UK Narrow Stairs Stairlifts

Can Stairlifts fit a narrow staircase? That is one of the most commonly asked questions about buying a stairlift.

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Last Updated on January 29, 2024

1 Minute Breakdown For Narrow Stairs Stairlifts

Welcome to our Narrow Stairs Stairlifts Guide! Navigate confined spaces with ease. Explore the tailored solutions designed for narrow staircases, addressing the challenges of limited space while maintaining accessibility. Make informed decisions about the perfect stairlift fit for your home, ensuring comfort and mobility in tight quarters with this concise overview.

Many people think that stairlifts take up a lot of room due to their size. However, that is often not the case. The internal stairs in any property built after 2010 must have a minimum unblocked area width of 900 mm or 90cm, or 35.44 inches- so there will be enough room to add a stairlift to almost any staircase. 

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding people who live in smaller and older homes is if their small staircase is large enough to fit a stairlift. Some old houses built before 2010 need to follow this guidance. Stairlifts for narrow stairs fall into the category of a niche stairlift, and not all stairlift suppliers sell them.

Narrow Stair Stairlift Key Information

  • Adaptable to Small Spaces: Stairlifts for narrow stairs are designed to fit in spaces as narrow as 75cm, making them suitable for smaller and older homes where space might be a concern.
  • Specialised Designs for Convenience: Whether you have straight or curved stairs, narrow stairlifts are available with features like perch seats or standing options, making them adaptable to different user preferences and ensuring a comfortable and space-efficient solution.
  • Customization for Various Stair Types: Whether your stairs are straight, curved, or have unique dimensions, stairlift specialists can recommend and design a stairlift tailored to your specific needs, ensuring a perfect fit and functionality for your home.

Dos and Don’ts for Narrow Stairs Stairlifts


  • Prioritise Compact Designs: Choose narrow stairlift models specifically designed for tight spaces, ensuring a compact and efficient fit.
  • Conduct Precise Measurements: Take accurate measurements of your narrow staircase to guarantee a proper fit for the chosen stairlift.
  • Consider Folding Options: Opt for stairlifts with foldable features, such as foldable seats and footrests, to maximise space when the stairlift is not in use.
  • Verify Weight Capacity: Ensure the narrow stairlift has an adequate weight capacity to accommodate the user comfortably and safely.
  • Explore Swivel Seat Options: Consider stairlifts with swivel seats to facilitate easy entry and exit, especially in confined spaces.
  • Ask for Professional Assessment: Arrange for a professional assessment of your narrow staircase to receive expert advice on the most suitable stairlift options.


  • Overlook Weight Capacity: Remember to check the weight capacity of the narrow stairlift. Ensure it can safely support the intended user.
  • Assume Standard Sizing: Avoid assuming all stairlifts suit narrow stairs. Verify specifications and dimensions to match the narrow staircase requirements.
  • Neglect Professional Installation: Don’t attempt to install the narrow stairlift yourself. Professional installation is crucial for safety and proper functionality.
  • Disregard Safety Features: Ensure the narrow stairlift has essential safety features, such as sensors, seat belts, and emergency stop buttons.
  • Forget to Check Foldable Features: Pay attention to the importance of foldable features. Confirm that the chosen stairlift has options for folding seats and footrests to save space.
  • Ignore User Comfort: Consider the comfort of the user. Avoid selecting a narrow stairlift that compromises comfort due to its compact design.

When choosing stairlifts for narrow stairs, emphasise precise measurements, safety, and user comfort to ensure a practical and space-efficient mobility solution.

Perch Stairlift And Standing Stairlifts

Standing stairlifts have a perch seat for total relaxation when transferring from one step to another. Perch or standing stairlifts cannot completely sit, so the stairlift user may need a stand or perch, unlike a conventional seated stairlift. They can be suitable for wheelchair access if their apartment has a narrow staircase. Perch stairlifts also take up less space in most cases.

Those who use a perch stairlift have plenty of room to stand and move around. This type can carry a smaller height than sitting stairs. Those devices allow users to stand comfortably throughout the top level when climbing the staircase.

What Is The Standard Width Of Stairs That Will Fit A Standard Stairlift?

A standard stair lift will require a width of 1000mm to operate. Generally, curved stairlifts require larger stairs to stairlift the steps.

There are a few businesses that sell stairlifts for narrow stairs. The most important types of narrow stairlifts include perch and custom stairlifts. You can consult stairlift specialists to determine what kind of stairlift you want. 

What Are Compact Design Stairlifts?

If your stairs are small, a stairlift will disrupt your journey for others wishing to use the stairs normally. This could be corrected by putting in an adjustable stairlift on stairways. The system enables a quick and convenient passage for people on the stairlift and can be folded up when not in use.

The seat folds up to accommodate footrests and hand arms. The advantages are if they fold away and are compact during non-usability. 

What Information Will They Use When Recommending A Stairlift For Your Home?

 Your stairs will be measured and checked for safety and functionality. Surveys will determine your mobility. Using this knowledge, you can pick a stairlift suited for your home staircase according to your need.

If kneeling is challenging on the knee, a perching seat could make a helpful solution. Let the surveyor give you an estimate. It would help if you asked several questions on several things before deciding.

What Is The Minimum Width Of Stairs For A Stairlift To Fit In Your UK Home

The minimum width of a straight staircase is at least 75cm across, if possible? However, it may be a bit tight. But it is possible. If the staircase is angled, the average distance a stairlift can fit in and work is up to 85cm. Stairlifts will usually be adapted to nearly any width of stairs; however, not all stairlift companies do them.

Only some companies offer narrow stairlifts. Specific companies that do have a solution always come at a higher cost. So keep this in mind. Because the production of narrow stairlifts became necessary for many people, they have become aware of the issue and have since created very ingenious solutions. So don’t feel left out if you have a narrow staircase.

The Problem For Narrow Staircases With Stairlifts In The UK

When determining the stair depth when seated on the side of the stairs, the gap between the back and knee (or legs) would be greater than the stair distance. We must remember that we can have the smallest stairlift in the world, but if someone’s leg length from knee to hip is more significant than the width of the stairs, then there is nothing we can do. The only option would require a lot of building work; not all stairlift companies cover this.

Potential Solutions For Narrow Staircases To Install A Stairlift

Compact designs and folding parts on the stairlift benefit from the size and efficiency optimisation. They are making it take up a smaller footprint. Lightweight stairlifts can be easily folded thanks to folding armrests and chairs, folding flooring, and a streamlined rail when not in use. This can make them not hinder the use of stairs.

Convenient for both the client and other family members who could utilise the steps as usual.

Can stairlifts fit a narrow staircase? It is yes, they can. So if you have straight stairlifts or curved stairlifts, your stairs are wide enough for a stairlift in most cases. 

Can Stairlifts Fit On Any Stairs In The Average UK Home?

A stairlift can be designed and engineered to suit virtually every stairway, including a narrow staircase. It differs by place, with certain operations being more expensive than others. This is because you may need a custom stairlift. This is true of most stairlifts in general. Since a rigid seat is required, it is usually more costly.

The stairlift would benefit both types of stairs, straight and curved. You would guess accurately if they held the tracks straight and correctly aligned.

Can Stairlifts Fit Specially-Designed Stairs?

A stairlift can be designed to fit your stairs. This is because no two staircases are precisely the same, no matter how many times you visit a place. The stairlift must be specially designed to serve the stairwell.

A curved stairlift has been challenging to manufacture and install. Because of improvements in the manufacturing process, the expense of angled stairlifts has been reduced to some degree.

Many stairlifts are also available with features tailored especially to straight staircases. Since the track comprises tiny parts, a path that is the same length as each stairway in the stairway project can be conveniently connected to each frame section.

It makes no difference if the stairs have landings or treads at the top or bottom. If the track is elevated, you can quickly lower the door. Straight stairlifts are the least expensive choice and the option most people pick in most situations.

Can Stairlifts Fit A Narrow Curved Staircase?

If you live in a home with narrow curved stairs, you will be glad to know that there are stairlift manufacturers out there who do stairlifts for narrow stairs. However, it would be tough for you to get a reconditioned stairlift for narrow curved stairs as they are very rare, and you will more likely need to buy a new stairlift that has been made specifically for your stairs.

Please note that this will come at an extra cost for bespoke stairlifts. Make sure you get a stairlift quote from multiple stairlift companies to get the best price and deal.

Can Stairlifts Fit Two-Story Homes With Curved Narrow Stairs?

Many two-story homes feature either 90-degree or true-180-degree stairs, but not both. This is where the stairs change direction. A stairlift can only travel to a particular house floor. The customer will have to switch from one to the other before getting out of the chair.

There are some reasons why stairlifts can’t always fit on any stairs. You should know the following facts concerning curved stairlifts: They are pricey. You should consider whether the financial gain you would get if you sell the stairlift before it is designed and completed is adequate to cover the additional expense. A straight or curved stairlift can be installed from the current stairs in your home and mounted elsewhere, whether somewhere else in the home or to someone else.

So you can sell them. If the current stairway is too long, the stairlift can trim the slim rail to match. You can buy both stairlifts through a free stairlift quote on this website.

Can You Fit A Stairlift On A Narrow Staircase?

Though there are many options available for stairlifts for narrow staircases, it may appear your staircases are too small to allow access for stairs without difficulty. It is typically about 75cm wide.

Why Do Narrow Curved Stairs Cost More To Have A Stairlift On?

Stairlifts for narrow stairs can come with a perch seat that makes fitting on a narrow stair easier. If your stairs have a curve in them, then you will have to get a curved stairlift, and these will cost more due to them needing to be custom-made. A narrow stairlift can also come with swivel seats to make getting on and off easier- but these do come at a price. They can also work on steep stairs.

Can You Get A Mini Stair Lift?

A small stair lift, also referred to as a compact stair lift or a narrow stair lift, is an available option. Mini stair lifts are made for small, awkward areas where a standard chairlift might not work. To accommodate on shorter steps, they usually have a smaller bench and frame than a conventional stair lifts.

Mini stair lifts are perfect for those who battle with steps and have restricted movement but little room in their houses. Depending on the type and maker, you can put them on both straight and curvy stairs.

It’s essential to remember that small stair elevators are only appropriate for a select group of people, especially those who need a bigger or more comfortable bench. If you’re thinking about getting a small stair lift, it’s advised that you speak with a stair lift expert to see if it’s the right fit for your requirements.

Can You  Get A Space-Saving Stair Lift?

Yes, you can purchase a stairlift that saves room. Stairlifts that save space are made to occupy less room on the stairs, making them perfect for houses with small staircases.

A foldable stair lift is a space-saving stair lift that can be folded up when not in use to free up more room for other people to use the stairs. A compact stair elevator is another variety that can work on shorter stairs because it has a smaller bench and frame than a conventional one.

Depenping on the maker and type, space-saving stair elevators are available for both straight and curved stairs. It’s crucial to remember that not all stairs can accommodate a space-saving stair lift, so it’s advised that you speak with an expert stair lift supplier to see if one is the best choice for your requirements.

Narrow Stairs FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on Narrow Stairs Stairlifts.

Are My Stairs Too Narrow For A Stairlift?

Stairlifts may be installed on any staircase, straight or curved. The minimum width is 30 inches.

Can You Fit A Stairlift On Steep, Narrow Stairs?

The standing stairlift may be utilised when other lifts can’t fit. When not in use, the stairlift rail may be folded so that it is out of the way.

Can You Get A Stairlift For Narrow Stairs?

The narrow stairlift is one of the most popular models since it can be modified to suit various building designs and individual requirements. Seats are smaller; armrests are shorter to fit narrow stairs.

What Is The Minimum Stair Width For A Stairlift?

As was previously said, the model chosen and the presence or absence of obstructions will determine the bare minimum step width required. Staircases for both straight and curved stairlifts should be at least 30 inches wide (depending on the shape of your stairs).