You probably know that getting a foot massage is a great way to relax.
It can rejuvenate tired feet and release tension in your calves.
But did you know it can improve your overall health and even improve your sleep quality?
There are many gadgets on the market today that can help you relax your feet but the ones that you can use right from home are always the best!
Luckily, you can get a thorough foot and calf massage right from your own home.
In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of foot massages and also what to look for when choosing the best foot and calf massager for you.
Then, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of the best massagers on the market and provide our final recommendation as to which is the best foot and calf massager.
Why Get an Electric Foot and Calf Massager?
The benefits of foot massages have been well-studied.
People have been giving and receiving foot massages since ancient times, and they’re used in virtually every society today for physical therapy, athletic recovery, spa treatments and more.
Here are a few things massaging your feet can do for you:
While the circulation of blood through your veins is one of the most critical determinants of your overall health, many aspects of modern lifestyles impede good blood flow.
Sitting too much, wearing tight shoes or tight pants and plaque buildup in the arteries and blood vessels are some of the common causes of poor circulation.
A daily foot massage increases blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body, giving your health a boost each day.
Promote Full-Body Relaxation
A foot massage is one of the easiest and fastest ways to unwind.
Especially if you’ve been on your feet throughout the day, a foot and calf massage is particularly welcoming.
According to the ancient practice of reflexology, massaging trigger points in the feet cause your entire body to relax and promote calmness in your nervous system.
Uplift Your Mood
Your stress levels and blood flow to your brain are both factors that affect your mood.
By lowering stress and improving circulation, foot massages have a way of enhancing mental clarity and making you feel better.
High stress levels and tension in your body can keep you from falling asleep and even reduce the quality of rest you get.
Massaging your feet and calves before bed helps you relax, release tension and unwind before bed for a better night’s sleep.
When your blood flow is sluggish and your muscles have been tight for a while without relaxing, fatigue sets in.
A good foot massage helps you get your energy back by improving circulation, releasing muscle tension and relieving the achy, heavy feeling in your feet and legs.
Provide Pain Relief
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis or from neuropathy in the feet, regular foot massages could help you with pain management.
Foot massages also have the potential to treat pain beyond foot and ankle pain.
They can potentially help with headaches and migraines, backaches, neck and shoulder pain, and other pains when they’re associated with stagnant blood flow and muscle tension.
When your calves are too tight it can impact many other things in your body such as your mobility, flexibility and overall day-to-day performance during activities.
By ensuring your calves are free of tension helps realign the rest of your body and correct any unwanted muscle imbalances in your body.
What to Look for in a Shiatsu Foot and Calf Massager
Foot and calf massagers cost more than traditional massagers as they tend to be heavy duty machines which come with many features.
Here are some pointers and things to look out for when choosing a foot massager that’s well worth your investment.
Massagers that can heat up add extra benefits for pain relief and blood circulation.
Heat also helps warm up and loosen tight muscles, so you can get more out of a shiatsu massage.
If you think heat may be helpful, look for a foot massager that has a heat function.
Vibration is a great feature to have in a foot massager because it instantly stimulates better circulation without the kneading that can sometimes be too intense and painful.
Whether you’re adjusting to the intensity of a good shiatsu massager or just want to mix up your massage routine, it’s good to have this extra option for boosting circulation without penetrating your muscles.
When your massager has various pre-programmed massages that offer different types of massages, you’re better able to customize your massage around your needs.
For example, if you need to relieve calf tightness, you may need a different massage than if you’re trying to improve diabetic neuropathy.
Auto-massage programs change it up based on massage type, instead of just intensity level.
If your foot and calf massager can’t hug your body just right, then it won’t give you a good massage.
To feel the intensity and have your muscles properly massaged, it helps to have an adjustable massager so you can match it to your height and size.
The Best Foot and Calf Massagers
In this section, we’ll take a brief look at 10 of the most popular foot and calf massagers on the market.
1. Human Touch Reflex5s” Foot & Calf Shiatsu Massager
Human Touch has patented its own figure-eight massage track technology featured in its Reflex5s foot and calf massager.
Called CirQlation, Human Touch says its unique technology works by pushing blood flow from the outside toward the centre of the body to maximize circulation.
You can tilt the machine for use reclined at an angle, and you can easily detach the foot sleeves to wash and replace them.
With vibration and shiatsu rollers, you get a comprehensive massage for your feet and calves.
However, there are only two intensity levels to choose from.
If you have larger feet, you may find both intensities too strong, and if you have very small feet, they may not be intense enough.
Overall, the Reflex5s works effectively and provides relief for most users who report back.
Pros: Boosts circulation quickly with patented roller track technology, includes a vibration feature, easy to wash foot sleeves, adjustable angle for use at a recline
Cons: Only includes 2 intensity settings to choose from, may be too intense for people with larger feet and calves
2. Foot & Calf Shiatsu Massager by Cloud Massage
This shiatsu massager from Cloud Massage provides heat, air compression and vibration all in one unit.
It has rotating massage balls that target the bottoms and sides of your feet. However, it’s not designed to massage your feet and calves at the same time.
Instead, you sit with your feet in the massager to massage your feet or lay down with your calves placed in the massager to massage your calves separately.
The settings offer you many options for a custom massage, and the instructions are simple to follow.
You get several different settings to adjust the heat, air compression pressure and vibration intensity to your liking.
From the air pressure cuffs to the kneading shiatsu nodes, you get a wide range of massage styles and customization with this massager.
Even though you have to massage your feet and calves separately, it makes the experience more customized because you don’t need to sit with your legs at a 90-degree angle the way you do for massagers that massage both areas at the same time.
The kneading balls are able to apply an intense amount of pressure that takes getting used to.
However, they make the massager very effective in relieving pain and helpful in healing minor foot injuries, calf tightness and muscle soreness.
While it’s over $100 more than the massager from Human Touch, it offers a whole lot more features.
Pros: High intensity of pressure, very customizable experience, all-in-one massager with air compression, shiatsu rollers, vibration and heat function
Cons: Calves and feet aren’t massaged simultaneously, more expensive
3. Naipo Foot and Calf Foldable Massager
The Naipo foot and calf foldable massager is more on the expensive side, but it has a lot of unique features you can’t find in most other units.
In addition to the shiatsu massage nodes that knead your muscles, it also compresses your heels, giving them a satisfying squeeze.
Compared to other massagers, it offers a wider range of intensity levels, so whether you find other massagers too hard or you need extra power, this one can probably do the job for you.
Besides the steep price, the only downside is that it doesn’t have a vibration feature.
If you’re particularly tall, it’s probably too short to massage your calves to satisfaction.
If it fits you well, it’s able to give you a very all-encompassing massage.
Pros: Wide range of intensity levels, heel compression feature squeezes your heels
Cons: Relatively expensive, no vibration feature
4. Osim uPhoria Warm
The uPhoria foot and calf massager from Osim provides various massage styles in one unit.
One of these styles is their patented calf-gliding with kneading massage, derived from the Chinese “Tui-Na” style of foot massage.
It’s designed to stimulate meridian points along the legs in order to relieve pain and release stagnant “chi.”
Another option is Osim’s patented wrap-around squeeze massage, which delightfully squeezes your feet and calves.
Finally, you can choose the roller reflexology massage option, which kneads and squeezes in a way that releases pressure points.
It also offers warming and vibration features.
You can choose from 8 auto-massage programs, from high-heel recover to sports recovery.
While this is the most expensive foot and calf massager on this list, it definitely gives you the most options.
Plus, it’s built with quality materials to last you through the years.
Pros: High-quality and durable, wide range of options
Cons: Heating feature doesn’t reach higher temperatures, expensive
5. HmRelax Foot & Calf Massager
The foot and calf massager from HmRelax has heating, vibration and microsuede fabric for ultimate comfort.
It claims to provide a reflexology-based massage with pressure nodes that stimulate the reflexology pressure points.
It also provides shiatsu-style kneading and rolling.
While this product is cheaper than many other foot and calf massagers, its quality is lacking, so it’s not guaranteed to last.
Many buyers report enjoying their unit for a little while, before it stopped working in less than a year of use.
Pros: Includes a remote control for easy access to settings, reflexology pressure nodes, microsuede fabric
Cons: Lower quality with a shorter lifespan
6. Human Touch “Sol” Foot & Calf Shiatsu Massager
This foot and calf shiatsu massager also from Human Touch has a patented figure-eight massaging action they claim is more effective in promoting blood circulation and detoxifying the feet.
It provides heat and vibration, and has 3 auto-massage programs you can choose from, with 2 options intensity levels.
Unlike other foot and calf massagers, its height is adjustable, which ensures you’re able to get the full benefits of a calf massage by adjusting it to the exact level of your calves.
It’s easy to clean, as you can unzip the fabric sleeves around the machine and put them in the washing machine.
On the downside, the foot size could be an issue for you if you have small feet.
People with large feet have been able to fit and benefit from the wider space, but if you have small feet, you may not feel the intensity or compression of the rollers.
Pros: Easy to clean, great for promoting blood flow, adjustable height, auto massage modes
Cons: Not great for people with small feet
7. TISSCARE Foot Massager Machine
The TISSCARE foot massager machine is a foot massager that also massages your lower calves and has a heating feature.
The massage it provides includes both vibration and shiatsu nodes that knead and roll your muscle tissue.
According to TISSCARE, the device fits men up to shoe size 14 and women of any shoe size.
However, some users with larger feet report that the massage is too painful for them.
The TISSCARE has an LED display panel on the device for settings control, but unfortunately, there’s no remote control for convenience.
The machine has an adjustable tilt, so you can enjoy your foot and calf massage leaning back at an angle instead of sitting up straight.
With the combined effects of heating, deep tissue shiatsu massage and vibration, you get a complete and total massage that also warms your feet.
Pros: 45-degree adjustable tilt allows you to use the device leaning back in a reclined chair, provides shiatsu massage and vibration, heating feature
Cons: No remote control, so you have to bend down to change settings, might be too painful if you have larger feet or wider calves
8. VITALZEN Plus®
The VITALZEN Plus is one of your more expensive foot and calf massager options, but it packs so many massage therapy types into one unit so you can benefit from them all at once.
The roundup of features includes air compression, shiatsu rollers, vibration and heating.
With 30 mini airbags that inflate to compress and squeeze your legs, you get the benefits of air compression massage on your feet and legs.
It looks like you can only massage your feet and calves in this unit, but it actually folds in a way you can place your knees or thighs into the sleeve instead of your calves, and enjoy air compression, kneading and/or vibration massage.
While the unit is a little bulky, its 2 sections fold up to shrink its size, and it has wheels on the bottom for easy transportation.
The downside to this model is that the heating feature is only for the legs and not your feet.
It’s expensive, but it does come with a 2-year warranty.
Pros: Lets you massage your feet, calves, knees and legs, easy to move around on wheels when you want to move or store it, includes air compression, vibration and shiatsu massage all in one, 2-year warranty
Cons: Heating feature doesn’t extend to the feet, expensive
9. Infinity Shiatsu Foot & Calf Massager
The Infinity Shiatsu foot and calf massager gives you the benefit of air compression, shiatsu massage, percussion massage and heat.
Rather than just vibrating, it taps on your heel with a percussive action, which can help prevent or treat plantar fasciitis.
If you suffer from this condition or you have sore and tired feet at the end of a workday, this massager could be a great fit because it provides a complete and highly effective foot massage.
If you’re looking for a massage that reaches all the way to your upper calves or higher, consider other models, because this one only reaches about halfway up your calves, or maybe only past your ankles if you have long legs.
Pros: Provides a thorough massage of your feet, air compression, heat, percussion and shiatsu massage techniques, helps with plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions such as bunions
Cons: No remote control included – all the control settings are on the device, doesn’t massage your entire calves or above, no tilt option so you have to use it sitting straight up with your legs parallel to the ground
10. Human Touch Reflex Swing Pro Leg Massager
The Reflex Swing Pro from Human Touch offers the same patented figure-eight massage track featured in its Reflex5s model.
Whereas other foot massagers stay locked into one position, you can adjust the arm of the Reflex Swing Pro to 5 different positions that allow you to target different muscles throughout your legs. Simply lift the arm to change it to different positions.
In addition to the shiatsu rollers that move in a figure-eight to optimize blood flow, this machine also has a 2-speed vibration feature and heating.
Unfortunately, there’s no remote control with the device, so you can only change the settings by reaching down to the panel on the device.
According to some users, the massage can be too intense with this device if you have larger feet, as it’s not adjustable enough to accommodate all size and intensity needs.
Pros: More versatile than most foot and calf massagers since it can adjust to 5 positions to massage along different parts of your calves and thighs, featured a heating option for improving circulatory flow and soothing achy feet
Cons: May be too intense for people with large feet, no remote control for convenience
Best Foot and Calf Massager: Recommendations
Osim’s uPhoria foot and calf massager is a higher-priced product, but it’s worth the money.
The company has a great track record for producing high-quality, durable machines.
While many massagers “get the job done,” this one has a wider range of options so you can take your massage to the next level by customizing it to your unique needs.
It also provides different styles of massage rooted in traditions like Tui-Na and reflexology.
You can customize the massage to meet your unique needs and explore various traditional massage styles.
You get everything in one, including vibration, heat therapy, intense kneading and air compression, at a wide range of intensity.
Osim’s uPhoria foot and calf massager is a higher-priced product, but it packs so much value.
For a more affordable option that still gives you a lot of options your best bet is the Cloud Massage Shiatsu Foot and Calf Massager, priced under $300.
A Shiatsu massage provides the kneading your muscles require in order to be stretched and compressed.
Like the uPhoria, however, the Cloud Massage also offers everything you need, from vibration to air compression and heating.
Other Types of Foot and Calf Massagers
If you’ve reached this part of the article and feel that maybe a foot and calf massager isn’t for you there are other types of devices that do the same job.
There’s a range of technology available today that enables you to have the benefits of a quality, effortless food massage at home whenever you desire.
Here we’ll look at the types of foot and calf massagers that may be more suitable for you:
Shiatsu Foot Massager
These are like the massagers we’ve covered but solely for the feet.
If you don’t want your calves massaged then a shiatsu foot massager is the logical choice.
Related: Best shiatsu foot massagers
Foot and Leg Circulation Machines
A foot and leg circulation machine doesn’t apply pressure to your muscles, but sends vibrations and/or sends electrical impulses from beneath the soles of your feet that break up tension, dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow.
You typically use a foot and leg circulation machine by resting the soles of your bare feet on the footpads and relaxing while the machine goes to work.
Air Compression Leg, Foot-and-Calf Massagers
Like shiatsu massagers, air compression leg massagers are electrically powered for a hands-free massage.
Instead of kneading your muscles, they wrap around your feet and calves and apply pressure to stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation.
They’re much easier to travel with because they’re made of fabric.
However, it doesn’t give you the kneading that mimics a masseuse’s hands, the way a shiatsu massager does.
Related: Best leg massagers
Home foot spa machines are no longer just about sticking your feet in some bubbly nice smelling water.
Foot spas also can include an array of shiatsu rollers built in helping to take your relaxation to the next level.
Related: Best foot baths and spas
Muscle Roller Massage Stick
Muscle roller sticks can help you release tension and tightness from your calves, but there’s more effort involved because the massaging is done manually.
On the plus side, you have more control, and massage sticks are great for myofascial release.
Related: Best muscle stick rollers
Massage balls can be used to work out muscle knots and tightness in muscles throughout your body, including in your feet and calves.
They’re like a tennis or lacrosse ball, but engineered to apply the right amount of counterpressure to tight muscles when you roll them against the floor.
Related: Best massage balls
Foam rollers are another self-massage tool, which come in different sizes, shapes, textures and degrees of firmness.
By rolling and compressing your muscles on a foam roller, your muscles relax and loosen.
Foam rollers also loosen and tone the fascia, which is the soft connective tissue around your muscles.
Related: Best foam rollers
Pay Attention to your Feet and Calves
Whether you need your feet worked on because they’re tired and sore, or you have a condition like diabetic neuropathy, you’ll save yourself a lot of money spent with a masseuse by getting a great foot and calf massager you can use any time you need it.
A great foot massager is one that will last through years of use and provide an intensity level you can work your way up to.
Using it on a regular basis is a great way to fight everyday stress and ward off foot and leg problems as you age.