Rollator (wheeled walker) features
All rollators are not alike. We carry only
top quality, durable rollators from Drive Medical and Dolomite that come with a lifetime
warranty on the frame.
In addition to durability, you will want to
consider features and options in shopping for a rollator. You
have choices regarding:
What size suits?
With walker wheels, the general rule is the larger the wheel, the easier it is to push,
especially over rough ground. Walkers
with small solid wheels
are really only suitable for indoors.
Three wheels or four?
Walkers with three wheels are more
maneuverable but less stable than those with four wheels.
Four wheel walkers are easy to push, especially if
the wheels are large and swivel. This is
a real advantage.
If you need to lean or
push against the rollator's frame for support, you may find
walker too mobile - the frame may "run away"
from you. The solution may be a wheeled walker
with slow-down brakes,
where with the turn of a knob you can adjust to
have tension on the wheels.
Steel or aluminum?
Steel is stronger, but aluminum is
lighter. If you
weigh more than 250 pounds, you will likely want a steel walker.
Otherwise, you can go with one of the lighter (and more easily
pushed) aluminum rollators.
How high should it go?
The handle height on rollators adjusts,
either at the base or with individual handle adjustments. The
minimum height setting may be as low as 30" (on a petite
model), the maximum can go as high as 38." The exact
range varies with the walker. One rollator model might have a 31"
minimum and a 35" maximum. Another might run from
33" to 36." Yet another, from 34" to
Select a rollator whose handles can be adjusted to a
comfortable height for you. Taller
folk will need higher ranges (say between 34" and 38"),
shorter folk will need lower ranges (perhaps 30" to
33"), with others falling somewhere in between. Ranges
overlap, and you don't have to fit into the middle of a range, so
long as it includes your preferred handle height.
What's to stop you?
With a rollator you want brakes that are easy and quick to operate so
you feel in control. Traditional choices include push-down
and loop. In addition, an innovative reverse braking
system aids those who have trouble walking with a
Push down brakes are operated by downward pressure on
the spring-loaded frame. These are the easiest brakes to
operate. When you lean on the rollator frame, the motion of the rear wheels
is interrupted. This halts forward movement while you shift
weight from one foot to the other.
Push down brakes may be unsuitable for either petite users who can
not push down heavily enough on frame or heavy users who may engage
the brakes too constantly.
Available on Mimi-Lite
Cable loop brakes resemble bike brakes.
squeeze action and simultaneous use of both hands. However,
they provide greater stability than pressure brakes.
Because they offer instant braking action, cable brakes
must be used cautiously.
Available on most rollators, including
Special brake features
A locking feature frees you from having to
continuously maintain a grip. Instead the rollator's brakes can be locked in the
"on" position. This is a "must have" for
being able to safely use a wheeled walker's built-in seat.
Available on all four wheel Drive
rollators. Also on Dolomite Symphony,
Slow-down brakes allow you to
control the rollator's speed on an incline. Afraid
your walker might run away from you on a hillside?
Slow-down brakes let you set the brake tension, so the
wheels roll in a controlled fashion. Available as an
option on Dolomite walkers,
Single-hand brakes let one hand do
all the braking, so if you have a strong side, it can take
over for the weak side. Optional on the four-wheel Symphony
Rollators come outfitted in various ways.
Some features are standard, others optional. The most popular
If you tire easily, you will want a seat on
your walker so you can rest when fatigued. Some
rollators even include a small backrest and armrests that assist with sitting down or standing up.
It's nice to be able to carry items easily from
place to place while using a rollator. Baskets and bags of
various sizes and position are available for this purpose. Open wire
baskets are a snap to load and unload, but under-seat tote bags provide
privacy for things like purses.
Baskets positioned low on the rollator frame may be difficult
There are places where rollators don't function
very well - such as extremely tight spaces. A holder enables
you to have a cane or walking stick on hand for those times when using the
walker itself proves inconvenient. Optional cane holders are
available on all Dolomite walkers.
If you carry an oxygen tank with you, an
oxygen tank holder for your rollator is a real
convenience. Safer too than just plunking the tank in
a rollator basket.
An oxygen tank holder that replaces the basket
is optional on Dolomite rollators.
Whew! It is easy to be overwhelmed by the
variety of features and options available on rollators.
Recommendation: decide upon your must have features - no more
than a two or three. Then restrict your search to rollators
offering those options. By comparing these models to one
another in terms of nice to have features, you will probably
quickly develop a preference.
Once you have limited your search, you might find
the following two charts helpful. They give side-by-side comparisons
of the different rollators offered by a particular manufacturer, so you can see at a glance which
ones have the
features you want.
Concerns? Send them our way, by phone (913- 390-0247) or
Any answers we don't have, we will get!