8 Types Of Walkers For Seniors (2022)

There are many types of walkers and rollators to choose from. Each one has it’s unique features and benefits and are better suited to support various needs, so it is worth getting an overview of each before moving onto looking at specific models in our Top Picks section later on in this guide.

There are two broad categories: conventional walking frames and two-wheeler models. As for rollators, they may have anywhere from two to four wheels.

Types of Walkers & Rollators

Let’s begin by clarifying the difference between the two main types of walkers since there seems to be a bit of confusion about them – Walkers and Rollators.

(Video) Choosing the Right Walker or Rollator

The terms walker and rollator are sometimes used interchangeably to refer to the same thing, but there is a key distinction to make between the two.

The principal difference between a walker and a rollator is a walker consists of a frame with legs and handles only, so you need to lift it as you move forward. In contrast, a rollator has wheels (anywhere from two to four) and is easily pushed along as you move.

Rollators often have seats for you to rest in if needed and braking systems (as discussed earlier in this guide) to help you bring your walking aid to a halt.

Walkers are typically best for moving within your home, where it isn’t practical to use a rollator every time you want to go to a different room. Still, many seniors can also use their walkers outside and don’t need the additional assistance a rollator provides.

As rollators are more advanced than walkers and have several additional features, they are more expensive than their less sophisticated counterparts. However, many users find them to be well worth the extra cost.

Standard Walking Frames

8 Types Of Walkers For Seniors (1)

Standard walking frames are the simplest types of walkers, consisting of four legs and two handles which the user holds onto and uses to lift the frame with every step forward.

While their simple, no-frills design makes them quite affordable, they are challenging to use for many seniors, as they require pretty good coordination and strength. As you have to lift the walker slightly further ahead of you before moving forward, using this type of walker can be very tiring, as you have to repeat the same motion again and again.

Read: Best Standard Walking Frames

Lightweight Walkers

Lightweight walkers are great for seniors who aren’t strong enough to use some of the more common types of walkers. Their frames are built from lightweight materials, such as aluminum instead of steel, saving several pounds of weight and making them considerably lighter than other more widely used models that weigh around 20lbs.

Most of the other types of walkers on this list can also be lightweight, including some of the rollators.

Read: Best Lightweight Walkers

(Video) [Top 7] Best Walkers for Seniors Reviews 2020

Front Wheel Walkers

Front-wheel walkers have the same basic design as standard walking frames, with the addition of wheels on the two front legs. This means you can gently push your walking aid along instead of having to lift it countless times even just to travel a pretty short distance, so they can be a strong contender if you have low endurance and weak arms.

However, because they have wheels, they can be more difficult to control than other types of walkers, especially if you apply too much load onto the front wheels when moving forward.

They are generally more expensive than standard walking frames but are still a chunk cheaper than most rollators. However, depending on your individual needs and preferences, you may find spending a bit more on a rollator to be a worthwhile investment.

Read: Front Wheel Walker Reviews

Heavy Duty Walkers

Heavy-duty walkers (also known as bariatric walkers) are specially designed and built to support heavier users. To achieve this end, they are made from more robust materials and are often larger than other types of walkers.

There isn’t a set weight over which you should only use heavy duty models, but as a general rule, if you weigh over 300lbs, you should consider using a heavy duty walker.

Read: Best Heavy Duty Walker Reviews

Side (Hemi) Walkers

8 Types Of Walkers For Seniors (2)

Side walkers (sometimes referred to as hemi walkers) are similar in their design to standard walking frames, particularly with regards to simplicity. The key difference between the two is side walkers only have a single handle for you to grip with one of your hands.

Hemi walkers offer more support and stability than a walking stick, as they have four legs to provide additional support and balance. Still, if you need a more significant amount of assistance with your mobility, then you should consider some of the other types of walkers on our list.

Read: Best Side and Hemi Walkers

(Video) The 5 Best Walkers for Seniors of 2021

Upright Walkers

8 Types Of Walkers For Seniors (3)

Upright walkers are wheeled walking aids that allow users to walk while maintaining a better posture safely.

Instead of gripping handles with your hands, you place your forearms on the elevated armrests, reducing the pressure exerted on many parts of the body, which seniors often experience pain in, such as their knees, back, hands, and wrists.

Read: Best Upright Walker Reviews

Four Wheel Rollators

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Four wheel rollators offer much better mobility than non-wheeled walkers – and as you don’t need to lift them every time you move a few inches forward, they are great for seniors or patients with very limited endurance and weak upper body strength.

Such rollators are equipped with brakes to slow you down and have a seat for you to take a rest in if needed. The wheels can be locked to prevent the rollator from rolling away when you come to a standstill, and only the front wheels do the steering on most models (just like in automobiles.)

Four wheel rollators can vary a great deal in price, depending on the materials they are built from and the features they have, which can include a cane holder, a basket, and a phone or bottle holder.

Read: Best 4 Wheel Rollator Reviews

Three Wheel Rollators

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Three wheel rollators offer many of the benefits of their four-wheeled sisters and typically provide even better mobility due to the wheel arrangement (one at the front, two at the back). However, they don’t have seats and are smaller, so they usually have fewer features.

Read: Best 3 Wheel Rollator Reviews

Top Picks

Below you can find some of our top picks. Save yourself hours of research and go straight to some of the best, most cost-effective models being sold by trusted sellers on Amazon today.

(Video) Types of walker for differently abled people

UPWalker Lite Original Upright Walker (Stand Up Rolling Mobility Walking Aid with Seat)


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UPWalker Original Upright Walker (Stand Up Rolling Mobility Walking Aid with Seat)


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ELENKER Upright Walker (Stand Up Folding Rollator)


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Drive Medical RTL10266-T Nitro Euro Style Walker Rollator

This adjustable four-wheel rollator can be conveniently folded and has large wheels for comfort and stability. It has several useful features that improve its functionality in addition to a comfy seat for you to rest in.


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Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker Rollator

This rollator is also from Drive Medical and is considerably cheaper than most other rival models. It has a padded seat, adjustable handles, and deluxe loop-lock brakes, plus a pouch to store small personal belongings in.


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Assembly My Walker By Myself?

Most of the walkers in our Top Picks section can easily be assembled, so you can save a chunk of change as you should have no trouble doing this by yourself and therefore won’t need to pay an assembly fee.

Furthermore, many of the models don’t require any tools as part of the assembly process.

Do I Need To Pay For Shipping?

This varies depending on the individual store you are buying from. Still, most sellers on Amazon offer free shipping, and many even offer next-day delivery if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, so you can begin using your walker asap.

How Can I Clean My Walker?

You can easily clean your walker or rollator with soap and water or wet wipes. The seat, handlebars, and frame are the areas that you should focus your cleaning efforts on.

Can I Pay in Installments?

Many Amazon sellers allow you to pay for large purchases bit by bit. For example, if you purchase a rollator for $179.99, you may be able to pay for it by setting up a monthly direct debit of about $30 for six months.

Should I Buy a Used Walker?

There are plenty of bargain, second-hand walkers and rollators on Amazon, which can be helpful if you are on a fixed or low budget. However, we recommend buying a new one, as second-hand walkers may have faulty components or may have already used up their warranties.

(Video) Top 5 Best Medical Folding Walkers for Seniors with Wheels

With many established Amazon sellers offering finance packages that allow you to pay in installments, everyone can afford a fantastic brand-new walker or rollator to give them their independence back!

FAQs

What type of walker is best for elderly? ›

The 5 Top-Rated Walkers for Seniors
Editor's PicksWalker
1. Best Overall Walker for SeniorsNOVA Vibe 6 Rollator Walker
2. Best Lightweight WalkerHugo Mobility Explore Side-Fold Rollator Walker
3. Best Narrow WalkerNOVA Traveler 3 Wheel Rollator Walker
4. Best Budget PickLumex Walkabout Lite Rollator
1 more row
Jan 5, 2022

How many types of walkers are there? ›

There are two main types of walkers: standard and two-wheel. Standard walkers are the most basic type of walker available. The user needs to pick up the walker to move.

Which walker is best for balance problems? ›

  • Top Choice. Balance Walkers. Medline 3-in-1 Stand Assist Walker, Silver. ...
  • Second Choice. Balance Walkers. Drive Medical 10200-1 Deluxe 2-Button Folding Walker, Silver. ...
  • Best Value. Balance Walkers. OasisSpace Heavy Duty Rollator Walker - Bariatric Rollator Walker with Large Seat for Seniors Support Up 450 lbs (Red)
Jul 12, 2021

Who should not use a rollator walker? ›

Walkers can also partially support your weight while you are walking or standing. If you have issues with balance, weakness while standing, or need a firm immobile support to help you walk, you should not use a rollator and you should use a walker instead.

What is the difference between a rollator and a walker? ›

What Is the Difference Between a Rolling Walker and a Rollator? Although many people confuse the two, traditional walkers and rollators are two different types of mobility aids. Traditional walkers typically have four legs and no wheels, while rollators have anywhere between two and four wheels.

Which is better walker with wheels or without? ›

Walkers without wheels offer the most support. If you have a walker without wheels, you must lift it to move forward. It will get caught on uneven surfaces such as thresholds or high pile carpet if not lifted. Walkers with front wheels are better equipped to accommodate uneven surfaces.

What are two disadvantages of using a walker? ›

The disadvantages of walker are: technical or practical aspects criticized by users, musculoskeletal disorders, delayed reaction time, fall risk and stigma.

What is the best walker after hip replacement? ›

Front-wheeled walkers are preferred for safety after hip replacement surgery. When walking with a walker, crutches or cane, DO NOT TURN BY PIVOTING ON YOUR OPERATED LEG.

Which type of walker is best? ›

TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE CORRECT WALKER

Recommend a two-wheeled (rolling) walker for patients who have an unstable gait but do not need to bear a substantial amount of weight on the walker. Recommend a four-wheeled (Rollator) walker for patients who need a walker only for balance but not for weight bearing.

Does Medicare pay for a walker? ›

Medicare generally covers walkers as part of “durable medical equipment.” To get full coverage, you may need a Medicare Supplement plan. A walker may be essential for you if you struggle to walk without support.

What type of walker is best after knee replacement? ›

You must use a front-wheel walker or crutches (assistive walking device) after your surgery.

Can you be non weight bearing with walker? ›

Using a Walker: Gait with Walker – Non Weight-Bearing - YouTube

Does using a walker make you weaker? ›

Women in their 70s and 80s have a higher risk of tripping when they use a walker, and this can cause a fracture, bruise or sprain. Also, more women than men use walkers, and they frequently are weaker and have less ability to bear weight than men.

When using a cane which leg goes first? ›

To go up one step or a curb:
  1. Step up with your stronger leg first.
  2. Place your weight on your stronger leg and bring your cane and weaker leg up to meet the stronger leg.
  3. Use the cane to help your balance.
May 3, 2021

Can you sit and roll on a rollator walker? ›

How to Use a Rolling Walker (Sizing, Training, and Use) - YouTube

Can someone push you in a rollator? ›

The rollator is a walking aid only and should not be used as a transportation device. All rollators are designed as a walking aid only, and using them for other non-approved purposes could pose a threat to the individual using them. All rollators are used to make walking safer and easier.

How Much Does Medicare pay for a rollator? ›

In most cases, Medicare will pay 80% of the rolling walker costs. Be sure to check your supplemental insurance policy for the details of your plan that will cover whatever Medicare does not –minimizing as much out of pocket expense as possible. Walkers covered by Medicare include regular walkers and the rollator type.

What is the best walker with a seat? ›

Best 4 Wheel Walkers With Seats
  • Best Overall. Medline Heavy-Duty Bariatric Mobility Rollator. Jump To Review. Check Price.
  • Best With A Basket. ProBasics Transport Rollator Walker. Jump To Review. Check Price.
  • Best Lightweight. Hugo Elite Rollator Walker. Jump To Review. Buy on Amazon.
Jul 17, 2022

How do you know when you need a rollator? ›

Let's look at some signs that you should consider using a walker.
  1. You Can't Rely on Your Legs to Stand. ...
  2. You Get Tired Easily. ...
  3. You Suffer from Poor Balance. ...
  4. You Want to Stay Independent. ...
  5. You've Fallen in the Past. ...
  6. You Avoid Chores and Other Activities. ...
  7. A Cane Doesn't Provide Enough Support. ...
  8. Where to Get a Walker.
Jul 5, 2019

Why would someone use a rollator? ›

Rollators enhance mobility and walking speed. Because they have four wheels, rollators require steering and easy hand brake operation, which may not make them the best option for all users. A rollator seat gives you a place to sit and rest on longer adventures.

What should I look for when buying a walker? ›

Here's what she says:
  • Adjustability. Look for adjustability in the height of the handles for appropriate fit and support. ...
  • Appropriate stability. “If you need a lot of support, a front-wheeled walker is needed,” Wilson says. ...
  • Weight rating. Most walkers are rated up to use for 300 pounds.
Apr 1, 2021

Why do people put tennis balls on walkers? ›

People put tennis balls on walkers to make them quieter, to protect floors, and to make it easier to push the walker along. There are tennis balls made specifically for walkers. You can cut a tennis ball for a walker using a serrated knife or by putting it in a vice and using a saw, but be careful!

How do you choose the right size walker? ›

Measure from the crease in your wrist to the floor. This length should be your handle height. If possible, choose a walker that adjusts at least one inch higher and lower than your actual measurement so you can adjust it as necessary.

Why walkers should not be used? ›

Baby walkers are considered unsafe because they move very quickly. Your baby is also taller when upright in a walker and can reach things they usually don't have access to. Potential dangers include: falling down steps or stairs.

Why are walkers not recommended? ›

Walkers — devices with wheeled frames and suspended seats that let babies move around using their feet — are indeed a safety hazard. Walkers are a leading cause of injuries in babies, so health and safety experts strongly discourage their use. While in walkers, babies can roll into hot stoves, heaters, and pools.

Can you climb stairs with a walker? ›

How to Use a Walker on Stairs - Ask Doctor Jo - YouTube

How long will I be on a walker after hip replacement? ›

In most cases, you will need to use a walker or crutches for two to four weeks after surgery. You may be advised to use a cane after you have stopped using crutches.

Why do I have to sleep with a pillow between my legs after hip replacement? ›

The best sleeping position for your hip is to lie on your back with a pillow between your legs. This will ensure you won't twist your body during sleep, which could put you at risk of your new hip popping out of its socket.

Can you walk too much after hip replacement? ›

Generally, I advise patients to walk only a few hundred yards a day total until they get to around six weeks. By that point, the implants are ingrown with bone, meaning that the bone is fused to the implant. Dislocations used to be a very big concern for hip replacements.

Is rollator safer than walker? ›

Because there are wheels on all of their legs, leaning heavily on a rollator can be a major safety hazard; the walker could roll out from underneath you as you lean on it, even if you're using the hand brakes. Instead, a rollator is intended to help you keep your balance without bearing any of your weight.

How often can you get a new walker with Medicare? ›

If your equipment is worn out, Medicare will only replace it if you have had the item in your possession for its whole lifetime. An item's lifetime depends on the type of equipment but, in the context of getting a replacement, it is never less than five years from the date that you began using the equipment.

How much does a walker cost? ›

The Usual Costs of Different Types of Walkers
Type of WalkerTypical Price-Range
Standard Walker$30.00-$100.00
2-Wheeled Walker$50.00-$250.00
3-Wheeled Rollator Walker$70.00-$500.00
4-Wheeled Rollator Walker$80.00-$600.00
1 more row
Feb 14, 2022

How do you fill a prescription for a walker? ›

refill your prescription online!
  1. Once you get to refillrx.com click “Begin Registration Process”
  2. Enter the Walker's Drug Store ZIP code (28277) and the last four digits of the Walker's Drug Store Phone Number (0027).
  3. Once you get to this next page, click on “Select Pharmacy”

Which is better walker with wheels or without? ›

Walkers without wheels offer the most support. If you have a walker without wheels, you must lift it to move forward. It will get caught on uneven surfaces such as thresholds or high pile carpet if not lifted. Walkers with front wheels are better equipped to accommodate uneven surfaces.

Are upright walkers better for seniors? ›

Clearly, the upright walker is a better choice for when you want stable and comfortable mobility. It increases the independence of seniors and patients with arthritis, neurologic, balance, rehab, cardiovascular, and pulmonary problems.

What is the best walker with a seat? ›

Best 4 Wheel Walkers With Seats
  • Best Overall. Medline Heavy-Duty Bariatric Mobility Rollator. Jump To Review. Check Price.
  • Best With A Basket. ProBasics Transport Rollator Walker. Jump To Review. Check Price.
  • Best Lightweight. Hugo Elite Rollator Walker. Jump To Review. Buy on Amazon.
Jul 17, 2022

Does Medicare cover the cost of a walker? ›

Medicare generally covers walkers as part of “durable medical equipment.” To get full coverage, you may need a Medicare Supplement plan. A walker may be essential for you if you struggle to walk without support.

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