A lack of mobility doesn’t need to stop you from living a fulfilled life. When going to a physical therapist or doctor, they will often recommend a few different mobility aides that can help you remain mobile while aiding in your overall balance.
The most common mobility aides include:
- 4 wheeled walkers
- Non-wheeled walker frames
- Traditional canes
- Forearm canes
- Or crutches in some circumstances
But there is a lesser known option: the three wheel walker or three wheel rollator.
3 Wheel Rollators
Benefits of a Three Wheeled Walker
The 3 wheel rollator only slightly different than the four wheel walker. First and foremost, when choosing a three wheel walker, you’ll benefit from:
- Maneuverability: The 3 wheel design includes one wheel in the front with the purpose of being able to make turns easier. A four wheel option needs to be picked up or moved in a cumbersome manner, which doesn’t allow for the same fluid mobility that the 3 wheeled walker allows.
- Lighter: A lack of a fourth wheel allows these walkers to be lighter to move. And you’ll also find that they fit better in the back seat of an automobile or in the trunk.
- Locking Brakes: Re-positioning a walker or even sitting in a chair while holding onto a rolling walker is a recipe for disaster. The walker can move out of your reach, or you may attempt to put weight on the walker and fall as it moves across the floor. Three wheeled walkers come with locking brakes that keep the walker firmly in place when you need it most.
- Storage Bags: The one drawback to many mobility aides is the fact that storage or carrying items is difficult – if not impossible. Trying to carry a cup or plate when walking with a cane in a strong hand and having a weak opposing hand can be very problematic. The majority of three-legged walkers come equipped with storage bags or baskets that allow the user to carry items with ease.
Drawbacks of a Three Wheeled Rollator
There are a few drawbacks with a 3- versus 4-wheeled walker. When choosing the three-wheeled option, you’ll find the following drawbacks:
- Less Stable: Inherently, the three wheel design is less stable than the four wheel option. A lack of a fourth wheel may not work well for a person that puts extreme weight on their walker or has severe balance issues.
This is the only real drawback experienced with a three wheel design. Another issue may also be experienced if you have a walker with a built-in seat. More and more people are using the seated option on their walker, which allows for a much-needed rest after a long walk.
So, if this sounds like you, it may be better to remain with the four wheel design – or discuss your options with a physical therapist that you know and trust.
The one thing to consider is the maximum weight that the walker can bear if you need significant help with walking.
Our Recommended Models
The following walker/rollators are ones that we highly recommend. They have outstanding reviews, are durable, maneuverable and won’t break the bank. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed with any of these models.
1. Drive Medical Winnie Lite Supreme
The Winnie Lite offers a tan finish, 7.5” tires and a height of 26”. The handle heights can be adjusted from 31” – 38” in height so that users of all heights can use the Winnie – no matter the height.
Weighing just 15 pounds, this three-wheel walker can accommodate user weights up to 300 pounds.
And when it comes to carrying personal items, the walker’s plaid pouch will allow you to transport anything from a wallet to groceries or clothes with ease. Offering a solid build, the larger tires allow you to walk over difficult terrain with ease (grass, sand, etc.), and the three wheeled design increases mobility and maneuverability.
The handbrakes allow for easy and safe turning, and a special loop allows for easy locking.
2. NOVA Medical Products Traveler Tri-Wheel Walker
The NOVA Traveler is a little less stylish than our first pick, but it comes with a few additional features that make it a smart purchase for a heavy-duty walker. A metal basket with a lid is present, allowing users to carry items safely with the help of their walker.
This model does fold, making it easy to store in a closet or in the trunk of a car.
Users can adjust the height of the handles between 33” and 37.25”, which also makes this a good choice for heights of 5’4” – 6’2”. A maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds is present, which may be a concern for larger users.
Hand brakes and locks are present, too. The locks are especially helpful as they can be locked to change positions without the walker moving in the process.
The Traveler is a good choice for users of all mobility ranges.
3. 3 Wheel Trio Roller Walker
Taller and shorter users alike are able to comfortably adjust the handle height of the walker.
Wheel size is a large 7.5”, which allows users to walk on harder surfaces and terrains, such as through gravel or thicker grass, with less risk of getting stuck in the process. Locking brakes are present, which will lock the walker into place so that it won’t wiggle or move during readjustment.
The large storage bag has ample space with pockets that are ideal for cellphones and ID cards.
Lightweight in design, the Trio weighs just 7.5 pounds and has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds – perfect for most users. Height adjustments can range from 31.75” – 38”, which is high enough for users of up to 6’2” in height.
Only you know if a three wheeled walker is the right option for you. Easier to maneuver and lighter in weight, many elderly and disabled persons have found that the three wheeled walker provides a boost to their overall mobility and function – a major bonus for anyone with mobility issues.
4. Lumiscope Lumex Rollator
Lumiscope’s Lumex 3-wheel walker is lightweight and offers an adjustable height to accommodate users of all shapes and sizes.
Although this rollator has a lightweight aluminum frame, it still has a 250-pound load capacity. The ergonomic handle grips have locking loop brakes, and the handle has an adjustable height to accommodate a wide range of users.
The large 8″ black wheels allow for both indoor and outdoor use, and the zippered carry pouch makes it easy to safely store your belongings.
If you’re looking to improve your mobility and don’t require the stability of a four-wheel walker, this three-wheel rollator is a great option.
- Aluminum frame is durable and sturdy
- High weight capacity
- Large wheels allow for indoor and outdoor use
- Adjustable height to accommodate users of all sizes
- Brakes are a little difficult to press
The only complaint with the Lumex rollator is that the brakes are difficult to press.
But this walker folds well for use in tight spaces and is light enough for easy transport.
5. BodyHealt 3-Wheel Rollator
The design of BodyHealt’s 3-wheel rollator is very similar to the Lumex rollator. Comfortable and adjustable, this rollator has an ergonomic hand grip and an adjustable handle height.
This rollator will accommodate users of all sizes, and its lightweight frame makes it easy to transport. Even with its light frame, this walker can support users up to 250 pounds.
The locking loop brakes allow you to stop safely, and the sturdy wheels make it easy to navigate through grass, dirt, gravel cobblestones and other difficult terrain. It moves just as smoothly indoors as it does outdoors.
Two color options are available: bright blue and metallic burgundy. There’s also a zippered carry pouch that allows you to store your belongings safely and securely.
- Easy to transport
- Easy assembly
- Carry case can be fickle
The rollator’s carry case is convenient, but it sometimes has difficulty staying in place. The snaps sometimes come loose. One option is to replace the snaps, or contact the company for a replacement pouch. Most people have no issues with the pouch.
The BodyHealt rollator is durable, light and easy to transport. And the bright colors allow you to show off your personality while improving your mobility.
6. Duro-Med 3-Wheel Rollator
The Duro-Med 3-wheel walker is a bit stiffer in design. The previous two models had a soft pouch that made it easy to fold the walker together and get through tight spaces with greater ease. This model has a hard basket in the front of the walker, which offers a more reliable storage option.
The rollator is lightweight and folds up easily for storage. The handle height is adjustable (from 31″ to 37″), so you can find the right fit. The large wheels also make it easy to navigate difficult terrain.
The Duro-Med can accommodate users up to 250 pounds.
- Easily transportable
- Basket storage option
- Adjustable handle height
- Large wheels can navigate most terrains
- Navigating tight spaces can be a challenge
Other 3-wheel rollators fold to make it easier to navigate tight spaces. This model does not have that option, which can make it a little trickier to get through crowds and tight hallways.
Aside from this minor issue, the Duro-Med walker is durable, easy to use and easily transportable.