Yoga wheels are good for more than just yoga. Not only are they a great way to provide the support and stability you need to do difficult back-bending poses, but they are also a great way for almost anyone to soothe, stretch, and lengthen their back and spine.
They are frequently recommended by physical therapists and chiropractors to help people support their back while they stretch and strengthen it.
Yoga wheels need to be tough and durable, so that they don’t sag, weaken, or break under your weight.
They also need to be covered with a material that is soft enough to feel comfortable when rolled under your body, grippy enough to provide stability when you lean against it, and moisture resistant enough to last through tough workouts without getting slippery.
The combination of materials needs to be high quality and durable, so that you can feel confident working with a yoga wheel and avoid upset or injury.
Here are our reviews of some of the best yoga wheels available today.
For a quick peek into our top recommendations, here are the top three yoga wheels we love,
The UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel supports up to 550 pounds weight without bending or flexing. At 12 by 5 inches, it’s a standard size suitable for most adults. The exterior cushion is incredibly thick, at 8 millimeters, and also non-slip and moisture resistant for great grip and stability. It’s the most cushioned of our top picks.
The pete’s choice Ultimate Dharma Yoga Wheel Prop is bigger, at 13 by 5.1 inches, making it a good choice for people with less flexibility in their backs. The ABS wheel is sturdy and durable, while the exterior cushion is hypoallergenic and skin-safe. It comes with a yoga strap to help you achieve and maintain difficult poses.
The Purity Wave Cork Yoga Wheel is a beautiful design, made of wood and sustainably harvested cork. It is 12.5 x 5.1 inches. Cork is naturally moisture resistant and non-slip, and this yoga wheel has an incredible lifetime guarantee.
Editor’s Pick Best Yoga Wheels
Yoga Wheel Buying Guide
Before you buy your first yoga wheel, there are some things you should be aware of.
Use yoga wheels with caution. Unfortunately, many people purchase a yoga wheel because they understand that they can support and stretch the back and relieve back pain.
That is true, but for people with back problems, or people who are using a yoga wheel without the guidance of a yoga instructor, physical therapist, chiropractor, or other experienced adviser, there is a good chance that they will use it incorrectly and potentially aggravate a delicate back.
While many yoga wheels come with instructions for suggested poses and exercises, if you are trying to treat a medical condition or chronic back pain, it is important to consult an expert before attempting any yoga wheel back exercises.
While the odds of injury are very unlikely, it is often true that people purchase a yoga wheel, attempt to stretch with it, experience pain or loss of balance, and never use it again.
Before deciding whether a yoga wheel is right for you, do some research and watch some videos online to familiarize yourself with the kinds of activities and range of motion that will be expected, so that you make a good investment of your time and money.
How to Choose a Yoga Wheel
The most important first consideration in a yoga wheel is the size.
Yoga wheels come in vertical sizes as small as 6 or 8 inches, to up to 15 inches in height. 12 inches is the standard adult size, but keep in mind that, the taller the wheel is, the deeper the back will bend. If your back is less flexible, you may want to start with a smaller size wheel, and work your way up to a deeper back bend and larger wheel.
Another important dimension to consider is the width.
A yoga wheel should be narrow enough to support your spine without interfering with the full range of motion of your arms.
However, for those who are new to yoga, new to yoga wheels, or less flexible or balanced, a wider yoga wheel will provide more stability, and decrease the chance that they slip off the side.
Wider wheels are also a good choice for those who simply have wider bodies, and require more lateral stability.
Finally, it’s good to consider what the yoga wheel is made of.
The materials used in its construction determine its overall strength and durability, which is more important the larger the wheel is.
Over time, some plastics can get brittle, particularly when exposed to fluctuating temperatures and moisture levels.
You don’t want your yoga wheel cracking beneath your weight, or a foam cushion that dries and begins to flake off.
Most yoga wheels are made of either ABS or PVC for their core structure. Both materials have advantages: ABS is tougher and more impact resistant, while PVC is more flexible and durable. ABS is more sensitive to sun damage than PVC, but performs better at low temperatures.
PVC contains BPA, while ABS does not. However, the overall strength and durability of a yoga wheel will also depend on the thickness and overall construction of the wheel, not just what it’s made of.
Yoga Wheel Special Features
Some yoga wheels come with an included yoga strap. This can be very useful for helping not just achieve, but to hold and maintain more difficult poses and deeper stretches.
Some yoga wheels have a cushioned surface on the inside as well as the outside. While this may seem redundant, since you are leaning, rolling, and placing your weight on the outside, it is actually a helpful feature in some poses.
Some yoga wheel poses involve gripping and holding the inside of the wheel for stability, or using the wheel to hold your feet or legs in place, and having a non-slip surface on the inside facilitates those poses.
Some yoga wheels have a back channel which is an area of depression along the center of the wheel, meant to reduce pressure on your spine when you roll it along the wheel.
This can be a great feature for those with sensitive spines, and the channel also helps to improve lateral balance.
8 Best Yoga Wheels Review
1. UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel
The UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel measures 12 inches by 5 inches, and comes in six attractive colors, including cyan, black, pink, cork, light blue, and purple. It is made of durable PVC that does not flex or bend, and can support up to 550 pounds. The exterior padding is 8 mm thick, with a non-slip texture and sweat-resistant exterior that maintains grip and does not retain odor.
It comes with a pdf guide of yoga wheel poses for beginners and advanced yoga practitioners to improve flexibility and release back tension. It is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.
The small footprint of this yoga wheel makes it great for portability and travel, and a good choice for those who are short in stature and/or already have a lot of stability and balance in yoga.
2. pete's choice Ultimate Dharma Yoga Wheel Prop
The pete’s choice Ultimate Dharma Yoga Wheel Prop measures 13 inches diameter and just over 5 inches in width. It is made of high quality, durable ABS material that is strong and temperature resistant, so it is built to last.
The yoga wheel is hypoallergenic and skin safe, and has a comfortable thick padding. It comes with a high-quality yoga strap to help you maintain difficult poses, and a free eBook with 16 soothing and rejuvenating yoga wheel poses. pete’s choice offers a lifetime warranty, and a money-back guarantee.
The hypoallergenic cushion on this yoga wheel is great for those with sensitive skin who may react to the materials on common cushions and yoga mats.
3. Purity Wave Cork Yoga Wheel
The Purity Wave Cork Yoga Wheel measures 12.5 inches by 5.1 inches. It has been tested to withstand up to 550 pounds, and supports without flexing. The thick padding is covered with environmentally sustainable cork that provides support without accumulating moisture. It comes with an instruction booklet illustrating yoga poses that can be done with the wheel.
Purity Wave believes in sustainability, where cork trees are grown for hundreds of years with no pesticides, irrigation, or pruning, and cork harvesters are paid a living wage. This yoga wheel is backed by a lifetime money-back guarantee.
The sustainable forestry practices make the natural cork on this yoga wheel even more appealing. Cork is a great material for a yoga wheel, naturally anti-slip and moisture-resistant, and this wheel is an excellent choice for environmentally conscious yogis.
4. Risefit Yoga Wheel
The Risefit Yoga Wheel is 13 inches in diameter by 5 inches wide. It comes in a range of color and cover choices, so you can choose a cork cushion with a green inner ring, or a wide range of colors with a TPE exterior cushion. The inner ABS tube is strong and durable, tested to support more than 1,000 pounds. The cushion is both soft and grippy, to avoid slipping and stay comfortable over time.
Some color combinations of this yoga wheel come with a free bonus gift, which may be a free yoga strap or a convenient wheel carrying case. Every yoga wheel is backed by a satisfaction guarantee and a three-year warranty.
This yoga wheel is the strongest on our list, supporting over 1,000 pounds. It is great for big and tall people who are concerned about bending or breaking a less-sturdy wheel.
5. Plexus Wheel 12 Inch
The Plexus Wheel 12 Inch is 12 inches tall, 5 inches wide, and comes with a black or a grey outer cushion layer. The rigid PVC core supports up to 500 pounds of weight. The compression-sensitive mat cushion is hand-wrapped and 6 mm thick, for lasting comfort.
The cushion is anti-slip even when wet. The adhesive binding is odor-free, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. This yoga wheel is made in the US, is endorsed by chiropractors and physical therapists, and has a low 1% customer return rate. It is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.
This yoga wheel is sold and backed by a company made in the US, and has extremely high professional, therapeutic recommendations and a low customer return rate. Plexus Yoga takes great care of their customers with exceptional products and support.
6. GreEco Yoga Wheel Pilates Roller
The GreEco Yoga Wheel Pilates Roller is 13 inches high by 5.5 inches wide, and comes in black and green or purple and green colors. The ABS inner tube is tough and durable, while the outer TPE cushion is soft, with a non-slip surface for stability. It supports up to 250 pounds in weight.
The big size and wide width of the GreEco Yoga Wheel Pilates Roller make it a great option for people who are bigger and wider, or who want more stability in a yoga wheel. It's also a good choice for beginners.
7. Stretching Yoga Wheel
The Clever Yoga Stretching Yoga Wheel measures 12.6 inches high by 5.8 inches wide. The wider width allows for greater lateral stability for people who need balance assistance. The ABS inner tube supports 660 pounds and won’t break or flex under pressure.
It has thick, grippy, sweat-resistant padding both inside and outside of the wheel, to help with grip and stability during poses that use the inside of the wheel as well as the outside. It comes with an instruction guide of yoga poses to help you begin using the wheel. It is backed by a risk free 100% guarantee.
The extra width on this wheel is great for beginners who need extra stability, particularly if they have a wide body. The inner cushioned grip is great for advanced poses that use the inner surface of the wheel to hold the hands or feet.
8. Body Wheel Yoga Wheel
The Body Wheel Yoga Wheel is available in 9, 12, or 15 inches in diameter. It is made of high-quality EVA foam, to function as a yoga wheel, a physio ball, or as a foam roller. The dense foam is cushioned and supportive at once.
The unique design has grooves for finger gripping that enable a wide range of poses, and there is a channel down the center that reduces direct pressure on the spine during certain exercises. This unique and versatile design was crowdfunded on Kickstarter.
The Body Wheel Yoga Wheel is a great choice for beginners who are starting yoga or who are using a yoga wheel under advisement from a physical therapist or chiropractor. It is more comfortable and easier to use for beginners than a hard yoga wheel, and the center channel alleviates pressure on the spine.
Do I already need a flexible back in order to use a yoga wheel?
No. For people new to yoga, a yoga wheel can provide extra stability and security during poses that require back stretching, allowing you to gain flexibility over time.
For advanced yoga practitioners, a yoga wheel can provide the support for deeper stretches and more intense poses.
For those who are using a yoga wheel to stretch and support the back while treating pain, illness, or injury, it’s important to not over exert the back or stretch beyond a comfortable range of motion.
For yoga beginners, or for those who are simply stretching their backs with a yoga wheel outside of a yoga practice, start small and gain flexibility gradually.
Do I need instructions to use a yoga wheel?
Most yoga wheels come with some instructions and suggestions for poses and exercises using the wheel.
If you are not currently practicing yoga, it might be a good idea to review online videos of yoga wheel exercises before you decide if a yoga wheel is right for you.
It’s always best to use caution and proceed slowly, and never stretch your back to the point of discomfort.
The best yoga wheel we favor is the Purity Wave Cork Yoga Wheel. We love the natural materials, that give it a graceful, classic look. It comes in a size that is suitable for both yoga and general exercise, and is strong, stable, and durable.
The fact that it’s made of natural, sustainably harvested cork, and backed by a lifetime guarantee speak to the quality and care put into the product. It’s a fantastic choice for your yoga practice, and for the environment.
Our runner-up yoga wheel, for those who need a more versatile design, is the Body Wheel Yoga Wheel. The versatility of this design makes it great for physical therapy, CrossFit, and other workouts as well as yoga.
The back channel supports and protects the spine, while the hand grips enable a wide range of exercises. The dense foam construction makes it slightly less suitable for some specific yoga wheel poses, but it’s a great and versatile option for back and core strength and flexibility.
Allen Wei is someone who believes in living his best life, focusing on balance, happiness, and relaxation. He fosters a positive lifestyle in terms of his body, mind, and environment, and he is a huge proponent of learning to be balanced via relaxation techniques integrated into our busy lives.