Foot spas aren't something that appear in every home. But if you tend to suffer from sore, tired or aching feet at the end of the day, maybe there should be one in yours. The best foot spas go above and beyond what you could get from just filling a bowl with hot water: they provide bubbles, vibrations, rollers, acupressure points, infrared and magnetic therapy, and more.
Before you hit 'Buy', you should be aware that the bubbles and vibrations are not going to be anything near as powerful as you'd get in, say, one of the best hot tubs or using one of the best massagers. It's more about gently relaxing your feet than pummeling them into submission, and if you expect the latter, you'll be sorely (no pun intended) disappointed. However, if it's gentle relaxation for tired toes you're after, you're in the right place. Read on for our pick of the best foot spas around.
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How to choose the best foot spa for you
There are many factors to take into account when choosing a foot spa. Most importantly, of course, you'll want to know what features it offers. Different models may or may not include bubble jets, vibration, and the ability to heat up your water, or at least keep it at a consistent temperature. They may also offer magnetic therapy, infrared therapy and/or aromatherapy diffusers. Also, at the base of the unit, there may be base nodes or reflexology rollers for you to rub your soles on.
Beyond that, you'll be looking at settings. Can you switch individual features on and off, or just all of them at once? Are there any attachments, such as tools for doing a pedicure after your soak?
It's also important to think about how big the foot spa is. The bigger it is, the most space there'll be for your feet, but conversely, how difficult it will be to store. Finally, it's worth being aware of whether there's a manufacturer's warranty, because anecdotally, these machines don't always last a long time before breaking down.
With that in mind, here are our top picks for the best foot spas on the market today. We explain what each has to offer, their pros and cons, and small but important details such as what shoe sizes they fit.
The best foot spa to buy right now
Whatever you're looking for in a foot spa, you'll probably find it in the Beurer FB35. It offers not only vibration and bubble massages but also reflexology rollers, magnetic and infrared light therapies, and an aromatherapy diffuser, to which you can add essential oil-infused bath salts or crystals.
There's a handle for easy transportation and storage, a splash guard that prevents spillages, and non-slip rubber feet to keep the spa in place. Plus there are even three interchangeable accessories for giving yourself a pedicure following your soak: a brush for circulation, a massage attachment, and a corn and callus remover. And it all comes with a three-year guarantee.
Note that, as with the other models on our list, the reflexology foot rollers don't move automatically: you roll them back and forth with your feet to massage them. Nor does the foot spa doesn't heat up the water itself: you have to add warm water, and the water heater will maintain the temperature.
One more thing to be aware of is that there are just two function buttons. One turns the vibration massage on and off. The other turns the bubbles, infra red light and water temperature control on and off; but you can't operate each of these separately.
The cheapest foot spa on our list, this offers a wide range of functions. You can use the reflexology foot rollers to massage key pressure points in your feet, and gentle vibrations and bubble jets to soothe your muscles. You can also mix and match these different approaches, with settings that include "massage only", "heat only", "heat and massage", and "heat and bubbles". You can switch between these settings at will while you soak, to find the right balance for you. There are also infrared LEDs, and a special diffuser for adding aromatherapy essential oils.
There's a handle carry handle, it's easy to set up, and while it's heavy to carry, that does make it nice and sturdy. We'll be honest, the jets and the vibrations aren't particularly powerful, and might be too gentle for some. Plus, like most of the models on this list, it doesn't heat up the water itself. But besides that, for the affordable price, we'd say this foot spa offers good value for money.
There's one major selling point of the HoMedics Foldaway Footspa. As the name suggests it's collapsible, halving the height to just over 9cm and making it easy to stow away under a chair or bed, or in a cupboard. On the floor of the spa are acu-nodes, which are basically small bumps for you to massage your soles on; they don't roll, but they do vibrate when you have the vibration massage function on.
It doesn't have bubble jets, though, or the infrared or magnetic therapy functions offered in similarly priced models. Nor does it heat up the water itself. So on the whole, this is probably only worth investing in if storage is your primary concern.
There's one thing that makes the Revlon Ultimate Indulgence Foot Spa stand out among foot spas: it actually heats up the water. With all the other devices on this list, you have to provide the hot water yourself, and they merely maintain the temperature. With this model, however, you only have to fill it with lukewarm water, choose one of three temperature settings, and it will heat it. There's a red light to let you know when it's ready. Be warned, though, it does get pretty hot.
Inside the basin there are three acunode pads (two soft, one hard) to rub your feet on if you wish, on a removable rubber mat. There's also a bubble function although, as is typical with home foot spas, these are more tickling than massaging. The three-year warranty is impressive, it's collapsible to an 11cm height, and it comes with an essential oils therapy case, too.
One of the main reasons people buy foot spas is to relax. But having to empty the water and clean them out afterwards can be a bit of a hassle, and certainly not relaxing in itself.
You don't get that problem, however, with the InvoSpa Shiatsu Foot Massager, because it's basically a dry foot spa. Rather than warm water and bubbles, it treats your feet with a combination of infrared therapy, air compression, and shiatsu kneading from two independent foot massagers.
How this works in practice is that you stick your feet in the device, switch it on and it gives you a 15 minute massage with a countdown timer. There's a choice of three massage modes: deep kneading with rolling and pressing; reverse deep kneading with rolling and pressing; and air compression alone.
We like the generous two-metre chord to plug it in with, and the fact that the foot cover is easily removable via a zipper, and machine washable. The only real concern is that the manufacturer does not seem to offer a separate warranty or guarantee, beyond what is covered by your normal statutory rights.