Walkers are one of the most popular mobility aids for helping seniors who need extra support while walking.
But — how much does a walker cost?
The good news is that walkers are considerably less expensive than wheelchairs. But, the cost of a walker can vary a lot depending on the type of walker you need.
A basic, lightweight, standard walker typically runs between $30 and $100, while a more specialized rollator walker can cost between $80 to $700 depending on how sophisticated the device is.
In this article, we will provide you with a detailed guide on how much walkers cost, and factors that can influence the price.
What Are Walkers, And How Do They Help With Mobility?
Walkers are mobility aids that are designed to provide additional support to those who may have trouble with balance or need a bit of extra support while walking. They are often recommended for seniors, people with disabilities, or those recovering from an injury or surgery.
It’s important to note that not everyone will be a good fit for a walker — if a senior can’t stand independently or has difficulty controlling their arms, a wheelchair may be better suited for them.
Walkers are typically four-legged frames with handles that allow the user to hold onto the device while they walk. The frame is usually made of lightweight metals such as aluminum and folds up easily when not in use.
Types of Walkers (And Walker Prices)
Walkers come in different sizes and designs, and the walker type and feature set you choose can greatly impact the price of the walker.
Traditional walkers have four static legs, and usually consist of a simple metal U-shaped frame with no wheels. Instead, the legs have rubber feet at the bottom designed to make the walker more stable.
Some standard walkers will substitute the front two rubber feet with walker glides, which can make the walker move more smoothly.
Pricing: Traditional walkers typically cost between $30 and $100.
Who Are They Best For: Traditional, standard walkers are best for those who are walking short distances and plan to primarily use their walker indoors.
Wheeled walkers are similar to traditional walkers, but instead of having all rubber feet on the bottom, they’ll have two wheels on the front two legs.
This allows the user to move around more easily and with less effort — they can even travel across different types of terrain.
The downside is that, with increased mobility, two wheeled walkers sacrifice some stability in favor of easier movement.
For this reason, a wheeled walker is really only an appropriate choice for those who have decent balance. That being said, some wheeled walkers have hand breaks as well, which can provide additional control and stability for those who need it.
So if you have some more minor stability issues, a wheeled rolling walker can still be a safe choice if they include hand breaks.
Pricing: A wheeled rolling walker typically costs between $50 and $300 depending on the features, such as brakes or additional storage compartments.
Who Are They Best For: Wheeled walkers are best for those who will be walking longer distances, or who will be using their device both indoors and outdoors. They’re only suitable for seniors who have a decent amount of balance.
Rollator walkers have wheels on each leg so the user can push the device instead of lifting it with every step. This design allows for much more rapid movement, and can travel across all kinds of terrain.
There is a lot of variety within the world of rollators, as there are three-wheel and four-wheel rollator models.
Three-wheeled rollators are great for nimble seniors who are looking for a rollator with a smaller footprint. Three-wheel rollators are designed to be smaller and to fit into more narrow, tight spaces, with their smaller frame size.
However, they do provide a bit less stability and support than the four-wheel versions.
Four-wheel rollators, on the other hand, are more stable and offer more support for seniors who need it. They usually boast a larger footprint with their four wheels, but come packed with helpful features like brakes, built-in seats, and storage sections.
The downside to four-wheeled rollators is that they’re usually much heavier than three-wheeled models.
No wonder the four-wheeled rollator walker tends to be the most popular walker / rollator for seniors!
Pricing: Rollator walkers typically range in price from $80 to $700 depending on the features included.
Who Are They Best For: Rollators are best for seniors who need to travel more medium-to-long distances because they allow for faster movement. They’re also ideal for outdoor use, and larger wheels can even cover rougher, more bumpy terrain. Just remember that a rollator walker doesn’t provide as much stability as a standard walker, so if balance or dexterity is a major issue, stick to the more stable (but slower-moving) traditional walkers.
Knee walkers are also known as knee scooters, and they’re most commonly used to provide support for a person who’s injured or recovering from surgery.
They have three wheels, two handles, and an adjustable leg rest that the user can rest their injured leg on while pushing themselves around with their hands.
Pricing: Prices for knee walkers can range from $150 to $600.
Who Are They Best For: Knee walkers are great for those who need to move around but don’t want to put pressure on their legs or feet. They’re also good for seniors who have a broken foot, ankle, lower leg, or even hip that needs time to heal and recover.
What Factors Affect Walker Cost?
Besides the type of walker you choose, there are other factors that can alter the rollator or walker cost, such as:
- Frame material. With aluminum, stainless steel, and even carbon frames available, pricing can vary quite a bit depending on the materials used to build the walker’s frame.
- Weight Capacity. Walkers and rollators have different weight limits, and higher-capacity models may cost slightly more due to the extra reinforcement needed for larger individuals.
- Wheels. The larger the wheel size, the more expensive the walker will be. But, larger wheels also allow for smoother travel across different terrain. The good news is that you can always purchase larger wheels to replace smaller ones later on, if necessary.
- Brakes. Certain models come equipped with hand brakes, which can offer more control and added safety. However, they usually come with a higher price tag as well.
- Folding Sections. Some walkers don’t fold up for storage, which can be an issue if you’re trying to conserve space. Folding walkers allow the device to collapse down into a more compact size, so it’s easier to store and transport. Folding options are usually a little bit pricier.
- Trays or Baskets. If you need extra storage space for items like medications, groceries, or other personal items, certain models of walkers come with baskets or a storage pouch that allow for that. Some even have cup holders! These additional storage options can jack up a walker’s price a bit, but most consider the added benefit well worth it. You can also purchase walker storage baskets and bags yourself, allowing you to choose colorful and unique styles that match your personality.
- Built-in Seat. Many of the most popular rollators come with a built-in padded seat. This is great for those who like to take frequent breaks while walking longer distances.
Getting Discounted or Free Walkers for Seniors
Seniors on a budget who are in need of walkers should always look into their local senior centers or community organizations to see what type of help is available.
Many communities have grants, scholarships, or other funding programs that can provide wheelchairs, standard walkers, and sometimes rollators at no cost to the user. Additionally, some local churches or nonprofit organizations may have a stockpile of gently-used walkers and wheelchairs they are willing to donate to those in need.
Will Medicare Cover My Walker?
In some cases, Medicare will cover the cost of a walker. Medicare Part B provides coverage for medically necessary equipment, including standard walkers, rollator walkers, and wheelchairs, for those who meet specific criteria.
After you meet the Part B Deductible, you’ll pay just 20% of the walker or rollator’s cost.
If your doctor deems your need of a walker or rollator walker medically necessary, he or she can write an order for the equipment, which can then be filled at an appropriate designated medical supply company.
Keep in mind that both the doctor and the medical equipment supplier must be enrolled in Medicare in order for your claim to be covered. Make sure to double-check and confirm Medicare enrollment before you purchase your standard walker or rollator walker if you want it to be covered.
Even if a durable medical equipment supplier is enrolled in Medicare, they’ll still need to also accept the assignment in order to receive the discount. As long as the supplier is enrolled in Medicare and also accepts the assignment, the senior won’t have to pay more than the Medicare Part B deductible and 20% of the device’s cost.
No matter which type of walker you choose, it’s important to consider your budget and lifestyle before making a purchase decision. With the right information, you can find the perfect walker that fits both your needs and your wallet.
FAQs About Walker and Rollator Costs
How much do walkers cost?
On average, a standard walker can cost anywhere from $30 to $200, while rollators can range from $50 to $500, and knee walkers can cost between $100 and $500.
Are walkers covered by Medicare insurance?
Yes, walkers are often covered by Medicare insurance. With Medicare Part B, you’ll just need to have paid the deductible, and after that you’ll pay just 20% of the walker or rollator’s cost (so long as your doctor approved the item as medically necessary, and so long as the medical device supplier is enrolled in Medicare and accepts the assignment).
What factors can impact the walker cost?
Several factors can impact one’s walker cost, including the type of walker, material, weight capacity, and accessories.
Where can I buy a walker?
Walkers can be purchased from a variety of sources, including medical supply stores and online retailers. It is important to purchase your walker from an approved supplier to ensure that it meets quality standards and is covered by insurance if applicable.
What type of walker will Medicare pay for?
Medicare will cover medically necessary walkers, rollators, and wheelchairs. Your doctor must first determine that the device is medically necessary in order for Medicare to cover it. Additionally, both the doctor and medical equipment supplier must be enrolled in Medicare in order for claims to be covered. The senior will then pay just 20% of the cost after the deductible is paid.
Does Medicare cover upright walkers for seniors?
Yes, Medicare Part B covers medically necessary upright walkers for seniors whose doctor deems them medically necessary.
What kind of rollator does Medicare cover?
Medicare Part B will cover any medically necessary rollators, so long as your doctor approves the need for one and both your doctor and medical supplier are enrolled in Medicare. After the deductible is paid, you’ll pay just 20% of the cost of the device.
Are there any free or discounted walkers available?
Yes, there are several organizations and programs available that offer free or discounted walkers and rollators to seniors. Local senior centers, community centers, and churches will often offer free or heavily discounted walkers that are lightly used.