Wheelchair Ramps vs. Vertical Platform Lifts (Which Is Right for You?)

Are you or a loved one struggling with mobility issues? Are you wondering if a wheelchair ramp or a vertical platform lift is the better option to make your home more accessible? At Mission Health + Home, we understand that choosing the right mobility solution can be overwhelming. Let’s explore the differences between wheelchair ramps and vertical platform lifts and which one may be right for you.

Interested in a free home evaluation? Mission Health + Home is located in Rochester, NY, and serves clients throughout Western and Central New York. Request your free evaluation today!

What Is the Difference?

Wheelchair Ramps

Wheelchair ramps are sloped surfaces that provide access for individuals who use wheelchairs or walkers. Typically made of wood, metal, or concrete, wheelchair ramps come in various sizes, shapes, and designs and can be installed indoors or outdoors. They improve accessibility and independence for people with mobility issues, allowing them to navigate steps, thresholds, or other barriers in their homes or workplaces.


  • Easy to install and require less space.
  • Depending on the vertical rise, they may be a cost-effective solution compared to vertical platform lifts.
  • Increased accessibility promotes inclusivity and ensures everyone can navigate the property with ease.


  • Are not suitable for all homes, especially those with limited space or steep slopes.
  • Require non-slip surfaces and professional installation.
  • Can be challenging to navigate up steep inclines during inclement weather.

Vertical Platform Lifts

Vertical platform lifts, also known as wheelchair lifts or porch lifts, are mechanical devices that transport individuals vertically to different levels of a building. They are typically designed to accommodate wheelchairs, scooters, and power chairs. Vertical platform lifts can be installed indoors or outdoors, come in different styles and sizes, and are designed to meet various needs.


  • Provide a safe and easy-to-use alternative to stairs.
  • Offer customizable attributes, including automatic doors, weather-resistant features, and built-in platform ramps.
  • Are suitable for homes with limited space or steep inclines.


  • Can be higher priced, depending on the model and installation requirements.
  • May require regular maintenance and upkeep.
  • May require additional space for a vertical platform lift installation.

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FAQs About Wheelchair Ramps & Vertical Platform Lifts

Can wheelchair ramps and vertical platform lifts be installed outdoors?

Yes, both wheelchair ramps and vertical platform lifts have outdoor installation options.

Do I need a building permit to install a wheelchair ramp or vertical platform lift at home?

The laws on building permits vary depending on the area and type of installation. It is advisable to verify with the local authorities before installation.

Which option is better for a multi-level home?

For a multi-level home, a vertical platform lift is usually the more practical choice as it provides a safe and convenient way for individuals in wheelchairs or with mobility challenges to access different floors. However, it’s recommended to consult with our team to determine the best solution based on the layout and specific needs of your home.

Which Is Right For You?

When choosing between a wheelchair ramp or a vertical platform lift, consider factors such as mobility level, available space, budget, and local regulations. Wheelchair ramps are suitable for individuals with minimal assistance and limited space, while vertical platform lifts offer greater independence for those with significant mobility challenges and can be installed in compact areas. Wheelchair ramps are generally more cost-effective, but vertical platform lifts are a long-term investment.

Mission Health + Home assists in evaluating specific needs and provides professional installation, ensuring compliance with regulations. Contact us to find the best mobility solution for your needs.

Choose Mission Health + Home for Your Mobility Needs

At Mission Health + Home, we provide a wide range of mobility solutions, including wheelchair ramps, vertical platform lifts, and more. We understand that every situation is unique, and our experienced team is committed to finding the right solution tailored to your needs.

As a premier medical equipment company serving Western and Central New York, we are committed to providing the highest quality of service to our clients. Contact us today to discuss the best mobility solution for you or a loved one.