Stay Mobile in Old Age
A good rollator must be light, stable and suitable for everyday use. MomyDady Test took a close look at twelve models and had senior citizens assess whether the rollators can be folded up easily and maneuvered easily, are they lightweight and easy to carry, Size of wheel, suitable for tall people and many more.
MomyDady Test: It is testing procedure involved in investigating and comparing goods and services in an unbiased way
Only two rollators were able to fully convince and received the rating “good”. These are more expensive versions made of aluminum and carbon. The test winners were the Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Red Rollator Walker, Red for around 202 USD and the Evolution Lightweight Walker Rollator with Seat for around 349 USD . You can also get solid quality for 200 $. Standard steel rollators were not convincing.
The test was carried out by MomyDady and published for the first time in Feb 2020.
Rollators Tested by MomyDady Experts
The experts make a harsh judgment: the standard steel walkers paid by the statutory health insurance are not suitable for indoors but for outdoors. It was checked how well the walking aids drive on level and uneven ground. In addition, the rollators had to show in a practical test with seniors that they can be easily opened and closed for storage and transport. In addition, all rollators were tested in the laboratory for their safety against tipping over, the reliability of the brakes and possible pollutants in the material of the seat and handles.
The result: Of the twelve rollators in the test, only two received the quality rating “good”, all other models performed worse. Because on cobblestones, park and gravel paths, many walkers reach their limits. A manufacturer even advises to lift the rollator over obstacles – impossible for many seniors. In one model, the experts discovered dangerous pollutants, some of which are above the EU limit. The rollator was therefore rated “poor”.
First you see an overview of the top recommendations, then we present the top rollators in detail. In the following we give you further facts about the test procedure of MomyDady and introduce you to the differences between the standard rollators and the lightweight models. You can find out what to look out for when buying a rollator in a general purchase consultation. Finally, we present alternatives.
THE BEST ROLLATORS IN THE TEST BY MOMYDADY 02/2020
What Are The Best Walking Aid Rollators 2020 For You ?
1. Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Red Rollator Walker
(TEST WINNER ONE)
Approx. 202 USD
- Good handling
- High security
- Stable and light carbon frame
- Little high price
- Get away so easy to apply breaks
The Expensive rollator model in the test is also the highest quality: The Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Red Rollator convinced in all categories, some with the top grade in the test, and received the quality rating “Good” (2.0).
- Handling: Good (2.0)
The Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style rolls very well on level ground, the handling is still satisfactory in the event of uneven ground. Thanks to the tipping aid, obstacles can be overcome relatively effortlessly and without great effort. The rest of the operation is good, you can adjust the handles. The weight is very low at 15 lbs and capacity to withstand 300 lbs.
- Security: Good (2.5)
The Nitro gets the best rating in the field of security among all test devices. It is adequately protected against tipping over, the brakes of the rollator even grip particularly well. In addition, the risk of pinching when folding in and out is very low. Enough reflectors are also available.
- Durability: Good (1.7) & Pollutants: Good (1.6)
The carbon housing of the Nitro Euro has a good durability, and there is nothing wrong with the mechanics either. Small amounts of plasticizers were found in the pollutant test, but they are below the EU limit. The Nitro got the best rating in the test environment.
The Nitro Vital Carbon is not a bargain. The rollator is available in Overall Dimensions: 27.75″(L) x 23″(W) x 33.5″(H); Seat Dimensions: 10″(D) x 18″(W) x 20.5″(H); Handle Height: 33.5″-38.25″, each for around 202 USD. Ultimate choice, you will get a very comfortable rollator that will serve you well.This rollator walker with seat for tall people and heavyduty use and 6 to 8 inch wheel size
2.Evolution Lightweight Medical Walker Rollator with Seat, Basket for Seniors,Large Wheels, Brakes, Backrest and Indoor Outdoor use
(TEST WINNER TWO)
Approx. 349 USD
- Good handling
- Easily adjustable handles
- Very durable aluminum frame
- Expensive as compared to No-1
The second test winner, the Evolution Lightweight Walker Rollator , differs from the Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Red Rollator Walker model in individual points, but ultimately gets the same overall rating: Evolution Rollator is also “Good” (2.0). This comes in three models Mini, Regular and Tall. Lightweight at 14 pounds and compact at 26”(W) X 25.5” (L) and front caster tight turning radius makes for easy.Best rollator walker with seat for medium and tall people.Good weight bearing capacity makes it heavyduty device. Rollator of 8 inch wheels.
- Handling: Good (1.8)
In handling, the Evolution achieved the highest rating in the test. The rollator can be moved equally well on flat and uneven ground, and obstacles are also no problem. The handles are adjustable in height and the rest of the operation is comfortable. At 14 pounds, the aluminum rollator is the lightest and satisfactory.
- Security: satisfactory (2.9)
In terms of security, the Evolution performs equal to Nitro. Tipping safety and the performance of the brakes are better. There is no danger of getting your fingers caught when you fold them up. Roadworthiness is sufficient.
- Durability: Very good (1.1) & pollutants: Good (1.9)
In terms of durability, no other test device comes close to the aluminum rollator, the Evolution gets the top grade. Small amounts of plasticizers are detectable in the test, but they are below the limit, which is why the pollutant rating is also rated as “good”.
The Evolution Lightweight Walker rollator in sizes Mini regular and Large is a good alternative to the Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Red Rollator Walker model: You can get the Evolution walker for around 349 $.
3. NOVA Traveler 3 Wheel Rollator Walker (CHEAPEST MODEL)
About 100 USD
- Particularly easy
- Good handling
- Durable aluminum frames
- Best for all terrain
- Security features could be better
- Little heavy as compared to other models
The lightweight Nova model tops the list of “satisfactory” walkers. Individual negative points can be determined in this way, but the aluminum rollator is quite cheap.
- Handling: Good (2,3)
The Nova rolls smoothly over flat and uneven ground and thanks to the tilting aid allows obstacles to be overcome. There is even a back strap for the seat, but there is no matching tray in the manufacturer’s range. Unfortunately, the handles can only be laboriously adjusted in height, which affects the usability. The rollator, weighing 16.5 lbs, is super light.
- Security: Satisfactory (3.2)
The security of the Nova gets a fairly average rating. The rollator does not tip over easily and the brakes work satisfactorily. The risk of pinching is also low. However, the reflectors for road safety leave something to be desired.
- Durability: Good (1.6) & Pollutants: Sufficient (3.6)
Thanks to the aluminum housing, the Nova rollator has a good durability.
The super lightweight NOVA 3 Wheel Rollator Walker is available at a price of around 100 USD. The rollator does not quite show the top qualities like the two test winners, but the price-performance ratio is good.
Standard Rollator Test Results: Reviews
The standard steel rollators ended up in the rear four seats. None of the models go beyond the quality rating “sufficient”, a rollator even receives the grade “poor”. The experts do not recommend the models, even if the statutory health insurance usually pays for them. Use on the road is arduous, handling is below average. There are also no good grades in the security area, especially because of the risk of pinching. Although three models showed no pollutants, the last place was all the more: Various handles were in the handles of the rollator above the EU limit and it should not have been sold. The manufacturer has since withdrawn the model from the market.
The NOVA 3 Wheel Rollator Walker does just about the best among the standard models. There is only a “sufficient” rating for handling, but the safety is at least “satisfactory” and there are no complaints regarding durability and the pollutant test.
Rollators: That’s How Much you get for your money
The price of the rollator depends heavily on whether and how much the health insurance company pays. Older people with walking problems are generally entitled to a walker, but in most cases only to the cheapest model. The normal price of these rollators is between 60 and 100 $, which is covered by the statutory health insurance. MomyDady advises against the “till models”. Rollators made of aluminum or carbon offer you more comfort and safety. For these there is an additional payment from the health insurance company, but you have to pay the bulk of the purchase price. Inexpensive lightweight models are available for less than 200 USD, the best quality is available for 300 USD and up, the high-quality test winner from MomyDady costs around 400 USD.
This is how MomyDady tests rollators
MomyDady has the rollators tested by the people who use them every day, namely the elderly. The users around the age of 80 need a rollator, with which they can overcome difficult places with little effort and which does not cause any problems in handling. With standard rollators, folding them can lead to injuries. The experts from MomyDady carry out the technical test: They assessed tipping safety, braking and roadworthiness. The rollators must pass an endurance test and are tested for their processing. The laboratory searches for pollutants, because plasticizers are not uncommon in handles and seat. In the end there is a quality assessment in school grade format.
What is a Rollator and How does it work?
A rollator is designed to help older people with declining strength and walking difficulties stay mobile. Seniors can push the walking aid on the usually four castors and thereby support themselves while walking. There are brake levers on the handles, and between the poles the rollator has an integrated seat for taking a breather. A basket or net and a tray are usually also installed. This makes the walking aid suitable for at home and outdoors. However, some seniors are afraid to use a walker because they see the walking aid as a sign of frailty. On the other hand, walkers can maintain independence.
Which rollators does the health insurance cover?
If your doctor provides you with a prescription for a rollator, statutory health insurance usually approves a standard model. Apart from an additional payment of five to ten USD on your part, the health insurance company will cover the costs, which are usually between 60 and 80 $. Often, however, the rollator is only loaned to you, the health insurance company or the contractual partner remain the owner – for this they also take on the maintenance and possible repairs to the rollator.
If you want a light and comfortable carbon or aluminum rollator instead of the heavy standard steel model, it will be more difficult. If there are medical reasons for a light weight model, for example joint diseases or severe shortness of breath, the health insurance company will approve a more expensive model in individual cases at the doctor’s request. If not, you can voluntarily opt for a lightweight and pay most of the cost yourself. The statutory health insurance only approves a flat rate for the price of a standard model, i.e. around 60 $. In addition, you usually have to bear the costs for maintenance and repair of the rollator.
In the list of medical aids for statutory health insurance, the products are listed, the costs of which the health insurance company can assume in whole or in part. Most rollators, both the standard models and the lightweights, have an aid directory number with which they are clearly identified. For example, the doctor can specifically recommend a rollator.
The differences between the Rollator models
The standard model is designed for robustness: the rollator is made of steel, the mechanics are insensitive. However, this has negative consequences for handling. The affordable rollator is heavy and chunky, the equipment minimalist. A tipping aid to move the vehicle over obstacles is usually missing. The steel models are also so-called crossfolders . If you want to reduce the size of the rollator for transport, it is folded over the transverse axis. As a result, it shrinks a little in depth, but it still takes up a lot of space. When folded, it cannot stand on its own, it must be leaned against. Inexperienced people can also injure themselves on the folding mechanism.
The more expensive lightweight model offers advantages: The manufacturers use aluminum or carbon, i.e. carbon fiber reinforced plastic. As a result, the rollator weighs only 6 to 7 kilograms, in contrast to the 10-kilo steel model. In addition, the equipment is more extensive and helps when maneuvering over obstacles such as curbs. The lightweights are longitudinal moths , they are compressed along the longitudinal axis like an accordion. As a result, the rollator is compact enough for transport, but still remains stable. Folding is mostly easy.
You should pay attention to this when buying a rollator
- Material & weight
The weight of the rollator largely depends on the material of the frame. Standard rollators are made of steel, which is robust but heavy. The till model usually weighs between 9 and over 10 kilograms. As a result, moving the vehicle can be exhausting, especially when the rest of the handling is inconsistent. The frame of the lightweight models is made of aluminum or carbon (carbon fiber reinforced plastic). They are also durable, but much lighter: around 7 kilograms in weight are normal, but you can also get models under 6 kilograms.
- Tilting aid & back belt
If you are out with the rollator, you will encounter obstacles such as curbs. In order to be able to overcome this, the rollator should have a suitable mechanism. Most lightweight models have a small pedal on the rear wheels, a tipping aid. This is missing in standard models. The back belt is attached under the handles of the rollator and thus serves as a back support for the seat. With some lightweight rollators, the back belt is included as an accessory, in other cases you can at least buy it. It always makes sense.
- Size & maximum user weight
Under the standard rollators, the manufacturers only produce their models in one size, the seat is normally at a height of 60 centimeters. If this is too high or too low for you, you have to look for a special model. The lightweight rollators offer more choice: Many models are available in different sizes, for example with a seat height of 62 or 54 centimeters. This is often identified with terms such as “S” for “Small” or “M” for “Medium”. The maximum weight that the user may have varies between 130 and 150 kilograms. Most standard rollators have a maximum user weight of 130 kilograms.
- Handles & levers
For convenient operation it is necessary that the handles can be adapted to the user and that the brake levers are easily accessible. The height of many lightweight rollators is effortlessly adjustable – but there are exceptions. And users of standard rollators are again neglected here, because the cheap models usually only allow laborious adjustments. The operation of the brakes is not very comfortable in many cases, but it is still ok. You only get comfort with more expensive lightweight rollators – but there are also negative examples.
- Basket & tray
A bag or a net made of polyester is part of the standard equipment of the rollator; standard rollators are usually a basket made of metal. In most cases, the bag or basket can be removed from the frame. For the lightweight rollators, the manufacturers often offer alternative or additional bags as accessories so that you can choose. Standard rollators almost always come with a tray that serves as a shelf and is placed on the seat. For many lightweight models, this is only available as an extra accessory.
- Seat & folding mechanism
The seat is located between the rear bars of the frame and is used so that you can sit down against the direction of travel. In standard models, the seat is made of robust plastic and is attached to a crossbar. Lightweight rollators are longitudinal butterflies, a rigid crossbar does not fit into the construction. Therefore, the seat is usually made of flexible nylon fabric. If the carbon or aluminum rollator is folded in lengthwise, it takes up little space in width, but is still stable on the four wheels. Standard rollators, which are folded in transversely, do not shrink significantly, they remain unwieldy for transport.
- Brakes & reflectors
Rollators usually only move forward slowly, but they still have to be safe on the road. All models have brakes on both rear wheels, which are operated with two brake levers on the handles. Retrofitting is sometimes possible, so that both brake pads work with one lever. The performance of the brakes fluctuates between the models. Standard rollators have standardized and generally satisfactory brakes, more expensive models sometimes offer better braking behavior. To be seen in traffic, reflectors on the frame of the rollator and on the pocket are advantageous. Expensive models are equipped differently, but most standard rollators lack reflectors completely.
Practical Accessories for the Rollator
The rollator can be equipped with helpful accessories, some of them only fit a certain model, other products are suitable for assembly regardless of the manufacturer. You increase your safety with a bell for the handle, additional reflectors or a front light for trips in dim light. To increase comfort, you can equip both the seat of the rollator and the back belt with padding, and there are various brackets such as for the walking stick or small pockets for attachment to the frame. For rain or strong sun you get an umbrella with a holder. In addition, replacement bags and wheels or extras such as a tray and back belt are offered. A lot is practical – but everything involves extra costs.
Hybrid Rollators with Wheelchair Function
If you do not need a wheelchair, but want to use its advantages, you will find so-called hybrid walkers . On the one hand, these can be used as a rollator, on the other hand they can be transformed into a wheelchair by a folding mechanism, which is then pushed by another person. The problem is, of course, that the vehicle cannot perform either function perfectly: as a walker, the hybrid models are heavier and bulkier than even standard walkers. In the wheelchair mode, the vehicle is often not stable and maneuverable enough to make it difficult to overcome obstacles such as curbs. Sometimes it is prone to tip backwards. The big advantage is the comfortable fit when the strength diminishes.
MomyDady assessed two hybrid rollators out of competition without making a final quality assessment. The aluminum model Rollz Motion is attested to good behavior in rollator mode and a satisfactory result for wheelchair mode. However, security is only “sufficient”. The original model is no longer available, the successor Rollz Motion 2 is available for around 800 USD. The second test device, the Drive Diamond Deluxe , is significantly cheaper at around 130 USD, but is not convincing in the test. The model with a steel frame has a “satisfactory” handling as a rollator, but is only rated “sufficient” as a wheelchair – obstacles or gravel paths can hardly be overcome.
The most important questions about rollators at a glance