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Manual Wheelchair – Armrest Basics


Many of the manual wheelchairs on Spinlife offer choices for the armrests. When choosing armrests for your manual wheelchair, take into consideration how the person in the wheelchair is going to use them. Also consider how the user will be getting in and out of the wheelchair, including transfers from the side of the wheelchair.

Common choices include –

  • Desk or Full-Length Armrests
  • Fixed or Adjustable Height
  • Fixed or Removeable
  • Flip-Back Armrests

Desk or Full-Length Armrests

  • Desk-Length allows you to get closer to tables and other surfaces.
  • Full-Length offers support along the complete side of the chair – helpful if armrests are necessary for support to exit the wheelchair.

Fixed-Height or Adjustable-Height Armrests

  • Fixed-Height are often the more cost-effective option but offer no adjustability.
  • Adjustable-Height armrests offer different heights – helpful if the user is shorter or taller than average.

Fixed or Removeable Armrests

  • Fixed Armrests are permanently attached to the wheelchair.
  • Removeable armrests are able t be removed to allow for easier transfers in and out of the wheelchair.
  • Removeable Armrests can also be removed to make the wheelchair lighter for loading and unloading.

Flip-Back Armrests

Flip-back Armrests allow the armrest to be flipped back for easier side transfers in and out of the chair. This is done with the release of a button and does not require that the armrest be completely removed.


SpinLife Knows: Our Product Experts are here to help you make the best choice for your individual situation. Give us a call at 1-800-850-0335.