5 Tips on Selecting the Best Rollator Walker
Mobility issues can be challenging and frustrating. You might no longer have the energy & capacity to move freely on your own. Fortunately, you can use mobility aids, like a rollator walker, to restore a certain degree of independence. Rollators or rolling walkers are mobile devices with three to four legs, handgrips, and a wide base of support to ensure both sides of your body are stable at once. Best of all, they often feature a seat you can use when you need to rest from walking and have anti-tip wheels that will take you to your favourite places.
But which rollator should you buy for yourself or a loved one? What are the things to consider? To help you decide, here are some tips on selecting the best rollator walker.
1) Pick between three and four-wheel rollators.
Rollators are often available in three- and four-wheel models. A three-wheel rollator is usually narrower than a four-wheel model. It features a tight turning radius and easily fits through small passageways, making it an ideal option for indoor use. Lightweight & portable, it’s also great for travelling. One downside to this option is it can be less stable since it has an odd number of wheels. Plus, not all three-wheel rollators are equipped with an optional seat.
On the other hand, a four-wheel model is broader and heavier than a three-wheel rollator. It’s more stable, especially when going up a hill or over a steep curb. And it usually comes with a convenient seat, making it easy to take a break from hours of walking.
2) Consider the wheel size.
Rollator wheels measure from six to 10 inches in diameter. Eight-inch wheels or above are considered large; they’re your best bet when you need an outdoor rollator. These wheels can conquer uneven terrains and handle bumps steadily. Do you only need a rollator for indoor use? Six to seven-inch wheels could be a better choice. These smaller wheels usually offer a tighter turning radius and better maneuverability through narrow hallways or entryways.
3) Find the perfect handle height.
Finding the perfect handle height is essential when shopping for a rollator. Otherwise, you might slouch or struggle as you walk because the handle height is too low or high.
How to find the proper rollator’s handle height? Stand up straight and keep your arms at your side while slightly bending your elbows. Ask someone to help you to maintain that position. And have another individual measure the distance between the floor and your wrist. This measurement will be the most appropriate handle height for your new rollator.
It’s also best to purchase a rollator with height-adjustable handles (some rollators even have a wide adjustment range!). That way, you can adjust it an inch or two to accurately suit your height when walking on different terrains.
4) Check the weight capacity.
Don’t forget to check the weight capacity of a rollator to ensure it can safely support you or a loved one. Most rollators can support users weighing 250 to 350 lbs. You may need to find a heavy-duty rollator if you’re looking for a weight capacity of 400 to 500 lbs. Note, however, that models with a higher weight capacity tend to be heavier than others to provide reliable support. Don’t forget to consider that if you’re planning to bring your rollator on your trips.
5) Find a comfortable seat.
Want a rollator with an optional seat? Find a model with comfortable seating. Rollators with a sling, cushioned, or padded seat are incredible options. How about unpadded plastic seats? They may be easier to clean, but they may not be comfortable to sit on for a long time. Also, pay attention to the seat dimensions. Make sure they’re suitable to fit your unique body shape and size.