What Is a Rollator? A Complete Guide on Rollators [2023]

What is a rollator? Should you buy one? Read our article to learn more about this wheeled mobility aid and whether it’s the right one for you.

What is a rollator? It’s basically a wheeled mobility aid, as opposed to standard walkers — which is why some people also refer to rollators as “rolling walkers.

It also typically has a seat, bicycle handlebar, and parking brake.

But how do these wheeled walkers compare to traditional ones? Does the more complicated frame mean it’s better? Walker or rollator, which one is right for you?

If you are wondering about these things, this article will help you decide which is the perfect walking aid for you!

What Are the Benefits of a Rollator?

Infographic of rollator that has 4 wheels

There are different types of walkers for the elderly, each with its own distinct features and advantages.

But below, we’ll be talking about the benefits that come with using rollators in particular:

1: Built-in Seats

A rollator has a built-in seat you can use whenever you tire from walking. A basket for carrying personal items is also usually found underneath the padded seat.

Meanwhile, with a walker, you’ll need to find a different seat for resting once walking tires you out.

If you have concerns about weight capacity, a bariatric rollator will provide a reinforced seat that can accommodate you.

There are also specialized rollators for short and tall users who are particular about seat height.

2: Wheels

A rolling walker helps you maintain a normal gait because you only need to step forward to move the rollator forward too.

Additionally, these mobility aids have swivel wheels that are useful for easy turning.

A standard walker, in comparison, needs to be lifted and firmly planted with each step, which means a slower pace to accommodate these movements.

3: Compact Options

Aside from the seat and different accessories, a rollator is foldable and can easily fit within small spaces.

On-the-go users should be aware that a walker is more lightweight, but a rollator can be just as easy to transport.

4: Designed for Indoor and Outdoor Use

A rollator is a versatile aid.

Thanks to its seat and wheels, the rolling walker is great for the outdoors. But because it’s compact and lightweight, it works well indoors too.

A rollator is great for both applications if you have good balance and decent leg strength.

Some rollators even have reinforced larger wheels for heavy use and uneven terrain.

What Are the Different Types of Rollators?

We, fortunately, live at a time when we have many options for walking aids. But all these choices can get confusing.

You might be wondering if your rollator should have three or four wheels. Or, you may even be considering a hybrid rollator!

To choose the best rollator, let’s explore each type a bit more:

Rollator/Transport Chair

An image of Rollator/Transport Chair 4 wheels

Also called hybrid rolling walkers, these walking aids combine a rollator and a wheelchair in one apparatus.

Hybrid rolling walkers are great for a patient recovering from surgery and building up the strength to walk and use rollators.

This way, they can switch between the two functions without buying multiple aids.

Three-Wheeled Rollators

Three-wheel rollators work well for tight spaces. The front is one leg with a wheel that can easily turn and move in narrow hallways.

Because of its design, a three-wheel rollator does not have a seat, so you’ll need to find a different rest spot should fatigue kick in.

An image of Three Wheeled Rollators

Four-Wheeled Rollators

An image of Four-Wheeled Rollators

These are standard rollators with four wheels, seats, and a basket for personal belongings. You can further furnish them with other accessories, such as a cup holder, tray, etc.

The four wheels allow the rolling walker to provide more support to its users than its three-wheeled counterpart.

What’s the Difference Between Walkers and Rollators?

Infographic Difference Between Walkers and Rollators

Let’s talk about the Great Gait Debate between walkers and rollators!

A rollator, or rolling walker, has three or four legs with wheels, a built-in seat, and hand brakes. It works great for people that can walk but lack arm strength.

On the other hand, a walker does not have these and has a simpler frame. It can support body weight better but requires decently strong arms.

A non-wheeled walker is a typical walker, but there is such a thing as a wheeled walker.

Wheeled walkers have two wheels attached to only the two legs in front, allowing better mobility but offering less stability.

What Should You Choose?

Walkers and rollators have different strengths. You should pick the aid which best suits your capabilities.

  • We recommend a rollator if:
    • you have a good balance
    • don’t need a lot of stable support
    • walking speed and quickly covering longer distances are important to you
  • However, we suggest going for traditional walkers if:
    • you can’t bear weight on your legs
    • need sturdy support
    • have good arm strength

If you think a walker will suit your needs best, read our guide on the best walkers for seniors!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you are still wondering where you stand on the walker vs. rollator debate, here are answers to commonly asked questions by the community:

When Should You Use a Rollator?

As mentioned earlier, you can choose to go with a rollator if:

  • your legs need minimal support
  • you don’t have the best grip
  • you want to be able to walk more,
  • you want to rest on the mobility aid itself

Though, if you have more strength in your arms than your legs, you can use a walker.

If you experience difficulty walking, consult a healthcare professional before choosing between standard walkers and rolling walkers.

What Is the Correct Height for Rollators?

The correct height of a rollator depends on your height. Ideally, your walking aid should match your anatomy, which is why height-adjustable rollator options exist.

There are rollators (as well as walkers) that offer an adjustable height feature. Special walking aids for short or tall people are also available.

Can I Use a Rollator When Using the Stairs?

We do not recommend using a rollator for climbing up or down the stairs. Not even a typical walker is advisable for this.

Instead, the right mobility aid for this circumstance is a stair lift.

A rolling walker probably won’t fit the steps and may cause more harm than good. Practice caution when using the stairs and try to get assistance if a stair lift is unavailable.


When it comes to the best mobility aid, either a walker or rollator may work better than the other, depending on your situation.

Rolling walkers are wheeled and have seats, making them great for those who want an easier time walking. You only need to step forward, and the rollator should move you along.

However, this means you need to have a decent amount of strength in your legs because it doesn’t provide as much stability and support as a typical walker.

If you’ve made your decision on what you want to get, here’s where you can buy walkers and rollators.