Shiatsu is a form of massage that is gaining popularity in recent years, bringing in a growing number of tools offering this massage mode as well. (1) Shiatsu massagers come in a variety of forms such as foot, leg, back or neck massagers. In this article, we have reviewed some of the top sellers in each type.

Shiatsu massagers reviewed

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Top pick

1. RESTECK Shiatsu Back And Neck Massager

- Type: shawl-style
- Massage modes: shiatsu, deep tissue, kneading
- Adjustable heat function, portable

Our Rating

9.5

Best pillow style

2. Zyllion Shaitsu Back And Neck Massager

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

Our Rating

9.0

Best cushion style

3. Comfier Shaitsu Back & Neck Massager Pad

- Type: full-body cushion

- Massage modes: 2D, 3D shiatsu, deep kneading
- Air compression and vibration therapy

Our Rating

9.1

#4

4. Naipo Shiatsu Massager With Heat

- Type: shawl-style
- Massage modes: deep-kneading, shiatsu
- 3D rotating nodes, automatic shut-off

Our Rating

8.7

#5

5. Nekteck Shiatsu Back, Neck & Shoulder Massager

- Type: shawl-style
- Massage modes: shiatsu, deep-kneading
- Auto shut-off, heating, adjustable straps

Our Rating

9.0

#6

6. Naipo Shiatsu Pillow Massager

- Type: pillow-style
- Massage modes: deep-kneading
- Heat option, auto shut-off, bidirectional

Our Rating

8.8

#7

7. Snailax Shiatsu Back And Neck Massager Cushion

- Type: full-body cushion
- Massage modes: shiatsu, rolling, kneading
- Vibrating seat, heat function

Our Rating

9.0

#8

8. Comfier Shiatsu Massager Cushion

- Type: full-body cushion
- Massage modes: kneading, shiatsu, deep tissue
- Heat therapy, portable, vibration

Our Rating

8.8

#9

9. Snailax Shiatsu Massage Cushion

- Type: full-body cushion

- Massage modes: deep-kneading, shiatsu
- Heat therapy, vibration, portable

Our Rating

8.4

#10

10. Renpho Massager Cushion With Shiatsu Mode

- Type: full-body cushion
- Massage modes: shiatsu, deep kneading
- Height-adjustable neck pillow

Our Rating

8.3

Top pick

1. RESTECK Shiatsu Back And Neck Massager

- Type: shawl-style
- Massage modes: shiatsu, deep tissue, kneading
- Adjustable heat function, portable

Our Rating

9.5

Best pillow style

2. Zyllion Shaitsu Back And Neck Massager

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

Our Rating

9.0

Best cushion style

3. Comfier Shaitsu Back & Neck Massager Pad

- Type: full-body cushion

- Massage modes: 2D, 3D shiatsu, deep kneading
- Air compression and vibration therapy

Our Rating

9.1

#4

4. Naipo Shiatsu Massager With Heat

- Type: shawl-style
- Massage modes: deep-kneading, shiatsu
- 3D rotating nodes, automatic shut-off

Our Rating

8.7

#5

5. Nekteck Shiatsu Back, Neck & Shoulder Massager

- Type: shawl-style
- Massage modes: shiatsu, deep-kneading
- Auto shut-off, heating, adjustable straps

Our Rating

9.0

#6

6. Naipo Shiatsu Pillow Massager

- Type: pillow-style
- Massage modes: deep-kneading
- Heat option, auto shut-off, bidirectional

Our Rating

8.8

#7

7. Snailax Shiatsu Back And Neck Massager Cushion

- Type: full-body cushion
- Massage modes: shiatsu, rolling, kneading
- Vibrating seat, heat function

Our Rating

9.0

#8

8. Comfier Shiatsu Massager Cushion

- Type: full-body cushion
- Massage modes: kneading, shiatsu, deep tissue
- Heat therapy, portable, vibration

Our Rating

8.8

#9

9. Snailax Shiatsu Massage Cushion

- Type: full-body cushion

- Massage modes: deep-kneading, shiatsu
- Heat therapy, vibration, portable

Our Rating

8.4

#10

10. Renpho Massager Cushion With Shiatsu Mode

- Type: full-body cushion
- Massage modes: shiatsu, deep kneading
- Height-adjustable neck pillow

Our Rating

8.3

RESTECK Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager

RESTECK offers a portable, convenient shiatsu massager that aims to treat pains and muscles soreness in the neck and back regions. With its scarf-like shape and included leather carrying case, it can be used in a myriad of environments, from the living room to the office. Although this is a corded model, it comes with a car adapter, so users can enjoy a massage on the ride home from work.

The eight massage nodes on the RESTECK are bidirectional, which gives them added texture and versatility. Users can customize the intensity and degree of stimulation to suit their individual preferences. 

The built-in heat function is adjustable, too, making it easy to achieve the proper comfort level. The control panel is unobtrusive and easy to operate, located in a convenient position.

Although the company advertises this as a back and neck massager, it can just as easily be used on the legs and calves—even around the waist. In essence, the unit can deliver a full-body massage, one section at a time. RESTECK offers a lifetime warranty for this product, so the purchase is virtually risk-free.


Features

  • 8 Bidirectional Massage Nodes
  • Adjustable Heat Function
  • Car Adapter

Pros

  • Versatile unit; can be used anywhere on the body
  • Very portable; comes with its own carrying case
  • Bidirectional nodes provide a stimulating massage
  • Soft material

Cons

  • Quirky shipping department
  • Fabric is initially stiff; needs a few sessions to loosen up

Zyllion Shaitsu Back and Neck Massager

The Zyllion is another corded shiatsu massager, this one with an ergonomic pillow-style design that rests against the affected area, rather than enveloping it. This is a nifty feature for anyone who's claustrophobic or just prefers to move the massager around a bit during use.

This device utilizes broadly textured nodes to deliver a deep, powerful shiatsu massage, eliminating soreness and reducing muscle tension. The nodes will automatically change direction every minute in an effort to hit all the target areas. The heating function is optional and adds an extra dose of relaxation.

Futuristic and sleek in appearance, the Zyllion can be tucked behind the neck or lower back, and rests comfortably beneath the calves and thighs.

It comes with a protective sleeve to keep it from getting damaged when tucked inside a gym bag or oversized purse. The fact that it's a corded model limits its versatility, but it can be used anywhere as long as there's an electrical outlet nearby.

There's a built-in safety feature that shuts down the device when it's in danger of overheating, thereby cutting down on the probability of motor damage. Nevertheless, Zyllion offers a 90-day return window for this unit, as well as a one-year replacement guarantee.


Features

  • 4 Multidirectional Massage Nodes
  • Heat Function
  • Automatic Shut-Off

Pros

  • Eye-catching design
  • Multidirectional nodes make for a thorough massage
  • Easy to maneuver, even during use
  • Automatic shut-off protects the investment as well as the user

Cons

  • Corded unit; requires an outlet
  • Heated elements can get uncomfortably hot
  • Return window is only honored if device is unused

Comfier Shaitsu Back & Neck Massager Pad

The Comfier Shiatsu Massager lives up to its name by offering a design that resembles an adult-sized car seat. Using a variety of different techniques, including air compression, rolling massage, and vibration therapy, it provides a comprehensive full-body massage that helps to justify the high price point.

The device is equipped with four rotation nodes around the neck and shoulder to offer a deep-tissue massage experience. Using inward and outward motion, the nodes are able to imitate the finger pressure of a genuine shiatsu massage, a sensation that's amplified by the full-body coverage.

The portion of the device that covers the mid- to lower back region is equipped with two rolling massage heads. The width between the heads can be adjusted to suit different body types and comfort levels. There's also a SPOT function that allows users to focus specifically on problem areas.

The infrared heat function is optional, and an adjustable air compression massage feature is also available, with three different intensity settings. Comfier offers a full refund up to 30 days after purchase if the device fails to meet expectations. Be forewarned that the design is better suited for those with average body types—people of size might have a difficult time finding a comfortable position.


Features

  • 4 Rotating Nodes
  • SPOT Function
  • Optional Infrared Heat Function

Pros

  • Delivers a thorough, comprehensive massage
  • Clever body-hugging design
  • No assembly required
  • Adjustable air compression feature
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • High price point
  • Too large and bulky for travel
  • Not suitable for larger individuals

Naipo Shiatsu Massager with Heat

This offering from Naipo features a shawl-style design with flexible loop handles to cradle the user's hands and forearms during the massage. Affordable, low-profile, and effective, it's a great middle-of-the road option for anyone seeking relaxation and mild massage therapy.

The eight pressurized massage nodes can be adjusted to low, medium, or high, according to preference. The 3-D rotation drives the nodes in a U-design, which helps to promote circulation. There's a heat function to boost the rejuvenation factor, with an automatic shut-off feature that engages after 20 minutes.

The Naipo Shiatsu Massager comes equipped with a power adapter and a car adapter, making it ideal for travel. The customer service department will be happy to assist with any return issues, accepting any undamaged product for up to 30 days after the original purchase.


Features

  • 8 Massage Nodes
  • 3 Intensity Levels
  • Heat Function

Pros

  • Appealing ergonomic design
  • Comfortable material
  • Delivers an impressive amount of pressure, especially around the neck
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Zipper is on the flimsy side
  • Some shipping issues reported
  • Covers a relatively small surface area

Nekteck Shiatsu Back, Neck & Shoulder Massager

A shawl-style design and handles that resemble long flippers characterize this offering from Nekteck. The straps are adjustable, making this a good choice for all body types. In fact, the massager uses breathable mesh and quality leather in its construction, giving it durability in addition to comfort. The material is also easy to clean, with a reversible zipper.

Eight shiatsu massage nodes work in tandem to alleviate stiffness and rejuvenate the muscles, thereby reducing fatigue and improving quality of life. 

There are also three different speed levels, allowing users to adjust the intensity of the experience. The infrared heat function is equipped with automatic shut-off after 15 minutes, but it can also be switched off manually.

The control panel is located just below the left shoulder, making it readily accessible. Lefties might have a harder time reaching the buttons, but all four of them are large and well-labeled, so that shouldn't be a deal breaker. A car adapter is included in the purchase, along with a one-year warranty.


Features

  • 8 Shiatsu Massage Nodes
  • 3 Speed Levels
  • Heat Function

Pros

  • Offers a deep-tissue massage experience
  • Adjustable straps provide a comfortable fit
  • User-friendly control panel
  • Heat function delivers gentle, even heat
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Spotty customer service
  • May apply too much pressure for some individuals

Naipo Shiatsu Pillow Massager

This pillow-style massager resembles the offering from Zyllion, with a slight U-shaped curve for additional neck support. The portable nature of this device makes it suitable for use on the forearms, calves, and thighs, in addition to the neck and back.

The unit is outfitted with four deep-kneading massage nodes, all of which combine to imitate the feel and intensity of a traditional massage. Because of its diminutive design, it can be adjusted to focus specifically on problem areas. 

The nodes are equipped with a heating function that rises to temperatures of 112 degrees—warm enough to improve circulation, but not so hot that they'll cause discomfort.

This is a corded device with a car adapter, so it's suitable for travel. The price point is also extremely attractive—low enough to fit into the weekly budget for most people. As if that weren't enough, Naipo has a genial and supportive customer service department that is willing to work hard to resolve any technical issues.


Features

  • 4 Deep-Kneading Shiatsu Massage Nodes
  • Heat Function
  • Car Adapter

Pros

  • Ergonomic, portable design
  • Can be used on most parts of the body
  • Gentle, efficient heat function
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Unreliable shipping department; some units may be faulty
  • Made of sturdy material that may hinder relaxation for some people

Snailax Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager Cushion

A chair-style unit with plentiful perks, the Snailax is designed to deliver a full-body massage experience. While the headrest doesn't envelop the ears and neck the way the Comfier model does, this massager checks off an impressive number of boxes on its own.

Four massage nodes are built into the chair, and users can adjust them to the height that makes them feel the most comfortable. The chair offers shiatsu massage for the neck and shoulders, the upper and lower back, or the full back, depending on preference. 

There's even a vibrating seat feature. A SPOT massage function allows users to target the areas that need the most work. Additionally, the nodes have a heating function that can be turned on and off at will.

This massage chair is outfitted with a removable neck cover that can be washed in between uses. The adjustable straps can attach the device to most couches and chairs, even the seats in the car. Be forewarned that this massager isn't the best option for anyone under 5 feet or over 6 feet tall—the nodes can only be adjusted so far in either direction.


Features

  • 4 Massage Nodes
  • Vibrating Seat
  • Heat Function

Pros

  • Delivers an intense, full-body massage experience
  • Adjustable rollers
  • Ability to choose between rolling, kneading, and vibration
  • Dual heat zones for neck and back regions

Cons

  • Slightly pricey
  • On the noisy side
  • Not suitable for very short or very tall people

Comfier Shiatsu Massager Cushion

Comfier's Massager Cushion bears a passing resemblance to its full-sized massage chair, except it resembles a stadium seat more than a wingback chair. It also comes in at less than half the price, making it a more appealing option for budget-conscious shoppers.

The device keeps the focus on the back muscles, with four rotating massage nodes and two intensity levels. It's possible for users to customize the target area, focusing on specific sections. The SPOT massage feature, which creates an even narrower focus, is included with this unit as well. The shiatsu balls can also be heated to boost blood flow and promote relaxation.

Because of its slim and unobtrusive design, the massager cushion can be used on any type of chair, from recliners to sofas to office chairs. A vibrating seat function offers three intensity levels, providing extra relief to the thighs and hips.

This unit can be returned for a full refund for 30 days with no questions asked. A 90-day money back guarantee is also in place, making it possible to return the unit for quality-related reasons. Comfier also provides replacement units for up to two years following the initial purchase.


Features

  • 4 Rotating Massage Nodes
  • 2 Intensity Levels
  • Vibrating Seat with 3 Intensity Levels

Pros

  • More portable than most chair-style massagers
  • Elasticized Velcro strap allows it to fit most chairs and couches
  • Generous warranty package
  • Delivers pain relief in as little as 10 minutes

Cons

  • Difficult to switch intensity levels on seat vibration
  • Massage nodes don't reach very far up the neck

Snailax Shiatsu Massage Cushion

With this massage cushion, Snailax offers a stripped-down version of its chair massager. Made of durable leather with cozy mesh accents, it's an efficient and welcome travel companion--though it's also more than adequate for home use.

The deep-kneading massage nodes are designed to travel up and down the length of the back, approximating a true shiatsu massage experience. There are four of them in all, with options for upper back, low back, or full back coverage. There's also a removable intensity control flap with dual modes, so users can decide whether they would prefer a gentler or more vigorous massage.

In addition to the intensity level controls, the nodes themselves are flexible and height-adjustable, capable of pinpointing the focus to specific areas. A heat feature delivers soothing relief to the back and shoulder regions. The seat has a vibrating function that can be set to three different speed levels, though there's no heating element included in this area.

It's best not to use this massage cushion for any longer than 15 minutes at a time. Longer sessions could result in muscle strain. We should also point out that while the mesh fabric is soft to the touch, the heat intensity can be a bit too much--a towel or other light insulating layer might be in order.


Features

  • 4 Flexible Massage Nodes
  • Heat Function
  • Vibrating Seat with 3 Intensity Levels

Pros

  • Flexible nodes deliver intensive therapy to targeted areas
  • Generous heating system
  • Friendly and reliable customer service department
  • Vibrating seat feature

Cons

  • Rollers can stick if unit is used too frequently
  • May be too intense for some users
  • Heating function may work a little too well, requiring additional insulation

Renpho Massager Cushion with Shiatsu Mode

A comfy adjustable neck pillow sets this massage cushion apart from the competition. The pillow, which is broad and flexible enough to suit most body types, can be adjusted vertically depending on height. While this is the cushion's most noticeable feature, it represents only one of its high points.

The Renpho contains eight massage nodes over three zones: full, upper, or lower back. Pinpoint technology is capable of delivering high-intensity pressure to the areas that need it most. The nodes travel in a vertical direction, combining the shiatsu therapy with a technique that's commonly seen in Swedish massage.

The heating function spreads across the back and neck region, including the lower lumbar and shoulders. The seat has a vibrating feature with three intensity levels, allowing users to customize the experience for the greatest personal benefit. While there's no heating element in the seat itself, the warmth spreads efficiently from the lower back area.

The well-designed strap system makes this cushion a solid fit for all types of furniture, even recliners. The material is polyurethane leather, which is easy to clean. Best of all, this unit can be used for up to 30 minutes at a time--twice as long as some of the competition.


Features

  • Massage Modes
  • Adjustable Neck Pillow
  • Vibrating Seat with 3 Intensity Levels

Pros

  • Rolling and kneading capabilities
  • Flexible and vertically adjustable neck pillow for ultimate comfort
  • Can be used for longer periods of time than some massage cushions
  • Pinpoint therapy works quickly and effectively

Cons

  • Slight off-gassing when item is removed from packaging
  • Provides a massage that may be too vigorous for some users
  • Packaging is bulky and awkward

Types Of Shiatsu Massagers 

Portable shiatsu massagers come in a variety of styles. Each type has its pros and cons--it's difficult to say if any one style is "better" than another. In the end, the choice is purely a matter of individual preference. Here are the types that shoppers are most likely to come across.

Shawl-Style 

This type of massager slings around the neck like a long scarf, usually with handles on either end. Because it's fairly flexible and can be used in any setting, it's a good choice for travel.

a woman is using a Shawl-Style Shiatsu Massagers

Pillow-Style 

This is another portable massage device, shaped like a small pillow. The name is somewhat deceptive, however--these models aren't as soft as their namesakes, and are usually composed of sturdy metal and plastic. On the plus side, they're very durable and can be moved around to different areas of the body during use.

Massage Chair 

Massage chairs deliver relief to a larger surface area. They're much larger than pillow- or shawl-style massagers, and therefore more difficult to pack up for travel. However, they can usually be strapped to chair or sofa, including recliners.

Massage Cushion

Similar to a massage chair but with a slimmer, more ergonomic design, massage cushions are usually equipped with vibrating seats for hip and thigh relief.


What Features To Look For In A Shiatsu Massager? 

Affordability 

This is a key factor in any purchasing decision. Massagers can cost as little as a tank of gas or as much as the entire car payment--it's up to the buyer to decide which one best suits their budget.

Intensity

Most buyers are looking for a thorough massage, but it's best if the unit offers varying intensity levels in case the pressure gets to be too much. Settings of high, medium, or low are customary, but some might be equipped with only two levels, while others might not offer the choice at all.

Materials

For individuals with sensitive skin or nerve issues, a soft breathable fabric is preferable. These people should stay away from pillow-style massagers, which are firm to the touch and not ideal for relaxation. If the massager is made of mesh, leather, or a combination, it helps if the covering can be removed for washing.

Full Back Massage Seat Cushion on couch

Heat Function

The majority of shiatsu massagers will come with a heating function. This promotes blood flow and provides nutrients to the damaged tissue. Also, it just plain feels good to have a nice warm massage.

Corded Vs. Cordless

It's rare to find a cordless shiatsu massager, but there are a few of them on the market. However, in this case, the corded versions are more popular. There's no need to worry about recharging the batteries, and most models are equipped with car adapters to make them more versatile.


Related Questions 

Are Shiatsu Massagers Good For You?

Massage therapy is an effective way to relieve stress, alleviate pain, and soothe tired muscles. It also helps to improve circulation, which aids in a number of health conditions, from diabetes to neuropathy.

a woman is using a shiatsu massage machine at home

Having a shiatsu massager at home eliminates the need to visit a spa or massage therapist on a regular basis. Most devices are also portable, so users can enjoy a therapeutic massage no matter where they are. They also allow people to administer the therapy themselves, so they won't miss out on a session just because no one else is home.

Can Shiatsu Cause Side Effects?

Every properly administered massage can cause initial fatigue, even some dizziness. These effects can be alleviated by drinking plenty of water before and after the treatment. This will help to flush toxins from the system and keep the body well hydrated overall.

Shiatsu in particular may have potentially harmful effects for pregnant women, people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, or individuals suffering from heart disease, osteoporosis, or blood clotting disorders. The therapy shouldn't be administered over any bruised areas or inflamed skin.

The bottom line? Check with a medical professional before beginning any new treatment, even something as seemingly innocuous as massage therapy.

How Often Should You Use A Shiatsu Massager?

This type of therapy should be administered no more than four times a week, usually for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time. If there are no underlying health issues, the treatment can continue for a 30-minute period, but no longer.

Using the massager for extended periods of time can aggravate existing injuries and even provoke new ones. In any case, it's advisable to perform some light exercise for a few minutes following the treatment to help stimulate the release of harmful toxins.

Grant Moore
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