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Why All The Hype Over Foot Massages?
A couple years ago I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand. It was my very first time in the Asian continent, and boy was it incredible! The experience can be summed up in two words: sensory overload. Bright radiant colors, good smells, bad smells, foods that set your taste buds alight, and best of all…. foot massages right on the street! You walk up to any of the 20 masseuses and off you go!
If you asked me about foot massages before that trip, I’d have promptly expressed my disinterest. My opinion now is quite different. Foot massages not only feel great, but they come with a plethora of health benefits: they reduce stress, improve blood flow, and help reduce leg pain. Here’s an awesome write-up from natural living ideas that talks about the benefits of foot massages. I encourage you to check it out!
But Unfortunately Foot Massages Are Expensive In North America!
Thailand was a blast, but unfortunately you can’t live quite as lavishly here in North America. Foot massages or any massage for that matter really costs quite a chunk of change. $50 for a foot massage? No thanks i’ll pass! It got me thinking…..there is an alternative I ought to consider.
Why not save up some cash and buy a foot massager? While I haven’t bought one just yet, I did do a lot of the legwork, and that’s what today’s post is all about. What are some of the things you should consider before buying? What is the best foot massager (in my honest opinion of course!)?
10 Factors You Ought To Consider Before Buying A Foot Massager!
Below, in no particular order of importance are 10 things you should think about prior to buying a foot massager. (Infographic created using Venngage)
The Best Foot Massager (Part 1: Electric)
In this section I’ll share with you my best electric foot massager, and all the reasons why I think it’s the best. We’ll also see how it stacks up against competing products. Alright without further ado!
Miko Shiatsu Is My #1 Pick!
Definitely one of the more expensive massagers, but well worth the price if you can afford it! Below I list everything I like and dislike about it, along with some common questions., so keep reading!
Pros—Why I Love It So Much
It Doesn’t Just Massage The Bottom Of Your Feet!
Most massagers only massage the bottom of your feet, this is different. It does a shiatsu technique on the bottom and sides, while the rest of your foot is subjected to an air compressed massage. Having a massager that works on all areas of the foot is one of the first things I look for!
Comes With 2 Wireless Remotes
As mentioned earlier, i’m a big fan of massagers that include wireless remotes. Some of you might be thinking wireless remotes aren’t that big a deal, since you can adjust settings with your toes. Yes that’s true, but what happens if you want to change settings on the fly? The wireless remote provides an added layer of comfort and convenience!
The Cloth Covers Can Be Removed And Washed
Pretty standard to have removable, machine friendly cloth covers. Based on my research, I noted that most foot massagers have this option. If you find that a particular product doesn’t have removable cloth covers, avoid at all costs!
5 Different Pressure Levels
There are 5 adjustable pressure levels that go from low to high intensity. The highest level is incredibly intense, knock your socks off intense! I’d recommend starting out low and then working your way up slowly. If you don’t get regular foot massages, using this device may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but over time it’ll get better!
And It Heats Up!
Heat can be turned on/off as desired. I’d recommend always leaving the heat turned on, as it helps relax and loosen your muscles. Some people like a hot massage, while others don’t. In the end, pick whatever you find most comfortable!
Cons—What I Dislike About It
Quite A Chunk Of Change!
Definitely not a cheap buy, but that’s the price you’ll have to pay for quality I guess. If you’re on a tight budget, you may wish to consider something else (keep reading!). However, if you can afford the price, I highly recommend this! Click here to check out latest pricing on amazon.
It Would Be Nice If You Could Turn The Pressure Off
Some times I enjoy air compression massages, and other times I don’t. It’s as simple as that. If there were an option to completely turn off the air compression, that would make this already awesome product, more awesome! Still my best foot massager all things considered.
Miko Shiatsu Common Questions
Q1. What’s the maximum foot size this device can fit?
Answer: If you’re a size 12-13 (in mens), you should be fine. Anything more, and you might be pushing your luck!
Q2. What about voltage? Should I be concerned if I live in a 220-240 volt country/region?
Answer: Yes, the unit is designed to work at 110-120 volts. If you live in a 220-240 volt region, I strongly suggest you contact the manufacturer to confirm before you purchase!
Q3. What does the unit weigh and measure?
Answer: 43x40x20 cm are the dimensions. It weighs 12 lbs in total.
Q4. Can you adjust the heat i.e. increase or decrease?
Answer: Unfortunately not. You can only turn the heat either on/off. It’s preset to a fixed temperature. I’m not certain of what this temperature is exactly. If anyone knows, leave it in the comments!
Q5. How long can you get it to run without stopping?
Answer: 15 minutes is the maximum time you can massage. It’s been programmed to auto shut-off at 15 minutes.
Other Awesome Electric Foot Massagers
Here’s 3 more awesome foot massagers you may want to consider!
#1 MedMassager MMF06
Probably the only foot massager I’ve come across that’s FDA certified for therapeutic use. What’s really cool about this is the 11 speed control. You can pick from 1000-3700 rpm depending on how intense of a massage you want. The device can also be used to massage calves. All in all, the MedMassager MMF06 is a top product for anyone who suffers from chronic foot and leg pain. If you’re someone who only cares for a recreational/relaxing massage, then maybe this is a little too much.
#2 Nekteck Foot Massager
The perfect foot massager for anyone on a budget. It has 6 massage heads, each with 3 rotating nodes. These rotating nodes provide a kneading massage therapy on the bottom of your feet. There’s also a heat setting which can be turned on/off as required. What I particularly love about the Nekteck massager is the ability to adjust height. You can alter device height up to 3 levels! My only issue with this device is that you don’t get a “full” foot massage i.e. top, sides, and bottom. It can only work on the bottom of your feet.
#3 Marnur Deep Kneading Massager
3 modes of intensity: level 1 for a less intense experience, and level 3 for knock my socks off intensity! What about massage technique? You get rolling and kneading techniques on the bottom of your feet, air compression on the top and back areas, and mostly heat on the sides. Foot covers come off easy and are washable. Overall a solid product that’s decently priced for what it does!
When We Compare Them, This Is What We Find!
|Massager||Option To Heat?||Intensity/Pressure Levels||Massage Coverage||Controls & Operation||Price|
|Miko Shiatsu||Yes||5||Full (Top/Sides/Bottom)||*2 Wireless Remotes|
*On-board Control Panel
|$$$ - CLICK TO CHECK LATEST PRICING ON AMAZON|
|MedMassager||No||11||Bottom||On-board Control Knob||$$$$$ - CLICK TO CHECK LATEST PRICING ON AMAZON|
|Nekteck||Yes||1||Bottom||On/Off Button||$ - CLICK TO CHECK LATEST PRICING ON AMAZON|
|Marnur||Yes||3||Full (Top/Sides/Bottom)||On-board Control Panel||$$ - CLICK TO CHECK LATEST PRICING ON AMAZON|
The table above shows a comparison of all 4 massagers. With all things factored in (price as well!), the best foot massager in my honest opinion is the Miko Shiatsu. However, the others are not too far off, and there’s a price point that works for everyone. For example, anyone on a budget should consider the Nekteck.
The Best Foot Massager (Part 2: Non-Electric)
Now that you know my favorite electric foot massager, let’s look at the non electric variations.
TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Is My # 1 Pick!
The best thing about manual foot massagers is that they require no electricity to run, and that means you can take em pretty much anywhere….on camping trips, when you travel abroad, and even to the park!
Pros—Why I Love It So Much
The Fact That I Can Take It On My Travels!
As mentioned earlier, manual foot massagers are awesome because they can be carried everywhere. No fussing about with voltage anymore! Also, it weighs a teeny 1.6 pounds, so tossing it in your backpack is no biggie.
Also Much Cheaper!
Manual foot massagers are typically much much cheaper than their electric counterparts. If you’re on a super tight budget, you ought to consider one of these. They also make for an awesome gift!
Cleanup & Maintenance Is Simple
No foot covers to remove and clean. Wipe down the rollers with a damp cloth after use, and you’re done!
No Size Restrictions Either!
Unlike the electric foot massagers we discussed earlier, this has no size restrictions. If you have large or wide feet, I wouldn’t be concerned. The fact that it’s open and unenclosed means feet of all sizes are fine.
Less Likely To Break & If It Does….
Because it’s completely mechanical with no electrical parts, it’s less likely to break/malfunction compared to an electric massager. In the event that it does become defective (as a result of manufacturer damage/defect), you’re covered for life by the manufacturer!
Cons—What I Dislike About It
No Bells & Whistles
An obvious drawback if you ask me. As much as I love the TheraFlow dual foot massager, it can’t do half the things an electric massager can. As far as technique is concerned, it can’t do shiatsu, compression, heat etc. All these features you can find in the electric options discussed earlier.
TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Common Questions
Q1. Can you use this while standing?
Answer: I’d recommend against it. If you stand on this, you’ll get more than a massage on your feet….maybe a splinter or two! In all seriousness, the dual foot massager should be used while sitting.
Q2. Should I use this barefoot as shown in all the pictures?
Answer: I recommend wearing socks while using this. That’s not to say you can’t massage bare feet, I just think if you wore socks it’s more hygienic and will be easier to clean. However, it all comes down to preference. If you enjoy it more when bare feet, then continue this way by all means!
Q3. Where is this product made?
TheraFlow are a US based health and wellness company that manufacture and distribute various massage related products. This particular massager is made in the USA. You can check out TheraFlow’s website by clicking here.
Other Awesome Manual Foot Massagers/Rollers
Here’s 3 other awesome foot rollers you may wish to check out!
#1 TheraFlow Dual Foot Roller
A simplified, dumbed down version of the massager discussed above. What’s cool about this particular product? For one it’s incredibly lightweight (weighing about 7.2 ounces), and two it’s very easy on the pocket! If you’re looking for a massager that’s primarily designed to work the arches of your feet, this is something you should consider. However, this is also it’s shortcoming; It is not designed per se to massage the heel or toes. Another cool thing about this: you can use it as a calf and shoulder roller!
#2 TheraBand Foot Roller
Very similar to the dual foot roller above with two major differences:
- It’s more compact—This can be attributed to the fact that the TheraBand is a single roller. As a result, it’s easy to carry on the go!
- Made from natural latex—There are some obvious pros to this. One is that latex is easy to clean, two it’s less likely to slip during use, and three you can rub topical cream over it without worrying about staining or ruining the material. However, wooden rollers provide a more intense/strong massage when compared to rollers of softer materials (e.g. latex).
#3 HealPT Foot Roller & Porcupine Ball
A very simple design that works well to stretch and relieve achy feet. Incredibly portable as well, just like all the other foot rollers we’ve discussed so far. It also comes with a porcupine ball, which is cool for a number of things. Some use it to roll their feet, others use it to roll their backs, shoulder, and legs. All in all, two really great tools to have at your disposal!
When We Compare Them, This Is What We Find!
|Roller||How Portable Is It (1-5 Scale)||How Easy Is Cleanup & Maintenance (1-5 Scale)||What Is It Constructed From?||Massage Coverage/Area||Price|
|TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager||3||3||Polished Wood||Bottom Of The Feet (Arch & Heels)||$$$$ - CLICK TO CHECK LATEST PRICING ON AMAZON|
|TheraFlow Dual Foot Roller||3||3||Polished Wood||Limited To Foot Arch||$$$ - CLICK TO CHECK LATEST PRICING ON AMAZON|
|TheraBand Foot Roller||5||5||Natural Latex||Limited To Foot Arch||$$ - CLICK TO CHECK LATEST PRICING ON AMAZON|
|HealPT Foot Roller & Porcupine Ball||5||4||Wood||Limited To Foot Arch||$$ - CLICK TO CHECK LATEST PRICING ON AMAZON|
The table above compares all 4 rollers. Criteria used for comparison include portability, ease of maintenance, roller material, and massage coverage/area. An important point to note: while wooden rollers may not be as simple to maintain, they provide a more intense massage in comparison to latex. That’s why wooden rollers are my favorite and exactly the reason why the TheraFlow dual foot massager is #1!
Hope You Enjoyed Reading!
Thanks for reading. If you got some value out of this post, consider sharing! My intent was to provide a complete guide for foot massagers and everything you should think about before buying one. As far as cleanup and maintenance is concerned, there isn’t too much to add. If you own an electric foot massager, clean the covers regularly. If you own a foot roller, wipe it down after every use. Now that you know what my best foot massager is, what’s yours!? Leave it in the comments!