When it comes to getting the right mobility aid, it can be quite confusing. Between all of the different terms and types of aids out there, knowing what you actually need can be rather tricky. This is especially true when it comes to walkers and rollators.
Walkers VS Rollators – What’s The Difference?
The first thing that you need to know when looking at walkers and rollators is what makes them different; the wheels.
Basically, a walker has a total of four legs that all touch the ground. When you are moving around, those four legs need to be lifted up by raising the walker. A rollator works very differently because it has wheels.
In short, the rollator has four wheels at the bottom of the legs, meaning that you don’t need to lift it up in order to move around. That’s why it is commonly referred to as a “rolling walker”. Many even come with seats built in as well! The wheels also pivot in place, allowing you to manoeuvre around with relative ease. However, rollators are generally much bigger and wider than a walker. This means that navigating around densely packed rooms or tight corridors can be difficult.
Walkers VS Rollators – What Is A Walker?
Okay, so we’ve touched on the difference between a walker and a rollator, but let’s look at each one in a bit more detail. After all, if you want to know whether you need a walker or a rollator, you need to know what they both are.
A walker is a frame with four legs that are designed to help support your balance as you move around. The most famous type of walker is the zimmer frame, which is what a lot of people still call them to this day. They need to be lifted up and down in order to move forward, meaning that you need to be able to grip onto a walker and lift it with your arm strength.
- Walkers can support balance and partially support body weight.
- Various accessories are available to help with movement.
- Walkers do not have a place for you to sit down.
Walkers VS Rollators – What Is A Rollator?
A rollator, as mentioned earlier, is different because it features wheels at the end of the legs. Sometimes referred to as rolling walkers, they allow you to move forward without the need to lift them up.
A rollator has a different type of frame than a walker, with every leg having a pivoting wheel at the end, and space for a seat being incorporated into the frame’s design. This makes it much easier to move around with. However, because of this different style of frame, the rollator is unable to offer support for balance.
- Rollators feature wheels are the end of each leg.
- Rollators typically have a seat built into their frame.
- Rollators do not need to be lifted in order to move around.
- Rollators should not be used to support body weight or help with your balance.
Walkers VS Rollators – Which One Do I Need?
So now that we have discussed the difference between walkers and rollators, let’s take a look at which one is right for you.
A walker, whilst not as easy to move forward due to needing to lift them up, are generally much better at holding your weight if you have trouble with balance. This is because the walker’s legs all touch the floor directly, making it more stable. This partial support for your weight can happen both when you are walking around and also when you are standing still.
On the other hand, Rollators aren’t able to offer as much stability and support if you have difficulty keeping your balance or find it hard to stand up.
If you need stable support when moving around, then you should use a walker. On the other hand, a rollator is great if you can hold your balance but need to be able to sit down regularly or have a place to carry your necessities.
A rollator is also very good if your arms or grip is weak. Since you need to be able to lift a walker up and move it forward before you can step forward yourself, using a walker relies on your arm strength and grip. This isn’t the case with a rollator, as you can simply push the rollator forward as you move.
Walkers VS Rollators – What About Hybrids?
There are actually hybrid walkers that attempt to make the best of both worlds. These feature two legs at the back that touch the ground, and two at the front with wheels on. This means that, when moving around, you only need to partially lift the walker to move forward.
As the two wheels at the front of the hybrid walker are able to carry the walker’s weight, this makes walking around much easier on the arms. On top of this, hybrid rolling walkers can partially support balance and weight. However, you need to be careful as the wheels at the front can roll forward at a swift pace if you put too much weight and strain on them.
- Hybrid rolling walkers feature two legs at the back and two wheels at the front.
- Hybrid rolling walkers require less arm strength and grip to use.
- Hybrid rolling walkers can partially support balance and body weight.
They typically don’t feature seats.
Hybrid rolling walkers tend to have smaller frames than rollators, making them easier to move around in narrow spaces.
Walkers VS Rollators – Choosing Between Them
Now that we have covered the different aspects of walkers, rollators and hybrid rolling walkers, the next step is decided which one you actually need.
If you need a mobility aid that can support your balance, and you are still able to grip onto and lift objects, then a walker would probably be best for you. On the other hand, if your balance is good but your arms are weak or you need to sit down often, a rollator would be the right choice.
However, if your arm strength isn’t what it used to be but you don’t need to sit down at regular intervals, then a hybrid rolling walker would probably be the best fit for you.
If you still need help in deciding whether you need a walker or a rollator, then why not take a look at our range of walkers and rollators, or feel free to call us on 01733 342242 or get in touch with us by email here. We are more than happy to help you work out what would be the best mobility aid for you.
Great communication. Very pleased with wheelchair. Thanks very much.Joanna D
Excellent service. Well informed staff came to demonstrate a standing chair, nothing was too much trouble and all my questions were answered. On delivery, customer service was brilliant, equipment was assembled and my home left clean and tidy. I would highly recommend this company.Ali A
Got my wheelchair quick, thanks!Rob W
thanks for sending them to me they were both very useful and has now made spoon feeding alot easier so thanks againmarie g
Product came sooner than expectedAudrey L
I purchased a Quest foldable mobility scooter - very pleased with the scooter and the service. I ordered it on a Friday and it was delivered on Monday. I would recommend to anyone - especially as I saved some money.Alison C
The item ordered is ideal for my Mums requirements and the delivery was excellenttoni d
very useful aid to carry for my mealsJill B
Had a fantastic service from Steve Perry who was able to provide Minor Illness & Injuries Unit in Peterborough with some urgent crutches. Will use again. Thank you.Sara P
Couldn't have been more helpful on the telephone and delivery was first rate. Will definitely use again.Patricia C
Great service and very helpful when I couldn't locate something on the site. Very happy with wheelchair we purchased and the price was great too.Catherine R
Very impressed with the transit chair I bought. Very high quality, well designed and turns on a sixpence! Would recommend to anyone considering purchase.Hazel H
What fantastic customer service i received from this company..Easy straight forward transaction,extremely helpful and attentive staff..Thanks to Steve for your patience when i changed my mind re colour of pushchair three times..The Cappuccino Mewa is brilliant..Just what we have been looking for...Kate f
Ordering on line was easy, and the product was delivered within 2 working days, excellent service all round, cannot fault it at all.jacqueline b
First class service items lived up to expectationsSusan m
Ordered a folding shower seat with 2 grab bars in the morning and these were delivered to me in the afternoon of the same day - that is what I call service. However the following day a further 2 Grab Bars were delivered and the co said that they would collect these the same day - still waiting after 1 week and another call - not so good and still waiting. A point that the co should consider is that we are finding it difficult to get someone to fit the shower seat and they are unable to provide any guidance or help. would suggest that they collect names and telephone numbers of local tradesmen who are trusted to fit their mobility equipment and provide guidance on fittingEdward B
Needed some crutches but not sure about measurements. Staff were helpful and knowledgeable on the phone. The price was very good, they arrived quickly and I am very pleased with them.Ann B
Called into the shop for a shower chair for an elderly relative. The staff were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. They didn't have the one I needed so I was offered the option of ordering in store or online. I ordered on line and the chair was delivered 2 days later. Fabulous service.I would recommend the Mobility Aids Centre. Thank you!Tracey K
Fantastic service, I order a Bathmaster Deltis bath chair lift on the 18/08/2015 and using the standard delivery system it was delivered to my house the following day. The chair works very well, it comes packed in the manufactures original box, battery ready charged for instantaneous use and at a very competitive price. Very good performance all round.Richard C
I was looking for a buggy for adults and the one I purchased named Troy. was excellent, I can put it up & down in seconds. The wheels are superbly easy to turn with. My husband says it is very comfortable and the black leather with red piping is very smart. When folded up there is a padded grip in the middle of the frame, which is perfectly balanced to lift it in and out of cars etc. a wonderfully strong but light wheelchair.Sandra S