The Acorn Superglide 120 is the number one selling stair lift on the market. But is the number of home stair lifts sold by the company due to hype and slick marketing, or does Acorn sell in large numbers because it's the best?
Safety should be the buyer's first concern when looking for a stair chair lift. It should be a mobility aid and not a health and safety hazard. Also, you need to determine what features it should have to best serve your requirements. The price of the it should be your last concern.
Acorn models come fitted with many safety features as standard. Like most top rated stair lifts, the Acorn Superglide is powered by DC 24 volt rechargeable batteries. This ensures that you're completely safe from electrocution. Pressure sensitive sensors are fitted to 5 surfaces on the chair; On the footrest and carriage. This ensures that the chair will immediately stop any obstacle to be encountered.
The swivel seat is standard and will only operate when the seat is in the correct locked position.
As standard, an inertia lap belt is supplied, but there is the option of fitting a static, 3-point fixed-over shoulder harness.
Most importantly, electronic and mechanical breaking systems are fitted as standard to prevent any uncontrolled descent of the chair.
One should not assume that all companies provide the above safety features. The Summit stair lift, which is cheaper than the Acorn Superglide, only comes with sensors on the footrest – there is nothing to detect any obstacle on the rail itself. Also, the Summit does not feature a breaking system anywhere as near renovated as the Acorn machine.
The Acorn also comes with mechanical joystick and two wireless remote controls. The chair is of a slim line design and can be folded to free up space on the stairs. You can also get outdoor versions and you can get an Acorn Superglide Perch stair lift, which is great for those who have trouble in bending knees.
Few other manufacturers offer so many features as standard and at the same cost of an Acorn machine.
Well, it all sounds too good to be true, but does the Acorn stair lift have any negative points?
In fact, it does. Acorn only makes a straight stair lift. Therefore, you will not be able to use this company's product if your stairs are curved, have middle landing, half turns etc. Other manufacturers like Bruno and Stannah make curved stair lifts. In order for a manufacturer to claim to make the best machines, it really should be making curved models. Curved machines require more advanced manufacturing techniques and one would have to ask if Acorn lacks these.
Also, the Acorn website touts that the Superglide is very easy to install. The company says that if you can put up a set of shelves you can install an Acorn stair lift. The Accessibility Equipment Manufacturer's Association strongly recommends against self-installation for many safety reasons as well as local law violations and lack of warranty. Both Stannah and Bruno advise against self-installation and state that installation of any kind should only be carried out by a qualified technician.
One can not help thinking that Acorn promotes self installation because it helps boost sales.
The Superglide is one of the best stair chair lifts for straight stair cases. Most consumer reviews seem to back this up. But, if you do buy an Acorn stair lift, do have it professionally installed. If the dealer tells you that there is not any need and it will only add to cost, find another dealer who will install it for you.