Home Mobility and Access 5 Best Walkers with Seats and Rollators

5 Best Walkers with Seats and Rollators

by Zac Martin
walkers with seats feature

Whether it’s a walker, cane, or wheelchair, somewhere around 16% of Americans over the age of 65 use a mobility device. Should you fall into this category, then you likely want to stay as active as possible. If it’s a walker that is being used for mobility, the addition of a seat can easily help you travel further distances, as they allow you to rest when the body demands it.

But how does one choose the best walkers or rollators with seats when there are so many of them available on the market? Check out our take on the subject. We’ve analyzed the market, narrowing down the decisions to what we believe are the best of the best.

These are the best rollators and walkers with seats.

What to Look for in a Walker or Rollator

There are three main factors that somebody choosing a walker needs to keep in mind throughout the shopping process.

The first factor would be the weight rating. A walker that does not meet the weight rating of the user is not safe to use. Period. A 350-pound person attempting to use a walker that was designed with a max limit of 200 pounds is only asking for trouble.

Thankfully, most walkers out there are heavy duty, but there are also versions which are specifically designed with bariatric patients in mind. The astute walker shopper will commit this to memory.

The second factor to consider is the height of the walker. Walkers are virtually always adjustable, but only to a point. A walker designed to accommodate somebody up to six feet tall is going to be obnoxiously uncomfortable for someone who is 6’4” – just short enough to reach the handles, perhaps, but tall enough to have to slightly slouch to do so.

The third factor a walker shopper should look for is stability. Does the walker give one a feeling of confidence as it is being used? If the design feels flimsy, then look for something else. This is a piece of equipment which is being purchased with the express intention of keeping one from falling. It may as well be a walker that feels sturdy then, should it not?

The last factor to look for in a walker is comfort. Do the hand grips feel alright? One’s hands are going to be spending a lot of time there, so they best be. Does the walker seem to aggravate pain rather than alleviate it? Comfort matters. Humans are creatures of convenience and experiencing pain is a barrier to convenience. Should one have uncomfortable walker handles, they’re going to unwittingly choose to not walk as much as they would with comfortable handles.

This, in turn, leads to a downward spiral of less walking and decreased ability to walk. There is no need to go down this road when proper comfort with a walker can solve the issue entirely.

For more advice on how to pick out the right walker, check out our prior article on the subject.

various rollators

FAQs About Walkers and Rollators

Many people have questions about their walker or rollator. Here are a few of the most asked questions –

Why Do People Put Tennis Balls on Walkers?

There are two main reasons that people put tennis balls on walkers. For starters, walkers can scuff floors. This isn’t a way to make friends if invited over to one’s house. By putting fuzzy tennis balls on the legs of a traditional walker though this helps to ensure floors (and hosts) stay happy.

The second reason tennis balls are often added to walkers is to reduce the metal chattering noise which is common on traditional walkers.

Is a Rollator Better than a Walker?

Both are functional designs, but a rollator does seem to have some distinct advantages. For starters, a rollator is easier to move. No lifting is required – all one must do is hang onto it and walk. Rollators often have seats on them as well. Walkers do not. However, walkers are typically cheaper than rollators.

senior with rollator

Why Does My Walker Hurt My Hands?

This is a common complaint and typically is caused by insufficient padding on the walker handles. With time, existing cushion on walker handles can become compressed or fall off. Replacing the foam can help to disseminate the pressure that is being placed upon the hands better.

Does Medicare Cover Walkers for Seniors?

Yes, Medicare does cover walkers but there are a few caveats that need to be borne in mind. For starters, Medicare will cover the cost of a walker under Medicare Part B as a piece of Durable Medical Equipment (DME).

The catch is that there are a couple of things that need to take place for this piece of DME to be covered. First, a doctor is going to have to prescribe the walker as medically necessary for the patient inside their own home. One can’t just go out and decide they need a walker and expect Medicare to pay for it. Medicare’s pocketbook doesn’t open until the doctor gives the magic word.

The next thing that needs to happen is the walker must be sourced from a supplier who also accepts Medicare. Typically, this isn’t a problem. There are plenty of companies out there which are more than happy to work with Medicare.

The one area where this can be an issue is with upright/stand up walkers. Should you be able to get a prescription for a walker (which is easy) and be able to find an upright walker company that accepts Medicare (which is not easy), then you could have an upright walker covered.

Many upright walker manufacturers refuse to accept Medicare, however Meaning that this is a piece of DME the patient will likely have to pay for out of pocket.

Should you find a walker (upright or otherwise) that Medicare is willing to pay for, keep in mind you’re going to end up paying 20% of the Medicare approved amount.

Are Stand Up Walkers Safe for Seniors?

Speaking of stand-up walkers (aka, upright walkers), many wonder whether they are actually safe to use? Does somebody who has fragile bones and inherent balance difficulties have any reason to use one of these devices?

Absolutely.

There is nothing inherently unsafe about using a stand-up walker. The only negative that these types of walkers have going for them is that they’re new, and thus, people are wary. If the traditional walker design is all one has ever seen for their entire life, it’s strange to trust what seems to be an untested version of a walker for one’s personal safety.

This is unfortunate, as biomechanically speaking, a stand-up walker is a superior design.

As we age, the natural tendency for the human spine is for it to shrink and slouch. This is why seniors are shorter than when they were younger and it is also the reason that so many seniors have a slouched posture.

This slouched posture of the upper spine is known as kyphosis, and aside from further functionally decreasing one’s height, it can also be associated with arthritis, back pain, balance issues, headaches, and decreased shoulder mobility.

Unless the user of a traditional walker is very conscious of their posture, it is all too easy to fall into a kyphotic posture (slouched over) while using a traditional walker. This in turn can lead to further development of kyphosis in the spine.

This is an area where an upright walker really shines, however. By allowing the user to rest their hands or arms at a much higher location than a traditional walker allows, the upright walker forces one into a better postural position. This means one will be less prone to kyphosis and it may even ease back pain that a user typically experiences with a traditional walker.

As far as safety itself goes, there is nothing inherently more unsafe about an upright walker when compared to a traditional walker. If anything, a walker which encourages one to use poor posture is likely to cause more problems than one that doesn’t.

When Should a Senior Use a Wheelchair vs a Walker?

disabled person on wheelchair

This is a bit of a sticky question that is going to depend on the individual. As always, seek professional medical help before making this decision for oneself. A doctor, physical therapist, or occupational therapist is going to be the first and best source of information as to whether one needs to transition from a walker to a wheelchair.

Here are the factors a licensed medical professional will consider:

1) Has there been a recent change in one’s medical history?

Perhaps it was a recent joint surgery. Maybe somebody just had a stroke which has caused severe weakness or paralysis along the left side. Whatever the reason, a professional is going to look at recent medical events which may have led to their patient not being able to move as safely with a walker as they were previously able to.

There are numerous medical changes that may automatically be the cause for making the shift to a more “severe” form of locomotion assistance. Professional may consider other factors as well, though.

2) Is the patient falling regularly with the walker?

Falling is no small problem for a senior. Osteopenia often accompanies age, and as the bones become more brittle, they become more prone to breaking. A simple fall, which wouldn’t have been anything of note for a 20-year-old, can easily prove to have drastic, lasting consequences for an88-year-old.

After all, it’s to avoid falls that a walker is being used in the first place, is it not? If the walker is not a sufficient source of stability to keep the user from falling, the medical professional very well may recommend a wheelchair instead.

This isn’t typically the first resort of a medical professional after somebody falls with a walker. Physical therapy, walker training, and advice are likely to be what the doctor prescribes first. But if falling with a walker becomes a regular occurrence, then the doctor will issue a safer alternative.

3) Walking is too painful of an activity

A doctor’s goal is typically to keep their patient walking and on their feet for as long as possible. However, there are times when a person’s back pain, knee arthritis, etc. is so severe that the patient can no longer walk safely.

For these people, surgery may be out of the question as well – whether they are on a waiting list, don’t want to go through with the surgery, or the hospital refuses to see them. Whatever the reason, the patient needs a means of locomotion that allows them to move with minimal pain.

In this event, a wheelchair is likely to be prescribed by the doctor. It’s an unfortunate happenstance, but it does allow the patient to continue to be able to move about their house/residence with minimal pain or risk of falling.

5 Recommended Walkers with Seats

We’ve reviewed the different types of walkers and discussed what to look for. Now, you might be wondering about the best brands.? Here is our take –

Elenker Upright Walker

ELENKER Upright Walker, Stand Up Folding Rollator Walker with 10” Front Wheels Backrest Seat and Padded Armrests(Champagne)
  • Back Straight and Remain Active: The height of padded armrest from ground is 38”- 47”, soft padded armrests keep your forearms at a natural level, relieve painful stress on shoulders and back.
  • Stability and Security: 10” Front wheels, 360°swivel for easy maneuvering, sturdy enough for indoor and outdoor smooth ride. Ergonomic dual hand brakes and sturdy frame provide better safety.
  • Foldable and Convenient: Easy assembly, no need any tools, compact size for storage. Detachable polyester storage bag, cane holder to leave your hands free.

At the top of our list is the Elenker Upright Walker. While pricier at $200, this is a very highly rated walker which will allow the user to stand in an upright position as they use it. It also offers a nice seating area with backrest for when one’s legs are dictating that it is time to rest.

The entire unit weighs in at 22 pounds – so it may be rather difficult for an individual to pack it into their trunk by themselves – but it can support 300 pounds, meaning this is a great walker for most body types. Under the seat is a storage bag to hold a purse, water bottle, food, or whatever else one may need to tote about as well.

The Elenker walker boasts an indoor/outdoor design with hand brakes, padded forearm rests, and a cane/umbrella holster. Plus, one of its best features is that this walker can easily accommodate a cup holder , making it easy to take your margarita water bottle with you on the go.

Drive Medical Universal Clamp-On Cup Holder For Walker, Rollator, & Wheelchair, 3 x 3 Inch, Black
  • Wheelchair & Walker Cup Holder: Designed to keep drinks within easy reach, this cup holder for wheelchair can also be attached to wheeled walkers, rollators, and transport chairs
  • Premium Features: New-and-improved clamp design allows the cup holder to swivel in order to keep contents level
  • Quality Construction: The ultimate wheelchair and walker accessories, our universal cup holders are constructed of durable, lightweight plastic

No tools are needed for assembly either, so this is as convenient to set up as possible. All in all, this is a great upright walker with seat that is bound to please.


OasisSpace Upright Walker

OasisSpace Rollator Walker, Tall Folding Rollator Walker with 10” Front Wheels Backrest Seat and Padded Armrests for Seniors and Adults (Gray)
  • 【HIGHT STANDARD】 OasisSpace Tall Rollator has approved the highest medical standards of Rollator walker. Meanwhile,we offer 6 months warranty for quality related issue and efficient after-sales service. Rest assured to purchase!
  • 【10 INCHES FRONT WHEELS】OasisSpace tall walker is designed with advice of most customers. It comes with 10” metal front wheels and 8” rear wheels.360°swivel front wheels for easy maneuvering,sturdy enough for indoor and outdoor smooth ride.Ergonomic hand brakes,push forward to slow or stop. It could be effective to avoid customers fall down and brake sensitive. Solve all the problems from others.
  • 【HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE ARMREST】Rollator walker features padded armrest that keeps your forearms resting at a natural level, taking pressure off your shoulder and back. The oval tube can be raised and lowered ranging 39”- 48”.Look forward comfortably, and provide better upper torso support.

Virtually identical to the Elenker Upright Walker, but coming in $10 cheaper, is the OasisSpace Upright Walker. All the features are essentially identical. A shopping bag is present underneath the chair, it boasts a wide, plastic back rest, all terrain wheels, and a 300-pound weight limit. In addition, this upright walker easily collapses to fit into your vehicle.

It is heavier than the Elenker – weighing in at around 30 pounds. That makes for a stout walker that may be too much to handle if a caregiver isn’t present while transferring in and out of a vehicle. If this is not an issue though, the OasisiSpace can serve as an excellent upright walker for the thrifty user looking to save money.


Medline Rollator Walker with Seat

Medline Rollator Walker with Seat, Steel Rolling Walker with 6-inch Wheels Supports up to 350 lbs, Medical Walker, Burgundy
  • ROLLATOR WALKER WITH SEAT AND 6" WHEELS - The Medline Rollator features a padded seat that allows the user to sit and rest, and smooth rolling 6 inch wheels that are great for indoor or outdoor use
  • ROLLING WALKER EASILY FOLDS - Easily fold the Medline Steel Rollator Walker for convenient transport and storage. Rollator weighs 19 lbs
  • CONVENIENT STORAGE BAG UNDER SEAT - Simply lift up the padded seat to access the storage bag, perfect for holding your personal belongings

If looking for a more traditional rollator design, the Medline Rollator will fit the bill perfectly. This is about as inexpensive as it gets, coming in at right under $60 as of this writing (early 2022).

It boasts a very functional design. The unit itself is made of steel and only weighs 19 pounds, yet it can easily support up to 350 pounds. When a rest is necessary, the user has access to a thick, padded seat with a steel pipe backrest wrapped in foam. These aren’t as comfortable as the wide plastic backrests offered by other designs, but it isn’t uncomfortable either.

Underneath the seat is the standard storage bag, which can easily hold a water bottle or two. The entire unit also easily folds up and stows in a car trunk with minimal fuss. Assembly is tool-free, and the handles adjust from 31-35”.

All in all, this is a great, no-frills model that will get the job done inexpensively. If you’re looking for a good budget model, this is it.


Drive Medical 10257BL-1

Drive Medical 10257BL-1 4-Wheel Rollator Walker With Seat & Removable Back Support, Blue
  • Rolling Walker With Seat: Our stylish and modern walker features a durable steel frame, a comfortable seat, and a spacious storage pouch for added privacy and security
  • Premium Features: Our Drive walker features a hand brake that can be pressed or pushed down to lock the wheeled walker into place; 7.5” caster wheels are great for indoor/outdoor use
  • Adjustable Components: Easy-turn lever allows you to quickly adjust the height of the handles; Our walker with wheels includes a removable hinged backrest that can be folded up or down

The Drive Medical features virtually the same characteristics as the Medline Rollator. The biggest differences are the price, number of reviewers, and the backrest (which is bent rather than curved).

This rollator offers the standard cushiony chair, under-chair basket, and hand breaks for nearly the same price as the Medline. It does weigh a pound heavier and has wheels that are 1.5” larger (at 7.5” in height), so it’s not an exact replica.

Perhaps the chief difference is the weight limit. The Drive Medical can safely hold up to 300 pounds, while the Medline has an extra 50-pound capacity. Either way, this is still a great rollator that is sure to get the job done.

And at just a little under $65, this is a rollator that won’t break the bank either.


Medline Premium Empower Rollator

Sale
Medline Premium Empower Rollator Walker with Seat, Folding Rolling Walker with 8-inch Wheels, Blue
  • PREMIUM ROLLING WALKER WITH COMFORTABLE MEMORY FOAM SEAT - When you need a break from walking or standing, take a rest on the extra-wide memory foam chair-like seat or flip the backrest, lock the brakes and sit comfortably with armrests
  • FEATURES ALL OF THE ACCESSORIES YOU NEED - The Empower rollator walker is equipped with a convenient cup holder that is adjustable and foldable, removable seat storage tote bag that holds personal accessories to keep your hands free, tray organizer, and reflective tape for safety.
  • LIFT UP SEAT AND WALK INTO THE WALKER TO ACCESS COUNTERS OR SINKS - A simple seat latch allows users to lift the seat allowing space to walk into the rollator. Convenient loop style brakes that can be pushed down to lock and pulled-up to release.

A more expensive, traditional rollator design at around $130, the Medline Premium Empower has some nice features which may make that extra bit of money worth it. For starters, the under-chair basket offers a bit more room, meaning the chair seat doesn’t have to spend most of its time slightly propped open due to lack of space.

The backrest is most certainly an upgrade as well. Rather than leaning against a little, cushioned bar, the user can lean against a large piece of plastic which will better disperse the pressure against the back. In short, the user won’t feel like they’re leaning against a little metal bar.

A memory foam seat is included, which can be lifted up so that the user can actually walk into the walker – allowing them to have the walker for support as they wash their hands at a sink, for example.

The unit weighs in at either 17 or 19 pounds (the manufacturers give both weights), so it’s not overly heavy, and the unit can support up to a 300-pound user. Height-wise, the rollator can be adjusted for those from 4’11” to 6’4”, arguably this would fit most Americans in need of a rollator. The larger, 8” wheels offer more miles before they need to be replaced. The wheels also nest beside each other during the fold up process as well, which means this rollator will take up less volume in your trunk.

And the best part? A cup holder is included! Memory foam and a cup holder? This is the rollator of luxury!


Summary

Healthcare and medical options are confusing, and the world of walkers can often be no different. It’s yet another thing to think about, to ensure that one is making the best choice for themselves or for their loved ones.

With regular walker use, it quickly becomes apparent that there are some simple improvements that could lead to a much more enjoyable experience. Some of these additions may include making your space more efficient with baskets or adding tennis balls on the walker feet to keep from scuffing floors. Whatever additions you may choose, you can assure that your mobility will be improved.


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