A question that many people have is, “What size foam roller will work for me?” There are a ton of choices over on Amazon or your local sports shop and it can be a little bit overwhelming. However, we’re here to help! We’ll break down this common question and give you some quick advice to help you when purchasing your first foam roller.
Foam Roller Diameter
Most foam rollers are 5-6 inches in diameter. Most people find that this size is comfortable for getting their body onto it and then rolling over it. There are generally two reasons why someone would choose a foam roller with a smaller diameter such as 3-4 inches:
- Those wanting a more targeted massage for a specific area of their body.
- Physical therapy patients or older users who need to be closer to the floor when rolling for some added stability.
Foam Roller Length
When people ask the question, “What size foam roller?,” it’s usually the length that they are wondering about the most. Although there are a ton of foam roller designs, they often come in three pretty standard sizes. We’ll discuss them briefly here:
- 36 inches. This is usually the longest foam roller available from most companies and it makes a perfect choice for rolling your back. A shorter foam roller might not be able to do this exercise effectively. An example of this kind of foam roller on Amazon is: AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller – 36-Inches
- 24 inches. This length of foam roller is perfect for smaller parts of your body such as your arms and legs. Check out a 24 inch foam roller on Amazon: Black Mountain Products High Density Extra Firm Foam Roller, 24-Inch
- 12 inches. This small foam roller works really well for workouts in small spaces. It’s also a great pick if you’re going to be traveling with it, such as to a yoga class or in your suitcase on the road. Check out 12 inch foam rollers on Amazon: AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller – 12-Inches
Foam Roller Firmness
Firmness is the final thing to consider when buying a foam roller. The general rule about this is that the firmer or harder the roller is, the more intense the massage will be. The softer it is, the more gentle the massage will be. Keeping that in mind, it’s often recommended that beginners go with a softer foam roller while advanced users get a firmer one.
Although there are exceptions, color can often give you a hint as to the firmness of the foam roller. White ones are usually made from open-cell polyethylene foam and are the softest. The soft white ones can sometimes warp pretty easily, so make sure you buy one that guarantees against this.
Blue or green foam rollers are made from EVA foam, but have closed cells and are medium firmness. Finally, the black rollers are made from closed-cell polyethylene foam using high heat which makes them extremely firm.
Summary: What Size Foam Roller will Work for Me?
We hope this short article has helped you with the question, “What size foam roller will work for me?” Remember, the basic choices you have are regarding length (long-36 inches, medium-24 inches, and short-12 inches), as well as firmness (soft-medium-hard). Good luck in choosing the best foam roller for you!
Want to buy a foam roller? Check out our Foam Roller Reviews.