From teachers to waiters/waitresses, to athletes, many of us know what it’s like to come home with achy feet after a long day. Several occupations require long standing hours and a lot of walking.
According to a recent study conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 818 of 1,082 respondents claimed to have experienced at least one foot ailment within the past year. Heel pain was the most common, as it was reported by 429 of those surveyed.
Finding footwear that offers proper support and cushioning is challenging enough and won’t always solve the issue. Many of those struggling with sore, tired feet at the end of their day are turning to foot massagers to help unwind and bring some much-needed relief.
In this article, we’re going to explore the best foot massagers on the market today. We’ll give you the low-down on several different models. Whether you’re seeking the absolute best option out there, are seeking a more budget-friendly model, or are most concerned with maximizing value, we’ve got something for everyone.
If you’re pressed for time and want to skip to our picks, we’ll save you some time here.
Top Three Foot Massager Choices
- Cloud Massage Foot Massage Machine – Best Overall
- MedMassager 11-speed Foot Massager – Premium Product
- NekTek Massager – Best Value
If you’re looking for more reviews and an in-depth buying guide, read on ahead.
How to Choose the Right Foot Massager for You
To determine which massager is going to get you the best bang-for-your-buck, you’ll first want to consider your circumstances.
The type of foot discomfort a construction worker feels from being in steel toe boots all day may not be the same as that of a chef. Several occupations require different footwear and can leave feet aching in varied ways.
Whether it’s a painful heel, an arch that feels chronically sore, or blisters caused by ill-fitting shoes or excessive movement, there’s a likely a massager that will suit you better than the alternatives.
Common Foot Ailments
Let’s face it. Unless you’re still a young student or someone spending most of their days at a desk, you probably find that your feet are achy when you arrive home from work and could use some relief.
Maybe you’re stuck wearing heels all day. Perhaps it’s an old pair of sneakers that aren’t providing proper support any longer. Or, you could be suffering from a medical condition such as diabetes that can cause aches and pains to the feet.
No matter what the issue is, most manufacturers design their foot massagers with the following ailments in mind.
At the beginning of this article, we pointed you to a study revealing that heel pain is the most common type of discomfort felt by those surveyed.
Plantar Fasciitis falls under this category.
The plantar fascia is a thick ligament connecting the front of the foot to the heel. Because of the location, the plantar fascia undergoes a ton of daily wear and tear.
The cause itself is still not entirely clear, but those who are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from this common ailment.
According to a study conducted in 2003, degeneration may be the primary cause of plantar fasciitis rather than inflammation of the ligament.
Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are common and are typically the result of prolonged friction, rubbing, and pressure. Most people develop one or both of these ailments from the shoes they wear.
Corns are more commonly found on bony areas of the feet and have thick, dense knots of skin at the center. Medical terminology refers to the knots as the “cores” of the corns.
Calluses, on the other hand, usually pop up on the bottom of the foot. While corns have a dense core, calluses distribute more evenly. Foot calluses most commonly develop near the base of the toes.
Heel spurs also create pain and discomfort at the underside of the heel bone. These spurs are the result of calcium deposits that form bony protrusions.
Although heel spurs aren’t always painful, they can cause heel discomfort and are commonly associated with plantar fasciitis.
Diabetes and Neuropathy
People with diabetes often develop neuropathy, which is a common yet serious complication of diabetes. Nerve endings in the legs and feet are the most commonly affected areas. Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage.
Pairing regular massage therapy with other treatments can help alleviate the pain and discomfort that neuropathy typically causes.
Anatomy of the Foot Massager
Most products in this category are similar. Typically, you’ll find many – if not all – of these features in a portable home foot massager:
- Shiatsu massaging action
- Air pressure
- Adjustable heat settings
- A display/control panel
Of course, there are exceptions to everything. But, let’s take a closer look at how some of these standard features work.
Shiatsu originates in Chinese medicine and is a form of Japanese bodywork. The meaning of the word translates to “finger pressure” in English.
Sufficient evidence that shiatsu is an effective medical treatment doesn’t yet exist. That said, you’ll have a hard time convincing people that it doesn’t feel useful in massage therapy.
In the world of foot massagers, shiatsu refers to the massaging action. The mechanics themselves will depend on the actual massager, but you’ll find that most units advertise as shiatsu foot massagers.
Many foot massagers have separate chambers for each foot. Several models feature air pressure that inflates with the foot inside the chamber.
This feature applies pressure to key areas of the foot and ankle and is designed to increase blood blow and promote relaxation.
A cold massage probably doesn’t sound all that appealing.
Heat is a fairly standard feature in all foot massagers, as it can aid in loosening the muscles and reducing soreness. You’ll find that most of these massagers come with adjustable heat settings.
In 2019, you’ll be hard-pressed to find devices without screens or displays. It’s the way of the world.
Most foot massagers will have an LCD, buttons near, or on the display to adjust heat, speed, and massage type. These units typically include a remote as well, so that users won’t need to bend down and strain themselves making adjustments once their feet are inside.
Foot Massager Reviews
Now that we’ve covered all the basics let’s get specific and take a look at some of the best-selling, highest-rated foot massagers available today.
The Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager combines air pressure and heat with various settings for an experience all aching feet can appreciate.
Two independent foot chambers each fill with air and provide deep-kneading, shiatsu massages to the bottom and sides of each foot. The unit features a central control center with soft-touch buttons. Users can customize their massage experience by personalizing their settings and adjusting heat, strength, and overall massage type.
The heat function is independently selectable to provide gentle warmth to tired, achy muscles.
Users can toggle through five varying pressure levels for optimal comfort and increased blood flow. Each chamber features an air pressure pad to encase the foot.
Additionally, the Miko foot massager is compact, portable, and easy to store away when not in use.
The massager includes two wireless remotes for additional convenience and control. The foot chambers fit users up to a size 12. The unit also features a 15-minute auto shut off.
The unit weighs under 15-lbs for easy transport and versatility.
We’d recommend avoiding this unit if you’re a size 12 or higher. Users with larger foot sizes have found issues with the overall effectiveness of the unit, and several have complained that the massage is painful on specific settings.
- Variable heat and pressure settings for the perfect massage
- Wireless remotes included for overall convenience
- Removable, easy to clean cover
- Users with foot sizes above 12 will need to look elsewhere
- Some users claim that some settings are painful and uncomfortable
- Not enough massaging action for the heels or ankles
At first glance, the Arealer foot massager appears pretty consistent with most products you generally see in its category. Two separate foot chambers, shiatsu, air compression, remote, and touch controls and heat adjustments.
Most massagers aren’t likely to blow you away with groundbreaking features or cutting-edge technology, so the real key is general performance and feel.
The Arealer massager delivers in a big way when it comes to overall comfort.
This massager contains six silicone rollers that combine to apply rolling, kneading, and pressing action to the bottom of the foot. Air compression and heat promote healthy blood flow and relief.
There are five modes. Each mode features a different heat, massaging intensity, and speed.
Most portable foot massagers will comfortably fit sizes up to a US 12, but it’s a bit unclear as to whether or not this item will. According to the product details, it should be suitable for sizes 5-12; but the manufacturer also appears to say 4.5-11 in response to a customer inquiry.
If you’re a size 12 or larger, or a size five and under, you might want to test it out before making a full commitment.
Although there’s nothing particular about this model that blows us away, it’s tough to argue with the overall effectiveness. Plain and simple, it gets the job done.
- Five modes with variable speed, pressure, and heat settings
- Remote controlled for added convenience
- Air compression promotes healthy blood flow and relaxes the feet
- Easy to read LCD
- It isn’t clear what each mode does
- May not fit size 12 feet as advertised
- The instruction manual is confusing
The TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller brings us a different looking product.
Rather than the plug-in, heated foot chamber versions we’ve reviewed thus far, this massager takes us in an analog direction. There are no power cords. No displays. No remotes.
This bare-bones roller provides a less-expensive alternative. The TheraFlow roller is an excellent option for those seeking basic relief for their feet at the end of a long day.
At first glance, the TheraFlow massager looks almost prehistoric compared to many of its counterparts.
But looks can be deceiving.
Don’t be fooled by the basic design here. The TheraFlow roller is carefully crafted and constructed with ten independently moving rollers. The arched design contours perfectly to most feet, and the design is ideal for treating common foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, neuropathy, or basic pain and soreness.
Weighing in at just 1.5-lbs, the TheraFlow massager features a design with portability in mind. While the overall size and weight of most traditional electric massagers typically aren’t prohibitive, it isn’t always possible to find a power outlet.
The TheraFlow massager is great for the outdoors, use at the office, or even as a passenger during long car rides.
This massager includes a full foot reflexology chart, which we found extremely informative and helpful. It also includes a lifetime warranty.
The bottom of the massager includes non-slip strips so that it functions on smooth surfaces.
- Much less expensive than other massagers
- Lightweight and easily transportable
- No electricity required – can be used virtually anywhere
- Contains 24 separate nubs on each back roller for acupoint reflexology
- Lacks many of the features accompanied by electric massagers
- Some of the rollers may become squeaky after moderate use
- Doesn’t effectively provide a deep massage
- Users have to push down manually for optimal pressure
The InvoSpa foot massager is one of the more promising items in our roundup, but features are only as good as they work. Does the InvoSpa foot massager deliver?
One of the first things we noticed was that this massager has removable, washable foot covers. If you’re a stickler for hygiene, you’ll likely appreciate that. We certainly did.
Like most units in its class, the InvoSpa massager has two separate foot chambers. There are three pressure levels, including a bi-directional massaging mode and a compression-only mode. You can use the compression with or without the shiatsu massage function.
One of the massage modes is a deep-kneading action with rolling and pressing. The other is a reverse kneading that also features rolling and pressing.
The InvoSpa massager has infrared heat, which may take a few sessions to function optimally. The manufacturer also notes that the heat function is “minimal,” so, if the heating aspect is vital to you, this may not be the best option.
The 15-minute timer is ideal for set-and-forget massaging.
It’s worth pointing out that the unit is a bit on the noisy side. If quiet operation is important to you, it may be better to look elsewhere.
The massager is relatively small and portable. It doesn’t operate with batteries, but the two-meter cord is long enough to give you flexibility as far as where you use it.
Finally, the InvoSpa massager is durable and well-constructed. While we wouldn’t recommend putting it through extensive crash testing, a mistake drop here and there shouldn’t cause any problems in operation or appearance.
- Bi-directional massage modes for optimal comfort
- Infrared heat feature
- Sleek, portable design
- 15-minute auto shutoff for added convenience
- Longer cord for more flexibility
- Unit is noisy
- Heating element doesn’t work as well as with comparable units
- The massager has a bit of an unpleasant smell out of the box
The first thing you might notice about this foot massager is the nifty handle across the top for added convenience and portability. The question is, will you want to bring it along with you anywhere?
The Tespo foot massager carries out all of the following:
- Forefoot rolling
- Mid-sole scraping
- Heel pushing
- Instep pressing
- Ankle pressing
While most of these areas are standard focal points of this variety of foot massager, many comparable massagers don’t provide sufficient ankle relief. Most ignore the ankles altogether.
So, if you’re someone specifically looking for ankle relief, this model is one you may want to spend extra time checking out.
The cover is breathable and is both removable and easy to wash.
There are three air pressure settings and three kneading intensity modes. Like several other massagers in its class, the Tespo massager does offer a heat option for additional relief.
The Tespo foot massager offers two auto-shutoff timers; one for 15 minutes and one for 30.
This model is designed to fit foot sizes 5-12. Those with size 12 feet may want to double-check or test the massager out before committing. Some comparable models claim to fit up to a size 12 but wind up being too cramped.
Along the top of the handle, you’ll find push-button controls for the timer, kneading speed, power, air intensity, and a heat toggle.
- Convenient, removable cover for easy cleaning
- Two different timer options (15 and 30-minutes)
- Provides ankle relief
- Variable intensity levels offer something for nearly everyone
- Detaching/removing the liner is confusing
- Some intensity levels may cause discomfort
Sotion brings us a shiatsu massager that allows for up to nine different settings. There are three intensity levels and three additional mode settings. Users can choose between shiatsu mode, automatic mode, mild heating mode, scraping mode, and air pressure mode.
Like many of its kind, the Sotion foot massager features an automatic 15-minute shutoff.
The heating function can be toggled on and off depending on user preference.
Above the air compression bag, you’ll find removable, washable cloth covers. The manufacturer advertises the cloth covers as “replaceable,” but it’s not clear how replacements can be purchased, nor are they included.
The touch-button display allows the user to toggle the power, adjust mode and intensity, and also turn the heat on or off. There are also non-slip rubber pads at the base of the unit so that it will operate on sleeker surfaces without sliding around.
According to the manufacturer, this massager will fit foot sizes up to 11”. They say it “may not be suitable for oversized feet,” but don’t specify what they consider to be oversized. Like many other products in this category, we’d recommend a trial run if you’re on the cusp and aren’t quite sure whether you’ll get a comfortable fit or not.
The company also specifies women who regularly wear high heels as a target demographic for this massager. So, if you do happen to fit that criterion, this is probably the one to try.
This Sotion foot massager provides all of the following functions:
- Forefeet – shiatsu kneading and rolling
- Arches – air compression and scraping
- Heels – pushing and kneading massage action
- Ankles – air compression
- Insteps – massage with air compression
You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who is truly unhappy with this massager.
- Variable modes and settings allow for more personalized massage action
- Removable cloth cover for easy cleaning
- Lightweight and portable at less than 9 lbs.
- Foot holes are snug and comfortable
- The heat setting may be too low for some users
- Won’t fit larger foot sizes
- The beeping may irritate some users
The Cloud Massage machine brings us a bit of a different look and a higher price tag.
While most massagers are constructed with two separate, encapsulating foot chambers, the Cloud Massager flaunts a design that diverges from the tried and true.
There are two open-ended slots. Users can place their feet inside, or they can position themselves so that the massagers target the ankles and calves. When deflated, the slots are 5” wide and 11” long. Having the slots open-ended prevents the issue many other massagers with closed chambers encounter, which is that users with foot sizes of 12 or higher are usually out of luck.
The Cloud Massage unit also adjusts so that users aren’t forced to place their legs at a 90-degree angle while using the machine.
Like most massage units, there are adjustable pressure and mode settings. Users can utilize combinations of rolling ball action, air pressure, and heat to find the formula that best suits them.
This machine is certainly not lacking in power. In fact, the highest setting can be downright painful if you don’t ease your way in. The manufacturer recommends starting with the lowest setting and testing higher pressure settings on the arms first.
Some mild soreness is also normal and expected after the first couple of uses.
There is a basic 5-button control panel located on the unit itself. There is no remote included.
While this massager is noticeably pricier than many of its counterparts, you do generally get what you pay for here. We love the versatility and ability to target the ankles and calves rather than have each foot confined to smaller chambers.
- The open-sleeve design allows users to target different areas of the feet and legs
- Adjustment bar allows users to change the angle for maximum comfort
- Less restrictive design for users with larger feet
- Sleek, ergonomic design
- Might be too intense for some
- May not be ideal for those hyper-targeting their feet
The MaxKare shiatsu foot massager features a standard two-chamber design and features five unique massage modes:
- Rolling and Kneading with air compression
- Arch scraping with air compression
- Separate rolling massages on soles
- Instep air compression
- Heating function
For the hygiene conscious, the foot sleeves are stabilized with hook and loop fasteners and remove easily for cleaning.
This massager has a bit more time variability than most others. Typically, these massagers will feature a 15 or 30-minute timer. The MaxKare massager allows you to adjust in increments of 5, and users can set it for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 minutes.
The front display panel allows users to toggle/adjust the heat, overall massage time, overall intensity, and mode. There are three intensity levels (gentle, moderate, deep massage) that can adjust in conjunction with any of the five massage modes for a unique user experience.
According to the manufacturer, the machine recently underwent upgrades for enhanced comfort. It’s unclear how recently they made the change or if the update is noticeable. But the goal was to prevent pain or discomfort even on the highest setting – a common complaint amongst many home foot massage users.
In the end, the MaxKare massager lacks true standout features or anything to set it apart from the rest of the pack. But if you’re looking for a massager that gets the job done and is reasonably priced, this certainly isn’t a bad option.
- More control over timer settings
- Removable foot sleeves for convenient cleaning
- Variable mode and compression settings for maximum customization
- 360-degree 3D massaging action
- Heat function seems flimsy and doesn’t get that warm
- Massaging action leaves something to be desired
- Lacking standout/unique features
The TISSCARE shiatsu foot and calf massager is a versatile massager that allows users to find not only relief for their feet, but also their calves. You can even massage your hands and forearms.
TISSCARE’s massager features an open-sleeve design rather than an enclosed foot chamber. The slots are 5” wide, which is relatively standard.
There are three massage modes.
The first mode is forward-only. The second alternates between forward and backward massaging action. It moves forward for 60-seconds, holds, and then moves backward for 60-seconds. The third mode is similar to the second, as the forward and reverse action elapses 70-seconds each rather than 60.
Automatic is the default, but you can also switch to manual mode. In manual mode, the user can adjust the speed and intensity in conjunction to find the right combination for them.
The TISSCARE massager rotates 360-degrees to maximize comfort. The foot covers are easy to remove and wash for added convenience.
There is no remote included for the control panel. The timer defaults to 15-minutes per massage but can be adjusted to last up to 30-minutes.
The unit weighs 11 lbs. and is easily transportable.
- Open-ended design allows users to massage calves, ankles, and forearms
- Automatic and manual control for maximum efficiency
- Adjustable timer settings
- Removable foot covers
- Massage action may be too strong or painful for some users
- Unit is a bit noisy
- Several complaints regarding the machine breaking or having operational issues after a short time
Looking for power? The MedMassager is sure to pique your interest with its 3,700 RPM.
According to the manufacturer, this is the most powerful electric massager available to the public. This unit features eleven speeds – quite the departure from the standard 3-5 speed foot massagers we’ve reviewed to this point.
The overall design is also a stark contrast from most other massage models. Rather than two chambers or sleeves for the feet/ankles to rest, the MedMassager instead has one large oscillating, textured footpad.
Although the MedMassager is effective for most common foot ailments, it works best for those suffering from diabetes and neuropathy.
The MedMassager is durable and well-constructed. This massager can handle some bumps and bruises without malfunctioning or falling apart. The MedMassager also includes a kit for use on slippery wood or tile surfaces.
The footpad features an arch bar at the top as well as a pressure point targeting surface for maximum relief. Users can tilt the machine forward and rest their calves on the pad for a therapeutic calf massage.
The pad measures just under 11” up to the toe ridge.
One missing feature is that there’s no heating element here. The footpad also doesn’t detach or come off for cleaning purposes. We suppose these are the pitfalls of flat design, but two issues that shouldn’t be deal-breakers for most.
The MedMassager is both CSA and FDA certified. Pricey, yes. But if you’re seeking a massager with a bit more “oomph!” than your typical 2-chamber unit. This is one you’ll want to try.
- High-powered (1000-3700 RPM)
- 11 speeds for maximum versatility
- Pro-grade massaging trusted by doctors and therapists
- Rugged construction
- Includes kit for use on slippery surfaces
- Becomes noisy in certain positions
- No heating function
- May not be a good option for certain foot ailments
The NekTek shiatsu foot massager is a more bare-boned model and is a good option for people seeking an affordable, quality foot massage without all the bells and whistles.
This foot massager has two foot-shaped pads right on the surface. There aren’t chambers for the feet, nor is there an air compression feature. Operation is simple. Users place their feet right on top of the unit, and it goes to work.
There is a heating function to go with six massage heads and 18 rotating massager nodes. There are also two feet on the underside of the front portion of the massager. Users can adjust the height to three different levels by adjusting the legs. The height adjustment prevents users from being stuck with their legs at a 90-degree angle and allows for more comfortable positioning.
Since this a more basic model, there are no adjustable modes or variable speeds. It’s a touch-and-go unit. There is only a power button, and there’s also no remote or timer. So, for a powered massager, this is about as basic as you’ll get. For some, basic is all that’s required.
Although the NekTek massager isn’t designed for use anywhere other than the feet, it does double as a serviceable back massager if you’re looking to get some additional mileage out of it.
Weighing in at just over 7lbs., the NekTek massager is highly portable and great for home and office use.
We’d probably steer clear of this one if you’re looking for a more rigorous massage. The massage action here is on the lighter side. But, for a basic massager at an affordable price without the extra bells and whistles, this does the job.
- Simple and easy to use
- Open surface allows for larger foot sizes
- Better value than several pricier models
- Lightweight and portable
- Very basic – barely any features
- No air compression
- Not ideal for high arches
- Can’t cycle through different modes or speeds
Looking for something a little less ordinary? Tired of looking at dome-shaped foot massagers with two-foot chambers that all seem to have the same functions and features?
You may want to try the OSITO foot massager on for size.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice the design difference. This is a much more ‘modern-looking’ massager. Futuristic, even!
The OSITO massager has a disc-shape and flat top for users to rest their feet on foot-shaped massagers.
EMS is an acronym for electrical muscle stimulation, which is what this massager utilizes to bring relief to achy, tired feet. The OSITO massager also uses transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (often referred to as TENS).
You won’t get boxed in or limited by three modes with this massager. Here, we’ve got twenty-five of them. To name a few:
- Acupuncture (pushing, kneading, tapping, squeezing, hammering)
- Push massage
Additionally, there are 99 intensity levels. Pretty impressive!
There are four body pads included with the OSITO foot massager. Users can access hard to reach areas with these, such as the neck, back, arms, shoulders, etc. The pads help relieve stiffness and improve circulation for better circulation and performance.
There’s a 25-minute auto-shutoff built-in, and an included remote for smooth operation.
If you’re seeking something less traditional and a bit more cutting-edge, we’d suggest giving this massager a whirl.
- Includes four adhesive body pads for targeted relief in additional areas
- Twenty-five modes and 99 intensity levels
- FDA approved
- Features illustrative color screen and includes remote for added convenience
- No air compression or physical rollers
- Some users claim that their unit stopped working after a short time
- Lower intensity levels may not be effective for some users
With a bevy of options and massage types, it’s difficult to pick just one winner. That’s why we’ve selected three of them.
Certainly not an easy choice, given the available options. But if we had to choose a massager to be our top choice here, it would have to be the Cloud Massage Foot Massage Machine.
Yes, it is pricey. But overall, we feel the two-chamber models can be too restrictive and limiting. The Cloud Massage machine allows users to have more control over where they’re getting the massage action. You can even get a good forearm/hand massage out of it. The intensity is strong enough for most users.
Finally, the adjustable bar maximizes comfort by allowing users to sit with a more relaxed posture rather than being forced to keep their legs at a 90-degree angle.
When it comes to the premium product, we’ve got to go with the MedMassager 11-speed Foot Massager. This one packs a serious punch and has power that the other models lack. Of course, those needing heat, air compression, or features more commonly found in more standard massagers may need to look elsewhere.
Premium is generally synonymous with expensive, and that does hold here. So, if you’re seeking a more affordable model, this isn’t the massager for you.
That said, for an FDA-certified massager that doctors and therapists trust, you certainly get what you pay for. If you’ve got some serious aches to knock out of those feet and need some real power, this one’s for you.
When it comes to value, the NekTek Massager gets our vote. This unit can be found for under $50 and gets the job done on tired feet at the end of a long day.
You won’t get all of the fancy bells and whistles here, but not everyone needs those. The NekTek massager is a one-button, easy to use massager. Although it’s not designed to massage the back or other body parts, it’s a bit more versatile than it appears at first glance.
All in all, if you’re one of the thousands of Americans arriving home with aching feet at the end of a long day, we’re confident you’ll find something here that works for you.