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Works well over rough terrain. Firm seat; not a loose sling. Very easy to fold and maneuver.
Brakes are either on or off; there is no intermediate option. Front wheels "toe out," creating balance issues. Heavy model can be difficult to load into vehicle.
Wider seat and handles more comfortable for larger users up to 500 pounds. Effective braking system. Tires roll easily. Folds up for travel.
Reports of wheels failing unexpectedly. Does not fit easily through some doorways.
Lightweight steel construction. Sturdier than aluminum. Larger wheels improve mobility. Narrow profile is easier to fit through doorways.
Overall dimensions may be smaller than advertised. Seat material is not durable. Maximum height setting not good for taller users.
Arrives almost completely assembled. Lightweight construction. Generous 350-pound weight limit. Adjustable handles create customized fit.
Brake issues are a common concern. Not ideal for outdoor use on rough terrain.
Ergonomically designed hand grips. Oversized 8-inch wheels work well on all types of terrain. Seat height is adjustable.
Assembly and folding can be complicated. Heavier than advertised. Larger wheels can bump user's legs or snag objects.
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Everyone needs a little help sometimes, so if you're struggling to walk unaided – whether due to illness, an injury, or anything else – you may find a rollator walker is just what you need to get you mobile again.
Once you've decided to purchase a rollator, you still have to decide which one is right for you. Everyone has their own individual needs and features they find important, so there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to picking out rollators.
Instead, we at BestReviews have done extensive research into rollator walkers and have written this guide to give you the tools to pick out the model that would best fit your requirements. Read on to find out all you need to know about rollator walkers, and you'll soon be on the move again.
A rollator is a variation on the classic walker. Whereas a standard walking frame has four legs that need to be lifted and moved forward before taking a step, a rollator walker has a wheel on the end of each leg, so you simply push it with you as you go. Rollators also feature hand-operated brakes, so they don't get away from you when going downhill.
If you haven’t yet decided whether or not to buy a rollator, here are some of their main benefits.
Independence: Rollator walkers can help you walk unaided, so you don't feel reliant upon others when you want to go out and about.
Ease of use: With a rollator, you don't need as much physical strength to lift the frame as you would with a standard walking frame.
Comfort: Many rollators feature a built-in seat. This is ideal if you sometimes get fatigued and need to take a break.
Speed: You can go faster using a rollator then you can with a standard walking frame because you don't need to stop and move the device forward every couple of steps. Instead, you can just cruise along.
Getting out and about is important, but what if you need to take regular resting breaks? Finding a bench or seat on which to rest isn’t always easy. What’s more, you may feel you simply cannot go some places because there aren't adequate resting spots. But it doesn't have to be like that. If you choose a rollator walker with a built-in seat, you'll have a place to sit wherever you go, thus opening up many more opportunities for you.
Not all rollator seats are created equally, however, so you should carefully consider the seat on your chosen model before you buy. The first thing to look at is seat width, which is measured in inches. Most rollators have seats between 13 and 15 inches wide. Be sure to buy a rollator with a seat that fits your own physical dimensions.
Also remember to consider how comfortable your chosen rollator is. Some rollators have a simple sling-style seat made of canvas – a bit like a director's chair. These are the least-comfortable models. Instead, we recommend a rollator walker with a well-padded seat.
Most rollators feature some kind of storage, from a simple basket to a range of baskets and pouches. How much storage you need depends on how you intend to use your rollator. If you plan to go out and do some grocery shopping, you'll need enough storage to bring your haul home with you. On the other hand, if you'll only be using your rollator around the house or on pleasure walks, you may need only minimal storage. For many rollators, it's possible to buy additional storage pouches that fit the cross bars using Velcro, buttons, or snaps.
A rollator walker that's the right height for a person of six feet two inches is going to be far too tall for a person of five feet two inches. Conversely, a rollator that's the right height for a shorter person is going to be uncomfortably low for a tall person. That's why it's vital to buy a rollator that's height adjustable. Your chosen rollator should ideally be easy to adjust so that you could do it alone if you needed to.
If you're hunched over when using your rollator, it's too short for you and needs to be made taller. If you have to hold your arms or bend your elbows uncomfortably high, the rollator is too tall for you and should be made shorter.
One of the great things about rollator walkers is that they fold up, so you can easily store yours in a small space when you're not using it or fold it up and put it in the trunk of a car if you're going for a day out with family or friends. That said, not all rollators are easy to fold … and if it's near-impossible to fold your rollator, then there's no point in it being foldable at all! Look for a rollator that folds down easily enough that it only requires one person to do so. Also, look at the size of your rollator once it's folded to make sure it would fit in whichever space you need it to.
Rollators vary in price from $50 to $200, so you should be able to find one to suit your budget.
Basic rollator walkers
These cost roughly $50 to $75. You can find some good models in this price range, but they may not be durable enough to stand up to everyday use.
Mid-range rollator walkers
They are priced between $75 and $125. Most of these models are very durable and fine for regular use.
High-end rollator walkers
These usually fall between $125 and $200. These tend to have stand-out features such as extra sturdy frames, comfortable backrests, and the ability to roll smoothly on rough terrain.
Make sure the brakes on your rollator are easy to operate. Stiff brakes, or brakes that are either too sensitive or not sensitive enough, can be dangerous and should be avoided.
Check the wheel size of your rollator. Larger wheels are better for outdoor use, as they can handle bumps and rough surfaces more easily.
Look at the weight of your chosen rollator. Make sure it's not too heavy for you to push or to handle when you're trying to fold and store it.
Q. How do I sit on my rollator without it rolling away?
A. You might wonder how to stop your rollator from moving when you sit on the built-in seat. In addition to the brakes on the handlebar, rollator walkers also feature a wheel lock, a bit like what you'd find on a stroller. This keeps the rollator firmly in place, even on a slope, so you can sit for as long as you like without worrying you're going to roll away.
Q. Can I buy any accessories for my new rollator?
A. You can find a range of accessories for rollators, including extra storage pouches. You can also buy covers for the seat and backrest in a range of colors and patterns, so you can express your personal style. Other popular accessories are cup holders, lights that clip on the frame, and holders for walking sticks and oxygen tanks.
Q. Are rollators easy to maneuver?
A. Your rollator should be fairly easy to maneuver – if you're having big issues turning corners, you might have a faulty rollator on your hands – but some are easier than others. As a rule, three-wheeled rollators are easier to maneuver than four-wheeled models, and small-wheeled rollators are easier to maneuver than larger-wheeled models. The catch is that three-wheeled rollators aren't as stable as four-wheeled models and rarely have seats, and small-wheeled rollators don't handle rough surfaces very well.
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