Which is the best foam roller for micro-tears and knots? Buyer’s guide with long-term review based on age, utility, and 9 other factors.
The Best Foam Rollers Chosen from Amazon
- TRX Foam Rollers
- Amazon Basics Foam Rollers
- Zyllion Vibrating Foam roller
- Vulken Extra long Vibrating Foam roller
- The Ultimate Back roller
- Vibrating Foam Roller for Physical Therapy and Exercise
- Estley 2 in 1 Yoga wheel
Using the Table of contents, Slide to the end to read reviews.
Guide to choosing the best foam rollers
Before choosing the foam rollers, it is best when you read the GUIDE and reviews to get a better understanding of their functionalities. I have simplified the process by attaching the reviews of amazon buyers and also from the people who are close to me. The site gets frequently updated as soon as we find an excellent product that can replace the ones on the list!
Check out the workout guide on How to use a foam roller for muscle pain relief if you have any doubts about the effective ways of using it along with benefits. Primarily I have distinguished the foam rollers based on their size, density, and technical qualities, and later on, moved to review based on user experiences. In this way, you might get a deep insight into how to choose the best foam rollers.
How to Choose the best Foam rollers based on size
The Length of the foam roller is the obvious parameter that you will encounter. Based on your body size, choose the length. The length of the roller may be anywhere between 30 cm and 90 cm and targeted for specific body parts.
The Foam rollers, with a length of 12 inches and 18 inches are used to relax back muscles, shoulders, legs, and arms. I use the lengthiest 36 inches rollers to roll the entire body muscles, including IT band, adductors, quad muscles, and upper back.
Based on diameter
The rollers with a wider diameter are not suitable for relaxing small muscle groups. Choose a narrow foam roller as it can adjust to spaces. The smaller the diameter the contact concentration of the foam roller increases. The 6 inch diameter is most commonly available and recommended by trainers.
The foam rollers with a smaller diameter of 6 inches and a length of 12 inches are well portable and can fit into any space.
Based on user’s preferences
I have shared the user’s experience based on the length of foam roller they use.
12 inch Foam roller
Her Experience: “I use the 12 inches foam roller to work out muscle groups like upper side lats, arms, calves, IT band especially those with bumpy trigger points. I take it often to my gym”
18 and 24 inches Foam roller
His Experience: “I use it after an intense workout to relax my upper back, hamstrings, quads. I prefer bumpy ones as they can dig deep into my muscles.”
36 inches Foam roller,
His Experience: “My age is 62, I tried bumpy ones, it’s just too hard for my muscles. I use the 36” medium density rollers with no bumps to reduce stiffness in my upper back, calves, hamstrings also when doing yoga.
How to choose based on density
As we dig deeper into the foam roller construction, another category for choosing a foam roller is discovered. Best foam rollers for pain relief are……..
We can classify it based on the density as of high density, medium density, and low-density rollers.
- Low Density
Aged people who just started working out can use low-density ones, as it has a very mild impact on our body. I recommend it for seniors to aid in yoga.
It is best to use a medium density for beginners as it helps in recovery comparatively fast. The low density foam roller is less expensive. A white color foam roller usually comes with low-density material.
2. Medium Density
The Best foam roller for beginners, as it does not dig deep into muscles. It is still good for relieving pain from muscle strain after a good workout. It is comparatively less expensive when compared to high-density foam rollers.
I have seen women preferring medium density more often than men as it comes with colorful options.
3. High Density
High-density foam rollers are the best for bodybuilders. Made of polyethylene foam material, it can give a deep tissue massage. Athletes, cyclists use it after the practice session to recover from muscle strain.
Roller with hard spikes, medium-density spikes, round bumps is high-density variations for separate intensity functionalities. Personally, I use these to relieve pain and enhance productivity as it loosens knot-prone muscles which in turn relaxes the mind.
High-density foam rollers come with black color or red color to show-off their aggressiveness. Best foam rollers are found in this category.
How to choose based on technical qualities
I have categorized the foam rollers based on their functionalities and effectiveness to get a better understanding.
Vibrating foam rollers
The one super tool used by hardcore athletes to workout their entire muscle network. Why I called it a super tool? It has got the effectiveness of a massager and a foam roller combined! You can change speed of the vibration using the speed settings, which comes with a maximum of 5 levels.
What does the vibration do to your body?
The Friction happening due to vibration of the foam roller increases the kinetic energy which inturn raises body temperature and loosens the muscles reasonably. It lowers the recovery period of muscle strain.
If you need to experience a faster recovery after an intense workout, then these are game changers. Not to mention, the vibrating foam roller ranked in the 7 best foam rollers list!
Hexagonal massage rollers
These are more of a research-backed type of rollers that have the pattern of hexagonal spikes. The pattern makes the roller contact more areas with one repetition. You can use it to hit back muscles, quads, hamstrings, but the price is a little higher but with almost the same functionality of a trigger point roller.
Grid rollers are the most popular ones as it does not provide a deep tissue impact but reasonably good pain relief. It comes with a pattern that feels like fingertips, palm, and fingers. It is suitable for every single person on the planet.
Here comes my favorite foam roller: the spikes pattern. It can come either with a medium firm spike or a sturdy spike. Fitness industries made specifically these to target the high density muscles like the back muscles, hamstrings, and quads.
Bodybuilders love these. They provide a deep muscle penetration, which feels like a deep tissue massage. They feel a drastic change in their mobility as it easily reduces muscle stiffness, but in turn, comes with a lot of pain while using it. It got recruited into our 7 best foam rollers list!
Mini massage rollers
These are used to target minute regions. You can pick it up and use it as per your wishes. It is light weighted, mostly comes with a firm steel core and a bumpy pattern to target trigger points.
Extremely portable and reasonably priced but still useful only for athletes as there are better targeting options for normal users.
Eva foam rollers
Ethyl Vinyl Acetate foam rollers are durable when compared to polyethylene foam rollers. The rubber-like but firmer material is suitable for all age groups and safe to add to your recovery routine.
Semicircle foam roller
Used often in therapy sessions. Physios recommend these for seniors.
Foundation of a foam roller
The Engineers and physicists are insane. For something as little as a foam roller, they study the pattern, stress-strain ratios, material durability, wear-and-tear factors, and finally bless us with the best designs to use.
Closed-cell foam rollers are usually the firmer ones that have longevity. It could be your best workout partner! The Eva or Epp material is stuffed inside for heavy-duty. Closed-cell takes the ranking of the 3 best foam rollers we suggest.
These are high strength foam rollers with mind-blowing durability. I have one foam roller made of Ethyl-vinyl acetate for almost 4 years! Often found in Pilates studios, gyms and physiotherapy clinics, they offer the best value for money.
Best foam rollers that are worth your money comes under EVA material.
Expanded Polypropylene materials are bead-like structures stuffed inside the foam rollers. These are light-weighted and can float because of less density.
EPO (Expanded Polyolefin) is another material used for foam rollers and RC toy planes. Since it comes with a better glossy finish, light- weighted, they used it in top end foam rollers. It is quite expensive but can be manufactured fast.
Open cell or Hollow
Open cell is just visually appealing and is less durable. It has a hollow frame and is light-weighted.
Precautions before using or buying a foam roller
As the firmness of the spikes around the foam rollers increases, the pain due to penetration of spikes inside muscle tissues increases. Take into consideration the level of pain you could handle.
Firmness of spikes ∝ pain due to penetration
For athletes and bodybuilders, firm spikes are very useful. For seniors, medium-density foams are perfect. For regular users like office workers, I recommend foam rollers with low firmness in spikes. If you have medical complications, CONSULT A DOCTOR before buying or using it.
The foam roller costs anywhere between $25 bucks and $200 bucks. For aggressive users, investing in a nice and best foam roller like a vibrational roller could benefit in the longer run.
Based on your lifestyle, you can buy the type of foam roller you need. If you travel a lot, a mini foam roller can be quite a suitable partner. A vibrational foam roller of 18″ still won’t take a bigger boot space. For daily gym use, a regular foam roller like TRX works perfectly, which also ranks the top spot in the best foam rollers list.
Reviews for the Best foam rollers:
Why these rollers became the best right now in Amazon?
- TRX Foam Rollers
It is a high density roller that provides a deep tissue massage feeling. The spikes are medium firm and durable, so you need not worry about its longevity. This myofascial roller can heal muscle strains instantly by increasing insane blood flow. No wonder how it got ranked in the best foam rollers list.
- Best value for money
- Medium firm spikes
- Extremely Durable and suitable for daily use.
- Useful for athletes, dancers, office workers in increasing blood flow.
- None found
2. Amazon Basics Foam Rollers
These are the best foam rollers for beginners and seniors as they can break up soft tissue adhesions and scar tissues. Suitable for all body parts and comes with varying lengths.
- User flexibility.
- Increases blood circulation.
- Extremely Affordable
- Not so impactful on deep muscles.
3. Zyllion Vibrating Foam roller
The Best foam rollers would be incomplete without a vibrating foam roller. The only reason it came down to 3rd in the list is the cost factor.
- Dramatic recovery from muscle damage or strains
- Deep stress relief
- In-built massager.
- Adjustable speeds
- Self-myofascial release.
- 1-year warranty
- High density
- None found by us.
4. Vulken Extra long Vibrating Foam roller
The Vulken 17″ foam roller comes with a 4-speed vibration setting. The best foam rollers that vibrate comes with:
1st and 2nd speed for warming up muscle groups.
2nd level for relaxing muscles.
3rd level for removing muscle knots and relieving tension.
- 1-year warranty
- In-built massager
- None found in particular.
5. The Ultimate Back roller
The tall design made it stand out from other conventional models. It can easily decompress the spine. Spine compression occurs because of wrong sitting behavior, which may also lead to a herniated disc. The best foam rollers for office workers and beginners.
- Unique tall design
- Protects spine from compression
- best foam rollers for back pain
- Upper back focused product
- Open cell foam roller
6. Heating Vibrating Massage Ball Foam Roller Ball
The peanut-shaped Vibe roller is a trigger point pro. The vibrations are up to 4 levels: warm-up level for the first 2 speeds, 3rd speed relaxes the muscle, 4th speed aids in the self-myofascial release.
- Lifetime warranty
- Sweat proof, splash proof, wear-resistant.
- Body pain relief
- Nothing in particular.
7. Estley 2 in 1 Yoga wheel
Absolutely insane product with firm spikes. The must-have roller for elite athletes, dancers, trainers, and physiotherapists. The best foam rollers for back pain.
- Enhanced Blood flow
- Relieves pain
- Comes with a small spike ball for foot-arch massage.
- 1-year warranty.
- Upper back focused product.
- Pain full recovery method
Is it Ok to foam roll every day?
We recommend foam roll every day as a post-workout cooldown process for muscles. Foam rolling is necessary to increase blood circulation, relaxing muscle stiffness. Office workers can foam roll every alternate day. Choosing the best foam rollers can be helpful.
How many times a day should you foam roll?
Office workers can foam roll once per day. For elite athletes, foam rolling twice is necessary to support both the pre and post-workout warm-up and cool-down process.
Why does foam roll hurt so much?
Based on the firmness of foam roller’s spike texture, the pain varieties. The best foam rollers come with medium-firm spikes for faster recovery because of deep tissue penetration. The muscle knot removal process is always painful. Painless treatments do not work for all.
Is foam rolling better than stretching?
Foam rolling is a part of stretching, also known as Dynamic stretching. It is important to incorporate static stretching and dynamic stretching into your workout routine to warm up properly before a workout and cool down the body after a workout.
Is it safe to foam roll stomach?
Foam rolling stomach is safe but avoid using spiky foam rollers in that area. Yoga poses like the cobra pose can stretch stomach muscles much better than foam rollers and effective in reducing muscle sprains.
I have listed deep reviews of the best foam rollers available on Amazon since I use the no.1 roller from the list. Hope you share it with your community if you find this beneficial.
By the end of this article, you could be more confident as buying a good foam roller becomes an effortless task. I often get questions from my juniors and seniors like “how you manage to workout despite the tough field work?” My answer is just simple: “To Relieve pain, I enhanced my productivity and vice versa”.