Picking the right walker can be a difficult decision. There are so many different types of walkers and walker rollators, how do you know which to choose?
In choosing the best walker for seniors, you’ll need to take into consideration the individual’s physical limitations and what kind of terrain the walker will be used on most often.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best walkers and walker rollators for seniors who want to stay active in their golden years! All the while, we’ll help you narrow down the criteria for choosing a walker, and make sure you’re getting the device that’s the best fit.
The Benefits of Walkers for Seniors: Getting Around Confidently!
Walkers are beneficial for elderly seniors for a variety of reasons.
For one, they can help with balance and stability, which is crucial as people age and begin to lose muscle mass. In addition, walkers provide extra support when walking, which can help prevent falls.
Overall, walkers provide a sense of security and independence, allowing seniors to get around on their own with confidence. Without the assistance and support of a walker or walker rollator, a senior may be inclined to stay indoors and socialize less, which can result in isolation, depression, and can even worsen dementia.
When an elderly senior has a tool like a walker or rollator they they feel safe using, they’ll be more likely to get out and about more, helping to keep them mentally and physically healthy.
Walkers vs Rollators: What’s the Difference?
When choosing a walker, you need to decide if you want a traditional walker or a rollator.
How a Standard Walker Works
Traditional walkers are the most basic type of walker and consist of four legs with rubber feet. Walkers do not have wheels and the legs must be lifted off of the ground in order to move the walker.
Walkers are more difficult to navigate and move around – however, this is also what makes them more sturdy. Since all four legs stay on the floor, walkers are more secure and are the better option if you have signficant trouble with balance.
To use a walker safely, you must life the walker and move it forward without moving your feet. Move the walker forward as far as your arms allow, and then let the feet fall back to the ground. Only when all four feet are back on the ground should you step forward.
Never lift the walker and walk forward at the same time!
Most walkers also allow you to switch out the rubber feet for walker glides, which can reduce friction and allow a walker to move more smoothly across various surfaces.
How a Walker Rollator Works
Walker rollators, on the other hand, have four legs that each have a small wheel at the bottom. Rollators can be pushed in front of you as you walk, and are easy to maneuver since the wheels swivel. They also have brakes that allow you to stop and rest when needed.
Rollators typically have a seat built into them, so you can take a break when needed.
If you can balance yourself, but wish to sit from time to time or require assistance carrying oxygen tanks or other items, a rollator is an excellent choice. A rollator comes in handy if you have arm weakness and are unable to lift a normal walker.
However, a rollator should not be used if you have poor balance. You never want to use a rollator to support your body weight, as the wheeled rollator can easily move and slide out from under you, resulting in a fall.
Types of Rollators
There are several types of walker rollators on the market, each with different advantages and specific use cases.
- 3-Wheel Rollator. These types of rollators are typically smaller and more maneuverable than 4 wheel rollators, making them a good choice for those who are looking for a compact option. However, they can be less stable than 4 wheel rollators.
- 4-Wheel Rollator. Four-wheeled rollators are generally the standard, and are what most folks think of when they picture a rollator. They can be a bit on the bulkier side, especially when compared to traditional walkers.
- Bariatric Rollators. Bariatric rollators are designed for those who are larger than average. They typically have a higher weight capacity and wider seat, making them more comfortable and accommodating for those who need it.
- Transport Rollator. Transport rollators are unique in that they can be adjusted to serve as a transport chair, in additional to being used as a rollator.
Hybrid Rolling Walker: The Best of Both Worlds?
A hybrid rolling walker is a combination of a rollator and a walker, with the two legs featuring wheels and the back legs using rubber tips.
Hybrid rolling walkers can be lifted up in the back and then rolled forward via the wheels in the front. They can maintain a light level of support, although those with poor balance still need to be careful, as the front wheels can still cause the hybrid rollator to move or roll out from under the user.
Rolling walkers can be beneficial in situations where the senior has a small floor plan where a full-sized rollator may not fit.
Four rubber-tipped legs
Can support body weight
Good for those with poor balance
Narrow and lightweight – great for transporting
Slow movement – it’ll take a while to get from point A to point B
Bad for those with poor upper arm strength, as walker must be lifted to move it.
Not ideal for uneven terrain
How to Use: Lift the walker up, reach out your arms to move it forward, put legs back on the ground, and then walk forward.
Four wheels, sometimes able to swivel
Allows user to walk faster
Usually has a seat built-in
Does not require much arm strength to use
Cannot support body weight – would roll out from under the user
Not good for those with poor balance
Wide and heavier, not always easy to fold and lift into a car.
May be too wide to navigate tighter spaces
How to Use: Simply push the rollator in front of you as you walk – the wheels will move forward as you take each step.
Two non-swivel wheels on the front legs, two rubber-tipped legs in the back
Can support some body weight
Good for those with moderate balance
Wheels allow it to navigate various terrain
Still has potential to roll too far forward if the user isn’t careful.
How to Use: Lift the back legs up, push forward gently, and step forward. Let back legs fall back to the ground to stop moving.
Not sure which to get? Ask a professional.
Struggling to choose between rollators, walkers, or hybrids? We always recommend talking with your doctor or a physical therapist, as they can help you pick out the best device based on your specific mobility requirements.
Best Walkers and Rollators for Seniors
1. Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker Rollator with Fold Up Removable Back Support
The Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker Rollator with Fold Up Removable Back Support is an impressive rolling walker that boasts a number of nice bonus features.
For one, it has a backrest – a feature seniors tend to love!
It also had a padded seat and a basket that can store belongings. We appreciate the steel frame’s strength as well as the option to choose a blue or black design.
The large 7.5″ caster wheels on this walker are durable, providing both indoor and outdoor usage. did we mention is had hand breaks too? Yup, this walker’s hand brakes allow for rapid stops even when the terrain is sloped.
Best of all, it folds up for easy storage and transport!
This walker is definitely a seniors’ favorite!
2. Stander EZ Fold-N-Go Walker
The Stander EZ Fold-N-Go Walker is an ultra-lightweight walker that’s ideal when portability is paramount. It folds up quickly and easily, making it perfect for transport and storage.
In fact, this walker folds up just like an umbrella – how cool is that? It even claims to fold 4x smaller than a standard walker, which means this baby can fit just about anywhere!
The Stander EZ Fold-N-Go Walker also has a height adjustable frame, so it can be easily customized to fit any senior’s height between 5’6″ to 6’3″.
On the shorter side? Don’t worry, there’s a short version of this walker too, so even our under 5′ seniors can have a go!
Despite weighing just 8 lbs, it still manages to support up to 400 lbs!
With its compact 24×24 inch footprint, it’s perfect for navigating narrow hallways and tight spaces. The walker’s 6-inch locking swivel wheels provide plenty of stability – you can even choose between fixed or swiveling wheels depending on the terrain or your mobility needs.
Sick of boring white and grey medical equipment? This walker comes in fun colors like rose, blue, and the standard black.
Pre-assembled, it doesn’t require even a screwdriver to assemble. Plus, it even comes with its own nylon carrying bag! It really is a fan favorite walker for any senior who is always out and about!
We love the sleek design of this walker and how easy it is to fold up and transport. It would be great for seniors who are always on the go!
- Super compact, able to fold up easily like an umbrella
- Weighs just 8 lbs
- Comes pre-assembled
- No seat
3. Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Walker
The Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style is a high-end rolling walker that is perfect for seniors who are looking for a walker with some extra flair.
What makes this walker special is its Euro-style frame, which gives it a more contemporary look than many other walkers on the market.
It also comes with a built-in seat and a removable zippered under-the-seat storage pouch for belongings, as well as large 10″ front caster wheels that provide a smoother ride and improved steering.
This walker rollator also has a built-in break cable for added safety!
The rollator’s handles can easily be adjusted for various heights with the press of a button, and the backrest can be moved up or down too so that it’s always comfortable for the user.
Did we mention it’s a breeze to fold up too? With just a single hand, seniors can quickly fold up the Nitro Euro Style for transport or storage.
This walker also comes in a variety of colors, including blue, red, and black, so you can choose the one that best suits your personality.
We love this walker for its high-end style and extra features!
This walker would be great for seniors who want a stylish rolling walker that also has some great features. The large caster wheels are perfect for uneven surfaces!
- Unique euro-style design
- Large 10″ front caster wheels for a variety of terrain
- Built-in break cable
- Somewhat pricey
4. Medline Premium Empower Rollator Walker
The Medline Premium Empower Rollator Walker is a sturdy, reliable walker rollator that is perfect for seniors who need a little extra help getting around.
It has many features that make it more comfortable and convenient than other walkers on the market. For example, it comes with an extra-wide memory foam seat, built-in armrests, and a backrest that can be flipped up when not needed.
It also includes a removable basket for belongings, as well as large 8″ caster wheels that provide stability and make it easy to navigate uneven surfaces. It even has a cup holder that can be folded or adjusted as needed – perfect for helping a senior stay hydrated with their favorite drink!
The back rest and legs are adjustable for various heights, allowing users ranging from 4’11” to 6’4″ to find the perfect height. And, the walker also folds up easily for transport or storage.
We also love that the seat includes a latch that allows the seat to be lifted up, giving plenty of space for a senior to easily walk into the rollator. This model also boasts loop-style breaks that can be pushed down to lock, and pulled up to be released. This style of break can be much easier to use for those with arthritis.
Plus, the rollator’s adjustment points are colored yellow, making them easy to identify against the rollator’s black frame. This eliminated any confusion about where the user needs to press to make adjustments!
We love that this walker is so sturdy and reliable – it would be perfect for seniors who need a little extra help getting around.
- Cushioned memory foam seat
- Basket for belongings
- Cup holder included
- Adjustable legs, back rest, and brightly colored adjustment points
- Loop-style breaks
- None we can think of
5. Medline Two-Button Folding Walker
The Medline Two-Button Folding Walker is a simple, budget-friendly walker hybrid option for seniors who are just looking to get from point A to point B without any fuss.
Made of a durable frame that can support up to 300 lbs, this walker is also lightweight at just 8 lbs, making in a cinch to fold up and transport.
The downside? As a walker with just two 5-inch wheels, it can’t roll too quickly. But for some seniors that’s a plus – the combination of wheels and walker glides allows for enough friction that the user can stay in full control and won’t have to worry as much about the walker rolling out from under them.
The legs are adjustable too, making it a good fit for a range of heights. It also comes mostly pre-assembled. All you have to do is attach the leg pieces (no tool needed) and you’ll be on your way!
- Ideal for seniors who don’t want a four-wheeled rollator
- No seat
- Fairly basic, no extras
6. UPWalker Lite Original Upright Walker
The UPWalker Lite Original Upright Walker is uniquely designed upright walker rollator, offering additional benefits like improved posture and reduced leg, wrist, and joint pain.
This rollator is made with balance and safety as a top priority, featuring a patented design that hides brake cables within the frame so there are no protruding parts or cords that might get snagged.
It’s also fairly light, weighing in at only 15.5 pounds. This walker is meant for users between 4’7”-5’10” and can support user weight up to 300 pounds.
The UPWalker Lite is easy to fold for transport and storage. While it’s primarily for indoor use, it should work well for limited outdoor use as well.
- Upright walker designed to provide walking support while improving posture
- Hidden break cables eliminate any protruding cords
- Not all seniors like the upright design
- Some found the Upwalker too wide to easily fit into a car trunk
- The seat is not especially comfortable
7. Drive Medical Nitro Duet Rollator Rolling Walker
The Drive Medical Nitro Duet Rollator Rolling Walker is a multi-functioning mobility device, able to function as both a walker rollator as well as a transporter chair!
This allows an elderly senior to move around independently via the rollator function, or be pushed by a caregiver through the transport chair function.
The back support can even be adjusted and reversed without tools to allow the user to easily switch between the two functions as needed – how neat is that?
This dual rollator walker also boasts 10-inch front caster wheels for a smooth, improved turned radius, along with cross-braces that provide more stability while also allowing the walker to fold easily.
- Functions as a walker rollator as well as a transport chair
- Large 10-inch front caster wheels
- Fairly heavy at 22 lbs
8. OasisSpace Compact Folding Walker
OasisSpace Compact Folding Walker is a sturdy, more premium version of the standard folding walker.
What makes this walker hybrid special?
For one, it boasts a super compact design, saving 50% more space than a standard walker and measuring in at only 19.7″ on the longest side.
It’s super lightweight at just 6 pounds, making it perfect for elderly people who may have to lift the walker themselves and need something light as a feather.
This walker also prides itself on its trigger handle, which allows the user to collapse the walker in one, fluid motion.
For seniors who need to be able to fold their walker easily, a trigger handle may be easier to use than a hard-to-press button or a more complicated release mechanism.
The height is adjustable, with a range of 30.3″ to 37″, and the included skis mean you won’t have to go shopping for new walker glides.
This walker comes with a 300-pound weight capacity, making it sturdy enough for most users.
- Trigger handle allows for easy collapsing
- Weighs just 6 lbs
- None we can think of
9. byACRE Carbon Ultralight Rollator Walker
The byACRE Carbon Ultralight Rollator Walker is the lightest rollator on the market, weighing only 10.6 lbs. Despite this light weight, it supports up to 285 lbs! This is largely due to the rollator’s carbon fiber frame, unbeatable strength and stability that’s 5x tougher than steel.
Fans also love the ergonomic reversed handles, which make it easier to maneuver the rollator around since you use your palms on the handles, rather than your fingers (which can be challenging for those with arthritis).
This rollator is adjustable too, using a simple push button to adjust the height between 31.1″ to 35.8″.
This impressive rollator arrives fully assembled and ready to use! It folds flat for transport and comes with its own organizing bag as well.
- Ultra light-weight rollator
- Made of carbon
- Seat is not very thick or well-cushioned
10. Health Line Massage Products 4-in-1 Stand-Assist Folding Walker
The Health Line Massage Products 4-in-1 Stand-Assist Folding Walker is another great walker for seniors, especially considering it can be used for several functions.
It’s multi-purpose designed largely is attributed to the walker’s bi-level handles, which allows a senior to gradually progress from the lower to the top level of handles, making it easier to use for those who are not as steady on their feet.
It can also be used as a toilet safety frame or a lift assist tool to get up from a seated to a standing position.
The Health Line 4-in-1 Walker also features a trigger-release folding mechanism that can doesn’t require the senior to remove their hands from the handle in order to close the walker.
This is a great feature for those who may have arthritis or pain in their hands!
The height can be adjusted from 31.9 inches to 39 inches via 8 different levels, and the handle grips even include soft foam for enhanced comfort.
This walker also comes with 2 ski glides, along with a 60-day unconditional return policy and 3-year limited warranty.
- Multi-purpose walker allows it to double as a toilet safety frame, among other uses
- Trigger release folding mechanism makes this walker easy to collapse
- Bi-level handles allow for better security and stability moving from seated to standing position
- Comes in silver and blue
- A couple of users have reported that the click-in mechanisms to secure the walker degrade over time, but this doesn’t seem to be a common complaint
11. KneeRover QUAD All Terrain Knee Walker in Metallic Blue
The KneeRover QUAD All Terrain Knee Walker is a high-quality knee walker, ideal for those recovering from a broken foot, broken leg, or foot surgery. The four air-filled tires provide excellent traction on all types of terrain, while the rear drum brakes and locking hand brake give you great control over the scooter.
The adjustable knee pad and handlebar make it easy to customize the fit for your height (for users with a height of 4’9” to 6’6”), and the folding design makes it convienent to transport and store. Overall, the KneeRover QUAD is a great choice for anyone needing a reliable and sturdy knee walker.
- Great alternative to crutches
- Can handle a variety of rough outdoor terrain
- Requires a high level of balance and core strength – not ideal for most elderly seniors
12. Vive Mobility 3 Wheel Walker Rollator
The Vive Mobility 3 Wheel Walker is a great three-wheel mobility walker rollator option for seniors who need a walker that can fit in close quarters.
The three-wheel design, similar to a tricycle, makes it easy to navigate in tight spaces, and the height adjustable handlebars ensures a comfortable fit. The included walker accessory bag is a nice touch, and the lifetime guarantee provides peace of mind.
The tri-rollator’s front swivel wheel offers fantastic maneuvering in crowded areas, while the back 7.5” wheels are ideal for indoor terrain as well as moderately smooth outdoor surfaces.
The lightweight aluminum frame is stable and supports up to 250 pounds, yet is easy to pick up and maneuver when necessary.
No tools are required for assembly, so setup is a breeze!
While plenty of users seem to love this tri-rollator, a few did have some frightening stability issues. Some users note that due to how far forward the rear wheels are, the front wheel can easily come off the ground once pressure is put on the handlebars. It’s hard to tell how frequently this is an issue, as most users did not complain, but it’s something to be aware of as a potential risk.
- Great maneuverability for crowded areas
- 21-inch width allows it work well even in tight spaces
- Very lightweight, especially for a rollator
- Some complained of stability with front wheel rising up when pressure is applied, or tilting is excessive pressure to applied to one side
Features to Consider When Choosing a Walker or Rollator
Walker Size and Width
When choosing a walker, you’ll need to consider what size walker will work best with your home.
Be sure to measure the width of doorways and hallways in your home, and ensure that your walker will be able to move easily throughout the house.
Most walkers are 22 to 27 inches wide at the base – make sure that your doorways won’t be narrower than the walker (and don’t forget to allow for some clearance between the walker and the doorway, as well as how any installed threshold ramps might effect the space).
Bathroom doorways especially are known for being at times quite narrow, especially in older homes.
The width between the handles is important too, as your hips should always fit inside the walker. If the walker or rollator has a seat, make sure you have roughly an inch of clearance on each side when you sit down.
Most walkers have adjustable height legs, but you’ll still need to keep in mind the width and overall dimensions.
Easy to Transport
You also need to make sure the walker is transportable so you can easily move it from one place to another. If a senior will only be using the walker or rollator primarily around the home, this may not be a huge concern.
But if the walker will be taken out to restaurants, shopping areas, parks, etc, you’ll likely want something that’s at least relatively light and easy to fold up into a car.
Portability & Storage
Some walkers fold up for easy storage, which is ideal for those who don’t have a lot of storage space or for those who want to take their walker with them when they’re out and about town.
Luckily, the vast majority of walkers are foldable and can be stored away easily.
Some walkers even come with a carrying bag, allowing you to fold up the walker and zip it into its storage bag when you’re not using it, or when transporting it between locations.
Most walkers for seniors are focused on staying lightweight, allowing the walkers to easily be picked up and moved. This allows a walker to be versatile and to be taken wherever a senior may need it.
However, lighter isn’t always better.
Heavier walkers can offer increased stability, which can be better for seniors who need the extra support or seniors who are themselves a bit heftier. Just remember that the heavier a walker is, the tougher it’ll be to get up and down stairs, in and out of a car, etc.
Be sure to choose a walker with a weight capacity that is suited for your body weight.
Most walkers can hold up to 300 pounds, but if you need a more heavy-duty walker or rollator that can hold closer to 500 pounds, opt for a bariatric model.
The weight capacity is important because if the walker is too light, it may not be sturdy
Walkers with wheels (aka rollators and hybrids) are ideal for uneven terrain or for those who want more freedom of movement. However, keep in mind that rollator walkers are less stable than those without wheels and can be a risk for those without good balance.
Wheel size is another consideration. Many rollators and hybrid walkers will have 6- or 8-inch wheels that work great indoors or for flat, even outdoor terrain.
However, if you plan on using your rollator walker outdoors often and on a variety of uneven terrain, opt for larger wheels.
Handle height is another important aspect to consider – if the handles of a walker are too low, you’ll have to stoop and hunch over to hold them. If the handles are too tall, you won’t be able to effectively distribute your weight to your arms.
Luckily, most walkers can be adjusted for different heights.
Walker rollators with a braking system are ideal for those who want more stability while they walk. A rollator’s braking system will help to keep the walker in place, which is crucial for seniors who are walking on uneven terrain or slopes.
Brakes are only necessary for rollators or hybrid rollators. Since walkers have four rubber tips without any wheels, there is no need for brakes!
Seat Height and Comfort
If a senior wants to be able to rest and take a breather whenever they need to, walkers with seats are a great option! While traditional walkers and hybrid walker don’t usually have a seat built in, rollator walkers usually do!
Walker rollators with seats give a senior a comfy spot to rest between walks. However, the seat will be useless if it’s not the right height for you!
Make sure the seat will be high enough by measuring the height of a chair in your house that you can easily sit down and stand up from. Use this height as a benchmark for comparing rollators.
Thankfully, many rollators provide the option to alter the height of the seat.
Also consider comfort – some rollators will have a seat that is just a thin piece of fabric. This is usually fine for quick rests, but if you plan on spending a lot of time seated in a rollator, you’ll want to opt for a comfier, thicker seat.
Storage Accessory Bag
Some walkers come with a handy bag, which can be attached to the walker and can store a senior’s personal items like a Kindle e-reader, glasses, medications, etc. If your walker doesn’t include a bag, make sure to check out our list of the best baskets and bags for walkers to choose the perfect storage bag!
Be sure to choose a walker that is adjustable to your height. This will ensure that the walker is comfortable to use and will help to keep you safe while you’re walking.
Always check the maximum and minimum height to ensure the walker or rollator will work for your size. This is especially true for seniors who are shorter or taller than normal!
FAQs About Rollator and Walkers
How is a rollator walker adjusted?
Most rollator walkers have an easy-to-use push button or a knob mechanism that allows the user to adjust the height of the walker or rollator. Nearly all rollators allow the senior to adjust the handle height, and some also have additional adjustment points for the leg heights, back rest, and seat height.
Adjustability is essential in order to ensure a comfortable, customized fit for each individual user.
What is the difference between a 3 wheel and 4 wheel rollator?
The main difference between a 3 wheel and 4 wheel rollator is the maneuverability. Three-wheel rollators are more agile and can make sharper turns than four-wheel rollators. Three-wheel rollators tend to be more narrow and can often be easier to manuever in tight spaces than four-wheel rollators.
How much does a walker or rollator weigh?
Traditional walkers tend to be lighter than rollators, weighing typically between 6-10lbs. Rollators on the other hand, usually weigh between 15 – 20 lbs.
What is the weight limit for a walker or rollator?
Most walkers and rollators have a weight limit between 200-300 pounds
What is the difference between a walker and a rollator?
The biggest difference between a walker and a rollator is that a rollator has wheels while a walker does not. This makes rollators much easier to push and maneuver than traditional walkers. However, with that maneuverability comes less stability, as its unsafe to put your full weight support on a rollator. Standard walkers are much more stable, especially for people with balance issues.
How do I know if I need a walker or a rollator?
If you struggle with balance, a walker is likely the best option, as it can support a user’s body weight without tipping or rolling. This also allows walkers to at times function as stand assist devices too.
If you are able to walk and don’t have balance issues, but need help with fatigue, a rollator may be a better option as it can help ease some of the strain of walking. Rollators often have built-in seats that allow you to stop and take a breather too!
Does Medicare cover rollators?
Medicare Part B will cover 80% of the cost of medically-necessary durable medical equipment (DME) if your doctor prescribes it for use in your home.
A rollator is considered DME and would therefore be covered under Medicare Part B. However, you would be responsible for the remaining 20% of the cost as well
Walkers and rollators are essential pieces of equipment for seniors. They provide stability and ease the strain of walking, which can help prevent falls and other health complications.
In this guide, we’ve reviewed some of the best walkers and rollators on the market today. We’ve highlighted what features make each one a good choice for elderly seniors and what potential drawbacks to be aware of. We’ve also answered some common questions about walkers and rollators to help you make the best decision for your needs.
No matter which walker or rollator you choose, always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it safely. And if you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or a physical therapist. With the right walker or rollator, you can maintain your independence and live a active lifestyle!
Last update on 2022-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API