Compression therapy is a health treatment that’s been widely endorsed by celebrities, both in the fitness world and in non-fitness industries.
Tony Robbins had an air compression leg massager installed into his private jet, and some celebrities are getting into full-body suits that deliver compression therapy.
But what are these leg massagers?
Simply put, these leg massagers work by gently squeezing your body to promote better blood circulation which can be caused by a wide range of health issues.
Improving blood circulation has been found to improve symptoms of these various issues, from diabetes to arterial problems.
In addition to promoting better circulation, many users report dramatic reductions in pain from using leg massagers.
While many people purchase a pair of leg massagers to treat chronic pain conditions, there are also many athletes and ‘regular’ people who have experienced improvements in their health and athletic performance from using them.
In this article, we’ll look at how leg massagers enhance your health and relieve pain.
We’ll also compare the 10 best leg massagers on the market today that allow you to get these benefits at home.
What’s a Leg Air Massager?
Air compression leg massagers are devices that wrap around your legs and feet and compress them like a pair of tight boots.
Many of these devices are FDA-cleared and claim to enhance lymphatic circulation, reduce knee pain, release muscle tension, fight varicose veins and prevent leg cramps .
By squeezing your legs, leg massagers apply the pressure required to flush out waste from the cells in your legs and feet.
This allows fresh blood to enter and nourish cells to better health with oxygen and nutrients .
The pressure also prompts the release of endorphins, which act as natural pain-killers.
There are different types of leg massagers.
Some are made of fabric and are totally collapsible, whereas some are more firm and boot-like.
Compared to shiatsu foot and calf massagers, air compression massagers for your legs are generally able to provide a more custom fit.
Plus, you can use them while laying down and travel with them more easily, because leg massagers don’t need to sit on the floor.
Now that you have a sense for what else is available, let’s take an even deeper look at leg massagers.
What to Look for in a Good At-Home Leg Massager
When you’re shopping for a leg massager, there are a few features you’ll want to consider.
This section is designed to help you choose the best leg massager for your needs.
Your legs get stiffer than ever when you’re sitting for hours in a car or plane, where it’s easy to lose circulation.
For that reason, you’ll want to take your leg massager with you, so look for one that’s lightweight and that folds up well for travelling.
If you can find a battery-operated leg massager that you charge ahead of time, you can even use it during a flight.
When a product is approved by the FDA, you can be sure the company’s health claims have been tested and proven.
Before you part with your money, make sure the product is FDA-cleared so that you know it’s engineered to work effectively.
The more area it covers, the better.
Air compression leg wraps that wrap around your feet and extend further up your legs are bulkier and harder to travel with, but they generally relieve pain and fatigue more quickly and effectively.
The materials used in a leg massager is important because it needs to be durable enough for long-term use and comfortable enough when wrapped tightly around your legs and feet.
Look for a massager made with high-quality, breathable fabric.
The Best Leg Massagers Worth Trying
In this section, we’ll now take a look at some of the best leg massager options.
1. FIT KING Leg Air Massager for Foot and Calf
The foot and calf massager from Fit King is made with high-quality materials and guaranteed with a 2-year warranty.
It offers 3 different intensity levels, so you can start where you are and work your way to a higher intensity.
It also has 10 programmed massage modes, offering different massage techniques you can choose from using the handheld remote control.
Unfortunately, it shuts off automatically after 15 minutes of use.
If you want to use it for longer periods at a time, this could be a nuisance.
If you’re looking for a leg massager that covers a wider area, however, this is a good option for you.
It not only covers your feet, but also extends 28.5 inches up your calves.
Then again, if you want to use it on a plane, you won’t be able to because it has to be plugged in for use.
If you’re looking for something silent to use at your office, you should know that the Fit King leg massager is a little noisy compared to other products.
Pros: 2-year warranty, quality manufacturing and materials, covers the foot and calf
Cons: Shuts off after 15 minutes, no battery, noisy
2. Silvox Air Compression Leg Massager
Like the Fit King foot and calf massager, the Silvox massager covers a decent area, from your feet up to your calves.
They’re also made from high-quality material that is breathable and built to last.
The product has a 1-year warranty, and it’s approved by the FDA.
Compared to the Fit King leg massager, this one is virtually silent, so it’s great for office use, and it folds up nicely for travel.
Its battery lasts after 2 hours when fully charged, so you don’t even need to plug it in for use.
While it does offer 3 intensity level, many users have found it too intense even at the lowest level, making it very difficult to get started if you’re new to air compression massage.
However, if you need something more intense, this is the way to go.
Pros: 1-year warranty, high-quality, breathable material, FDA-approved, silent, battery-powered
Cons: Intensity too strong for some
3. North American Healthcare Air Compression Leg Wrap
The air compression leg wrap from North American Healthcare is cheaper than the Silvox and Fit King leg massagers, but it’s also made with cheaper materials.
Because the wrap is made of plastic, it traps heat and moisture, which can get uncomfortable and even cause skin irritation after a while of use.
Unfortunately, there have been many reports of defective units, including units that compress but don’t decompress.
On the bright side, more area of your leg is covered by this leg wrap, as it covers your feet and calves, plus it has additional sleeves you can wrap around your thighs.
By compressing your feet, calves and thighs in one massage session, you can stimulate a lot of blood circulation and relieve more fatigue or pain in your leg muscles.
Pros: Inexpensive, covers foot and calf, covers thighs as well
Cons: Plastic material, insufficient quality assurance
4. RENPHO Leg Massager
The leg air massager from RENPHO wraps around your feet, lower legs and thighs to give your entire legs a massage that rapidly restores blood flow and releases tension in the leg muscles.
It offers a powerful squeeze, though the intensity is adjustable using the remote control, which provides 4 intensity levels to choose from.
The thigh wraps are separate from the foot and calf wraps, and you can actually wrap the thigh wrap around your arms to massage them if you want.
With 6 different massage modes, you can select which massage wraps you want to activate, whether individually or at the same time.
With more width than other models offer, the RENPHO air leg air massager provides greater adjustability than other leg massagers.
It’s durable and well-constructed, with a soft but strong fabric that can fold up for easy portability.
Some users are disappointed that this leg massager stops running after 15 minutes to prevent overheating.
Models that can withstand 30 or 40 minutes of compression massage at a time without overheating are often preferable for people wanting deeper relief.
Pros: Massages your thighs as well as your calves and feet, adjustable intensity with 4 settings, includes a remote control so you don’t have to reach down, durable, well-constructed and powerful
Cons: Shuts off after 15 minutes to cool down, preventing you from having longer compression massage sessions with this unit
5. FIT KING Foot and Leg Massager
With 3 air compression massage modes and a total of ten massage techniques included, there’s something for everyone.
It has 3 independent air chambers, and in a sequential compression massage mode, the device can improve blood flowing upward and reduce edema.
Unlike the cheaper Fit King leg massager model (already reviewed), this Fit King foot and leg massager covers your thighs as well as your calves and feet, and it’s less noisy.
Unlike the RENPHO leg massager, the thigh wraps on the Fit King leg massager are attached to the rest of the device.
A drawback to this model, however, is that the cord is quite short, requiring you to sit close to an outlet to use it.
More petite users found they couldn’t get a tight enough squeeze with this massager.
However, it works well for most people, offering a powerful compression at 3 intensity levels.
Pros: Compresses your thighs with its attached thigh wraps, provides different massage modes including sequential compression, 30-day money-back guarantee
Cons: The cord is inconveniently short, no option for cordless battery operation
6. Air Compression System by DSMAREF
The air compression system by DSMAREF is an effective full-leg massager that gives you lots of control over the amount of pressure you’re getting.
The electric compression pump has a dial you can turn to control the amount of pressure in mmHg.
You can also set the amount of time you want the device to run, whether 10, 20 or 30 minutes at a time.
Then, simply press start and the boots will begin inflating, all the way up to your thighs.
The company gives you a 2-year warranty on the compression pump device and a 1-year warranty on the leg sleeves.
Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all model, DSMAREF has a version of the leg sleeves in 5 sizes ranging XS to XL.
They even have a size chart you can look at and measure your legs to ensure the right fit.
Given that you can find the perfect fit and set the exact amount of pressure you want, this is one of the most adjustable air leg compression systems on the market.
Pros: Provides plenty of pressure, for up to 30 minutes at a time, leg sleeves come in different sizes for the perfect fit, high control over the amount of pressure
Cons: No remote control, so you need to reach the device to control settings
7. Amzdeal Air Compression Massager
The air compression wraps from Amzdeal cover just a small area at a time, and can be wrapped around either your arms, calves or feet.
If you need something that works on-the-go without being plugged in, you may like the Amzdeal unit.
It gives you 2 hours of battery-operated use after it’s fully charged, and shuts off automatically after 15 minutes.
On the other hand, the Amzdeal unit lacks the level of quality of some of the other leg massagers, and it’s frequently reported to stop working within a few months of use.
There’s no warranty offered, and it’s not guaranteed a long product lifespan.
Pros: Battery-operated after charging, massages arms, calves or feet
Cons: Less durable, massages small area at a time, may not suit taller people
8. Rapid Reboot Recovery System
The Rapid Reboot is a professional-grade air compression system for athletes that can be used on the legs or arms.
Like the DSMAREF, this brand makes its leg sleeves in 5 sizes, from XS to XL, so you can select the best fit for you according to the size chart.
Another similarity is that you have a great deal of control over the amount of pressure you’re getting with the Rapid Reboot.
The pressure ranges from 20 mmHg to 200 mmHg over 10 increments that increase by 20 mmHg.
It includes a carrying case and a control panel that lets you select what area to apply pressure, what intensity increment to apply and how long the device should run.
Overall, this unit gets the job done and is built with quality construction.
Given it’s about $1,000, however, there are a few complaints customers have had.
Since there’s no battery, you have to be near an outlet in order to use the system.
Over 80 mmHg, the device becomes quite loud, and the cord can sometimes get tangled with the hoses.
On the plus side, the Rapid Reboot comes with a 2-year warranty.
Pros: Choose the right size for the perfect fit, you have a high amount of control over the pressure, 2-year warranty included free
Cons: Expensive especially compared to other leg massagers, must be plugged in to operate, and the hoses can become tangled with the cord
9. Silvox Leg Massager for Circulation with Heating
The air massager with heating from Silvox is highly adjustable in terms of its size and intensity, with 3 modes and intensity levels.
Considering it only costs about $25 more than the Silvox model without heating, plus it includes wraps for your thighs, this Silvox model packs a ton of value.
Get relief from inflammation, soreness, pain and stagnant blood flow faster with the combined effects of compression and heat.
If you struggle to keep your feet warm in the winter and get aches in your legs or feet as a result, this model is perfect for you.
This model is truly a one-size-fits-all, with plenty of adjustabilities at the height and width of the leg sleeves.
Unlike the Rapid Reboot, the Silvox massager gives you the option to use the device when it’s not plugged in, with 2 hours of battery life before it needs charging again.
The only downside users have reported with this unit is disappointment with the heating feature, claiming it doesn’t get warm enough for the desired feel.
Pros: Heating feature helps boost circulation and speed up pain relief, cordless option with 2 hours of battery life, 20 min auto-shutoff for safety
Cons: Heating feature isn’t hot enough for some
10. MagicMakers Foot and Leg Massager
The MagicMakers foot and leg massager is a highly-rated, affordable massager that covers both your legs from thigh to foot.
There’s a handheld remote you can use to control the device.
It features a one-size-fits-all design, so you can use it no matter how long your legs are or what size shoe you wear.
It’s easy to use lying or sitting down, and it features heating along with the air compression.
The MagicMakers massager is made of silicone, polyester and nylon, making it durable and comfortable.
It offers 3 modes, including foot shiatsu massage mode, calf kneading mode or foot and calf air compression mode.
Therefore, you get more than just the benefits of an air massager with this unit.
Unfortunately, the unit can’t inflate enough to provide a high-intensity massage if you have particularly small or thin legs.
Pros: Provides kneading and shiatsu massage, one-size-fits-all, heating feature, built with high-quality materials
Cons: Not intense enough for smaller people
The Best Leg Massager: Recommendations
The most cost-effective leg air massager is the Amzdeal, which not only provides air compression, but also heating and massage.
Only priced around $80, it’s lightweight and easy to use for beginners.
For more advanced therapy, try the air leg compression system from DSMAREF.
You can choose your exact size for the perfect fit, and benefit from the highest air compression therapy intensity level.
Out of all the leg air massagers we looked at today, the Silvox massager offers the full range of features you should look for in a good leg air massager, and it has a great price for good quality.
It’s made with comfortable, durable material that you can easily adjust to fit your size.
It compresses your feet and calves at the same time so that you get more from your air compression massage sessions.
This is an FDA-cleared device, so it’s been tested and proven for quality and effectiveness.
It folds up into a compact rectangle you can easily pack into a suitcase.
Because it runs for 2 hours on battery, you can even pack it in a carry-on bag for use on a plane.
The Silvox leg air massager is top-rated not just because of all these features, but also because it works really well to relieve pain, fatigue and conditions like restless leg syndrome, diabetic neuropathy and more.
Other Types of Leg Massagers
Of course, there are other types of products effective for providing pain relief in your legs, and air compression therapy may not be the option for your unique needs.
If you are looking to massage your leg muscles it’s important to find the right type of massager for you.
These are some of the other types of leg and foot self-massage tools on the market today:
Shiatsu Foot Massagers
One of the best ways to increase circulation in your legs is by getting a great foot shiatsu massage.
A shiatsu foot massager is an electrical device that has moving nodes for kneading muscles.
Some shiatsu foot massagers vibrate, heat up and include air compression wraps for compressing your legs while your feet are massaged.
Related: Best foot massagers
Foot spas usually involve immersing your feet in water to help soothe them.
The great thing about foot spas is that a lot of them combine water with kneading rollers which means you can get a good relaxing soak and a shiatsu massage at the same time.
Related: Best foot spas
Muscle Roller Sticks
Massage sticks are designed for you to manually work through tightness and knots in your leg muscles, particularly the calves.
While there’s more effort involved, calf massage sticks give you lots of control in deciding the placement and amount of pressure applied for your calf massage, so you can use your own biofeedback to get a more customized massage.
These types of manual massagers are particularly popular with runners and athletes.
Related: Best muscle stick rollers
Massage balls are used against a wall or the floor to roll out tight muscles.
They can help break up tightness in your thighs, calves and feet, providing myofascial release.
Like massage sticks, massage balls let you decide exactly how much pressure you want and where you want it.
Related: Best massage balls
Like massage balls, foam rollers are tools that roll over your muscles with the help of your own movements.
Foam rollers are great for loosening and toning the fascia in your legs, which is the connective tissue around your muscles that separates the muscles from the bones.
Related: Best foam rollers
Shiatsu Foot and Calf Massagers
Shiatsu foot and calf massagers are electrical massagers that enable you to sit and experience a massage with just the push of a button.
They have nodes that knead your muscles to release tension and knots.
Some foot and calf massagers also vibrate and heat up to help release pain and improve circulation even more.
Related: Best foot and calf massagers
Air compression massage is a proven way to improve circulation both in the short term and with long-term, regular use.
Whether it’s been recommended to you by a health professional or you just want a way to relieve the fatigue and achiness after a long day on your feet, air compression massage is a safe and beneficial therapy.
With all the choices out there, it may seem daunting when you’re shopping for the best leg massager, but hopefully, this article has helped point you in the right direction.