Best Patient Lifts

In order to bring you this list of the best patient lifts (manual and hydraulic), we tested for safety, models that can support at least 220 lbs, and lastly, those that work for patients with a wide range of heights and mobility requirements.

Our top pick, the Lumex Stand Assist lift, is a secure and comfortable sit-to-stand lift that also offers secure mobility assistance and is a stand out choice among patient lifting devices for home or outpatient use. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks in patient lifts.

Top 7 Best Patient Lifts Compared

 #1  Lumex Stand Assist – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: This safe and versatile sit-to-stand or “Sarah lift” device for home care use helps make getting up and around much easier, helping caregivers meet the needs of patients with limited mobility but who are able to stand with assistance.

Pros
  • Portable and great for the home
  • 400 lbs capacity
  • Locking caster wheels for mobility and security
Cons
  • Limited to patients with some standing ability
  • Not the least expensive patient lift
  • For patients 5’1” or taller

This sit-to-stand or “Sarah Lift” patient lifting device makes home health care much easier, assisting with movement from a sitting to standing position as well as offering supported walking for short trips. It features comfortable padded knee rests as well as seat rests. It uses caster wheels for easy maneuverability, and works with most kinds of seating. For safety, the wheels lock via an easy-to-use foot mechanism.

The weight capacity is 400 pounds, equivalent to that of most Hoyer lifts and hydraulic lifts for home use. Designed primarily for patients with limited mobility but with some ability to stand, it’s not a full-body lift or a powered patient lift, but it does significantly aid mobility and reduce caregiver fatigue. One caveat is that this lifting device is best suited to patients who are at least 5’1” in height. Speaking of lifting power, the best power lift recliner will help those with limitations get up easier.

 #2  Drive Medical Patient Lift – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: Easy to handle, this hydraulic lift for home patient care excels when smooth, slow lifting is necessary.

Pros
  • Lifts up to 450 lbs
  • Strong steady movements
  • Easy to assemble
Cons
  • Smallish caster wheels can have trouble with carpet
  • Sling sold separately

This hydraulic patient lift, designed for use with a six-point patient lift sling, offers smooth and steady lifting for patients of nearly any size and weight. It’s easy to assemble and set up, and flexible enough to lift patients from any seating or reclining position, making it suitable as a home health care tool for the frail and bedridden as well as for injured and disabled patients.

Though it does have wheels for some mobility, the wheels are small caster wheels that can have trouble with thick carpeting. But that minor snag aside, this remains one of the best performing hydraulic patient lifts in its price range. It is a helpful aid in getting patients into the best wheel chair. Of course, you want to make sure that you have the best wheel chair ramp as well.

 #3  ProBasics Patient Lift – Best Portable Lift

WHY WE LIKE IT: A maneuverable patient lifting device suited to home use, the ProBasics hydraulic manual patient lift has an adjustable width base and a strong, 450-lb capacity.

Pros
  • Smooth patient transfer
  • 5” wheels for mobility
  • Adjustable width and offset boom for tight spaces
Cons
  • As with the Drive Medical hydraulic lift, wheels can get stuck on carpet
  • Requires some caregiver expertise for best use
  • Only rear two wheels lock

The ProBasics Patient Lift stands out for versatility and smoothness; featuring an adjustable width base and an offset boom for optimum patient lifting angle in a variety of positions and situations, it works well in confined spaces and makes a suitable patient lifting device for home use. The patient lift itself is only 68 lbs and it has a footprint of as little as 48 x 22 inches.

This hydraulic patient lift doesn’t require the patients to have much or any mobility; it can be used to lift a person from the floor or bed onto a wheelchair for transport or assist in transitioning from a reclining to seating position. Like all hydraulic manual lifts, it uses a pre-pressurized cylinder to provide the lifting force, and thus helps caregivers avoid fatigue. Speaking of transport, the best folding mobility scooter is a great choice.

 #4  Drive Medical Full Body Sling – Best Full Body Sling

WHY WE LIKE IT: This six point or four-point adaptable sling is easy to set up with a manual patient lift and versatile enough to be used for daily mobility, bathing and transport.

Pros
  • Works with any floor lift
  • 600 lb capacity
  • Four or six cradle points
Cons
  • Size range may exclude very short or very tall patients
  • Requires some caregiver expertise

This patient lift sling from Drive Medical is washable, durable and can be configured for either a six point or a four point patient lift. It works easily with Drive Medical’s Hydraulic Patient Lift (our #2 pick) and you can set it up with or without an optional chain and straps. The Drive Medical patient sling is recommended for bed-to wheelchair transitions, floor to bed lifts and for general home care mobility assistance. It’s waterproof so it can be used for bathing, too.

Flexible enough to use with almost any four or six point floor lift, this sling can really help ease mental strain for caregivers. High quality loops rated for 600 lbs add peace of mind. If the patient has some mobility once they are up, the best knee scooter may be a good choice for transport.

 #5  NEPPT Full Body Patient Lifting Sling – Best Emergency Sling

WHY WE LIKE IT: This fully body lifting sling makes it much easier and more secure for caregivers to transfer patients from bed to wheelchair for mobility or from wheelchair to car for travel.

Pros
  • Extremely portable & lightweight
  • Double seat belts for security
  • Waterproof and non-slip
Cons
  • Design makes it more suitable for two caregivers
  • Lower weight capacity than the hydraulic lifts, 220 lbs
  • Not as sturdy as a six-point sling

Unlike the hydraulic patient lifting devices on our list, this lifting sling is designed to be used by hand, and is chiefly intended for situations like transport and lifting from bed to wheelchair or out of a wheelchair or other mobility assist device. It’s helpful for home patient care when it comes to assisting limited mobility patients with bathing and other tasks as well.

It has four handles and a set of two secure belts for patient safety. While not as smooth nor as easy to operate as a full hydraulic lift or ceiling lift, this lifting sling is much more useful in situations where you can’t fit a bulky Hoyer lift or similar device. Another important device to maintain health for any bedridden patient is the best air purifier.

 #6  Patient Aid Full Body Mesh Lifting Sling – Best Heavyweight Body Sling

WHY WE LIKE IT: A lightweight full size sling with four handles, it fits most overhead and ceiling patient lifts, Hoyer lifts, Invacare lifts and more, and it can be used on its own for bed to chair transfers as well.

Pros
  • 600 lb capacity
  • Chain free design so it won’t pinch
  • Breathable, washable mesh
Cons
  • Only four handles instead of the six available with some slings
  • Works best with overhead lifts like the Drive Medical (our top pick)

This patient lifting sling is compatible with most ceiling and overhead lifts, including Hoyer lifts, Invacare lifts, and the Drive Medical hydraulic patient lift (our top pick.) It has an impressive 600 lb capacity, making it appropriate for use with bariatric lifts as well. With a four-handled design, it’s also suitable for use as a transfer aid for helping immobile or bedridden patients with bathing and other tasks. One quick note about bedridden patients: They need clean air, which is why the best air purifier for mold is worth looking into.

This patient lifting sling does have some drawbacks compared to more configurable slings like the Drive Medical (our #4 pick.) It comes with only four attachment points instead of six, meaning if you have a six pointed patient lifting device you give up some stability. It’s also not as suited for free lifting use or floor pick up as a dedicated handheld sling.

 #7  Vive Transfer Blanket with Handles – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: An affordable patient transfer solution designed for home care, it helps with bed positioning and with transitions for patients with limited mobility.

Pros
  • Reinforced and waterproof
  • More maneuverable than ceiling or overhead lift slings
  • Great for patient transfer to wheelchairs or mobility devices
Cons
  • Requires two people to use
  • Can be uncomfortable for patients
  • Doesn’t work for Hydraulic lifts

This bed repositioning and patient transfer lift helps caregivers move immobile or bedridden patients and is especially helpful for home use or in situations where an overhead lift won’t fit due to space. It works for transferring patients from bed to wheelchairs and for helping patients get to the bathroom. It can also be used for bed repositioning with the severely mobility challenged.  If the patient is able to travel in a wheelchair, you may want to also consider the best wheelchair ramp.

Made of durable, waterproof non slip nylon, it’s very secure if not the most comfortable surface. It’s machine washable and comes with four sturdy, padded handles so you can easily keep a secure grip. Unlike the slings and hydraulic patient lift-combinations, however, it does require two people. The health and wellness of the patient is your top concern and they need to be lifted without injury.

Note: Other electric patient lifts as well as hydraulic lifts available and worth mentioning are the Drive Medical Electric Patient Lift, and the Invacare Haudraulic Patient lift that can rotate your loved one 360 degrees without swinging or swaying, just like Lumex LF1050 with a six-point spreader bar, and good customer service. Another Invarecare power lift is the Reliant 450 Patient Lift that’s got a low base, for a higher lifting range. The Medline Hydraulic Patient Lift features an adjustable base to enable one to move around different body sizes and have safe patient transfers. Lastly, If you’re unable to afford a patient lift, consider the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) cover from Medicaid, or buy from open box medical supply companies.

How We Decided

In order to bring you the best patient lifting devices on the market, we focused on those that would be useful in a variety of situations when caring for the infirm, injured or immobile, and selected those that were able to handle at least 220 lbs, came with at least four handles or attachment points for safety, and were capable of moving patients ranging in height from 5’3” to 6’5.”

Greater range was considered a bonus, and we highlighted some patient lifting slings, like the Drive Medical (our #4 pick) that were appropriate for bariatric patients, having a capacity of 600 lbs.

Patient Lift Buying Guide

Features to consider

  1. Lift Type
    We’ve selected a mix of overhead hydraulic patient lifts such as the Drive Medical (our #2 pick,) sit-to-stand lifts like the Lumex stand assist (our top pick) and handheld slings for patient chair to bed transfer, like the Vive transfer blanket. Each can help home caregivers safely and securely lift patients. Which type you need depends on the patients’ needs and the space you’re working with. For frequent use with more immobile patients, a hydraulic patient lift is generally most helpful, since it can be operated by a single caregiver. For occasional transfers, when two or more caregivers are available, or for lifting from the floor, a handheld sling might be preferable. Finally, the stand assist is ideal for patients who use a walker and/ or those who have some upper body mobility but may benefit from help moving from a seated to a standing position.
  2. Weight capacity
    For maximum safety, make sure the patient lifting device you’re considering is rated for comfortability more than the weight of any patients.
  3. Sling material
    When selecting a patient lifting sling, look for washable, waterproof materials and for durable construction; nylon patient slings with webbing should be machine washable, and should be durable medical equipment (DME) able to stand up to hundreds of uses and maintain a load capacity of at least 400 lbs.

Patient Lifts FAQs

Can these be used for picking a patient up off the floor?

Transfer blankets and lifting slings, with appropriate caregiver skill, can be used to assist in helping lift a patient from floor level, but hydraulic lifts are typically better suited to performing slow, steady lifts of patients from chair to bed level for assisted mobility.

Can you move a manual overhead patient lift with a patient in the sling?

Yes, the patient lifting devices from Drive Medical (our #2 pick) and ProBasics both come with locking caster wheels which allow secure movement from place to place.

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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