As we and our loved one’s age, many turn to walkers to retain their mobility and independence. One of the factors in being independent is being able to move items around the house, especially food. Therefore, a tray is an excellent simple walker accessory that is essential for anyone with a standard walker, a walker with wheels, or a folding walker. Though the design is fairly basic, there are many walker trays on the market with many similar features. We have waded through all the options and have determined the best five walker accessory trays for senior use to make walking and carrying things a breeze.
For a basic universal option consider this tray by Yunga Tart. It is made of lightweight plastic and comes in several different colors, which rotate seasonally. This tray is designed to slip over the handles of most traditional walkers, and this particular product includes adjustment spacers which can be utilized to ensure a tight and stable fit. There is one hole for carrying a tapered drink cup and a second depression that is better suited for short glassware such as mugs. There is a good deal of sizing information in the product description so one can be sure that this will properly fit their walker before purchasing it. For those who have or are looking to purchase a basket for their walkers, this tray fits over most basket installations so both may be used simultaneously. Since it slips on it is also easy to remove and transfer to other surfaces if necessary.
One of the biggest concerns with using a walker tray is that the items on the tray must be as stable as possible when moving around. If one simply needed a flat surface at their destination then any table or tray table would suffice. The Walker Tray with Non-Slip Grip Mat by North American is made specifically with mobility in mind. The non-slip mat ensures that items made of any material stay in place with minimal shifting, as long as they are in contact with the mat. The mat is removeable so it can be washed easily without having to take off and wash the entire tray. This does mean that it is possible for liquid or other substances to get under the mat and onto the tray itself in case of a major spill, but if that happens the tray can be removed and cleaned as well. This tray also has two standard sized holes for cups to be inserted, which is much sturdier than a basic recessed cup holder. As long as the owner is using tapered cups that fit the holes these can be extremely useful. The only major downside to this product is that it is made with low crossbar walker models in mind. This tray might not sit properly on walkers with high crossbars that are within a few inches of the handlebars.
If removability and easy access are both top features in a walker tray, look no further than this option by North Coast Medical. This tray easily clips on to the walker for use when needed, and then clips onto the side for storage within reach. Since it does not require any special installation this is a great product for seniors who do not desire or require extra assistance. The nonslip placemat ensures that items will not shift while in motion, though it is recommended that short cups be used since the drink holders are not holes or indentations. This tray is dishwasher safe on the top rack so it is easy to clean. It also fits a wide variety of standard size walkers.
There are many adjustable walker trays on the market but most are made to fit a specific brand of walker. Since foldable walker trays have moving parts it is recommended that one consider a product made specifically by their walker manufacturer, such as this one from Nova or this from Drive. However, these can be more expensive so a generic might be more appropriate if the walker in question is of a standard size. This particular tray from Lumex has enough measurements in the listing to be able to properly determine if it will fit before purchasing. The main benefit of a folding tray is that it can be moved out of the way when not needed. Though this tray is recessed enough when up to allow for the user to have a proper positioning and balance inside the walker itself, depending on usage it may be preferred to have more space inside the walker instead of having the tray up the entire time. While slip-on trays can easily be taken off for this purpose, having a fold-down option means that the tray is always available wherever they go. As with most trays, this product includes two recessed drink holders.
Drive makes several high-quality walkers and many accessories to go with them, as well as with walkers from other manufacturers. This caddy has a tray top and storage underneath the removeable tray for holding items such as phones, medicine, cans, remotes, and other things that one may wish to take from place to place as they move around. This caddy attaches with adjustable straps so it should fit many standard size walkers aside from those made by Drive. It also includes an indentation for a cup, though since it is an indentation instead of a cutout it is recommended that one use a short glass.
The best tray for your walker or loved one’s walker is ultimately a personal choice based on required functionality and comfort. A walker tray can go a long way in allowing one to retain or regain their independence. In general, walker trays tend to be fairly inexpensive so trial and error should not be too expensive an undertaking if you are not sure exactly what you need.