Best acupressure mats 2022: Benefits, how to use and top mats reviewed

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hile a massage every day sounds like an extravagant dream scenario, most of us don’t have the time or the budget. But, for the price of one or two services, you could invest in an acupressure mat, which could offer pain relief, relaxation and aid with sleep.

Acupressure mats are made up of thousands of tiny spikes. As these are sharp but do not puncture the skin, you simply need to lie, sit or stand on the mat to apply pressure. This is meant to stimulate various points in the body to release tension.

How do acupressure mats work?

“They are designed to work in a similar way to an acupressure treatment,” Asha Chong, Five Element Acupuncturist, explains.

“When pressure is applied to certain acupressure points on the body – think the back, legs, hands or feet – blocked energy is released, tension is relieved and energy and blood flow freely.

“Unlike acupuncture, which involves inserting very fine needles into points, acupressure mats apply non-invasive pressure to the body. The acupressure stimulation addresses the total area compared to a targeted acupuncture treatment.

“The spikes trigger the points, releasing endorphins which alleviate pain, help the body and mind to relax or energise the body.”

What are the benefits?

It might take a little time to get used to the acupressure mat. Most recommend starting out with a thin t-shirt and building up the amount of time you spend on the mat, eventually trying it on bare skin.

While it might initially feel slightly painful or unusual, you should get acclimated to the feeling and start to notice the benefits.

“‘When you lie on the acupressure mat, gentle pressure on the acupressure points on your back stimulate the release of endorphins, giving you a sense of calm, relaxation and wellness, with a boost of energy,” Chantal Nogbou, from Dragonfly Acupuncture Leeds says.

“It’s a perfect self care tool to help you slow down at the end of a busy day, or even during the day when you need to feel that sense of peace and calm.”

Shop the best mats below.

White Lotus memory foam acupressure mat and pillow

White Lotus

White Lotus claims its mat has been created by acupuncturists and is completely handmade in Europe without the use of glue or allergenic dyes. The acupressure mat itself is thick memory foam, while the cover is made from durable cotton.

Rather than the round pillow most brands sell, White Lotus has developed a larger, curved pillow that helped to support both my head and neck and felt much more comfortable to lie on for longer periods of time.

The mat has Velcro strips attached which means it can be rolled up for easy storage, without the use of a separate carry bag. The straps can also be used to wrap the mat around your arms or legs for targeted treatment on those areas. The only downside of the larger pillow is that it can’t be rolled neatly inside the mat.

Bed of Nails mat and pillow

Bed of Nails

Each BON acupressure mat has 10,962 spikes, with 261 plates containing 42 each, rather than 25 like most mats. This means the mat can stimulate more points with less pressure, which the brand claims helps to make the experience more invigorating and less painful.

The brand focuses on using non-toxic plastic and 100 per cent organic fabric so the nails go straight onto the skin. Each plate is melted onto a cotton cover so glue is not required. The mat itself is made of PU foam.

The pillow can be wrapped inside the mat and stored in the carry case provided with the set.

Shop the pillow here

Yogi Bare acupressure set

Yogi Bare

Famous for its yoga range, Yogi Bare branched into acupressure mats as founder Kat Pither says they are a “wonderful compliment to meditation and yoga practice”. She recommends positioning your legs against a wall and dropping a few drops of geranium oil onto the mat to really aid relaxation.

Each mat has 210 spikes with rounded tips which aim to help with sleep, pain and energy levels, and it comes with both a pillow and a 100 per cent cotton carry case with a long strap. There are also poppers at the top and bottom of the mat and handles so it is easy to transport even without the bag.

Aldi Crane acupressure mat

Aldi

For those on a budget, the Aldi acupressure mat is a good option, especially if you’re not sure if it’s for you. It comes with a mat and pillow, which neatly fold up into a polyester carry bag. The product is currently for sale in berry or grey shades.

The foam inside the mat is noticeably thinner and the fabric, although still cotton, is lower quality. There are 210 clusters of spikes on the mat and a further 54 on the pillow, which feel sharp and durable. Despite the lower price, lying on this set offers a similar relaxing experience to the other more expensive brands.

Shakti mat original

Shakti

Handmade in India, Shakti pays all employees living wage, as well as providing an emergency medical fund and investment in the education of their children. Each one comes with a label featuring the name of the person who made the mat and a QR code you can scan to see more of the process.

The Shakti acupressure mat claims to be longer than most on the market for maximum body reach. The spikes are clipped on to avoid the use of glue and are described as “everlasting” so the mat should stand the test of time. The mat also comes in a light version for beginners and advanced for those who are more experienced with acupuncture.

StressNoMore Lanaform Shiatsu massage and acupressure heated mattress

Lanaform

Lanaform offers more than just an acupressure mat in one product. It’s a vibrating, heated mattress with removable shiatsu and acupressure pads – all of which are remote controlled for ease of use. It includes 10 vibrating motors, five pre-set vibrating modes and three levels of vibration intensity. The shiatsu pillow has two dual rotation shiatsu heads and a heating function, which will massage your head and neck when using the full mat, but can be removed and used separately on other parts of the body.

The acupressure mat is made of thick memory foam with a soft velvet cover and clusters of 26 spikes. Like the pillow, you can attach it to the rest of the mat and use it alongside the vibrating and heating functions, or you can use it separately for a paired back experience.

YokeMat eco acupressure mat and pillow bundle

Yoke Wellness

After he was involved in a cycling accident, NHS nurse Ravi and his partner Sabria, a yoga teacher designed the Yokemat acupressure mat. It is made with a 100 per cent cotton cover and filled with coconut fibre for an eco-friendly twist. The 7,000 spikes are arranged in flower-shaped clusters that the brand promises won’t scratch.

Each set is available in calming sea blue or forest green and includes a rectangular pillow and a cotton tote bag, which makes it much easier to store the inside than some of the others. It all comes in biodegradable packaging and a donation is made to Charity:Water with every purchase.

Spikeology mat, pillow and bag set

Spikeology

Spikeology founder Siu Coll came across the concept of acupressure during a period of burnout and instantly loved how it made her feel, but she was disappointed by how most mats on the market looked – so she created her own.

Working with a boutique design studio in Italy, she designed a mat that measures 75cm by 44cm, giving more coverage than many others. The piece is filled with coconut fibre and covered with an all cotton construction, featuring a beautiful ‘north star’ embroidery on the back. The set comes with a matching shoulder bag.

In a bid to give back, ​​five per cent of every sale is donated to the Mental Health Foundation.

Verdict

Although the Lanaform mat offers lots of functions, it also takes up lots of space. It’s not the sort of thing you can just tuck into a cupboard.

The White Lotus is the best acupressure mat with durable cover, thick padding and plenty of spikes. The larger pillow is more supportive and the built-in velcro straps makes it easy to tuck away or use on different areas of your body.

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