Have you ever wanted to get a massage in your home? If so, check out the best back massagers.
Massages help relieve pain and stress from the craziness of daily life. Unfortunately, massages are a luxury. Most people don’t have the time or money to do them regularly.
Instead, invest your money in a back massager that brings the masseuse to you. The best options will hit all of your spots and still be affordable and portable.
Here are the five best back massager units to help relieve stress.
Editors’ Choice: Snailax Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager
Want the same masseuse-like feeling from the comfort of your own home?
The Snailax massage chair does that.
You can bring the professional massage feeling with you almost anywhere. This massage chair is a portable pad that you can take to the office, your car, or your favorite couch cushion at home.
The Snailax may look like any other massage chair at first glance, but the gel nodes set this apart from the rest. Gel covered nodes mimic the feeling of real hands working on your neck, back and shoulders, waist, and thighs.
This chair delivers ultimate relaxation with its heating therapy on the head and back pads.
Snailax Shiatsu Massager Pros
- Adjustable height: Tall people can enjoy a massage in the Shiatsu chair by adjusting the neck height to their liking.
- Palm-like massage: The gel nodes in the back mimic the feeling of real hands.
- Versatile chair: You can take this chair with you everywhere. Set it in a chair and turn it on.
Snailax Shiatsu Massager Cons
- Higher price: This back massager is one of the most expensive on our list of top choices.
Best Value: Naipo Handheld Percussion Massager
Give your entire body the treat of a shiatsu-style deep tissue massage from wherever you are.
The Naipo Handheld Percussion Massager is a top contender for the best wand massagers because of its price and quality. Naipo has several back massagers on the market, but you won’t get the ease and convenience that you’ll get with this handheld massager.
Choose from the six interchangeable nodes and massage settings made of various materials to reach all of the spots. You can customize the speeds and settings to your liking from the intensity to the percussion speed. From there, you can choose the option to use the heating feature or focusing on a specific part of the body.
The best part about this back massager is it’s completely portable. You can enjoy a deep massage in the office, at home, or wherever you’d like.
Naipo Percussion Massager Pros
- Heating technology: Enjoy relaxation and pain-relief with heating technology.
- Portable massager: The handheld design is small and can go almost anywhere.
- Six nodes: You can choose from six nodes depending on what you like.
Naipo Shiatsu Massage Cons
- Plug required: You can’t use the Naipo without it being plugged in.
Best for Neck and Back: Resteck Neck and Back Massager
Most adults carry their weight in their neck and back. The shoulder and upper back region of the body is where your stress, bad posture, and general pain manifests.
Sometimes you need a massager that focuses on the neck and back. The Resteck is a highly rated portable neck and back massager that will get the job done.
The Resteck massager comes in a U-shape that can drape around your shoulders or wherever you’d like. It’s a versatile option because it can be placed anywhere on the body, but we highly recommend it for your shoulders.
Choose from the vibration, heating, and shiatsu massage settings to get your desired effect.
The Resteck is simple but effective and worth the money.
Resteck Neck and Back Massager Pros
- Carry case: To make things easier, there is a carry case. You can put your Resteck in it and take it with you.
- Lifetime warranty: The manufacturers trust their product so much that you get a lifetime warranty with the purchase.
- Versatile placement: While we recommend this for the neck and back, you can adjust the placement to your liking.
Resteck Neck and Back Massager Cons
- Not wireless: We love that the Resteck is portable, but we wish it had the option to be wireless.
Best for Lower Back: Brookstone Shiatsu Lumbar Massager
Lower back pain or discomfort is some of the worst you can have. The hardest part about it is also getting rid of it.
Walking, bending, and sitting for a long time can become painful. A lower back massager can help relieve some of the pain and loosen up problem areas.
Brookstone, the manufacturer of many home tech products, didn’t disappoint when it made this lumbar massager. The back massager gives you a professional-level massage with four sets of nodes in a Shiatsu style.
Place it behind your lower back in a chair and enjoy your massage experience. The size gives you the option to take it with you to work.
We love it for a lower back massager, but the massage pad is big enough to reach all of your back.
Brookstone Lumbar Massager Pros
- Deep tissue massage: This is probably the closest you’ll get to a full-on deep tissue massage without the masseuse. Most users report it getting out their knots and tight muscles.
- Heating feature: Use the heating feature if you want to add soothing pain relief.
Brookstone Lumbar Massager Cons
- Corded design: There is no wireless option, which many find annoying. To use it in a car, you must buy a separate adapter.
Best for Portability: Zyllion Shiatsu Pillow Massager
For a deep massage on the go, the Zyllion Shiatsu pillow massager takes the cake.
The size is perfect for taking it with you in the car. Hook it to the back of your car seat, and you’re ready to go.
The four nodes work in various massage patterns to loosen up knots in the neck and shoulder area. You can also enjoy the heating function that will soothe achy muscles in an instant.
This compact back massager gets knots out by alternating its direction every 60 seconds. It reaches areas of the muscles that you otherwise couldn’t.
This massager is portable. It could even fit in a suitcase if you travel.
Zyllion Shiatsu Pillow Massager Pros
- Compact size: The small size makes this back massager extremely portable. It’s perfect for road trips, use in the home office, or anywhere else.
- Powerful massage: The Shiatsu-style massage patterns loosen knots and relieve muscle pain, delivering ultimate relaxation.
Zyllion Shiatsu Pillow Massager Cons
- Speed adjustments: Some people with back or spinal injuries complained about not being able to adjust the vibration or massage speed.
Types of Back Massagers
The term “back massager” has more than one meaning.
There are many types of back massagers. They vary in target areas, price, and portability.
Get to know the different types to determine which one you want.
A belt massager, like the Resteck on our list, is the kind of massager that goes around your shoulders or lower back.
They’re excellent for people with back or lower back pain. They can target a specific area of the body, and they could give a much deeper massage than a handheld massager can.
They are smaller than chair pads, so they are much easier to move around with you. If you need to take it to the office and back home, you can use a container to transport your massager.
These back massagers are usually electric or battery powered. Know which one you’d prefer before you buy.
The chair massagers are the ones that you usually see in a store in the middle of the shopping mall. These are heavy-duty, fully loaded massage chairs that have various nodes and settings to get you the best massage you can get from your home.
Because these types back massagers are large, they aren’t portable at all.
Chair back massagers also tend to cost upwards of about $1500.
They are some of the most comforting massagers available. They have high-tech massage patterns and techniques to get you to the ultimate state of relaxation.
If a large chair massager is too much of a commitment for you, the next best thing may be a chair pad.
A chair pad hooks on to any chair, so it is much more convenient to use and is portable. Many chair pads have a neck, back, and thigh pad with up to four nodes.
Shiatsu massagers deliver some of the best neck and back therapy you can get.
Handheld massagers are the best to use when you want to target a specific area on your body. You can direct the massager to the source of pain.
Handheld massagers may be small, but they are usually powerful and can even deliver some deep tissue treatment.
Handheld massagers is a broad category. They range in size and quality. You can find a cheap back massager with three-setting vibrations, or you can find a premium handheld with multiple settings, heat, and other features.
They also tend to vary in size and price.
Overall, if you want a convenient option to target your problem areas directly, consider a handheld massager.
Pillow massagers are small, cushion-shaped massagers that target a specific area on your body. They are also commonly called cushion massagers.
The placement is versatile with these massagers. You can put it behind your neck or on your lower back. They are also small enough to take with you on the go.
Because of the shape of these, they tend to deliver an excellent deep tissue shiatsu massage.
The last plus to using a pillow massager is the heating feature.
Back Massager Buyer’s Guide
Back massagers can have features that make certain options stand out to certain people.
Be aware of common features before you shop so that you know what you’d prefer.
Auto shut-off comes in handy when your system is overheating from overuse. It turns off the massager when it’s used for longer than is safe.
Check to see if the back massager you want has auto shut-off. If it does, check the estimated time it takes to overheat. A shorter time can be frustrating.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a massager that doesn’t offer a heating setting.
Heat during or after a massage helps relieve pain and soothe the muscles. Most chair pads, belts, and pillow massagers have a heat mode.
Some handheld back massagers won’t have a heating feature. If heat is important to you, make sure the massager you want has that setting.
Your electric massager should always have different levels of intensity.
We recommend choosing one with at least three modes. The intensity you need one day may not be the same as another day.
Similarly, if multiple people use the massager, you want to be able to adjust the levels to what is comfortable for each person.
There are several kinds of massages. Here are some of the most common:
- Kneading: Kneading is the function responsible for loosening up tough knots in your back and shoulders. The nodes will work in the same position and style a masseuse’s hand would. If you struggle with knots, look for a back massager with a kneading function.
- Percussion: A percussion action massager mimics the chopping technique you see masseuses using. A back massager would pulsate the nodes back and forth to create this effect. This type of massage style is often in chair pads and massage chairs.
- Shiatsu: Shiatsu back massagers mimic the technique that professional Shiatsu massagers do. The Shiatsu technique helps with anxiety, pain, and stress.
Check which kind of massage the tool you’re looking at offers.
Number of Nodes
To get a deep-tissue Shiatsu massage from your electric massager, you’ll need to pay attention to the number of nodes.
The nodes are the round objects that move around to make the kneading, vibration, and percussion massage styles.
They are usually firm material with padding to make them comfortable. Some other special types of nodes are gel nodes, which are supposed to be softer to mimic the feeling of hands.
Back massagers are usually battery-powered or corded:
- Battery-powered: Battery-powered back massagers are convenient because they do not require a wall attachment or a cord to function. You can use them wherever you want as long as the battery doesn’t run out. Choose one with long battery life. Whether it’s a rechargeable battery or an alkaline battery device, it’ll eventually run out.
- Corded: The advantage of choosing a corded massager is the constant flow of power. You don’t have to worry about the battery wearing down or the recharge time. Plug it in, and you’re free to use it. The downside is the required proximity to an outlet or car adapter.
Consider which type will be more convenient for you.
Size and Weight
Back massagers come in plenty of shapes and sizes.
The size that is ideal for you depends on what you want it to do and where you plan to use it.
If you’re looking for a more portable option, opt for a smaller pillow massager or even a belt massager.
If you want to prioritize the massage quality and programming options, choose a bigger chair pad or possibly a massage chair. These will get you a full body massage experience and quality.
Timers help the massager be hands-free. They also time how long you should use a massager for safety reasons.
Most health professionals say not to use the massagers in one area for more than 20-25 minutes. Overusing a massager could cause more injury or pain.
Back massagers, like any other electronic, usually come with a warranty period. We recommend looking for a product with at least a year warranty.
Some companies offer a lifetime warranty on their massagers.
A back massager can help save you money from needing to pay for expensive massages and is a convenient way to get pain and stress relief from home.
Use our top picks and buying guide to help you pick the right one for you.