Combines deep Shiatsu massage, air pressure, and heat for one of the most complete foot massages available. Has 5 strength levels.
It's expensive and the unit is somewhat large and awkward to store. The kneading function can't be turned off.
Stands out for its multiple rotational heads which enhance the product's deep kneading Shiatsu massage action.
The position isn't adjustable, leaving some consumers to try propping up the massager to find a better angle.
A top choice for its multi-function settings including LED lighting with bubbles, a waterfall, and high or low bubbles.
This foot spa doesn't actually heat up the water, leaving most users to pour in hot water before a session.
A must-have for anyone with consistently sore feet and tired muscles as the heated air massage helps to relieve fatigue and pain.
The massager automatically defaults to the highest level – an aggressive massage that can leave feet feeling a bit sore.
Comes with a removable pumice stone for your pedicure needs. Provides vigorous bubbles. Acupressure roller works wonders on foot arches. Includes pedicure tools.
Doesn't heat up water, just maintains already warm water temperature. Can be loud.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
For something to help you unwind after a long day on your feet, a foot massager can be a luxurious and relaxing gadget. There’s no one style of foot massager, and the wide range of massage techniques and features can make for a challenging decision.
You should consider what type of massage you will appreciate the most and whether you want a manual, water-based, or electric design — this is the largest determinant for price. The overall design and adjustability of a foot massager are other key factors in finding a model that suits your needs. Don’t forget to take the size and weight of a foot massager into account, as a massager that is difficult to take out or put away is likely to be neglected.
If you are ready to purchase a foot massager, take a look at our top choices. Or, continue reading to learn more about the varieties and features of foot massagers.
If you're still on the fence about your potential purchase, let's examine some of the benefits of a foot massager:
Foot massagers can help relieve foot pain. They're ideal for people who work on their feet, athletes, or anyone who suffers from aches and pains in their feet. A foot massager can also help lessen the discomfort associated with a range of foot-specific conditions, such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, and heel spurs.
Massage promotes blood flow, so a foot massager can improve circulation in your lower extremities.
Many people find using a foot massager extremely relaxing.
Having your feet massaged makes them generally healthier and can help prevent future issues. What’s more, foot massagers can beat fluid retention in the feet, ankles, and lower legs, which can be an issue if you sit or stand for the majority of the day.
The best foot massagers tend to use a combination of massaging methods for a more well-rounded experience.
Some people who suffer from arthritis find that foot massagers help relieve discomfort and inflammation.
Some foot massagers have toe-touch or remote controls so you don't have to bend to adjust its speed or settings.
You can find three main types of foot massagers on the market: manual foot massagers, electric foot massagers, and foot spas. Below, we look at the pros and cons of each type.
Electric foot massagers plug into a power outlet and have parts that knead, heat, compress, vibrate, or a combination of these things (plus further options) to give your feet a thorough massage.
Pros: High-quality and effective massage, relaxing, a good range of settings and massage types available.
Cons: Can be bulky, high-end models are expensive.
Price: Between $50 and $300, depending on the brand, quality, and range of features offered.
Manual foot massagers are generally made from wood or plastic. They don't massage you on their own, but they do have moving parts you can rub your feet against to massage them.
Pros: Inexpensive, no electricity needed so can be used anywhere.
Cons: Not as effective or relaxing as other foot massager types.
Price: $5 to $25.
While manual foot massagers are an interesting budget choice, this review will mostly focus on electric foot massagers and foot spas, as they're much more common and have a wider range of features to consider.
Foot spas are water-based foot massagers, like little tubs for your feet. They massage your feet using water jets and bubbles.
Pros: Gentle and relaxing, reasonably priced, water good for muscle pain.
Cons: May not give as deep of a deep massage as dry-foot massagers, can be inconvenient/messy to fill with water every time.
Price: Roughly $30 to $100.
If you prefer a gentle massage over a more intense one, we recommend a foot spa.
Foot massagers can utilize one or more different massaging methods. These are some of the most common:
A traditional Japanese massaging method, shiatsu usually involves massaging pressure points with the fingers, but in a shiatsu foot massager, the technique is replicated using rotating heads or vibrators.
This shouldn't be the sole method of a foot massager, but heat can be used in addition to other techniques to help relax muscles and generally improve the experience.
Foot massagers often have moving heads to help knead the feet.
Direct application of pressure helps relax and revitalize muscles and improve circulation, which is why some foot massagers have a compression setting.
Like heat, this isn't usually the only method used by a foot massager. However, vibration can add an extra dimension to the experience.
This is what's used in foot spas; it usually involves a combination of bubbles, water jets, vibrations, and heat to relax muscles, ease pain, and increase circulation.
Some foot massagers use infrared lights on top of other methods. The infrared exposure is said to increase blood flow and relax muscles.
Never underestimate the value of self care. A foot massager could be just the thing to help you take a little "me time."
Some electric foot massagers have a plate to rest your feet on, so only the soles are massaged. Others envelop your entire foot to massage the sides and tops, too.
If you suffer from hard skin or calluses on your feet, some foot massagers come with a built-in scraper function that can help tackle these issues.
If it’s important to you, look for a foot spa that easily allows you to adjust pressure, speed, and settings.
Some foot spas don't allow for these adjustments, and some people are fine with that – but others find it an annoyance.
As such, we recommend that you carefully consider this factor and choose accordingly.
Foot spas and some electric foot massagers offer 360-degree massage for your whole foot. But other electric foot massagers simply massage the soles of your feet. Think about where you have foot pain or other issues and whether or not you need a 360-degree foot massage.
Some electric foot massagers have a specially cushioned surface that contours to your feet, increases comfort, and improves the sensation of the massage. These cushioned surfaces are usually made from malleable plastic or gel-injected foam.
Consider the size and weight of your chosen foot massager. Some models can be fairly heavy and bulky.
Look at the product specifications to make sure the model you're considering is small enough to easily store and not so heavy that you'd have trouble dragging it out every time you wanted a foot massage.
If you suffer from any underlying health issue that you believe could potentially be negatively affected by a foot massager, always check with a healthcare professional before use.
When you get your foot massager home, keep it out in the open, or store it somewhere easy to access. The visual cue will remind you to use it more often.
A daily foot massage can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. It’s not just about your feet!
Some foot massagers have an automatic shut-off feature. This is useful if you think you might get so relaxed during your massage that you fall asleep.
Finding a comfortable sitting spot and playing relaxing sounds or music can really help you unwind while using your foot massager.
Q. Is there anyone who shouldn't use a foot massager?
A. Foot massagers are generally very safe, but they may not be suitable for some people. A handful of experts believe that some types of foot massage can induce labor, so check with your doctor before using a foot massager if you're pregnant. Some diabetics should also avoid foot massagers, because people who suffer from neuropathy (a potential complication of diabetes) may not be able to feel if a massager is too hot or powerful. Check with your doctor before using a foot massager if you're diabetic.
Q. Are foot massagers easy to clean?
A. The majority of foot massagers are very easy to clean. Just give them a quick wipedown with a damp cloth or a mild cleaning solution. Importantly, you should always make sure your foot massager is not plugged into a power outlet during cleaning. Furthermore, you should avoid getting the foot massager more than slightly damp, as getting the device wet could damage the motor inside.
Some 360-degree foot massagers have removable covers that make them easier to clean, since they can be hard to see inside.
Q. Will a foot massager help with dry skin on my feet?
A. A foot spa is the best kind of foot massager if you're trying to remedy dry skin, since the water will hydrate your feet. However, we also recommend putting a regular moisturizing regimen in place.
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