Your feet are really important and should not be neglected because they carry your entire body weight every day, whether it’s just while standing, or while you walk, run or jump. That’s why your feet can become quite tired at the end of the day. Athletes and those who workout regularly can have sore feet more regularly. Foot massagers can combat some of the strains and stresses that result from all this activity and impact on your feet. Through massage, they can relieve stress and pain and relax the rest of your body. While a manual massager is pretty good, you may find the ease of use of an electric one to be a huge plus point. That’s why we present the best home foot massager machine options available on the market to help you decide whether any of these would be a good fit for you.
- 1 Benefits of Foot Massages
- 2 Disadvantages
- 3 Different Styles of Foot Massagers
- 4 Best Rated Shiatsu Foot Massagers with Heat
- 5 Best Vibrating Foot Massager
- 6 Best Shiatsu and Vibrating Foot Massager
- 7 Best Budget Foot Massager
- 8 Best Foot Massage Spa Machine
- 9 Conditions Treated by Foot Massages
Benefits of Foot Massages
The American Massage Therapy Association goes into very specific advantages that massage can provide to exercisers and athletes.
Read to the end of this article for benefits related to the treatment of conditions not related to working out or playing sports.
If you want to use an electric foot massager you should first talk to your doctor. Some conditions may actually worsen after using them. If you’re a diabetic, only certain massagers are approved for your use. Pregnant women should consult with their obstetrician.
Also, these machines should not be used for more than 15-30 minutes at a time. The best electric foot massagers should come with a timer and auto-shutoff just to be on the safe side.
Different Styles of Foot Massagers
Foot massagers can be manual where the user actively moves the feet on rollers, or they can be electric, which is more relaxing because you just have to place your feet in position and let the machine do the work. Of course, the latter is more expensive and less portable, so consider the choice carefully. If cost is a concern, there are budget options that will do a decent job but without the frills. These also tend to be more compact and easier to move from a closet to the sofa while you get a massage in front of the TV. It’s important to consider that some electric models are very powerful and apply strong pressure, which may not be the best for you, so check with your doctor or physiotherapist first if you’re planning on getting one. Electric massagers also don’t allow you to focus on specific points of the foot if you have a particularly sore spot and except for a few models, you can’t adjust the pressure.
Among electric foot massagers, the simplest ones have flat roller node or vibrating footplates that you place your feet on top of for a massage of your soles. Others also massage the top of the foot and the ankles. With these you insert your foot into a foot pocket. Both these types of massagers use either Shiatsu massaging or vibrations, with the former a more commonly found type.
Shiatsu massage is a form of Japanese finger massage that uses kneading, pressing, and stretching techniques to achieve relaxation and stress relief, and relieve pain. A Shiatsu foot massage machine can use oscillating heads with pressure to achieve a similar effect. A vibrating massager shakes the feet lightly or firmly at high speed to relax the underlying muscles and create an almost numbing effect, which helps relieve pain. The vibrations are also known to be therapeutic and help with blood circulation and treating neuropathy symptoms among other things. There are also whole body vibrating machines if you want the benefits to extend to other parts of your body.
Both types of electric foot massagers can come with heating options, either direct or through infrared, as heat is known to reduce muscle tension and increase blood flow.
The third style includes a water bath or spa. They are often heated and produce water and oxygen bubbles, jets and vibrations, just like in a spa. This is basically hydrotherapy.
Now that you know what types of electric massagers are available, let’s get right to our foot massager machine reviews.
Best Rated Shiatsu Foot Massagers with Heat
Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager
The Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager is a top rated foot massager with chambers that you insert your feet into while your entire foot and even ankle is worked on. The bottom and sides experience Shiatsu deep kneading, rolling and subtle vibrations, while the rest of the foot gets air pressure that squeezes your foot down further onto the rollers. You can increase or decrease pressure between 5 different settings and also turn on the heat function if you want. The direct pressure and heat combination works well to improve blood circulation and soothe tired muscles.
You get two wireless remotes with it and the unit is light and portable, measuring 17 x 15.75 x 18 inches and weighing 12 lbs. It is easy to push under a standard sofa or office desk. The control panel is situated on the center top but with the remote there is no need to crouch to access it. The unit will auto shut off after 15 minutes.
The foot covers are removable for easy washing and the chambers will properly fit up to foot size 12, although if you are a size 13 or 14 you will be fine. Those with larger feet will not get full coverage but it can still be used with lower pressure setting to get a massage in the center and front of the foot.
The entire foot – toes, ball, arch and heel is worked on but those with smaller feet may feel that they should move the foot into different positions in order to target every single point. This machine gives a powerful and deep massage so if you’re not used to it, even the lowest setting may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but give it a few tries and you’ll soon feel the benefits and enjoy it. You get a 1 year warranty with this massager and there are very few reports of it malfunctioning, making it possibly the best foot massage machine to buy for home use.
Belmint Shiatsu Foot Massager with Switchable Heat Function
The Belmint Shiatsu Foot Massager with Switchable Heat Function is very similar to the Miko but this model does not come with a remote control. However, the soft touch buttons on the center top of the unit are easy to use with just a big toe if you don’t want to bend to control it.
The Belmint also applies deep kneading pressure on the bottom and sides of the foot and air pressure to push down on the top. You can choose from 5 pressure presets, like slow and gentle rolling paired with low air pressure, faster rolling paired with more intense pressure, or only bottom foot kneading without the top air pressure. However, you may find that it targets the front and middle of the foot more than the heel, as your feet tend to get pushed out a bit during the massaging.
All the other features are the same as on the Miko above. As with that model, you have to give yourself some time to get used to the intensity of the massage.
Best Vibrating Foot Massager
MedMassager MMF06 11 Speed Foot Massager
If a vibrating therapeutic foot massager is what you want, then the MedMassager MMF06 11 Speed Foot Massager is the best for personal use. It is also FDA certified for therapeutic use. It is great for increasing blood circulation and easing pain due to vigorous exercise, neuropathy, and inflamed and swollen joints.
This massager has a foot pad that oscillates at a choice of 11 Speeds from 1000 to 3700 rpm and features pressure points and a foot arch bar to target various points on the foot. It is angled for ergonomic comfort and the flat surface area measures about 11 x 11 inches to accommodate even size 13 feet. It can even be tipped way from you to work on your ankles and calves.
The vibrating does make a humming noise which is slightly dampened if placed on carpet. If you use it on wooden or tiled floors then you can use the kit that comes with it. It is not something you can use at work though.
Best Shiatsu and Vibrating Foot Massager
uComfy Shiatsu Foot Massager 2.0
While the Miko and Belmint massagers can make it feel like there’s subtle vibration along with the Shiatsu massage, if you want a true combination of deep kneading and vibration then turn to the uComfy Shiatsu Foot Massager 2.0. You have controls on the top center where you can choose the desired mode and you can also choose to turn on the heat function if you want to add that soothing experience along with the kneading or vibrating massage. Each mode can be increased or decreased in intensity between 5 levels so suit your level of comfort.
As with the Miko and Belmint models, you slip your feet into the chambers and you get all around massages but with the added choice of vibrating massages. The Shiatsu style uses air pressure from top with massage nodes from the bottom. The covers can be unzipped and removed for washing too.
Note that the vibrating is the soothing kind and not very powerful.
Best Budget Foot Massager
Homedics FMS-270H Deep Kneading Shiatsu Foot Massager
If you’re looking for a good value massager the Homedics FMS-270H Deep Kneading Shiatsu Foot Massager is one of the best. It provides a deep kneading Shiatsu-type massage on the soles of the feet through a total of 18 massage nodes and 6 rotational heads.
It is very simple to use as there is just one button to control the unit and it can be done with a big toe. The first touch powers one the unit for simple massaging, one more touch turns on gentle heating, and the final touch turns off the unit completely.
This type of massager does not have intensity control and first time users might feel like the rollers are tickling them rather than massaging, but if you are ticklish just push down more firmly on the foot plates, keep at it for at least 10 minutes and your feet will feel great after that.
This type of massager is really compact and silent so it can even be used in the office or while watching TV. However, it does not have auto shut off, so you should set your own timer to make sure you don’t use it continuously for too long.
Belmint Shiatsu Foot Massager
Belmint also makes a more budget friendly Shiatsu massage model and that’s the Belmint Shiatsu Foot Massager. Like the Homedics model, the massaging is done only on the bottom of the feet and there is just one simple button to power it on and turn on the optional warming function using your toe. There are 6 total rolling massaging heads, each with three nodes to target various pressure points on the soles of your feet.
This unit will automatically shut off after 20 minutes. It also comes with stability feet that you can adjust for height to raise and angle the foot base to ergonomically accommodate your sitting position on a chair or sofa. These extra features on a basic model makes it the best shiatsu foot massager for those on a budget.
While there are some advantages to this model over the Homedics one, some users have said that the fabric covering the foot plates starts to disintegrate after a few months.
Best Choice Products Shiatsu Foot Massager
The Best Choice Products Shiatsu Foot Massager falls somewhere in between the top rated Miko and Belmint models and the Homedics and budget Belmint models when it comes to features but it’s price tag falls well within the budget category. It measures 22″ x 12″ x 10″ and weighs 13.5 lbs, so not the most portable option out there, but you still can move to your couch or desk from its storage space.
This massager features two foot chambers that you insert your feet into so that the soles, sides and heels get a thorough massage that includes deep kneading, rolling and pulsing. You control it either by remote control or by the soft-touch button panel on the center of the unit. You get 4 auto-mode massages, 3 different customized modes where you can target the toes, arches or soles and change the direction and speed settings, and a manual mode that gives the user maximum control. The only thing you can’t adjust is the intensity.
The open chamber design here allows you to position your feet more forward or more backward to target your toes or heels fully so it is a good foot massager for large feet, which is a limitation found on the advanced Belmint model and the Miko model.
A few customers have trouble figuring out how to turn the unit on and off. All you have to do is plug it in and hold down the power button for a few seconds to do both. The biggest problem with this product is that when it works it is really good and feels like there’s a pro massaging your feet, but several users say that it broke after a few months.
Best Foot Massage Spa Machine
Ivation Foot Spa Massager
Most hydrotherapy foot massagers are made for commercial spa use and are quite costly but the Ivation Foot Spa Massager is surprisingly affordable for what you get. It is so versatile that you may wonder why you ever paid for an expensive session at your local spa.
This foot spa is a basin that comes with two motorized rollers with pressure points to activate the soles of your feet. In the center is a circular silicone head with interchangeable brush and acupressure attachments to give each foot a pedicure one at a time. These you use by manually rubbing all parts of your feet over. While the rollers work the unit also gives you a mild vibrating massage for improved circulation.
When it comes to the hydrotherapy, you just fill the bath with water and turn on the bubble function and optionally the heat function. The bubble function uses multiple water jets to to create a calming bubble bath for your feet, while the heat function can be temperature controlled up to 122° F. The temperature is displayed as well. You can set an auto shut off timer as well. The LCD lights tell you which function is on. Like aromatherapy? Just add your favorite essential oil to the water.
To carry it to wherever you want to use it after filling it with water, there’s a pair of oversized bucket-style carry handles.
Conditions Treated by Foot Massages
Even if you’re not an athlete or need massages after a workout, a foot massager can help treat quite a few health conditions in addition to other medical treatments.
For those who suffer from poor circulation in the feet due to certain health conditions or even lifestyle choices, vibrating foot massages can help. Peripheral or diabetic Neuropathy where one can suffer from nerve pain or numbness can be managed by increasing blood circulation and relaxing the foot muscles.
Those suffering from arthritis often have swollen feet due to fluid retention. A foot massager that uses kneading techniques with heat and maybe even water can help with this. Pain from bunions can be reduced by massaging the arches of the feet to work against them collapsing. Massaging the toes also helps ease the pain. All these conditions are best treated with Shiatsu-style massagers.
Pain in the arches, heels or heel spurs caused by Plantar Fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the feet, needs to be treated by kneading and stretching the fascia. This is best achieved with a manual massage roller, but a few different electric models include a setting that mimics that action. This massage is also great for runners, as their Plantar Fascia can develop tightness
The principles of reflexology are used to apply pressure at specific points of the feet to alleviate headaches and migraines. A Shiatsu-style massager that is good at massaging all around the foot and even the toes can greatly help. Similar principles are used to treat lower back pain and menstrual pain, as the nerves in the feet run through various other parts of the body. The addition of direct or infrared heat to the massage is even better.
A massager with hydrotherapy takes care of sore and swollen feet and helps you relax even further.