Can This Scary-Looking Acupressure Mat with 6,930 Spikes Actually Help You Relax? Here’s Our Honest Review

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acupressure mat review
  • Aesthetics: 16/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Ease of use: 19/20
  • Quality: 20/20
  • Value: 18/20

TOTAL: 93/100

As a working mom of twins, I’m always looking for new ways to de-stress. Like many people, I hold a lot of tension in my shoulders. And while it’s great to treat myself to a massage from time to time, these days, it’s more of a special occasion thing rather than a regular part of my self-care routine. So, when I recently learned about acupressure mats, I was intrigued.

What Is It?

An acupressure mat is a pad covered with plastic spikes that are supposed to stimulate pressure points in the body to increase circulation, relieve stress and soothe aches and pains. I had never tried acupressure before but when I heard that lying on one of these mats could achieve the same results as this therapy that originated in China where a practitioner puts pressure on trigger points of the body along meridians, I was all in.

Acupressure works by targeting specific acupoints to relieve pain in other parts of the body. With the mat, the same techniques are mimicked through those spikes that are felt when you lie down on them. I liked the idea that for a relatively low cost, I could have access to this stress reliever right in my own home. I ordered this one through Amazon which said that it hit 8,712 acupressure points and had 6,930 acupressure needles. It also came with a pillow with 1,782 needles. So yeah, a lot of needles. The makers boasted that the mat would relieve stress, treat insomnia, improve blood circulation and muscle relaxation, treat nerve conditions and increase body energy. Those seemed like big benefits, so I was eager to try it. (And I’m not the only one—the mat has over 1,200 five-star reviews.)

Is This Going to Hurt?

Of course, I briefly wondered if I really wanted to lie down on something that looked like a Medieval torture device in the hopes of relieving my tense shoulders. But I generally have a high tolerance for pain, so I wasn’t too worried. (On a trip to get Brazilian bikini waxes for the first time with my former coworkers, the other ladies were yelling from the other treatment rooms and popping pain relievers, while I thought the whole thing, while slightly uncomfortable, was generally NBD.) Reviews of the mat were mostly glowing, with commentors saying they used it for everything from aches and pains to arthritis to chronic pain. Though a few mentioned that it did initially hurt, the majority of buyers said that after the initial shock of lying on the spikes, pain was replaced with a warm, tingly feeling. When it arrived at my doorstep, I was ready to go.

Put Your Back into It

As the brochure suggested, I first tried the acupressure mat with a thin T-shirt on instead of on my bare skin. While some reviewers said they first tried the mat on their beds for a less intense experience, I decided to go all in and laid mine out on the floor of my living room. Facing off against a mat with nearly seven thousand spikes (plus more on the pillow!) I took a deep breath, got down on the floor and slowly eased back onto it. While I definitely felt the spikes, I didn’t experience any searing pain or uncomfortable feelings. The pillow felt more intense on my head than the mat did on my body, but I decided to relax into it, having set a timer on my phone for 10 minutes (they recommend you start off with 10 and increase to 20 to 30).  

After my 10 minutes was up, I slowly sat up and realized that I did indeed feel more relaxed. I wasn’t sure if it was due to the acupressure points being stimulated or just the fact that I don’t usually just lie down on the floor and do nothing, which in itself is pretty relaxing.

The next day, I used the mat wearing a sports bra. The mat does leave an impression on your skin, which the booklet said would fade in about 20 minutes (it did). I found that I preferred not using the acupressure pillow under my head since that way, my shoulders made more contact with the spikes on the floor mat (the main source of my tension). I did enjoy putting the pillow under my legs to target my hamstrings, and you can use the mat and pillow in a variety of ways, even standing on it for a very intense sensation on your feet!


  • Cheaper than a massage
  • Easy to use and store away
  • Relaxing and tension-relieving
  • Can be used in a variety of ways


  • No proven benefits
  • Shouldn’t be used on sensitive skin or if pregnant
  • Can be too intense for some people

The Bottom Line

There isn’t much research as to the scientific benefits of using an acupressure mat but based on my experience of using it most days for three weeks (and the many reviews I read that echoed my opinion), I did find it to be a relaxing, tension-relieving experience. I don’t know if I will incorporate it into my daily routine because, you know, it’s yet another thing to think about and remember to do. But I like that it’s there in my closet, ready to be pulled out on a moment’s notice if I have an ache or pain or just a crappy day and need some R&R. The mat rolls up into its own storage bag so it really takes up no more room than my yoga mat, which is another plus.

It's worth noting that the acupressure mat should not be used by anyone who is pregnant, has a heart condition or sensitive skin. (Though I will say I do have pretty sensitive skin and I was totally OK with it!). But if you’re looking for an easy, inexpensive way to destress and maybe even banish aches and pains, I say give it a try.

Freelance PureWow Editor

Ronnie Koenig is a writer with 20+ years’ experience who got her start at Playgirl and went on to write for Cosmo, Redbook, The New York Times, The Atlantic and many others. She’s...