What is a Rollator

What is a Rollator

Zahid Merali, Pharmacist
5 minute read

"What is a rollator?" Rollators feature a lightweight frame with three or four large, all-terrain wheels, offering stability and mobility. 

Rollators can seamlessly integrate stability, convenience, and comfort that cater to individuals seeking a harmonious balance between support, ease of use, and ergonomic well-being. Most models include comfortable seats, providing a convenient perch when taking a break or savouring your surroundings.

Additionally, many rollators can be equipped with practical storage options, such as roomy baskets and handy cup holders, ensuring you can carry your items and groceries effortlessly.

Essentially, a rollator helps support walking, delivering freedom and independence in your daily activities. To help with buying a rollator, read:

Rollator versus Walker

A rollator, also known as a "wheeled walker," distinguishes itself from a walker in wheel structure. A walker can either have no wheels or two wheels. A walker needs to have the four legs (or the two legs in the case of a 2-wheel walker) lifted with every step. A rollator features a framework with three or four substantial wheels, handlebars, and an integrated seating option.

A rollator is designed for individuals needing balance assistance without relying on weight-bearing support; rollators offer many distinct advantages over a walker.

If your medical condition necessitates frequent breaks and rests, a rollator is a more suitable choice. Unlike a traditional walker (which generally does not have seats), a rollator incorporates a convenient seat and a crossbar for added back support, allowing users to pause and relax whenever required.

Rollators offer options through various accessories available for purchase, such as:

  • Handy baskets designed to accommodate shopping bags and personal items
  • Cup holders
  • Side storage bag
  • Cane holders

When considering mobility options like a rollator or a walker, it's essential to have a conversation with your healthcare provider. This article aims to provide a clear understanding of the distinctions between these choices, empowering you to decide which one best suits your needs.

Types of Rollators

Rollators come in various specialized types, each offering unique features and benefits to enhance mobility and comfort. Here are some of the most common options:

  • All-Terrain Rollators: Designed for stability on diverse outdoor surfaces.
  • Foldable Compact Rollators: Easily folded for convenient storage and portability.
  • Rollator Transport Chairs: A dual-purpose mobility solution, switching from rollator to chair.
  • Bariatric Rollators: Sturdy support for individuals with higher weight capacities.
  • Three-Wheeled Rollators: Enhanced maneuverability in tight indoor spaces.
  • Pediatric Rollators: Tailored for children or smaller users.

This diverse array of rollator types ensures that individuals can find the perfect mobility solution tailored to their unique requirements and preferences.

Who Should Not Use a Rollator?

Before deciding on a rollator as your mobility aid, it's essential to consider certain factors that might make it less suitable for specific individuals. Here are five points to keep in mind when evaluating whether a rollator is the right choice for you:

  • Balance Issues: If you struggle with balance, it's important to note that using a rollator may carry a higher risk of falling than using a traditional walker.
  • Limited Upper Body Strength: Utilizing a rollator requires some degree of upper body strength, so if you have limitations in this area, it could affect your ability to use it effectively.
  • Severe Mobility Issues: A rollator may prove impractical or insufficient to meet your mobility needs in severe mobility challenges.
  • Cognitive Impairments or Dementia: Individuals with cognitive impairments or dementia may find the operation of a rollator confusing, which could compromise their safety.
  • Limited Hand or Grasping Strength: Adequate hand and grasping strength are essential for operating the brakes on a rollator. If you have limitations, it may impact your ability to use the device safely.

While rollators can provide valuable mobility assistance for many individuals, it's crucial to consider these factors when deciding. Consulting with your healthcare provider will help you determine the most suitable mobility aid, ensuring your safety and comfort as you move about.


In the debate of rollator versus walker, understanding your unique requirements is key to making the right choice. Rollators offer advantages in terms of mobility and comfort, especially if you need to take frequent breaks or require seating during your outings. However, it's crucial to consider factors like balance, upper body strength, and cognitive abilities before opting for a rollator.

Consulting with your healthcare provider is wise, as they can provide guidance based on your medical condition and mobility needs. Whether you choose a rollator or a walker, safety and comfort should always be the top priority. Additionally, exploring the various rollator accessories can enhance your mobility experience and ensure that your chosen aid suits your lifestyle. Ultimately, the goal is to empower you to move about confidently and independently, regardless of your choice.

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