Best Foam Rollers

Best Foam Rollers to Relieve Sore Muscles and Aid Muscle Recovery

I am certain that you have seen foam rollers before. They are stocked in many sporting goods stores and even in the fitness section at general merchandise retailers like Walmart. But if you are anything like me, you may have mistaken foam rollers for pool noodles.

I suppose you can use foam rollers for pool-side activities as well. However, as much fun as they are to whack others with, foam rollers are extremely valuable in aiding muscle rehabilitation. Foam rollers are gaining popularity as we begin to realize the benefits of soft tissue massages.

Foam rollers are versatile as they can be used both before and after exercises. They help loosen muscles before an exercise and aid in muscle recovery post-exercise. Whether you are a beginner or master roller, these are the best foam rollers on the market!

Our Top Rated Foam Roller to Speed Up Recovery

USA Extra Firm High Density Foam Rollers

USA Extra Firm High Density Foam Roller

Comparison Table

Buying Guide

What is the best foam roller for me?

The first question you should ask yourself is “what kind of benefits would I like to get out of a foam roller?”. For example, are you looking for the best foam roller for cellulite or the best foam roller for shin splints?

Maybe you do not even know the advantages of a foam roller. Do not worry, by the end of this article, you will understand the benefits that foam rollers provide and be able to make an informed purchase!

What is Myofascial Release?

“What fascial what release? Why the heck do I need to know what this means? I just want to know about foam rollers!”

Have patience! Myofascial release is important to understand in order to know how and why foam rollers work. You definitely want to have a good understanding of the investment you are about to make, right?

According to the Myofascial Release Seminars, “myofascial release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue to eliminate pain and restore motion.”

Foam rollers help provide this pressure in a gentle and consistent way to facilitate myofascial release. Of course, this treatment can be applied with various tools but foam rollers are an ideal instrument as they have been proven to be helpful and are relatively safe if handled properly.

Types of Foam Rollers

In the past, most foam rollers followed a similar appearance to that of a pool noodle. They were advertised as a “one size fits all” product. While that may have made the consumer’s choice easier, one “standard” product working for everyone is absolutely not true.

Today, if you Google “foam rollers”, you will see a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, etc. While this may seem daunting for a first time purchaser (or if this is your 100th one!), do not fret as this abundance is an advantage for you! As opposed to before, you now have the ability to choose a foam roller that will fulfill your specific needs.

Our personal opinion is that consumers should have multiple foam rollers with various functions. Having a variety of rollers that serves different purposes will be advantageous as you can choose the best one for every situation.

Standard Density Foam Rollers

These types of rollers have a medium firmness and are the most common type as they have a variety of functions. They are good for both massages and exercise. The firmness level of these rollers are ideal for deep massages while still retaining a moderate cushion. These rollers are great for yoga and other similar exercises.

Soft Density Foam Rollers

Soft foam rollers have more cushion and are designed for those who are looking for more comfort while still getting a great massage. While not as penetrative as other types in regards to massages, this roller is gentler on the muscles and is still able to provide sufficient pressure to desired locations.

Firm Density Foam Rollers

These foam rollers are ideal for those looking for a more intense massage. This kind of firmness is great for athletes or other highly active individuals as proper usage will help alleviate tight and tense muscles. This roller is great for generating intense myofascial release to alleviate pain and aid in muscle recovery.

Sizes and Shapes

In addition to the firmness of the rollers, consumers now have a variety of sizes and shapes to choose from. In all honesty, there are too many manufactures producing numerous variations for us to touch on.

Keep in mind that the firmness of a foam roller should be the main deciding factor of your purchase. However, the various sizes and shapes will also be an attraction for many. The different sizes and shapes will be more beneficial in different situations.

You may also want to take into account the transportation and storage of your new investment. Our advice is to pick one (actually, a couple) that you think is the most reasonable for your situation.

Best Foam Rollers

USA Extra Firm High Density Foam Roller

The USA Extra Firm High Density Foam is an excellent foam roller for alleviating sore muscles and improving muscle recovery times. It is one of the best high density foam rollers. Because of its quality manufacturing and material choice, you will not have to worry about it losing shape after heavy use.

This foam roller is constructed from molded polypropylene foam technology. The surface is smooth and also repels liquids such as sweat. There are dots sprinkled around the roller that is meant to grip your clothes, skin, or the flood to prevent slips.

Additionally, the foam roller is constructed to withstand prolonged and intense usage. This roller also does not suffer from chipping as others do. These factors will make this a great investment for years to come!

This product is great for exercises involving balance, flexibility, and strengthening. For instance, you can use this roller for physical therapy, Pilates, yoga, and massage therapy to name a few. With proper usage, you will experience relief from muscle tensions and tightness.

This is also the best foam roller for lower back pain as it’s high density helps penetrate deep into your muscles to provide intense myofascial release. Customers have reported that this product replaced the chiropractor. While we do not make any claims, we agree that this roller can be a great addition to a chiropractor.

This foam roller can also be used as an exercise equipment. You can perform planks while rolling on various body parts. Just make sure to do research and always keep safety a priority!

This roller also comes in a variety of colors and size options that will surely attract anyone. You can choose different sizes according to your needs and colors to your preferences. Moreover, this foam roller has a longer diameter than other foam rollers that will increase its relief functions.

Things We Liked

  • 3 year warranty
  • Different size and color options
  • Extremely firm
  • Longer diameter than others

Things We Didn't Like

  • May take some time to get used to firmness

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

The TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller is one of the best foam rollers for physical therapy. It has a small form factor so it can easily be applied to almost any location on the body for treatment. Its size also makes it easy to transport and store.

The patented foam roller design consists of a multi-density exterior and a rigid, hollow core. This unique design makes it ideal for tight muscles, knots, and kinks. The high-quality build material will not break down or lose shape after repeated use.

This foam roller is trusted and recommended by professionals like physical and massage therapists, coaches, trainers, and athletes themselves. It serves as a great way to relieve pain and improve flexibility.

The construction is very durable and the product can support up to five-hundred pounds. Unless you are intentionally trying to damage the roller, it will last for a very long time! However, the firmness and design of the roller may take some time to get used to.

It is recommended that you relax into a painful spot and do not use it in the same area for more than twenty seconds because it may be painful. Consumers have found exhaling longer than inhaling to help when rolling over an especially painful location. Despite its firmness, it is very comfortable while rolling!

The design of the roller makes it feel as if a massage therapist’s hand is massaging your muscles to channel blood, improve oxygen flow, and heal issue. You can use this roller to prepare your body for peak performance through its numerous benefits.

This is a great product to help tightness and tensions in sore muscles in the back or shoulder. Using the product as directed will help you get back to doing what you love through faster recovery and also improve your circulation, flexibility, balance, and mobility.

In addition to all of this, there are exercises on the packaging to help get you started. Furthermore, there are free online instructional videos to help you further improve your usage.

Things We Liked

  • Unique and durable design
  • Smaller form factor
  • Free online instructional videos

Things We Didn't Like

  • Smaller size may not cover entire body section desired
Athren Foam Roller for Muscle Massage

The Athren Foam Roller for Muscle Massage is a great addition to any exercise gear collection. It is like having your very own physiotherapist. The unique design aids with physical therapy, myofascial release, cramp relief, tight muscles, and more!

This foam roller consists of three different pressure zones that each help fulfill different needs based on the contours. The FingerZone makes it feel as if fingers and thumbs are massaging your body. The TipZone replicates the feeling of fingertips. The PalmZone imitates the feeling of palms.

The firm material provides superior rolling and is trusted by physical therapists, athletes, and bodybuilders. The premium material is durable yet lightweight. It is constructed of high-density material that will not break down or lose shape.

Despite being hollow, it build is solid and does not flex. However, users are rarely putting their entire body weight on the roller. Most of the time, it is just sections of their body. However, we are confident that the roller will be able to withstand most situations.

On the other hand, it is still soft to the touch. The rubberized foam is firm but gentle when massaging parts of your body. It is great for muscle soreness relief, extra flexibility, and swift injury recovery. You can use it on a variety of body parts like hamstrings, back, shoulders, and more!

The small form factor and its light weight makes the roller easy to transport. It will easily fit inside your sports bag. Yet, it is still large enough to cover the main part of your back and other medium sized body sections.

The packaging comes with an instruction sheet with six leg exercises so you know that this is the best foam roller for runners! Users have also found relief for shin splints so definitely check this out if you are experiencing pain in those areas!

Things We Liked

  • Small form factor
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 3 different pressure zones
  • Lightweight
  • Portable

Things We Didn't Like

  • May be too firm for some
  • Different pressure zones does not provide uniform pressure when rolling
Rolling With It The Foam Roller

The Rolling With It The Foam Roller is the best foam roller for beginners and advanced users alike. There are different sizes to choose from so that it can best fit your needs. This product is great for physical and muscle therapy, mobility, and flexibility.

This foam roller is constructed from professional grade EVA foam that is more eco-friendly. EVA foam does not use chlorine and it 100% recyclable. In addition to being great for the environment, the foam creates a soft exterior that is good at loosening tight muscles for lasting relief.

The materials used will help the roller retain its shape even after prolonged use or under high pressure. The product will not flake or chip due to its quality build material. As a result, it is recommended by many professional chiropractors and personal trainers.

It is recommended to use this foam roller daily to get the maximum benefits. Rolling with the roller will prevent soreness from a variety of activities like Crossfit, Pilates, bodybuilding, and weight training. This foam roller is a must have if your goal is to speed up recovery!

Although the exterior portion is soft and comfortable, the core is firm to provide sufficient pressure to increase recovery and improve flexibility. Using this as suggested will keep fascia tissue healthy with fresh, oxygenated blood that is essential for regenerating muscles.

There is a slight chemical odor when first removing the roller from its packaging but that will go away in a few days so do not fret. You may leave the roller in ventilated space to reduce the time to remove the smell.

Overall, this foam roller is a great item for beginners because of it’s versatility. Advanced users can also benefit from this roller by incorporating it into exercises as well. It is comfortable but also firm enough for the requirements of most.

Things We Liked

  • Eco-friendly
  • Soft exterior and firm core
  • Versatile

Things We Didn't Like

  • Initial chemical odor that fades after a few days
Nordic Lifting Foam Roller

The Nordic Lifting Foam Roller is the best foam roller for backs on the market! It is built from 100% recycle EVA material that is supposed to outlast other materials. Rolling and stretching with this product will alleviate both lower and upper back pains.

This foam roller comes with two sections that will provide specific use cases for different situations. One section of the roller has flatter extensions that acts like palms. The other portion has more crevices that simulates thumbs.

Combined, these two sections help provide relief for ailments like muscle pain, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, and general back pain. The design helps target deep tissue to speed up recovery and improve performance.

Consumers can use this product to replace or in addition to professional physical therapy to perform deep tissue massages. Proper usage will result in the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries.

Furthermore, the design of this foam roller does not contain a central pipe that many other rollers have. This provides more safety as there is nothing in the center to crack. The roller can handle up to 500 pound with ease so you should not have anything to worry about in that regard!

The product also comes bundled with a carry bag. Together with the bag and the roller’s size, portability and storage should be convenient. However, there is a plastic odor that comes from the packaging but that should fade with time.

The design is more effective than a flat roller as it simulates a real professional massage session. Furthermore, you can use certain portions in different situations depending on the desired outcome. The contours may be rougher than a flat design at first but most consumers grow comfortable with the layout quickly.

Things We Liked

  • 1 year warranty
  • Carry bag included
  • Portable
  • Unique and effective design
  • Two sections for versatility

Things We Didn't Like

  • May need to be creative to use on certain locations and positions
  • Initial plastic odor that fades after a few days

Yes4All Premium High Density Foam Roller

The Yes4All Premium High Density Foam Roller is one of the top rated foam rollers. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes so you can pick the one that best fits your needs!

There are various sizes that accommodates traveling, rolling specific area, and ease of use. The 24” roller variation is the most common and is versatile enough for most people’s requirements.

This foam roller is constructed from high density EPP that is designed to provide a deeper massage than standard foam rollers. As such, the roller is extra firm and is recommended to be used for intermediate users and above.

The product is a full-size roller but is very lightweight at about 12 ounces. The roller supports up to 300 pounds and will retain its shape for years. It is ideal for physical therapy, pre and post workouts, stretching, and everyday use.

Using this product as instructed will also improve muscle mobility, flexibility, and prevent soreness from many activities like running and weightlifting. It will release muscle tightness and trigger points when used on the desired areas.

Additionally, this roller is great for warm-up and exercising prior to strenuous activities. It will help ensure that your muscles are properly warmed up to prevent injuries and pain. This particular roller is great as the premium high density EPP material is 30% heavier and firmer than ones from the same class.

This roller is okay to be used nightly to recover from any muscle tensions throughout the day. Doing so will have you waking up feel refreshed and less tense! Usage will also help you stabilize your core.

There have been complaints of inconsistency and bumpiness but if you have any worries, their 1 year warranty should alleviate that as they will replace or refund the product if you are not fully satisfied.

Things We Liked

  • High density EPP material
  • 1 year warranty
  • Daily usage great for recovery and mobility

Things We Didn't Like

  • Complaints of bumpiness
SmarterLife Foam Roller

The SmarterLife Foam Roller would be a great addition to your arsenal of exercise equipment. Its small form factor makes it easy to bring with you to the gym and anywhere else you would want! It is an essential element of any workout regimen.

The foam roller comes with a drawstring travel pouch with shoulder straps, making transportation a breeze. There is also an exercise guide and eBook that comes with the purchase so you are getting a lot for your investment.

This roller will help facilitate myofascial release, lactic acid purging, and deep tissue massages. You can use the product on a variety of body parts like the lower back, legs, neck, hamstrings, and shoulders.

It can be considered the best foam roller for cyclists because of its design and contours. The trigger point grid helps in deep tissue release of tight muscles. Using this foam roller regularly will prevent body aches and pain while speeding up recovery time.

The foam roller is made from high quality non-toxic EVA foam that is free from latex, PVC, glues, phthalates, toluene, and chloride. The roller features a dual contour design with two surfaces for different applications.

One surface is for higher intensity aggressive deep tissue massage while the other is for less aggressive soft tissue massage. Essentially, you will be getting two uses out of one product!

Correct usage will correct muscle imbalance, boost immune system, and improve range of motion. This particular roller is recommended by professionals for its benefits and its durability. It is able to support up to 500 pounds!

Furthermore, it is built to prevent slips which can cause serious injuries. It is also easy to clean and if you are unsatisfied at any time with the product, there is a lifetime 100% money back guarantee.

Things We Liked

  • Lifetime 100% money back guarantee
  • Drawstring travel pouch, exercise guide, and eBook included
  • Made with EVA material
  • Multi-use with two different contours

Things We Didn't Like

  • Size may not be a good fit for some

Closing Thoughts

We hope that our advice and foam roller reviews helped you make an informed purchase decision. We truly believe that with the proper usage, foam rollers can definitely improve your life through pain relief and muscle recovery.

Remember to exercise safety when using a foam roller. While it may look like a pool noodle, it is not a toy! You can cause serious harm to your body if you misuse it. Please consult the safety manual or your doctor if you have any concerns.

If you are interested in more ways of treating your body well and relieving pain, check out our recommendations for the best back massagers ​and the best heating pads.

If you have any thoughts on what we wrote or if you have any advice for beginner foam rollers, feel free to leave a comment!

About the Author Healthy Tens

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