What Is a Ceiling Hoist?

A ceiling hoist is an invaluable mobility aid, designed to lift and transfer individuals with limited mobility between different areas, such as from a bed to a wheelchair. It's discreetly mounted overhead, maximizing space while ensuring safety and comfort. Curious about how a ceiling hoist could transform daily living for you or your loved ones? Let's explore its life-changing benefits together.
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A ceiling hoist is a device used to lift objects off the ground, usually for temporary or permanent storage purposes. Depending on the size of the ceiling hoist, the device will be used for either light or heavy duty purposes, though most hoist models are fairly light duty. They are commonly used to lift and store bicycles or kayaks in garage spaces with high ceilings to maximize storage space and minimize clutter. The system consists of several components: pulleys mounted to the ceiling, a cable or rope, hooks or straps for grabbing the object, and an anchor for securing the rope.

A smaller version of a ceiling hoist is appropriate for lifting light objects such as a bicycle. Two hooks will be suspended from the rope, one to attach to the bike's seat and one to attach to the bike's handlebars. The rope will run through each hook as well as through two pulleys affixed to the ceiling by pulley frames. The frames are usually screwed into a beam for added security and to prevent the suspended object from falling unexpectedly. The user can pull on the end of the rope, thereby raising the object as the rope pulls through the ceiling hoist pulleys. Once the bike or object is suspended, the user can tie off the excess rope at an anchor point secured to a wall or other solid object.


Kayaks and other objects can be suspended in the same manner, but the user will need to take note of the weight capacity set forth by the manufacturer before attempting to lift exceptionally heavy objects. Many ceiling hoist models are light duty and use plastic or aluminum pulleys as well as fiber ropes that will not necessarily be able to lift some objects safely. If the user intends to suspend heavier objects, he or she will need a heavier duty ceiling hoist with steel pulleys and frames, and perhaps even a steel cable rather than a rope.

Electric ceiling hoists can be used to lift heavier objects, and they are sometimes used in medical settings to help lift incapacitated persons out of bed or out of a chair. They may also be used in industrial settings for lifting or moving exceptionally heavy items, though these ceiling hoist models are likely to be heavy duty; they may also be fitted with a trolley system that allows the hoist to move along a track to a different location.

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Discussion Comments


@wavy58 – Your garage sounds like my carport. It used to be impossible to get around in there, until we got the ceiling hoists. Now, I feel like I have regained control of what used to be an impossible area to navigate and clean.

I have four kids, and they all have bicycles. Putting them on hoists saves so much space.

We also have a couple of lightweight canoes that we have hoisted up. Now, the only things left on the floor are the cars.

Since it is an open carport, it gets dirty often. Whenever I need to sweep out the dirt and leaves that blow into the area, I move the cars into the driveway. It's as simple as that. There is nothing else to sweep around.


My aunt became paralyzed after an auto accident last year, and she had to get a live-in caregiver. Moving her from her bed to the bathroom was a challenge, since she weighed nearly 350 pounds.

Her caregiver told her that a ceiling hoist would be the best solution. It would attach to a chair, and she could ride in it as it ran on its track.

The man who installed it attached the system into the joists, because the ceiling itself could not have supported her weight. He designed a track leading from her bed to her bathroom, so the caregiver would only have to ease her into the chair.


My dad has a lot of large equipment in his workshop out in the back yard. He has ceiling hoists for the stuff that is not incredibly heavy, and he keeps the massive things, like the milling machine and drill press, on the floor.

He saw that he had a need for the hoists after years of accumulating more tools. He wasn't going to part with any of it, so he had to come up with a more efficient storage plan.

Also, he had started losing things amid the clutter. Having some of it stored out of the way has made it so much easier for him to locate objects. The ceiling hoists save him a lot of time that would have been spent searching for things.


My garage is equipped with several ceiling hoists. My husband and I are real outdoorsy people, so we have kayaks, bikes, and other objects that are best stored out of the way.

We have two vehicles that also have to fit into the garage, and the ceiling hoists make this possible. We currently have a sled, a kayak, two mountain bikes, and a couple of surfboards hoisted up.

There is even room for my keyboard and amplifier out there. I keep them in a corner, away from the hoisted objects, so there is no danger of them being damaged from falling bikes.

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