16 Best Foam Rollers for Back Pain & Recovery 2022 [Complete Guide]

Jeff Baldelli
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Back pain sucks.

If you have ever experienced it, you know how debilitating it can be. Often, the pain is caused by a pinched nerve in the back or hips.

A foam roller can help.

A foam roller can help release the muscle tension that causes the pain. Massaging the affected area can also help to loosen stiff muscles.

When you use a foam roller, you use your body mass to break up knots and kinks in your muscles. This is a gentle, soft-tissue massage that can do wonders for your recovery.

Foam rollers help improve your posture, relieve stiffness, and increase flexibility. Let’s take a look at how you can choose the best foam roller for your needs.

NameCategoryProduct
TriggerPoint GRID Foam RollerBest OverallTriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
Yes4All Premium Medium Density Round PE Foam RollerBudget PickYes4All Premium Medium Density Round PE Foam Roller
OPTP PRO-Roller Soft Density Foam RollerUpgrade PickOPTP PRO-Roller Soft Density Foam Roller

1. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

Our rating: 9 / 10

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

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Pros:

  • Simple and effective
  • Made of polyurethane foam
  • Available in four sizes
  • Online tutorial videos to help you understand how to foam roll your muscles

Motion and muscle vibration in combination with pressure point knob design pressure into the knots of muscle and release of toxins. The triggerpoint GRID foam roller is suitable for any part of the body. When you implement the honeycomb texture, you can reduce muscle spasms and knots circulation.

2. AmazonBasics High-Density Exercise

Our rating: 9 / 10

AmazonBasics High-Density Exercise

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Made from high-density EVA foam
  • Meets CPSIA safety standards, latex-free
  • Available in different lengths
  • Great for travel

The AmazonBasics is made out of high-density EVA foam that is firm, but not so firm that it hurts. It is available in three different sizes, and being in a different size may be one of the best foam rollers you can buy.

It also features rounded edges that help prevent any injuries that may occur while using it. It is also latex-free, and pass the CPSC safety standards.

Even with its density, it is still light enough to be easily portable. You can throw it in your suitcase, your trunk, or even in a large bag. It is easy to store anywhere you need.

3. SPRI Foam Roller High Density Extra Firm Muscle Massage Roller

Our rating: 9 / 10

SPRI Foam Roller High Density Extra Firm Muscle Massage Roller

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Pros:

  • Extremely firm, but still goes easily under the base of your calf muscle
  • The firmer the roller the faster you can roll over it and the more intense the massage
  • Last two years or more if you're careful with it
  • Easy to travel with

The SPI High Density Firm Foam Roller is an extremely durable and firm roller. Some even say it is too firm. It works great for hard-to-reach muscle groups, but it is even more suitable for post-workout massage.

It is quite firm, and its size makes it a bit difficult to travel with, but it will still fit in most suitcases. Just be super careful with it, because it is almost completely round and very rubbery, so it’s easy to roll it over on itself.

Bottom line: this is a great roller at a very reasonable price, but it’s so heavy and rubbery that you’ll have trouble traveling with it.

4. Gaiam Restore Muscle Massage Therapy Foam Rollers

Our rating: 9 / 10

Gaiam Restore Muscle Massage Therapy Foam Rollers

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Pros:

  • Receive both a 18-inch and 36-inch roller for the price of one.
  • The longer roller also comes with a wrap.
  • Ultra-durable, thick foam rollers
  • The foam rollers are both durable and long lasting.
  • You’ll be able to target a lot of different muscles with these two rollers.

Cons:

  • Some people may find them a little too thin.
  • The 18-inch roller is a little too thin for some people.

The Gaiam Restore two pack is a great value. You’ll receive an 18-inch roller with a dual-density design that can be used for moderate pressure, and a 36-inch roller with a removable cover that has a firmer, dense, and more advanced design for intense pressure.

Whether you try the softer one first, or jump right into using the more advanced roller, both of these foam rollers are great for targeting a variety of muscles.

You’re also getting two foam rollers for the price of one, so you can use one at home and one at the gym without breaking your budget.

5. LuxFit Foam Roller

Our rating: 9 / 10

LuxFit Foam Roller

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Pros:

  • High density foam roller is for experienced users and those with past injuries.
  • Offer superior stability and durability.
  • Come with 3 years guarantee.
  • The rollers offer a complete experience with over 16 instructional videos and exercises available.
  • The rollers provide easy storage.
  • The foam roll is FDA and ISO rated.

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

The LuxFit Speckled Core 6″ foam roller offers an easy-to-use option for self-massage. The rollers are designed for easy storage and are 18 inches long. They are made of a plastic hollow foam roller with a diameter of 6 inches. The rollers are available in four colors.

Each roller is six inches long with a diameter of 1.5-inches. They feature dimples or swirls in each roller. They are made of plastic and hollow, and are designed to create a massage experience while using them. The rollers are durable and lightweight.

The rollers are great for loosening up your muscles and relieving your knots. They feature a 6-inch diameter with an outer rim diameter of 1.5 inches. The rollers are made of hollow, plastic foam and designed to create a firm massage experience. The rollers are FDA and ISO rated.

6. Therapeutic Grade Premium EVA Foam Roller

Our rating: 9 / 10

Therapeutic Grade Premium EVA Foam Roller

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Pros:

  • Washable
  • No toxic smell
  • Ergonomic design
  • Very durable
  • No odor
  • Doubles as a lumbar support
  • Easy to clean
  • Great value
  • Foam roller is easy to store, lightweight, and transportable

Cons:

  • The foam roller doesn’t roll
  • Some reviewers found that the foam roller’s top section is too thin
  • Decent but not the best

This foam roller is ideal for people who are into yoga. It comes with a washable cushion cover and a soft white carrying bag. The material is soft and very durable. It is firm and denser than a lot of other ones. For the price, it’s a good deal.

7. OPTP PRO-Roller Soft Density Foam Roller

Our rating: 9 / 10

OPTP PRO-Roller Soft Density Foam Roller

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Pros:

  • Foam is not too soft or not too hard, but just right for my taste. (I’m not a fan of really soft foam rollers.)
  • The channeled design makes it easy to clean and keeps the foam together.
  • Excellent price for such a nicely designed roller.

Review: This is a great foam roller. It’s not too hard and not too soft, and was perfect for my needs. I really appreciate the open design at the end.

If you’ve ever had to clean out a traditional foam roller you know the heck you went through to do it. There is a cotton tube that you have to push the mess through.

The easy cleaning design of the OPTP roller makes it a pleasure to maintain. I’ve owned several other foam rollers, and none of them have come close to the buttery smooth feel of this roller. It’s firm enough to offer real support, but soft enough to manage any muscle pain.

8. 321 STRONG Foam Roller

Our rating: 8 / 10

321 STRONG Foam Roller

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Pros:

  • Travel-friendly foam roller
  • Four different roller sizes
  • Great for travel
  • Works great on a variety of areas of the body
  • Helps with "frozen shoulder syndrome"

Cons:

  • The size is different from what is listed in the product description. The small roller is a bit too small to hit the trigger points required for myofascial release
  • Foam roller can be too soft in places

Stretching Guide, Mobility Guide, and Mini Foam Roller.

A great crossfit foam roller is easy to take on the go. The medium density rollers have 2 inches of foam, making it appropriate for a variety of surfaces and longer usage. This particular model also comes in four different colors: red, blue, black, and yellow.

This roller was designed by a physical therapist so that it can help with releasing the muscle tightness that causes you pain or discomfort. It is able to hit the trigger points you need to release in order to prevent that muscle tightness, which in its own right can cause further pain.

9. Yes4All Premium Medium Density Round PE Foam Roller

Our rating: 8 / 10

Yes4All Premium Medium Density Round PE Foam Roller

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Pros:

  • Perfect for all kinds of workouts, including Pilates
  • Provides a deep massage on your back, quads and hamstrings
  • Specially contoured, flat surface design
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Reasonably priced
  • Available in 5 different colors
  • Can be used by men and women

Cons:

  • Hard to move around, does not roll well
  • Not ideal for shorter people
  • Slightly heavy for its size

This versatile foam roller is ideal to use before or after a workout because the flat profile is easier to move around than traditional cylindrical foam rollers.

The rounded shape of the roller helps to work on tight muscles in the back, while the soft top layer of foam can be adjusted with the ridges so it sits flat on whatever surface you’re working on, making it ideal to use on a desk, carpet or any other surface.

For best results, lie lengthwise on the roller and slowly roll from your hip to your tailbone. The resulting sensation feels like a deep, penetrating massage.

10. Rollga Foam Roller

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rollga Foam Roller

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Pros:

  • Deep massage with little force
  • Helps release muscle trigger points
  • Included instructions explain how to use it for different body parts
  • Long body support balances your weight so it stays in place
  • Excellent value for a high quality roller

8-Inch.

The Rollga is one of the best foam rollers in the market. It has deep-tissue massage and trigger point release capabilities similar to Triggerpoint’s Grid.

The 8 inch foam roller measures 24 inches in total, including four feet, which provides excellent stability and support when rolling your back, legs, or shoulders.

11. Rumbleroller Deep-Tissue Massage Roller

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rumbleroller Deep-Tissue Massage Roller

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Pros:

  • Reaches and kneads hard to get to muscles
  • Provides targeted deep-tissue massage to your trouble spots
  • FDA-certified (meaning it’s safe to use)
  • Provides soft and subtle vibrations while rolling
  • Won’t harm or irritate the skin

Cons:

  • Vibrations are somewhat louder than some at, so don’t use this when others are sleeping.
  • On/off switch is tricky to operate

Every muscle hurts after a hard workout, but why not use a tool that can help take the pain a bit away? This roller has a unique design that makes it ideal for targeting trigger points.

The soft plastic exterior is durable and won’t scratch your skin as you roll on it. And the internal parts are FDA-approved, so you know it’s safe to use.

The vibrations provide a calming effect, and the soft curve in the center is a unique design feature that makes it great for rolling on the back.

12. NextRoller 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller

Our rating: 8 / 10

NextRoller 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller

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Pros:

  • Built in massager for pre-roll stretching
  • Use on the go
  • Easy to store
  • Takes up little space
  • Firm, but comfortable foam roller
  • Includes multi-layer grip handle and an exercise guide
  • Smaller than other foam rollers

This three-piece foam roller is great for anybody suffering from sore or tight muscles who wants a fast way to get back in action. It’s easy to use on the go or at home.

One of the unique characteristics of the NextRoller is that it fits a variety of different muscle groups. The roller has three different firmness settings and three different vibration settings. The vibration settings vibrate and pulsate for a rolling massage.

It’s a great compact roller, so it will not take up too much space in your gym bag or luggage. It is especially good for when you need to roll out your back after a long day on the job.

13. Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller

Our rating: 8 / 10

Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller

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Pros:

  • Strong balance between firmness and softness.
  • Extremely durable and versatile.
  • Highly portable.
  • Covered with high-quality material.
  • Max weight level of 250 pounds for men and 195 pounds for women.
  • This roller can easily be used to relieve all kinds of body pains.
  • Comes with a foam roller workout chart.

We found that the Vyper is prone to compression over a long period of time. With time, the springs inside the roller got compressed and lessened the effectiveness of this roller as a massage tool.

It might be good to invest in a mat that keeps this roller stable while you are using it. Some exercises can also be quite painful especially if you are rolling on the bone. Although it is not recommended, you can use this roller over a softer surface, but it will be less intense.

14. Reehut Foam Roller –

Our rating: 6 / 10

Reehut Foam Roller -

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Pros:

  • Rehut high-density foam roller is made from firm EVA foam.
  • 1-Year Guarantee from Reehut: If you're not happy with our product, please get in touch. We'll make it right.
  • Right and Left Foam Rollers included. The inner core contains open centers to relieve pain and discomfort.
  • Remove kinks from your muscles with 12" foam rollers that make firm massaging easy.

Buyer Reviews:

  • This is my first foam roller and I have used it on both an upper and lower body day, so I have gotten a pretty good feel for its use.
  • I used to roll around my quads for ten seconds or so and reach up to my hips with my hands and give a firm squeeze.
  • After putting it through a workout, I realized it is the best thing since sliced bread.
  • Measures 6-inch diameter x 12-inch length for firm massaging.
  • I can roll my back, thighs, chest, calves and feet on this roller.
  • It worked and relieved my back aches, the product is well designed and easy to use.

Cons of use:

  • This is my first foam roller and I have used it on both an upper and lower body day, so I have gotten a pretty good feel for its use.
  • I used to roll around my quads for ten seconds or so and reach up to my hips with my hands and give a firm squeeze.
  • After putting it through a workout, I realized it is the best thing since sliced bread.
  • Measures 6-inch diameter x 12-inch length for firm massaging.
  • I can roll my back, thighs, chest, calves and feet on this roller.
  • It worked and relieved my back aches, the product is well designed and easy to use.

15. YUFENGGF USA Foam Roller

Our rating: 6 / 10

YUFENGGF USA Foam Roller

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This high-density foam roller from Yufeng is a winner because it’s extra firm and can be used for abdominal and deep tissue massage. It has an attractive black and blue color design.

It is lightweight enough that it is easy to move around and take with you, but still sturdy. There are even videos on YouTube that show you how to use this foam roller, which ones to skip, and how to massage different areas of your body.

It even comes with a three year warranty! So, if you have a warranty issue with the product, just send it back and they will replace it.

16. BecauseYouCan Fitness Muscle Roller Stick

Our rating: 6 / 10

BecauseYouCan Fitness Muscle Roller Stick

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Pros:

  • Fabulous for stretching.
  • Great quality and durability.
  • Affordable price point.
  • Works well for hard-to-reach places in the calves, adductors, quads, and back.
  • Seismic wave action provides deep-tissue and muscle compression.

Cons:

  • Need a partner to use effectively.
  • Unstable during use could roll on someone’s foot.
  • Size is a double-edged sword. If you’re taller than 6” you may need to hunker down over the roller.

This foam roller is an all-around winner for back pain and deep muscle release. The long length allows you to extend the length of your body, which means you can provide a much deeper and more targeted massage.

It has the classic textured surface that you’ll find on other foam rollers, and it’s about the size of my middle-aged foot. That means it’s just the right size to get in between you and your road bike for a massage afterward.

Tip: It’s sturdier than other rollers, so it’s a bit harder to fall off of, which is great news for beginners.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What kind of foam roller is best for back pain?

Before I answer that question, I think it is important for me to first talk about what a foam roller CANNOT do. Although some people may believe that a foam roller is capable of all sorts of miraculous feats such as curing back pain, restoring mobility to bones and other tissues, improving range of motion and helping reduce swelling, etc (don’t be fooled by the long list of self-proclaimed foam roller experts out there who claim it has magical effects), a foam roller is really simply a tool that can be used by people to massage muscles and soft tissues, which in turn can help reduce muscle soreness by releasing lactic acid and other waste products that accumulate in the muscles and soft tissues as a result of strenuous physical activity.

What size foam roller is best for back?

If you're trying to decide between two sizes of foam roller for your back, it's a lot like choosing between a 2-liter bottle and a 3-liter bottle of soda. I don't know about you, but when I'm deciding between two 2-liter bottles of soda, it's the volume that I'm mostly interested in. The 2-liter option looks like a better size…and I also enjoy drinking more soda rather than less.

The same goes for foam rollers. In this case, I would go for the 2" option, meaning the slightly smaller, more portable option with a shorter length. As a storage unit in my house can confirm, I think every inch counts in these situations.

What kind of foam roller is best?

Foam rollers are an excellent tool to use in conjunction with exercise routines.

They are inexpensive, so they are very easy to buy, use and toss. If you have chronic bad posture or poor muscle tension, though, a foam roller can make a big difference in how you feel after working out and how flexible you feel all day long.

Rolling out your muscles with a soft foam roller forces you to slow down and pay attention to your muscles during what is usually a quick exercise session. This helps improve your sense of what your muscles are doing, and it helps improve your general flexibility.

Do foam rollers help with back pain?

In short: yes. Foam rollers are a great way to help ease back pain and keep your back healthy. They can even help with sciatica pain and reduce inflammation and pain caused by injuries. If you have never used a foam roller before, you might be a bit skeptical. The idea of rolling around on a roller probably seems a bit strange, but it beats some of the alternative therapeutic methods for back pain such as heat and ice.

Conclusion

Back pain is one of the most common medical issues in the world. It is often caused by stress and poor posture. In addition to aggravating pain that generally afflicts the lower back, it affects the various muscles, nerves, bones, joints, and tendons in the area.

Using a foam roller on your back helps to improve blood flow and helps with inflammation. It also helps to relieve muscle pain and discomfort.

What we like to do is to use a foam roller on our back before we run, just like what we do with our IT bands prior to an intense run. The result of all these is a reduction in our lower back pain and discomfort.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
TriggerPoint GRID Foam RollerBest OverallTriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
Yes4All Premium Medium Density Round PE Foam RollerBudget PickYes4All Premium Medium Density Round PE Foam Roller
OPTP PRO-Roller Soft Density Foam RollerUpgrade PickOPTP PRO-Roller Soft Density Foam Roller