The best foam roller

Medical Supplies & Equipment

Foam rolling is great for those experiencing muscle tightness or those who regularly exercise. However, they should not be used if a person has a severe injury, such as a muscle tear, unless otherwise instructed by a doctor.

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Which foam roller is the best?

A good foam roller can help relieve muscle tension, muscle soreness and inflammation from your body. Additionally, it can help increase the range of motion of both your muscles and your joints. Athletes have been relying on foam rollers for years, using them as an effective tool for warming up and cooling down before and after exercising. They are easy to find, easy to use and easy to transport, making them one of the most effective and convenient exercise tools for a person to have. 

What to know before buying a foam roller

Self-myofascial release 

Self-myofascial release is essentially a self-inflicted massage. Also known as “trigger-point release” or “foam rolling,” self-myofascial release works out the tension in the layers of fascia below the skin by utilizing a person’s body weight to roll it out and release it. By incorporating various rolling techniques and positions, a person can minimize tension and soreness while improving flexibility. 

Doubles as a yoga prop

One of the most convenient ways of using a foam roller is as a yoga prop. Foam rollers can act as great stabilizers or even yoga blocks, allowing a person to reach specific postures and positions with greater ease, acting as a way to balance and minimize stretching distance. 

What exercises a foam roller can enhance

Foam rollers are a great addition to any workout regiment. They can be utilized during various floor exercises and body-weight routines, such as providing a shorter distance during a crunch. Also, foam rollers can modify workouts by making them more challenging, such as utilizing a foam roller under your hands while doing push-ups. 

What to look for in a quality foam roller

Material

Foam rollers come primarily in three distinct materials: polyethylene, ethylene vinyl acetate, and expanded polypropylene. Polyethylene rollers are the most affordable and available of the three choices. These rollers tend to be softer than the other two choices and are not as durable or long-lasting. Ethylene-vinyl acetate foam rollers are shock-absorbant, meaning that they maintain a medium firmness and can handle much more strenuous use. It is important to note that there are also high-density ethylene-vinyl acetate rollers. Lastly, polyethylene rollers are hard-wearing and can be extra firm in density. These rollers are the most durable of the three but may be too tough on specific users. 

Density

Foam roller density can vary from super soft to extra firm. It is essential to determine which density will best suit your needs by learning how your body reacts to rollers of different thicknesses. All stretching done with a foam roller should feel uncomfortable, but never hurt. If you find yourself in pain while using a foam roller, it might be a good idea to find one with a lesser density. 

Texture

Texture also plays a massive part in the differences between foam rollers. Some rollers are entirely smooth, allowing for effortless rolling that can be applied to the whole body. However, there are also textured rollers with lumps, bumps and ridges that can affect the kinds of stretches that a person can do. One of the advantages of foam rollers with bumps is that they specifically target problem areas when rolling, such as the fine points of your back. 

How much you can expect to spend on a foam roller

Foam rollers are generally reasonably affordable. The only reason costs may differ will be based on the length and type of materials the foam roller is made out of. Smooth foam rollers typically cost the least, ranging between $5-$30, generally depending on length. Based on their composition, ethylene-vinyl acetate rollers will also tend to cost more, between $15-$60. Textured foam rollers will be the most expensive, ranging between $15-$80, again based on the length and the type of texture that the roller utilizes. 

Foam roller FAQ

Do I need more than one foam roller?

A. Foam rollers are generally versatile, and it is not necessary to have more than one. However, it can be helpful to have a longer roller for rolling out more prominent parts of your body before substituting a shorter, ridged roller to work on specific problem areas. 

What parts of the body are foam rollers best used on?

A. Foam rollers are great for rolling out and releasing tension in your muscles. As a rule of thumb, foam rolling stretches will work the fleshy parts of your body, such as your biceps, back and glutes. 

What is the best foam roller to buy?

Top foam roller

TriggerPoint CORE Foam Roller

TriggerPoint CORE Foam Roller

What you need to know: This foam roller has a durable construction that creates consistent results for a reasonable price. 

What you’ll love: Its structured grid and design promote deep tissue massage for your muscles and problem areas, providing instant relief from tightness and soreness. 

What you should consider: It should be noted that this is a more expensive option for foam rollers. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

 

Best foam roller for the money

LuxFit Foam Roller

LuxFit Foam Roller

What you need to know: For a low price, this high-density foam roller is both durable and effective at relieving aches and stiffness. 

What you’ll love: This foam roller is water-resistant and quite dense, at 2 pounds per cubic foot. It is also available in four sizes, from 12 to 36 inches to meet all your rolling needs. 

What you should consider: This is strictly a smooth roller and does not come in a ridged option.

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

 

Worth checking out

Amazon Basics High-Density Round Foam Roller

Amazon Basics High-Density Round Foam Roller

What you need to know: Amazon Basics provides a quality foam roller that is a great compact option for occasional use. 

What you’ll love: This roller is very inexpensive and comes in four sizes ranging between 12 and 36 inches. You can also choose from four different colors. 

What you should consider: Some users have reported a noticeable seam that runs down the middle that may cause discomfort during use. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

 

Gaiam Restore Muscle Massage Therapy Foam Roller

Gaiam Restore Muscle Massage Therapy Foam Roller 

What you need to know: The Gaiam foam roller is a good beginning foam roller that is both inexpensive and a good choice for relieving muscle tension. 

What you’ll love: This roller offers fast relief for tight muscles and comes in various sizes and color options. 

What you should consider: The design is somewhat simplistic and does not have ridges or bumps. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

 

Planet Fitness Muscle Massager Foam Roller

Planet Fitness Muscle Massager Foam Roller

What you need to know: This textured roller is excellent for everything from recovery to massaging your problem areas. 

What you’ll love: It has a soft texture but provides comfortable yet practical muscle release with its ridges. 

What you should consider: Some users have reported that this roller is a bit too hard for them and suggest getting a softer one. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

 

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Jared Lindsay writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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