The 5 Best Forearm Crutches in 2019

An adult walking with the best forearm crutches on a dock.

Most people who’ve had to endure underarm crutches for more than a couple of weeks will tell you of the painful and often debilitating experience they found it. Armpits that are rubbed raw, wrist pain and sometimes permanent nerve damage are all too common tales.

Sounds familiar?

Traditional underarm, otherwise known as axillary, crutches transfer surface forces to the body which may cause serious injuries to the patient. (And we’re supposed to be using these to aid recovery?) A condition known as crutch palsy is caused by using underarm crutches and may result in total or partial paralysis of muscles in the arms or hands. Axillary crutches are still commonly prescribed here in the U.S., for some people it’s their only option, but for the rest of us there’s a choice.

The best forearm crutches can be an amazing solution for many people that’ll prevent the pain, discomfort and injuries caused by underarm crutches. They may take a bit of time to adapt to and when not used for weight-bearing injuries are a better choice for more active individuals. Let’s see why anybody who needs crutches should experience forearm crutches for themselves before looking at some of the best forearm crutches on the market.

Product
Details
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
Aluminium Forearm Crutches

Medline

Aluminium Forearm Crutches

4.5 out of 5

In the Forearm Crutches category

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  • Heavy wall high-strength aluminum tubing crutches with telescopic design.
  • Vinyl-coated tapered contoured arm cuffs for comfort.
  • Black components hide signs of wear and tear or scratches and are ideal for long-term use.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

4.5 out of 5

In the Forearm Crutches category


Our #2 Rated
Lightweight Forearm Crutch

Drive Medical

Lightweight Forearm Crutch

4.5 out of 5

In the Forearm Crutches category

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  • Lightweight aluminum forearm crutch at only 1.5 pounds per crutch.
  • One-piece plastic molded armrest/cuff and handle with adjustable height.
  • Modern stylish look available in blue or silver colored models.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4.5 out of 5

In the Forearm Crutches category


Our #3 Rated
Forearm Heavy Duty Crutches

Millennial Medical

Forearm Heavy Duty Crutches

4 out of 5

In the Forearm Crutches category

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  • Spring-assist technology to reduce impact and pressure on shoulders and arms.
  • Articulating crutch tips ergonomic handles and fully molded cuffs for comfort.
  • Available in two sizes with choice of three attractive colors.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #3 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Forearm Crutches category


Our #4 Rated
Bariatric Forearm Crutches

Drive Medical

Bariatric Forearm Crutches

3.5 out of 5

In the Forearm Crutches category

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  • Heavy duty crutches for heavier users supports up to 500 pounds.
  • Independently adjustable forearm and leg sections.
  • Molded ergonomic contoured arm cuffs and hand grip; width of forearm cuffs can be adjusted for smaller or larger arms.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #4 Rated

3.5 out of 5

In the Forearm Crutches category


Our #5 Rated
Lightweight Forearm Crutches

FDI

Lightweight Forearm Crutches

3.5 out of 5

In the Forearm Crutches category

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  • Lightweight aluminum crutch weighing only 1.2 pounds.
  • Extra deep cuff (3.6 inches) with soft replaceable forearm pad.
  • Soft replaceable grips feature push-button release.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

3.5 out of 5

In the Forearm Crutches category

Benefits of Forearm Crutches Vs Underarm Crutches

Forearm crutches, sometimes called Lofstrand crutches after the first company to produce them in the 1950s, tend to be the preferred choice for people with long-term disabilities. They’re designed to take the weight from the lower limbs and provide more comfort than traditional underarm crutches. Once you get familiar with using them, they can be much easier to use and allow for more fluid movement than an axillary crutch.

The following short video from YouTube shows a doctor explaining how to use the forearm crutch.

Using a forearm crutch the upper body takes the weight of your lower limbs without cutting into your armpits or pressing on the axillary nerve and potentially causing damage. A cuff normally provides a rest for the upper arm providing a more neutral or natural position for the hands and wrists. The best forearm crutches also promote a better posture than the oft hunched over position of underarm crutches.

Allowing for more mobility, forearm crutches make it much easier to navigate stairs and offer improved stability over rough or uneven surfaces. Most users find they are more agile and can move quicker with forearm crutches, it’s only one step up from using walking sticks. They are also normally lighter, more compact and better suited for travel with most forearm crutches now coming in more aesthetically pleasing designs too.

What to Look for in the Best Forearm Crutches

Once you’ve decided to try a pair of forearm crutches it’s most important that you choose the right size for your height. Although many crutches are fully adjustable, they do have different sizes and you should ensure you select ones in your height range. If you’re shorter than average you might be better choosing a youth size, just ensure it’ll support your weight.

Forearm crutches transfer the weight from the lower body to the upper body, one of the reasons they can be a great choice for children. Be aware of the maximum weight capacity stated by a crutch, if you’re heavier than average it may be worth considering a bariatric forearm crutch for safety.

A deeper or contoured cuff will make the crutch much more secure to use and add to your comfort. Take special note of the materials used on the hand grips and cuff, plastic-molded grips may be more hard wearing but won’t offer the comfort of vinyl coverings. The weight of the crutch is another consideration for comfort of use, with lightweight crutches allowing for better mobility.

Best Forearm Crutches

Forearm crutches are available in wide range of styles, sizes and colors at many different prices. When choosing the best forearm crutches you should always consider your own specific needs and seek the advice of a healthcare professional. We’ve looked at some of the top-selling crutches on the market to bring you, in our opinion, the best forearm crutches you can buy in 2019.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

Medline

Aluminium Forearm Crutches

  • Quality
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This aluminum forearm crutch from Medline is one of the most straightforward mobility aids on the market. A telescopic design allows for quick and easy adjustment of the height of the crutch and the distance between the cuff and the hand grip. The adult model of this crutch accommodates patients between 5 feet and 6 feet 2 inches and can handle weights up to 250 pounds, with a smaller youth or larger tall adult sizes also available.

Although a pretty basic no-frills model, what makes this our favorite crutch is the thought gone into the design and build quality. Internal brushes and external lock nuts ensure a totally silent usage, while the telescopic tubing adds another layer of sturdiness to the crutches. A 1-inch thick vinyl cuff won’t cut into your arm and ensures it sits comfortably as you grip on to the ergonomic handles. Replaceable rubber crutch tips are extra wide with deep ridges for a better traction.

Pros
Pro Very affordable.
Pro Durable design using safe materials.
Pro Rubber pads at tip of each crutch makes them very stable.
Pro Compact but easy to extend with strong telescopic tubing.
Pro Silent when in use.
Cons
Con Hand grips are hard plastic with no cushioning.
Con Vinyl cuff is found to be too big by many customers.
Con Open vinyl cuff means crutch will fall if you let go of the handle.
Con Rubber tips can be hard to replace as they're non-standard size.
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

Drive Medical

Lightweight Forearm Crutch

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When using forearm crutches, heavier models can seriously limit your movement, lifting it with every step can quickly tire you out. Fortunately lightweight options that are available like this crutch from Drive Medical which at 1.5 pounds per crutch is one of the lightest crutches on the market. Made from lightweight aluminum they’ll still support an impressive 300 pounds and can be used by people from 5 feet to 6 feet tall.

A one-piece molded handgrip and open cuff provide stability and are easy to use with the crutch height adjustable in 1-inch increments. The plastic used for the molded cuff/armrest and handle won’t get as slippery as metal in hot weather, or as cold in the winter months but may not be as comfortable as some padded models. Available in a choice of striking blue or a silver/beige combination this crutch is a lot more stylish than other hospital-looking crutches you can buy, and at a very affordable price too. (BONUS!)

Pros
Pro Inexpensive.
Pro Ultra lightweight.
Pro Fully adjustable.
Pro Stylish.
Pro Compact making it good for traveling.
Cons
Con Tips are known to wear out very quickly but it’s easy to find replacements.
Con Handles found to be uncomfortable by many users with no padding or contour for your grip.
Con Open cuff design makes it impossible to secure crutch to your arm.
 
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

Millennial Medical

Forearm Heavy Duty Crutches

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A spring-assist technology helps with your forward movement and reduces the impact on your wrists which can help prevent the nerve damage often associated with long-term use of crutches. Available in two sizes for adults up to 6 feet 3 inches or a youth size for users up to 4 feet 10 inches, these crutches will accommodate weights up to 350 pounds with three attractive colors to choose from.

Designed with comfort in mind these crutches feature a fully molded cuff, ergonomic handles that slant downwards to relieve pressure on the wrist and articulating crutch tips. Using an aircraft-grade aluminum, these crutches will give you comfort for many years. Although the spring crutch tips may feel different at first, people who use spring-assist crutches find it hard to go back to traditional forearm crutches.

Pros
Pro Spring-assist technology reduces pressure on upper body.
Pro Sturdy design with up to 350 pounds capacity.
Pro Ergonomic handles spreads out pressure on wrist and hand.
Cons
Con Much more expensive than other forearm crutches.
Con Molded cuff is too big for many customers.
Con Some users found the crutches to be heavy.

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

Drive Medical

Bariatric Forearm Crutches

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We may have already looked at the lightest crutches on the market but these are some of the heaviest forearm crutches at nearly 6 pounds per crutch. With an impressive weight-bearing capacity of 500 pounds they’re ideal for people who weigh more than average. Designed to fit patients between 50 inches and 84 inches tall, for a truly customized fit users can adjust both the leg and forearm sections independently.

Extra-large tips on these heavy duty crutches provide added stability. A vinyl-coated and ergonomically contoured arm cuff has been molded for comfort and safety. You can even adjust the arm cuff to be looser for large arms or tighten it on smaller arms.

Pros
Pro Very heavy duty support up to 500 pounds.
Pro Two independently adjustable sections.
Pro Cuff and hand grip designed for comfortable use.
Pro Large tips add more stability.
Cons
Con Customers at taller end of height measurements may find the crutches too short.
Con Many users report the cuffs wear away and aren't as durable as the crutch.
Con Heavier than most other crutches.
 

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

FDI

Lightweight Forearm Crutches

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As the name suggests these lightweight crutches have been created with comfort foremost considered. Weighing only 1.2 pounds per crutch, they feature a soft replaceable forearm pad with easy push button release. The deeper cuff along with super soft grips offer improved comfort and security.

Sleek black ridges give this crutch a very modern look with a flexible crutch tip that maximizes surface contact at an angle. Height selection has a locking device with a safety clip making sure it never fails mid use. Durability issues with the hand grip material make these better suited for short-term use or post surgery when comfort is of the utmost importance.

Pros
Pro Ultra lightweight at just 1.2 pounds per crutch.
Pro Soft replaceable grips are found to be very comfortable.
Pro Flexible tips make them suitable for uneven terrains.
Cons
Con Forearm pads may last months but hand grip material deteriorates quickly.
Con May not support heavier weights over time.
Con Some customers have received crutches where one is longer than other.

Our Choice

Whether you’re looking for a crutch for a long-term disability, a short-term injury or post surgery, choosing the best forearm crutches will have a major impact on your quality of life. Although many crutches may feature additional safety measures like flashlights or tripod feet, a good basic crutch will be one that is both lightweight and comfortable to use while offering enough stability. In our opinion the Medline MDS805160 Aluminum Forearm Crutches is a basic, no frills pair of crutches at an extremely affordable price which offers the best forearm crutches you can buy today.

With an easy-to-use and extra secure telescopic system of extension, a vinyl-coated contoured cuff and extra-wide articulating rubber tips at the foot, the Medline crutches should help to improve your quality of life while you’re less mobile.

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