compartment under the tiller keep your personal belongings stowed securely while on the move.

With Pride Mobility’s premium suspension system, this scooter is built to provide a smooth ride regardless of the terrain. It also features a competitive turning radius of 33.5 inches, LED lights and a convenient storage basket on the front of the tiller. Meanwhile, the scooter can be broken down easily and packed away into five storable pieces and reassembled quickly, with its heaviest piece weighing only 33 pounds.

TravelScoot’s Escape scooter boasts an impressive weight capacity despite its sleek frame. It also features up to a 22-mile battery range, depending on the battery you select (there are three options available). The scooter’s default speed is 4.7 miles per hour, but you can lower the top speed to 3.7 miles per hour or raise it to 5.2 miles per hour, depending on your preferences. The scooter also disassembles for easy transport, with the heaviest piece weighing 22.5 pounds.

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This vehicle is the world’s lightest electric mobility scooter, according to TravelScoot USA. Its frame weighs 16 pounds, its seat weighs 5 pounds, the front tire weighs 1.5 pounds and the smallest battery option weighs 3 pounds. Designed primarily for indoor travel, the scooter features thin tires and a small motor, but it can still travel up to 13 miles on a single charge. It can also be folded and loaded for transport within 60 seconds, according to the company.

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This everyday scooter design from Zip’r keeps your budget in mind while also providing a smooth and comfortable ride, according to the company. It breaks down into five lightweight, foldable and transportable pieces, and it travels at a safe 3.7 miles per hour for up to 12.4 miles on a single battery charge. It features a swivel seat for easy accessibility, and the sturdy metal basket on the front of the tiller provides ample storage space. The scooter also comes in a 4-wheel model.

This travel-friendly scooter design from Zip’r keeps you comfortable and safe while on the go. It disassembles into five lightweight, transportable pieces, and it travels up to 4.25 miles per hour for up to 12 miles on a single battery charge. Featuring a folding tiller and removable seat, it can fit into the trunk of most standard-size vehicles. Meanwhile, it includes a swivel seat for easy accessibility and a sturdy metal basket on the front of the tiller for helpful storage space. The scooter also comes in a four-wheel model.

To determine the best mobility scooters ranking, the Forbes Health editorial team analyzed data on over 100 scooter products across 15 companies, with each product’s star rating determined by evaluating a variety of factors, including its price, comfort features, safety features, overall portability, usability and coverage under warranty.

Price: We considered the starting list price of mobility scooters provided by manufacturers on their websites. If they didn’t provide pricing information, we used costs listed by MedMart, Rehab Mart and other major online mobility scooter retailers.

Comfort: This category assessed whether the mobility scooters offered features key to comfort, such as adjustable back support, armrests and seats. It also addressed the level of padding in the seat.

Safety: Mobility scooters received points for including a seat belt, headlights and indicator signals for safe turning.

Portability: Portability scores considered whether a scooter was foldable, how much it weighed with batteries included and its overall dimensions.

Usability: Usability details included a mobility scooter’s top speed, its overall travel range on a single battery charge, its maximum weight capacity and any inclusion of storage space.

Warranty: Mobility scooters received points for their product warranties as well. The extensiveness of these warranties varies by brand. The motor and brakes, electrical components, batteries and scooter frame are often covered by different warranties.

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A mobility scooter, or a power-operated vehicle (POV), is a personal transport vehicle with either three or four wheels that runs on a rechargeable battery. “Mobility scooters come in several sizes,” says Tab Black, a RESNA-certified assistive technology professional and business manager at Mobility & More in Loveland, Colorado. “Many are portable and can be disassembled.” RESNA stands for the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. Black himself has been in a wheelchair since 1984 and has worked in the industry since 1993.

Anyone who has issues with mobility, such as weak legs or knees or general unsteadiness on their feet, can benefit from using a mobility scooter.

“The best candidates for mobility scooters are people who are in senior living facilities, or assisted living, or even at home,” says Black. “They can use a scooter to drive in a facility or go from building to building within a complex. Those who live at home may be people who can’t walk distances, so a scooter can enable them to go to baseball games or see their grandchildren play soccer or go to the grocery store on their own.”

There are several types of mobility scooters, including:

Travel scooters are usually smaller than other scooters, and since they’re made for easy transport, they’re lightweight and can be disassembled easily and stored in a car trunk. “Smaller scooters have a [travel] range of 8 to 10 miles,” says Black, referring to the distance a person can travel on a single battery charge.

Many small and medium-sized mobility scooters are designed to be taken apart and folded to transport in a car—a big advantage if you relocate often or want to use your scooter in a mall or park. If you’re in the market for a scooter you can take with you, pay particular attention to whether it can be disassembled and the weight of the heaviest part of the scooter. (If it’s too heavy, it won’t be easy for you to lift into your car). Most small and medium-sized scooters come with solid tires.

For people with wide hips or long legs, a medium- to large-size scooter is best, says Black. Large scooters usually have four wheels, are designed for all terrains and have batteries that can travel up to 40 miles before they need to be recharged, he says.

And there’s another advantage: They can hold more weight. How much weight a scooter can carry safely is called “weight capacity” on a spec sheet. “If you weigh more than the capacity, you lose the warranty, and it’s a big liability,” says Black. “The rule is you need to weigh at least 10% less than the weight capacity.”

Large, heavy-duty scooters can carry the most weight and go the longest distance on a single battery charge. Most scooters have a ground clearance of 3 to 5 inches, but some heavy-duty models sit even higher above the ground, making it easy to travel over rough terrain.

A four-wheel scooter may provide a better sense of stability than a three-wheel version, but it may feel restrictive for a person with long legs. “A four-wheel scooter has a fender across the front, which limits someone’s ability to stretch their legs out,” says Black. A three-wheel doesn’t have a fender—just a single wheel in the center, so people with long legs may find that style more comfortable.

Depending on how you plan to use a mobility scooter, there are plenty of features to consider. But don’t just look online—if possible, go to a store and explore your options in person. “We are a brick-and-mortar storefront, and we very much encourage people to come in and try a mobility scooter,” says Black.

When it comes to a comfortable fit, scooters usually have adjustable parts to fit your body size and needs:

Safety is always a consideration in looking at mobility scooters, especially ones designed for outdoor use.

If you know you want a scooter that you can pack easily into a car, consider its various weights.

Where and how far you plan to drive your mobility scooter will determine which usability features are important to you.

A mobility scooter can be so convenient that it might lead users to exercise less, according to research in the Journal of Transport and Health (although the study does suggest more research of this possible downside). Lack of training required to drive a mobility scooter can also lead to accidents and other problems. If you’re thinking about adding a mobility scooter to your daily routine, ask yourself two questions:

What are your physical challenges? “People with neurological challenges or who have had a stroke might not have the balance and strength to get on or off safely,” says Black. “Cognition and eyesight are two other issues—they need to be able to see objects and where they are going, see where other people are and be able to make safe turns.” Anyone who has rotator cuff tears or has problems using their wrists or fingers, he says, may not be able to operate a mobility scooter safely.

Where will you use your scooter? This is the big decision-maker, says Black. For indoor use, smaller scooters are best. Measure your hallways to make sure the scooter you want will fit inside your home easily. Consider the space outside your home as well. Larger scooters can be more versatile than small scooters, but they can’t go everywhere—loose gravel and sand are not great surfaces for mobility scooters, says Black.

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Mobility scooter prices range from $800 up to $3,300.

Medicare will reimburse for some of the cost of a mobility scooter as long as you meet certain criteria, such as a confirmation from your doctor that you have a medical condition that requires you to have a scooter. Black says private insurance companies typically reimburse about $800 of the cost as long as you can prove a medical need for a scooter.

Check your local senior center. Some nonprofits have created durable medical equipment (DME) “libraries” where seniors can borrow mobility scooters that have been donated.

Yes, call your local medical supply store(s) to learn more about options nearest you.

Batteries can last anywhere from 18 months to 3 years, depending on how often they are used. Most come with a 6-month or 1-year manufacturer warranty.

The highest speeds of mobility scooters range from 13 to 18 miles per hour, depending on the weight of the driver.

Scooters not designed to be taken apart must be attached to your car, truck or van with a lift. Lifts are car- and scooter-specific, so you’ll need to conduct additional research to find the right one for you.

Information provided on Forbes Health is for educational purposes only. Your health and wellness is unique to you, and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer individual medical advice, diagnosis or treatment plans. For personal advice, please consult with a medical professional.

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Nicole Gregory is an editor and writer in Los Angeles who has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register, Vegetarian Times, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, New Woman and Living Fit, among other publications. She enjoys interviewing medical experts and researchers about their work and is passionate about communicating accurate and relevant health information to the public.

Best Mobility Scooters of 2024 – Forbes Health

Light Foldable Motorized Wheelchair Alena is a professional writer, editor and manager with a lifelong passion for helping others live well. She is also a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) and a functional medicine certified health coach. She brings more than a decade of media experience to Forbes Health, with a keen focus on building content strategy, ensuring top content quality and empowering readers to make the best health and wellness decisions for themselves.