This smooth roller comes in three useful sizes, with even the smallest large enough for full back rolls…

I’ll be honest, I am slightly confused as to how this basic foam roller costs the same as other, more advanced foam rollers with textured foam. Although this Amazon Basics roller is a useful tool to have, it is quite literally just a cylinder of foam. Saying that, it still does a decent job and I found it helped ease tightness in my legs and back when doing stretching exercises post workout. So is it one of the best foam rollers for workout recovery?

Men’s Fitness verdict

This smooth roller comes in three useful sizes, with even the smallest large enough for full back rolls. The lack of texture means it’s not the best for deep tissue massage though.
  • Robust and hard-wearing
  • Available in three sizes
  • Even the shortest size is longer than most
  • Overpriced (in the UK)
  • A little too firm for many beginners

How we test the best foam rollers

Though most people predominantly use foam rollers for massaging tight hamstring and calf muscles, they can be used for every body part. So our testers used each roller after exercise for these best foam roller moves. They massaged and manipulated the tissue and muscles in their feet, shins, adductors and quads, as well as their upper and lower back, pecs and lats. They also used these moves in conjunction with complimentary stretching exercises, such as the best hip stretches and best shoulder stretches.

Length:18in / 45cm; 24in / 60cm; 36in / 90cm
Colour:Black, speckled grey

Amazon Basics Foam Roller features

The biggest plus for this roller is that it’s available in three sizes: 18in / 45cm, 24in / 60cm and 36in / 90cm. I tried the 18in / 45cm roller, the shortest length available. Even this is slightly longer than your average foam roller, which tends to be around 14in / 35cm. It meant I could roll it along my back comfortably or massage both legs simultaneously.

The larger 60cm and 90cm versions will make these stretches even easier. The 90cm roller will set you back almost £30, which is a little steep for a basic foam roller (although it’s much cheaper in the US at $13.04). 

Overhead view of an Amazon Basics foam roller
The Amazon Basics roller is firm but smooth, with no nodules for working knotted muscles

The polypropylene foam is robust, hard wearing and high density. Even when I placed most of my weight on the roller, it felt tough and unyielding. It’s so firm that rolling across a particularly tight point can be quite painful. You expect a bit of pain when rolling, but just a little more ‘give’ in the foam would help ease you in to your session. 

The foam is completely smooth – there are no nodules or texture with which to relieve pressure points or loosen painful knots. Personally, I like some texture to really dig into my muscles, but beginners to foam rolling or those looking to use it alongside their daily mobility stretches might appreciate this less intense approach.  

However, it’s lightweight and easy to stash away or carry with you to gym sessions (though the larger options are a bit unwieldy). Plus, despite the fact it costs the same as more technical rollers in the UK, it’s still affordable and should last you for years. For a simple no-frills foam roller, the Amazon Basics is a decent choice. 

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