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Rollator or Walker: Similar but Different

Rollator or Walker: Similar but Different
Kevin Cleary

Advanced age, ailments, injuries, and accidents may significantly affect mobility and agility. Loss of movement can make day-to-day life activities difficult. For people with hampered mobility, there are plenty of mobility aids such as rollators, walkers, crutches, and wheelchairs available on the market. 

Rollators and walkers are both popular and effective mobility aids. These aids help people with impaired dexterity and limited mobility regain independence and movement. 

Many believe walkers and rollators are similar and often substitutable, but they are not. 

What is an adult walker?  

A standard walker is a lightweight device for patients with enough arm strength to pick it up and move forward.  

Why choose a walker for seniors? 

  • Makes you independent 
  • Enhances your walking ability 
  • Makes longer walks viable 
  • Helps you rest when needed 

What is a rollator? 

A rollator has four wheels and brakes, eliminating the need to lift it to move forward. Rollators are easy to maneuver, thanks to swivel wheels. However, they are large and may not fit small apartments or narrow hallways. 

Why choose a Rolling Walker? 

  • Fatigue reduction 
  • Fall prevention 
  • Balance problem reduction 
  • Weak muscle and joint support 

Walker vs. Rollator: What is the difference? 

At first glance, a rollator looks like a walker and vice versa, so why two names? By standard definitions, a walker has four legs that contact the floor and needs lifting to advance during walking. It is used for partial weight-bearing, and the user must be able to lift the walker to move it. Where people might get confused is when they see a rollator, and they think it's just a walker with wheels. A rollator may have four legs with wheels (some pivot) and a brake and does not require the user to lift it to advance it while striding. It is beneficial for those that do not have the strength to lift a walker repeatedly to walk. 

1. Structure 

A rollator is also known as a "rolling walker" or a "walker with wheels and seat." The walker comes with a metal frame, handles, and legs that need to be lifted for forward movement, while a rollator is equipped with wheels and a seat and only requires the user to push it. 

2. Purpose 

A walker is best for a slower pace. It is generally the right choice in cases where a person has recently undergone a hip replacement or surgery resulting in limb weakness but is not bedridden. Experts concur that someone with difficulty walking from the bedroom to the bathroom should not use a rollator. For them, walkers might be the best option for extra support. Unlike mobility walkers, a rollator helps conserve energy since it does not need lifting to move forward. Walkers with seats and wheels facilitate faster speed and aid in redeveloping a normal gait. 

3. Stability 

People should use a walker if they need stable support when moving around. A walker provides better stability for people with balance concerns. Because of their wheels and manoeuvrability, rolling walkers are an excellent option for people with ample balancing powers who need to sit down regularly or need space to carry their necessities. Rollators are beneficial for those with weaker arms and grip strength. 

Considerations in finding the best rollator or walker 

  • Upper Body Strength - Some mobility support aids may require constant lifting for regular use. It is essential to consider the arm strength of the person using it. 
  • Balance Issues - Rollators and some walkers have wheels that may be difficult to handle if the user has stability or balancing limitations. 
  • Portability - People who love traveling or are mostly active should consider a mobility device that is compact, foldable, and easy to carry and store. 
  • Body Weight and Height - The body weight and height of the user play a pivotal role in buying a rollator walker. One must look for mobility equipment that weighs less and is compatible with the user's body type. 

Best Adult Rollators 

1. Drive Nitro Euro-Style Aluminum Four Wheel Rollator - Travel with Ease! 

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Drive nitro rollator is comfortable and convenient for the individual with limited mobility and a great choice for people who want a four-wheeler rollator that operates virtually anywhere. This durable and FSA-approved drive rollator walker has lightweight aluminum frame and features large front casters that make it very mobile and easy to use. Its front wheels allow the rollator for indoor or outdoor use. It comes with ergonomic handles and a height-adjustable removable back for customization options. In addition, it offers a foldable frame that makes the rollator easy to transport. 

Drive Nitro Euro-Style Aluminum Four Wheel Rollator



2. Medline Bariatric Extra Wide Rollator - Mobility for Bariatric Patients. 

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Medline bariatric rollator features a padded seat, curved backrest, and loop brakes for easy stopping. The Extra Wide Bariatric Rollator is simple to use and fold. Reinforced forks support a higher weight capacity, and lightweight aluminum allows easy transport. This Medline rollator with seat is perfect for 4'10" to 6'2" tall people. 

Medline Bariatric Extra Wide Rollator



Best Walkers for Seniors 

1. ProBasics Economy Two-Button Steel Walker - The Safer, The Better! 

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

ProBasics Economy Two-Button Folding Steel Walker is made of high-quality steel and has a limited lifetime warranty. Ample height adjustment options and a two-button folding mechanism make it simple to use and adaptable to even the most demanding patient requirements. Allows for patient weights of up to 350 pounds. The 1-inch steel frame construction provides superior strength. Simple push-button folding mechanism with an audible click when locked.  Each side operates independently for easy movement through tight spaces and greater stability while standing 

ProBasics Economy Two-Button Steel Walker



2. Medline Bariatric Folding Walker - Stride in Full Swing! 

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Medline Bariatric Folding Walker features an aluminum frame with cross and dual side braces for durability. The front cross braces near the top of the walker offer full stride, and each side operates independently. In addition, it has a push-button mechanism that the fingers, palm, or side may efficiently operate. 

Medline Bariatric Folding Walker



Where to buy rollators and walkers online? 

HPFY is your mobility support store offering exclusive products to increase mobility and safety. We make finding the products that best suit your needs and lifestyle at the very best prices simple. Your best quality of life is our top priority! 

Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.

HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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