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When researching different types of walkers I was curious what the various weights might be and how different features affect how much the walker weighs. For example, how to standard walkers compare to front-wheel walkers? And do heavy-duty walkers weigh more? Here’s what I found.
Standard walkers typically weigh about 5 to 6 pounds. Front-wheel walkers are a little heavier and are usually around 7 to 8 pounds. Heavy-duty and bariatric walkers are the heaviest type of walkers because they use reinforced frames and stronger components, and weigh anywhere from 7 to 12 pounds.
In the table below I’ve listed some of the most popular walkers and ranked them by weight so you can see at a glance how different models compare. And when you continue reading I’ll share with you what features affect the weight the most and why buying the lightest walker might not be the best decision.
» Looking for the weight of rollators instead? Check out How Much Does A Rollator Weight?
Walker Weights Compared
Here is a list of seven of the best-selling walkers sorted by weight. As you can see, front-wheel walkers tend to add a pound or two to the weight of a standard walker. And heavy-duty walkers can weigh almost twice as much.
|Vive Folding Walker||5||Standard / Front-Wheel||Check on Amazon|
|Drive Medical 10200||6||Standard||Check on Amazon|
|Carex Folding Walker||6||Standard||Check on Amazon|
|OasisSpace Heavy Duty||7||Front-Wheel / Heavy Duty||Check on Amazon|
|Drive Medical Deluxe||7.5||Front-Wheel||Check on Amazon|
|Able Life Space Saver||8||Front-Wheel||Check on Amazon|
|Medline Heavy Duty||12||Front-Wheel / Heavy Duty||Check on Amazon|
Did you know: The average weight of the 7 walkers we compared in the table above is 7.4 lbs.
A Breakdown Of Your Walker’s Weight
There are a number of factors that determine the overall weight of your walker. In no particular order they are:
- Frame Material – Most standard walking frames are made from either aluminum or steel, with aluminum being the lighter option.
- Frame Size – A smaller size walker uses a smaller frame and therefore less material so it will weigh less than a larger size walker.
- Wheels or No Wheels – Adding wheels to the front of a walker adds weight from the rims, tyres, bearings, axels, and nuts. Some heavy-duty walkers have two wheels on each front leg which adds even more weight.
- Height Adjustment – The greater the height adjustment of your walker, the more material is used in the construction of the legs/handles, which increases the weight.
- Features & Accessories – Hand grips, storage pouches, baskets, rubber feet, plastic sliders, and other accessories all add weight.
Why Lightweight Is Not Always Best
Your first instinct might be that a lightweight walker is better than a heavier walker. And in some cases this is true. The lighter the product’s weight, the easier it is to lift the walker and move it forward. However if all you focus on is weight, then you might end up with a lightweight walker that’s actually more difficult for you to use than a slightly heavier walker more suited to your needs.
Here’s what I mean; the lightest walkers are typically going to be a standard non-wheeled walking frame. These are extremely lightweight and very sturdy. However despite not being very heavy they can actually become quite tiring to use in real life, because with each step forward you have to pick up the walker, move it forward with your arms, then take a step to “catch up” to where you placed the walker. Rinse and repeat for every step you take. As you can imagine, this requires strength, stability, and stamina. All of which can fade quickly with the elderly.
So what is the solution? For many seniors, a better option is either a lightweight front-wheel walker, or a 4-wheel rollator. While both of these are heavier than a standard walker, they are actually easier for most people to use and require less energy to walk with, so you can go further for longer. Plus, if you choose a rollator you are going to get some extra features such as a seat, storage compartment, and cup holder which can greatly increase the functionality — and therefore the use you get — of the walker.
Weight Vs Weight Capacity
One of the main factors to consider when researching walkers is the product’s weight capacity. That is, how much weight the walker can safely support. As a general rule, the lighter the walker the lower the weight capacity. However you should always check the manufacturers specifications and do not assume anything based on the weight.
For example, the lightest walker in our comparison table above is the Vive Folding Walker, coming in at just 5 pounds. It has a weight capacity of 250 pounds. Whereas the Drive Medical Deluxe, which weighs one pound more (6 pounds for those who are counting at home) has a much greater weight capacity of 350 pounds. And the heavy-duty bariatric walkers weigh between 7 and 12 pounds but can handle up to 500 pounds!
Hopefully it goes without saying that it’s much more important to get a walker that is capable of supporting your body weight than it is to get the lightest possible walker.
I hope you found this information helpful. As you can see, walkers can vary quite a bit in their weight, and the lightest product is not always the best fit. Always make sure you invest in a walker that is suitable for your own height, weight, and daily needs before filtering based on product weight.