Top 5 Best Reverse Osmosis Water Systems. Read Before You Buy!

Trying to determine which water filtration system to buy for your home can be a very dry topic (sorry for the pun). There are dozens of options with varying number of stages, prices and track records. So, here I narrow it down to my selection of the best reverse osmosis water systems for your consideration.

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis, or RO, is a water purification process that filters out ions, minerals and larger particles by using your regular household water pressure to push water through a semipermeable membrane (or filter). These filters remove the impurities in stages and flush them down the drain, leaving you great tasting and pure water that is comparable to bottled water.

Reverse Osmosis Pros And Cons

On the plus side, RO systems work well, are pretty easy to install and are fairly inexpensive. They also have few moving parts, which makes maintenance quite easy. The main negative is that they actually use more water for the RO process which can actually raise your water bill. However, if you’re currently drinking bottled water, you’ll probably still come out ahead.

Top 5 Reverse Osmosis Water Filters

1. APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Filter System

APEC Top Tier Water Filter

The APEC Top Tier 5-Stage filter system is our top pick for several reasons. First and foremost, APEC has been around for over 20 years and is one of the most reputable water filtration products. Their entire product line gets high marks and this is no exception.

The systems are 100% made in the U.S.A. I don’t know about you but I generally feel better knowing that any product touching my family’s food or water was made in the U.S.A. which has tighter production rules than many countries.

This system has been the #1 under-sink best seller on Amazon for quite a while and for good reason. Out of more than 1400 reviews, 96% gave the APEC filter system a 4 or 5 star review.

It’s reasonably priced right around the mid-point for similar systems.

It has a 5 stage system which is at the high end of offerings. More stages generally equates to higher levels of filtration and cleaner, better-tasting water.

The APEC is also Water Quality Association (WQA) certified and also comes with a 1 year satisfaction guarantee. The company has a team of WQA Certified Water Specialists on hand to answer any water quality questions you might have.

The majority of users of this product state that it is super easy to install and that the water quality is phenomenal. The only consistent negative is that some users complained about missing parts on initial shipment. They had to wait for replacements before completing the install. Overall, though, the positives far outweigh minor negatives and we strongly recommend this system.

2. iSpring RCC7 Water System

iSpring Osmosis Water Filter w/ Transparent 1st Stage & Designer Faucet

Looking for an affordable, made in America, reverse osmosis water filtration system for your home? Look no further than iSpring’s RCC7 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter.

The RCC7 is one of the more affordable systems, often retailing under $200. When you order this item you are getting the 5-stage water filtration system, a 3.2 gallon pressurized tank, lead-free long reach faucet, tubing and installation hardware.

The iSpring has the WQA Gold seal and it comes with a thirty-day money back policy and a one-year limited manufacturer warranty.

Users of this product state that it is quite easy to install and most had it completely put in within a couple of hours. Other users state that this product is a fantastic deal and produces the same quality of water as some of the more expensive filter systems. The only issues that seem to pop up after some time is leaking, though this isn’t a common complaint.

Out of more than 2,000 reviews, 95% of the users gave the iSpring a 4 or 5-star review.

3.Brondell H2O+ Circle Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Brondell H2O+ Circle Water Filter

Looking for the best reverse osmosis water filter with a sleek design that’ll save you space? Look no further than the Brondell H2O+ Circle RO Water Filter System. Its compact, sleek design gives you plenty of room under your sink for other storage options and you won’t have to worry about seeing tubes or cords. It’s definitely one of the most attractive systems available.

It includes a designer chrome faucet that includes an LED filter change indicator. While this filter system is only a 4-stage system, it is still WQA Gold Seal Certified.

The company boasts that the Circle is 10 times more efficient than current conventional RO systems in that it generates much less waste water. So, if water conservation (and water bills) are important to you, check out this system.

One significant negative is cost as the Brondell runs nearly twice as much as some of our other top picks. Of course, some of that will be offset with lower water bills compared to other systems. Nevertheless, you definitely pay for the look and compact design.

Most users of this product are ecstatic about the space saving design of the Circle. However, some users state that after install the product tends to leak and that water pressure is quite low.

Users aren’t quite a positive on the Brondell as some of the other systems we reviewed. At the time of writing there were only a few dozen reviews and 78% gave the Brondell Circle a 4 or 5-star review.

4. Home Master TMAFC Artesian Reverse Osmosis

Home Master TMAFC Water Filter

The Home Master Artesian RO system is a 7-stage filtration system that claims to remove up to 98% of chemicals. Home Master boasts that its innovative design solves most common problems associated with traditional RO systems.

With this system you’ll have great tasting water without the hassle of constantly changing out filters. Their long lasting filters can be changed out once a year or once every 2000 gallons. This can lead to significant cost savings versus systems that need to be changed out more frequently. Home Master also guarantees a faster flow rate!

The Home Master is on the pricier side, though not nearly as expensive as the Brondell. It includes the fully assembled purification unit, storage tank, 1 year of filters, chrome faucet and faucet adapter. There is a 5 year limited warranty on this product. If you ever need help with install or have any other questions, their live support team is always available to assist.

Users of this product boast that the taste of the water is amazing, the installation of the product was very easy and that this product is absolutely worth the money spent. The main complaint from users is that their water bill drastically increased and they did not realize how much water was wasted. Of course, this is an issue for most RO systems, not just the Home Master.

Out of 359 close to 400 reviews, a whopping 95% give the Home Master Artesian a 4 or 5-star review.

5. Aqua Sana OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis

Aquasana AQ-RO-3.56 Water Filter

Looking for a simple filtration system that gets the job done? The Aqua Sana OptimH2O RO Filter is a simple 3-stage system that packs a punch. It has a powerful RO filtration with Claryum selective filtration that removes most of the contaminants from your water. This, partnered with its remineralization capabilities guarantees excellent tasting water.

The OptimH2O has a full system NSF Certification. It is one of the more affordable systems on the market and comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Most users have had a positive experience with the OptimH2O. Several users shared that they live out in rural areas so their water has large amounts of grit and even small rocks. They stated that this filtration system was able to handle it with ease and their water tasted great. On the negative side, some users report significant difficulty installing the system. If you’re not handy, you may need some help with install which offset the affordable purchase price.

Out of few dozen reviews at the time of writing, 83% give the Aqua Sana OptimH2O a 4 or 5-star review.


Buying a reverse osmosis filtration system for your home can be overwhelming. Each buyer has their own criteria that they need to meet, so it all depends on what is important to you. I’d recommend making a list of the most important factors such as price, company reputation, number of stages, space, water use and customer reviews.

Overall, the APEC Top Tier 5-Stage RO system gets high marks across the board and is my number one pick. But, all of these are quality systems so pick what’s right for you.

Product Images from

Foam Rolling Benefits For Pain Relief And Injury Prevention

foam rolling benefits

Are you watching the other people in the gym use (and rave about) foam rollers but still aren’t convinced they are for you? Sure, you’ve heard them talk about foam rollers effectively massaging their muscles and helping them get better results from their workout.

So, what’s holding you back? Probably, it’s the fact that the foam roller is such an unassuming piece of equipment that it’s hard to believe it could actually be as good as they say.

It’s All About Myofascial Release

First used as an exercise prop in the Feldenkrais Method in the 1980’s, foam rollers have gained much of their popularity from how effective they are for myofascial release therapy. I know it sounds pretty technical but myofascial release is really a simple concept and understanding it is the first step to appreciating what a foam roller can do for you.

Your fascia is a type of connective tissue that wraps around the muscles in your body, protecting and supporting them. A problem arises when your fascia is overworked or has suffered some kind of trauma. They become cross-linked, sticking to the underlying muscles and nerves, and interfering with normal movement.

Adhesions (also known as knots or trigger points) form in the tissues causing

  • pain
  • decreased circulation of blood and lymph fluid
  • muscle tension

One of the most annoying things about these adhesions that they can cause (or trigger) pain in other parts of the body. Overtime, the condition worsens and can limit your ability to function in daily life.

massage fascia

The knots can be worked out by applying focussed pressure to the area. A trained massage therapist, osteopathic physician or a chiropractor can perform myofascial release therapy.

With self-myofascial release, you use an object such as a tennis ball or foam roller to provide the pressure needed to free up muscles, tendons and fascia.

Some Great Foam Rolling Benefits

Research into the effectiveness of foam rollers for self-myofascial release is on-going but to-date has produced some very encouraging scientific results. These results back up what many runners and fitness enthusiasts already knew.

Foam Rolling Benefits

1. Foam rollers speed muscle recovery. Whenever you exercise, you are actually causing damage to your muscle tissues. By massaging the muscle tissues after a workout you are improving the circulation of blood to help them heal and also increasing the amount of mitochondria in the muscle cells. If you recall from Biology class, mitochondria are where the cells produce the energy they need.

2. While rolling after a workout tends to get more attention, a pre-workout session has many benefits. The roller helps to warm up your fascia giving them greater range of motion.

A massage with a foam roller before you exercise reduces pain and soreness giving you a greater range of motion and the ability to put more time and effort into your workout. You can use the roller on your calves and quadriceps to loosen them up and reduce knee pain and discomfort. Used on your back, the roller helps to alleviate pain in your neck, shoulders, back and head.

3. Foam roller benefits include injury prevention. By making the fascia around the muscle more mobile and alleviating the tension in your muscles, the rollers are actually helping you to perform with greater accuracy. The risk of injury is reduced because your tissues can extend and function as they should, giving you the ability to move normally.

4. The benefits of foam rolling are not just for athletes and those of us who work out regularly at home or in the gym. People suffering from fibromyalgia have found that self-myofascial release with a foam roller is a great way to handle the all over muscle pain that accompanies the condition.

5. Improve your sleep with foam rolling exercises. Being tired, stressed and anxious can cause muscles to contract and lead to the formation of adhesions in body tissues. One of the most common side effects is difficulty falling asleep or to get restful and restorative sleep when you do manage to nod off.

You can use a foam roller to gently release tension in your spine and neck to help you fall asleep and sleep peacefully without waking from pain and discomfort.

Inexpensive & Effective

Often termed “the poor man’s massage”, foam rolling is truly an inexpensive way to achieve the myofascial release benefits that before you could only get through professional therapy. And, since it’s much less expensive, you can do it as often as you want (I wish that were true with massage too!).

Whether you decide to go with foam rolling pre-workout, post-workout or (ideally) both, you will start seeing and feeling the kind of results that other users are so happy about. Don’t forget too that the foam roller is a great sleep aid and as we all know good sleep is key to healthy living.

Rumble Roller Review: Great For Deep Pressure Lovers

Foam rollers are normally smooth or textured and vary in firmness from soft to medium to firm. The most firm and textured rollers are usually reserved for serious athletes, beat up weekend warriors like me, and people who have been foam rolling for a while.

That brings us to the Rumble Roller: it looks like a torture device from the dark ages and at first go your muscles might tell you it feels like one, too. It is, however, one of the most popular foam rollers out there.

So, are those raving about it just a bunch of sadists or is this scary looking piece of massage equipment really as good as they say? This review should help you decide.

What Sets Good Foam Rollers Apart?

A good roller should maintain its firmness when put to its intended use. What you do not want is a roller that says it’s one thing but actually turns out to be another.

Rumble Roller

It’s also very convenient if the roller brand gives you a choice of size. A smaller size is ideal for travel and massaging smaller areas such as calves, while longer rollers can easily roll larger areas of your body such as the entire length of your spine

The ridges, bumps, knobs and spikes on textured rollers give a deep targeted massage. A good textured roller stands up to the pressure you apply to it without having its ridges, etc. squashed or pushed aside by your weight rolling over them. The roller should last a few years without cracking or having pieces of foam fall off with repeated use.

While foam rollers are not bank-breaking, it’s always good to know that you’re getting your money’s worth. A good roller with a higher price tag should give you better quality to match.

Rumble Roller Review

The Rumble Roller is designed to feel like the fingers of a massage therapist as you roll over it. It has characteristic “high profile bumps”, a design intended to stretch fascia and muscle, provide concentrated pressure during a massage, and get to soft tissue around the spine, pelvis, scapula and other bony areas. The bumps are actually made to be softer than bone but firmer than the tissues making up your muscles.

Rumble Roller

It comes in two different densities and each density comes in two different sizes. The blue roller is softer while the black one is firmer, as it is 36% denser. Both the blue and black models come in 12” x 5” and 31” x 6” sizes.

The rollers are constructed with a solid core of high density EVA foam while their surface is made of a smooth and non-porous (water-proof) material. The solid core means it’s less likely to deform with use. This roller has been independently tested for toxic contaminants and deemed safe for use by children.

They are also latex-free with an antimicrobial additive molded into the surface material. (Nice if you use it when sweaty after working out like I do.)

While some users say the material wrinkles with use, they and the manufacturer also point out that it does not affect the roller’s performance.

These rollers are definitely at the higher end of the foam roller scale but most customer feel generally satisfied that it is worth the price and performs well.

Check out this very thorough review and instructional video from Iron Edge. 


The roller’s surface is hygienic and easy to clean since it repels dirt and is designed to prevent the growth of microorganisms. Both of these features are great when you consider that you are using it on the floor as part of your sweaty workout routine. When it comes to your routine, the manufacturers of this roller have got you covered with an easy to follow set of instructions on how to roll.

It’s “scary” bumps penetrate deep into tissue for effective myofascial release while the choice of size and firmness means you can find one that’s just right for your needs. The complete set (if you are able to purchase it) makes foam rolling very convenient as you can switch rollers to suit the area you are massaging and the intensity of massage you want.


The main negative is that it just may be too much for some people. If you’re sensitive to pressure or new to rolling this may not be the roller for you. If that describes you, I’d recommend something like the less intense TriggerPoint GRID or the smooth OPTP Pro-Roller.

A few reviewers point out that the roller smells strongly at first but that this wears away within a few days. Another possible downside is the cost as this roller ranks among the most expensive. I think the quality and durability make it worth the extra spend, but you'll have to make that determination yourself.


I would definitely recommend this roller for seasoned users (“rollers”?) or anyone that likes deep, penetrative pressure to ease their knots. It’s a quality, durable product with a great track record. But, it you’re new to foam rolling or sensitive to pressure, try some of the other options I gave above or in our top 10 review.

Product images sourced from

The 5 Best Foam Rollers For Runners

best foam roller for runners

Are you enjoying the wonderful mind and body benefits of running but would rather do without the aches and pains that tend to follow your run? Since I’ve started running, I’ve found that dynamic stretching and massages really go a long way in helping me avoid undue stress to my muscles and joints.

Like many runners, I use a foam roller. It’s an awesome tool for self-myofascial release. It loosens up fascia around my muscles, increases their flexibility and improves circulation in the areas worked most while I’m running.

All foam rollers, however, won’t give you the same results. So which are the best foam rollers for runners? Here’s my pick of the top 5 with a look at what you can expect from each one. Also, check out my favorite foam roller exercises.

1. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

The GRID is a favorite of runners and non-runners alike – and with good reason. It’s made of high-quality, durable material. It can withstand up to 500 pounds and is noted for not cracking or losing its shape even with repeated use.

At 13 inches long and 5.5 inches wide it is just the right size for rolling calves, quadriceps and hamstrings. Plus, you can easily carry it with you to roll out those muscles just before or after your run.

The GRID’s uniquely textured surface is designed with proprietary Distrodensity zones. According to the manufacturers, this multi-density exterior works on fascia and muscle tissue in much the same way a massage therapist’s fingers would. The roller comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty and customers get access to the company’s online library of free instructional videos.

2. Rumble Roller

Rumble Roller

This roller is more suited to the seasoned runner or a new runner who has been foam rolling for a while. It comes in two firmness options, original and extra firm. I’d recommend the original option for runners new to rolling. The extra firm is great and will really get into those knots. But be careful, you can easily overdo it with the extra firm!

The Rumble Roller’s core is made of solid EVA foam, while its water-proof surface cleans easily and has an antimicrobial additive molded into it. It’s designed with some serious looking ridges that are meant to give a deep-tissue massage even to your hamstrings and glutes where the muscles are the thickest. The Rumble Roller also comes with a printed set of instructions.

3. Muscle Foam Roller

Muscle Foam Roller

The Muscle Foam Roller comes with a honeycomb design for releasing adhesions in fascia and muscle tissues. This is a nice option for those who want some texture but not to the same extent as the TriggerPoint GRID or Rumble Roller.

It supports up to 550 pounds and measures 13 inches x 5.5 inches, just the right size for runners to take along with them and use on small muscle groups that need massaging before and after a run.

Epitome Fitness, which manufactures the Muscle Foam Roller, offers a lifetime warranty, 100% money back guarantee. This backs their claim that the roller’s proprietary High Density Fitness Foam will “never lose its shape”. Along with the roller, customers also get free access to an instructional video on how to foam roll.

4. Master of Muscle, Muscle Mauler

Master of Muscle, Muscle Mauler

The Muscle Mauler has a solid core and Dual Pressure Zones. That’s a fancy term that means there are bumpier and smoother parts, so you can choose the intensity of your massage. It’s nice to have options for different body parts or different days!

Sold by Master of Muscle, it will hold up to 330 pounds without being damaged. Customers are given a guarantee of refund AND replacement if anything goes wrong their roller which is one of the best guarantees out there.

Like most rollers that work well for runners, the Muscle Mauler is compact at 13 inches long and 5.5 inches wide. A PDF file with instructions is emailed to you shortly after purchase, so if you are new to foam rolling you can have an idea of some good exercises to try.

5. Rolling With It High Density EVA

Rolling With It High Density EVA

The Rolling With It roller is made of durable, high-quality EVA foam and comes in three sizes. Runners will find that the smallest size (13 inches x 6 inches) is the one that best suits their need for portability and convenience to roll out small muscle groups.

The roller is high density with a soft, smooth exterior and is marketed as good for both beginners and advanced foam roller users. It’s a great option if you like smooth and firm and can do without all the bumps and textures of other rollers.

The manufacturer, Rolling With It, says it will stand up to use by “even the heaviest users” without chipping, flaking or losing its shape. They offer their customers a one-year, no questions asked, money back guarantee. The company’s website highlights some great exercises for various areas of your body.


Running can cause repetitive stress on your muscles, tissues and joints. This stress can lead to injury to the areas directly involved in running as well as pain in other sites, such as your upper and lower back. These can leave you sidelined and possibly having to seek medical attention.

By using a foam roller you increase the range of motion of your muscles, making stress, strain and injury less likely. The best foam rollers for runners play an important role in both warm-up and post-workout routines. Any of the five great foam rollers I’ve reviewed for you will help to ensure you prepare your body for the run and then aid muscle recovery afterwards.

Product images sourced from

Essential Foam Roller Exercises For Mobility And Pain Relief

foam roller exercises

Modified image courtesy of  Roger Mommaerts under CC BY-SA 2.0

Foam rollers are cheap and effective tools for improving muscle elasticity and reducing the pain associated with muscle stiffness. But, as their popularity grows, many new comers to foam rolling exercises wonder if they are actually doing it right. Are there specific techniques they should be using? Which muscle groups should they be targeting?

Let’s take a look at how to use a foam roller in order to ensure you are getting the best results. Along with that, we’ll also examine one common area of pain where foam roller use is definitely not advised.

Some Great Foam Roller Exercises


Stand and place the arch of one foot over the roller. Lean forward to apply gentle pressure, roll your foot slowly over the roller in a forward and back motion.  (Actually, I prefer a tennis ball for this but a roller will do in a pinch).

Hamstrings & Calves

Foam Rolling calves

For your hamstrings and calves, place your hands behind you for support and extend your right leg with the upper thigh over the roller. Keep your left leg bent with the foot flat on the floor. Roll slowly from buttock to knee to locate a tender spot. When you do, hold your position for a few seconds, release and then repeat the movement over the spot.

In the same beginning position, repeat the movement this time with the roller under your calf. After you have worked both hamstring and calf on one leg, switch and repeat the movements on the other leg. When you become more advanced, you can do this exercise on both legs at the same time. Since calves are such a problem area for many people, I go into more depth on how to foam roll your calves here.


Lie face down supporting your weight on your forearms and hands. With the foam roller under one leg and that foot off the ground, place as much of your weight as you can tolerate on that leg. Roll slowly from above your knee to just below you hip. Repeat with the other leg. If you’re new to rolling, this can be pretty tender so take it slowly!

Glutes and Hips

Sit on the roller, positioning it at the top of your glute muscle with one leg crossed over the other. Slightly lean into the leg you are working on and slowly (and carefully!) roll your buttocks over the roller. Switch legs and repeat. You'll be surprised how tight these muscles can be.

Some Great Foam Roller Exercises

For the lateral (side) of the hips, lie on your side and place the roller under the area just below your hip bone. Bend your top knee and place your foot in front of your bottom leg for support. Rest on one elbow as you roll up and down over the roller. Repeat on the other side.

Upper Back

Position the roller under your shoulder blades. Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Lift your buttocks off the floor and cross your arms across your chest. With your core muscles held tight, roll slowly, moving the roller up and down from your shoulder blades to the middle of your back.

You can also lie on the roller position vertically along your spine and just spread your arms out to the side or slightly above your head to really get a great chest stretch.​

Why Foam Rolling The Lower Back Is Not Advised

Foam Rolling The Lower Back

Sometimes, what you don’t do on your foam roller is just as important as the things you do. No doubt you are thinking that if the foam roller exercises work so well for muscle pain, then it should do wonders for that ache in your lower back. Certainly, we’ve all seen people doing it and the internet is full of pictures and information directing you on how to foam roll your lower back. Don’t! In fact the National Academy of Sport Medicine recommends against it.

If you use a foam roller on the unprotected region of your lower back you end up getting results opposite to those you want. Here’s why.

  • Your muscles tense up to protect your spine because the foam roller forces it into an unnatural position.
  • Organs located in the region of your lower back, such as the kidneys, are not well protected by skeletal structures. Applying excess pressure to that region puts those organs at risk of damage
  • Depending on the cause of your back pain (such as spondyloarthritis or inflammation of the spine), you could end up making the situation worse - causing yourself more pain and discomfort in the long run.

The truth is, foam rolling is actually great for lower back pain but not if you use it directly on your lower back. Quite often, the pain you feel in your lower back does not originate there but is a symptom of a musculoskeletal issue somewhere else. To ease lower back pain, use the foam roller on your glutes, calves and hips instead.


I have used a foam roller for some time now and I fully understand how very easy it is to get it all wrong. Improper foam roller use can leave you in more pain and discomfort than you started out with in the first place.

The foam roller stretches, exercises and techniques I have shared with you should go a long way in helping you prepare for your work out and get the best recovery afterwards. Just remember to start slow and that the benefits come over time with regular use.


Water Softener Pros And Cons. Check All The Benefits Before You Buy!

water softener pros and cons

So, you’re thinking of taking the plunge and purchasing a water softener for your home. If you’re not familiar with the terminology, the ins and outs of why a water softener can be beneficial might be confusing. Here, I’ll go over water softener benefits as well as some of the key points to consider before putting down a good chunk of money.

But first, why would anyone would want to install a water softener in their home? Typically, it’s because you have “hard” water running through your pipes.

What is Hard Water?

mineral deposits from hard water

Mineral deposits from hard water!

“Hard” basically just means that the water is rich in minerals and it contains calcium, magnesium, carbonate, and manganese.

How do you know if you have hard water? Typically, your soap and shampoo won’t lather very well, your dishes will have spots, your clothes will become dingy looking after several washes and there will be that annoying ring around your bathtub that you can never seem to get out.

If you want really specific information, you can often get that from your local water company. They publish annual water quality reports that are typically available online like these ones. You’ll have to wade through the info though and look for the parts on mineral content.

Is Hard Water Bad for You?

There are two ways to look at this. From a personal health point of view, the World Health Organization (WHO) has found that there are no adverse health effects of drinking hard water. In fact, some research has shown that there may even be benefits, especially for those with low calcium or magnesium intake.

That said, there are certainly negative effects for your house, appearance and time which I cover  below.

Pros and Cons


If you have moderately to very hard water, there are several pros to getting a water softener:

pipe with water
  • Appliance and pipes last longer: Softer water will prevent the build-up of limescale on various appliances and pipes over time, which in turn makes them last longer and run more efficiently.
  • Showers, sinks and appliances are easier to clean: If you’ve ever had major limescale deposits on a tub or sink, you know the effort it can take to scrub it off (not to mention all the costs for special cleaners). So, softer water can mean less time scrubbing, something I think everyone would enjoy.
  • Brighter clothes: Hard water deposits also build up on clothes over time, giving them a dingy, grayish tinge. Softer water keeps you clothes looking brighter, longer.
  • Soaps lather: Everyone likes the feeling of a nice lather with your soap or shampoo. Soft water improves lathering which both feels good and may decrease the amount of soap you use, saving money.
  • Smoother, softer skin: I’m not sure if there’s real scientific evidence on this but personally I feel like my skin is much softer and better moisturized with softer water. Some manufacturers claim this is because hard water clogs the pores. I’ve also heard soft water can be a great relief to those who suffer from eczema.


cost money
  • Cost: The main negative of water softeners is the initial cost. Whole house systems can easily run several hundred dollars just for the system. Add on at least a few hundred dollars for simple installation. Depending on how your water pipes are set up, you may need to add additional plumbing as well which can run into the thousands. Also, don’t forget to calculate maintenance and servicing costs.
  • When looking at costs, though, don’t forget cost savings mentioned above: appliances that last longer; less soap use; and clothes that look better longer.
  • Taste: Most people decide to keep a tap that does not have softened water. Many state that softened water does not taste very good, so they opt to keep a drinking water tap as well.
  • Increased water use: Water softeners require regeneration time, where the softener can recharge. Some softeners use water to “clean out” the extracted minerals, which in turn can increase your water bill by about 10%.


While it might seem like a tough and confusing purchase to make, there are many water softener benefits to consider. The biggest hurdle to purchasing a water softener system is the initial cost.

However, the pros include saving money on your energy bills because your appliances will run more efficiently when there is less limescale build up. So remember, what you’re putting down initially, will be made back over time. Also, in the long run, softer water can also be better for your skin.

Ultimately, just make sure you do your research. Finding the correct softener for your home and pocket book is a bit of a science, so make sure you’ve spend some time looking into it.


How To Raise Leptin Levels For Weight Loss

Leptin: The Satiety Or Starvation Hormone

Leptin, also known as the satiety or starvation hormone, is widely considered to be one of the biggest components when it comes to weight loss. It’s produced by the body’s fat cells and targets an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, where it lets the brain know that you have enough fat stored and can burn calories at a normal rate.

Leptin also has other roles; it has functions related to fertility, brain function, and immunity, among others. However, its most important role lies within energy balance, or the amount of calories we eat and expend, along with how much fat we store on our bodies.

Because of this, foods that raise leptin and questions about how to raise leptin levels are on the rise. As we learn more about this hormone, we can even answer questions about topics like leptin sensitivity and resistance.

In this article, you’ll find several tried-and-true ways to boost leptin levels in your body. By boosting these hormone levels, your weight loss journey will become easier than ever before. Read on to find out just how to lose weight by raising leptin.

Foods That Raise Leptin Levels

High Fiber Foods. Yep, Veggies And Fruits

foods to raise leptin

There are several types of food that raise leptin levels. First, high-fiber foods like celery, oatmeal, legumes, and whole grains are great for boosting your leptin. The fiber in these foods gives you a feeling of fullness, and this in turn causes your intestinal tract to send a signal to your brain to release more leptin.

Daily fruit and vegetable consumption is also extremely important. Because fruits and veggies are high in fiber and water but low in calories, you can eat larger amounts of them without the dreaded weight gain. Instead, your brain will be signaled to release leptin as you become full.

Eat Your Omega-3s. They're Good For You Anyway

Try increasing your omega-3 fatty acid consumption as well. Foods like salmon and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids, but you can also take a supplement for the same effect. Eating these fatty acids combats leptin resistance by fighting inflammation-causing molecules.

Carb Up Occasionally. Yes, You Read That Right

It’s also recommended to take one or two days per week to load up on healthy carbs like potatoes and rice to jumpstart your leptin production. This is most helpful for those who already exercise and eat healthy, but can’t seem to lose weight. If you are already on a low-carb diet, your body may not be producing enough leptin to let you know if you’re hungry or not. Having one or two “carb reload” days per week is enough to get your leptin back in check.

Additional foods that may be helpful include lean proteins, low-fat yogurt, green tea, eggs, almonds, skim milk, olive oil, and sesame seeds.

Exercises To Raise Leptin

exercise to raise leptin levels

It’s recommended to stay lean rather than getting bulky in order to keep leptin levels where you want them. To stay lean, try high-intensity interval training, or H.I.I.T. Workout routines like this stimulate large secretions of human growth hormone. This in turn boosts fat-burning mechanisms and regulates leptin.

For a twenty-minute beginners’ H.I.I.T workout, try this (make sure to warm up first!). Do three rounds of the following five exercises for forty-five seconds each, with a fifteen-second break in between each exercise: push-ups, squats, butt kicks, tricep dips, and side lunges. Once you’ve been alternating between these exercises for twenty minutes, your workout is complete!

You may also want to try doing exercises that target fat cells directly, as well as aerobic exercises and weight resistance exercises. Aerobic exercise is important because it increases blood flow, leading to enough fat burning that leptin is released. Weight resistance strengthens your muscles, which aids in burning fat cells and the release of leptin.

Sleep Baby, Sleep

Sleep to boost leptin

Experts can’t say enough about sleep and the production of leptin. Leptin levels rise during the sleep cycle to let your brain know that you have plenty of energy for the time being and that it doesn’t need to trigger the feeling of hunger.

When you don’t sleep enough, and therefore don’t produce enough leptin, a chain reaction eventually lets your brain know that you don’t have enough energy for your needs. Because of this, your brain will tell you that you’re hungry even if you’re not and take steps to store any calories you consume as fat.

Aim for at least seven to nine hours a night--studies show that those who don’t get enough sleep have leptin levels that are 15% lower. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll have a stronger appetite the next day, which throws your body out of balance--the balance that leptin helps to regulate.

Drink Up. Water, That Is.

Staying hydrated is much more important than many people know. It’s estimated that around 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, a condition that can wreak havoc upon leptin levels.

Drinking enough water aids in digestion, mood, and controlling hunger. It also contributes to how easily your body can absorb nutrients and vitamins. Because of this, being consistently dehydrated inhibits your leptin sensitivity and increases your leptin resistance.

A Quick Recap

After reading through our various tips regarding how to raise leptin levels, you should have quite a few new ideas to aid in boosting your leptin. Here’s a brief recap of the ways we recommend raising your leptin:

  • Eat foods that are high in fiber, along with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, whether eaten or taken as a supplement, have a positive effect on leptin levels.
  • Loading up on carbs for one to two days a week can regulate your leptin levels if you already eat healthy and exercise regularly.
  • H.I.I.T. workouts, aerobic workouts, and weight resistance exercises all aid in the release of leptin into the body.
  • Sleep around eight hours per night and stay hydrated.


How To Foam Roll For IT Band Syndrome And Fix Knee Pain

Foam Roll For IT Band Syndrome And Fix Knee Pain

Where is your pain? If it’s centered mostly at the outside of your knee, then it could be IT band syndrome. You don’t have to be a runner or cyclist to experience the unique pain of this condition. Any daily activity that causes you to repeatedly flex your knee can potentially lead to it.

Recommended treatments include rest, anti-inflammatories and maybe even steroid injections. But many athletes and exercisers have found that foam rolling is an effective remedy. Plus, they are already using the roller as a part of their pre and post-workout routines.

Here is a comprehensive look at how to best relieve pain associated with the IT band by using a roller.

IT Band Anatomy

Your iliotibial (IT) band is not a muscle, although it might feel that way when the pain strikes. It is actually a band of fibrous connective tissue (or fascia) going down the outside of your thigh from hip to knee. It helps to stabilize your knee and allows you to move your hip in various directions.

The IT band has a very important function in running, moving continuously from behind to in front of the femur (the longest and strongest bone in your body located at the front of your thigh). This repeated motion can cause friction and that friction can lead to inflammation of the IT band or IT band syndrome.

IT Band Pain

IT Band Pain

Image courtesy of Bodyheal via Wikimedia Commons

If you regularly run, cycle, do squats or any other form of aerobic activity then chances are you have experienced IT band syndrome. The pain comes from overuse, failure to warm up sufficiently before exercise and poor physical condition. Additionally, while you may begin your activity pain free, the pain begins as you continue to move and in most cases worsen with continued movement.

Some of the more common symptoms of the condition include.

  • Pain located on the outside of the hip or knee
  • A stinging sensation in the area located just above your knee or running from hip to knee, along the path of the IT band
  • Pain when your knee is bent for long periods as when cycling or when the knee is twisted at an angle as when walking around a corner
  • Swelling or thickening where the IT band passes over your femur
  • A “snapping” pain in your hip as the IT band passes over the hip bone in its motion forwards and backwards around the femur
  • Pain when you run or walk as the landing foot hits the ground

Relieving A Painful IT Band With Foam Roller Exercises

The pain and discomfort from IT band syndrome may be eased when you allow the area to rest. Another good way to get relief is by doing gentle stretches and flexibility exercises that target the IT band. Injections of cortisone (a steroid) may speed healing and break up scar tissue but it carries the risk of weakened tendons and ligaments.

Relieving A Painful IT Band With Foam Roller Exercises

Step 1: Don't Roll The IT Band Directly

Many people get much needed relief from IT band pain by using a foam roller, although it is not normally advised that you directly work on your IT band while it is inflamed. Doing so might make the condition worse. So, don’t roll directly up and down the IT band!

Instead of directly rolling an inflamed IT band (a very painful practice indeed) try aiming for the muscles that connect to it instead. These include the muscle along the outside of your hip and gluteus maximus in your buttocks.

Step 2: Roll Your Glutes

Sit on the roller so that it meets your butt at the top of the glute muscle. You will be working one side at a time, so cross one of your legs over the other. Lean slightly into the leg being worked and slowly roll your bottom backwards and forwards over the roller. It is a movement of just a few inches either way, so be careful not to fall off! Repeat the movement a few times then switch to working the other leg.

Step 3: Lateral (Side) Hips & Legs

Lie down on your side, positioning the roller so that it is under the area between your pelvis and the front of your upper thigh. Supporting yourself on your arms, roll up then down over the roller a few times. Switch to the other side and repeat the movement.

Step 4: The Power of Consistency (Rinse & Repeat)

IT bands don't get tight or inflamed overnight and rolling them once or twice or just when they're really hurting will have little effect. Instead, make this a regular part of of your daily self-care routine, just like your favorite warm-up or stretches. Foam rolling definitely works but like most things, consistency is key.

Key Take-Aways

Foam rolling is a proven way to give your muscles and surrounding tissues a therapeutic gentle or deep massage. It can warm and loosen up muscles before exercise or speed their recovery afterwards. It is also a big help for relieving IT band syndrome. You just have to ensure that you do it correctly and remember not to roll your IT band directly while it is inflamed. And, of course, do it regularly. You'll get out of it what you put into it.  

Foam Rolling Your Calves For Pain Relief: Bliss!

Foam Rolling Your Calves For Pain Relief

Have you been experiencing calf pain lately? Pain in your calves is actually quite common and not at all surprising when you consider all the work your lower legs have to do. From standing and walking to climbing, running and jumping, your calves are often overworked and the pain is normally a sign of this.

Athletes, and in particular runners, are quite prone to calf pain. Many of them know the secret to relieving the discomfort is preventing it from happening in the first place. They use a foam roller! When you know how to foam roll your calves, the relief really is blissful.

Causes Of Calf Pain

Alright guys, let’s jump back into high school biology class for just a minute (minus the note-passing and the pimples!)

Foam Rolling For Pain Relief

Your calf muscles are actually known by the technical name triceps surae. They are made up of your beefier, two-headed gastrocnemius muscle and the smaller soleus muscle running under it. The muscles each start in the region of your knee, join at about mid-calf and end together as the Achilles tendon that attaches the muscles to the back of your heel.

1. The most common cause for calf pain and discomfort is a muscle strain. Like many other causes of calf pain, it results from overwork without allowing the muscles time to recover and rebuild. In the case of a strain, this leads to torn muscle fibers and the soreness that characterizes a strain.

2. A muscle cramp in your lower leg (also called a Charley horse) is a tight and intense pain that quickly becomes worse. This pain from the calf muscle contracting involuntarily is more likely to sneak up on you if your muscles are dehydrated or are overly tired. Most people find that they are left with a sore calf after a cramp.

3. Your Achilles tendon, located near the back of your heel in your lower calf, can become torn, swollen or stretched. This is normally caused by overwork of the muscle, stair-climbing or sudden starts or stops in sports like basketball or soccer.

4. A muscle imbalance, whereby one muscle ends up weaker than another one that it has to work with, is also a possible cause of calf pain. The weakness may be the result of exercising one muscle group more than the other. The weaker muscle tires easily and there is an increased risk of it becoming damaged.

How To Foam Roll Calves

Relaxing after Foam rolling calves

Gently massaging tight muscles helps to loosen them and relieve pain. Using a foam roller for a self-massage of your calves is very easy and we’ll look at some wonderful exercises for this below. These will not only alleviate pain but will keep the muscles flexible and strong.

Start With The Back of the Calves

Sit on the floor and place the roller under your lower leg with the other leg may be placed on the floor. Using your hands to support some of your weight, lift your bottom off the floor and roll the entire length of your calf from ankle to knee and back again. Apply more pressure on the upward (ankle to knee) stroke as this is the direction of blood flow.

As you roll, stop at any point where you feel tension and try the following techniques.

  • Slowly flex and extend your ankle or rotate it.
  • Apply cross-friction to any knots that you find by moving slightly side to side over the roller.
  • Pin-and-stretch the muscle being worked by resting the other leg on top of it, then rotating or flexing your ankle. This creates greater pressure for even more active release to relax your muscles and stimulate their stretch reflex.
  • Repeat the motions for 10-30 seconds before moving on to find another tight spot.
  • Repeat the entire exercise with the other leg.

In this same position you can roll the inside and outside of your calf by just simply twisting foot inward and outward.

Next, Do The Side

Lie on your side, with you weight supported by your forearm. Rest the opposite hand on the ground in front of you. Position the roller under your leg about 2 inches from the ankle.

Roll the side of your calf up and down over the roller. If you come across tender or tight spots, pause and slowly rotate your ankle.
Repeat with the other leg.

Finally, Don’t Forget The Front

The tibialis anterior muscle at the front and to the outside of your lower leg can get tighter as the calf muscles get overworked. To roll this muscle, kneel over the roller with both hands on the ground in front of it. Place one leg on the roller so the soft tissue to the outside of the shin bone rests on the roller. The other foot is stretched out behind you on the floor.

For more pressure bring this leg forward to rest on the one being worked. If you find tight or tender spots, pause on the roller and wiggle your ankle for a couple seconds before moving on.


While calf muscle pain may not be totally unavoidable, you can lower the chances of it happening. If you are new to exercising, remember to take things slowly and allow your muscles time to become accustomed to the activity. If you’re a seasoned athlete, don’t fall into the trap of overworking your muscles thinking they can take it.

Keep hydrated and use your foam roller exercises to give your calf muscles a soothing, healing massage. I find that foam rolling my calves helps to properly prepare my lower leg muscles for the stress and strain of a workout. Additionally, I use the roller on my calves after exercising. This helps the muscles to recover from wear and tear and, yes, it does feel blissful!

Which Is The Best Foam Roller? Our Top 10 Review

Best foam roller top 10 review

Have you decided to invest in a foam roller as a relatively inexpensive means of self-massage or as an exercise aid? Perhaps you’re just in the market for an upgrade to the foam roller you already have. Whatever your reason, checking out foam roller reviews is a good idea.

I have been using foam rollers for some time now – I have a small lightweight one that fits in my gym bag and larger one that stays at home. The rollers are ideal for warming up your muscles pre-workout and for helping them to recover after your workout. They are also very useful as a form of myofascial release therapy to help relieve knots, tightness and pain in muscles and connective tissues.

Deciding which foam roller to buy, however, is not an easy task as they come in such a wide variety. This foam roller review is meant to help you make sense of it all. We’ll take a look at the different types of foam rollers, the best brands and the top 10 foam rollers for you to consider.

Foam Roller Comparison Table







TriggerPoint GRID

TriggerPoint GRID




Luxfit High Density

LuxFit High Density

V. Firm



OPTP Pro-Roller Soft Density

OPTP Pro-Roller Soft Density


Lightly Textured


Rumble Roller extra firm

Rumble Roller Extra Firm

V. Firm

Super Knobby!


13" Muscle Mauler

Master of Muscle 13" Muscle Mauler




321 Strong Deep Tissue Roller

321 Strong Deep Tissue




Rolling with it foam roller

Rolling With It High Density EVA




master of muscle 24 inch muscle mauler

Master of Muscle 24" Muscle Mauler




OPTP pro roller standard

OPTP Pro-Roller Standard Density


Lightly textured


Yes4All Accupoint foam roller

Yes4All AccuPoint




Different Types Of Foam Rollers

Their basic design may be simple, but foam rollers are really quite a diverse bunch. You will have to select from different firmness, lengths and diameters. You can get them smooth, with ridges or with spikes and of course, the prices vary as well. Also weighing on what type of foam roller you decide to buy, is what you intend to use it for – an exercise tool, to give you a gentle massage or for myofascial release.


1. Soft Density Rollers

Rollers in this category are usually  good for gentle muscle massages since they have a more cushioning feel to them. They offer more comfort than firmer rollers and are suited to people who are just beginning to use a foam roller. Although they are softer, these rollers are still designed to retain their shape even after repeated use.

2. Standard Density Rollers

At the midway point in terms of roller firmness, these standard density rollers work well for both deep massages and exercise (particularly those exercises that involve advanced core-stabilization). They are sturdy enough to use as supports during your yoga and Pilates routines. They are made to withstand heavy and repeated use and will also hold up well in situations where they are to be used by more than one person. If you're new to foam rolling, this is a good place to start.

3. Firm Density Rollers

These are perfect for athletes and other very active persons who would benefit from an intense deep tissue massage. Adhesions or knots that develop in body tissues are worked out during the myofascial release therapy these high density rollers provide. Firm rollers are also a good tool to aid muscle recovery after your workout (an important step in building up muscle tissue). In general, I'd recommend starting with something softer unless you already know your body responds well to deep, hard pressure.

Size and Shape

1. Short Rollers

If you need to target the roller’s effects on a small area of the body, then short foam rollers do the trick. For example, they can give a quick, focused massage to tight hamstrings, one at a time. They are particularly helpful to athletes who rely heavily on the use of their legs, such as runners and cyclists. If you travel a lot and it makes you stiff, a short roller can easily fit in your luggage.

2. Narrow Rollers

Most rollers come with the standard 6-inch (15 cm) diameter but there are 10 cm options available for you to consider. These low-to-the-ground rollers work well for patients undergoing physical therapy and for the elderly, since they give a feeling of greater stability. Beginners may also find that using a narrow roller gives them more confidence before moving on to a larger one. They are then more likely to stick with using rollers for exercise or therapy.

3. Textured Rollers

Textured rollers are meant to provide users with an intense deep tissue massage. They help with myofascial release in extremely tight and compact tissues. If you're just starting, you might want to try a smooth roller before moving up to a textured one that can be more intense.

4. Rollers with a Distinctive Shape

Some rollers come with in variety of shapes that put an element of instability into their use. They are specifically designed to improve balance, body awareness and core strength of people practicing routines in yoga and Pilates.

Best Foam Roller Brands

Several brands stand out among manufacturers of foam rollers. These brands are noted for their years of experience in the industry, the quality and range of their products, and the level of customer service that they provide.

While foam rollers are generally inexpensive, the better known brands are often at the higher end of the scale. Among our top picks for best brands are TriggerPoint Performance, LuxFit and OPTP. Other reliable brands that are highly regarded in customer reviews are RumbleRoller and Master of Muscle.

TriggerPoint Performance

Founded in 2002 by a triathlete, TriggerPoint Performance is dedicated to self-care products that assist with the relief of muscular pain. Along with their products, they offer information intended to help users better understand how their body works and the beneficial effects the products provide.

The TriggerPoint Performance line includes several variations of the typical foam roller. They also carry other rollers such as their Nano Foot Roller Massagers and a variety of handheld rollers designed for targeting specific areas. Another product in their line-up is the MB5 Massage Ball, meant to help with the relief of muscle tension in hips and shoulders.


LuxFit manufactures, imports and distributors an impressive line of sports and fitness products. They serve the physical and occupational therapy markets, with many of their products used by professionals in hospitals, clinics and fitness centers. They also offer products to support athletic training and for at-home care.

The extensive LuxFit line includes a wide variety of foam rollers, roller sticks and exercise balls. They also have lumbar cushions for back support and seat cushion for relief of coccyx pain and discomfort. LuxFit ventures into Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) with portable TENS machines. These simulate nerves and provide pain relief through the use of small electrical currents.

OPTP (Orthopedic Physical Therapy Products)

With products in the categories of physical therapy, fitness and wellness, OPTP's extensive line includes foam rollers, exercise balls, resistance bands, coccyx seat cushions and a wide range of other massage therapy items. The company has been in operation for over 30 years and many of its products are linked to specific therapy techniques developed by fitness professionals.

They also carry an impressive line of educational literature aimed at passing on information to help persons who are exercising or troubled with muscle tension and discomfort. They offer a better understanding of common conditions and how to self-treat them.

OPTP has recently partnered with the Medical Fitness Network in an effort to extend its reach to more persons with chronic conditions and provide them with access to education material, as well as exercise and therapy equipment.

Top 5 Foam Rollers Close- Up

Here’s a look at my top 5 pick of foam rollers available on the market. I based my selection on how well they each fit into the categories of ease of use, versatility, durability and customer reviews. These 5 foam rollers do what you need them to and while some may be at the pricier end of the scale, none will require that you break the bank to take advantage of what they have to offer.

Among the top 5 are models from TriggerPoint Performance, LuxFit and OPTP. Rounding out the set are selections from RumbleRoller and Master of Muscle.

1. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

Trigger Point Grid

TriggerPoint performance has designed the GRID with proprietary Distrodensity Zones. These are meant to target specific areas of your body and provide an effective and invigorating massage. The good news is that, although at first you may doubt the capabilities of the GRID because it is made with a thinner layer of foam, it works extremely well at doing exactly what it is touted to do.

Its multi-density exterior and superior-quality inner core will stand up to consistent use even in your most intensive workouts. This particular model is of standard density and measures 13 inches by 5.5 inches. It is easy to take along while you are travelling, so you don’t have to miss out on the benefits it adds to your exercise routines.

You can trust the durability of your GRID as it is designed to bear weights of up to 500 pounds and comes backed by a 1 year warranty. Reviews of the TriggerPoint Performance GRID are usually pleased with how well it holds up to constant use. They also comment on the fact that they can use it not just for massages but also as an effective piece of exercise equipment.

2. LuxFit Premium High Density Foam Roller

Luxfit high density roller

This LuxFit foam roller is built for heavy use and is versatile enough to offer a gentle post-workout massage or deep tissue physical therapy. It is constructed of high density polypropylene foam guaranteed to retain its shape and smoothness after repeated use. It comes in three sizes, each of which is quite reasonably priced among rollers of the same specifications. It also comes with a one year warranty.

Unlike the GRID, the LuxFit Premium has one consistent density throughout. That, however, does not stop it from delivering on its promise of real results in terms of relief of muscle tension and effective myofascial release.

In their reviews, experienced foam roller users often commend the reliable assistance it gives as an exercise prop. With a density of two pounds per cubic foot, this is not a foam roller for beginners. Persons who are not accustomed to the effects of high density rollers will generally complain that it is too hard and painful to use.

3. OPTP Pro-Roller Soft Density

OPTP pro-roller

“Soft yet sturdy” is a very accurate description for the soft-density OPTP Pro-roller. It is ideal for a gentle self-massage and for myofascial release. Its resilient construction features closed-cell ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) with a strengthening and functional cross-link design. It will easily tolerate heavy and repeated use.

This roller has a lightly textured surface, which along with the soft density makes it a good choice if you are new to foam rollers. It is also a good selection if you are simply not in need of the more intense effects that firmer rollers provide.

Disappointed reviews seem to come from users who were expecting a firmer roller. The OPTP Pro-roller Soft Density, however, is just as the name says – soft. Other reviewers who love the product point out how very easily they are able to use it as a prop for many different types of exercises, including yoga and Pilates routines.

4. RumbleRoller Extra Firm

Rumble Roller

If you are new to the world of foam rollers, then believe me, this RumbleRoller is not for you! If are used to firm rollers and know very well just how your muscles and other tissues will react to the kind of pressure the RumbleRoller promises, then this is the perfect roller for you.

Its “spikes” work like the fingers of a massage therapist, giving you a truly deep tissue massage. They effectively focus pressure on trigger points for a satisfying myofascial release experience. The RumbleRoller is recommended for use in areas where muscle tissue is thickest, such as the hamstrings, glutes and the hip capsule.

There’s no need to worry about the durability of this roller, user reviews of their experience with the product quickly point out how durable it is and how well it weathers constant heavy use. Many reviewers also recommend that you use this RumbleRoller only after you are ready to take a step up from a standard roller!

5. Master of Muscle 13" Muscle Mauler

Muscle Mauler

Master of Muscle’s 13-inch BEST Foam Roller is lightweight, portable, sturdy and gets the job done. Its design helps whether you are an avid athlete or are using the roller as a means of at-home self-care. It provides an invigorating warm-up and much needed assistance with muscle recovery after you have put your muscles through the rigors of your routine.

The BEST will support you up to a 330-pound weight limit and comes with an incredible lifetime warranty that says the manufacturers really have faith in the quality of their product. The surface of this roller is coated to be dirt and lint resistant and will easily wipe clean whenever the need arises.

Reviewers rave about the effectiveness of the roller’s design at helping to soothe knots and relief muscle soreness. For persons who would have preferred it in a slightly longer style, there is a 24-inch version featured below which should satisfy their needs.

The Next 5 Top Foam Rollers

6. 321 Strong Deep Tissue Roller

  • Heavy duty

  • 13 x 5.5 inches

  • Manufacturer's lifetime warranty

  • Ridges and grooves for deep massage

7. Rolling With It High Density EVA

  • Effective for self-massage, myofascial release and physical therapy

  • Durable – retains its shape and does not chip or flake

  • Comes in two sizes

  • Not suited for use on the lower back

8. Master of Muscle 24" Muscle Mauler

  • Fast and effective post-workout pain relief and muscle recovery

  • Good for myofascial release

  • Lightweight and portable

  • A little too narrow for users with a larger frame

9. OPTP Pro-Roller Standard Density

  • Lightly textured

  • Suited for self-massage and relaxation

  • Durable with repeated use

  • At the higher end in terms of price

10. Yes4All  AccuPoint Roller

  • Great for travel at only 13 inches long and 5.5 inches wide and 15 oz.

  • Initial hollow core design has now been replaced by solid core for greater durability

  • Good for soft tissue massage

  • Targets hard to reach areas

Foam Roller Buying Guide


A softer, less dense roller is often recommended for beginners to foam rolling. This allows you to get accustomed to using a roller while you gauge the amount of pressure your particular condition requires and the amount of pressure you can handle. Once you have gained some experience using the softer roller, you can consider upgrading to a denser one if needed.

Remember, though that quite often a soft roller is ideal for achieving muscle relaxation so there may be no need for you to change you soft roller to a firmer one. With a firm roller, however, you are better able to target the massaging effect on particular areas.


A mid-sized foam roller (from 12-16 inches) will suit you if you are around average height. There are longer ones (in the range of 16-24 inches) which work better for taller persons in that there is no need to stop and reposition the roller as you work.

Some roller are made smaller and meant to be taken with you. They will get the job done but will require frequent repositioning to hit all the areas you need to work on. They are convenient, however, if you are travelling and do not wish to do without the benefits of foam rolling.


When it comes to choosing the texture of your foam roller, start off with a smooth one. That way, you can get used to the effect of your weight on the roller before moving on to the sensation of the ridges, spikes and grids.

Once you are moving on to a textured roller, go for one with softer formations to help you get used to the roller’s ability to target specific tissues. Rollers with a more textured surface can wait until you and your muscles have gained experience in how to best manipulate your weight over the roller.

Price and Durability

Inexpensive though foam rollers are, I am betting you are like me and still would rather having one that’s going last an appreciable amount of time even with continued use. You get a better guarantee of the longevity of your roller if you are willing to spend a little extra.

To add to the durability of your roller give it a wipe down after each use and store it in a safe place as per the manufacturer’s suggestions. White and some colored foam rollers will tend to warp more easily than black ones when exposed to humidity.

This video gives some very useful hints on how to use your foam roller.


At first glance, it is easy to discount foam rollers as being able to provide real benefits. Once you start using them, however, you begin to wonder why it took you so long to get on board with something so simple and effective.

Foam rollers come in many variations of texture, size and firmness. You are sure to find one that works perfectly for your needs – whether for gentle or deep tissue massage or for use as an exercise accessory. The best brands of foam rollers incorporate the best features and are still quite reasonably priced as far as fitness equipment go.

With a little research, comparison shopping and by checking out reviews such as this one you are well on your way to finding the ideal foam roller for you.

Product Images Sourced from

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