The best foam rollers you can buy to relieve your muscles

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

best foam roller

AmazonBasics/Business Insider

  • The best foam rollers keep their shape after many sessions of heavy-duty use, provide the level of pressure you need to loosen up muscles, and are built to last.
  • The AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller is our top pick because it has an affordable price tag, multiple size options, firm density, and resistance to water.
As a roller derby player, I get my unfair share of sore muscles and stiffness. Nothing compares to the pain after an intense derby tournament. Yet, I have to admit that I thought my teammates looked silly as they rolled along the floor with their foam rollers. Well, after researching the phenomenon, which is supported by personal trainers, massage therapists, physical therapists, and plenty of scientific research, it's clear that foam rollers are a smart cost-effective way to relieve sore muscles and loosen up any stiffness.Advertisement

Foam rollers work using a technique called self-myofascial release (SMR), which is basically a fancy way of saying "self-massage." You start to feel muscle knots and tightness when the fascia covering the muscles is restricted. The foam roller lengthens the fascia. Essentially, a foam roller is an inexpensive way to get a massage where and when you need it most.

Foam rollers come in all shapes and sizes, but the ideal size is generally about six inches in diameter and around 36 inches in length. This allows you to work most muscle groups and to use the roller in workouts. If you want to do deeper muscle work or target knots, textured foam rollers are an excellent solution. While most rollers work using gravity (e.g., your body pushes down on the roller to produce the massaging pressure), there are several handheld solutions that fit easily in your gym bag.

We should note that you may be able to use your health savings account (HSA) or flex spending account (FSA) to purchase a foam roller. Some plans require you to buy your roller from a physical therapist, chiropractor, or other medical professionals, so make sure you check with your provider before you buy.

We evaluated thousands of expert and customer reviews and ratings of dozens of different models before choosing the best foam rollers. In the end, the products that are included in our list are easy to use, effective at relieving muscles, and durable.

Here are the best foam rollers you can buy:

Updated on 01/03/2019 by Malarie Gokey: Updated prices and formatting.

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at


The best foam roller overall

The best foam roller overall
Why you'll love it: For a very affordable price, the AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller provides a deep tissue massage that will speed up your muscle recovery.

The AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller is made in the USA of polyethylene foam. Polyethylene is a popular foam roller material because it’s made of recycled polymers, is resistant to water and corrosive solvents, and it’s easy to clean. The edges of the roller are molded so you don’t suddenly get a sharp pain if you roll off the end. The roller has a 6-inch diameter and weighs 1.2 pounds if you buy the 36-inch long one.

The roller comes in seven different lengths ranging from 36-inches long to 12-inches long. As with all AmazonBasics products, Amazon provides a one-year limited warranty.

The Wirecutter also recommends this roller because it’s affordable, has a slight surface texture to prevent sliding, and it provides the level of firm density recommended by experts. The reviewers do caution that it may be a bit too firm for new users. Heavy also included the roller in its guide to the best foam rollers because of its dense molded polypropylene construction, it keeps its shape, and it comes in three sizes.

More than 1,800 customers give this roller a five-star rating. Reviewers have found that the AmazonBasics roller can be painful when it is your first time using it and if you have particularly fatigued muscles. However, buyers note that if you power through it will aid with post-workout recovery and make it so your body is ready to go again sooner.

The only complaint was that one buyer noted that the High-Density Round Foam Roller seemed to lose some of its firmness after a few months of use.

Pros: Firm density, three size options, durable, affordable

Cons: Beginners may find it to be too firm

Buy the AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller on Amazon for $19.89 (originally $20.99)

The best grid-textured foam roller

The best grid-textured foam roller
Why you'll love it: The TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller is the smart choice when you want to massage your knots or trigger points with several different surfaces.

The TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller is made of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam of varying densities and has a hollow core. EVA absorbs impact, is resistant to water and other elements, and is also easy to clean. The unique surface pattern of the Grid helps with rolling through kinks, knots, and tight muscles.

The Original Grid is 5.5-inches in diameter and 13-inches long, but you can get it in a number of different sizes. The Original has a weight limit of 500 pounds and comes with instructions as well as access to an online instructional video. TriggerPoint backs the quality of the Grid with a one-year warranty.

Heavy's writer was impressed with this roller's durability, targeted massaging, and compact size. However, the writer thought it was a bit pricey, short, and could be too intense for beginners. Truth of Building Muscle performed a thorough review and appreciated the color selection, the variety of surface options, and that the roller does not lose its shape.

The Original Grid Foam Roller from TriggerPoint has more than 2,900 four- and five-star reviews on Amazon. Several commenters found that this roller worked great for easing their sore backs and other muscles after workouts. Other users were impressed with how it loosened up muscles pre-workout. Though the surface is quite hard, reviewers noted that it’s still comfortable.

The only complaint we found was that there were instances of Amazon sellers sending out counterfeits of this roller (no logo, no packaging, etc.) Of course, Amazon will provide refunds or exchanges if this happens.

Pros: Multi-density, durable, keeps its shape, 500-pound weight limit

Cons: May be too short for some tasks

Buy the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller on Amazon for $34.99 and up (originally $39.99) Buy the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller from Walmart for $34.99

The best vibrating foam roller

The best vibrating foam roller
Why you'll love it: If simply rolling on a foam cylinder isn’t enough for your aching muscles, the HyperIce Vyper 3 Speed Vibrating Foam Roller might be just what you need.

The rugged outer shell of the HyperIce Vyper is made of polypropylene, which transfers vibration well, and features sixteen small ridges that dig into soft tissue. It measures six inches in diameter by 15-inches long and weighs four pounds. There are three intensity settings that range from 28 to 38 Hz. The Vyper is approved by the TSA for carrying on board flights, and it is backed by a one-year warranty.

Two of the high-profile owners of HyperIce are pro football running back Adrian Peterson and NBA star Blake Griffin, and other pro athletes in several other sports have tested and given the Vyper their seal of approval.

Gizmodo took a look at the Vyper when it was still trying to attract funding through Kickstarter. Needless to say, the Vyper easily surpassed its goal. The reviewer found the foam was firm and that the vibration settings were equally intense. But, they noted this was helpful for loosening tissues.

The Rx Review rated this roller highly because it is powerful and portable. However, they didn’t like how short it is and that you have to remember to charge it. Plus, it’s quite heavy for a roller. Lastly, Wear Action observed that the Vyper is expensive but well worth the price for serious athletes.

Around 81% of the reviews of the HyperIce Vyper on Amazon are positive. The most helpful customer review comes from a certified personal trainer who was blown away by the durability and power of the Vyper. Buyers weighing 230 pounds or more found that this roller had no problem handling their weight. The only common complaint is the inconsistent quality of the charger.

Pros: Offers an intense deep tissue massage, built to last

Cons: Expensive, short, complaints of it not holding a charge after a few uses

Buy the HyperIce Vyper 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller at Best Buy for $199.99 Buy the HyperIce Vyper 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller on Amazon for $238.28

The best foam roller on a budget

The best foam roller on a budget
Why you'll love it: If you’re interested in giving foam rolling a try but don’t want to spend a lot, the LuxFit Premium High Density Foam Roller is your best option.

The LuxFit Premium High Density Foam Roller is made of two-pounds-per-cubic-foot-density molded polypropylene foam, which repels liquids. It measures 6-inches in diameter and comes in three lengths: 12, 18, and 36 inches.

LuxFit manufactures this foam roller in the United States and stands behind its quality with a one-year limited warranty. The Premium High Density Foam Roller is the least expensive option on our list. So, it’s no surprise that it doesn’t come with any extras, like instructions or booklets.

The LuxFit Premium foam roller was featured on Heavy's list of the best rollers because it's ideal for post-workout massages and physical therapy due to the variety of sizes available and extra firm construction. However, the site noted that when wearing certain materials, you may slide across the surface of this roller. Dark Iron Fitness also appreciated the size options along with the affordable price and remarked that it was helpful for improved performance and back injuries.

More than 2,200 customers on Amazon gave the LuxFit Premium High Density Foam Roller a five-star rating. Buyers appreciate how inexpensive it is and that it doesn’t have pieces that flake off. Since it comes in three sizes, buyers suggest that the largest is best for tall or heavy individuals, the medium is ideal for working all parts of the body, and the small is mainly for targeted areas, like your neck.

Verified purchasers have noted its effectiveness on the IT band, back, upper chest, and abs. We were unable to find any consistent complaints from users.

Pros: Affordable, three size options, one-year warranty

Cons: Certain materials may slide along the surface without rolling, doesn’t include any extras

Buy the LuxFit Premium High Density Foam Roller on Amazon for $8.95 to $23.97 (price varies by size)

The best massage stick foam roller

The best massage stick foam roller
Why you'll love it: When the space in your gym bag doesn’t allow you to lug around a six-inch-diameter foam roller, consider the svelte Original Tiger Tail Massage Stick instead.

The Tiger Tail Massage Stick has a finely textured dense foam exterior and a plastic core. The handles feature soft-ribbed rubber grips. This model comes in three lengths: 11, 18, and 22 inches. The foam roller surface length for each of these is 10, 10, and 14 inches respectively.

The massage stick works like a rolling pin. You hold the handles and the foam rolls over your sore spots. This allows you to use the massage stick in a variety of different positions. Tiger Tail USA covers the massage stick with a three-year no-hassle warranty.

In its review, the Wirecutter says the stick does not compare to the amount of pressure you can get from one of the on-the-floor rollers, but it supplements these options well, is much more portable, and can really get into tight spots. Ezvid also gave it high ratings because it features textured rubber grips, is designed for use by athletes, and does not pinch the skin.

Around 96% of the customer ratings of the Tiger Tail Massage Stick are four or five stars. Several of the buyers commented that they purchased the stick upon a recommendation from a medical professional. Many noted that it’s helpful for loosening up stiff muscles and relieving sore muscles before and after cardio workouts and weightlifting. One buyer even found it assuaged headaches when used on the neck area. There were no consistent complaints.

Pros: Compact, digs into tight spots, no-hassle three-year warranty

Cons: Does not apply as much pressure as on-the-floor alternatives

Buy the Original Tiger Tail Massage Stick (18”) on Amazon for $29.95