If you struggle to walk unaided and you find that a walking stick does not provide you with enough support, you may want to consider using a rollator.
A rollator provides additional support and stability and reduces the strain on your legs. It can also help to promote your independence inside and outside of the home. It allows you to remain mobile and walk further and helps to you keep safe when you’re on your feet.
Choosing the right rollator can often be a time-consuming process due to the sheer number of models on the market. What’s the best rollator to buy? Well, this really depends on your personal needs. In this guide, I’m going to take you through the different types of rollators available and the important factors that you need to consider when deciding what the right one is for your specific needs. The guide will also take a look at some of the best rollators currently on the market so you can pick the perfect one to remain active.
* Best Indoor Rollator: Drive Medical 3 Wheel Rollator
* Best Outdoor Rollator: Drive Medical RTL10266-T Nitro Euro Style Walker Rollator
Top 5 Rollators Comparison Chart
Here’s a handy reference list of our reviewed rollators. Further below is a more comprehensive comparison and review guide for these rollators.
|Drive Medical 3 Wheel Rollator||NOVA Traveler 3 Wheel Rollator||Drive Medical RTL10266-T Nitro Euro Style Rollator||Hugo Mobility Portable Rollator||OasisSpace Ultra Folding Rollator|
|Total Weight||11 lbs||16.5 lbs||17.5 lbs||15.4 lbs||20.9 lbs|
|Dimensions||25"(W) x 24"(D) x 31"(H)||23.5"(W) x 24.5" (D) x 37" (H)||23"(W) x 27.75" (D) x 36.3" (H)||24.5"(W) x 27.0"(D) x 32.0" (H)||24.8"(W) x 27.1"(D) x 36.7" (H)|
|Weight Capacity||300 lbs||250 lbs||300 lbs||300 lbs||300 lbs|
|Number of Wheels||3||3||4||4||4|
|Wheel Size||7.5"||8"||10" (front wheels) and 8" (back wheels)||8"||8"|
|Seat Size||No Seat||No Seat||18" (W) x 10" (D) x 23.5" (H)||12" (W) x 12" (D) x 22" (H)||17.7" (W) x 9.8" (D) x 9.8" (H)|
|Accessories||Wire basket, tray and storage pouch||Tray, storage pouch and wire basket||Removable zippered storage bag||Under seat storage bag||Mesh storage bag, cane/umbrella holder and cup holder|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
What is a Rollator?
There are two types of braking systems that a rollator can come with, this includes a loop-lock and push-down brakes. A loop-lock braking system, which is the most popular type, is similar to bicycle brakes.
In order to operate these, you squeeze and pull upwards the hand loops under the handlebar simultaneously with both hands and the rollator will come to a halt. In order to lock the brakes, you simply push the loops down. Push-down brakes on the other hand, are weight activated brakes. In order to apply these, you lean towards the frame of the rollator so that your weight causes the rollator to come to a halt.
|What Type of Breaking System is Best?|
|Loop-Lock Brakes|| Suitable for users with full hand dexterity.|
Better suited for heavier users who may otherwise inadvertently activate push-down brakes due to their weight. Loop-lock brakes are also recommended for users who don’t have enough upper body strength to easily apply push-down brakes.
|Push-Down Brakes||Better suited for users who suffer with arthritic hands or limited hand dexterity who are unable to operate loop-lock brakes with both hands.|
Why Use a Rollator?
A rollator offers a number of benefits, you should consider using one for any of the following reasons:
- If you want to remain active both at home and outdoors.
- If you’re unsteady or you fear falling while on your feet.
- If you get tired easily while walking and you need to take regular rests.
- If you want to reduce the strain on your legs when you’re on your feet.
- If you want to walk quicker than when using a walker.
- If you want better support than a walking stick.
- If you require additional help to walk longer distances.
- If you lack upper body strength and cannot properly lift a frame.
- If you want to carry out daily tasks such as grocery shopping with ease.
Types of Rollators
Rollators come in three or four-wheel varieties. Each type has it benefits, the best one to choose will largely depend on your individual needs.
Here are some of the major differences between each model:
A three-wheeled rollator also known as a tri-walker has a wheel in the front and two at the back. They have a tighter turning radius which means they are easier to operate in confined spaces so they are ideally suited for indoor use.
Unlike a 4-wheel rollator, they do not have a seat but they are generally lighter.
A four-wheeled rollator has two wheels in the front and two at the back. They normally come integrated with a seat which will allow you to take regular rests when needed. They provide better stability as your weight is distributed over four wheels instead of three.
They generally come with larger wheels which means they are better suited to handle uneven surfaces so they are ideal for outdoor use.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Rollator
Where Do You Intend on Using It?
Will you be using your rollator mostly indoors or outdoors or a combination of the both?
If you plan on using it outdoors, opt for a model with larger wheels. This will mean it will be much more stable on uneven ground and rough terrain. If you however intend to only use it indoors, go with a model that has smaller wheels as it will make it much easier to manoeuvre on carpeted surfaces as well as around furniture.
How Heavy Is It and Is It Foldable?
If you plan on transporting your rollator in the trunk of your car, or you plan on carrying it onto public transport, you’ll need to ensure that it’s light-weight as well as foldable. Always check the weight specifications and ensure it can be folded with ease (it is usually no more than a 2-step process).
If the weight is of paramount importance go for a aluminium frame which is much lighter.
It is important to check the maximum load weight of the rollator to see whether it will support your weight especially for ones that have a seat.
For heavier users, a bariatric model may be more suitable. These are constructed from steel which although has a heavier frame than the lighter aluminium models, they are capable of holding greater load weight.
An essential factor to considering when choosing a rollator is how adjustable it is in terms of height. This is especially important for taller or petite users as you’ll want to adjust it to suit your individual needs.
If you’re unable to properly lower or raise it, it could mean using it could prove uncomfortable especially as you may need to adopt an unnatural positon which could result in back pain as well as affecting your balance which could result in a fall. For this reason, always check that the handles are height adjustable and check the height range to make sure it suits your requirements.
Do You Require a Seat?
If you struggle to walk for extended periods of time and you need to take regular rests when you’re on your feet, you may want to think about choosing a rollator that comes with a built-in seat.
In order to use your rollator’s seat, you simply apply the lock brake before taking a seat. If you’re interested in one with a seat, you’ll have to opt for a four-wheeled model as the three-wheeled ones won’t have them.
If comfort is the upmost importance to you, choose one that comes with a padded seat over one that is plastic. Some seats will also come with an integrated backrest which adds extra support when taking a rest.
Seat widths can vary between models, so always check the model specifications to see how wide it is and whether it would be a comfortable fit for you especially if you have a larger frame.
|Essential Features to Look for in an In-Door Rollator|| • Select a narrow model so that you can operate it throughout the home even in the narrower of places such as hallways or doorways and around furniture. |
• Go for smaller wheels (6 inches (152 mm) or less) as they will allow you to manoeuvre it in tighter spaces.
• Opt for an aluminium frame as these will generally be lighter than a steel rollators which means you can easily carry it upstairs if required.
|Essential Features to Look for in an Out-Door Rollator|| • Go for bigger wheels, ideally with a diameter of at least 8” (200 mm) so that it can handle all types of terrain and uneven surfaces such as road kerbs. |
• Ensure it has a seat so you can take regular rests when you’re outdoors.
• Opt for a foldable one so that you can easily store it in the trunk of your car and you can carry it on and off public transport with ease.
1. Drive Medical 3 Wheel Rollator
The Drive Medical 3 wheel rollator is an extremely lightweight aluminium framed rollator that only weighs 11 lbs. The lightweight rollator is incredibly easy to manoeuvre with its sturdy 7.5″ wheels around the house as well as outdoors.
It has an easy one-hand folding mechanism which makes it a breeze when you need to collapse it. It’s extremely compact when folded (just 9″ wide) so it will fit perfectly into the trunk of a car and its ideal if you need to maneuverer it through a narrow corridor or if you need to lift it upstairs.
It comes with a spacious pouch and it also has a wire basket as well as a tray which is ideal if you want to transport your meals from your kitchen. The pouch, wire basket and tray can all be removed if needed and the basket folds for easy storage.
Adjusting the handle height with its self-threading knob is easy, the handle height ranges from 31″ – 38″.
The loop lock is made of durable internal aluminium casting. In order to operate the loop lock brakes, you simply squeeze the loop up. In order to lock the brakes, you press the handle down.
The Drive Medical 3 Wheel Rollator is available in two colours, red or blue.
2. NOVA Traveler 3 Wheel Rollator
The NOVA Traveler is a well-built and sturdy rollator and weighs 16.5 lbs. If you suffer with arthritic hands this is a recommended model due its patented feather touch hand brakes. The distance between the hand drip and the break level is only an inch which reduces the strain when you need to break which means you only need minimal hand strength to operate it. Apart from the easy to use brakes, it has ergonomic hand grips so it’s extremely comfortable to use.
The rollator is ideal for users with heights within the following range 5’4″ – 6’2” and the handles are height adjustable (33.25″ – 37″) to suit different heights.
Folding the rollator is straightforward and only takes a couple of seconds. Once folded, it remains in the standing positon which allows you to roll it across the floor if you need to park it when not in use so you don’t even need to even strain in order to lift it.
It comes with 8″ durable wheels with a 1 3/4″ wide base so it can be used on all terrains, outdoors or indoors. It comes with a whole host of accessories, including a large zippered storage pouch which is ideal to store your grocery shopping, it also has a wire basket and a tray.
It comes available in 4 colours including black, red, blue and purple.
3. Drive Medical RTL10266-T Nitro Euro Style Rollator
The Drive Medical RTL10266-T Nitro Euro is one of the most stylish and sleek rollators out on the market. If you are worried about being seen with a rollator, you won’t be with this one, I can assure you!
The durable aluminium Nitro rollator comes with two large front 10″ wheels and two 8″ back wheels, this means it provides excellent manoeuvrability on all terrains and it has a tight turning radius.
There are no fiddly folding mechanism on this rollator. In order to fold it, you simply pull the seat up which can be done with one hand and the clip holds the frame closed. It folds to a compact 10″ inches in width so you won’t have any difficulty putting it into the trunk of your car.
Both the handle and the back support is adjustable to suit different heights. In order to adjust the handle height, you simply click on the push button and the support can be adjusted using the thumb screw.
The brake cabling is housed within the frame which means you never need to worry about it catching on furniture or breaking. It comes with a removable storage bag which is perfect to store your bags when you go grocery shopping.
It has a comfortable and sturdy nylon seat (18″ in width) and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.
The Nitro rollator is available in 4 different sizes depending on your requirements. This includes a Standard, Mini, Tall and Heavy Duty model. The Nitro mini is suitable for petite users 5ft 2in and below, the Nitro Tall is suitable for users over 6ft and above and the Heavy Duty has a weight capacity of 448 lbs (203 kg).
4. Hugo Mobility Portable Rollator
The Hugo Portable Rollator is sturdy but lightweight and is perfect for outdoor use with its 8″ sized wheels.
The Hugo rollator comes with a comfortable all-weather and padded medium-sized built-in seat (12″ width and 12″ depth) with concealed under seat storage which makes it ideal to store valuable items securely. It also has a padded backrest so you can take regular rests in total comfort.
The height adjustable handlebars means you can adjust it to suit your needs allowing you to have the perfect posture when operating it and is suitable for most users between 5′ – 6’2″.
The hand grips on the handlebar have been ergonomically designed so you can comfortably grip the rollator when in use and allowing you easy access to the loop-lock brakes.
It’s extremely easy to fold down and locks so you can easily store it at home or in the trunk of your car when not in use. The rollator has been designed to support weights of up to 300 lbs.
5. OasisSpace Ultra Folding Rollator
If you want a compact rollator, the OasisSpace Ultra could be a good choice. It folds easily using one hand, simply pull the seat up, and it folds into a compact size which should fit most car trunks and similar sized spaces allowing you to take it anywhere.
It has large 8″ anti-skid wheels which should be suitable for most terrains and provides greater safety.
Not only does the rollator come equipped with a mesh storage bag which is suitable for light shopping but it also comes with a walking sticking/umbrella holder as well as a cup holder. This means you don’t need to worry anymore about having to carry additional items with you.
Adjusting the height is childs play with its simple to use one-click height adjusting mechanism.
For extra comfort it has a large padded seat and a stretch backrest allowing you to take regular rests when needed. While the frame is made from light-weight aluminum it still manages to support users up to 300 lbs.
You never need to worry about catching the break cabling on furniture as it’s fully integrated into the frame which provides extra safety.
It comes in a choice of two colours including Sapphire Blue or Onyx Red.
Accessories for Rollators
Depending on the rollator you select, it may come with accessories such as a storage basket. There are number of additional accessories which you may want to purchase separately to enhance its functionality further. Popular accessories include:
Walking Stick Holder
If you use a rollator at night or in dimly lit areas, you may want to consider purchasing a hands-free flashlight which you can attach to your rollator.
If you want somewhere to store your shopping or carry an oxygen tank for example, you may want to consider purchasing a storage basket or bag.
If you feel that a basket is too bulky, you may want to consider opting for hooks instead which you can attach to your rollator so that you can hang your grocery bags.
If you want to store smaller items such as medication, a cell phone, keys etc, a storage pouch is perfect for this.
A tray allows you to transport your food from the kitchen to your dining room or other area of your house while using your rollator.
FAQs About Rollators
In order to use a rollator, ensure you perform the following:
Step 1: Place the rollator in front of you and disengage the brakes if applicable.
Step 2: Gently push the rollator as you walk. Ensure the rollator is close enough so you stay supported.
Step 3: In order to slow the rollator, you can apply the brakes as needed.
Step 4: To turn the rollator, ensure your feet remain within the wheels of the rollator when turning. If you step outside this area, it could reduce your stability and it may increase the risk of falling or tripping over the wheels.
Step 1: Ensure the rollator is facing you and the brakes are engaged.
Step 2: Sit close to the edge of the chair or bed and push down on it in order to stand upright. Never attempt to pull yourself up using the rollator as it may over balance and you could fall.
Step 3: Once you’re fully upright, place both hands on the rollator and disengage the brakes.
Before attempting to sit on your rollator, make sure you have applied the brakes. Never use a rollator as an alternative for a wheelchair as it could become unstable on uneven surfaces.
In order to clean a rollator simply apply some soapy water to the frame and dry with a clean cloth.