If you deal with with any type of chronic pain, hold a lot of tension in your body, or struggle to sleep at night, an acupressure mat might be just thing you need to provide some relief. These mats (which only slightly resemble torture devices) are meant to target pressure points that release tension, soothing sore muscles and letting you relax and rest easier.
Although acupressure is derived from traditional Chinese medicine dating back thousands of years, modern science indicates there’s a reason it’s been around so long — it works! A 2011 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that research subjects experienced increased relaxation and decreased pain after lying on a “bed of nails” — in actuality, a mat covered with thousands of sharp-edged plastic nails for a short period of time.
If you’d like to try it out for yourself, we’ve rounded up a selection of mats — and pillows and foot pads — that have great customer reviews. They also come in a wide range of price points, so you can find one that works for your needs and budget. Keep scrolling to shop our picks for the best acupressure mats to ease pain and help you relax!
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bed of nails
Where to buy: $79.95, Amazon
With the name “Bed of Nails,” this mat doesn’t dance around what it’s supposed to resemble! The ergonomically designed mat is covered with thousands of non-toxic plastic “nails” to stimulate pressure points and aid in healing. Created to treat back pain, neck pain, arthritis, and insomnia (to name just a few!), the Bed of Nails encourages the release of endorphins (the “feel-good” hormones) and lowers your cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Lying on it for just a few minutes a day can make a huge difference in how you feel! It comes in black, green, or pink.
One reviewer wrote:
“I’ve been wanting one of these mats for ages. I was a little surprised when I first unpackaged it, as it was smaller than I expected. This brand’s full-size mat is about the same size as other brand’s foot mats. However, I just place it on my yoga mat and lie down on it and it’s still the right size to cover my entire back and shoulders. I love using it and don’t find it too sharp. My husband and kids all want to use it, too. The quality seems excellent. I chose this brand as it was one of the best-known and recommended, and had a high ratio of plastic points (better quality, less pain).”
Where to buy: $19.99, ProsourceFit
This super-affordable acupressure mat is a perennial bestseller, and although it comes in seven colors, you may have to settle for whichever hue is in stock, as they sell out quickly. (Don’t worry, they are also restocked quickly!) The mat-and-pillow set is designed to stimulate over 6,000 acupressure points to alleviate stiffness, soreness, and insomnia. It’s recommend that you lie on it for 20 minutes each day to get the full benefits, which include better circulation, increased energy, and relief from chronic pain. The included pillow is a nice bonus, as well!
This reviewer found relief for her fibromyalgia:
“I suffer from severe chronic pain throughout my entire body (fibromyalgia) and was in the market to try an acupressure mat. I did hours of research, and so many reviews will bring you to this brand either first or second. I liked the price point, as I was not sure if it would work, and went for it. The quality is amazing and even better, it works! The more I use it, the more I can feel that I am getting more and more benefits. I highly recommend this mat, especially if you have pain issues.”
Where to buy: $39.99, Amazon
This mat has been endorsed by no less than Oprah and Dr. Oz! Made from thick cotton and ecologically-friendly foam, it’s backed by solid research: 98 percent of users in a trial reported pain relief after using it, 96 percent reported increased relaxation, and 94 percent said they slept more soundly. Like other acupressure mats, there is nothing to plug in, nothing that has to heat up or cool down — you simply lie down and relax while the spikes do the work. If you sit for long periods of time for work, spend hours driving, or suffer from conditions like sciatic nerve pain or fibromyalgia, this mat can help. Even migraine sufferers have reported fewer headaches after using this acupressure mat!
One very happy reviewer explained how she uses it:
“Finally, a product that really works naturally … no medication, no electricity, and no batteries. I was hesitant that this Spoonk was for real, but after the first time I used it I was totally convinced. The pressure points mimic electro-stim perfectly. The initial intense prickliness is reduced shortly after lying on the mat, but it seems to target the points that need it the most. It gets the blood flowing into your back and relieves the pain. It puts your whole body in a very relaxed state. I had back surgery many years ago and have struggled with lower back pain ever since. The Spoonk is a great help with my pain reduction. I am not a back sleeper, but this product can be used for side sleepers also … I just roll over after I feel back pain relief, or I simply remove it.”
Where to buy: $115, Amazon
If you’d like to get even more benefit from acupressure, purchasing a pillow as well as a mat is a great way to go! And the PranaPillow seems to be worth its steep price tag. Made from 100 percent organic and environmentally-conscious materials, its filled with all-natural buckwheat hulls and covered in 95 lotus-flower-shaped massagers, each with 25 petals to hit the right pressure points on your head and neck. With a 30-day-money back guarantee, you can’t go wrong!
This reviewer bought the pillow with a matching mat, and feels it was worth the money:
“Love it. I purchased the pillow with the mat, and both are great. I had first bought a cheaper version, to see if it would work for my rheumatoid arthritis before investing in this one. So pleased with it. Quality construction and great results. I’ve tried so many things, because I choose not to take drugs to control the pain, and this has given me far more relief than anything else. I feel like I’ve had a massage after using the mat and pillow.
Where to buy: $8.88, Amazon
Want a mat just for your feet? This inexpensive option gives plenty of bang for your buck. Covered in spiky pyramids, it might feel like a bit much for sensitive feet at first, but you can always wear thick socks while you get used to it. Stimulating the points in your feet is a great relief for conditions like plantar fasciitis and arch pain. If you are a runner, this is a must-have. Just walk on the mat for five minutes two or three times each day to feel the difference in your whole body! It’s like a foot massage that really gets in there to work out the kinks in your sore feet.
Here’s how one satisfied customer uses it:
“I’ve had this little mat for a week now and my feet haven’t felt this good in years. The first time I stepped on it I felt it was too aggressive, but after a few seconds I got used to it and then it just felt good. I put it in front of my bathroom sink for when I’m getting ready in the morning and before bed at night, and that little amount of time every day makes a huge difference in my foot comfort. Great product!”