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Soothe achy soles with these top-rated devices. Foot Spa
When it comes to your skincare routine, chances are that your feet get the short end of the self-care stick. We get it, your face comes first. But that doesn't mean that tired, dry and achy feet don't deserve some TLC.
Enter the foot spa. If you are unfamiliar, "a foot spa is an at-home foot care device that holds water and utilizes many mechanisms like temperature adjustments, massage options and more," explains Marcela Correa, owner and medical nail technician at MediPedi NYC Inc. "They are typically used to soak and soothe feet, relieve pain or discomfort in toenails and soles of the feet and to prep feet for a deep cleansing or treatment."
While you may see the terms "foot spa" and "foot massagers" used interchangeably, they are actually not the same type of machine. "Foot spas can hold water and are used to soak feet, while massagers typically do just what the name says," shares Correa, "although some foot spas do include a massage setting." Keep reading for our top picks for the best foot spas, including a combo of expert picks and top-rated devices from reputable sources.
After indulging in a little DIY self-care with one of our foot spa picks below, slather on one of our top foot creams and body lotions on legs to hydrate and nourish skin and opt for a top-rated callus remover to tackle extra-dry spots.
Consider this the Rolls Royce of foot spas: it has six areas of 3D Tai Chi massage balls to massage the acupuncture points on feet to relieve foot pressure and improve blood circulation. It also has three different modes of massage frequency: continuous, intermittent or intelligent. Correa likes these massage setting options along with "the adjustable heat temperatures ranging up to 118 degrees," but notes that "it is extremely important to utilize safety measures and know how to use it properly."
The spa comes with a magnetic remote control and a built-in timer that ranges from 10 to 60 minutes. We love that it also has two displays showing the set temperature as well as the current water temperature. Plus, it can be folded up for easy storage.
Correa loves that this foot spa from Conair is "small so it's easy to store and does not have too many holes or crevices that can harbor bacteria." Plus, "it's very affordable and gets the job done," she says.
While it is a more basic option with fewer bells and whistles than others, it does include vibration for a gentle massage, a "toe touch control" button to activate the massage — easy to tap on and off — and has an extra deep basin to really immerse feet in the spa and keep the water warm without an actual heat setting.
This multi-tasking foot bath from Ivation has all of the options and features you could ever want or need for a full foot spa treatment. In addition to adjustable heat (up to 122 degrees), it includes motorized massage rollers, a vibration setting, an easy-to-use LED display to customize your experience and additional acupressure pedicure attachments. Amazon reviewers love that "it heats up to your desired temperature quickly," "has a deep tub" and that "the massage rollers work great and feel good."
The spa also includes water jets that create oxygenating bubbles to help soothe and calm sore feet. While many like this feature, Correa warns the bubble mechanism can make a foot spa hard to clean and easier to harbor bacteria.
The name says it all: Zircon's foot spa is a 5-in-1 machine that works wonders on sore feet. The 14 included massage rollers have adjustable intensity levels allowing you to customize your experience, along with the option of adding the vibration setting and jacuzzi-like bubbles. While many love the massage rollers — and you have the option to remove them completely if desired — a few users noted their intensity and found them to be too strong.
Reviewers love that it heats up instantly and maintains the temperature while in use. It also has an overheat protection function, preventing any potential issues or burns. The included foot soak salts (a blend of eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, camphor oil and Epsom salt) are an added bonus, with soothing, therapeutic benefits.
While most foot spas — even the compact ones — take up a good deal of space, this one from HoMedics folds flat and is super easy to store in between uses. Correa is a fan of that key feature, as well as "its vibrational settings for added relaxation." Her only downside for this one: no heat.
In terms of the "spa-like experience," it contains acu-nodes (little bumps on the bottom of the spa) that are designed to work with the vibration massage to stimulate the acupressure points on your feet. While it doesn't have a heat setting, it does have a "keep warm" feature to keep the water at a desirable temperature, as long as you start out with warm H2O.
Even just from first glance, it's pretty clear that this foot spa from Best Choice Products is a top massage machine. It has automatic motorized roller-massagers that focus on acupoint pressure and two sets of shiatsu rollers to target different points of the feet. One Walmart reviewer shares that the "rollers are just perfect — not hard, not soft."
Additional features include adjustable heat settings, a pumice stone to help soften soles, medicine box to add bath salts and a waterfall fountain shower to enhance the massage. Plus, it has red light therapy that promotes healing. "I love this — it finds every spot on your hurting feet and toes and can easily put you to sleep," another user says.
The Good Housekeeping Institute's Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab runs extensive testing across every beauty category, from skincare products to devices, like epilators, dermaplaning tools and facial cleansing brushes. While we haven't officially tested foot spas, we rounded up the best picks out there from our experts and extensive research and online reviews.
While there are a lot of options for foot spas out in the market, Correa noted that they are not all created equal. She highlighted a few features to look for when picking one to purchase:
✔️ Ease of cleaning. "While there are many soothing and spa-like features offered, detachable pumice stones, massagers, 'bubble' holes or other small compartments can be difficult to clean and potentially harbor bacteria and mold," she says. "To avoid possible contamination, always clean and dry your foot spa very well.
✔️ Extra settings. Options like adjustable heat and temperature controls allow you to customize your experience.
✔️ Size. Big and bulky is not ideal no matter how much living space you have. Look for an option that is foldable, collapsible or tucks away neatly to optimize storage.
It really depends on your needs and lifestyle but foot spas can be very beneficial for many people. "They are especially helpful for those that suffer from things like ingrown nails, plantar fasciitis or general pain on their feet due to skin build because of an overactive lifestyle," Correa says.
Foot spas can be super beneficial for feet, "especially when using in conjunction with other foot tools and products, like epsom salt, which can help reduce inflammation and ease pain from ingrown toenails or hardened skin around the toes," Correa says. "It can help soften up hardened skin for easier exfoliation and make it easier to cut thick nails." She suggests using them in conjunction with a metal file to exfoliate, a foot cream to soften skin and heel protectors to treat dry and cracked heels. "Those with added settings like heat also help with pain reduction and blood circulation," she adds.
"Have a routine, of course!" Correa says. She shares her step-by-step process to make the most of your foot spa:
"The most important step is to always follow your soak with a moisturizing cream and heel protectors," Correa says. "While it may feel soothing and relaxing, hot water strips all of the moisture and oils out of your skin and nails, leaving them super dry."
Correa suggests using a foot spa once a month for those with "healthy" feet or that aren't experiencing any specific foot ailments. "If you are dealing with nail fungus or athletes foot, I would suggest using it twice a month (max) to remove the buildup of dry skin and make thicker nails affected by fungus easier to cut and manage," she says. But Correa adds that "for those with nail fungus, excess water exposure on the nails should be avoided, so be mindful of usage."
Spa Foot Massager Dori Price has over 15 years of experience researching and writing skincare stories, combining her knowledge with the expertise of top industry professionals including dermatologists, aestheticians and others. She is an expert in all face and body skincare product and device categories, from cleansers to toners, serums, moisturizers, sunscreens, exfoliators, masks, professional treatments and more.