Top 12 Best Yoga Wheels For Flexibility, Back Pain & More
So you think it’s time to buy a yoga wheel?
In the process of writing this and doing all the research I found out a few things I didn’t know before. For example, if you are a beginner yoga student then you might be surprised how difficult these can be to use.
Also, the bigger the wheel - the easier it is to use. I thought smaller ones would have been easier, but I was wrong.
I’ll discuss these misconceptions and much more. I’d love to show you what I learned in researching all of the best yoga wheels I could find.
Which Yoga Wheel Is The Best?
The word, “best” is a relative term, but after doing extensive research I’ve come up with this list of 12 that are heads and tales above the rest in the market.
Here they are:
- Nature's Integrity Yoga Wheel 13" [Elite Series]
- Plexus Chirp Wheel Set For Back Pain
- Shogun Sports Yoga Wheel
The UpCircleSeven Wheel is the clear front-runner on this list…
The stability it offers will ensure you have peace of mind while trying those more difficult postures. The padding is “just right.” Oftentimes yoga wheels can have too little padding which can hurt your bones. Other times there’s too much padding which can make you feel unstable or shaky.
From expert to beginner, this is a quality yoga wheel any yogi can enjoy. The only minor downside is that it does not come with a detailed instruction book or DVD, but that’s easily remedied by YouTube!
This wheel has a jaw-dropping amount of good reviews…
With over five thousand positive reviews you can’t go wrong with the Dharma Yoga Wheel. It is one of the most sturdy wheels on the market - able to support up 1000 lbs of pressure.
The outer layer is made of an eco-friendly TPE material so you don’t have to worry about rolling around on any toxic chemicals.
This wheel also comes with a 3 year guarantee so if anything happens to it your fully covered. Furthermore, you’ll also get a small booklet of poses to do with your new wheel to help get you started!
If you need a slightly wider yoga wheel then this is your best bet. The URBNFit model is an incredibly sturdy model with a bit more width than the standard size.
This set is particularly nice because it's a 2-in-1 combo set that comes with a strap as well. Furthermore, the price point can be beat for the amount of quality, durability and amount of gear you get!
Are Yoga Wheels Safe?
For the most part, yes yoga wheels are safe. Typically it’s not so much the yoga wheel that is the direct result of someone getting injured, rather it’s the exuberance of the individual that results in an injury.
Yoga wheels are only as safe as the person using them. Therefore, consider this your warning. You can expect to bend ALL the way back on your first day - or even your first week or two for that matter.
As we continue down our list of some of the better yoga wheels on the market, we’ll keep safety in mind.
Here’s should be your go-to choice for a “safer” yoga wheel.
Safest Yoga Wheel
There are lots of small factors to consider when thinking about the safety of a yoga wheel.
The extra padding of this model is nice because if you start to sweat while doing yoga, you’ll have something more grippy to hold on to rather than just the standard slick inner side of other yoga wheels.
You may initially think that a larger (fifteen and three-quarter inch) wheel would be more difficult to use, but the opposite is true.
Which would you rather bend backwards over - a big, round, and smooth tire, or a basketball?
The tire has a much more mellow curve to it. Because of this, you’d only be bending back just slightly. The basketball on the other hand, It might feel like a large lump jabbing into your back.
Aim for a bigger wheel when possible if you know you have flexibility issues.
Here we have a good mix of safety and utility…
This yoga wheel can support up to 650 lbs without problem. There's also plenty of padding for your back so it makes it a real comfort to lay on.
There’s a small gap where the padding doesn’t go all the way around. Some people may NOT like this, however some find it nice to have an extra space to have better grip on the wheel.
If you feel like having that small gap would be troublesome, then don’t buy this wheel. However, if you feel having that extra space for a bit more grip is good then you’ll like this model.
Having options is nice…
If you want to have a few different sizes to move between then this is a good choice. It’s perfect for those who want to take things easy at first and then move up in difficulty.
As stated earlier, the smaller the wheel the more difficult of a backbend you’ll be doing. This 3-piece set allows you to gradually increase your backbends overtime.
The smallest wheel is meant for deep tissue massage and gentle positioning under your neck.
If you’re someone who wants a few different options depending on how you’re feeling that day then I can’t recommend this set highly enough.
Are Yoga Wheels Good For Your Back?
Yes. Using a yoga wheel can be good for your back, but it all depends on your exact condition. Persons with old herniated disc injuries may especially enjoy them. However, those with more complex issues like stenosis might want to avoid them.
Back pain can come in many forms. The spine is an intricate and complicated part of our bodies. This is not the article or the place for a diagnosis on whether or not flexion or extension of your spine is a good idea.
Overall, you should be in decently good health before using a yoga wheel. When you have back pain, you often will try anything to relieve it. Especially if someone says, “Oh I used a yoga wheel for 2 weeks and now I feel much better!”
Unfortunately, a yoga wheel may end up doing you more harm than good if you are not more educated about what’s going on with your back. As always, see a doctor or a physical therapist if you are concerned with your back.
Having said all of that, here are the picks I’d consider if using a yoga wheel to help with my back.
Back Pain Pick
The Plexus Chirp wheels are some of my favorites…
They don’t come very high on this overall list because they are not meant to be an “all around yoga wheel.” They are really geared towards those who want to work with these yoga props over time to see how they might improve their back pain.
If this was a “yoga wheels for back pain” post then you’d find this set at the very top. Nonetheless, if you happened to fix all of your back problems you’d be left with an expensive set of yoga wheels that still work fantastic.
Long story short, you should consider these if you have back pain troubles. If don’t then you’d be best with any of the other choices listed above this one.
The width of any given yoga wheel is always something to consider…
You’ll find come models are 6 inches wide, while others are only 5 inches. This might not seem like much of a difference but this all as to do with your shoulders.
How wide the wheel will depend on whether or not it can fit between your shoulders. Which will help to open up your shoulders and upper back - which will hopefully alleviate some of your back pain.
The irony is that they don't feel good on your back at first. This is especially true if you are able to get the wheel between your shoulder blades.
Don’t be fooled… If you are looking to use a yoga wheel for back pain, you’re not going to enjoy the process. You might enjoy the benefits afterwards in a few weeks, but in the moment it makes your life pretty crappy.
Nonetheless, a wheel that is about 5 inches wide should be a good slightly “smaller” width to fit between your shoulders - which may be a feature you need if you’re looking to work on your upper back pain.
Granted, any yoga wheel could be used for back pain, but this one is worth mentioning because it’s also only 5” wide as well
This wheel also comes with options. They offer a 12”, 10” and even 6” size.
What is special about Shogun is that it’s a veteran-owned company. If you have an affinity to the military and/or our Vet’s then this would be a good company to show your support for.
How Do You Use A Yoga Wheel For Beginners?
Beginners will undoubtedly find using a yoga wheel difficult at first…
The most common complaint I’ve heard from people who use a yoga wheel goes something like this…
“I had no idea how awkward and almost painful these things are to use! I got it to help with my back flexibility, but now I don’t know if I’m going to keep using it or not…”
Truth be told, yoga wheels are not exactly for beginners. It is much like buying professional figure skating shoes, when all you want to do is go ice skating with a few friends. You’ve purchased something way above your ability level and you may end up hurting yourself.
Nonetheless, beginners can use yoga wheels… You’ve just got to tread lightly because you can quickly undo any potential good you’re wishing to achieve.
Furthermore, you may not need something super fancy and expensive… It’s nice to start with something cheaper, but of still good quality so you don’t throw your money away on something you’re ultimately not going to like.
Here’s my top picks for a few beginners yoga wheels...
Best Beginner Yoga Wheel
You’ll want a little guidance when you’re first starting out…
It’s nice to have a small reference guide next to you as you're playing with your new yoga prop. Beginners often realize they are in over their heads when buying their new toy.
The main benefit of the Gonex model is having the reference guide to encourage you instead of discourage you.
This may not look like a “beginner's” wheel, but again it’s really nice to have a booklet to refer to when doing poses.
The cork and foam padding is a real plus. It provides the perfect amount of cushion so you don’t risk injury. Having the right amount of padding on the wheel will assuredly help with your confidence as you start your yoga journey.
It’s cheap and it gets the job done...
Granted this is the last yoga wheel on our list, but if you are looking for a something to just try out then dive into this model.
Sometimes we need to be real with ourselves and admit that we may end up buying something we are ultimately going to donate or throw away. I mean, yoga is all about cultivating self-awareness right?
I truly hope you do find the perfect yoga wheel for your need and keep it for many years. However, sometimes you want to buy something cheap at first - see if it works, and then upgrade as needed.
If you want a cheap n’ easy yoga wheel then the Prosource model is just what you need.
If you want an easy solution for the best yoga wheel then you can't go wrong with the UpCircleSeven Wheel. It's got tons of quality reviews and is the best overall choice.
For those who have back pain you might want to consider the Plexus Chirp Wheel. Once again, it's meant for those who want to take things slow and work with a wheel over time to help alleviate targeted problems.
Lastly, beginners would be happy with any wheel that comes with an instruction book or DVD. You'll need someone to help coach you through things as you begin your journey.
What are some of your favorite yoga wheels?
Let me know in the comments!