The complete guide on how a stairlift works

Written by Stannah

The Complete guide on how a stairlift works

If you deal with mobility issues on a daily basis and don’t want to move house, knowing how a stairlift works can help you understand how this mobility equipment is the perfect solution to regain your independence and improve your quality of life.    

Stannah’s stairlifts are a tailor-made solution designed to fit each staircase perfectly. That is why they are considered one of the safest mobility solutions on the market. On top of that, they are quite easy to use.   

How does a stairlift work? 

Simply put, a stairlift transports one person between two or more floors at a time. And depending on the stairlift model you choose, you can travel in a near-standing position or comfortably seated.  

The stairlift itself travels on a rail, which can either be attached to the stairs or the wall. The choice of rail and its proper installation are key ingredients to offer users a safe and more comfortable travelling experience. 

How do you use a stairlift? 

Stairlifts are quite easy and safe to handle. You only need to sit on the chair, fasten the seat belt, press the control on the armrest and off you go.  

When you reach your floor, just unfasten the seat belt and simply get up from the stairlift.  

The design of our Stannah stairlifts is quite minimalist, without too many buttons or lights, to make it as convenient to use as possible. 

How do the different stairlift components work? 

How do the different stairlift components work? 

Stairlifts are meant to be practical. So their different components should be equally intuitive and easy to use. 

We have a wide range of stairlift models, and depending on the model you buy, you can even choose various optional features for added comfort, such as the automatic swivel seat. 

Our stairlifts can also be customised to fit the staircase better or the mobility needs of the person who will use it. 

Control or joystick  

You can use the hand control or joystick to operate the stairlift and safely travel up and down the stairs. 

Stannah stairlifts come with two remote controls. If your stairlift is on a different floor, you just need to press the button and it’ll come straight to you. It even lights up in the dark, so you’ll never get stuck on the same floor.   

You can also choose which armrest of your Stannah stairlift you wish to install the control or joystick. 


The footrest on our stairlifts offers excellent stability while travelling. And its anti-slip properties make it easier for you to get in and out of the chair safely.  


Our stairlift armrests provide a comfortable way to lean on for a bit of added comfort and support. 

You can also choose to have longer armrests installed on your stairlift, so it’s easier for you to get up from the chair.  


Stairlift batteries consume very little energy and allow you to use the stairlift even during a power cut.  


The rail is the part on which the stairlift travels.   

Our stairlift rails are always custom-made to fit each staircase’s bends and angles. That is why we have straight, curved, and modular rails – no matter the shape of your stairs, we have a rail to fit them.  

 Stairlift chair 

A stairlift chair should be as comfortable as possible, especially for people with back and joint pain. 

Some of our stairlift models have padded curved seat backs to ensure you’re as comfortable and safe as you should be, even on the narrowest of stairs. 

Seat belt 

Seat Belt Stannah Stairlift

The seat belt is a fundamental feature in any stairlift, especially for people with severe mobility issues.   

That is why the seat belts of our stairlifts are designed for added safety and ease of use — they can be buckled up with just one hand and fitted on either chair’s armrest. That means it’s easy to do up, even for someone with arthritic fingers. 


The stairlift motor is what “pulls” the chair, so it reaches another floor.  Our Stannah stairlifts can travel five metres in just 50 seconds.  

Folding seats  

Most stairlift seats are foldable to take up less space on the stairs when the stairlift is not used.  This way, people who usually want to take the stairs can do it quickly and without being bothered. 

Customisable features 

Customising your stairlift to your tastes and needs is a major plus. We have a wide range of upholsteries and finishes, including different fabrics, colours and wood finishes so you can customise your stairlift as you wish.  

We’ll always go the extra mile to make sure that your stairlift fits your mobility needs and preferences. 

 How are stairlifts charged?  

The batteries on our stairlifts charge automatically when the stairlift is parked at the top or bottom of the stairs. Our straight stairlifts also charge as they travel along the rail.  

It is best to keep the stairlift plugged in, so the batteries are always fully charged and ready to use. 

If there is a power cut, the battery in a Stannah stairlift ensures that you can still make between 15 and 20 trips, depending on the length of your stairs.   

How much energy does a stairlift use?  

How much energy does a stairlift use?  

A stairlift uses very little energy, about as much as your kettle. When you choose a Stannah stairlift, you can rest assured that your mobility equipment is highly efficient when using energy.   

Do stairlifts need a dedicated electrical circuit?  

No, not usually. Stannah stairlifts, for example, are connected to a socket and use the electricity available in the house.   

If there isn’t a power socket available near the stairs, our team will find a suitable alternative.   

Are stairlifts safe?  

Yes. Stairlifts are one of the safest mobility solutions for people with reduced mobility.   

Our stairlifts include different components specially designed to offer maximum safety to everyone that uses it. 

Some of the features that make Stannah stairlifts the safest option in the market include:   

  • Different seat belt options for people with different mobility issues 
  • The chassis and base of our stairlifts include 10 safety sensors. When these detect an obstacle on the stairs, the stairlift comes to a gentle but immediate stop 
  • We install a sensor in the stairlift’s seat so that the stairlift doesn’t move until you are properly seated and ready to go 
  • The batteries work even during power cuts 
  • The swivel mechanism allows you to turn the chair when you reach the top of the stairs, so you are facing away from the landing when you get off 

Why invest in a stairlift?  

Why invest in a stairlift

Stairlifts offer you complete freedom inside and outside your home.  

Regardless of your mobility challenges or how many intermediate landings your staircase has, with a Stannah stairlift you can move freely between different floors. Going upstairs to fetch your glass or the book on your nightstand is no longer an issue.   

Investing in a stairlift also means that you can stay in your own home you don’t have to move to a new house or a day centre.  

Enjoy a better quality of life with a stairlift  

If you see your home as the place where you wish to spend your days, you should consider investing in a stairlift. A house with a stairlift is a safer place to live in. It also gives your family that much-needed peace of mind knowing that now you can use the stairs without the risk of falling.    

We have stairlifts for all staircases, whether they are straight or curved, indoors or outdoors. Under normal circumstances, it takes less than a day to install – quick and easy, no mess, no fuss.  

If you wish to find out which of our stairlifts can help you get moving again, get in touch with us 

One of our mobility experts will be happy to help you find the right stairlift to fit your needs and your home.