When it comes to enhancing mobility for the elderly and disabled, selecting the right hoist is crucial. Gantry, ceiling, and mobile hoists are commonly used in accessible design, each with their unique features and benefits. This article aims to draw a comprehensive comparison between these three types of hoists to help you make an informed decision.

Here at EA Mobility, we understand the importance of independence and comfort for your loved ones. So, let’s delve into this comparison to ensure your choice of hoist meets their needs perfectly.

Courtesy of EA Mobility

Introduction to Different Types of Hoists

A hoist is an invaluable tool designed to assist with lifting and moving individuals who have mobility challenges. These devices are engineered to safely lift and transfer people from one place to another, typically from a bed to a wheelchair, or from a wheelchair to the bathroom. They play an essential role in providing care and enhancing independence for the elderly and disabled, mitigating the risk of injury from falls or straining.

Hoists facilitate everyday tasks that could otherwise be difficult or impossible, providing comfort, safety, and improved quality of life for those who require them. Whether you’re a caregiver or someone seeking to maintain your own independence, a hoist can be an empowering solution.

Understanding Gantry Hoists

Gantry hoists are a common type of hoist used to assist the elderly and disabled. These hoists are free-standing structures, typically consisting of two upright posts connected by a horizontal rail. The hoist motor travels along this rail, allowing for smooth and secure transfer of individuals.

Gantry hoists are especially useful in settings where ceiling hoists are not viable, or where temporary or portable solutions are needed. They offer flexibility, as they can be easily assembled, disassembled, and moved to different locations. Plus, as they don’t require installation into walls or ceilings, they are an excellent choice for rented properties or when a more permanent solution isn’t necessary.

Gantry Hoists

Key Features of Gantry Hoists

  1. Portability: Gantry hoists can be easily disassembled and reassembled, making them ideal for transferring between different locations.
  2. Ease of Installation: As free-standing units, these hoists do not require structural modifications to your home, such as fixing into walls or ceilings.
  3. Versatility: These hoists offer flexibility to accommodate various situations, such as when a ceiling hoist is not feasible or a temporary solution is required.
  4. Ideal for Rented Properties: The non-permanent nature of gantry hoists makes them a preferred choice for rented homes, where alterations to the property might not be permitted.
  5. Safety: The sturdy structure of the gantry hoist ensures a secure transfer, reducing the risk of falls or injuries.


Exploring Ceiling Hoists


Ceiling hoists, also known as overhead hoists, are another prominent choice for those seeking to enhance mobility for the elderly or disabled. These hoists are permanently mounted to the ceiling, providing an unobtrusive, space-saving solution.

The primary advantage of a ceiling hoist is its ability to provide near-unrestricted movement throughout a room. The hoist motor runs along tracks fixed to the ceiling, ensuring smooth, controlled movements and safe transfers. It can even be installed to travel between rooms, providing comprehensive coverage for various needs.

Ceiling hoists are particularly beneficial in smaller spaces where a floor-standing hoist might be cumbersome. They also reduce the physical strain on caregivers by doing most of the lifting work.

Key Features of Ceiling Hoists

  1. Space-saving: Being mounted to the ceiling, these hoists free up floor space, which can be especially advantageous in smaller rooms.
  2. Near-unrestricted movement: The ceiling tracks can be customised to cover almost any area, even allowing for room-to-room travel.
  3. Reduced Strain on Caregivers: As the hoist does most of the lifting work, it minimises the physical effort required from caregivers.
  4. Permanent Solution: Ceiling hoists are a more permanent solution, ideal for individuals with long-term mobility needs.
  5. Safety: Like other hoists, ceiling hoists facilitate safe and secure transfers, minimising the risk of injury.


Understanding Mobile Hoists

Mobile hoists are portable devices designed for maximum flexibility. They are often chosen when the user has different locations where they require assistance, such as moving from room to room within a home, or even for use outside the home. The mobility of these hoists can be particularly beneficial for those who travel frequently or need a more versatile lifting solution.

Mobile hoists stand on their own wheels and are manually manoeuvred by a caregiver, but the lifting and lowering function is typically powered. They provide a good balance between portability and functionality and can accommodate various slings to suit the user’s needs and comfort.

However, it’s important to consider that while mobile hoists offer excellent flexibility, they do require a reasonable amount of floor space, and the caregiver must have enough strength to move the hoist with the user in it.

Key Features of Mobile Hoists

  1. Highly Portable: Mobile hoists are designed for easy movement and transport, making them ideal for use in multiple locations.
  2. User-Friendly: The powered lifting and lowering function makes mobile hoists easy to use, reducing physical strain for caregivers.
  3. Versatility: These hoists can accommodate a variety of slings to suit different users and situations.
  4. Ideal for Temporary Use or Travel: The portable nature of mobile hoists makes them a choice solution for temporary needs or use outside the home.
  5. Safety: Mobile hoists provide safe and secure transfers, reducing the risk of injury to both the user and caregiver.


Mobile Hoists

Comparing Gantry, Ceiling, and Mobile Hoists

All three types of hoists – gantry, ceiling, and mobile – each have their unique advantages, and choosing between them depends greatly on individual circumstances, such as user needs, budget, size constraints and future considerations.

Gantry hoists are an excellent choice if you’re seeking a versatile, non-permanent option. They’re perfect for smaller budgets, rented homes, or temporary needs as they can be easily assembled and disassembled without altering the structure of the property. However, as they take up floor space, they might not be suitable for rooms with limited area.

Ceiling hoists are a more permanent solution, providing near-unrestricted movement throughout a room or even between rooms. They are ideal for long-term mobility needs and smaller spaces, as they save floor space. However, they require a more significant investment and structural changes to your home, which could be a deterrent for some people.

Mobile hoists offer the highest level of flexibility and portability. They are ideal for those who frequently travel or have various locations where they require assistance. They are also user-friendly with powered lifting and lowering functions. However, they do require a reasonable amount of floor space, and the caregiver must have enough strength to move the hoist with the user in it.

Choosing the Right Hoist for Your Needs

When choosing the right hoist for your needs, it’s essential to take into account several factors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the questions you may need to consider:

  1. Assess Your Mobility Needs: How often do you need assistance with mobility? Is it for short-term recovery or long-term needs?
  2. Analyse Your Home Environment: How much space is available in your home? Is the area spacious enough for a gantry or mobile hoist, or does it require a space-saving solution like a ceiling hoist?
  3. Consider Your Budget: What is your budget for a hoist? Remember, mobile and gantry hoists are generally less expensive than ceiling hoists.
  4. Think About Portability: Do you travel frequently or need a hoist that can be easily transported? If so, a mobile hoist might be the best fit.
  5. Understand User Comfort: Does the user have a preference for the type of sling or the method used to move them? This could influence whether a mobile, ceiling or gantry hoist would be most suitable.
  6. Consider the Caregiver’s Role: Does the caregiver have the physical strength to manoeuvre a mobile hoist? If not, a ceiling or gantry hoist might be a better option.

Remember, every situation is unique. It’s always best to seek advice from a professional who understands your specific requirements.

A Quick Guide on How to Use a Hoist

Using a hoist safely and effectively requires a careful approach and an understanding of the user’s needs. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Preparation: Ensure the hoist and sling are in good condition and the hoist has enough battery charge. Make sure the area is clear of obstacles.
  2. Position the Sling: Position the sling under the user. Their comfort and safety should be paramount during this process. Follow the sling’s manufacturer instructions regarding positioning.
  3. Attach the Sling to the Hoist: Once the sling is in place, connect it to the hoist using the hooks or loops provided.
  4. Lift the User: Use the hoist’s control to gradually lift the user. Ensure their comfort and security at all times. Avoid sudden movements.
  5. Move the User: Once lifted, the user can be moved to the desired location. The caregiver should guide the hoist, ensuring it moves smoothly.
  6. Lower the User: At the destination, use the hoist’s control to gently lower the user. Once they are stable and secure, you can detach the sling from the hoist.

Remember, every hoist and sling can have different instructions. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines. It’s also important to regularly check the hoist for any signs of wear or damage to ensure it remains safe to use.


We hope this article has been a helpful guide to understanding the differences between these three types of hoists. While all options have pros and cons in their own right, the type you choose for your accessible bathroom should be based on your individual needs and preferences.

Interested in learning more about our range of hoists and how they can enhance your mobility needs? Request our brochure today for detailed information. If you have specific queries or need personalised advice, don’t hesitate to contact us at EA Mobility. Our team of experts is always ready to assist you in finding the perfect solution for your mobility needs!