Power Wheelchair Vs. Mobility Scooter – How are they different?

Seniors, disabled people, and other individuals use power wheelchairs and mobility scooters. These electronically operated vehicles have gained popularity over the past years due to their innumerable benefits and attractive features.

The significant difference between the two is that mobility scooters are for people with mobile ability than people who use wheelchairs. Therefore, mobility scooters and power wheelchairs majorly depend on the mobility level, one of the primary factors that people must consider before opting for any of these options.

What are the Main Features of Mobility Scooters?

Mostly, older adults use mobility scooters while travelling. This is because they are convenient for older adults, especially at places that require a lot of walking, such as grocery stores, malls, airports, amusement parks, and nursing homes.

Mobility chairs come with suspension and rugged wheels for smooth rides, especially on rough surfaces. Power mobility scooters are the best pick for people with limited mobility but who wish to stay active. Here are the main features of mobility scooters.

  • Tiller
  • Height Adjustable Seat
  • Swivel Seat
  • 3 or 4 Wheels
  • 4-Piece Disassembly
  • Storage Basket
  • Anti-Tip Frame

What are the Main Features of Power Wheelchairs?

Power wheelchairs are the best choice for people with limited mobility or medical conditions. Moreover, people who cannot use a power scooter or manual wheelchair often opt for power wheelchairs. People mostly use them indoors.

People with limited mobility spend extended time using power wheelchairs since they rely on them for everyday chores. Following are some features of power wheelchairs.

  • Seat Belt
  • Joystick
  • 4 to 6 Wheels
  • Safety Horn
  • Padded Cushion
  • Adjustable Footrest
  • USB Charger
  • Shock Absorbing Tires

What are the Differences between Power Wheelchair and Scooter?

Even though both electronically operated vehicles offer mobility, they are different in multiple ways. Here, we discuss how these two are different.


A mobility scooter is a power-operated vehicle with three or four wheels, a swivel seat, handlebars, and a flat area designed for the feet. Several types of mobility scooters are available in the market. These types include the compact mobility scooter, electric mobility scooter, 4-wheel scooter, and 3-wheel scooter. Mobility scooters are either electric-powered or gasoline-powered.

On the contrary, power wheelchairs have four or six wheels, specialized seating options, and a driving system.

Controller Differences

Power wheelchair users operate it with a joystick that allows more control and requires arm strength. In addition, it provides steering using the fingertips.

On the other hand, mobility scooters operate with handlebars, requiring additional strength. In addition, since individuals use turners or handlebars for extended periods, controlling them requires more force.


Power wheelchairs have either front or back wheel drive. Moreover, it allows moving closer to exchange surfaces such as beds and showers. It also allows pulling up to tables and working surfaces. It also allows the users to move around inside their homes.

However, mobility scooters do not facilitate their users to move closer to exchange places. Furthermore, the design of mobility scooters does not allow moving inside the homes since the main purpose of using them is to move out of homes for longer distances.

The Bottom Line

Choosing between a power wheelchair or mobility scooters is a never-ending debate. However, if you are looking to purchase one for the elderly with limited mobility, you can pick power wheelchairs as it helps them move around inside homes. Moreover, the power-operated vehicles major depends on how you plan to use them.

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