Foot massagers may not be new, but they've taken on an increased significance as many folks have moved to hybrid working-and-learning lifestyles. If you're going to set up a home gym — even if it's just a few free weights and running shoes — it's smart to invest in gear to help you cool down. We've had the opportunity to put HoMedics' Shiatsu Footbath with Heat Boost through its paces, and it's generally been a positive experience.
HoMedics made its foot massager approachable for newbies by reducing its setup process three steps: Fill the basin with water up to the line that says "MAX," plug the the foot massager into a grounded outlet, tap the power button. We re-read the instructions a couple of times to make sure we weren't missing anything, but you should be able to prepare HoMedics' foot massager in a couple of minutes.
This foot massager has three settings: heat, bubbles, and shiatsu, all of which can be turned on and off by tapping the pictures on its touch-sensitive control surface. In our experience, the pictures were large and distinct enough that we never tapped the wrong one by accident. During our tests, we tried the bubble and shiatsu features on their own, each of those settings with the heater enabled (it can't be toggled on and off on its own), and all three modes together.
Overall, we found the shiatsu feature to be the most effective. Turning this setting on causes a pair of circular, textured panels to begin spinning simultaneously. HoMedics says these movements are designed to simulate a two-handed massage, and while we wouldn't necessarily go that far, it did feel good to rest our feet on them after a long day walking around.
HoMedics is explicit about not putting too much pressure on the massager — it states several times that you should only use it while sitting, never standing — and we understand why. While moving our feet, we heard the massager's motors begin to strain because of the resistance. It was still possible to use the massagers on a couple of parts of our feet, but this setting seems purpose-built for a foot's arch.
The heat setting made using this foot massager pleasant regardless of which additional mode it was paired with, and we felt the difference in water temperature in under 30 seconds. Our recommendation is to start with hot water and use the heat setting to maintain a comfortable water temperature. In our experience, the bubble setting wasn't very effective at all, providing pleasing aesthetics rather than noticeable pain relief. We noticed some difference, but the bubbles weren't powerful enough in our tests to make a big difference. Once we were done with our tests, we cleaned the foot massager by pouring water out of the spout on its rim, and wiping it down with paper towels after letting it air dry.
Ultimately, the shiatsu and heat settings were so effective that we plan on using HoMedics' Footbath with Heat Boost on a weekly basis. That's due in large part to how quickly you can set up and clean up the foot massager. If you're looking for an easy way to relieve foot pain after a day on your feet, it's a solid solution.
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