How do Stairlifts Work: The Basic Components

A stair lift is an efficient as well as affordable way for people with limited mobility to move between the floors of their home. It offers not only convenience but it can restore independence for those who stopped using the stairs as well. To ensure that you get a good understanding of how stair lifts work, we indicate some of the key features and controls that enable the lift to operate and provide insight about how they work.

Stair Lift Components

Despite the fact that the design and apperance of stair lifts will vary between different manufacturers they all have some simple components applicable to them all:

Track or Rail

The stair lift track offers support for the chair, giving it a mechanism often in the form of a geared strip, is used to propel the chair and move it it up and down the stairway in a similar fashion to a train on a track.

Power Supply

Lots of stair lifts are battery operated and plenty of models will require a power supply to charge the battery or power the unit directly in the case of non-battery powered units. Non-battery powered stair lifts draw lots of power and normally need a dedicated circuit.

Call-Send Controls

The controls are often mounted on the wall close to each end of the stair lift track to offer a way for a user to call the chair to them or send it away when it is not required. They can work as either wireless or wired to the lift depending on the model.


The stair lift seat works as a comfortable platform to rest on for the user to comfortably sit while using the lift. Varying on the model, it may swivel at the top and or bottom of the track and will often fold up out of the way when not in use.

Seat Belt

As is the case with a car, the stair lift seat belt is required to hold the user safely seated on the seat while the lift is in use.

Foot Rest

The foot rest of the stair lift is a safety feature used to stop the the users feet from hitting the steps while using the lift and a comfort feature to support the user while sat in the seat.

If you have any further questions about your stairlift installation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Alfix today. Based in Leamington Spa, we’re proud to install stairlifts to individuals in Warwickshire and beyond. Whether you require stairlift rental or a custom-built stairlift, we have the resources and experience required to assist you.