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The Best Foam Rollers

Updated Dec 11, 2022
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Foam rolling: These days, it seems like everybody’s doing it. A growing body of research as well as bodywork pros—physical therapists, massage therapists, and personal trainers alike—extol the soft-tissue benefits of self-massage for improvements in muscular flexibility and reduction in stiffness (and even pain). Gyms and physical-therapy centers are strewn with them, but how do you know what rollers are best for at-home use? To find out, we whittled down hundreds of options to a top-selling selection of the most popular roller types, and enlisted a cadre of experts and their muscles for more than 45 hours of kneading and compressing. We discovered that the ubiquitous firm-density foam rollers made of expanded polypropylene (EPP) aren’t much different from one another, at least in terms of the therapeutic benefits they can deliver. But the AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller stood out from the EPP pack as the best basic roller, proving you don’t have to spend a lot to get relief.

AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller, the best foam roller to use at home

AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller

The best foam roller to use at home
The AmazonBasics roller provides the firm density experts recommend—with a slight surface texture to prevent slipping—at an affordable price.
We recommend
OPTP Black Axis Firm Foam Roller, pro quality

OPTP Black Axis Firm Foam Roller

Pro quality
OPTP has a well-earned good name in pro circles, and our experts were similarly impressed with the Black Axis roller for easing out muscle knots and tightness.
Another good choice
Gaiam Restore Total Body Foam Roller, a softer touch

Gaiam Restore Total Body Foam Roller

A softer touch
For rolling newbies (or those looking for a softer touch), Gaiam Restore’s medium-density roller has a bit more give than a firm EPP roller but still maintains its shape under pressure.
Another good choice
TriggerPoint Rush Roller, for deeper smr

TriggerPoint Rush Roller

For deeper SMR
More expensive than our other picks and available only in a 13-inch length, the Rush Roller nevertheless delivers thanks to a diamond-shaped pattern of ridges that allows you to address knots in specific muscle groups (calves, glutes, and so on) with precision.
Another good choice
Tiger Tail Original, portable, firm foam

Tiger Tail Original

Portable, firm foam
For portable SMR, Tiger Tail is a rolling massage stick with a plastic core encased in finely textured, dense foam. It’s lightweight yet can really dig into tight spots.
Another good choice

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