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10 best acupressure mats to relieve tension and aches

Whether you’re looking to alleviate pain, reduce stress and anxiety or simply get a good night's sleep, acupressure mats are rapidly increasing in popularity.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Feb 16, 2022

Woman using acupressure mat

Initially a product you’d be more likely to spot on a celebrity Instagram feed, these days more and more of us are purchasing acupressure mats to use in the comfort of our homes. 

Whilst at first glance these foam mats covered in sharp spikes may appear like some kind of torture device, acupressure mats actually come from an ancient Chinese self-healing therapy and are completely safe to use. 

Lying, sitting or standing on an acupressure mat can target key points across the entire body and help improve blood flow. Mumsnet users have recently raved about them on the forums, with many finding that using acupressure mats regularly helps to reduce tension, alleviate pain and help users to unwind and relax. 

With a wide range of acupressure mats on the market and some big variations in price, we’ve done extensive research on the best mats for every budget, taking into consideration their materials, level of pressure, main benefits and portability, as well as their suitability for beginners. From recommendations from real Mumsnet users to mats vetted by experts, plus tips on how to get started, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to.

Here are the best acupressure mats to buy in 2022.

1. Best overall acupressure mat: Bed of Nails Original Acupressure Mat

Bed of Nails acupressure mat

Price £75 | Buy now from Amazon

I have a Bed of Nails. I love it - I use it at least three times a week on my back and it has stopped my shoulder from ‘fizzing’ whilst I can’t see my osteopath.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet member Duchessofealing

With a solid reputation that speaks for itself, the Bed of Nails Original Acupressure Mat comes with a wide range of endorsements, as well as high review scores across a number of retailer sites. Available in a choice of three different colours (black, pink and green), it has an attractive design and comes with a carry bag for easy storage when not in use.

Completely unique to Bed of Nails, each round nail plate on this acupressure mat has 42 individual nails instead of the usual 25, resulting in over 8,000 individual spikes in total. This high number of spikes helps stimulate more acupressure points and applies pressure more evenly across the body, making it a gentle, less painful option for beginners.

The mat also claims to help alleviate muscle, neck and back pain and combat headaches and migraine symptoms, as well as reducing the impacts of stress and insomnia. Some reviewers even reported improved skin complexion after repeated use.

One point to note however, is that it doesn’t come with a pillow included. You may wish to purchase the Bed of Nails Acupressure Pillow separately, but at around £40, it doesn’t come cheap.

Key specs

  • Material: Recyclable HIPS plastic on organic cotton fabric
  • Pillow included: No 
  • Carry bag included: Yes 
  • Care: Hand wash with liquid laundry detergent or dishwashing soap

Pros

  • More nails for greater coverage and a less painful experience 
  • Eco-friendly materials
  • Carry bag included 

Cons

  • No pillow included 
  • Pricey

2. Best budget acupressure mat: Pro 11 Wellbeing Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set

Pro 11 mat

Price £14.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I bought one on Amazon for about £15. I think it’s really good. Slightly uncomfortable when you first lay down but you soon get over that. I find my back starts to feel quite warm. It relieves a lot of pressure in my body and I've very nearly fallen asleep on mine. It came with a neck pillow.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user NWLcollab)

If you’re looking to try an acupressure mat for the first time or are after a more budget-friendly option, the Pro 11 Wellbeing Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set is a bargain at just under £15. It comes with a high number of positive reviews on retailer sites and is also well praised within the Mumsnet forums, thanks to its multiple benefits and great value for money.

An aesthetically pleasing grey mat with teal blue spikes, it comes with a drawstring carry bag for ease of use and has a pillow included, helping target acupressure points along the back of the neck as well as across the entire body.

This mat is recommended specifically to reduce body aches, back pain and stiffness, and to help alleviate stress and tension. It is smaller in size than some other acupressure mats on the market however, at just 65cm in length.

Key specs

  • Material: Foam and plastic 
  • Pillow included: Yes 
  • Carry bag included: Yes 
  • Care: Hand wash only 

Pros

  • Affordable option
  • Included pillow and carry bag 

Cons

  • Shorter length may be less suitable for taller users

3. Best acupressure mat for beginners: Base Yoga Acupressure Mat and Pillow

Base Yoga Mat

Price: £22.99 | Buy now from Amazon

I got a Base Yoga Acupressure Mat from Amazon for £22. Takes a bit of getting used to but I absolutely love it. It has helped my anxiety and improved my sleep quality massively.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet member Kingkuta)

If you haven’t used an acupressure mat before, you may find some mats can be quite painful. The higher the number of spikes and the more evenly the pressure is spread across your back, the more gentle the sensation on your skin, providing greater comfort when lying down. 

A good choice for beginners, the Base Yoga Acupressure Mat is a good size (74cm x 43cm) and comes with 8,745 spikes in total. The spikes are equally placed across 265 discs on the mat to ensure a more comfortable, even and balanced level of pressure, whilst easing upper and lower back pain or tension. You can also manage the intensity by wearing a T-shirt at first and gradually working up to direct skin contact.

We think it’s is a great self-care tool to help you unwind at the end of the day, with the gentle pressure releasing endorphins to enhance your overall mood and wellbeing.

Key specs

  • Material: Natural cotton, foam and plastic 
  • Pillow included: Yes, but you can purchase just the mat too 
  • Carry bag included: Yes 
  • Care: Hand wash only

Pros

  • Included pillow and carry bag 
  • High number of spikes for even pressure distribution 
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • Only available in darker colours

4. Best large acupressure mat: Lixada Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set

Lixada mat

Price: £38.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If you are a taller user, you may disappointingly find that the majority of acupressure mats don’t cover the full length of your body. With the Lixada Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set, however, you don’t need to worry. At 120cm in length, this is one of the longest acupressure mats on the market and comes with a huge 11,178 massage points, meaning you can target the neck, back and legs all at the same time.

The Lixada set includes a separate acupressure pillow for tackling headaches and neck pain as well as two acupressure massage balls to target sore parts of the body and reduce pain, swelling or discomfort.

Lightweight and portable, it can be rolled up and stashed away in the drawstring bag when not in use. Whether you are using it on your chair in the office, after exercise or simply to unwind and relax at the end of the day, this is a versatile and affordable acupressure mat that can be used sitting, standing or lying down. 

Key specs

  • Material: Cotton, foam and ABS plastic 
  • Pillow included: Yes 
  • Carry bag included: Yes 
  • Care: Hand wash 

Pros

  • Longer length for taller users
  • High number of spikes for even pressure 

Cons

  • Due to the central fold, there is a small section without spikes therefore positioning is important

5. Best acupressure mat to relieve back pain: Yoke Wellness Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set

Yoke Wellness mat

Price: £44.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re struggling to afford expensive massage treatments but want to look after your neck, shoulders and back, the Yoke Wellness Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set is a great option to incorporate into your self-care routine at home. 

Created by a nurse working for the NHS, this acupressure mat is easy to add to your daily routine and comes with over 7,000 ergonomic spikes to help overcome neck and back pain whilst reducing the effects of tension or bad posture. 

Made from premium cotton with an eco-friendly coconut fibre filling, we love the muted colour palette of the pale grey, although there is also a brighter Forest Green option available too. It comes with a shoulder bag included for easy travel and at 71.5cm x 42cm, it’s a good size too. 

If you’re looking for an ethical choice, you’ll also be pleased to know that Yoke Wellness donate to charity Water UK with every purchase made, a nice touch that we loved.

Key specs

  • Material: Premium cotton, coconut fibre and plastic 
  • Pillow included: Yes  
  • Carry bag included: Yes 
  • Care: Unspecified

Pros

  • Premium eco-friendly materials 
  • Good size
  • Nice colour choices 

Cons

  • Higher price point

6. Best acupressure mat for relaxation: Romix Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set

Romix mat

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I bought this. Used it every day since, before bed to ‘decompress’ before I go to sleep. Has really helped some back problems, obviously not cured, but sleep has also improved, totally recommended!”  (Vetted by Mumsnet user Tabledesk)

Another budget-friendly option, the Romix Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set is available in a choice of four different colours - purple, green, grey and blue. 

At 64cm in length, it’s somewhat shorter than other acupressure mats on the market but it comes with a large number of spikes and high-density foam for optimum comfort. 

A good option for relaxation at the end of the day, this mat helps massage pressure points across the body and neck to reduce muscle tension and discomfort. It also promotes metabolism and increases blood flow to help reduce the stress and anxiety that could be keeping you awake at night. Whilst some reviewers found this mat to be painful initially, the brand recommends wearing a t-shirt and/or socks to adjust the intensity as required. 

Key specs

  • Material: Cotton, premium density foam and plastic 
  • Pillow included: Yes 
  • Carry bag included: Yes 
  • Care: Unspecified 

Pros

  • High-density foam for comfort
  • Pillow and carry case included
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Spikes can be quite painful for beginners
  • Shorter in length 

7. Best acupressure mat for travel: Spoonk Organic Travel Sized Acupressure Mat

Spoonk mat

Price: £30.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If you are looking for a portable, grab and go acupressure mat that can be taken with you on the move, to the gym or for holidays and travel, the Spoonk is one of the smallest and most portable acupressure mats available. 

Made from organic hemp with non-toxic hypoallergenic plastic spikes, it’s also available in seven different colours to suit your preferred colour palette.  

Measuring just 35cm x 40cm, it’s not an option to target the entire body, but can be used to tackle smaller areas and relieve muscle tension, particularly whilst placed on the back of your chair. When not in use, the Spoonk Acupressure Mat can be rolled away and comes with a velcro carry strap, so there is no bag required.

If you’re looking for an acupressure mat to use at home, this wouldn’t be our first choice, but if you’re regularly on the road or travel frequently, this is a reasonably priced option that works well. 

Key specs

  • Material: Hemp and EcoFoam 
  • Pillow included: No 
  • Carry bag included: Self-carrying strap (bag not required) 
  • Care: Hand wash only

Pros

  • Smaller size ideal for travel
  • Self-carrying strap (no bag required)

Cons

  • Less coverage than other acupressure mats 

8. Best acupressure mat for reducing tension: BellaBaby Acupuncture Mattress

BellaBaby mat

Price: £18.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re constantly feeling tense, stressed or anxious, it can have a negative impact not only on your mental health and wellbeing but your physical wellbeing too, leaving you feeling lethargic, achy and generally under the weather.

The BellaBaby Acupuncture Mattress promotes rest and relaxation and offers a mindful solution to help you relax and unwind at the end of your day. Using shiatsu techniques and with 6,120 tall acupressure points across the mat, the BellaBaby offers a good balance of pressure and effectiveness to reduce stress, tension and aches whilst being used as a back cushion, cushion mattress or even a yoga mat, although you may prefer a more traditional mat if you’re a keen yogi. 

The BellaBaby comes in three different colour choices – black, dark green and purple – but they are all quite dark in shade, which may not appeal to some. Some reviewers also felt that the foam could be thicker for additional comfort.

Key specs

  • Material: Cotton, ABS and sponge 
  • Pillow included: Yes 
  • Carry bag included: Yes 
  • Care: Unspecified 

Pros

  • Large number of spikes
  • Good value 

Cons

  • All colour choices quite dark
  • Not the thickest foam

9. Best traditional acupressure mat: Shakti Mat

Shatki mat

Price: £50.15 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking for an acupressure mat with a traditional design, you really can’t go wrong with the Shakti Mat, which claims to be a highly effective yet ethical acupressure mat.

Made by hand in India using sustainable, organic certified cotton and dyes, the Shakti Mat stimulates pressure points and helps induce a state of relaxation in just 20 minutes, helping tackle insomnia and achieve a much-needed good night’s sleep.

Depending on your desired intensity levels, there are three different Shakti mats to choose from - light (8,000 spikes), original (6,000 spikes) and advanced (with 4,000 spikes). The fewer spikes, the higher the intensity as your body weight is spread over each point. 

Each purchase comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and donates a percentage of profits to charity, but with a higher price point, it’s disappointing that there is no pillow or carry case included. 

Key specs

  • Material: Ethically soured cotton and dyes and ABS plastic 
  • Pillow included: No 
  • Carry bag included: No
  • Care: Hand wash only

Pros

  • Ethically sourced materials
  • Traditional style
  • Choice of intensity

Cons

  • No pillow or carry case included 
  • Higher intensities can be sharp for beginners 

10. Best premium acupressure mat: Pranamat ECO Therapeutic Manual Massage Mat

Pranamat acupressure mat

Price: £185 | Buy now from Pranamat

With millions of satisfied customers all over the world, Pranamat may be the one of the best-known acupressure mats, but it is equally one of the most expensive and quite an investment at just under £200.  

The Pranamat uses over 10,000 spikes to stimulate the body’s natural healing process by triggering acupressure points across your entire back. With a deep massaging effect, this mat can help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety whilst helping reduce muscle tension. At 45cm across, it's also one of the wider acupressure mats you can buy. 

Promising results from your very first session, it releases endorphins that can not only quickly block pain receptors but also have a positive impact on your happiness and overall wellbeing too. Reviewers have really praised the effectiveness of the Pranamat too with 97% of users finding that their back pain significantly lessened (or disappeared altogether!) after use, according to the brand. 

Made from sustainable, eco-friendly materials, Pranamat ECO is proudly the only Massage Set globally to be fully certified by OEKO-TEX. Unless you’re planning to use an acupressure mat every day, however, you may not need to invest so heavily to reap the benefits.

Key specs

  • Material: Cotton, Coconut Fibre, natural dyes and HIPS plastic. 
  • Pillow included: Yes 
  • Carry bag included: No
  • Care: Hand Wash

Pros

  • Sustainable and eco-friendly 
  • Attractive design
  • High number of spikes 

Cons

  • Costly
  • No carry case included 

What is an acupressure mat?

Designed to achieve the benefits of an acupressure massage whilst in the comfort of your own home, acupressure mats generally consist of cotton covered foam mats covered in clusters of spikes with rounded tips, which are usually made from plastic. These spikes are designed to stimulate pressure points across the back (and neck if using a pillow) resulting in multiple health benefits. They can be used on the back, neck, bottom or feet whilst standing, sitting or lying down. 

How do acupressure mats work? 

The spikes on acupressure mats help stimulate pressure points across the body and increase blood flow to the surface. They help release endorphins which can improve wellbeing and mental health, whilst reducing stress and anxiety, helping you relax and switch off for a good night's sleep. They can also be used to ease headaches and migraines and reduce tension, aches, chronic pain. 

What is the best way to use an acupressure mat?

The most common way to use an acupressure mat is for 10-30 minutes before bed, laying the mat upon a flat surface before gently lying down. Other ways to use acupressure mats include placing the mat on the back of an office chair, standing on it, or using an acupressure pillow alone to release tension in the neck and shoulders.

Do acupressure mats hurt?

The honest answer is yes, at first. Whilst the spikes aren’t needle-sharp (they have rounded tips), most users experience some initial mild pain or discomfort when first lying down on the mat, but after your body warms up and adjusts, this soon turns into a more soothing and relaxing sensation. The more spikes on your acupressure mat, the more evenly your weight will be spread and, as such, the more gentle the sensation. For beginners, some brands recommend using a T-shirt initially before progressing to direct contact with skin.

What to look for in an acupressure mat 

Here are some things to bear in mind when deciding which acupressure mat is right for you: 

  • Number of Spikes - As a general rule, unless you are an advanced acupressure mat user, the more spikes, the better. With more contact points across the mat, you will experience an effective but less painful session, with a more even distribution of pressure across your body’s acupressure points.  
  • Materials - If sustainability is important to you look out for eco-friendly options such as natural organic cotton and coconut fibre fillings. Whilst the majority of acupressure mats on the market have plastic spikes, some more advanced mats use metal which can be sharper and more effective (but more painful!). 
  • Comfort - How padded is the acupressure mat? Does it have a good amount of foam interior?
  • Size - Not all acupressure mats are the same size. If you are particularly tall, you may need to go for a longer mat to ensure maximum coverage of your body, whereas smaller options may be more suitable for use on the go. 
  • Portability - How lightweight and portable is the acupressure mat? Does it roll up easily and is there a carry bag included? 
  • Pillow included? - Does the acupressure mat come with a pillow included? If not, how much are these to buy separately? Without a pillow, can the mat be rolled at one end instead? 
  • Price - How much do you want to spend on your acupressure mat? If you are a beginner looking to use an acupressure mat for the first time you may want to opt for a cheaper product to see if they work for you. Whilst the more expensive models tend to come with additional benefits, you may not need to spend the extra unless you plan to use it every day.
  • Chronic conditions - Do you have any chronic health conditions to take into account such as fibromyalgia, chronic back pain or migraines? Some acupressure mats are better suited to pain management than relaxation. Always speak to your doctor for advice on pain or medical issues.

What is the best acupressure mat?

For a versatile mat that is suitable for beginners and experienced users alike Bed of Nails Acupressure Mat was our top choice. Whether it’s combating headaches, reducing stress and anxiety or simply relaxing at the end of the day, it is a good size with a high number of spikes, resulting in an even distribution of pressure. Despite the lack of a pillow (which is frustrating for the price), the Bed of Nails is an attractive, eco-friendly design that can be packed compactly away when not in use.

For a budget-friendly option the Pro 11 Acupressure Mat is our second choice. If you’re testing acupressure benefits for the first time this is an easy decision with minimal investment required. 

How we chose our recommendations 

There are a huge number of acupressure mats on the market so, to make sure we were confident with our recommendations, we thoroughly investigated expert opinions and authentic reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon, as well as consulting our trusted Mumsnet users' own recommendations on the mats that have worked for them. 

We looked in-depth at the pros and cons of each mat, individually assessing each product’s effectiveness in terms of comfort, cushioning, portability, size and health benefits. We also looked out for any disadvantages to make sure we were writing a useful guide to help you find the best product to suit your needs.

Finally, we shortlisted our picks, weighing up which mats were best for different jobs to bring you our definitive list of mats you can rely on.

Why you should trust us 

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.