Best Calf Massagers

Updated June 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

33 Models Considered
14 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
156 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best calf massagers

Is calf pain keeping you from living the full and rich life you deserve? Those chronic aches can inhibit your productivity, cause you to lose focus and sleep, and make your days considerably less enjoyable. One way to find relief from persistent discomfort is to get a calf massager. The best calf massagers provide therapeutic treatment that can help with a number of ailments. If you would like to learn more about calf massagers, the different types of massage techniques, and some reasons why you may be experiencing pain, keep reading.

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According to the American Massage Therapy Association, nearly one in four adults in America have tried some form of massage therapy, making it a $16 billion industry.

Types of calf massagers

For the purpose of this article, we are placing all calf massagers in one of three different categories: handheld, wearable, or step-in.

A handheld calf massager can be used on any area of the body. Some have textured rollers help you reach deep tissue. Some provide a soothing vibration that you can use to target specific areas. If you want a calf massager that also works on other parts of the body, this is the type you should first consider.

A wearable calf massager wraps around your calf. It may also cover your foot and thigh. Wearable calf massagers function primarily by utilizing air compression. They are most effective in treating circulation issues. Look for one that offers a variety of settings.

A step-in calf massager is one you step into like a pair of boots. The massager is attached to a base and offers a wide variety of massage styles. Due to its mechanical nature, it can work on the feet and calves independently. Notably, if your leg cannot comfortably fit in the massager, it won't be effective. It is important to consider height as well as girth in order to achieve the perfect fit.

Desired features

Heat

Heat increases blood flow, helps relax muscles, and promotes healing. If you desire a calf massager that heats up, be sure the one you are considering has this ability.

Variety of intensities

A calf massager with a variety of intensity settings can be adjusted to the level that best suits your current health or relaxation needs.

Variety of massage styles

Wearable or step-in units that feature different treatment programs or customizable settings offer the widest range of massage styles. Handheld units with attachments are useful for targeting trouble areas.

Ergonomic design

You want a calf massager that doesn't force your leg and foot into any awkward positions. If it's a handheld unit, the grip should be natural and comfortable in order to prevent unnecessary stress to your hands and forearms.

Adjustable base

An adjustable base on a step-in calf massager allows you to tilt the bottom to increase your comfort.

Extended height

If you’re taller than average, look for a calf massager that is a little longer than others to make sure you have the best experience.

Auto shutoff

Falling asleep during a session means your calf massager is working! But if you're asleep, you won't be able to shut the unit off. An automatic shutoff will remedy this situation. It also comes in handy for individuals who may have trouble reaching the controls.

Accessible controls

The harder the controls are to reach, the less you'll be adjusting them, which means you might not receive an optimum massage. Having all the controls in a convenient, easy-to-reach spot is ideal.

Portability

Look for a unit that is lightweight and foldable; some have carrying handles to aid portability.

"Although a massage is not particularly effective for treating anxiety, studies have shown it to be a potent tool in combating depression."
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Calf massager prices

Calf massagers fit into three broad price ranges. At the low end, from about $10 to $50, are handheld devices. These are general, multi-purpose massagers that could be used on any part of the body. Some are manually operated; others are electric and produce some type of vibrating action.

Most calf massagers in the $50 to $100 price bracket are items that you wear. These massagers work via compression. Some wrap around the calf alone; others encompass the feet and possibly the thighs.

Calf massagers in the $100 to $200 (and beyond) range are devices that you step into. These calf massagers are sturdy and powerful with the greatest variety of massaging options.

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Did you know?
There are roughly 80 massage options available, ranging from the popular Swedish massage to the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, which unblocks trapped energy.
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15 possible causes of calf pain

There are many reasons why you may be experiencing pain in your calves. Some may be the result of your lifestyle while others may be the result of an underlying medical condition. Here are just a few of the reasons why you may have sore calf muscles.

  • Exercise
  • Standing for extended periods
  • Injuries
  • Inflammation
  • Travel
  • High heels
  • Stress
  • Age
  • Varicose veins
  • Obesity
  • Poor circulation
  • Sporting competition
  • Dehydration
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity
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Besides feeling good, a massage can increase flexibility, range of motion, and endurance.

FAQ

Q. What is deep tissue massage?
A.
Deep tissue massage targets particularly painful spots inside your body. It isn't as rhythmic as many other massage techniques because it uses pressure to reach muscles and tendons located deep beneath the skin. It is useful for relieving tension and helping with muscle injuries.

Q. What is Shiatsu massage?
A.
Shiatsu means "finger pressure." Shiatsu massage is a technique that uses a variety of motions such as kneading, pressing, soothing, and tapping to focus on the traditional points of acupressure. It is performed without the use of oils and can even be done through light clothing. This technique is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, from stress and tension to headaches and back pain.

Q. Does the type of movement really matter?
A.
Yes. Different movements and techniques are better suited for different types of pain. Some techniques utilize smooth, relaxing strokes while others can actually be quite painful. Some massages are effective in as little as 15 minutes; others require an hour of work. If you just want to relax and knead away the tension, that's a much different type of massage than one an athlete would receive after a grueling event.

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