The Acorn 180 curved stairlift has most of the features of Acorn’s straight stairlift, the Superglide. However, this is a stairway lift for homes with winding staircases and landings.
The rail is the most striking part of the Acorn 180 stairlift. This stairlift uses extruded aluminum for its rail, which creates an elegant finish. To make its installation easier and avoid damage to your home, the rail attaches to stairs and not walls. Unlike some other curved stairlifts, the Acorn 180 uses modular rails, meaning that the rail portion comes in standard sections that quickly assemble and allow for a custom-fit solution.
With most of the rail’s bulk at its lower end, where it can block the foot of the stairs, Acorn provides an option to install a powered-hinge rail section at this tail end. This nifty solution folds up the lower section and provides greater access to the stairs. While this powered hinge is useful, it puts the whole stairlift out of commission if it fails. You should weigh the need for this option against the cost of repairs and the inconvenience of a stuck stairlift.
Besides the rail, the Acorn 180 has all of the standard features of a regular stairlift. It has a padded and comfortable seat and backrest with a seat belt, and the seat and its arms and footrest fold away into a slim profile when the stairlift is not in use. In addition, there is a directional paddle switch to help users with limited dexterity effectively operate the stairlift. Like most premium stairway lifts, the Acorn 180 has a lock switch to prevent unauthorized use of the carriage, two infrared remote controls to call and send the stairlift up and down the stairs, and safety sensors in the carriage and footrest to prevent the stairlift from running into obstructions.
Although the Acorn 180 is a sturdy and efficient curved handicap stairlift, it has a maximum weight capacity of only 265 pounds. This means that heavy users should look elsewhere for a mobility aid for their curved stairs. Also, its modular rail system may make installation easier, but it introduces multiple points of failure that can raise maintenance and repair bills beyond the one-year warranty Acorn provides.
The modular and hinged rail design of the Acorn 180 is both its major strength and weakness. Beyond the first year of use, the cost of repairing this curved stair elevator significantly increases because of its custom parts.