Are you in the market for a walker, possibly a three wheel walker, but can’t decide? This buying guide will explain the difference between a four wheel and three wheel walker. Besides the three wheel walker having one less wheel than the four wheel walker, you may wonder if there are any other differences. Yes, there are and they are listed below.
Three Wheel Walker vs. Four Wheel Walker
First of all, if you don’t know this already you should be aware of the fact that walkers are also called rollators or rolling walkers but for this article, I will call them walkers. Here are the main differences between the three wheel and the four wheel walker:
- A three wheel walker is lighter weight than the four wheel walker
- A three wheel walker folds up easier than the four wheel walker
- A three wheel walker turns on a tighter radius than the four wheel walker
- A three wheel walker does not have a seat like the four wheel walker
- A four wheel walker usually can take more weight than a three wheel walker
- A four wheel walker is more stable than the three wheel walker
- A four wheel walker has a larger adjustment range than the three wheel walker
- A four wheel walker has a seat to rest on whereas the three wheel walker doesn’t
Questions to Ask
The above may be somewhat helpful but for you to get a better idea of which would be best for you, it will help if you answer the below questions before buying a walker.
- Where will you be using the walker the most? Inside or outside the home? Larger wheels (7.5-8 inches) do better outside. Smaller wheels (5-6 inches) do better inside.
- Will the walker need to be transferred often in and out of a vehicle; do you or someone else have to lift it often? Standard walkers weigh 11-26 pounds but he lightweight ones are between 11-14 pounds vs. the standard that weighs between 16-26 pounds.
- Will the weight capacity accommodate your weight? Standard walkers range from 250-300 pounds; heavy duty may be 400 pounds or more; bariatric walkers are usually 500 pounds or more.
- Is the walker’s height adjustable? Standard seat height on 4-wheel is 21-23 inches high.
- Which type fits your personal needs better? A 3-wheel walker is lighter weight with tight turning radius or a 4-wheel with more stability and a resting seat?
- Are you confident in your mobility and just need a little extra support? If so, a 3-wheel walker is for you?
- If you need more support while walking, the 4-wheel walker is for you.
Examples of Three-Wheel Walkers
The below three examples of three-wheel walkers were chosen due to their high ratings and because they are all less than $100.
Nova Medical Products Traveler 3-Wheel Rolling Walker, Blue
This walker is great for maneuvering diverse spaces and terrain with large 8-inch wheels. It is easy to use the locking handbrakes that are designed for maximum comfort and control. It weighs only 16 pounds and has a roomy zippered pouch for keeping your valuable, a small tray to place items, and a basket to store items. The width between the handles is 12 inches. The handle height is adjustable from 33 inches to 37.25 inches so the user should be between the height of 5’4” and 6’2” and the weight capacity is 250 pounds. The overall dimensions are 24.25 inches wide by 23.75 inches deep when open and when it is folded 33 inches – 37.25 inches long by 26 inches wide by 11 inches deep. Most customers were happy with this walker giving it a 4.4 out the 5-star rating.
- FEATURES: The Traveler is the ideal walker for maneuvering diverse and small spaces, is super easy to fold in just seconds and stays in a folded standard position making it so easy to roll and park just about anywhere. It comes with a tray, large zippered storage pouch and basket. Comes with NOVA’s standard features and beautiful long lasting paint finish
- WHEELS & BRAKES: Equipped with All-Terrain 8" rubber wheels with a 1 3/4" wide base, NOVA's wheels are durable, great for indoor and outdoor use and make the ride smooth and stable. NOVA's patented feather touch hand brakes are uniquely designed for maximum comfort and control. It is easy to engage the brake with a small grip and minimal hand strength. Parking or locking the brakes takes just a gentle push downward on the lever and a pull upwards to release. Our brakes are backed by the best Brake Warranty with a 5 year warranty on all brake parts
- TRAY & STORAGE: Comes with a tray, basket and zippered pouch which are all removable. The tray is ideal for transporting food and small items such as a cell phone. The large basket and zippered pouch provide lots of storage for personal items. Tray Dimensions: 9.5"W x 8"D; Pouch Dimensions: 11.75"W x 9"D x 11.75"H; Basket Dimensions: 9.5"W x 8"D x 9.5"H
- SPECIFICATIONS: Approximate user height of 5'4" - 6’2”; Weight Capacity is 250 lb.; Walker weight is 16.5 lb.; Handle height adjustable from 33.25"-37"; Width between handles: 12"; Overall dimensions: 23.5"W x 24.5”D x 37”H
- WARRANTY: NOVA walkers are built for life and backed by the best service and warranty. The NOVA Traveler has a Lifetime Limited Warranty on the frame and 5 Warranty on the Brakes. Your complete satisfaction is our only goal
Carex Health Brands 3-Wheel Trio Roller Walker A33300
This Carex Trio Walker is made for people with an active lifestyle and provides mobility and comfort as you easily move around indoors or out. It is equipped with locking hand brakes and 7.5-inch wheels that will make it easier to maneuver over different types of terrain. The height of the walker is adjustable with just a click of a button from 31.75 to 38 inches. This walker is very lightweight at only 7.5 pounds and folds quickly for storage in the trunk of behind the car seat. It also has a very large vinyl storage bag that hangs conveniently between the handles and has pockets for an ID card and cell phone plus your personal belongings are easy to get to. The weight capacity is 250 pounds. Most customers were happy with this walker giving it a 4.3 out the 5-star rating.
- Contains (1) Carex Trio Rolling Walker, three-wheeled rolling walker for seniors. Lightweight, foldable & compact for easy maneuverability in tight spaces. Collapses quickly for storage & transport. Large storage bag & height adjustable handles. 7" wheels with locking brakes, one of the leading walkers in the category.
- This lightweight, folding, three-wheeled walker is easy to maneuver for increased mobility in narrow spaces. It goes where you go with its quick-collapse system for easy storage & transport. 3 wheeled rollators are much more maneuverable, but are really not intended for people who need full support or side to side balance issues
- The Carex Trio Rolling Walker includes a large storage bag with pockets for ID cards and cell phone. Transport yourself and your accessories with ease as you cruise through your day. It folds neatly and is a great choice for the elderly or handicap.DO NOT use a rollator in mud, ice, or puddles
- With height adjustable handles, the Carex Trio Rolling Walker is easy to customize for an ideal comfort level. The 7" wheels with locking brakes mean you get the support you need whether standing still or rolling smoothly along. Quick tool-free assembly
- The three wheel rollator features one wheel in the front and two wheels in the back. This adult walker is perfect for senior members of the family who still want their independence.
Drive Medical Winnie Lite Supreme Aluminum Three Wheel Rollator, Tan Plaid
This Winnie Lite Supreme Three Wheel Rollator by Drive Medical is lightweight at 11 pounds and comes in an attractive tan finish. It has 7.5-inch tires ideal for indoor and outdoor use giving you a smooth ride over most surfaces. It comes with special loop locks, adjustable handles, and brakes. The Winnie comes with a carry pouch that is a tan plaid for keeping your personal items. The weight capacity is 300 pounds. Dimensions are 22.75 inches long by 26 inches wide by 32 inches high. The height of handles is from 31 inches to 38 inches and easily adjustable. This walker had many happy customers who loved how lightweight it is and giving it a 4.4 out of the 5-star rating.
Example of Four-Wheel Walker
The below example of a four-wheel walker was chosen to compare to the three-wheel walkers so you could see the difference.
Drive Medical 4-Wheel Rollator with Fold Up Removable Back Support, Red
This 4-wheel walker has 7.5 non-marring casters that are great for going over uneven outdoor terrain making for an active lifestyle. With the built-in seat and backrest, you will have a convenient place to rest. It folds up quickly and fits easily into the trunk or back seat. The handle height is adjustable from 31 inches to 37 inches with just the twist of the lever and can be locked. Deluxe loop locks pulled forward keeps it from rolling and by pushing locks down into place you should keep proper posture. Dimensions are 23.5 inches wide by 25.5 long and seat measures 12 inches long by 12 inches wide. Weight capacity is 300 pounds and the walker weighs only 18.6 pounds. Customers are satisfied with this walker giving it 4.5 out 5 stars.
As you can see the 3-wheel and 4-wheel are very similar but they can make a big difference, depending on how active you are. All of these are considered to be within the customer’s satisfaction with stars from 4.3 to 4.5 out of the 5 stars. The best way to decide which is best for you is to try each model out at a medical equipment supplier. I hope this guide will help you determine if the three-wheel walker is best for you. Whichever you decide one, I wish you many miles of happy rolling!