What's In This Article?
Although standard walking frames are the simplest of all the types of walkers out there, finding the right one for you can nevertheless be a challenge.
While standard walking frames can be a great walking aid for many seniors (and other users), there are much better alternatives out there depending on your individual needs.
To help you find the perfect walker or rollator, we’ve thoroughly researched all the different types of walking aids out there and have put together a series of guides to simplify the buying process.
This guide is filled with consumer advice and will tell you everything you need to know to buy an excellent standard walking frame. Including what it is, other alternatives which may be more suitable for you, and an easy to digest list of all the things you should consider when comparing different models.
We’ve also provided our three top picks in the hopes of saving you hours of research time.
HEA GH Foldable Walker for Seniors
Roami Progressive Mobility Aid
Medline Two-Button Folding Walker
First up, we have this foldable walker from HEA GH. It has a 90-degree swivel plastic seat for you to rest in, an adjustable height frame, and is mostly made of aluminum.
This standard walking frame has a weight-bearing capacity of 286lbs, and itself weighs just a few pounds.
It comes with 5-inch casters, which can be added on to transform it into a front-wheel walker, which doesn’t need to be lifted off the ground with every few steps.
Next, we have this fantastic rose gold walking aid from Roami, which not only serves as a standard walking frame but can also be used as a stair assist and a gait alignment aid.
It has a weight-bearing capacity of 300lbs and has a very sturdy and durable design.
As with the previous model, you can add wheels to the front legs to turn it into a front-wheel walker and significantly improve its mobility (though the wheels are sold separately for this walker.)
Compact and Lightweight
Last but not least, we have this affordable walker from Medline. It is very compact and weighs less than 5lbs, making it an excellent choice for seniors and other users who have weak arms.
This foldable walker has a lightweight and durable aluminum frame and has a weight-bearing capacity of 300lbs.
It is height adjustable, but it is only suitable for users who are between 4’10’ – 6′ tall.
Sturdy and lightweight height-adjustable standard walking frame
Can be used as a shower seat
Compact and foldable design
Can easily be transformed into a front-wheel walker for better mobility
Has a weight-bearing capacity of 286 pounds
Aluminum frame; plastic swivel seat
3-star rating on Amazon
- Versatile, multi-purpose rose gold walking aid
- Can be used as a stair assist and a gait alignment aid
- Very durable; weight-bearing capacity of 300lbs
- Wheels (purchased separately) can be added to the front legs to improve its mobility
- 4.5-star rating on Amazon
- Affordable and simple walker
- Weighs under 5lbs and can support persons up to 300lbs
- Has a lightweight aluminum frame and a foldable design
- Height-adjustable legs
- Only suitable for users who are between 4’10’ and 6′ tall
- Has comfortable hand grips
- Has a 4.5 star Amazon rating
What is a Standard Walking Frame & How Does it Compare to Other Walkers?
As already mentioned, a standard walking frame is the simplest of all the various walkers on the market today. It consists of a frame (usually made from either aluminum or steel), four legs, and sometimes a seat for you to rest in, plus other additional features.
Because standard walking frames are wheel-less walkers, they offer the most stability and aren’t at risk of accidentally rolling away from you. You should keep an eye out for models with slip-resistant caps on their legs, as these provide extra stability and significantly reduce the risk of you falling over.
While standard walking frames are great for seniors and other users who struggle for balance, they aren’t ideal for users who fatigue easily and have weak arms, as they need to be lifted slightly forward every step or two. For such users, an ultra-lightweight walker or a rollator may
be more suitable.
Such rolling walkers are considerably more expensive than standard walking frames. Still, the extra convenience they provide is unquestionably worth the money, especially as you’ll be using your walker for many years.
Standard walking frames can be a great walking aid for seniors who need more support than what their cane provides but don’t want to commit to a heavy, bulky, and expensive rollator.
The Benefits of Standard Walking Frames
It can serve as an effective walking aid for many seniors and other users.
Offer excellent stability, making them ideal for users with balance issues.
Are less expensive than most other types of walkers, especially rollators.
They are lighter and much more compact than rollators.
The Drawbacks of Standard Walking Frames
Need to be lifted with every few steps, which can be tiring.
Much slower than rollators, which can be simply rolled along the ground.
Things to Consider When Shopping For Standard Walking Frames
Now that you’re in the know on exactly what a standard walking frame is and who it’s best suited to, we can move on to the things you should look out for when sizing up different models.
These points are also relevant when buying other types of walkers, though a few are a bit more specific to standard walking frames.
It can be a good idea first to check that the walker you’re looking at has a sufficient weight-bearing capacity to support you. Most standard walking frames can handle users who weigh up to 300lbs-400lbs. If a model’s weight-bearing capacity is too low, you should rule it out and consider others instead.
If you weigh a lot, you should narrow your search to heavy-duty walkers (sometimes referred to as bariatric walkers), which have far higher weight-bearing capacities.
While all standard walking frames have the same underlying design, some models are far more stable than others, so it pays to keep an eye out for this during your search.
Walkers with a wider base and a low center of gravity offer better stability and are easier to balance. Slip-resistant caps on the end of the legs can also significantly improve stability.
What Features Does it Have?
Standard walking frames are usually a bit more bare-bones than rollators, especially four-wheel rollators, but some models still come with handy features. Such additional features include a seat or a built-in basket.
Instead of merely picking the model with the most additional features, carefully think about just how useful each will be to you and how much value it will add.
Is it Light Enough?
Standard walking frames are far lighter than rollators, with some weighing just a few pounds while others can weigh closer to 10 pounds. These few additional pounds may not sound like a lot, but they will be very noticeable to users with weak arms, especially as you will need to lift the walking frames countless times per day.
Lifting this extra load, again and again, will have a significant impact on the endurance of many users, so the walker’s weight is certainly an important thing to keep an eye out for and consider.
What Materials is it Built From?
As you’ll be using your walker daily for many years, you want to buy a sturdy and durable model that isn’t prone to get damaged. So, you should favor walkers with frames made out of aluminum, reinforced steel, and other durable materials.
Can it Fit into My Home & Car?
Most standard walking frames are pretty compact and occupy a fraction of the space of the average rollator.
However, it’s still strongly advised to double-check every model’s dimensions to ensure it can fit in tight areas – both when being used and when folded.
How Much Does it Cost?
Standard walking frames are far less expensive than rollators and other types of walkers, but there is still some variation in the prices of different models.
It can be tempting to buy a used or unbranded walker to save yourself a chunk of change, but this is almost always a bad idea – and it’s simply not worth the risk, especially as you may fall and hurt yourself if you buy an unstable or damaged walker.
Instead, we advise you to invest in a quality and durable standard walking frame, which will safely improve your mobility and provide many years of reliable service, giving you and your family peace of mind.