Provides deep massage along with relaxing heat for optimal results. Versatile, as it can be used on feet as well as legs. Several intensity levels make it perfect for novices and seasoned users.
Pricey option. Highest setting can be painful for new users and sensitive individuals; beginning on the lowest setting is recommended.
Smaller unit for at-home use – easier to transport than hospital models. Works well for fluid reduction and compression. As easy to use as an automatic blood pressure machine.
Defective units either fail to power up or suddenly stop working. Pressure can be too intense, even at lower settings. No massage action, just inflation/deflation.
Addresses many lower leg issues, including circulation problems and fluid retention. Massage action is strong, but not painful. Good for deep tissue massage.
Significant amount of pressure placed on upper calves. Does not provide a true shiatsu massage for feet. Not ideal for taller or heavier users.
Includes many useful attachments for specific needs.Helps with joint and alignment issues. Long operating time on a single charge.
Doesn't provide strong deep tissue massage. More percussive than vibratory. Heavy – hard to hold in position for long periods.
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You might be used to suffering from sore legs after an intense workout or a long day at work, but why should you just grin and bear it when you can help relieve the pain with a leg massager?
Leg massagers come in a range of shapes and sizes and are designed to aid in muscle recovery and general pain relief, improve circulation, and reduce water retention that can be caused by various medical issues.
With such a variety of leg massagers available to you, it's no surprise if you're struggling to choose the right option for you. We’re here to help. Check out our favorite leg massagers at the top of the page or read on for our complete guide.
The simplest type of leg massagers, these models are essentially textured sticks that you roll up and down your legs. While they're inexpensive and reasonably effective, they can't compete with other some varieties for pain relief or convenience.
Price: Manual leg massagers are the cheapest option, generally costing between $10 and $20.
Although these massagers aren't necessarily exclusively for legs, we've added electric handheld massagers to the list since you can use them to massage your legs. What's great about this type is that you can use it on both the calves and thighs and easily maneuver it to any problem areas to work its magic. Electric handheld massagers also tend to come with a range of different heads and several intensity settings, so you can select the option that fits your specific requirements each time. Of course, you still have to hold and move the massager yourself, so it's not as relaxing as using the type of massager that lets you simply sit back and enjoy the experience.
Price: Most electric handheld massagers cost between $30 and $60, but high-end models are closer to $100 to $150.
Compression leg massagers wrap around the legs and fill with air, pressing on the legs to massage them. These types of massagers are excellent for post-workout recovery, as well as for any health conditions that cause swelling, fluid retention, or poor circulation. The wraparound style means that they fit most legs, but high-end options can be extremely pricey.
Price: Basic compression massagers start at around $50 to $80 There are plenty of mid-range compression options in the $100 to $300 price range. High-end full-leg models can cost up to $1,000.
Shiatsu leg massagers contain various rolling, kneading, and other moving parts to give you a similar effect to shiatsu massage performed by a massage therapist. These tend to be large, solid plastic units with a space for each leg. All you have to do is select your preferred settings, switch it on, and away it goes, leaving your hands free to do other things. Because of the fixed size of the unit, not everyone can use it, which is a major drawback. Shiatsu massagers also take up a fair amount of room.
Price: Shiatsu leg massagers generally cost between $200 and $400.
The Rapid Reboot Recovery System is a full-leg compression massager specifically designed to speed up post-workout recovery. This might not be the ideal option for a relaxing massage, and it isn’t cheap, but it's perfect for tackling sore muscles, poor circulation, and fluid retention. The controls are intuitive and easy to use, giving you control over pressure, massage duration, and more.
Leg massagers use a range of methods to massage the legs, including moving rollers and kneaders, air compression, vibration, and heat. Some models only use a single method, but many use multiple methods for the most effective results. The massager you choose will depend on the method you prefer.
With the exception of manual leg massagers, all good-quality massagers should allow you to control various aspects of the massage experience. At a minimum, you want to be able to control the intensity because some people prefer less pressure and others prefer more. Depending on the methods offered, you might also be able to switch between a range of modes. For instance, you might select kneading, kneading and vibration, kneading and heat, or all three. Check the manual that comes with your leg massager to learn more about the various modes.
Size and weight
Some leg massagers, particularly shiatsu models, can be quite heavy and bulky. If you opt for a large massager, think about where you’ll store it when it isn’t in use. They work wonders on your legs, but they're not the most attractive products and may look unsightly sitting next to the coffee table. You can also find some very compact leg massagers. Wraparound massagers, for instance, easily fold up when not in use, so you can tuck one away in a drawer or cabinet.
Check whether the model you choose fits legs of different sizes. This is a concern if your build is smaller or larger than average. Shiatsu massagers are less able to accommodate legs of different shapes and sizes than wraparound massagers.
Some wraparound leg massagers offer extensions for larger legs, though you might have to buy these separately.
A leg massager that automatically shuts off after a set period lets you avoid any chance that you'll fall asleep with the massager on.
Knead the tension away
Thanks to its rollers and other moving parts, this massager can knead pressure points to replicate traditional shiatsu massage. In addition to the lower legs, this massager also works the soles of the feet, making it an excellent option for people who stand all day at work.
If none of the top picks in our product matrix take your fancy, don't worry! We considered a wide range of other products in our research and some of them very nearly made the cut. For instance, the Reluen Foot and Calf Massager is an excellent choice for compression massage, and it offers the added bonus of heat. While the Naipo Foot and Leg Massager focuses a little more on the feet, but it still provides some beneficial leg massage, and we love that it folds down for easy storage. Another compression massager comes in the form of the FIT KING Leg Air Massager for Feet and Calves. With two modes and three intensities, you can easily customize the massage to fit your needs.
Q. Is there a maximum recommended length of time for using a leg massager?
A. There's not a set maximum duration for leg massagers in general, but some manufacturers may suggest a maximum length for a session. Unless the manual says otherwise, we generally wouldn't recommend using a leg massager for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Q. Will a leg massager help my muscles recover from exercise more quickly?
A. Many athletes find that massage helps to ease sore muscles after exercise. Leg massagers ease inflammation and improve blood flow, which can help prevent muscle pain and aid in post-workout recovery.
Q. Can I buy a leg massager to massage my thighs?
A. Although most leg massagers focus on the calves, you can buy compression massagers and shiatsu massagers that work on the thighs and calves at once. However, they can be expensive. A more affordable alternative is to use a manual or electric handheld massager on your thighs.
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