Top 6 Best Walkers for Seniors: Buyer's Guide, Recommendations & Considerations
If you deal with mobility issues, walkers and rollators will you safely ambulate. A walker is recommended for people with long-term mobility difficulties. About 12% of seniors use walkers for support and stability. When it's not possible to have a caregiver at your side, a walker offers the support you need when you need it.
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There are many types of walkers, and each manufacturer offers different features. The best walker for you or your loved one will depend on several factors, including your personal challenges with mobility, your strength and balance and your height and weight. Here are the top 6 walkers available at ScripHessco:
- MABIS DMI Single Release Aluminum Folding Walker
- Drive Medical Deluxe Trigger Release Folding Walker
- Drive Medical Economy Rollator with Loop Brakes & Padded Seat
- Walkabout ConTour Deluxe Rollator Walker
- Drive Medical Drive Duet Chair/Rollator
- Freedom Rollator
Use this guide to choose the best ScripHessco walker so that you can enjoy the freedom that comes with improved mobility.
Best Lightweight Walker: MABIS DMI Single Release Aluminum Folding Walker
When you need a lightweight walker, try the MABIS DMI Single Release Aluminum Folding Walker. Featuring two wheels at the front, it also has adjustable height between 32 and 38 inches. The one-button release makes this walker easy to fold and bring with you on a bus or in a personal vehicle. The legs are made of lightweight, durable aluminum. A steel cross-brace adds rigidity. Foam grips offer comfort without adding much weight to the walker. Slip-resistant tips on the two legs assist with stability.
Best Foldable Walker: Drive Medical Deluxe Trigger Release Folding Walker
The Drive Medical Deluxe Trigger Release Folding Walker is the best folding walker because its durable trigger release can be operated by a person with limited dexterity and hand strength. A contoured handgrip made of vinyl offers comfort when leaning on the walker. The legs are one inch in diameter and made from anodized aluminum, which is both durable and lightweight. Its height range is 32 to 39 inches, and it measures 24 inches wide. This basic walker has a weight limit of 350 pounds.
Best Walker for Rough Surfaces: Drive Medical Economy Rollator with Loop Brakes & Padded Seat
The Drive Medical Economy Rollator with Loop Brakes & Padded Seat is the best walker for outdoor surfaces, easily traversing over divots and rough areas on sidewalks, curbs and streets. Its all terrain wheels are six inches in diameter. Coated with epoxy over a lightweight aluminum frame, this walker can easily withstand exposure to the elements. The ergonomic handles provide comfort while ambulating, and a hand brake makes it easy to stop the wheels. When you need to take a break, the comfortable seat features a contoured and padded backrest. The wire basket can be removed to create more storage space and allow for easy transportation.
Best Walker for Travel: Walkabout ConTour Deluxe Rollator Walker
If you love to travel, consider the Walkabout ConTour Deluxe Rollator Walker. It folds up into a compact size and fits into a standard suitcase for easy travel in airports and other busy places. You can assemble and disassemble it without any tools. It has four eight-inch wheels, making it great for walking on sidewalks and pathways. Twin buttons engage the folding mechanism. Vinyl handgrips provide stability and comfort. A removable wire basket offers convenient storage.
Best Walker With a Seat: Drive Medical Drive Duet Chair/Rollator
If you tire easily, a walker with a seat keeps you safe and comfortable. The Drive Medical Drive Duet Chair/Rollator is the best option in this category. It features a wide, stable seat that can be flipped up when it's not in use. The seat's cushion and fold up removable back support are padded for your comfort. This walker weighs 19 pounds, which puts it in the mid-range for walkers with seats. A pair of hand brakes lock the wheels for safety while you're seated. Review the Drive Duet product here to see if it's the best option for you.
Best Walker for Balance Problems: Freedom Rollator
If you need to take frequent or long breaks due to balance issues, try the Freedom Rollator. The cushioned seat and curved backrest offer comfort when you need to sit for a while. The seat position accommodates people ranging in height from 4’10” to 6’2”, and it has a weight capacity of 250 lbs. You can push on the grips to stop. This four-wheel rollator also has a hand brake and folds up to fit in narrow spaces. Weighing just 10 pounds, its lightweight design is a great choice for travel. This rollator includes a basket, strap and bag for additional storage. Check out the Freedom Rollator here to see if it's the right one for your needs.
What Are the Types of Walkers to Choose From?
There are several types of walkers to consider when you need a quality mobility aid. A standard walker has four legs with non-skid, rubber tips. You have to pick it up in order to move it. A two-wheeled walker has two leg tips and two wheels. It's a good choice if you occasionally need some weight support while walking. A three-wheeled walker offers balance support, and it's lighter in weight and easier to maneuver than a four-wheeled walker. Four-wheeled walkers are for people who need balance help but don't need to lean on the device for weight support. There are also knee walkers for people who need a platform for their knee after an injury or surgery.
Who Shouldn't Use a Rollator Walker?
If you have problems with balance, you shouldn't use a rollator. You should also avoid a rollator if you have weakness while standing and often need to lean on something immobile in order to avoid falling. If you live in a small apartment or place with narrow hallways, a rollator may not fit in those tight spaces.
What Are the Price Ranges for Walkers?
The price ranges for our walkers range from less than $50 up to $200. A lightweight, fold-up walker is on the lower end of the range, and the high-weight capacity, deluxe walkers with soft seats and durable baskets are on the higher end of the range. Keep in mind that walkers are considered to be durable medical goods, and you may be able to deduct them on your federal income taxes or use a Health Savings Account or Health Reimbursement Account to pay for any amounts that aren't covered by your insurance company.
Are Walkers Height Adjustable?
Yes, walkers are height adjustable. Most walkers can be adjusted for people who are 5 feet, 5 inches to 6 feet, 6 inches. If you're shorter or taller than this, you may need a specialty walker. You should always make sure your height is in the middle of the walker's range. For example, If you're 5 feet, 5 inches, you should choose a walker for people who are 5 feet to 6 feet tall. To adjust the height of the walker, move its top until it reaches the height of your wrist. This allows you to maintain an ideal, ergonomic 20-degree bend at your elbow.
What Is the Correct Way to Use a Walker?
If you choose a walker with no wheels, you'll need to lift it. Move it forward about one arm's length. Put it down, then step forward with your weakest leg first. Step forward with your other leg. Repeat these steps until you're at the desired location. If you select a walker with two or more wheels, you will push it in order to move forward. Push the walker in front of you by a few inches. Look forward, not down at your feet. Step forward with your weakest leg first, then step with your stronger leg. Always make sure that all of the walker's tips or wheels are on the floor or ground before you take a step.
How Do You Navigate Steps or Curbs With a Walker?
If you have to go up a step or down a curb, move the walker to the correct surface before you take a step. When going up a step or curb, your first step should always be with your strongest leg. When stepping down, always start with your weakest leg.
What Size of Wheels Are the Best for Indoors Versus Outdoors?
Whether you choose to use your walker indoors on a smooth surface or outdoors in stores and on sidewalks, you'll need to choose between six-inch and eight-inch wheel sizes. Both six-inch and eight-inch wheels are fine. If you weigh more than 300 pounds or do a lot of walking, look for heavy-duty wheels with a thicker tread. If you mostly use a walker indoors on smooth surfaces, look for one with swivel wheels. They're easier to maneuver in tight spaces, at tables and around furniture.
Seat Features to Look for in a Walker
There are several seat options when it comes to walkers for seniors. Built-in seats provide you with a place to rest if you tire easily. You may also want a padded seat if you have chronic joint pain. You may want a seat that flips up for convenience when you're not using it.
Grips to Look for in a Walker
Look for a standard walker with good grips for your hands. If your hands get sweaty or you have trouble with grasping, the grips will help you walk more steadily. If your hands tire easily, choose foam grips. They are also a good option for people with arthritis. Vinyl grips are ideal if you need more help with balance and stability.
How to Choose the Right Weight in a Walker
The walker's weight is another factor to consider. If you tire easily or frequently go out and about, a lightweight walker will be more convenient for you than a heavy one. If you'll be traveling with your walker, a lighter one will be easier to carry or pack. You may need a heavy-duty walker if you routinely walk on rough surfaces or if you're more than 350 pounds in weight.
Pick the Right Weight Capacity
It’s important to choose a walker that has the capacity to support your weight. Much like choosing the right height of a walker, your weight should be in the middle of the range of the walker. If you’re at the maximum weight capacity of a walker, it may be better to choose one with a higher capacity.
Choose the Right Size of Walker
If your home has narrow doorways, you may need a space-saving walker that fits through the small passageways. An adjustable handle is another helpful feature to consider. They adjust to your height. If you have osteoporosis or scoliosis and have lost some height, this could help you walk more comfortably.
Other Walker Features to Consider
If you have several items you need to transport with you, look for a walker with a big storage basket for your essentials. When you use your walker for shopping or walking outdoors, a nylon bag offers convenient storage and keeps your items contained and concealed. Nylon bags are also washable in case anything spills on or in them.