How to Determine Proper Wheelchair Ramp Length

Ensure Safe Accessibly over Daily Rises

Choosing the proper ramp length can seem like a daunting task - selecting a ramp that’s too short results in a steep grade, which is hazardous for a mobility aid user to safely navigate, especially in poor weather conditions. Choosing a longer ramp will decrease the steepness of the slope, making it safer and easier to use than shorter ramps, but a longer ramp requires additional space which may not be feasible in your location. The Discount Ramps team wants to ensure you have a strong understanding of the required calculations, we even have a handy mobility ramp calculator, making it quick and easy to choose which length is right for your home or office!

Step 1: Measure


  • The total vertical rise that you are trying to overcome.
  • The available distance without obstruction measuring straight out from the highest point.
  • The total usable width of the area.
Step 2: Research


Some powerchairs and mobility scooters may specify a maximum degree of incline which the scooter can safely climb. While this is not likely to be lower than what ADA specifications allow, it’s a good idea to check before you buy a wheelchair ramp.

Step 3: Calculate


 Mobility Ramp Calculator

Fill in the form below to see the minimum ramp length you need.

Please enter wheel base.
Commercial Access:
Minimum ramp length = ft.
Residential Access(occupied):
Minimum ramp length = ft.
Residential Access(unoccupied):
Minimum ramp length = ft.

ADA Requirements

Knowing the ADA Requirements will help you understand the figures that the Mobility Ramp Calculator outputs.

Commercial Occupied Use:

For commercial use when somebody is sitting in the wheelchair or scooter while it climbs the ramp, ADA recommends a 1:12 slope, which means that every 1" of vertical rise requires at least 1’ (12") of ramp length (5 degrees of incline).

Example: A 24" rise requires a minimum ramp length of 24’ (288") (24 divided by 1).

Supplementary ADA Resources:

Finding the appropriate wheelchair ramp

Threshold Ramps / Door Ramps

Typically available in lengths up to 2’, threshold ramps are perfect for maneuvering wheelchairs, powerchairs, and mobility scooters over short rises around the home or office, uneven surfaces, or through doorways where the bottom plate creates a challenging barrier.