Rollators are one of the most popular walking aids used in the UK. They offer users great support, whilst also commonly doubling as a seat. They are equipped with 4 wheels for easy and stable maneuvering, and feature brakes for added control.
Types of Rollators
There are many different types of rollators available for sale in the UK. Whether you are after a cheap basic rollator walking aid, or a deluxe model, it is important to know what features you need.
Rollators are designed to provide assistance and support to those who are require assistance walking. They are also commonly used to help users gain confidence whilst walking and ensure their continued independence.
Some of the most common features you are likely to find on a rollator include a seat and basket. However, not all rollators have both a seat and basket, and some have neither.
Another feature of rollators are the brakes. As all of the legs of a rollator are connected to the ground with wheels, they require brakes to help ensure the user has control over the walking aid.The brake provide superior stability and maneuverability, especially when on uneven or inclined terrain.
The 4-wheel rollator model is the most popular with UK consumers. They provide excellent support, and enable users to easily manoeuvre both indoors and outdoors. Most 4-wheel rollators also feature a chair, which enables the user to take a rest whenever needed, and provides support when a chair isn’t available.
Another type of rollator available in the UK is the 3-wheeled model. Also commonly referred to as ‘tri-walkers’, these rollators only have 3-wheels. They work great indoors and on flat surfaces, but can be more difficult to use on rougher terrain than 4-wheeled models.
Collapsible and Travel Rollators
Lightweight rollators are the perfect companion for when you need to travel. There are many models available that collapse down to a compact size and are light enough to be easily carried. They are a great option if you do a lot of travelling, or want the convenience of a rollator that can go wherever you go.
Indoor & Outdoor Use
Most rollators are best suited to flat and even surfaces, such as indoors or paths. For those who are more adventurous, there are outdoor rollator models available. These feature larger wheels, enabling users to glide over more challenging surfaces, such as grass and gravel paths. All-terrain rollators cost more and are heavier than most standard models.
Rollator vs Zimmer Frames
Whilst at first glance these walking frames can look quite similar, there are a number of differences that distinguish them apart.
The first difference are the wheels. All rollators feature wheels in each of the legs, enabling them to effortlessly glide forward. There are both 4-wheel and 3-wheel models available. However, many zimmer frames have no wheels at all, whilst some feature 2 wheels on the forward legs of the frame.
Brakes are another distinguishing feature between the two types of walking aids. Many zimmer frames do not have wheels, and thus do not require brakes. Zimmer frames with wheels are stabilised when downward weight is applied over the frames rear legs, which hold the frame in place. Rollators have wheels on all of their legs, and thus use hand-controlled brakes to slow and stop the frame moving. This is particularly useful on inclines and uneven surfaces.
Chairs are a common feature built into rollators, however are uncommon on zimmer frames. Baskets are another feature on most rollators that is not found on many zimmer frames. Baskets are an accessory that can be purchased separately and added to most types of walking aid.
In terms of pricing, zimmer frames are cheaper than rollators. Typically, the cost of buying a basic zimmer frame (approximately £20) is half the cost of buying a basic rollator (approximately £40).
Popular Rollator Accessories
There are a number of accessories that can be purchased to improve the usability and functions of a rollator. A popular addition is baskets, which are available in a range of different sizes, shapes and designs. Many models come with a basket, but additional baskets can be added or the original basket changed to suit a different purpose.
Another popular accessory are walking stick holders. These are simply clipped onto the side of your rollator, and hold your walking stick for when you need it.
Back rests can be attached to models that do not already have one, and provide added support and safety when seated. They ensure the user does not lean too far back, and help make the seat more comfortable.
Who can Benefit from a Rollator Mobility Aid?
Like all walking aids, rollators are useful for anyone who needs extra assistance walking and standing. They are beneficial for users who need added support when standing, and are also great for anyone who wants extra confidence when walking. As most rollators include a seat, they are useful for outings where a chair may not be close by. Other features, such as baskets, make them a convenient addition for trips to the shops.
Best Selling Rollator Brands
There are a number of rollator manufacturers and brands available for sale throughout the UK. Regardless of whether you are searching online or in a physical store, some of the most popular brands you are likely to see include: Drive, Invacare, Caremart, Troja, Volaris and Olympos
Many large retailers also have their own branded products, which offer great value for money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a selection of frequently asked questions that may be useful for anyone considering buying a rollator. If we have missed any questions you have, please get in touch with our friendly team.
There are several factors that influence the cost of buying a rollator. Prices generally start at approximately £40 for a basic model, with some premium models costing more than £1,000. Basic models normally still include baskets and a chair, but are often less durable and are better suited to light use and smooth paths, such as indoor use.
Most manufacturers and retailers will provide a warranty when you purchase a new rollator. Most rollators come with at least a 12-month warranty from the date of purchase, but we recommend you check with your retailer.
If you suffer from a long-term illness or are disabled, you may be eligible. If you meet any of the following criteria, you can claim VAT relief:
- you have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon your ability to carry out everyday activities
- you have a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- you are terminally ill
If you meet the above criteria, you will be able to purchase a rollator with VAT relief.