We put our feet through a lot. We jam them into ill-fitting shoes that cause blisters, walk in paper-thin sandals, and squish around wearing damp sneakers in the rain. Arguably, our feet are the most neglected parts of our bodies because of everything they endure with very little gratitude shown toward them. Sure, they may get the occasional pedicure during sandal season, but what about sustained self-care at home? Enter the foot spa.
Foot spas circulate warm water with vibration or jets to massage the feet, which softens hardened dead skin in preparation for removal. Some have additional features such as rolling massagers or heaters to keep the water warmer longer. Our top pick, the Ivation Foot Spa Massager (available at Amazon) has all of these things and makes for a comfortable, relaxing experience.
If you’re only looking to soak the feet in warm water, you can do that without a motorized foot bath. But having one makes the experience more pleasurable and spa-like—if you get the right one, of course.
These are the best foot spas we tested ranked, in order.
Ivation Foot Spa Massager
HoMedics Bubble Spa Elite Footbath with Heat Boost
Kendal All In One Foot Spa Bath
Lee Beauty Professional Large Foot Soaking Tub
MaxKare Foot Spa/Bath Massager
Prospera PL028 Pure Calf and Foot Spa
Belmint Foot Bath Massager
ArtNaturals Foot Spa Massager
DRESHah Foot Bath Tub
Hammacher Schlemmer The Hydrotherapy Heated Foot Bath
Revlon Invigorating Pedicure Foot Spa
Conair Foot Spa/Pedicure Spa
Sharper Image SMG1552PK Foot Spa, Pedicure Foot Soaking Tub
PB Teen Splendid Spa Foot Bath
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Call me a utilitarian, but I believe the best option is often the one that works for the greatest number of people. Given that feet (and their owners) are both sensitive and particular as to what feels good, the best foot spa must have options that suit the widest range of preferences. And that summarizes the Ivation Foot Spa Massager.
This spa is packed with the features we think are most important if you’re going to spend money on a foot bath: adjustable heating, massage rollers, water jets, and a timer. What’s more, the control panel lets you individually manage each function, rather than lumping certain functions in with each other—other baths had the massage rollers and bubbles in one function, for example.
The Ivation bath has ridged massage rollers located on each side of the bath and they are tightly intertwined, unlike other baths, where the massage rollers are bumpy or have nodules that stick out. This makes the Ivation’s massage feel less like you’re being jabbed and more like, well, a massage.
The bath allows you to control the heat with a panel that displays the degrees in Fahrenheit; others simply offer an on and off button or no heat at all. When I turned on my preferred temperature, the bath quickly warmed to it and maintained that heat for the duration of my testing. The maximum temperature setting is 122 degrees, but Dr. Michael Cunha, a podiatrist and the founder of Gotham Footcare in New York City, suggests keeping the bath between 92 and 100 degrees, especially if you have any ailments that make you sensitive to heat. “Anything above 100 degrees is considered unsafe for people with certain conditions, such as poor circulation, diabetes, and pregnancy,” he says.
This bath is easy to carry with or without water because of the smartly designed splash guard that transforms into a handle.
This bath instructs you to wipe the interior of the basin with water and a mild detergent after each use, so I opted for a sturdy paper towel soaked in water and dish soap. I then rinsed out the basin a few times to fully remove the soapy water and then dried the inside with another towel. This method is how I cleaned all the baths, as they all displayed similar instructions, but the Ivation was one of the easiest to clean because the textured bottom has enough space in between the bumps to swipe a paper towel across the bottom; other baths didn’t have this spacing so I glided over the bumps and shredded the paper towel in the process.
Once I narrowed down the list to my four top picks, I asked four coworkers to try them out and provide their feedback. They all liked it, with three of them giving it raves. One coworker noted this bath as the most comfortable, and said the massage rollers actually scrubbed the bottom of her feet for a smoother feel. To enhance the experience even more, the bath comes with a pumice stone, which you can rub along the heel, sole, and ball of the foot to soften calluses and remove dead skin.
Despite having more features than other baths on this list, the Ivation is easy to use and customizable for the user, so it’s only right to crown it Best Overall.
The HoMedics foot bath is unique among the options I tested because of its “seagrass” inserts. If you move your feet while inside the bath, the rubber inserts, which attach to the floor to avoid shifting or floating, are slightly tickling, a sensation my coworkers and I enjoyed. This bath was the most memorable to me and it's the one I'd purchase for myself.
For about two-thirds the price of the Ivation, this HoMedics foot spa has fewer features and they aren’t as customizable. A single button controls the heat booster and bubbles, which means you can’t adjust those functions independently, as you can with the Ivation. The HoMedics also lacks a digital thermostat. But while you’re unable to set the temperature, you can turn up the heat: On my tests, the bath cooled from 106 to 103 degrees before I turned on the heat, then rose to 107 degrees in about 13 minutes (a bit high for some people, per Cunha’s recommendation, but it felt nice to me). While the bath doesn’t list vibration as one of the features, there is a vibration along with the heat and bubbles when you press the button.
Be careful not to overfill this bath (or any of them for that matter) because when the jets churn, the water leaps out of it a bit. If you have larger feet, be especially wary because the water will rise quite a bit even if you fill below the maximum line.
Because the inserts are removable, this bath is extremely easy to clean. It has a handle so you can easily carry it to the sink, wash the inserts separately with soap and water, then graze over the whole interior with a soapy cloth.
If you're looking to spend less, the Conair is your best option. For less than a third of the price of our overall pick, the Conair hits the high notes of a good foot spa, but with less nuance. Like the Homedics, the Conair has one button for heat and vibration. This option lacks bubbles, massage rollers, or inserts, making it the few-frills alternative to the pricier options without being a bucket (which we also tested; more to come on those). The heat function didn’t actually increase the heat of the bath like the HoMedics, but it did slow down the cooling process: It lost 11 degrees over 25 minutes, compared to a plastic bucket, which lost 16 degrees in the same amount of time.
Of our picks, this is the easiest to clean because the bumps on the bottom surface are practically flat and provide no friction against a paper towel, and you don’t have to work around massage rollers or clean any inserts. The splash guard is removable so it can be taken out of the way and rinsed independently. The Conair has a massage attachment situated on the top center of the spa, designed to provide extra pressure on the foot when grazed over. Several others have similar accessories but we opted not to test these, instead focusing on the main features of the bath.
Hey there, I'm Jessica. I’m the lifestyle writer here at Reviewed. I tackle all things beauty and health, and foot spas happen to bridge the gap between the two. I spent years of my childhood tagging along to the nail salon with my mom, where she generously let me get my nails and toes done beside her. Those trips to the nail salon taught me that feeling clean and polished (pun intended) is how I feel my best, and that pampering yourself is a good thing. In more recent years, I received a foot spa (the Conair) to use at home. When I came to Reviewed, I thought about products that are specifically designed to pamper us, to bring us relief and joy in our everyday lives. I thought about my foot spa. I’m passionate about reviewing at-home spa-like products because I want you to treat yourself, too.
After scouring the internet for a variety of foot spas with different features and price points, I decided on 14 for our testing. The subjects ranged from a $16 bucket with zero bells and whistles to a $180 “spa-quality” bath with water jets, heat, motorized massage rollers, and red lights (that supposedly boost circulation).
As the heat of the water is paramount to the benefits of a foot soak, I filled each bath in the office sink and then plopped three heat sensors inside: one in the shallowest part of the bath, one in the deepest part, and one right underneath my big toe. These sensors gauged how the baths retained heat throughout the 30 minutes (or longer, in some cases) I was soaking my feet. If the bath had special features (heat, vibration, light, massage rollers), I slowly added in the settings, allowing each one a full 10 minutes to see if it affected the water temperature in the bath and to evaluate the baths subjectively.
Reviewed’s senior scientist, Julia MacDougall, scientifically nailed down how these baths function and wrote a list of questions for me to answer about the overall bath experience. Maybe the temperature sensors showed that the bath was losing heat, but could I feel the difference? Did my feet feel more or less soothed after the bath? How portable was the foot spa? Many of these questions are subjective, so I answered them to the best of my ability and then called for reinforcements.
When I finished my testing, we selected the top four foot spa choices and asked four Reviewed coworkers to test them, one bath a day, 15 minutes each, for four days straight. These testers came with their own preferences: Melissa has ticklish feet, Lee has colder feet due to reduced circulation from his diabetes, Kyle doesn’t like any massage rollers, and Betsey is down for all of it. They answered the same survey questions I did, based on their own experiences with the foot spas.
What You Should Know About Foot Spas
The short-term benefits: Foot spas not only feel pleasant and soften skin, they also promote circulation in the feet, which relaxes muscles, reduces strain, and reduces swelling. “Our veins become progressively more tired as the day goes on because of the accumulative effect gravity has on fluid retention in our lower extremities,” says Gotham Footcare's Cunha. When we heat up our feet, like in a foot spa, the veins dilate, which increases blood flow to deliver more oxygen, nutrients, and growth factors (vitamins or hormones that stimulate growth in living cells), and in turn soothe achy muscles and tendons.
The long-term benefits: The benefits of a foot spa may appear temporary—soak your feet and get instant relief. But as Cunha says: “The long-term benefit is the stress relief...if a foot spa helps you reduce your stress levels, then the benefit of a regular foot spa is worth it in the long term."
Other Foot Spas We Tested
Kendal Foot Massager
The Kendal Foot Massager is a solid option that is easy to use and has heat, bubbles, vibration, lights, and massage roller inserts. You can use the vibration and light together, heat and bubbles together, or all of them at once, but you cannot choose any one setting independently or in any other combination.
I appreciated the power behind the bubbles on this bath: Other baths, like the Sharper Image or PB Teen, had a bubble function that barely worked or that wasn’t useful except for ambiance. The bubbles in the Kendal actually felt like a soothing, massaging tool.
For a more intense massage, you can insert rollers into the bottom of the bath, which you can rub your soles across. However, I didn’t like using them because my the tops of feet stuck out of the water when atop the rollers.
The texture at the bottom of this bath was slightly pointier (not painful, don’t worry!) than others and caused my paper towel to shred while I was cleaning it. Other than that, the bath is easy to rinse, transport, and store.
This “foot spa” is a fancy bucket. As far as buckets go, though, it’s a fabulous one for soaking your feet. The collapsable silicone basin has foldable plastic legs and a plastic floor that allow for structure and support while you’re using the bath. When I first unpackaged it, I worried I would break it while popping it into shape, but it’s surprisingly easy to maneuver, fill, and transport.
The bottom of this bath feel soft and nice on the feet, plus the space is deep enough to soak up to the ankle bones. Surprisingly, the bath retained heat well, too, only dropping four degrees in 25 minutes, compared to the other bucket that lost 16 degrees in that time. The heat retention beats out other baths, as well, including ones with heat functions. If you’re strapped for storage space and just want to soak your feet or prep them for a DIY pedicure, this is a good option for you.
The MaxKare foot spa, like the Kendal, provided an average experience. I found it enjoyable, according to my notes, but not very memorable (hence having to look back at my notes). Like our Best Overall, it has a digital thermostat, but once I set the temperature to 103 degrees, it climbed up and then lost three degrees over the next 15 minutes without me touching the controls.
You can control the bubbles, vibration, and temperature separately—which is not the case with some others—but the massage rollers only roll manually. To my feet, the bubbles and vibrations were pleasant enough but not all that powerful.
The Prospera is the second most expensive on the list, next to its look-alike, the Carepeutic (which retails for about $60 more) .
The water jets kick in as soon as the bath is turned on and the heat, massage rollers, red light, and timer each have their own buttons on the control panel. The pros of this bath are the temperature control and relaxing water jets, the wheels for ease of transportation, and the drain pump that allows you to keep the bath upright while the majority of the water exits via a hole at the bottom of the foot bath and travels through a tube to drain. Some water gets trapped in the bath, though, requiring you to turn it upside down after.
The cons are that the massage rollers are uncomfortable (my four coworkers agree), the bath doesn’t drain well even after sitting upside down for a whole weekend, and it’s quite large and therefore not easy to store. The bath’s name “pure calf” is also misleading, as you can’t fit your whole calf in the water—at the maximum fill line, the water sat at my ankles.
Similar to the Prospera, the Belmint claims to be for the feet and calves, but the water level only reached my ankles. While this model’s heater was fine, issues arose in the massage rollers, which were squeaky and loud. Each side of the bath has three ridged rollers that were almost the length of my foot (I wear a size 8.5 women’s sneaker). These are tightly intertwined, much like the Ivation ones, but hurt my feet after consistent use. In order to not have these hurt or squeak, I had to lift my feet off of the rollers, which meant not being able to relax my muscles.
The ArtNaturals’ control panel has separate buttons for temperature, red light, and bubbles, but you have to manually roll the massage rollers with your feet.
The bubbles and vibration in this bath have minimal intensity, which I don’t mind because it makes for a lessy noisy experience (the friction of the bath vibrating against the floor or against my feet is sometimes noisy).
My personal preference is to have the massage rollers built in to the bath (as they are here) and roll automatically or to have the massage rollers be add-ons with the option to remove them.
Like the Ivation, the ArtNatural’s splash guard transformed into a handle to make transporting it easier. The textured bottom of this bath made it more difficult to clean.
The most basic option of the test was the DRESHah Foot Bath Tub. It’s a plastic bucket with a textured bottom and a lip on the side for easy drainage. It’s even simpler than the Lee Beauty Professional because it doesn’t collapse, fold, or do anything other than hold water. But, really, all you need to ready your skin and nails for a callous remover tool or a nail brush is warm water, so if you’re looking for a simple bucket to fill as part of pedicure prep, this is an option for you. However, I recommend the Lee Beauty over the DRESHah , despite it being double the price, because Lee is significantly easier to store and it retained heat much better (Lee lost only four degrees in 25 minutes, whereas the DRESHah lost 16 in that time).
I found this bath on Hammacher Schlemmer’s website (the company famous for its in-flight catalog of quirky luxury items) and thought it would be the crème de la crème of foot spas. This model looks very similar to the Prospera—the temperature controls, water jets, and red lights all worked the same—but they do have differences. The massage rollers are a different texture (read: worse) and there are three on each side instead of the one on each side in the Prospera. The texture and quantity of massage rollers was too intense and even ticklish for my feet. The Carepeutic also significantly more expensive, for no good reason that I can see. You guessed it: I don’t recommend spending the money on this bath.
This bath, sometimes branded as Dr. Scholl’s instead of Revlon, doesn’t have anything special about it. When I first put my feet into the still water, I noticed the textured bottom felt rougher than many others—a scratchy-in-a-good-way sensation. However, once I turned on the jets and my feet began to move around in response to the water flow, the texture started to irritate my skin. The bath also isn’t very deep; the water barely reached my ankle bones at the maximum fill line, yet there was still a little that splashed over the splash guard.
The Sharper Image lost points mostly because it just wasn’t very comfortable. The water was shallow and the bubbles felt like they blew in cool air. It wasn’t any easier to clean, transport, or store than the Conair, which is about $10 cheaper. I don’t have any strong feelings toward the bath and for that reason, wouldn’t recommend it.
I’m going to make a bold statement: This is the worst foot spa ever. Before I completely throw Pottery Barn under the bus, I should say that this model is sold on the PB Teen website, but once I received it, I saw Conair manufactured it. Don't worry, it’s a different model than our Best Budget Buy pick. The fact that it’s sold at PB Teen is reflected in the price, though ($50, at the time of publication).
Now, the reason I call it the worst ever: This is the only foot spa I decided not to complete testing for because, 20 minutes in, I began to feel unsafe. Many of the other foot spas on this list had a heating option, but this was the only one that made the bath’s floor physically feel hot to the touch.
That, along with a strong plastic-y odor, and the extremely loud, high-pitched humming noise were all too much for me. Our editor-in-chief, Dave Kender, came into the small office where I was testing these at work and I couldn’t hear him talking from three feet away over the humming. As if I needed another reason to not recommend, the bubbles would not come out of the air holes when my feet were over them, but I had my feet in the only area possible in the bath. There was not one redeemable quality to this bath.
Jessica writes about beauty, health, and sleep for Reviewed's lifestyle section. She enjoys singing, brunching, and obsessing over her Yorkshire Terrier.
Jessica holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Emerson College, and she's written for 7News, Boston.com, Citizine, and Boston Common Magazine.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.