If you’ve watched much TV lately, you’ve probably seen ads for Upright Walkers. Specifically, the Upwalker Lite. It’s everywhere these days and those ads have really put a spotlight on walkers and how they can help aging adults get back some of the freedom they may have lost due to injury or illness.
A good walker can be one of the best purchases you can make, as it can make life significantly easier if you struggle to walk even short distances. In many cases, a walker can give you back some of your independence.
As walkers also allow you to get more physical activity on the clock, they can be great for improving your physical well-being and helping you stay healthy.
Walkers can also be used by younger adults who need a helping hand to walk, such as patients with chronic illnesses, which affect their motor skills.
However, finding the right walker or rollator is no easy task – and many people spend hours and hours scouring the internet, only to end up purchasing one which isn’t best suited to their needs. Often a purchasing choice is based on price which is understandable but can be a mistake that is more trouble than it’s worth.
We’re here to put an end to that! Once you’ve finished reading this guide, you will know whether or not an upright walker is best for you, how it compares to other types of walkers, and things to consider when comparing different models during your walker hunt – including price.
We researched dozens of upright walkers before making our recommendations and arrived at our top 3 picks by the process of elimination. We’ve included links to the official Amazon accounts of the brand/manufacturers so you can buy with complete confidence and save hours of research time. Check out our top picks here ↓
What is an Upright Walker & How Does it Compare to Others?
Upright walkers are designed to help you walk in a stable and safe manner while improving your posture and placing as little strain on your back, wrists, and legs as possible.
Upright walkers can be especially significant for seniors who commonly suffer from joint pain but are also often used by rehab patients and people suffering from specific neurological and cardiovascular diseases.
They are pretty similar in design to four-wheel rollators and some other wheeled walkers. The fundamental difference is, when using an upright walker, instead of gripping on handlebars, you simply place your forearms on the forearm rests and gently roll the walker along the ground.
Upright walkers have a distinct advantage over wheelless walkers, such as standard walking frames. Wheeled walkers can be rolled along the ground with ease. Unlike wheel-less walkers, which have to be lifted and moved a few inches ahead of you. Over and over again.
Wheeled walkers, such as upright walkers, are better suited to users with low endurance and weak upper body strength than wheel-less walkers.
Keep in mind that some upright walkers can cost several times the price of the average standard walking frame, but it is undoubtedly better to pay extra and get a walking aid, which genuinely gives you back your independence and is built to last.
The Benefits of Upright Walkers
Help you walk while improving your posture and minimizing strain on your wrists, legs, and back.
They are much easier to use than wheel-less walkers and are therefore perfect for seniors and other users with limited endurance and weak upper body strength.
They allow you to get around much more quickly than wheel-less walkers.
Some models come fully assembled so you can start using them immediately.
The Drawbacks of Upright Walkers
They are typically more expensive than wheelless walkers.
They can be heavy and awkward to transport, though there are plenty of lightweight models out there.
Things to Consider When Shopping For Upright Walkers
Before setting off and comparing different models of upright walkers, it pays to know what factors and features are available.
To help you out, we’ve detailed the things you should consider in digestible chunks, and explained why they are important.
Is it Stable?
This point is particularly pertinent to upright walkers, as their structural designs mean they are more prone to tipping over (due to the higher center of gravity) unless they have a longer and larger wheelbase for better stability.
There are many upright walkers (usually unbranded or cheaper models) for sale, which are dangerously unstable and very difficult to use – and these should be avoided at all costs.
Can it Fit into My Home & Car?
While most models are foldable, it’s not a given they’ll be able to fit into tight spaces. So, it is a good idea to check out the dimensions as you browse different models and double-check they are compact enough.
What’s the Forearm Support?
For an upright walker to be an effective walking aid, it must have good forearm support. Otherwise, your forearms and other parts of your body will quickly get fatigued and make using the walker unbearable.
Upright walkers that provide the best forearm support have the forearm rests positioned so that you don’t have to stretch out your arms completely and should have quality foam or rubber padding for extra comfort.
What Features Does it Have?
Like other walkers and rollators, upright walkers can have various additional features to improve their functionality. Such additional features include a seat, a basket, a zippered bag, a cane holder, a phone holder, a cup holder, a tray, and more.
And while these extra features certainly shouldn’t be the primary reason you pick one walker over another, it is still good to consider how useful they might be to you, depending on how exactly you’ll be using your walker.
How Much Does it Weigh?
Upright walkers can vary quite a lot in weight. While the weight of a wheeled walker may not seem like something worth considering as you’re not picking it up when using it, it can still be an essential consideration, as you may need to transport it when folded.
If you have particularly low upper body strength or simply would prefer a lighter walker, then a lightweight upright walker just might be for you!
Simply put, larger wheels are better on walkers, as they provide better ride quality and therefore make the walker more comfortable to use.
You need to make sure that the walker can handle your weight. The maximum load a walker can handle is known as its weight-bearing capacity and usually is anywhere between 250 pounds to 300 pounds for upright walkers.
If you are considerably heavier, you should consider buying a heavy-duty walker instead.
How Much Does it Cost?
Cost is always an important consideration when it comes to any substantial purchase. When it comes to walkers and other products related to your health, scrimping is ill-advised. Instead, you should buy a durable, safe product from a trusted manufacturer.
Over time, paying a bit more for a quality upright walker actually works out more cost-effective, as you don’t have to keep fixing it or replacing parts.