Last Updated On May 7th, 2021
Foam rollers are an essential part of your workout routine because they allow you to give yourself a deep tissue massage. The best foam roller is one that gets right into all the niggles and creases, rolling out your muscles until they feel soothed and rejuvenated.
There are many different rollers out there, all with their unique benefits; some are smooth, some softer, others have certain textures designed to stimulate deep tissue massage. There are also differently sized rollers, some that vibrate and others that can be heated or cooled depending on your preference.
We’ve looked at the best foam rollers on the market for all types of expectations. Whether your preferred activity is running, cycling, yoga, pilates, or a more intensive sport – even if you’re in rehabilitation or trying to prevent repeated sports injuries – you’ll find a foam roller that suits you.
Best Foam Roller Reviews – Top 7 Picks
The Maximo Fitness Foam Roller has a medium density, which means that although the foam roller is still firm, it has enough ‘give’ to be comfortable and is not too intense when used. It’s not hollow either, so there’s much less chance of the roller collapsing on itself.
This foam roller has a softly textured surface in a hexagonal grid-like pattern instead of bumpy or knobbly rollers, which means it’s unlikely to cause bruising to the skin.
This foam roller is an excellent addition to your workout routine – especially as it’s a bit longer than other products at 45cm (18″) length and 15cm (6″) width. This added feature allows you to massage both legs at the same time for a more satisfying experience. It also provides greater scope for variety with your chosen exercise positions.
Another thing to love about this roller is that it is really light, weighing in at just 358 grams. It’s also made from a plastic EVA foam composite. It’s latex-free—so that’s great news for any allergy sufferers. Customers say it’s able to support a significant amount of weight too.
The Vibe Hex Pro deep tissue massage roller may look a little different, but the unique shape is justified when you see what it can do. This deep tissue vibrating foam roller consists of two balls attached in a peanut shape, both of which have motors inside.
This foam roller is specifically designed to help with trigger point therapy and myofascial release. Simply lean the grippy material of the massage roller against your body and, as it vibrates, the tension in your muscles will melt away.
The shape is designed to contour with the body’s curves. It allows it to get at the harder to reach muscles. The four different levels of vibration speed mean you can choose how intensely you’d like the vibration to penetrate, making it the best foam roller for back pain and other trickier areas to target.
This massage foam roller also isn’t as painful to use as a firm roller can be, particularly on sensitive areas like the IT band. And because it’s so small, this massage tool can be taken anywhere, whether it’s the gym or in your suitcase while travelling. You can recharge this device to its full capacity in two hours.
At 33cm in length and 14cm in diameter, the Fit Nation Ultra Lightweight is a little smaller and chunkier option. It’s also extremely firm, allowing it to address really tight muscle groups.
Thanks to the hollow centre, this foam roller is very lightweight and easy to carry around from home to the gym. Don’t let its lightweight nature deceive you, though. This roller has a chunky texture of raised dimples covering the surface, arranged to target specific muscle groups. It also acts as a personal massager for moments when you’re not using it to accompany a workout.
Because of its length, this foam roller is great for smaller areas like arms and calves, as well as helping with hip and knee issues. If you’re looking for specific exercises to use this roller with, the accompanying booklet has a range of exercises. There’s also access to a series of online YouTube videos and a downloadable PDF.
To get the best results from this foam roller, you should aim to use the foam both before a workout and afterwards. That way, you’ll adequately stretch out your muscles and allow them to cool down.
This 2 in 1 set from IUGA includes both a foam roller and a massage stick, which, when used in conjunction with each other, help to fully stretch out all muscle areas that need a helping hand to release excess tension.
On the foam roller, there are three different types of massage zones, all of which are designed to mirror a massage therapist’s hand. The first zone is large and flat, like the palm of a hand. The second zone is tubular, imitating the width and length of a finger. The third zone is small and bumpy, just like a massage given with the fingertips.
Combined, these zones create a texture that perfectly targets tight tissue, muscle soreness and long-term tension. The deep tissue foam roller itself has a medium density but is strong and durable, with a maximum weight load of 200kg.
The textured massage stick looks a little like a rolling pin and is designed to be used in the same way. It’s handheld, so you can easily roll the three central nodes along with specific parts of the body. For example, you can use it on your thighs, calves, and the back of your neck or lower back. The stick is a fantastic alternative to a foam roller for anyone who travels long distances for their workouts and finds the traditional rollers a bit too big and bulky.
The creators claim that this foam roller set will help massage the deep tissue muscle of your legs, back, feet, calves and shoulders – and can even help with sciatica pain. Both massage tools fit neatly into a carrying bag that comes with your purchase for maximum portability.
The four-piece set from FitBeast comes with a trigger point foam roller, a smooth foam roller, and two additional massage balls. The surface of the trigger point foam roller has a series of 3D raised ridges and bumps, so it should be used first to massage into the deep muscle. Afterwards, you can use the softer foam roller, which will help decompose the lactic acid build-up.
The smooth foam roller neatly fits inside the hollow centre of the ridged foam roller, which is extremely satisfying and also makes for both easy storage and transportation. Both foam rollers are made from non-toxic and non-hazardous materials and are heatproof and waterproof, allowing for easy cleaning.
The massage balls have different functions: the red spiky ball is 8cm and is somewhat firm, making it great for reflexology. In comparison, the smaller ‘lacrosse’ ball is 6cm and has a medium firmness which is helpful for myofascial release. Both of these massage balls help to reduce tension, particularly on smaller areas of the body.
This foam roller set also comes with access to a foam roller PDF course and a video course on YouTube, so you can fully experience all the possible exercises these rollers can be used for.
The Elvire Massage Set is designed specifically for deep tissue massage and comes with a hand roller, a foot roller, a soft inner roller and a larger ridged foam roller that’s firm and sturdy.
The larger foam roller has a uniform grid pattern that stretches across the entire surface. This helps to iron out the knots and muscles and will release lactic acid build-up. The main selling point is the soft texture of the inner roller’s surface, which makes it great for the more sensitive parts of the body, or those areas that have been recently injured.
The hand roller, which is mounted in a sturdy handle and is intended for spot massage, even has a small reservoir for the addition of essential oils. The foot roller is ergonomically contoured so that it can make full contact with every part of your foot, and it’s specially designed for relieving plantar fasciitis.
The foam roller massage set comes in a lovely colour combination of dark charcoal and bright red, and all materials are non-toxic, unlike many petroleum-based plastics. When used with the included carrying bag, the Elvire set also becomes exceptionally portable.
At 90cm in length and a diameter of 15cm, this extra-long foam roller from Maximo is a perfect choice for anyone who wants to expand their repertoire of massage positions. It’s long enough to enable you to lie vertically along with it with the roller beneath your spine, and the added length provides more versatility for exercising.
This foam roller has a medium-hard density, which means it’s firm enough to allow for a significant amount of muscle massage, but it’s not going to leave bruises or make you uncomfortable. It also has a solid core and is made from a non-slippery material, so it’s doubtful that the roller will shift or crack under pressure or body weight.
Texture-wise, the surface of this foam roller has a subtle criss-cross pattern which allows for a uniform amount of pressure regardless of what part you use.
What to Look For in a Foam Roller
Foam rollers help you to relieve tension safely, as well as improving blood circulation, bettering your posture, and increasing the range of motion you can achieve too.
While looking for the best foam roller, you may notice that there are lots of different variations available. Here are some features that you should look out for.
Firmness and Design
Foam rollers can come in a range of designs; smooth foam rollers will have a different effect to those with ridges and texture. Take time to do your research on which will work best for you and what each is used for.
Firmer foam rollers can cause bruising if misused, while those that are softer may not have the desired effect.
If you are unsure, you can opt for a set that includes several designs for you to try out.
Size and Portability
Are you going to take your foam rollers back and forth to the gym? Or maybe you just need it to be compact to be able to store them in your cupboard.
Please take a look at the size of rollers and the weight to see how easy it will be for you to transport and store. Some sets come with a handy travel bag or can fit inside your gym bag.
Some foam rollers have a weight limit to ensure that they do not break or become misshapen. Others can crack, which can affect their structural integrity.
Think of how you will use your foam roller. If you will put your whole body weight on it to roll out the soreness in your thighs and back, it is vital to check the maximum weight capacity.
The weight capacity of a foam roller is also an important consideration for heavier individuals, although some models are sturdy enough to handle up to 330lbs of weight.
If you are still unsure which foam roller to go for, we suggest taking another look at our Editor’s Choice. Using a medium density roller like the Maximo Fitness is the best way to apply the perfect amount of pressure during your workout.
This fitness tool offers a soft-textured surface and a solid core, ensuring a comfortable yet strong experience, no matter what exercises you use it for. This fitness tool is clearly one of the best foam roller options for fitness enthusiasts like you.