Curved stairlifts: a buyer’s guide

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Curved Stairlifts

Stairlifts help people with limited mobility to go up and down the stairs independently. They can improve the quality of life for someone restricted to one floor or make someone feel safer moving around their home. 

The two main types of stairlifts are straight and curved. Straight stairlifts are typically suitable for staircases that go in one straight line. You might require a curved stairlift if:

  • Your staircase has one or more turns; or
  • You have two (or more) straight staircases connected by a landing.

This page answers common questions about straight stairlifts . If you’re interested in curved stairlifts, keep reading.

Man on a curved stairlift going around a corner on stairs

What Do Your Stairs Look Like?

Stair designs for curved stairlifts
If your stairs look like any of the staircase designs above, you will most likely need a curved stairlift.

What are the benefits of installing a stairlift?

For many, stairlifts can be a safer way to navigate multiple floors. They can restore your independence whilst reducing the risk of a fall. If you struggle with stairs but want to stay in your home, installing a stairlift might be the answer.

Another time a stairlift might be helpful is if you have a temporary injury that makes using the stairs difficult or painful. Similarly, you may consider installing one when a guest with limited mobility stays at your home. 


do you have a question?

We’ve answered some of the most common questions people ask us when considering buying a curved stairlift.

Hopefully you find this section useful but if you find there’s something you still need to know, get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

Curved stairlift parked at the bottom of a curve staircase

A curved stairlift is likely right for your home if your staircase bends or curves. They can manoeuvre around corners while travelling continuously.  

If you have two straight staircases connected by a landing, installing two straight stairlifts may be cheaper. However, if your mobility is very restricted, a curved stairlift may still the better choice. This is because when you have two straight stairlifts with a landing between them, you have to be able to move from one stairlift seat to the other.

With both straight and curved stairlifts, it is still possible to fit a stairlift if your staircase is narrow. Compact designs and collapsible parts mean a stairlift can work in small spaces and fold out of the way when not in use.  

Some models, like the Thyssen Flow 2 Curved Stairlift, are designed for staircases as narrow as 61cm with one or more bends. With this model, the stairlift seat automatically swivels at various points on the stairs to fit through the narrowest sections. 

In 2023, the average cost of a curved stairlift in the United Kingdom is £4,600. Curved stairlift prices are higher than the average straight stairlift due to its more complex design. 

As staircases bend at varying amounts, curved stairlifts often require a custom-made rail to get the perfect fit. Getting a bespoke rail made can also make them expensive.  

Some companies pre-manufacture rails in varying angles and lengths. If you can find a pre-made rail that fits your staircase correctly, this can be considerably cheaper than having one custom-built. 

Another factor that increases manufacturing costs is the number of curves of your staircase. The average price for a curved stairlift with one turn typically starts from £3,850 pre-made and from £4,350 bespoke manufactured. The price increases with more bends.  Optional features, such as a power swivel seat or your choice of upholstery, can also add to the final cost. A home survey might flag other expenses, such as removing anything obstructing the stairlift seat as it passes.

You can buy used stairlifts, which can be a more affordable option. Many manufacturers recondition previously owned stairlifts to ensure they work as well as new ones and provide warranties.

Although buying a second-hand stairlift from a private seller might be cheaper, without the safety net of a warranty, you won’t be covered if it breaks down.

Compared to finding a reconditioned stairlift for a straight staircase, finding one that fits your curved staircase may be difficult. Due to the variety of curved staircases, it might take longer to find the right fit. If you require a custom-made rail, it might not be possible to find one second-hand at all.

If you only need a stairlift for a short time, such as when a relative is visiting, renting a stairlift is likely the most cost-effective option. Over time, installation, monthly, and removal fees can all add up, making renting expensive as a long-term solution.  

Renting a curved stairlift is more expensive than renting a straight one. Renting a straight stairlift for six months costs up to £1000, whereas renting a curved stairlift can be up to £2,000 for the first six months.  

It also may not be possible to rent a stairlift for your curved staircase. Curved stairlifts are less adaptable, and staircases with bends are often unique in shape. You may struggle to find a rail in stock that fits the dimensions of your staircase. In this instance, buying a reconditioned stairlift might be another way to keep costs down. If this isn’t possible, you may also be able to get funding to make your home more accessible.

Popular brands offering curved stairlifts include Acorn, Handicare, Stannah and Thyssenkrupp. There are plenty of models to choose from, with varying features and at a range of prices. More basic models, like the Acorn 180 curved, are at the lower end of the price range, while something more sophisticated, like the Stannah Starla or thyssenKrupp Flow X, sits at the higher end.

When it comes to installation, stairlifts attach to the steps rather than the wall. Curved stairlifts usually have more brackets to fit than their straight counterparts because of needing to bend around corners. 

As they are more complex and require more parts, curved stairlifts usually take longer to install than straight ones. While straight stairlifts typically take just a few hours to fit, curved stairlift installation can take most of the day. Nonetheless, the process is usually neat, tidy and stress-free.  Before installing a stairlift, you will need a home survey from a qualified stairlift technician. If you need help with how to go about this, we can arrange a free home survey for you.

Yes. That’s the whole point of using our service. We do the legwork and get you quotes from multiple curved stair lift brands. Saving you the time and hassle.