Are you looking for a good foam roller to get that stress out of your muscles, to alleviate back pain or to use for other massaging purposes? With the huge selection of foam rollers and new brands claiming they have the best foam rollers 2016 every day it can be really confusing to decide on a good foam roller. We have personally tested the best selling foam rollers out now on the market and we have hand picked the highest quality ones so that you can find the best foam rollers to fit your needs.
Comparison chart of the Best Foam Rollers
|TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller(16 inch)||$$$$ (Click for 13% Discount)||26 x 5||Very Hard||(5 / 5)|
|ErgonFlow Foam Roller||$$$||36 x 6||Medium||(4 / 5)|
|Rumble Roller Full Size||$$$$||31 x 8||Very Hard||(4.5 / 5)|
|ProSource Sports Medicine Foam Roller||$$||24 x 6||Hard||(4.5 / 5)|
|OPTI PRO-ROLLER SOFT||$$$||36 x 6||Soft||(5 / 5)|
|Master of Muscle Foam Roller||$$||13 x 5||Hard||(4 / 5)|
|The Muscle Stick||$||17.8 x 1.5||Medium||(4 / 5)|
|EPE Black High Density Foam Roller||$||36 x 6||Medium||(4.5 / 5)|
What is a Foam Roller?
In 1987 a physical therapist named Sean Gallagher started experimenting by using foam rollers as a self-massage tool, and he made Broadway dancers try it out. Quickly, foam rolling became extremely popular among the dancers as an affordable self-massage tool. Physical therapists quickly picked up on this trend and started using foam rollers on their clients.
Foam Rollers are used for self-myofascial release. Self-myofascial release is the scientific term for self-massage, and the basic aim of foam rollers is to reduce muscle tension and release ‘trigger points’ all over the body. Trigger points are basically tension points around our muscles which are very irritable and cause inflammation and inflexibility.Unexplained pains often spread from these trigger points all over the body. These points can be identified by searching for the source of the pain when applying equal pressure to an area of the body. By self-massaging using a foam roller you are applying pressure all over the body and to these points which will aid in muscle recovery and you stimulate your muscles so that they can to perfect functioning. Using the best foam rollers will more effectively treat your muscles, low quality foam rollers will not work nearly as well. This used to be a technique that was only used by health care professionals, therapists, elite athletes and coaches but recently this has also been introduced to the general public and foam rollers have blown up in popularity ever since.
Types of Foam Rollers
Foam rollers are fairly simple in nature, they are simply cylinder shaped objects that can roll over a surface so that one can apply pressure to the body easily. However, there are different types of foam rollers, they differ in firmness, size, material and hardness. Every kind will give a different feeling and experience to the user.
- Soft foam rollers
As their title says these are pretty soft and aren’t nearly as painful as the other types but they also provide less pressure and thus less release of muscle tension and trigger points. These are usually pretty cheap and many people buy them for their first foam roller. These are often colored white. Good for beginners mostly.
- High density medium foam rollers
High density medium foam rollers are the market standard and they are usually made out of closed cell polyethylene foam or EVA foam. A twist is that the foam used in these rollers is very dense, so despite being made out of a soft material they are still pretty hard and can apply strong pressure all over the body. There are two different types, some of them have equal density all over but there are also some which have a ‘hard core’ but softer outside. The ones that are softer on the outside are recommended for beginners as they aren’t as painful. Also includes PVC foam rollers which have a PVC core and high density exterior.
- Hard foam rollers
These are very hard and commonly made out of a form of durable plastic, wood or synthetic material. Mostly grid textured and different patterns exist. They are often more expensive and provide greater pressure on the body but they are also more painful and it will take some time getting used to these. There are two variations of these, flat and textured. The flat ones are a bit less painful and more useful for beginners. Hard textured foam rollers are very painful when starting out but they also release trigger points more easily and they are better for muscle rolling and advanced users. Muscle rollers are mostly textured.
- Manual foam rollers
These are a bit different from the other types, commonly small and they are used with your hands. Most of them are quite hard with ridges, but you apply a lot less pressure since you don’t roll over them with your entire body but you simply roll them over the areas you want to massage with your hands.
Benefits of foam rolling
- Release muscle tension all over your body
- Increase your flexibility
- Relieve back pains and other aches
- Improve your posture
- Get rid of pain points
- Aids in muscle recovery
- It feels GREAT
Foam rolling has a lot of awesome benefits for little time investment. We believe that anybody can significantly improve their quality of life by taking a few minutes to foam roll every day. You will find that you will start looking forward to foam rolling every day. Cracking your spine and lower back with it is one of the best feelings of EVER. Foam rollers last a lifetime too, so all you need to do is pick one you like and you will enjoy it for life. It’s a small investment that will save you a lot of money on massage services.
Top 5 Best Foam Rollers Reviews (2016)
TriggerPoint Grid is the best foam roller we have tried out and tested – by far. It is very durable and firm, and The Grid is made of EVA Foam Over Hollow Core. The inner core is very hard and weight resistant, the outer foam is hard too however it has a little bit more leeway. The patented Grid design pattern is very helpful for working individual muscles and hitting those trigger points. TriggerPoint tried to come as close as possible to replicate a massage therapists’s hands which will help blood flow, heal tissue and repair muscle. It also comes in plenty of sizes so you can buy whichever fits your needs best. We felt like the Grid does a much better job at aligning the spine than other rollers we tested, and using it on the spine and for back pains is extremely satisfying. The quality is great, this thing is definitely built to last and I can hardly imagine having to replace it. The design is cool too, lots of people will come up to you to ask what kind of foam roller you have if they catch you using it. This is definitely our number one recommendation for those who want a firm high quality foam roller that feels great while feeling very close to an actual massage and doing its job properly.
Our Rating – (5 / 5)
The Rumble Roller is the best muscle roller on the market. Especially suited for bodybuilders, runners and athletes who intensively use muscles all over their bodies. The outside shell is textured, and the bumps are designed to be firm but flexible just like a massage therapist would feel on your skin. Using the Rumble Roller feels very similar to a deep tissue massage by a professional. It is specially designed to correctly hit deep trigger points all over your body, which is the benefit of a textured design in general. It is made out of a high quality hard foam type material which has been tested to be free of lead and phthalates. The bumps are a bit softer than the outside shell, they are designed to be firmer than your muscle tissue but much softer than bone so they only hit your muscles and deflect when they come in contact with your bones! This one is quite hard to get used to, so it’s probably better if you have some experience foam rolling with hard shelled rollers. But after you get used to it, it does it really feel great after a hard days work!
Our Rating – (4.5 / 5)
This one is for those that have never foam rolled before and prefer a soft, painless experience. This is the best soft foam roller we have tested out, and it being soft definitely doesn’t mean it won’t do its job properly. The PRO-ROLLER is surprisingly supportive while being gentle on the body at the same time. It’s made to last and made out of durable material, so you don’t have to worry about squashing it or anything like that. It’s optimal for gentle self-massage rolling, and the soft compression makes it so that exercises are easier than on harder rollers because it’s more stable. We tried putting a max weight of 350 pounds on it and it didn’t become squashed or change in shape, so this roller will definitely last you a long time. The price might be a bit higher than other traditional soft rollers, but the fact that it’s a lifetime purchase made out of quality material means it’s a worthwhile investment.
Our Rating – (5 / 5)
This professional grade sports medicine foam roller is a great softer alternative to the Rumble Roller at a lower price point. Designed as a ridged deep penetrative muscle roller, it is an amazing tool for any athlete to help in muscle recovery and reduce post-training soreness. It features a strong EVA foam center which ensures it will not dent, crack or break even under very heavy weights. It even comes with a lifetime limited warranty on top of that, so you can go wild on this thing if you so desire. It’s also a lot softer than the Rumble Rollers so it’s optimal for intermediate users and those with less pain tolerance, the grid is of medium hardness and has different patterns to massage your muscles with. It has differently sized large and small bumps so you can adjust to whatever pressure you want to put on your muscles. We recommend getting this one if you want a deep tissue roller that’s not too painful or hard to get used to, but be prepared as its shell is still very firm.
Our Rating – (4.5 / 5)
If you’re looking for a flat high density foam roller this is one of the best foam rollers on the market. As a great in-between to the harder foam rollers such as The Grid and softer ones like the OPTP PRO-ROLLER this one is suited for those who want to upgrade to a firmer foam roller but aren’t ready for the pressure of a textured ridged roller yet. It’s made out of molded EPE with a high density to make sure it won’t lose shape after heavy pressure and prolonged use. It’s made in their own factory in the USA to ensure all rollers are of high quality. When we got this the mail we were actually surprised at how firm and hard it was, don’t be fooled by the looks of it! It lives up to it’s high density title while still not being as painful as harder foam rollers, it’s definitely an upgrade from softer ones. The material feels good on bare skin and the little sticker at the sides of it looks pretty cool. An excellent choice for a first time foam roller for runners and athletes.
Our Rating – (4.5 / 5)