The Best Massage Roller

Updated on 6 February 2023

After 8 hours of reviewing 32 popular models, and testing 6 of them, we have determined that the TriggerPoint Grid is the best foam roller for most people.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best mid-range

TriggerPoint Grid

This roller offers a perfect balance between firmness and flexibility in order to be both comfortable and effective for an optimal relaxation of muscle tissues. It is one of the most complete and versatile.

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TriggerPoint Grid

Its three-dimensional design reproduces the sensations of a physiotherapist’s hands and enables a variety of sensations and massages. The grooves on this model are softer and more comfortable, which did not cause us any pain during our test. Nevertheless, it is a firm roller, which makes it still efficient for getting rid of tensions and knots and for working the muscles in depth. Intended for athletes (but not only), it is made of high-absorbing EVA foam and is perfectly deformation-resistant. Moreover, it supports a maximum load of 225 kg. Its dimension of 33 cm (L) x 14 cm (⌀) make it easy to carry and store, and versatile (although a little tight for the back). We also found it handy and perfectly rolling.

 

 

Best budget

KG Physio Foam Roller

Mainly intended for athletes to warm up or recover, this firm and grooved model is solid, versatile and can target deeper tensions. It is the perfect low-budget accessory.

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KG Physio Foam Roller

This foam roller has a grooved surface with raised and bumpy areas at different levels that can reach your muscles in depth and target accurately your knots. With its firm design, we found it effective in relieving heavy tension and we were able to vary the types of massage. During our test, we still felt that it was painful in some places, which is why we do not recommend it to sensitive people. Made of high density EVA foam, it is durable and does not lose its shape under any circumstances. With a length of 33 cm and a diameter of 13 cm, its dimensions are quite usual and it is rather versatile, even if we prefer a larger model for back work. Moreover, it is easy to carry as it weighs only 700 g. 

 

Best high-end

Triggerpoint Rush

Well-sized and durable, this dense and very firm roller compresses and stretches muscles, and explores their depths to boost recovery. It is the perfect daily accessory for athletes.

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Triggerpoint Rush

Easy to use, this roller has a unique surface with a series of high and firm ridges to massage deep tissues and improve their hydration and elasticity. In our opinion, this shearing process truly reproduces the feel of a masseur’s hands. It is therefore very effective in relieving heavy tension, but the ribs are so firm that we sometimes found it painful during our test. This is why we think that it is more suitable for athletes with large muscle knots. Made of EVA foam with a density level of 3, it can handle heavy loads and is very robust in order to prevent deformation. Furthermore, its dimensions of 33 cm (L) x 14 cm (⌀) are versatile and ensure good handling and rolling. It is however a little short for lumbar and back work, but this format is easy to carry.

 

Budget alternative

Amazon Basics

Although less effective in relieving deep tensions, this simple model with its attractive design has a smoother surface for gentler, less aggressive massages, making it suitable for occasional use.

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Amazon Basics Rouleau

Apart from a few slightly textured spots, its surface is rather smooth and flat, which does not allow for a variety of massages or deep targeting of tensions or knots, but does offer a comfortable and soothing massage for more sensitive or less athletic people. It focuses more on external pain. During our test, we found it easy to use, although it sometimes slipped on the floor. Made of expanded polypropylene with high density foam, it is firm enough and does not deform. However, we noticed that the surface was very sensitive to scratches and therefore less resistant. It is available in 3 different sizes to work all muscle groups without exception, and its large diameter (15 cm) guarantees excellent handling and a smooth and comfortable rolling. It is light but large formats are bulky to store/carry.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best mid-rangeBest budgetBest high-endBudget alternative
TriggerPoint Grid KG Physio Foam Roller Triggerpoint Rush Amazon Basics
This roller offers a perfect balance between firmness and flexibility in order to be both comfortable and effective for an optimal relaxation of muscle tissues. It is one of the most complete and versatile. Mainly intended for athletes to warm up or recover, this firm and grooved model is solid, versatile and can target deeper tensions. It is the perfect low-budget accessory. Well-sized and durable, this dense and very firm roller compresses and stretches muscles, and explores their depths to boost recovery. It is the perfect daily accessory for athletes. Although less effective in relieving deep tensions, this simple model with its attractive design has a smoother surface for gentler, less aggressive massages, making it suitable for occasional use.
£ 29.99 on Amazon £ 12.99 on Amazon £ 46.53 on Amazon See the price on Amazon

 

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How did we do the testing?

We used the rollers several times (before and after training) and for several hours. We first looked at the surface to see if it worked deeply and painlessly on the muscle tissues, and if it offered different types of massage. In this way, we were also able to check the quality of their material (through resistance to deformation) as well as their firmness.

Then, we took into account their dimensions to see which muscle group could be worked on, but also their handling and ease of transport (including their weight). Finally, for vibrating and/or rechargeable models, we evaluated their battery life and their general ergonomics (vibration intensity, buttons, LED indicators, etc.).

 

How to choose your foam roller?

Very effective for self-massage, the roller reduces pain and boosts recovery for athletes and ordinary users. However, with the number of models available on the market, it is sometimes difficult to know which one is suitable for your usage and sensitivity.

Rouleaux de massage

To make sure you make the right choice, we have put together all the criteria to consider before buying your foam roller:

  • The surface: the smooth surface has no bumps and is more suitable for beginners. It relieves more external pain and soothes thanks to its great comfort. The grooved roller is harder and has a bumpy surface that goes deeper to ease tension. It targets pain better and stimulates blood circulation. However, it can be painful for some sensitive people.

Rouleau de massage

  • The material: less durable, less effective and less firm, a polyethylene surface is suitable for beginners or for occasional use. Expanded polypropylene and EVA foam are more resistant and robust. They do not lose their shape. But the most comfortable model is the one with PVC and EVA foam. For health and relaxation, you can also opt for a jade or wooden accessory.

Rouleau de massage

  • The hardness: it can be soft or firm. Soft rollers are effective for beginners or slim people and inversely for firm rollers, which are more suitable for athletes. You should also consider the area you are massaging.

Rouleau de massage

  • Dimensions: check the diameter of the cylinder as well as its length. Generally, it ranges from 12 to 15 cm in diameter. The larger it is, the easier it is to handle. The length is more important and varies from 15 to 90 cm. The longer it is, the more comfortable it is. Target the areas you want to massage. For example, you need a shorter model for the foot, while you need a longer roller for the back.

Rouleau de massage

  • The weight: this determines its transportability. In general, choose a light and compact roller, which will also be easier to store.

 

Other massage roller we recommend 

ProsourceFit High Density (£19.20 when published): a simple and affordable design that relieves occasional external pain. With a rather smooth and flat surface with a few textured spots, it is intended for sensitive people. Indeed, while it does not go quite that deep, it is rather comfortable to use. Made of high density and recyclable EPP foam, it is designed in an ecological and sustainable way, and never deformed during our test. It provides firm support for all body shapes and is available in several sizes and models (round or semi-round). Despite its lightness, its large format is quite bulky. Although it is easy to use with its large diameter (15.2 cm), its surface is easily scratched.

 

Other massage roller we tested 

Triggerpoint Mixte Grid Vibe Plus (£113.04 when published): This motorised roller has 4 levels of vibration and allows only small muscle groups to be worked on with its compact format. However, the vibration function did not seem revolutionary to us and does not justify, in our opinion, such a high price.

 

Translated by Laura Wautier

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