10 Of The Best Back Massagers – Reviews And Buying Guide
As you might find it difficult at the moment to go to a professional massage salon or even have a therapist visit your home for a session, the new high tech back massagers might come as a blessing. With the right back massager, you can get through the day without worrying about knots in your neck and back muscles.
We took the time to review the best back massagers on the market to use at home, in the car or at the office to release the tension and pain.
Invo Spa Shiatsu Massager
Price : $$
Weight : 15.75 x 10.51 x 7.05"
Massage Function: Shiatsu Massage
Zyllion Shiatsu Back Massager
Price : $$
Dimensions : 13 x 9.5 x 3.5”
Weight : 4 pounds
Massage Function: Shiatsu
Compfier Shiatsu Back Massager
Price : $$
Weight : 8.6 pounds
Massage Function: Shiatsu
Snailex Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
Price : $$$
Weight : 16 pounds
Massage Function: Shiatsu
Body Back Trigger Point Back Massager
Price : $
Dimensions : 27 x 2 x 17”
Weight : 1.25 pounds
Massage Function: Trigger
Top 10 Best Back Massagers Reviewed - [Newest Models]
1. InvoSpa Shiatsu Massager
The InvoSpa neck and back massager with heat built in a Bi-directional movement control to mimic the motion of an in-person massage experience. These 3D Shiatsu massagers for neck and back will auto-reverse each minute for better distribution of massage effects.
8 Massage roller balls – This shoulder massager comes with 4 Big nodes and 4 small nodes, which provide deep tissue massages on your neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back, waist, Foot, Tights, calves, legs, feet and arms – helping your full body parts to release stress, relieve sore muscles, and help you relax. All this in the InvoSpa shiatsu neck & back massager with heat.
- 8 Massage roller balls
- Heat function
- Portable and durable
- Limited Power
2. Zyllion Shiatsu Massage Pillow *BEST BACK MASSAGER FOR LOWER BACK
The Zyllion Shiatsu Back Massager is a massage pillow with four powerful nodes that promises to relieve sore muscles. The device changes the massage direction automatically every minute, to which adds the advanced heating function that soothes aching muscles, being very easy to turn on and off on command. The ergonomic design assures a perfect fit behind the neck or any other body contours, and since it comes with adjustable handle straps, the adjustment of the pillow during massage is assured, as well as an option to secure it to your favourite chair. Equipped with a protection device against overheating and being programmed to shut off after 20 minutes of use, this back massager is very safe to use. What’s more, it comes with a car adapter, so you can use it on your way back home after a long, tiring day at work. As for the warranty, you don’t have to worry because the manufacturer offers a 90-day money back guarantee if you’re not contempt, and if anything should happen to you back massager within a year since the acquisition, it will be replaced cost-free.
- Full Package – The Zyllion Shiatsu Back Massager comes with both a home and a car adapter, plus a user’s manual;
- Compact Design – Being only 6 cm wide, it’s very easy to transport in your bag or even pocket.
3. Comfier Shiatsu Back Massager With Heat *BEST SHIATSU BACK MASSAGER
This shiatsu massage chair seems to be the ultimate comfort provider you were looking for. A little bit pricier than other similar models, it can be easily moved to one chair to another and even used on a sofa when you want to get a good, relaxing massage while watching TV. It has an integrated strapping system that secures it to other chairs, and the luxury leather has a cozy smooth mesh that just feels very comfortable. The back massager also has shiatsu rollers with four rotating modes that move up and down your spine, giving the impression of real hands giving you firm massage on the knots and tensioned muscles that relax your whole body. This way, the fatigue and stress you got throughout the day will soon be forgotten.
Besides acupressure, the chair also offers heat therapy that goes hand in hand with the integrated balls that go all over your back, resulting in complete relaxation of your body. What’s more, it comes with three adjustable intensity levels of vibration in the seat, providing a soothing massage for your hips and thighs too!
- Full Package – The shiatsu back massager comes with an adaptor, a warranty card, instructions and a certificate of qualification;
- Easy To Transport – The massage chair is portable, as it can be attached to almost any type of chair due to the integrated strapping system.
4. Snailex Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager *BEST BACK MASSAGER FOR CHAIR
With a rating of 4.7/5 stars on Amazon, the Snailex Shiatsu neck and back massager seems like the best budget choice for the family. With four kneading massage nodes that travel up and down your spine, relaxing your entire body, and with three massage zones to choose from (full back, upper back or lower back), the device is bound to give you the full massage experience in the comfort of your home. The massage nodes are adjustable so that you can adapt them to your body, and the spot massage allows you to target one specific area, letting the kneading work on pin-point relaxation.
The vibration in the seat has three adjustable levels of intensity, providing you with a pleasant massage of your hips and thighs. Another plus of this product is the soothing heat therapy that warms your back and relaxes your tense muscles all over your back, shoulders and lumbar. Last but not least, the massager has an efficient integrated strapping system that assures its fitting of most chairs, leading to ultimate comfort.
- Great quality/price ratio – Compared to other similar products on the market, the Snailex Shiatsu neck and back massager has very good reviews for this price range;
- Portable – It can be easily attached to almost any type of chair due to the integrated strapping system.
5. Body Back Trigger Point Massager *BEST SELF BACK MASSAGER
A product that claims to be committed to wellness, the Body Back Trigger Point Back Massager is an S-shaped body massager customized to treat any discomfort you may have, and even increase circulation and promote flexibility. If you think about it, using it is quite the no-brainer as it disposes of 11 numbered knobs for the three main problem areas when it comes to muscular pains – back, neck and shoulders. You can put as much pressure as you like because due to the specialized mix of fiberglass and plastic, it’s guaranteed not to break easily. Moreover, you can also use it in the shower. As the massage cane is said to have been shaped by the feedback given over the years by costumers and professionals, you could say that it’s up-to-date to your daily needs when it comes to a quality relaxation.
- Lifetime Guarantee – The manufacturer is very confident in the quality of this USA-made product, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they offer a lifetime guarantee;
- Easy To Use – As the massager weighs only 1.25 pounds and measures 25 inches, it’s easy to use by almost anyone in your household.
6. Snailex Massage Mat with Heat *BEST BACK MASSAGER WITH HEAT
The Snailex mat back massager is a massage mat that does its magic through vibrations. Equipped with 10 vibrating motors, it offers a gentle massage to the back muscles, thus relieving stress, tension, and muscle pain. There are also two heating pads that assure a full delivery of warmth to your back that sooth your aching muscles and boost blood flow via thermotherapy. This feature can be used without the massage function and is completely safe as the heating pads are provided with auto shut off when overheated. The five program modes and three vibration intensity levels assure a customizable massage, giving you the option to choose an area-centered massage (shoulders, back, lumbar, legs) or to go for a whole body massage. A key feature of this massage mattress is the versatile use of it since it’s flexible and foldable, allowing you to use it on many surfaces (sofa, recliner, bed, etc.).
- User-Friendly – The mat has a remote control with pictographs, which shows you which button activates which function. There’s also an in-built pocket for storing the remote without losing it;
- Easy To Transport – Due to the great design, the mat is well-made and robust, allowing you to take it with effortlessly.
7. Theraflow Deep Tissue Handheld Percussion Massager *BEST HANDHELD BACK MASSAGER
A handheld massager with a great score on Amazon (4.6/5 stars), the Theraflow Handheld Back Massager looks like a pretty good choice for those in need of a massage for a good price. Delivering a strong percussion massage with an action triggered point massage, this device seems to be able to reach your deep tissue pain and relieve you of the muscular pain and intramuscular tension. You can customize your experience through the variable massage intensity and with the three head attachments to get the type of massage that you need: shiatsu, acupressure or scalp massage. The design is quite smart as it provides an extended power cord that enables the user with flexibility in handling it, and having a robust appearance, it avoids battery failure and short battery life.
- Accurate Guide – The massager comes with a trigger point guide that offers specific instructions on how to use it to get the best results;
- Silent – You don’t have to worry about the massager’s being too noisy. You’ll be pleased to see that the device is rather silent and doesn’t make problems regarding this matter.
8. Snailax Cordless Shiatsu Kneading Massage Cushion *BEST BACK MASSAGER FOR KNOTS
This portable back massager from Snailax seems like good value for money. Having an ergonomic design, the massager is not only lightweight and easy to transport, but it also fits the shapes of the body, offering a maxim comfort everywhere you are (at home, at work or in the car) because it’s powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can last for over 70 minutes. Equipped with 4 rotation massage nodes that move up and down the spine, delivering a circular massage, and an optional heating function that increases blood circulation, this device looks like it’s ready to offer a good user experience. It can be used in every area of your body, but note that for the upper is recommended to add the pillow that comes in the package.
- Covers The Whole Back – It covers the whole area between the shoulders and the tail bone, offering your entire back a full massage;
- Great For Home – It can be easily used while watching TV, playing video games or reading your favorite novel.
9. Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Handheld Massager *BEST ELECTRIC PORTABLE BACK MASSAGER
For those of you who prefer a percussion-based massage, this back massager from Wahl might be a fair option. Having a the option to custom the intensity according to your need with variable speed dial and four interchangeable attachments (flat disc for extra wide coverage; 4-finger flex to replicate fingers; acupressure head for pinpoint relief of tension; muscle ball to relax the body), this product can offer you the deep tissue massage you didn’t even know you needed. The long and sleek handle makes it easy to use, enabling you to reach any part of your body.
- Therapeutic Effect – Releasing different pressure points, the massager promotes circulation and reduces different conditions such as inflammation, muscle soreness, stiffness, chronic pains, and fibromyalgia.
- User-Friendly Design – The massager is well designed and well-balanced, which makes it easy to use.
10. Five S Vibration Heated Massage Seat Cushion *BEST INEXPENSIVE HOME BACK MASSAGER
As a vibration based massager, the Five S Vibration massage cushion lacks rolling balls, which are specific to shiatsu devices. However, this is not a flaw as it makes up for it through other specific settings. This model has a hand control unit that commands three massage speeds, four programs, and an independent on/off heat button. The vibration motor offers an invigorating massage for the neck, shoulders, back, and thighs, which is backed up by a heating spot for the lower back. To make things even better, there are four action-areas, namely: M1 (Neck/Shoulders/Upper-back), M2 (middle back), M3 (lumber, lower-back), M4 (thighs).
- Many Programs To Choose From – The variety of levels, intensities, and intervals you can pick from is the strong point of this massager;
- Gentle but effective – For those who find the shiatsu massagers too powerful, the mild, yet firm vibration of this massage chair is a very good alternative.
The Complete Guide To Back Massagers
Main Types of Back Massagers
What you have to know is that there are two main types of back massagers: manual and electric. Well, truth be told, there are many other subtypes you can choose from but don’t worry, we’re here to help! Regardless of your preferences, you are sure to find a massager that fits your portability and relaxation needs.
Manual Back Massagers
Well, as their name suggests, these back massagers require a manual use of the customer on specific problem-areas and are divided into certain categories:
The cane-shaped massagers are designed to reach certain spots on the back to release the pain and the intramuscular tension.
This type of massager is also like a stick, but it differs from the classic cane massagers through the specifically placed nodes that give the user the freedom of maneuvering it according to their needs.
Wooden Ball Massagers
These massagers provide relief and release tension by running them over your skin and rubbing the problem areas.
Depending on the degree of relief that you require, foam rollers can have a soft or a hard exterior. They target particular problem areas when rolled up and down the skin.
3 Pong Mini Massagers
Since they are very small units that fit inside the palm, they are very easy to work out with when you want to release the tension or massage the knots.
Electric Back Massagers
Coming a little bit more in handy that the manual ones, electric back massagers function due to a motor and no direct action from the user is needed. They are usually vibration based, having different speeds, but there also are more complex models.
Handheld massagers are usually recommended to those who have a pain point that is particularly difficult to reach. These massagers usually come in the shape of a pad or a wand, making it easy to use and insist on certain problem areas.
Cushion/Pillow Massager For Chair
This type of massager is a great choice for those who need to relieve the pain from two very specific areas: the neck or the lower back. However, some more advanced models can tackle other muscle groups too.
Mat massagers are just as the name goes: mats that deliver massage. These are usually recommended for medical conditions, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be used after a long and tiring day. A big plus of this type of massager is that it can actually reach all the muscle groups and deliver a full massage experience.
Car Back Massagers
Also known as chair pads, they are the less expensive and more portable alternative to chair back massagers. They usually have an in-built strap system that lets you move it easily from one chair to another.
Chair Back Massagers
A Chair Back Massagers is simply more than just a piece of furniture - it’s a device that brings the benefits of a good massage into the comfort of your home. Even though they’re expensive, they come with a complex set of programs that is quite sure to give that salon experience without needing to sacrifice family time or that important football match you’ve been waiting for the whole week.
Massage belts usually are a very good option for those who experience pain mostly around the lower back or the shoulders as they usually focus on those particular spots. You simply wrap them around your problem area and then let them do their magic.
TENS Units are the perfect answer for those looking for a deep-tissue massage. The idea behind them is quite simple: pulses are sent through electrode pads on your skin, stimulating your nerves and giving that soothing, deep massage you’ve been yearning for.
Main Features to assess when buying a back massager
1. Massage functions
A Shiatsu back massager uses kneading, tapping, and stretching in order to relieve sore muscles and intramuscular tension, being a good option for those suffering from chronic muscle pains or other related medical conditions.
This type of massage helps the body relieve tension and relaxes the underlying muscles, and it also stimulates blood flow.
Massage through rolling balls is a simple and inexpensive alternative to other massagers on the market. You can take them anywhere as they in the bag without a problem and use them anytime you need to relieve pain or reduce muscle tension.
This one is an efficient deep massage function that works your muscles more intensely and boosts your blood circulation.
The heating function warms up your muscles and helps them relax, thus boosting the beneficial effects of the massage.
The thumper massager is specially designed for deep-tissue massage, improving blood flow, toning the muscles and helping you in getting rid of the cellulite.
Trigger point massage
Trigger point massage focuses on specific intramuscular points, releasing constricted areas in the muscles and alleviating pain.
When considering buying a massager, there are some things you should take into consideration, like:
Do you want to use only for the back, or are there other problem areas you’d like to treat?
Does that massage band only massage the lower, or can I use it for my shoulders too?
Will this chair pad help me with my stiff neck, too?
What we are trying to say is that regardless of the type of massager you choose (manual or electric), you should think about its versatility and see on how many areas exactly you can use it. Your main priority right now might be getting your neck massaged, but wouldn’t like the same for your back?
Those who are constantly on the road or at the office might be interested in the portability of the massager. Consider if it’s lightweight enough for you to carry it around and also if it’s the right size. And if you choose for an electric massager, don’t forget to check if it has a car adaptor or if the battery would last long enough for a round-trip journey. However, out of safety reasons, we recommend you not to use it while driving, but only when stationary.
Another important aspect you should care about when buying an electric massager is the autonomy of the battery. Do I need to have it plugged-in constantly to work? Does it have a car adaptor? Or would some batteries suffice? If yes, can I use rechargeable ones? These are the main questions you should ask yourself when going for an electric massager.
The most current safety measure for electric massagers is the auto shut-down, which is very convenient for those who tend to fall asleep while getting a massage. This way you won’t have to worry about the device getting overheated and causing skin burn on you or your family. However, if you’re a fan of long massages or it simply takes longer for you to feel the massage, maybe you should look for a device that doesn’t shut down after a few minutes.
One thing you should never overlook is the warranty. If the device breaks, that’s your only option for having it repaired. To be a little extra-cautious, you should take a look at the refund and return policy for the case the massager doesn’t fulfill your expectations. The longer are the money back guarantee and warranty, the better is the investment.
Benefits of Using a Back Massager
Back massagers are great tools for relieving tension and sore muscles. Whether you opt for a pinpoint massage or a full-body experience, there’s no denying the benefits of using a back massager – and they’re more than just a few.
Stress Relieving and Relaxing
No matter what type of back massager you go for, at the end of the day we can all agree that it simply feels good. Hardly anybody can deny the relaxing effects a gentle massage has on stress relief and that’s because we all like it.
Back Muscle Knots
Backed-up by anti-inflammatory creams, cane, and S-shaped massagers can work wonder on back muscle knots. By massaging the trigger points, you loosen up the muscle fibers and, eventually, you get rid of that soaring pain.
Back Pain and Sciatica
Aggressive as it may be, deep tissue massage is actually very effective in combating sciatica. Using a slow, deep point massage to release tension from your muscles and connective tissues, the right back massager is bound to ameliorate your pain if used 30 minutes/day, five times/week.
In addition to this, a back massager can help with your muscle pain, increasing the tension between them. Once the muscles are relaxed, the flexibility gets better and the pain induced by the intramuscular tension is gone, thus improving sleep.
Self-massage can prove to be quite efficient for treating arthritis, especially when assisted by a massage tool. For example, shiatsu pillows are widely used for this affection due to the pinpoint massage and the heating options. Another kind of massage recommended for arthritis is the trigger point one, which can be acquired through using a can type massager or an S-shaped one due to the nodes that put pressure on specific points in your muscle tissue. And last but not least is the deep-tissue massage, but we advise you to consult a specialist before opting for this kind of massager as it can have side effects such as lingering soreness.
In what concerns athletes, one of the main benefits of owning a back massager is increased joint flexibility after massaging the strained muscles in the lower, middle and upper back. It also helps muscles relax, tone and become stronger, as well as helping reduce stretch marks and scar tissue.
How to make the most of your back massager
Choose the massager carefully
Firstly, if you suffer from a condition, ask your medical doctor’s opinion on whether you should go for a type of massager or another. While some massagers are highly recommended for some condition, they may be contraindicated for others. For example, even though a deep tissue massager is very good for intramuscular tension, it may as well cause complications if you suffer from arthritis.
After you’ve made sure that the type of massager wouldn’t worsen your condition, look very carefully at the reviews for that product. Are the vibrations too hard or too delicate for your needs? How about the functions? Would they fulfill your expectations? Pay attention to what other users think and don’t just go for the first search result on Amazon.
Use your massager regularly
If you use your massager today and then abandon it somewhere on a shelf for a month, you won’t see any result in your soaring muscles nor will you get the most bang for your bucks.
Use your massager when you’re hydrated
Drink at least one gallon of water a day and you will surely see faster results. This way, your muscles will respond better to the massage and the ache will leave your muscles in no time.
Take a shower before using your massager
The massager will work regardless of you taking that before shower or not, but it might not be the most pleasant experience. Nobody wants the goo from their feet to go rubbed all over their body, am I right?
Don’t consume alcohol before or after
I don’t mean to be rude, but alcohol does affect the level of sugar in your body and blood pressure. If this happens, you might not enjoy your massage as much as you thought you would as there’s the probability of you feeling noseated or even passing out.
Don’t overuse your massager
If your back massager has an automatic turn-off, don’t restart it the minute it stopped. You might end up overheating it and not only will your device last shorter, but it may also harm your skin and cause pretty grave burns.
Don’t go for a certain model just because it’s trendy
You’ve got intramuscular pain but you’ve found a vacuum massager that seems quite interesting? We don’t say the latter isn’t effective, but not for you specific problem. Do your research and see what types of massagers are recommended for your needs.
Can You Use A Back Massager During Pregnancy?
It’s common knowledge that pregnant women often suffer from back pain, but the opinions on whether back massagers should be used or not during pregnancy are mixed. Better talk to your doctor before making the decision so that you act on a sensible course of action. However, note that many units come with instructions that say if it’s advisable or not to use their product during pregnancy.
Back Massagers Comparison Chart
Zyllion Shiatsu Back Massager
13 x 9.5 x 3.5”
Compfier Shiatsu Back Massager
Snailex Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
Body Back Trigger Point Back Massager
27 x 2 x 17”
Etekcity Shiatsu Pillow Back Massager
13.3 x 4.3 x 8.6”
Snailex Mat Back Massager
Theraflow Handheld Back Massager
Snailax Portable Back Massager
Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Back Massager
6.5 x 16 x 10.9"
Five S Vibration Heated Back Massager
17.7 x 14 x 5.5"
If you consider buying a back massager, focus on your problem areas, think about your preferences, establish a budget, and the rest should be easy. We wish you good luck and hope you’ll find a massager that fits you best without breaking a sweat!