The Best Walkers for Seniors: The Ultimate Buying Guide

Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Certified Assistive Technology Professional
Medical Equipment Guru
Mobility Specialist
Senior Advocate

senior woman leaning on her walker
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The loss of mobility is completely devastating to many seniors. They are a proud group and many don’t want to start depending on family members for their care. Dealing with a loss of mobility can be frustrating and even embarrassing (Source: Harvard).

Regardless of the reason though, it is important to discuss any decline in walking with your medical professionals. Sometimes medications and therapy can help the situation. Physical or occupational therapists can use exercises and stretches to improve a senior’s mobility.

But, if you find yourself with a prescription for a walker, here are some of my recommended rolling walkers and rollators to consider. These recommendations are based on my hands on experience and on the job knowledge .

Recommendations and Reviews: The Best Rolling Walkers for Seniors

Here are my recommended walkers for you to consider. Each of these I have had personal experience with and I can tell you the good and the bad. Although, to make this list they have to be a lot more good than bad!

Medical equipment should be discussed with or prescribed by a doctor, therapist, or other health professional. They know you and your medical history. I don’t. Always follow their advice. Nothing in this article should be construed as medical advice.

Comparison Chart: Walkers That I Recommend

Drive Medical Universal Folding Walker
Drive Medical Universal Folding Walker
$30.60
in stock
30 new from $30.60
4 used from $26.61
as of March 23, 2019 9:46 am
Amazon.com
Free shipping
Drive Medical Winnie Lite Three Wheel Rollator
Drive Medical Winnie Lite Three Wheel Rollator
$72.96
$72.99
in stock
32 new from $72.96
as of March 23, 2019 9:46 am
Amazon.com
Free shipping
Medline Freedom Folding Rollator Walker
Medline Freedom Folding Rollator Walker
$80.57
$98.88
in stock
5 new from $80.57
as of March 23, 2019 9:46 am
Amazon.com
Free shipping
Medline Bariatric Rollator (500 lbs Capacity)
Medline Bariatric Rollator (500 lbs Capacity)
$109.99
$120.59
in stock
5 new from $109.97
4 used from $82.08
as of March 23, 2019 9:46 am
Amazon.com
Free shipping

Best Standard Walker for Seniors

Drive Medical Universal Folding Walker

Drive Medical Universal Folding Walker

$30.60  in stock
30 new from $30.60
4 used from $ 26.61
Free shipping
See Deal
Amazon.com
as of March 23, 2019 9:46 am

Features

  • Side brace adjusts with height of walker to provide additional stability
  • Newly designed rear glide cap allows walker to glide easily and smoothly over most surfaces
  • Each side operates independently to allow easy movement through narrow spaces and greater stability
  • Sturdy 1" diameter aluminum construction ensures maximum strength while remaining lightweight
  • Handle Height: 28.5"-38.5"; Width Between Handgrips: 17"; Width Between Legs: 17"; Base Depth: 17.75"; Weight Capacity: 300 lbs

My Expert Review

I have said it in other posts but the Drive Medical Universal Walker is one of the best front wheel walkers for seniors. With 10″ of height adjustment, it fits the widest range of heights – short to tall. It is also narrow enough to fit through almost any doorway. Plus, it is easy to handle because it’s extremely lightweight and folds up very easily.

Why is this Drive medical model on of my top picks?

  • Extremely Narrow.This is the narrowest walker that I have been able to find. It is only 21.75″ wide with or without the wheels (because you can turn the wheels to the inside). This is good and bad. It will fit through those tight doorways but it may be too skinny for larger people. But the inside measurement is only 17″. I have more tips about walker widths in this article.
  • Easy Folding Mechanism. This is a two button folding walker which means you can fold each side in separately, one at a time. That folding style adds stability for transfers and helps it wiggle through small doorways.
  • Lots of Height Adjustment. The 10″ of adjustment means it will fit both shorter and taller seniors. The manufacturer says it will fit those users from 4’10” to 6’2″ tall. See more walkers for small adults by clicking here.)
  • Includes Wheels and Glide Caps. This rolling walker comes with 5″ front wheels and glide caps on the back. Glide tips are smooth discs mounted on the back legs. This makes it easily slide across the flooring surfaces of your home. Never lift a walker off the floor while using it.
  • Lightweight. Because this walker only weighs 7 lbs, it is easy to lift and load into a car. This makes it very portable.
  • Weight Capacity. Maximum weight is 300 lbs so it will work with the majority of people.

Best Rollator Walker for Seniors

Medline Freedom Folding Rollator Walker

Medline Freedom Folding Rollator Walker

$98.88
$80.57  in stock
5 new from $80.57
Free shipping
See Deal
Amazon.com
as of March 23, 2019 9:46 am

Features

  • Lightweight aluminum rollator frame supports up to 250 lb, weighs only 11 lbs, and features easy grip brakes for added safety plus 6-inch wheels/casters
  • Arms and seat are height adjustable to accommodate users 4'11" to 6'4"
  • Combination of padded seat and backrest for added comfort, along with the foldable, lightweight design for hassle-free, compact storage | Easy tool-free assembly
  • Convenient removable storage bag under seat with adjustable shoulder strap
  • Distance between handle: 17 inches | Seat height min./max.: 18 inches - 23 inches | Overall height min./max.: 29 inches - 36 inches

My Expert Review

Rollators are four wheeled rolling walkers with seats and hand brakes. Those seats give you a place to rest when you need it. They work very well outdoors because of their large wheels. Click here to learn more about rollators.

If you use a rollator, the Medline Freedom Rollator Walker has many senior-friendly features and is also nearly universal. Because of that, it’s another of my favorites!

If features lots of adjustment and comes with comfort features like a padded seat, backrest, and a storage pouch. Plus, you even get 3 color choices: black, burgundy, or blue.

Here is why I recommend it:

  • Adjustability. This rollator is highly adjustable by turning simple knobs with no need for tools.
    • Rollator Height.The handles are adjustable from a height of 29″ to 36″ tall. (Just a reminder: the hand grips should be the same level as the wrist when the user is standing upright but relaxed.) The manufacturer says it will fit seniors from 4’10” tall to 6’4″ tall.
    • Seat Height. The height of the seat is also adjustable from 18″ to 23″ off of the ground. So, your feet stay in contact with the ground while they are sitting on the padded seat. This improved the senior’s safety because they won’t have to have to hop down off the seat risking a fall.
  • Padded Seat and Backrest. The seating area has lots of padding for comfort. Not every rollator has these features. Under the seat is a solid fabric storage area for personal items.
  • Very Lightweight. Because of its lightweight aluminum construction, this rollator only weighs 11 lbs.  It is one of the lightest rollators on the market. This makes it easy to load and unload in a car trunk for most caregivers. It even folds flat!
  • Weight Capacity. Caution! It’s is a little lower than some others – only 250 lbs. If you need a higher capacity, take a look at the next rollator.

I also have more recommended rollators in my this article if you want to take a look at those.


Best Heavy Duty Bariatric Rollator Walker

Medline Bariatric Rollator (500 lbs Capacity)

Medline Bariatric Rollator (500 lbs Capacity)

$120.59
$109.99  in stock
5 new from $109.97
4 used from $ 82.08
Free shipping
See Deal
Amazon.com
as of March 23, 2019 9:46 am

Features

  • Strong, reinforced steel frame supports up to 500 lbs
  • Large 8 inch wheels with reinforced spokes for extra strength | Walker Height Range: 31.5"-37.5" | Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Dimensions larger than standard rollators, measuring 29" W x 44.5" H x 29" D (may not fit through all door frames)
  • Wide 17.5 inch x 14 inch padded seat with velcro pocket underneath | Width between handles: 23.5 inches
  • Handles adjust from 31.5"-37.5" allowing users a more customized fit. Measurements from floor to seat: 22" (not adjustable)

My Expert Review

This heavy duty rolling walker from Medline offers both a higher weight capacity and an extra wide padded seating area. It is a solid choice for larger people who need these features. Its steel construction makes it very durable.

Here are my favorite things about this one:

  • Extra Wide Seat. Many rollators, even some bariatric ones, don’t fit people with wider hips very well. This rollator has one of the widest seats of all the rollators I have researched.  The seating areas between the hand grips is 23-1/2″. This is good and bad though. The overall of this one is 29″ so it may not fit in some homes.
  • Supports More Weight. Because of its steel construction and reinforced cross brace, this rollator supports patients up to 500 lbs. But, because it is built so well it is heavier. The total weight of this one is 25 lbs.
  • Adjustable Height Handles. The handles adjust from 31-1/2″ to 37-1/2″ from the ground. This will fit most seniors except for the shorter ones under 5′ tall. The seat is 22″ off of the floor and is not adjustable.
  • Large Wheels. This rollator also has large and sturdy 8″ caster wheels. This larger size is better for going over uneven terrain than ones with smaller front wheels.

Need a heavier duty rollator? Click here to see some of my other recommended models.


Best Three Wheel Walker for Seniors

Drive Medical Winnie Lite Three Wheel Rollator

Drive Medical Winnie Lite Three Wheel Rollator

$72.99
$72.96  in stock
32 new from $72.96
Free shipping
See Deal
Amazon.com
as of March 23, 2019 9:46 am

Features

  • Special loop lock made of internal aluminum casting operates easily and ensures safety
  • 7.5" casters with soft-grip tires are ideal for indoor and outdoor use. Adjustable brakes
  • Handles easily adjust in height with self-threading knob. Easy, one-hand folding
  • Note-users must push the folding hinge until straight to secure the unit is in the proper position. If the rollator is not completely opened it could become unbalanced
  • Overall Dimensions: 22.75"(L) x 26"(W) x 32"(H); Handle Height: 32-38 inches; Weight Capacity: 300 lbs

My Expert Opinion

The Winnie 3 wheeled walker always makes my best walker lists. It is one of my favorite walkers overall and is one of the best three wheeled walkers too. I like the Winnie because it small and easy to use, lightweight and easy to lift, and it looks good too.

Not familiar with these triangle shaped walkers? This unique shape offers several advantages and a few disadvantages too. Read more about three wheel rollators by clicking here.

Here is what you should know about this model:

  • Good Looks! While this is my preference, I really like the unique and attractive tan and black finish of this rollator. The plaid fabric basket is a nice touch too. Maybe it’s odd to say this about a piece of medical equipment but I really like the looks and style of this one.
  • Height Adjustments. This rollator fits most users because the handles adjust from 31″ to 38″ high. This range should easily fit seniors between 4’10” and 6’2″ tall.
  • Lightweight. This rollator is extremely easy to fold and weighs only 11 lbs. Loading it shouldn’t be a problem for most seniors or their caregivers.
  • Weight Capacity. Comes in at 300 lbs so this 3-wheel rollator will also support most seniors.

How to Choose the Best Walker for Your Needs

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Think about where the walker will be used: inside the home only or will the senior be getting out and about too?

Now that you have seen some of my recommendations, let’s talk about features, options and how to shop for a walker.

How Long Do You Need a Walker?

Sometimes, the need for a walker is temporary like after a total hip surgery. The walker is only needed while healing from surgery or a leg injury. Standard front wheeled walkers are best for a temporary need because they are inexpensive and readily available at DME stores, pharmacies, and even online.

But, often a more permanent decline in mobility happens. If this is the case, the standard front wheel walkers or rollator walkers are the best choice. Rollator walkers are a little more expensive but they offer additional safety and comfort features like the seat and hand brakes. Learn more about them in my rollator guide.

How Much Space Do You Have?

Walkers do take up some room in the home and it is important that they are able to move from room to room throughout the home. Measure your doorways of the home and compare it to the overall width of the walker you are considering. Obviously, the walker you choose should be narrower than the doorway.

Here is a walker hack! There is a trick for using standard front-wheeled walkers in tight spaces. You can reverse the wheels so that they are on the inside of the frame instead of the outside. This will make the overall width of the walker narrower.

For homes with tight spaces or narrow doorways, front wheeled walkers or three-wheel rollators are generally best. Several four wheeled rollators come in more narrow widths and smaller sizes too. I have a guide to small walkers for narrow spaces that you can read by clicking here if you are concerned about the width of the walker.

Where Will You Use the Walker?

Are you planning to use the walker only inside or outside too? Will you use it on uneven terrain like a yard or will it stay on smooth, paved surfaces? These are important questions to ask because the different types of walkers perform differently on different surfaces.

Outdoor user? The best walker for seniors who will be using their walker on varying terrain is a four-wheeled rollator. This style of walker typically has larger wheels which would work better in yards or uneven surfaces. These bigger wheels will roll smoother and easier in these areas.

Indoor user? On the other hand, standard front wheel walkers are fine for indoor use. The wheels on front-wheeled walkers are smaller and are better on flat, even surfaces. The exception being homes with deep, plush carpets. This style of carpet requires a larger wheel too.

Will You Need Rest Breaks?

If you tire easily or lose balance, you might need frequent rest breaks to regain your breath or energy. Rollators are extremely helpful because they have seats built onto them.

How Big or Small is the User?

nurse helping elder person to walk with walker

Most standard walkers will fit the majority of seniors. People who are extremely tall or very short will struggle to use a regularly sized walker. Also, all walkers have weight limits. Larger people should make sure the walker will support their weight.

It is important that a walker fits the person who is using it. The hand grips of a properly sized walker are even with the user’s wrists. The position is the best because it reduces strain on the shoulders, wrist, and back while the senior is using the walker.

Fortunately, most walkers are adjustable in height using simple push pin adjustments. . For rollators, the handles are height adjustable to fit the user. Walkers designed for tall people offer more adjustments on the higher end. Shorter walkers are available for shorter people too.

For seniors who are over 250 lbs, carefully check the top weight that the model will support when shopping. Several models of walker top out at 250 lbs although many go to 300 lbs.

Bariatric walkers are walkers for seniors who weight over 300 lbs or more. For very large people, there are also walkers that support 600 lbs and even 750 lbs.



Summary and Final Recommendations

Like any purchase, it is always good to know what your options are. Know the difference between four wheel walkers with seats, three wheeled rollators, and front wheel walkers.

While it is also a good idea to understand the features that are available, it is more important to understand how an elderly person will use them and benefit from them.

That’s why I have created this guide to the best walkers for seniors – I wanted to give you the expert opinions and tools you need to make your own decisions. Don’t forget to discuss your choice with your doctor or therapist. I hope this information was helpful.

Do you have experience shopping for a walker that you would like to share? What do you think the best walker for seniors is? Please share your opinions in the comments below. And, if this guide was at all helpful, please share it on your favorite social media.

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