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“Clearly evil, but extremely effective.”

There’s something slightly sadistic about the idea of lying on thousands of little plastic spikes for 15 minutes straight—yet the Internet continues to be up in arms about the benefits of acupressure mats, which they claim can put an end to chronic back pain, soothe sore muscles, and relieve tension.

While these spiky mats may look like modern day torture devices, their unique designs actually hit thousands of acupressure points at once, resulting in natural pain relief and relaxation. Inspired by acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine (which precisely targets specific parts of your body), these mats are kind of like a modified, less intense version that you can do at home.

To maximize the benefits, it’s recommended to lay on the mat for up to 20 minutes a day. Most users experience pain at first, but as it subsides, many report their body loses tension and starts to feel more relaxed. You can also adjust the level of your treatment by opting to use the mat against bare skin (for a stronger effect) or reduce the intensity by adding a lightweight fabric layer—like a T-shirt or sheet—between your skin and the mat.

While there’s no definitive science that says an acupressure mat will put an end to your pain, a 2011 exploratory study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that participants were able to “subjectively relax” when lying on the acupressure mat. Researchers also observed “the pain [from lying on the acupressure mat] may hypothetically have triggered a parasympathetic response.” This response, which triggers a relaxed state, could be why many users rave about how zen their body feels post-treatment.

While there isn’t a *ton* of additional science behind these therapeutic mats, there are plenty of rave reviews from customers who call them both “life-changing” and the “best all-natural method” for pain relief. If you’re interested in seeing for yourself, we scoured thousands of customer reviews to uncover the 7 best acupressure mats you can buy online. Here, you’ll find the best options for targeting pain in different areas of your body, plus why owners consider them to be clear standouts.

2. Best Two-in-One Option for Back and Neck Pain: Bed of Nails Original Acupressure Mat

3. Best for Lower Back Pain: Ajna Acupressure Pillow

4. Best for Relieving Tension: Ajna Natural Linen Cotton Acupressure Mat

5. Best for Relaxation: Spoonk Cotton Acupressure Mat

7. Best for Feet: SSAV Foot Massage Mat

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