Best Back Massagers Reviewed
If you’ve ever returned from a particularly tough work out session and felt the desire to be thoroughly massaged, to feel that deep relaxation, you should know that there are people out there who thought about you and others like you, and have decided to design the perfect device to help you feel relaxed - the back massager!
A lot of us lead busy lives and do not have the time (or money) to go to a massage therapist every now and then, which is why these devices can be so convenient. You can use them while doing chores around the house, while you relax, or when you drive your car. They are the perfect buddies when you need to give your muscles a break!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 6 hrs of research
Cordless Handheld Massager
Built-in Li-on Battery
Five Massager Heads
Top 10 Picks
1. Renpho Cordless
Cordless Handheld Massager
Built-in Li-on Battery
Five Massager Heads
High Pitched Sound
This cordless handheld massager is convenient and works without the presence of electrical sockets, making it a super portable tool. It has a powerful motor which can create up to 3600 pulses a minute, offering you a chance to experience deep tissue massage. It has a built-in Li-on battery that will last you 140 minutes on a full charge.Read more
A safety feature shuts off the massager after 20 minutes, so you don’t need to fear being electrocuted. A simple control panel with four buttons helps you change the intensity. The handle is longer and it has an ergonomic design, making it easy to hold it for longer periods, and making hard-to-reach spots a thing of the past. There are five massager heads that come with various attachments, offering you the chance to control your massage to the fullest.
2. Naipo Handheld Double Head
Dual Pivoting Head
Two Speed Levels
Too Hard At Times
If you don’t like to use a full body massager and only want one particular spot worked on, then handheld massagers are just what you need. This handheld device has a very powerful motor helping dual pivoting heads move with power and meaning. The motor utilizes a percussion motion, giving you pulses of up to 3400 times per minute which can relax you anywhere you may find yourself.Read more
There are three custom attachments available for the two heads - if you need a firm, gentle or soothing warm massage on any body part you can think of, just choose one of the attachments and enjoy relieved pressure. You can set the heads to two different levels of intensity, lower for muscle relaxation and higher for deep muscle and tissue calmness. It uses infrared to heat up, and it’s very quiet and light, making it super convenient!
3. Snailax Vibration Seat
Four Optional Massage Areas
Five Different Programs
Heat Not Adjustable
This innovative car seat massages you while you commit to your daily commute, saving you both time and money. The seat has six vibrating massage motors, placed all around the surface so you have a great session every time. You’ve also got four optional massage areas - the upper back, lower back, hips, and thighs!Read more
There are five different programs for different levels of vibration, making it possible to experience the most relaxing massages and the most intense ones. You can also adjust the massage intensities, meaning you’ll have absolute control over what you feel. Heating pads warm up the whole seat and promote blood flow. An overheating system and auto shut-off timer protect you from burns. The surface is 100% ultra-soft plush, for a soft and caressing hug. The bottom has rubber dots that keep it in place, and integrated straps keep it anchored.
4. Five S 3D Kneading
Loops for Hands
Two Types Of Adapters
This wrap-around massager has eight rollers that knead and act like a real shiatsu massage and can help you loosen up quite fast. The heat is gentle and gets your blood flowing, and it’s easy to turn it on or off. There are two directions for the rollers, and there’s only one button needed for you to change it. There are three different speeds from which you can choose from, and again only one button with which you can change it.Read more
Although it’s best when it’s used around the neck, the length of the massager allows it to be wrapped around any part of your body, and you can always pull your arms through, or even your legs, to adjust the pressure you need with ease. Two types of adapters are included, one for your home and one for the car, and you can use it all day long (although not for longer than 45 minutes!).
5. Homedics 3D Shiatsu
Compact And Portable
Inward And Outward Motions
Poorly Placed Buttons
This dainty tan pillow shows you just how relaxing a circular kneading massage can be. The pillows nodes are the latest massage technology, moving both inward and outward to deliver a powerful yet soothing massage. The 3D massage combined with heat will stimulate blood flow to your muscles, making them relax even more while promoting healing.Read more
Next to the kneading motion, the pillow also comes with a vibration mode. While you use the vibration mode, the vibrations will reach the deepest points of your tissues and muscles, calming you down to the core. The pillow also has integrated controls for extra convenience - the controls sit on the sides of the pillow, so there’s no need to get up from it to set a different mode or intensity! The cushion is lightweight, discreet and little so you can take it with you no matter where you go. It has a cord, but the cord is pretty long so all you need is a socket and you’re good to go!
6. Pure Wave CM7
Extra Long Handle
Not That Powerful
This percussion massager is cordless and packs a punch, making up to 3700 rotations per minute! A facial micro-vibration motor on the side of the handle has a staggering 10000 rotations per minute, offering your face the love it always deserved. These repetitive actions are what relieves the tension in your muscles, breaks apart knots and relieves spasms.Read more
The extra long handle and the slim design make it easy to hold and easy to control. The many attachments can be awfully confusing but lucky for you the company offers an instructional video that can help you realize how to use it with ease. These attachments are all for different areas of your body, so with one purchase, you’ll be getting a lot more!
7. MaxKare Deep Tissue
3D Deep Kneading Massage
Adjustable Leather Strap
Premium Breathable Mesh
Rollers Have Flat Tops
Not So Durable
This compact massager in the form of a pillow can offer new levels of relief you didn’t know existed. It has four kneading nodes, which simulate a shiatsu massage. A shiatsu massage is a Japanese method that relaxes and soothes sore and painful muscles. These nodes are 3D, and they rotate clockwise and counterclockwise so they reach all of the areas that you can't, and that you didn’t even think of reaching!Read more
These nodes also heat up, so if you suffer from poor circulation rest easy knowing that now you’ll have better circulation and fingers that are always warm! You can place this pillow all around your body for an optimal level of relaxation. The can't shape lets it sits on your neck, all around your back, your legs, your arms, and even your buttocks! The pillow also features an elastic band that makes it very adjustable, and you can hook it up and connect it anywhere you like for a message whenever and wherever you need it to happen. If you worry about it overheating, you should know that it has an auto shut-off function that protects you from burns and overworked areas!
8. Snailax Mat
10 Massage Motors
Flexible And Foldable
Soft Plush Fabric
Auto Shut Off
Not So Durable
Massage Too Soft
This long, supple mat has an incredible ten massage motors that offer a full body soothing massage. It should be noted that these motors are not kneading ones and they will not give you a shiatsu massage if that is what you’re looking for! The mat has five massage modes, four selective massage zones and three intensity levels to help you use the mat to its full potential!Read more
There are four heating pads placed strategically all over the surface. They are located in the upper back, lower back thighs, and calves, the zones which are most likely to suffer from soreness and aching. This mat is fully flexible, so you can use it even like a chair massager, and you can roll it up and take it with you no matter where you go. The mat is covered by ultra-soft plush, creating a pleasurable experience for all its users. The heating feature has a timer which turns it off after thirty minutes so there’s no chance for you to get burned!
9. Naipo Shiatsu
Not So Warm
The ergonomic U-shape design of this shoulder massager and nodes placed on unique locations make it very adjustable, and you can easily place it on any body part you like, including your back. The 3D massage offers a heat function which soothes the muscles and helps them feel more relaxed. The straps through which your pull your hands are very bendy and allow for better pressure control.Read more
It turns off automatically within the first 20 minutes and comes with an overheat protection system. The surface of the massager is made out of PU leather, making it simple to clean it and maintain its beauty. The mesh fabric makes it breathable and allows the heat to penetrate deeper into your body. A protective cloth keeps the dust away and makes the massager more cushioned.
10. Snailax Neck & Back
Position Of Nodes Adjustable
Nodes Travel Up And Down
Three Massage Zones
Spot Massage Function
Adjustable Width Between Nodes
Not For Short People
This seat-shaped massager offers you all the benefits a professional massage does at the comfort of your own home or office. The nodes within the massager mimic movements of shiatsu massages and focus on relaxing you. Four unique nodes make deep tissue massaging an everyday norm, all while being able to rotate at two different directions.Read more
You can even adjust the position of the nodes, since no two people are the same, to fit your individual needs even better. The nodes travel up and down your back offering a full and proper massage. There are three different massage zones and a spot massage function which gives you the chance for targeted relaxation. The width between the nodes is adjustable so any type of body can experience what a true massage feels like. A convenient remote control is easy to use and makes it possible for you to customize your session. A detachable cover for the chair is washable, and can soothe or intensify your massage!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Once you glance upon our comprehensive list, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the weird gadgets and gimmicks you can see there. Odd pillows? Something that looks like a chair but isn’t one? What’s with that thing that hangs around your neck? But we’re here to inform you that you shouldn’t worry about things like that since these devices are pretty straightforward.
When it comes to the little kneading pillows, you can simply turn them on and place them wherever you feel the need to be relaxed. They can rest on your neck, on your shoulders, lumbar area, between the shoulder blades, and they can even work on your buttocks! So they are pretty straightforward, you just turn them on, place them where you need them to be and let them do the rest. The mat is also quite simple to use - just spread it on the floor, on the bed or you can even use it on a chair since it’s foldable, and voila, you’re good to go! The handheld massagers only need to have the appropriate attachments when you use heating, cooling or vibrating features, and your hands of course! Or the hands of someone willing to help you work on your muscles. The massagers that mimic scarfs are actually quite helpful and handy - by pulling your arms through the loops, you can control the amount of pressure you will feel once you turn it on. You can wrap it around your neck, your arms, legs, and feet and enjoy the relaxing movements. And that’s pretty much it! You see they’re nothing to fear!
Chances are that you’ve visited a masseuse before and that you have used a massaging device as well. But have you ever wondered how effective are they, and what’s the difference between the two?
When it comes to manual massage, the effectiveness can vary greatly. Some manual massages offer relaxation and soothe the muscles. But most of them look at the problems deep in the tissues since that is what most of us are after. That type of massage can be very painful at certain points, but in the end, it will offer the most relief. This is why shiatsu and vibrating machines can’t really offer that much relief in the long run, since they can’t work on those deep points with that much precision, but working on those deep points too much can spell trouble for you as well, but more on that later. Then again, vibration massagers have an advantage over masseuses because they can steadily apply the same amount of pressure all the time. Massage therapists need to apply a lot of pressure, and the more muscles you have the more pressure they need to apply, and that can be very tiring! A machine will never tire (unless the batteries or wires die), and it will always work on your problems with the same amount of dedication. The machines often send vibrations deep into your muscles. These vibrations relax your muscles, and there won’t be any of that pressure and pain that can make you tighten up, which is the opposite of what you want. When a massage therapist works on a small deep area, he or she will often use their thumb or finger to cut deeper into your tissues. If the area is larger, an elbow might be used, which can increase the pain even more. The mechanical massager relies on the power of its motor, so it always applies the same amount of “pressure”, or vibrations, and you will always feel relaxed.
Powerful professional massagers can penetrate even deeper, and do a better job than the best manual massagers, and in a much shorter time span! What one good mechanical massager can do in 10-15 minutes, a manual masseuse can do in an hour, with pain as an added side effect. Then again, a masseuse is an actual person, and they can feel the difference between your tissues, and they can stop once they deem they’ve done enough. You can overdo it with machines, especially if you do not what you’re doing. Lucky for you, the machines usually have timers, and they will prevent you from overworking your body! You should consult a therapist before using the machine though, and once you have the appropriate information, you can use the machines safely and at your convenience!
All of these machines do massage you, but they don’t do that by simply vibrating or kneading your skin. They often have many additional features which can help you feel even more relaxed and good, and we will now explain what some of them do.
First things first, we’ve got the vibrations. The vibration is perhaps one of the most important aspects of massagers since they are the ones that do most of the work. Depending on what you need the massager to do, there are many types of vibrations you can look into. When you know the purpose of your massager, you can start looking into them more deeply. Some of the massagers work those deep tissues like champs, while others simply work on the surface. If you don’t know exactly what you need and you want to experiment, you can simply get one that offers many different options. More options mean more levels of depth, and the different speed and vibration intensities only help you feel more relaxed. One more way to get out the most from your massager is to make sure that the one you purchased has different modes. These modes activate different areas of your massaging seat, pillow or whichever machine you have chosen. Bu using different modes, you work on different areas of the body, and the purpose is different every time as well, making the machine suitable for most people.
Some massagers offer heat. While you might not think that heat is such an important factor, try to imagine a massage given to you by a therapist. Does the kneading of your skin always feel cold, or does the constant moving and pressure generate heat? This heat helps the muscles relax even further. Of course, you must make sure that the material of the massager is fireproof, so you can avoid accidental fire. Your massager also must have a timer. This timer balances the temperature and helps you avoid potential burns or redness of the skin. And at last, there must be different temperature options, since what works for you may not work for your friends or vise versa! Then again, some massagers have a cooling option! This is achieved with a fan and can help cool you down when the weather is hot.
And last but not least, most of the machines offer shiatsu or kneading. This type of massaging comes from Japan and utilizes the hands and fingers to relax the body. There are many benefits shiatsu massage offers, and the kneading knobs on most of the massagers you can find today do the same thing a masseuse would do. Believe it or not, shiatsu can help relieve constipation, if you place the massager on your abdomen. The stretching and pulling motion can help get things going, and you can find relief even that way. This type of massage is also quite relaxing. Many people report feeling calmer and more relaxed after one session, and they even say it helps them sleep better. Whenever you come back from a training session, chances are you’re going to end up with sore muscles and aches. The kneading can help relieve that pressure, and it can stretch and pull your muscles, so you don’t feel that much back pain. All in all, if you get a massager that has each and every aspect of massaging put into it, you will end up with a very helpful gadget!
Since you’ll be leaning or sitting on the massagers for most of the time, it’s important that they offer comfort and durability. Most of the massagers have surfaces made out of materials that hug the skin and caress it, making the experience more enjoyable. But it’s not only the surface that affects the comfort, and we must look into them deeper in order for you to understand that they do offer plenty of coziness.
Most of the massage pillows have an ergonomic construction. This means that their shape follows the shape of your body, allowing you to set yourself into a more comfortable position. This also means that you can fit the pillow around or under many parts of your body since we’re quite curvy creatures. The mats have foam padding and cushy pillow-like hills, that can cushion you no matter what surface you are lying on. Truth be told, massagers are made to bring you comfort and to make you relax, so each and every massager that you find has an ultimate combination of materials that help provide you with absolute comfort!
Although a massage has many benefits and helps you relax and feel good if done the wrong way or for more than you should, it can have side effects as well. There is a very small possibility that you’ll suffer from anything serious, but minor side effects are quite common! A lot of patients, when asked, reported slight discomfort a day after a massage. This discomfort is usually something that is known as “post-massage soreness and malaise”. This just means that you might feel more tired and sore after a massage session. But this seems minor, and not something that should be of concern to you, so why are we mentioning this?
One of the things a massage can do is cause sensory injury. This means that an intense massage can actually change your pain sensitivity. Usually, the people that seek massage therapy are the ones who already suffer from some form of chronic pain, and causing sensory injury can only worsen their condition. These people experience some form of neurology dysfunction, and a painful massage can create a major setback for them.
One more thing excessive pressure can cause is, surprisingly, rhabdomyolysis. This condition happens when your muscles start to leak protein into the blood, essentially poisoning your kidneys and you. This usually happens when a person works out way too much, or by a crush injury to the muscle, but a light massage can release a little bit of those proteins. But this shouldn’t worry you unless you suffer from any serious condition since this is a very rare side effect.
A lot of pressure on the nerves can also cause some damage. If you push hard enough in the wrong place, a nerve can be damaged, and you could end up with a week or two of discomfort or even worse. Your neck is quite sturdy, but it too can suffer from a bad massage. Very rare and serious side effects include spinal cord injury or even a stroke! A particularly intense massage can even cause a fracture. If you’ve got blood clots sitting somewhere inside of your body, a massage can release them, and it can also cause dizziness and vertigo attacks. These are some things you can suffer if you don’t follow along with the instructions and use the massagers more than you’re supposed to!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
The material a massager is made out of usually affects your comfort. PU Leather is the most common one, and it is an elegant solution to cheap and morally worrying leather. It feels very soft to the touch, it cools down your skin and it doesn’t make you heat up. It can also withstand quite a bit, and it won’t tear down and be cut that easily. Polyester also graces the uppers of many massagers in the form of a mesh. The mesh helps your skin breathe with ease, and inhibits sweating so you won’t end up with a wet massager. Plush is quite common, and it creates a soft and cuddly surface on which you can rest your head or other body parts. If you don’t feel like sweating an ocean and feeling stuffy while you use the massager, always check from what the surface is made out of!
Other Factors to Consider
Finding a good back massager can be a challenging task, and without a handy guide to lead you, you can even fail it. Lucky for you, we have made a thoroughly researched list that helps you better understand the massagers as a whole and the benefits you can get while using them. A good back massager can help heal your back faster, and your muscles won’t be as sore as they would be normally. We hope that you managed to find what you’re looking for thanks to our guide!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can back massagers do more harm than good?
This is a concern for many new users, and while doing something bad is unlikely, it doesn’t mean that it can’t happen to you. If you know how to use the massager properly then you will feel nothing but benefits while you use it, but if you use it for too long or if you use it the wrong way, you might experience slight discomfort or maybe even some nerve damage! So before you start to use your new massager, make sure to always check out how you’re supposed to use it.
q: Do back massagers do the same job like massage therapists?
Having a machine do the job a human would can be very concerning, and you might start to distrust your massager. But you should know that most of the times, a machine can do a better job than a human can, and in a shorter period of time! Although you won’t have any actual human contact with a massager, you can enjoy it any time you like, and it will apply consistent pressure on your tissues, meaning you will experience less pain and soreness!
q: Can I use a back massager if I’m pregnant?
This is one of the most common questions about back massagers. While it’s highly unlikely you will actually fight or do any kind of sports while you’re pregnant, you could still crave the relief a massager can offer, and you might wonder, is it safe to use it while you carry a child? The massagers you can definitely use are the ones that do not require any kind of electricity to be used. Hand held massagers do not produce any type of electrical impulses that can harm your unborn child. You can also use any other product that does not rely on electricity to massage you and provide relief!
q: How long should I use my back massager for?
The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t use a massager for more than 10 or 15 minutes, more or less depending on the intensity of the massaging session. You should always look whether the producer has included a guide for how long you should use it for, or if the massager comes with preset modes that last a certain amount of time. If you pay close attention, you really can’t make a mistake!
q: Do I need to buy a quality back massager?
If you care about the safety of your own health, then the answer is yes! You can’t have your massager malfunctioning and accidentally hurting you, can you now? Also, an expensive massager isn’t always good, and you must always see other reviews and opinions before you actually purchase one, since they can help you figure out which option is the best for you.
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