Walking Aids: Walker or Rollator?

August 02, 2012 1 min read

Invacare Dual Paddle WalkerMost people are provided with a medical walker by their health insurance or Medicaid/Medicare, but that doesn't mean it's their best option. Depending on your lifestyle, you may prefer to have a walker or rollator or even both. Here are the differences:


The main advantage of walkers is that they provide maximum walking support. Also, they are typically very lightweight. However, walkers can be cumbersome and need to be lifted when navigating uneven surfaces. They are not recommended for outdoor use.

Invacare Value Line rollatorRollators

Rollators, sometimes called rolling walkers, are walkers with wheels at the end of each leg. Though they weigh a little more than walkers, rollators are easy to push and ideal for outdoor use. Plus, many models offer a seat for resting. Some even function as a transport chair, allowing you the freedom to walk when you want and be pushed when you want.

Those opting for a rollator will need to choose between a three wheel rollator and a four wheel rollator. Three wheel rollators have a tighter turning radius and can be used to navigate tight spaces. However, four wheel rollators provide more stability and have the option of coming with a seat which can be a big advantage.

We recommend that active adults needing a long term walking aid use a rollator. This will give them the most freedom and flexibility. For those in recovery, we recommend a medical walker. This will give the full support needed.