There’s a new tool that’s been popping up among celebrities and famous yogis alike - The yoga wheel. At first glance it looks curious and you might not know how you’d use it. Rest assured, this easy little piece of equipment is quickly becoming a staple in studios and home gyms for good reason. Since having the right tools can make or break your yoga practice - especially in poses like the back bend - the yoga wheel is one of those tools that every yogi should have.
In this post we’re going to show you the many benefits, what to look for and last but not least, review and test the best yoga wheels on the market!
For a quick answer, we found 3 that deserved the highest rating and they're featured below:
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What's a Yoga Wheel?
The yoga wheel is a challenged yogi's dream! It’s a hard cylinder with a soft padding on the outside that can be used in everything from inverted to seated poses. It serves a similar purpose to yoga blocks but with a much higher level of functionality.
For example, the yoga wheel is a vital addition to positions involving inversion and placing weight on the forearms like you do in the scorpion and plank asanas. And while a yoga swing can also aid in these positions, you probably won't bring your swing to yoga class.
The main difference between a wheel and block is that the wheel is designed to trace the curvature of your spine during back-bends and encourage your chest, shoulders and hip flexors to open up.
Who Needs a Yoga Wheel?
There’s a reason celebrities and yogi’s use this tool in everyday practice - because it works! While anyone can benefit from a wheel, if you’re not yet comfortable in back bends, or you want to try more challenging poses, the wheel is especially for you. However, if your practice is dialed in and you’ve got years of experience with blocks, then you may not need a wheel.
That being said, the wheel does add a level of support and balance to difficult poses AND massages your spine so you might want to try one anyway...just saying.
Benefits of a Yoga Wheel
- Helps with challenging poses - specifically back bends and inverted poses
- Massages tight back muscles
- Helps achieve balance and core strength
- Provides stability
- Makes inverted poses easier by acting as a counter balance
- Easy to transport and travel with
Lets delve into a few of those here.
Helps With Challenging Poses
It's frustrating to try a pose over and over without results right? We’ve all been there. While it's use is only limited by your imagination, the wheel really shines in the poses I’ve mentioned above - forearm stands and back bends.
By providing a counter balance in poses such as the scorpion, you’re able to fully open your chest for a great stretch while maintaining stability. It’s also incredibly useful in moves involving a back bend because the wheel is designed to support the curvature of your spine - especially useful if you’re still getting comfortable with these moves.
(Read: Long Yoga Mat Review - How to Find Your Perfect Fit)
Massages Tight Back Muscles
Speaking of supporting your spine, the wheel also massages the muscles of your back in a form of myofascial release (same reason we use foam rollers). It’s kind of like getting a deep tissue massage right along those tense muscles of the back. If you work at a desk, this will be especially relieving to you!
Helps With Balance and Core Strength
As most yogi practitioners know, your core is the key to a quality and long lasting practice. Because the wheel is sturdy and round it's able to support the weight of your body while being incorporated into planks, arm/leg extensions and other balancing poses. And as I mentioned earlier, it can also be used as a counterweight for inverted poses helping you balance while getting comfortable with the movements and building critical core muscles.
Easy to Transport and Versatile
Like a yoga mat, the yoga wheel is super easy to transport and travel with. You can throw it in your bag, loop it over your rolled mat or carry it over your shoulder. Unlike other sometimes complicated equipment, you can simply set it down and get to work - no setup required.
How to Choose a Yoga Wheel
When shopping for a yoga wheel, you’ll intuitively know what you do and don’t like. The most important factors to consider (beyond style and price) are that it's well made, can support your weight and has a comfortable padded exterior. The foam (or material used on the wheel you choose) should be high quality since this is usually the first thing to go on cheaper products. Most wheels can support hundreds of pounds so as long as you’re not buying a ten dollar product you should be perfectly safe.
Beyond that, the size of your yoga wheel will also be something to think about. They come in sizes ranging from 6 to 15 inches in diameter and about 5 to 7 inches in width. Consider opting for a larger size as it provides more support (12 inches is the most comfortable size for most people).
In our review we focus on the comfort, quality and price among a few other factors. We don’t base our decisions specifically on cost in dollars but on value. What I mean is that we search for the best combination of comfort and quality for the price - the most “bang for your buck” if you will. That being said, I think we've done an impeccable job at finding high quality and affordable options for you.
The Best Yoga Wheels Reviewed and Tested
UpCircleSeven [Pro Series] Yoga Wheel
The UpCircleSeven brand is quickly becoming a favorite for good reason. They offer multiple amazingly cool styles, colors and materials at a great price. The cork wheel pictured above is my personal favorite but they currently have non-cork versions with the black exterior available as well.
This particular wheel is 12 x 5 inches and tested to support up to 550 lbs. Its outer layer is sweat wicking and cork itself is naturally antimicrobial. The company offers a 100% guarantee in the event that you're dissatisfied but it's highly unlikely. The cork coating is among the thickest available (very comfortable) so its easy on the spine. Overall this is a very stylish, durable and comfortable wheel that won't bend, break or smell after years of using.
- Comes in several styles and colors
- Extra thick padding on the outside of the wheel
- Very durable - can support up to 550 lbs
- Cork is naturally antimicrobial
- Sweat resistant
- Does not retain odors
- Does not include instructions for use
Seigla Basic Yoga Wheel
The Seigla Yoga wheel is a basic 12" wheel with a textured moisture proof TPE foam coating and high rigidity PVC core. It offers similar benefits to cork because the coating is an antimicrobial sweat resistant foam that's free from chemicals, dyes and phthalates.
The core of the wheel is stress tested to support up to 600 lbs so you won't have any problems with it bending (even in standing balance poses). The TPE foam coating offers wonderful slip protection and it doesn't gap away from the PVC core even after many uses.
This is a purely functional wheel that, while not offering many style choices, will get the job done and do it reliably.
- Lower cost than many wheels
- Chemical free foam coating
- Antimicrobial coating
- Coating is also sweat resistant
- The wheel is guaranteed not to crack or bend for life
- Easy to transport
- Some people have complained of a chemical smell but it's uncommon
- Currently only comes in one color
Risefit Yoga Wheel
The Risefit yoga wheel is rated to be one of the strongest on the market. It's been tested to support up to 1,000 lbs, which is more than anyone will ever need but nice to know. The outer covering is TPE foam that's eco-friendly and build to withstand years of punishment. Some people have stated this wheel is too firm for their taste so if you prefer a softer / thicker cushioning then I would use the UpCircleSeven wheel listed at the top of this page (it comes in more styles than cork) or the Body Wheel listed at the bottom of the page (softest option).
This wheel currently comes in some fun and funky styles like dolphins, paint splash, and even cosmic pattern (in addition to solid colors). This can always change so if you want a dolphin yoga wheel, act quickly!
Overall this is a great wheel that offers more than enough support and durability to last even the most active yogi for many years.
- Currently offered in several funky styles and colors
- High strength - able to support 1,000 lbs
- Dense TPE outer coating
- 3 year warranty included
- Includes a pose guide with every purchase
- Some people have felt there was not enough padding
SukhaMat Pro Series Dharma Yoga Wheel
The SukhaMat yoga wheel is a quality choice for both beginner and advanced yogis. And with a great selection of colors and styles to choose from it would be hard to not find one you like. The outer layer is a TPE extra thick cushion and the inner wheel is made from an eco-friendly PC Alloy. It grips your mat well and you won't experience any gapping between the inner and outer layers.
It comes in a 12.5 x 5 inch in diameter / width which is more than enough for someone up to about 6' tall. The width is just right for getting between the shoulder blades and along the length of your spine without being uncomfortable.
The enhanced comfort with the extra thick TPE foam and high durability of the PC Alloy core make this a good value for your money.
- Comes in several fun styles
- Extra thick TPE cushion on the outside
- Can support up to 500 lbs
- 100% satisfaction guarantee - can be returned if you're not completely happy
- Eco-friendly materials
- Some people have reported the colors aren't as vibrant upon purchase
Mindful Yoga Wheel
The Mindful Yoga wheel is 12 x 5 inch TPE coated standard sized wheel. There's no frills here but it's affordably priced, durable (supports up to 500 lbs) and stylish enough to feel proud carrying into your next yoga class.
The company has over a hundred reviews on amazon for this wheel and it's managed to maintain 5 stars so far - pretty impressive. Overall this wheel is a great balance of comfort and quality and a great choice for the money.
- Supports up to 500 lbs
- Eco friendly TPE coating
- Includes a digital pose guide for easy access
- Portable and lightweight
- Over 100 5 star reviews on Amazon as of this writing
- Currently only offered in 4 colors / styles
BodyGood Cork Yoga Wheel
The BodyGood cork yoga wheel is naturally antimicrobial due to its cork outer layer. The bulk of padding on this wheel comes from the TPE cushioning under the cork (which is mainly for appearances). If you're going for the cork look without the cost, this is a great option. It's rated to support 500 lbs with a rigid ABS plastic interior that's 13 x 5 inches in diameter / width with a natural wood grain finish.
Overall this wheel is on the mid/lower cost end and could make a great gift or starter wheel for beginner yogis.
- Nice looking wood grain interior and cork exterior
- Can support 500 lbs
- Affordably priced as a beginner yoga wheel
- One year warranty
- Three styles to choose from
- Cork is only a thin layer on the surface
Body Wheel Yoga Wheel
The Body Wheel is a unique spin on the standard hollow Dharma wheel. It's a solid wheel with precise cutouts for hand grabbing. It's constructed from a solid EVA foam which makes this wheel a combination of a foam roller and yoga wheel all in one. It can be used in the same way as all the other wheels listed above with the exception that it can be turned on its side and act as a bolster. Its lightweight, slightly wider (about 7 inches) and comes in diameters of 9, 12 and 15 inches.
The improved comfort and versatility of this wheel make it one of the best options for both beginner and advanced yoga practitioners alike. The cutouts are perfectly placed for enhanced grip and the dense EVA foam provides just the right give to make this comfortable on any sore body parts. Overall this is a wonderfully high quality yoga wheel and one of the best on the market.
- Comes in several sizes
- EVA foam provides the perfect density for both yoga and foam rolling
- Well placed cutouts for enhanced grip
- Can be turned on its side and used as a bolster for deeper stretches
- Can be used by any athlete
- Relieves back pressure and tension
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Currently only comes in a few colors
Our Pick For The Best Yoga Wheel
After reviewing so many yoga wheels, and then narrowing it down to the 7 best to include in this review, it's hard to pick favorites - but we must! So I'll narrow it down to the top 3 because each one is an incredible value and has unique styles and functions. In order:
- The Body Wheel Yoga Wheel
- UpCircleSeven [Pro Series] Yoga Wheel
- Mindful Yoga Wheel
Why these? The body wheel is our number one choice because it offers the most versatility. It comes in several styles, the hand cutouts are perfectly positioned to assist in deeper stretches, and it can be layed on its side for even more uses. It's the best balance of comfort, price and functionality overall.
The UpCircleSeven is our second choice because of its quality cork exterior, extra thick padding, high strength and variety of appealing styles. Its highly useful and overall another great mix of comfort, price and functionality.
And last but not least, the Mindful Yoga Wheel gets third place because of its mix of functionality, comfort and economy. Its currently one of the most affordable options and, while it doesn't come with any frills, it's sturdy and built to last.
There you have it! Those are the top picks for the best yoga wheel in 2018. Now get yourself a wheel, start using it and let us know how much it helps in the comments!
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