Stairlifts for Narrow Stairs

Many homes, in the UK especially, have very narrow staircases. This can be a huge problem if you need to install a stairlift. Fortunately, there are certain stairlifts available with features that enable a stairlift to be installed on narrow stairs.

Straight or Curved Stairlift?

When considering the most suitable stairlift for narrow stairs it is important to understand the difference between straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts. A straight stairlift is designed with a rail which cannot be bent, the track which the stairlift motor travels on is designed to run from the bottom of the stairs to the top step only.

Stannah Straight Stairlifts

The footrest of the stairlift will stop level with the top step. A straight stairlift can't run onto the landing. The user, upon reaching the top step would then swivel the seat of the stairlift so they can put their feet safely onto the landing to get off the seat.

A straight stairlift is at least half the price of a curved stairlift because the rails are simply cut to size and can be produced at the fraction of the cost of manufacturing a bespoke curved stairlift rail. Additionally the technology required to make a stairlift motor work on a curved rail adds greatly to the cost.

Straight Stairlifts for Narrow Stairs

If budget or space constraints require a straight stairlift to be installed, then the only option available to you is to have a standing or perching seat stairlift. This type of stairlift greatly reduces the minimum clearance width required for a conventional seated stairlift. However, this requires the stairlift user to be able to remain safely standing or perching for the amount of time it takes to complete the journey up or down the stairs. They must also be able to alight safely at the top of the stairs.

Meditek Perching Stairlifts

The Meditek stand and perch stairlift is our most popular perching stairlift. Due to the cantilever forces imposed by a perching stairlift the maximum weight capacity is reduced to 100 kg (15 stone).

Meditek Perch StairliftMeditek Stand and Perch StairliftMeditek Perching Stairlift

If a hinged rail is also required the heavy duty version must be used to prevent any possible twisting of the track.

Curved Stairlifts for Narrow Stairs

Curved stairlifts can be manufactured to run onto the top landing, which in itself is sometimes enough to install a stairlift on a narrow staircase. If the stair is so narrow that even this doesn't help, then other options are available.

Thyssen Flow Curved Stairlifts for Narrow Stairs

The Flow 2 Curved Stairlift has the most ingenious solution to the problem of narrow stairs.

Thyssen Flow II Curved Stairlift for narrow stairs

The stairlift seat can be programmed to automatically rotate around tight corners on the staircase to avoid clash points. Theoretically the Flow could be installed on a staircase which is only 610mm wide.

Downward facing Stairlift seat

Thyssen's patented swivel technology does makes this unit more expensive than some competitors but in some cases the Flow is the only stairlift that will work on very narrow staircases.

Thyssen Flow Video for Narrow Stairs

The video shows the Thyssen Flow installed in our stairlift showroom in Chobham, Surrey. We also have a demonstration unit in Manchester.

Freelift Curved with Downward Facing Seat

The Freelift Curved Stairlift can be supplied with a 45 degree downward facing seat to overcome the problem of narrow stairs or if the user has limited knee flexion. This option is usually only suitable if there is room at the top of the stairs to run the rail onto the landing.

Downward facing Stairlift seat

Stannah Sadler Curved Perching Stairlift

The Stannah Sadler is a perching seat stairlift which can be installed on curved staircases which are too narrow for traditional seated stairlifts.

Stannah Sadler Perch Seat Stairlift Chair

However the user must be able to support themselves for the length of time it takes to travel up or down the stairs on the stairlift.

Stannah Sadler 260 Perching Seat Stairlifts

There may also be bulkhead issues which would need to be checked by one of our surveyors prior to installing this type of lift.

Stannah Sadler Perch Seat Stairlifts

If you would like more information on any of these lifts, please call us on 0800 9800 126 or email We would be happy to make a free "no obligation" visit to your property to check suitability if you would prefer.

Dolphin Mobility Ltd., 2017
37 Chertsey Road, Chobham, Surrey, GU24 8PD
Tel: 0800 980 0126 Email:
V.A.T Registration 664 5560 17 Company Registration 3130621