A woman is using back massager at home

Sitting too much is one of the most pervasive problems of modern lifestyle. Whether it's at work, in the car or at home, it wrecks our health, according to numerous studies. (1) The best back massagers help a number of back issues caused by this, including painful knots and sore muscles.

Back massage tools come in many different form, including handheld devices, massage cushions and electric massagers. We have reviewed a wide range of the top rated models on the market today and collected their pros and cons in an easy-to-see format.  Whether it's for your own use or you intend to buy one as a gift, you can confidently pick a top back massager from our list.

Back Massagers Reviewed

*We select and review all products independently, based on our opinion and customer feedback. Some links on this page are affiliate links and if you make a purchase we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more info on our disclaimer page.

Best deep tissue

FlyBy F1 Pro Percussion Back Massager

- Type: handheld percussion style
- Massage heads: 6
- Quiet and powerful, 4+ hours/charge

Our Rating

9.4

Best pillow style

Zyllion Lower Back & Neck Massager

- Type: pillow style lower back massager
- Massage modes: shiatsu, deep kneading
- Heating element, auto shut-off, 1-year warranty

Our Rating

9.0

Best cushion style

Comfier Shiatsu Back Massager

- Type: full body massage seat/cushion
- Massage modes: rolling, deep kneading, shiatsu
- Air compression, heat, vibration functions

Our Rating

9.3

Best shawl style

RESTECK Neck & Back Massager

- Type: shawl style
- Massage modes: shiatsu, kneading
- Heating, auto shut-off, great for travel or home

Our Rating

9.7

Best budget

Viktor Jurgen Handheld Back Massager

- Type: handheld electric w. double head
- Massage modes: tapping, deep tissue
- Powerful, corded with 6 heads

Our Rating

8.4

#6

Snailax Back Massager Cushion

- Type: full body massage cushion
- Massage mode: deep kneading, shiatsu
- Vibration and heat therapy, very comfortable

Our Rating

8.6

Best high-end

Homedics Perfect Touch Back Massager

- Type: full body massage cushion
- Modes: shiatsu, deep kneading, percussion
- App control, heat function, adjustable height

Our Rating

9.0

#8

TYMO White Whale Handheld Back Massager

- Type: handheld rechargeable
- Massage modes: deep tissue, percussion
- Heat function, powerful, 5 massage heads

Our Rating

8.8

#9

Naipo Deep Tissue Back Massage Gun

- Type: handheld percussion style
- Massage modes: deep tissue, percussion
- Powerful, quiet, 5+ hours/charge, 5 heads

Our Rating

9.6

#10

RENPHO Back Massage Cushion

- Type: full body massage cushion
- Massage modes: deep kneading, shiatsu
- Seat vibration, heated back, very comfortable

Our Rating

8.4

Best deep tissue

FlyBy F1 Pro Percussion Back Massager

- Type: handheld percussion style
- Massage heads: 6
- Quiet and powerful, 4+ hours/charge

Our Rating

9.4

Best pillow style

Zyllion Lower Back & Neck Massager

- Type: pillow style lower back massager
- Massage modes: shiatsu, deep kneading
- Heating element, auto shut-off, 1-year warranty

Our Rating

9.0

Best cushion style

Comfier Shiatsu Back Massager

- Type: full body massage seat/cushion
- Massage modes: rolling, deep kneading, shiatsu
- Air compression, heat, vibration functions

Our Rating

9.3

Best shawl style

RESTECK Neck & Back Massager

- Type: shawl style
- Massage modes: shiatsu, kneading
- Heating, auto shut-off, great for travel or home

Our Rating

9.7

Best budget

Viktor Jurgen Handheld Back Massager

- Type: handheld electric w. double head
- Massage modes: tapping, deep tissue
- Powerful, corded with 6 heads

Our Rating

8.4

#6

Snailax Back Massager Cushion

- Type: full body massage cushion
- Massage mode: deep kneading, shiatsu
- Vibration and heat therapy, very comfortable

Our Rating

8.6

Best high-end

Homedics Perfect Touch Back Massager

- Type: full body massage cushion
- Modes: shiatsu, deep kneading, percussion
- App control, heat function, adjustable height

Our Rating

9.0

#8

TYMO White Whale Handheld Back Massager

- Type: handheld rechargeable
- Massage modes: deep tissue, percussion
- Heat function, powerful, 5 massage heads

Our Rating

8.8

#9

Naipo Deep Tissue Back Massage Gun

- Type: handheld percussion style
- Massage modes: deep tissue, percussion
- Powerful, quiet, 5+ hours/charge, 5 heads

Our Rating

9.6

#10

RENPHO Back Massage Cushion

- Type: full body massage cushion
- Massage modes: deep kneading, shiatsu
- Seat vibration, heated back, very comfortable

Our Rating

8.4

FlyBy Percussion Back Massager

This offering from FlyBy is a handheld massager of the type that's typically referred to as a massage gun. In spite of that ominous-sounding moniker, however, this is an exceptionally quiet device that weighs in at an impressively light 1.8 pounds, making it one of the most unobtrusive and travel-friendly units on our list.

The Flyby Percussion massager comes armed with six different attachments: a large ball for relaxation, a smaller ball for loosening the tighter knots, a fork head for the spine and back muscles, a flat head for deep-tissue massage, a broad wedge, and a pointed bullet-style attachment.

Users also have a choice between three speeds, all ranging between 1,800 and 3,200 RPM with 50 pounds of pressure. There's also an air-cooling option that can be engaged if the unit gets uncomfortably hot.

A 26v rechargeable battery is included with the purchase and offers over four hours per charge. This means that the device will only need to be recharged about once a week if used daily for the recommended session length of 30 minutes. A set of easy-to-read LED lights indicate when the battery is running low.

Although some users have reported issues with the battery, these problems seem to be isolated and not a result of faulty manufacturing. The only other red flag we've encountered involves the packaging, which could be sturdier to ensure that the massager reaches its destination in good condition.


Features

  • 6 Massage Heads
  • 3 Speeds
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery

Pros

  • Quiet motor—runs about as loud as a regular refrigerator
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Attractive price point
  • Six massage heads offer versatility
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not a hands-free device
  • Packaging is on the flimsy side, which could cause potential shipping damage

Zyllion Lower Back Massager

A pillow-style massager with shiatsu massage nodes, this hands-free device delivers fast pain relief to specific target areas. Because it's both portable and effective, it's a great choice for either the home or the office.

The four 3D massage nodes will automatically change direction every 60 seconds, keeping the experience from growing too repetitive. There's an optional heating function that can be switched on and off at any point during the massage, with easy-access controls. Because of the ergonomic design of this pillow massager, it can be used on any area of the body, from the upper back to the abdomen to the lower calves.

The Zyllion Lower Back Massager is covered in a breathable mesh fabric and outfitted with a strap that can be attached to a seat cushion. The included sleeve can be used for transport, but it also comes in handy for people with heat sensitivity issues.

Be forewarned that this is not a rechargeable device—it requires an electrical outlet in order to work. A car adapter is included in the purchase, along with the regular adapter that allows it to operate on either 110-120v or 220-240v outlets. This versatility, coupled with the handy carrying pouch, makes this a convenient unit for traveling.

Zyllion offers a 90-day return window and free replacements for one year following the date of purchase. Be aware that the overheat protection will prevent the unit from operating once the massager has exceeded a safe temperature. The massager should begin working normally as soon as the temperature decreases.


Features

  • 4 3D Shiatsu Massage Nodes
  • Heat Function
  • Automatic Shut-Off

Pros

  • Low price point
  • Portable, hands-free device
  • Delivers intense therapy to problem areas
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • May be too small to suit some individuals
  • Heat function can be too intense
  • Some shipping issues reported

Comfier Shiatsu Back Massager

With this full-sized chair massager, Comfier offers a more comprehensive experience than either of the models listed above. For individuals seeking a full-on back massage, this device is surely worth a closer look.

As the name indicates, this is a shiatsu-style massager, enabling both 2D and 3D methods to replicate the sensation of real human hands. In addition to the kneading method, the device utilizes vibration, rolling, and air compression techniques, giving it a versatility that's unmatched in the field. An optional infrared heating function delivers additional comfort and enhances the benefit of the therapy by promoting stronger blood circulation in problem areas.

Users who wish to focus on target areas can choose from either a lower or upper back massage rather than the full-back option. There's also a SPOT function that delivers therapy with to certain muscle groups with pinpoint precision. 

Additionally, the width between the massage nodes can be easily adjusted to suit different body types. Three different intensity settings are available, according to user preference.

One of our favorite aspects of this chair massager is the vibrating seat cushion, which is outfitted with inflatable "wings" that provide additional support to the hips and thighs. We also appreciate the fact that the neck cover can be removed for easy washing. Comfier offers a full refund for the first 30 days after purchase to anyone who is unsatisfied with the product's performance.


Features

  • 4 Rotating Shiatsu Massage Nodes
  • 3 Intensity Settings
  • Infrared Heat Function

Pros

  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Inflatable cushions provide extra comfort and support
  • Offers a full-back massage experience
  • Removable, washable cover

Cons

  • Rollers don't quite reach all the way up the neck
  • High price point

RESTECK Neck & Back Massager

This shawl-style neck and back massager comes in a nifty carrying case that resembles a small gym bag. The resemblance doesn't end there—this is a low-profile, easy-to-carry device that could come in quite handy after long workouts.

The RESTECK massager drapes around the neck and shoulders, with loops at each end to give users a place to rest their hands during use. Eight shiatsu-style massage nodes deliver soothing pressure to sore muscles, while the heat therapy option helps to boost blood circulation.

The nodes are bidirectional and controlled by a series of buttons found on the upper left shoulder of the device. While we think this configuration is slightly awkward (particularly for left-handed individuals), the buttons themselves are well-marked and easy to figure out.

Because of its flexible design, the RESTECK can be used on many areas of the body, from the neck to the lower lumbar region to the lower calves and ankles. It can even work as a foot massager if the user is willing to get creative. 

While the nodes are bidirectional, they don't change their track automatically—the movement is controlled via one of the buttons. The control panel allows users to increase or decrease the intensity of the experience as well.

The included carry bag makes this massager easy to transport and to store when it's not in use. RESTECK offers a lifetime warranty with every purchase—a particularly generous benefit considering the low price tag.


Features

  • 8 Bidirectional Massage Nodes
  • Adjustable Speed Levels
  • Automatic Shut-Off

Pros

  • Flexible design
  • Convenient carrying case
  • Versatile, can be used on many areas of the body
  • Soft material
  • Car adapter included

Cons

  • Buttons are set in an awkward spot
  • High intensity level can be too rough for some users

Viktor Jurgen Handheld Back Massager

This is another handheld unit like the Flyby Percussion model, but due to the dual-headed nature of the massager, it doesn't fall under the massage gun category. It covers more surface area than the Flyby offering, meaning that the operator doesn't have to work as hard to deliver (or receive) a relaxing, rejuvenating massage.

The Viktor Jurgen Back Massager is outfitted with a "dog head" design that's broad on one end, tapering toward the handle. Three sets of dual massage nodes are included: air cushion sticks for percussive or Swedish massage, broad nodules for shiatsu-style therapy, and a set that's designed to trigger acupressure points along the neck and scalp. Although it's advertised as a back massager, the unit can be used to apply pressure to any part of the body, including the soles of the feet.

Customized speed settings allow users to set the massager to the intensity that feels most comfortable. The motor is capable of working at up to 3,350 pulses per minute, which is impressive for this type of device. A sliding wand along the handle can be used to control the speed from slow to fast.

This is a corded model, so it's better for home or office use than for travel. A non-slip rubber grip helps to keep the massager firmly in place during use. While the therapy can be self-administered, we think the experience is more relaxing if someone else is operating the device.


Features

  • 3 Dual Sets of Massage Heads
  • Customizable Speed Settings
  • 71-inch Cord

Pros

  • User-friendly control panel
  • Attractive design
  • Versatile massage "hammer" suitable for use on many body parts
  • Easy to transport
  • Good customer service department

Cons

  • Handle is too short for self-administered therapy in some areas
  • Acupressure massage nodes don't penetrate deeply enough for some

Snailax Back Massager Cushion

With this chair-style massage cushion, Snailax offers comfort and convenience in one impressive package. The company's attention to detail gives this model a definite edge against the competition—and at a decent price.

Equipped with four deep-kneading bidirectional massage nodes, the Snailax Back Massager can either deliver a full-back massage or focus on problem regions. The nodes are flexible and adjustable, so they can adapt to fit a variety of different body styles. 

Note that while the seat cushion provides a vibrating massage effect, the optional heating function is limited to the back and shoulder areas.

In addition to the standard three intensity levels, this cushion offers a detachable control flap, meaning that users can receive a more intense massage if desired. Should the pressure still be too intense when the flap is in place, a blanket or towel can offer an extra layer of protection. The cleverly designed strap system makes this device suitable for use on any type of chair or recliner—even the sofa.


Features

  • 4 Deep-Kneading Massage Nodes
  • Vibrating Seat Cushion
  • Detachable Intensity Flap

Pros

  • Lightweight for this type of massager
  • Intensity is easy to control
  • Effective heating function
  • Built-in timer can be set to 5, 10, or 15 minute increments
  • Pinpoints target areas with precision

Cons

  • Intensity can be too much, even with the removable flap in place
  • Massage nodes rotate somewhat awkwardly around the neck and shoulders when changing direction

Homedics Perfect Touch Back Massager

The Homedics Perfect Touch massager is a chair-style cushion with a sweet hourglass shape that aligns with the body's natural contours. Although it's one of the highest-priced models listed here, its benefits should help users recoup those costs in a relatively short period of time.

Four different massage styles are available: a deep-kneading shiatsu technique, a percussion option that helps to strengthen the muscles, a rolling function for relaxation, and a shaitsu-percussion combo that provides the best of both worlds. Because the neck and shoulder regions can be adjusted to accommodate people of varying heights, it does a remarkable job at keeping the focus on problem areas. The adjustable feature also means that the unit can be enjoyed by every member of the family.

The Homedics massager has a perk that tech-savvy consumers are sure to appreciate: It can be remotely controlled via a smartphone app. That means there's no need to squirm around to locate the control panel—just tap a few buttons on the phone to customize the massage. There are three settings available, along with an heat feature to boost blood circulation in the neck, shoulders, and back regions.

The strap system allows the cushion to be affixed to just about any chair, but we don't think it works as well on the sofa. Because this is a corded unit with a somewhat bulky profile, it's best suited for home use. Fortunately, an internal cord storage system keeps the plug from dragging on the floor between sessions.


Features

  • 4 Massage Styles
  • Heat Function
  • Retractable Cord

Pros

  • Clever ergonomic design
  • Can be controlled via smartphone
  • Integrated strap system helps to keep chair in place
  • Provides intense therapy to problem areas
  • Customizable fit

Cons

  • High price point
  • Included remote is a bit too busy and confusing
  • Heavy, bulky unit; not suitable for travel

TYMO White Whale Handheld Back Massager

TYMO offers a slim and portable wand-style massager that's designed to promote healing and relaxation in every respect. The name is inspired by the tranquil spirit of the white whale and the enduring nature of the sea, qualities that the company strives to recapture with this unique product.

The five massage heads are composed of soft, flexible silicone material for comfort. Options include a broad, rounded head; a narrower tip for deep-tissue therapy; an acupressure attachment; a shiatsu-style appendage with rotating nodes; and a wide disc-shaped head for targeting the upper back. The motor has five speed settings and runs up to 3,600 RPM, offering an intensely thorough massage experience.

The optional heat function has a target temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for reducing lactic acid levels and relieving tense muscles.

Three massage modes are available, and the design allows users to target hard-to-reach areas. This is a cordless model with rechargeable batteries that can provide more than two hours of run time.


Features

  • 5 Attachments
  • 5 Speed Settings
  • 3 Massage Functions

Pros

  • Can be used anywhere
  • Provides a comfortable yet thorough massage
  • Battery holds its charge well
  • 15 minute automatic shut-off boosts the safety factor
  • Heats to just the right temperature

Cons

  • Some shipping issues reported
  • Handheld unit requires some effort on the user's part
  • No warranty

Naipo Back Massage Gun

The Naipo Back Massage Gun is specifically designed to target tightly wound muscles. It's a therapeutic tool, not a casual accessory. As such, it's best suited for individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions, or serious athletes who require dedicated therapy after intense workouts.

Users can choose between five massage heads: large ball, bullet, U-shape, flat, and cushioned. We've found that the U-shaped head is particularly effective at working out kinks at the base of the skull along the spine. There are also five different intensity levels, ranging from a mellow 2,000 RPM all the way to an invigorating 3,200 RPM.

Weighing in at only two pounds, this is one of the most portable units listed here. It can be used with just one hand, and it works better if the therapy is self-administered.

Fortunately, the handle and button are designed to make the operation as easy as possible. The rechargeable battery also has an impressively long life, delivering up to seven hours per full charge. Naipo's customer service department is happy to assist with any problems that might arise with this unit.


Features

  • 5 Massage Nodes
  • 5 Intensity Levels
  • Carrying Case

Pros

  • Cordless unit is exceptionally lightweight and portable
  • Convenient carry case
  • Intensity levels are well-defined and reliable
  • Impressive battery life
  • Very quiet operation

Cons

  • Slightly pricey
  • Therapy should be self-administered for best results
  • No heat function

RENPHO Back Massage Cushion

RENPHO's massage cushion is distinguished by a flexible pillow that cups the neck region for a relaxing fit. The pillow can be adjusted vertically to account for individuals of varying heights, so this model can be appreciated by the whole family.

The unit comes equipped with eight deep-kneading massage nodes that can be programmed to target the upper back and shoulders, the lower lumbar area, or the entire back, depending on preference. 

The nodes are bidirectional, moving both up and down for a comprehensive massage experience. Three intensity levels are available. While these eight nodes include a heat function, the seat provides only a vibrating massage, with no heating option.

While the leather construction is certainly easy to clean, we've found that the legs and arms may stick to it, especially when the heat option is engaged. Keeping the sessions short—below the 30 minute maximum—can help to alleviate this issue.


Features

  • 8 Bidirectional Deep-Kneading Massage Nodes
  • 3 Intensity Levels
  • Adjustable Massage Pillow

Pros

  • Delivers just the right amount of pressure
  • Suitable for a wide range of body types
  • Easy to use
  • Comfortable seat cushion and neck pillow

Cons

  • Some off-gassing (unpleasant smells from packaging) reported
  • Heat takes a while to kick in
  • Leather can get sticky in the heat

Types of Back Massagers

Handheld

Handheld, or wand-style massagers, are the most portable and convenient type on the market. They can be used anywhere, whether the individual is sitting, standing, or lying down. The downside is that they require the use of at least one hand, which can make the experience less relaxing. Massage guns, another type of handheld massager, deliver intense therapy but aren't suitable for everyone.

Pillow-Style

Because pillow-style back massagers can be used to target specific areas, they're a good fit for athletes in training. They're also quite portable, with the added benefit of being hands-free.

Shawl-Style

These units cover more surface area than the types mentioned above. Although they're designed to be draped over the neck and shoulders, they can be used on other parts of the body as well.

Massage Cushions

Massage cushions are sometimes referred to as chair-style massagers, owing to the fact that they typically include a seat as well as a back component. These offer the most comprehensive massage experience of all, and are often the most expensive option. A heating function is usually included as well.


What Features to Look for in a Back Massager?

Targeted Zones

What areas does the back massager focus on? Does it offer a full back massage, or is movement restricted to specific zones?

Massage Nodes or Attachments

Massage cushions will be outfitted with a number of massage nodes, usually the deep-kneading variety. Similarly, handheld massagers come with attachments to allow the user to customize the experience. The more options the device offers, the more versatile it will be.

a massage gun in box

Intensity Levels

Look for a unit that offers at least three intensity levels. Low, medium, and high are typical, but some models will get even more specific.

Heat Function

The majority of shawl-style, pillow-style, and chair-style massagers will come equipped with an optional heating function. If there's also built-in overheat protection, that's a definite plus.

Automatic Shut-Off

While massage therapy has enormous benefits, it can be harmful if it goes on for too long. Quality back massagers will come with a timer that shuts off automatically after the unit has run its prescribed course.


FAQ

Are back massagers safe?

Yes, back massagers are perfectly safe. Because of the way the modern devices are configured, there's no risk of electric shock if they're used properly. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions, and keep the sessions under 30 minutes.

Can I use a back massager while driving?

It's safe to use a back massager while driving, as long as they're not allowed to run for too long. The vibration can cause the legs to fall asleep, and numbness is never a good symptom to have while driving. This is why it's best to invest in a model with an automatic shut-off feature.

a car seat massager on a car

Can you use a back massager too much?

As we mentioned, it's a good idea to restrict the sessions to 15-30 minutes apiece. Using the massager three to four times a week is recommended, but it's permissible to use it once per day if necessary. (2)

 What is the most powerful back massager?

The Homedics Perfect Touch Back Massager is arguably the most powerful and high-functioning unit on our list, and it's comfortable and user-friendly to boot. For more localized therapy, the Naipo Back Massage Gun is a good bet.

Grant Moore
Latest posts by Grant Moore (see all)