Upright walker vs. Rollator - Detail of a handlebar

Upright Walker vs. Rollator – What is an Upright Walker?

Many think that a rollator, walker, and upright walker are all the same. Learn how an UPRIGHT walker is different and why it might be the right choice to make you more mobile and independent.

So, what does an upright walker have to offer that the standard walker or rollator doesn’t? 

Well, they are convenient, sturdy, and safe devices. On top of that, they address all of the CONCERNS people have while using standard walkers and rollators.

Upright Walker vs. Rollator

  • An upright walker and a rollator have four wheels, but an upright walker offers an entirely DIFFERENT experience for users.
  • The handles are different. The handles on an upright walker are higher than those on a rollator, right below the elbow.
  • You can walk in a better posture with an upright walker. You do not need to lean forward. There is no extra pressure on your spinal cord or other joints. You feel more active without pressure.
  • With a rollator, you have to lean forward. Taking a long walk may cause back pain.

When to use an upright walker?

  • When you feel unsteady with your cane
  • When you want to stand taller and walk with a better posture
  • If you have back or spinal problems and want to stay active.

In this article, you’ll find out what factors to consider when shopping for a walker.

OasisSpace Heavy Duty Upright Walker

Upright Walker vs. Rollator vs. Walker

All walkers serve the same purpose: making it EASIER to move around safely. 

But they go about the result in different ways. 

Let’s explore how these options DIFFER.

Upright Walkers: More Convenient

With upright walkers, you can move faster than with rollators and other walkers.

ELENKER Upright Rollator Walker

The more vertical posture allows you to walk almost normally.

Furthermore, they have a comfortable SEAT to rest on and are easy to push for a loved one or caretaker.

Upright walkers offer more reliable BRAKING safety. 

They have push-down brakes that activate when the user leans on top of them. 

Most walkers don’t have a braking system integrated into the model, or the brakes are not as convenient to use.

Rollator: More Stability

As a rollator has four wheels like an upright walker, it is suited both outdoors and indoors. Unlike a traditional walker, you don’t have to lift it as you walk.

Homecraft four-wheeled rollator

Rollators also have brakes to give the user maximum control while using them.

If you need a rest, you can sit on them. Moreover, they are easily transportable.

But rollators are more cumbersome compared to upright walkers because you have to LEAN a little forward and look down when you use them.

This can lead to pain in the back and shoulders

In addition, rollators are cheaper than upright walkers.

Standard Walkers: More Cumbersome

Standard walkers often only have two wheels or no wheels at all. That makes them harder to use because you must LIFT the walker to move. They are best suited for indoor use.

Drive Medical Healthcare 2-wheel walker

Standard walkers with two wheels don’t roll as easily as rollators and upright walkers. This causes more friction when trying to use them, requiring more effort on the user’s part. 

However, since they feature fewer wheels than upright walkers, they can be lighter to move in general. They are also the cheapest of these three types.

Pros and Cons of Upright Walkers

Considering purchasing an upright walker, but not sure it’s the right choice for you? Check out the notable pros and cons here.

Pros:

  • Sturdier and safer than standard walkers
  • Provides a faster pace because they are easier to move
  • Offers more convenient features such as pouches and hooks
  • Easy to fold and transport from place to place
  • Includes a seat and can be pushed
  • A reliable braking system makes it easy to stop
  • May include backrest and armrest for sitting

Cons:

  • More expensive than standard rollator walkers
  • Larger and heavier than rollators, which may be a problem when transporting
  • The larger wheels make it difficult to turn in tight spaces (you may need to have a different mobility device for indoor use).
OasisSpace upright walker

Still not sold? Check out these compelling benefits of an upright walker.

Benefits of an Upright Walker

Upright walkers were designed to address the most pressing complaints about rollators and standard walkers. 

These are some of the most apparent benefits they provide:

  • Keeps Eyes Forward – Easier to navigate the path ahead with arms positioned higher and in a vertical posture.
  • Improves Posture – A better posture supports the spine and body.
  • Minimizes Pain – Proper posture and relieving pressure on specific joints can reduce neck, back, and wrist pain.
  • Enhances Stability – Upright walkers REDUCE forward lean, which increases stability and balance.
  • Offers Greater Comfort – These types of walkers are more comfortable because they support a healthy posture and positioning.
  • Increases Independence – With reduced pain, greater stability, and increased confidence comes more INDEPENDENCE for the user.
  • Reduces Wrist Pressure – Alleviate pain on the wrists and hands by bracing with the forearms.

Possible Features of an Upright Walker

Upright walkers often come with some BONUS features that are a nice touch to an already improved product. 

Some possible elements you may want to look for that could increase the value and benefit of an walker include:

  • Storage Bag – A pouch or storage bag can serve as a purse or place to hold valuables and medications.
  • Cup Holder – For keeping your water bottle close at hand.
  • Cane Holder – If you’d like to use a CANE in addition to your device, some models offer a cane holder.
  • Seated Handgrips – Some models come with seated handgrips designed to make it easy to sit down and stand up on the seat as needed.

Cost of an Upright Walker

Upright walkers are more expensive than rollators.

Rollator walker prices may be as low as $60, but an upright walker will cost around $150 (that’s a lot more).

If the price is out of your budget, renting a mobility device might be an option.

What is a UPWalker?

UPWalker is a product from a US-based company LifeWalker Mobility Products.

They have a couple of different types of upright walkers. For example, the primary use for UPWalker Lite is indoors. Standard UPWalker is suited for the outdoors. Different models are suitable for different user heights.

UPWalker

UPWalkers have a higher price tag than most walkers. But they have excellent reviews on Amazon.

One reviewer states that it is a SUPERB​ example of American engineering. On the flip side, some note that it may not be suitable for large people.

You can check reviews of the UPWalker Lite from here.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to mobility, small changes can make a big difference.

Choosing a proper walking aid for you or your loved one means paying attention to the features and benefits they offer.

It’s hard to beat the upright walker for improved posture, stability, and independence.

My recommendation is to choose an upright walker over a rollator if at all possible.

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