So, even though all foot bath machines seem more or less similar in terms of the technologies they use to provide a massage, or the functions that they offer, there is actually no two identical models no matter how similar they may appear, as you may seen from our foot massager review here.
Given that, how do you choose one that is the best foot spa massager for yourself? In the following guide, we will present some of the most useful features home foot spas have, and how they can benefit you.
Go through them and you will be able to deduce which ones are a MUST, a necessity for you and which others are probably not so essential, ones that you can pass.
What to Look For When Buying A Home Foot Spa Massager
1. Ease of Use
So while there isn't too much a complexity involved when it comes to using a foot spa massager, there are still a few things to consider. For one, how's the portability of the unit?
Some models have limited portability whereby all they have is a simple bucket handle, while others are much more superior with their lockable casters. Some don't even come with a handle so this is certainly one aspect to consider, given you will need to move your spa massager at some point to empty its content.
Speaking of which, whether or not it comes with a drainage system is another point to consider.
If you have trouble lifting heavy objects, this is particularly important.
What it does is that it allows you to just pull the basin next to a drain and empty the water via the drain hose. Definitely a must-have feature in terms of ease of use if you'd ask us!
Then there are smaller details like whether or not it has a splash guard or a basin cover. If you are getting a shallow foot spa, the former will make all the difference as it limits the amount of water getting spilled. The latter, on the other hand, ensures the tub is always covered so that dusts and other particles are kept at bay.
A display screen is also helpful as it lets you set the water temperature as well as see other settings.
Arguably this may be the most important criterion to consider first because it doesn't mean anything if you can't fit in one.
Fortunately, most foot spa massagers nowadays have rather generous sizing, with some accommodating even up to a men's size of 15 to 17, so chances are you will most likely fit in any models that you get.
Instead, you should probably focus on the depth of the foot spa massager itself because this is what that will make a difference.
Shallow tubs: water level in these barely cover the feet when you're massaging them on the rollers.
Some may reach your ankle but most will not. Spa massagers with manual rollers are common models of this type. It is great for people who cannot pick up heavy objects or those that do not like to soak their feet unless absolutely necessary.
Deep tubs: these have two types of depth - medium where the water will cover both feet and ankles or deeper, where even the calf (half the length of it at least) will get a soak.
Depending on your preference, both are ideal for people who spend long hours on their feet. These are more commonly found in foot bath massagers with motorized rollers.
Of course, you must consider what features you want for your spa massager. The most common has to be heat function. To us, this is almost an indispensable function because heat improves the benefits of foot massage by two to three folds (see benefits described below).
When it comes to heat though, not all foot massagers implement it the same way. The cheaper models will use a small heating element to keep temperature at a constant degree, but they don't actually do any heating. You'll need to pour in hot water first.
The better ones are those that are capable of warming up the water. This way, you don't need to constantly top up hot water every interval. But you will need to manually switch off the heater once in a while because it will otherwise heat the water continuously and it can get a tad too hot.
The best ones though, are those that come with a thermostat. Not only does this allow you to choose the water temperature you want it heats up to, it is able to make sure the temperature stay constant throughout the massage session.
Another important feature we'd highly recommend is bubbles and jets. They may be simple features, but they make foot massages so much better.
They increase the stimulation at acupuncture points (especially at the soles of the feet) for the optimal spa effect and the soothing bubbling sound offer a relaxing sensation as well.
If this is what you like, take note if they offer a powerful jet that produces many bubbles as there are some that produce only a few of bubbles that won’t make much difference.
Other aspects to look at include whether or not the model is compatible with foot care products i.e. does it have a compartment for you to put your bath salt/herbs/essential oil? Without one it could clog the machine.
Also, you may want one that is completely collapsible for storage if space is an issue for you?
4. Price and Durability
Last but not least, price and durability.
Now, you might find this strange, especially if you have read our other massage reviews where we often say 'getting the most expensive product does not necessarily mean you are getting the best', but in the case of foot spa massagers, it is however a situation where price and quality (or durability) are related.
We find that high-end models are much more durable than cheaper counterparts, mainly because they use better and thicker plastic components comparatively and are often multi-layered.
Also, pricier foot spa massagers offer much more features and programs and most of them have easy-to-use control panel as well as a digital display.
If these are not of significance to you, perhaps knowing that the more expensive models have a thermostat and at least one security features, such as multi-insulation protection and double overheating protection, might change your mind about getting a higher-end foot spa massager.
Having said that, by no means we are saying all cheap foot spas are bad. They still get the job done and if you look after them well, they too can last a very long time. You can still get models that heat up the water, for example, though it's likely that they do not have thermostat function.
7 Foot Spa Benefits You May Not Know Of
Our feet bear more burdens than any other body parts in our daily life. This is why they are often and easily associated with stiffness, soreness and spasms.
It could be from under pressure from wearing high-heel shoes all the time, or it could be from standing for long hours because of one's job requirement.
To make matters worse, the lack of regular exercise due to busy work and life intensify the pain and discomfort.
As our feet are connected with the rest of our body parts through the nerve system, it isn't just the feet but other areas of our body too, suffer from soreness and discomfort.
So foot care - it is not actually just for the foot per se. It is an indispensable element vital in maintaining our overall full body health. And among all that's available, foot massage (or foot spa) is one great option to incorporate into one's daily regime.
Here are 6 of the most prominent benefits often associated with foot spa massages:
1. Increases Circulation
Notice how after every foot spa session, you seem to feel better and lighter? This is because your blood circulation has been stimulated and increased.
Most foot bath massagers have rollers that are designed to provide stimulating massages to the sole, and if you don't already know, our sole has a lot of acupuncture points that are firmly related to different organs.
For example, points that connect to the brain, eyes, ears, lung, stomach, heart, and lower body glands.
Massaging the right spot either manually or automatically by shiatsu massage rollers can improve each organ's performance substantially i.e. the kidney being more energised, the liver for better filtration.
If your foot bath machine comes with infrared light, it's even better as the heat can be absorbed by the superficial tissues of the feet which then further enhance blood circulation to eliminate any swelling of the foot, reduce fatigue and promote body regeneration.
2. Relieves Fatigue and Discomfort
Continuing the effects of the above, when fatigue and discomfort are relieved, it leads to the reduction or elimination of headaches and flus.
You see, these ailments are often plagued with fatigue. When we suffer from these, our heads become congested. A warm foot spa helps open up the foot vessels and stimulate the nerve endings, thereby relieving any discomfort caused from a cold. Keeping your feet soaked in warm water can improve immunity as well.
People with foot and joint pain stemming from arthritis will find that foot spa helps relieve their discomfort.
Not just that, but pinched nerves, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, tendonitis and turf toe sufferers will also experience significant improvement to their conditions.
3. Eliminates Toxins
Our life is full of toxins, be it from the air we breathe or in the food we eat. They then accumulate in the kidneys, liver and fat cells in our body and to be honest, it's quite impossible to avoid them, given the day and age we live in.
But there are things we can do to eliminate them out from our body.
Using a foot spa regularly is one such way. It helps detoxify our body by removing toxins out from our kidney and liver.
A foot spa mixed with proper spa salt added, assists in the whole process twofolds.
This is why we always recommend getting a foot spa massager with a medicine box incorporated because contrary to belief, not all foot tubs are suitable to add in these spa additions as doing so may clog up the machine etc.
So yes, foot detoxification is one great benefit of foot spas. Not only does it help the body maintain a balanced pH, it also strengthens your immune system as well as remove the barrier to weight loss, in addition to help getting rid of acne and wrinkles.
4. Reduces Depression and Anxiety
This is a chain-like effect. We all agree that a foot spa is an indulgence, one that makes you feel calm and relaxed at the end of it.
But what's not apparent to many is its effects in decreasing or completely getting rid of tension, anger, confusion, hostility and anxiety - all negative emotions that make one prone to depression.
Incidentally, when you're physically and mentally well, your sleep quality improves.
This is because one's physical and mental condition is something that greatly influences one's sleep architecture, which is why foot spa session has found to be a great aid to those suffering from frequent insomnia.
To ensure maximum effect though, it is advisable that you go for a heated foot massager because the warm water helps increases skin temperature, which then elevate your body temperature thereby doubling the effect of any stress and tension relief.
5. Softens and Beautifies the Feet
This may be more of a superficial kind but nonetheless one benefit that no one will resist.
A simple 20 minute soak after every foot-fatiguing day will not only relieve any pain or discomfort but also help soften tough, dry skin as well as remove any dead skin, corns, calluses, peeling or scaling areas to overall beautify your feet.
You do need to get a foot bath massager that comes with at least a pumice stone to enjoy such benefit though.
Taking it one step further, you can even get one that comes with a handheld callus remover, an all-in-one package.
6. Stamps Out Stress
Very much like depression and anxiety, using a foot spa can also lower your stress level. As accumulated tension is relieved from your feet, so does your stress. You will feel much more calmed and relaxed at the end of a foot massage session - try it if you don't believe us. Submerging your feet in warm water truly does wonders.
And by now, you should know that the soles are covered in different nerve points. A simple foot spa session will stimulate these nerves to ease any headaches or migraines and when you have fewer headaches, naturally, you'll feel less stressful too.
So yes, indulging in a foot spa session is not just pampering for the feet. It is also an integration of the body, soul and mind for the overall achievement of a relaxed and refreshed self.
You can go to a spa or massage centre to enjoy the benefits of foot spa, or you can buy a foot spa massager to enjoy it anytime at the comfort of your own home. The former will be quite a tedious, not to mention costly, task in the long run so getting a foot spa machine seems to be the wise way to go.
Just imagine getting a hot foot bath after a long day's work before tucking into bed - ah, the bliss!