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Best Foam Roller Alternatives Review 2019

last updated Jun 17, 2019

Foam rollers are wonderful for a true myofascial release. Discovering the right exercise and sticking with the routine will help you relieve your muscle tightness or take care of trigger points. This used to be quite a mysterious technique used by athletes and coaches but it is useful for people at any level of fitness. In this article, we will explore some of the best foam rollers on the market plus some noteworthy alternatives.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research

icon
Elite Sportz Roller Stick
94/100 our score
Features
98
Portability
97
Comfort
90
Durability
90
Ease of Use
95
Elite Sportz Roller Stick
Why is it better?

Comes in a choice of colors

Smooth rolling action

Compact and convenient

How to videos on website

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Elite Sportz Roller Stick
Test Winner: Elite Sportz Roller Stick
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
42
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
14k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
15
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
14
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Features Portability Comfort Durability Ease of Use By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Features
98 %
Portability
97 %
Comfort
90 %
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.08.19)
Amazon Link
$11.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
Features
95 %
Portability
95 %
Comfort
89 %
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.08.19)
Amazon Link
$9.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Features
90 %
Portability
95 %
Comfort
87 %
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.08.19)
Amazon Link
$29.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Features
90 %
Portability
90 %
Comfort
87 %
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.08.19)
Amazon Link
$5.60
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Features
85 %
Portability
90 %
Comfort
86 %
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.08.19)
Amazon Link
$36.10
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Features
85 %
Portability
85 %
Comfort
86 %
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.08.19)
Amazon Link
$24.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Features
85 %
Portability
84 %
Comfort
85 %
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.08.19)
Amazon Link
$31.88
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Features
80 %
Portability
82 %
Comfort
85 %
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
82 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.08.19)
Amazon Link
$29.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
Features
80 %
Portability
82 %
Comfort
85 %
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.08.19)
Amazon Link
$16.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.2
Features
80 %
Portability
81 %
Comfort
85 %
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.08.19)
Amazon Link
$23.95

10 Best Foam Rollers and Alternatives

1. Elite Sportz Roller Stick

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Elite Sportz Roller Stick
Amazon Link
Features
98
Portability
97
Comfort
90
Durability
90
Ease of Use
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$11.99
Pros:

Comes in a choice of colors

Smooth rolling action

Compact and convenient

How to videos on website

Cons:

Develops a ticking noise

The Elite Sportz will help you with sore, tight muscles as well as helping to prevent cramps. Just roll on the targeted area for 5 minutes or so and the tension will release to get better blood circulation to the area and help the area instantly.

Read more

The Elite Sportz is an 18-inch roller that targets the hard to reach muscles of your backs and glutes. This stick features nine spindles to allow you to manipulate your muscle tissue in a huge variety of ways. This device is extremely lightweight, yet very strong. It can easily be transported in your gym bag.

The Elite Sportz Muscle Roller is specifically designed to relieve muscle soreness caused by exercise. It will target knots and trigger points in order to predict and prevent muscle pain and injury.

The Elite roller is constructed from high quality, durable materials. The strength of the unit is one of its key benefits, allowing you to apply as much pressure as you want without the risk of the stick breaking or warping. The rubber handles allow for a comfortable grip. The ergonomic design ensures that the roller will run smoothly through your hands and across your muscles.

2. Supremus Sports Muscle Roller Stick

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
Supremus Sports Muscle Roller Stick
Amazon Link
Features
95
Portability
95
Comfort
89
Durability
90
Ease of Use
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$9.99
Pros:

Compact for easy portability

Built sturdy

Comfortable non-slip handle

Rolls smoothly

Cons:

Squeaks when you are first breaking it in

The Supremus Sports stick gives a rigid massage. That means that it does not have any of the flexibility that you will find in most other muscle roller sticks. This allows you to more effectively apply pressure to the painful area. The roller stick is 18.3 inches long and comes in either black or white. It is extremely lightweight, making it ideal for taking with you when you travel or simply throwing in your gym bag.

You will notice that the Supremus Sports stick produces a squeaking sound when you first use it. Be assured that this will go away once the stick has been broken in, which usually takes about a week.

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This bar is good to use on your whole body. It will help you rehabilitate sore and tight muscles. It will also help increase your blood circulation, improve your mobility and muscle flexibility. These are recommended by physical therapists and personal trainers and used by all types of athletes.

These muscle rollers are compact enough to fit into most travel bags or carry-ons and are very easy to use. You can pinpoint the specific muscle which needs help relaxing and control the pressure you are applying depending on your pain tolerance level. This is great to use for any sport.

3. Tiger Tail Massage Stick

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Tiger Tail Massage Stick
Amazon Link
Features
90
Portability
95
Comfort
87
Durability
90
Ease of Use
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.95
Pros:

Skin and muscle friendly

The unique design helps hand fatigue

Comes with a 3-year warranty

Cons:

Not for big hands

The Tiger Tail is portable and perfect for muscle relief. It is easy to use. This stick is gentle on bare skin and extra friendly for your muscles. The unique design makes the rolling easy to save your hands from getting tired.

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The popular Tiger Tail stick was created for any user, from the couch potato with aching muscles caused by inactivity to the most active professional athlete. The original Tiger Tail is a single foam rolling piece with non-slip grip ends. This is in contrast to hard, plastic rollers which can cause bruising and snag on clothing. The 18-inch length of the roller allows you to massage the entire muscle at one time. Yet it is compact enough to throw into your gym bag or to put in with your travel luggage.

The Tiger Tail comes in two sizes. The 22 inch is best for body massage, back massage, and people who are large or less flexible. The 18-inch model works great for a personal massage and is a bit more portable.

The Tiger Tail is made in the USA and comes with a certificate of authenticity. This is important as there are a number of fake imitations out there that are not up to the job. But, when you buy from Tiger Tail, you know that you are getting a top quality massage ball roller.

4. Pro-Tech Spiky Massage Ball

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Pro-Tech Spiky Massage Ball
Amazon Link
Features
90
Portability
90
Comfort
87
Durability
90
Ease of Use
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$5.60
Pros:

3 inches in diameter

Spiky surface helps circulation

Promotes foot flexibility

Cons:

Takes time to adjust to the firmness of ball

The Pro-Tech is perfect for helping with symptoms of plantar fasciitis. It is a good sized massage ball which will give you a deep tissue massage. The spiky surface gives a stimulating effect to your skin which helps to increase your circulation. This is perfect for shoulders, backs, and calves.

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The Pro-Tech is a firm 3-inch diameter roller which has hedgehog-like spiky protrusions covering its exterior face. This provides a unique stimulating effect that will allow you to work deep into the muscle tissue. This makes it an especially good tool for getting into the plantar fasciitis.

The spiky outer surface of the Pro-Tech ball will also improve the blood circulation throughout the body. This will, in turn, bring vital nutrients to the affected area. The actual ball is solid, so it will not give under the weight of your body.

This ball weighs just 2 ounces, making it the perfect travel companion. Throw it into your gym bag and you will have a custom sports massager to give you instant relief.

5. SKLZ Roller Ball

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
SKLZ Roller Ball
Amazon Link
Features
85
Portability
90
Comfort
86
Durability
90
Ease of Use
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$36.10
Pros:

Contains insulating gel

Made of smooth stainless steel

Has a comfortable grip

Cons:

Does not roll well on bare skin

The SKLZ Roller Ball is glide ball which works friction free with a swivel ball glider and base you hold in your hand. This helps you get just the right amount of pressure to the area which needs the most help. The grip is comfortable for any sized hand allowing you to use it for the best effect.

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The SKLZ Roller Ball gives you targeted massage with ice therapy to help speed up your recovery and get rid of inflammation. It contains an insulating gel which keeps the temperature of the ball without letting it get too cold.

This ball is made of smooth stainless steel that will glide easily over your skin. It is easy to grip and portable so you can use it anywhere and anytime you need maintenance on your muscles. It has a comfortable grip which makes it easy to maneuver on your skin using whatever pressure you need.

6. Trigger Point

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Trigger Point
Amazon Link
Features
85
Portability
85
Comfort
86
Durability
90
Ease of Use
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$24.99
Pros:

The soft surface on the ball

Easily portable

Used against any hard surface

Cons:

Does not keep a round shape

The Trigger Point is perfect to help you soothe muscle aches and pain. It is a soft ball which is similar to the pressure of your thumbs to help you get a firmer massage. This is perfect before or after your workout and easy to carry with you.

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The Trigger Point Ball is about the size of a tennis ball, although it is a lot firmer. This firmness allows you to effectively roll the kinks out of your muscle tissue. The layered construction of this trigger point massage tool allows you to achieve deep tissue compression for faster relief of aches and pains.

An advantage of the foam surface of the Trigger Point ball is that it is much easier to clean than cloth. The ball is 2.6 inches in diameter and weighs in at 1.2 oz.

After a year or so of use, the Trigger Point ball will reshape into an oval. This is actually advantageous as it develops points which can work their way into muscle tissue. You will thus be able to perform your own self trigger point performance therapy.

7. Thera Cane

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Thera Cane
Amazon Link
Features
85
Portability
84
Comfort
85
Durability
90
Ease of Use
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$31.88
Pros:

6 balls for a total body massage

24 x 15 inches long

Breaks tension with applied pressure

Cons:

Not very comfortable

The Thera Cane is a nice massager which can help you ease your hard to reach aches and pains. It is nice to have equipment like this you can use on your own to get the job done. Get rid of those knots in your muscles.

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The Thera Cane is a pressure point cane with a large loop on the end and a number of horizontal bars of various lengths coming off of it. At the end of each extension is a small hard massage ball. The patented design allows you to reach trigger points anywhere on the body. Even the hard to get to muscles between the shoulder blades are reached with ease when you have a pressure point cane like the Thera Cane.

The unique design of the Thera cane allows you to instantly apply to relieve pressure to sore muscles. It features two strategically designed projections and six therapy balls. It is made completely of plastic, meaning that it will slide smoothly over your skin. The Thera Cane massage self-massaging stick measures 15 inches x 24 inches x 1 inch. It weighs just two pounds and comes with a lifetime warranty.

There are a number of cheap rip-offs of the original Thera Cane selling online. Make sure that you buy the real deal.​

8. Body Back Pro Sport Cane

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Body Back Pro Sport Cane
Amazon Link
Features
80
Portability
82
Comfort
85
Durability
90
Ease of Use
82
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.95
Pros:

Made from high-density polyethylene

Weighs 1.25 pounds

Has 11 therapy balls

Cons:

Needs a softer coating

The Body Back has the perfect shaped design to let you reach all the tension spots and knots from head to foot. You can use this to help with your muscle spasms and pressure points. this is one of the most reliable tools for self-massage ever made.

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The Body Back Cane from the Body Back Company is made from high quality, high-density polyethylene. It is BPA free and conforms to all US health and safety standards. Unlike many canes that sell online, The Body Back is manufactured in the United States.

The i-beam rectangular cross sections that are a feature of the Body Back Buddy make this unit three times stronger than other similar looking devices on the market. Still, the cane weighs in at just 1.25 pounds, making it extremely lightweight and portable.

The Buddy Back Buddy has 11 precisely placed therapy balls to provide a very accurate, in-depth tissue manipulation, regardless of where on your body the pain is located. A 12-page instruction manual will help you to get the most out of this device.

The Body Back Cane comes with a no-hassle return policy and offers a 100% lifetime warranty.​

9. STRONG Foam Roller

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
STRONG Foam Roller
Amazon Link
Features
80
Portability
82
Comfort
85
Durability
90
Ease of Use
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$16.99
Pros:

12.75 inches long

Weighs 1 pound

Comes in a choice of 11 colors

Cons:

Too bumpy on skin

The 321 STRONG Foam Roller is another convenient, easy to use massage roller. It comes in fun colors and has solid core. The roller is made of medium density foam and uses patented technology to help you with a self-massage which is almost as good as a professional one.

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This roller is a little over a foot long and five inches in diameter and made with a rugged yet lightweight core. It has triple grid massage zones which are designed to be like the finger, palm, and thumb of the therapist's hands.

This roller is comfortable and easy for beginners to use and is good at getting through the soft tissue layer in your tired muscles. It can be used even while you are in pain. This is a great recovery tool and will help you improve your muscle flexibility.

10. LuxFit Foam Roller

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.2
LuxFit Foam Roller
Amazon Link
Features
80
Portability
81
Comfort
85
Durability
90
Ease of Use
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$23.95
Pros:

Comes in a choice of 4 sizes

Comes in a variety of colors

Made of high-density foam

Cons:

Too hard for some people

The LuxFit is made of high-density foam so it is great for massage therapy. Use it before or after exercise. This will help to relieve your muscle tension and build up flexibility. This is an extra firm roller with good density and a smooth surface. It does not lose its shape even after it is used a lot.

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The LuxFit is designed to help your muscles. Use it before or after exercise for relieving tension and increase reflexology. It will help you to prevent injury and help with posture, body awareness, and coordination. Use it for strengthening activities.

This roller is made of high-density foam with a smooth surface. It does not lose its shape even with heavy use. It repels sweat and moisture and it great for hitting all your trigger points. This roller is great for relief of back pain and helping with back exercises.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Features

When looking for a self-massage assistant, carefully consider the features you need to get your muscles taken care of. Do you need something you can roll on or press against a hard surface like a wall? Would a bar be better so you can reach behind your back?

Portability

If you will be mostly taking care of your muscles and doing a massage at home then it probably does not matter if your massager will fit in your gym bag, but if you do work out in a gym or you go running or travel a lot then you will probably find it useful to have something you can carry with you easily.

Comfort

When considering comfort, you want a piece of equipment you can maneuver easily. This should be something you can use to reach the muscles that need to be worked. It needs to be comfortable on your hands to hold without causing fatigue and easy on your skin when you are rubbing out the muscles.

Durability

It is important to find a piece of equipment which is made of durable material because you are using this for the intense working of muscles. You want something which is high density and will not lose shape, break down or snap. It needs to be a piece you can trust to last.

Ease of Use

This is a tool you will be maneuvering across your muscles with twisting and turning so it needs to be easy to use. You want something which is easy to grip and move, something which will be easy to turn and press. If you are considering one of the bars, you want one which you can turn easily to reach the muscles you need to work.

expert tips icon
How to do a myofascial release

Make sure you do the foam roller sessions while your muscles are warm. Put the roller under the area of soft tissue you want to work on. Gently roll back and forth. Move slowly and work from the center outward.

Limit your time in one spot

Working with a foam roller is good for releasing the tension in a tight muscle. However, like everything else you do not want too much of a good thing. If you spend 5 to 10 minutes in one spot or you try to push all your body weight onto it, you can actually cause damage. You could hit one of the nerves in the area or bruise the tissue.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Is a roller good for any part of my back?

a:

You should not use the foam roller right on your lower back. It is good for the upper back because the shoulder blades and muscles there will protect the spine but there is nothing like that in the lower back.

q: Does it matter how fast I use the roller?

a:

It is tempting to roll quickly but it will not be much help with your muscles. To do it right, you should move no more than one inch per second. When you move slowly, it gives your muscles time to adapt and relax with the pressure.

q: Is it better to roll before or after exercising?

a:

Foam rolling before your workout will help to decrease your muscle density and help you get a better warmup. Using the foam roller after the workout can help your muscles recover from the strenuous exercise so they both definitely have their benefits.

q: Do I roll right on the injured area?

a:

Instead of going right on the injured area and causing pain, slowly work away from the center of pain to the muscles connecting closely to it. Once you hit the attached area, work them thoroughly.

q: How can I improve my form?

a:

Stay focused on how you are using your form through the entire session. If you are too tired right after your workout, you can come back after you are more rested. You can videotape yourself too so you can work on improving your form.