The best foam roller for you will allow you to comfortably massage your body to improve flexibility, mobility, and reduce pain by being at the right firmness to break down knots and trigger points that form around your body.
At the core, a foam roller is a tube-shaped massage device that allows you to massage your muscles and break down bunched up tissue that can limit flexibility and mobility. There are many different types of foam rollers that have variations in size, firmness, and texture. Before getting too in-depth let’s go over some of the popular foam roller options available.
Best Foam Roller Review Table
[table id=21 /]
Best Foam Roller Reviews: Individual Ratings
Basic High Density EPE Foam Roller Review [usr 4.5]
This ticks a lot of the boxes for me when it comes to a foam roller. Not only is it great for beginners, easy on the wallet, and long lasting, it’s also a very viable massage device even for more experienced rollers. I still use this type of roller to this date, and rather than getting a more dense or textured roller I just use other self-massage devices to support my basic foam roller like a massage ball. Overall this is the most basic, but also my top rated pick for a foam roller because it’s just so effective for the cost. After it wears out just buy another!
- Comes in 12, 18, and 36 inch
- Durable roller
- Firm, holds shape over time
- Best budget foam roller
j/fit EVA Foam Roller Review [usr 3.5]
Here’s the EVA foam roller made with the slightly more durable and resistant material than the EPE roller – but they’re not all that different in the end. I think the main difference is the non-porous exterior that could have the foam roller absorb less sweat/water and maybe smell a little less over the long-term. Some say that these rollers feel a bit more firm but I think they’re very similar and after the break in period they’ll be very similar. The main difference in my opinion is the surface texture. It can be more grippy than the EPE roller depending on what type of clothing you wear. All in all, this is a slightly better roller than the basic EPE one above but it costs a bit more too – not worth it in my opinion.
- 12, 18, and 36 inch options
- Durable, sweat resistant material
- Firm, doesn’t degrade
- Good foam roller, slightly better than the basic EPE but is it worth it?
Grid Foam Roller Review [usr 4]
I used to think very highly of the grid roller, and it still is a good quality device but the price point just doesn’t justify it when there are rollers 1/4 of the price that accomplish a very similar thing. The main selling point of the grid is the different textured zones, which are barely noticeable when you’re actually rolling. One actual upside of this roller is the hollow core that’s extremely well supported by the composite material inside – this is the absolute most durable roller because you’ll never wear it out or break down the shape. However is it worth 4x the basic rollers? I don’t think so but I’ll leave it up to you.
- Comes in a variety of shapes and colors
- Extremely durable roller
- Has uniquely textured zones on the roller
- Overall a solid, and extremely durable roller but a bit pricey for what it does
Rumble Roller Review [usr 3.5]
This is the only textured roller worth mentioning on this list – the bumps found on the Rumble Roller are hard and this is the only roller that actually accomplishes using the bumps to give an intense and deep massage of the muscles. It’s more of a muscle massage than using a foam roller to put pressure on your knots so keep that in mind! This is however an expensive roller, and I’d recommend it to seasoned rollers who know what they’re doing and can effectively roll around on a regular roller before attempting a more “stimulating” self massage with this bumpy stick.
- Only textured roller worth buying
- Aggressive bumps give for an effective tenderizing massage
- Best overall textured roller
- A bit expensive
Yes4All AccuPoint Roller [usr 3]
This is the last roller on the list, and it’s basically a budget Grid. It has different textured zones, but to be honest they don’t really do that much and make rolling/massaging yourself on the roller difficult. I’ve only included it on this list because I know a lot of people do like different textures for static pressure, and it’s pretty cheap too.
- Cheap textured roller
- Doesn’t roll very well
- Budget version of the Grid foam roller
How to pick the best foam roller for you
Picking the right foam roller for you seems very straight forward but there are a few things to keep in mind whether it’s your first or fifth roller. Depending on your experience with self-massage, tolerance to pain via massage, bodyweight, and pain/problem areas, you may find yourself needing a specific type of foam roller to be effective. Let’s break down each parameter that makes up a foam roller to get you up to speed.
What’s the best foam roller size
The best foam roller size is one that allows you to accurately massage the pain points on your body. Muscles like the quads and legs, and back are the largest muscle groups that you’d be massaging and could require a fairly wide foam roller depending on your body type and weight. Generally longer foam rollers are easier for beginners to balance on so choose accordingly. If you’re small and have good balance or experience with foam rollers you could go with a smaller roller, if you’re a beginner and don’t have experience with rollers then I would go with a larger roller. Most “average” roller sizes sold are suitable for most people as a rule of thumb.
What texture foam roller should I get?
Personally I’m not a big fan of textured foam rollers, because well, they don’t roll very well which is a main point of the “roller”… You’ll find when using the foam roller that you’re not as much rolling around on it, but rolling around until you find a pain point or knot and putting pressure on it for a short bit of time before moving to the next one. Some people do find massaging their muscles/body with a textured roller to be desirable so one tip I CAN give if you want a textured roller is to have a consistent texture. Have all of the bumps or spikes be the same size so that there’s consistency in the shape and it will still roll well. Specifically the multi-texture or rollers with different areas roll the worst, but they do provide variety.
What firmness or density is right for me?
The firmness of a roller will be decided by both the material, and the density of that material. For a firmer massage that can penetrate deeper (and also be a bit more painful) go with more dense rollers. The hardest material types are composites, and there’s one especially hard cork roller that hardcore self-massage enthusiasts may enjoy.
What’s the best foam roller material?
The most common foam roller materials are EVA and EPE foam. These are the softest and great for beginners, but also the least durable. EPE is the cheapest foam and EVA is slightly higher quality. The more dense/durable foam rollers are often made of composite materials and last longer – they’re also more expensive. It’s all about determining your budget and also the type of massage/stimulation you want and can handle.
Wrapping It Up & How To Use Your Roller
Overall when picking the best foam roller you can’t go wrong with one of the basic EPE rollers – they’re cheap and they’ll get the job done for many years so I haven’t found a reason to splurge for the more expensive rollers even though I’ve tried them all. I’ve saved you money so go with an Amazon basics roller or something similar and enjoy the powerful benefits of self-massage :)!
Now that we’re gone over the foam roller basics and you’ve been presented a few options, let’s talk a bit about actually using your foam roller. First here are two basic guides to different exercises you can do:
Those will show you the positioning for different exercises and now listen to what I have to say about using your roller to actually massage yourself. Position yourself on the roller, move slowly with downward pressure until you find a pressure point. Stop there for 15-30 seconds then move on to another pressure point. Repeat until you feel the muscle has been adequately massaged. The more you do it, the less painful it will be and the more tissue you will break down. In the beginning start slow and maybe go over a spot only once, amp it up as you get more comfortable and relaxed.