What is the Difference Between a Hoyer Lift and a Patient Lift?

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Saturday, June 8, 2024 at 8:25pm UTC
What is the Difference Between a Hoyer Lift and a Patient Lift?Photo from Unsplash

Originally Posted On: https://mobilityscooterlife.wordpress.com/2024/06/07/what-is-the-difference-between-a-hoyer-lift-and-a-patient-lift/

Navigating the world of patient lift devices can be daunting, especially if you or a loved one has a disability, or injury, or is an older adult at increased risk of falling. Understanding the differences between various types of lifts, particularly Hoyer lifts and general patient lift systems, can help you make an informed decision. As an experienced physical therapist specializing in patient lift devices for home, I’ll break down the key differences and provide insights to guide your choice.

What is a Hoyer Lift?

Definition and Purpose

A Hoyer lift is a type of hydraulic or electric patient lift used to transfer individuals with limited mobility from one place to another, such as from a bed to a wheelchair or a bathtub. The term “Hoyer lift” is often used interchangeably with patient lifts, but it specifically refers to the brand invented by Ted Hoyer, which has become synonymous with quality and reliability in patient transfer devices.

Key Features and Components

Hoyer lifts typically include:

  • A sturdy frame
  • A sling attachment
  • Hydraulic pump or electric motor
  • Caster wheels for mobility

These features ensure safe and efficient transfers, reducing the risk of injury to both the patient and the caregiver.

Types of Hoyer Lifts

Hoyer lifts come in various models, including:

  1. Manual Hoyer Lifts: Operated using a hydraulic pump, requiring physical effort.
  2. Electric Hoyer Lifts: Powered by batteries or electricity, offering easier operation.

Advantages and Common Uses

  • Safety: Minimizes the risk of falls and injuries during transfers.
  • Versatility: Suitable for home use and medical facilities.
  • Ease of Use: Electric models are particularly user-friendly.

What is a Patient Lift?

Definition and Purpose

A patient lift is a broad term for devices designed to assist in the transfer of individuals with mobility challenges. While Hoyer lifts are a subset of patient lifts, this category includes a wider range of lifting devices, each tailored to specific needs and settings.

Key Features and Components

Patient lifts typically feature:

  • Adjustable frames
  • Various sling options
  • Manual or electric operation
  • Mobility aids like wheels or tracks

Types of Patient Lifts

There are several types of patient lifts, including:

  1. Sit-to-Stand Lifts: Helps patients move from a seated to a standing position.
  2. Overhead Lifts: Fixed or portable systems that move patients along a track.
  3. Portable Lifts: Compact and easy to transport, suitable for home use.

Advantages and Common Uses

  • Flexibility: Different types cater to specific mobility needs.
  • Independence: Some models enable patients to perform transfers with minimal assistance.
  • Portability: Options like portable lifts for disabled individuals offer convenience and ease of use.

Comparing Hoyer Lifts and Patient Lifts


Both Hoyer lifts and general patient lifts are designed to:

  • Ensure safe patient transfers
  • Reduce caregiver strain
  • Enhance patient comfort and dignity

Key Differences

Feature Hoyer Lift General Patient Lift
Operation Hydraulic or electric Manual, electric, or mechanical
Types Limited to Hoyer models Includes sit-to-stand, overhead, portable
Use Case Primarily for transfers Versatile uses (transfers, standing, etc.)

Suitability for Different Needs

  • Hoyer Lifts: Ideal for those needing reliable, straightforward transfer assistance.
  • General Patient Lifts: Suitable for varied needs, including those requiring standing aids or overhead systems.

Types of Slings and Accessories

Overview of Patient Lift Slings

Patient lift Slings are crucial for the safe operation of lifts. They cradle and support the patient during transfers.

Different Types of Slings

  1. Universal Slings: Versatile and widely used.
  2. Bathing Slings: Designed for use in wet environments.
  3. Toileting Slings: Provide access for toileting without removing the sling.

Choosing the Right Sling

Consider the following factors:

  • Patient’s weight and size
  • Specific transfer needs
  • Comfort and support required

Portable Lifts and Cushions

Introduction to Portable Lifts

Take along lift is compact, lightweight, and designed for easy transportation and storage. They are especially beneficial for home use and travel.

Benefits of Portable Lifts

  • Convenience: Easy to move and store.
  • Versatility: Can be used in various settings.
  • Ease of Use: Simple setup and operation.

Description and Uses of Lift Cushions

A lift cushion for elderly individuals is an inflatable or mechanical lift cushion that helps raise and lower a person from a seated position, aiding in transfers and promoting independence.

Safety and Maintenance Tips

Important Safety Considerations

  • Regular Inspections: Check the lift and sling for wear and tear.
  • Proper Training: Ensure caregivers are trained in the safe operation of the lift.
  • Weight Limits: Always adhere to the manufacturer’s weight limits.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection Tips

  • Clean Regularly: Keep the lift and slings clean to prevent wear.
  • Lubricate Parts: Ensure moving parts are well-lubricated.
  • Battery Care: For electric lifts, maintain the battery by charging it regularly.


Choosing between a Hoyer lift and a general patient lift depends on specific needs and circumstances. Both options provide safety, comfort, and ease of use, but understanding their differences can help you make an informed decision. For personalized advice, always consult with a physical therapist or healthcare provider.

Find the Best Patient Lifting Devices for Home Use

If you’re looking for high-quality patient lifting devices, lift slings for handicapped, or portable lifts, visit 1800Wheelchair. They offer a wide range of products to meet your mobility needs, ensuring safety and comfort at home.