May 24, 2022 15 min read
If you’ve ever been to a Walmart or a Target, it’s pretty likely you've seen shoppers wheeling around on electric mobility scooters. Stores usually make these available for shoppers who don’t want to stand or walk for hours. With millions of baby boomers retiring and spending their savings on travel and leisure, it makes sense that demand for the Best Mobility Scooters is on the rise.
If you don’t watch TV, let us fill you in: Mobility Scooters For Adults are SUPER popular right now. What's not to love about them? They’re easy to operate, fun to drive, and take us to places we really couldn’t get to otherwise.
Mobility Scooters allow you to travel safely in all kinds of different settings. You can ride them at home, on the sidewalk in your neighborhood, down the aisles of your local supermarket, or even on an exotic vacation or cruise ship!
As battery technology matures, mobility scooters can travel further and don’t need replacement as often as they used to. Folding Mobility Scooters are lightweight and can be broken down small enough to fit in the back of your car or stored in your closet. Even heavier mobility scooters can be transported pretty easily with a scooter lift carrier which you can attach to the hitch port of your vehicle.
With its rise in popularity and a growing mobility scooter market, the number of companies producing mobility scooters has increased. More options means more competition for the manufacturers, but it's also led to a drop in cost for the Average Joe.
With so many options, it can be overwhelming deciding which one is right for you. Here at American Mobility Specialists our goal is to educate our customers on their options. This guide aims to provide a detailed overview of the best mobility scooters available in 2022.
A mobility scooter is a transportation device with wheels designed to carry people from one place to another. Some mobility scooters are classified as “medical devices” since they carry people who can’t walk on their own. Other mobility scooters are more sporty and go a bit faster for people who can walk fine but just prefer to ride from one place to another (kind of like a golf cart).
Mobility Scooters come in all shapes and sizes. Some are super lightweight and break down in pieces for easy transportation. Others are heavier and built for multiple riders or larger humans (like me). Some have 3 wheels and some have 4 wheels. These features will all affect your experience using the machine.
Electric Mobility Scooters use power from either lead acid batteries or lithium ion batteries. When you buy a scooter it should arrive with a battery and a charger so you have everything you’ll need to operate it. The batteries can be charged with any regular outlet and some even allow you to remove the battery easily to take it to another room to charge.
Mobility scooters are always operated with your hands. The hand controls are usually located on the top of the “tiller” which is the part of the scooter at the front that comes up from the floorboard. Most scooters use a “motorcycle throttle” to accelerate meaning you roll the throttle back to move forward. When you take your hands off the throttle the scooter will automatically come to a stop. Some scooters use a thumb throttle, but they always stop when you let go of the controls.
There are 4 different types of electric mobility scooters:
In case you’re wondering, “bariatric” is a medical term used to describe devices used in the treatment of obesity. But all kinds of people use bariatric scooters because they are built to carry more weight and are extra stable and comfortable. Each type has unique characteristics that make it better in certain situations.
4-Wheel Mobility Scooters are usually best for outdoor use. They are well-balanced and have larger wheels so they can be driven on gravel or grass. With a wider base at the front they also offer more legroom for people with mobility issues or leg injuries. The last thing you want is your knees knocking into the tiller (the upright pole at the front of the scooter that holds the hand controls).
These 4-wheel electric scooters focus on stability and comfort. A lot of models have a swiveling seat so you can rotate for a smooth transition into the seat to sit down or out of the seat to stand up.
3-Wheel Mobility Scooters are usually best for indoor use. They are lightweight and have a really tight turn radius - perfect for maneuvering around furniture and cutting corners through doorways in a small house. They are easy to steer and are usually less expensive than other scooter types.
These 3-wheel electric scooters focus on maneuverability and easy storage. For tight spaces like homes, airports, and cruise ships, they are perfect because they are lightweight and easy to move around.
Folding Mobility Scooters are sometimes called “travel scooters” because they are designed to fold down to a smaller size so they can be moved easily between locations. They are usually the lightest scooters available and some even have special wheels so they can be pulled behind you like luggage when they’re folded up.
These folding electric scooters focus on making travel enjoyable for people who want to drive to another location. They fit easily in the back of a car so you can load it up and go wherever you want. A lot of travel scooters are airline approved so you can take them through security at the airport or onto a train.
Bariatric Mobility Scooters are the heaviest type of scooter and are built to carry the most weight. Some can carry up to 600 pounds! They usually have thick tires and big comfortable seats and armrests so you can sit for many hours without getting tired.
These heavy-duty mobility scooters also have the strongest batteries so they can travel many miles without running out of power. They can drive on uneven ground and are really stable. Some bariatric electric scooters have rearview mirrors and cup holders so they feel like a golf cart.
Those Walmart and Target mobility scooters are okay, but they’re not the best mobility scooters out there. They have short battery life and are usually made with heavy construction materials. This is because they’re not made to go long distances without a charge and aren’t designed to be packed up and put in the trunk of a car.
When you’re looking for the best mobility scooter to use at home there are a few key features to pay close attention to.
The last thing you want is to buy a mobility scooter that works great for a month then the battery dies while you’re out for a ride. The best mobility scooters have cutting edge battery technology so the battery can be used for 2-3 years without a replacement.
Some scooters have a lithium ion battery option that is designed to deliver more power with an extended range. They’re usually more expensive but do you really want to cut corners here?
The difference between a 50 pound scooter and a 100 pound scooter might not seem like a lot, but when you’re trying to transport your scooter or drive it up a hill it can mean a world of difference. The best mobility scooters are made with high-quality, durable materials that won’t break down over time. Those materials should also be lightweight so you can move your scooter easily when not in use.
Every mobility scooter has a different turn radius. Every scooter is also shaped differently with some being more narrow than others. The best mobility scooters allow you to turn around tight corners and navigate narrow hallways without having to get off the scooter or put it in reverse.
Maneuverability isn’t just how easy it is to turn the scooter - it’s also how easy it is to get ON or OFF the scooter. The best mobility scooters have adjustable seat heights, folding armrests, swiveling seats, and adjustable tiller heights. One size doesn’t fit all with mobility scooters - we humans are all shaped differently so your scooter should be flexible.
The average weight capacity for a mobility scooter is 350 pounds. Some are lower and some are much higher (up to around 600 pounds). The best mobility scooters have a weight capacity that is at least 50 pounds higher than the weight you expect to carry. If you expect to have a small child or second person ride along with you then you should add their weight when considering how much power you'll need.
If you’re right up against the weight capacity and you go to climb a hill, the scooter will struggle and might even stall. If this happens, just squeeze the break and ask for help getting off the scooter.
Some scooters have front or rear basket options so you can carry your purse, groceries, or even a small pet. The weight capacity of the scooter should include your weight plus the weight of whatever you’re hoping to carry.
This should go without saying, but the best mobility scooters are designed with safety in mind. The tires should be rated for wet or uneven surfaces. The base should be wide enough that you don’t have to worry about tipping over when climbing or descending a hill. Many mobility scooters even come with caster wheels which are a small set of wheels at the rear of the scooter that prevent you from falling backwards if you accidentally pop a wheelie (not recommended).
Cheap scooters sometimes cut corners on safety. Manufacturers are under a lot of pressure to reduce costs so they might use less-than-excellent parts that affect the performance of your scooter. Smaller tires tend to slip on wet surfaces. Scooters that are too narrow tend to tip easily. The best mobility scooters are built to keep riders safe.
There are scooters for just about any terrain. Most scooters are built for use on flat surfaces like a carpeted floor or sidewalk, but some scooters have thick, knobby tires that can drive on gravel or sand. There are even “off-road” scooters with a special suspension system for people who want a more sporty ride.
Here are the most common places you can ride your mobility scooter:
When you order a mobility scooter online your order should be processed within 1-2 business days. That means the manufacturer of the scooter you ordered receives your order and will start working on getting your scooter loaded onto a truck for delivery to your home or business.
Electric scooter manufacturers keep their inventory in warehouses all over the United States, so shipping times will vary based on your location and the location of the scooter itself. Normally, delivery takes 7-10 business days but it can take up to 3 weeks for a scooter to arrive if you live in a remote place. It’s important to order your scooter with plenty of time for the delivery process.
Mobility scooters can be small and lightweight or they can be big and heavy. Most mobility scooters ship fully assembled in a large box. Since these are big items they usually ship in a truck with a liftgate so they can be lowered to the ground off the back of the truck. The truck will deliver your scooter to a sidewalk or garage, but the driver will not help you unpack or assemble your scooter.
Every scooter delivery requires a signature from the person receiving the shipment. It’s important to check the box for damage before signing anything. We recommend that you take out your phone and snap a few pictures when your scooter is delivered.
Mobility scooters normally arrive fully assembled. The batteries will always arrive with a light charge so you drive it around right out of the box! It’s important to unpack your scooter and turn it on to confirm that everything is working properly. First, make sure any lights, battery gauges, and speed indicators are working properly. Then check to make sure the scooter accelerates and brakes properly.
Most scooters come with a limited return policy meaning you have some time to make sure you really love the scooter. It’s a good idea to hold on to the packaging for a couple of weeks just in case you do end up returning the scooter for some reason. Many manufacturers won’t allow you to return your scooter unless it is returned in the original packaging with almost no signs of use.
Plan to store your scooter somewhere dry. Ideally there will be a power outlet nearby so you can charge your scooter’s battery while it is not in use. That last thing you want is to run out of power while you’re riding around the neighborhood so make sure you keep a battery charged at all times.
Do not leave your scooter’s battery charging for days at a time. The extended charge will fry the battery. It’s best to charge your battery for no more than 24 hours, then take the battery off the charger.
Economy mobility scooters cost between $600 to $1,200 including the battery and charger. There are some good quality options in this price range, but if you want more comfortable options, faster speeds, or extended driving ranges then you might want to consider more premium options.
Mid-tier scooters cost between $1,200 to $3,000. You will find plenty of high-quality options in this price range with padded armrests, thick seat cushions, and front or rear baskets for carrying personal items like purses, groceries, or even pets!
Top-tier scooters cost between $3,000 to $7,000. These premium options usually have plush captain’s seats with headrests, extra wide floorboards with lots of legroom, and rearview mirrors for riding in busy parks or neighborhoods. These scooters normally have extended driving ranges so you can drive more miles without recharging the batteries. You’ll find various bells and whistles in this price range - seat belts, oxygen tank holders, cup holders - you name it and you’ll find it in this price range.
Below are the main questions you need to answer before purchasing a new mobility scooter.
Now that you have a better understanding of how mobility scooters work, let's talk about the different places and settings where electric scooters are commonly used.
Mobility scooters can be made of lightweight plastic, metal, or aluminum among other construction materials. While most scooters are built to be used in multiple settings, the best scooter for you will depend on where you expect to use the machine.
Smooth, flat surfaces are every scooter’s best friend, but if you expect to ride your scooter outdoors you should expect some uneven ground or hills. If you live in a rural area, you might even come across gravel or sand. It’s not uncommon to encounter tree roots, rocks, or raised joints even on sidewalks in your neighborhood.
Have you visited a shopping mall or doctor’s office recently? Most of these places have ramps for mobility scooters so people with wheelchairs or mobility scooters can avoid the stairs. These hills can challenge your scooter depending on the level of incline and length of the ramp.
The max speed for most mobility scooters is 5 miles per hour. That’s about the speed of a fast walk or light jog. Many mobility scooters have speed settings so you can govern the top speed your scooter will reach when you “hit the gas”. If you’re riding inside a store or house, you probably don’t need to go faster than 4 miles per hour.
Some scooters are built to go faster and can reach speeds up to 12 miles per hour. These scooters are used almost exclusively outdoors and are usually more expensive. Faster scooters usually have suspension systems built to smooth out the ride when you’re moving at higher speeds. When you’re riding longer distances like a ride to a neighbor’s house or to a grocery store you might want to consider a scooter with a faster maximum speed. If it’s hot or cold outside, you definitely don’t want to move at a turtle’s pace and be stuck in the elements.
The average range of an economy mobility scooter is 15 miles. That’s assuming your battery is fully charged. Now, 15 miles is plenty if you expect to use your scooter mostly indoors. That should last you 2-3 days before you need to recharge the battery. Premium scooters have an average range of 35 miles on a single charge. This is much better for situations where you expect to ride outside. A short trip to the grocery store might not seem like a lot but the miles add up fast and the last thing you want is to be stuck between places with a dead battery.
Some people really need to use their mobility scooter everyday. Riders who have difficulty walking more than a few steps rely on their scooter to move between rooms in their house or to ride around their yard or neighborhood. If you expect to sit for long periods of time on your scooter you need to think about the comfort of the seat and armrests. Does the seat recline? Does the seat swivel so you can rotate outward? It’s not uncommon to stay seated on your scooter seat while eating at a dining table or while lounging and watching TV. Being able to rotate the seat turns your scooter seat into a comfortable chair wherever you go.
Others ride their scooter sparingly or only in situations where they expect to go longer distances and don’t want to walk. These people don’t usually expect to spend a lot of time lounging in their chair and treat it more like a vehicle. They might be able to walk short distances but need a bit of help over long distances.
Then again, some people buy electric scooters just for fun! They don’t really need help - they just like driving their scooter the same way you might enjoy driving a golf cart.
If you have a lightweight, folding scooter you can store your scooter almost anywhere. They’ll fit in a closet, a shelf in your garage, or in the trunk of your car. As long as you have a secure and dry corner you can store these scooters in many places.
Bigger scooters are a bit harder to store. You’ll need to park your scooter in a corner of your garage or a vacant corner of a room in your house. The biggest scooters are heavy and wider so you’ll need more space to store them. Make sure you consider how much space you will need to safely store your scooter.
If you ask 10 people what words they associate with mobility scooters you’ll hear words like “disabled” or “slow”. Sometimes people imagine electric scooters are boring or only used by older people. It’s too bad because plenty of enthusiastic people ride scooters for all kinds of reasons.
The truth is mobility scooters are used by people of all ages. Even children can use electric scooters. They’re most commonly used by people who have difficulty walking but some people really want a sportier, faster experience. I talk to customers all the time who don’t want to look feeble or old when they’re scooting around out in public.
Some scooters are designed to move slower with a low ground clearance so they’re close to the ground and don’t tip easily. Other scooters have a high clearance and fat tires so they can ride over tree roots and rocks. Speed is another important variable that will affect your riding experience. Check the specs when you’re shopping for your scooter to make sure you’ll love the ride.
4-wheel mobility scooters are best for outdoor use because they are more stable. 3-wheel mobility scooters are best for indoor use because they have a tighter turn radius - this is very useful when turning around corners.
If you expect to use your scooter just to move around inside your home you should consider a 3-wheel mobility scooter. They are lightweight and perfect for narrow hallways and doorways. They are also great for situations where you expect to ride your mobility scooter both indoors and outdoors.
If you think you’ll only ride your scooter outdoors then a 4-wheel mobility scooter is your best bet. Even if you normally ride on sidewalks or paved roads you are definitely going to come across some unstable surfaces and need a scooter designed to handle the outside world.
A common question is how much do mobility scooters cost. The answer is it depends on the type of scooter you choose and the features it has. Ultimately, mobility scooters range in price from $700 - $5,000. We’ve separated mobility scooters into 3 price categories:
Have a look at our favorite models in each of these price ranges.
|ECONOMY SCOOTERS (under $1,500)|
|Merits Health Roadster||3-Wheel||Check|
|PREMIUM ECONOMY SCOOTERS (under $3,000)|
|EV Rider Transport AF+||4-Wheel||Check|
|Merits Health Pioneer 4||4-Wheel||Check|
|PREMIUM SCOOTERS (under $5,000)|
|Merits Health Silverado||4-Wheel||Check|
Now, let’s get started finding the perfect mobility scooter for you!
This guide is intended to help you get familiar with mobility scooters but we realize it may not provide every answer that you're looking for. If you have any questions along the way, or need some help in choosing which mobility scooter is right for you just give us a call at 800-778-1431. You can also reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team of experts are knowledgeable and ready to help with any and all of your questions.
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