Trying an acupressure mat (or spike mat/bed of needles) may feel like a scary experience to many, but by starting out with a beginner-friendly mat, you can turn that into a more pleasant experience.
But maybe you aren’t at the stage where you’re thinking of trying one — maybe you don’t even know what it is. So…
What is an acupressure mat?
I know that a lot of people aren’t familiar with acupressure mats, but could benefit greatly from one. I realized this when I asked my dad what would prompt him to buy an acupressure mat, and the answer I got was: Well, what is it?
He didn’t know what it is, and I believe that the same unawareness of this low cost, life-changing tool, is hindering many others from experiencing its benefits.
How do you use it?
The most common way to use it is simply to lie down on your back on it, but you can also use it on various other parts of your body.
It’s normal to feel pain at first, but after a few minutes it usually changes into a warm and tingly sensation instead.
Benefits of an acupressure mat
Just a quick overview:
- Improves sleep
- Helps with headaches and migraines
- Helps with back pain
- Improves mood control
- Aids weight loss
- Improves blood circulation
- Softens muscles
- And so much more…
Here is a more detailed list of benefits.
Personal Experience & Goal
I personally use my acupressure mat daily, for 2+ hours (I’m even sitting on it right now). Without exaggerating, it’s one of the best purchases I’ve done in my life. If you’re a reader of this blog you are going to see me bring it up here and there.
For a more detailed look into how it helps me, I wrote this article.
I want to spread the amazingness of this misunderstood well-being boosting tool (I thought it would be scary, too, but it wasn’t). That is my goal.
So, by spending hours upon hours doing research, I have found a few mats that are appropriate for timid beginners, as well as people who are up for a challenge.
In order to save a lot of time for you, I have read through reviews and specs, and compared them to each other — resulting in this list. There is one mat that I recommend above all, but you will have to scroll down to the very bottom to see which one that is — spoiler though, it’s perfect!
Key thing to consider: Amount of points — more points means deeper effect, but if you’re not used to acupressure mats, the intensity of the wrong amount of points may discourage you from using it.
Once you have gotten used to the beginner mat you can upgrade — just like a figure skater wouldn’t start with advanced skates (he/she wouldn’t be able to use them properly — I used to be a figure skater).
With that said, here are the mats I found for you:
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Click here for details.
Ajna Eco Lite
This eco-friendly mat has over 7000 points, which is perfect for a beginner. It is especially made for people who are new to acupressure, and the points come in the shape of cute lotus flowers.
It also comes with a pillow and a tote bag, so you can easily bring it while travelling, as well as lie on your back on the mat and use the pillow under your neck at the same time (trust me — big bonus.)
One thing that is special with this brand, is that the pillow is body forming, so it adapts to your body. Most of the pillows by other brands are pretty high, and that can be uncomfortable for some people.
The mat is covered in 100% cotton and the packaging is biodegradable, which makes it a good choice if you are environment conscious.
This is the only one I found that was targeted specifically towards beginner users.
ProSource Fit Acupressure Mat & Pillow Set
This is a budget friendly mat that comes in 7 different colours and with 6210 points.
It is made of 100% cotton and plant-based eco foam.
6000 points fits good for a beginner, but can be a bit intense, based on my personal experience. So if you are sensitive to pain I recommend the Ajnamat above, or wear something thin instead of using it against bare skin.
However, this one is great because of the incredibly cheap cost and decent quality it still has to offer. When I bought my mat I payed $ 40 or something like that — without a pillow — which is a pretty standard price, but this one costs only half of that, and comes with a pillow.
It’s great if you’re just curious and want to try it out but don’t want to splurge.
Nalu Acupressure Mat
This mat is designed by Licensed Massage Therapists. It has over 6000 points, and it comes with a reflexology ball and an e-book to guide you on how to use the mat, as well as a wall chart.
As you can see, it also comes with a pillow, and you get all that for a really good price. Almost as cheap as the ProSource mat.
The reflexology ball can be used to relieve tension in feet, hips, knees and more. It can be used instead of a foam roller.
There are mixed reviews about the quality of this one, but as this is the beginner level I have focused on the ones that are most helpful for beginners, and come at a lower cost. You can always upgrade later.
Ajna Acupressure Mat
I can’t get over how pretty this one is — it comes in a beautiful pink (as well as other pretty colours)!
Aside from the gorgeous looks, it also comes with over 5000 points, so it has a deeper effect than the Lite version.
It is made of organic linen and stuffed with coconut fiber, and it is also non-toxic and ethically produced. If nothing else, researching acupressure mats has found me this great brand and very likely my next acupressure mat 😍
While this comes with a bag, if you want a pillow you need to buy it separately, but there are matching pillows.
This is the matching pillow. It has the same lotus shaped points as the mat. It is made of certified organic linen and filled with buckwheat and lavender — lavender is an herb that promotes relaxation, very good for sleep and calm.
Ajna Wellbeing, the brand that produces the mat, also plants a tree for every Ajnamat they sell (as well as Ajna Pillows, Yoga Mats and Meditation Cushions).
Spoonk Combo Mat
This mat is part of a 3 piece set, which consists of a regular size mat, a travel mat and a reflexology ball.
It is clinically tested and has 6120 taller points, which means that it has an extra deep effect.
Although this set doesn’t contain a pillow, you can certainly roll up the mini travel mat into one.
The mat is entirely made of natural materials.
Note: These have a higher amount of points, but that’s because they are spread out over a larger surface, so it doesn’t mean that they have less effect.
VitaliZen Extra Long
This one is 129 cm long (compared to a regular that is about 66 cm) and has 12,000 points.
I would buy this purely out of the length factor, as it allows you to use it on your back/hips and hamstrings at the same time (you have no idea how many times I’ve wished I could do that), but aside from that it also comes with a massage ball, a small travel mat that you can use as a pillow, and a bag.
Personally I would probably buy a separate, dedicated pillow (such as the Ajna Pillow), but that’s just me. Overall I think that this mat is great, and will definitely save it on my mind for when I have the resources to invest in it.
If you plan to use the acupressure mat on your whole body, I would say go with this. I regret that I didn’t know about extra long mats when I bought mine.
Another large mat, this one is a professional grade, gold standard mat with 14,000 points, and supposedly the most intense mat out there.
It is developed in Sweden, and Swedes are obsessed with quality to an almost annoying degree (I would know, as I live in Sweden), so it goes without saying that this is a high quality mat.
It is recommended to athletes for loosening up muscles pre-workout, and post-workout for recovery, but you don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy those benefits.
Bonus: This brand also has an acupressure system for horses, which you should check out if you have a horse.
If you want to buy one, and only one mat, I would say go for Ajnamat right away. It is superior in quality, aesthetics and sustainability.
Pro tip: To make any mat less intense, wear clothes when using it. However, I often find that it has a lot less effect, and something in between would be preferable (which is why I recommend starting with a lighter mat).
I hope that I have been able to add something good to your life with this post.
If I inspired you to buy an acupressure mat — and it certainly doesn’t have to be through my links — please tell me in the comments. It will be very motivating to know that I have inspired someone, regardless of where you made the purchase 🙂
Have a nice day!