Have you heard the Bob Hardy story? Bob is a 65-year-old former bike racer who had to learn to walk again after having leukemia, strokes, hip replacement, blood clots, and spending three months in the hospital. When he wasn’t able to ride bikes anymore, he decided to walk and then his walking turned into running. He became known as a hero after succeeding to partake in several half marathons and Canada’s 21KM Alzheimer’s Society Walk for Memories Marathon in 2015 and then again at the 2016 Ottawa Marathon. His success was possible due to having his buddy, Hugo. If you haven’t heard of Bob and Hugo, there are several videos on YouTube about his amazing and inspirational marathon accomplishments.
What is a Rollator?
If you haven’t heard about Bob Hardy, you must be wondering, what does he have to do with rollators? Bob calls Hugo his buddy and sidekick because Hugo is the brand name of his rollator. A rollator is otherwise known as a walker on wheels or a wheeled walker. Rollators are superior to standard walkers because the wheels eliminate the need to lift the device when walking, which allows for a smoother gait. Bob Hardy can use it for running because it has four wheels and can go as fast as it is pushed. However, Bob had months of training so just because Bob Hardy runs with Hugo, it doesn’t mean it’s advisable for you to run with a rollator.
An advantage of the rollator type of walker is that most of them have a seat that you can use to take a short rest, plus they have brakes to slow you down if you need to slow down or stop and to brace it while you sit on the seat. Many rollators also have accessories you can get such as a basket or bag to store your personal items and a water bottle or drink holder, which may be sold separately.
Perhaps you, a patient, or a loved one has already been rolling around with a rollator but whether you are looking for a new model or have never had a rollator before, this Best Rollator Guide of 2017 reviews five rollators, as well as telling you about two others to help you choose one that is the best one for you.
Drive Medical 4-Wheel Rollator with Fold-up Removable Back Support
The Drive Medical 4-Wheel rollator is for anyone seeking durability, support, and strength, as well as a nice look that comes in red or blue and depicts quality. The stability of the steel construction of the Drive Medical 4-Wheel Rollator, as opposed to those made with aluminum, outweighs its heavier weight due to the fact that it is safer as it will not tip over as easily. This rollator has the unique feature of being able to fold up for easy travel or storage. The built-in seat and backrest are padded for a comfortable sit-down when needing a convenient place to rest as you’re shopping or just taking a walk. When ready to take a break from walking, the rollator locks are easy to pull to set and push to unlock. The backrest is hinged and can either be folded up or down or removed by pushing the brass buttons. It comes with a large removable basket that measures 8.5” W x 15.5” L x 4.5” D for carrying any personal items or purchases.
It has easy-turn handles to adjust and lock the height from 31 inches to 37 inches, which may not go high enough for someone over six feet. It also has 7.5-inch casters that do not leave black marks on the floor indoors and also outdoors on your patio. The handles are ergonomically designed for easy gripping and the front wheels pivot for quick turning. The weight capacity is 300 pounds. The dimensions are 23.5” wide by 25.5” in length with the seat being 12” wide by 12” long. It weighs 18.6 pounds and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Some assembly is required. If you need instructions on assembling, adjusting brakes, changing a wheel, and more, go to Drive’s website.
Even though the Drive Medical 4-Wheel Rollator has some good features, one of the most important is the width of the seat and the maximum height the rollator can be adjusted to. It doesn’t look to me that it is very versatile in making sure different sized people can use it. The seat is only 12 inches wide, which is fine for a smaller framed person but saying it will allow someone up to 300 pounds to use it surely is not accurate. Also, being able to adjust the height to 37 inches will not accommodate someone over approximately 5’11” or taller. It would have a smaller amount of people being able to use this model and may explain why it has a lower price.
- Four Wheel Rollator provides reliable support with maximum comfort and is ideal for uneven/outdoor terrain
- Features deluxe loop locks for safety, non-marking wheels, and a convenient basket for personal belongings
- Built-in padded seat with backrest and adjustable handle heights ensure customized comfort
- Easily store and transport walker by removing or folding backrest into compact size
- Handle Height: 31-37"; Seat Dimensions: 8.5"(D) x 15"(W) x 21"(H); Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Bariatric Rollator Walker Heavy Duty
If you’re not familiar with the term bariatric, it means a branch of medicine dealing with the studies and treatment of people with severe overweight problems, such as when some persons have diabetes. The Bariatric Rollator is made of a heavy-duty reinforced aluminum frame of extra strength with the weight capacity of up to 400 pounds. The eight-inch wheels are larger than the standard size to provide improved strength for extra weight. This rollator has a comfortable padded flip-up seat that is 25 inches wide on the inside with the seat being 20 inches, which is a few inches wider than several of the standard-size rollators. The all-over dimensions are 28” W x 18” W x 13-1/2” D and with the extra width, check to be sure that it will fit through your doorways at home as some doorways may be too small for the rollator (28 to 32 inches is standard). The handle height is adjustable from 35.25” to 39.5” and can accommodate persons of almost any height.
It also has a straight padded backrest to lean back on for when you need a break from walking or standing. There is a storage pouch under the seat and a basket to keep personal items or snacks. It is foldable with an easy-fold mechanism. It has brakes that are a reliable loop-style and rubber eight-inch wheels that are strong but not so strong that it could handle very rough or very soft terrain that it could sink down and damage the wheels. It is not recommended that you sit on the seat while it’s moving or you could damage the wheels. This rollator weighs 20 pounds and has a durable finish that comes in the colors of blue or burgundy.
It is good to see someone has designed a rollator that will fit a larger built person. Most other models have such small seats that very few persons can fit into them. Note that since this rollator weighs more, it may be too heavy for some persons to lift into a vehicle so you may want to make sure you have help. Another thing to be aware of is that it is wider and may not fit inside doorways so before ordering this one, be sure to measure your doorways (see tips on measuring in the section below called “How to Find the Right Rollator for You”)
- Strong, reinforced steel frame supports up to 500 lbs
- Large 8" wheels with reinforced forks and spokes for extra strength; Walker Height Range: 31.5"-37.5" Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
- Larger than standard rollators, measuring 29" W x 44.5" H x 29" D (may not fit through all door frames)
- Wide 17.5"x14" padded seat with Velcro pocket underneath. Width between handles: 23.5"
- Handles adjust from 31.5"-37.5" allowing users a more customized fit. Measurements from floor to seat: 22" (not adjustable)
Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Rollator
The Nitro Euro Style Rollator has a new look in rollators designed for those who want value with comfort and easy to maneuver. The frame is more modern looking but sturdy made of long-lasting aluminum that is lightweight and durable built with safety and convenience in mind and weighing only 17.5 pounds. The adjustable ergonomic handles are made to be customized to each user by simply pulling the handle up and securing it with the lock. Another unique thing about the Nitro Euro is that the brake cable is inside the frame for additional safety so it doesn’t get in the way or snag on something. The handle height is 33.5 inches to 38.25 inches. The Nitro Euro has large rubber 10-inch front wheels that will move quietly over a variety of terrains indoors and outdoors. When using outdoors, it has a pedal near the rear wheels that you can step on to help get over higher curbs and bumps.
The seat measures 18 inches wide, 10 inches deep, and 20.5 inches high with a curved backrest. Plus, the seat is made of a durable soft material with a lightly padded sling design that gives some when you sit down. It has a storage pocket behind the seat that is removable and it has a unique, fast, and easy way to fold up. It comes in one color of a white frame with black seat and backrest. The weight capacity is 300 pounds.
The Nitro Euro Style Rollator is for the person that likes to look “in style” while still able to feel safe with its durable but lightweight frame and easy to maneuver wheels. An additional plus is that Drive was smart enough to make a model that is the same as this one but just a bit smaller for the small-framed height-challenged person with the adjustable handle height of 28.5 inches to 31.5 inches. The way it folds up is different than other older models since the frame folds inward as it balances on its four wheels and can be folded with just one hand making it fast to fold when you need to go up steps or put it in the trunk to take anywhere.
- Easily collapse rollator to ultra-compact size with one hand by pulling seat grip up and bringing sides together so handles almost touch
- Sophisticated design features lightweight aluminum frame with built-in brake cable for extra safety and protection
- A comfortable nylon seat and handle height adjustability provide universal relief that feels customized
- Features large front wheels crafted to increase turning radius and a sleek removable zippered storage bag for secure convenience
- Overall Dimensions: 27.75"(L) x 23"(W) x 33.5"(H); Seat Dimensions: 10"(D) x 18"(W) x 20.5"(H); Handle Height: 33.5"-38.25"; Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Hugo Elite Rollator Walker with Seat
The Hugo Elite Rollator is the one Bob Hardy calls his sidekick. With the height adjustable handlebars and handgrips that are ergonomic, you can put your hands at a natural angle that allows for better posture and quick braking. The Elite’s built-in seat has a 2-inch height adjustment with a backrest to give you a comfortable place to take a break. Under the seat is a convenient storage compartment to keep you personal valuables while you’re out and it is big enough to hold a large purse or a few small bags from the store. There is also a saddle bag for additional storage that hangs off the backrest. It is very quick and easy to fold up by pulling a knob and will fit in most car trunks or in the rear seat of your SUV.
The Elite Rollator will give you reliable stability with the large 8-inch wheels that swivel and are capable of maneuvering on almost any surface. It is designed with a well-constructed and tough frame to sufficiently support adults up to 300 pounds. It has an easy tool-free assembly for quick set-up. The Hugo Elite fits most people between 4’3” to 6’2” with handle adjustable height by just squeezing and locking the control. The dimension from the handle to the floor is 2’6” to 3’3” and the width between the handlebars is 17.5 inches. The seat width is 12 inches and the seat height from seat to floor is 20” to 22.” The total weight of the rollator is 17 pounds and it comes in red or blue. Some tool-free assembling is needed but there is a Quick Start guide to help you and unlike some other models, the brake cables come installed.
I don’t know how many of these rollators that Bob Hardy used in his marathons but as fast as he was going the Hugo Elite had to be strong and stable to keep Bob balanced and able to run so many miles. It has a unique feature that I could not find another rollator, which is an adjustable seat height of two inches. Another unique feature is the way it folds up and that when you fold it up, there is a snap lock to keep it securely folded. Of all the rollators reviewed, this is my favorite.
- This blue rollator walker has a 2 inch height adjustable built-in seat with backrest that provides a perfect place to sit and rest, includes a convenient under seat storage bag and additional saddle bag
- Hugo's Rollator has height adjustable handle bars for proper posture and ergonomic hand grips which place your hands at a natural angle for comfort and better brake access
- Tool-free assembly makes this rolling walker quick and easy to set up, simple to fold down and fits into most car trunks
- Designed to support adults up to 300 lbs. and well suited for those that have conditions that compromise balance
- Extra Large 8 inch wheels give you reliable stability for more confidence and security when walking indoors or outdoors
Drive Medical Nitro DLX Euro Style Walker Rollator
The Nitro DLX Euro Style Rollator comes in an attractive eye-catching package that has two options in the unique colors of Sleek Blue or Champagne. If you’re looking for a rollator that sets you apart from all the rest, this is one to consider as it’s been called the Cadillac of walkers. The front casters are 10 inches making it superior to standard walkers as it keeps you from lifting the front to go over uneven terrain and allows you to easily steer as you walk with a smooth gait. Plus, the rear casters are 7 inches and all its wheels are excellent for having a comfortable roll over on all types of outdoor terrain to keep you maintaining an active lifestyle.
The Euro cross-brace design allows for added stability as well as side-to-side folding ability. It has a durable comfortable foam seat with a removable zippered storage bag with an attachment that keeps it in place. The Nitro DLX has the brake cables inside the unit’s frame for safety plus an easy tool-free adjustable handle height. The durable seat separates in the middle so it can easily fold into an ultra-compact size for transporting or storage. The overall dimensions are 28 inches long by 24 inches wide by 33.5 inches high and the seat is 18 inches wide by 10.75 inches deep by 20 inches from the ground. The handle height is 33.5 inches to 38.5 inches with a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
The Drive Nitro DLX is well-made and attractive, as well as being a sturdy, easy to maneuver rollator. If you or someone you know is experiencing loss of strength in their legs, using this rollator would help improve their strength and mobility. One review said that this was the only rollator she could find that could easily be used on gravel and grass. It does help to have the bigger wheels to be able to get around in different types of terrain and also allows for an enhanced turning radius. The Nitro DLX may cost more but it looks well worth it.
- Back support height easily adjusts with tool-free thumb screw.
- Caster fork design enhances turning radius
- Attractive, euro-style design; 10 inch front casters allow excellent steering and rolling comfort^Easily folds with one hand to ultra-compact size for storage; cross-brace design allows for side-to-side folding and added stability^Durable and comfortable firm seat separates allowing unit to fold^Handsome and removable deluxe zippered storage bag with unique attachment to keep bag securely in place when nitro is open or folded^Overall dimensions: 28 inch(l) x 24 inch(w) x 33.5 inch(h); seat dimensions: 10.75 inch(d) x 18 inch(w) x 20 inch(h); handle height: 33.5 inch-38.5 inch; weight capacity: 300 lbs
Why Do You Need One?
Bob has to use a rollator because he continues to have balance issues after going through so many health problems. Rollators are not just for the elderly and many use them to help improve their mobility for a convenient way to stay upright and stable if they are recovering from injuries or knee and hip replacements or have problems with weakness or pain in their legs caused by different conditions. Some use a rollator along with a wheelchair if they are not able to stand and walk for more than a few steps or need to get to an area where a wheelchair can’t go. When my legs started giving me problems, I started with a cane and then I went to two canes trying to delay using a walker but when my condition worsened, I finally accepted that I needed a walker. I didn’t get the chance to try the rollator type before graduating to a wheelchair but I’d like to try one for around the house to help strengthen my legs. I commend anyone that uses the rollator to keep up the strength in their legs even when a wheelchair is recommended.
How Do You Get One?
If you have had an injury or you need it due to other conditions that would qualify you for one, your doctor will prescribe one so that it is covered by your insurance. Or you can purchase one without going through your doctor or insurance and some rollators are reasonably priced for under $60. Rollators can be purchased from a medical equipment company, an online distributor, or some department or drug stores. To get an idea of what you may want, you can check out the below reviews, as well as a large selection online. It’s always a good idea to pick out two that you like and then go to a store that has them to actually see them before buying.
How to Find the Right Rollator for You
As with any medical equipment, you should talk to your doctor and case worker (if appropriate), as to if this will be useful for your current situation. Before discussing with them, review this guide to get an idea of which product you think will serve your needs the best at this time so you have the appropriate information when ordering.
Make sure a rollator will fit your height is to measure from your wrist to the floor and if the result is within the adjustable height of the rollator, it will fit you. Another tip to keep in mind is when measuring the doorway that swings inside the room, be sure to take into consideration that when the door is open the thickness of the door may decrease the amount of clearance because if it doesn’t open all the way, the clearance will be less than the doorway width.
Questions to Consider
In reviewing the ones listed above, the following should help you in determining which rollator would be best for you by asking:
- Is a rollator the best kind of walker for you? A rollator may not be good if you have some types of diseases or conditions that severely limit the strength of your hands to use on the handles for steering and braking or the strength of your legs to walk. Discuss with your doctor before buying.
- Have you discussed the type to purchase with your loved ones? Sometimes those closest to you can see better what you need than you or your doctor.
- Do you want a rollator with sturdy support or are you more concerned about the style? You don’t really have to make a decision on which is more important since there are some that serve both want and need such as the newer Euro style.
- Would you consider getting a 3-wheel rollator or do you need 4-wheel rollator? The 3-wheel is lighter weight and for someone that doesn’t need a lot of support (see below Duro-Med 3-Wheel Foldable Rollator).
- Do you want a rollator that is foldable? If you are on the go a lot, it is handy to be able to fold it and put into your trunk. Determine which type of folding you prefer.
- Will your insurance pay for part of the cost? If you’re not sure, make a call to your insurance company before you order anything. Some brands have websites that list the providers honored so you can check to see if the rollator you want is in your insurance network. It is unclear as to whether Medicare covers 80 percent of the cost some types of rollators so check with them before getting the approval of your doctor.
- Is the cost within your budget? If you have insurance, calculate how much your co-pay will be and if you can afford it.
- If you have any questions that are not answered in this guide, you may find answers on the manufacturer’s website by searching for it on the Internet or by calling them.
Other Rollator Brands
Below are two other brands of rollators that I thought were unique and worth mentioning. A rollator can be an important addition for you or your loved one that needs some help to get mobile due to having surgery, arthritis, back problems, chronic pain, or any muscular or nerve disease that makes them too weak to walk for any distance.
Drive Duet Dual Function Transport Rollator Walker
The Duet is an all-in-one unique rollator combined with a transport/wheelchair. You have the ability to either walk with the rollator or be pushed by a caregiver when using it as a transport chair. It has a padded seat for a comfortable ride or for taking a break to rest. Under the seat is a large storage pouch for personal items. Also, in the pouch is a convenient handle that unlocks the rollator for folding. It has flip-up armrests that lock into position and the footrest flips down for you to put your feet when being used to transport by a caregiver. It is recommended that when using it to transport someone that a belt is used to hold them secure in case of bumps or tipping. It is not meant to take the place of a wheelchair but to be used for a short transport. The weight capacity is 300 pounds. Handle height is 31.5 to 37 inches and it weighs 20 pounds.
When using as a rollator, the Duet surpasses a standard walker by eliminating the constant need to lift the device to get around uneven terrain. What is great about having the transport features is that when you get tired and you have someone with you, the Duet turns into a chair to sit on so someone can push you while you sit back on the padded seat with the contoured padded backrest that can be put into two different positions. The seat is not adjustable in height and is 13 inches deep by 13.5 inches wide. There is a pullout footrest that is between three to six inches off the ground. The handles have settings that go from 33 inches to 38 inches. When it is folded up the dimensions are 44 inches long by 24.5 inches wide and depending on how you fold it, 15 inches high with the handles folded down and the backrest removed, or 20 inches when that isn’t done. Overall dimensions are 26 inches long by 25.5 inches wide by 37 inches high. You have three colors to choose from of burgundy, blue, or black.
- Combines the features of a Rollator and transport chair in one unit
- Locking flip-up armrests and flip-down footrest are used in transport chair mode and are easily removed and stowed away in Rollator mode
- Tool-free, two-position contoured padded backrest with a comfortable padded seat and carry pouch for added privacy and security of personal items
- Folding frame with lock-out feature to ensure the unit stays open while in use and ensures the unit will stay folded during transport
- Product Weight: 20 lbs; Overall Dimensions: 26"(L) x 25.5"(W) x 37"(H); Seat Dimensions: 13"(D) x 13.5"(W) x 21"(H); Handle Height: 31.5"-37"; Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Duro-Med Folding 3-Wheel Rollator Walker With Tray, Basket, and Bag
The Duro-Med 3-Wheel Rollator is a unique due to having just three wheels as opposed to the standard four-wheel rollator but it is great for someone who is not over 220 pounds and needs just a little help and will walk slowly with gentle strides as the distribute body weight evenly between the handlebars. It is ideal for someone that has balance problems or needs something to make them feel more secure. It’s not meant to be like a 4-wheel rollator that you can put a lot of weight on for support.
Once you get used to it, you’ll see how easily it turns and will travel over most sorts of terrain such as grass, gravel, carpet and is great to get into small areas since it is less than 23 inches wide. It’s also great if you are looking for a rollator that is lighter weight than the 4-wheel rollator. It weighs only 15 pounds or less without the basket. It is foldable by pulling on the lock release mechanism for a very compact storage or traveling as it will fit in any size trunk or the back seat. It is made of lightweight aluminum and is easy to maneuver through tight or crowded areas such as hallways, bathrooms, shops, airports, and more.
The Duro-Med has a removable basket that you can use for shopping, carrying household items, oxygen tanks, etc. and also has another storage bag, as well as a removable tray on top of the basket. With all that storage, be sure not to overload and make the rollator off balance or else it may tip over. The brakes operate similarly to bicycle brakes by just pulling the handle up and it has a parking brake that can be used by pushing the handle down into a locked position. The wheels are 7.5 inches and made of rubber. The dimensions are 12.5 inches by 22.5 inches by 37 inches high. It is easy to assemble with no tools needed.
The Duro-Med 3-Wheel rollator may not be very popular but they are worth considering, especially due to their being so lightweight and they are also light on the pocketbook.
- FOLDING ROLLATOR WALKER WITH SWIVELING FRONT WHEEL for maximum manueverability and stability. Easily fits into vehicles when folded. Rollator walker turns on a dime and is suitable for up to 220 pounds. Folds and takes up little space in storage. FSA eligible.
- ALUMINUM LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT DESIGN makes your walker easy to operate at only 15 pounds, while smoothly traveling through tight or crowded areas, narrow halls and streets, shops, airports, and more.
- DETACHABLE STORAGE TRAY, BAG, AND BASKET are great for storing household items, medical items such as oxygen tanks, shopping items, and more.
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE with no tools necessary.
- WARRANTY AND GUARANTEE: Amazon Exclusive Limited warranty may apply. Please see product for additional details. Note: we can only guarantee the quality of this product when sold through Amazon.com or Brazos Walking Sticks.