Best Back Massager – Buying Guide and Reviews of Our Top 10
Who doesn’t like the idea of getting a back massage, right? A few minutes of pampering and relaxation is the perfect addition to a day at the spa. We all need some time to unwind, right?
But what if a back massage is not a nice to have but a necessity? What if you need massages to treat serious health problems? That’s the reality for many individuals who live with back or joint problems. Unfortunately, we can’t all have massage therapists on hand 24/7. That’s why you’ll love the list of best back massager units listed below.
Technological advances and a few creative designs have led to some interesting products and somewhere on this list of best back massagers is the ideal product for your needs. The key to a healthier you can be in back massagers ranging from manual to electric devices. Let’s discuss a few facts to help you pick yours.
What’s the best home back massager?
The best home back massager is the RENPHO Rechargeable Handheld Deep Tissue Massager that provides 3600 pulses/minute. RENPHO includes five different massage heads for customizing massaging to a preferred style and strength. It measures 15” x 3” x 4.5” and at 1.8lb users find it portable & easy to handle. The back massager switches off automatically when not in use and the rechargeable batteries can last for over 2 hours of massaging time.
Benefits of Back Massagers:
As stated the need for back massagers goes far beyond a few minutes of fun. These devices can bring the benefits of your local physio therapist straight into your home. Here’s what you can look forward to:
Here are the Best Back Massagers you can buy in 2020:
- LiBa Back and Neck Massager - Best Manual Back Massager
- RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue Massager - Best Handheld Back Massager
- HoMedics Massager with Heat - Best Percussion Massager With Heat
- OPOVE M3 Pro - Best Massage Gun
- Zyllion ZMA13BK Shiatsu Pillow Massager - Best Shiatsu Back Massager For Upper Back
- Nekteck Shiatsu Massage Pillow - Best Deep Kneading Back Massager
- FIVE S FS8812 10-Motor Vibration Massage Seat Cushion - Best Massaging Seat Cushion
- Naipo Back Massager Seat Cushion - Best Shiatsu Massage Seat Cushion
- HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS Unit - Best Tens Unit For Back Pain
- Real Relax 2020 Massage Chair - Best Massage Chair
1. LiBa Back and Neck Massager
BEST MANUAL BACK MASSAGER
Here’s a very uniquely shaped massager but once you’ve used it you understand the reason for this design. It’s designed ergonomically so you can sit or lie down in natural positions but be able to massage those hard to reach areas.
It’s made from durable plastic but it will still flex and bend so you don’t hurt the muscles or skin in the area you massage. All plastic is BPA free and even hypoallergenic so it’s safe for anyone to use.
Also referred to as a selfie massager due to its unique S shape and the way it is held away from your body, those who are in need of massager void of frills will appreciate the no-fuss design. It’s called the LiBa Back Massager.
In a world of somewhat boring gray and black back massagers, the bright blue color is a breath of fresh air. Because of this, children are more likely to be open to receiving a massage from their parents when they need one too.
LiBa Back and Neck Massager’s small profile and unique shape make this an ideal option for those who often experience pain while on the go. It is also totally waterproof so you can even enjoy massaging yourself while bathing or showering which is extremely helpful.
Dimensions: 23.5”x 14”x 1”
2. RENPHO Rechargeable Handheld Deep Tissue Massager
BEST HANDHELD BACK MASSAGER
If you’re looking for a handheld back massager that is simple and easy to use, look no further than the RENPHO. But don’t let its small size fool you as this massager delivers up to 3,600 pulses per minute. The RENPHO will provide 140 minutes of deep tissue massage from a single charge of its rechargeable battery. After 20 minutes of usage, the device will power off to prevent overheating.
Pick from four strength modes and three-speed modes to achieve your ideal massage. Five interchangeable massage heads are included so you are even more in control of the strength and style of your massage.
This back massager has a sleek, stylish design and simple three-button operation system. Its cordless design coupled with its relatively small size means you can easily transport this back massager.
Dimensions: This handheld massager has dimensions of 15” x 3” x 4.5”.
Weight: The RENPHO deep tissue massager weighs a mere 1.8lb, so you can comfortably carry it around with you everywhere you go.
3. HoMedics Percussion Massager with Heat
BEST PERCUSSION MASSAGER WITH HEAT
Here’s the first one on our list with a heat feature. It’s designed as a portable massager so you can take your therapy tools on the road with you if needed.
The head provides a kneading movement so your massage isn’t only superficial. With 3100 pulses every minute you can get a high quality massage almost anywhere. The heat function is optional and you can adjust the intensity so you can customize it to your specific needs.
It’s slightly heavier than other handhelds so make sure you can easily pick it up and control it before you pick this one. An ergonomic rubber handle prevents sweaty hands from slipping up and down it while also providing you with more control over your massage. Two sets of color-coded massage nodes come with the HoMedics Massager so you can customize your massage as needed.
On top of this, three custom massage heads come with the device: gentle, firm and heated. While the massage nodes feature a drumming motion, the device emits a humming sound which some users find very relaxing.
Do you prefer gentle massages that are soft and slow? Or do you prefer vigorous massages that are rapid and robust? Either way, the HoMedics Massager’s four different speed options allow you to select the right massage strength and speed to match your mood.
Dimensions: 17.1”x 5.9”x 5.5”
4. OPOVE M3 Pro Percussion Massager
BEST PERCUSSION MASSAGE GUN
A single charge of this nifty device will provide up to three hours of massage time. Three-speed levels allow you to choose your preferred speed and strength while the brushless high-torque motor operates at 35dB – 55dB. This means that your relaxation won’t be interrupted by an annoying buzzing noise.
It has an ergonomic design and its Nylon 66 & glass fiber construction means that the device can withstand drops from 6.6ft high. Auto-off kicks in after 10 minutes of usage to prevent you from overworking certain areas. This handheld back massager comes with four different attachments so you can be massaged the way you like.
Dimensions: With dimensions of 10” x 5” x 1.5”, the OPOVE M3 Pro won’t take up too much precious space in your gym bag or first aid box.
Weight: The OPOVE M3 Pro weighs only 2.5lb, making this percussion massager exceptional easy to use, carry and store.
5. Zyllion ZMA13BK Shiatsu Pillow Massager with Heat
BEST SHIATSU PILLOW MASSAGER FOR UPPER BACK
Here’s an easy way to get a Shiatsu massage. This Shiatsu back massage pillow has a heating function and moving nodes to work on sore muscles. The heating feature can be turned off so you can customize your experience. The massage nodes change direction every 60 seconds to improve your treatment.
The unique design is tailormade so it’s effective in various areas: back, thigh or calf, neck and lower back. You use the straps to either attach it to a certain part of the body or a chair so you can sit on or against it. It’s impressively safe against overheating and has an auto shut off feature.
Why go to the spa when you can receive the same level of treatment at the push of a button? Four deep-kneading shiatsu massage nodes are incorporated into the ZMA13BK’s FDA-approved design. Its ultra-slim compact size and lightweight properties make the ZMA13BK incredibly portable. Those who are often traveling will appreciate the car adapter charger that comes with this massage pillow.
The auto-shutoff feature we mentioned is activated after 20 minutes of inactivity. This feature protects the device as well as your skin.
Dimensions: 13”x 2.5”x 9.5”
6. Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow
BEST DEEP KNEADING BACK MASSAGER
Here’s a super comfortable way to massage your neck and back. You thread your arms through the gaps and let it rest on your neck then let the Shiatsu heads do their jobs. Their movements are designed to simulate someone massaging your neck or back.
This electric back massager is compact enough to place in a suitcase so you can take it to the office or on a trip. The 6ft cord allows you a lot of room to move with it. The car adapter means you can use it almost anywhere. With three different speed modes and a heat feature you can customize according to your muscles’ needs.
Although designed for the upper back and neck you can put it on almost any part of the body such as wrapping it around your calf area or lower back. Note that it’s not advisable to use if you have a history of blood clots.
The Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Tissue Back Massager features bi-directional massage functionality as well as an auto-reverse rotation setting—both of which are features that ensure every area of your neck and back are properly massaged.
It is available in three different colors. Take your pick from black, beige or blue.
Dimensions: 15” x 8”x 7”
7. FIVE S FS8812 10-Motor Vibration Massage Seat Cushion with Heat
BEST MASSAGING SEAT CUSHION
Why stand and massage painful areas if you can sit on a massaging seat? This chair massager can target: neck, shoulders, your back and lower back, thighs. You customize your treatment with:
- 4 different programs
- Heat features
- 3 massage speeds
You can fold it and take it with you to take on a trip or to use at the office. The main treatment method is vibration. For safety—and in case you fall asleep during your treatment - it will automatically shut down after 30 minutes.
This electric back massager provides users with access to 10 vibration motors that target the neck, shoulders, back, and thighs. The FS8812 can target each of these areas of the body individually or simultaneously at your discretion. Do you only want a back massage? Then switch the corresponding button to activate this zone.
What is great about the FS8812 is that you can use it in a variety of places—from your office chair at work to your couch at home or even in the car. Its soft plush padding isn’t only kind to your skin, it’s also kind to the material of whatever chair its placed on top of.
Dimensions: 17.7”x 14”x 5.5”
8. Naipo Back Massager Shiatsu Massage Seat Cushion
BEST SHIATSU MASSAGE SEAT CUSHION
Here you get another massage cushion but with the added benefit of the Shiatsu massage effect. There are eight different nodes that role around and provide deep kneading. It’s matched with vibrations and a heat function & is mostly for neck and back massaging.
There are ways of customizing your massage:
- Use the pin point Shiatsu feature
- Three different vibration levels
- Three different massage zones
You need the right chair so the massage cushion can fit over the back and to ensure it doesn’t move too much during your massage.
In addition to providing the shiatsu style of massage, the Naipo Electric Back Massager Seat Cushion is also capable of providing rolling massage, kneading massage and vibrating massage. How’s that for an all-rounder?
Dimensions: The massage cushion designed for individuals between 1.6m – 1.8m tall. Outside these parameters you may not enjoy the full effect in the correct areas of your body.
9. HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS Unit
BEST TENS UNIT FOR BACK PAIN
You can have your own massage therapist in the palm of your hand. This electric back massager is easy to use thanks to the clearly labelled parts and buttons. You attach the eight different pads to your body and then customize your treatment with:
- Different treatment types
- Stimulation programs
- Massage settings
- 15 modes
It provides TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) treatment. It’s powered by AAA batteries so you can carry it anywhere instead of being restricted to work near an AC power outlet.
It’s important to note that you should consult with a doctor first if you have certain health conditions. The treatment does have the potential to irritate the skin if used for long periods of time. The HealthmasterForever YK15AB offers 20 levels of intensity adjustability. Not only is the YK15AB suitable for usage on the back but also eight other areas of the body.
As if this wasn’t enough, this versatile massager is capable of switching between different massage technique modes. This includes kneading, acupuncture, taping, cupping, scraping and—for those who like living on the edge—a random massage feature.
Dimensions: 23.5”x 14”x 1”
10. Real Relax 2020 Massage Chair
BEST MASSAGE CHAIR
The final massage chair to find its way onto our list is the Real Relax 2020 Massage Chair. This massage chair has eight massage neck and back rollers & 50 airbags placed to target specific areas of the body. Full body massage, anyone?
On top of its ability to provide one heck of a back massage, your shoulders, arms, hips, calves, and feet will also be massaged simultaneously. A Smart Control remote is also included and the chair is Bluetooth enabled, meaning you can listen to your favorite tunes while being massaged.
It has a built-in waist heater than promotes healthy circulation. While massage chairs are naturally nowhere near as portable as handheld back massagers, the Real Relax 2020 features a set of back wheels so you can maneuver the chair with ease. It is available in three colors: black, blue & khaki and brown & khaki.
Dimensions: Anyone who is taller than 5.2ft and shorter than 6.1ft will be able to use this massage chair comfortably. The dimensions of the Real Relax 2020 Massage Chair are 44.8” x 43.1” x 32.3”.
Weight: The Real Relax 2020 Massage Chair can withstand weights of up to 400lb. The massage chair itself weighs a little over 200lb.
Back Massager Buying Guide
Back Massagers for Treatment and Back Pain Relief:
As mentioned above a good back massage can be used to treat pain. Now, because technological advances empower manufacturers to build effective treatment features into compact and affordable devices, almost anyone can own one. That means you can have effective back pain treatment without visiting a medical professional.
Of course severe health problems should be treated with the assistance of your doctor but with a back massager at home he or she can take on an advisory role. You don’t have to pay for regular visits and treatments anymore.
A back massager can have an effect on various parts of your body, such as:
Types of Back Massagers:
The market is flooded with massage options and we’ll look at four popular types.
A handheld device helps you simulate massage techniques you would get from a professional massage therapist or physical therapist.
Handheld back massagers are designed in ways that allow you to reach certain parts of the body and apply pressure. Their unique designs can incorporate vibrating and/or heat treatments to reach deeper tissue and help relieve muscle pain.
Electric Back Massagers
An electric back massager has small electrodes running from a machine to soft pads. You place these pads on your muscles and when you turn on the machine electronic impulses are sent to that area via the wires. These impulses can be managed in terms of strength and are aimed at stimulating muscles & nerves. This can increase blood flow, affect how the nerves work and simulate muscle contractions. All these effects combine to help treat pain and keep muscles healthy.
A Shiatsu massager is designed to help restore balance in the body. It not only massages certain pressure points but affects joints with rotation and stretching.
These massagers can be fully body units you can place on a chair or smaller types you fit across your shoulders or other parts of the body.
The vibrations in these massagers are meant to stimulate parts of the body. This can be through rotating motion too. The effects are more relaxed muscles and the vibration strength & the pressure levels can be changed to suit your needs.
A percussion massager delivers a succession of rapid blows that deeply penetrate soft tissue. Percussion massagers are typically handheld devices which are also referred to as “percussion guns”. A favorite amongst professional athletes, percussion massagers work by rapidly striking specific areas of the body for short, but regular, sequences of concentrated pressure.
Back Massagers With Heat:
With all the different models on the market it can be confusing to find the perfect solution. You’ll need a massager with heat functions if you want to:
- Improve oxygen flow
- Activate the flow of nutrients to muscles
- Limit pain messages traveling to the brain
Therefore heat in one of the best electric massagers is a great feature that helps treat back pain and also speeds up recovery when the oxygen and nutrients start healing damaged tissue.
Which One Should You Choose?
When presented with all these options it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. To ensure you invest your money in the right back massage machine that won’t simply feel good but have long term positive effects on your body you should vet them according to these guidelines:
Using Massagers When You’re Pregnant:
Anything you do while being pregnant should be done with care and it’s best to ask advice from a physician. You should avoid electric massagers that send impulses to your muscles. These impulses can have a negative impact on the baby. You can also trigger contractions by massaging pressure points and some aromatherapy oils aren’t beneficial.
However normal vibrations, kneading and massaging are safe methods to use. With a medical expert’s guidance a massager can be an effective tool to help during your pregnancy:
- It can alleviate tension.
- The last trimester’s nerve pain can be countered.
- Studies show it can regulate hormones which can even minimize complications.
- You can treat swelling.
- There can be improved blood flow which can positively impact growth.
So put the best back massager you see above on your gift list for your baby shower!
Can a Back Massager Ease Sciatic Nerve Pain?
If you’ve ever had that searing pain in your lower back because of your sciatic nerve you’ll know how important it is to get fast relief. The reason for it being such a prominent problem is because this affects the largest nerve in the body. It can also lead to numbness and can affect your mobility and a loss of concentration. That affects work and home life.
The usual treatment requires medication and physiotherapy, however you can find relief at home too. Using one of the best lower back massager products will relieve pain while you go through recovery or treatment to rectify the problem, such as a herniated disc or infections. Two things help in this regard:
- Muscles become looser
- Nerve roots will be less irritated
If the symptoms include extreme numbness and weakness the condition may require surgery so the severity of the problem will determine how much relief you get from a back massager.
Do handheld (percussion/action) massagers loose power when you add a lot of pressure?
Here the power of the motor in the massager determines what will happen. On low end models with weak motors you can stop the vibrations when you press the massager very hard onto your muscles.
A good quality percussion massager will keep a consistent rhythm despite the pressure so you can massage the areas deep under the skin too. Yes you may feel the rhythm change but it won’t stop completely.
Ideally a massager should give a deep tissue massage even without you putting a lot of pressure on it.
So now that we have gone over what we feel are the best massagers on the market what is your next step? Make a list of your specific needs in terms of muscle relaxations or pain relief. Then pick the one that will best suit your needs while also considering your personal health. There’s a solution to manage pain better and now you know how.