What is the best type of foam roller? – There are more than you think!

Foam Rollers
Different types of foam rollers

So, maybe you’ve stumbled upon the fascinating world of foam rolling and you start to think, “Maybe there is something to this foam rolling business…hmmm.” You know you want to try one out. You go online, look at Amazon, and …

Which one should I get?

You start to research “What is the best type of foam roller?” and you realize there is a HUGE amount of different foam rollers out there! Then all these questions starts to pop up in your head…”What’s the difference between a high-density roller and a rumble roller? Should I get a 36” or a 12” roller? Which roller would be the best for my lower leg? Is there one for lower back tension? What about a roller that’s great for beginners? How much do they cost? How can I tell a well-made roller from a cheap one?

I’m glad you made it here. I’m going to break down the different types of foam rollers and give you my #1 recommended foam roller! Stay tuned all the way to the end and I’ll give you my #1 recommended foam roller for the Ultimate Foam Rolling Experience! Sounds pretty cool, right?

Also, be sure to check out my amazon picks below…

Basic foam roller
Basic foam roller

1.) The Basic “no-bump” Roller

This foam roller is likely the one “the only one” you will encounter at Walmart or Target. It’s the basic foam roller. It’s meant for beginners but don’t let it fool you, it packs a punch! One thing you need to make sure is to get one that is made from good quality material (foam). If it’s slippery, then you won’t be able to use it properly and you’ll be slip-sliding around instead of working those trouble spots.

These can be broken up into three categories

  • Low-density roller – Very light and easy to roll on. You can still hit some problem areas but these are geared towards somebody who is just starting out (it gives you that slow learning curve).
  • Medium-density roller – Like the name says, it gives you more density. This is kind of a middle-of-the-road roller. It gives you a challenge, but it’s not too hard, not too light….its just right! (Like Goldilocks)
  • High-density roller – Very dense. Definitely geared towards somebody who has been around the “foam rolling block” a few times. It offers a harder surface to roll on and can be beneficial for tough knots in your legs or shoulder areas.

Check out my pick here…

Lux Fit High-Density Foam Roller from Amazon for – $23.50

Half roller 6''
Half roller 6”

2.) The “Half” Roller!

So, maybe you want to start with “half” the challenge. The “half roller” (6”) gives you the opportunity to get that myofascial release without having undue pressure on your joints. All you have to do is put your leg, arm, glute, or back across it and press down. No rolling complications here! If you want more of a challenge, you could life your body more to press in on those knots. Being an easier rolling experience altogether, you can see why this roller is really great for physical therapy as well.

You could even flip this around and use it for a good little massage on the bottom of your foot!

Check out my pick here…

CanDO Blue Marble High-Density Half-round Foam Roller for – $12.84

Grid roller
Grid foam roller

3.) The “GRID” Roller

The cool and unique trait of the grid roller is that it provides you with a multi-functional grid. A grid that allows you multiple positions to place your arms, legs, and back to get different levels of intensity. Personally, I haven’t used this one, but I can see how it could provide a multi-layer experience. The more options, the better…right? It depends on who you are and what goals you have…but it’s worth checking out!

Check out my pick here…

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller for – $34.95

Vibrating foam roller
Vibrating foam roller

4.) Vibrating Rollers

Now, I don’t know much about “vibrating” rollers, but as the name suggests..they provide vibrations! Apparently, they can give you up to 3600 rpms of relaxing pulses as you roll of them, creating an extra level relaxation for those sore muscles. What’s even better is it lasts 4 hours on a charge and has a rechargeable battery pack. It’s the newest roller in the pack and a bit unorthodox…but I think it’s really cool and has great technology in it that could really boost your recovery.

Check out my pick here…

VIBRA Vibrating Foam Roller for – $97.86

Rumble 'Bumpy' roller
Rumble Roller

5.) The “Rumble” Roller

Now, if you’ve stayed tuned this long ….it’s time for me to introduce my all-time favorite foam roller!!! Drumroll please….”The Rumble Roller!” I absolutely love the rumble roller! It’s geared towards advanced foam rolling peoples, and it sure does have a big learning curve…but man, does this thing do the job! All of those bumps you see press deeply into your tissue to give a very satisfying massage to your muscles! I was introduced to this by Tony Horton’s P90x2 Recovery and Mobility workout, got one from Amazon and haven’t looked back. It’s a dream of a roller and I highly recommend it after you’ve had some experience with the first rollers on the list. You really work it with this one….or should I say, “It works you!”

Check out my pick here…

RumbleRoller 22-inches Mid-Size Foam Roller for – $54.95

So, which one is the best type of foam roller?

As you can see, there are lots of choices but it really comes down to which one is best the best fit for you!

I hope I’ve given you some clarity and helped you figure out which one would be the right type of foam roller for you. Start with a small challenge #1: (Low-density roller) on this list and eventually work your way up to #5: (The Rumble Roller)!

All of these rollers come in several different sizes, so choose something that works great for you. As far as price goes …it really depends on what quality you want. They range from $10-$95 (The Rumble Roller and Vibrating Roller being on the high end). Again, start out with a small investment and once you get the hang of it…purchase one that is higher-quality and more expensive to give you more success.

Please make sure to leave a comment below if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns.

Happy Foam Rolling!

– Ryan

Disclaimer

This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small percentage of all sales purchased through my Amazon links. 

27 Replies to “What is the best type of foam roller? – There are more than you think!”

  1. Thanks so much for this details and I must say that I found it very informative and insightful. I was told to get a roller for the beginners being the fact that I would just start the rolling personally. Thanks for breaking down the process for me. I’d check one of these out. Thanks so much for helping with the various types and details on each. You helped a lot

    1. Rodarrick,

      You’re welcome, my friend. I’ve glad to offer some insight into this for you! I’ve included my amazon pick for the best beginners foam roller. So happy you want to get one…it will change your life for the better! 

      Feel free to check it out! If you get one, let me know how you like it. 

      To your health, 

      Ryan

  2. I really do like a good foam roller and I’m happy that you could share here what you consider as the best foam roller. I use the vibrating foam roller and I must say it gives some extra comfort like you have mentioned here but I’d like to try out your recommendation in that rumble foam roller. I wouldn’t mind at all. Thank you for sharing this on your website.

    1. John,

      Thanks so much for your comment and kind words. Great to hear you’ve had some experience with the vibrating roller. I’ll have to get one myself! My absolute favorite is the rumble roller. I LOVE my rumble roller! I actually started out with a rumble roller and it’s my go-to roller. There’s never a time where I’m left dissatisfied after using it. I’ve included a link for the rumble roller in my post. If you end up getting one, make sure to go for the full-sized one (31”). You won’t regret it. That thing is solid…especially for your back.

      – Ryan

  3. I have a foam roller that I use for Pilates class and I couldn’t believe all the different types that you can actually get when I found this post.  I can’t imagine having a half roller. What would you do with this, and obviously the balancing exercises wouldn’t come into play here?

    The Rumble Roller looks awesome for massage, but I would love to know how painful it is to use?  It is obviously meant for persons who love a good hard sports massage.

    1. Michel,

      Hey, thanks so much for your comment! Yeah, it’s really surprising how many different foam roller are out there. I haven’t tried the half roller personally. It may not do very much for a healthy person but I think it offers a great opportunity for physical therapy. As far as the rumble roller goes…I absolutely LOVE it!!! I actually started out with a rumble roller and it’s my go-to roller. I’m never disappointed after going through a session with it. Don’t be afraid of trying it out…its not painful, it just takes some getting used to. 🙂 I’ve included a link for the rumble roller in my post. If you end up getting one, make sure to go for the full-sized one (31”).

      Thanks again!

      – Ryan

  4. Hi, I have never used a foam roller. I was thinking of trying the “no bump” roller, but I’m wondering if I should start off with a little “more”. I just don’t want to have to upgrade too quickly. What do you think? Also, do you know how much the basic roller goes for? Thanks so much!

    1. Bonnie,

      Thanks so much for reading my post! The basic roller will help you out, I would go with the high-density roller, my amazon pick. Although, if you want a challenge..go with the rumble roller. I started out with one and it wasn’t impossible…I bit more of a learning curve, but it sure is worth it! If you go with the rumble roller, make sure to get the full size (31”).

      All the best,

      Ryan

  5. Thanks for  shariing this wonderful post. I have been looking for the right foam roller for a long time now. I got a foam roller about two months ago and its been a really bad choice as its not a bit effective and I must admit its really been a waste of money truly. Looking at these suggestions you have given here I’ll love to get the Basic roller( Medium-density roller.). Best regards.

  6. Hello there, i have been looking for the right foam roller for a long time now. I got a foam roller about two months ago and its been a really bad choice as its not a bit effective and I must admit its really been a waste of money truly. Looking at these suggestions you have given here i must admit these are some of the best i have seen so far. I’ll love to get the Basic roller( Medium-density roller). Best regards.

    1. Dane,

      Thanks for your honesty in your experience with foam rollers. I actually started as a beginner with the rumble roller…so that may what you’re looking for. The high-density roller would be a good choice also. I’ve included my amazon link to the rumble roller in the post. If you purchase one..make sure to get the full-size (31”), it’s worth it!

      Thanks!

      – Ryan

  7. OMG!!! I personally had never heard of foam rollers until now. I actually had to go to google to get a clear picture of what it. This could be my relaxing companion after a long day at work. I mostly like the vibrating roller though I’m not sure if its the best place to start since ive never used them before.

    1. Hope,

      So happy to hear that! I’m glad that you’ve learned about them and are now thinking about getting one. I’ve been using the rumble roller for about 5 years now and love it. It’s great….especially after a long day of work. I’ve included my amazon picks for all of the rollers I’ve mentioned here, so feel free to read further into them. I would recommend going for the basic one and then eventually going for the vibrating roller, as you are a beginner. You have to ease yourself into it. 

      – Ryan

  8. Rather helpful and insightful piece you have written on the types of foam roller . You really helped to broaden my knowledge on it and how to ensure I get the best one. I never knew the types are these much. I only know of the smooth and the grid. Going by all I have read, I prefer the grid roller or the vibrating one. They seem to have more than just the ordinary plain.

    1. Mattias,

      First off…thanks so much for your comment and encouraging words! Yes, I agree the rigid ones seem to give you more pressure points which leads to a deeper massage. I’ve included amazon links to both the TriggerPoint grid roller and the Vibra Vibrating Roller. Check them out! The vibrating one is expensive, but definitely worth a try!

      Thanks again!

      – Ryan

  9. I have been using the Half Roller and its been really helping for me, it helps relax muscle knot and straighten joints. I’ve been trying to check another type recently but I was worried of how to get a quality one and thanks to you, here it is, I really love the Vibrating Rollers, I think it’s gonna be amazing because of the vibration and all, I’ll consider getting one soon. Thanks for sharing this educative and informative article, its really helpful.

    1. You’re so very welcome! That’s great you’ve been using the half roller and getting some great benefits out of it. Yeah, I was surprised to find out that there are vibrating rollers now! I’ve included an amazon link to one of the top-rated ones. It’s expensive, but worth trying out!

      Thanks again for your kind words!

      – Ryan

  10. I didn’t know about foam rollers, but from your post, I guess it’s and health and fitness tool for body massage, and perhaps for some healing or to stimulate joints and remove paints. Did I get it?

    This is a great idea, to use foam roller for providing some self comfort, instead of going to another person for a massage.

    To start foam rolling, I’ll go for the basic ‘no-bump’ roller since the more advanced types will require more learning.

    1. Yes! It’s a great tool for massage and recovery. It’s another way to stretch out those muscles, heal them, and recover. Thanks so much for your comment! I’ve included an amazon link to my pick for a great high-density beginning roller.

      Thanks again!

      – Ryan

  11. Wow i never thought that there are different types of Foam roller,just the other day at gym i was using the standard one which is also affective.These foam rollers are very effective because my muscle do tense up after a hectic workout and a foam rollaer does help alot to losen the tense muscle.Thank you for this post will definately share

    1. Bazise,

      Wow…thanks so much for the kind words! Yes, please share as I will be building this website and adding more posts about rollers, exercises, workouts..etc. Foam rollers help so much..and more people need to use them.

      Thanks again.
      – Ryan

  12. Thank you for this great article. You are right, there are a lot of different kinds of foam rollers, different densities, different textures, and other factors. I started off with a full density foam roller, but there are some things that I wish I got a softer foam roller for. Such as foam rolling the lats, those are an area where the hard foam roller is a little much sometimes.

    Foam rolling has been a really important part of my exercise routine. The other day I was getting a bit of lower back pain after leg day, but I found the trigger points with the foam roller and it was amazing how the pain went away. Great job putting this article together, I think it will help a lot of people. If I had an article like this when I was deciding on a foam roller, I might not have jumped to the most dense possible one.

    The high-density has been really good for areas like quadriceps and glutes. Thank you for your expertise and have a good day!

    1. C,

      Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words, I really appreciate it!

      Yes, you’re right softer rollers are definitely meant for special purposes and everybody has different issues going on ….and sometimes the harder roller is way too much pressure!

      Personally, …and thankfully, I haven’t had any injuries, so I’m more inclined to use the rumble roller, ….but somebody who has chronic injuries or even a cramp or a pulled muscle would be great with a softer one.

      Thank you for your insight!

      – Ryan

  13. Thank you for your in depth review of the best foam roller around, first and foremost I like your website, easy to navigate and the interface is user friendly. You have really provided great Insight into the best foam roller around ,I will bookmark this post for reference anytime I want to get a foam roller. 

    1. Charles,

      First off..thanks so much for your comment! I really appreciate the kind words. Yes, make sure to come back…I’ll be posting regularly about foam rollers, workouts, and exercises.

      Thanks again!

      – Ryan

  14. Hi! I initially thought I would just go to Walmart and buy one of those basic “no-bump” Rollers. But I decided I would do a bit of research first, and boy, I’m glad I did. Now I still want to but the basic “no-bump” roller but I also have gotten excited about buying the “Rumble” Roller too. Thanks for this post.

    1. Henry,

      Yes sir! The rumble is really great! I love mine. Check out the rumble roller…it gives you some serious pressure points. I have never regretted getting mine!

      Thanks for your kind words!

      – Ryan

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