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How We Decided
  • 116 Models Considered
  • 8 Hours Spent
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 95 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for the Best Walkers

    Sometimes people need a bit of help getting around, and a walker offers that in the most literal of ways.

    A walker offers support and protection against falls and other injuries. It doesn’t guarantee safety, of course, but it significantly reduces the chance of a catastrophe. And the great thing about a walker is that you retain your independence while using one.

    The market offers a slew of different walker models. As such, the challenge of finding the right one can feel overwhelming. At BestReviews, we’re here to help. We performed extensive research, analyzing customer opinions and other data about different walkers on the market.

    If you're ready to make a purchase, please refer to our product matrix at the top of the page. Here you’ll find our top five picks for the best walkers available. If you’d like to learn more about walkers and how to select the right one for your needs, please read on.

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    It's not only seniors who need walkers. Younger folks may find themselves in need of some extra help getting around due to an injury or disability.

    Walker Types

    Let's start with the basics. Below, you can read about the pros and cons of the main walker types:

    Walker types

    Standard Walker

    A standard walker has four legs and no wheels, so the user must lift it and move it forward every couple of steps.

    Pros

    • Standard walkers offer the most stability. They’re ideal for most people who need a walker due to injury.

    • These walkers are exceptionally lightweight, as they tend to be “no-frills” items without seats or other extras.

    • As a rule, standard walkers are the cheapest walkers. A standard walker is perfect if you’re watching your budget or plan to use the walker only occasionally.

    Cons

    • Because the user must lift a standard walker between steps, it’s not suitable for people with little upper body strength. It’s also not great for those who might lose their balance if they’re momentarily unsupported.

    • Standard walkers generally don't come with the handy extras (baskets, seats, and so on) that many folks like to have.

    • Standard walkers don't perform well on unseen surfaces.
    EXPERT TIP

    Standard walkers perform well on smooth, flat surfaces. They’re not so handy on rugged terrain. As such, they’re best for indoor use.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    Walker types

    Four-Wheeled Walker

    Four-wheeled walkers are generally the best choice for people who get around well but need a little help with balance and stability.

    Pros

    • Four-wheeled walkers are much more maneuverable than other varieties. They also perform better on rough ground than some other models.

    • The majority of four-wheeled walkers include extras such as seats and baskets. People who want to take solo excursions — but might need to take an occasional rest while out — appreciate this type of walker.

    • Four-wheeled walkers come with brakes, so you can put more weight on them when you need to.

    • Most four-wheeled walkers fold down to a smaller size. As such, they’re easily stored in a closet or vehicle.
    DID YOU KNOW?

    Four-wheeled walkers are better suited for folks who need a small amount of help with balance, but not if you need to put your full weight on the walker with every step.

    Cons

    • Four-wheeled walkers are heavier than other varieties.

    • Four-wheeled walkers often cost significantly more than standard and two-wheeled types.

    People with grip issues may find the hand brakes on a four-wheeled walker difficult to manipulate.

    Staff
    BestReviews
    Walker types

    Two-Wheeled Walker

    Two-wheeled walkers strike a happy medium between standard walkers and four-wheeled walkers. They feature two wheels on the front and two wheel-less legs on the back.

    Pros

    • While two-wheeled walkers don't offer quite as much stability as standard walkers, they're more stable than four-wheeled walkers.

    • Two-wheeled walkers don't require the user to lift all four legs off the ground in order to take a step. As such, they’re great for people with balance issues.

    • Most two-wheeled walkers are just as lightweight as standard walkers.

    Cons

    • Two-wheeled walkers aren't very maneuverable, as the wheels don't swivel.

    • Many two-wheeled walkers don't include seats or baskets.
    EXPERT TIP

    Using a walker with a seat is like taking a chair with you wherever you go.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Considerations

    Considerations

    Brakes

    Standard and two-wheeled walkers don't need brakes, as the wheel-less legs provide ample stability.

    Four-wheeled walkers, on the other hand, require brakes for stability. In addition, the brakes prevent the walker from rolling away when the user travels downhill.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Four-wheeled walkers come with hand brakes. The brakes can be locked in place when the user is sitting in the seat.

    Considerations

    Basket

    Many people find that a walker helps them gain or maintain independence. For instance, a handicapped person might be able to visit the grocery store alone with a walker in tow. A basket proves invaluable in a case like this, as groceries and other items can be stored inside it.

    That said, a person who intends to use the walker primarily at home might not need or want a basket.

    If you want to take your walker out and about, a basket could be useful.
    Considerations

    Seat

    Some walkers have seats. This feature allows the user to stop and catch his/her breath as needed.

    Most of the time, it's only four-wheeled walkers that have seats.

    If you shop around, however, you may be able to find a standard or two-wheeled walker with a seat.

    If you're taller or shorter than average, look for a walker with an adjustable seat. This way, you can change the height of the seat as needed.

    Staff
    BestReviews
    Considerations

    Walker Weight

    The weight of your walker matters if it’s a standard model, as you must be able to fully lift it off the ground. If you're buying a standard walker, make sure it's not too heavy for you to lift.

    Weight matters slightly less if you have a wheeled walker, but you still might want to be able to lift it up your front step or into the trunk of a car.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    As a rule, standard and two-wheeled walkers are lighter than their four-wheeled counterparts. Of course, potential buyers should always check the manufacturer's specifications to find the exact weight of a particular walker.

    Considerations

    Weight Limit

    Weight limit refers to the amount of weight that the walker is designed to support. The majority of walkers we've researched tend to have a weight limit somewhere in range of 250 to 300 pounds. If your weight exceeds this, you may need to look for a specialist walker designed for heavier people.

    Considerations

    Height

    Most walkers allow you to adjust for your height. After all, you don't want to have to stoop over your walker. We advise against buying any walker that’s not adjustable for height.

    EXPERT TIP

    If you're especially tall or short, it’s vital that you check the manufacturer's height specifications to make sure a given walker would be the appropriate height for you.


    Denise  | Health Care Professional
    Considerations

    Foldability

    Some walkers fold and others don't.

    As a potential buyer, you must decide if having a foldable walker is important to you.

    If you plan to store your walker in a small space or take it in the car for family trips, we recommend a product that folds down to a smaller size.

    Some walkers are harder to fold than others. It's a good idea to find out all you can about how easy/hard a walker is to fold before you buy it.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Price

    Considering the positive difference a good walker can make in your life, they aren't exceptionally expensive items.

    A standard walker will set you back somewhere between $25 and $40. Those on the higher end of the pricing spectrum tend to have a sturdier build.

    Two-wheeled walkers are just a hair pricier than standard walkers. The cost of a two-wheeled model averages between $30 and $50.

    Four-wheeled walkers are the most expensive models out there, but they tend to offer more sophisticated features, including brakes, baskets, and seats. This type of walker costs anywhere from $50 to $100.

    If you’ll be using your walker regularly, you may wish to opt for a high-end model. These walkers tend to be more durable and of better quality. Thankfully, the price of a high-end walker shouldn’t stray too far from that of a low-end walker.

    FAQ

    Q. How can I tell if my walker is at the right height?

    A. When using your walker, your back should be as straight as possible. Don’t lean over the unit, as this could cause back pain. Your elbows should bend slightly.

    Q. Does wheel size make a difference?

    A. Walkers with larger wheels fare better on rough ground. If you’ll be traveling"off-road," we suggest a walker with a larger wheel diameter.

    Q. Can I get extra accessories for my walker?

    A. Some walker packages are quite “bare bones” with no basket or other extras to speak of. But you could always buy accessories to make them more useful. Common walker accessories include baskets, food trays, and water bottle holders.

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