Encourage your little ones to take big steps with one of these best baby walkers
When your baby makes the transition from crawling to “cruising” with the help of furniture and walls, it can be fun to give them a taste of freedom with a baby walker or seated walker. There are plenty to choose from, whether you’re looking for a tasteful retro wooden push-along or a bells-and-whistles activity centre.
Read on for our guide to the different types of baby walker available, how to use baby walkers safely and for our pick of the best baby walkers available right now.
Best baby walker: At a glance
|Best for versatility||Babylo Combo 3-in-1 Walker (~£65)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best convertible baby walker||Red Kite Baby Go Round Twist (~£52)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best on a budget||Fisher-Price DLF00 Learn with Me Zebra Walker (~£24)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best interactive baby walker||Little Tikes Fantastic Firsts 3-in-1 Activity Walker (~£50)||Check price at Argos|
How to choose the best baby walker for you
There are three types of baby walker: the seated walker, the walking frame and the push-along trailer.
- Seated walker: these take up the most space and often double up as play stations, with buttons, lights and noises to entertain your baby.
- Walking frame: this resembles a colourful Zimmer frame and, like the seated kind, often doubles as a play station with multi-sensory distractions. It can be useful before the walking stage from around six months, when babies start to sit up independently and can play with the buttons and spinners.
- Trailer: this simple, classic design is useful beyond the transition into walking because it can double up as a toy carrier for when your two-year-old becomes obsessed with transportation.
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Are walkers safe for babies?
Health visitors across the UK, as well as medical professionals, are reluctant to recommend seated walkers for babies and toddlers following reports of injuries. Childminders are advised not to use them, the NHS recommends they’re used for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time and Canada has gone a step further by banning them entirely.
This is because children have been known to tip themselves out of these walkers, and catch fingers between the sides of walkers and walls, while the extra height can give them access to plug sockets or other items that would typically be out of reach. Physiotherapists have also warned that the use of baby walkers could actually hinder a child’s ability to learn to walk.
Despite this, you’ll find them for sale in almost every baby store in the country, and they have been certified safe by the European Committee for Standardisation. This standard was amended in 2005 (look for BS EN 1273:2005 when buying a seated walker) to make baby walkers safe, and manufacturers are now obliged to make the baby gear move more slowly. They’ve also added safety features to protect babies from steps and trapping their hands or limbs.
Additionally, as with all baby gear, it’s your responsibility to make sure the walkers are being used safely, and babies shouldn’t be left alone.
- Never leave your baby unattended. Babies can move at one metre per second with a walker so before you know it they could be in trouble without you there to rescue them.
- Baby-proof the room. You may have already put cushions against all the sharp corners and picked all the dangerous objects up from ground level when your baby started to walk, but your baby will gain height in their walker. Look out for household cleaning stuff, perfumes and alcohol that might now be within reach, and bear in mind that if your little one’s in a seated walker, they’ll have new freedom to grasp objects, such as trailing cables, with both hands.
- Don’t leave them in the baby walker too long. It’s a fun way to encourage your baby to walk, but it won’t actually help the process. They’ll have to do that by themselves, using furniture to help. So make sure they spend most of their time on the floor in a hazard-free zone – preferably barefoot – and keep baby walker time as an occasional 20-minute treat.
- Check it has the safety standard. All baby walkers must comply with the safety standard BS EN 1273:2005. Older walkers can topple over easily. If you’re unsure, ask the manufacturer or retailer. All new models comply with this standard but older models, including any that you are given as hand-me-downs, may not.
READ NEXT: The best baby carriers to buy
Which baby walker is best on carpet?
The best baby walkers to use on carpet are the Zimmer frame-style models, but they don’t offer the support or safety that enclosed seated walkers do.
Due to changes to the European Standard, wheels on seated baby walkers are harder to move than those that came before, in a bid to slow your baby down. The added safety benefits you get from this are offset against the fact they’re harder to use on carpets. It also depends on the thickness of your carpets and the type of pile.
How we test baby walkers
We know how overwhelming it can be to research baby equipment online. With so much choice available, it can be difficult to know where to start. This is the reason we test every baby walker in this roundup to ensure we provide the most honest and hands-on review of a product.
We test three main types of walker: seated, walking frame, and trailers. Each offers something a little different depending on the developmental stage of your baby, from helping your little one to transition from crawling to walking, to also doubling up as a play station. We paid particularly attention to each walker’s safety features such as the weight, age suitability, how easy it was to fold for storage, and general quality and construction. At the end of each review, we also include a snapshot of the key specs for each baby walker so you can do a quick comparison.
READ NEXT: The best baby toys to buy
The best baby walkers you can buy in 2023
1. Babylo Combo 3-in-1 walker: Best baby walker for versatility
Price when reviewed: £65 | Check price at Amazon
Combining the best features of sit-in walkers and their push-along counterparts, the Babylo Combo is three products in one.
First, it’s a static rocker – somewhere you can put your baby while you load up the washing machine or sort out dinner and where they can entertain themselves with the lights and colours on the small activity table. When in this position, the Babylo Combo has a footrest to prevent your little one from moving around.
Second, it’s a seated walker. Once you remove the footrest, your baby can start exploring and pushing themselves around as they grow in confidence and get more strength in their legs.
Third – and this is what elevates the Babylo Combo from others in this list – you can remove the seat completely and replace it with a bar to transform it into a push-along walker. One that’s more secure and enclosed than other push-along walkers, while still offering the benefits of activities.
When it’s not in use, it also folds down. Chances are that many parents end up buying a seated walker and a push-along one, which cost more than buying this all-in-one model.
Key specs – Age range: 6 months+; Dimensions: 57 x 61 x 77cm (HWD); Cleaning: Wipe clean
2. Red Kite Baby Go Round Twist: Best convertible baby walker
Price when reviewed: £52 | Check price at Amazon
A happy splash of gender-neutral colours, the Baby Go Round Twist is Red Kite’s flagship height-adjustable baby walker. It’s thus called because of its platter of twisty, fiddly toys on the detachable electronic play tray. Its real USP is the fact it converts from a static rocker to a walker via a sliding mechanism at the base.
It’s height-adjustable so can grow with the baby, but the lowest setting is quite high. Our relatively tall seven-month-old can just push his feet off the floor, while some of his friends’ feet hang in mid-air. Other walkers are lower and more suitable for shorter babies but they don’t come with as many toys.
Key specs – Age range: 6 months+; Dimensions: 51 x 74 x 65cm; Cleaning: Sponge clean
3. VTech First Steps: Best baby walker from sitting up to toddling
Price when reviewed: £30 | Check priced at Argos
Probably the most fought-over toy at your local playgroup, you’ll recognise this baby activity walker – although you may not have realised its full potential until you see it loaded with batteries and with the toys attached.
When powered, this gizmo offers an array of cheerful farmyard noises, songs and counting options, along with other sounds and lights, shapes, buttons, spinning wheels and a little plastic phone for them to talk into.
For babies who can sit and play, it’s an interactive play tray at which they can spend time exploring either on the frame or on the floor; for toddlers who have only just learned to walk, it’s a little Zimmer frame that can take them across the room at exciting new speeds. It may be plastic fantastic, but you can always fold it up and put it in a cupboard when you want to clear your living space again.
Some words of warning: it doesn’t have brakes so don’t leave your baby unattended, and the songs are incredibly catchy so they will get stuck in your head!
Key specs – Age range: 6–30 months; Dimensions: 44.5 x 56 x 42.1cm; Cleaning: Wipe clean
4. Fisher-Price DLF00 Learn with Me Zebra Walker: Best baby walker on a budget
Price when reviewed: £24 | Check price at Amazon
Fisher-Price excels at budget-friendly toys that help with your child’s development, and this is no exception. This simple, colourful walker is an alternative to the VTech First Steps and is perfect for those not wanting to splash the cash.
The Fisher-Price DLF00 Learn with Me baby activity walker is compact enough for smaller homes and comes with flashing lights, sounds and toys, as well as a turn-the-page book on the front. It’s a little more sturdy than the VTech model, given its wider base and thicker legs.
5. Dexter Dog: Best seated push-along baby walker
Price when reviewed: £110 | Check price at Amazon
Little Bird Told Me’s Dexter Dog push-along is a vintage-style dog that functions as a seat and baby walker. Suitable from 12 months, it has rubber strips on the wheels to avoid slippage and it can hold up to 20kg, so your baby’s jealous older brother can have a go when he feels left out.
Key specs – Age range: 12 months+; Dimensions: 64 x 35 x 50cm; Cleaning: Sponge clean only
6. JoJo Maman Bébé Baby Walker: Best baby walker push-along cart
Price when reviewed: £49 | Check price at JoJo Maman Bébé
This charming push-along trailer is an excellent update of the classic type you see on vintage Christmas cards. Sturdy and stable, it has rounded corners and a little tray of 30 blocks and shapes for toddlers to pull out, spread all over the floor, stack up and transport. The wheels are lined with rubber to ensure a good grip on the floor, and it’s pleasant enough to look at that it can be left in the corner without offending anyone’s taste.
Key specs – Age range: 12 months+; Dimensions: 43 x 27 x 41cm; Cleaning: Wipe clean
7. Little Tikes Fantastic Firsts 3-in-1 Activity Walker: Best interactive baby walker
Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at Argos
If you like your baby equipment to come all singing and all dancing, Little Tikes’ Fantastic Firsts 3-in-1 Activity Walker is a great buy. A walker, standing activity table, and sit-and-play activity centre all in one, it offers your child plenty of options – and also encourages them to take those all-important first steps by projecting a nifty light show onto the floor in front.
It has 70+ activities, songs and sounds, which should keep them very busy up to around two years of age. And, while it’s quite a big piece of equipment, it does fold down flat if you want to store it in a cupboard or under the sofa.
Key specs – Age range: 12–24 months; Dimensions: 42 x 44 x 54cm (HWD); Cleaning: Wipe clean
8. Classic World Robot Walker: A gorgeous wooden baby walker
Price when reviewed: £82 | Check price at Amazon
The Classic World Robot Walker is one of our favourites in this lineup due to its STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) credentials and quality wooden design.
Its primary use is as a walking aid (which can be height adjusted), but it also boasts plenty of other activities that are designed to assist your child’s development, such as a 3D shape sorter, xylophone, bells, gears and switches, all of which help to hone fine motor skills and stimulate the senses. It has also has a very sweet robot face, which your child is sure to love.
Key specs – Age range: 12 months+; Dimensions: 31 x 36 x 48cm (HWD); Cleaning: Wipe clean