An electric foot massager is a machine that is used for relaxation and to stimulate the muscles of the feet and calves through the use of vibration, rollers, heat and EMS. Foot massage is extremely beneficial in that it relaxes the entire body and stimulation of reflexology points benefit specific organs and areas of the body.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to get a personal foot massage, but now you can enjoy a good foot massage anytime you like thanks to the many excellent options in electric foot massagers on the market today.
- Massage Type
- Intensity Settings
- Remote Control
- Display / Timer
- Our Review
- Our Rating
- EMS Massage
- 4 x Electrode gel pads; 2 x Plastic gel pads
Today there are many choices in foot massagers, and making the right choice can be somewhat confusing. In this article, we will review some of the top choices in foot massagers in 2018 and provide sound advice to help you select the best foot massager to suit your needs. Read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top choices in top brands of foot massagers in 2018
- 2 Best foot circulation machines [UPDATED]
- 2.1 Bodi-Tek Circulation Plus – Our Top Pick in 2018
- 2.2 Homedics Circulation Device – Active Foot Massager
- 2.3 Circulation Maxx – Blood Booster w/ Remote Control & Infrared Heat
- 2.4 Circulation Pro – Foot & Leg Massager
- 2.5 Heartline – Electromagnetic Wave Foot Massager
- 2.6 Redstone – Circulation and EMS TENS Machine
- 2.7 PureMate – Foot Circulation Massager
- 3 Best shiatsu foot massager
- 4 Other types of foot massagers
- 5 Things to consider when buying an electric foot massager
- 6 Main types of electric foot massagers: Shiatsu foot massagers vs Revitive circulation boosters
- 7 How to use an electric foot massager
- 8 Electric foot massager frequently asked questions
- 8.1 Q: Do electric foot massagers work?
- 8.2 Q: Are electric foot massagers safe?
- 8.3 Q: Can I use an electric foot massager while pregnant?
- 8.4 Q: Is an electric foot massager safe for diabetics?
- 8.5 Q: Is an electric foot massager with heat good?
- 8.6 Q: Are there foot massagers with vibration?
- 8.7 Q: How often should I use an electric foot massager?
- 8.8 Q: Can an electric foot massager help with plantar fasciitis?
- 8.9 Q: How do I clean an electric foot massager?
- 8.10 Q: Can I travel with an electric foot massager?
- 9 Conclusion
Top choices in top brands of foot massagers in 2018
When you think of foot massagers, few brands come to mind:
- Circulation Max /Pro
There are two main types of foot massagers on the market:
- A large group of electric foot massagers is based on an EMS/TENS technology that is well known and used in medicine.
- Other group of foot massagers is based on a traditional Japanese treatment called Shiatsu.
Here are some of the best foot massagers produced by these well-known brands:
Best foot circulation machines [UPDATED]
The first category of foot massagers are circulation boosting machines (competitors of Revitive) that use TENS electrode pads and electric impulses to contract muscles and increase circulation of blood while providing relief from pain and relaxed feelings at the same time.
Bodi-Tek Circulation Plus – Our Top Pick in 2018
This one also uses electrotherapy to improve your feet health and strength. Electric pulses emitted by the unit give feet and leg muscles a sort of a workout, forcing them to contract and relax repeatedly.
This makes the muscles stronger and is especially helpful if you spend a lot of time sitting down. It also boosts blood circulation.
The unit is quite compact and light. If you are travelling, you can easily pack it up and take it with you. It even comes with an easy-carry handle. Read our full review of Bodi-Tek Circulation Plus.
Homedics Circulation Device – Active Foot Massager
This is the best electrotherapy foot massager that we have tested this year. The device works by sending harmless electric pulses through the nerves on your feet.
The biggest benefit of the Homedics foot massager is improved blood circulation. This can help with pain, mobility and diabetes-related feet problems. It can also be used to tackle pain and swelling.
The massager is easy to use. No installation is required. There is even a remote control included to make sure you never have to bend over to fiddle with the buttons on the unit. Read our full review of Homedics Circulation Device.
Circulation Maxx – Blood Booster w/ Remote Control & Infrared Heat
A circulation boosting machine that is a Class IIa medical device and is easily and affordably available without a prescription. Compared to its competitors, it is more affordable while providing some comparable functions.
It comes with remote control and digital display but has no adjustable timer, angled incline and is not rechargeable. Use of this massager is very simple though, and most people enjoy relaxing, watching TV, reading and/or listening to music while receiving an excellent foot massage for 25 to 30 minutes each day.
It is not recommended for women in the early phases of pregnancy or for people who have a pacemaker, epilepsy, arthritis or a diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis. Read our full Circulation Maxx review.
Circulation Pro – Foot & Leg Massager
This machine is also a genuine medical device that is readily available to the general public. It is intended for use by healthy people who wish to or need to increase circulation in the lower legs and feet.
It’s a good-looking machine that can be used for simple relaxation or a regular series of therapy sessions. It has digital display but has no adjustable timer, angled incline and is not rechargeable. This unit is easy to use because it comes with a remote control.
It comes with 5-year manufacturer warranty, which is longer that any of its competitors. Read our full Circulation Pro review.
Heartline – Electromagnetic Wave Foot Massager
This foot massager packs quite a lot in its compact size. This includes 25 massage modes, 99 intensity levels and electric wave treatment.
The combined effect on your feet is incredible pleasure and relaxation.
In addition to the footplates, the package also includes 8 pads that you can use to mitigate pain and soreness on various areas of the body.
The remote control makes it easy to use though some users complained about the unchangeable 25- minutes-per-session setting.
Read our full Heartline Foot Massager review.
Redstone – Circulation and EMS TENS Machine
This machine has two types of therapies, one delivered by the main unit and the other one delivered by separate gel pads. The main unit provides EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) therapy, which is similar to the therapy delivered by Bodi-Tek and Homedics foot massagers.
Through the gel pads, which connect to the main unit via cable, you can also receive pain-relieving TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy. The only difference between EMS and TENS is that the first targets your feet and leg muscles while the other targets your nerves in different parts of your body. Both work to help you relax by reducing pain, soreness, swelling.
Read our full review of Redstone EMS TENS Machine.
PureMate – Foot Circulation Massager
This also offers EMS therapy trough the main unit and targeted TENS massage through additional gel pads. Use it for half an hour every day and your feet will feel stronger, less sore and you will be more relaxed.
There are 99 intensity levels and 15 treatment programs, each offering a different form of therapy. You can easily change the intensity or treatment program using the buttons on the device or set it to auto mode and the unit will choose the settings for you.
But it’s much easier to use the accompanying remote control to set the level and mode you are most comfortable with. Read our full review of PureMate Foot Circulation Massager.
Best shiatsu foot massager
The second category of foot massagers are shiatsu foot massagers, which eases muscle stiffness and tension by applying a traditional Japanese technique called Shiatsu.
Amzdeal Foot Massager – The Most Complete Foot Massager
If you are looking to give your feet a proper luxurious treat, try the Amzdeal Foot Massager. It has three features to help you relax and chase away any foot discomfort: deep kneading rollers, soothing heat therapy and Shiatsu air pressure.
This foot massager boosts blood circulation to the feet and legs, an especially important benefit for elderly or diabetic users. Through the kneading action and heat therapy, it is surprisingly effective at reducing any pain and soreness in your feet. This is great for those with foot problems such as arthritis and for pregnant women.
The only thing you need to be careful about is the massage intensity. The rollers and air pressure are firmer than expected. Start at the lowest intensity and increase it gradually. Read our full review of Amzdeal Foot Massager.
Homedics FM-TS9-GB – Luxury Shiatsu Foot Massager
This machine is very lightweight and very affordable yet it does a very good job of relieving fatigue and soothing aches and pains in the feet.
Its massage action simulates a deep, kneading shiatsu massage. Soothing heat intensifies the relaxation experience. It is Homedics’s premium foot massager.
This machine is especially easy to operate because it has just one switch to control the two functions and you can operate this switch with your toes.
It does not have remote control or digital display like circulation boosting machines. Read our full Homedics FM-TS9-GB review.
Homedics Shiatsu Foot Massager – Standard Shiatsu Foot Massager
This Homedics machine provides a heat and shiatsu massage experience using rotating balls that roll up and down along the soles of the feet to alleviate aches, pains, tension and fatigue.
FM-S149H Shiatsu foot massager smaller is lighter and costs a bit less than luxury FM-TS9-GB. It has round foot pads that encourage movement of the feet. Users say that it is very helpful in recovering from injury, surgery and other foot problems.
Just as with the other offering from Homedics, this machine is very lightweight and easy to manage (although again it does not have remote control or digital display like circulation boosting machines). It also uses a single switch that you can operate with your toes. Read our full Homedics Shiatsu Foot Massager review.
Beurer FM60 – Premium Shiatsu Foot Manager From Germany
The Beurer FM60 is a premium shiatsu massager from the well known German manufacturer. It provides relaxing shiatsu massage using 18 massage heads, 9 on each foot. They are covered by a mesh fabric ensuring your feet don’t get uncomfortably hot and sweaty.
The heads are positioned in such a way that they target specific pressure points on your feet for maximum relaxation and pain relief. You can choose from two massage speed settings.
There is also a separate heat function that is handy for warding off pain, soreness and swelling on the feet. You can turn the heat feature on or off separately from the main massage function. Read our full review of Beurer FM60.
Beurer FM38 – Good Value For Money Massager
The Beurer FM38 shiatsu massager has 8 massage nodes, 4 on each foot. The massage pad is too small to cover your entire foot so you have to massage one half of your feet at a time.
When the massager is turned on, these nodes rotate around specific points on your feet helping to increase blood flow, improve nerve function and reduce muscle pain and soreness.
There is also an infrared heat function that can be turned on or off separately from the massage. It complements the shiatsu massage heads in boosting blood circulation and relaxing your feet muscles.
Read our full review of Beurer FM38.
Other types of foot massagers
Scholl Foot Massager – Professional Foot Massager
This is a very luxurious foot massager from a well-known foot care company. It is designed to massage the three areas of your feet (toes, arches and heels) with separate mechanisms.
Unlike the other offerings in this list, you do not simply set your feet on massage pads for massage to the soles of the feet. Instead, you place your feet inside the softly padded openings for your feet where they are enveloped by a cushion of air. This machine delivers massage through air, heat and shots to massage action.
The machine is easy to control and use with four buttons conveniently located at the top. These can be controlled by hand or toe. Read our full Scholl Foot Massager review.
Foot, Ankle and Calf Massager – Universal Foot Massager
This massager has a somewhat unusual design. Unlike the traditional flat devices that you step on, this one resembles a pair of boots. It covers the feet and rises all the way to the calves.
This allows it to work on the feet, ankles and calves simultaneously for a more relieving massage. It works through a vibrating board that increases blood flow and a kneading mechanism that goes deep into the muscles and reduces any pain or soreness.
Because it does not rely in electrical stimulation, this foot massager is safe for you use by most people including pregnant women. Read our full Foot, Ankle and Calf Massager review.
JML BFF Mini Foot Massager – Foot Massager Booster Relief
This mini-massager uses a very basic design but with somewhat effective results.
A series of six rollers activate specific pressure points, which helps reduce pain and boost relaxation. If you experience aching feet at the end of every workday, this massager can help.
The best part about it is its size. It is compact enough that you can carry it with you wherever you go.
The only thing to beware of is its tendency to slip on flat surfaces, especially if it is uncarpeted. You also can’t expect the same results as from high and mid-range foot massagers. Read our full JML Foot Massager review.
Things to consider when buying an electric foot massager
Some foot massagers are intended mostly for relaxation and stress relief. Others provide specific therapeutic benefits, such as improved circulation, reduction of inflammation and relief of pain. There are also foot massagers that are more suitable for diabetics or for certain parts of feet (heel). Consider your needs carefully when choosing.
The most popular electric foot massagers today offer a wide variety of features, such as Shiatsu foot massage, heat therapy, EMS/TENS therapy and more. Additionally, some machines offer a tremendous range in terms of levels of intensity. When determining which massager is best for you, be sure to understand the features of each model you are considering and compare them logically.
All top brands of electric foot massagers are somewhat portable. They can all be lifted easily by a reasonably fit person and moved from one location to another. If you are frail, elderly or otherwise have compromised strength, be sure to focus on models that are noted for being light weight and easy to move.
4. Ease of use
All of the top brands of electric foot massagers are quite simple to use. Most have easy to see and read buttons and switches that you can operate with your toes. Alternately or additionally, many units include the option of remote control operation.
The best foot massagers are actually fairly close in price across the board, so price should not be your main consideration. Buying the least expensive one will only save you a few pounds. It’s far more important to study the features carefully and select exactly what you want for complete satisfaction.
Main types of electric foot massagers: Shiatsu foot massagers vs Revitive circulation boosters
When it comes to stress relief, there is really no better product on the market than Shiatsu foot massagers. The Japanese word “Shiatsu” means “finger pressure”, and when done right, this type of machine very effectively simulates the experience of having your feet massaged by strong hands.
Massaging mechanisms are placed in such a way as to stimulate acupressure points on your feet for deep relaxation and improvement of overall health and well-being. Additionally, good Shiatsu massagers offer infrared heat therapy for a very soothing effect. When you can’t come home to a personal masseuse at the end of a stressful day, a Shiatsu massager is the next best thing!
Circulation boosting massagers
There are several good circulation boosting foot massage machines on the market today that are actually classed as medical equipment; however, they are available without a prescription and at a very reasonable cost. Machines that offer EMS/TENS therapy help boost circulation via electrical impulses to the feet and to any part of the body through the use of TENS patches and leads.
This type of treatment is very helpful for people suffering conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, swelling in the legs and ankles, poor overall blood circulation and more.
Having your own circulation boosting therapy option at home can save you a great deal of time and money and help you stay on top of your health situation. Although you do not need a doctor’s prescription to use this type of massager, you should discuss use with your doctor to avoid any side effects. This kind of therapy is not suitable for everyone, and your doctor can give you good advice regarding how well it will work for you.
How to use an electric foot massager
Using any electric foot massager is actually dead-simple. Basically, you should:
- Take the machine out of the box.
- Find a comfy place to sit.
- Plug the machine into an electrical outlet.
- Place your (clean) feet on/in the massage area of the machine.
- Select your settings and turn the machine on.
- Sit back, relax and wait for the timer to sound.
Most machines are equipped with a timer so you won’t overdo. Be sure to read the instructions for your particular model for specifics.
Electric foot massager frequently asked questions
Q: Do electric foot massagers work?
An electric foot massager reduces pain, swelling, soreness in your feet. This helps with various health conditions including plantar fasciitis, diabetic neuropathy, arthritis, reduced mobility and oedema.
An electric foot massager is not a treatment for these health conditions. Rather, it helps manage their symptoms.
To get the best results, experts recommend using an electric foot massager at least once daily for 15-30 minutes.
Q: Are electric foot massagers safe?
For most people, electric foot massagers are completely safe.
Most people worry that EMS/TENS massagers are dangerous because they produce electrical currents. But these currents are very weak and completely harmless.
Shiatsu massagers on the other hand use rollers to target specific reflexology points under your feet.
The only people who should not use EMS foot massagers are those with diabetes, reduced heat sensitivity, deep vein thrombosis or a heart condition.
They are also not recommended for children, pregnant women and anyone with an electronic implant.
Make sure you read all instructions before using a foot massager and don’t use it for more than 30 minutes at a time (some manufacturers recommend 15 minutes).
Q: Can I use an electric foot massager while pregnant?
Most manufacturers warn against using a foot massager if you are pregnant. This is especially the case for EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) massagers.
A shiatsu massager is safer for pregnant women since there are no electrical impulses. It can help you deal with the swelling and soreness in your feet.
Q: Is an electric foot massager safe for diabetics?
If you have diabetes, a shiatsu foot massager is the best choice. A preferred option over an EMS/TENS massager.
A shiatsu massager helps improve blood circulation in your feet and can help with pain and soreness. Some massagers also come with a heat function which is great for pain relief and relaxation.
But be careful if you have diabetic neuropathy in your feet. You may set the heat too high without knowing it.
If you have nerve damage, get a massager without the heat function or turn off the heat completely. Alternatively, set the heat to the lowest level and don’t leave it on for more than 15 minutes.
Q: Is an electric foot massager with heat good?
If you’d like heat therapy to reduce pain or help you relax more, get a foot massager with heat.
You can turn the heat feature on and off separately from the rest of the functions. Most massagers also allow you to select 2-3 heat levels depending on your needs.
Q: Are there foot massagers with vibration?
Vibration is another common feature in foot massagers especially shiatsu massagers.
The vibrations improve blood circulation, enhance mobility and can help reduce pain and swelling. Similar to the heat feature, you can usually change the intensity of vibration or turn it off completely.
Q: How often should I use an electric foot massager?
Manufacturers recommend using it once or twice a day for no more than 15-30 minutes per session. Most massagers come with an auto switch-off timer that turns off the massager after a set number of minutes.
Q: Can an electric foot massager help with plantar fasciitis?
Yes it can.
Plantar fasciitis causes sharp pain under your heel and can limit mobility in the morning or after standing for too long. It can sometimes also cause swelling.
An electric foot massager is a great way to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis. A shiatsu massager with rollers is especially helpful.
For added pain relief, look for a shiatsu massager with vibration and heat therapy.
Q: How do I clean an electric foot massager?
You should never dunk the whole massager in water or pour water on it. This is an electric item that could get damaged or become a safety hazard if it comes into contact with water.
Most shiatsu foot massagers come with a cover that you can remove and wash. For an EMS massager, the manufacturer might recommend cleaning the foot pads with a cloth. Check the manual for specific instructions.
Always remember to unplug the massager before you clean it.
Check the user manual for specific instructions on how to clean the massager.
Q: Can I travel with an electric foot massager?
If you want an electric foot massager you can take with you on the road, look for one that is compact and light.
But you’ll still need to look for an outlet since most electric foot massagers don’t use batteries.
There are many good reasons to add use of a foot massager to your daily routine. As we grow older our circulatory system often begins to falter. This can happen for a number of reasons such as disability or illness or even simply a sedentary way of life.
To counter any of these situations or simply to maintain and improve your circulatory system, you should consider buying an electric foot massager or circulation boosting machine.
Even if you are healthy overall, you will benefit from the relaxation and stress management to be had by devoting 20 or 30 minutes a day to foot massage. Managing stress is beneficial to overall health in a number of ways, including:
- Good stress management helps reduce problems associated with hormone imbalances. For this reason, women in menopause may benefit greatly from daily use of a high quality foot massager.
- Stress management and improved circulation help lower blood pressure levels.
In addition to stress management, many other benefits can be derived from regular use of any of these fine machines.
If you have recently had surgery, using a foot massage machine on a regular daily basis can lower your heart rate, help you relax and help you recover more quickly.
Foot massage makes an excellent supportive treatment for people recovering from cancer. It helps reduce fatigue and stress and even helps combat feelings of nausea.
Foot massage and use of EMS therapy is very beneficial in improving blood circulation and toning the muscles of the lower legs.
Improved blood circulation supports overall good health and helps alleviate pain. This is especially true for pain in the feet and legs; however, effective blood circulation helps reduce inflammation and pain in general. Additionally, good blood circulation boosts the cardiovascular system and wards off problems such as arterial disease.
We hope this article has been helpful to you in your quest to find the best foot massager. Homedics and Bodi-Tek are the most recommended products on the market but there are a number of other brands that are worth to consider. Which foot massager you should buy depends on your personal preferences, health situation and your budget.
Please check our buying guide if you want to learn more about things that you need to consider when selecting a right foot massager or circulation boosting machine.