If you require some extra support while walking, you're likely in the market for a mobility device that will meet your needs. Undoubtedly, your healthcare team will offer advice on which types of products may be most suitable for your circumstances, but ultimately the choice is yours.
If this is your first time choosing a walker or rollator, you may be wondering about the differences between the two devices, as well as the pros and cons of each. In this post, we'll cover all of that information plus more to help you make an informed decision. If you still have questions afterward, one of our professional and experienced technicians will be more than happy to assist you personally.
The Difference Between a Walker and a Rollator
Though people often refer to any walking mobility device with four legs as a walker, this isn’t technically accurate. While walkers and rollators do both enhance stability while walking, they aren’t exactly the same thing.
Let's take a look:
Walkers have four legs and no wheels. They are small (often foldable), lightweight, and meant to support body weight. For many individuals, they function as a more supportive alternative to a cane.
When using a walker, you’re meant to lift all four legs off the ground and extend your arms forward to lower it before stepping forward. Some walkers are also fitted with skis to make sliding the walker forward along the floor a more comfortable option (though this can slightly decrease the walker's overall stability).
A walker may be an ideal choice if:
- You have issues with balance or weakness while standing.
- You live in a home with tight spaces or narrow hallways.
- You don't require a seat while on the go.
- Small and lightweight
- Offers support and stability
- More affordable
- Doesn't roll
- No seat
- No carrying basket
Rollators, also known as rolling walkers or wheeled walkers, have four legs and four wheels. They are typically larger than standard walkers and often include brakes, a padded seat, and/or a basket for the easy transport of bulky or heavy items.
Rollators are meant to enhance convenience, but are not intended to fully support body weight (because they roll). No lifting is required to move a rollator forward.
A rollator may be an ideal choice if:
- You require a seat or carrying basket while on the go.
- You find it difficult to repeatedly lift a device while walking.
- You live in a spacious environment.
- Comfort and ease of use
- Seat and basket
- Does not support weight
- Heavy and bulky
Hybrid Rolling Walkers
A hybrid rolling walker, often with wheels on the front but not the back, may be your preferred option if you're looking for a device that's smaller and lighter than a rollator but offers a little more flexibility than a regular walker. Many individuals find hybrid mobility devices perfectly suit their needs.
Walker Shopping With Re-New Mobility
At Re-New Mobility, we understand that selecting the right mobility device is an impactful life decision, and we're here to support you every step of the way. For more information, reach out to us today!