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What to look for in a foot massager

Cristina Avatar By: Cristina | Last updated February 14, 2019

woman getting a foot massage foot massager

Foot massages are very important for your overall health, both mental and physical. In addition to helping you relax after a hard day’s work in uncomfortable shoes, a proper foot massage also has therapeutic effects.

Benefits of getting regular foot massages

Here are some of the most important benefits a foot massage has on your health:

  • It helps in improving your blood circulation
  • It helps you relax and reduce depression and anxiety
  • It helps you sleep better
  • It helps you have healthier feet and reduces foot inflammation
  • It helps you treat arthritis
  • It reduces/treats headaches
  • It helps women experiencing PMS symptoms

Read more about the benefits of foot massages here:

Main factors to consider when choosing a foot massager

Before choosing a foot massager you should know a thing or two about the types of foot massagers, as there are more than just one type.

The main types of foot massagers are: simple manual massagers (they are usually made of wood, you simply place your feet on the rollers and you move them back and forth) electric massagers (they use vibration and heat), Shiatsu massagers (they are also electric and they get as close as possible to a human massage; that is why they also have the most therapeutic benefits), water massagers (they use jet bubbles and warm water and they are mainly used for relaxation purposes).

Here are some aspects to consider when choosing the best foot massager for your needs:

  • Cost and purpose: depending on the type of foot massager, how complex it is and what kind of features it has, you can pay from just $10 to a few hundred dollars, for an advanced Shiatsu massager with massage nodes and heads. As mentioned above, you can go for a simple, manual and cheap wood roller, you can opt for a water massage if relaxation is your main goal, or you can go for a Shiatsu foot massager, which is more expensive but also the most effective. Decide what you are going to use the massager for, to know what kind of functions are of most importance to you. This way you’ll have a better idea on how much you need to spend
  • Pay attention to the cushioning of the foot massager. Unless you’re going with bath spas or simple rollers, most foot massagers (Shiatsu massagers) have cushions where you place your feet. The softer and more comfortable the cushioning, the more relaxing the massage. The best thing is to test the massager first if possible, to see if the cushions fit and contour your feet properly. The size of the foot opening is also important, so make sure you go with something that can accommodate your foot size
  • Size, weight and portability. These are important factors to consider if you want to be able to move the massager around, to have space to store it or maybe even carry it with you when you travel, at work, etc. If you know you’re just going to leave the massager at home and in the same place, for most of the time, then you can go for something heavier, too. Otherwise, make sure the device is portable and light enough
  • When it comes to the features of a foot massager, here are some aspects to look at:
    • adjustable controls for the speed; they can be programmed settings or manual, or both, which is ideal
    • toe-touch controls and/or a remote control, so you don’t have to constantly bend to access/change a setting
    • a heating option, because it boosts the benefits of the massage
    • air pillows, as they are very effective in relieving tension in the muscles
    • a vibration feature, also great for sore muscles and especially for increasing blood circulation
    • automatic modes/programs, so you can choose between different massage techniques
  • Be careful about potential foot issues you may have. Although, generally speaking, foot massagers are great for several reasons, there are some cases in which their use is not recommended. For instance, if you know you have really sensitive feet, bunions, or diagnosed foot problems, make sure you consult with a doctor before you start using a foot massager

Best foot massagers you can buy in 2018

Now that you know a thing or two about foot massagers and what to look for in one, here are some options you can consider:

HoMedics Shiatsu Air Pro – it’s a great Shiatsu massager with a heating function and it costs around $150

Here is our review on it here:

MedMassager MMF06 – is a powerful electric massager, with 11 speeds, a vibrating feature and it is also suited for clinical purposes. It is FDA approved and you can get it for approximately $240, which is a bit steep.

Here is our review on the MedMassager here:

Brookstone Heated Aqua-Jet Foot Spa – it is a great water massager that uses strong water jets, it is spacious and you can purchase it for $130.

Read our review here: