Hydraulic Home Lifts vs Cable Home Lifts: Which is Better?

Are you contemplating buying a home lift and finding yourself at a crossroads between hydraulic and cable options? Fret not – we’re here to provide you with a detailed roadmap to aid in your decision-making process. In this blog, we thoroughly compare hydraulic home lifts and their cable counterparts, delving into the intricacies that can significantly impact your choice.

As we navigate through the features, pros, and cons of each system, we aim to empower you with the knowledge needed to make a thoughtful and well-informed decision. Your home is a sanctuary, and the right lift can enhance both accessibility and convenience.

What Are Hydraulic Home Lifts?

Hydraulic home lifts are home lifts that operate by using a hydraulic system powered by fluid pressure. These lifts are known for their smooth and quiet operation, providing a comfortable ride for passengers. The hydraulic system consists of a pump that pushes fluid into a cylinder, which in turn raises the lift car. To lower the lift, the fluid is released back into the pump, causing the lift car to descend.

One of the main advantages of hydraulic home lifts is their ability to operate even during power outages. This is because they use a separate power unit that is located in a separate space, such as a basement or machine room. The power unit contains a motor, pump, and fluid reservoir, ensuring that the lift can still be used in case of a power failure.

Hydraulic home lifts are also known for their ease of installation. Since they don’t require a machine room, they can be easily fitted into existing homes without the need for major structural modifications. Additionally, the hydraulic system eliminates the need for a counterweight, making the installation process simpler and more cost-effective.

Pros and cons of hydraulic home lifts


  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Comfortable ride for passengers
  • Ability to operate during power outages
  • Easy installation without the need for major structural modifications
  • Cost-effective option


  • Limited weight capacity compared to cable home lifts
  • Thicker lift car walls due to the hydraulic system
  • Regular maintenance required for the hydraulic system

What are Cable Home Elevators? 

Cable home elevators, also known as traction home elevators, operate using steel ropes and a counterweight system. These elevators are recognised for their energy efficiency and space-saving design. The steel ropes are attached to the elevator car and looped over a sheave, which is connected to an electric motor. When the motor turns, it causes the ropes to move, raising or lowering the elevator car.

One of the key advantages of cable home elevators is their higher weight capacity compared to hydraulic elevators. This makes them suitable for larger households or those with mobility challenges who may require the elevator to carry heavier loads. Cable home elevators also offer smoother stops between floors, providing a more comfortable experience for passengers.

Another benefit of cable home elevators is their compact design. Since they don’t require a separate power unit or a hydraulic system, they take up less space, making them a popular choice for homes with limited room. Additionally, the absence of a hydraulic system eliminates the need for regular maintenance associated with hydraulic home elevators.

Pros and cons of cable home elevators:


  • Higher weight capacity compared to hydraulic home elevators
  • Smoother stops between floors
  • Energy-efficient operation
  • Compact design, ideal for homes with limited space
  • Minimal maintenance required


  • More expensive installation compared to hydraulic home elevators
  • Not suitable for areas with frequent power outages
  • May require structural modifications for installation

What To Consider When Choosing Between Hydraulic And Cable Home Lifts

When deciding between hydraulic and cable home lifts, there are several factors that you should take into consideration. Firstly, assess your specific needs and requirements. Consider the weight capacity you need, the number of floors the lift will serve, and any mobility challenges that may impact your decision.

Another important factor to consider is the available space in your home. If you have limited room, a cable home lift may be the better option due to its compact design. On the other hand, if you have ample space and want a cost-effective solution, a hydraulic home lift might be more suitable.

The cost is also an important consideration. Cable home lifts tend to have a higher upfront cost due to the more complex installation process and the need for structural modifications in some cases. However, they may require less maintenance over time compared to hydraulic home lifts.

Lastly, take into account the reliability and durability of the lift system. Both hydraulic and cable home lifts are built to last, but regular maintenance is required to ensure their longevity. Consider the availability of maintenance services in your area and factor in the ongoing maintenance costs when making your decision.

Cost Comparison Between Hydraulic And Cable Home Lifts

The cost of installing a home lift can vary depending on several factors, including the type of lift and the specific requirements of the installation. Generally, hydraulic home lifts tend to be more cost-effective compared to cable home lifts.

Hydraulic home lifts require less complex installation and don’t require a machine room or counterweight system. This reduces the overall installation cost, making them a popular choice for homeowners on a budget. Additionally, hydraulic home lifts are typically easier to retrofit into existing homes, further reducing installation expenses.

On the other hand, cable home lifts involve a more intricate installation process. They require a machine room or space for the drive system, as well as structural modifications in some cases. These additional requirements can increase the installation cost compared to hydraulic home lifts.

It’s important to note that the cost of the lift itself is only one aspect of the overall expense. Ongoing maintenance, repairs, and any necessary upgrades should also be factored into your budget when considering the long-term cost of the lift.

Which Home Lift Is Better For Your Needs?

The choice between hydraulic and cable home lifts ultimately depends on your specific requirements. Hydraulic home lifts are typically more cost-effective and easier to install, making them the preferred option for many homeowners. They also offer the advantage of operating during power outages. On the other hand, cable home lifts provide a higher weight capacity and smoother stops between floors, making them suitable for larger households or those with mobility challenges.

When making your decision, consider factors such as weight capacity, available space, installation cost, ongoing maintenance, and the specific needs of your household. Consulting with a lift specialist can also provide valuable insights and help you choose the perfect home lift solution for your home. With the right lift in place, you can enhance accessibility and convenience for you and your family.

Elite Elevators Offers New-Age Hydraulic & Cable Home Lifts

Running on futuristic technology, consuming minimal space and energy, requiring no pit, machine room and headroom and made-to-measure, Elite Elevators’ hydraulic lift, the E200, and cable lift, the E300 are game-changing home mobility. While the E200 operates on an enhanced hydraulic system, the E300 does not use steel ropes but rather an innovative cogged belt (which is 20 times stronger) to operate the lift. Smooth, quiet, fast and luxurious performance are the hallmarks of our hydraulic and CogBelt home lifts.