Types of Foam Rollers
Look - It’s perfectly okay to be interested in foam rollers even if you’re not sure exactly what kind of market you’re dealing with. To get everyone up to speed and on the same page here, we’re going to have a little informational talk today.
Foam Rollers - What They Are
Essentially they’re tube shaped self-massage devices that’ll help you work out knots and tight spots that occur during and after a workout. They can also be used for warmup routines to get your muscles prepared for what’s to come, ad once you’re done with the workout they’re great for speeding up recovery.
How To Choose a Foam Roller
There are some basic things that you need to consider before you invest in just any old roller. Here are your considerations:
- Density - Beginners are advised to use foam rollers that are made with less dense foam to just gauge how much pressure they can handle. You’re actually not looking to apply so much pressure that the situation becomes unbearably painful, you want your muscles to be soothed, not tortured. Firm rollers are great for targeting specific tight areas, plus they’re also more durable, but only move on to a high density foam roller once you’re ready for it.
- Durability - We all want our rollers to last, otherwise you could just as well use a PVC pipe right? The most expensive rollers aren’t always the best, but the cheapest ones are the lowest quality you’ll buy into, do go ahead and spend a couple of extra bucks on this.
- Surface Texture - In general, the best thing you can do is to start with a smooth surfaced foam roller. Give yourself some time to get used to the idea and the feeling before you even try using a square of grid surfaced roller.
- Size - Mid-sized rollers are generally the best for average sized people. If you’re a tall guy, don’t flatter yourself and buy a roller that you can stuff into a gym bag, you’re going to waste good money.
Got that? Great! Now it’s time to SHOW you what the best types of foam rollers look like.
Buying Guide: Foam Roller Reviews
The Best Overall Foam Roller: The GRID
Coming in as the best overall foam roller is The GRID. Sporting textured areas, the GRID helps you get to those hard to reach muscles like hip flexors. It also has a nice flat area to accommodate beginners and those large muscle groups. We love the durable construction and the perfectly acceptable price tag it comes with.
- It’s a durable foam roller
- It’s rugged and made with high quality materials
- It has a “Unique distrodensity zone” for targeted massage
- Exceptionally tall or heavy users have complained about this roller not…well rolling
The Best Beginner Foam Roller: EPE Foam Roller
If you’ve never used a foam roller in your life, this is the kind of roller that’ll guide you into the world of foam rolling. Best thing about it is…its super affordable PLUS it’s great value for your money! EPE Rollers get the job done right and know their way around tissue massaging. They come available in a wide range of sizes and just about any color imaginable, so you can make your roller fit your preference.
- It’s a durable and reliable option
- EPE Rollers are affordable
- They’re softer, so they’re great for beginners
- They’re not as durable as other higher density foam rollers, the shape will fade away after extended period of use
- They’re not suitable for advanced rollers
Best Smooth Foam Roller: j/fit High Density Foam Roller
If you like things as smooth as they come, the j/fit EVA roller is our best pick for you. These rollers feature head class seals and super high density EVA foam, so they’re seriously durable. This is one of the brands that you can actually trust for their slogan “longest lasting rollers out there”, j/fit rollers are much more durable than your average EVA foam roller. They’re a bit on the pricey side, but consider your priorities and then make a final choice.
- j/fit rollers are made with high quality materials and are constructed really well
- They provide users with a classic smooth massage
- They’re super durable
- It’s definitely not the firmest roller out there, so if you’re buying a j/fit foam roller you might want to upgrade to a denser roller soon
Best Deep Tissue Roller: The Rumble Roller
Sporting firm yet flexible bums on the surface, the Rumble Roller is very unique in a sense that it really targets deep tissue stimulation. It’s made with high quality materials so you can trust that it’s a durable roller that will get the job done. If you have enough control and experience to handle the Rumble Roller, this is one of the best bets you can opt for, but beginners should steer clear.
- It's durable and made with a rugged construction
- It’s a high density roller
- It targets deep tissue to get rid of nagging knots and pains
- It doesn’t really “roll” very well, and works better for large muscle massages
Best Value Foam Roller: AccuPoint Roller
Okay so if you liked the features of the Rumble Roller but you lack the experience and control required to use it, the hybrid AccuPoint is the perfect solution. It has smooth areas AND contoured, bumpy areas which help you sort out those tricky areas. The roller can be used by rookies and experts alike since its super versatile. On that point alone, the AccuPoint Roller is unique in every sense of the word and really offers you the best bang for your buck!
- It has a smooth surface plus a bumpy surface area
- It’s great for beginners and experienced rollers alike
- It’s made with high quality materials
- It‘s probably not as durable as the Rumble Roller, but for the price, it’s a total score
We’ve shown you 5 of the best types of foam rollers on the market today, and hopefully this has helped narrow down your field of play so that you can get yourself the best foam roller. Be sure to check out our roundup of the Best Foam Rollers for 2016 to see what’s new on the market this year.