There are few things in this world with the capability to turn a bad day completely around. A phone call from a good friend, perhaps cheer you up. Maybe you’d prefer a pint of ice cream and your favorite movie. Or maybe you’d be more inclined to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. No matter who you are, though, it’s probably a pretty fair guess that a foot massage could also work wonders to improve whatever situation you’re dealing with. In short, foot massages deserve to be part of your everyday care regimen and the use of the best foot massager can make this an easy reality – but you have to make sure you’re buying the right one.
Foot Massage History
Foot massages are one of the most tried and true methods of relaxation. In fact, foot massage is a practice that dates back thousands of years. 2500 B.C. tomb drawings depict the practice of foot massage as a method of pampering royalty and rewarding valiant service. Hundreds of years ago, American Indians used foot massage for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. At the turn of the 20th century, it was believed that a nice foot massage could cure mental illness.
Knowing the love our species has for a good foot rub, it’s no surprise that we eventually looked into ways to technologically advance the practice.
In 1958, the first foot massager machine was patented in the United States. Since then, production of the machines has become a booming industry with hundreds of brand names on the market.
Benefit of Foot Massage
With technological advances has come research. We know more about the benefits of foot massage than we ever have before. For example, a 20-minute foot massage every day can improve circulation and help those in sedentary lifestyles maintain cardiologic health. Daily foot massages are often prescribed to office workers, truck drivers, and those that use wheelchairs because their feet and legs don’t receive proper circulation that normally comes with walking. A foot massage for these individuals stimulates the vascular system in the lower extremities to cycle blood more effectively.
Athletes know the benefits of foot massage as well. Regular massage can help tendons in the feet and legs stretch, which can help to prevent injury on the field. Foot massages also reduce anxiety and, according to one study in Denmark, reduce migraine headaches by as much as 65%.
Foot massages can help pain that is associated with having flat feet. They can reduce blood pressure and even short 10-minute massages three times a week can lead to drastic improvements for people who suffer from clinical depression. It’s a wonder cure for most PMS symptoms and can reduce swelling and aching in pregnant women.
Factors to Consider When Buying Foot Massager
As with any purchase, there are factors that must be considered. The factors are:
- Size and Weight
- Ease of Use
- Massage Offerings
Factor # 1: Size & Weight
You must consider the size and weight of the best foot massager you plan to purchase. Is it something you can easily store away? Can you carry it with you if you need to use it in a different part of the home or take it along on vacation? Does it hold water? If so, how heavy would the machine be after you filled it? For individuals who seek massage therapy because of chronic pain or muscle disorders, the weight of a machine can make all the difference in whether it will help or harm them in everyday life.
Factor #2: Ease of Use
How easy is the device to use? There is no point buying the best foot massager to help yourself relax if it will only create more stress in your life to have to use it. Are there adequate control options to adjust the massage to your individual liking?
Factor #3: Massage Offerings
What kind of therapy does this machine offer? Are you looking for something that will help you relax or something that will help you alleviate pain? Does this machine fit the bill?
Factor #4: Durability
How durable is the machine? As with any investment, you hope to get the most out of your money. There is no point in purchasing the best foot massager that will work improperly or need to be replaced before you have got your money’s worth. Are you getting what you paid for?
Factor #5: Price
Speaking of paying for it – does it fit your budget? Foot massagers range from a modest $10 up into the thousands for the best model. How much are you able to afford to pay for a foot massager and is it worth the extra cost?
Best Foot Massager Comparison and Reviews
In this report, I will do comparisons between three of the best foot massager on the market today:
|uComfy Shiatsu Foot Massager||17.7 x 15 x 18.1 inches||3.7||Check|
|MedMassager MMF06 Foot Massager||16 x 12 x 9.5 inches||4.4||Check|
|Brookstone Heated Foot Spa||20.9 x 12.6 x 18.4 inches||3.7||Check|
Read on to find out which is best for you.
Feature #1: Design Options
At first glance, the uComfy looks more like another-worldly space ship than it does a massager with its sleek design and new-age construction. It is a rounded orb-like machine with two deep pockets for the consumer to place their feet into. One of the most unique attributes of this machine is that it comes in a variety of colors and shape-variations to fit any home décor. This, alongside its modern design, makes it an easy machine to disguise into its surroundings. No need to clutter up a closet shelf or cupboard – slide this massager under a sofa table and chances are nobody will pay it much attention.
Feature # 2: Full Foot Massage Pockets
Inside the foot pockets, there are vibrating massagers that are designed to hit all points of the top and bottom of the foot. There are also intensity controls and the machine even comes equipped with an option to turn off the vibrating massagers completely and opt, instead, for a lighter air massage. This design allows for a full-on customized foot massage that many reviewers love.
Feature #3: Shiatsu Foot Massage Offering
Shiatsu massage is a special type of massage that can hit troublesome pressure points on the feet. Thanks to the massage motor design of this model, individuals who suffer with collapsed arches or pressure points can receive the exact type of foot therapy they need.
Real Users Feedback
One Amazon reviewer even went as far as to say that the machine felt like it had “little hands” inside the pockets kneading away at the sore parts of her feet. Many others were commending the machine’s twelve-pound size. With a machine so light, many reviewers said they had no issue moving their massage from room-to-room throughout the house.
The reviews weren’t all good, of course. There were some downsides. Some consumers said they had difficulty understanding the directions that came with the machine. Others said that, after about a year’s worth of use, the massage motors wore out.
- The massager gives an overall great massage
- The machine has many options and controls
- The uComfy machine holds the lowest price of the three machines
- This machine does not offer a water massage
- The included directions are difficult for some people to understand
- The motors wear out fast with continued use
Feature #1: Lightweight Design
The MedMassager unit is the lightest unit on our list, weighing in at only eleven pounds. It takes on a completely different design to the uComfy. Where the uComfy went for a stylish, modern appeal, the MedMassager is all about simplicity.
The machine itself looks like a painter’s easel or a ramp. Across the top, there is a foam toe-bar to rest your feet against. Once your feet are on the incline, the machine gets to work- and with eleven different speed and pressure point options to choose from, you can almost guarantee it will do its job well.
Feature #2: Designed for All Sizes
The design is made to fit all foot-sizes, including the incredibly large. Because the feet aren’t enclosed inside of a machine, there is plenty of room left on the surface area to massage any point of any foot- or at least the bottom of the foot.
Feature #3: Full Replacement Gaurantee
The best part, though? MedMassager offers a full replacement guarantee. If your machine breaks or stops working, they will replace it 100%. In fact, courteous and friendly customer service was among the main things that Amazon reviewers felt the need to comment on.
Real Users Feedback
While the company seems to be in good standing with all their customers, the product- unfortunately- isn’t. Many reviews complained about the noisiness of the machine. Others indicated that they didn’t see results from the machine fast enough and either gave up on their massage regimen or bought a different machine to showed quicker results. Other reviewers also commented that the first few massages didn’t seem to help, but there was improvement over time. Perhaps this one is a matter of personal preference over product quality.
- This massager is designed to comfortably massage feet of any size
- The company offers a full-replacement guarantee
- There are many speed and pressure options
- The results of massages using this machine are not immediate
- The machine can only massage the bottom of the foot
- These massaging motors run loud, creating a nuisance for some
- There is no heat offered with the massage
Feature #1: Water Massage
Finally, we will review the Brookstone Aqua-Jet Foot Spa. This one is, again, vastly different than the machines seen before. The Brookstone resembles almost a mini-hot tub, shaped like the letter “V” to accommodate two feet.
Brookstone is one of the leading names in massager design and the price tag shows. Coming in at $513 each on Amazon, this massager is by far on the pricier end of the comparison.
Feature #2: Heat & Roller-Ball Technology
The Aqua-Jet uses water and heat to create the best results possible for their massager-type. This machine has adjustable speeds and rolling balls within the tub that knead the arches of the foot, providing important pressure to an often overlooked part of the body.
Feature #3: Handheld Remote
This massager also comes equipped with a convenient handheld remote, which you can use to adjust the massage from an upright, sitting position.
Real Users Feedback
The massage pool, or basin, is very deep, allowing for a massage that covers the entire surface area of the foot. Even larger shoe sizes can fit inside of the basin easily. Another great feature of this massager is that inside the pool there is a removable pumice-stone to exfoliate the bottoms of the feet and help peel off dried skin, which can be not only uncomfortable, but also unsightly for certain people. Unfortunately, the pumice stone also creates a problem for some consumers since it tends to catch moisture and mold. This makes the machine hard to clean, at times.
The machine can quickly heat a basin of water to 115 degrees providing the fastest possible massage prep available in a heating machine. To make matters even better, the machine is also equipped with a thermostat to help maintain the temperature throughout the day. No more cold-soaking in the foot basin after you forget you’ve filled it.
Speaking of filling the basin, though- we have arrived at one of the Brookstone’s greatest downfalls: The weight of a full massager. Many reviewers on Amazon were put off by the effort required to set up a home massage. While the massager itself is advertised as only thirteen pounds, the added weight when the basin is full nearly doubles its mass. This makes for a difficult process when dumping or moving the massager around the house. Other consumers complained that the way the basin was build causes it to break easily when it is holding too much weight, which has caused leaky tubs and dead machines.
- This massager offers many massage types
- Heat is a valuable added feature to this machine
- This massager comes equipped with a remote control system
- Weight of the machine when the basin is full is too heavy
- The pumice stone catches mold, making this a hard machine to keep clean
- The plastic of the basin breaks easily
- The price is steep in comparison to other models
Comparison Between All 3 Models
So how do these products compare in a side-by-side comparison based on our earlier discussed factors to consider? These are the factors that will ultimately lead to the most informed decision about which machine you should spend your money on. So, without further ado, let’s take a look.
Factor #1: Size and Weight
In this category, the MedMassager machine came in first. With credit to its simplistic, ramp-like design, the machine weighs only eleven pounds and stands about sixteen inches tall. This makes it a valuable option for individuals who suffer from chronic pain or muscle weakness.
The uComfy machine came in second. With its sleek and modern compact design options, this machine weighs an average of twelve pounds and is about eighteen inches long at its widest available side. A possible redeemer for his machine, though, is the fact that there are various design options available. When that factor is considered, it’s easy to assume the possibility of a smaller design option which could, potentially, put it on an even playing field with the MedMassager.
The heaviest of the three machines was the Brookstone model. While empty, the machine weighs thirteen pounds and is twenty one inches wide at its longest point. When water is added, the machine nearly doubles in weight. This makes the Brookstone a difficult choice for those who would have trouble carrying the machine throughout the house or emptying the machine when the massage is over.
In conclusion, with credit to its lightweight design, low price, convenience, and wide array of personal massage options, the uComfy Shiatsu Massager with heat seems to be the best massager of the three reviewed in this article. Of course, individual needs will vary and it is always best to consult your physician for their advice.
Factor #2: Ease of Use
Despite the aforementioned difficulty with water weight, the Brookstone seems to be a winner thanks to its convenient remote control option. This means the massage can be adjusted without a lot of leaning forward or straining on the rest of the body. Once your feet are in the basin and the massager is running, you don’t have to move your legs until the massage is complete.
The hardest machine to use would have to be the MedMassager. With its difficult-to-decipher instruction booklet, it can become a game of trial and error to get the machine adjusted to the massage you need. When considered with the fact that this machine discloses upfront that their massage results aren’t immediate, it can be hard to tell if you are getting any benefit at all from the product for sometimes several weeks. The fact that it only massages the bottom of the foot doesn’t help it much, either.
In this category, the uComfy comes in second only by default.
Factor #3: Massage Offerings
This category is where the Brookstone machine shines. Because of its water bubbler, pumice stone, and rollers, there are many great options to achieve the most fantastic and immediate results possible from this machine. Heat and water are both amazing, natural ways to break down muscle tension in the body and the pumice stone can smooth away any dead skin or calluses that may be creating painful pressure points throughout the foot. The roller balls inside of the basin can help crack tense joints in the foot during the massage, leaving the feet feeling refreshed and rested.
The uComfy machine puts up a good fight, though. With some reviewers claiming that the machine feels like it has “little hands” inside of its deep foot massage pockets, it is certainly worth giving a try. The ability to hold larger shoe sizes and the fact that a heat treatment and Shiatsu massage are both offered makes this massager a serious contender when considering versatility.
The MedMassager falls short by only having the capability to massage the bottoms of the feet, but does redeem itself somewhat with its 11-motor design that can reach some of the more difficult pressure points.
Factor #4: Durability
The MedMassager wins this one by a landslide. With its tough-to-bust design and its full replacement guarantee, this massager becomes an obvious choice for the clumsiest among us. Despite some of its other shortcomings, Amazon reviewers seemed overall pleased with the customer service experiences and life expectancy of the MedMassager machine.
The uComfy machine’s durability rating is tested by motors that wear out and die deep within the massage pockets. While the motors aren’t particularly difficult to replace, reviewers did note that the hassle of sending the machine in and paying for repair were not worth the effort, especially with a long wait time for returns from the company.
Unfortunately for the Brookstone model, though, the best-intended design points turned into total failure. A pumice stone meant to exfoliate the feet can actually trap moisture. The moisture leads to mold which renders the machine unusable.
In addition, the machine’s basin was not well planned in regards to holding water. The machine is difficult to carry when full, making it also hard to empty. The basin itself can easily become cracked or unusable with the fumbling of the machine.
Factor #5: Price
While Brookstone is a popular name in the massager industry, the hefty price tag is simply not warranted for this particular model. When consumers have to combat mold and a clumsy product design, they normally don’t feel like they are receiving their money’s worth- even at a lower price bracket. The convenience of the remote control is a wonderful plus for this massager, but not if it comes with a price tag that is several hundred dollars above the competition.
The MedMassager’s price tag of under $300 is a little more understandable, especially when you consider the full replacement guarantee. While the price tag does seem high for a product that can’t massage the entire foot, you could more than make up for it if the machine should ever need to be replaced.
Finally, the uComfy’s lower-end price of under $200 makes the most sense. This makes the machine affordable to replace if the need should ever arise and well worth all the added features that the machine provides. When looking for a heated Shiatsu foot massager, the price of the uComfy model is a tough one to beat, especially when you get to play with the design and color options during purchase.
When all is said and done, the uComfy Shiatsu Massager with heat makes the most sense. Thanks to its portability, versatility, and affordability, this massager becomes a good option for nearly anyone. What it lacks in durability, it more than makes up for in price, efficiency, and a wide array of fun design options.