LAST UPDATED: 21 Nov 2021

11 Best Foam Rollers (Buying Guide) in 2021

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This article was writen by Staying Alive Crew Published at 01:29 pm.

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Adding a quality foam roller can be a lifesaver for avid fitness bunnies and professional-grade athletes, who may struggle with muscle stiffness and pain.

Whether you’re constantly suffering from pain and soreness or you simply want something to target all the pressure points to work out tight knots after an intense training session, a foam roller from our shortlist can help alleviate knots and work on those areas of concern.

A foam roller is fast becoming a feather in many fitness enthusiasts’ recovery armors.

Using a foam roller pre-workout can help to loosen muscles and improve flexibility.

Post-workout usage of a foam roller can help relieve sore muscles, preventing muscle stiffness, and helping recovery for your next workout. As they say, the faster you recover the more successfully you train. 

Whilst many rollers may cause discomfort during usage, with regular usage the discomfort dissipates, so stick with it. Short-term pain for long-term gain! 

The Best
Foam Roller

The TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller is an impressive addition to our best foam rollers list.

It has a multi-density exterior constructed over a rigid, hollow core that is formulated to withstand repeated use whilst maintaining its shape.

Designed to mimic getting a massage to relieve achy muscles, without the hefty massage bill, the GRID Foam Roller delivers in spades. 

Constructed using closed-cell EVA foam and a reinforced core made of durable PVC, makes it tough and durable.

From a size perspective, the GRID Foam Roller is smaller than some of the foam rollers on the market, the compact design focuses on pressure and is ideal for travel. 

The ace up its sleeve is, it’s backed by a one-year warranty, so you can focus on working out those knots. 

Key Features
  • EVA foam over hollow core
  • Density: Firm
  • Free online instructional video
  • Maximum user weight: 500 pounds
  • Patented multi-density design
  • Durable construction
Specifications
  • Brand: Trigger Point Performance
  • Model: TriggerPoint GRID X Foam Roller
  • Size: 13 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches
Pros
  • 1-year warranty
  • Free online instructional video library
  • Ideal for rolling through tight muscles, knots & kinks
  • Great for muscle stiffness & pain relief
  • Reasonable mid-range price
  • Different textures for different trigger points
Cons
  • Maybe too firm for beginners or intermediate users

The AmazonBasics High-Density Foam Roller is a multi-purpose foam roller molded from polypropylene that gets into all those painful nook and crannies to work through those painful knots. 

Sporting firm density, the AB High-Density Roller is not for newbies to using a foam roller.

Intermediate and experienced users will revel at its restorative benefits from providing balance, strength, improving flexibility, and alleviating sore muscles.

Despite its firmness, this is a lightweight foam roller weighing one pound.

Don’t be fooled by how light it is, this foam roller is built to support all body types.

For those of you on a modest budget, the AB High-Density Foam Roller is a steal. Happy rolling!

Key Features
  • High-density foam roller with molded edges
  • Made in the USA
  • Material: EPP
  • Density: Firm
  • Lightweight
  • Multiple colors & sizes available
Specifications
  • Brand: AmazonBasics
  • Model: AmazonBasics High-Density Foam Roller
  • Size: 35.9 x 5.7 x 5.6 inches
Pros
  • A great budget option for people who already have experience with self-myofascial release & want to increase the intensity
  • Durable & portable
  • A good option for intermediate & experienced users
  • Comes in different sizes
  • Multiple density levels available
  • Ideal for balance, strengthening, flexibility & recovery routines
Cons
  • Not ideally suited to beginners

The OPTP Pro-Roller Standard Density Foam Roller earns its place fair and square in our shortlist of best foam rollers.

The durable EVA foam allows for heavy, repeated use.

This Pro-Roller is ideal for users who want a softer density or who are newbies to the world of rolling.

The softer material can bend to the shape of your body and is a great tool to aid movements in balance and stability such as Pilates exercises. 

Your body will thank you for ironing out pesky kinks and painful knots, think of it as a low-impact message you are giving to yourself.

This Pro-Roller is a must-have roller in your recovery repertoire. 

Key Features
  • Closed-cell, heat molded EVA foam
  • Density: standard
  • Multiple size options
  • Versatile fitness tool
  • Color: Blue marble
Specifications
  • Brand: OPTP
  • Model: OPTP Pro-Roller Standard Density Foam Roller
  • Size: 35.9 x 6.3 x 6 inches
Pros
  • Multiple size options
  • Ideal for stretching, fitness, pilates, yoga
  • Great for rolling out trigger points, increasing range of motion & blood flow
  • Easy to clean
  • Cheaper than physical therapy
  • Good option for beginners & intermediate level users
Cons
  • Density may be too soft for experienced users
  • Expensive

Stretch overworked and strained muscles of the leg, arms, and feet by using the 321 Strong Foam Roller

The variously sized nodules enable you to massage most of your body.

It’s no surprise the 321 Strong Foam Roller is loved by runners, athletes, yoga and Pilates students, swimmers, physical or sports therapy patients, and general fitness enthusiasts.

The medium density makes it ideal for newbies using a foam roller and yet still being effective at penetrating the soft tissue layer of tired muscles. 

An outstanding tool to aid recovery and treat muscle pain.

Key Features
  • Medium-density
  • Triple grid 3D massage zone mimics the finger, palm & thumb of a therapist
  • Variously sized nodules
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Comes with an e-book
Specifications
  • Brand: 321 Strong
  • Model: 321 Strong Foam Roller
  • Size: 2.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches
Pros
  • Travel friendly
  • Ideal for better flexibility, mobility, reducing muscle pain & improving recovery time
  • Ideal for users looking for a tool to alleviate pulled muscles
  • Penetrates deeply into muscle tissue for maximum relief
  • Affordable
  • Great for pre & post-workout use
Cons
  • Not for people who don't like ridges or grooves
  • Too small for bigger people or people looking to get a full back massage

Setting a new standard in foam rolling comes from the TRX Rocker Myofascial Tool brought to you by the sporting giant TRX.

The TRX Rocker is the only tool that promotes rocking as a highly effective technique for achieving hyper-focused muscle release, increased blood flow, and circulation, and overall relaxation and recovery. 

The TRX Rocker’s distinctive design features three levels of intensity, ranging from low intensity for overall relaxation, to medium intensity for deeper release to high intensity for target areas.

Allowing you to engage in a full progression of release, wherever and whenever you need it. 

The distinctive shape of the TRX Rocker enables you to rock slightly back and forth instead of rolling, to get a deeper and more precise massage.

Boasting a non-slip exterior means you can rock without rolling safely and effectively. 

Designed for the whole body, you can use the TRX Rocker on your neck, back, hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and ankles by following the targeted rock-out exercises provided for beginners, intermediate, and advanced level users. 

What are you waiting for, it’s time to rock, not roll. 

Key Features
  • Distinct teardrop shape
  • 3 levels of intensity
  • Color: black & yellow
  • Material: foam
  • 2 sizes available
  • Targeted rock-out exercises
  • Anti-slip surface for worry-free rocking
Specifications
  • Brand: TRX
  • Model: TRX Rocker Myofascial Tool
  • Size: 26 x 6 inches
Pros
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed
  • 1-year labor & parts warranty
  • An ideal option for those looking to get a deeper & more precise massage
  • 3 different degrees of firmness, allowing you to control the intensity
  • Great for muscle release, increased blood flow & relaxation.
  • Available in two sizes
  • Suitable exercises for beginners, intermediate & advanced users
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Not for people who like the rolling sensation

The Ultimate Back Roller makes it into our top list as the first chiropractor invented back and yoga wheel with a spine gap and therapeutic bump pattern designed to enhance spinal extension, mobility, and flexibility. 

The spine gap allows the spine to move freely as you roll, placing no pressure on the spine.

Four rows of large alternating bumps deeply massage your back as you roll, making it the widest and most stable back roller in the market. 

Made from tough EVA molded foam, it can support 1,000 pounds, making it tough as nails, whilst at the same time being travel-friendly to fit into backpacks and suitcases. 

You’ll be standing taller in no time!

Key Features
  • Made in the USA
  • Tough EVA molded foam construction
  • Can support 1,000-pound capacity
  • Density: firm
  • Weight: 3.35 pounds
  • Patented staggering bump pattern
  • Spine gap targets muscles on both sides of the spine
  • Color: Black with yellow interior
  • Developed by chiropractor & Acumobility co-founder Dr. Sonia Pasquale
Specifications
  • Brand: Acumobility
  • Model: The Ultimate Back Roller
  • Size: 11.3 x 7.48 x 11.3 inches
Pros
  • An impressive & stable back roller in the market
  • Ideal for anyone looking for a roller focused on the back
  • Suitable option for people seeking to relieve back pain & tightness & improve posture with back extension
  • Great option for those looking for a yoga wheel & travel friendly
Cons
  • On the pricier side of foam rollers
  • Some may find it too painful when first using

Roll yourself to a stronger and healthier you with the Gaiam Restore Total Body Foam Roller.

It provides a semi-firm texture for gently massaging and stretching, allowing you to release built-up tension, loosen stiffness and elongate and align the skeletal system.

Expert guidance is on hand in a 15-minute downloadable video showcasing a routine to expand your range of motion, relax muscles, release tension and restore soft tissue. 

Recovery, pain relief, and releasing tension have never been easier than with this semi-firm density foam roller.

The foam is soft enough to offer a soothing effect, and yet firm enough to break up and roll out sore muscles. 

Key Features
  • Semi-firm density
  • Made of durable foam
  • Includes 15-minute digital workout
  • Available in two sizes
Specifications
  • Brand: Gaiam
  • Model: Gaiam Restore Total Body Foam Roller
  • Size: 5.75 x 5.75 x 36 inches
Pros
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Great for people looking for a gentle massage sensation for complete rejuvenation
  • Ideal for loosening tight muscles & soothing soreness
  • Great length for total body workout
  • Includes a 15-minute video
Cons
  • Some users may find the density too firm

The LuxFit Premium High-Density Foam Roller offers superior strength and withstands the rigors of a workout.

Making the LuxFit Premium an ideal choice for experienced users, athletes, and trainers for its undeniable durability combined with a breathtakingly low price.

The LuxFit Premium is ideal, for enabling core stabilization, developing lower body balance, and alleviating muscle tension. 

The density is firm, so using the LuxFit Premium is no picnic when you first start out.

If you stick with it, your muscles will thank you for the much-needed release, allowing you to be fully recovered and rearing to go for your next training session. 

Key Features
  • Material: EPP
  • High-density foam
  • 3 sizes available
  • Ultra-rigid, providing maximum firmness
Specifications
  • Brand: LuxFit
  • Model: LuxFit Premium High-Density Foam Roller
  • Size: 35.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches
Pros
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Great for increasing blood flow & oxygen to injured areas
  • Available in 3 sizes
  • Very reasonably priced for such a high-quality product
  • A good option for people seeking physical therapy, massage therapy & muscle reflexology
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Too hard/thick for some petite people

The Yes4All Premium USA Foam Roller is an outstanding foam roller with a multitude of benefits ranging from self-myofascial release to soothing tight and fatigued muscles.

Made in the good old US of A, the quality of the Premium USA Foam Roller is set high.

Constructed from material that is toxic-free, makes the foam 30% heavier and firmer than other similar foam rollers. 

The firmness level is medium, which is a little less intense compared to the density of EPP and EVA foam rollers. 

At this price tag, this is a bargain!

Key Features
  • Medium-density
  • Construction PE foam
  • 4 sizes available
  • 3 Colors: Blue, black & purple
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Maximum Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
Specifications
  • Brand: Yes4All
  • Model: Yes4All Premium USA Foam Roller
  • Size: 11.97 x 5.91 x 5.75 inches
Pros
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Returns permitted within 30 days
  • Suitable for beginners & intermediate users
  • Perfect for dynamic warm-up & stretching
  • Economical
  • Great for self-massage therapy & myofascial release
Cons
  • Firmness may feel too hard against your muscles for beginners, to begin with

The Brazyn Morph Foam Roller is a uniquely designed portable and easy-to-store foam roller.

When expanded, the Morph Foam Roller has an industry-standard diameter of 5.5 inches and a length of 14.5 inches, making it the perfect size for your rolling needs. 

When collapsed, it is smaller than two-folded t-shirts, allowing you to push in the tabs to collapse it and simply pull the tabs to expand it. voila!

Despite its compactness, the Morph Foam Roller makes no compromises in providing a full-surface foam roller that optimizes your foam rolling needs.

It is lightweight and easy for travel and is built like a tank, making it strong and durable, and able to withstand a maximum user weight of 350 pounds. 

Finally, constructed of strong but eco-friendly materials like bamboo and aluminum allows you to focus on those sore muscles with your conscious completely at ease!

Key Features
  • Medium-density foam roller
  • Eco-friendly materials: bamboo & aluminum
  • Handcrafted in Europe
  • Smoother foam surface for a traditional rolling feel
  • Collapse, stash & go
  • Maximum user weight: 350 pounds
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
Specifications
  • Brand: Brazyn
  • Model: Brazyn Morph Foam Roller
  • Size: 15.91 x 7.05 x 2.6 inches
Pros
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Packs flat and pull to open - Great for travel & compact to pack
  • Easy to use
  • Strong & durable
  • Comes with a guide providing different stretches & use for foam roller for relaxation, back pain, & before bed exercises & morning stretches
  • Ideal for frequent travelers or users who want to take their foam roller on the go with them
Cons
  • On the pricier side of foam rollers

Getting a dual-zone technology foam roller is possible with the Gimme 10 Foam Roller.

The cylinder is constructed with bumps to gently penetrate soft tissue, stretching short muscle fibers and relieving tension in your muscles.

With a length of 13-inches, it’s a compact and portable foam roller, ideal for traveling or when you are on the go to take to the gym. 

You can stop searching for other tools, this is the ultimate massager, applying firm therapeutic pressure while rolling hard muscles on this spiky texture will relieve the most stubborn of knots.

Key Features
  • 6 colors
  • Material: EVA, ABS
  • Heavy-duty ABS hollow-core muscle roller with triple grid massage zones
  • Eco-friendly
  • Density: Medium
Specifications
  • Brand: Gimme 10
  • Model: Gimme 10 Foam Roller
  • Size: 12.5 x 5.25 x 5.25 inches
Pros
  • Perfect for runners, CrossFit, yoga, Pilates, dance, athletes, & warm-ups & post-workout recovery
  • Good quality
  • Compact & lightweight
  • Removable EPP foam core lets you adjust the firmness from standard to firm (you get 2 foam rollers in 1)
Cons
  • Very firm, not the best option for beginners
  • Can be painful if you are not accustomed to targeting pressure points

Foam Rollers
Buying Guide

Foam rolling is a great way to help you recover from all kinds of workouts by loosening uptight and achy muscles, by giving yourself a deep-tissue massage through self-administered myofascial release (SMR). 

The process involves using your own body weight, to stimulate and relax your muscles. 

There are lots of foam rollers available, in different shapes and sizes and some are best for relieving specific knots. How do you know which foam roller to select?

We’ve summarized all the key considerations you may want to take into account to ensure you choose the most effective foam roller for you. 

Density – Foam rollers come in different densities, which define how they feel and who they are best suited to. Most rollers are broken down into three categories: soft, standard, or firm.

Foam rollers are often color-coded to reflect their firmness level. 

  • Soft Density – Soft density rollers are designed to offer comfort vs. providing a deeper massage that firm rollers provide. Soft foam rollers give a gentler massage to the muscles.If you are new to using a foam roller, it may be advisable to start with a soft-density one. Most soft rollers are white. 
  • Standard Density –  Standard foam rollers have a medium level of firmness and typically they are colorful. Medium-density is ideal if you are looking for a firmer amount of pressure.
  • Firm Density – If you are looking for a deeper, more intense massage then opt for a firm density roller, which comes in black. This is as firm as a roller gets. 

Shape and Size – Foam rollers come in a range of sizes. Below are the more common types seen on the market. 

  • Traditional Full-Size – The standard full-size roller is 36 inches in length and roughly 6 inches in diameter, making it versatile for a variety of uses. Enabling the massage of larger muscle groups, they span your entire back, allow general exercise and physical therapy.  
  • Shorter Length – Shorter foam rollers are great if you are seeking a portable roller for travel or to take with you to the gym.Shorter foam rollers are 6 inches in diameter, however lengthwise they are either 12 or 18 inches in length. They are a good option, making it easier to target more precise areas.
  • Smaller Diameter – These foam rollers typically have a 4-inch diameter, making them lower to the floor. These foam rollers are great for the elderly and, physical therapy patients.Many people feel comfortable with smaller diameter foam rollers as they perceive more stability and find it easier to control when using the foam roller for a massage. 
  • Ridges or Bumps – If you are looking for a more intense or deeper massage then you may want to opt for a foam roller that has protrusions, allowing a more precision massage. These foam rollers get into the tightest of knots and compact areas to offer relief. Almost mimicking the hands of a masseuse, and working on relieving all those troubled tight spots.  
  • Flat Half-Size – Aesthetically, this type of foam roller looks like it’s been cut in half lengthwise. Primarily these foam rollers are used for leg and foot stretches, and to massage the arches of the feet. 

Material – The material used to construct a foam roller can help define how long it will last and what the primary purpose of its usage is.

  • Open-Cell – In terms of durability, rollers made with open-cell construction have a tendency to breakdown more than closed-cell rollers. Price-wise they are the cheapest option on the market. 
  • EPP Foam – These foam rollers are made from EPP beads and are high quality, yet price-wise they remain quite economical. In terms of usage, they are quite versatile whether you are a newcomer to using a foam roller or a seasoned user.
  • EVA Foam – Foam rollers made from EVA foam are truly durable and are designed to endure heavy, repeated usage, typically expected in professional gyms or pilates and or yoga studios. Making these a top choice for at-home use too.

Foam Rollers
FAQ

  • What is a foam roller?
  • Foam rollers are constructed to help alleviate sore muscles and can be an effective tool to use either pre or post-workout. A foam roller enables you to get a deep tissue massage, administered by yourself at home.

    Using a foam roller has become a recovery and performance tool that amateur fitness enthusiasts to professional-grade athletes and fitness coaches are using to stretch sore muscles, release painful knots, and target pressure points.

    To use it, you slowly roll an area of your body, like your back, or your calves, back and forth across the top of the foam roller.
  • What are the benefits of using a foam roller?
  • Using a foam roller helps to release tension in the muscles, alleviate muscle soreness, and helps to improve range of motion and flexibility, and boost recovery and performance.

    Foam rollers help to increase blood flow to various parts of the body and they are effective in helping users to recover from muscle fatigue and stiffness, soreness, and or injuries by acting as a home massage.
  • How often should you use a foam roller?
  • There is no hard and fast rule as to how often you should use a foam roller. Consistent usage yields the most effective results.

    Many people use a foam roller on a daily basis, or try to be disciplined to use a foam roller at least three or four times a week to target specific muscle groups and aid recovery for their next workout.
  • Should a foam roller hurt?
  • If your muscles are sore, stiff or you have a tender spot with an extremely tight knot or knots, using a foam roller may cause a certain level of discomfort. This is very normal and to be expected.

    It is up to you to determine how much pressure to exert when focused on a particularly tender spot.

    If you can handle it, target tight knots or tight areas for anything from five seconds to thirty seconds. The tenderness should slowly dissipate from the tender spot.

Foam Rollers
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