We take a look at foot massagers worth your money in 2019
How do you relax after spending all day on your feet at work? Perhaps you switch on your sound bar and listen to some music? or you kick back on the sofa with your projector and start watching the office for the umpteenth time. Both are great options to relax but they don’t really help with the foot pain, much like you probably need to invest in a better pillow when you have neck pain, investing in a foot massager can do your feet a world of good.
What is a foot massager?
Unsurprisingly, a foot massager is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a machine which massages your feet. With its invention people no longer need a masseuse or a significant other to gain the benefits of a foot massage.
There are many kinds of foot massager on the market, each with different designs and functions. In this article we will look at what you need to know before buying a foot massager, some features to look out for and three massagers we recommend to help get you back on your feet in no time.
Benefits of a foot massager
We have long known that massaging your feet can promote good health. The Chinese have touted these benefits for hundreds of years, and now Harvard tells us the same. Here are some of those advantages from that ancient knowledge and modern research:
- Reduction in Migraine and Headache – Studies have shown that migraines and headaches can be reduced by foot massages. This can be used to supplement more traditional pharmacological treatments, being safe to do and in some cases having similar effects.
- Lowers Blood Pressure – Poor diets and increased stress have led to an epidemic of hypertension in society. Massaging your feet for just 10-20 minutes a few times a week has been shown to reduce blood pressure in people of all ages
- Improves Circulation – It’s no secret that modern life is increasingly sedentary. We spend more and more time sitting which leads to poor circulation in our feet. More exercise is always the best way to improve circulation but if you can’t do this on a regular basis then using a foot massager while you watch TV can have similar effects without significantly altering your current lifestyle. This can be especially useful for those with diabetes.
- Helps control Stress – One of the biggest benefits of foot massaging is in the reduction of stress. By targeting pressure points, frequent sessions can relax patients and reduce anxiety over time, allowing us to better cope with the problems of day to day life.
- Reduce foot Pain – Finally is perhaps the most obvious use of foot massagers, relieving pain and tension in the feet. Massages can reduce aches and speed up the recovery of injuries. If combined with strengthening exercises, you may even be able to prevent injuries in the first place. The pain that is reduced can be anything from sports related pain to arthritis.
Types of foot massager
There are a few different types of foot massager available on the market. Some massagers can purely be of one variety, but others can be a mixture of different types. Here’s a list of the main kinds of foot massagers you can find on the market:
- Manual – These are the most basic types of massagers. Manual foot massagers tend to be balls or wheels that you roll your foot over the surface of your foot. They are the cheapest type of massager but also tend to be the least effective. Although they have the benefit of not requiring batteries or plugging in so you can take and use them anywhere.
- Shiatsu – This type of massager uses oscillating or rolling heads to simulate the feel of a shiatsu practitioner. Shiatsu (literally translated to “finger pressure” is a Japanese technique which focuses on the meridians to reduce tension and stimulate the Qi, the life force of the body. While we can’t speak about Qi, we can say that shiatsu massagers have deep and kneading movements which are great for relaxation.
- Water – They incorporate powerful water jets to relax your feet and relieve pain in your muscles and joints, the soaking can also be joined by bubbles which circulate through the tub. The addition of relaxing essential oils to water massagers at the end of a long day is a great way to help you feel refreshed. It is also great if you want to do a pedicure at home.
- Infrared – The final kind of massagers uses infrared light instead of any mechanical action. These use infrared rays to penetrate deep into your body, heating and stimulating tissues and promoting blood flow.
Few people like chilly feet so some massagers give you the option to add heat to the massage. Although not everyone likes this feature, we feel that it really adds to the experience. If you’re unsure if you’d like this feature or not, we recommend you choose an option that can turn up the heat. You can always turn it off if you don’t like it.
Removable inner cover
Depending on the massager, some come with a breathable cover inside. This helps with hygiene, especially if multiple people are using the same foot massager. These covers are washable and replaceable for easy cleaning and sanitation. Machines without these covers require you to wash the inner surfaces the old-fashioned way.
Many foot massagers have adjustable intensity settings which can be helpful in getting you to the perfect level of relaxation for each day. Lower intensity settings may be better for older users or daily relaxation, whereas higher settings are for deep massages. Massagers, especially those with adjustable intensity, may also have different modes to suit your mood and personal preference.
A final few things to consider
Portability – For some, this may seem like a weird thing to mention but if you are elderly or use your foot massager to treat certain health conditions, then transportability can be crucial in allowing you to use, move and store the massager. Lighter or more compact massagers are better at being movable although some massagers have built in handles to make this less of an issue.
Power cord – This is a small point but it’s important to be sure that the power cord is long enough for the position you intend to use it. Nobody likes running extension cords through their home when they can help it, especially not if it’s in the living room in front of the sofa! A nice plus of some massagers is a wrap-around or hide-away for the cord when they are not in use.
Noise – Aside from manual or infrared massagers, all foot massagers contain a lot of motors and moving parts. They will also be placed directly on the floor so noise and vibrations can transfer to the room below and annoy your neighbours if you live above the ground floor of an apartment. Unfortunately, you can’t tell how noisy a massager will be until you try it; If you feel like this may be an issue, try to find reviews that mention this factor.
Foot size – Foot massaging machines are designed to accommodate the greatest range of feet possible but it’s still something to look out for if you have especially large feet. If you have big feet, always make sure to check the maximum supported foot size before buying!
Our Top Choice of Foot Massager
Arealer Shiatsu Foot Massager
Feature packed foot massaging champion
The Arealer foot massager truly has it all. It contains a variety of modes and intensities (with a LCD screen to let you know which one you’re using), a removable inner cover and even a remote control so you don’t need to constantly lean down to control the functions of the machine. This choice might be the most expensive on our list but it is well worth the extra cost, and still cheaper than more than two or three sessions with a professional. The features of this product are:
- Soothing heat and compression – The massager can be heated to 40 degrees Celsius to make for a comfortable massaging experience. There are also dual compression airbags to promote blood flow and cover a wider area of your feet.
- Timing function – You can set a timer from 5 to 30 minutes so you can relax for as long as you like (or even have a nap) without worrying about leaving the machine on. If the timer is not set then the machine automatically switches itself off after 15 minutes.
- Detachable inner cover – The inside of the foot massager contains a breathable inner cover which you can easily remove for improved sanitation and trivial cleaning.
- Multiple modes – There are five modes of this massager, including: rolling, scraping, air compression, kneading and heating. There are also five levels of intensity, allowing anyone to use it no matter their level of sensitivity.
- Overheating protection – The machine is turned off if it senses itself overheating, meaning you don’t have to worry about damaging the product with extended use.
- LCD screen
- Many modes and pressure settings
- Included remote control
- Detachable inner covers
- Heating and compressions functions
- You can’t change the intensity when on pressure mode
- Machine is not suitable for those with larger feet
Great Value Massaging Machine
Marnur Shiatsu Foot Massager
Cheaper, feature rich alternative
The Marnur shiatsu foot massager impresses with a bevy of features for a cheaper price than our top pick. There are a few less modes available but the key features are there and there are still more modes than most, meaning most people won’t notice a difference in normal usage. Overall, we are very impressed with what Marnur has managed to achieve at this price point. If you’re just dipping your toes in the foot massaging market, you can’t go wrong here. Specifications include:
- Auto shutoff – The foot massager turns itself off after 15 minutes, allowing you to rest without worry as it runs. There is also overheat protection to allow for safe operation.
- Removable foot cover – Your feet are covered with a breathable cover which can be removed and cleaned separately, allowing for hygienic, hassle free usage.
- Heat and compression – The massager can heat your feet gently, increasing muscle relaxation and rejuvenation during the massaging process. The compression function increases coverage and stabilizes the foot for a more enjoyable massage
- Multiple modes – There are three intensities and modes available: Kneading, air compression and shiatsu. The intensity settings are displayed using LEDs so you always know when you are on your preferred setting.
- Detachable inner covers
- Three intensity levels
- Heating and compression functions
- Simple operation
- Wide openings make it easy to slip your feet in
- Large size
- The machine is not suitable for those with larger feet
- Max intensity too firm for some
Best for Those on a Budget
Naipo Shiatsu Foot Massager
Basic, open-toed massager
Simple design, simple operation seems to be the philosophy of the Naipo Foot Massager. There are no added frills on this model, with only two modes of operation, no overheat protection and no detachable sleeve. The machine is relatively compact, with an open-toed design permitting larger feet to be massaged than our other two options. This has the additional benefit of promoting airflow, preventing the stuffy feeling some people may find with closed models. Features of the Naipo massager are:
- Wide feet compatibility – The design of this unit has compatibility for a large range of foot sizes due to the open toes. Feet up to size 12 are officially supported although theoretically those with slightly larger feet may fit as well (albeit with reduced coverage)
- Mode and intensity variation– Two modes of operation are available if you want to change things up occasionally as well as three levels of intensity.
- Automatic timer – The machine switches itself off after 15 minutes, promoting safe use and operation.
- Nylon and leather instep – The instep is made of PU leather to provide comfortable support of your feet. This is combined with a nylon mesh for breathable, antibacterial action.
- Supports large feet
- Heating and compression functions
- Open-toed design
- Top cuff adjusts itself to your foot
- Lightweight for good portability
- No detachable sleeves for easy cleaning
- Only two modes available
- No overheat protection