Best Massage Balls

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
381 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best massage balls

Last Updated November 2019

A deep-tissue massage can be extremely soothing when you’re dealing with muscle aches and pains. But getting regular massage treatments is expensive, which is why buying a massage ball can be such a great investment. With a massage ball, you can have a therapeutic massage at home anytime you want.

A massage ball is a rubber, foam, or plastic ball that is rolled under the body to target specific areas. The ball mimics the pressure that a masseuse exerts on your muscles to help soothe aches, pains, and tightness. A massage ball can also help increase flexibility and is an ideal option if you’re recovering from an injury or a particularly grueling workout.

To get the most out of a massage ball, you have to choose the right model. That means determining the best size, weight, shape, firmness, and other features that will give you the most effective massage experience. Our buying guide has plenty of advice to help you find the best massage ball for your next at-home or post-workout massage. To make shopping as easy as possible, you’ll find our top product recommendations in the matrix above.

For the best results, aim to use a massage ball several times per week.

Key considerations

Size

Massage balls are available in a variety of sizes, but you should choose a size based on the area of the body that you want to work.

For smaller areas of the body like the forearms, hands, and feet, opt for small massage balls that are approximately the size of a golf ball or lacrosse ball. These massage balls typically have a diameter between 43 and 63 millimeters.

For slightly larger areas of the body, massage balls that are the size of golf balls, lacrosse balls, or baseballs work best. These massage balls are ideal for working the deltoids and neck, upper and lower back, buttocks, abdomen, hamstrings, and calves. They usually range from 43 to 73 millimeters in diameter.

For large parts of the body, including the shoulders and chest, a massage ball should be big enough to adequately work the area in a short amount of time. A massage ball with approximately a two- to four-inch diameter is your best bet.

Weight

The weight of a massage ball is a key feature because it determines how easy it is to keep the ball in place. Heavier balls won’t move around as much as lighter balls, so you don’t have to worry about the ball sliding out from under you when you’re massaging yourself. That’s why solid balls are a better option than inflatable models. Solid massage balls tend to weigh more and stay in place.

Weight capacity

When you use a massage ball, your body weight helps apply pressure to the target area as you roll over the ball. That’s why it’s important to consider a ball’s weight capacity to make sure that you can roll over it without worrying about the ball breaking. Some massage balls can support up to 500 pounds, while others may have a weight capacity of just 200 to 300 pounds.

DID YOU KNOW?

Well-made massage balls feature skin-safe materials, so you don’t have to worry about them irritating your skin or causing a reaction.

Features

Shape

Most massage balls are round because that allows the ball to move easily while still giving you enough control over the movement to keep the ball in the target area. However, you can find balls in other shapes that you may find more comfortable to use. Peanut-shaped or hourglass-shaped massage balls can be helpful for curved areas of the body, such as the lower back or feet.

Grip

A massage ball should have enough grip so that it doesn’t roll out from under you when you’re massaging yourself on the floor or against a wall. Wood flooring can be a particularly difficult surface for massage balls to grip, which is why it’s best to choose balls made of rubber rather than smooth plastic or other materials that lack traction.

Texture

While most massage balls are perfectly smooth, some have a textured surface of spikes or bumps. This texture doesn’t necessarily improve the ball’s ability to massage, but it can help with grip. A textured surface allows you to keep the ball in place against your body even if you’re sweaty after a workout.

Firmness

Massage balls vary in terms of how hard or soft they are. If you’re massaging an area of the body where you’ve suffered an injury, a softer massage ball is usually best. For areas where you just have tight muscles, you may prefer a harder massage ball to work out the knots. Foam massage balls tend to be the softest, while solid massage balls are usually the firmest.

Hot vs. cold

Some massage balls use battery power to generate heat. Heat can be extremely effective in loosening up muscles and tendons, allowing you to stretch them more easily. Other massage balls can be placed in the freezer so you can use them cold, which can be helpful if you’re treating an injury or need to reduce swelling.

Vibration

Some battery-powered massage balls offer vibration. The massage ball vibrates as you roll over it. A vibration feature can boost the therapeutic benefits of a massage ball and give you a deeper massage without requiring you to do as much work with your own body weight.

If you’re new to using a massage ball, it often takes some experimentation to figure out the right amount of pressure to apply to your trigger points.

Massage ball prices

Massage balls vary in price based on their size and special features. Most balls range from $6 to $148.

The most affordable massage balls are usually small to medium in size and don’t offer much in the way of special features other than spikes or bumps across the surface. Some come in sets that include balls in multiple sizes and/or shapes. These massage balls typically cost between $7 and $25.

Mid-range massage balls are medium to large in size and don’t offer much in the way of special features beyond a textured surface. They usually range from $25 to $55.

The most expensive massage balls range from small to large in size – it’s their special features that set them apart. They’re often battery-powered and include both heat and vibration features. These massage balls typically cost between $55 and $148.

EXPERT TIP

A massage ball can be extremely effective in increasing the range of motion for sore or injured joints.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • You can use a massage ball either standing up against a wall or lying down on the floor. For a stand-up massage, place the ball between your body and the wall. For a floor massage, set the ball between your body and the floor.
  • If you’re new to using a massage ball, start with a soft surface for a floor massage. A floor that’s too hard may be uncomfortable on your pressure points.
  • When you start a massage ball routine, keep the sessions short and the pressure light. You can extend the duration of your massage and the amount of pressure you use once you’re sure that the massage won’t cause any pain.
  • If you experience any pain or discomfort when using a massage ball, stop immediately.
  • If you’re recovering from an injury, it’s best to consult with a doctor or physical therapist before using a massage ball.

Other products we considered

There are plenty of excellent massage balls on the market, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding a ball that suits your massage needs. The Easy Fitness Massage Balls are an ideal option for anyone who wants some variety in their self-massage routine. You get three different massage balls in the set, including a large trigger-point foam ball, a medium spiky ball, and a medium peanut-shaped ball, so you can target a range of areas on the body. We also love the Buddy Dynamics Massage Ball if you’re interested in deep-tissue massage for sore, tired muscles. It features an anti-slip, ergonomic design that can withstand up to 500 pounds of weight, which makes for a sturdy, durable option.

For back pain, a small to medium massage ball that’s fairly firm usually provides the most relief.

FAQ

Q. When is the best time to use a massage ball?
A.
You can use a massage ball at any time during the day that you experience muscle or joint pain. Massaging the area can often bring some relief. If you want to incorporate a massage ball into your daily routine even when you’re not experiencing any pain or aches, using it right after a workout can help loosen up your muscles and increase flexibility.

Q. Can I get injured using a massage ball?
A.
If you don’t use the ball as the manufacturer advises, it’s possible to injure yourself. You can also be at risk if you use a massage ball to recover after a serious injury without consulting your doctor first.

Q. What type of massage ball is best for massaging sore, tired feet?
A.
For the feet, a small to medium massage ball usually works best. Some people prefer peanut-shaped balls for a foot massage because they often fit well under the arch. It may also help to choose a ball with spikes or bumps to massage tired feet.

The team that worked on this review
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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