Rollators or rolling walkers help millions of people stay active and independent, making walking more accessible and safer both indoors and out.
They’re lightweight, simple to use, and easy to transport, so they’re perfect for use at home or on the go.
Best of all, rollators are affordable, widely available, and come with a surprising variety of features that make it easy to find the model that’s right for you.
At the most basic level, rollators are walkers, walking frames or Zimmer frames with wheels, but that doesn’t really even begin to describe the utility of these flexible and popular mobility aids.
They come in either three wheel or four wheel configurations and are available in a range of heights and widths.
Most rollators also have an affixed pouch or basket for carrying packages or personal items, and many rollators are designed to fold for storage or easy transport.
Many rollators feature a built-in seat for when you need to stop and rest, and some can even function as transport chairs or lightweight wheelchairs.
With so many options to choose from, it’s important to take the time to select the model that will suit you best.
Here are some basic concepts that will help you make the right choice.
Three Wheels Or Four?
One of the first decisions to make when shopping for a rollator is whether you want a three-wheel or four-wheel model. There are advantages to both styles, and choosing the right one is primarily determined by the user’s size, capabilities, and how and where they plan to use the rollator.
Three-wheel rollators are generally lighter, narrower, and more suited to folding for storage or transport.
The lighter weight is a plus for smaller users or people lacking in upper body strength. The narrower profile can be a significant advantage if the rollator will primarily be used inside, where getting through doorways and around furniture can be a challenge a wider model.
On the other hand, the triangular base of three-wheel rollators may be somewhat less stable than the square or rectangular base of four-wheel models, and three-wheel models don’t come equipped with seats.
They generally have a lower maximum weight capacity and may not be suitable for very tall or heavy users. Three-wheel models often have smaller wheels, making them more challenging to operate on grass or other outdoor surfaces.
Four-wheel rollators are generally wider, heavier, and available in a broader range of heights and widths than three-wheel models, so they’re usually the best choice for tall, large, or heavy users.
They are generally equipped with a built-in seat, making it possible for the user to stop and rest in comfort when walking.
However, a greater turning radius can make using a four-wheel rollator difficult in tight indoor situations, and the wider profile could make it impossible to get through narrow doorways.
The additional weight could be challenging for very small users or who lack arm and upper body strength, and four-wheel models generally don’t fold as compactly as their three-wheel counterparts for travel or storage.
Seat Or No Seat?
For many users having a built-in seat is invaluable. Being able to stop and rest whenever necessary makes even a long walk seem far less daunting. Having a convenient place to sit takes the pain and stress out of ordinary situations like pausing to chat, stopping to take in the view, or waiting in lines.
You may want to consider a four-wheel rollator with a seat if you have limited stamina, or you’ll be using your rollator for long walks or in situations where frequent, prolonged pauses are likely.
The downside of seat-equipped rollators is that they add some weight and reduce the degree to which the rollator can be folded.
All-In-One Rollator Transport Chairs
Some deluxe rollators are designed to convert to transport chairs that function like lightweight wheelchairs that the user can sit in while a second person pushes them.
These models feature unique handles and fold-out foot and leg rests. While this type of rollator doesn’t replace a standard wheelchair, this capability could be a convenient and welcome respite in many situations.
Measure Before Shopping
Taking measurements is crucial to selecting the right rollator. The first measurement you need is handle height, which you find by standing upright with shoes on and having a second person measure the distance from the floor to the crease in your wrist.
This should be the approximate height of the rollator’s handles.
If you plan to purchase a rollator with a seat, the next measurement you need is the height of a chair or seat that you find comfortable; this will be the height of your rollator seat. Next, you need to measure the narrowest hall, doorway, or space in which you’ll be using your rollator. The width of your rollator will need to be smaller than this measurement.
Let’s look at some of our top picks in each category…
Three Wheel Rollators
- Ultralight at only 4.7kg
- Lightweight solid 7" wheels for indoor or outdoor use
- Comes standard with carry pouch
- Arthritic friendly loop brakes
- Handles are adjustable in height
The Drive Medical TW008B Ultralight Aluminium Tri-Walker with Vinyl Bag is an ultralight three wheel rollator that combines sturdy reliability with compact convenience. Weighing in at just 4.7 kg, this model’s aluminum frame folds flat for transport in its own custom carry pouch.
It features arthritic-friendly loop brakes and measures just 24″ wide, with handles that adjust from 33″ to 37″ in height. It has a maximum weight capacity of 115 kg. Users praise the simplicity and sturdiness of this model, which is affordably priced at about £41.
The NRS Healthcare M91139 Three Wheel, Tri Walker, Foldable Rollator is the newest version of a longtime user favorite, noted for its light weight (just 6.8 kg) and outstanding maneuverability.
This model has an overall width of 26″, handles that are adjustable from 32″ to 36″, and a maximum weight capacity of 125 kg. It comes complete with a handy bag, basket and removable tray for transporting items.
A high quality steel frame and push-to-lock brakes make this model durable and convenient, and its price of under £44 makes it an excellent value.
Four Wheel Rollators
- Very lightweight at less than 7 kg
- Height adjustable: 33" to 38"
- Anatomic handgrips
- Arthritic friendly loop cable brakes, padded flip - up seat
The Drive Medical R8BL-23 Lightweight Aluminium Padded Seat Rollator weighs in at less than 7 kg, making it one of the lightest four wheel rollators available, and a long list of top-end features make it a real bargain at a price of about £45.
A padded flip-up seat, underseat storage, arthritic-friendly loop brakes, and curved flip-up backrest all come standard, and the easy-fold mechanism quickly makes this model compact for transporting or storage. The handles are height adjustable from 33″ to 38″, and the generous top weight capacity of 135 kg accommodates most users.
This one got top marks from buyers who praised its convenience, durability and maneuverability. If you’re in the market for a four wheel rollator, this model deserves a look.
- Lightweight four wheeled walking aid with lightweight but strong aluminium frame with a maximum user weight of 160 kg/25 st
- Simple to operate loop brakes, to secure stopping and lock into place for security
- Height adjustable contoured handles ensure a comfortable ergonomic position while walking to aid mobility
- A padded seat and backrest allows you to easily take a break when you need to. A zippered pocket on the underside of the seat is suitable for keeping small items such as loose change
The Homecraft 09 116 9945 Lightweight Folding 4 Wheel Rollator Walker, which combines a lightweight aluminum frame with a maximum weight capacity of 160 kg, could be the perfect solution for large or heavy users.
Tough, durable 8″ wheels make it suitable for indoor or outdoor use, and contoured handles that adjust from 32″ to 34.5″ ensure a comfortable ergonomic walking position. This model comes with a padded seat and backrest, lockable loop brakes, and a large detatchable basket.
It folds to a compact size for storage or transport, and its price of about £53 qualifies it as an excellent value for anyone who needs a light yet exceptionally capable rollator.
All-In-One Rollator Transport Chairs
- Transport chair and rollator in one
- Dual cross brace provides added strength
- Tool free adjustable footrests
- Removable carry pouch
- Large 8" castors are suitable for indoor and outdoor use
The Drive Medical 745R Diamond Deluxe Rollator with Leg Rests is a sturdy, lightweight (about 10 kg) Rollator/Transport Chair that fits the bill for most users. Adjustable handles, comfortable mesh seat and backrest, tool-free foot rests, and a weight capacity of 135 kg make this a popular and well-reviewed choice, and its price of less than £120 makes it a great value.