Walkers and Rollaters
When shopping for walkers and rollators (generically called walkers), there are plenty of factors to consider. You want one that is stable, even when you are rolling across rough or uncertain terrain, like a gravel driveway. You also need one that is comfortable to use.
Comfort is found in several areas:
(1) First is the handlebars. Some walkers come with ergonomic grips that put you in control as you maneuver around. Make sure they are at the right height and a comfortable angle. Some allow you to adjust the height to fit your needs.
(2) Some walkers feature a seat that make it easy to rest if necessary. The width of the walker will impact comfort, both while walking and when sitting down. Make sure that the walker is not too wide to fit into the spaces you need to go.
(3) The weight of the walker is also a factor. Walkers that support heavier people often weigh more due to construction materials used, and walkers with many features will also weigh more.
(4) Along with weight, make sure the walker will open and close easily for storage at home an in vehicles.
Aside from comfort, look for storage bags or compartments. The ability to stow items in the walker can come in handy, even if you are just carrying an item from one room to the next. Many walkers include one or more storage pouches that tuck away neatly beneath the seat. They are just large enough for holding personal items such as a wallet, keys, smartphone, book or water bottle.
Some people prefer a more traditional walker, featuring nothing more than bars, comfortable grips and a couple of wheels, or even just sliders on which they put tennis balls. You can usually find a traditional walker for a much lower price than the versions with seats and storage, but there are more feature-rich walkers priced in between the extremes. You could also purchase an affordable basic walker and buy a separate basket or pouch for it.
Note the number and size of wheels. Some walkers have two wheels, while others have four. Four wheels gives you more control, especially if the wheels are larger. However, if you only plan to use the walker indoors, two wheels may suffice. Some walkers come standard with no wheels, but give the option to add them.
Walkers with four wheels have breaks to help you to maintain control. Make sure they are easy to access and operate.
You need to decide how much you want to spend on a walker. You can purchase a basic folding model with two wheels, or upgrade to a walker with storage and a seat for a bit more.
You can upgrade to a walker that has more advanced features. Some offer a seat with a backrest and an under-seat storage bag that can hold quite a few small items.
Unless you are purchasing the walker pre-assembled, consider the extra time and effort necessary to put it together. You may need help from someone.
Below are some more highly-rated walkers that have a variety of price points and features. Click on any one of them to see more details, as well as comparisons to other models.