The feet and ankles are major targets for arthritis. As we age, arthritis flareups become more severe and active. This painful process can be debilitating for some. Since arthritis isn’t something that goes away, pain management is critical for living a mostly normal life. A lot of people are starting to use foot baths with massagers to manage their pain, especially at night. In this article, I share our top 5 picks for the best foot spa for arthritis.
We put our expertise to work to create this helpful guide, and we’re confident that you’ll find value in it. The key to choosing the best foot spa massager for arthritis is to find the perfect balance between power and comfort. For example, one drawback to foot baths with powerful shiatsu massagers is they may cause arthritis sufferers more pain. For this reason, we did not include a shiatsu machine in this guide despite our love for them.
Reviews of the Best Foot Spas for Arthritic Feet & Ankles
As promised, we share our top 5 picks below along with reviews of each model. When we put together our lists of pros & cons, we investigated owner reviews to see what current arthritis sufferers are saying. All five machines received good marks from people with arthritic feet.
Of all the spas we reviewed, the Ivation model received the highest marks for soothing arthritis pain. The main features are massaging bubbles, motorized rollers with the popular corn texture, and heat therapy. We noticed that the description mentions a vibration function, yet the machine does not offer any vibration settings.
The convenient top control panel allows you to control the temperature, the motorized massage rollers, and bubble settings. There’s also a timer that automatically turns the machine off with up to 60-minute sessions. The basin itself is deeper than a cheap shallow foot spa, which helps to get the ankles involved. If you suffer from arthritis in your feet and ankles, this unit is a good choice along with the following two models in the guide.
What we like about this spa for arthritis sufferers are the smaller motorized massager surface area and fewer nodes on the base. This makes for a more comfortable environment that’s not too intense. Lastly, we think you’ll appreciate the consistently warm water temps this unit offers, plus there’s the option to use it as a normal basin for ice baths without using the motorized features.
- A large, sturdy top handle for easier moving
- 4 included massage and pedicure attachments
- Approved by seniors and the elderly with arthritis
- An excellent basin for soothing Epsom salt soaks
- Easy to clean
- A good choice for essential oil soaks
- Recommended by nurses who work on their feet 12+ hours a day
- Quiet operation
- No external drain
- No transportation wheels
- Not the best choice for people with neuropathy (check our guide to choosing the best foot spa for neuropathy for better options)
2. MaxKare Foot Spa Massager with Heat
This unit by MaxKare is our top pick, though, it does have fewer positive reports written by arthritis sufferers than the Ivation model above. We like this model more since the rollers are non-motorized, the base is flat (no nodes), and there’s a vibration mode. The top control panel with an LED display features a timer, temperature control, and control over the bubble & vibration settings.
If you or your loved one is suffering from arthritis, you may find that the smaller rollers in this machine are perfect, and compared to other spas, there are more rollers to cover the entire foot. Additionally, there’s the option to remove the rollers when you want the base to be mostly flat yet still feel the therapeutic effects of heat & vibration massage therapy.
Several features this unit is lacking are a top carry handle, external drain, and transportation wheels. Without these features, the full tub may be difficult to move for seniors and those with mobility issues. At the time of this writing, this model is the cheapest of the four models in this guide with massage and heat settings.
- The flat bottom is more comfortable than most spas that feature nodes
- The best-rated foot spa in this guide
- It may help to alleviate arthritic foot pain
- Maintains steady warm water temps
- Quiet enough to use while watching TV or reading
- The most comfortable model in this guide
- Good vibration strength
- Good value for the money
- No external drain, transportation wheels, or top handle
- Not the best choice for people with large feet
- You might prefer motorized massage rollers
3. Kendal FB09 All-in-One Large Safest Foot Spa Massager
If you prefer a spa with a textured base rather than a smooth base, this unit by Kendal is a great choice. We really like the deep foot spas Kendal manufacturers, and the FB09 model is the company’s mid-size model. One feature we think you’ll like is the grooved lip at the back of the unit. One common complaint about deep foot spas is about the lip digging into the calves. The shape of the FB09 is more natural and will allow you to lean back a little further without discomfort.
A couple of convenience features we like are the transportation wheels and external drain that eliminates the need to lift the full basin. The main therapy features are high-frequency vibration massage, heat, bubble massage, and removable manual massage rollers. The textured base features small nodes that you may or may not like.
One feature that’s missing is a top carry handle, and we found this strange since Kendal does feature a nice big handle on its larger spa model. Finally, this unit is the tallest of the five models in this guide with a 12″ overall height. This is a good height for people who want to soak their feet and ankles.
- The drain hose is nice to have and works properly
- Roomy enough to fit large feet up to men’s size 14
- Heavy-duty materials
- The bubbles provide a soothing effect
- Quiet operation
- The vibration setting gets the job done
- The wheels lock
- No LED display
- No top handle
- The bubble and heat settings can’t be used separately (must be used at the same time)
4. MaxKare 3-in-1 Foot Spa Massager with Heat Bubbles
This here is the second and final MaxKare foot spa in our guide. Compared to the first model, this model features several different features that you may like more. The key difference lies in the base. The first model featured a flat base with more foot rollers. This model features a textured base with fewer rollers. According to our research, there are more positive reports written by arthritis sufferers for this model than the first.
The main functions of this massager are vibration, bubbles, heat, and manual massage rollers. The four rollers are removable in case you prefer to use the machine without them. One thing we think you’ll like is the shallower nodes. There’s a greater chance that you’ll like the textured base of this massager compared to models with pointier nodes.
The LED control panel allows for precise temperature control and control over the bubble & vibration settings. One missing feature we noticed is a timer, which we thought was a little strange since the unit does have a control panel.
- A good shallow foot spa for Epsom salt & essential oil soaks
- Heats up cold water
- The foot rollers are just right, not too intense
- Sturdy materials
- Soothing vibration strength
- Quiet enough to use while watching TV
- Easier to clean and manage than deeper spas
- No handle, wheels, or external drain
- You might not like the shape of the rollers
- It may be hard to keep your feet flat with the rollers removed
5. HoMedics FB-55 Bubble Mate Foot Spa
If you don’t like the idea of massage rollers and want a basic model, the FB-55 unit is one of our top-rated cheap foot spas. One thing we think you’ll like about this unit is the toe-touch control that eliminates the need to bend over to turn the machine on/off. Keep in mind, this is not a true massager. Rather, it’s a basic foot spa that maintains warm water temps and provides a soothing bubble massage.
The base of the unit features nodes that provide minimal massage compared to the models above. Another consideration is the height of this model. At 6.8″ tall, this is the shallowest unit in this guide. It does feature a splash guard, though, you may want to use it in places that aren’t prone to water damage to be on the safe side.
One advantage of this type of spa is the bubble massage setting is great for circulating heat and Epsom salt for soaks. There’s no need to mix the water for even salt distribution or to dissolve it faster since the bubbles do the work for you. Lastly, there’s no carry handle or external drain, but considering this unit is smaller than the four models above, it’s easier to manage without those features.
- The most affordable model in our guide
- Maintains warm water temps for a good tea tree oil and/or Epsom salt soak
- A conveniently-located pumice stone for smoothing calluses and dead skin removal
- Sturdy materials
- Fits men’s size 11 with room to spare
- The bubbles help to soothe sore feet
- Strong bubbles (just don’t expect real jacuzzi quality)
- No massage rollers or vibration massage settings
- The shallowest model in our Top 5
- Does not heat water, only helps to maintain a warm temperature
Arthritis sufferers are certainly finding pain relief with every spa featured in this guide. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all best foot spa for arthritis. Since there are various types of arthritis and everyone has his or her own preferences, there will always be people who love one model while others experience discomfort.
Your best bet is to consider each review above before you buy your spa, especially the pros & cons. There, you’ll find common complaints and potential pros that make a particular model better for you.
Also, it’s best to steer clear of spas with intense shiatsu rollers and pointy acupressure nodes to avoid discomfort during your soak. Most arthritis sufferers find relief with the help of Epsom salt and essential oils used together with the baths above.