Rolling In Style: The Best Paint Rollers

Transform walls, ceilings and other surfaces with our handpicked selection of paint rollers, ensuring perfection in gloss and emulsion applications.
Tried & Tested: See Our Testing ↓
Written & Tested By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
Best Paint Roller
Edward Bailey/DIY Works
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Depending upon the painting you wish to carry out will determine the best type of paint roller you should use. For example, if you are painting walls or ceilings with an emulsion, standard-sized rollers (and extensions) that are 9 inches wide are recommended. However, for upcycling projects, doors, skirting boards, or other delicate jobs, mini rollers that are 4 inches would be the better choice.

To assist you in selecting a paint roller, our handpicked selection lists top-performing rollers, chosen based on our first-hand experience painting interior and exterior surfaces with a range of paints. Our testing and up-to-date research further ensure the quality of our recommendations.

Stanley Decorating Paint Roller Set
Best Overall: Stanley Decorating Paint Roller Set
PRODEC Tiger Medium Pile Roller
Best Value: PRODEC Tiger Medium Pile Roller
Harris 430 Easy Reach Extendable Paint Roller
Best For Ceilings: Harris 430 Easy Reach
Wagner HandiRoll Non Drip
Best Professional: Wagner HandiRoll Non Drip
Cottam Mini Paint Roller Tray Kit
Best Mini: Cottam Mini Paint Roller Tray Kit
Hynec Mini Paint Roller Kit
Best Mini Runner-Up: Hynec Mini Paint Roller Kit

How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates Paint Rollers

From painting walls, ceilings or even masonry, paint rollers are an essential tool for the job and over the years, we’ve tried and tested a huge selection.

Whether we are carrying out touch-ups or painting an entire house during a renovation, we’ve certainly got plenty of experience to base our recommendations on.

In terms of our testing, we have tested various paint rollers from some of the best brands in the UK. Whilst testing, we used the paint rollers on walls, ceilings, masonry and many other surfaces. As you can see in the photos below, we are using the Stanley Roller set to paint new plaster upon a ceiling.

best paint roller for emulsion

Edward Bailey/DIY Works
Best Paint Roller For Ceilings

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

It’s also worth pointing out that during our testing, we also used a variety of paints with the rollers such as emulsion paint on walls and ceilings and gloss paint with a mini roller kit for upcycling projects. As shown in the image below, we recently painted a peddle dash render too and this was made far easier thanks to a roller with an extension pole.

best roller for masonry paint

Edward Bailey/DIY Works
best paint roller for walls

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

Below is a video that we posted on our YouTube channel that shows us testing one of our top recommendations (Stanley Roller). As you can see in the video, it’s easy to use and it smoothly applies the emulsion that we were using onto the walls with minimum mess.

To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest paint rollers (for this article), we are continually testing out the latest offerings from top brands in the UK. This means that when we notice a brand has released a new model of paint roller, we will upgrade our current rollers for testing where applicable.

best paint rollers for smooth finish

Edward Bailey/DIY Works
best paint rollers

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

As well as our testing and experience, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the roller’s build quality (handle, sleeve and tray), type, accessories supplied within the kit, sizes available and value for money.

The Best Paint Rollers

At DIY Works, our content is 100% independent and we would never recommend a product that we wouldn't use ourselves (read our editorial standards and how we test products).

1. Best Overall: Stanley Decorating Paint Roller Set

(How We Review →)

If you require a complete paint roller kit that comes with standard and mini rollers, the Stanley brand has the answer. This is because their decorating kit comes complete with a choice of three high-quality paint brushes, a 9-inch roller (frame, sleeve and tray), a 4-inch roller (sleeve for gloss, sleeve for emulsion, tray and frame) and even a dust sheet.

  • Complete set that's suitable for all painting jobs
  • Rollers are ideal for emulsion and gloss paints
  • Poly dust cover for furniture protection
  • Two plastic trays for each roller
  • Easy to store within larger paint tray
  • Ideal for trade or DIY use
  • Not everyone will require all of the contents of the kit

To conclude, the Stanley Paint Roller Set is an excellent all-round option that comes with everything you need. Whether you are painting your skirting boards or ceiling, this kit is by far the best option that won’t disappoint. It also offers great value for the money too but only if you intend to use all of the contents of the kit.

2. Best Value: PRODEC Tiger Medium Pile Roller

(How We Review →)

ProDec specializes in affordable yet high-quality decorating products and their paint roller is a great example of what they have to offer. It’s ideal for use with emulsion or masonry paint and it comes with two woven acrylic sleeves.

  • Sturdy push fit frame
  • 9 inch black plastic tray
  • Two 9 inch woven acrylic sleeves
  • Suitable for smooth or semi-smooth surfaces
  • From our testing, we found that the frame handle could do with some improvement (it started to come apart from the frame after a few days of painting)

Overall, the ProDec paint rollers tick all the boxes in terms of their build quality and value for the money. They are also far easy to use and of much higher quality than similarly priced alternatives on the market.

3. Best For Ceilings: Harris 430 Easy Reach

(How We Review →)

For those that need a paint roller for ceilings, the Harris brand has the answer with their extendable paint roller. This is because it can reach up to 88 cm long, which is ideal for ceilings, high walls or even painting your garage floor.

  • Extends up to 88 cm
  • Supplied with a 9 inch roller sleeve and frame
  • Sleeve provides a fine finish and great coverage
  • Ergonomically designed foam handle grip
  • Extension is shorter than other extendable rollers

Considering its affordable price tag, the Harris extendable roller offers great value and is built to a high standard. The only drawback is that compared to other extendable paint rollers, the Harris roller is relatively short.

4. Best Professional: Wagner HandiRoll Non Drip

(How We Review →)

By far one of the most expensive paint rollers in this article is the Wagner HandiRoll. In terms of what makes it so special, it’s a non-drip paint roller that has a “Power Trigger” to feed paint into the roller via the 550 ml tank at the bottom. With regards to its extension, it’s extendable up to 2.5 metres, which is more than ideal for painting ceilings or high walls.

  • 9 inch sleeve width
  • Paint is pumped into the centre to prevent drips
  • 550 ml paint capacity (5 m2 coverage)
  • Backed by a 4 year guarantee
  • Most expensive within our roundup

Although expensive, the Wagner HandiRoll is a high-quality paint roller that allows you to cover large areas with ease. It’s also backed by a 4-year manufacturer’s guarantee for complete peace of mind. The only main drawback is that it does become fairly heavy when fully extended and filled with paint.

5. Best Mini: Cottam Mini Paint Roller Tray Kit

(How We Review →)

To achieve a smooth finish whilst painting kitchen cupboards, doors or other DIY projects, mini paint rollers are the best option. The Cottam Rollers is by far the most popular kit that comes with a roller frame, tray and 5 sleeves.

  • Complete mini roller kit
  • Ideal for upcycling projects
  • 2 x foam, 2 x polyacrylic 1 x velour sleeves
  • Produces a smooth finish
  • Slimline design
  • Construction quality could be improved (but its still great for the cost of the kit)

Overall, if you require an affordable set of mini paint rollers, the Cottam kit is more than ideal. They are built to a high standard and cannot be beaten on price when compared to alternatives on the market.

6. Best Mini Runner-Up: Hynec Mini Paint Roller Kit

(How We Review →)

Another set of mini paint rollers is by the Hynec brand but unlike the Cottam kit above, it also comes with brushes, dust sheets, masking tape, a can opener and much more. Although more expensive, it’s a complete set that’s ideal for any DIY enthusiast wanting to achieve a smooth finish.

  • Supplied with 3 roller sleeves
  • Anti-slip paint tray
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Produces a smooth finish
  • Range of decorating accessories
  • Relatively expensive when compared to other mini roller sets

Overall, the Hynec Mini Roller Set includes everything you need for decorating a range of surfaces. From multiple roller sleeves to a paint stirrer, it’s all included within the set. Although expensive, you’ll be impressed with all the contents and the quality of each of the components.


If you intend to quickly cover large surfaces such as interior walls, a high-quality paint roller is recommended.

All of the paint roller recommendations above are suitable for all budgets and include a selection of types that are ideal for a range of painting tasks. To make your life easier, we strongly recommend purchasing additional sleeves as this will allow you to switch between paints and surfaces much easier without having to clean them each time.

If you require further information regarding any of our paint roller recommendations, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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