Mobility scooters can help you gain confidence and open up a whole new world of opportunities and magical experiences. They make mobility so much easier, enhancing so many users’ social and mental health.
Mobility scooters are available in different styles, colors, and sizes- you can be sure of finding one that suits your style and meets all your mobility needs.
3 wheel mobility scooters, particularly, are loved for their maneuverability. Because of their exceptional turning radius, you can get yourself pretty much out of any tight space or corner. Perhaps this is their biggest advantage over 4 wheel scooters.
3 wheel scooters are battery-powered and can be driven both indoors and outdoors. They are most ideal for users who get tired too quickly or feel pain on their knees and legs when they walk.
Finding the best mobility scooters can be such a daunting task, especially for first-time mobility users, because there are hundreds of them on the market today. After several requests from our readers, we thought it wise to compile a list of the best 3 wheel mobility scooters to make their shopping experience less confusing. As a bonus, we take you through a detailed buying guide. We also cover some of the differences between 3 wheel and 4 wheel scooters to help you find the right electric scooter.
3 Wheel Vs 4 Wheel Mobility Scooters
There aren’t many differences that exist between 3 wheels and 4 wheel electric scooters. But these few differences no doubt affect one’s choice.
Besides the obvious differences in the number of wheels, 3 wheeled scooters are easier to maneuver through tight corners and narrow spaces because they have a smaller turning radius than the four-wheel mobility scooters
Also, four-wheeled scooters have an even weight distribution and offer a greater sense of stability than three-wheeled scooters. However, the fender across the front of the four-wheel electric scooters may feel a little restrictive if you are taller. You will not be able to stretch your legs comfortably, making your riding experience a very uncomfortable one. You may have to consider using a heavy-duty 3 wheeled scooter instead or just a regular 3 wheel scooter with a standard maximum weight capacity
Additionally, 3 wheel scooters are usually less bulky than 4 wheel scooters and therefore lighter and more portable.
Lastly, 3 wheel scooters are less costly than 4 wheel scooters. However, this will largely depend on features and construction. It’s not uncommon to find a four-wheel mobility scooter that is cheaper than a three-wheel mobility scooter.
For instance, a heavy-duty 3 wheel scooter will cost more than a four-wheel scooter with a lower weight capacity.
Based on these few points, you are free to draw your own conclusions on which is better. However, for the most part, the 3 wheel scooter prevails. The only advantage 4 wheel scooters have over 3 wheel scooters is that they are slightly more stable and drive better on rough terrains.
Are 3 Wheel Scooters Safe?
Yes, 3-wheel mobility scooters are generally safe. However, you must know how to drive the scooter, use it as intended and drive responsibly for it to be safe. The scooter is built to be safe; the lack of scooter driving skills and poor driving habits make it unsafe. And because a lot of people do not understand this, they shy away from mobility scooters and choose other alternatives like electric wheelchairs. This is not to say that an electric wheelchair is a bad choice, it has its place. In fact, we have a post where we talk about power wheelchairs solely.
You must desist from driving extremely fast. High speeds increase the likelihood of accidents. This is why accidents among all kinds of mobility aids are becoming a lot more common. And this is mainly because of irresponsible driving.
If you are a beginner, you must first take time to learn how to drive and control the scooter. Start out with flat smooth surfaces, then gradually try out uneven surfaces.
Just as you would with a new car, start with low speeds while checking out for hazards, then as you gain confidence and get the hang of it, you can increase your speeds. Depending on your body balance, a four-wheel scooter or a power wheelchair may be a better option.
To increase your safety, you want to purchase a scooter with a lap belt, anti-tip wheels, horn, rear and front signal lights, braking system, among other safety features. But even with these features, you still want to be careful when driving a 3 wheel scooter on rough terrain because of its lesser stability. If possible, stick to flat smooth surfaces.
Of course, you also want to check how well the three-wheeled scooter maneuvers. You may need to get it down the street to test how it performs on tight corners, paths and sharp bends. Ideally, most mobility scooters with excellent maneuverability are pretty safe. You won’t find yourself holding your breath every time you take a corner because of wobbling.
Best 3 Wheel Mobility Scooters
To help you identify the best three wheel mobility scooters, our team analyzed several 3 wheel scooters on the market based on usability, comfort, convenience, cost, and maneuverability. For each of the products, we give its pros and cons as well as what stands out the most about the scooter that makes it different from other models.
Here are the 3 wheel scooters our team found to be the top picks:
The Relync scooter is perhaps the sleekest and most stylish scooter on our list and possibly one you will lay your eyes on. You can be sure of countless stares when driving down the street. And it’s not just the beauty that tips the scale, but the ultimate comfort, safety, and convenience that comes along with using the scooter.
The most fascinating thing about this scooter is how fast it folds- in just 3 seconds! It folds down and converts to a compact suitcase that is easy to travel with as well as lift and store. Be it at home, in the trunk of your car, train, or even airline.
The scooter comes with a powerful airline-approved lithium battery that takes only 5 hours to recharge. When fully charged, the scooter can take you up to 9.4 miles on a single battery and up to 18.6 miles on dual batteries.
The revolutionary lightweight scooter is transforming the lives of people around the world through its innovative features like the gyroscopic sensor that helps you gain control over the speed of your scooter. Other included features that make the scooter one of our top choices are the ultramodern LED signal lights, electromagnetic braking system, adjustable tiller and four high-speed settings to choose from.
Weighing only a mere total weight of 62 pounds and with a maximum weight capacity of 265 pounds, and a faster speed of 4 mph, the Relync R1 is a true ideal travel companion. It has a 8” solid tire on the front and two 10” pneumatic tires on the rear that are perfect for driving on both indoor and outdoor surfaces with ease. Perhaps with a swivel seat, this would be the ultimate best 3 wheel mobility scooter.
The eFOLDi MK1.5 Scooter has an exceedingly impressive classic design. Coupled with its excellent performance, It’s no wonder it won the British Invention of the Year.
We especially loved the footpegs. They make riding so comfortable. They also make it extremely easy to put your foot down when the scooter goes over an obstacle and tips a bit.
Perhaps the only flaw that caught our eye was that the battery seats too deeply in its plug which makes it so difficult to take it. In fact, some users have reported the handle wreaking off when struggling to pull it out. Fortunately, the battery itself is so lightweight, so it won’t take so much of your energy when taking it out.
The classic lightweight design collapsible scooter folds down pretty quickly with no struggle into a travel suitcase. You can tag it along with you on cruise ships, buses, trains, and even airlines. And when tired, you can convert it to a comfortable resting chair.
In addition, the frame is built with forged aluminum alloy and is equipped with a powerful high torque motor (240 watts) that hardly makes noise. It also features a lighting system, horn, reversing alerts, and comes with a US charger.
The eFoldi can take you a distance of up to 14 miles when fully charged which is a considerably longer distance than what other scooters cover on a single battery. This makes it an ideal scooter for long-distance trips.
eFOLDi comes with a 12-month warranty that covers workmanship on the frame, motor, brake lever, controller unit, charger among other key components.
The EzFold Scooter is hands down one of the lightest foldable scooters. Weighing just 46 pounds inclusive of battery weight, the scooter is most certainly built for travel. To make it even more convenient for travel, it can be folded down to one compact piece, unlike most scooters that you have to collapse to several pieces to make it portable or to be able to fit into a car.
As well, the scooter is built for speed. At 10 mph, the scooter is considered super-fast, given that most scooters range between 4 mph and 8 mph. With just a single battery, the scooter can travel up to 18 miles. With two batteries, that 36 miles!
And with such high speeds, safety features are needed to guarantee your safety. The manufacturers were thoughtful enough to install an extra hand break on the left so that you can make extra abrupt stops when needed.
Other thoughtful inclusions are the large backpack attached to the back of the seat for storing personal items, adjustable armrests, and the 2” contoured seat and back cushions for maximum comfort and back support.
If you fly out a lot, you will love that you can always travel with your scooter because it is airline-approved. The removable lithium batteries are safe enough to be taken on a plane.
As a bonus, the EzFold comes with a six months warranty on the batteries and wearable parts and a one-year limited warranty on the frame.
Atto folding mobility scooter is most certainly not one of the lightest mobility scooters around, you can actually tell from how it’s constructed but it is also not the heaviest. Just that it’s heavy for the frail users and the elderly.
Fortunately, you can split the scooter into two compartments to make it lighter and less bulky to carry. One half of the compartment weighs 27 pounds and the second weighs 35 pounds.
The Atto mobility scooter is an ISO-certified durable medical equipment that is classified as a Class ii medical device. It is also certified by the FDA ( K160909).
Equipped with three solid tires, one on the front and two on the rear, you won’t have to worry about punctures or obstacles because the scooter performs exceptionally well on all terrains-pavements, gravel, bridleways, grass, footpaths, rough earthen ground, or even smooth tiled floors indoors.
Even more interesting is that the scooter allows you to make a lot of adjustments. For instance, you can adjust the seat height, tiller angle, and height as well as the height of the driving console for comfortable driving.
Atto mobility scooter uses a 48 volt superlight Lithium battery that takes only 3-4 hours to recharge and can take you for up to 10 miles. The battery can be charged both onboard and offboard and takes very little effort to pop out and pop in.
One thing that really impressed us with the UL and CE-approved charger in this scooter, and a feature we don’t see a lot on 3 wheel scooters is the battery indicator and the self shutdown functionality. The latter helps a great deal in extending the life of your battery.
The scooter comes fully assembled right out of the box so no setup is needed. You only need to unbox and you can start using it right away.
Overall, the Atto scooter is pretty easy to control, even for first-time scooter users. It comes with an LED driving console where you can monitor all the controls. The controls include direction mode, an easy to press on/off button, a battery meter, and a 5-speed control setting. There is also a horn to help you get people out of your way when in crowded places and when changing directions.
How to Choose the Best 3 wheel mobility Scooters
Depending on how you intend to use your 3 wheel mobility scooter, there are a few key features to consider.
It’s crucial that a 3 wheel scooter fits comfortably. As such you want to go for one that comes with adjustable parts to fit your needs as well as body size. Some of the key indicators of a comfortable 3 wheel scooter include:
- Back support: A 3 wheel scooter with back support that can be adjusted for a better fit and support is most desirable. Even better is if it comes with a headrest and some padding on both the back and headrest, even if it is just light padding.
- Armrests: The scooter should come with armrests to allow you to rest your hands when controlling the scooter. The armrests should be adjustable to allow you to set it to a comfortable height. If you can find armrests that swing in and out or flip up and down, even better as they make it easier to get on and off the scooter.
- Seat: The height of the seat, makes all the difference as far as comfort goes. Some scooters have padded seats while others have seats that you can move forward and backward to make it easy to adjust your sitting position. Others even have a swivel seat that allows you to move from side to side without having to stand.
- Tiller: The tiller, also known as the steering column, is most desirable if it can be adjusted to either tilt toward or away from the seat. This way you don’t have to reach so far in front of your body to operate the scooter.
Safety should always be a top consideration when buying any kind of mobility scooter, particularly ones designed for outdoor use. You want to check for the following safety features in your scooter:
- Seat belt to keep you secure when driving, especially on corners.
- Bright head and tail lights to help you see when it gets dark
- Indicator signals are useful when driving outdoors or in crowded places.
- Horn is useful when driving in places where there are people or even pets crossing.
- Rearview mirrors ( one on each side) help in making safe turns.
If you know you want a portable scooter that you can easily lift and pack into the trunk of your car, consider its weight. 3 wheel scooters are generally lightweight but you still want to be sure that you can handle the total weight. Consider not just the scooter’s weight, but the weight of the battery as well.
Most scooters can be taken apart into two or three parts to make it easy to lift and fit into cars.
You also want to consider some important usability features like the maximum speed the scooter can travel at per hour. A good travel range for indoor scooters would be 3-5 mph and a range of over 10 mph would be ideal for outdoor travels.
How much distance the scooter can travel on a single battery is important. The battery range can vary significantly with some going as far as 50 miles while others cover only 8 miles. If you plan to use your scooter every day, particularly outdoors, a scooter with a large battery travel range is most preferable.
Along with the battery charge is the battery life. Average battery life for a smaller 3 wheel scooter is probably between 18 and 24 months and up to 3 years for the larger scooters.
Another key factor under usability is the turning radius. Even though 3 wheel scooters generally have a tight turning radius that makes them more maneuverable than other kinds of scooters, some are able to make a sharper turn than others.
When checking for the turning radius, consider a lower number. A lower number turning radius means that the scooter can make a smaller and tighter turn than a large number turning radius.
Turning radius is important for users who live in small spaces.
You should also pay attention to the weight capacity of the scooter. Most scooters average a weight capacity of 300 pounds while heavy-duty scooters can handle more than 500 pounds.
As well, choose a scooter with a storage space where you can place some of the items you may want to bring along as you drive. Most scooters have a wired basket attached to either the front or the back of the scooter while others have pockets or compartments as storage spaces underneath the seats or on the sides.
Lastly, choose a scooter that is within your budget. An okay quality budget scooter will cost you between $800 and $1000 and upwards of $2000 for a luxury option. While making your choice, do not compromise on quality just to save a few hundred dollars. You are better off saving a little more or sourcing for alternative ways to finance your 3 wheel scooter.
Will Medicare/Medicaid Cover for your 3-Wheel Mobility Scooter?
Because 3 wheel scooters can be quite expensive, it’s pretty normal to want to look for other ways to cover the cost, even if it is just part-financing. Medicare and Medicaid are some of the easiest alternatives.
Medicare covers durable medical equipment like 3 wheels scooters under the Medicare Part B insurance plan. You are however eligible for 80% of the cost of the scooter. That means you will have to cover for the 20% out of your pockets. We talk more about 3 wheel scooters and medicare here.There are a few requirements that you must meet though. The most critical is a prescription from your doctor stating that you need the scooter and that it’s a medical necessity. Also, your doctor and your DME supplier must both be enrolled in medicare
Medicaid too covers 3 wheels scooters which are classified as DME. However, even for Medicaid, you will still need to fit certain criteria. These criteria vary depending on your situation and your location so you may want to speak to them directly to know how you can go about with the application and up to what percentage they will finance.
3 wheel mobility scooters are an excellent choice if you want a lightweight scooter for indoor use, primarily, although they can be used both indoor and outdoor. Their maneuverability is their greatest advantage as well as portability and affordability.
Even though a bit pricy and heavier, we highly vouch for the Atto folding scooter. Its well-built has a powerful motor, is extremely portable, and is airline-approved. It is also ISO certified and comes with a two-year limited warranty on the frame and electronic components.
If looking for a budget-friendly scooter, you can consider Ezfold Lightweight Foldable Scooter. It’s equally a great quality, high-performing scooter but with lightly less advanced features.
While 3 wheel mobility scooters can be used both indoors and outdoors, we would recommend you consider 4 wheel mobility scooters if you are particularly looking for an outdoor scooter. Otherwise, have a chat with your doctor to determine which choice is the best for your medical needs.