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How to Compare Rollators to Choose the Best Option for You

A senior woman pushes her rollator down the street

There are numerous types of rollators available today, all with different features and benefits to suit each individual uniquely. When comparing rollators, it’s important to understand the specific support you need in order to select the appropriate mobility aid for you.

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What Is a Rollator?

There are various mobility aids for walking available on the market. A rollator is a popular option containing 3 or 4 wheels instead of traditional walker feet or slides. They adjust to your height, are easily maneuverable, and often include a lightweight seat you can take anywhere.

A rollator features a wheel at the end of each leg. Each wheel has the ability to pivot, making different types of rollators very easy to navigate through tight spaces. As a bonus, many rollators come with built-in storage so you don’t have to carry other items while operating your rollator.

Rollators vs. Walkers

What’s the biggest difference between a walker and a rollator? A rollator has wheels! A walker requires the operator to lift and move it forward, while a rollator is easily pushed forward with wheels. 

So, how do you know if a rollator is right for you? When comparing rollators, note that they were created for individuals with a good sense of balance who need some support while walking. They are easy to operate and feature hand brakes for use while standing and sitting.

As a general rule of thumb, if you struggle with your balance, a more stable mobility aid for walking such as a walker or even a cane may be a better fit for you. If you can balance well but struggle with the grip strength required to carry a cane or walker, a rollator is likely your best option.

If none of these walking mobility aids provide enough assistance, you may want to consider a wheelchair or transport chair as an alternative.

3-Wheel Rollators

When shopping and comparing rollators, think about your daily activities. The purpose of a rollator is to assist you while walking without slowing you down. Understanding your daily movement will help you decide if you want three or four wheels for your type of rollator.

A 3-wheel rollator walker is generally the more maneuverable option. The turn radius is tighter, making it easier to navigate through tight spaces like older homes and small shops. 3-wheel rollators are also typically lighter, making them ideal for someone consistently on the move who will need to load their rollator into a vehicle frequently. 

However, 3-wheel rollators don’t provide nearly as much support as devices with four wheels. They also don’t have a built-in seat option due to their more streamlined design. And, they typically have a lower weight capacity, which can be a limiting factor.

A woman pushes her rollator and shows off the hand brakes attached to the handles.

4-Wheel Rollators

A 4-wheel rollator walker offers more stability and support for the user. They generally have a comfortable, fabric seat and larger front wheels for smooth movement. Most 4-wheel rollators have a weight capacity of up to 300 lbs. 

While a device with four wheels does offer more support, it is also more cumbersome than a mobility aid with three wheels. Navigating through narrow halls or crowded areas can be challenging, and they are typically heavier in weight when it comes to loading them in a vehicle.

Our Favorite 3- and 4-Wheel Rollators

Comparing rollators can get overwhelming with so many options available. We pulled together a list of our favorites to help you narrow down your choices. 

Drive Nitro

The Drive Nitro Rollator Walker provides a comfortable seat, adjustable handles, and large, 10” front casters for more support and easy rolling. The lightweight, aluminum frame allows for simple navigation and transportation and folds up tightly. With plenty of storage, an adjustable backrest, and a weight capacity up to 300 lbs., this rollator is a versatile option for anyone in need of a walking mobility aid.

Drive Nitro Elite CF

Similar to the Drive Nitro, the Nitro Elite CF Carbon Fiber Rollator contains a comfortable seat with an adjustable backrest, adjustable handles, and 10” front wheels for optimal steering and support. And, this lightweight rollator walker’s carbon fiber frame only weighs 14 pounds.

This lightweight option also folds down to an ultra-compact size, making it the perfect choice for someone always on the go.

Drive Nitro Duet

The Nitro Duet Rollator and Transport Chair combines the best features of a classic rollator and a transport chair into one device. With a 300-lb rollator weight limit, this unit allows the user to move independently or be pushed by someone else. While it is slightly heavier, this rollator provides the most comfort to the seated user and can still fold down to a smaller size for storage or transportation. Foot rests can also be installed next to the front wheels for additional comfort and support. 

Drive 3-Wheel Rollator

If you’re searching for a 3-wheel rollator walker, look no further than the Drive 3-Wheel Rollator. Only weighing 11 lbs., this lightweight rollator is our favorite 3-wheel option. It features 7.5″ casters, adjustable handles, and special loop locks for safety. With a tight turn radius, this rollator is easy to navigate and still boasts a weight capacity of 300 lbs.

Looking for personal guidance when comparing rollator options? Want to take a rollator for a spin? Find your nearest Mobility City store, where our trained professionals are always ready to help!