Knee scooters or knee walkers are medical mobility devices that offer a more comfortable and often safer alternative to crutches following a lower leg or foot injury or surgery. They are much more maneuverable and compact than wheelchairs, making them a versatile option for anyone that’s stuck in a non-weight bearing position during recovery. Knee scooters are also lightweight, which can allow people to enjoy more time outdoors and in social settings than they may otherwise experience using crutches or a wheelchair.
If you should find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of needing a knee scooter for yourself or a family member, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our informative review and buying guide will help you weed through the surprisingly large amount of options available on the market today.
The KneeRover All Terrain Steerable Knee Scooter is designed for those who are 5’6″ to 6’5″ tall and has a weight capacity of 350 pounds. The scooter weighs 27 pounds and features heavy-duty, double-bar construction, making it a strong and stable option. You can ride this scooter indoors as well as outside. It features 12-inch pneumatic tires, which easily transverse over all types of terrain, including dirt paths, grass, gravel, and sidewalk gaps.
This steerable knee scooter features a fully adjustable knee platform as well as a tie-rod steering mechanism and stabilizer training wheel for added stability and control. It has a locking hand brake and is available in blue or orange. The handlebars are also adjustable and the front axle is removable, which makes it easy to store and transport. However, it’s not designed to make sharp turns, and the nuts on the front wheels can catch on door frames and other furniture when you’re inside.
- 350-pound weight capacity
- 12-inch pneumatic tires
- Adjustable knee platform and handlebars
- Locking hand brake
- Brand KneeRover
- Model All Terrain
- Weight 27 pounds
Strong and stable
Indoor and outdoor use
Can handle differnt types of terrain
Easy to store and transport
Does not make sharp turns
Nuts on front wheels can easily catch on door frames and other items inside your home
Budget-conscious users should check out the AW Heavy Duty Adjustable Knee Rehab Scooter. It has a super competitive price point that you’ll appreciate without sacrificing quality construction. The frame is strong enough to support 295 pounds but lightweight enough that the entire unit weighs only 20 pounds, making it very easy to transport. As a bonus, this scooter can be fully assembled without the aid of extra tools.
It features durable and compact eight-inch tires all the way around, which is good for maneuvering in tight spaces. The adjustable knee pad is contoured to cradle and support your leg and the handlebars can be adjusted from 34 to 42 inches to properly support your shoulders and upper back. A quick-release thumb lever allows for easy and efficient folding. The large and sturdy front basket is a nice bonus. One thing we don’t love about this scooter is the lack of tire tread on the wheels. It’s not the best option for slippery or rugged outdoor conditions.
- Four compact 8-inch wheels
- Quick-release folding mechanism
- Maximum weight limit of 295 pounds
- Adjustable knee pad and handlebars
- Brand AW
- Model N/A
- Weight 20 pounds
Super lightweight frame weighs only 20 pounds
Compact wheel size gets around tight spots
Large basket can carry lots of items
Wheels are slick and don’t have a lot of traction on wet or snowy surfaces
No front brake — rear only
Limited color options
For the ultimate in ruggedness and durability, we choose the KneeRover QUAD All Terrain Knee Walker. This durable all-terrain knee scooter features a heavy-duty frame that is lightweight, yet solid and can support up to 350 pounds. Four 12-inch air-filled tires have an aggressive tread pattern that can easily traverse almost any type of terrain. An advanced automotive-style tie-rod steering mechanism adds extra stability and durability to this well-constructed knee scooter.
An adjustable and lockable front hand brake and a rear drum braking system ensure quick and accurate stopping and great control of the scooter at all times. The large size of the tires does tend to limit the number of tight spaces this scooter can go in and the deep treads can get muddier than other models. It also folds down less easily and less compactly than some other models on the market. Oh, and it doesn’t come with a basket, so you’ll need to purchase that separately.
- Rugged metal frame can support up to 350 pounds
- Dual front and rear braking system
- Four large, 12-inch, air-filled, deep tread tires
- Dependable tie-rod reinforced steering mechanism
- Brand KneeRover
- Model Quad All-Terrain
- Weight 26 pounds
Rugged tires can handle multiple terrain types with ease
Beefy construction is supportive and stable
High-end brakes ensure accurate and quick stopping
Less compact than other models
Large tires get dirtier and are harder to maneuver in tight spaces than some other models
When it comes to innovation, the Drive Medical 796 Dual Pad Steerable Knee Walker is something to be considered. It’s got a super sturdy powder-coated steel frame construction that will withstand a lot of wear and tear and still look good. It’s also able to support up to 300 pounds while weighing only 22 pounds, which makes it one of the lighter options on our list. Rugged and smooth 8-inch PVC wheels can go almost anywhere but are less suited to rugged terrain and wet conditions than some others on the market.
It comes equipped with a rear hand brake for quick stopping. We would like to see a front brake added to this model for extra security. The adjustable knee pad is separated into two parts and is longer and more protective than some models. This scooter folds down for transport, but it is the least compactly folding scooter on our list and may not fit well in all vehicles.
- Four 8-inch, hard PVC wheels
- Rear hand adjustable and lockable handbrake
- Maximum weight limit of 300 pounds
- Two-part knee pad
- Brand Drive Medical
- Model 796
- Weight 22 pounds
Super lightweight and easy to maneuver
Long dual-zone padded knee cushion provides good support and stability
Powder-coated frame is durable and rust- and dent-resistant
Removable basket is large and spacious
Only one color option
Folds less compactly than some other models
Rear brake only
PVC tires are not great for slippery or wet conditions
The Elenker Knee Scooter gets a shout out for being a lightweight, economical option that folds down quickly and compactly for easy transportation and storage. Its sturdy metal frame is lightweight, yet durable enough to support up to 300 pounds and is quality tested and FDA approved for safety. It features a soft, yet supportive contoured adjustable knee pad that will cradle your lower leg and keep it comfortable and secure during use.
Four 8-inch, hard PVC wheels are compact and great for getting around in snug spaces. The lack of tread on them, however, isn’t the best option for slippery or wet conditions. Tool-free assembly is easy and quick, and the large carrying basket features a protective top lid as a bonus. Be aware that this unit only features a rear brake, which also makes it not ideal for slippery and wet terrain. All in all, though, it’s a good scooter for a great price.
- Four compact, 8-inch, hard PVC wheels
- Maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds
- Quick tool-free assembly
- Easy folding mechanism
- Brand Elenker
- Model N/A
- Weight 25 pounds
Large carrying basket with lid
Easy and compact folding and transportation
Overly large hand brake gets caught on things easily
Treadless tires are not the best on slippery terrain
No front brake
For those who aren’t looking for a ton of bells and whistles, but want a dependable knee scooter, the BodyMed Folding Knee Scooter is a great option. It features an easy-to-use and responsive dual braking system that will allow you to stop quickly and accurately. At just 19 pounds, its super sturdy and rugged metal frame is powder-coated for extra durability and is one of the lightest scooters on our list with one of the largest maximum weight capacities of 350 pounds. This scooter is an excellent value.
The knee pad is adjustable from 17-23 inches but is shorter and less supportive and cradling than some others on our list. Compact hard PVC wheels are super durable, but not great for wet or snowy conditions. Although they are good for smaller living spaces and don’t trap a ton of mud and dirt like some larger, deeper tread tires on our list. A removable mesh basket lets you keep valuable close by and secure.
- Sturdy powder-coated metal frame can support up to 350 pounds
- Responsive dual hand braking system
- Compact, hard PVC wheels
- Adjustable knee pad and handlebars
Super lightweight and compact
Easily folds down for transportation and storage.
Mesh basket is great for holding valuables
Wheels are not great for slippery surfaces
Brake handles get caught on items easily
Mesh basket is less protective of valuables than some other models
Now that you’ve seen some of our favorite options for reliable and practical knee scooters, let’s see what features and considerations set them apart from other models that might be available. This buying guide will teach you exactly what to look for in a knee scooter so that you can be assured of getting the best one to suit your needs and to last you a long time.
The Advantages of Owning a Knee Scooter
Owning a knee scooter has some distinct advantages. One is that they require a lot less physical effort to use and are a lot more comfortable on your hands, arms, shoulders, and upper back than the standard crutches. They allow you to move more freely, being able to control the scooter with a single hand and keep one free for use, unlike crutches.
A knee scooter is a lot more maneuverable and space-saving than a wheelchair, giving you many more options for going places, whether it’s outside for fresh air, to the movies, shopping, or visiting friends and family. It fits in your vehicle and is much more compact and easy to transport than a wheelchair. Let’s not forget that knee scooters are significantly less expensive than wheelchairs as well.
Another advantage to knee scooters is that they support and cradle your foot and lower leg, taking gravitational pressure off the injured area, which can theoretically speed healing time, although we have yet to see any peer-reviewed journal evidence to back up that claim.
- Knee scooters require less upper body strength to successfully maneuver than crutches or wheelchairs.
- Knee scooters are less expensive and much more compact than wheelchairs.
- Knee scooters allow you stable, and single-handed operation, unlike crutches.
Learn more about our favorite mobility scooters.
Popular Types of Knee Scooters
Luckily, there aren’t too many variances when it comes to types of knee scooters, thankfully. Having too many options can sometimes cloud your decision-making and be a cause for greater confusion. Not so when it comes to selecting the ideal knee scooter. You only have two options to choose from:
4-Wheeled Knee Scooter
As the name implies, this type of scooter comes equipped with four wheels, which provides you with a high level of balance and stability. Four-wheeled knee scooters are usually larger than their alternative option and can come with either a single or dual braking system. These are a great option if you struggle with balance issues, vertigo, or are new to using a knee scooter.
The tradeoff is that they’re slightly less maneuverable and less compact than your other knee scooter option. And depending on the manufacturer, they can be pricier as well. That being said, four-wheeled scooters tend to be more durable and reliable over time.
3-Wheeled Knee Scooter
Your other option is the three-wheeled knee scooter, which features two driving wheels in the front and only a single wheel in the rear. They usually come with a single hand brake system, but some of the newer models can have a two-brake set-up.
These scooters have the advantage of being significantly more maneuverable and quicker than their larger four-wheel counterparts. They’re also more lightweight and compact and fold down smaller for easier transportation and storage.
Of course, the trade-off for having much more maneuverability is that this type of scooter is also less stable and tends to be less durable over time. This might not be a major concern if you’re in good physical condition and don’t suffer from balance or instability issues.
Learn more about the best electric scooters for kids.
What to Consider When Buying Knee Scooters
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a knee scooter, not least of which is your physical capability. While knee scooters are generally more intuitive and easier to use than crutches, wheelchairs, and even walkers in many cases, they still require a certain degree of spatial awareness, balance, motor control, and visual acuity to be able to effectively operate them. Assessing these factors for yourself or a loved will can help you determine if you would do better with either a three-wheeled scooter, a 4-wheeled scooter, or maybe forego them altogether. It’s a very subjective and personal choice.
Once you’ve decided that a knee scooter is the way to go, consider what type of terrain you’ll be primarily using it on. If you live in tight quarters and only go out on paved urban streets in decent weather, then the three-wheeled knee scooters or scooters with smaller, harder wheels are fine for you. If however, you live in a more rugged environment or want to be secure in wet or slippery conditions, consider one of the four-wheeled all-terrain scooters instead.
Check out our top picks on scooters for toddlers.
Best Knee Scooters FAQ:
Now that you’re more familiar with the world of knee scooters, you may still have some unanswered questions. We’ve got you covered with comprehensive answers to some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding knee scooters.
Q. Does insurance pay for knee scooters?
Many insurance companies will reimburse you either partially or in full for an approved knee scooter with a proper diagnosis code from a registered physician. Check with your particular insurance company before purchase to see what your options are for getting help paying for your knee scooter.
Q. How do I choose a knee scooter?
Our handy and informative buying guide should provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to select the best knee scooter for you. On top of that, try reading some online reviews on the certain models you’re considering. Online reviews have candid and practical information from other consumers, so you can find out the good, the bad, and the ugly quickly and make a solid decision.
Q. Are knee scooters better than crutches?
The answer to this widely depends on your physical skills and balance abilities. Overall, yes, knee scooters are superior to crutches in that they are physically less taxing and draining to use, they allow you to use your hands for tasks, and they can carry your items and valuables, whereas crutches require some solid upper body strength and two hands to operate properly.
Our Top Pick
Now that you’ve read through our entire review and buying guide, it’s easy to see why we chose the KneeRover All Terrain Steerable Knee Scooter as our top option. Its frame features double-bar construction that’s capable of supporting up to 350 pounds. It has rugged, 12-inch, all-terrain pneumatic wheels that provide maneuverability and stability so users can traverse a wide variety of terrains with ease. We also like the outrigger wheel, which adds additional stability and can prevent tipping. This is an excellent all-around choice.
Whether you decide to go with the KneeRover All Terrain Steerable Knee Scooter, the AW Heavy Duty Adjustable Knee Rehab Scooter, or another option altogether, one thing is certain: the properly fitted and carefully selected knee scooter can open up a world of independence for anyone who is recovering from a lower leg, ankle, or foot surgery or injury. You don’t have to lay in bed for weeks on end waiting to heal, you can still get out there and enjoy life.
- Knee Scooter – Wikipedia