Best foot massager

Massage & Relaxation

A foot massager, especially one that offers heat or infrared lights, can relieve pain and inflammation from arthritis.

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Which foot massager is best?

Who doesn’t like a foot rub at the end of a long day? Not everyone has a personal masseuse or a willing loved one to provide that service regularly, but you can purchase massagers designed specifically for your tired feet. These gadgets can involve water for a spa-like experience, heat and infrared lights to relax muscles, or moving heads to knead feet. Manual foot massagers are also available and offer acupressure relief.

Our top pick is the Shiatsu foot massager.

What to know before you buy a foot massager

Types of foot massagers

  • Electric: Electric foot massagers require an electrical outlet to power their massage heads, which knead and/or vibrate, as well as air pressure and heat features. These range in price from $50 to $300.
  • Manual: Manual foot massagers are made from wood, foam, rubber or plastic and require you to rub your feet on their pointed rollers. They are highly portable and inexpensive at $5-$25.
  • Foot Spa: Foot spas involve water that’s heated and has “hydrotherapy” features, such as bubbles and jets, to massage your feet. These also require an electrical outlet. They’re priced $30-$100.

Massage methods to consider

Foot massagers offer a variety of methods to remove tension from your feet. Here’s a list of the common methods, which may be combined in higher-priced massagers.

  • Shiatsu: This traditional Japanese massage technique is replicated with vibrating, kneading heads that target pressure points.
  • Heat: Heat helps relax foot muscles and can relieve pain. It’s a nice feature that enhances the effects of foot spas and electric massagers.
  • Infrared light: Infrared light emits low heat and is believed to increase circulation and lower inflammation.
  • Kneading: Moving heads are an important component of foot massagers that provide the massage experience to feet.
  • Compression: Some electric foot massagers that surround the foot have a compression option that use air to apply pressure to the foot.
  • Vibration: Vibrating components are common in electric massagers and foot spas. They offer a different massage sensation from kneading.
  • Hydrotherapy: In foot spas, water is used to massage the feet in jet streams or bubbles. Vibration and heat is also generally part of the hydrotherapy experience offered by foot spas.

What to look for in a quality foot massager

360° vs. sole

Some foot massagers only target the sole of your foot, like manual and basic electric ones. Foot spas and more advanced electric massagers totally encompass the foot for a “360 degree” experience.

Size and weight 

Some foot massagers can be rather heavy and bulky. Consider how much space you have for storage as well as arm strength for dragging it out to use. Manual foot massagers are the most lightweight and easiest to move.

Adjustability

Some feet are more sensitive than others and require more calibrated settings for heat, kneading and vibration. Carefully consider whether you want the option to control speed, pressure and other settings; not all foot massagers are adjustable. 

Foot massagers FAQ

What are the benefits of a foot massager?

A. Aside from general relaxation, foot massagers can offer pain relief for a wide range of concerns. Athletes, people who work all day on their feet, arthritis sufferers and people with plantar fasciitis and heel spurs can all experience pain relief from a good foot massager. Foot massagers can also increase blood flow to and reduce fluid retention in your lower extremities.

Is there any reason not to use a foot massager?

A. If you’re pregnant or diabetic, foot massagers can carry some risk. Check with your doctor first before use if this applies to you.

What’s the best foot massager to buy?

Top foot massager

Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager

Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager

What you need to know: This high-end foot massager offers multiple settings and massage methods.

What you’ll love: Shiatsu, heat and compression provide a total massage experience. It has five strength levels.

What you should consider: The kneading function can’t be shut off while in use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top foot massager for the money

Conair Active Life Waterfall Foot Spa

Conair Active Life Waterfall Foot Spa

What you need to know: This is a foot spa with impressive durability and features for such a low price.

What you’ll love: It stands apart for its lights and waterfall features. It comes with attachments, including pumice stone and manual foot roller. It bubbles and vibrates.

What you should consider: It doesn’t heat up water. Users must pour in already heated water.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Homedics Deep Kneading Shiatsu

Homedics Deep Kneading Shiatsu

What you need to know: From a trusted home appliance brand, this kneading massager excels in quality.

What you’ll love: Multiple rotating heads provide deep Shiatsu massage. It is quite effective for reducing foot soreness and a heat feature enhances the experience.

What you should consider: The angle of the unit isn’t adjustable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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