Foam rolling is the new term in health and fitness. Before only pro-athletes and professional physical therapists seemed to be interested in foam rolling, however, it now seems as though anyone looking to get fit and healthy seems to be getting in on the trend.
This practice of foam rolling (known as myofascial release) using a foam roller allows you to get all these benefits without having to work with a physical therapist or fitness coach.
Foam rollers are exercise and massage tools that enable you to massage and release tight muscles, and also help speed up recovery after a workout.
By breaking up muscle knots, they relieve tension and provide benefits that extend to the entirety of your body.
In addition to using foam rollers to practice self-massage techniques, you can also use them for exercise, as they’re sometimes used in pilates, yoga and other exercise programs.
In this article, we’ll help you find the best foam roller to help you towards your fitness goals.
We are going to review the following best foam rollers:
- Amazon Basics Foam Roller
- OPTP Pro Roller
- TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
- Rumble Roller
- Brazyn Morph Trek Foam Roller
- Rollga Foam Roller
- TriggerPoint CHARGE Ridged Foam Roller
- Acumobility The Ultimate Back Roller
- RAD Helix
- TriggerPoint Carbon Deep Tissue Foam Roller
Which Type of Foam Roller Should I Get?
There is no foam roller that is suitable for everyone. It all depends on how much you have foam rolled before, how tight the muscles in your body are and where in your body you are looking to get relief.
Foam rollers are cylinder-shaped rolling tools that come in different sizes, shapes and textures. They also come in different degrees of firmness that can change the intensity of the massage they offer.
Successfully choosing the correct combination of these traits to best suit your body is key to finding the best foam roller for you.
If you have already foam rolled before and are looking for some added intensity be sure to check out our post on the best vibrating foam rollers.
The Best Foam Rollers on the Market
If you have muscle tightness or pain, or if you’re looking for better recovery time between workouts, trying out a foam roller is well worth the investment.
In this section, we look at 10 of the best foam rollers to choose from depending on your needs.
1. Amazon Basics High-Density Round Foam Roller
- Has a rough texture that won’t slip on clothing or mats
- Longer models available
- Great value at a reasonable price
- Provides a deeper massage
- Too intense for some
This foam roller by Amazon really is uhh.. ‘basic.’
It’s a simple moulded polypropylene roller with a slightly grippy surface which is good to avoid slipping. It has a rough surface that prevents slipping so that you have adequate control over its rolling while you use it.
Available at 36 inches it’s also quite long which makes it easy to stay on. The foam rollers created by AmazonBasics come in different lengths, including a 3-foot long roller longer than most foam rollers on the market.
This allows you to do more movements with the roller and target more muscle groups at a time when you align your back along its length.
It isn’t as high quality as some of the other foam rollers on this list, however, it is good value for money.
Although it is quite dense, people who have rolled before may want something more firm. If you want to experiment with foam rolling this could be a good starter option due to its price.
However, this foam roller may not be for beginners.
It’s better left for people who can handle its intensity, as it has a high density that compresses your muscles very firmly.
On the other hand, it provides a deeper massage for people who can withstand it. Ultimately, this is a good option for intermediate level users.
2. OPTP Pro-Roller
- Make with high-quality material that is guaranteed to last
- Provides a softer feel and lower intensity than other rollers
- Too soft for people who need a high-intensity deep tissue massage
The OPTP Pro Roller is made with durable material, but there are other products out there with similar quality for a lower price. While it’s priced higher than its competitors, it’s guaranteed to last a long time without flattening.
The density of the OPTP Pro Roller is high enough to do its job and loosen tight muscles and it’s a lot softer than the AmazonBasics foam roller.
The OPTP Pro-Roller is a better option if you need a lower intensity level. This is a great option for beginners.
3. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
- Designed specifically for an effective deep tissue massage
- Helps you get hard-to-massage trigger points
- Durable and built to last
- May be too hard for beginners
- Costs more than many foam rollers
This foam roller isn’t as pricey as the OPTP Pro-Roller, but it’s more costly than most of its competitors.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for an intense deep tissue massage, its unique texture could make it worth the price.
Its multi-density exterior is designed with ridges that help you hit trigger points as if you’re being massaged by hand.
If you need a high-intensity deep tissue massage you may not find anything else like it. However, it’s harder and more painful than some rollers because of its therapeutic-grade intensity.
This foam roller is an intermediate level foam roller in terms of density. This foam roller should be dense enough to release most muscles.
It’s also extremely durable and is unlikely to break or become unusable in the future like many other rollers.
- Very intense if that’s what you need
- Different options for different intensity levels
- Therapeutic exterior designed for deep tissue massage and point-of-pain therapy
- Not recommended for beginners due to its steep ridges that provide a deeper, more intense massage
Like the TriggerPoint GRID foam roller, the Rumble Roller has a unique, patented exterior designed for deep tissue massage.
The Rumble Roller has extra bumps and ridges to dig deep into sore and tight muscles. This kind of roller will provide much more relief than flat-surfaced rollers, however, the experience will be much more intense (at least in the beginning).
It is available in different lengths (12, 22 and 31 inches) and also has two options of density, Original and Extra Firm.
Beginners may want to stay away from this model until they have loosened up most muscles.
Overall, if you want an intense foam roller to relieve hard-to-reach trigger points then this is by far the best foam roller on the list for that. But beware, this is a very intense foam roller.
Read: Rumble Roller review.
5. Brazyn Morph Trek Foam Roller
- Collapsable for portability
- Designed with ridges for trigger-point deep tissue massage and myofascial release
The Brazyn Morph Trek foam roller is collapsible and convenient for travel, and its firm exterior is designed with steep ridges for effective myofascial release.
This foam roller is great for people who have always wanted to take their foam roller with them to the gym but couldn’t due to the large size of most foam rollers.
Some users of this product compared it to the TriggerPoint GRID roller based on its professional-grade quality and effectiveness, but with the added bonus of better portability.
It comes at a high price, however, as it’s more expensive than the TriggerPoint GRID and many other foam rollers.
Buy this foam roller if you want something portable and easy to take with you on your travels.
6. Rollga Foam Roller
- More comfortable and less painful than some foam rollers
- Effectively reaches trigger points for myofascial release by bypassing the bone
- Groove placement on the roller isn’t “one size fits all” and some users report the roller was too large or too small for them
The Rollga foam roller is shaped with grooves so that it can bypass bones and hit only muscle. This can prove more comfortable if you find other foam rollers too intense and painful on the bone.
On the other hand, its material is very firm with little “give” to it. While it may take the pressure off your bones, it still delivers firm pressure to hard-to-reach fascia and muscles around them.
The Rollga comes with a carry strap you can use for bringing it to the gym or anywhere else you may need it.
7. TriggerPoint CHARGE Ridged Foam Roller
- Provides an advanced myofascial release for those needing greater intensity
- Heavy-duty, high-quality and durable
- Made with athletes in mind to accelerate muscle recovery
- Too painful for non-experienced users
- Doesn’t give you a low-intensity option or a ridgeless surface to roll on
The CHARGE ridged foam roller from TriggerPoint has a unique design that can provide a more advanced myofascial release.
It’s best for those already experienced with some form of deep tissue massage because it can be too painful for beginners.
Users describe it feels like plastic more than foam. It’s hard, dense and has steep, narrow ridges that dig into your tissue when your body weight is applied.
The opposing high and wide ridges stretch your muscles as the higher, more narrow ridges squeeze them, boosting blood flow to hard-to-reach tissue.
Weighing 2.2 pounds, it’s sturdy and made with high-quality material.
If you are looking for something a little different and with a little more intensity, this is a good option.
8. Acumobility The Ultimate Back Roller
- Durable, high-quality and long-lasting
- Offers an intense massage for working out muscle knots anywhere on your back
- Could be dangerous for beginners without help
- Not designed for use on other body parts besides your back and neck
Shorter in length and wider in width than a typical foam roller, the yoga wheel back roller from Acumobility is a foam roller designed specifically for your back.
Use it to target your mid, lower or upper back a section at a time, and even the back of your neck.
Strong enough to support up to 1,000 pounds in weight, it has ridges and gaps that allow you to dig into back muscles without hurting your spine.
This roller is made of tough EVA moulded foam that makes it durable and long-lasting.
Unlike other foam rollers, you can use this one against a wall because of its width that makes it easy to roll. If the intensity is too strong on your back, you can put a towel over the foam to soften the ridges.
Some users felt the foam roller was dangerous to use when they got started because of the intensity and the risk of hurting a muscle or bruising a bone.
This is the most effective option to help relieve back pain and improve your posture, so it may be worth getting help from a physical therapist or personal trainer if you think this roller is right for you.
9. RAD Helix
- Provides a higher intensity with ridges
- Made with high-density durable material and built to last
- More versatile than most foam rollers, allowing you to massage head to toe
- Doesn’t stretch the width of your back, so you can’t roll your back on it on the floor
- Too intense for some users because of the foam’s extra high density
The RAD Helix is a high-density foam roller with a unique design you can use to massage and release your back, legs and glutes.
There is a deep groove in the centre of the roller so that the two ridges can massage your back while your spine sits in the groove untouched.
These ridges also let you apply extra pressure beyond what a smooth foam roller could, whether you use it on your back, neck, legs or glutes. In fact, RAD claims there are exactly 17 muscle groups you can target with the tool, including the lats, serratus, rotator cuff and Quadratus Lumborum.
Many users report it works more effectively for pain and muscle recovery than other foam rollers, but if you’re a beginner, the high density will feel quite painful at first.
Some have reported bruising from using it on their back, so you may want to begin with a towel over the roller or wear more clothing while using it until you get more comfortable using it.
A flaw with the design is that it’s too short in length to roll on with your back as you would a regular foam roller on the floor. You have to use it against the wall if you want to target your back, unless you turn sideways and massage the sides of your torso.
On the plus side, you can use this tool to work out tension in your jaw, hands, feet and other areas you can’t target with a more traditional foam roller. Made of high-quality EVA foam, the RAD Helix durable and easy to wipe clean.
10. TriggerPoint Carbon Deep Tissue Foam Roller
- Provides a deeper massage and higher intensity than typical foam rollers
- Comes in different lengths
- Effective for working out the most stubborn knots and helping muscle injuries heal
- Too intense for many users
- It’s easier to injure yourself with this foam roller
The Carbon deep tissue foam roller from TriggerPoint comes in two different lengths: 13 inches and 26 inches. It has firm, protrusive nodes that dig into muscle tissue as you roll along the spiky surface.
TriggerPoint gives you a 1-year limited warranty on the foam roller, and it’s made with durable, strong material.
Made for users experienced with myofascial release, the deep tissue massage you get with this foam roller is extremely intense. Some users only use it vertically against the wall, because applying bodyweight is too much pressure.
Avid users of the TriggerPoint Carbon report they still feel pain using it because of the intensity level, but it gives them great results. If you want a massage tool that can help you relax, this may not be the best option.
Overdoing it with this foam roller is easy for beginners to do, and it can actually cause more muscle tightness.
Our Pick: Which Foam Roller Should You Get?
The best all-round foam roller is the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller. It comes in various sizes and colours but the best thing about it is how durable it is.
Many other foam rollers may deteriorate after years of use, however, we use our TriggerPoint foam rollers for years and have not seen any hint of damage.
The TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller can withstand 500lbs of weight and comes with a 1-year warranty. It is also priced fairly and represents great value for money.
If you want a foam roller that is intense and able to dig deep into your muscles then there is no better than the Rumble Roller. It comes in many sizes and different intensities so you’re bound to find the combination of traits you are looking for with the Rumble Roller.
If this is your first foam roller and you want something that is cheap and cheerful. The AmazonBasics Foam roller is a good option for beginners given its low price and relatively high-quality.
Still Having Difficulty Choosing a Foam Roller?
There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing the best foam roller. In this section, we’ll try to help you further decide which qualities you should look for.
The denser the foam roller the more effective it will be.
Beginners will most likely want something that is dense but still has some softness to it. A standard foam roller with a medium-density should be fine for starting out. However, the more your body gets used to rolling, the higher the density you’ll need to find relief.
You’ll notice some foam rollers have patterns and protrusions on their surfaces. These are designed to ‘dig’ into the knots more than a flat surface would in order to trigger a deeper tissue massage.
For most of us, these aren’t necessary and a flat-surfaced foam roller will do. If need be you can always use massage balls to get a deeper massage if required.
Foam rollers come in different lengths. A longer foam roller is easier to stay on than a smaller one, however, the standard size should suit most people.
Another point to consider is that a smaller foam roller is easier to carry around than a longer one if you wish to take it with you when travelling.
Your foam roller will have to be strong and durable since it will have to support your full body weight for long periods of time. It should also be something that doesn’t break easily and will last you a long time.
In most cases, you’re likely to go through a few different foam rollers in your life as your needs change.
Vibration Vs Non-Vibration
A foam roller with vibration capabilities will increase the intensity of myofascial release you get from your foam roller.
Vibrating foam rollers are charged electrically and are more expensive than non-vibrating foam rollers.
If you want to increase the effectiveness of your foam roller and are willing to spend a little more, then a foam roller with vibration capabilities is well worth a try.
How to Use Your New Foam Roller
It’s easy to get started with your own deep tissue massage and myofascial relief work when you get a foam roller. Many foam roller companies offer online videos for training on how to use the product effectively.
However, it always helps to have a physical therapist or fitness coach who is familiar with foam rollers so that you can get the most out of them.
The great thing about foam rollers is just how versatile they are. This video shows a full-body foam rolling routine you can do to increase flexibility.
When you first start rolling you’ll hit many points which feel extremely tender. The idea is to hold the position and to embrace the discomfort until you feel the pain subside. If the pain doesn’t subside, then hold on for at least 30 seconds.
It may be the case that you’re extremely tight in that area and will have to focus on releasing that area for the next couple of days.
Foam Rollers and Other Myofascial Release Tools
It may take a few goes before you find the right foam roller. The first foam roller you buy may feel too hard for you, however, over time you’ll discover that it’s in fact too soft!
The basic idea for finding the right foam roller is to get a good quality foam roller that suits your basic needs and then supplement your additional needs (deeper trigger points) with massage balls and other myofascial release tools that are specialised for deeper release.
If you’ve never foam rolled – start now!