Review: StretchPad by Hydragun — a heated stretching massager that lifts, pulls, pushes and twists

I’ve come to realise that everyone above 27 years old has back aches and wouldn’t say no to a massage. I love a good firm massage, but can never find the time to visit a decent therapist; and somehow Facebook knows this about me, which is why I’ve been seeing StretchPad ads on my newsfeed. It’s interesting what this “mat” promises — a full body stretch and tension relief. In the name of science (and editorial), I put it to the test.

The StretchPad is fitted with 22 precision-controlled air chambers that expand and contract to lift, push and roll the body to stretch and massage it. There are seven pre-programmed routines to choose from, so you can target specific areas like the neck, back and hips, and further customise it with three intensity levels.

Above: The hydragun stretchpad has a mat format that rolls up neatly for storage.

There’s a controller with all these selections and it’s intuitive and simple to use. I just wish they made the cable longer (it’s surprisingly short and I have to turn my head to the right to view the buttons while lying down on the StretchPad).

Above: The hydragun stretchpad controller.

Above: it’s effortless to use the stretchpad. you just need to lie down on it.

The air chambers are located at three key spots: the neck, centre of the back, and hips. For the neck area, the chambers expand and turn the head left and right. This didn’t do much for me, but it’s not bad either.

Above: The air chambers at the neck area expand to lift and turn the head.

The chambers at the sides squeeze the hips surprisingly tightly; it feels nice but nothing that can replace an actual massage at those areas. The back chamber is the one that did it for me; it lifts the centre of the back and this actually does relieve tension and helped me feel more relaxed. The StretchPad didn’t crack my back like a firm foam roller can, but I wasn’t expecting it to.

Above: The centre air chamber feels incredible when it elevates the back.

There’s a built-in heating feature as well that I can imagine helps to soothe sore areas and to boost blood flow. Given that the weather has been so hot lately, I wasn’t inclined to make my body feel hotter. I did, however, pass the StretchPad to my dad to try out (he just turned 80), and it’s been about a week since he took it over and he says that it works really well for him. On the first night that he tried it, it helped him sleep better. On subsequent days, I’ve been told that he’s been using it in the afternoons and he ends up napping on it. I asked him if the StretchPad was painful in any way, and he insists that it’s not. He genuinely likes the product and looks forward to using it.

I do have a massage chair at home, and I can’t say with certainty that the StretchPad can replace it, but it will definitely do well in homes that don’t have the space for a massage chair, or for those who don’t have the budget for one. At $599, the StretchPad is a far more affordable option than a massage chair, and it rolls up and zips up neatly for storage. The StretchPad is also very suitable for the elderly because you can just place it on a bed to lie on. It’s convenient, decently priced, and feels good where it matters. Get one for your yourself, and another for your dad.

Hydragun stretchpad is priced at $599, and available any HYDRAGUN.SG.