Best Foam Rollers Reviewed & Rated
Every few years there seems to be a new trendy piece of exercise equipment. Thigh Masters, Shake Weights, the Bodyblade, and the Bowflex were all the “must have” pieces of equipment at one time or another. Foam rollers seemed to be another link in this trendy chain, but it turns out that they are actually effective tools for both fitness and physical therapy. Helpful as they are, though, the market is a little saturated at the moment as more and more companies try to provide consumers with quality products. Lucky for you, we have compiled the ten best rollers on Amazon.
Experts are still looking into why rolling does what it does. Even without knowing the specific “how”, many experts can agree that it helps relieve muscle soreness and stiffness, relieve stress, and reduce the post-workout tension that many athletes and gym-goers are so familiar with.
- TriggerPoint GRID
- Closed-Cell Foam
- LuxFit Premium
- Warranty Included
- Master of Muscle
- Exceptionally Durable
Some companies promote their products as a way to perform SMR, also known as Self-Myofascial Release. This is a form of massage that helps to prevent soreness by putting pressure on the surface of the muscle until the tension reaction fades, causing the muscle to relax in response. Not all experts support the idea that they are effective for SMR, but fans of the product are adamant that it does the job!
10 Best Foam Rollers
1. TriggerPoint GRID
The TriggerPoint GRID is constructed with a hollow-core construction and closed-cell material. This combination means that it is lightweight but will keep its shape over time while standing up to contact with water and sweat without taking on moisture.
Complimentary Ebook and Tutorials
Foam rolling can look daunting to newcomers. TriggerPoint addresses this issue by including a free ebook and several free tutorials with the purchase of their product. Such videos are widely available online, but the included tutorials and book were created specifically to accompany the TriggerPoint GRID roller.
Cost and Value
The TriggerPoint price tag may seem a little high, but the customer reviews speak for themselves. If you want something that is lightweight but durable, versatile and well-backed by its company, then you want a TriggerPoint.
- Hollow-Core Construction
- Excellent Durability
- Beware of Fakes
2. LuxFit Premium
This option offers both a 3-year and a 1-year warranty, the difference likely depending on what size is ordered or which seller the product comes from. Either warranty is a good deal, though most reviewers insist that the warranty is not needed!
The denser the foam is, the more pressure it puts on the muscle being rolled over it. High-density options can be too hard and cause pain for some users while other users swear by the intense results that get from the use of one.
Cost and Value
These come in a range of prices, but even at the top end, they are incredibly affordable. Durable and firm it will last with you throughout years of use. Most budgets will be able to afford this option and it will keep your muscles feeling great.
- Durable Design
- High-Density Foam
- Multiple Sizes Available
- Easy to Maintain
- Very Hard
3. Master of Muscle
Master of Muscle's high-density option is designed using a unique dual pattern. Massaging tips cover half of it while smoothe sections cover the other half, giving the user more options when in use.
The purchase of this item also includes an ebook detailing the use and effectiveness of it. Videos and books are, of course, available online, but the ebook included is designed specifically for this product and its unique massaging design.
Cost and Value
This is among the most affordable on our list. It is only 13 inches long, which may be too short for some. But if this bag-friendly length works for you, then this is an affordable and highly versatile option. Adding this to your equipment room is easy and is a handy go to when in need of muscle recovery.
- Easily Portable
- Versatile Use
- Simple Instructions
- Stellar Price
4. 321 STRONG
Targeting specific zones and digging deep you will feel like you are getting a massage done by a professional. Wherever your tension lies target it and roll your way to release. You are sure to hit all the areas you need and your body will thank you for it.
500 lb Rating
Humans come in all shapes and sizes. When making a purchase like this you don't want it to arrive just to find it instantly crushes with your weight on it. The rating on this option will handle flawlessly with anyone up to five hundred pounds ensuring you get the relief you need.
Cost and Value
If you are in the market for an affordable product that is durable and will work deep into your muscles this may be a perfect choice. Budget friendly and rave reviews are two of the many reasons we love this choice. Give it a chance and you are sure to love it too.
- Double Textured
- Light or Deep Massage
- Target Painful Areas
- Excellent Price
- A Bit Narrow
5. Rumbleroller Deep-Tissue
Some people prefer theirs to be smooth for a more gentle pressure. Then there are those people who want a deep-tissue pressure treatment and for those people, there is Rumbleroller. Their unique knob design puts pressure points into the muscle, massaging and kneading to achieve relaxation and pain reduction.
Two Sizes and Two Densities Available
Rumbleroller's is available in two sizes so that users can best choose the size to fit the kind of use it is put towards. It is also available in original and high-density so that varying pressure levels can be achieved.
Cost and Value
These have a hefty price tag but they are the best on the market if you are in search of a deep-tissue option. This is going to push into your muscles and you will feel complete relaxation when done.
- Massaging Knobs
- Two Densities Offered
- Increases Flexibility
- Trusted by Millions
- High Cost
6. Product Stop Exercise
Most of our list fall into one of two categories: low-density or high-density. Product Stop offers a medium-density option that won't have quite such an aggressive effect as high-density but will provide more pressure than a low-density product.
Two Products Included
Product Stop's comes with a rolling stick. This hard plastic stick is another device used by those who practice SMR and can be a very handy additional piece of equipment to have on hand.
Cost and Value
Product Stop's price tag is very reasonable, particularly for a set of two products. This is a little on the short side, but if that is not an issue, then this purchase may be ideal.
- Easy Convenient Use
- Money Back Guarantee
- Great for Legs
- Great Texture
- Works Deep
- Quite Soft
7. Bodhivana 2-In-1 Set
Several products on this list feature added extras, but the Bodhivana 2-in-1 set is unique in that the smoothe soft-density purple roller literally fits inside of the hollow-core high-density knobbed roller. These products then fit into the included carrying bag, making them easily portable and perfect for users who need versatility on the go.
Includes Videos and Ebook
This product set also includes an ebook and several training videos so that users can get the full range of benefits from this dual-density 2-in-1 combination.
Cost and Value
This roller set has a midline price tag. The dual-density and dual-texture setup, however, make it a great value even before the carrying case and training materials are factored in.
- Easily Transported
- Convenient Carrying Bag
- Good Support
- Strong Material
- Great for Beginners
- Quite Small
8. Nordic Lifting
This medium-density roller is a little easier to use than its high-density cousins without being too soft to apply consistent pressure across the user's muscle. WIth a variable massaging design, this is ideal for those who have graduated from low-density and want a more deep-tissue effect but are not yet ready or interested in high-density yet.
Can Handle Up to 500 Pound
Nordic Lifting is very specific in their product construction. This contains no inner tubing that can break and is instead made entirely of medium-density foam that can handle up to 500 pounds, which is made even more impressive by the fact that this is travel sized!
Cost and Value
The midline price tag on this product might seem a little high, but the solid construction and company reputation make it a product that will last and last, giving more life to the purchase.
- Excellent for Back Pain
- Great for Knots
- Durable Construction
- Looser In One Use
- Not for Very Tender Areas
9. ProSource Sports Medicine
ProSource's roller is unique in that it features two different densities on one roller. This allows the user to choose the best density for their needs based on how they feel during each session without having to invest in multiple rollers.
Several Styles Available
Not only is the roller produced with a dual-density zone design, but it is available in a range of sizes and colors so that users can choose the size and style that best suits their needs, and preferences.
Cost and Value
This is the most affordable option on our list. It might be a little short for some but if travel-sized is ideal, then this is the lowest price point with quality guaranteed, including a limited warranty.
- Results After First Use
- Variety In Size
- Easily Releases Trigger Points
- Rolls Smoothly
- Exceptionally Hard
10. OPTP PRO-ROLLER
Closed-cell is ideal for any foam that will be used during exercise or around any kind of water. Closed-cell is more water resistant than open-cell, allowing it to shed moisture such as sweat, water, or cleaning solution instead of absorbing the fluid.
OPTP makes their products at professional quality levels. This makes them ideal for gym inventory, physical therapists, or people who intend to use theirs frequently and for an extended period of time.
Cost and Value
OPTP's is one of the most expensive on our list. The closed-cell professional construction might make the price point worth it, however.
- Exercise Book Included
- Excellent for Smaller People
- Perfect for Frequent Use
- Easy to Care For
- Seam Durability
Newcomers to the practice should go for a softer option while those with experience can go for a harder product or one with a pattern. Patterns allow the muscle to relax differently against the roller, causing different points of pressure that can be realigned for maximum effect and comfort. A word of caution, however, is that spikier, hard foam can cause bruising which is essentially the opposite of relaxation! No matter your activity, be it wrestling, Boxing, Muay Thai, or Yoga this product can be helpful for all of life’s pains. Our list contains the best of each category, allowing you to see the top offers and choose the roller that best fits your needs and experience level whether new to the thought or an old-time fan.
Criteria Used for Evaluating the Best Foam Rollers
Different densities will have different effects on the user’s muscles. The options on our list cover a range of densities so that everybody can choose from among the best to find the one that best fits their needs.
- Low-Density –
Low-density is softer than all the rest. It puts less pressure on the muscle when rolled because it will give a little under the weight and applied force of the muscle. Low-density options are ideal for those who are in physical therapy or are new to the use of foam rollers. Seasoned users who are used to putting more pressure on their rollers may want to consider a denser option.
- Medium-Density –
Medium-density is exactly what it sounds like. It provides more pressure than a low-density option while being a little more gentle to use than a high-density roller. These weigh a little more than low-density, so even travel sizes are going to add a little more weight to a user’s gym bag or luggage. This is important to note for those who need one on the go, though users who keep theirs at home or at the gym will not see any issues.
- High-Density –
High-density rollers are for those who are accustomed to foam rolling and SMR in general. They put a considerable amount of pressure in stiff or sore muscles and, for some, can be too uncomfortable to use. It is important to work your way up to a high-density roller unless the product is recommended by a physical therapist or other medical professionals. Those who are already accustomed to high-density rollers should also take care when changing patterns or trying a patterned roller for the first time, as the strong ridges and points can be particularly painful for stiff muscles.
- Variable-Density –
A few products on this list have areas of differing density. This allows a user to choose which portion of the roller to use depending on the stiffness of their muscles and the general level of their familiarity. Variable density options can be tricky to use, however, as you may switch from one density zone to another without realizing it depending on the style used.
- Hollow Core –
Hollow-core products are typically lighter than the solid-core variety and have the added bonus of allowing a band to pass through the center or to act as storage points for shoes or gym clothes during transport. They are not as structurally sound, however, and the inner plastic core ring may be subject to breaking.
- Solid Core –
Solid cores are either solid foam or have a hard core surrounded by foam of whichever density the product is produced with. These may be heavier than hollow-core options, but many do not have inner plastic portions that can potentially break and shorten the lifespan.
- Smooth Surface –
A smooth surface offers consistent pressure when the muscle and roller move across one another. These may be easier to roll on some surfaces but slippier on others without the textured surface acting as catch points to assist in rolling.
- Textured Surface –
Textured surfaces dig deeper into the muscles, some more than others. This creates pressure points that may help relieve muscle pain faster, though the more aggressive points may cause bruising if used too often and with too much force.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What exactly are the benefits?
A: It eases muscle tension, aids in relaxation, and stimulates blood flow to muscles that may be experiencing a lack thereof. Several studies have also shown an increase in flexibility and some users reports a reduction in the frequency of, and pain from, adhesions.
Q: How long should I use it for?
A: They must be used to apply pressure across a muscle for no less than 30 seconds. 90-second intervals are more effective, but it is important not to focus on one area much longer than that as it can cause bruising. For questions like these, it is important to check with a doctor or certified trainer to get answers that suit your specific needs.
Q: Are there classes?
A: Some gyms do offer classes while others may incorporate it into their routines for other classes. If you’re interested in classes, you could always ask the front desk at your gym if they could look into starting one. For training, it is possible to find videos and tutorials online, though it is always best to consult medical professional before beginning any exercise program.
Q: Can I use mine at the gym?
A: As long as your gym allows outside equipment, you should be able to bring your own in. It makes an excellent wrap up to other exercises as well as an excellent workout on its own. If your gym does not allow outside equipment, you could always ask if they are willing to provide you with one.
Q: Is there any age limit?
A: Questions about age and health are best directed at medical professionals. There are books for children and senior citizens, however, indicating that it may be beneficial to people across the age range.