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If you’ve ever received a pedicure, you know how wonderful it is to sit back as jets of warm, bubbling water massage your feet. An at-home foot spa is the next-best thing, and it’s the perfect way to pamper yourself or a loved one.
We use our feet every day. Our feet sustain callouses, blisters, and dry, cracked skin. Over time, the abuses taken by our feet build up – sometimes to an uncomfortable level – but soaking in a foot spa is a healthy beauty ritual that can help improve both the look and feel of your feet.
At BestReviews, we studied the foot spa market to find the best products available. We also spoke with Renee, our expert consultant, to gather her wisdom on the subject. Below, you’ll find a useful shopping guide that will help you learn all you need to know about foot spas. Above, you’ll find a matrix of the five best foot spas currently available.
Foot spas aren’t just for commercial use; there are plenty great reasons to keep a foot spa on hand at home.
Relaxation: After a long day, soaking your feet in a foot bath can help you unwind. It’s a great way to let go of your worries and pamper yourself.
Grooming: Soaking your feet in a foot bath can make callous removal and nail-trimming easier. The device is particularly helpful for softening the skin on very dry feet.
Extreme care should be used when exiting the foot bath with wet feet. After all, the user is literally using both water and electricity.
Can the foot bath you’re considering heat the water? Not all can; some are only capable of maintaining water temperature. If you want to soak your feet in hot water, choose a unit that allows you to adjust the temperature to your ideal comfort level.
If you share a foot spa with others, it’s particularly important that the spa be cleaned thoroughly between uses.
Will your feet fit in your chosen foot spa? If you have particularly big feet, check the dimensions first. Also of note is the fact that some foot baths have taller tubs that can accommodate the user’s legs. If you suffer from leg pain, getting a taller tub may be a good idea.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to fill the tub with water before using it, so you’ll want a tub that’s light enough (when filled) that you can easily carry it.
In addition, you should also consider whether you’ll have enough space in your home to store your foot bath when it’s not in use.
Not all products include massaging water jets, but they can be a nice bonus in a foot spa. Devices that allow you to adjust the jet strength are helpful for people with sensitive skin.
Do you want a foot spa that’s easy to operate? Most people do. Intuitive, easy-to-read instructions will make your foot-soaking experience that much more relaxing. Some foot spas come with preset programs so you can simply press a button and enjoy. Others come packaged with a remote so you don’t have to lean over to fiddle with the onboard controls mid-soak.
A foot bath should also be easy to clean. “The more contoured/textured the foot basin is, the more difficult it is to clean,” advises Renee. If you want a no-fuss cleanup, opt for a foot bath with smooth edges and fewer hidden crevices where bacteria and fungi can proliferate.
Consider where you’ll be using your foot spa, too. Is there an outlet close by? If not, is the unit’s cord long enough to reach the nearest outlet?
Consider where you will station your new foot spa for use, and make sure there’s an outlet handy.
Would you like a roller or pumice attachment with your foot spa? If you’re interested in giving yourself a pedicure, you might. But when it comes to the various extras and attachments that come with some foot spas, Renee encourages potential buyers to think carefully. Ask yourself, “Are these extra attachments quality pieces that would fulfill my needs?” If not, the extras might not be worth the money.
Not all foot spas can be used with essential oils or bath salts. Check the instruction manual to make sure your unit is compatible before using these add-ins.
Do you mind a little background noise during your foot spa experience? In general, foot spas are not very noisy appliances, but if you get one with massaging water jets, you can expect the device to make a little sound.
Bubbles may sound like a good idea, but if you have particularly ticklish feet, they may be an add-on that you’d never actually use.
There are plenty of foot spas available for under $50 that provide a luxurious, spa-like experience. That said, prices can rise well above $100 for these amenities. Generally, the pricier the foot spa, the more features it will have.
Bacteria and fungus thrive in moist, dark environments, so be sure to keep the basin of your foot spa clean.
Q. How should I clean my foot spa?
A. You should empty the water and thoroughly clean and disinfect your foot spa with soap and disinfectant after every use. Don’t skip a cleaning – especially if more than one person uses the spa.
Q. Who should not be using a foot spa?
A. It’s recommended that those living with diabetes avoid using foot spas. Anyone with open or healing sores on their feet should also refrain from soaking their feet in a foot bath. In addition, pregnant women should avoid using foot spas. This list is not exhaustive; check with your doctor if you’re at all concerned about whether using a foot spa is safe for you.
Q. Isn’t it safer to just go to the spa?
A. The cost of going to the spa on a regular basis can add up quickly, and while it can be an excellent way to treat yourself, getting a pedicure or foot treatment at a spa comes with risks. Spas are supposed to adhere to strict sanitary guidelines, but ultimately, you don’t have control over how hygienic their practices really are. With an at-home foot spa, you do have control. You know if it’s been cleaned and can take proactive steps to adequately disinfect it between uses.
Q. I don’t just have pain in my feet; my calves and ankles are killing me, too. Is there a foot bath that could help me?
A. Yes. If you’re suffering from ankle or calf pain, consider investing in a foot spa that will soak and massage your lower legs with warm water. There are three different heights available. Most common are spas that soak only the feet. Next, you have slightly deeper tubs that can accommodate the ankles as well. The tallest foot spas allow users to soak in water up to their calves. This might help you, although a foot spa is no substitute for professional help if you’re suffering a medical problem.
Q. How long should I soak my feet in a foot bath before giving myself a pedicure?
A. To soften the skin, you’ll need to soak for at least 15 minutes prior to your pedicure. Get yourself a magazine or put on a podcast, then sit back and relax.
Q. What’s the advantage of using essential oils in a foot spa?
A. First, make sure that your foot spa can be used with essential oils. Read the instruction manual to verify that adding them won’t damage the unit. Essential oils can be used for aromatherapy and help with the relaxation process. Some essential oils, like tea tree oil, have medicinal properties and can be used to treat ailments like foot fungus. Others help soften and moisturize the skin.
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At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.