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Walking Frames

To make sure we always provide the latest information, this page was last updated on 1 November 2020.  

Walking Frames

What are walking frames?

Often known as ‘Zimmer frames’ (although Zimmer is actually a brand name), walking frames are a great option to help people who need a little bit more support than a walking stick.

There are a wide range of options available including walking frames with baskets, bags or seats – ensuring there’s a suitable option for everyone.

Basic walking frames are usually lightweight and come with or without wheels. Many can be folded away and are designed to be used easily in small spaces, such as getting around the home independently.

The non-wheeled walking frames are the most stable option and usually come with four legs with rubber feet on the end (although some three legged options are available too). The whole frame is lifted up and then moved forwards as the user walks, which requires some arm strength.

For those who would struggle with lifting the whole frame, there are some available with two wheels on the front two legs. These work by rolling forwards as the back of the frame is lifted up, and then the two legs without wheels act as a brake whilst the user’s weight is put on to the frame.

Both the non-wheeled and two-wheeled options are most suited for use around the house. The tri-walkers and rollators mentioned below have air-filled tyres and are bulkier but easier to move around, making them more suited for use outside the home.

Topics and products covered on this page

Our Number 1, and best rated, walking frame

Why we rated this the best

  •  Adjustable height handles make it comfortable to use
  • Sturdy frame provides plenty of support
  • Lightweight design, making it easy to move up and down a step or two
  • Folds up small to fit in the car boot or for those short on space

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This is rated our best value for money walking frame

Days 100 Series Aluminium Rollator

What you need to know

  • Different sizes available to ensure a good height and weight match for user
  • Ample under-seat storage for everyday item
  • Comfortable seat and padded backrest for breaks
  • Comes in different colours to suit your personality

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The best of the rest

Days Lightweight Tri Walker

What you need to know

  • Provides steady support even on uneven surfaces
  • Folds easily for using public transport or visiting cafes
  • Lightweight makes it easy to get around
  • Supportive and stable to improve confidence getting around

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Drive DeVilbiss Folding Walking Frame with Wheels

What you need to know

  • Fully adjustable to different heights
  •  Easy to fold down by pressing a couple of buttons
  •  Wider frame is suited for heavier user or one needing more stability
  • Compact once folded down

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Folding Lightweight Rollator

What you need to know

  • Cane holder to keep hands free
  • Large wheels to make traversing rough surfaces easier
  • Comes with both a tray and basket for additional carrying options
  • Reliable and hardwearing rollator suitable for daily use

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Ultra lightweight folding rollator

What you need to know

  •  Under 7kg makes it an incredibly lightweight model
  •  Folds easily to save space
  •  Padded seat for comfortable breaks
  • Easy to use breaks to keep rollator still when sitting

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Days Height Adjustable Shelf Trolley

What you need to know

  • Two shelves to transport food and drinks around the home
  • Provides support for users struggling to carry small items
  • Smooth turning wheels to keep surface stable
  • Strong frame to provide confidence and support

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Things to look out for

  • A wider base will generally be a more stable frame than a narrower one, however if it’s being used around the house you need to check the frame will fit easily through narrow spaces such as doorways
  • Folded walking frames are a useful option for those with less space at home, or needing to have their frame regularly lifted in and out of a car. They do sometimes feel a bit more unstable than solid frames, so someone in need of more support may prefer a fixed frame.
  • Frames that can be used as a walking trolley allow more independence, such as a tri-walker with a bag or basket being used to pick up a few bits of shopping, or a four-wheeled frame with a tray being used to move a plate of food around inside the home.

Tri-walkers have three wheels as the name suggests. These come with lightweight frames which fold up whilst not in use, making them easier to move about, be lifted in and out of cars and pack away when not needed.

They often have baskets or bags attached, making them a handy option for some extra support whilst out shopping.

Rollator walking frames are similar to the tri-walkers, but with a fourth wheel for added stability. These tend to be a heavier frame than the tri-walkers, allowing many of the models to include a seat. Rollators can be useful for those needing a little more comfort and regular sitting breaks whilst walking longer distances.

The tri-walkers can feel less stable than rollators, but some people find them easier to turn around which can make them a suitable option for those who don’t need quite as much support. Tri-walkers and rollators have a smoother walking rhythm as they don’t require the frame to be lifted up to move, making them a much more suitable and less tiring option for outdoors.

All wheeled walkers come with brakes – either lever-style ones which are similar to those on a bicycle, or press-down brakes which can suit people with arthritis or stiffness in their hands. There are a range of accessories such as trays and walking stick clips which can be added to wheeled walkers.

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A helpful video for you

Want to learn more? Well here is a useful video that provides you with more useful information when looking to make a purchase.

Meet the author

Meet the author

Hayley Kenyon

Hayley Kenyon

Hayley is responsible for writing content on the site as well as managing the social media channels. She has a degree in Art and Humanities. Hayley has been reviewing and writing on products for a number of years and uses her experience to recommend the best products.

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