If you come home with tired, aching or swelling feet at the end of a long day, you’re not alone.
Many people are turning to foot massagers to help keep them on their feet despite foot pain, plantar fasciitis or circulation problems.
If you’ve been considering buying an electric foot massager, we’ll fill you in on the different types on the market and give you our top recommendations for each type.
You’ll learn the benefits of foot massagers, what to look for in the best foot massagers and how to choose the best one to fit your needs.
Why Buy a Foot Massager?
Foot massagers are undeniably enjoyable, but why get a foot massager for your home?
Here are some of the major health benefits:
Gravity pulls your blood down to your feet whether you sit most of the day or stand on your feet.
A foot massager stimulates blood flow in your feet and sends it upward so that your brain has the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function optimally.
This goes a long way not just in helping with mental clarity, but also uplifting your mood.
Helps You Relax
The soles of your feet are filled with pressure points, which are believed in Eastern medicine to promote homeostasis in other parts of the body when stimulated.
You may quickly notice a good foot massager relaxes your entire body when you use it.
This can even help you fight insomnia when you sit down and let the foot massager release physical and mental tension before you sleep.
Provide Relief from Sore Feet
Tightened muscles in your feet can lead to strain and pain.
Foot massagers work out muscle knots and restore blood flow to tissues that have been cut from circulation due to swelling or tightness.
Other foot massagers focus less on kneading out tight muscles and more on compression, electronic signalling or other massage therapy types.
The source behind your sore feet will likely dictate the type of foot massage therapy that’s right for you.
What to Look for When Choosing Your Foot Massager
What should you consider when deciding which product is right for you?
It will depend on the type of massage therapy it provides.
Here are some of the major umbrella types that foot massagers fit into:
Shiatsu Foot Massagers
Shiatsu is a type of massage involving pressure and rolling to knead muscle tissue.
Shiatsu foot massagers are intense and known for feeling painful at first because of the deep kneading movement.
However, they’re perfect for working out muscle knots and healing plantar fasciitis, in which tightness in the arches of your feet causes pain.
Air Compression Massagers
Foot and calf massagers provide air compression therapy, squeezing your muscles to stimulate blood flow and combat swelling.
They work either by manual pumping or electronic inflation of airbags that compress your feet and calves.
Some shiatsu massagers include air pressure as an added feature.
Heating is a function many types of foot massagers have as an added feature.
Some have precise temperature control, and others provide generic warmth at a lower intensity.
Heat helps accelerate the effectiveness of massage, while easing stiffness and pain.
If you want the health benefits of heat added to your foot massage, be sure to look for a foot massager with a heating function.
Foot massagers that double as foot spas provide hydrotherapy to help soften tissues in your feet.
The water adds a relaxing element to the experience, and adding heat and Epsom salt to the foot bath can quickly relieve tired or paining feet.
Circulation Machines: EMS and TENS
Foot circulation machines are non-invasive devices for treating foot pain and circulation problems, ideal if your foot pain isn’t related to muscle tightness.
It sends electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) signals shown to lower inflammation and increase blood flow by triggering cellular responses, including the blocking of pain signalling to the brain.
Some EMS foot devices not only have pads for your feet but also TENS pads you can place on your body to benefit from the same therapy in other areas you have pain or stiffness.
10 of the Best Foot Massagers: Pros and Cons
Here’s our diverse list of all-star electric foot massagers that have received great customer reviews.
1. Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager
The Miko shiatsu foot massager provides deep kneading on the soles of your feet with massage rollers.
It contains airbags for compressing the tops of your feet, and a heating function. Its versatility makes this a great buy whether you have plantar fasciitis or just tired feet.
You can get the right feel for what you need by adjusting the settings.
Users like this model because the airbags that inflate at different intensities to compress your foot against the shiatsu rollers at just the right feel according to your foot size and how hard you want the rollers to knead.
It’s an affordable model compared to others like it, has a quality build and comes with a full 1-year warranty.
You can remove the fabric liners inside the foot chambers to wash them.
Another well-loved feature is that the Miko comes with a remote control for changing the settings, so you don’t have to bend down to your feet and change them manually. They even include a spare remote in case you lose it.
The one complaint some users had is that it doesn’t compress or massage the sides of your feet.
However, if you have plantar fasciitis or circulation problems, this foot massager should be able to help.
Related: Best shiatsu foot massagers
2. MedMassager MMF06 11 Speed Foot Massager
The MedMassager is a different type of electric foot massager that works through intense foot vibrations alone.
It’s almost double the cost of the Miko foot massager despite having one function instead of multiple.
However, the Med Massager is effective in helping with diabetic neuropathy, restless leg syndrome and other conditions related to circulation.
With its intense vibration you can adjust between 11 different speeds, the blood in your feet and legs is pulsed upward.
Users report feeling relaxed and relieved from leg fatigue after using this device.
Many users appreciate the device’s ability to warm cold feet in the winter despite it not even having a heat function.
Some report relief from foot numbness and pain with as little as 15 minutes of use.
It’s helped hundreds of customers who’ve written reviews about their results.
A common complaint is the noise the foot massager makes.
While it can provide relief from foot pain and stiffness caused by tightness, there’s no kneading with this device and it predominantly delivers results by boosting your circulation rather than massaging the way a masseuse would.
Related: Best foot circulation machines
3. ACEVIVI Foot Spa Bath Massager
The ACEVIVI foot spa massager is an all-in-one therapy for your feet.
With heated water and massage bubble jets, you get all the benefits of a foot bath for circulation and relaxation.
Beneath your feet a massage stone, a bristled roller and shiatsu massage rollers provide an automatic, motorized massage for your feet from toes to heels.
While many other foot spas have rollers that require you to manually move your foot on the device, this one lets you relax completely.
The ACEVIVI also has a red light for infrared therapy, which improves the health of your skin.
Red light also lowers inflammation and promotes healing in your feet at the cellular level, so this device can prove therapeutic whether you have tired feet or a serious condition like peripheral neuropathy.
Users appreciate that the ACEVIVI can reach up to 118 degrees Farenheight and be set to run for up to 60 minutes.
Users with high foot arches reported they couldn’t get a massage in their arches.
Some complained the bubble jets are very weak, and others feel the device is too big, as it’s bulkier and heavier than most foot spa massagers.
Related: Best foot spas
4. RENPHO Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine
The RENPHO shiatsu foot massager features air pressure therapy, heat and a deep kneading foot massage.
It gives you the option to get a remote control with your unit, which is always a plus because many models like it require reaching down to change the settings.
You can adjust the intensity of the airbags inside the foot chambers, letting you get the right amount of “squeeze” around your feet to create just the right fit.
The RENPHO is designed to fit up to men’s 12 shoe size, and with the removable liners inside the foot chambers, you can easily keep the foot massager clean in the long-term.
What makes the RENPHO foot massager better than the Miko foot massager is that it squeezes your feet from the sides with air compression bags.
With a rolling stick and shiatsu rollers on the bottom, it kneads the soles of your feet.
Users report this shiatsu foot massager has helped them find relief from plantar fasciitis.
While it’s known for causing some pain at first, it has the intensity to work out tightened bands of tissue in your feet.
One of the well-liked features is you can choose between air compression and massage, so you can still benefit from a gentler massage without the deep kneading.
One feature this electric foot massager is lacking is you can’t adjust the angle for your feet, so you have to sit in an upright position to use it.
Related: Best shiatsu foot massagers
5. Human Touch Reflex SOL Foot and Calf Shiatsu Massager
The Human Touch Reflex SOL is a high-end massager that offers shiatsu kneading with heat, vibration and its patented airflow massage technology.
Whereas the Miko and RENPHO foot massagers only target your feet, the Human Touch has airbags that stimulate your calves in an upward waving motion to send blood away from your feet.
It relieves fatigue in your legs that builds up from standing, as well as the tightness in your feet.
With the vibration feature at the soles, stagnant blood is immediately pulsed upward.
Plus, with the heat and shiatsu massage under your feet, you get an experience of full-body relaxation.
You can adjust the device to a tilt if you want to sit back at a recline, which is a feature many shiatsu foot massagers don’t offer.
While it’s nice to have air compression massage for your calves, there are only 2 intensity levels to choose from, and some users say they don’t squeeze the calves much at all.
It’s a great electric foot massager, but there’s not much of a calf massage to expect.
Some customers complain the machine is too loud.
Keep in mind, there’s only one speed for vibration and customers disappointed with the feature said it wasn’t intense at all.
Customers looking for a device for peripheral neuropathy should try the MedMassager.
Related: Best foot and calf massagers
6. QUINEAR Leg Massager with Heat Wraps
The Quinear foot and calf massager features cuffs you wrap around your feet and lower legs for air compression therapy.
The device is connected to a handheld remote you can use to change between 3 intensity levels and a low and high heat option.
While the wraps don’t provide a deep kneading massage, they provide relief from pain, numbness, soreness and fatigue by compressing and warming your soft tissue and restoring blood flow to tightened muscles.
The device shuts off automatically after 20 minutes and comes with a travel bag.
It’s reasonably priced for the quality.
Since you can adjust the wraps to the perfect fit for the squeeze you want, you don’t have to worry about buying a device that’s the wrong size or intensity level.
Simply adjust the leg size with the velcro for a tighter squeeze or more relaxed feel.
This foot massager is totally washable since you can remove the inner lining fabric in each cuff and machine-wash them.
Satisfied customers like this device for warming cold, stiff feet and relieving swelling in the calves.
If you’re looking for a kneading massage on the soles of your feet, you won’t get it with this foot massager.
However, it’s one of the best of its kind if you want a compression massage without the feeling of rocks moving beneath your feet.
Related: Best air leg compression machines
7. truShiatsu PRO Foot Massager with Heat
The truShiatsu PRO foot massager combines a number of therapies in one to give your feet a restorative, healing treatment.
It has several nodes that automatically move to massage your feet.
Air pressure bags inflate and deflate to gently massage and squeeze the tops and sides of your feet.
If you wear a shoe size larger than men’s size 11, unfortunately this device will be too small.
The massage nodules on the bottom are hard protruding nodes that many users found painful.
Rather than rolling like a massage stone or spherical shiatsu rollers, these pointy massage nodes provide a lot more intensity, especially combined with the air compression pushing down from the tops of your feet.
One customer even called this foot massager “great but insane,” so if you like an intense deep tissue kneading foot massage, it could be right for you.
Customers with foot pain have reported getting relief with this foot massager and some say it only hurts when you first start and your feet aren’t used to it.
The truShiatsu has removable, washable fabric liners.
While some complain the heating doesn’t really get hot, many just appreciate the intensity of the foot massage for breaking up muscle knots.
8. OSITO Foot Circulation Plus
The OSITO Foot Circulation Plus massager doesn’t provide a physical massage you directly feel, but it relieves pain and circulation problems through invisible signals known as electrical muscle stimulation (EMS).
If you’ve ever used a TENS unit, this device delivers the same pain relief through the foot pads for your bare soles.
When you turn on the device you’ll see an LED display between your feet that shows the settings, and you can use the handheld remote control to change them.
EMS relaxes your muscles and reduces swelling, fatigue and pain in your feet without the pain a kneading massage tool can cause.
In addition to the foot pads on the device, the product also comes with four TENS pads you can place anywhere on your body to help relieve pain.
The pads aren’t wireless, but the wires reach up to your neck from the device. Users report it’s easy to use and helps prevent cramps and pain.
It has also worked for people with peripheral neuropathy in their feet and hands, as the pads can be placed on the hands while the foot pads are in use at the same time.
The OSITO foot circulation machine packs a great value for the relief it can bring, and it comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
If you don’t like it, you can return the product within 30 days.
Some users didn’t like discovering the foot pads have hard bumps covering them.
If you’re pregnant or have a pacemaker, avoid using circulation machines like this one.
Related: Best foot circulation machines
9. Snailax 2-in-1 Shiatsu Foot and Back Massager with Heat
The Snailax 2-in-1 shiatsu foot and back massager doesn’t have as many functions as a device that massages the entirety of your feet, but it provides warmth and a shiatsu massage for a lower price.
Instead of having separate compartments, the massager has one large foot sleeve for your feet.
On either side are 4 shiatsu rollers that rotate where you place the centre of each foot.
There’s a removable fabric covering the rollers, so you can always wash it.
While it can’t massage your whole foot at once, you can move your foot so that the shiatsu rollers target the ball, arch or heel.
With the handheld remote control, you can change the rotation direction of the rollers, and turn the heat function on and off.
The top foot sleeve is removable, so you can use the shiatsu rollers on any surface of your body.
Place it behind your back as you sit, or anywhere else you need a warm kneading massage.
There’s only 1 heat setting and users report it’s mild.
Besides not being hot enough, the main complaint unsatisfied buyers have had is the massage rollers aren’t intense enough.
However, if less intensity is what you’re looking for and find many shiatsu foot massagers painful, the Snailax might be right for you.
Many happy customers love this electric foot massager for being gentle enough for a relaxing massage.
Related: Best shiatsu foot massagers
10. Naipo Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat
The Naipo shiatsu foot massager is built with a unique design that makes it versatile for use on different parts of your body.
It’s more lightweight compared to other electric foot massagers, weighing 6.75 pounds.
Rather than having cuffs or sockets for you to place your feet inside, the Naipo shiatsu foot massager features two pads with a total of 18 small nodes that roll and rotate to knead the bottoms of your feet.
You can place the device behind your back for a massage while you sit, or you can lie on your back and rest the device under your calves.
The heat feature can be set between 104 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit so you know you’re getting true heat therapy from this device.
It’s a 1-size-fits all, and the massage nodes can move at 2 different speeds to adjust the intensity levels.
The Naipo electric foot massager doesn’t provide air compression or vibration, so it may not work for all foot or circulation conditions.
Users with plantar fasciitis, however, remarked the tool is effective in treating their stiffness and pain.
Considering the low price and its versatility, the Naipo shiatsu foot massager is a good choice if the only features you need are heat and shiatsu kneading.
Related: Best shiatsu foot massagers
Best Foot Massager: Recommendations
We like the Miko shiatsu foot massager for the quality and versatility it provides at a lower price than other foot massagers.
It packs shiatsu kneading, heat and air compression into one device.
The heat and intensity are adjustable with different air compression settings.
People with a range of foot pain conditions have had huge results using it.
If you’re looking for a cheaper electric foot massager to try, we recommend the Snailax 2-in-1 foot and back massager, because it offers both heat and shiatsu kneading, and it’s versatile for use on any muscle area, including your back.
Having a foot massager at home gives you the chance to pay one time and have a relaxing spa experience again and again after a long day.
At the end of the day, the best foot massager for you depends on what you need it for.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you feel more confident about the sort of foot massager you’re looking for.