Types of Patient Lifts

Learn about the different kinds of Patient Lifts and who they benefit most.

What are the most popular types of patient lifts?

Patient lifts reduce the risk of injury to caregivers and patients, but there is more to it than that. For anyone dealing with mobility difficulties or physical disabilities, these assistive devices make life easier. From simple tasks such as going to the restroom, to enjoying leisure time with family and friends, the right transfer device will improve the life of the user and the work of any caregiver.
The Mobile Patient Lift is one such transfer devices, but there are many other types of lifts available on the market. For users that are completely immobile, something that offers more control like a Hoyer Lift or a Ceiling Lift would make a better fit. Our goal is to make sure our customers understand why the Mobile Patient Lift is the perfect fit for them, but also to lead people we cannot help in the right direction. 
This page will list the most common types of lifts available today and go over who benefits the most from using them.

What does a patient lift do?

A transfer device’s general function is to help patients get from one place (typically a bed) to another without the patient needing to move too much. Because of this, patient lifts need to be able to withstand the user’s weight and provide a method of getting them to the next destination. Different slings provide different methods of achieving this goal.  

There are many reasons why a patient might need a lift: 

  • The patient suffers from partial or full immobility 
  • The patient has a disability impacting their balance while walking
  • The patient is unable to stand due to bodily pain and needs help 

What are the Different Types of Patient Lifts?


Transfer Lifts


Sit to Stand Lifts


Sling Lifts


Ceiling Lifts

What are Transfer Lifts?

For some patients using patient transfer devices, mobility is an issue but not completely impossible. Patients with limited mobility may prefer patient transfer chairs to cumbersome and often demeaning devices like slings and sit to stand lifts.

Transfer Chairs provide enough support to help users get from their bed to nearly anywhere around their homes, and they are faster and safer for caregivers to use. Unlike many patient lifts, most transfer chairs require little training to operate which eliminates any accidental caregiver negligence when operating a complicated hoist.  DSC03850
Transfer chair lifts like the Freedom Mobile Patient Lift allow users to transfer from room to room without needing the help of a cumbersome sling. They provide a more comfortable & dignified solution to transfers, and the chairs with an electric design decrease the amount of lifting and strenuous labor caregivers must do, providing a safer alternative to the below-mentioned transfer devices.  
Transfer chair lifts are perfect for users who:
  • Can hold themselves upright when seated 
  • Are not completely immobile
  • Have the help of a caregiver
Learn more about the benefits of chair transfer devices with our video covering the Mobile Patient Lift.  

Freedom Mobile Patient Lift

If you would like to learn more about the different features and ways the Freedom Mobile Patient Lift can help, click below.

Patient Lift Side Profile

 What are Sit to Stand lifts?

Sit to stand lifts (also called Lift Ups, Stand Assist, or Stand-Up Lifts) are mobility assistance devices and can often be used for rehabilitation services. These can also be considered a type of sling lift depending on the design, however sit-to-stand lifts have unique advantages that should be discussed separately.

Uniquely, sit-to-stand devices can also help patients that face issues going from a sitting position to a standing position or vice versa and aim to eliminate the fall risk when changing positions. 
In addition to assisting patients with changing positioning, these lifts are still used as transfer devices and can help a caregiver get a patient from one seated location to another.  However, an important note is that these transfer devices are not often designed to support the full weight of a patient and therefore is only ideal for the following individuals:
  • Can sit and stand on their own but have difficulties with energy 
  • Is relearning how to sit and stand 
  • Needs help keeping themselves in a standing position
  • Can support partial body weight when standing 

Sit-to-stand lifts offer better safety for patients who are looking to often change position from standing to sitting and they also give users the ability to exercise their muscles after long periods of immobility or bed rest. Overall, they’re easier to use and provide a better experience than slings and ceiling lifts if the patient is semi-mobile. 

What are Hoyer Lifts?

Hoyer lifts are often used for completely immobile patients and are designed to lift several hundred pounds safely. Most of the other lifts on this list cannot replace a sling lift for patients that cannot move on their own at all. 

mobilepatientliftsling2Hoyer Lifts 

One of the most popular types of mobile sling lifts is the Hoyer Lift. It’s used in many facilities and hospitals and can be considered the industry standard, but it comes with a lot of cons.  
A Hoyer Lift is a patient transfer tool that assists caregivers and healthcare workers in moving patients to or from a bed or floor to a wheelchair, toilet, bath/shower, or room-to-room. It uses hydraulics to raise and suspend a patient into the air, allowing them to be secured into a sling and transferred from point A to point B.  

mobilepatientliftslingWho should use a Hoyer Lift?

Hoyer lifts are best for extreme cases of immobility, such as people that are: 

  • Completely disabled 
  • Too weak to assist with movement 
  • Bariatric  
  • Unable to sit up on their own 

For the patients listed above, a Hoyer lift is the best solution for everything from general transfers to assistance to getting to the commode. While Hoyer lifts come with a lot of downsides, they’re excellent for trained caregivers who need to provide the bulk of the lifting and movement for their patients.

The FDA download for Hoyer lifts goes over some of the bigger concerns in great detail.  

What are Ceiling lifts?

Ceiling Lifts is also a type of sling lift, however instead of being freely mobile they run along tracks installed into the ceiling or feature a wide stationary stand that can be disassembled and reassembled as needed


While they don’t have as high a weight capacity as Hoyer lifts, these ceiling lifts take up no floor space, leaving your room free of bulky equipment. However, there are a few downsides to ceiling lifts that must be noted as well. Similar to many other sling lifts, users can experience painful incidents during simple transfers. Additionally, the transfer possibilities are limited to one room, which means that the ideal patient for this product would only need to transfer in and out of a wheelchair. 

Who should use a ceiling lift?

Many of the same users of Hoyer Lifts should use a ceiling lift. Both often deal with complete immobility and can be harmful to patients that have some mobility. As an example of a potentially harmful situation, something as simple as leaning too far back can result in injury. There is a significant risk of sliding out, falling out entirely, or worse.
In addition, slings remove most of your independence due to the required training and attending. 

There are Many Types of Patient Lifts

There are many other types of patient lifts, including specialty lifts for pools and bathrooms. It’s important to find the right solution for your patient, your facility, and your specific needs. Safety and comfort should be top priority.  
The Mobile Patient Lift provides an excellent solution for anyone needing a transfer device to help with limited mobility patients. Bookmark this list to refer to when you need a reference for lifts and assistive devices. If you’re ready to learn more about the Mobile Patient Lift and if it is the best solution for you, please reach out below.