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Whether you’re gearing up for athletics, enjoy massages, or just have some sore muscles, a foam roller may be a good investment.

These lightweight cylindrical tubes are made of compressed foam and come in a variety of sizes and firmness levels. Notably, they can be used as a method of self-myofascial release (SMR), which is meant to help relax certain tissues.

Foam rollers are generally used before or after working out. They’re useful for relieving muscle tension, soreness, and inflammation, as well as increasing range of motion.

We’ve compiled some of the best foam rollers on the market below. Here are the criteria we considered:

  • Uses and attributes. Products suit a variety of functions, such as muscle release and extended range of motion. They also feature a range of textures and firmnesses.
  • Durability. These foam rollers hold up well over time.
  • Price. To suit a variety of budgets, costs range from high end to affordable.
  • Customer reviews. Customers have given these foam rollers high ratings.

Best overall

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

  • Density/firmness: medium
  • Size: 13 × 5.5 inches (33 × 14 cm)
  • Weight limit: 500 pounds (227 kg)
  • Warranty from manufacturer: 1 year

Price: $$

Looking for a roller that will stand the test of time? The TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller’s core helps it keep its shape even after years of use.

It’s best if you’re seeking a fairly firm roller with a ridged surface. This roller’s bumps and ridges not only simulate a hands-on massage but also get deep into your tissue if you want deeper pressure.

This product comes in bright, fun colors and includes access to free online instructional videos from fitness experts at TriggerPoint.

Best for travel

Brazyn Morph Collapsible Foam Roller

  • Density/firmness: medium to high
  • Size: 14.5 × 5.5 inches (37 × 14 cm)
  • Materials: bamboo and recyclable aluminum
  • Weight limit: 350 pounds (159 kg)

Price: $$$

Foam rollers aren’t always great for packing, but the Brazyn Morph Collapsible Roller has solved this common problem.

When folded down, this fully collapsable roller is only 1.9 inches (4.8 cm) thick, so it’ll easily fit into your gym bag or carry-on luggage. It also weighs only 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg).

The foam is on the softer side, and it’s easy to collapse by pushing on the disks on the end of the roller. It’s also easy to return to normal roller shape with a tug on the pull ropes.

Note that some customers reported their rollers collapsing on them during use.

Cheaper travel alternative

Gaiam Restore Compact Foam Roller

  • Density/firmness: medium
  • Size: 12 × 4 inches (30.5 × 10 cm)

Price: $

Looking for a cheaper alternative? The Gaiam Restore Compact Foam Roller doesn’t fully break down like the Brazyn Morph Collapsible Roller, but its small size makes it easy to carry around anywhere.

It’s a moderate density option that offers texturing on the roller. Many customers felt it was a steal given the rigorous arm and leg work it allows.

Best value

Amazon Basics High Density Round Foam Roller

  • Density/firmness: high
  • Size: 36 × 6 inches (91.5 × 15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.84 pounds (0.38 kg)

Price: $

The Amazon Basic High Density Round Foam Roller is a no-frills option with high customer reviews.

The texture on a roller may help stimulate muscles, but a smooth roller distributes pressure evenly when massaging muscles (especially if it’s high density). This even distribution of pressure may help prevent bruising.

Thus, though this Amazon Basic product doesn’t have texture, it’s still very effective.

Best medium density

OPTP LoRox Aligned Foam Roller

  • Density/firmness: medium
  • Size: 36 × 6 inches (91.5 × 15 cm)
  • Materials: EVA foam
  • Weight: 1.96 pounds (0.89 kg)

Price: $$$

Looking for something a little easier on the muscles?

The OPTP LoRox Aligned Foam Roller has a medium density that’s ideal for therapeutic work, warming up, or relaxing muscles after stretching.

Best high density

LuxFit High Density Foam Roller

  • Density/firmness: firmness
  • Sizes: 12 × 6 inches (30.5 × 15 cm), 18 × 6 inches (46 × 15 cm), 36 × 6 inches (91.5 × 15 cm)
  • Weight: 6.7 ounces (190 grams)
  • Warranty from manufacturer: 1 year

Price: $

The LuxFit High Density Foam Roller is designed with a smooth outside surface.

It’s available in three sizes and extremely light. It also comes with a 1-year warranty.

Moreover, it’s very competitively priced.

Best half roller

OPTP PRO-Roller Soft Half Foam Roller

  • Density/firmness: low
  • Size: 36 × 6 × 3 inches (91.5 × 15 × 7.5 cm)

Price: $$

The soft foam of this roller is ideal for gentle massage or support during balance and stability exercises. One of the benefits of this half roller is the ease of cleaning its closed foam.

Most versatile

TRX Rocker Myofascial Tool

  • Density/firmness: high
  • Length: 13 or 26 inches (33 or 66 cm)

Price: $$

This roller’s unusual hollow core and sharp edge allow for three intensity levels, which range from low to high pressure depending on the angle and side. This range of pressures means that this product can take the place of several types of rollers.

The manufacturer encourages using a rocking motion instead of a rolling motion to maximize intensity.

Best vibrating

Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller

  • Density/firmness: medium
  • Size: 11.6 × 5.3 inches (29.5 × 13.5 cm)
  • Weight: 3 pounds (1.5 kg)

Price: $$$$

If you’re looking for more muscle stimulation than what’s provided by a standard foam roller, a vibrating roller may be what you need.

The manufacturer claims that this particular roller can increase mobility by 40%, compared with the normal 18% improvement of regular foam rolling.
It offers a total of three vibration settings.

It’s also cordless and compact, so it’s easy to take with you on the go. What’s more, it’s dual-sized, offering both grooved and smooth options depending on your preferences.

Best stick

Tiger Tail Massage Stick

  • Density/firmness: medium
  • Length: 18 inches (46 cm)
  • Warranty: 3 years

Price: $$

The long and lightweight style of this stick means it’s easy to angle into any part of your body.

The foam covering also ensures that you won’t accidentally cause discomfort by digging in too far.

Importantly, the rubber grips won’t shift in your hands as you apply pressure to your sore muscles.

While you won’t be able to get the same amount of pressure on your muscles as when using a traditional foam roller, you can easily take this stick on the go or keep it at your desk at work.

To narrow down your search for the best foam roller, consider the following::

  • What you intend to use it for. Do you need pain relief? Are you looking to exercise with it?
  • The appropriate size. Based on how you intend to use it and your body size, does a big or small roller make more sense?
  • Firmness and additional features. Do you need a firmer roller for muscle massage? Are you looking for one with ridges or a smooth surface? Finally, do you want one with heating or vibrating capabilities?
  • Price point. How much can you budget for a foam roller?
  • Customer reviews. Especially if you’re planning on buying your foam roller online, reviews can give helpful information about the materials and firmness.

Whether you’re adding to your home gym or need something to massage your sore muscles, a foam roller can be a useful piece of equipment to own.

The list above can help get you started on your search.