6 Best Textured Foam Rollers (Updated 2018)

Foam rollers started out as a trend but have become almost a necessity. Whether you are a physically active or live a sedentary lifestyle, foam rolling is essential in working out many of the tight muscles. This is especially true for martial artists, who put a lot of punishment on their bodies and create many muscle imbalances.

We at MMA Life have looked around and reviewed 6 of the best textured foam rollers around. We like to use both a smooth foam roller and a textured foam roller: different occasions call for different foam rollers. But in this article, we will be reviewing textured foam rollers exclusively. So if you are actively looking for foam rollers that are textured, peep below!

Smooth Versus Textured Foam Rollers

The main difference between a smooth foam roller and a textured one is all in the name—a smooth roller has a smooth outer surface while a textured one could have a variety of knobs or protrusions covering the surface. Usually a smooth roller is preferred by beginners or people who have had an intense workout and are extremely sore. Textured rollers can mimic the feeling of hands during a massage, and so are usually more preferred for experienced rollers or someone who has more specific knots or trigger points that they are trying to work out. Sometimes the smoother foam rollers cannot supply the pressure points needed to work out a tense area. Besides the surface covering, the other main difference between the two is the cost. Usually a textured foam roller is more expensive and can be up to double the cost of a smooth one. 

1. RumbleRoller

Rumble roller is one of the top textured foam roller’s out there. It has a sturdy design and the texture is that of alternating rows of bumps. According to the company, when the Rumble Roller is used correctly the textured design allows the roller to gently stretch muscle tissue in multiple directs. This gentle stretching helps to relieve discomfort, soothe trigger points, and help with flexibility. This roller is extra firm, which when combined with its design means that using this foam roller feels similar to getting a deep tissue massage! Beginners should be careful when using it for the first few times though, as it can cause minor bruising. 

Pros

  • Can really work out any stubborn knots
  • Comes in a variety of lengths and colors
  • The nodules are specially-designed so that they feel like thumbs, making them all the better to really dig into any tense areas 

Cons

  • Can cause minor bruising if the tissue is not used to a foam roller 
  • Can be painful the first few times used

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2. OLIVIA & AIDEN Massage Roller Set

A deep tissue foam roller, massage stick, muscle massage ball, and a travel bag to put everything in means that this kit comes with everything! The textured foam roller is 18 inch (46 cm) long and high density with longer ridges in the middle for rolling neck and back muscles and smaller knobs on the sides for the rest of the body. While firm, the grooves still have a little bit of give which makes it great for both beginners and experts. The inner PVC core can also support up to 300 lbs (136kg) so that everyone can enjoy rolling their muscles out. The whole kit comes at a great price with the only downside being that at 18 inch (46 cm), the roller is not quite long enough to work on the entire back or both legs at one time. 

Pros

  • Several tools in one
  • Two different groove types for more specialized rolling 
  • Can support up to  300 lbs (136 kg) 

Cons

  • At 18 inch (46 cm), the roller is not long enough for rolling wider parts of the body all at once 
  • Only one color/type of kit 

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3. Teeter Massage Foam Roller

This foam roller comes into different types of textures, a more firm one with smaller bumps and a less firm one that has larger bumps in a wavy pattern. It also comes in two sizes: 13 inch and 26 inch (33 and 66 cm). The Teeter massage roller is made up of a hollow plastic core that is coated in a textured foam, meaning that unlike some solid rollers, this one will not lose its shape or begin to sag with use. The longer version allows for rolling the widest part of the back or both arms and legs while the shorter one can provide easy, portable relief and can work just as well on the more narrow parts of the body such as calves and arms. This roller is also waterproof, bacteria resistant, and latex-free. The bumps may be slightly more giving than other types of rollers, meaning that this roller is more beginner-friendly than some of its counterparts. 

Pros

  • Two different types of firmness available 
  • Smaller, portable length available 
  • Durable shape and support 

Cons

  • May not provide as much of a deep tissue massage feeling  
  • Not quite as long as some other options 

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4. Fit-Nation Foam Roller 

This is a 13 inch (33 cm) foam roller that has become widely popular in the UK and is now being offered for sale in the US. It is specifically designed for high impact athletes, such as martial artists. The roller itself has two different groove types, allowing for more specialized rolling. It is also sturdy and firm while remaining fairly lightweight. One of the best things about this foam roller is that it comes with access to Fit-Nation’s online video training program which provides both tips on foam rolling and foam rolling exercises. According to the reviews on Amazon, this foam roller is of great quality and at a great price. 

Pros

  • Comes with foam rolling exercise guides and videos
  • Good quality and good price 
  •  Different textures allow for more specialized rolling 

Cons

  • Too big for easy wrist rolling, but too small for back rolling 
  • Differing textures can cause the roller to occasionally get stuck on transitional parts of the body 

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5. IntelliRoll Textured High Density Foam Roller

This 20 inch (50cm) foam roller is another highly-touted one from athletes and martial artists. This foam roller is specifically designed by chiropractors and doctors to specifically address back pain and tightness. The curved shape of the foam roller also makes it a good at getting rid of tightness of the neck and calves. This foam roller is made of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), which is some of the most dense material available for foam rollers.  

Pros

  • Can choose from two levels of firmness (blue for less firm and black for more firm)
  • Specifically designed for neck and back pain and tightness
  • Curved shape is made specifically concentrate on specific muscles 

Cons

  • Only comes in one size 

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6. Trigger Point GRID Foam Roller

Last but not least, the Trigger Point GRID is an imported roller that offers three different types of grooves on its 26 inch (66 cm) length. Smaller knobs are high and firm and meant to resemble finger tips while the more tubular sections mimic fingers and the flat sections in between are more like the palms of a hand. A foam layer constructed over the hollow plastic core means that this roller is less likely to lose its shape or begin to sag with repeated use. This roller also comes with access to Trigger Point’s online instructional video library over foam rolling. This brand of foam roller is extremely popular with those in the sports and rehabilitation world and it is said that the grooves feel remarkably similar to a sports massage .

Pros

  • 500 lb (266 kg) weight limit and 1 year warranty
  • Free instructional video library 
  • Three different groove types allows for a more realistic massage feeling 
  • Two different sizes

Cons

  • Not for beginners as it is firm enough to cause bruising 

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