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How Much Do Stair Lifts Cost?

Updated: June 14, 2024
By: Jonathan Trout
Jonathan Trout
Content Manager
Jonathan is a former product and content manager for Retirement Living. His background spans sales/marketing, finance, and telecommunications. Jonathan’s expertise in consumer wellness and research-backed data stories helped educate seniors on financial planning, retirement, and community resources. Jonathan graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Environmental Sociology.
Content Manager
Edited by: Lauren Hamer
Lauren Hamer
Sr. Editor
Bringing more than a decade of editorial experience to Retirement Living, Lauren focuses on reporting senior-related issues, including retirement planning, finance, consumer protection, and health and wellness. Lauren has edited consumer content for Credible, Angi, Slickdeals, Jobs for the Future, and more.
Sr. Editor
How Much Do Stair Lifts Cost?

On average, stair lifts cost between $2,900 and $14,000, depending on the manufacturer, the model, the stairway configuration, and the options you choose. You should consider the investment carefully, as a lift is something you’ll use daily, and the lift must fit your needs to work effectively.

To help you determine how much a stair lift will cost, we gathered common features and add-ons that affect the final price. We also included estimates on the price to install and maintain a stair lift.

Stair Lift Costs By Base Model

A basic straight stair lift averages $3,500 to $5,500 installed, though higher-end models, or lifts installed on longer stairways, can reach $8,500. Curved stair lifts average between $8,500 and $14,000, but can exceed that number if the stairway is complex or the lift has custom. If sitting causes you a great deal of discomfort, standing stair lifts are another affordable option.

Battery-operated stair lift$2,900 – $7,900
Straight stair lift$2,500 – $8,500
Electric stair lift$2,000 – $14,000
Curved stair lift$10,000 – $14,000
Refurbished stair lift$1,000 – $10,000
Outdoor stair lift$5,000 – $10,000
Cost of a Stair Lift by Type

Convenience Features Can Increase Stair Lift Costs

Many stair lifts include comfort and convenience features that affect the final price. Swivel seats, safety belts, and a battery backup usually come standard, and upgraded stair lift technology includes customizable features that add to the stair lift’s cost. Some common stair lift cost factors include:

  • Lift-up footrests
  • Lift-up armrests
  • Speed control
  • Fold-up rails (manual or automatic)
  • Seats that swivel, collapse, or tilt
  • Obstruction detection
  • Harnesses and seatbelts
  • Higher weight capacity
  • Calling systems or handheld remotes

Beyond convenience, some home set-ups or specific mobility issues might require customization. Consider these cost factors when choosing a stair lift for your budget:

  • Outdoor stair lift: Installing a lift on entry stairways or outdoor patios is a great way to ensure mobility. Outdoor lifts require special materials and features to withstand various weather conditions.
  • Stairway configuration: Curved stair lifts are custom-made for every angle of your stairs, which makes them more expensive to manufacture and install
  • Number of steps: Most lifts can handle a track length up to 70 feet, but you’ll pay more per linear foot beyond the standard 14-step staircase.
  • Weight requirements: Basic and mid-priced stair lifts usually have a weight limit of 200 to 300 lbs. If you need a lift that carries more weight, you will likely have to buy a more expensive heavy-duty model.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Stair Lift?

Some stair lift retailers include the cost of labor to install the lift in the price tag, and a qualified dealer or manufacturer representative will install the stair lift for you. The cost of the stairlift installation could tack another $2,000 onto the price of the lift. Installing a stair lift yourself is rarely a good idea due to safety concerns, so be sure yours is installed by a trained professional.

stairlift installation

 

Source: Stannah

The installation process usually takes about three to four hours to complete. Stair lift rails attach to staircase treads, not the wall. Curved lifts are pre-measured and custom-fitted, so they’ll take about one day to install.

Electric stair lifts require an outlet. If you don’t have an electrical outlet near your stairs, you’ll need to hire a licensed electrician to install one. A qualified electrician charges $50 to $100 per hour. The job should take about two hours to complete.

Stair Lift Maintenance and Repair Costs

Yearly maintenance checks: A qualified dealer or manufacturer’s representative will perform annual routine maintenance to ensure your lift is in proper working order. A yearly maintenance charge will run $100 to $200, or $70 per hour. Check your owner’s manual to see when your stair lift is due for service.

Some retailers provide a yearly lift maintenance program for an annual fee. Some maintenance programs also offer 24-hour emergency service. Ask your dealer or manufacturer for details. If your lift is still under warranty, contact the original dealer or installer for service, or call the manufacturer.

Cost of batteries: If your stair lift is not hardwired to an electrical outlet, it is battery-powered. These will charge when not in use and can work during a power outage; however, they require regular battery health checks and maintenance. Your service technician will inspect the battery; if it needs replacement, a new battery costs about $15 to $25.

Warranties: Some dealers will offer warranties on stair lifts to cover repair costs for parts, labor, or both. The length of the warranty—and what it covers—will vary by dealer, so be sure to review the service contract to determine what it covers and for how long. Warranties on used stair lifts generally won’t be as comprehensive as those available with new lifts.

Stair Lift Rental Costs

Most dealers have the option to rent a stair lift for a reasonable monthly fee. This could be helpful if you only plan to use the lift temporarily while recovering from an injury or surgery. Rental costs for stair lifts range from $300 to $500 per month, plus an installation fee and deposit. However, your rental costs depend on the age of the stair lift, the make, and the model.

To save money, you might consider opting for a certified pre-owned stair lift, which generally runs between $2,000 and $3,000, depending on the model and the features present. Reputable dealers will inspect and refurbish used stair lifts before making them available, but be sure to confirm the dealer can service the lift you choose if you decide to purchase a pre-owned model.

Does Medicare Cover Stair Lifts?

Unfortunately, Medicare Parts and Part B will not cover the costs of a stair lift because they are not considered durable medical equipment (DME) like wheelchairs or crutches. Medigap plans do not cover stair lifts, either.

Some Medicare Advantage plans may help pay for a stair lift if the lift will help improve or maintain your health. Chat with your insurance representative to see if you qualify. You might also be able to get financial assistance via the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program offered through Medicaid.  

Bottom Line

For many seniors, climbing stairs can become difficult as they age. Stair lifts are a significant investment, but many deem them worth the costs if it will help your loved one maintain mobility and independence in the years ahead. Compare the makes, models, and features of each stair lift to ensure you find the right stair lift for your budget, and chat with your insurance provider for ways they might be able to offset your total costs.