Ice rollers are a staple in skincare routines for people who want to rejuvenate their skin, address puffiness and redness, and elevate their self-care routine with tools that they can use at home.
Of course, if you’re serious about self-care, only the best ice roller will do. After spending hours testing the most popular ice rollers from six brands, we found some top contenders—including Kitsch, Sacheu, StackedSkincare, and more—for all your ice-rolling needs.
The Best Ice Rollers
Kitsch Ice Roller
The hype is real. This stainless steel roller stays cold for long periods of time—and at a great price point, too.
- Stainless steel roller and plastic handle
- Stainless steel roller stays cold for long periods of time
- Easy to use on medium and large surface areas
- Roller is not detachable
The Kitsch Ice Roller topped this list thanks to its ease of use and chilly stainless steel roller. The 1,000+ 5-star reviews it boasts on Amazon are just another vote of confidence. The product comes completely assembled, and it has a stainless steel roller that stays cold longer than gel, jade, or quartz. Because of the ice roller’s 2.5-inch length, my skin immediately felt rejuvenated, brightened, and depuffed, and I usually only needed to roll my face for two minutes or less to see a difference. (You might find yourself doing it a little longer, just because it feels so nice.) It’s also under $30, making it a cost-effective option. Still, the product feels like it will last a long time, even after repeated use. The sleek millennial pink design is another nice touch.
One thing to consider is that the roller is not detachable, so you’ll need to store the entire ice roller in the freezer instead of just the roller itself. It’s also less effective on smaller or more delicate areas like under the eyes. This is because the roller is large and can’t be used on its side like the StackedSkincare roller. Still, you can make it work all over the face as long as you’re careful.
Best for Travel
Sacheu Stainless Steel Facial Roller
This ice roller is a dream if you’re looking for something portable and multi-functional.
- Stainless steel roller
- Easier to use on small and large areas
- Small and easy to travel or store in a skincare fridge
- Stainless steel handle can feel cold and heavy
The Sacheu Stainless Steel Facial Roller offers the precision of a double-sided stainless steel roller and the ease of use of less advanced options—the best of both depuffing worlds. One side is smaller, and is ideal for more delicate areas like under the eyes. The other side can cover larger surface areas like the forehead, cheeks, and neck. This ice roller has 1700+ 5-star reviews on Ulta, and for good reason. The shape is similar to jade or quartz roller. The stainless steel means that the roller stays cooler for longer than gel, jade, or quartz rollers because this material has a higher thermal conductivity. It’s also smaller than most ice ice rollers, making it easy to take on trips or store in a smaller skincare fridge if you have one.
Both its rollers and handle are made of steel, making it much more durable (and heavier) than typical ice rollers with plastic handles. Because the handle is also metal, it also gets as cold as the roller itself, which makes it uncomfortable to hold for longer periods of time. I found myself switching between my hands and warming the handle by rubbing it on my clothes. It’d be a lot easier if the handle was made of plastic or silicone.
StackedSkincare Ice Roller
This roller was created by an aesthetician and crafted with care, as evidenced in details like the ergonomic handle and stainless steel roller that works on small and large areas alike.
- Stainless steel roller
- Ergonomic shape
- Roller stays cold for a long time
- High price point
The StackedSkincare Ice Roller is a price hike from the other options, but it’s justified it with its ergonomic shape and egg-shaped stainless steel barrel that’s easy to roll over small and large areas of the face. I appreciated that the handle is plastic, which makes it comfortable to hold, and the roller stays cold for long periods of time. It also comes with a rubber cover for the roller, making it easy to store in the freezer or during travel.
This product was developed by Kerry Benjamin, a licensed esthetician who struggles with eczema and wanted to create products that help people address their skin issues. It also comes with a one-year warranty and a money back guarantee within 30 days of purchase if you’re not satisfied—a nice sign that the brand believes in its product.
The main con is the high price point, which can be over double some of our other recommendations. But if you’re looking for a top-quality product from a woman-owned small business, it’s the one for you.
Best Massage Roller
Michael Todd Beauty Sonic Sculpt Sonic Facial Contouring Ice & Heat Roller
This stainless steel, two-pronged ice roller is a splurge, but it might be the best massage you can get from a handheld ice rollers.
- Two-pronged stainless steel roller with heat and cold massage settings
- Micro-massage feature
- Stainless steel roller with two-pronged shape
- High price point
This Sonic Sculpt Sonic Facial Contouring Ice & Heat Roller from Michael Todd Beauty has a built-in motor and two (optional) speed settings, which makes massage a lot less manual. The roller has medical grade stainless steel globes that can be removed and put in the freezer an hour before use, which is nice if you have limited freezer space. I found the massage feature ideal for diffusing serums, sheet masks, and creams to support absorption. I found this tool helpful to relieve mild headaches, too. There’s also a free one-year limited warranty, though you must register within 90 days of purchase.
This ice roller comes with a warning that it should not be used on the skin directly after a chemical peel or microneedling. It’s also not designed to be used on skin with acne, abrasions, or sunburn, so it won’t work for everyone. Finally, it’s one of the most expensive options on this list—though it’s worth it if you’re looking for an ice roller that does some of the labor for you.
BFASU Ice Roller
For an ice roller with a price point in the single digits, the BFASU ice roller is hard to beat.
- Detachable plastic-encased gel roller and plastic handle
- Easy to use on large surface areas
- Easy to store because roller is removable
- Gets warm quickly
- Harder to use on smaller surface areas
This ice roller is the most affordable one on this list. It’s a perfectly functional multi-purpose roller to cool you down, even if its plastic roller doesn’t feel as durable as other options with stainless steel rollers. On the other hand, compared to a metal ice roller, the plastic-encased gel ice roller felt more comfortable on my skin while still making me feel more awake. Its 2-inch roller size made it easier to cover larger surface areas quickly, which is nice if you’re in a time crunch. When it comes to storage, you can take the roller off the handle to store in smaller parts of your fridge
The roller is less effective in getting to the crevices of the face. It also becomes slightly warm after one to two minutes, so you’ll need to work quickly. I could see this breaking after repeated use, thanks to its plastic and gel design. Still, if you’re new to the ice-rolling game and want something that won’t break the bank, it’s a good one to try out.
What Is an Ice Roller?
An ice roller is a skincare tool used to massage the face, typically to promote lymphatic drainage and reduce the appearance of redness and puffiness. Rollers can be made of materials like stainless steel, quartz or jade, or gel-coated plastic. Stainless steel rollers tend to stay cold the longest and be more durable compared to other materials, though they’re usually more expensive than gel or plastic options. Ice rollers can be used on their own or to help the skin absorb products like serums or moisturizers, and at any part of the day.
What Does An Ice Roller Do for Your Face?
The ice roller isn’t a skincare necessity, but it can support drainage of the lymphatic system, which is used to carry nutrients from the blood. The lymphatic system is in constant flow, and tools like an ice roller for lymphatic massages can maintain fluid levels, protect against foreign invaders like bacteria, and transport fats and waste through the body.
Ice rolling may also help increase blood flow to the face. A study that looked into the short- and long-term effects of using a massage roller on facial skin Complementary therapies in medicine “Short- and long-term effects of using a facial massage roller on facial skin blood flow and vascular reactivity” View Source found that participants who got a five-minute facial massage had a higher vasodilatation Cleveland Clinic “Vasodilation” View Source , or widening of blood vessels near the skin that causes increased blood flow. This is why ice rolling causes a flushed, rosy look—no blush required.
Facial ice rolling can often create the illusion of a more defined face or jawline, though the evidence of this as a long-term effect is anecdotal.
How To Use an Ice Roller
Ice rollers should be kept cold in the freezer, ideally for at least 15 minutes before use. You should test it on your wrist or warm it up before using it on your face. Most experts recommend rolling the ice roller upward and outward from the center of the face using light to medium pressure to promote lymphatic drainage. This motion should be gentle, slow, and rhythmic. I often used my ice rollers for up to two minutes, though they can be used for five to 10 minutes depending how much time you have. An ice roller can be used on its own or to diffuse products like serums and moisturizers.
An ice roller should not be used on broken skin or after injections like Botox. You should also be careful if you have rosacea—ice rollers may help decrease inflammation in some people, but extremely hot or cold temps may exacerbate symptoms.
Larger sides of the ice roller are often used for the jaw, forehead, and cheeks. Smaller ends are easier to use under the eye. (Just avoid keeping it on one part of the skin for too long.) Then, you can clean the ice roller with an alcohol wipe and cloth before putting it back in the freezer.
How We Found The Best Ice Rollers
Meet Your Guinea Pig
I’m Aleenah Ansari, and I’m a writer and content strategist with 8 years of experience covering BIPOC-owned businesses and products, travel, and representation in media. My product reviews for beauty and skincare products have been published in Byrdie, InStyle, Shape and more, and I’ve covered everything from the products I brought on my Everest Base Camp trek to makeup products from South Asian-owned brands like Kulfi and LiveTinted. I’ve tested a number of beauty and skincare tools and products, and because I have acne-prone and sensitive skin, I’m intentional about the products that I incorporate into my routine. I’ve also cited the recommendations of dermatologists and aestheticians that use and recommend skincare tools like ice rollers.
Our Testing Process
I spent hours testing ice rollers from various brands, each made with different materials and at different price points. To assess the results from each ice roller, I took before and after photos of my skin to see how the appearance of skin changes after use. Over the course of two weeks, I spent hours testing ice rollers morning and night to compare skin redness, puffiness, and appearance, and also noted ease of use, how long the ice roller stayed cold, and its effectiveness on both small and large areas of the skin. I also tested the product’s ability to spread product versus on its own. I tested also some of these products on my non-skincare-aficionado fiancée to see her additional thoughts and impressions as someone who isn’t as entrenched in the beauty world as I am.
Ice Roller: Before and After
Taking before and after photos was the most helpful way to assess the short-term effects of using an ice roller. When I used an ice roller in the morning, I noticed that most ice rollers made my skin look less dull and my face less puffy, even creating the illusion of a more defined jawline. Using an ice roller also made me feel more alert after waking up. I even used it to soothe my skin a few days after getting a microneedling treatment and to cool myself down on hot days while working from home.
It’s worth noting that changes in skin appearance from ice rolling are temporary, often fading away after half an hour or so. However, the positive feelings of self-care and potential lymphatic drainage support are as good a reason as any to keep using an ice roller.
What Are the Factors To Consider When Choosing an Ice Roller?
When it comes to choosing an ice roller that’s right for you, here are some things to think about:
- Material: You want an ice roller that will stand the test of time, but is also comfortable to use—and stays cold. Ice rollers with a stainless steel roller are non-porous, so they don’t trap bacteria, stay cool longer, and are less prone to breaking when compared to quartz, jade, or plastic.
- Value: Ice rollers with a stainless steel roller tend to be more expensive than gel, plastic, gel, or quartz, but it also tend to last longer. You may pay more for an ice roller from a small business or a product developed by an aesthetician, but that usually means that you’re getting a more unique product with your skincare needs in mind.
- Ease of use: An ice roller should be simple enough to use. Most of the time, all you should need to do is stick it in the freezer or fridge, then roll it on your face.
- Effectiveness: Ice rollers should feel nice and have a soothing, depuffing effect on the skin.
What’s the Best Way To Clean Your Ice Roller?
You can clean an ice roller with rubbing alcohol or by wiping it with a cloth.
Ice Rollers You Can Skip
Skin Gym IceCoolie Ice Roller
This ice roller gets points for having a stainless steel roller, but its squeakiness and design that gets caught in long hair makes for a not-so-relaxing experience.
- Stainless steel roller and plastic handle
- Large size
- Stainless steel roller
- Very squeaky
- Gets caught in hair
This Skin Gym IceCoolie Ice Roller is similar to the BFASU Ice Roller but with a stainless steel roller, which means that it will stay cold longer. The main downsides are that this roller squeaks loudly, which isn’t exactly conducive to self-care. This is also the only roller that caught in my hair almost every time I used it. The roller isn’t removable, either, so it’s bulky to store.
Esarora Ice Roller
The ice roller design isn’t very unique or durable.
- Plastic-encased gel roller with plastic handle
- Removable roller
- Almost identical to the BFASU roller, just more expensive
This Esarora Ice Roller may look familiar if you’ve seen some of our top picks. It’s eerily similar to the BFASU Ice Roller, except that the roller is slightly shorter and shows some on the ice roller. For the price point, it’s best to pass on this ice roller in favor of something with a stainless steel roller that will last longer.
- The shape is similar to jade or quartz roller. The stainless steel means that the roller stays cooler for longer than gel, jade, or quartz rollers because this material has a higher thermal conductivity: “The 7 Best Ice Rollers For Faces, According To Dermatologists,” Elite Daily (March 2022).
- The long-term effects of facial ice rolling often create the illusion of a more defined face or jawline, though the evidence of this as a long-term effect is anecdotal: “Lymphatic Drainage Facials: The Latest Weapon Against Puffy, Dull Skin,” Healthline (July 2019).
- An ice roller is a skincare tool that’s used to massage the face and is typically used to massage the face to promote lymphatic drainage and reduce the appearance of redness and puffiness: “Hailey Bieber and Jennifer Aniston Love Lymphatic Massages — and For Good Reason,” InStyle (July 2022).
- A study with a small sample size studied the short- and long-term effects of using a facial massage roller on facial skin blood flow and vascular reactivity, and it found that participants who got a 5-minute facial massage had a higher vasodilatation response: “Short- and long-term effects of using a facial massage roller on facial skin blood flow and vascular reactivity,” Complementary Therapies in Medicine (December 2018).
- Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology Group, notes that the cooling nature of an ice roller also constricts blood vessels, leaving the skin to look and feel tighter and less red: “Why You Should Be Using an Ice Roller On Your Face,” Shape (June 2021).
- It’s recommended to roll the ice roller upward and outward from the center of the face using light to medium pressure to promote lymphatic drainage. According to massage therapist and lymphatic drainage expert Camila Perez, this motion should be gentle, slow, and rhythmic: “Lymphatic Drainage Is Trending Big—Here’s What to Know,” New Beauty (July 2021).