15 Best Massage Rollers

man using massage roller

One complaint I’ve heard in my years in the wards is how hard it can be to massage troublesome, out-of-reach areas. Not everyone has time or money for professional massages, making a good massage roller an invaluable tool. Massage rollers are perfect for reducing soreness after exercise and relieving pain and aches. The variety of available rollers target different parts of the body, so you’re bound to find one that’s perfect for you. Let’s take a look at the best massage rollers on the market.

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Textured Muscle Foam Roller by RumbleRoller
Textured Muscle Foam Roller by RumbleRol

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RumbleRoller

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Massage Roller Stick by Elite Sportz Equipment
Massage Roller Stick by Elite Sportz Equ

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Elite Sportz Equipment

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1. Textured Muscle Foam Roller by RumbleRoller

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This unique massage roller is designed with small bumps that are soft enough to avoid extra pain, but firm enough to dig into aching muscles. The end result is a great massage that efficiently works out tough knots.

Pros:
  • Focuses on troublesome spots
  • Easy to control
  • Good size for versatile use
Cons:
  • Foam might be too stiff for some

2. Massage Roller Stick by Elite Sportz Equipment

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This roller stick is firm and gets deep into skin tissue to massage muscles. It’s also very portable, allowing for easy transport anywhere you go. Its design allows for good pressure control, letting you tailor the massage to your pain tolerance.

Pros:
  • Instructional videos on website teach optimal use
  • Light and easy to carry
  • Money-back guarantee
Cons:
  • Can catch on hair

3. Massage Roller Ball by Vive

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This is a great massage roller for focusing on a specific area, with a roller ball that is easy to grip and roll against aching spots. I’ve heard many people report great results from roller balls, especially when used for pinpointed massages. This tool is perfect for providing focused relief.

Pros:
  • Very portable—fits nicely in a bag
  • Comes as a pair
  • Designed for use with lotions and oils
Cons:
  • Only comes in one size

4. Foam Roller by Trigger Point Performance

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This muscle roller has a patented dynamic foam shell, and featuring multiple densities it is designed to replicate a therapist’s massage. This makes it great for working out aches and for increasing blood flow to injured areas.

Pros:
  • Wide range of available colors
  • Has a good texture for comfortable massage
  • Effectively relieves back aches
Cons:
  • May be too firm for some

5. High Density Foam Roller by LuxFit

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This massage roller is simple but effective. Its smooth surface feels great on skin, making it a perfect roller for flat areas such as the back. You can’t go wrong with this basic, versatile massage roller.

Pros:
  • Good selection of sizes
  • Highly effective
  • Very reasonable price
Cons:
  • Can dent easily–best for home use

6. Foam Roller by AmazonBasics

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This handy massage roller comes in three sizes, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. It’s easy to maneuver the roller to get to problem areas, and its rounded sides eliminate painful sharp edges.

Pros:
  • Very durable and long-lasting
  • Good density for comfort and effectiveness
  • Relieves painful muscle knots
Cons:
  • Foam feels a bit cheap

7. Massage Stick by The Stick

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Described by the makers as a “toothbrush for muscles” this muscle roller stick helps with lactic acid relief after a workout. The huge selection of sticks, from the portable Travel Stick to the more malleable Flex Stick, allows you to customize your massage roller.

Pros:
  • Great for post-workout relief
  • Easy to reach troublesome spots
  • “Travel” variant is perfect for transport
Cons:
  • Some report that the sticks aren’t firm enough to be effective

8. Foam Roller by Master of Muscle

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This massage roller uses a dual design, with treads split into two different patterns—one side has small bumps that simulate fingers, and the other features large, flat bumps like the palm of a hand. This makes it ideal for both targeting knots and providing a general massage.

Pros:
  • Includes an eBook containing massage roller exercises
  • Compact and easy to transport
  • Made of high-quality material
Cons:
  • Some may find it too large

9. Massage Roller by Fitness Answered Training Products

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This plastic massage roller is a good choice for those who don’t want a foam-based roller–this means it’s perfect for applying muscle creams. The roller includes handy instructions for how to use a massage roller, which is extremely useful when getting started.

Pros:
  • Comes in a range of colors
  • Handles are easy to grip
  • Save money by purchasing three rollers
Cons:
  • Can be difficult to roll

10. Medicine Foam Roller by ProSource

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This massage roller uses a tough foam that effectively targets aching muscles and knots. It won’t crack after prolonged use, and it comes in two lengths and several colors. The unique texture will feel great against your back, any time of the day.

Pros:
  • Highly durable to last a long time
  • Diameter ensures enough height while rolling
  • Withstands weight well
Cons:
  • Can be difficult to start rolling due to alternating pattern

11. Speckled Foam Roller by LuxFit

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This simple massage stick is perfect for those who prefer a flat, solid roller. It comes with a free online instructional video detailing massage roller exercises, so first-time rollers can learn how to use it effectively.

Pros:
  • Wide selection of colors and sizes
  • Fun “speckled” effect
  • Three-year warranty
Cons:
  • Might be too firm for some

12. Foam Roller for Muscle Exercise by King Athletic

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This massage roller is made of a high quality foam, which feels great and will stand up to consistent use. It includes an eBook covering nutrition, which is great for those focusing on exercise and fitness.

Pros:
  • Comes with a carry case
  • Foam is tough without being too hard
  • Effective at working-out knots
Cons:
  • Only comes in one size

13. Massage Stick by Tiger Tail USA

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This muscle roller stick is great for targeting focused spots on the body. It comes in three lengths, so you can choose the best one for you. It’s made entirely of foam, which is more comfortable than plastic rollers.

Pros:
  • Smaller sizes are ideal for travel
  • Foam holds up well and doesn’t dent
  • Great for a focused massage
Cons:
  • Can be tough to start rolling

14. Extra Firm Foam Roller by ProSource

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This massage roller is made of a dense foam that can support a variety of body weights. The toughness of the foam means it won’t dent, and its smooth surface makes it easy to clean after use. While basic, this roller will fit most users’ needs.

Pros:
  • Lightweight for easy transport
  • Good price for an effective roller
  • Great for addressing back pain
Cons:
  • Can be slippery

15. Massage Ball by Master of Muscle

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This massage ball is perfect for getting at troublesome spots. When rolling it against a problem area, the spikes dig into the muscle for a deep massage. This roller is perfect for people with foot problems, as it can be easily rolled underfoot for hard to reach aches.

Pros:
  • Free eBook with massage rolling techniques
  • Spikes are firm and dig into the muscle
  • Perfect for plantar fasciitis
Cons:
  • Not effective on the glutes

Benefits of Using a Massage Roller

Massage rollers not only feel great but can rejuvenate tired, aching muscles. Regular use has great benefits for overall health and athletic performance as well. Let’s look at a few other muscle roller benefits, so you can get the most out of your next buy.

  • Relax Muscles

Many of my patients have said they get more benefits from massage rolling than from professional massages! A good roller relaxes the muscles, which is ideal after a tough workout or for reducing stress.

  • Pinpoint Muscle Knots

A good massage roller works-out muscle knots with ease, but for the greatest effect, I recommend foam rollers with spiky protrusions. These are designed to dig into the muscle and pinpoint troublesome knots.

  • Improve Blood Flow

Using a massage roller promotes blood flow to the area, by stimulating the nerves and opening important passageways. When used gently near an injury, this speeds the healing process and eases muscle aches and pains.

See our picks for 12 best types of hand exercise equipment here, for even more ways to stay fit on-the-go!

Types of Massage Rollers

Massage rollers are simple to use, but to maximize muscle roller benefits you’ll want to choose the best massage roller for you and learn how to use it effectively. Here are a few common types of rollers and tips for making the most of your massage.

  • Foam Rollers

Place your foam roller on the floor and lie on top of it. Roll back and forth across your back, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quads. Look for online guides to learn how to orient your body to target different areas. If you’re a beginner, consider selecting a foam roller that includes an instructional eBook.

  • Stick Rollers

Some people describe stick rollers as “rolling pins for muscles.” They’re best used for massaging the muscles in the legs and are ideal for runners. Since they’re handheld, they allow greater control over the amount of pressure and are perfect for targeting small knots. Just roll them across aching spots, adjusting pressure as you go.

  • Roller Balls

Spiky balls are effective for reaching localized areas. They effectively dig into troublesome spots to work out aches and knots, and are perfect for addressing back pain and plantar fasciitis. Press the ball against the aching spot, and roll it around to massage the muscle.

Maximize Benefits of Massage Rollers

Massage rollers can also be combined with other treatments, to double-up on the benefits. To get the most out of your massage roller, remember to include pain relief treatments and a good flexibility regimen.

  • Hot and Cold Therapy

Heat therapy is best for warming your muscles prior to exercise. This will improve your performance and reduce the risk of injury. Use cold therapy or contrast therapy after exercise to reduce inflammation.

  • Pain Relief Cream

A massage roller can help distribute muscle creams to further alleviate muscle pain. But make sure to choose the right product, as not all rollers are good to use with creams.

Find the Best Massage Roller

Whether you need a massage roller to wind down after exercise, to recover from an injury, or to relieve muscle aches and stress, you’re sure to find the perfect roller in this list. Consider what you need from a massage roller in terms of portability and usage, select the best option for you, and start relieving muscle pain.

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