In general, if you think you'll be in a higher tax bracket when you retire, a Roth IRA may be the best option. You'll pay taxes now, at a lower rate, and you'll withdraw tax-free funds when you retire when you're in a higher tax bracket. Roth accounts are generally better for heirs, since assets are normally withdrawn tax-free. If income thresholds make it impossible to make direct contributions to the Roth IRA, you can always opt for a clandestine conversion to the Roth IRA.
In addition to the differences described above, traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs share a number of common characteristics. People who work and meet the IRS income limits can contribute to a Roth IRA or make pre-tax contributions to a traditional IRA. A traditional IRA is your only option if you don't qualify for a Roth IRA due to income restrictions. But before you open an account, you should understand the differences between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA.
If you're eligible to contribute to any of the IRAs and receive a deduction for contributions to a traditional IRA, it's worth considering what your tax rate might be when you start withdrawing funds. You can avoid the 10% penalty for early withdrawals from a traditional IRA or early withdrawals of earnings from a Roth IRA by following a short list of IRS-approved purposes. For example, with a combination of savings from a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, you can withdraw distributions from your traditional IRA until you reach the top of your income tax bracket and then withdraw everything you need beyond that amount from a Roth IRA, which is tax-free, provided certain conditions are met.