Straight or Curved Stairlift

Which is the right type of stairlift for you?

Read our handy guide here below to find out which type is the right one for you, it may not be as obvious as it sounds. At Stannah we make both curved and straight stairlifts, tailored to suit you, your needs and your home. The rail is the big difference between the two.


A staircase with bends, curves or a landing needs a curved rail, and a straight staircase needs a straight rail. All staircases are different, therefore each stairlift needs to be adapted to fit your home and personal needs.

During your home visit, an adviser will measure your staircase precisely and talk you through your available options. It may not be as straightforward as you think, as we must look at windowsills, radiators, doorways, and where the chair will sit or parked when it’s not in use.

The chairs of all our models fold away neatly so they barely take up any space, so you don’t have to worry about that.

The big difference between the curved and straight stairlift models is the rail.

To go around a corner, you need a special rail that bends at exactly the same angle as your staircase, so that it is the perfect fit (and takes up less of your stair space). Whether your stairs are spiral, curved, or have a landing half way up, you’ll need a curved stairlift rail to whisk you all the way up.

The only things you need for a straight lift are a staircase with no turns or bends and a landing at the top and bottom of your staircase, so you can get in and out of your chair safely and comfortably.

For both types of rails, the rail attaches to your stairs and not to the wall. It doesn’t matter what kind of material your stairs are made of: tile, plaster, metal, or concrete, we will be able to attach your stairlift for maximum safety. And the best bit is that there’s no building work! A few little holes are drilled to attach the feet to your stairs and you’re all set to go.

Straight stairlifts

Your steep stairs might seem like an unsurpassable obstacle. If you think that, we’ve got some good news for you; our straight stairlifts can make your staircase usable and safe again.

Straight stairs are stairs that don’t turn, bend or have a landing in them. If you only have one set of stairs in your house, a straight stairlift is exactly what you need to make them accessible to all again. We just need to make sure you have enough landing space at the top and bottom of your stairs, so you can get in and out of the chair safely and comfortably, and you’re good to go. An experienced and friendly sales adviser will walk you through the whole process during your free home visit. This way you’ll have no doubts about which stairlift is right for you by the time they leave you.

Our straight rails are discreet and compact. That means other people will still have room to use your stairs comfortably and safely, and with your new stairlift, so do you.

What are the rails made of?

Our straight rails are made of aluminium and come in a variety of finishes, to suit your tastes.

Curved stairlifts

All houses are different, the same goes for our staircases, each one is different. If your staircase has a bend in it, we need to measure it precisely as the rail is going to be made especially for your staircase. Whether your stairs:

  • Are a spiral staircase
  • Are ‘fanned’ (where the two sets of stairs are at an angle less than 90°)
  • Have a quarter landing (with the two sets of stairs at 90° to each other)
  • Have a half landing (with the two sets of stairs running parallel to each other)

If we can measure the angle of the curve, you can rest assured that we can fit your stairlift.

As each stairlift is custom made to fit your staircase exactly, the rail needs to be made to measure. This means that you might have to wait that little bit longer for your lift to be made and installed, then if you’d have a straight staircase. Yet that’s the only way we can make sure you have the perfect stairlift to suit your needs and home. You know it was made with you in mind.

Where are the rails made?

From the moment you order your curved stairlift, a drawing of your stairs is sent to our own rail factory in the UK where Stannah’s engineers start making your rail. During their work on your rails, they can see your name on the sheet, and the country you come from, so they know exactly where their handiwork is going. They know their work is improving people’s lives all around the world, so they make each rail their best work, making sure it is as safe as can be.

Our stairlifts are made with you as our central focus. We know that by splitting our rails into as few sections as possible, you will have a smoother more comfortable ride. Less connections, less bumps, more safety and that’s very important to us, after all we want to make your life easier.

How can I be sure that my stairlift is going to fit my staircase?

Did you know that a model of your stairs with the exact same measurements is put up and your stairlift set up on it? This way before our installers get to your house we know your stairlift will be the perfect fit. Before it leaves the rail factory, each stairlift is tested to make sure it will run smoothly from the top right to the bottom of the stairs and back up again. Each bit of the stairlift is monitored closely, so if the slightest thing is wrong it gets sent back to the engineers, so they can fix it immediately.

What if my stairs are too long for a curved stairlift?

Our curved rails can be made to be much longer than our straight ones. The longest rail we’ve made so far is 72 metres long, but that doesn’t mean it’s the longest we can do!

Even if you lived in a castle or even a lighthouse, we could make a stairlift to fit your home and your needs.

Your path to getting your whole house back starts with you picking up the phone and calling us. As you dial our number, picture the freedom that awaits you just around the corner. You’re just three quick steps away. Give us a call now to take the first step.