Wellness

The 5 Best Foot Massagers Reviewed For [2018]

In today’s hectic, frenetic lifestyle, we can’t do enough to take care of our minds and bodies.  One way we can do this is by simple foot massage.

In particular, those who work on their feet all day or who exercise hard can benefit from this soothing form of relaxation.

Not only is foot massage a way of treating ourselves to relaxation, it’s a way for people with certain health conditions to heal and feel more comfortable, not to mention an affordable and self-indulgent way to reward ourselves at the end of the day.

For more of my recommendations, have a look through these popular Women’s Workout guide links: Chair Massagers, Foot Spas, Women’s Multivitamins.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Foot Massagers For 2018

  1. F4 Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat
  2. Foot Massage Machine Shiatsu Massager
  3. NURSAL Kneading Shiatsu Foot Massager
  4. MedMassager MMF06 11 Speed Foot Massager
  5. Homedics FMS-270H Deep Kneading Shiatsu Foot Massager

Let’s take a look at the 3 top rated foot massagers, our buyers guide follows the reviews, as well as FAQs and tips when buying a massager.

Best Foot Massagers

 F4 Shiatsu Foot Massager with HeatFoot Massage Machine Shiatsu Massager by Cloud MassageNURSAL Kneading Shiatsu Foot Massager
editorschoice
Massage Features:Soothe, Pulse, EnergizeRolling ball massage, air compression massageKneading Shiatsu Foot Massage
Heat?YesYesYes
Calf Massage?NoYesNo

Foot Massager Reviews

The F4 Shiatsu Foot Massager by Brookstone is our Editors Choice for the best foot massager and a good option if you want to baby your feet after a long day.

This massager comes with a heat setting and includes air compression chambers which work to reduce tension along with rollers relieve muscle tension. The fabric liners of the F4 are removable for washing.

The compact F4 Shiatsu Foot Massager is portable, as it comes with a sturdy carrying handle. It’s manageable size allows for easy storage and the cord is attached to the unit so it wraps up easily and uses standard 110v.

In spite of its kneading rollers, it’s not very noisy. It comes with three auto-massage settings which Brookstone refer to as: soothe, pulse, and energize. The controls are backlit which comes in handy in low-light environments.

The rollers make a kneading motion on the sole of the foot and the bottom of the heel, but does not reach back far enough to encompass the back of the heel. Air compression creates a snug pressure over the entirety of the foot.

This foot massager is designed to accommodate a shoe size of up to 12.5 men’s and 14 women’s. Brookstone offers a 1 year warranty on this device.


This Foot Massager does more than just cradle your feet in comfort. It includes chambers that embrace your calves and ankles with the same relaxing motion. This is a good option for someone who demands the best.

A notable feature of this massager is an adjustable bar which allows the user to change the position in a way that’s most comfortable to him or her.

This feature make the Cloud Massager different from others, as typically the user must sit upright with legs at a 90 degree angle. If you so desire, you can even use it while lying down.

The Cloud Massager offers multiple different settings that can be changed according to your preference. These include degree of heat, speed, and pressure.

The intensity is quite remarkable and new users should take caution to start with the lowest heat, compression and rolling settings until they find the ones that suit their level of comfort.

Its kneading motion is sufficient to reach the sole of the foot, the heel, ankles and up to the calves. It covers a large area, allowing for maximum benefit.

It’s a great machine for increasing blood circulation to the area which helps in healing injuries and soothe the discomfort of neuropathy.

The Cloud Massager comes with a 100% money-back guarantee and the best shiatsu foot massager on our list.


The NURSAL Foot Massager is the best foot massage machine for those on a budget. It’s a quality machine at an affordable price. This massager is a multi-function device. With 5 function keys, it’s adjustable to your preferences.

The NURSAL has three separate massage modes with varying air compression pressure and rolling motions; three settings for strength (low, medium, and high); the option of adding heat to your massage; and auto-timer settings of 10, 15, or 20 minutes.

The air pressure function firmy hugs your feet but not excessively to the point of discomfort. The soft fabric foot covers are easily removable for keeping things sanitary and hygienic.

The machine completely encompasses the foot and the kneading motion reaches from the toes to the bottom of and up to the sides and back of the heel. The openings are generously wide, making it easy to insert your feet.

At a manageable size, this foot massager is easily stored. The size also makes it portable, and at approximately 5 lbs., you could effortlessly tote it along on vacation and even bring to the office to give those tired feet a mid-day break.

The NURSAL accommodates shoe sizes up to 12 but likely wouldn’t be comfortable for someone with particularly large feet. It uses 110 voltage. The one downside of the NURSAL is it’s a bit noisier than its counterparts.


MedMassager MMF06 11 Speed Foot MassagerThe MedMassager MMF06 is unique in the world of foot massagers. Rather than having cavities where you insert your foot, it sports a flat surface where you place your feet atop.

It’s claims to be the most powerful electric massager available to the public, at speeds ranging  from 1,000 – 3,700 rpm. Within this speed range there are 11 settings to choose from.

The MedMassager MMF06 is, as its name suggests, fashioned after models used by medical professionals to help stimulate blood circulation and relieve pain. This treatment is particularly well-suited for those who suffer from diabetes and related neuropathy.

In addition to stimulating healthy blood circulation, professional-grade units like these are used to soothe joint pain.

The flat foot pad is studded with raised areas that are designed to target pressure points along the ball, sole, and heel of the foot. This flat massager includes an arch bar to ensure the arches of your feet don’t get neglected.

There is a kit included for use on hardwood and tiled floors.

A few things that set this massager apart from its competitors is that the manufacturer ensures their product’s quality by manufacturing their foot massager in an ISO 9000-2001 facility and they have also obtained CSA certification for safety and reliability.

In addition, this massager is FDA-certified for therapeutic use and the best foot massager for neuropathy on our list.


Homedics FMS-270H Deep Kneading Shiatsu Foot Massager

The Homedics FMS-270H Deep Kneading Shiatsu Foot Massager is a platform-style foot massager; and has various features including 6 rotational heads for deep, thorough massage; 18 massage nodes; option heat setting; and a convenient toe-touch control button.

The triple rotational heads completely massage the base of the foot – from toes to the heel. The heat function is optional, depending on your preference.

The large area can accommodate shoes sizes up to 13; and the toe controls makes it easy to switch functions without bending down to reach the unit.

This platform-style massager allows the user to position their feet over the rotating balls according to the areas they prefer to massage making it the best foot massager for plantar fasciitis on our list.

The Homedics FMS- 270H foot massager is quiet enough to enjoy your favorite TV program and won’t disturb others in your work or living area. Its convenient size makes it easy to store.

The unit is corded and uses 110 volts. This unit is superior to its competitors in the warranty department, as it comes with 2- year warranty.


Foot Massager Comparison Table

Foot Massager Massage ProgramsHeat?Calf Massage?Rating
F4 Shiatsu Foot Massager with HeatSoothe, Pulse, EnergizeYesNo4.1 / 5.0
Foot Massage Machine Shiatsu MassageRolling ball massage, air compression massageYesYes4.6 / 5.0
NURSAL Kneading Shiatsu Foot MassagerSoothe, Pulse, EnergizeYesNo4.3 / 5.0
MedMassager MMF06 11 Speed Foot MassagerOscillating Foot PadNoNo4.4 / 5.0
Homedics FMS-270H Deep Kneading ShiatsuRotating head massageYesNo4.1 / 5.0

How To Choose the Best Foot Massager

best foot and calf massager

Style

If you’d like to give your feet some wiggle room, an open platform-style massager is probably the best bet. This style also gives you more freedom to move your foot around to focus on the specific areas you’d like to target.

Platform-style massagers don’t have the air compression feature, so if the idea of your foot being held firmly in place isn’t appealing, a platform style would be the best choice for you. 

On the other hand, if you’d like the sensation of a firm hug around your foot, massager that encases the entire foot, from the toe to heel, is likely the right one for you. Air compression chambers that come with this style ensure that your feet experience a strong, constant pressure.

If you like the idea of maximizing the massage experience, including up to your calves, the style which is capable to capturing your entire foot, up to your calves,  is one worth considering.

shiatsu foot massager

Features

A kneading motion is a common mode on most many foot massagers. The sensation is created by rolling balls within the device and gives the feeling intermittent, intense pressure.

Some foot massagers come with a rolling motion. This sensation is created by cylinders that move along the surface of your foot while applying a good amount of pressure.

Vibration

Vibrating foot massagers help circulation issues that affect people with related health issues and numbness in the feet.

Compression

Compression involves application of pressure to the feet and calves. Typically foot massagers with this function use air chambers that alternately hug and release the area, encouraging improved circulation and muscle relaxation.

This is particularly therapeutic for the sore muscles you experience after a hard workout.

Heat

Most foot massagers include a heating element, which is an optional function meaning it can be turned on and off depending on your needs or mood.

A note of caution though-  those with neuropathy should check with their healthcare provider before using a the heat function, as decreased sensation in that area may place them at risk of burning themselves.

best heated foot massager

Psychological Benefits

 The benefits of massage for relaxation and anxiety reduction has been well-documented. It helps to improve blood circulation, promotes relaxation, relieves fatigue, soothes tension, and can alleviate muscle pain.

The concept of foot massage as a treatment for bodily ailments has been around for ages.  Reflexology is a practice of manipulating the foot and the hands.

Proponents of reflexology claim that certain points on the foot correspond with specific organs. The theory goes that putting pressure on these areas helps stimulate healthy organ functioning.

Physical Benefits

Three conditions that foot massage may be good for include diabetes, neuropathy, and plantar fasciitis. For diabetes and neuropathy this is due to the improved blood flow that foot massage promotes.

Likewise, foot massage can promote healing for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis, a painful condition that affects the site where the ligament meets the bone. Plantar fasciitis is associated with professions that require long hours on your feet, excessive exercise and obesity.

We are not medical professionals, thus cannot make recommendations for treatment. This is why it’s always important to check with your healthcare providers because use of a foot massager may be contradicted depending on your own particular health history.

For example, some with neuropathy may have limited sensation where using a heated feature on the feet could be unwise.

electric foot massager

Reflexology

Some compare foot massage to the practice of reflexology, a practice that originates from traditional Chinese medicine. The theory goes that applying pressure to identified pressure points in the foot enhances organ function, each pressure point corresponding with a specific organ.

Proponents of reflexology claim that this occurs through the manipulation of qi, an ancient concept of the energetic life force that runs through our bodies. 

The effectiveness of reflexology has all but been debunked by modern medical science.  Regardless of whether reflexology lives up to the claims of its fans, there’s no disputing that foot massage is a glorious experience for the massagee.

Just ask anyone who has had a spa pedicure!

Shiatsu

Several of the foot massagers we review below are fashioned after the Japanese form of massage known as “shiatsu”, which means “finger pressure”.

The shiatsu massage technique is based on the  ancient Chinese healing tradition. This method includes holding an area of the body, stretching, and pressure applied to key channels, in this case to pressure points in the feet.

With so many foot massagers on the market, there is a wide variety for all preferences and needs.  It’s truly just a matter of personal preference.

Investing in a foot massager is much more economical than going for a spa pedicure several times a week. It’s an affordable way to relax and rejuvenate at the end of a long day.

Finally, if a foot massager isn’t the thing for you, it is worth consideration as a unique gift idea for the person who has everything. Such a gift will be gladly received by your loved ones who can use a little R and R in their lives.

FAQ’s About Foot Massagers

There are several different models of foot massagers on the market, and many offer different designs and functions. This can make it difficult to choose the one best suited for your personal needs.

To assist you in narrowing down the options, let’s review some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to foot massagers. Likely, you have wondered about some of these same details. So, let’s get some of your most pressing questions answered.

Q: Are there any risks associated with the use of a compression type foot massager?

A: In some cases, there can be an increased risk of blood clots from the use of a compression foot massager. Some of the conditions they may encourage the formation of blood clots include, but are not limited to: pregnancy, heart conditions, sensory impairment, osteoporosis, injury or malformation, inflammation, and joint dysfunction.

Additionally, those with pins, screws, or other medical implantations; or who are under a doctor’s care for circulatory issues or other medical conditions, should consult with their physician prior to using a compression massager. If in doubt, seek professional medical advice before use.

Q: I have fairly large feet. Would I be able to use a foot massager that requires the user to insert their feet into the openings?

A: It depends on how large your feet actually are. Most foot massagers that offer compression massage will accommodate a men’s size 12.5 shoe size, or a women’s size 14. Be sure to read the product description thoroughly before purchasing, to ensure it will accommodate your foot size.

If your feet are too large for this style of foot massager, you may have to consider an open model that is not restrictive. There are some excellent choices available to you, as you can see in the reviews listed above.

Q: Does a foot massager impair blood flow?

A: Actually, no. Typically, provided you have no contraindications, it will increase blood flow. If using a unit that provides heat, you should experience even better circulation to your lower extremities, thus, a soothing and revitalizing experience. If you have any medical concerns, it is advised that you consult with your physician prior to use.

Q: Sometimes when I am using my Shiatsu electric foot massager, it tends to make a louder sound, yet at other times, it operates quietly. Why does this happen?

A: If your foot massager does not consistently generate the louder sound you are referring to, the most likely answer is that you are applying too much pressure against it. When using your personal home foot massager, be sure you just relax and allow it to do the work.

Do not apply pressure against it with your feet or legs. You will also find it to be much more soothing and therapeutic when used it in this manner. This is, after all, how it is designed to operate. By applying pressure to the unit, you may inadvertently cause damage to the unit as well.

Q: I love the idea of a compression foot massage, but would prefer to have it also massage my calves. Am I going to have to sacrifice this preference if I cannot afford an actual massage chair?

A: Not at all! There are models that offer both. It is recommended that you refer to our comparison chart to identify the best electric shiatsu foot massager for you.

Tips for Home Foot Massagers

Tip #1: Consider Your Needs

There are many features available to you when choosing a foot massager for home use. Know what you want/need. Perhaps, you don’t need the compression feature for your foot massager. There are some very effective foot massagers that do not include this feature.

Yet, they offer an invigorating and effective solution for what ails you. Most of these come with several different functions, including heat. Our in-depth reviews and comparison chart will assist you in choosing the perfect solution for your individual needs.

Tip #2: Budget Versus Features

There is a variety of price-points for most any foot massager type. Just because it costs more, doesn’t mean you are necessarily getting more, and vice-versa. When comparing the available foot massager models, look for those that fall into your price range, then compare them to find the one that best suits your needs. All models come with a manufacturers warrantee, to protect you in your purchase.

Tip #3: Medical Conditions/Concerns

In the FAQ’s above, we discussed some of the medical concerns you need to be aware of prior to using a Shiatsu compression type foot or foot/calf massager. If you have any of the medical concerns listed there, or other medical concerns or issues, please consult with your physician prior to use. Or, choose a model that does not include the compression feature, to be sure you are playing it safe. As the old adage goes; better safe, than sorry!

Tip #4: User Friendliness

Consider where, when and how you will be using your electric foot massager. You may want to ensure that you are purchasing a model that is quiet during use, to avoid disturbing others who may be nearby.

If you are winding down at the end of a long day on your feet, perhaps you should consider one that includes a hand-held remote to make quick and easy work of changing modes during your relaxing and therapeutic session.

If you are an on-the-go person, who needs the flexibility of portability, we suggest a foot massager that is more compact and lightweight, and easy to take along wherever you may go.

Tip #5: Safety Considerations

Be sure to always plug your home foot massage unit into a grounded outlet. Use the timer if the model you choose comes equipped with one, to prevent injury or overuse of the product. Avoid stringing the cord across an area that may prove to be a trip hazard to yourself or others. Do not allow undue tension on the cord to your Shiatsu foot massager.

If you have the presence of sensory deficit in your feet and lower legs, or other conditions of concern mentioned above, be sure to practice safe use guidelines. Also, be sure your medical provider is aware of your desire to use a foot massager and approves of your choice in type, to avoid possible medical complications.


I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best foot massager to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a massager I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Effectiveness
Quality
Value

We found the F4 Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat to be overall the best value between the massage with heat and the price.

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