The foot baths are perfect to relieve pain, tired feet or just to relax without spending a lot of money in a beauty salon, but you still have to know how to choose your foot bath.
That’s why we wrote a shopping guide on the subject and we made a selection of the best foot bath with each time a test of each device. Indeed there is a lot to know about the subject and depending on the foot bath that you choose you will not have the same features, some allow for example the use of essential oils and soaps, of others no.
So we conducted a dozen foot bath tests to keep only the best devices, we also try to offer a selection for all budgets and all needs.
Note: Each time we put a link to Amazon for each footbath tested since it is the platform offering the best prices and it is possible to return the device without justification within 30 days if you are not satisfied.
Our shopping guide around the foot baths
The various footbaths available on the market all have different functionalities and principles of operation, so it is important to make this clear so that you can find the foot bath that best suits your needs.
When to use a foot bath?
There are different situations in which the foot bath is recommended, some people use it, for example, to get rid of infections in the feet by coupling the massage features with essential oils or soaps. But you can also use your footbath to relieve small pains in the joints or muscles. If you suffer from foot sweat problems the foot bath can also help you! Finally, many people use it to simply relax and invigorate tired feet after long days of work or after hiking. In all cases, the foot bath can treat and relax your feet.
The different types of massage
The footbaths usually offer several programs that each correspond to a different massage style, we will talk about each one of them here.
Vibration massage: As its name suggests, the footbath will generate vibrations that will relax the muscles of your feet and produce a feeling of well being.
Shiatsu massage: Also called reflexology this type of massage is done through rollers that will be responsible for pressing specific reflex points at the feet to relax the whole body. This type of massage was developed in Japan and derives its operating principle from acupuncture. Most foot baths use this principle but some have automatic systems while others need to be activated with foot movements.
Water jet/Bubble massage: A little like the rolls for shiatsu massage your footbath will produce small jets of water at certain places of your foot known for their relaxing virtues in order to get you a feeling of well-being.
A small point on reflexology
Reflexology has its origin in acupuncture and acts on the same principle, indeed our feet have ten reflex points each corresponding to a part of the body. By using pressure points in very specific places one can thus relieve the whole human body. So obviously a foot bath will not be as effective as an experienced practitioner but the foot bath builders still managed to re-use this principle in their devices. It is thanks to reflexology that the footbaths are also effective for relaxing the whole body.
The water temperature of your foot bath
Most models of foot bath propose the rise in temperature of the water, this makes it possible to raise the blocked blood in your feet towards the top of the body. Be careful however the cheapest models sometimes offer only a temperature maintenance, you will need to heat your water beforehand with a kettle and it can be tedious in the long run. We have each time specify in our product selection whether the device heat the water or simply keep it warm to facilitate your choice.
The evacuation of water
Another important point is the way in which your foot bath evacuates the water, indeed some models offer a spout that greatly facilitates the task while others must be held at arm’s length to empty them. Again this is not too embarrassing and it does not change the level of operation of the foot bath but by force, it quickly becomes awkward to have difficulty draining the water from the foot bath after each session.
Can I add soap or essential oils to my footbath?
Adding soap can be very effective if you’re trying to get rid of some foot infections and most footbaths add to the water and bubble system. You can also add essential oils to handle specific problems. Again most best heated foot spas allow this, just pour the essential oils into the water and voila. However, be careful to wash your footbath between each use because the addition of oil or soap can cause your water jet system to become clogged if you let it dry still clogged.
Can I do a dry massage with my footbath?
Depending on the model you choose, some offer a dry massage while others necessarily require water. Note however that dry massages will be much more basic since it is especially the hot water and the pressure of the jets of water/vibration which relieves your feet.
What about the sound level?
This is a particularly important point when choosing your foot bath, it is very difficult to relax and enjoy your foot massage if your device makes a deafening noise! Again we tested a lot of models and have each time put an indicator so you can get an idea of the noise produced by each foot bath. The entry-level footbaths are usually rather noisy but the more you go upmarket and the quieter they are.
Are foot baths useful for preparing pedicures?
Yes of course! Some models even use this as a sales pitch. Indeed, heating and relaxing the foot perfectly prepares your feet for a pedicure, some foot baths are also sold with all the necessary accessories for a pedicure after your bath.
Are footbaths designed for all foot sizes?
Wondering if you and your husband could enjoy the same footbath? The answer is yes. Indeed the builders have thought of everything and produce devices of standard size, that is to say, that all people footwear smaller than 50 can enjoy because of the unoccupied place in a foot bath is not a problem.
Many devices offer in combination water jets, bubbles and rollers an infrared function. This function is actually heating your foot with an infrared light that will give you a feeling of deep heat. This has the effect of relaxing your muscles, increase the oxygen content of your blood and ultimately give you a feeling of well being and suppress muscle pain.
What about magnetotherapy?
Some foot baths indeed offer the use of magnets to relieve your pain in the feet. We still do not know exactly how magnet therapy works at the moment but its effectiveness has long been observed. We know, for example, that magnetotherapy helps to stimulate the healing of fractures that are slow to recover. We also observed that it tends to stimulate blood circulation.
Some manufacturers offer some accessories at the time of purchase of your device, it is more like a gadget since these accessories are often intended to be used after your foot bath for a pedicure but it’s still taken! You will find for example pumice stones, scissors to cut the nails … It’s up to you to see if this type of “pack” interest you or not.
A good way to estimate the quality of a device is simply to look at the duration of its warranty. From the fact that we have been able to observe the weakest devices are usually under warranty for a year only while the most robust are insured up to two years after the purchase.