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:
Quick Answer: The Best Yoga Wheels & Sets of 2020
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 benefits benefits of the best yoga wheel 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.
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 - Works For Many Poses
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 Body 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.
Yoga Wheel Sizes
There are generally three standard sizes for yoga wheels. Simply put, they're small, medium, and large. The largest wheel is around 12-13 inches high and around 5 inches wide. This is best for deeper poses, back bends, and can assist you with both beginner and advanced asanas.
Medium size yoga wheels are only slightly smaller at about 10" high and the same width. These are good for smaller people or anyone who's ready to move deeper into a back bend but isn't ready to go without the support of a yoga wheel.
The small yoga wheels are around 6" in diameter/height and 5-6" wide. These are really good for rolling out sore muscles as well as helping you stretching and balancing poses. For example, the small yoga wheel can be placed under your back thigh during a lunge or as a front support in Cobra to help you begin deepening your back bends.
Yoga Wheel Size Chart
12" - 13" Diameter
5" - 6" Width
5" - 6" Width
5" - 6" Width
Offers the most support for back bends. Great for average to taller people & those with limited flexibility.
A step up in difficulty and pressure. Offers a deeper stretch & a slightly higher pressure massage.
The highest level of pressure & deepest stretch. Can be used as support for beginner & advanced poses depending on the pose.
The Best Yoga Wheels Reviewed and Tested
UpCircleSeven [Pro Series] Yoga Wheel
The UpCircleSeven brand is quickly becoming a favorite best yoga wheel 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 pounds. 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 pounds 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
Highest Weight Limit
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 pounds, 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 style choices) 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 if you want to get one!
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 pounds) 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 pounds with a rigid ABS plastic interior that's 13 x 5 inches in diameter / width with a natural wood grain finish.
Overall this cork yoga 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
Bonus Yoga Wheels & Sets
UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel Set
Our Top Choice Dharma Wheel Set
If you're not sure which size to choose or you just want all three to assist you in different poses, the UpCircleSeven yoga wheel set is an easy choice. Each wheel is rated to support up to 550 pounds of pressure, fully padded on the exterior, lightweight, and sweat wicking.
The three sizes it comes with are:
- Large 12" diameter
- Medium 10" diameter
- Small 6" diameter
With the set of three different sizes, you can begin with the highest level of support on the large wheel and work your way down to the smaller ones. These wheels also don't flex or bend under pressure so they're excellent to use in place of a foam roller for rolling out knots and tension (especially the smaller one). They also come with a 100% money back guarantee so, if for any reason you don't like them, you can return them for a full refund.
- Comes with all three yoga wheel sizes
- Very thick padding on the outside for maximum comfort
- Offered in 4 colors at the time of this writing
- Affordably priced for a set of three at the time of this writing
- Works equally well as a foam roller
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- A few people reported their rubber peeling but the vast majority didn't have this issue
Plexus Chirp 3 Wheel Pack
Has a Channel For Your Spine
The CHIRP yoga wheel set is ideal for those who need a little more cushioning and comfort. The CHIRP has a canal in the center of the yoga wheel designed to go over your spine without putting pressure on it which many prefer. It also has 1/2" of padding on the surface that's anti-sweat and smell so it stays clean with an occasional wipe down.
The CHIRP yoga wheel set comes with three sizes:
- Large 12"
- Medium 10"
- Small 6"
The wheels are each rated to support up to 500 pounds of pressure so they don't bend under your weight. It's important to note that, because of the extra thick 1/2" of foam on the top, they have more give than most of the other yoga wheels on this list. If you like that then these may become your new favorite toy. But if you need a higher density, then the kit above may be a better option for you.
- Comes with all 3 yoga wheel sizes
- Extra thick 1/2" padding
- Special groove in the yoga wheel to prevent spinal pressure
- 100% money back guarantee
- Works as a softer foam roller
- Lightweight and easy to store in your home
- Padding may be too thick for some people
- At the time of this writing its only offered in one color
Yoga Wheel Comparison Table
Our Pick For The Best Yoga Wheel
After reviewing so many yoga wheels, and then narrowing it down to the 9 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:
Why these? The UpCircleSeven Set is the best deal and offers the most versatility. You get three yoga wheels in varying sizes which affords you the luxury of working your way into different levels of support. While their appearance may not look as cool as the cork yoga wheel, it's a great deal that looks good and offers more versatility. It's the best balance of comfort, price and functionality overall.
The UpCircleSeven pro 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. It's 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 2020. Now get yourself a wheel, start using it and let us know how much it helps in the comments!
1. What is a yoga wheel?
A yoga wheel is a stretching tool that's used by many practitioners including those who have been doing yoga for years. Its common to think that only beginners would need such stretching instruments but because of the yoga wheels versatility and ability to deepen your stretch its great for everyone. New yogi's can use the wheel for assisted back bends (such as in the header image on this post). This prevents your back from being unsupported while learning and keeps your back supported if you have back problems.
2. Who is a yoga wheel for?
A yoga wheel really is for everyone from beginners to advanced. Since it helps you stretch deeper, advanced yogis can use it to gain even more leverage and flexibility. New yogis can use the wheel to support them in stretches and "bring the floor up" while establishing form and flexibility.
3. How does a yoga wheel work
The round shape of the yoga wheel is what makes it uniquely suited to so many stretches. They're made from reinforced plastic or wood that can take the full weight of your body to support you in everything from back bends to head stands. They're an amazing asset for preventing injuries in advanced stretches and even work well in beginner stretches while you're building hamstring flexibility. It helps the user build confidence to increase their stretches while keeping you injury free so you can continue practicing yoga for many years.
4. What stretches are best for a yoga wheel
Fortunately the yoga wheel is extremely versatile as a stretching tool. It's round shape supports you in backbends by adjusting to the natural curvature of the spine. And the padding on the outside means you won't experience any hard surface against your spine causing discomfort.
The wheel is also used in head stands where the user places the wheel behind the head for balance while performing the hand stand by balancing on the forearms and elbows.
The yoga wheel is also used as a tool to bring the floor up and assist you in standing poses such as forward folds and many other standing stretches. The wheel can also be placed below the feet to help more flexible practitioners deepen their stretch and gain leverage in seated forward bends.
Essentially, this tool is a staple in many yogi tool boxes and can be used in almost every stretch.
5. Where can I get the best yoga wheel
With the convenience of Amazon, their very fast shipping and easy return policies we feel like buying from them is the better option. They have the widest variety, generally low pricing and you can often get your yoga wheel the same day.
6. Yoga wheel vs foam roller
There are a few big differences between a yoga wheel and a foam roller. For starters, a foam roller doesn't work for yoga.
It's designed to be a simple foam cylinder that's excellent for rolling out knots and tension but you wouldn't use it for backbends and asanas.
A yoga wheel, on the other hand, is designed for yoga but works equally well as a foam roller. And one of the benefits of the yoga wheel vs the foam roller is that the yoga wheel is more narrow so it fits between your shoulder blades to massage the muscles that get tight after sitting at a desk.
7. How do you use a yoga wheel?
A yoga wheel functions similar to a yoga block only with a different shape that's more ergonomic and better for your back. You can use it for:
- Stretching your limbs
- Back bends
- Opening up your chest and back
- Support during handstands
- Building core strength
- Improving your form and overall flexibility
One of the primary reasons people use yoga wheels is to help with form and prevent injuries. It's a versatile tool that can provide more height than a yoga block. It can also help relieve back pain by stretching your back and rolling out tension in your back muscles.
8. What is the best yoga wheel for back pain?
After getting cleared by your doctor, you want to start with the largest yoga wheel possible. If you have back pain, you want to start with very gentle backbends without the yoga wheel. Think Sphinx Pose. Then work your way up until you can use the largest yoga wheel. After you get comfortable, you can work your way down to the smaller options.
Yoga Wheel Use Tips
Ease into things
When you get the best yoga wheel, the temptation is to immediately go into a back bend. However, use your judgement and start out slow. Warm up your body and, when you're ready to use it for a backbend, start out with the largest yoga wheel before going smaller.
Watch instructional videos
There are tons of instructional videos on YouTube and there may even be a video training provided by the company you purchase your yoga wheel from. Check out those videos for form tips and good exercises to try out.
For an excellent beginner friendly stretch, try Child's Pose
One of the best back stretches to start with is the Child's Pose. It's really good for elongating the spine and the muscles of your back. You can make the pose harder by placing your hands on top of the wheel while you're in the pose.
Clean your yoga wheel to extend its life
As with all equipment you use, it's a good idea to clean your yoga wheel. To clean them, follow the instructions provided. Typically you can use a little soap and water or an eco-friendly spray. Then wipe it down and let it dry.