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The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Almost all outdoor activities require a level of fitness that puts stress on your body. To help you recover faster and stay active longer, we've narrowed down the best foam rollers of 2023.

OTPT Soft Roller in use(Photo/Nick Belcaster)
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Foam rollers have gained a lot of traction in recent years as a key recovery tool. Whether we’re working at the desk, lifting weights, or skiing moguls, our muscles get worked and foam rollers target tight areas and trigger points to help get us back to our baseline. 

Like upgrading to an electric toothbrush or gas grill, foam rollers are simple, easy to use, and highly effective. And though rolling out can be less than enjoyable, we feel relief and greater mobility afterward. 

For outdoor enthusiasts and athletes, foam rollers are an accessible self-care tool. Though there are many options on the market, the best foam roller will be the one that feels best to you. 

To learn the differences between designs, be sure to check out the buyer’s guide and FAQ section at the end of this article. We’ve even put together a comparison chart to see how the foam rollers stack up against one another.

Below are our picks for the best foam rollers of 2023.

The Best Foam Rollers of 2023


Best Overall Foam Roller

Roll Recovery R4

Specs

  • Materials High-density EVA foam
  • Texture Rounded bumps
  • Dimensions 18 in. x 6 in.
  • Weight 2 lbs., 9.6 oz.
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Anatomically contoured face
  • A large diameter gives better leverage to apply pressure
  • Quality high-density foam is durable

Cons

  • Very firm
Best Budget Foam Roller

AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller

Specs

  • Materials Polypropylene foam
  • Texture Smooth
  • Dimensions 18 in. x 6 in.; 24 in. X 6 in; 36 in x 6 in
  • Weight 4.3 oz.
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Simple, firm construction
  • Different designs and sizes available

Cons

  • Not very durable
  • Slightly raised seams can be irritating
Best Vibrating Foam Roller

Hyperice Vyper 3.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller

Specs

  • Materials Polypropylene foam
  • Texture Contoured
  • Dimensions 13 in. x 5.4 in.
  • Weight 2 lbs., 11 oz.
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Vibration technology increases therapeutic potential
  • Improves range of motion
  • Durable design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Short battery life
Best Portable Foam Roller

Brazyn Morph Collapsible Foam Roller

Specs

  • Materials Bamboo, aluminum, foam
  • Texture Raised nubs
  • Dimensions 15.5 in. x 6.5 in. (2 in. wide when flattened)
  • Weight 1 lb., 9.6 oz.
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Most portable roller on the market
  • Hits all targeted muscle groups
  • Eco-friendly design

Cons

  • Can collapse during use
  • Ridge design isn’t comfortable for everyone
  • More expensive than standard rollers
Best Massage Wheel

Chirp Wheel Pro

Specs

  • Materials EVA foam, ABS plastic
  • Texture Dimpled and contoured
  • Dimensions 5 in. x 8 in.
  • Weight 3 lbs., 2.6 oz.
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Unique design targets muscles between shoulder blades
  • Vibration helps to unlock tension in spine
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Less versatile for other muscle groups
  • Proprietary charger
Best Massage Ball

Rawlogy Cork Massage Ball

Specs

  • Material 100% sustainable cork
  • Texture Smooth
  • Dimensions 1.9 in., 2.5 in.
  • Weight 0.7 oz., 1.4 oz.
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Light and packable
  • Great for targeting small muscles
  • Sustainable materials

Cons

  • Less effective for targeting big muscle groups
Best Long Foam Roller

OPTP Pro-Roller Soft

Specs

  • Materials EVA foam
  • Texture Smooth
  • Dimensions 36 in. x 4 in.
  • Weight Varies
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Soft foam is ideal for newcomers to foam rolling
  • Available in various size options

Cons

  • Won’t be the best for deep tissue work
Best of the Rest

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

Specs

  • Materials EVA foam
  • Texture Gridded
  • Dimensions 13 in. x 5.5 in.
  • Weight 1 lb., 8 oz.
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Hyper-focused therapy techniques
  • Light and durable
  • Trusted brand

Cons

  • Length of roller is too short for some
  • Some may find the diameter to small to get leverage

RumbleRoller Original Textured Foam Roller

Specs

  • Materials EVA Foam
  • Texture High-profile bumps
  • Dimensions 13 in. x 5 in.
  • Weight 14 oz.
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Great soft tissue massage
  • Perfect tool for warming up

Cons

  • Doesn’t apply pressure evenly

TriggerPoint Rush Roller

Specs

  • Materials EVA foam
  • Texture Raised ridges
  • Dimensions 13 in. x 5.5 in.
  • Weight 1 lb., 15 oz.
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Textured surface for pinpoint treatment
  • Durable

Cons

  • More expensive than similar options
  • Can cause discomfort during use, may not be ideal for users who are new to foam rolling

ProsourceFit High-Density Foam Rollers

Specs

  • Materials Expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam
  • Texture Smooth
  • Dimensions 12 in. x 3 in.; 18 in. x 3 in.; 36 in. x 3 in.
  • Weight 3.1 oz., 3.9 oz., 6.7 oz. (depending on dimensions)
The Best Foam Rollers of 2023

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Simple, functional design
  • Full and half-round options

Cons

  • Not the most durable
  • Too firm for some folks

Foam Roller Comparison Chart

Foam RollerMaterialsTextureDimensionsWeight
Roll Recovery R4High-density EVA foamRounded bumps18 in. x 6 in.2 lbs., 9.6 oz.
AmazonBasics High-Density
Round Foam Roller
Polypropylene foamSmooth18 in. x 6 in; 24 in. X 6 in; 36 in x 6 in4.3 oz.
Hyperice Vyper 3.0 Polypropylene foamContoured13 in. x 5.4 in.2 lbs., 11 oz.
Brazyn Morph Collapsible
Foam Roller
Bamboo, aluminum, foamRaised nubs15.5 in. x 6.5 in. (2 in. wide when flattened)1 lb., 9.6 oz.
Chirp Wheel Pro
EVA foam, ABS plasticDimpled and contoured5 in. x 8 in.3 lbs., 2.6 oz.
Rawlogy Cork
Massage Ball
100% sustainable corkSmooth1.9 in., 2.5 in.0.7 oz., 1.4 oz.
OPTP Pro-Roller SoftEVA foamSmooth36 in. x 4 in.Varies
TriggerPoint GRID
Foam Roller
EVA foamGridded13 in. x 5.5 in.1 lb., 8 oz.
RumbleRoller Original
Textured Foam Roller
EVA foamHigh-profile bumps13 in. x 5 in.14 oz.
TriggerPoint Rush RollerEVA foamRaised ridges13 in. x 5.5 in.1 lb., 15 oz.
ProsourceFit High-Density
Foam Rollers
Expanded polypropylene (EPP) foamSmooth12 in. x 3 in.; 18 in. x 3 in.; 36 in. x 3 in.3.1 oz., 3.9 oz., 6.7 oz.
Foam rollers of different sizes
Shorter rollers, like the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller, are ideal for travel, while longer rollers can be used for relieving shoulder tension; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Why You Should Trust Us

Our GearJunkie team of gear testers includes hikers, runners, climbers, skiers, and outdoor adventurers, and we constantly put our bodies to the test. We are weekend warriors that walk dozens of miles in the mountains with overnight packs on our days off. We’re also professional guides that rely on our physical abilities to pay the bills. 

As outdoor recreationists, we know firsthand the importance of good recovery. After a big objective in the mountains, rolling out and stretching sore muscles is key to getting outside again as soon as possible. It’s also key to enjoying everyday life with better mobility, flexibility, injury prevention, and stress relief. 

While testing for the best foam rollers, we considered and used a wide variety of shapes, materials, densities, and sizes for a range of applications and targeting various body areas. In addition to our objective tests and personal experience, we also considered the most innovative, popular, novel, and legacy products available today. These foam rollers serve a range of athletes, muscle groups, storage needs, and price points.

TriggerPoint Roller in action
The alternating textures of the TriggerPoint Roller allow you to customize your rolling out; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Foam Roller

Differences in firmness, length, texture, and portability all play into choosing a foam roller, and each variable serves its purpose.

Firmness

Arguably the most important factor in choosing a foam roller is its density or firmness. Soft rollers may not provide the level of massage required for deep muscle soreness. Excessively hard rollers can cause bruising or trauma if not used correctly.

Soft rollers like the OPTP Pro-Roller Soft are designed to prioritize comfort over deep tissue massage. Less-firm rollers are suitable for those with sensitive muscles or who are new to foam rolling. As you improve your technique and your muscles get used to the pressure, you can move up to harder rollers.

Firm rollers like the Roll Recovery R4 are designed for deep and intense massage and muscle therapy. If you are a very active person, a hard roller can help you target and penetrate deep into sore muscles. This style of roller is also ideal for myofascial release.

Rollers with a medium-level firmness can, as you may imagine, do it all. They are suitable for both massage and yoga or Pilates exercise routines. Proper use will still allow you to access deep tissue while maintaining comfort and cushion found in less-firm rollers.

Length

As with firmness, different lengths each serve their purpose, and it is up to you to decide what is most important for your specific muscular needs.

Long or full-size rollers generally measure around 36 inches in length. At this length, these rollers are suitable for larger muscle groups. Full-size rollers allow you to access your entire back when laid perpendicular to your spine.

These rollers are also great for other large muscle groups like those found in your upper leg. The longer length also lends itself well to many Pilates or core exercises that require you to lay it vertically along your back.

Shorter rollers, 24 inches or less, are excellent for pinpointing smaller muscle groups like specific areas of your back, arms, or legs. If you have isolated problem areas around your body, a shorter roller may be a perfect choice. As a bonus, the shorter lengths are also more portable.

If your persistent knots are in hard-to-reach areas, specifically shaped rollers like the Chirp Wheel Pro can target muscles that a regular foam roller of any length might miss. 

Diameter 

The diameter measures how thick the foam roller is or the circumference. Foam rollers with larger diameters can be easier to apply more pressure because you can get more leverage on them. 

The most popular diameter seems to be around five inches. We would not recommend buying anything less for a general-use foam roller because it can be hard to press down on it. Typically foam rollers with smaller diameters are specially made for calves, soleus, or Achilles. 

The Roll Recovery R4 was one of the largest diameters we tested at 6 inches, making it easy to apply a lot of weight.  

Portability

Your foam roller’s portability is a worthy consideration depending on your lifestyle and level of muscle soreness. If you only plan on using a roller occasionally or at home, perhaps you won’t have to worry about how easy it is to bring with you. If you have chronic muscle pain and travel a lot for business or pleasure, a more portable option is the way to go.

Some rollers are explicitly designed with portability in mind, like the Rawlogy Cork Massage Ball. Still, even if not designed for portability, many shorter rollers can easily fit in a standard gym bag.

Texture

The texture is another noticeable difference between foam rollers. The differences can be spelled out simply between smooth and textured rollers.

Smooth rollers are traditional and have been the go-to for some time. They provide equal pressure across the targeted area, but may be limited in reaching deep muscles or tendons.

Like softer rollers, smooth rollers are a good choice for beginners, as they are not as intense as their textured counterparts. Generally speaking, smooth rollers are also often more affordable.

Textured rollers are more advanced and better suited for users comfortable with their rolling technique. The added features on these rollers, like ridges and bumps, are meant to precisely target problem areas.

Textured rollers — like the Roll Recovery R4 above — will often have multiple features on one roller to promote customization. They are specifically designed to specifically target muscle groups for the best massage.   mimic a massage therapist’s hands and are a good way to isolate knots or problem areas.

A look at the contoured texture of the Roll Recovery R4; (photo/Cory Smith)

Extra Features

Without a doubt, the four features outlined above are the most important things to consider when shopping for the best foam roller for back or muscle issues. That said, there are a few other considerations to take into account.

For many, outdoor fitness and environmental ethics go hand in hand. If that is important to you, some companies are producing their rollers from recycled or sustainable materials.

Some foam rollers and materials are also better suited for yoga and Pilates workouts than strictly rolling. If you plan on using your roller for exercise routines, this is a good thing to keep in mind.

There are even foam rollers that vibrate, such as the Hyperice Vyper 3.0. These foam rollers plugin to charge and will offer a vibrating rolling experience to help increase the range of motion above non-vibrating foam rollers. 

Finally, there are virtually limitless colors and patterns available. Naturally, this is a fun — albeit functionally inconsequential — feature to consider when purchasing your first foam roller.

HyperIce also makes a compact version of their Vyper 3.0, known as the Vyper Go; (photo/Cory Smith)

FAQ

Will a foam roller help my back?

Back issues are not to be taken lightly. Small bothers can quickly become chronic problems with little warning. If you have considerable and consistent back pain and soreness, we recommend seeing a professional to address the issue.

That said, foam rollers can be an incredible addition to your self-care tool kit. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and foam rollers can do wonders in preventing back issues from developing or worsening.

When built into your daily workout or stretching routine, foam rolling can genuinely help relieve tension, tightness, and soreness in your back.

Which foam roller is best for me?

There is a lot to consider when purchasing a foam roller, and the best foam roller for you may not be the best for your friend. Rollers vary most notably in terms of firmness, length, and texture.

You can generally mix and match the best of each category to find the ideal roller for your specific needs.

Can a foam roller help sciatica?

Sciatica causes pain that can branch down from your lower back through your hips, buttocks, and legs — radiating along the sciatic nerve. While foam rollers are not a cure for sciatica, they can help manage the pain associated with this condition.

Rolling can be a quick and easy way to promote myofascial release. Depending on your level of sciatic pain and your comfort with a roller, it can be a highly effective pain management technique. Given how affordable foam rollers are, most experts recommend that their sciatica patients keep one on hand.

What is the best foam roller for beginners?

If you have never used a roller before and are apprehensive about the technique or pressure associated with using one, there are plenty of introductory options available. Less-firm rollers are most forgiving on your muscles, and smooth rollers distribute pressure more evenly.

Both of these factors are welcome features for beginners as they ease their way into the world of targeted self-care.

Can you foam roll every day?

Not only can you foam roll every day, but some experts would also argue that it is an integral part of injury prevention and workout recovery. Some people treat foam rolling just like stretching. They strive to do it before and after every workout to relax tight muscles and to improve flexibility and range of motion.

A caveat, however, is if you start to feel or instigate pain while rolling. Over-rolling muscle groups can cause further pain and bruising, and potentially do more harm than good. Listening to what your body needs is critical when foam rolling.

How long should I foam roll?

Foam rolling can feel good — like, really good. However, you can overdo it. For the best results, try targeting an area for 30 to 90 seconds at a time, resting and stretching for 30 seconds, and then repeating up to two more times.

You should avoid spending any more than 5 minutes on specific muscle groups. And it is better to underwork a muscle group than to overwork it. Overworking an area can cause bruising or even worsen injuries. Remember, foam rollers are meant for prevention and healing. The last thing you want to do is misuse or overuse yours to the point of making muscle pain or tension worse.

Can foam rollers help with IT band tightness?

Yes. When used properly, foam rollers may help soothe and treat IT band tightness. Many athletes have successfully addressed IT band tightness with regular foam rolling.

From a side plank position, place your bottom thigh on the roller. Using your forearm to support your torso, move your arm so the roller rolls from the side of your hip to the side of your knee and back again. Some discomfort is normal, but stop and rest if you feel excessive pain.

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