Foam rollers are starting to become more and more popular especially within, but not limited
to the fitness community. So, whether you are new to working out or if you have started to
consider getting a foam roller to deal with stiffness and soreness within your muscles, this
article is for you.
You get various different types of foam rollers ranging from soft to firm and bumpy to
smooth. There are also different lengths, sizes, and shapes and each of these has its own
benefits and they each have their own drawbacks. Understanding the different foam rollers
will help you choose one that’s best for you.
In this article, we are going to list the 13 different types of foam rollers that you get. We will
also discuss each of them in detail and finally, we will give you a recommendation of which
foam roller is the best in terms of the type and then in terms of the brand. So, for everything
you need to know, keep reading.
13 Types Of Foam Rollers
In this list, we are going to discuss not only the different types of foam rollers in terms of
density but we will be talking about size, texture, and type. So, here is a list of 13 different
foam roller types.
Firm Foam Rollers
We will start out by talking about firm foam rollers. These genuinely offer the most pressure
possible. It is important to note that they are not best suited for people who are brand new 2 foam
rolling. Obviously, the amount of pressure they exert depends on whether they are smooth or
The Benefits Of Firm Foam Rollers
● Maximum pressure (dependent on the texture).
● Maximum muscle relief (Dependent on the texture).
Low-density Foam Rollers
Low-density foam rollers or better known as soft foam rollers don’t apply as much pressure
as harder ones. With that being said, these are best for people who are brand new to this
form of muscle relief.
Because it does not apply as much pressure it does not do as good a job as harder foam
rollers. For this reason, it is better for beginners because it is less painful to use.
The Benefits Of Low-density Foam Rollers
● Best for beginners
● Not as painful to use as firm foam rollers
Medium-density Foam Rollers
Medium-density foam rollers are pretty much suited toward anyone. They hit that middle spot
where it is not as painful as the hard ones and they are not as ineffective as the softer foam
What I absolutely love about medium-density foam rollers is the fact that you can use them
on almost any muscle group. See, when do you use a foam roller on certain muscle groups
you might actually want different densities depending on the muscle group.
The Benefits Of Medium-density Foam Rollers
● The best for beginners to advanced users.
● Provides a good balance between pressure and pain relief.
It’s not often when I write about something that I say I’m not a huge fan of it but in this case, I
have to. With that being said, I understand that some people would prefer a half-round foam
The half-round foam roller is exactly what it sounds like. It is not completely round and
therefore it sits flat on the floor. This means that instead of rolling it, you will target a specific
area and apply as much pressure as needed.
I guess you could say this is the best option for people who would prefer stability and who
aren’t comfortable with a rolling foam roller.
Half-round foam rollers come in all the different sizes, lengths, textures, and densities
available. We have or will discuss these in this article.
Benefits Of A Flat Half-round Foam Roller
● You have more control.
Nano Foam Rollers
Nano foam rollers might sound pretty technical and advanced but it really isn’t. All it is is just
a really small foam roller that is designed for use on your feet or forearms. I am going to go
out on a limb here and say that due to work, having one of these foam rollers is absolutely
necessary even if you don’t work out.
The Nano foam roller is best suited for people who run and people who stand a lot at work.
There is no need to pay large sums of money to get a foot massage anymore and there is no
need to beg your partner for one either. Just use a Nano foam roller and if I’m being honest,
it feels better than anything out there.
TriggerPoint makes the best Nano foam roller in my opinion.
Benefits Of Nano Foam Rollers
● It is the best option for muscle relief in the feet.
● It is portable.
Smooth Foam Rollers
Now we are starting to get into the textures of foam rollers and this can play a significant role
in the effectiveness of the foam roller. A lot of people will say that smooth foam rollers are
best for beginners and this is true but I have something else to add to that.
While smooth foam rollers are in fact best suited to beginners they can also be great for
certain muscle groups where it is harder to control the weight that you put on the foam roller.
So. for example your glutes.
Benefits Of Smooth Foam Rollers
● Not as painful to use as textured foam rollers.
Bumpy foam rollers are by far the best when it comes to people who work out really hard.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of a
bumpy foam roller but it will take some getting used to.
The effectiveness of a bumpy foam roller can depend on the density of the foam. However, a
firm bumpy foam roller is not advised to somebody who is new to foam rolling. I think it is
best if you first get used to the pressure involved in using a foam roller.
With that being said, once you are used to using foam rollers, a bumpy foam roller with a
medium to firm density is by far the best way of massaging your muscle groups for maximum
release and maximum efficiency.
Benefits Of Bumpy Foam Rollers
● Maximum Pressure.
● Maximum Release.
● The most effective.
Ridged/Grid Foam Rollers
This is the most common kind of foam roller that you get. The ridge is also known as a grid
foam roller. It strikes a perfect balance between pressure release and pain. Most foam rollers will have three grids on them. You can use each grid to target a different
area of a specific muscle group
Benefits Of Grid Foam Rollers
● Very easy to find due to their availability.
● They strike a good balance between effectiveness and pain.
Curved Foam Rollers
A curved foam roller generally has three or four long ridges that look similar to the spine fin
of a fish.
These are not as effective as most other foam rollers at targeting large muscle groups but for
specific areas, they are perfect. It is recommended that you do not start off with one of these
foam rollers because they do apply quite a lot of pressure and may hurt you if you are new.
Benefits Of Curved Foam Rollers
● They target very specific areas.
● They are effective at applying pressure to sore muscles.
Long Foam Rollers
So, there are two main purposes as to why I would assume you want a long foam roller. The first being that you move around a lot and the second being you might be a larger person. However, there is another great thing about longer foam rollers.
As we mentioned, if you are a larger person or if you like to move around a lot then a long foam roller is great for you. However, a long foam roller makes it easy to transition seamlessly between muscle groups, for example, you could be busy with your glutes and simply flip over and start applying pressure to your thighs.
Benefits Of Long Foam Roller
● Easy to transition between muscle groups.
● Better for people who are tall or have extra weight.
Short Foam Rollers
Short foam rollers come in all different textures and densities. The best thing about a short
foam roller is its portability. Not only that, but it is also great for kids and smaller people.
The rollers also come in different densities and textures. Other than that, there is not much
more to say about them.
Benefits Of Short Foam Roller
● Easy to use for kids.
The recovery ball made it onto this list because it is a type of foam roller. It is made out of foam and comes in different textures, densities, and sizes but its main purpose is to target a specific muscle group. This is generally in the upper and lower back.
Again, I do not recommend recovery balls to beginners because they seem to apply a lot of pressure to specific areas of your body and therefore, it could hurt if you are new. With all of that being said, recovery balls are one of the best tools that you can use to target muscle stiffness and soreness in your back.
Benefits Of Recovery Balls
● Applies effective pressure.
Open-cell foam rollers are generally the cheaper out of all the options. They are also the ones that last for the least amount of time before breaking. Open-cell foam rollers are just a specific type of material you can get.
If you want to see whether or not foam rolling is for you then I highly recommend getting one of these cheaper versions before getting one of the more expensive ones.
Which Foam Roller Is The Best?
The best type of foam roller is a medium density bumpy foam roller. This is true whether it is
a nano or a regular foam roller.
In my experience, the best brand of foam roller has to be TriggerPoint. Not only is their lineup made from some of the best quality materials but they also offer a wide selection of sizes, densities, textures, and more.
TriggerPoint also sells their products worldwide so wherever you are reading this from, you
should be able to find a TriggerPoint product in your area.
It is very important that you look after your body and just because we are working out
whether it be running or lifting weights, it doesn’t mean that you are taking care of your body.
You still need to make sure that you allow your muscles to recover efficiently. That is what
the main purpose of a foam roller is so I highly recommend that if you don’t have one
already, you get one.
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