Power Plate Roller review in a sentence: this roller appears in our best foam rollers guide for good reason, thanks to its four levels of vibration - including an oscillating pulsation mode that works wonders on knots – to speedily sooth away muscle tension and boost blood flow after strenuous exercise.
I’ve been using foam rollers for well over a decade, and they’ve become an intrinsic part of my workout routine, either to dynamically warm up my muscles pre-workout so there’s less risk of injury or help me increase my range of motion and flexibility while reducing muscle soreness after exercise.
Of course, rollers have come a long way from the basic foam sausages we used to see lying around in gym cooldown areas (but had no idea how to use). These days, they’re a popular recovery and massage tool for athletes and recreational exercisers alike, and accordingly come in a variety of lengths, textures and levels of firmness. But it’s the rollers that come with an on/off switch that are creating the most buzz (sorry), right now.
I’ve been using the Power Plate Roller for nearly two years, and I love it as much now as I did when I first got it, which is high praise indeed. In fact, I probably love it more, because the more you use it, the better you get to know which level of vibration works best for different areas of the body.
Power Plate Roller review: Price and availability
The Power Plate Roller is available to buy now at Power Plate US, Power Plate UK, and Power Plate AUS for a recommended retail price of $99.99/£99.95/AU$199. This model went on sale in the US and UK in October 2019.
Power Plate Roller review: Design
I can still clearly remember the day I received my Power Plate Roller because it caused a lot of excitement in my household, as vibrating things often do. After unboxing it and scanning through the Quick Start Guide, my first thought was that is it small in comparison to your average roller, measuring in at just 29.5cm in length, with a diameter of 9cm. But once I found the ‘on’ button and pressed it several times to move through the four levels of increasing vibration (it arrived charged and ready for action), it became clear this petite design packs a powerful punch.
Weighing in at 1.3kg (2.9lbs), it’s a lot heavier than your regular foam roller or compact massage gun due to the robust long-life battery. But that has never put me off carrying it on my travels or to the gym, because its size means it fits easily into a backpack in much the same way as a 1.5-litre water bottle. In fact, the weight only adds to the quality feel of the product, which screams sturdiness, reliability and good engineering.
The outer layer, made of a material still unknown to me, is durable and robust, so the roller keeps its shape over time. But it is extremely firm. There’s nothing ‘foam-like’ or squishy about it at all, and that means it could be too dense for anyone new to foam rolling or those with more sensitive muscles.
The surface is covered with raised circular grooves that replicate the Power Plate logo. Aside from looking good, these grooves effectively provide an added massage effect to release fascia and promote circulation so you can recover more quickly, but be mindful that some of the newer vibrating rollers on the market do incorporate a greater variety of knobbly bits that might help you to get into harder-to-reach areas, such as the Epitomie Fitness VIBRA Vibrating Foam Roller.
Power Plate Roller review: features
Power Plate has been the leader in the world of performance-enhancing Whole Body Vibration training since 1999, so their move into producing smaller devices that deliver a more targeted approach comes as no surprise. The Power Plate Roller provides four levels of vibration, with three ‘Standard Levels’ and a further oscillation mode called ‘Rhythmic Pulse’. Level 1 delivers 2,000 vibrations per minute (VPM); Level 2 offers 2,700 VPM; Level 3 provides 3,700 VPM; and Level 4 (Rhythmic Pulse) switches between 2,000 – 2,700 VMP.
All levels are accessed via the Power Button found on one of the roller’s sides. Press it once to display the battery life of the roller, as shown by the handy Dual Purpose LED indicators which also shows the current level of vibration. Press it a second time to turn the roller on to Level 1, and keep pressing it to move on to the next level until, at Level 4, the roller enters Oscillation Mode where it switches between intensity levels. The sixth press with turn the roller off and, to save battery life, the roller’s internal ten-minute automatic safety shut-off will trigger if the roller has been running continuously for a full ten minutes.
When the Power Plate roller launched two years ago, it set a new standard for vibrating rollers because existing models on the market generally offered only two or three settings. Today, the Power Plate model still holds its own, but a couple of the latest models go further, such as the Therabody Waveroller, which offers five levels of vibration frequency. That said, you do wonder just how many vibration levels you need for an effective rolling experience, which might explain why the new Hyperice Vyper 3 delivers only three speeds of high-intensity vibration.
The battery life runs to three hours (the Therabody Waveroller matches this, while the Hyperice Vyper 3 lasts for two hours), and it takes two hours to fully recharge via a USB port, but I generally top it up once a week to avoid the long charging time.
Power Plate Roller review: Performance
The fact that the Power Plate Roller performs well when compared to newer vibrating rollers released in 2021 and beforehand is a testament to Power Plate’s expertise and insight in vibration technology. The power is there, no question, and the roller is excellent when used on large muscle groups such as the hamstrings, quads, glutes and IT band.
It’s also great on the calves. But one of the downsides of its size means it’s harder to use on smaller areas like the triceps, and I find it tricky to work on certain areas of my back, including the traps and lats, because it simply lacks the surface area to get into them. However, it is extremely portable, so it makes up for it in other ways.
I can’t help but wonder that, if Power Plate could have another go at designing this model, or they introduced a new design, they would make it bigger, and therefore better. I can only dream of how the Power Plate Roller would feel if it was longer and chunkier so I could comfortably rest my back on it – and I would happily pay a heftier price tag to experience that sensation.
On a final note, the Power Plate Roller is ridiculously noisy over laminate flooring, and even over carpeting with a yoga mat placed on top. Like, pneumatic drill noisy, to the point where you can end up feeling very self-conscious about using it if other people are at home, or you’re at the gym, or you care about your neighbours.
That said, I still love it. And I wouldn’t swap it for a non-vibrating model if you paid me.
Power Plate Roller review: Verdict
If you’re already accustomed to foam rolling, and it’s a regular part of your fitness routine, the Power Plate Roller will definitely take your workout recovery to the next level.
Its firmness might be too hard for beginners, and it might not have a variety of knobbly bits, but regular rollers will love its ability to reduce muscle soreness, knead away knots, promote blood flow and improve sporting performance much faster than an ordinary foam roller can.
Compared to newer models, its price point is comparable and often a fair bit cheaper. Moreover, it’s built to last. Yes, it’s small, and this has it’s pros and cons. But if you want a portable design you can carry with ease and whip out any time, any place, this is the vibrating roller for you.
Power Plate review: Also consider
If you’re on a budget, try the URBNFit Foam Roller, which has five levels of vibration. The lowest level of intensity starts at 900 VPM - which you might want to skip entirely to feel anything productive - but the highest level works at 3,600 VPM, and the battery life claims to last for up to six hours following a three-hour charge.
At almost double the price of the Power Plate Roller, the new Hyperice Vyper 3 doesn’t come cheap. But its high-torque 34W motor delivers three levels of reliably powerful vibration. The contoured design is supremely comfortable to use and rubber bands on the edges also help to stabilise your roll.