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The Best Rollator Walkers of 2017: Get Your Mobility Back!

best rollator walkers being used by elderly woman

Nothing can be more devastating to an elderly person than losing their mobility. The inability to move about the house and do what they are used to doing often leads to feelings of hopelessness. Most seniors don't want to have to rely on loved ones. They want to remain independent and do it themselves. So, what are the options for regaining mobility in the home? One possibility is a rollator walker. But, there are so many to choose from. Where do you start? Here is your guide to the best rollator walkers for 2017.

Comparison Chart: The 4 Best Rollator Walkers

Photo
Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker Rollator with Fold Up Removable Back Support
Medline Freedom Lightweight Folding Aluminum Rollator Walker with 6" Wheels, Adjustable Arms and...
Medline Heavy Duty Bariatric Rollator Walker with 8" Wheels, 500 lb. Capacity
Drive Medical Duet Dual Function Transport Wheelchair Walker Rollator, Blue
Product
Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker Rollator with Fold Up Removable Back Support
Medline Freedom Lightweight Folding Aluminum Rollator Walker with 6" Wheels, Adjustable Arms and...
Medline Heavy Duty Bariatric Rollator Walker with 8" Wheels, 500 lb. Capacity
Drive Medical Duet Dual Function Transport Wheelchair Walker Rollator, Blue
Weight Capacity
300 lb
250 lb
500 lb
300 lb
Product Weight
20 lb
11 lb
25 lb
20 lb
Width
23-1/2"
24"
29"
25-1/2"
Length
25-1/2"
26"
29"
26"
Handle Height
31"-37"
29"-36"
31-1/2"-37-1/2"
31-1/2"-37"
Seat Height
21"
18"-23"
22"
21"
Width Between Handles
17"
17"
23-1/2"
17"
Photo
Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker Rollator with Fold Up Removable Back Support
Product
Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker Rollator with Fold Up Removable Back Support
Weight Capacity
300 lb
Product Weight
20 lb
Width
23-1/2"
Length
25-1/2"
Handle Height
31"-37"
Seat Height
21"
Width Between Handles
17"
Photo
Medline Freedom Lightweight Folding Aluminum Rollator Walker with 6" Wheels, Adjustable Arms and...
Product
Medline Freedom Lightweight Folding Aluminum Rollator Walker with 6" Wheels, Adjustable Arms and...
Weight Capacity
250 lb
Product Weight
11 lb
Width
24"
Length
26"
Handle Height
29"-36"
Seat Height
18"-23"
Width Between Handles
17"
Photo
Medline Heavy Duty Bariatric Rollator Walker with 8" Wheels, 500 lb. Capacity
Product
Medline Heavy Duty Bariatric Rollator Walker with 8" Wheels, 500 lb. Capacity
Weight Capacity
500 lb
Product Weight
25 lb
Width
29"
Length
29"
Handle Height
31-1/2"-37-1/2"
Seat Height
22"
Width Between Handles
23-1/2"
Photo
Drive Medical Duet Dual Function Transport Wheelchair Walker Rollator, Blue
Product
Drive Medical Duet Dual Function Transport Wheelchair Walker Rollator, Blue
Weight Capacity
300 lb
Product Weight
20 lb
Width
25-1/2"
Length
26"
Handle Height
31-1/2"-37"
Seat Height
21"
Width Between Handles
17"

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 20:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is a Rollator Walker

elderly lady walking with a rollator walker

CC BY-NC 2.0 mevrouw van de giro by Bas Bogers t flickr

I am sure that you are aware what a walker is. Maybe you have even seen a walker that rolls on wheels. The rollator walker is very similar except that it also has a seat that is attached. That is a crucial difference. There are also other differences too that make rollators unique.

A Rolling Walker with a Seat!

The seat is a very important distinction between a regular rolling walker and a rollator. Having the option to safely sit whenever needed can save a senior from falling and make them generally more safe. The seat rests between the handle bars and is usually padded. It also lifts up for storage with a little basket or pouch underneath.

Rollators Have a Back Support​

For safety and support, rollators have a basic back support. That way, when the elderly person sits on the seat they have a place to rest their back. It is also a safety measure to keep them from falling off of the back.​

​Rollators Have Handle Bars

Standard walkers are used by holding onto the walker itself. Rollators, however, have extending handle bars with rubber grips. These handle bars are adjustable to match the height of the person using it. The handles also reach out towards the back of the rollator for more balanced walking.

Rollators Have Hand Brakes

Rollators have hand brakes that are somewhat like those on a bicycle. The brakes work by a gentle squeeze and keep the rollator from rolling away.​ The brakes also lock by pushing them down until they click. This locked position is necessary when the user is using the rollator walker seat. This keeps the rollator from moving while they are sitting down on the seat or standing back up. If it moves during these times, a fall is likely to happen.

Rollators Have Storage Areas

As mentioned above, rollators usually have baskets for storage underneath the seat. Extra baskets are can also be located on the front. The baskets can be wire mesh, plastic, or of heavy duty fabrics like nylon. The fabric baskets are usually the best because small items will not fall through like a wire mesh basket.​

Who Should Use a Rollator?

Always discuss using a rollator walker with your health care professional or therapist.

As a general rule, rollators are recommended for people who:

  • are able to bear weight on both legs
  • unable to use a walking cane safely
  • need a little help with balance
  • tire easily requiring frequent rest breaks

Rollators are NOT recommended if:

  • the user cannot bear weight on both legs
  • the user cannot sit or stand by themselves

​How to Assemble and Safely Use a Rollator Walker

Assembling and setting up the rollator properly is very important. Here is a quick video from a home medical company that walks you through the process.

Here are some of the key points made in this video:

  1. ​Set the height of the rollator arms so that the arm has a slight bend. Arms should not be straight
  2. Make sure to snap the backrest in place.
  3. Always make sure the cross brace underneath is locked to keep rollator from folding up.
  4. Know how to lock the brakes.
  5. Learn how to safely get up and down from the rollator seat.

If you have decided a rollator walker is appropriate, read on to choose the best rollator walker for you or your loved one.

So, What are the Best Rollator Walkers?

There are literally more than 100 rollators on the market, so I have narrowed these down to my 4 favorites. For the more image conscious user, I have also chosen 3 more stylish rollator options.

Best Budget Rollator

Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker Rollator

Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker Rollator with Fold Up Removable Back Support

The Drive Medical Four Wheel Rollator Walker is a good choice for an elderly person who wants a basic rollator that is going to do its job well. This rollator is built from sturdy steel construction, has a padded seat with basket for personal items, and a padded backrest that folds up so that it takes up less space when folded.  The entire rollator folds up making it easy to transport even in smaller vehicles. There really is nothing bad to say about it.

Important features:

  • ​Steel frame construction
  • Padded backrest that folds up and down
  • 7-1/2" casters
  • Weighs 20 lb
  • 2 color choices: blue or red
  • Handle height: 31-37"
  • Seat dimensions: 8.5"(D) x 15"(W) x 21"(H)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 20:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My Overall Rating:


Best Lightweight Rollator Walker

Medline Freedom Lightweight Folding Aluminum Rollator Walker

Medline Freedom Lightweight Folding Aluminum Rollator Walker with 6' Wheels, Adjustable Arms and...

The Medline Freedom Lightweight Rollator Walker is one of the lightest rollators on the market and one of my favorites overall. Because is weighs only 11 lbs it is easy for caregivers to fold and load into a car. Also, it has a ton of adjustment options. The seat can be adjusted from 18" to 23" off of the ground to accommodate a wide range of leg lengths. Overall height is adjustable from 29" to 36". Because of all these adjustment options, this rollator is designed to be used with people from 4'10" tall to 6'4" tall. It also has a pretty typical padded seat and backrest with a storage pouch under the seat. 

Important features:

  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Padded backrest that folds up and down
  • Seat height is adjustable from 18" to 23:
  • Weighs only 11 lbs
  • 3 color choices: black, burgandy, or blue
  • Accommodates users from 4'10" to 6'4"
  • Seat width: 17"
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 04:33 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My Overall Rating:

Best Extra Wide Rollator Walker

Medline Heavy Duty Bariatric Rollator Walker

Medline Heavy Duty Bariatric Rollator Walker with 8' Wheels, 500 lb. Capacity

This rollator walker from Medline is my favorite for larger people who need not only a higher weight capacity but also a wider seating area. Many rollators, even some bariatric ones, don't fit people with wider hips very well. This rollator has one of the widest seating areas between the handles (23-1/2") plus the additional weight capacity. The trade off for this extra width though is that the whole rollator is also wider. Assembled, the width of this one is 29" overall. Make sure all dooways that the rollator must go through in the home are wide enough.

Important features:

  • Durable steel construction
  • Fits larger people with 23-1/2" between the handles
  • Large, sturdy 8" wheels 
  • Handles adjust from 31-1/2"-37-1/2" off of the floor.
  • Seat height is 22" from floor
  • Weighs 25 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 19:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My Overall Rating:

If you need a higher weight capacity, check out the Nova Mighty Mack Rollator  at Amazon which has a 600 lb weight limit.


Most Helpful Rollator Walker

Duet Dual Function Transport Wheelchair Walker Rollator

Drive Medical Duet Dual Function Transport Wheelchair Walker Rollator, Blue

The Drive Duet easily transforms from a rollator to a transport wheelchair and back again. It is a great choice for users who may need a little help every now and than or who needs to be pushed for long distances. Just flip up the armrests, flip down the footrests and the user may be pushed safely and securely like a transport wheelchair. These steps are easily reversed to convert it back again.

Here is a great video explaining the benefits and how to convert it

Important features:

  • Combines features of a rollator with a transport chair
  • Flip up armrests and flip down footrests for wheelchair mode
  • Back has 2 positions for rider comfort
  • Handles adjust from 31-1/2"-37" off of the floor
  • Weighs 20 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 20:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My Overall Rating:


Stylish Rollators with a Little More Flair

elderly lady with a stylish rolling waller

CC BY-NC 2.0 Verrek ,hij is al binnen by Roel Wijnants at flickr

Like it or not, rollators are considered medical equipment first. Many models are nothing more than bent metal bars with a couple wheels and a padded seat. These more basic rollators may be all you have to choose from - especially if you are using insurance benefits to pay for one.

But, if you are paying for a walker out of your own pocket, why not look at some of the more stylish options. You know, ones with a little more flair to them. These stylish rollators are becoming popular especially among the younger users. Yes, these do cost a little bit more. But if you are going to have to have a rollator with you all the time, you shouldn't be embarrassed by it....right?

A Few More Stylish Rollators To Consider

Drive Medical Arc Lite Rollator Walker

This rollator was inspired by Roman arch design to make it more stylish and also lightweight because it uses less aluminum. It only weighs 15 lbs!

The Drive Arc folds up horizontally also for easy transport and storage. The seat splits and the basket collapses so that they can be folded up without having to take them off first.

The seat itself is 18" wide by 10-1/2" deep which is pretty generous for most rollators and is 21" off of the ground.

Other Key Info:

  • Overall Dimensions: 26"(L) x 22-1/2"(W)
  • Handle Height: 30" to 33-1/2"
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Drive Medical Arc Lite Rollator Walker, Red
  • Innovative "roman arch" frame design is lightweight while providing excellent support, stability and...
  • Center-folding cushioned seat is durable and waterproof; durable, solid grip 8 inch featherweight...
  • X style folding mechanism for compact storage and transport; low maintenance brake cables
  • Collapsible basket allows walker to be folded with the basket in place; height-adjustable,...
  • Handle height: 30 inch-33.5 inch; product l x w: 26 inch x 22.5 inch; product weight capacity: 300...

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 19:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Black Rollator Walker

Euro styled rollators are known for sleek curves, minimal framing, and low profile tires. Most also have fabric seats and back supports.

​Drive Medical added some great features to this design style. First, all of the cables for the brakes are hidden within the frame. So, they won't get tangled or caught on other items while the rollator is being used.

Another great feature is that this rollator folds with one hand. See that handle on the seat. Pull up on that and the whole rollator fold up horizontally. Like a wheelchair.​

Other Key Info to Know:​

  • Overall Dimensions: 27-3/4"(L) x 23"(W) x 33-1/2"(H)
  • Seat Dimensions: 10"(D) x 18"(W) x 20-1/2"(H)
  • Handle Height: 33.-1/2" to 38 1/4"
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Black Rollator Walker, Black
  • Easily collapse rollator to ultra-compact size with one hand by pulling seat grip up and bringing...
  • Sophisticated design features lightweight aluminum frame with built-in brake cable for extra safety...
  • A comfortable nylon seat and handle height adjustability provide universal relief that feels...
  • Features large front wheels crafted to increase turning radius and a sleek removable zippered...
  • Overall Dimensions: 27.75"(L) x 23"(W) x 33.5"(H); Seat Dimensions: 10"(D) x 18"(W) x 20.5"(H);...

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 20:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Drive Medical Nitro Deluxe Euro Style Rollator Walker

This model from Drive takes the Nitro model above and builds upon it. One improvement is the addition of 2 new colors: champagne and pale blue.

Another feature improvement is the padded seat. The seat still splits to allow the rollator to fold up but it also has a built in cup holder. A deluxe, removable zipper bag is also mounts to the front and folds up with the rollator.

To get a more custom fit, this rollator has a tool-free back height adjustment. That way the back can be moved up or down to improve support and safety of the user.

Other Key Info to Know:

  • Weighs 28-1/2 lb
  • Overall Dimensions: 28"(L) x 24"(W) x 33-1/2"(H)
  • Seat Dimensions: 10-3/4"(D) x 18"(W) x 20"(H)
  • Handle Height: 33.-1/2" to 38 1/2"
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Drive Medical Nitro DLX Euro Style Walker Rollator, Champagne
  • Back support height easily adjusts with tool-free thumb screw.
  • Caster fork design enhances turning radius
  • Attractive, euro-style design; 10 inch front casters allow excellent steering and rolling...

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 19:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Summary and Conclusions

Rollators are a real improvement on standard walkers by adding a seat. The seat provides a nice place to rest as a senior tires. This also improves their safety and reduces the chance of a fall.

Many rollators share similar features​: they fold, have handles with brakes, larger wheels, and the seat discussed above. But, the best rollator walkers for seniors also are lightweight, easy to use, and make a elderly person's life better.

My personal favorite is the Medline Freedom Rollator. It has all of the basic features plus it is very lightweight - only 11 lbs. It is also narrow enough to fit in most doorways and homes. But, because it is so adjustable, it fits both short and taller peopler. It even folds up to a nice, small easy to carry package.​

Do you have any rollator experience you would like to share with my readers? Have I left a rollator off the list that you like and would recommend? Just leave a comment below!

About the Author Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.

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