Acorn Stair Lifts
Caption: Acorn Stair Lifts

Acorn Stair Lifts Review

Since 1992, Acorn Stairlifts has helped over 600,000 customers in 80 countries. The company that we named as having Great Installation in our Best Stairlifts Buyer’s Guide reports that an Acorn stairlift is installed somewhere in the world every eight minutes. With the U.S. headquarters in Florida and a network of stairlift surveyors and engineers all over the country, the U.K.-based company keeps their product line simple with three stairlifts: Straight, Curved and Outdoor. Acorn manufactures and installs every stairlift, and there is never a need for structural changes to your home.

Pros
  • Installs in under one hour
  • The only manufacturer awarded the Ease of Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation
  • Customers have access to a dedicated help desk every day of the year

Cons
  • Weight limits at 280 and 350 pounds are lower compared to most other stairlifts

Acorn Stairlifts Products

All three Acorn stairlifts are designed to be attached to the staircase and not the wall, so remodeling isn’t necessary. Acorn is the only stairlift company offering the FastTrack installation system featuring a variety of modular interlocking rails custom fit together to follow the flow of your staircase. With FastTrack, a curved stairway can typically be installed within a few days after the customer places the order, instead of waiting for weeks for the production of a full-length custom rail. FastTrack rails are easy to install as well, so you can use your Acorn stairlift within a couple of hours after the installers arrive at your home.

  • The Acorn 130 straight stairlift is designed for straight staircases and is the most affordable of the three models. It uses electricity very efficiently.
  • The Acorn 180 is a customizable curved-rail stairlift, one of the few curved models on the market that require no structural changes before installing.
  • The Acorn 130 Outdoor stairlift comes with a weather-resistant cover and stops automatically if any debris should fall or blow into the track.
Acorn Stairlifts
Models, Capacity and Features
Model Type Capacity Features
Acorn 130 Straight Stairlift 280 to 350 pounds Inertia seat belt
Acorn 180 Curved Stairlift 265 pounds No remodeling required
Acorn 130 Outdoor Outdoor Stairlift 280 to 350 pounds Weather-resistant cover

Acorn Stairlifts Costs

While you can get an idea of the cost of a stairlift from our Cost of Aging in Place Remodeling Projects chart, your home and staircase are unique, so you will need an in-home survey to get a firm estimate. Acorn offers a free one-hour, in-home survey with no obligation to buy a stairlift. An experienced surveyor comes to your home at a time you select to measure and photograph your staircase. The technician takes the time to understand your mobility needs and to explain the best options. The surveyor has samples of Acorn’s stairlift rails, paddle switches, remote controls, and other key components and will answer any questions as well as provide you with a detailed quote.

It is recommended you budget around $2,500 to $5,500 to have a stairlift installed in your home. Many homeowners choose a stairlift model in the range of $3,000 to $4,500.

Acorn Stairlifts Safety Features

Acorn 130

Acorn 130, Source: Acorn Stairlifts

Aside from a seat belt, each Acorn stairlift comes standard with carriage safety pads and footrest safety edges which stop the stairlift if there is an obstruction on the track. The stairlift won’t move if the seat is not correctly aligned, and an over speed governor and safety gear prevent uncontrolled descents down the stairs.

If the household power goes out while the stairlift is in use, a battery backup takes over, so you are never left stranded on the stairs. The DC battery continuously charges, so it’s always ready to function, but can wear out like any other rechargeable battery. Acorn Stairlifts will send a replacement quickly, but there is no warranty for the cells.

Acorn Stairlifts Warranty

All three Acorn stairlift models come with a 12-month manufacturer guarantee covering service calls, parts and labor. The warranty also includes a full-service check of your stairlift near the end of your first year of ownership, including a comprehensive 25-point check of all major components. The company also offers a wide range of annual service agreements and extended warranties.

Where to Buy Acorn Stairlifts

Acorn sells directly to the public to keep their prices down. Contact Acorn Stairlifts to arrange for a quote by using the form on the website to provide your name, email, address and phone number. You can also call a representative at the number provided on the site to get questions answered and to schedule a free home survey.

Acorn Stairlift Complaints

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Acorn Stairlifts an “A+” rating and has accredited the company since 2003. Acorn has a 4.8 out of 5-star consumer rating on the BBB website with 1,070 reviews. The BBB lists sixty-eight complaints, the majority made by family members wanting refunds after the stairlift user died or went into a senior living facility. Acorn Stairlifts responded to each person.

ConsumerAdvocate.com gives Acorn Stairlifts 9.5 out of 10 stars. ConsumerAffairs lists 141 consumer reviews with an average rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars. While there are some 5-star reviews, most cite issues with frequent malfunctions, customer service and waiting up to a week or more to get a stairlift repaired.

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Acorn 130, Source: Acorn Stairlifts

Acorn Stairlifts Q&A

  • Will an Acorn stairlift work with my staircase?
    Acorn can almost always install a stairlift regardless of whether your staircase is curved or straight, indoors or outside, long, narrow, or steep. To learn about your options, schedule a free, no-obligation, in-home survey.

  • Are Acorn Stairlifts easy to operate?
    Yes. Acorn stairlifts operate with a paddle control on the arm of the seat or via handheld remote control. The paddle is pressed and held in the direction of travel for the lift to operate.

  • I have a narrow staircase, should I consider an Acorn stairlift?
    Acorn has stairlift options for narrow staircases:

    • A slimline model uses less space
    • Folding seats and footrests to keep the stairlift out of the way when not in use
    • A hinged rail option swings the stairlift around and off to the side at the top and bottom of the stairs
  • Can an Acorn stairlift work on a staircase with multiple landings?
    There are a few options for using an Acorn stairlift on a long staircase with one or more sub-landings. Options are a curved stairlift, a transfer platform or using multiple straight stairlifts.

  • What is the recommended maintenance for Acorn Stairlifts?
    Acorn recommends cleaning the stairlift rails with a dry cloth weekly. They also advise customers to vacuum the steel-toothed rack mounted on the track regularly. Finally, Acorn recommends yearly servicing to expand the lifespan of the stairlift.

  • How can Acorn install their stairlifts in days rather than weeks like some other companies?
    Acorn’s FastTrack rail system is unique as it allows even the most complex curved stairlift configurations to be fitted on site by their skilled engineers in just a few hours. An Acorn stairlift fits on your staircase, not the wall, so there’s minimal disruption to your home with no renovations.

Conclusion

Installing a stairlift and taking other fall-prevention measures can keep you safe and living in your home. Many hospitals use the patient’s degree of stair-climbing ability to decide if they can return to their home or go into assisted living or a nursing home. In these cases, an Acorn stairlift can be a game-changer. Having an Acorn Surveyor come to your house won’t cost you anything and a stairlift can be up and running in a few days if you opt to buy one.

Acorn Stair Lifts Reviews

Recent Reviews

October 19 2020 4:56PM

Six year old lift in my Church has been out of service for months. I have been trying to get it serviced but it seems as though Acorn has no servicemen in our half of the state of Maine.

I finally was referred to a service company that I don't believe is an authorized agent but they would help. I told them that the units batteries were dead and that the charging function was not working. They assured me that changing the batteries would fix the problem.

For $300 plus they replaced the batteries and then noticed that the charging system wasn't working.

They looked at the power supply transformer and didn't think it was the right one for the lift although it was putting out the right voltage and ordered a replacement for another $200 plus.

Surprise, it still doesn't work! Now after putting over $500 into it the unit might might make a decent boat anchor. Do not buy!

Carl S.
Lincoln, ME
October 08 2020 3:15PM

I had to quickly purchase a stairlift to support my mother moving in with us in 2012. Bought a model 180 curved lift. Sale and installation went great, at around 15k. Problems started immediately - the lift kept “losing” the start and end of the track.

At $400 a pop, service calls added up. After at least 6 repair calls, the “floater expert” came to fix it once and for all. That lasted a couple months.

Calls to their support line were insulting, trying to sign us up for extended warranty and extra service - clearly more interested in getting more money from us than providing quality service. The local tech was nice and helpful, but struggled getting the lift to operate reliably.

8 years later and several expensive upgrades and battery replacements, my mother has passed, we’re selling our house and our agent tells us to get it outa here.

Seeing Acorn won’t allow anyone else to install or service the lift, we had zero luck reselling it - and are now paying a company $600 to remove the lift and dispose of it.

Acorn is a profit motivated company trying to take advantage of elderly folks who need help. Shame on them. Find another vendor if you need a lift - Acorn will rob you blind.

David A.
Sterling, MD
September 24 2020 10:44PM

Have had the Acorn chair lift for under 18 months, six of which it is not used. I have had a repair person out about 10 times and once again, the chair is broken.

I had to buy the yearly maintenance agreement for $750.00 because the mother board went about 6 weeks ago or I would have paid more that to replace it. The chair broke on a Wednesday and they said a repair person couldn’t come until Monday!

I asked how I was suppose to get up the stairs for 4 days, and received no response. I don’t think Acorn understands that people purchase a stair lift because THEY NEED IT!

For the price paid and the exorbitant maintenance service price, and the amount of time it is inoperable, I would never purchase Acorn Chair Lifts again and I could never recommend it!

Linda D.
Cheshire, CT
August 31 2020 2:09PM

This product, costing over $12,000.00, with a yearly maintenance fee of approx. $500.00, dead battery $250.00 approx. every 12 mo., has been the very worst investment in MY 80 years of living. Battery is NOT covered by yearly fee.

Do not waste YOUR money! The reason for the (1) VERY BAD rating today is that the chair started screeching when it runs over the joint in the curved rail.

When I called for an appointment right away, today, Aug. 31, 2020, so I didn't continue using it and possibly making the problem worse, I was given the next appointment date of DECEMBER 1, 2020!!!! Is this hard to believe?

If Acorn built a better product they might not have as many service calls requiring customers to wait THREE (3) months for a technician to show up. How did the BBB give the company a good rating?

ANITA A.
Toronto, OH
August 19 2020 8:52PM

I purchased a $12,000 chairlift for my 89-year-old parents who depend on the lift to be able to move from the ground floor to the bedroom and bathroom on the 2nd floor.

The chair stopped working and they have been told to wait 3 days before someone can even look at it. Don't believe their phony promises of first-rate service. Avoid this company at all cost.

Steven G.
New York, NY
August 10 2020 8:29PM

Contact is professional, but warranty is only 1 year. Then they want to charge you around 600$ a year to keep from being robbed by Various service issues. In 5 years we would have been paying for our whole device again.

Every service call begins with $150 charge. Made us feel violated. It seemed it would almost be cheaper to buy a new one every 5 years.

Nancy W.
Mount Pleasant, SC
August 07 2020 11:24PM

During a recent power outage 2 1\2 days we had to listen to beeping from the chairlift every 15 seconds with no way to turn it off. It was like Chinese torture. They wanted to charge is us $150 to turn it off and another $150 to turn it back on when power returned. Very disappointed.

Charlotte K.
PomptonPlains, NJ
July 25 2020 8:15PM

I paid a $500 deposit on a stairlift as my wife and I were bringing her father to live in our home. Since this was during the COVID-19 pandemic, he took a severe turn for the worse and we were unable to move him into our house.

I notified our representative "Anny" and she assured us a refund in 4-6 weeks. Our refund check arrived 4 weeks to the day. These are reputable people.

William D.
LONDON, KY
July 25 2020 10:41AM

I can’t begin to say how bad and dangerous this stairlift is! Last night was the 3rd time that I had to carry my father in-law out of the stair lift and carry him up the rest of the way because it just stops when it wants to!! All light shut off on it.

And that’s not the only problems since we bought this at least 8-9 and each time is $250 just to walk in the door. I was on the phone with them last night (just like all the other times).

When I say maybe it’s defective and it should be changed I get, "We don’t do that" and I’m told that it’s not defective. They Absolutely don’t care about the Elderly only the money that they keep taking from them!!

Not 1 time in my conversation with this man on the phone did he say, "I’m sorry this keeps happening" or "I’m sorry that you’re father in-law was stuck and had to sit there until I came a 40 minute drive..."

No I got why didn’t they call the fire department. They would’ve taken him out.. WHAT!! And when I said that I call all the time with issues and have to pay again for a technician to come out..his reply back was "It’s been 2 months since your last problem."

I guess 2 months is a long time to them!! Please read all the other reviews before you buy a acorn stairlift. They nothing but a money pit!! And this company does NOT care about the customers AT ALL!! DON'T BUY THIS!!!

John H.
Medford, MA
July 21 2020 9:11PM

Bought a refurbished "supposedly" outside lift...had to have just about everything in it replaced a year later...and now this year it started getting stuck half way down...then would go up n down by itself..

Now it actually broke a hole in the rail where the connection is between the two sections that were put together...too costly to maintain...piece of crap!

Pamala K.
Van Dyne, WI
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