grandmother and grandaughter walking in park with a 4 wheel walker with seat

If you have trouble moving around because of illness or weakness due to age, there are a number of walking aids that can help. The 4 wheel walker with seat, also commonly called a rollator, is one of the more popular mobility aids. They are a good compromise for people who don’t need a full walker but feel more stable with some support when walking. If you’re thinking about getting a 4 wheeled walker rollator for yourself, or for a loved one, there are a number of things you should consider. Read this complete guide to this piece of equipment before you make your purchase.

In a hurry? Click here to jump to my recommended rollators or keep on reading to learn more about rollators and how to buy one.

What is a Rollator?

A rollator is a more common name for a four wheel walker with seat. They are usually fairly small with handles that reach up to about waist height. Between these handles is a square padded seat that often covers a basket. The frame of the walker is strong enough that you can sit on it, or carry groceries in the basket. From the four corners of the seat, the legs of the walker extend down and end in wheels. This wide base makes it a very stable support if you just need a little help with your mobility. And with the brakes on, the seat can give you a comfortable place to rest when you need it too!

Who Should Use a Rollator?

Always discuss using a rollator walker with your healthcare 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 Use a Rollator

A rollator is for both short and long distance. It provides stable support and even a place to rest if you get tired. Here is how to safely use a rollator:

  • Make sure the walker is in front of you and close to your body.
  • Make sure the brakes are off.
  • Hold on to both handles and wheel the walker in front of you as you move.
  • When turning, don’t try to force the walker into a tight turn, instead go wider, this will stop it overbalancing.
  • Keep the walker within reach when you sit down or do other tasks.

This walker is not much help when you’re standing up or sitting down. It’s a light piece of equipment, so you can’t use it to pull yourself up from a chair. To sit down, back up until your legs hit the chair and put the brakes on the walker. Rest your hands on the arms of the chair as a guide and sit down. To stand up again, make sure the brakes are on, lean forward, and use the chair arms to boost yourself up. Do not push or pull on the rollator to get up or down.

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.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Four Wheeled Walkers

Four wheel walkers offer many advantages if you need a little extra support. Some of their most important advantages are here:

  • Because they have four wheels, they offer stable support while moving around.
  • They have a seat that will take your weight when you get tired.
  • The arms can usually be adjusted to various heights.
  • The handles are ergonomically designed to be comfortable to hold.
  • Most models fold up and can be put in the car.

Despite all these advantages, there are also a number of problems you may experience with these walkers. These should be taken into consideration before buying. The most important disadvantages are:

  • You may get a sore back from leaning forward to hold the walker.
  • The brakes can be damaged, which may make the walker unsafe to sit on.
  • Because the walker is light, if you sit down hard it may shoot away from under you.
  • These walkers can be bulky indoors if you have a small home or a lot of furniture.

Buying Guide: What to Look for when Buying a Rollator

woman sitting on a bench with her rollator walker

There are a number of things you should consider before buying a walker.

Padded 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 safer. It’s like having a built-in rest stop. The seat rests between the handlebars and is usually padded although some models have molded plastic seats. I recommend rollators with padded seats for obvious reasons! Usually, the seat lifts up with a little storage area under it.

Storage Areas

As mentioned above, rollators usually have baskets for storage underneath the seat. Some models also have extra baskets on the front. These baskets are made of wire mesh, plastic, or even heavy-duty fabrics like nylon. I like rollators with fabric storage baskets best because small items will not fall through like a wire mesh basket.

Having a place to store items like purses, bags, and personal items is convenient but also helps with safety while using the rollator. That way, you won’t have to balance a purse on your shoulder or other items while using the rollator.

Hand Brakes

Rollators have hand brakes that are somewhat like those on a bicycle. The brakes work with 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 could easily happen.

Look for brakes that are easy to operate. The tension on the brakes can usually be adjusted with basic tools too.

Back Supports

For safety and support, rollators have a bar on the front that doubles as a 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.

The back support also helps stabilize the rollator. Often, accessories like extra baskets are also mounted to the backrests. The best rollators have padded back supports and are the most comfortable.

Adjustable Handle Bars

woman walking with a rollator

Standard walkers are used by holding onto the walker itself. Rollators, however, have extendable harms with handles and rubber grips. These handlebars are adjustable by knob or push button to match the height of the person using it. The handles also reach out towards the back of the rollator for more balanced walking.

It is very important that the arms are adjusted to the proper height for the user. When they are set correctly, the handles will be about the same height as the wrists of the user. If they are too low, the user has to bend over too far. if they are too tall, the rollator won’t give the senior the proper amount of support while walking.

Easy to Fold

The best rollator is one that is lightweight and easy to fold. This is important because rollators are usually loaded into the trunk of a car or even the back seat. Often the person that is lifting them is the spouse or caretaker of the user. This makes it easy on them especially if they have health problems of their own.

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 favorites. Want something more stylish or, dare I say, cooler?  Check out these more stylish rollator options.

Comparison Chart: The 4 Best Rollator Walkers

Best Rollator Overall
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...
Lumex RJ4301R Walkabout Lite Junior Rollator, Burgundy
Medline Heavy Duty Bariatric Rollator Walker with 8" Wheels, 500 lb. Capacity
Drive Medical Duet Dual Function Transport Wheelchair Walker Rollator, Blue
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...
Lumex RJ4301R Walkabout Lite Junior Rollator, Burgundy
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
300 lbs
500 lb
300 lb
Product Weight
20 lb
11 lb
11.5 lbs
25 lb
20 lb
Width
23-1/2"
24"
20"
29"
25-1/2"
Length
25-1/2"
26"
24"
29"
26"
Handle Height
31" to 37"
29" to 36"
27.5" to 32"
31-1/2" to 37-1/2"
31-1/2" to 37"
Seat Height
21"
18" to 23"
18.5"
22"
21"
Width Between Handles
17"
17"
12"
23-1/2"
17"
Best Rollator Overall
Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker Rollator with Fold Up Removable Back Support
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" to 37"
Seat Height
21"
Width Between Handles
17"
Medline Freedom Lightweight Folding Aluminum Rollator Walker with 6" Wheels, Adjustable Arms and...
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" to 36"
Seat Height
18" to 23"
Width Between Handles
17"
Lumex RJ4301R Walkabout Lite Junior Rollator, Burgundy
Lumex RJ4301R Walkabout Lite Junior Rollator, Burgundy
Weight Capacity
300 lbs
Product Weight
11.5 lbs
Width
20"
Length
24"
Handle Height
27.5" to 32"
Seat Height
18.5"
Width Between Handles
12"
Medline Heavy Duty Bariatric Rollator Walker with 8" Wheels, 500 lb. Capacity
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" to 37-1/2"
Seat Height
22"
Width Between Handles
23-1/2"
Drive Medical Duet Dual Function Transport Wheelchair Walker Rollator, Blue
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" to 37"
Seat Height
21"
Width Between Handles
17"

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 16:14 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


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

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 16:14 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


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 it 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

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 16:14 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Best Narrow Rollator Walker for Small Doorways and Homes – Lumex Walkabout Lite Junior Rollator

Lumex RJ4301R Walkabout Lite Junior Rollator, Burgundy

This recommendation came out of a question from a reader on this post who was looking for a narrow rollator she could use in her small house (Thanks Jan!) You see, her bathroom door is only 22″ wide. Most rollators will not fit through doors this small. But I found one that will.
This rollator by Lumex is only 20″ in total width at it’s widest part (the wheels). This means it will fit about anywhere. It is also very lightweight only weighing 11.5 lbs. It folds and has storage under the seat like many of the other rollators I’ve discussed.

One caution with this one though. Because it is so narrow, it will not fit most people. Sure, it does have a 300 lb weight capacity but it is only 12″ wide between the hand grips. So, people who are wider than that at the hips won’t be able to fit between them. This could mean no sitting down and an unsafe walking posture.

Important features:

  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Padded tubular backrest
  • Weighs only 11 lbs
  • Only comes in burgundy
  • Accommodates users from 4’10” to 5’4″
  • Seat width: 12″
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 09:55 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


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 doorways 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

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 16:14 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


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 then 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

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 16:14 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Stylish Rollators with a Little More Flair

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?

Drive Medical Arc Lite Rollator Walker

Drive Medical Arc Lite Rollator Walker, Red

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

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 16:14 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Black Rollator Walker

Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Black Rollator Walker, Black

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.

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

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

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 16:14 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Drive Medical Nitro Deluxe Euro Style Rollator Walker

Drive Medical Nitro DLX Euro Style Walker Rollator, Champagne

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 mounted 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

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 16:14 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


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 an 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 people. 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!