Acupressure mats are designed to give the same result as an acupressure massage. Acupressure is a Traditional Chinese Medicine that uses pressure to release blocked energy that’s causing pain. (1)
Using these mats reminds me a bit of acupuncture. By no means is there any puncturing with a needle involved but the spikes on these mats are evil. They’re pointed and sharp. If you try to lay on them without a shirt, your back will certainly come off red after a session. My significant other joked that it reminds her of an iron maiden – that mythical torture device that is studded with metal spikes.
The magical thing is that once you lay down on the pressure points and get over the initial pain, this pain actually recedes and brings on its heels a sensation of warmth. Our bodies react differently to stimuli but in my case, the pain in my neck and shoulders had a marked decrease. Many other people who tried these mats talk about having the same experience. Thus, if you have been suffering from chronic pain or simply want to try acupressure for relaxation, this is an affordable alternative you can try.
Watch this video to get an informed look at acupressure mats.
- The Best Acupressure Mat For Your Needs
- Do You Need an Acupressure Mat?
- How Do Acupressure Mats Work?
- Benefits of Using Acupressure Mats
- How to Use Acupressure Mat
- Who Should Avoid Using an Acupressure Mat
- Finding the Best Acupressure Mat for You
- Our Final Picks
The Best Acupressure Mat For Your Needs
Best Overall: ProsourceFit Acupressure Mat
The ProsourceFit mat provides you with full support for your entire back thanks to its large size. It includes a pillow that further helps to relieve tightness and stress in the neck.
Both the mat and pillow are made of plant-based eco-foam that enables you to use the mat on any surface. They’re then covered with pure cotton for even more comfort. The mat contains 6,210 plastic spikes, and the pillow consists of 1,782 plastic spikes.
The mat is very versatile and can be used in different settings, such as in a reclined chair or rolled up. Additionally, the pillow can be placed on the ground to use under your feet.
You can choose between seven vibrant colors, including orange, pink, blue, purple, green, black, and white.
- Comes with a small manual that shows various position ideas
- Nearly 8,000 spikes in total
- Plant-based foam
- Lots of color options
- Spikes are quite painful at first
- PAIN REDUCTION – Naturally reduce muscle tension, back pain, and headaches by simply laying on the mat daily for 10-30 minutes....
- FULL SUPPORT – The cushioned foam mat is large enough to fit your full back, and unlike many mats that only cover your back, this set...
- RELAXATION & STRESS RELIEF – Lay back and relax onto this “bed of needles” to massage pressure points that help release tight muscles...
Last update on 2020-08-08 at 13:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / More info
Best For Relaxation: Nayoya Mat and Pillow Set
The Nayoya mat and pillow is designed to help promote relaxation—whether it’s after a hardcore workout or right before bed, it will effectively help your muscles to relax.
The mat itself features 6,210 spikes, and the pillow features 1,782 spikes. It targets the neck and back pressure points for pain relief from conditions such as sciatica, knots, and even headaches.
You can remove the cotton cover when washing is needed, but avoid washing the foam filling.
Nayoya recommends that beginners start on the bed or the couch for only 10 to 15 minutes at a time. For headache relief, try standing on the mat—do this in intervals if you are new to acupressure mats.
- Can help improve sleep
- Comes with a carry box
- Includes a 30 day return policy
- A few find the foam of the pillow too hard
- IMMEDIATE back and neck pain relief in the comfort of your home in as little as 20 minutes per day
- ELIMINATES the need for expensive treatments as well as therapist, masseuse and chiropractor visits
- EFFECTIVELY induces a state of complete relaxation while reducing aches, pain, stress and tension
Last update on 2020-08-08 at 13:41 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / More info
Best With Washable Cover: Sivan Acupressure Mat
This Swedish acupressure mat and pillow contains thousands of non-toxic plastic spikes that help ease tension. The mat measures a little under 16 inches in length and is just shy of 13 inches in width—enough to cover your entire back.
No matter where you go, you can easily bring this mat along. It rolls up conveniently to easily fit in a bag. You can also roll the mat up to target specific areas of the body or use the pillow under your feet instead.
The mat and pillow covers are fully removable and can be hand-washed when needed. Be warned though. The foam is easier to remove than to put back into the cover.
- Removable covers
- Non-toxic plastic spikes
- People with sensitive skin or “bony” backs have issues getting used to the spikes
- ACUPRESSURE MASSAGE MAT AND NECK PILLOW (GREEN) — Provides thousands of stimulation points, for immediate back pain relief it also...
- GREAT FOR HEALING —The mat and pillow is a Swedish acupressure mat, inspired by ancient Indian healing tradition
- HARMLESS — Believed to have been around for thousands of years, today it is "re-invented" in a modern form, with thousands of non-toxic...
Last update on 2020-08-08 at 14:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / More info
Best High-End Mat: Ajna Acupressure Mat
If you’re looking for a luxurious acupressure mat, the Ajna has all the bells and whistles. It features over 7,000 ergonomically designed spikes that activate your body’s healing response.
The spikes are placed in lotus flower designs that some believe to relieve stress and tension in the body. The design and color all combine to make it a very aesthetic piece unlike other mats on this list that tend to have a very utilitarian look.
The mat is handcrafted using pure cotton and filled with plant-based foam. Additionally, the spikes are made of medical-grade HIPS plastic, and the included pillow is filled with cotton.
It includes a convenient carry bag for you to bring the mat anywhere you go. The mat measures 17 by 13.3 by 6.3 inches.
- Lotus spike design
- Beautiful aesthetics
- Carry bag included
- Over 7,000 spikes
- Depending on your weight and use, the pillow may flatten over a short period of time
- ✔NATURAL HEALING FROM THE INSIDE, OUT: Imagine a healing tool that could naturally and effectively let you calm an overactive stress...
- ✔REDUCE STRESS, A MOMENT OF CALM IN A HECTIC WORLD: Many of us sleep poorly due to racing thoughts and an overactive mind! Simply lie on...
- ✔SAY GOODBYE TO BACK PAIN AND MUSCLE TENSION: The Eco Lite set unlocks you body’s natural potential to heal and thrive by reducing...
Last update on 2020-08-08 at 19:43 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / More info
Best Large Acupressure Mat: DoSensePro
If you need a mat to cover your entire back and more, this is an excellent option. It measures 28 inches long and 16.5 inches wide, providing you with ample coverage.
This mat was intended to help you relax, whether you’re dealing with insomnia or tense muscles after a workout. DoSensePro recommends that you use it after working out and stretching as a cool-down phase.
The spikes are made of non-toxic ABS plastic, and the cover is made of pure cotton. It’s filled with soft foam that acts as padding; however, you might want to start out on the bed or couch.
You get an included carry bag as well as a reusable hot and cold gel pack.
- Large size
- Soft padding
- Included bag and gel pack
- Spikes are sharp, so you have to be careful when getting up or lying down
- LONGER ACUPRESSURE MAT: DoSensePro mat is designed longer to be also suitable for use by tall people. Thousands of spikes are precisely...
- HOT/COLD GEL PACK: We added this gift for you to increase the effect of the treatment. This temperature related therapy will help you cure...
- RELAX AFTER YOGA OR YOUR WORKOUT: When you’re heading to the gym, grab this pressure point mat and pillow set stored in the handy fabric...
Last update on 2020-08-08 at 19:43 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / More info
Best Value for Money: Vive Acupressure Mat
This mat and pillow set from Vive feature 7,452 spikes in total, with 210 discs on the mat and 66 discs on the pillow.
The mat is filled with soft foam that conforms to suit the contours of your body for a little extra support. It measures 26 inches in length, giving you ample space to fit your entire back.
Both covers are made of pure cotton and can be removed when cleaning is needed. The mat also features two integrated hoops that enable you to hang it in storage.
You can use the half-dome pillow under the neck, lower back, or under your feet for more targeted pressure. You can target your jawline by lying on your side on the pillow.
- Large size
- Soft foam that adds support
- Easy maintenance
- Easy storage
- Some buyers purchase this mat thinking it’s as big as a yoga mat but it’s not; pls refer to the size detail
- NATURALLY RELIEVE TENSION AND STRESS: Releasing muscle tension, the massage mat and pillow are lined with acupressure discs and filled with...
- AT HOME ACUPRESSURE THERAPY: Featuring a total of 7,452 acupressure points, each disc is adorned with 27 pinpoint spikes for deep tissue...
- CONTOURING FOAM INTERIOR: The massage pillow and mat are filled with a soft foam that contours to the body for optimal support. Generously...
Last update on 2020-08-08 at 19:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / More info
Most Spikes: HemingWeigh Complete
This acupressure mat and pillow feature nearly 9,000 spikes in total—it helps to distribute your weight excellently for added support. As you lie down, the mat will gently press into your skin to help release your happy hormones, also known as endorphins.
HemingWeigh recommends that you either lie down or simply step on the mat with even feet for pain relief. You can also place it on a chair for more targeted treatment.
The mat measures 29 by 17 inches, so it provides you with comfortable coverage and better weight distribution.
It includes a convenient carry bag as well as a water bottle to help you stay hydrated.
- Nearly 9,000 spikes
- Distributes your weight evenly
- Large dimensions
- Includes a bag and water bottle
- A handful of users think the pillow too big
- ROLL OUT THE REMEDY - HemingWeigh Acupressure mat is the non invasive alternative to acupuncture & reflexology. HemingWeigh acupressure mats...
- HAPPINESS IN THE STATE OF MAT - Acupressure points on the HemingWeigh Acupressure Mat and pillow stimulate the production of endorphins,...
- STRONG & DURABLE FOR LONG TERM USE - HemingWeigh Acupressure wellness Mat measures 29 x 17 x 1 inches, large enough to cover the length of...
Last update on 2020-08-08 at 17:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / More info
Do You Need an Acupressure Mat?
Acupressure mats are intended for people who are struggling with pain in different ways. People with sciatica, headaches, migraines, back, shoulder, and neck pain can benefit from an acupressure mat.
Another reason to get a mat is if you’re having trouble sleeping. The pressure from the mat can help to ease any tension you might have built up inside your muscles and joints. It can help you to fall asleep quicker as well as provide a better sleep throughout the night.
How Do Acupressure Mats Work?
Acupressure mats are equipped with thousands of points or pins. As you lay on the mat or apply a specific body part to the mat, it applies pressure. It works by stimulating points along the meridians of the body that help to release different hormones to make you feel good.
People who use acupressure mats believe they work in one of two ways:
- Stimulation: Acupressure massage done by a professional can target specific trouble areas on the body. However, a mat isn’t a professional masseuse, but because there are so many points, they will stimulate certain areas when the right pressure is applied.
- Increased blood flow: When the different spikes dig slightly into your skin, the pressure increases blood flow to the area. It will take a few minutes, but you should soon feel the treated body part getting warmer. As the body part warms up, your muscles begin to relax. This will help to ease or alleviate pain in the area.
Benefits of Using Acupressure Mats
Although acupressure mats haven’t been studied enough to know their exact benefits, they can provide the same results as acupressure massage.
Here are some of the benefits acupressure mat users have reported finding relief for:
- Neck pain
- Stiff or tight muscles in the back
- Sciatica pain in legs and back
How to Use Acupressure Mat
Most people find acupressure mats uncomfortable at first due to the many points digging into the skin. However, with regular use, you’ll start to get used to the feeling.
We recommend that you try to use it daily for at least 10 to 20 minutes per session. To make the experience more comfortable, breathe as normal, and try to relax your body as much as possible.
Here’s how to use an acupressure mat:
- Find a suitable surface to place the mat on. If you’re new to acupressure mats, start on the sofa or bed—this will cushion the mat slightly, making it more comfortable. More experienced users will usually use it on the floor. There’s nothing wrong with this technique, and you certainly don’t have to be experienced to use it on the floor.
- Try to sit down on the mat at first, or you can even place it on a chair so that both your butt and lower back touch the mat.
- Before laying down on the mat, place a thin fabric over the points, or wear a thin shirt. A small layer between you and the mat will help you to slowly get used to the feeling. Most users report best results when the mat is used on bare skin; however, don’t feel pressured to do this right away.
- Slowly lie down on the mat—try to distribute your weight as evenly as possible to avoid any injury. When you want to reposition yourself, lift yourself up to do so. Avoid moving around too much while laying down as you only increase the risk of scratching yourself.
- Use the mat consistently, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. It requires some time to get used to, but it works wonders once you get comfortable.
Who Should Avoid Using an Acupressure Mat
If you’re suffering from lower back pain, frequent headaches, or any other type of pain, it’s worth a shot to try an acupressure mat. However, before you do, there are a few precautions and considerations to keep in mind:
- Contra-indications: The points can pierce the skin if used incorrectly. Follow the steps above to use it correctly. Avoid acupressure mats if your skin is thin, you have poor blood circulation, or have diabetes.
- Pregnancy: If you’re pregnant, do not use acupressure mats. Most manufacturers also recommend against this. Instead, look for other pressure points around your wrists to help reduce nausea during the first trimester. (2)
- Inducing labor: As you’re closing in on the last few weeks of pregnancy, you’re probably more than ready to see your baby. Acupressure is often used to help induce labor naturally since it can stimulate contractions in the uterus. However, acupressure to induce labor must be done by a professional. (3)
- Not for children: Kids, toddlers, and babies should never use an acupressure mat.
- Irregular blood pressure: If you’re dealing with high or low blood pressure, contact your doctor before you use the mat.
- Not an alternative: If you’re taking prescribed medication or getting treatments, an acupressure mat can’t be an alternative. Instead, talk to your doctor about using the mat along with your treatments.
Finding the Best Acupressure Mat for You
Before you head out to purchase a mat, here are a few things to consider while shopping:
How big the mat should be depends on your needs. A larger mat will give you more coverage which is ideal for backache. Additionally, more coverage will also be more comfortable since it will help to distribute the weight better.
Before purchasing, compare different dimensions to see, which will suit your body the best.
2. Number of Points
In this case, the more points, the better. More points will distribute your weight better per point. Another reason to go for extra spikes is effectiveness. With acupressure, you’re trying to stimulate as many points as possible. For example, 6,000 points will do this more effectively compared to 4,000 points.
There are way too many cheaply made mats on the market, and although they might suit any budget, they aren’t comfortable.
Now, a comfortable mat doesn’t have to break your budget. It’s important to look at the materials used. Some consist of medical-grade plastic points and a comfortable filling inside the mat, whereas others are empty.
If you’re buying in-store, it’s easy to get a good feel for the product you’re considering. However, online it can be tricky. We recommend that you look closely at the materials used to determine if the quality is up to scratch.
Acupressure mats can get filthy, especially if more than one person is using it. Cleanliness becomes even more crucial if you’re using the mat bare-skinned. In this case, it could be covered in germs and bacteria that could cause an infection if your skin is broken.
A removable cover is a good starting point since it allows you to easily wash it without worrying about the filling. You can simply use a disinfection spray to clean the spikes when needed.
Our Final Picks
Many acupressure mat users often wonder how a mat that looks like a torture device can help. However, once you give your body time to get used to the pressure, it has multiple benefits. Some users swear it gives them energy, while others claim it to be a must-do before hitting the hay at night.
So what is the best acupressure mat? Overall, we found the best acupressure mat to be the ProsourceFit Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set. It has a large number of spikes on both the mat and pillow. Furthermore, it’s made out of eco-friendly materials that are gentle on your skin as well.
The Ajna Acupressure Mat is also another favorite because of how pretty it is. They also commit to plant one tree for every purchase.
- Tang, J. L., Liu, B. Y., & Ma, K. W. (2008). Traditional chinese medicine. The Lancet, 372(9654), 1938-1940.
- Belluomini, J., Litt, R. C., Lee, K. A., & Katz, M. (1994). Acupressure for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, blinded study. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 84(2), 245-248.
- Torkzahrani, S., Mahmoudikohani, F., Saatchi, K., Sefidkar, R., & Banaei, M. (2017). The effect of acupressure on the initiation of labor: A randomized controlled trial. Women and Birth, 30(1), 46-50.