Foam Roller Buying Guide

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If you have a commercial gym, you must be looking for a foam roller from time to time. And for first-time buyers, it is difficult to choose between the variety of them available in the market. You should know all of its important features to be able to make a great purchase. Before buying, make a list of all the features you are looking for in a foam roller and choose a product that suits most of your requirements. 

To help you with the process, we have discussed everything related to foam roller that is essential for you to know. 

From their manufacturing materials to important features, you will get to know everything about them in this article. You will find foam rollers being sold with multiple other names such as back roller, muscle roller, or exercise roller. However, for the sake of uniformity, we will call them foam rollers throughout this article. 

So, without further delay, let’s get into the best foam roller buying you will find on the internet!

Table of Contents

Types of Foam Rollers

By Materials

Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA)

The best form of foam rollers is the one manufactured using EVA. They can easily have continuous and rigorous use in commercial gyms or training centers. They are durable and are designed to pay for their value. 

EVA rollers are lightweight and do not deform even after much usage. You will find EVA rollers in a variety of density levels. So choose one that suits your requirements. 

If you are buying foam for a commercial gym, EVA foam rollers are your best option because of their versatility and durability. 

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Expanded polypropylene (EPP) rollers

Foam rollers manufactured using EPP offer a great balance between price and durability. They can be used by both beginners and expert-level trainers. 

They are better than PP rollers in terms of durability, firmness, and resistance. However, some users might find them too firm. So make sure to analyze the requirements of your clients. They last longer than PP rollers. 

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Polyethylene (PE) rollers

PE rollers are suitable only for beginners. They are softer than all other types but are not much durable. PE rollers are the cheapest of all available options. 

If you are newly introducing foam rollers in your commercial gym, PE rollers can help you get started on a low budget. It will help you in analyzing its requirements. They are available in a variety of sizes. They are recommended for beginners because of their softness. It helps them learn the technique without feeling the pressure caused by rigid rollers. However, keep in mind that these rollers will wear off in a short time span. 

PE rollers are eco-friendly, therefore, they can help you in reducing your carbon footprint. They do not leave any residues even after burning. The softness of the roller also depends on the type of polyethylene being used to make them. Choose a roller that is not too hard and not too soft. Keep in mind that the rollers become softer after every use. 

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By Density

The density of a foam roller plays an important role in determining its durability and ease of usage. It affects the firmness, compressibility, and bounciness of the roller. There are three types of rollers according to their density level i-e firm, standard, and soft. The density of the roller also determines the type of trainers who will use them. Beginners use soft rollers while experts use firm rollers. 

Firm rollers

Firm rollers offer the highest level of rigidity. They are used only by expert trainers having firm muscles. They can also help in losing the stiff muscles and performing deep tissue massage. They are used commonly for “myofascial release” which refers to the treatment of fascia constrictions. 

They are manufactured in black or other dark colors. They last longer than all other types of rollers but make sure you have their demand in the commercial gym because beginners cannot use them. 

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Standard Rollers

Standard rollers have an average density. They are not too hard or not too soft and can meet the requirements of all types of users. They are available in green and blue colors. They are used commonly for aerobic exercises. Their medium-level rigidity makes them suitable for workouts as well as massages. 

If you are on a tight budget, you can buy only standard rollers to be used by all types of trainers. However, keep in mind that some beginner users might refrain from using them. 

Soft Rollers

Soft rollers provide the best cushioning and they are the lightest of all types. If you are looking for comfortable exercise and surface-level massage, these rollers are the best rollers for that purpose. Deep massaging is not possible using them. 

These rollers are available in a variety of sizes. However, they are colored white only. If you are looking for color, ask your manufacturer to see if they provide roller coloring services. However, keeping in mind that this color coding is universal so it might be in your best interest to leave it as such. 

Physical properties of Foam Rollers 

Manufacturing 

At the first glance, all foam rollers look the same to most people. However, there exist multiple differences between them. Some of those differences are in their manufacturing techniques. 

Here are a few differences between them: 

Closed-cell vs Open Cell Rollers

These rollers have a different construction style. They offer the same functionality but closed-cells are preferred over open-cell rollers because of their durability.

Solid vs Hollow Rollers

Although solid and hollow rollers almost feel the same during exercise, they have a different firmness level. Hollow rollers usually have a plastic cylinder for reinforcement and they might feel firmer because of this. Since hollow foam rollers require less space for storage, they are best suited for travelers.

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Size and Shape 

Foam rollers are manufactured in a variety of sizes. Large cylindrical rollers are commonly used in commercial gyms. Here is a brief description of the different sizes of foam rollers.

Half flattened foam rollers

These semicircular foam rollers, flat on one side and circular on the other, are best suited for core workouts and balance. They are available in a variety of sizes. The most common one is 3’ long, having a diameter of 3”.

These rollers are used for multiple purposes such as physiotherapy, yoga, Feldenkrais, and pilates. Users can also place them under their feet for massages. Generally speaking, half flattened rollers can be used to perform all types of exercises that can be performed using circular rollers.

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Round foam rollers 

These rollers are perfectly cylindrical. They are available in all sizes i-e standard and short with varying diameters. They are used for a variety of exercises. 

Length

Full-size standard rollers

The standard size of foam rollers is 6 inches in diameter and 3 feet in length. They can be used for a variety of purposes such as massages, workouts, physiotherapy. They are commonly used for large muscle groups such as the back or thighs.

The 36 inches long foam roller is ideal for exercises that require stability. Therefore, they are commonly used for strength training and Pilates where they are kept under the spine.

Short rollers

For people who have to travel with foam rollers, shorter foam rolls are an ideal choice. The small size makes them easier to keep in the bag. They are used for small muscle groups such as glutes, calves, or IT band areas. They are a popular option among those who prefer to use their personal foam roller in training centers or commercial gyms. 

Their length ranges from 1 to 2 feet. Their diameter is the same as that of standard rollers i-e 6 inches.

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Foam Roller Length

Here are a few benefits of 3 feet, 2 feet, and 1-foot rollers:

3 feet: 

  • Excellent versatility and balance
  • Can be easily placed under the complete spine length

2 feet:

  • Can be used for targeting shorter muscles such as legs or arms
  • Travel friendly
  • Offers a great balance between the functionalities of short and large rollers so you can get versatility and portability at the same time.

1 foot:

  • Can be used only for a small muscle group
  • Ideal to provide relief to a certain area 
  • Ideal for usage under feet, especially in plantar fasciitis and similar conditions.
  • Travel friendly

Diameter

These foam rollers have a 4 inches diameter. They offer greater stability as compared to 6 inches ones because they are closer to the ground. They are commonly used by the elderly, people with balance issues, and people undergoing physiotherapy. They are more secure and easy to use than thicker foam rollers. They are best for deep massages and for usage in hard-to-reach areas.

6 inches:

  • 6 inches is the standard diameter for foam rollers 
  • If you can buy only one type of foam rollers, they should be your first pick
  • They are the most versatile of all types of foam rollers. All types of exercises can be performed using them. 

4 inches:

  • 4 inches is the smaller size of foam rollers. 
  • They are used for deep massages and for hard-to-reach areas. 
  • They are user-friendly, stable, and easy to control. 

Surface

Foam rollers can have multiple types of surface textures. So you should carefully choose one according to your requirements.

Smooth rollers

Smooth rollers are best suited for beginners. They exert a uniform pressure throughout the target massage area. Their impact is not very rigid, making them suitable for people looking for light massages. It helps them in analyzing the amount of pressure they can handle before moving on to textured rollers. They are cheaper than foam rollers having a textured surface.

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Textured rollers

They have regular bumps throughout the surface of the roller. They are manufactured in a variety of sizes and shapes. The texture on its surface differs according to the type of the manufacturer. As a general rule of thumb, remember that the higher and bigger the ridges, the greater will be the massage impact caused by them. They are two types of textures:

  • Wavy texture

The wavy texture has prominently raised surfaces and offers intense massage. They are ideal to relieve sore muscles and stiffness

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  • Light texture

This texture is less intense than the wavy texture. They are used to increase circulation in the massage area.

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Color

Foam rollers are color-coded based on their firmness. Manufacturers from all around the world follow the same coloring scheme.

White

White-colored foam rollers have the lowest density. They are ideal for beginners.

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Light colors

Light colors are used for medium-density rollers. Orange, blue, red, and green are generally used for this purpose. These rollers provide more than average pressure. 

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Black

The most rigid rollers are colored black. They are used for deep massages.

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Buying Tips for Foam Rollers

We are glad you reached the end of our buying guide. Before you go, here are a few things that we would like to remind you about buying foam rollers. 

  1. Manually check the density of the foam roller instead of just following the color-coding.
  2. Prefer buying closed-cell foam rollers since they are more durable than open-cell ones.
  3. Use the roller once before offering it to your customers. If you feel pain after using it that does not subsidies after an hour, the roller should not be used.
  4. Prefer buying one-piece PE rollers instead of two-piece ones because one-piece rollers are more durable. If you are unsure if the roller is one-piece or two-piece, look for the inner circle. If it is not present, the roller is manufactured in one piece.

Conclusion

Carefully choosing a foam roller is an integral part of maintaining your gym reputation and providing the best experience to your customers. We hope that our detailed buying guide answered all your queries related to foam rollers so you are now ready to make your purchase. If you are ready to make a purchase, contact us for a customized price quote.

If you still have any questions, please reach out to us and we will try our best to answer you.

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