A foam roller might seem like an odd product at first, especially if you don't know what they're used for, but they can have a range of useful benefits in terms of physical therapy, exercise, muscle recovery, and natural injury healing. If used properly, they're a great way to help your bock recover and give yourself a very pleasant, beneficial massage, but it's not something that many people will understand how to use right off the bat. If you're interested in using one, you'll have to look through dozens of different designs that each have their own particular uses and drawbacks.
Here are ten of the best foam roller designs and brands on the market right now, as well as some details about why they might be worth using.
10 Best Foam Rollers in 2021
- TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
- Hyperice Vyper Vibrating Fitness Roller
- LuxFit Foam Roller
- AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller
- RumbleRoller Textured Muscle Foam Roller
- Therapeutic Grade Premium EVA Foam Roller
- OPTP PRO-Roller Soft Density Foam Roller
- Yes4All Round PE Foam Roller
- Monument Phenom 3 Speed Vibrating Foam Roller
- Zyllion Vibrating Foam Roller
TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
- Durable hollow-cored design.
- Helps improve blood flow.
- 3D indented surface.
- Made using EVA foam.
- Lighter than most rollers.
The surface of this Triggerpoint GRID foam roller is made with clear indents and grooves to help improve blood flow if you're using it as an exercise tool, and can help it loosen up some of your muscles in the short term. Rather than being a single solid block, it uses a hollow core to reduce its overall weight and make it much easier to carry, making full use of EVA foam to ensure that it won't collapse in on itself due to sudden pressure. Despite this, it still avoids using foam in areas where it's not needed, and the lack of major metal pieces ensures that you won't accidentally stab yourself if part of the plastic shell eventually cracks.
Hyperice Vyper Vibrating Fitness Roller
- High intensity vibration system.
- Dual-zone surface design.
- Built for durability.
- Helps stimulate and relax muscles.
- Relatively compact shape.
This vibrating foam roller has a built-in vibration system that's designed to help you with all kinds of exercise and muscle stimulation, combining the gentle motions with a split surface (half grooved, half smooth) to ensure that you can get the best results possible from your workout session or short rest. Not only that, but it's built with durability in mind, allowing it to deal with plenty of frequent use without showing signs of damage or wear. The foam roller can also be used directly for exercise, offering a proper range of motion and an easy-to-move design that won't get in your way
LuxFit Foam Roller
- High density foam construction.
- Extremely durable roller design.
- Rigid for easier exercise.
- Great for balance.
- Can work well for sore muscles.
The high density foam used in this roller lets it offer a greater level of comfort while it's being used for therapeutic reasons, but the firm polypropylene molded into the design still means that it's durable enough for use as an exercise tool. Each surface is smooth and designed to hold its shape for as long as possible, meaning that it won't get warped from frequent use. The roller has also been designed to stay as rigid as possible during workouts, making sure that you have proper support instead of acting like a soft cushion for your back.
AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller
- Lightweight and durable.
- Made with high density foam.
- Maintains its own shape.
- Easy to clean.
- Molded edges for better durability.
This simple foam roller uses a straightforward and reliable design that can offer a higher level of balance, comfort, and relief to sore muscles, as well as doubling as a great tool for a range of exercises. The molded polypropylene design makes it much more firm than other foam rollers, and it can also maintain its shape after heavy use to make sure that it's ready for another workout session at any time. Not only that, but it's still surprisingly lightweight, giving you a quick and easy way to move it from place to place without any issues.
RumbleRoller Textured Muscle Foam Roller
- Versatile and high-quality design.
- Works well for physical therapy.
- Physically stronger than most foam rollers.
- Great for muscle healing.
- High-quality design.
This textures foam roller uses a special design that's meant to offer a range of massage therapist techniques, helping with muscle pain and physical therapy whenever you need it. It can even work for deep tissue therapy, helping to loosen and heal damaged areas of muscle. The construction is both firm and flexible, letting you get the best of both worlds, and the high quality design means that it won't easily cave in from frequent and/or heavy use. Even better, it's completely waterproof and free from any harmful chemicals, ensuring that you're always comfortable and safe while using it.
Therapeutic Grade Premium EVA Foam Roller
- Great for muscle pain relief.
- Uses the best foam EVA layer available.
- Strong interior core.
- Firm but flexible.
- Works well for exercise-related use.
This high density EVA foam roller uses the best quality materials possible to ensure that you get excellent results in each. The EVA itself is both recyclable and eco-friendly, making up the bulk of the core to give you a firm yet comfortable piece of exercise and muscle healing gear. It's designed to not only offer you at least three different methods of physical therapy, but is also designed to help break up fat fibers through the rolling foam, helping soothe your body. Because of its versatile roller shape, it can work really well for almost anybody, regardless of whether they need it for exercise or casual massages.
OPTP PRO-Roller Soft Density Foam Roller
- Durable yet flexible.
- Very safe.
- Perfect for exercise.
- Works well for muscle therapy.
- Made with comfortable materials.
This soft foam roller uses comfortable materials to offer a better, more relaxed form of compression that uses cross-linked EVA to boost overall durability, helping you get the muscle relief you need while also being very pleasant to use. The smooth outer surface is supposed to retain its shape for as long as possible, helping you work out knots in your muscles or get complex exercises done without the roller collapsing in on itself: even better, it can actually help you stay more stable compared to other foam rollers that are either too rigid or too flexible to use correctly.
Yes4All Round PE Foam Roller
- Smooth outer surface.
- Anti-slip design.
- Very lightweight.
- Can support plenty of weight.
- Great for both exercise and physical therapy.
This high density foam roller is designed to be as firm as possible while also being comfortable enough to use for long periods of time. This is done through the expanded polypropylene surface and the developers of foam, helping you deal with sore spots as if it was a massage stick. When you're actually exercising, the roller can work well there too, giving you a great level of flexibility and pain relief while making it much easier to carry out your favorite exercise routines. Once again, it can double as a soft massage stick for mid-workout breaks or getting rid of sudden pains.
Monument Phenom 3 Speed Vibrating Foam Roller
- Easily rechargeable.
- Based on useful massage stick designs.
- Partially hollow core with a handle for easy transport.
- Hits pressure points easily.
- Very convenient.
Unlike other vibrating foam rollers, this particular foam roller takes heavy inspiration from classic massage stick designs, using ridges and soft 'spikes' to his pressure points in the same way a massage therapist would. It's designed to work well with most peoples' anatomies, vibrating and hitting very careful spots to ensure maximum pain relief and comfort where possible. It even has a spine groove to make back exercises and massages much easier, specifically targeting the Achilles tendon - one of the most frequently injured areas during most exercises. The battery is fully rechargeable and can hold up to three hours' worth of power at any one time.
Zyllion Vibrating Foam Roller
- Three ridge types of different sizes.
- Built for long-term reliability.
- Springy yet firm.
- Four vibration modes.
- Designed to hit trigger points for self-myofascial release.
This vibrating foam roller has a built-in rechargeable battery system that can run for up to two and a half hours at any one time, making full use of it's swirled surface pattern to give you a unique and helpful kind of therapy regardless of where you're using it. The vibration feature has four separate speeds, and there are three different zones on the surface design to give you multiple types of massage therapy. Even better, the entire roller is made with durable materials to help it deal with long-term use, letting you stay protected and comfortable regardless of the situation.
Foam Rollers Buyer's Guide
Buying foam rollers isn't easy, especially since you'll want a roller that actually fits in with your preferred exercise style, your body shape and the kinds of situations you expect to be in. On top of that, even the particular kinds of foam used in a foam roller can completely change how it feels and works, so making a good choice isn't usually as easy as it sounds. Thankfully, if you can narrow things down a little bit and start looking into the specifics of what you actually need, it can become much easier to make an informed decision and end up with a project that you actually like.
The density of foam rollers can change what they're suitable for, and can sometimes also mean that they provide a different kind of texture or firmness when you're using them to relieve your muscle pains. That's not even getting into the very niche designs that you might want for specific exercises: some people may even struggle to narrow their selection down to half a dozen options, since there are dozens of different sizes and shapes that each have their own upsides and downsides.
Lower-density rollers will be softer and more comfortable, using a lighter layer or core of foam that makes them better-suited to light workouts, whereas higher-density foam rollers will more suitable for tougher workouts that put more pressure on your body. Going too extreme in either direction can be a problem, though: if the foam rolls are too light then they won't provide any actual support and protection, while a too-firm foam roller might actually cause more problems than it solves or harm your skin. Choosing the right option for your situation and needs is extremely important, even if it's an option that other people might not usually go for.
Like density, the materials of foam rollers can play a big part in how they're created and what they're used for. Some of the best foam rollers might still use materials that you don't like, whereas others might be weaker in terms of support but provide a softer kind of foam rolling across your skin. Of course, material doesn't just affect touch and feel: it also alters the durability of the roller.
A roller made out of weaker materials can still be the best option for you, but most people prefer to know that any foam rolling on their body is safe and won't suddenly break apart. In general, there are several “best materials” to choose from, with EVA being one of the more common options. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't also look at roller styles that use other materials, but be aware of what each roller is actually made from.
The size, shape and overall structure of your foam rollers can alter how they work: after all, they're supposed to give you the feeling of foam rolling across your back and helping to remove muscle pain or injuries. The best foam rollers for each user will be whichever ones fit them the best, so if you want foam rolling across your body properly, you'll need to look into the right size.
Each foam roller design will be built to a certain size and scale, even if there are multiple size options you can choose, but that doesn't mean that they'll all be that size. For example, Tiger Tail produces a range of foam roller products, but not all of the best foam rollers that Tiger Tail offers are the same size. However, each Tiger Tail roller can still have different lengths and diameters.
There isn't really an easy way to tell what the best foam rollers will be in terms of scale, especially if you haven't used many before. You just need to think about your own body shape and figure out the best kind of support you could get for it.
Does Foam Roller Really Work?
Foam rollers are a very effective way to help deal with tight muscles, sudden injuries and other personal issues that might arise from heavy exercise (or, sometimes, a lack of exercise). However, you still need to understand that they aren't ideal for literally every situation: in many cases, they're supposed to be used as part of a routine, especially if you have practice organized sports or yoga. Like all physical therapy and exercise gear, they still have limits.
One of the advantages of a good foam roller is the fact that they can be used almost anywhere: they're generally meant for your back, but they can also be used on shoulders, leg muscles and even your chest depending on where your sore points are. Having the best roller available doesn't mean as much if you don't also know how to use it best, so make sure you know what you're doing ahead of time, just in case.
Always make sure you're buying legitimate roller models from the brands that sell them (or partners of those brands). Looks for things like “all rights reserved” on their websites and/or seller pages: if you see them, there's a good chance that it's the original seller. However, if they use “all rights reserved” and don't own the product they're selling, it might be a good idea to report them instead so that nobody else can fall for the scam.
Did You Know?
Rollers can be used almost anywhere on your body, but they can still cause pain if over-used. The best way to use a roller is to keep switching its position once the pain relief starts: in many cases, continuing the roll the roller in the same spot for long periods of time can actually cause more problems.