Three best walkers
Walking without any help is something most of us take for granted, but there's no shame in needing a little assistance. A quality walker can help you get from point A to point B while maintaining your independence.
If you've decided you require a walker, the question remains, how do you find the best one for you? It isn't an exact science, but by learning more about walkers and the best uses for different types, you can work out which one will best suit your needs.
Read our shopping guide to walkers and check out our top picks and you'll soon be zipping around your neighborhood.
Considerations when choosing walkers
Standard vs. wheeled
A standard walker has four legs and no wheels. Standard walkers are very stable, but some users may not be able to lift and move them between steps. You can also find walkers with two wheels on the front. Two-wheeled walkers solve the lifting issue, and they're still very stable when the back two legs are planted on the ground. Four-wheeled walkers, also known as "rollators," are great for outdoor use, but these may not offer enough support and stability for some people.
Weight and height
Your walker should be light enough that you can comfortably lift it at least a few inches off the ground. This is especially important for standard walkers, but there may be times when you need to lift even a wheeled walker, such as when stepping on or off a curb that isn't cut or if you need to navigate a few steps. Also, check that the walker is the correct height for you or if it can be adjusted to fit.
All walkers have a maximum weight limit, usually between 200 and 300 pounds. It's important that you not use a walker if you're heavier than the maximum weight limit because it's possible that the walker could give out, which could lead to serious injuries. You can find bariatric walkers designed for larger users.
Storage: It's hard, if not impossible, to safely use a walker while carrying something in your hand. Having some storage space, such as a basket or bag, attached to your walker is an excellent idea, whether you want to use it for grocery shopping or you simply want to transport a book from the shelf to the couch.
Seating: Rollators often feature a seat and a backrest, giving you a portable chair to use whenever you need it. This is particularly handy if you plan to use your walker on longer trips around town.
Brakes: Standard and two-wheeled walkers don't require brakes, but rollators do. These brakes should be both effective and easy to use. Stiff brake levers can be tricky to operate, especially if you suffer from arthritis or have a weak grip.
Walker prices: You can find basic standard and two-wheeled walkers for as little as $20 to $40. Four-wheeled rollators are more expensive, generally priced between $50 and $100. You'll need to go to the higher end of that price range to get a rugged model suitable for daily use.
Q. Can I fold a walker for storage or transportation?
A. Some standard and two-wheeled walkers and most four-wheeled walkers can be folded for easier storage or transporting in the trunk of a car.
Q. Are additional accessories available for my walker?
A. Yes, you can find a range of handy walker accessories, including extra storage bags or baskets, hooks for grocery bags, and cup holders.
Q. Can I adjust the height of the seat on a walker?
A. Some walker seats are adjustable and others aren't. Check before you purchase, especially if you're fairly tall or short.
Walkers we recommend
Best of the best: Hugo Portable Rollator Walker
Our take: With a seat, backrest, and plenty of storage, this practical rollator will get you where you need to go.
What we like: Large wheels for smoother handling. Sturdy, solid construction.
What we dislike: Can be tricky to fold and unfold.
Best bang for your buck: Drive Medical Rollator
Our take: It's not the cheapest model available, but it offers exceptional value for a wheeled walker.
What we like: Adjustable handles. Removable backrest. Lightweight. Folds down small.
What we dislike: You can't adjust the seat height.
Our take: It might not be the best option for users who want a conventional walker, but it's perfect if you need a one-armed model.
What we like: Sturdy aluminum construction suitable for users up to 300 pounds. Folds and unfolds easily.
What we dislike: Height of walker is fiddly to adjust.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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