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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best hot stone massage sets

Last Updated July 2019

Massage is a great way to relax your mind and body and relieve tension in sore muscles. There are dozens of different types of massages you can choose from, but perhaps one of the most popular is hot stone massage.

Apart from being soothing, this type of massage therapy has also been shown to help increase blood flow to the affected areas and it may help boost immunity and relieve pain among those that suffer from conditions like fibromyalgia. But before you can take advantage of these benefits at home, you need to purchase a hot stone massage set.

You can’t just use any stones. They must be smooth, and they must hold heat well in order to be useful in a hot stone massage. Here’s a guide to help walk you through all these important considerations so that you can choose the hot stones that are perfect for your massage practice.

Different stones are useful for different areas of the body. Larger stones work best for placing on your back or stomach while smaller stones are great for using between fingers and toes.

Key considerations

When selecting a hot stone massage set, the most important things to pay attention to are the stones themselves.

Stone types

The most common type of stone used in hot stone massage is basalt. This igneous rock forms from hardened lava and it’s known for heating quickly and remaining hot for a long time afterward. It also tends to be naturally smooth, so it doesn’t require a ton of polishing to eliminate rough edges. Basalt may be black, grey or green, but you will most likely find the black basalt stones in hot stone massage kits.

Some massage therapists prefer to use sedimentary rocks, like limestone, instead of basalt. This is because these rocks are rich in minerals, which may confer additional healing benefits. Metamorphic rocks, like granite, may also be used in stone massages, but they are more popular in cold stone massages than hot stone massages.

Stone sizes and shapes

The best hot stone massage kits will include stones of different sizes and shapes so that you have some flexibility in which ones you choose. For example, you may want larger stones for laying along the spine, but you may also want some smaller stones to place on other parts of the body our in the palms. Think about how you intend to use the stones primarily and let this be your guide.

The stones you choose should be free of rough edges and should have large, flat surfaces that rest evenly against the skin. Often, the stones you find in hot stone massage kits have been shaped and polished so that they are all roughly the same in appearance.

Number of stones

Hot stone massage kits will vary in the number of stones that they contain. Most kits will include at least a dozen stones while some may contain as many as three dozen. The number of stones that you will need will depend on how you intend to use them and how long they remain heated. As the stones cool, you may need to swap them out with freshly heated stones in the middle of the massage. Therefore, it’s usually better to err on the side of having too many stones rather than too few.

Professional-grade massage stones

The ZENSTONE Waterless Hot Stone Therapy Kit includes 12 limestone stones of varying sizes and a compact, waterless stone heater that can heat your stones to temperature in as little as ten minutes. The outer casing is designed to remain cool to the touch for safety so there’s no risk of burning yourself. Those who are new to hot stone massage will appreciate the instruction booklet that’s included to help you get started right away.

Features


Stone warmer

Some hot stone massage sets include a small, portable stone warmer so that you can heat up your stones before or during the massage. You may prefer to purchase a set with a stone warmer if you’re new to hot stone massages and you don’t already have one, but you should note that a heater will raise the price of the kit considerably. If you already have a stone warmer of your own, you’ll probably be better off purchasing a set that doesn’t include one.

When considering a set with a stone warmer, it’s important to evaluate the quality of the warmer as well as the quality of the stones. If you purchase a cheap warmer that heats up slowly and is too small to hold many stones at once, it could impede your ability to use the stones to their full benefit.

Storage

Your hot stone massage set may include a carrying case or pouch for you to store your stones in when you’re not using them. This is a nice way to keep them all together so you don’t need to worry about losing any of them and can take them anywhere easily. This isn’t a crucial feature when choosing a hot stone massage set because you can always come up with your own storage solution if the set you’re interested in doesn’t include a storage pouch.

Instructions

If you’re new to hot stone massage, it’s a smart idea to choose a set that includes instructions on how to properly use and heat the stones. This can save you some trial and error, and help you get the most out of the set you buy.

EXPERT TIP

You should change the water in your stone warmer between each client for sanitary purposes.


Staff  | BestReviews

Hot stone massage sets prices

The cost of your hot stone massage kit will depend largely on whether you are just buying the stones themselves or a stone warmer as well.

Basic sets: If you’re only purchasing massage stones, you can expect to spend somewhere between $20 and $60. The exact cost will depend on the number and size of the stones that you purchase. You can expect to pay more for sets with a large number of stones in a variety of sizes than you can for a handful of similar-sized stones.

Higher-end sets: If you want a hot stone massage set with a stone warmer, you can expect to pay significantly more. These sets usually start at about $90 and can go as high as $200. The cost will still depend largely on the number and size of the stones included and what other materials come with the kit.

CAUTION

You should always use a stone warmer to heat your massage stones. Never use a slow cooker, microwave or other appliance for this purpose.

Tips

  • If you’re new to hot stone massage, read through the instruction booklet included with the set or seek out instructions online to be sure that you’re using them correctly.
  • You should aim to heat your massage stones to somewhere between 130º and 145º F.
  • If your stone warmer requires water, you may need a spoon or ladle to scoop the hot stones out of the hot water.
  • It’s important that you (or your client, if you are using the stones on someone else) is properly hydrated before the hot stone massage to help protect the skin and prevent burns.

Versatile stones you can use anywhere

The Zabrina Professional Hot Stones include eight small oblong stones, four larger oblong stones and four large round stones. All of them are basalt, so they retain heat well and will not need to be reheated too often. When you’re not using the stones, there’s a small carrying pouch for you to store them in so you can keep them all together.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Place some sort of material between the hot stones and the skin to prevent burns while using them.

Other products we considered

If you’re interested in an affordable set of massage stones and you don’t need a stone warmer, consider the TIR Massage Stones. These affordable basalt stones are available in three sizes, and all are smooth and flat so they will rest comfortably against the skin. The stones also include information on how you can access a set of free hot stone massage training videos. The Therapist’s Choice Portable Hot Stone Warmer with 12 Stones is an affordable option for those who need a stone warmer. This lightweight set is easily portable and the stone warmer doesn’t require any water to operate. It can heat the stones up to temperature in as little as ten minutes and the outer casing remains cool so that you don’t need to worry about accidental burns. The rocks retain heat for a long time and the whole system is easy to use, even for beginners.

It’s important that you wash your massage stones in hot water with an antibacterial soap after each use.

FAQ

Q: What are the benefits of a hot stone massage?
A:
The heat from the stones warms the skin, stimulating blood flow to the area and relaxing muscles. It can also help your body to better absorb any therapeutic massage oils that are applied to the skin.

Q: Can anyone get a hot stone massage?
A:
Women who are pregnant and adults with certain conditions like diabetes, a history of blood clots or a low platelet count, or who have skin-related concerns should not get a hot stone massage without first consulting with their doctor to make sure that it is safe.

Q: Why are basalt stones the best for hot stone massage?
A:
They have a high iron content, which helps them to hold heat for much longer than most other types of stones. This minimizes the number of stones that one needs to have on hand and the number of times that the stones will need to be reheated during the massage.

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Kailey
    Kailey
    Writer
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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