What is a Rollator?
A Rollator is a style of walker that is also known as the “wheeled walker”. However, rollators come equipped with three or four wheels in comparison to the basic wheeled walker which has two. The wheels on a rollator usually rotate and swivel at the user’s will providing rotation for the user. The handles often have brakes for further control and most rollators feature a padded seat and backrest to use when resting, as well as a basket or pouch for carrying personal items.Operating this kind of walker may require more restraint and control, but it’s perfect for people on the go. If your condition requires you to stop and rest often, a rollator could be a better choice for you.
What are the Different Types of Rollators?
There are types of rollators that meet different needs. Some of these features can be found together, within the same rollator. Consider the benefits of each, and which features will most suit your needs.
This rollator has a seat and handlebars that can adjust in height. Some rollators have enough range to be used as a “youth” and “adult” model.
Unlike walkers, rollators have a wheel on all of the legs of the device, whether they are four-wheel or three-wheel rollators, they will have handle brakes. Handle brakes allow for further control and are an ideal safety feature.
Standard Weight Rollator
The average weight of a rollator is about 15 lbs. There are models that weigh around 11 lbs, these models are advertised as “lightweight” and some people find the few pounds makes a difference in their user experience.
Another issue to consider regarding weight is the capacity also known as “weight capacity”, standard rollators are tested safe for people who weigh up to 250 lbs. Bariatric models are tested safe for people up to 350 lbs, while some are tested safe for people who weigh up to 500 lbs. Bariatric rollators will typically have a lower seat to make it easier for the user to get in and out of. Keep in mind the higher the weight capacity, the more the rollator will weigh.
The same as walkers, rollators can have a feature that allows them to fold up easily. When the rollator is flat they have the ability to fit easier into a car, bus, or plane.
There are rollators available with soft gripping casters and non-marring tires that are typically at least 6” in diameter. These serve a dual purpose and won’t mark up your indoor floors, while still making it easy to maneuver over dirt paths outside.
Three Wheel Rollator
The three-wheel rollator is similar shape to a tricycle. It is lighter than most four-wheel models and some find them easier to maneuver because the three-wheel design enables sharper turns. Three-wheel rollators can be very handy in small spaces, they can also have an easy-fold mechanism to make them suitable for transport.
Four Wheel Rollator
The four-wheel rollator provides more support and stability than a three-wheeled rollator. They include a seat which does make the rollator unit heavier and slightly harder to lift than a three-wheel but they also provide a place to rest whenever they feel they need it.
How do I decide which one to use?
Always consult with your doctor or healthcare professional before deciding which mobility device is required for your health condition, disability, or age. But we have put together a guide to help you determine which kind of device you need to improve your mobility and independence.
How to Choose a Rollator
When choosing a rollator, it is important to consider many factors. While price and style are significant, there are other features which are also important to consider.
- Three wheels or four? – It is important to consider both 3- and 4-wheel rollator options. Three wheel rollators are lighter and feature a tighter turning radius while four-wheel models have seats and are more stable.
- Seat – Is it important you have a seat? If so, that eliminates the option of a three wheel rollator. Seat height may also be something to consider. Some rollators have an adjustable seat height while others do not. Also think about the shape and material of the seat; padded and contoured seats are far more comfortable than hard plastic.
- Width – The width of a rollator is important if you live in a house with a standard size bathroom or doors as most rollators will not fit through. A three wheel rollator can be partially collapsed to fit through tight spaces. Most four wheel rollators are larger than 22″ which is the standard width of a doorframe.
- Weight – Look both for the weight capacity and the overall product weight. Be sure you are comfortably under the weight capacity of any mobility product to ensure it will support you correctly. The overall product weight is important if you must lift it into a car trunk or up stairs.
How to Measure for a Rollator
Once you have these measurements, you will be ready to choose a rollator that will fit your needs.
- Handle Height
- To measure for the handle height, start by standing up straight with your shoes on. Have a friend or family member measure from the crease in your wrist to the ground. This measurement should be the approximate height of the handle bars.
- Chair Height
- Measure the height of a chair you like and from which you can rise easily. If you have difficulty with a chair that is too high or too low, keep that in mind when selecting a rollator.
- Width of Hallway
- Measure the width of the smallest place you will need to fit through. Most often, that is a doorway or hallway. You need to be sure you can get in and out with your rollator.
Alright.. which one is the best?
Now, this is what you came to this article for, right? Many people ask for our “best” rollator. While there is not one in particular, there are some features that are preferred by our customers:
- Large Wheels – Anything 8″ or over is considered large. Large wheels allow the user to easily push the rollator over uneven ground.
- Padded Seat – Many people want a large padded seat for resting. Sling seats are also popular for their comfort. Plastic seats are hard, uncomfortable, and should be avoided.
- Collapsible Pouch – While some prefer the basket, most people like having a collapsible walker pouch on their rollator. While baskets must be removed to fold the walker, a pouch can be left in place.
- Large Adjustable Range – While you won’t change the height of your rollator once you set it correctly, it is important to look at the range. You want the ability to adjust it an inch or two higher and lower than you think you need it, just in case.
- Easy to Fold – Most people need to take their rollator in a vehicle, so it is important it can easily fold for transport. Also, some people like to be able to fold it in a restaurant so they can keep it near them without blocking the walkway.
If you’re wondering if a walker right instead or you want buying guide for purchasing the right walker you can find them here:
Still have questions? Feel free to chat with us on our website, send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 1-844-335-8631 and one of our customer service specialists will get back to you as soon as possible!