What Is A Zimmer Frame?

There are some brands in the world whose name is now used to refer to any product of that kind. For example, many people in the UK call a vacuum cleaner a Hoover. Sticky tape is often called Sellotape. And a walking frame is often called a zimmer frame. But why is this and what is a zimmer frame?

The Zimmer Biomet brand produces walking aids as well as other equipment. Their walking frames are just one of many of these products but it’s this company that’s taken the name.

If you require assistance when walking then a frame may be right for you. In this guide, I’ll talk about what a Zimmer frame is and whether it’ll be the best piece of equipment for you. 

What Is A Zimmer Frame And What Is It Used For?

When referring to a walking frame, a lot of people use the term Zimmer frame. This is not a type of walking frame in its own right but a walking frame made by the company Zimmer Biomet. However, just like other brands, Zimmer Biomet has become the generic term to describe all walking frames and this is especially noted in the UK.

A walking frame is designed to offer support and stability to the user who may have balance or other mobility issues. These lightweight frames come up to around the waist and the user can put their weight onto the frame as they step forward. Between each step, the user must move the frame forward so it’s important that they have enough upper body strength to do this.

Zimmer frames can be used in various situations from moving around the home to going out and about. They come in various designs including those made for children or those that are intended for heavier users. In any case, it’s important to select a Zimmer frame that’s compatible with your build. 

A Zimmer frame is useful for lots of different people particularly the elderly since mobility often decreases with age. Being able to use a frame can vastly improve quality of life and independence as we get older. 

However, these frames are also ideal for people with certain disabilities where their mobility is affected. They are also beneficial to people who have suffered an injury or who are recovering from surgery during the rehabilitation stages.

Some people use a Zimmer frame in conjunction with other types of mobility aid such as a walking stick or a scooter. Zimmer frames are ideal for people who drive as they’re usually able to be folded down and will fit in the boot of the car. 

Are There Different Types Of Zimmer Frame?

Zimmer frames are not all made equal and there are various types designed to meet the needs of a vast array of users.

You might choose a folding Zimmer frame which, as I mentioned earlier, is ideal if you’re going to be driving or travelling a lot. What’s more, these frames are much easier to store when they’re not in use. Typically, a folding Zimmer frame is much narrower than other types and so they’re ideal if you need to use them in enclosed spaces. 

For people who don’t need such robust support, there are lightweight Zimmer frames that are designed to be moved around more easily. They’re typically made from things like titanium or stainless steel and are brilliant for use indoors. 

It’s important that, regardless of the type of Zimmer frame you choose, you look for one that has adjustable height. Setting the frame to the correct height for you means it’ll offer the best support and be more comfortable to use. 

Is A Zimmer Frame The Same As A Rollator

There are some Zimmer frames that come with wheels and these walking aids are often referred to as rollators. They’re very similar in design to a traditional walking frame but they have two wheels at the front instead of solid feet. Some rollators even have four wheels so that the user does not have to lift them up at all when taking each step. 

These types of walking frames benefit people with limited upper body strength who would otherwise find it difficult to lift a frame. However, you should keep in mind that they’re not as stable, owing to the wheels, so aren’t ideal if you have very severe balance problems. 

Having both a Zimmer frame and a rollator can be useful since a Zimmer frame is typically better for indoor use while a rollator works wonderfully outdoors. Zimmer frame vs a rollator


The term Zimmer frame is used to describe all walking frames in the UK. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Zimmer Biomet is a brand and not a standalone product. Walking frames are made by many different manufacturers but they’re all designed for the same thing; to improve stability when walking.