The right rollator can help you feel safer and more confident in getting out and about, but with so many to choose from it can be tricky to know which is best for you. Find your ideal rollator with the help of our handy guide.
The main difference between a rollator and a walking frame (sometimes known as a zimmer frame) is that rollators have wheels on the end of each leg and are designed to be pushed, whereas walking frames generally don’t have wheels on each leg and need to be lifted. Walking frames also tend to be more suited for use indoors.
Many rollators include a seat, too, which you won’t find with walking frames.
Rollators are a great option if you need support with your mobility in the community, and can also help you carry your shopping home with less risk of overbalancing.
Things to consider
Are you looking for a mobility aid to help you around the home, when you’re out and about, or both? While some rollators can be used indoors, you may find that a walking trolley with a tray is more helpful. If you want to use it to go to the tiny corner shop, you may want to consider a narrow rollator, like a 3-wheel rollator, that’s easier to manoeuvre around the aisles.
Even if you only plan to use your rollator outside, you will still need to be able to get it in and out of your home. Measure the width of your doors or hallway and check that the rollator you want isn’t too wide to fit. This is especially important to check if there are any tight corners that you’ll need to be able to get the rollator around. If it’s too wide, you’re going to get stuck.
If you have a garden gate, you should also measure this as well so you know that you can pass through it with ease.
Not all rollators come with the same accessories. If you want to be able to use your rollator to carry your shopping or personal things, double-check the size of the bag or basket that the rollator comes with. Will it be big enough to carry what you want it to?
You should also think about the position of the bag or basket and how easy it would be for you to reach it.
Not all rollators come with a seat. Think about how you’ll be using a rollator. If you plan on taking a longer walks or if you find that you tire easily, you may want a seat so you can take a break if you need to.
If you do want a rollator with a seat, check to make sure it’s at a height you can easily get up from once you’re sat down. If it’s too low for you you may struggle to get back up again.
Depending on the size and style, rollators can take up more space than you may be expecting. If you don’t have space to store a full-size rollator, you will need to check what the dimensions of the rollator are when it’s folded. Some are more compact than others when folded.
Measure the boot of the car to see what size rollator will fit in there. Some are able to fold down into a more compact size whereas others don’t really fold down much (if at all). If you have a small boot and you know that you want to be able to fit your rollator in there, this will definitely impact which rollators you look at, as the 3-wheel may be a better fit than a 4-wheel.
There may be times when you or a relative need to lift the rollator, whether that’s to lift it into the car or lift it up a small set of steps. Check the weight of the rollator on the product specification. Would you be able to lift it on your own? Would your relative or friend would be able to lift it either?
Rollators come in a variety of sizes that adjust to different handle heights and are rated for different amounts of weight. Make sure to double check that the handle height and the max user weight on your chosen rollator fit your measurements.
It’s important to make sure that the rollator has the right handle height for you. The wrong handle height leaves you at risk of falls as you may be stooping or leaning forward or backwards to compensate for it.
To find the right handle height for the rollator:
Rollators are great mobility aids to help you get out and about but there are a few safety dos and don’ts to keep in mind.