Buyers guide to choose between a walking frame or rollator

It can be overwhelming with all the different types of walking aids on the market; Which one do I buy? Which one is right for me? Or do I even need one? It can be hard to make the right choice, especially when you spend your hard-earned cash on it! This guide gives you a bit of direction when looking for a new walking frame or rollator. See more information below!  

WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WALKING FRAME AND ROLLATOR/WALKER? 

Comparison between a walking frame and rollator 

WHAT IS A WALKING FRAME USED FOR? 

A walking frame is used for extra stability and prevents falls from happening due to the user losing balance while walking. They are four-legged frames usually made from aluminium but can be made of other materials. Generally for people who can still walk, have the strength to move things, but require some assistance with their balance. They are great for assisting with walking which can improve the users walking distance. 

TYPES OF WALKING FRAMES. 

Standard walking frame 

 Walking frame

Advantages 

  • Super stable, provides stability & balance 
  • Easy to use 
  • Sturdy  
  • Multiple grab points 

Disadvantages 

  • Hard to turn 
  • No brakes 
  • No seat 

OTHER VARIATIONS OF WALKING FRAMES. 

Walking frame with wheels and ski 

 Walking frame with wheels and skis

Advantages 

  • Provides stability & balance 
  • Easy to use 
  • Sturdy  
  • Multiple grab points 
  • Easier to push than standard frames  

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Disadvantages 

  • Not suitable for outdoor use 
  • Hard to turn 
  • No brakes 
  • No seat 

Walking frame with wheels 

Walking frame with wheels

 

Advantages 

  • Provides stability & balance 
  • Easy to use 
  • Sturdy  
  • Easy to push  
  • Multiple grab points  

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Disadvantages 

  • Hard to turn  
  • Not suitable for outdoor use 
  • No brakes 
  • No seat 

WHAT IS A ROLLATOR/WALKER USED FOR? 

A rollator/walker provides balance, increases walking distance, and improves the user's confidence when walking. They even come with a seat so that the user can rest when they need to. Rollators/walkers often come in four wheels or three-wheel variants. Each has its benefits and disadvantages, which you can learn more about below. 

TYPES OF ROLLATORS/WALKERS. 

Standard 

Standard rollator/walker  

Advantages 

  • Easy to push 
  • Wheels rather than legs 
  • Easy to apply brakes 
  • Easy to adjust 
  • Comes with a seat to rest on  

Disadvantages 

  • Less stable than a walking frame  
  • Sometimes difficult to store or fold  

OTHER VARIATIONS OF ROLLATORS/WALKERS. 

Narrow 

 Narrow rollator/walker

Advantages 

  • Easy to push 
  • Wheels rather than legs 
  • Narrower than standard walkers (fits between doorways easier) 
  • Ideal for the more petite person 
  • Easy to apply brakes 
  • Easy to adjust 
  • Comes with a seat to rest on  

Disadvantages 

  • Less stable than a walking frame  
  • Sometimes difficult to store or fold  

 

Knee 

 Knee rollator/walker

Advantages 

  • Great for taking the weight off of one leg 
  • Comfortable 
  • Wheels rather than legs 
  • Easy to apply brakes 
  • Easy to adjust 
  • For users with limited strength 

Disadvantages 

  • Less stable than a crutches 
  • Sometimes difficult to store or fold  

 

Carbon fibre 

 Carbon fibre rollator/walker

Advantages 

  • Lightweight  
  • Strong 
  • Wheels rather than legs 
  • Comes with a seat to rest on  
  • Easy to apply brakes 
  • Easy to adjust 
  • For users with limited strength 

Disadvantages 

  • Cost more than standard walkers  

 

Three wheeled 

 Three wheeled walker/rollator

Advantages 

  • Easy to turn  
  • Wheels rather than legs 
  • Easy to apply brakes 
  • Easy to adjust 
  • For users with limited strength 

Disadvantages 

  • Cost more than standard walkers  
  • Less stable than standard walkers due to having only three wheels 

Bariatric  

 Bariatric walker/rollator

Advantages 

  • Strong 
  • Wheels rather than legs 
  • Comes with a seat to rest on  
  • Easy to apply brakes 
  • Easy to adjust 
  • For users with higher body mass  

Disadvantages 

  • Bulky and heavy to handle the user weight 
  • Cost more than standard walkers  

WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME? 

Walking frame 

Walking frames are more stable but are more challenging to manoeuvre than rollators/walkers. If you are looking for stability and have the strength to move a walking frame, this may be the right choice. 

To view our walking frames, click here. 

Rollator/Walker 

Rollators/walkers are stable and are easier to manoeuvre than walking frames. If you have limited strength and are looking for something easy to push, this may be your right choice. 

To view our rollators, click here. 

If you are ever having trouble knowing if you need a walking frame or a rollator it is always best to speak to a medical professional as they will be able to point you in the right direction.