Since everyone is unique and has different needs, we have broken down our recommendations into three categories – the best forearm crutches, the best underarm crutches, and the best platform crutches.
We also encourage you to read our guide on How to Choose the Right Crutches for more information on which specific type and model of crutches is actually best for you.
|Best Forearm Crutch||Best Underarm Crutch||Best Platform Crutch|
|Ergoactives Ergobaum Prime Forearm Crutches||The Life Crutch – Underarm Crutches||Walk Easy Adult Platform Crutch|
|Maximum Weight||360 lbs.||300 lbs.||220 lbs.|
|Height Range||5’0” – 6’6”||4’6” – 6’7”||36” and 44”|
|Special Features||Shock absorption system, Fully adjustable||Adjustable ergonomic handles, Articulating crutch tips||Velcro brand U-shaped sleeve, Contoured grip angle
|Customer Ratings||4.0 / 5.0 Stars||3.9 / 5.0 Stars||New|
Also see: Best Crutches Comparison Table
Quick Answer: The 6 Best-Rated Crutches
Best Forearm Crutches
Best Underarm Crutches
Best Platform Crutches
Best Forearm Crutches
Forearm crutches, sometimes simply referred to as arm crutches, are a popular option amongst long-term crutch users. They are often more lightweight and easier to maneuver with greater mobility overall. They fit over your forearm and provide a grip for you to hold onto with your hand. Here are our top picks for the best forearm crutches!
- Maximum weight: 360 lbs.
- Height range: 5’0” – 6’6”
- Shock absorption system
- Medical-grade aluminum in blue color
- Fully adjustable
- Folds down to 5″ x 4.5″ x 10″
- Built-in flashlight and alert horn
- High performance non-slip Ergocap tips
- Built-in knee rests
These have the highest weight limit of any of our picks at an impressive 360 lbs. They also have a pretty nice height range of 5’ to 6’6”.
The medical grade aluminum used in these crutches is both strong and durable as well as conveniently lightweight. The blue color even adds an attractive element to the crutches that some users really appreciate.
The fully adjustable design makes for a more comfortable experience for a variety of users. The shock absorption system built into the full design of the Ergobaum Prime crutches helps to keep each step easy on the user’s joints.
Expand To See More For increased safety, Ergoactives has used high performance non-slip Ergocap tips on these crutches. The tips are designed to provide a strong grip and easy maneuverability on a variety of terrains and surfaces. One of the really nice convenience features of these particular crutches that you don’t see often among other crutches is that they fold down for easier storage and transportation. When folded down, these crutches measure at a mere 26.5” x 4.5” x 10”. Additional features that are not common with other crutches are the built-in knee rests, the built-in flashlight, and the built-in alert horn. All of these features help to increase safety, convenience, and comfort for users. Of course, all of these nice features do come at a price. These are more expensive than the majority of our other top crutches picks with only one other option that actually costs more than these. So, they might not be the best choice for someone that will only be on crutches for a couple of weeks. However, they do have an incredible value for what you pay, so they definitely make a good option for longer-term crutch users.
For increased safety, Ergoactives has used high performance non-slip Ergocap tips on these crutches. The tips are designed to provide a strong grip and easy maneuverability on a variety of terrains and surfaces.
One of the really nice convenience features of these particular crutches that you don’t see often among other crutches is that they fold down for easier storage and transportation.
When folded down, these crutches measure at a mere 26.5” x 4.5” x 10”. Additional features that are not common with other crutches are the built-in knee rests, the built-in flashlight, and the built-in alert horn.
All of these features help to increase safety, convenience, and comfort for users. Of course, all of these nice features do come at a price.
These are more expensive than the majority of our other top crutches picks with only one other option that actually costs more than these. So, they might not be the best choice for someone that will only be on crutches for a couple of weeks.
However, they do have an incredible value for what you pay, so they definitely make a good option for longer-term crutch users.
- Maximum weight: 286 lbs.
- Height range: 4’7” – 6’8”
- Height adjustable in 1” increments
- Replaceable forearm pads and grips
- Shock absorbing tips
- Super lightweight design
- 2 other size options for varying weights
They don’t have all the bells and whistles you get with the Ergoactives Ergobaum Prime crutches above, but they are still high-quality and come at a considerably lower price.
This makes them better forearm crutches for tighter budgets and for shorter-term users that prefer forearm crutches.
These have a decent maximum weight of 286 lbs. However, this specific pair is recommended for those users weighing between 132 lbs and 198 lbs.
FDI also has this set of crutches in two different sizes – one size recommended for users up to 154 lbs and one size recommended for users over 188 lbs. The simple and smart design of these crutches keeps them extremely lightweight at only 1.32 lbs per crutch.
Expand To See More Shock absorbing tips help reduce joint strain while also increasing safety by providing a good grip. These are best for anyone within the height range of 4’7” and 6’8”, which covers the vast majority of adults as well as many older children. Forearm pads and hand grips that are replaceable help allow these to work comfortably and efficiently for long-term use.
Shock absorbing tips help reduce joint strain while also increasing safety by providing a good grip. These are best for anyone within the height range of 4’7” and 6’8”, which covers the vast majority of adults as well as many older children.
Forearm pads and hand grips that are replaceable help allow these to work comfortably and efficiently for long-term use.
Best Underarm Crutches
Underarm crutches are what most people probably think of when they think crutches. The typical crutches handed out at hospitals for injuries are underarm crutches.
They generally have a padded section that sits directly under the arms where you put most of your weight. They also have a handle down lower for you to hold onto and guide the crutches with.
While not always the most comfortable option, these are generally less expensive than other types of crutches.
- Maximum weight: 300 lbs.
- Height range: 4’6” – 6’7”
- Adjustable ergonomic handles
- Articulating crutch tips
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Strong construction
Unlike most underarm crutches, The Life Crutch consists of just one aluminum pole rather than two that come together towards the ground.
This single pole has a “C” shape to it at the top to provide the underarm support. The underarm section is padded for comfort as is the ergonomic handle grip below.
This grip is height adjustable to best fit a variety of body sizes. The crutch itself is designed to work well for anyone from 4’6” in height to 6’7” in height.
Expand To See More A higher maximum weight of 300 lbs doesn’t quite match the highest weight limit on our list of recommendations but does accommodate most users nicely. The aluminum frame is strong and lightweight. Articulating crutch tips make for greater and safer maneuverability that works well on a wide range of surfaces. These are quite affordable crutches coming in at less than ⅓ of the cost of the Ergoactives Ergobaum Prime crutches.
A higher maximum weight of 300 lbs doesn’t quite match the highest weight limit on our list of recommendations but does accommodate most users nicely. The aluminum frame is strong and lightweight.
Articulating crutch tips make for greater and safer maneuverability that works well on a wide range of surfaces. These are quite affordable crutches coming in at less than ⅓ of the cost of the Ergoactives Ergobaum Prime crutches.
- Maximum weight: 300 lbs.
- Height range: 5’2” – 5’10”
- Additional sizes for varying heights
- Contoured crutch tips
- Thick cushioned underarm pads
- Impact absorbing hand grips
- Washable hand grips
They have a high maximum weight of 300 lbs and come in 3 different sizes with varying height ranges. These are the medium Hugo Mobility Aluminum crutches, so they are best fit for users with heights ranging from 5’2” to 5’10”.
Their other sizes accommodate users anywhere from 4’6” to 6’6”. Thick cushioned underarm pads help to increase comfort while contoured crutch tips make for better maneuverability with greater safety.
The hand grips on these crutches help absorb impact to avoid hand discomfort for longer and are even machine washable for easy cleaning.
Expand To See More These are not great crutches for long-term use. However, they are decent for short-term use. The greatest benefit of these crutches is that they are extremely affordable coming in as the least expensive crutches of all of our recommendations by far. These should easily fit almost any budget.
These are not great crutches for long-term use. However, they are decent for short-term use.
The greatest benefit of these crutches is that they are extremely affordable coming in as the least expensive crutches of all of our recommendations by far. These should easily fit almost any budget.
Best Platform Crutches
One of the newly popular crutch designs on the market is platform crutches. Platform crutches may sometimes be referred to as elbow crutches because you use your elbows to support your weight rather than your underarms or strictly your hands.
This is more sustainable for many users who may struggle to hold their weight in the way that other crutches require. A platform in the shape of a sleeve provides a place for your forearm and elbow with hand grips at the end of the platform.
- Maximum weight: 220 lbs.
- Adjusts between 36” and 44”
- Velcro brand U-shaped sleeve
- Contoured grip angle
- Single bolt adjustments
- Blue aluminum frame
The frame is even a nice blue color to add a nice aesthetic to the crutches. The lower weight capacity of 220 lbs may become a problem for some users and rule this out as an option for anyone heavier than 220 lbs.
The height of the actual platform is adjustable from 36” up to 44”. Adjustments are easily made with a single bolt. Sitting on top of the main frame of the crutch is an additional aluminum pole that extends out into the handle of the crutch.
The handle features a nice soft ergonomic grip that sits at a contoured angle for maximum comfort. This pole that the handle is on also supports the platform of this platform crutch.
Expand To See More The platform features a Velcro brand U-shaped sleeve. This sleeve is designed for comfort and safety. It is easy to adjust it to each user’s arms thanks to the simple Velcro design. Overall, this is an excellent crutch for support from the elbow. The big downfall with this option is that it is quite expensive. This is actually the most expensive option on our list of recommendations and that is true even before you take into consideration that this crutch is sold individually rather than in pairs. In other words, for a full set, you must purchase 2 of these crutches instead of just one pair as most crutches are sold.
The platform features a Velcro brand U-shaped sleeve. This sleeve is designed for comfort and safety. It is easy to adjust it to each user’s arms thanks to the simple Velcro design.
Overall, this is an excellent crutch for support from the elbow. The big downfall with this option is that it is quite expensive.
This is actually the most expensive option on our list of recommendations and that is true even before you take into consideration that this crutch is sold individually rather than in pairs.
In other words, for a full set, you must purchase 2 of these crutches instead of just one pair as most crutches are sold.
- Platform crutch walker attachment
- Maximum weight: 300 lbs.
- Handle height range: 37” – 53”
- Adjustable strap
- Soft vinyl padding
- Aluminum frame
Some users of walkers may not be able to properly support themselves using only hands and adding a crutch like this to the walker can provide some users with the support they need to successfully remain mobile.
This platform crutch features a maximum weight of 300 lbs and has a handle height range of 37” to 53”. The aluminum frame is strong and durable without adding a lot of excess weight to the walker.
Soft vinyl padding along the platform sleeve of the crutch provides comfort and support. An adjustable strap helps to comfortably secure the arm into place for optimal support from the crutch.
Expand To See More Attaching the crutch to the walker and adjusting the height of the crutch platform is straightforward and easy. The price of this platform crutch is around the middle of our list when you take into consideration that you need to purchase 2 in order to have a pair since these are sold individually like the Walk Easy Platform Crutch.
Attaching the crutch to the walker and adjusting the height of the crutch platform is straightforward and easy.
The price of this platform crutch is around the middle of our list when you take into consideration that you need to purchase 2 in order to have a pair since these are sold individually like the Walk Easy Platform Crutch.
Crutches Comparison Table
|Best Forearm Crutches||Price||Maximum Weight||Height Range||Special Features||Customer Ratings|
|Ergoactives Ergobaum Prime Forearm Crutches||$189.00||360 lbs.||5’0” – 6’6”||Shock absorption system, Fully adjustable||4.0 / 5.0 Stars|
|FDI Ergodynamic Forearm Crutches||$109.95||286 lbs.||4’7” – 6’8”||Shock absorbing tips, Super lightweight design||4.1 / 5.0 Stars|
|Best Underarm Crutches|
|The Life Crutch – Underarm Crutches||$49.99||300 lbs.||4’6” – 6’7”||Adjustable ergonomic handles, Articulating crutch tips||3.9 / 5.0 Stars|
|Hugo Mobility Lightweight Adjustable Aluminum Crutches||$23.90||300 lbs.||5’2” – 5’10”||Contoured crutch tips, Washable hand grips||4.5 / 5.0 Stars|
|Best Platform Crutches|
|Walk Easy Adult Platform Crutch||$281.94||220 lbs.||36” and 44”||Velcro brand U-shaped sleeve, Contoured grip angle||New|
|Drive Medical Platform Walker/Crutch Attachment||$51.69||300 lbs.||37” – 53”||Adjustable strap, Aluminum frame||4.3 / 5.0 Stars|
How to Choose the Right Crutches
Few things in life are probably taken for granted more than walking itself. The ability to be independently mobile has a major impact on the quality of life for the vast majority of people.
Lacking two working legs whether permanently or temporarily can be devastating and debilitating. The best crutches can make a huge difference for those people with only one working leg.
Crutches are designed to provide support and stability to a person with only one fully functioning leg. They are used for everything from sprained ankles to amputees.
Various crutch designs have evolved a lot over the years and there is now a lot of debate over what the best crutches for walking with one leg really are.
Mobility devices like crutches are so important and choosing the right pair for you is something to take seriously. There are a lot of different options available now for various types of crutches and choosing crutches that best fit an individual user’s needs can make a relevant impact on their quality of life.
While this is true regardless of how long the crutches will need to be used, it is especially important to consider for users that will need the crutches for longer periods of time.
Below, you will find the various features and specifications that should be considered as you look for the perfect pair of crutches for you or your loved one.
Type of Crutches
One of the very first things you probably want to figure out is which type of crutches are right for you. There are three main types of crutches to consider – underarm crutches, forearm crutches, and platform crutches. Underarm crutches are generally the most affordable option but are often lacking in comfort and convenience.
This means they aren’t ideal for long-term users. Both forearm crutches and platform crutches cost more with platform crutches generally being the most expensive choice.
Both are better for long-term use and can also be beneficial for short-term use when the user needs more support or is able to spend a little more for optimum comfort and maneuverability.
Users with limited strength – especially hand strength, will have the easiest time with platform crutches. They can support themselves with their elbows and arms rather than most of the weight going on their hands with platform crutches.
Since crutches bare the user’s weight, they must be designed in a way that safely supports them. Each set of crutches is designed and tested for a specific maximum weight. Users above the maximum weight of any set of crutches should never use that set of crutches.
This helps ensure the safety of the user. The maximum weight of most crutches falls between 200 and 300 lbs although some may be more or less. Always consider the weight of the user when choosing a pair of crutches.
Also very important is the height range of any given pair of crutches. Almost all crutches are adjustable by height because the height of crutches must be very specific to the user in order for the user to safely and effectively use them. However, the range of heights that each crutch works for varies pretty greatly.
Some crutches only come in one size with a larger range of adjustment. Some crutches come in multiple sizes with each having a smaller range of height adjustment. Make sure that your height or the height of the intended user of the crutches fits within the height range of the crutches you choose. If it doesn’t, the person is likely to be unable to use the crutches at all.
The padding on crutches can have a noticeable impact in overall comfort. There are two places you want padding on your crutches – the hand grip and wherever else the crutch makes contact with your body.
For underarm crutches, this is the part of the crutch that goes under your arm. For forearm crutches, it is part of the crutch that goes over the forearm. Then for platform crutches, it is the sleeve or platform of the crutch where your elbow and forearm rest. Padding in these areas is crucial for being able to use efficiently without significant amounts of discomfort and/or pain.
For the vast majority of crutches, the frame or base of the crutches is made from aluminum. It is a very strong, very lightweight material that stands up to varying conditions and comes at an affordable price. The more important focus with materials is what the other parts of the crutch are made from.
Soft foam padding is great for comfort, machine washable hand grips are incredibly convenient, and Velcro straps are strong as well as easily adjustable. These are all materials worth considering as you shop for crutches.
Shock absorption is a very beneficial feature to consider for crutches. Most people’s bodies are not equipped to use the amount of upper body strength necessary for using crutches all the time. Each step you take on crutches sends the impact of the crutch up through the crutch into the body.
Most crutch tips take on some shock absorption, but designs made specifically for it are unquestionably better than other crutch tips for really reducing and absorbing the impact of each step. If you are worried about your joints, consider options that have more shock absorbing designs and details.
As with any device designed for your body, ergonomics is important. Options that boast an ergonomic design fit the natural shape and movements of our bodies. This helps reduce potential strain and increases comfort. Specifically, look for options with ergonomic handles and/or hand rests.
Crutch Weight and Size
The weight and size of the user of crutches are highly relevant, but the actual weight and size of the crutches themselves are also quite relevant. The less space and the lighter an object is, the more convenient it often is. You want something that will not take up too much space and is easy to store. If you have plenty of room, you won’t have to worry about this.
However, if you are more limited for space, choosing an option that actually folds down and away might be your best bet. Generally speaking, forearm crutches will be the least space-consuming and easiest to store.
One cool feature you may find on some crutches is a built-in light. This can be beneficial for multiple reasons. In the dark, a built-in light can help you see the ground in front of you better as you walk. It can also help you be seen by others, which can increase safety – especially if there are cars around. The light may also help you find a lost item or just see better in general.
Going right along with a built-in light, a built-in alert horn can increase your overall safety. It is a great way for you to call for help if you ever have a slip or fall while using your crutches. It is especially useful for users that may have trouble with mobility beyond just their leg.
Sometimes, you may come across a pair of crutches, like the Ergobaum Prime crutches in our list of recommendations, that have built-in knee rests. This allows you to fold down the knee rest and rest your leg by putting your knee on the rest. It simply gives you a little break if you need to go longer stretches using the crutches without being able to fully sit down.
Finally, aesthetics can certainly play a role in a decision for something that you will have on you at all times during the day. Some people prefer the look of crutches with sleeker designs rather than the bulky and medicalized look of traditional underarm crutches. It can even impact self-esteem for certain users. You may also prefer a colored crutch over plain silver aluminum. Once you consider things like comfort, convenience, and practicality, you can also consider looks as you choose your crutches.
What type of crutches is best for short-term use?
If you have an injury that requires you to temporarily use crutches, you might be wondering if it is worth it to spend more money on nicer crutches. This is really just up to individual users. For short-term use, most people have no issues with standard underarm crutches.
However, other users feel like it is worth it to spend more on comfort and convenience even for short-term crutch use. Your budget and comfort level can help you determine what type of crutches is best for your situation.
What type of crutches is best for long-term use?
If you will be using your crutches for more than a few weeks, it is worthwhile to consider crutches with more innovative designs focused on comfort, convenience, and maximizing mobility.
Typically, this will mean that underarm crutches are not best for short-term use. Many long-term users find the most satisfaction with forearm crutches. However, if you need more support, platform crutches can be an excellent choice as well.
Can crutches cause nerve damage?
The short answer is yes, but only if they are used improperly and only certain types of crutches can do this. There is concerned specifically with underarm crutches causing nerve damage in the armpits where axillary nerves are located.
Constant pressure in this area can cause nerve damage, which can ultimately result in loss of feeling or even paralysis of the arms. This is only a concern with underarm crutches and won’t be a problem if the crutches are used properly in a way that prevents the constant pressure under the arms.
Buyer’s Tips for Crutches
Finding the perfect pair of crutches for you can have a huge positive impact on your experience with crutches. Hopefully, you now have all the information you need to make the best decision possible for your specific needs.
Make sure you get crutches suited to your weight and height. You should also consider comfort and convenience factors as well as what type of crutch is best for your specific needs.
We believe that most people that need crutches will find an ideal option within our recommendations above.
Also, keep in mind where you choose to purchase your crutches from as the retailer can have an impact on how quickly you get your crutches as well as the customer service you get throughout your experience.
Amazon is great for both of these things and tends to have a wide range of choices and good pricing.
Even so, it can be worthwhile to search elsewhere for the best deal as long as you choose a reputable and trustworthy option.
Whether you are a long-term or short-term crutch user, you shouldn’t have to suffer through your experience with crutches. Our hope is that our guide has helped with just that and you have found the perfect crutches to allow you to remain mobile and as independent as possible.
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Whether items sold on Amazon are deemed as eligible for HSA/FSA plans remains the responsibility of the buyer and their particular health plan provider. It’s ultimately up to the IRS and participating health plan providers to deem which medical and health products are considered eligible for the payment plans.
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