Comparing Foam Rollers

I recently received a foam roller from  I had been interested in their product to see if it would be worthy of selling at my office since I often give foam roller exercises for my patients.

m80 foam roller

I decided to write this post to compare my experience with different foam rollers.  This will not be a post to say how wonderful the m80 roller is as a thank you for them to sending me a sample product. I want to be critical of the product along side similar products.  I do my best to not be biased.  So lets compare three styles of foam rollers; the open cell foam roller, close cell foam roller, and the m80 roller.  I will score  them in three categories: Firmness, Expense and Durability. A 3/3 is excellent/high and a 1/3 is poor/low.

Open Cell Foam Roller

Foam Rollers - end viewThe open cell foam roller, first style of foam roller you see in the images, can be identified by the open look of the ends.  It looks like the tube was produced and the ends cut off showing the insides of the cells that make of the foam. Most people call these pool noddles.


These rollers tend to be the cheap to purchase.  They often are softer and easier to handle than more dense foam rollers. This will be of benefit for those who have a rigid spine or their muscles are too sensitive to pressure.  The problem with this product is that with extensive use the foam breaks down at the cylinder starts to warp.  In addition, heavier athletes may crush this roller quickly.  For those who wish to use these daily, I’d suggest something more durable.

Firmness: 1/3

Expense: 3/3

Durability: 1/3

Closed Cell Foam Roller

The second foam roller, is the closed cell version.  It is  more solid looking and the ends are smooth not letting you see the insides of the cells.This type tends to be Foam Rollers - standingmore expensive than the open cell versions.  They are a little more stiff than the open cell rollers.  The roller I use has not changed it shape at all since purchasing it 4 years ago with light use.

Firmness: 2/3

Expense: 2/3

Durability: 3/3

M80 foam roller

The M80 foam roller takes on a similar approach as the Grid and the Rumble Roller in that it has elevations and depressions on the surface.  Unlike the Grid and Rumble Roller the M80s elevations are not as dramatic.  The foam of the M80 is more firm than the open and closed cell foam rollers.  This firmness may not be well tolerated for those with a stiff spine or very sensitive muscles.  The model I have is worth about the same amount that I paid for my closed cell foam roller so the expense is similar

Firmness: 3/3

Expense: 2/3

Durability: unknown. I will do a further review of this product after more use by myself and my patients.

So which is better?

I believe this is based on personal preference.  Consider the firmness and how sensitive your muscles are and purchase accordingly

I hope this helps.

Dr Notley
The only Chiropractor/Athletic therapist in Winnipeg

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