Sometimes you need a narrow or an ultra narrow walker to move around comfortably in public places or at home. Normal size walkers are often too wide to comfortably pass through the doorway and they make it hard to maneuver in small spaces. There are stores and restaurants where it’s difficult to move around with a wider walker so to make life easier it’s best to use a narrow one.
Every year more and more older adults use some kind of mobility device to compensate for balance issues and muscle weakness (1).
However, normal size walkers are not safe for seniors in small, narrow spaces, and using them can increase the risk of falling and accidents.
I know from experience that finding the best narrow walker for seniors can be time-consuming. In this article, I’ve collected some of the most reliable models that are available on the market.
To help you decide, I’ve highlighted the exact width of each walker in their description.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s a list of the best and safest narrow walkers for seniors:
|Drive Medical Deluxe Folding Walker||24″||17.5″ D x 24″ W x 32″ H|
|Hugo Folding Walker||24″||21.5″ D x 24″ D x 31″ – 38.4″ H|
|Nitro Euro Style Rollator Walker||23″||27.75″ D x 23″ W x 33.5″ – 38.25″ H|
|Drive Medical 4 Wheel Rollator Walker||23.5″||25.5″ D x 23.5″ W x 31″- 37″ H|
|Ultra Narrow Walking Frame||19.5″||17.5″ D x 19.5″ W x 30″/33″ – 33″/36″ H|
|Able Life Space Saver Lightweight Walker||25.5″||21.5″ D x 25.5″ W x 32″ – 38.5″ H|
Types of Walkers for Seniors
Basic standard walkers are one of the most common walking aids. They have four legs and no wheels. They come in many different sizes (both narrow and ultra-narrow) and with many features available. Usually, they have a sturdy metal frame with a fixed or adjustable height. They offer great stability.
Wheeled walkers are very similar to basic walkers but they have two wheels instead of front legs. They require less effort while using because seniors don’t have to pick up the walker each time they take a step. Wheeled walkers can be especially useful on uneven surfaces.
Rollators and walkers are often confused with each other. In simple terms, a rollator is a wheeled walker, however, it’s often more than that: it comes with more features (e.g. built-in padded seat, basket) and it has a sleek and robust design.
As you would expect, they’re also more expensive than traditional walkers. Many models are wider than standard walkers, however, you can find some safe and highly reliable narrow rollators on the market as well.
They usually have four legs and can be used with only one hand. They’re more stable than simple canes and more lightweight than normal walkers. A narrow hemi walker can be the best choice for seniors who have limited dexterity in one hand. Some models are foldable and their height is often adjustable.
Choosing a reliable walker is an important step in fall prevention. However, there’s a lot you can do to improve safety and avoid falls and accidents. We’ve collected 14 simple and effective fall prevention tips for seniors in this article.
The Best Narrow Walkers for Seniors
Note: Make sure you check out our step-by-step quick guide on how to use your walker safely in every situation (with videos) here.
1. Drive Medical Deluxe Folding Walker
A very popular, simple, yet sturdy and durable walker with a maximum width of 24″. It’s made from aluminum and has a lightweight structure: it weighs only 7.5 lbs, so lifting is usually not a problem for most elderly.
It’s useful to know that the walker has a weight limit of 350 lbs that is more than enough in most cases.
I really like that each of its sides can operate independently which makes it so much easier to pass through narrow doorways and other spaces.
The walker comes with front wheels that facilitate moving around on uneven surfaces. It’s also a good choice for traveling because it’s easy to fold and carry.
One of its main advantages is the affordable price: if you choose this model, you don’t have to pay much to get a basic but reliable walker.
Here you can see the current pricing on Amazon.
Dimensions: 17.5″ D x 24″ W x 32″ H
2. Hugo Folding Walker
A very popular folding walker that has a maximum width of 24″. It’s a durable, compact, and lightweight (only 6 lbs) walker made from aircraft-grade aluminum.
It has a weight capacity of 300 lbs and features an adjustable height that makes the walker suitable for most 5’1″ – 6’4″ tall seniors. It’s easy to assemble: no tools are required.
The walker comes with two bonus wheels that can be used instead of the front legs. So in a few moments, it can be converted into a two-wheel walker that often comes in handy.
Also, it has side bags where you can carry many things (e.g. newspapers or a bottle of water). This feature comes in really handy when you go for a walk but don’t want to take an additional bag with you.
This narrow Hugo walker is a great choice for traveling purposes too: thanks to the “one-touch” button, it’s very simple to fold, so seniors can easily take it with them in a car or on most means of public transport. This feature also ensures that it won’t take up much storage space (the walker is only 4″ wide when folded).
The Hugo folding walker is a great value for the price, and overall I think it’s one of the best choices for small spaces and doorways, especially when reliability and versatility are important.
Dimensions according to the official website: 21.5″ D x 24″ W x 31″ – 38.4″ H
3. Nitro Euro Style Rollator Walker
This one is a reliable, customizable, high-end rollator with a maximum width of 23″, so it’s slightly narrower than most traditional walkers. It has a weight limit of 300 lbs, so it’s pretty durable. It’s made from lightweight aluminum and it comes with four wheels. The front ones are larger to make maneuvering easy both indoors and on outdoor terrains.
This rollator is very comfortable to use, you can easily adjust its height to your own needs. If you become tired during a walk, you can use the built-in seat with adjustable back support to have a rest. The seat height is 20.5″.
It also features a large storage bag that can be pretty useful in many cases: often it eliminates the need of carrying an additional handbag with you, so going for a walk can be even more liberating.
The easy-to-fold and compact design makes it an ideal choice for narrow spaces and for travel purposes as well. While it’s true that this rollator is one of the best in its category, it’s quite expensive.
Click here to see the current pricing on Amazon.
Dimensions: 27.75″ D x 23″ W x 33.5″ – 38.25″ H
4. Drive Medical 4 Wheel Rollator Walker
This wheeled rollator has a maximum width of 23.5″ so it’s only 0.5″ wider than the Nitro Euro Style Rollator. It has a sturdy steel frame and a standard weight capacity of 300 lbs. The ergonomic handles further improve safety.
It can be used indoors and outdoors as well, and if you get tired during your walk you can easily have a rest on the built-in padded seat. Seat to floor arm height is 21″.
It also has a removable backrest, although it’s not as comfortable as the one that comes with the Nitro Euro Style Rollator.
I really like that it also features a built-in basket because that can be very practical if you want to carry some belongings with you. It’s easily foldable which makes storage a breeze.
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This narrow rollator walker can be a great choice for those seniors who need a reliable walker for small spaces and narrow doorways at an affordable price.
So if you are on a budget but need a safe and durable rollator, chances are good that you won’t find a better product on the market.
Dimensions: 25.5″ D x 23.5″ W x 31″ – 37″ H
5. Ultra Narrow Walking Frame
This one is a real ultra narrow walker with an overall width of only 19.5″. It has a lightweight, stable, and strong structure made from anodized aluminum.
It comes in two different sizes (standard and tall) with an adjustable height and weight limit of 350 lbs. Its hand grips are comfortable and although the walker has no wheels, its low weight (4 lbs.) makes it easy to move around in small spaces.
There’s no question this mobility device is the ultimate choice for extremely narrow spaces. It’s a really slim walker. If you live outside the UK and EU, you have to request a quote on the product page to get an exact shipping fee. They usually answer within a few hours.
Dimensions: 17.5″ D x 19.5″ W x 30″ – 33″ H OR 33″ – 36″ H
6. Able Life Space Saver Lightweight Walker
This lightweight walker can be a great choice for those who need a portable solution. It weighs only 8 pounds and has a maximum width of 25.5″. While this is slightly more than the width of the previous models, it’s still a relatively compact walker.
Unlike the previously mentioned items, when viewed from the side (as you can see in the photo), this one has a triangular shape (and not rectangular). For some seniors, this design might be more comfortable to use in everyday life.
It comes with relatively large (6″) fixed front wheels that make it easier to move forward. Due to the high-grade aircraft aluminum frame, it’s quite durable as it has a weight capacity of 400 lbs.
Hand grips are padded and comfortable, and their height is adjustable (from 32 to 38.5 inches from the floor). Nevertheless, I think foldability is one of its greatest strengths and this is where it has an edge over standard walkers.
If I had to highlight one key feature of the Able Life walker, that would be portability: it’s perfect for traveling as it requires little storage space and after folding it, you can easily keep it next to you in your car.
The clean design and portability, however, come at a cost: this walker has neither a built-in seat nor storage bags. If those features are essential for you, this model might not be the best choice.
Dimensions according to the manufacturer: 21.5″ D x 25.5″ W x 32″ – 38.5″ H
Comfortable shoes can make walking and maneuvering safer and they often really make a difference for seniors, especially if they use a walker. In this article, you’ll find the best adaptive shoes for seniors and some quick tips for buying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe for seniors to use a narrow walker?
I’m often asked if narrow walkers and rollators are as safe to use as wider ones. Are they stable enough to provide secure support during standing and walking? Are they a good choice for the elderly?
The vast majority of manufacturers don’t produce walkers that are not perfectly safe to use (however, homemade walkers can be unsafe). So, yes, a narrow walker or rollator can be just as safe as a normal one, and if you choose a model from a trusted manufacturer (such as the ones above), rest assured that you get a product that has been tried and tested for safety.
Just make sure its size is a good fit for you (a too low or too high walker is inconvenient to use and can be unsafe). So you don’t have to worry: narrow walkers are indeed a safe choice. After all, it all depends on how you use it and not on the width of the walker.
What is the difference between a walker and a rollator? Which one do you need?
Basically, a rollator is a walker with wheels (usually three or four) instead of legs. In addition, rollators have hand brakes and a seat so that you can have a rest if you’re tired. They’re usually larger and more robust than walkers and often come with bigger bags. In contrast with walkers, rollators don’t have to be lifted while walking.
A rollator is a better choice if you have weak arms or you have to stop often during walking to have a rest.
On the other hand, if you have balance issues or need more support while standing, a walker is usually a better and safer option because it provides more stability than a rollator.
Does Medicare cover narrow walkers?
Walkers and rollators (regardless of width) are considered as Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and Medicare Part B covers the cost of walkers and rollators if they’re prescribed by a doctor for in-home use. Usually, you will have to pay 20 percent of the costs after the deductible.
Do I need different walkers for indoor and outdoor use?
Most narrow walkers (such as the above-mentioned models) can be used both indoors and outdoors. So if you want, you can use one single walker in every situation. However, if you prefer using wider walkers you can keep two walkers of different widths at home. This way, you only have to use the narrow one when absolutely necessary.