Almost anything that is reasonably firm and can be rolled on the floor can be used as a foot massager. This includes everything from tennis balls to stainless steel water bottles. But, if you’re reading this, we’ll assume you’re ready to take your personal foot massager to the next level. Here’s what to look for when shopping for the best foot massager for you:
type of massage
Broadly speaking, foot massagers fall into two categories: general purpose foot massagers designed for relaxation and to relieve fatigue and more hardcore percussive style massagers that relieve muscle pain. There are advantages and disadvantages to each design.
General purpose massagers are usually seated on the floor. You place your feet in or on a pad, sleeve or plate, dial in your preferred setting and let the relaxation begin. The best part about this design is that it’s hands-free and the closest experience to having your feet scrubbed at a day spa. However, this type of massager is generally only good for light to medium pressure. Most don’t have the power to really dig into sore muscles.
To eliminate severe aches and pains, you will need a percussive massage gun, such as those offered by Theragun and Hyperice. The best massage guns are very powerful and guiding them manually on your feet allows you to precisely isolate the most specific areas.
Heated or not?
The heat helps stimulate blood circulation and relax tired muscles. There is no doubt that adding heat makes for a better, more effective and more luxurious massage. The best foot massagers offer built-in heat with a variety of settings, so you can dial in your preferred level of heat.
Most foot massagers, even the better foot massagers – are surprisingly affordable. Decent, budget-friendly all-purpose massagers are available for around $100, while more advanced models cost closer to $200. Percussion massage guns are a little more expensive, with the best models usually costing upwards of $200. In our experience, you definitely get what you pay for. We recommend buying the best model you can afford.