Working on your feet could spell trouble. Research indicates that standing for five hours a day contributes to significant and prolonged sore feet, swelling, varicose veins, and general muscular fatigue.
You need a remedy, and that daily visit to the masseuse may be a financial burden. So I did the best thing, tested a dozen of foot massagers.
In this guide, we’ve reviewed the best foot massagers in the market right now, we uncover the types, functions, and their benefits.
It’s not rocket science that investing in one of this foot massager will help you keep your feet healthy, strong and flexible.
Why You Should Consider a Foot Massage
Considering the function of our feet in our day-to-day activities, it is obvious that our feet feel very tired at the end of the day. However, this feet tiredness can be relieved using feet massagers. Therefore a foot massager is one of the massage devices you should strive not to miss because it has numerous health benefits. Some of these benefits include the following:
Best foot massagers help people to relax and let go of stress. The foot massagers work by applying sufficient pressure on reflexology points, which helps in relieving and easing pressure and stress.
Having a foot massage before bedtime will help you sleep soundly like a baby. The foot massage is very effective in overcoming insomnia and irregular sleeping patterns.
Blood circulation is largely affected by our modern lifestyles. However, regular foot massages using one of the best foot massagers will improve blood circulation in the feet and other parts of the body. This will also help solve problems such as unexpected tingling of toes, numb or cold feet, and chilblains.
If done correctly, a foot massage helps in relieving different body pains and aches including headaches, backaches, neck pain and migraines.
A foot massager is also very necessary for pregnant women because it helps minimize edema effects. Edema is very common in pregnant women who are in the last trimester and it involves swelling in the ankles and feet as a result of fluid retention. Therefore foot massager is one of the best gifts you can give an expectant mother.
The good feeling you get during a foot massage will also improve your sex life. Stop thinking of going for sex enhancing pills or supplements and just get yourself a foot massager. The foot massaging session itself is likely to cause mild arousal and is considered a good form of foreplay as long as you do it with your significant other.
High blood pressure is a very common and serious health problem today. Regular relaxing feet massages can help lower your blood pressure. Just ensure that you have a 10-minute foot massage session at least three times a week and your blood pressure will go down.
Best Foot Massager Reviews
If you are planning to buy a foot massager, there are many options to choose from, which can make the selection process challenging. The reviews below are of some of the best foot massagers, to help you select the one that is best for you.
#1. Miko Shiatsu Home Foot Massager
Of all the electronic foot massagers I tested out, Miko Shiatsu Home Foot Massager proved the best foot massager for 2019. It has a small and compact design, making it easy to carry, store and move. You get a user-friendly control panel that enables you to make changes to features and monitor changes more easily.
It provides light and deep massages using kneading, vibration, rolling, heat, and air pressure. It has two chambers for each foot to ensure that the bottom and two sides of the foot are adequately massaged.
The massager has 5 strength intensities that relieves muscle tightness in the feet. It also has a 15-minute auto shut-off feature to prevent overeating and excess pressure.
The unit comes with a remove control and so you don’t have to worry about bending over to change its features.
It measures 17 inches long, 15.8 inches wide and 7.9 inches high, and weighs 12 pounds.
#2. MedMassager Variable Speed Foot Massager
This is a robust, 11-speed foot massager that relieves pain and tension in the feet and legs, and boost blood circulation. It can make 1,000-3,700 rpm.
You can use it at home office, and is highly recommended by massage therapists and doctors.
It has a foot pad instead of rounded rollers, which are very common in other foot massagers.
The entire foot area (foot pad) of this foot massager oscillates when it is in use, competing with the angled top bar that is designed to work perfectly on the most aching pressure points. As a result, both the feet and toes gets maximum stimulation.
You must be seated for you to use this foot massager, which is recommended to be placed on the carpet to avoid sliding.
Diabetics have confirmed that MedMassager is very useful in treating neuropathy. The foot massager allows you to choose the operating speed depending on sensitivity of your feet or mood of the day.
This foot massager is also good for relieving general pain and other conditions such as arthritis, sore muscles, plantar fasciitis, muscle spasms, cramps and muscle tightness.
However, this unit does not have a heat setting and should not be used by children. The speed switch must also be in off position before you plug it into the power outlet.
The massager measures 16 inches long, 12 inches wide and 9.5 inches high, and weighs 11 pounds.
#3. HoMedics Shiatsu Foot Massager
As the name suggests, this massager uses shiatsu technique to knead the feet. It is a deep-massaging device with 6 rotating heads, each with 3 massage nodes (a total of 18 massage nodes).
One of the greatest features of this foot massager is that you can control it using your toes – no need to bend over. Push the button one to turn on the unit, and a blue light will glow. Push the button for the second time to turn on heat, and a red light will glow.
You do not have to worry about where and when to use this massager on fears of interfering with your neighbours or doing other activities such as watching television or talking on phone because it operates very quietly.
The massager measures 14.5 inches long, 13.5 inches wide and 4.5 inches high. It can fit standard men’s size of up to 13 foot and comes with a two-year warranty.
#4. KENDAL Shiatsu Kneading and Rolling Foot Massager
Kendal Shiatsu kneading and rolling massager has an ergonomically, sturdy design that targets sensitive areas of the feet and soles. When these reflexology pressure nodes are stimulated, they significantly boost blood circulation.
It applies three main massage styles: shiatsu, rolling and kneading. Its varying speed and intensity ensures that you get a customized foot massaging experience. The massaging is done in two directions.
You can operate it on manual or auto mode, and it does not have a remote control device.
The unit has a detachable cover that eases cleaning and comes in velour, new micro suede material.
This massager has a comprehensive manual with pictures reflexology therapy areas that are designed for 15 different diseases and symptoms, including fatigue, painful shoulder, high blood pressure, headache, insomnia, slimming, cold and stomachache, among others.
It measures 12 inches long, 20.5 inches wide and 10 inches high, and weighs 10 pounds. It also comes with a one-year warranty, and a lifetime warranty on technical components and customer support.
#5. uComfy Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat
This unit massages both the bottom and top of the feet using vibration, pressure and heat. It has two massage styles: kneading shiatsu style and vibration style, with 5 massage intensity levels.
It is easily potable thus you can move with it to your office and back home. It also has a washable fabric cover that increases convenience, and it comes in two colours: silver and magenta.
The massager uses kneading and vibration functions to work effectively on various pressure points on your feet. This helps to relieve tight muscles thus alleviating blood pressure. You can increase or reduce kneading level using + or – button. There is also the air pressure and heat options. When not in use, the massager shuts off automatically.
The unit measures 17.7 inches long, 18.1 inches wide and 15 inches high, and weighs 12 pounds.
It comes with a one-year warranty together with a user’s manual.
#6. Medi-Rub Foot Massager 2000 Plus
This is a roller-coaster two speed foot massager that increases circulation in lower legs and feet. It mainly uses vibration style and works perfectly for anyone with achy, tired feet.
MR-3F 2000 plus model has a steel interior and thermoplastic covering that makes it very durable. It can make 2800-3500 rpm and is very effective in easing pain that you feel in the bottom of the feet and heel. It works by kneading the reflexology pressure points and strengthening the plantar fascia muscle thus stimulating nerve endings on the feet.
The massager works smoothly and quietly, and you can choose to use it barefoot or while wearing shoes and socks.
It is very helpful for people suffering from diabetes, neuropathy, arthritis and obesity. It is also good for pregnant women.
The device is easy to carry and measures 12.75 inches long, 10.85 inches wide and 2.80 inches high, and weighs 10.4 pounds.
The highest time you can use this massager nonstop is 30 minutes.
#7. Beurer Foot Massager with Heat
This massager is known for relieving pain, arthritis and plantar fasciitis, and also reduce anxiety and stress in the body. It has 18 rotating massage heads that reach very deep muscles tissues thus loosening tension and muscle tightness.
It operates by imitating shiatsu massage motion, and combines vibration and heat massages. It has two massage speed levels, which can be changed easily using your foot.
You can also create more comfort and get a more soothing massage by switching on the heat function. Additionally, it is possible to adjust the height using twisting pegs located at the unit’s bottom. Its angle can also be tilted by changing the pegs’ height for an improved massage experience.
All functions of the Beurer foot massager with heat are displayed on the top using LED lights.
It measures 14.8 inches long, 17 inches wide and 4.3 inches high, and weighs 6 pounds. It also comes with a one-year limited warranty, together with a user manual.
#8. Belmint Shiatsu
This massager uses heat and vibration to provide a relaxing shiatsu massage on the bottom and both sides of the feet. It has two foot areas, five pressure levels, 48 deep kneading massage nodes, and adjustable heat of up to 140°F, which is reached within 8 minutes.
The unit has a very simple control panel that makes activation, deactivation or adjustment of settings be completed with a press of a button. Control is done manually as it does not come with a remove control.
It has a removable cloth cover that makes cleaning easier, can accommodate people with different sizes of feet, including those who wear size 12 shoes, and has a 15-minute auto shutoff function that will prevent overheating in case you don’t remember to switch it off manually.
This unit is one of the best foot massagers you will come across within its price range and for sure it will give you an invigorating foot massage experience.
It measures 18.1 inches long, 17.7 inches wide and 15 inches high, and weighs 12 pounds. The massager also comes with a one-year limited warranty.
#9. Brookstone Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat
The massager provides deep kneading massage through combination of air compression and rollers. It has 3 auto massage programs namely energize, soothe and pulse, with two massage intensity levels (low or high power).
It has an exceptional design that makes it fit anywhere. The grab-and-go handle makes it easy to carry and move. Its zip-out linings also makes cleaning easier.
This unit improves blood circulation, promotes relaxation, alleviates muscle pain, releases muscle tightness, and relieves fatigue and tension.
Its shiatsu style makes it suitable for refreshing sore, tired feet.
The massager measures 17 inches long, 13 inches wide and 9 inches high, and weighs 10 pounds.
But the following people are advised to consult their doctors before using Brookstone shiatsu foot massager with heat: those with heart conditions, pregnant women or those who just gave birth recently, and diabetics.
#10. Sunpentown Infrared Blood Circulation Massager
This blue coloured massager is among the most popular plastic mechanical foot massagers. It operates through combination of heat, vibration and magnetism.
It has 12 vibration settings and 8 infrared treatment options that improves blood circulation, eases foot pain, promotes metabolism, and improves the body’s immune system.
This unit operates via remote control only and can function either on manual or automatic option. It automatically shuts off after every 15 minutes.
It is light, portable, durable but a bit noisy.
It measures 14.5 inches long, 13 inches wide and 7.75 inches high, and weighs 11 pounds.
Types of Foot Massagers
Choosing a suitable foot massager to suit your needs and budget is not an easy task but the list I have compiled below should help you complete this task more easily. Below re the five main types of foot massagers:
- Manual foot massagers: these massagers are usually placed on the floor then you start rolling your feet over them. They can have ball(s) or rollers that apply pressure on different foot points. The manual massagers are generally inexpensive.
- Electric foot massagers: these are automated massagers that operate by either back and forth (oscillation) or rolling motion. They come with different features including heat and are usually powered by electricity not battery.
- Water massagers: these are massagers that use a combination of vibration, bubbles, heat and lights to massage the foot.
- Shiatsu massagers: these are foot massagers that use rotating heads, vibrators and heat to apply pressure to the feet in a similar way as the Japanese kneading technique.
- Infrared massagers: these foot massagers use infrared to massage your foot and calf.
Foot Massager Functions and Styles
There are different styles of foot massagers, capable of performing different functions. The functions of foot massagers are basically based on the technique that the massager uses to apply pressure on the foot. Below is a breakdown of different styles of foot massagers
This is a Japanese massage technique based on traditional Chinese medicine. In this style, the palm, thumbs and fingers are used to apply pressure to different pressure points on the body.
This is a therapeutic massage technique performed by putting hands over the target muscles, pushing and holding them down onto the tissues then releasing and moving the hands to another area.
This style helps in relaxing, cleansing and invigorating the muscles. It dilates capillaries hence a very helpful technique for people experiencing blood circulation problems in the feet.
This technique is very effective in loosening your muscles thus reducing tension in the muscles and increasing blood circulation. The heat massage is not a massage technique on its own but usually comes as an added feature on foot massagers.
Infrared waves are invisible rays that infiltrate and relax deep, stiff muscles by raising the body’s surface temperature.
This is also not a massage style on its own but works in combination with other massage styles. The style is very effective in enhancing blood flow and also offer numerous other health benefits.
This is a water-based massage style that uses high water pressure jets to loosen muscles, relieve muscular pain and increase blood circulation. The water used is usually hotter than the one you are used to in a whirlpool bath or Jacuzzi.
Hydrotherapy foot massagers are usually have built-in water jets, bubbles, lights, heat, and vibration settings.
Conditions that Need the Best Foot Massagers
Foot massagers provide numerous health benefits and can be used for treating a variety of conditions. Below are some of the conditions that can be treated using foot massagers
Circulation and neuropathy
There are many conditions that cause poor foot circulation, including your lifestyle or a health problem. If you are suffering from diabetes, live a sedentary life or sit for many hours behind your computer at the office, you are at high risk of poor foot circulation and neuropathy. Vibration foot massagers are very effective in relieving these conditions.
These massagers stimulate the nerves thus easing aches and pains, reducing nerve pain, stimulating circulation and eliminating numbness and muscle tightness.
This condition is usually not painful and does not cause health problems but it is a sign of weak foot muscles.
The most recommend method of treating flat feet is to start exercising so as to build and strengthen muscles in the foot arches. However, this condition can also be solved by massaging the foot muscles, calves and ankles. You can do this using manual rollers or foot massagers by applying adequate pressure that stimulates the muscles. Shiatsu massagers is also another style of foot massagers can do the job well by massaging the calves, ankles and entire feet.
This is a common condition that causes arch and heel pain. It is caused by inflammation of thick tissues connecting the toes and heel bone, and running at the bottom of the foot. The condition causes stubbing pain, which usually happens when you start making the first steps immediately you wake up in the morning. However, the pain normally decreases as you start moving, but it is likely to come back later in the day after standing for long.
Plantar fasciitis is very common in runners. Others who are at high risk of this condition are overweight people and the ones who wear shows that do not have adequate support.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you need to treat it immediately before it can cause more problems such as hip and joint issues.
The good news is that you can treat plantar fasciitis from the comfort of your home using a manual foot massager. Putting your feet on a manual roller will stretch and apply pressure on the fascia to relieve stress and pain. Some people prefer to ease the pain using freezing foot rollers.
Arthritis and gout
Arthritis and gout are the inflammation of joints, conditions that is very common among the elderly or those of you who do not exercise regularly. These conditions result to retention of fluids (usually uric acid) in the joints or swollen and painful feet. There are various styles of foot massagers that can meet different types or severity of arthritis.
Some of the most suitable foot massagers for arthritis and gout include hydrotherapy and those with kneading modes and heat functions.
But if your condition requires more intense pressure, you can get more advanced models of foot massagers with pro features. Take time to search for these models either on the internet or from referrals to ensure that you get what works for you best.
Lower back pain
Those who have foot massagers will tell you that these devices are very useful in relaxing the entire body. The impact of massaging the sole of the foot (plantar aspect) goes beyond the foot area and also results to relaxation of the back and leg muscles. Most of the nerves upon which pressure is applied on in the feet by the foot massagers are connected to the other parts of the body.
Foot massagers that uses shiatsu, infrared or heat styles are very good is offering relaxation and pain relief benefits beyond the foot. Therefore by massaging the feet, you will also be helping ease tension from the rest of the body. In case you have a handheld massager, you can use it to knead both the feet and back, and release your tight back.
Bunions are the agonizing bony bumps that forms on the inside of the big toes of the feet. The conditions develops when excess pressure is endlessly applied on the joints of the big toes causing them to enlarge and lean towards each other. The most common cause of bunions is wearing narrow, tight shows. The condition is also hereditary.
If your big toes are misaligned or have been confirmed to have bunions, you can relieve the pain by stretching the toes or using an appropriate foot massager to massage the bottom of the feet and the toe arches.
Some of the recommended foot massagers for bunions are shiatsu style massagers. They are very effective in applying pressure to loosen muscles and release tension and stiffness in the muscles.
Headache or migraine
The theory of reflexology is based on the fact that when pressure in applied on certain points of the feet, pain can be relieved in different parts of the body including headache or migraine, and also the entire body relaxes.
Also, according to traditional Chinese medicine, headache or migraine can be relieved by pressing pressure points in the foot.
One of the best ways to knead the feet at home is by using shiatsu electric massagers. For example, massaging the toes will help alleviate pain that is related to headache. Therefore choosing a good massager that can knead the feet properly, especially the toes, is very important to relieving headache or migraines.
Runners spend a lot of time exercising or running, either during training or competitions. This puts a lot of strain on the feet. As a result, runners should not miss a foot massager in their training bags.
Runners’ plantar fascia is usually tight hence they can use a foot roller to relieve the muscles and offset the tightness.
Hand-held massagers can also be used because they are good at relieving the feet soles and loosen tight hamstrings, lower back, glutes and calves.
But if you are feeling a lot of pain after a workout, you can recover fully by using a chair massager to loosen and stretch all body muscles.
Based on the theory of reflexology, applying pressure on certain points of the feet helps in relieving menstrual pain and inducing relaxation. The inside of the leg, the width equivalent to three fingers above the ankle bone, is the best spot to knead when you want to relieve menstrual pain.
You can use an electric massager or handheld massager to massage the feet and alleviate symptoms associated with menstruation.
Swollen or sore feet
If you have swollen or sore feet after a long day, the best remedy is either a spa massager or hydrotherapy massager. Majority of footbath massagers have built-in jets, bubbles, rollers and heat features, specially designed to relax the feet. Kneading your feet using these massagers will improve blood circulation, relieve pain in the feet and make you feel relaxed before going to bed after a hectic day.
Disadvantages of Foot Massagers
The benefits of foot massagers cannot be overemphasized, including promoting relaxation, releasing tension from the body, relieving pain, and helping solve various health conditions. However, there are a few disadvantages that you should know about using foot massagers
There are certain health conditions that may not allow you to use foot massagers. If you are suffering from conditions such as excessive back pain, spinal injuries, arthritis, high blood pressure, etc., you need to consult your doctor first. It is also important to read manufacturers’ warnings and precautions so as to know if the foot massager is appropriate for your health condition.
The amount of time you spend using a foot massager, especially an electric foot massager, should also be limited. That is why most of the electric massagers come with built-in auto-shutoff or timers features that will shut off the massager after a certain period of time, usually 15-30 minutes.
The best models of foot massagers also come at a higher price because of the pro settings, features or power they have. Therefore if you want a good foot massager that will provide all the health and relaxation benefits, you will dip deeper into your pockets. But this investment will save you money in the long run than going to a spa or massage center for professional foot massage services.
Instead of doing a foot massage, I think you’d have to pay a high price for one of these best full body massage chairs (read review here) to massage your whole body.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions about foot massagers
Q. What are the best foot massagers recommended for diabetics?
A. The commonly used foot massagers for easing symptoms associated with neuropathy are electric massagers or oscillating footpads. Neuropathy is one of the common conditions caused by diabetes and can be relieved by massaging the feet. The foot massagers help to improve blood circulation and relieve numbness or soreness in the feet.
However, you should check for manufacturers’ warnings or precautions because not all electric foot massagers are approved for use by diabetics.
Q. Can pregnant women use foot massagers?
A. Swollen feet is one of the commonest conditions in pregnant women and most of them are not use whether using a foot massage can help alleviate the condition. The truth is that a foot massager helps to reduce edema and relieve sore feet but if you are pregnant, it is good to consult your obstetrician before using a foot massager.
Remember that there is a very big difference between the massage experience you get from a foot massager you use at home and the one provided by a massage therapist when you visit the spa. Therefore consult your obstetrician first.
Q. Can a foot massager induce labor?
A. There are varied medical opinions about this topic but there are some claims backed by reflexology principles that labour can be induced by a foot massage.
But remember that a foot massage can either be offered by a foot massager or a masseuse or masseur at the spa.
The pressure or intensity level of a foot massager is usually higher than that of the human touch provided by a masseuse or masseur hence it is recommended that you avoid a foot massager during pregnancy.
If you want a foot massage during pregnancy, just book an appointment at the spa and you will still enjoy all its benefits.
Q. Can I use a foot massager when suffering from back pain?
A. A foot massager can help decrease back pain depending on the source and severity of the back pain.
If your lower back is tight and painful, it can be as a result of tightness or tension in other parts of the body, like legs and feet. Therefore a foot massager can help alleviate this pain.
In case you are among those who spend most of the day on your feet, the chances of feel pain in the lower back are very high. You can use a massager to relieve both the feet and back pain after a long day.
Q. Do foot massagers pose any safety or health risks?
A. There are no significant safety or health risks associated with foot massagers as long as you use them by following the instructions of the manufacturer. That is why it is very important to read manufacturers’ instructions, warnings or precautions.
Q. Where can I buy a good foot massager?
A. You can buy foot massages online from websites such as Walmart, RiteAid, Amazon, CVS, Walgreens and eBay. The website can be for manufacturers, suppliers/distributors or e-commerce companies. Some of the online retailers offer free shipping, so also take time to select the best retailer.
You can also visit some of the local stores near you, including pharmacy, supermarkets, shopping malls or fitness centers, and find good foot massagers.
Q. What is the cost of a foot massager?
A. The cost of foot massagers vary depending on brand, model, style, features, etc. Therefore you can get a foot massager depending on your budget.
The lowest priced foot massagers are handheld massagers or foot rollers. Most of them are below $100. But good electric foot massagers usually go for several hundred dollars.