- Why Should You Buy a Back Massager? Here are All the Benefits
- Best Back Massagers in 2020 – A Concise Comparison Chart
- Top 11 Back Massagers in 2020 Reviewed
- Back Massager Buying Guide – How to Choose the Right One for You
- The Benefits of Regularly Massaging Your Back
- The Dos and Don’ts of Back Massagers
- FAQ About Back Massagers
- Final Verdict
Why Should You Buy a Back Massager? Here are All the Benefits
Getting an electric massager for back pain is not a huge investment, but you might still be hesitant about it. After all, can it be as good as a regular massage and is it honestly more convenient?
Those are not unreasonable questions to ask – so let’s answer them and take a look at just some of the benefits that you will get from a back massager.
The best thing about getting a back massager of any kind is the portability. You can use it almost anywhere – in your home, your office, your car and so on. You don’t have to make an appointment and spend hours on a massage. It doesn’t take much time and can be done anywhere. As soon as you start feeling pain and tension, you can start working on it, which helps a lot.
Have you ever been at that one massage parlor where the masseuse just refused to go easy on you no matter how much you yelled? I sure have, and more than once. With a back massager, you won’t have to deal with that. You can set it to any type of massager or intensity that you want and have exactly the massage you want and need. In some ways, that beats traditional massages, easily.
Let’s be frank – massages are expensive. Even the most affordable ones will cost you a fortune, long term. Back massagers, on the other hand, cost far less and you’ll be able to use them for months or years after paying for them just once. You won’t have to worry about fitting the massage payment into your budget each week.
Best Back Massagers in 2020 – A Concise Comparison Chart
If you don’t have the time to read my more detailed reviews, don’t worry. Here’s a quick comparison of my top 11 models that you can check out right now.
|Product||Style||Number of Massage Nodes||Intensity Levels||Massage Type||Weight||Rating|
|Zyllion Shiatsu Back Neck Massager||Neck Massage Pillow||4||1||Shiatsu||4lbs||8/10|
|Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow||Neck Massage Pillow with Straps||8||3||Shiatsu||3 lbs||8.5/10|
|RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue Massager||Handheld Massager||3 or 1||3||Pulse||1.76 lbs||8.5/10|
|Snailax Gel Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager (Editor’s Pick)||Massage Chair||4+4||2||Shiatsu||15.2 lbs||15.2 lbs10/10|
|Snailax Cordless Shiatsu Back Massager SL166||Back Massage Cushion||4||2||Shiatsu||6.6 lbs||9/10|
|Body Back Buddy Self Massage Tool||S-shaped Cane Massager||11||0||Hand Massage||1.25 lbs||7.5/10|
|Shiatsu Back Neck and Shoulder Massager with Heat||Neck Massage Pillow with Straps||8||3||Shiatsu||4.25 lbs||8.5/10|
|VIVREAL Back Massager||Handheld Massager||1 to 5||6||Shiatsu||1.85 lbs||8/10|
|FIVE S FS8801||Neck Massage Pillow with Straps||8||3||Shiatsu||4.4 lbs||8.5/10|
|Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager||Neck Massage Pillow with Straps||8||3||Shiatsu||4.4 lbs||8.5/10|
|Brookstone Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager||Neck Massage Pillow with Straps||8||1||Shiatsu||4.4 lbs||8/10|
Top 11 Back Massagers in 2020 Reviewed
Now I’ll move on to more detailed reviews, and you’ll see just why I picked these 10 as the best back massagers and get all the info needed to choose the best one for you.
Zyllion Shiatsu Back Neck Massager Versatile, Strong, & Portable
If you want a pure neck massager with no strings attached – this is probably your best bet. In fact, I’d even go as far to say that it’s probably the best neck massager of this style.
With its 4 strong massage nodes and superb shiatsu massage action, it is great at relieving tension and pain.
The best thing about it is that it’s highly portable and easy to place on any chair, sofa or recliner – it will even fit nicely on your car seat. Don’t worry; it comes with a car adapter.
I only regret that the cord is so easy to detach accidentally – otherwise, it’s amazing.
- Easy to carry around with you wherever you go due to the small size
- It has 4 massage nodes and can deliver quite an intense massage for something so small
- Due to its design it is able to fit on almost every chair, recliner or car seat and it comes with a car adapter
- The cord can detach easily, which can be a huge safety hazard
- It’s too loud which is a problem when you’re using it to treat your neck and it’s close to your ears
Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage PillowFor Trying Something New In Massage
This massage pillow features an incredible 8 massage nodes, more than most others on the market.
It’s primarily a neck massager, but it can be used for other areas of the body, and I’ve found it to be probably the best back massager for lower back pain. The massage heads are able to cover all the muscles and massage them evenly, providing true relief.
You can use it anywhere, including your car and it comes with an adapter. It’s also highly adjustable and has a heating function for getting warm during those cold dark days.
- It can be used for other parts of your body with equal efficiency, not just your neck and it’s especially good for lower back pain
- There are 8 massage nodes in it that are able to massage from all possible directions
- There’s a strong heating function included in the massager
- It is larger and heavier than most massagers so it’s difficult to carry it anywhere or use it outside the house
- Due to the shape, lying down with it while you use it is out of the question and it can be uncomfortable to use it in certain positions
RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue MassagerHandheld & Powerful – It’s Possible
Handheld massagers get a bad rap for being underpowered and useless, but this one aims to change that. It’s quite intense, delivering up to 3600 pulses per minute and has 3 different strength levels.
The five different attachments, including a curved head, give it exceptional versatility – it can be used almost anywhere on your body.
It’s a great deep tissue massager, and the only issue I have with it is the low battery time. But, it is cordless and easily rechargeable.
- It has 3 extremely different levels of strength so you can easily adjust it to your liking
- The massager comes with 5 different attachments, each use for a different purpose, making it quite versatile
- Despite being a handheld massager it can deliver quite an intense massage and is not underpowered by any means
- The buttons sometimes won’t work properly so it can be difficult to turn it off quickly or change the speed
- The battery doesn’t last for too long and you need to recharge it quite often
Snailax Gel Shiatsu Neck & Back MassagerBig & Great For A Whole Back Massage (If you’re not very tall)
If you’re looking for a full back massager, this massage chair pad is one of the best options for you.
It has a headrest with 4 nodes for neck massaging and an additional 4 nodes in the backrest. They all deliver deep tissue massage in the shiatsu style.
Your whole back can be massaged by this massage pad, and it even has an optional heat function that will help relax you. I quite like it, and it’s probably the best back massager with heat function on the market.
There are also options to focus on certain parts of your back – upper back, middle back, and lower back.
You can use it on the sofa, an office chair, a car seat, or anywhere else you like. It’s probably the best back massager for chair-like objects.
- This massager is able to fit on any type of chair, sofa or other furniture and stay put – it even fits inside the car
- You have the option to use it as a full back massager and neck massager or focus on just one part of the back that needs special care
- It comes with a great heating option that’s probably one of the best I tried – not too hot or too cold
- Taller people might have a bit of trouble using it since their back and neck won’t fit well onto the massage nodes
- It’s quite huge and bulky so it might be difficult to use it anywhere outside the house or carry it around from room to room
Snailax Cordless Shiatsu Back Massager SL166 A Portable Full Back Massager Which Heats Like Crazy
It almost seems like this shiatsu massager has it all. It can be used for your back on a chair, but it can also be used for other body parts, including your legs and your neck.
You can carry it with you easily – and it is cordless and can be used for 70 minutes. It also features a heater function. An adjustable full back massager that you can take with you!
The 4 nodes can travel up your entire back and massage it fully or focus on one spot, whatever you choose. It also has two intensity levels.
The only negative I could find is that it doesn’t come with a car adapter, but that is something you can easily purchase.
- Despite how it looks, this is a surprisingly portable massager and it can be used for up to 70 minutes before recharging
- It features a surprisingly strong heater function for a cordless massager
- With it you can massage your entire back at once or turn on of the three modes designed to focus on a specific spot
- It doesn’t come with a car adapter so using it in the car will cost you a bit more time and money
- There’s not much padding between the massage nodes so using it can be a bit uncomfortable
Body Back Buddy Self Massage ToolAn Ideal Tool For Self Massage
One of the negatives of electric massagers is that they spend power, but this s-shaped cane massager uses only your own muscle power.
It’s a handheld massager with 11 therapy knobs that you can use to massage almost any part of your body – from your head through your painful hips to your soles.
You’ll find that it’s extremely durable and hard, yet light. You can massage your body with it as strong as you like, so you’re in complete control.
The instruction manual is full of useful massage techniques that you can perform with it, so I suggest you read it in full. That way, you’ll see the true potential of this great DIY massage tool.
- There’s no electricity involved and you won’t have any extra costs for maintaining the massager
- You are completely in control and you can get almost any type of massage that you might want
- It is surprisingly easy to use and you get a lot of useful instructions with it
- Since it’s a self-massage too, you can’t just sit back and relax, you need to involve yourself in the process
- The massage nodes might not fit the right spot if you’re significantly taller, shorter or larger than the average person
Shiatsu Back Neck and Shoulder Massager with HeatSuperb Massage Sensation
Within this shiatsu neck massager are 4 small and 4 large massage nodes, allowing for a wide variety of massage modes. It also features 3 different levels of intensity, allowing you to completely control the type of massage that you get.
The 3D shiatsu massage is especially useful since it will cover every inch of your neck and ensure a thorough massage.
Besides that – it also has a heating function that works well at relaxing your muscles.
The only issue with it is that it’s not cordless and the cord is quite short, which I found to be limiting.
- The 3D shiatsu massage is great and massages your neck from every possible angle
- It has a total of 8 massage nodes and plenty of different massage modes with 3 levels of strength so it’s quite versatile
- The heating function works well in conjunction with the massage to deliver an incredibly relaxing experience
- The cord is quite short which can limit you quite a bit if you don’t have access to a plug near your favorite sofa
- The mesh area on the neck seems easy to tear and it probably will after a few weeks of use
VIVREAL Back MassagerA Swiss Army Knife of Handheld Massagers
Among handheld massagers, this is by far one of the most adjustable ones.
It comes with 6 unique head attachments, each designed for a different body part, allowing you to get exactly the type of massage you need.
The intensity is good – and there are 6 different strength setting, allowing you to customize your experience.
It’s also cordless and easy to recharge while lasting up to 100 minutes on full charge.
If you’re looking for the best hand massager, this is probably it.
- This back massager comes with a total of 6 different attachments and a lot of settings, allowing you to customize it to your liking
- It lasts quite a long time on full charge and you can get 100 minutes of massage out of it
- Comes with a 1-year warranty and it’s quite durable so you’re covered if something happens to it
- It’s quite heavy so it might be difficult to hold over longer time periods
- Charging it can take quite a long while and it seems to be quite power-hungry
FIVE S FS8801Affordable, Easy To Use, With Some Minor Flaws
With this neck massager, you get pretty much all the functions you would expect – 2 directions, 3 intensity levels and a heat option.
It has 8 massage nodes – and it offers a few different massage modes. It comes at quite a low price, though, and with a 3-year warranty, so it’s a risk-free purchase.
It’s super easy to use for anyone, and all the buttons are easily accessible. I do wish the heating function heated up a bit more, but that might just be my preference.
- This is an incredibly affordable massager that still doesn’t fall behind others in terms of quality
- It comes with a great 3-year warranty so there’s no risk in purchasing it even if breaks
- Using it is easy, even for the elderly or those that aren’t quite as technologically inclined as others
- The heating function is not strong enough and it seems to spend a lot of power so it’s quite inefficient
- The cord is quite short so you can only use it in places where you have a power outlet readily available
Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck MassagerA Decent Performer With A Lenghty Cord
You get 8 deep-kneading massage nodes in this neck massager for a full shiatsu massage experience.
The 3D massage can be set up to suit your liking with 3 different speeds – and there’s an inbuilt heater function.
It’s quite an affordable massager when everything is considered. The purchase is also risk-free since you can return it, no questions asked, within 30 days of purchase.
While it’s not cordless, you get a nice length of cord with it and a car adapter, allowing you to use it on the go.
- One of the most affordable massagers on the market that delivers a quality comparable to pricier products
- You can return it within 30 days of purchase, no questions asked, so there’s no risk in purchasing it
- It comes with a lengthy cord and a car adapter so you can use it almost anywhere you want
- The level of intensity is not adjustable and if the strength doesn’t suit you you’re out of luck
- It is quite bulky and weighty so it is difficult to use in certain spots or certain positions
Brookstone Shiatsu Neck and Back MassagerA Pleasant Multidirectional Massager
This Brookstone back massager is reasonably priced for what it offers – a through massage with a few different modes and even a heating function to soothe your sore muscles.
There are 8 massage nodes in total covering your body from all direction – You can reverse the direction in which they’re massaging just by pressing a button and it’s incredibly easy to use.
It comes with a long cord so you’re not stuck sitting next to an available outlet and can use it on the sofa, the bed or anywhere else in your home.
Overall, the brookstone back massager is a great deal for the price.
- Easy to move around your back and neck with good straps
- It comes with two different massage modes – auto-reversing and single direction
- Has a total of 8 massage nodes covering you from all directions
- Comes with a pleasant heating function included
- The cord is quite long so you can use it almost anywhere in the house
- Not as durable as you’d want it to be and the mesh can rip easily
- Doesn’t come with a car adapter included so you can only use it at home
Back Massager Buying Guide – How to Choose the Right One for You
I know that buying a back massager can be a bit difficult – massages don’t show their benefits for a while and it’s not like you can try these out at the store.
Still, there are a few things you can watch out for that will ensure that you get the right one for your sore back and neck. Here are my tips for you.
What Type of Massage Do You Need?
The most important thing to consider when getting a back massager is the type of massage that you’ll need. Which location is the problem and why? Are you experiencing sharp or dull pain? Is there a lot of stiffness there or just tension?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself – and your physician or physical therapist, if possible.
Massagers that utilize shiatsu techniques are usually the most realistic ones. They’re also the best deep tissue massagers. A device that uses a kneading motion will probably be the best back massager for knots that you can get.
If you only have problems in your neck area, getting a massager just for that is a good idea. However, if you have problems across your entire back, a full back massager is what you want.
Those are just examples, but you get the idea – pick the right tool for the job.
What’s Powering It?
Depending on how you want to use your massager, considering the power source is quite important.
Massagers that work on batteries are much easier to take on a trip and use in a bus, for example, or in your car. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are probably the best choice.
Corded massagers aren’t as portable, but they are usually more powerful. Some corded massagers come with a car adapter, so they can be used in your car.
With corded massagers, you also need to consider the voltage and see if it fits your power outlets. If you have a mismatch, you won’t be able to use your massager at all.
But even the best electric back massager can run out of power – massagers that use only your arm strength will always work.
Consider your needs and choose carefully.
Consider Where You’ll be Using It
Do you want to use your massager at home or in the office? Maybe you want to bring it with you on a bus ride or a car ride?
There’s a lot that you can do with your back massager if you get the right one. For use in the car, you’ll probably want a full back massager.
On the other hand, you’ll probably want to try and find the best handheld back massager available for use on the go. Pick the style that fits the place where you want to use it.
Check Out the Additional Features
While I always value a massager that provides me with some good back rubbing to be better than a high-tech one that does squat, additional features are still important.
Things like auto-shutoff features, automatic adjustments, pre-programmed modes, heating functions and more can make a good massager even better.
Always check out what the massager can provide in terms of extra features and consider if they’ll be useful to you.
Is the Price Right?
Lastly, it’s important to consider how good the price is. Now, I don’t mean just the flat price listed on the box – this includes the purchasing conditions.
Some massagers have an option to be paid in rates over a period of 6 or 12 months, which can be a great option if you’re on a tight budget.
Others have good return policies, which is always beneficial. Trying out a massager over a couple of weeks is probably the best way to determine if it fits you, so buying one that can be returned, no questions asked, is always a good idea.
Ease of Use or Adjustability
This is a difficult line to straddle, as I’ve found out. I happened to recommend some massagers I thought were great, to some of my older clients, thinking they’ll love them. They hated them.
I like my massagers to be highly adjustable, so I can make the most out of them. However, not everyone feels that way, and for some, a simpler machine that’s easier to use is the right way to go.
It all depends on you – do you want more options or do you like a device where you only need to press one button?
The Benefits of Regularly Massaging Your Back
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of questions from people about massaging. How is it useful? Is it the same as acupuncture? Does it even do anything? Isn’t medicine just better? Isn’t buying a good mattress for back pain the solution?
And I understand those people – massaging is often bundled in with other ‘alternative’ health treatments, and most of them are useless. It also takes a long time to see the positive effects of massaging and a lot of people give up before that.
So, to dispel those doubts, I’ll present you with just a few of the most important benefits of getting regular back and neck massages.
I know most people suffer from some tension, especially in the upper back and neck area. The reasons for this are numerous – long periods of sitting, sleeping your side without proper support, bad walking posture, etc.
Massages loosen and relax your muscles, thus getting rid of the knots and the tension along with them. It takes time, but it does the trick.
A massage stimulates the muscles, just like when you’re exercising, only to a lesser degree. This improves the blood circulation in the muscles, allowing for more blood and thus, more nutrients and oxygen to get to them.
This will naturally revitalize your muscle tissues, improving their healing and reducing the risk of infections or inflammation. When you have sore joints, this will also make your muscle more flexible, improving your range of movement and reducing pain.
Your back and neck pain, and even headaches can easily be caused by your muscles being misaligned or having constant spasms from knots or inflammation.
This can have a knock-on effect, and you could start feeling pain through other parts of your body due to the tense muscles in your back.
Your spine might even become misaligned due to the muscles not supporting it properly, so sleeping on your back will feel awkward and painful.
Regular massages will reduce these issues, thus easing the pain you’re constantly feeling. Getting the best back massager for knots will improve your entire disposition.
Even if you’ve learned to tune out the dull pain and tension you feel in your back and neck, it’s still there, and it’s still causing stress. This can lead to poor sleep or even insomnia, even if you choose the best sleeping position you can.
By reducing the tension and pain in your back and neck, massages will help you get a good night’s sleep and truly relax.
The Dos and Don’ts of Back Massagers
I know that back massagers seem simple – almost deceptively so. That’s why it’s easy to make a misstep and harm yourself with them.
Here are a few general tips about what to do and what to avoid doing with your back massager.
Read the instruction manual carefully before ever using your massager.
Use your massager on body parts that are not mentioned in the instructions. Seriously, don’t do it.
User your massager when you feel that you need it while following the general guidelines from the manual.
Use your massager all the time – overuse can cause your muscles serious harm instead of helping them.
Use your massager on the areas where you feel tension and pain, to relieve them.
Keep using the massager if it causes you pain. Stop and find out why it’s happening.
Massage the spots of chronic injuries that keep bugging you to help with the pain.
Use your massager on fresh injuries since that will only make them worse. Wait a while before you include massaging into the recovery process.
FAQ About Back Massagers
Final Verdict: Which Back Massager is the Best One?
There you have it – that’s all I can tell you about back massagers. Thanks for reading and I hope I managed to help you out.
But wait, there still more I could tell you – and that’s my pick for the best back massager out of the bunch.
I think that Snailax Gel Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager is the best back massager 2020 has to offer – it just has such a wide range of useful functions that you can’t miss out on! It’s the best electric massager for back pain!
What do you think? Do you agree? Sound off in the comments and tell me all about it.