Are you considering the purchase of a foam roller? If so I bet one of your main questions is “Which Foam Roller Material Should I Choose?”
There is a very wide range on the market, PE, EVA, EPP etc. and I’m sure the jargon leaves you cold. For the purpose of this post we will not worry about the different shapes and sizes of Foam Rollers as we have briefly covered this in a previous post. All we will cover here is the different types of material and their firmness.
In this article:
Foam Roller Materials – Softest to Firmest
PE Foam Rollers
To start with the softest or ‘standard’ are PE foam rollers (Polyethylene). When purchasing a PE foam roller it is advisable to purchase a roller with a ‘one piece’ construction, as it will retain its shape for a much longer period than rollers with a two piece construction. If a PE roller has an ‘inner circle’ when looking at either end, it is made from a two piece construction. These tend to distort after a short time, will not be as firm, and the inner section is likely to separate from the outer part. Typically PE rollers are of lower quality and we’d recommend an EVA or EPP roller as it will undoubtedly last longer.
Our favourite PE foam rollers:
EVA Foam Rollers
The next ‘standard’ material is EVA, or Ethylene Vinyl Acetate to be technical. This is an excellent shock absorbent material, very light weight, long lasting and hard wearing. EVA is ideal for gyms and clinics where continued and long term use is essential. It has a very slight sponge feel which is ideal for people who do not want a firm foam roller. For those who require just that little bit more firmness we have High Density EVA which loses some of that ‘sponginess’ and officially takes you slightly into the ‘firm’ category.
Our favourite EVA foam rollers:
EPP Foam Rollers
At the top end of the firm category can be found the EPP, Expanded Polypropylene rollers. This is a new foam roller material on the market which looks like it is made from tightly moulded polystyrene balls with a smooth outer surface. This material takes us to the top end of the firm range and has been designed for moderate to heavy use. They would be suitable for gyms and clinics.
Our favourite EPP foam rollers:
Specialist Foam Rollers
Hardcore Extra Rigid Roller
The extra-rigid hardcore roller provides an extra firm physio self massage where you need it most. It’s great for loosening the tightest muscles as the rigid nodules help you get deep into any tough to reach spots, giving you targeted relief.
The ‘indestructible core’ also ensures this roller wont lose shape over time.
HardCore XL Double Length Foam Roller: Get Fast Relief From the Pain of Sore, Tight Muscles In Your Upper and Lower Back, Quads, Calves and Knees - Enjoy the Firmest, Deepest Massage From the Unique Gym Quality Extra Rigid Indestructi-Core. Complete With Workout Guide E-Book Containing 20 of the Best Powerful Trigger Point Massage Roller Exercises and Stretches (Black)
Trigger Point Massage Roller Kit
This versatile hollow EVA foam roller has two different textures, one side is smooth and the other has the pyramid shaped nodules reach specific painful areas to help relieve muscular aches and discomfort and alleviate pressure thus reducing tension and fatigue. This foam roller also comes with two acupressure massage balls and also includes a handy mini roller, ideal for alleviating pain and soreness in feet and forearms.
Pulseroll Vibrating Roller
Enhance your foam roller stretching or exercise routine with the Pulseroll vibrating foam roller. The vibrations help to agitate stubborn muscles and provide relief whilst also reducing the discomfort from using a foam roller.
So next time you are down at the gym and someone asks you “Which foam roller material should I choose?” You know exactly what to say because you are an expert…. Aren’t you! If you still have questions have you seen our other post, how to choose your foam roller?