Acorn vs. Stannah Stairlifts

Stair lifts are attached to the railing of staircases. They are seats that transport a user up and down the staircase. They are especially beneficial to those with disabilities or accessibility issues due to an injury, health issue, or age-related conditions.

The cost of a stair lift can be quite hefty. They start at just above $3000, but can go to anywhere above $15,000 depending on the type of stair lift, the type of stairs they are being attached to, and the unique additions on them. Let’s take a look at two of Canada’s popular stair lift companies, Acorn Stairlifts and Stannah Stairlifts.

Acorn Stairlifts

Acorn Stairlifts was founded by John Jakes, a Yorkshire entrepreneur. He started a company called Acorn Mobility Services in 1992, where he improved used stairlifts. He only began to make them in 1994, once the used ones were difficult to source.

Safety Features of Acorn Stairlifts

  • All Acorn stair lifts use a 24-volt DC battery that gets charged through your home’s electricity. This ensures that the stair lift will be accessible during power outages as well.
  • Obstruction sensors verify that any objects in the path are detected, and the movement of the chair stops accordingly.
  • Governance of speed makes sure that the stair lift will not gain excessive speed in case of a mechanical failure.
  • The seats lock into place, allowing the user to safely ride and dismount in a comfortable manner.
  • The stair lifts will not move unless the armrests are lowered, due to the armrest locks on the device.

Pros of Acorn Stairlifts:

  • Quoting process is free
  • It’s sold directly to consumers
  • Next day installation is available
  • Can take less than an hour to install
  • Straight, curved, and outdoor options are available
  • It is the only manufacturer to be awarded the Ease of Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation
  • Customers have access to a dedicated help desk every day of the year

Cons of Acorn Stairlifts:

  • Extended warranties require additional payments

How much are Acorn Stairlifts?

Acorn stairlifts start between $3400-$3900 for straight staircases, and $11000-$15000 for curved staircases.

The price range depends on a variety of factors and services one can take advantage of. One of these services is installing ‘parking’, where one can park their stairlifts after use.

Every stair lift comes with a standard 12-month manufacturer’s warranty, with extended warranties available for purchase.

Stannah Stairlifts

Stannah Lifts was founded by Joseph Stannah from London, England in 1867. It was initially a manufacturer of cranes and hoists which transported the cargo of ships. They started to make hand-powered passenger lifts at the turn of the 19th century, and it was only in 1975, that they first produced their stair lift. It was the leading stair lift manufacturer worldwide from 1979 when they first began exporting these stair lifts.

Safety Features of Stannah Stairlifts

  • Stannah Stair Lifts have obstruction sensors that detect anything in the way of movement.
  • Custom Seat Belt options from standard lap belts to harness fits.
  • There is an upgrade that allows you to park the chair in an upward position, which decreases obstruction by your lift.
  • The footrests can be customized for narrow and steep stairways.

Pros of Stannah Stairlifts:

  • The most customizable of all the stair lifts
  • Has a tolerance for salt, heat, and cold
  • Free quotes
  • Woven-fabric material options for the seats
  • Straight, curved, and outdoor options are available

Cons of Stannah Stairlifts:

  • No bariatric models
  • Limited selection

How much are Stannah Stairlifts?

The price range for Stannah Stairlifts is usually between $3000 to $5000. The price for curved models can be $10,000 and up. The complexity of the stair lifts and the customization options can drive the prices up even further.

The warranty options vary depending on whether you buy the stair lifts from Stannah themselves or from dealers. There is a lifetime warranty by default from Stannah on all the critical components, including the motor, gearbox, and rail.

Final Things to Consider

Both Acorn Stairlifts and Stannah Stairlifts have their pros and cons.

One thing to keep in mind is that there is a Senior Safety Tax Credit for 2021 and 2022 in Ontario. If you are eligible for this, you can get back 25% for up to $10,000. So if you spend $10,000 on a stair lift, you will get $2500 back as a credit. You can read the article we wrote about tax credits and grants here.

Furthermore, assistive medical equipment may be tax deductible depending on your situation. This is another aspect you can look into, before making a decision on which stair lift is best suited for your needs.

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