This post is different from others, as not everyone knows what foam rollers are or what they’re used for. But, here is where you will learn how to find the best foam rollers, the many benefits of this product, and read my honest reviews of the foam rollers I recommend.
If you’re not sure what foam followers do, or if they’re worth the hype, then read on to learn the significant number of benefits that this affordable home recovery tool can bring.
But first, a little look at the five best foam rollers I will be reviewing in full, further on in the post.
At a Glance: 5 Best Foam Rollers
321 STRONG Foam Roller – Our #1 Top Pick
Yes4All Foam Roller – Our #1 Budget Pick
What are Foam Rollers?
Foam rollers are cylinders of compressed foam used for massaging the back muscles at home, pre or post-workout. Foam rollers can be called back rollers, massage rollers, or muscle rollers and were used predominantly by athletes as a habitual recovery method. However, today’s workout enthusiasts are enjoying the benefits of these handy little gadgets.
Some foam rollers will be textured, others are smooth, and different designs offer a varying level of back muscle massage.
The Benefits of Foam Rollers
The biggest benefit of using foam rollers is reducing muscle soreness, eliminating muscle knots, and increasing flexibility. Simple foam roller exercises can improve the physical fitness of anyone, almost anywhere, and for very little money.
Foam rollers are simply tubes that can even prevent injuries and improve mobility.
As far as massaging products go, none are more affordable than foam rollers. Yet, the benefits are vast and include a quicker recovery between workouts and an increased feeling of relaxation.
If you like the sound of a massage at home, then check out our guide of the best massage chairs to find a more indulgent buy!
The Different Types of Foam Rollers
There are several types of foam rollers on the market today, from the budget-friendly to the splurge-buy, from the basic to the electric, and everything else in between.
Foam rollers all work in the same way and have the same objective; to increase blood flow, reduce soreness, and repair muscles, either pre or post-workout.
There are varying sizes, textures, and designs of foam rollers, and similar to hand massagers, they come at several different price points.
When it comes to design, there are two fundamental models; smooth or textured. Soft rollers may be better for beginners, but textured foam rollers are more effective for getting deeper into the muscle. Priced considerably higher are electric foam rollers, which can be smooth or textured and hugely efficient, albeit highly expensive, back rollers.
The size of the foam roller is down to personal preference. I find the shorter foam rollers are more straightforward to transport and store but can often be a little fiddly to use, with the opposite on both points being true for long rollers.
When looking to buy foam rollers, here are some things to consider.
Foam rollers are generally inexpensive products in their basic form. If you’re brand new to the idea of using foam rollers, then it would be wise to look at a lower-priced roller before making a more substantial investment if you feel this is right for you.
Foam rollers are priced from around $15 to $90, so it’s a large spectrum. It is usually advisable to buy the highest level of quality your budget permits.
The construction of the foam roller must be good, not only for it to be effective but, more importantly, for it to be safe. You’re going to be applying a considerable amount of your bodyweight onto this product, so it has to be strong enough to support this without breaking, bending, or warping, which could result in injury.
Low-grade plastics should be ruled out, along with any other fragile material.
The length of the foam roller you choose can make or break the experience. Some people prefer a longer roller, which will massage the entire breadth of the back at once without sliding out of place or going off course. But, a longer roller can be challenging to transport to and from the gym, looking fairly conspicuous poking out of a gym bag!
Longer rollers tend to be around 36-in and are a good choice for a first-time user. They’re more stable, versatile, and simple to use. Short rollers, 24-in or less, are excellent for targeting specific areas such as calves or arms. The smallest foam rollers are between 4-in to 12-in and have the great pro of being able to fit in a pocket, as well as regular gym bags.
Short foam rollers have the great advantage of fitting in most rucksacks, but they can be challenging to remain in the desired position on the spine. With foam rollers starting at around ten dollars, you could always buy two different lengths to see which suits you best.
Most foam rollers will have a diameter of 5-in or 6-in, which is a desirable height for easing a body onto and rolling under control. There are foam rollers of just 3-in diameter, which are good for deeper and more targeted massage of common problem areas such as feet, calves, shoulders, and arms.
Smooth or textured, that is the question. Smoother rollers are always comfortable, there are no pointed grooves that can hurt, so you’re never going to end up in any discomfort. However, a textured roller can feel more relaxing and penetrate the muscles similarly to an actual masseuse.
Textured rollers offer a more profound and more beneficial massage overall. But, smooth rollers have the advantage of being typically less expensive and provide a less intense massage experience which most newcomers to the product will prefer.
When buying anything online, we would always advise you to read as many reviews of the product as you can. Some are greatly informative, like our Osaki Massage Chair guide; others are much shorter on online marketplaces and websites.
As long as they’re verified and from genuine consumers, it’s advisable to take note of their experiences, as this is an excellent way of getting an accurate idea of the pros and cons of a product.
Before choosing the foam rollers I did to feature in this guide, here are some of the things I was looking for:
To ensure that we only ever recommend the best products, we have to feel confident about their level of quality. For this reason, I have researched the materials, construction process, and brand involved with each foam roller to make sure that we can confirm their quality level as good-to-excellent.
For fairness, I have looked at foam rollers that fit into all budgets and choose the best products from different price points. This way, every reader can find a foam roller that is affordable to them.
There is little point in recommending products that don’t last, so I have looked at the durability of each foam roller to ensure it can provide good longevity for our readers.
As well as my findings, I wanted to select foam rollers that other consumers had rated highly on various platforms. This is a great way to gain an authentic overview of any item you’re buying when you aren’t physically seeing, feeling, or testing first.
5 Best Foam Rollers
|321 STRONG Foam Roller – Our #1 Top Pick
|Find it Here|
|Yes4All Foam Roller – Our #1 Budget Pick
|Find it Here|
|LuxFit Foam Roller
|Find it Here|
|Zyllion Rechargeable Vibrating Foam Roller
|Find it Here|
|CubeFit Rechargeable Vibrating Foam Roller
|Find it Here|
#1 321 STRONG Foam Roller – Our #1 Top Pick
With a 12.75-in length and 5.25-in diameter, the 321 STRONG Foam Roller is a large massage roller that rests perfectly under the spine and rolls with ease up and down the back. It is incredibly lightweight and of medium density, so perfect for beginners. The EVA tread has triple grid 3D massage points that truly mimic a professional massage for the back.
The 321 STRONG Foam Roller is highly effective at penetrating muscles and tissues, with instant benefits for hamstrings, calves, arms, feet, and back muscles pre or post-workout. This design is unique and protected by 5 US Patents, so you really won’t find this anywhere else. I love the color options too, which are plentiful and should suit all tastes.
For a foam roller, the massage given by this product is superior, it’s easy to operate, and you can feel an almost instant relief on tired or sore muscles. This roller comes with access to an eBook that details how best to use the product. I am hugely impressed with this foam roller and feel it is worthy of our #1 top pick by a mile.
- Excellent Price
- Patented Design
- Deep, Relaxing Massage
- Straightforward to Use
- Lots of Color Options
- Free eBook
- Around a Week for Delivery
#2 Yes4All Foam Roller – Our #1 Budget Pick
For an incredible price, and with eight color options and four sizes options, the Yes4All Foam Roller can’t be beaten for a budget pick. The material is high-density polypropylene, an upgrade to the standard foam roller, resulting in an extra firm feel. It is super lightweight, at just 6oz, so easy to transport, if slightly cumbersome due to the 6-in diameter.
This lightweight foam roller can support an incredible 300 lb and is cited to remain in shape through years of moderate to heavy use. For the price, this longevity is pretty outstanding. There is a 1-year warranty, so if you find any durability issues, simply exchange or receive a full refund; within the first 12-months.
I would suggest this roller is better for people who are used to using foam rollers. However, it is straightforward to use, and once you know how to balance your weight to optimize the effects, the relief feels instant. A slight criticism I have is not with the product, but the packaging, which many consumers have picked up – there’s just far too much of it!
- Outstanding Value for Money
- Great Color and Size Options
- 300lb Weight Capacity
- Feels Extra Firm
- Excellent Longevity
- 1-Year Warranty
- 6-in Diameter; Awkward to fit into standard gym bags along with other equipment
- Far too Much Packaging
- Prop 65 Warning; CA Residents
#3 LuxFit Foam Roller
With purchase prices starting at under $10, the LuxFit Foam Roller is a product worth considering.
There are four size options; 12-in, 18-in, 24-in, and 36-in – all with 6-in diameter. You can choose between blue, red, or orange color speckles on the predominantly black foam roller, which has an extra firm grip – you don’t realize how necessary this is until you find a foam roller that has it! I found it to really help with the operation, and the positioning and balance were much enhanced.
Delivery takes a couple of days, State depending, and the foam roller comes with a free online instructional video; ideal for first-time users or those who want to see how else to use a foam roller. I found that the massage is deep but not uncomfortably so, and relaxation relief is immediate. The LuxFit foam roller is made in the USA and has a 10-year limited warranty.
- Made in the USA
- Rollers to Suit all Budgets
- Extra Firm Grip
- 4 Size Options
- Quick Delivery
- 10-year Limited Warranty
- Some Users Find the Foam Too Hard
#4 Zyllion Rechargeable Vibrating Foam Roller
With humble beginnings in a Californian garage, the Zyllion Rechargeable Vibrating Foam Roller is now a high-end, luxury item – with a high price tag. But, for some, it is entirely worth it. Most foam rollers have one surface type, yet with this, you have three, with each one mimicking the various massages given by professional therapists.
The high-density foam roller uses vibrating massage to target trigger points, resulting in a more intense experience and faster recovery time. The vibration can take time to get used to, but there are four speeds to break yourself in with, and there isn’t the uncomfortable buzzing sound you may expect!
I am highly impressed with the customer service. Having researched consumer reviews and questions, I learned the brand is quick to respond and send out replacement chargers free of charge rather than respond with where it can be purchased (which was what was asked). So, the lifetime support claim is authentic!
- Excellent Customer Service
- Good Price
- Four Vibration Speeds
- Three Surface Types
- High Price Point
- Some Consumers Don’t Enjoy The Vibration
#5 CubeFit Rechargeable Vibrating Foam Roller
The CubeFit Rechargeable Vibrating Foam Roller is the most expensive on the list, at just under $90. So, is it worth it? In my opinion, absolutely!
The LED vibration-speed dial allows you to select the perfect vibration intensity (out of the eight different vibration settings and from 450rpm to 3600rpm speed settings). It is simple to operate – this technology is nowhere else, and I found it to be a real benefit.
I like the automatic timer/shut-off feature, which means you get 15-minutes of massage time to prevent any muscle soreness from overuse. You can use it again straight after, but it’s advisable not to. This foam roller is rechargeable, and once the battery is fully charged, there’s an incredible 10-hours of run time.
This foam roller is medium-density, so perfect for most people as it’s in between soft and hard. It is 11-in long and has a diameter of 5.5-in, so it is greatly portable. I didn’t find any annoying buzzing even on the highest speed and vibration settings, and I believe this product to be highly durable; it feels firm, sturdy, and robust. There is a 1-year, no-quibble refund through CubeFit.
- Different Speed and Vibration Settings to Find Your Perfect Combination
- Easy to Use
- Automatic Shut off Feature
- 10-Hours Battery Life
- Highly Durable
- Medium Density
- 1-Year, No-Quibble, Refund Policy
- Around a Week Delivery Time
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Using a foam roller that is too hard can lead to bruising and pain, while a foam roller that’s too soft can result in inadequate pressure. Softer rollers are better for people just starting out, as they are more comfortable to use initially. Still, firmer ones are more durable in general and result in more penetrative massage.
If in doubt, a medium-density roller is a safe choice.
Answer: Foam rollers do cause a little pain when using, but it’s important to look at the bigger picture and the overall agenda. Deep tissue foam rollers can be especially painful (around 8/10 on the pain scale), but they do ultimately provide long-lasting pain relief.
Deep tissue foam rollers are designed for advanced athletes who have deeper layers of tighter muscles.
Answer: Vibrating foam rollers are the ultimate product for those serious about relief.
This type of foam roller provides a deep tissue massage and ups the ante with vibration technology. A great benefit of this type of roller is that the pain of the actual massage is significantly reduced, and the relaxation aspect is increased. If you’re going to use a foam roller regularly, then a vibrating roller could be an excellent investment.
The Best Foam Roller – My Verdict
If you’re still undecided about foam rollers, I recommend giving the Yes4All Foam Roller a chance. It is highly affordable, has plenty of purchasing options, and has excellent ratings online. It is a high-density roller and can support up to 300 lb. Although high-density is often preferred by regular users, I found this comfortable and straightforward to use.
The LuxFit Foam Roller is another budget-friendly option, which features an extra-firm grip and comes with a free online instructional video; excellent for first-time users. The LuxFit Foam Roller is firm but comfortable and comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
For those looking to upgrade their current foam rollers or people who want to try the best of the best in this field, the Zyllion Rechargeable Vibrating Foam Roller and the CubeFit Rechargeable Vibrating Foam Roller are both excellent choices. Although expensive, these products truly enhance the massage experience with various speed and vibration settings.
My top choice is the 321 STRONG Foam Roller. I found this to tick most boxes for me; it’s medium-density, affordable, lightweight, and portable. I believe it to be remarkably durable and love the EVA tread with triple grid 3D massage points. There are many color options to suit all preferences, but consumers have to wait around a week for delivery.