Metal vs. Plastic Medical Carts, which is best?

A common question we get asked- should I purchase a metal or plastic medical cart, which one is best?

Well, for everyone having this debate right now, there are some key points for you to consider:

  • Costs
  • Size
  • Maneuverability
  • Working Load
  • Lifespan

This article explains an unbiased comparison of the pros and cons to both types of carts to hopefully help you make the right decision for your facility and the requirements.

Why should I choose Metal Carts?

  • Overall strength of the structure - often have fully welded frames, not bolted or clipped together
  • Often easier to add accessories as brackets can be fixed or set in any position 
  • Normally have larger drawers which come out to full extent for easier access to back of drawer 
  • Able to carry higher weight loads without compromising the structure of the cart 
  • Larger castors can sometimes be added for outdoor use
  • Often able to change drawer layouts for departmental requirements  
  • Often heavier in net weight 
  • If the cart is not aluminium, they can corrode over time if the paint is damaged and not repaired 
  • Metals are sometimes more expensive than plastic options 

Why should I choose Plastic Carts?

  • Less corrosive materials on the cart 
  • Often lighter in weight 
  • Provide a less clinical appearance and provides a softer look 
  • Often bolted or clipped together, which can come loose over time 
  • Harder to customise with accessories as they have set mounting points 
  • Often have smaller drawers, as they require more of the external cart structure to maintain strength 

What medical cart type is best for me? 

The best cart for you will depend on the nature of the tasks that it is being purchased for, and the expectations around the lifespan of the product. 

If there are budget constraints, simple tasks that do not involve heavy loads or no required specialised configurations and accessories, then a plastic cart may be the best option.

If you’re wanting a robust and sturdier option for moving items, options to customise the cart configuration for different departmental requirements, and are willing to invest more into longevity - then a metal cart could be considered.

We hope this article has provided some more information about the differences between metal and plastic medical carts.

Learn about how much medical carts cost in Queensland 


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