My favorite thing to do on active rest days is yoga. It helps me feel more grounded and connected to my surroundings, which is especially great during busy days. I’m not the most flexible person out there, though, especially with the constant tension in my back, shoulders, and hips that running gives me. The benefits of yoga are well documented, especially in mental health.
When I started struggling a lot with my yoga poses, I decided to do some research about how I can be more flexible and become more advanced. That’s when I stumbled upon yoga wheels.
You might have also seen yoga wheels floating around on celebrities’ Instagram feeds. The hype around it might give you the impression that it’s simply another fad, but I found that yoga wheels do actually have benefits to them, especially for beginners.
For starters, with the right poses, it helps you open up your back, shoulders, and hips, along with strengthening your core. The yoga wheel assists you from a more beginner standpoint to someone who can do away with this tool.
That’s not to say that the yoga wheel is only for beginners. More advanced yogis out there can increase their flexibility in ways they couldn’t before by using this wheel, especially with the backbend. You can even use this for massaging your muscles, and maybe just some extra support on days when you’re not feeling your best.
If these things perk up your ears, then you’re in luck. I tried finding some of the best yoga wheels on the market to help you advance in your yoga journey.
Best Yoga Wheels Compared and Reviewed
|Top||UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel||UpCircleSeven||Check Price on Amazon|
|REEHUT Yoga Wheel||REEHUT||Check Price on Amazon|
|pete's choice Dharma Yoga Wheel||pete's choice||Check Price on Amazon|
|YOGA DESIGN LAB Yoga Wheel||YOGA DESIGN LAB||Check Price on Amazon|
|Nature's Integrity Yoga Wheel||Nature's Integrity||Check Price on Amazon|
#1 - UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel
Claiming to be the best out there, the UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel tops this list due to the excellent features that each yoga wheel must have. It even dares to compare itself to other wheels on the market, calling itself the strongest.
Their claim is backed up with a capacity of 550 pounds! The fact that your yoga wheel will keep up with your weight might give you reassurance, helping you be more confident as you do your stretches.
It also does not stretch, and although this might seem like it won’t be comfortable, it also gives you the stability that you need, especially for those tricky yoga poses.
To make up for this rigidity, it includes a foam that they claim is the “thickest padding available”. This gives your back the cushioning it needs.
You also don’t have to worry about slipping on your own sweat, as it is sweat-resistant due to the design of its padding. Odor won’t stay on your wheel either.
The great thing about buying from UpCircleSeven is the inclusion of an ebook that has guides on how to use your yoga wheel. The right moves will help you improve your leg and hip flexibility.
Some users have reported feeling lightheaded after using this yoga wheel, though, so be wary of that.
#2 - REEHUT Yoga Wheel
This yoga wheel conforms to the curve of your back because of how stretchable it is. It molds itself to a certain extent so that you won’t feel much force in curving your back, especially if you aren’t that flexible yet.
A hybrid TPE foam is also included, so your back won’t directly be hitting the plastic. Instead, you have more comfortable padding. Because of the special lines on this TPE foam that imitate the pattern of a leaf vein, it becomes anti-slip and does not accumulate moisture.
It’s also very durable. It is able to withstand a maximum of 330 pounds. TPE is also said to be impact resistant, which is what the plastic of the yoga wheel is made of.
Users rave about this product, stating that this is especially great for the heavier ones. However, some users also complained about the foam roller being a bit uncomfortable, especially since it doesn’t go up to the edge of the plastic. The plastic then tends to dig into their skin.
#3 - pete's choice Dharma Yoga Wheel
This yoga wheel promotes not only more balance and flexibility in your yoga practice, but also a back massage for your more intense workouts.
The body is made of ABS material, which makes this quite durable. ABS is known to be impact-resistant, so you’ll be confidently striking those yoga poses.
The padding also gives you much more comfort while rolling this behind your back. It also gives a firmer grip on the ground.
Now onto the good part: the freebies! The inclusion of a free yoga strap to assist you along the harder yoga poses really gives you the impression that this brand promotes the benefits of yoga.
That’s not the only freebie; this yoga wheel includes a free ebook that has 16 poses for you to practice! You won’t get bored of the same stretch over and over again.
This yoga wheel is covered by a lifetime warranty, which tells us how confident this company is in their product. Some users don’t agree, though, and report cracking behind their weight. Some also feel very unstable with this product.
#4 - YOGA DESIGN LAB Yoga Wheel
Sleek, classy, and not like any other on this list. The YOGA DESIGN LAB Yoga Wheel gives you a sense of premium quality with its all-black printed padding. The geometric design gives off an aura of class.
Promoting a more open back, chest, and shoulders, this yoga wheel gives you the stability you need with its capacity of 550 pounds! You might learn to trust this product as soon as you try it.
Unlike other wheels that have used some form of rubber foam for their padding, YOGA DESIGN LAB uses padded cork, helping create more friction to prevent slipping. It also has numerous designs aside from the geometric patterns, such as the Mandala pattern.
Not only is cork more eco-friendly than the usual rubber foam, but this yoga wheel aims to give back with every purchase. $1 goes to support youth yoga programs, so if spreading awareness about the world of yoga is your forte, you’re going to like this.
The prints are also non-toxic water-based, so you won’t have to worry about it touching your back. However, some users have reported their prints coming off into their yoga mats, especially on hotter days.
#5 - Nature's Integrity Yoga Wheel
Not satisfied with the padding of other yoga wheels? Nature’s Integrity Yoga Wheel knows the struggle of feeling bone hitting plastic, so they made sure you get the thickest padding compared to other yoga wheels on the list.
Not only is it remarkably comfortable, but it’s also eco-friendly! It’s anti-sweat and anti-microbial, so you know you won’t have a slippery and foul-odored yoga wheel. It’s anti-slip, giving you the stability you need.
Speaking of stability, this yoga wheel supports the greatest weight on this list. It supports a whopping 650 pounds, which is up to twice the weight capacity of some yoga wheels on this list!
You can also customize this wheel to your personality by choosing between 3 colors: teal, pink, and purple. You also won’t run out of yoga poses, as it includes an e-book with 18 poses.
Despite the great reviews, there are some alarming ones too. Some have reported poor manufacturing, with the foam slipping off the body of the wheel. Others have even seen the tape sticking out! It’s quite alarming to hear this, especially if you’re using this to fix your back pain!
My Number One Pick
What To Look Out For When Buying The Best Yoga Wheel
You might be a bit skeptical as to if you even need a yoga wheel. For some, it might be unnecessary for their already flexible moves. For others, it might be a great tool to advance your yoga practice.
Regardless, there are a lot of factors to consider when buying a yoga wheel, a tool that is becoming more and more present in yoga classes and is soon to become a staple.
There are different types of materials used in both the body and the padding of the yoga wheel. The body of the yoga wheel, in particular, is crucial to how durable and stable you will feel while using it. It’s very important that you feel confident in your poses, so an unstable yoga wheel will do the opposite of what it’s intended for if you don’t trust it.
The body of the yoga wheel is usually made of plastic. Although many yoga wheels do not market what their plastic is made of, one kind of plastic that stands out is the ABS (or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic. The pete’s choice Dharma Yoga Wheel makes use of this material.
This plastic is highly rigid, which means that it won’t be as stretchable as other types of plastic out there. This is great especially if you need a stable yoga wheel. It is also impact resistant, adding to that stability. If your yoga brand includes this in their list of features, you know it’s for good reason.
The padding of the yoga wheel is another story. While the body needs very rigid materials, the padding needs a softer, more conforming material to assist your back. There are two main padding materials: rubber and cork.
TPE or thermoplastic elastomer (rubber) is a great choice for padding, not only because of its flexibility and softness but also because of its high impact strength. This means that you won’t worry about tearing this foam apart, especially when you have to quickly bring your body back to the ground. This is also recyclable, which is great for the environment.
Corks are also very much marketed as an eco-friendly option, and that’s because of its renewable source. Cork oak forests can be planted as much as we need corks. Not only is it renewable, but it’s also recyclable and biodegradable. If this interests you, the YOGA DESIGN LAB Yoga Wheel offers cork padding.
The list I provided has different sized yoga wheels, but what is best for you? There are mainly 3 sizes, which are, of course, small, medium, and large. Small is 6 x 5 inches, or 6 inches in diameter and 5 inches in width. This offers the least back support and deepest backbend stretch. This can also be used to massage most parts of the body, such as your calves and glutes.
Medium is 10 x 5 inches, which provides more support than small in terms of backbend stretches. Large, which is twice the diameter of small yoga wheels (12 x 5 inches) gives the most back support. If that’s mostly your concern, or if you’re only beginning to open up your back and shoulders, this is a great size for you.
Yoga wheels with higher weight capacities definitely give you the most reassurance of stability. It’s best that you look for those that go up to 500 pounds. If you are heavy, this is one of the most important features that you have to consider. Luckily, you’ll find that a lot of yoga wheels go up to even 650 pounds, such as the Nature’s Integrity Yoga Wheel.
Comfort really depends on the padding of your yoga wheel and how it conforms to your back. Thicker paddings as seen in the Nature’s Integrity yoga wheel definitely will bring comfort to a higher level.
However, some yoga wheels take it to the next level by stretching and contouring itself to your curves. The REEHUT Yoga Wheel, for example, is stretchable, assisting your back into the poses more efficiently.
More stable yoga wheels will help you do more complicated poses well. Look for paddings that are anti-sweat and anti-slip. This makes sure that the sweat does not accumulate on your wheel. You need more friction and grip as you get into more difficult stretches!
Some yoga wheels like engraving some designs onto the padding in order to keep that grip, just like how regular car tires do so. The UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel is a great example of this anti-sweat and anti-slip design.
Being a practitioner of yoga means feeling more connected to your surroundings and to the earth. This is why you might want to consider the eco-friendly option in yoga wheels. Although most yoga wheels are mindful of the materials they use, some materials are more sustainable than others.
For example, yoga wheels that use cork padding are known to be more environmentally friendly than thermoplastic rubbers due to the natural and renewable source. PVC free plastics are also a great option. This is because PVC is known to be toxic to children and is harmfully produced.
No matter your yoga level, the yoga wheel will be helpful for you. However, beginners are most likely going to benefit from this more than anyone, especially with the larger sizes. If you’re not as flexible as you want to be, especially in your back, a yoga wheel is a great way to assist you into eventually doing backbend poses on your own.
More advanced yogis will benefit from smaller wheels as it challenges you to a deeper stretch and added pressure. It’s also great to use it every now and then for a muscle massage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga Wheels
Q: Can I use this even if I haven’t mastered any poses?
A: Of course! This is especially great for beginners to open up your back, shoulders, and hip flexors. I know these were the tightest parts of my body when I started yoga. Just make sure you progress to being independent of the yoga wheel.
Q: Is a foam roller a great alternative to the yoga wheel?
A: It really depends on what you’re going to use the yoga wheel for. If you’re getting it as a massager for your legs and back, then sure, go for the foam roller! However, what’s great about the yoga wheel is it can both be a tool to massage your back and a tool to increase your flexibility.
Q: What should I expect the first time I use a yoga wheel?
A: This is definitely something to think about, especially if you’re expecting a more relaxing session. The yoga wheel won’t be a miracle roller; it will definitely cause some discomfort and pain, especially if you haven’t been stretching your back too much.
The yoga wheel can be a great addition to your yoga equipment, especially if you’re really struggling with your flexibility. In fact, you’ll find the yoga wheel everywhere now — from celebrities to your local yoga instructor. It can assist your body in stretching to your limits.
If you’re looking for more tools for your yoga arsenal, check out Marko’s post on the best yoga mats for beginners. I also did a post previously on yoga tops for women if you’re interested as well as some tips on what to consider eating after yoga!
Always do your own research before deciding on a yoga wheel. Read the reviews and see what both the bad and the good reviews tell you about the product. You might find someone who has the same lifestyle or body type as you. Good luck getting a good stretch out of your new yoga wheel!
Kelly Li is a yoga and mindfulness enthusiast from Adelaide, Australia. Kelly believes that through active yoga, exercise, and practicing stretching routines that we can feel better in our bodies and ultimately better mentally too. Kelly runs weekly yoga boot camps and hopes to inspire others to try it as a form of fitness.