Even though we don’t’ like to admit it, some people have higher body weights and therefore cannot use regular-size mobility aids like wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters. Instead, they have to use bariatric aids or aids designed for heavy individuals.
Heavy-duty mobility aids, also known as bariatric aids, are designed for users who weigh over 300 pounds in weight.
This post reviews some of the best scooters, walkers, and electric wheelchairs for heavy individuals. If you have a few extra pounds on your frame and are looking for a walking assistant to help you quickly get around both indoors and out, you may want to read the post to the very end.
How to choose between Heavy Duty Power Wheelchairs, Scooters, and Walkers
Even though electric wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers are all mobility aids, each has its own set of pros and cons and is better suited for certain users and circumstances.
Mobility scooters, for instance, are ideal for users who are able-bodied and can maintain a seated position over extended periods of time. They also require users to have some arm strength.
For the most part, mobility scooters are designed for outdoor use and are therefore great for travelers and users who generally love to spend their days out and about. They are easy to use, hence beginner-friendly, and can handle pretty much any terrain.
Perhaps the biggest downside to mobility scooters is that users with limited physical ability cannot use them as they will struggle with maintaining their balance on the scooter as well as controlling it. Also, scooters for bariatric users can take up quite a lot of storage space and are difficult to maneuver in narrow and tight spaces.
For such users with serious mobility issues, heavy-duty electric wheelchairs, also referred to as heavy-duty power chairs, are the best alternative. They require very little effort and strength to control as they use either a joystick or touch controls.
Unlike mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs are highly customizable to complement the user’s comfort and meet their support needs. For instance, you can adjust the seat height, footrests, seat depth, armrest, and even the backrest positioning. In fact, some electric wheelchairs have the tilt and recline function to offer extra comfort and support.
Additionally, electric wheelchairs are easy to maneuver, particularly in small spaces. This makes them great for both indoor and outdoor use. Much like scooters, they can handle rough terrain.
Whilst electric wheelchairs are generally easy to use and maneuver, it can take longer to master how to control the chair using either the joystick or touch buttons. This is because the controls are usually more sensitive.
Electric wheelchairs maybe a little too high-tech for first-time mobility aids users than mobility scooters. In addition, they are not comfortable for long-distance traveling unless they are customized for long hour sitting. They are also not portable since they are fairly heavy, particularly if they have a higher weight capacity.
As you can tell, it’s pretty hard to make a head-to-head comparison of these three mobility aids. But ideally, you’d want to pick a walker if you need support to walk over short distances. You, however, must have a considerable amount of upper body strength.
If you require more support due to severe mobility issues, an electric wheelchair would be the most ideal, while a scooter would be the best option if you can stand and walk unaided but need support to cover long distances over a short time
Best electric wheelchair for heavy person
The Jazzy Elite HD Heavy Duty Electric Wheelchair is the ultimate power wheelchair for heavy users. With a maximum weight capacity of 450 pounds, a max speed of 4mph, and covering a distance of up to 14.4 miles on a full charge, the chair is designed to guarantee you top-of-the-line traction.
The heavy duty power wheelchair is all about superior performance. It features a front-wheel-drive technology that is known to drive extremely smoothly on all terrains- even on obstacles. At 14 inches, the rear wheels are significantly bigger than most other power wheelchairs.
The front wheel drive is accompanied by 6-inch solid wheel casters on the rear and 3-inch anti-tip wheels on the front. Because of the big size wheels and casters, the wheelchair maneuvers significantly well on all spaces and surfaces.
Perhaps the greatest strength of the Jazzy Elite HD powered wheelchair is how intuitive the hand control is which allows for effortless riding. With just a simple move of the joystick, you can take yourself to pretty much anywhere- even on tight corners and narrow spaces, thanks to the 24-inch turning radius. And it’s great that the joystick can be mounted on either the left or the right side of the chair for easy operation. You don’t have to keep switching your hands just to reach for the controller.
Another great strength of the Jazzy Elite heavy duty power chair is the wide seat, 24 inches by 24 inches to be precise. Given that it is a high back seat, you can be sure of full-body support all day.
Consider the EWheels M45 as an alternative to the Jazzy Elite HD.
Best Heavy Duty Electric scooters for heavy person
The best heavy-duty four wheel scooter is the Red Elephant Mobility Scooter, a transformer that can fold down to a very small and manageable load. In addition to being extremely portable, it is also lightweight- and fits into almost any car trunk. This makes it so ideal for traveling. And the good news is that most airlines would allow you to travel with it as it’s fully airline-compliant. And the fact that it moves pretty fast and can cover long distances, up to 43 miles on a single charge, makes it perfect for long trips.
The scooter can accommodate users weighing up to 500 pounds,
With a large ground clearance of 8″, 14″ front, and 16″ rear tires, and a powerful 700-watt motor, the scooter can handle pretty much any uneven terrain. And to make it safe to use on roads, in dark-lit or crowded places, it is fitted with safety features like LED headlights, dual mirrors, turn signals, and rear lights.
In addition, there is a huge storage basket on the rear that can perfectly fit most of your hand belongings.
The scooter can be remotely controlled or manually operated. It’s entirely up to you to choose what works best for you. And it comes with two lightweight lithium-ion batteries and a battery charger.
The battery is a fast charger. It takes anywhere from 2-4 hours to charge it fully. You can always purchase additional batteries to serve as backups. This is important if you use your scooter every day, all day.
And the best part? There is no assembly needed. The scooter comes ready to use. You only need to charge, and you are ready to go.
Compared to other heavy-duty scooters, the Red Elephant Heavy-Duty Mobility Scooter is fairly lightweight, tipping the scale at just 257 pounds. The weight is inclusive of the battery weight.
Best walkers for heavy individual
Two things stand out the most about the Comodita Prima Heavy Duty Rollator that makes it one of the best walkers for heavy users- stability and safety. With a weight capacity of 400 pounds, the walker is strongly built with a rather unique frame design. We loved how large the dimensions between the walker is, it offers plenty of space for easy foot movement as well as sufficient legroom when sitting. This helps to prevent users from tripping and falling.
We also loved the comfort and sturdiness of the walker. Given that it’s designed for heavy users, they will most certainly feel secure using it.
The walker comes with a few thoughtful accessories that would make users’ life so much simpler. It comes with a considerably big storage bag underneath that is supported with a crossbar at the bottom. The storage bag can hold items like a wallet, meds, packed snacks among other small items. Once you store everything inside the storage bag, you can fasten it with velcro to avoid losing items.
Other great accessories that come with the walker include a cup holder and a cane holder.
If you like to take your walker with you when traveling or going for random short trips, you will love how quick and easy it folds down to a compact load that easily fits into the trunk of any car. You should have no trouble lifting it up even with limited upper body strength.
With large eight-inch wheels, the walker can be used on all surfaces, even the most uneven ones. This makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. The ergonomic handgrips make it comfortable to hold and use the walker for longer periods.
To guarantee your safety, the walker’s locking hand brakes are easy to use and very responsive. They also lock pretty securely so you can get in and out of the seat without worrying about losing control and falling. And with the rear wheels very far apart, you can rest assured that your legs won’t be getting caught into the tires.
As great as this walker sounds, there have been a few complaints here and there of the walker sliding on some surfaces, even when the wheels are securely locked. You, therefore, have to be keen when sitting so that it does not slip behind you. What most users have found to be working is by sitting while concentrating the weight straight down rather than sitting down then moving back which pushes the walker forcing it to slide off.
That being said, we think Comodita Prima Heavy Duty Rollator is generally a great walker for heavy individuals weighing over 400 pounds. Its strongly built, comfortable and the seat offers the much-needed back support, thanks to the contoured backrest support. Once you figure out the right handle height for the walker, you are home and dry.
Go-Lite Bariatric Steel Rollator by Drive Medical is an extremely well-made walker designed for heavy users. Loved for its great price point and sturdiness, the walker can handle a weight of up to 500 pounds.
And it’s definitely built to match up the weight of its users, with a frame made of steel, and a strong removable backrest that won’t tilt backward when you rest your weight on it. To add to the comfort, the backrest is lightly padded
We must mention that it comes highly recommended by physical therapists because of its impressive performance and adjustability. You can pretty much customize it to suit your varying needs. For instance, you can raise the handle height to use while walking and lower it just a bit to use while sitting.
You will most certainly fall in love with the hideaway wire storage basket. Very ideal for storing your personal items and a few grocery items. The basket frees up your hand so that you can have both hands focussing on the handles to keep you from accidental falls.
Because it’s a heavy-duty rollator, most people would expect that it will be too large to fit through doorways and tight spaces, but rest assured that there isn’t a place it won’t fit through. From elevators to gangways to basically all doorways in your home. Getting around your home, malls, institutions- name it, will be a breeze.
Go-Lite Bariatric Steel Rollator is a foldable walker, its folds down pretty quickly and easily to a compact load that can be lifted even with frail users. When folded down, it can fit into most car trunks.
The walker comes pre-assembled, ready for use right out of the box. You’d only need to set the handle height to your desired height. The handle height ranges between 35.2 inches to 39 inches. As you can tell from the maximum handle height, the walker can be used by tall users as well.
To guarantee your safety, the lightweight walker features a loop locking braking system that ensures that all four wheels are locked when you are sitting.
Well, there are a few shortcomings with this walker, just like other walkers perhaps the biggest drawback is that it tends to be bulky even when folded down. But this is a small price to pay for such a high-quality, sturdy, durable, and reasonably priced heavy-duty walker.
The Soprano Rollator is perhaps the most secure and safest heavy duty rollator in the market currently. Every feature installed is in one way or the other geared towards the safety of the user, including the cable-less brake design. Without cables to get in your way while walking, there is hardly any reason for you to trip and fall.
The soprano is also loaded with other excellent features that will make your outdoor trips fun and less strenuous. For instance, there is a flip-up seat that you can rest on when you get tired of walking. There is also a storage basket right at the front of the walker to store your personal items so that your hands are free to hold the handle. The wire basket is large enough to carry a load of up to 20 pounds.
The walker has 10-inch wheels both on the front and rear. These wheels are big enough to handle outdoor surfaces like gravel sidewalks, muddy walkways, uneven pavements, thick grassy lawns among others. We loved that the rear wheels are a bit far apart to offer you ample walking space.
We also loved that the walker can be folded to the side. Unlike walkers that fold down, these side folding walkers are easy to store and take the least amount of storage space, you basically just lean it towards a wall or any other surface. They also take the least amount of time and energy to collapse and hardly would you accidentally step and trip over one.
Worried about complicated assembly that takes hours to figure out? Not with this walker, it comes pre-assembled for the most part, you only make a few adjustments to suit your needs and you are good to go. If you are unsure of how to make the adjustments, the easy-to-follow instruction manual is there to guide you.
How to Choose Mobility Aids for Heavy Individuals
When you have limited mobility, especially as a heavy individual, mobility aids can give you the confidence to get out often without needing to rely on other people. Mobility aids come in different designs to help your get around safely- be it meeting up with friends at the coffee shop, shopping for groceries, or simply just getting some fresh air at the park.
Heavy duty wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters can open up new horizons. Here are key pointers to guide you when buying either of these mobility aids for a heavy individual.
First up, you want to make sure the mobility aid can accommodate your weight. The best way to determine the best weight capacity is to consider your total weight then add a few extra pounds for additional items that you may need to carry. At the very least, add 50 extra pounds. So if your weight is 400 pounds, you want to be looking for an aid that can accommodate atleast 450 pounds.
Extra Wide Seat
Check the seat dimensions, some heavy-duty walkers particularly, tend to be narrower. You want to look at all the dimensions- seat width, height, and depth. All the aids we’ve reviewed have a wider seat but you can consider other heavy-duty walkers if you don’t find the right seat dimensions for you.
Easy to transport
If you travel frequently or you like to move around with your mobility aid, you want to buy one that you can easily lift and load into your car trunk. Particularly for electric wheelchairs and scooters, you want one that can fold down to a compact size.
And there goes our honest thoughts on the best electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and walkers for heavy users. As we mentioned earlier, which mobility aid to choose will entirely depend on your physical ability.