Manual Wheelchairs vs. Powered Wheelchairs

A close-up of a person’s hand on a wheelchair wheel in El Paso.

Are you in the market for a new wheelchair but unsure what kind to get? You want to make sure the wheelchair you obtain will fit your needs. We will discuss the pros and cons of manual wheelchairs and power wheelchairs. 

Wheelchair & Walker Rentals Inc. in El Paso offers home medical equipment to those who require extra assistance in getting around. If you have any questions or want to hear what we have in stock, give us a call at (915) 544-7144 or contact us online today.

Pros and Cons

A wheelchair is a convenient device that can help people with either temporary or permanent disabilities. Using a wheelchair can help you move around more freely and can also help you gain a sense of independence despite your obstacles. There are two different kinds of wheelchairs on the market, and those are manual wheelchairs and power wheelchairs. To help you decide which kind is best for you, read below for a list of pros and cons for both. 

Manual Wheelchair


  • Batteries aren’t needed
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Easy to navigate through tight spaces
  • Transporting is hassle-free (foldable and light in weight)


  • Requires a certain amount of strength to use
  • Difficult to travel long distances in
  • The potential risk for upper-body injury with repetitive usage 

Powered Wheelchair


  • Won’t tire out
  • Recline features for pressure relief
  • Can be taken on various terrains
  • No specific strength is required to operate
  • Can be used with limited mobility


  • More expensive compared to manual wheelchairs
  • More maintenance is required
  • Maintenance can be costly
  • Travels poorly due to heavyweight

What to Consider

While taking the pros and cons into account, there should also be other, more specific, factors to consider when choosing the wheelchair that’s right for you. Regardless if your need for a wheelchair is for a temporary or permanent disability, you should consider your upper body strength, your need for travel, and what home adaptations you will need. 

If you’re only going to be in a wheelchair for a short amount of time, your upper body strength may not be an obstacle. In this case, you could consider a manual wheelchair. If you’re an outdoors person and don’t want the wheelchair to be the reason you can’t enjoy nature, a power wheelchair would be a good option. Depending on the layout of your home, you could use either wheelchair as long as you’re able to move around without the risk of getting stuck or causing damage to your furniture. If you still need help deciding, our El Paso-based team can provide further assistance. 

Let Us Help

Wheelchair & Walker Rentals only carries the highest quality medical equipment. Our products are reliable, so you don’t have to worry about running into any function issues. If you’re worried about the cost of renting, we offer billing assistance as well. After decades of working in El Paso, amongst other towns across the Southwest, we pride ourselves in offering the best assistance to those in need of medical equipment. If you’re interested in renting one of our manual or power wheelchairs, call (915) 544-7144 or contact us online today!