After a long, hard day at work, how many of us return home only to find that our necks are sore and headache may be starting. We long for someone who can really get in there, and help massage away all of the tension and pain that has accumulated. The problem with hiring a masseuse is that they can be costly, and you may have to wait some time before finally getting an actual appointment.
With today's technology, there are many different options for at home neck massagers, allowing you the freedom to work on those sore spots right when you need them fixed.
Studies conduct by the NCCIH have shown that regular massage has the ability to significantly reduce symptoms of pain overall, and improve your feeling of well-being. Recommended by medical practitioners, massage can help you improve your symptoms and manage medical conditions that have caused you pain or discomfort over time.
Massage is not only for those in pains, though, and using a neck massager can help you reduce stress, or even just simply relax. The soothing feeling of having your muscles kneaded, combined with the comforting feeling of warmth, can take even the worst of days and make them a little less hectic over all. Taking time out for yourself can do wonders for your body and for your mood, and a massage before bed could even help you get a better sleep.
Below we have gone through some of the models that are currently on the market, and looked at the key features and differences to give you a sense of what your options are. The pros and cons give a quick run-down on what makes each Neck Massager great, but also where you may want to take extra consideration to see if it has what you need.
Our Overall Best Pick ended up being the Five Star FS8801 Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager. With its varied features and portable design, this model gives you more control over your massage and will hopefully provide both comfort and relief; making this the one our choice for best neck massager in 2017.
Our Budget Pick would have to be the Naipo Shoulder Massager which offers a variety of speed and intensity options to best suit your needs. Ergonomically designed with a comfortable U-Shape this Neck Massager is both versatile and portable while still remaining within your budget.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Neck Massagers
- 1. Five Star FS8801 Neck & Back Massager
- 2. truMedic Instashiatsu Plus Neck and Shoulder Massager
- 3. Neck & Back Shiatsu Massager by Bruntmor
- 4. Neckteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow
- 5. Naipo Shoulder Massager with Shiatsu Kneading Massage and Heat
- 6. Brookstone Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
- 7. GESS012 Kneading Shiatsu Neck Waist Back Shoulder Infrared Massager
- 8. Cordless Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager
- 9. LiBa Shiatsu Neck Back Massager Pillow
- 10. Zyllion ZMA13KB Shiatsu Pillow Massager
- What is “Shiatsu”?
- Benefits to Neck Massagers?
- Different Features of Neck Massagers
- Things to Consider to Find the Best Neck Massager on the Market
- Final Verdict
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Neck Massagers
Regardless of where in your neck the pain or tension is located, there are a variety of neck massagers designed to focus in on specific spots as well as some that give a general, overall massage.With the ability to relieve discomfort and relax you, finding the right neck massager for you is important, and you want to explore the multitude of different options that are available on the market.
As technology advances, so does the world on personal massage options, and the ones listed below are all available for personal, at home use. This article will help guide you through the different features and options currently on the market, and aid you in finding the best neck massager that works for you.
1. Five Star FS8801 Neck & Back Massager
With 8 kneading rollers, the Five Star FS8801 is a shiatsu massager designed for your neck and back. With shiatsu massage, the rollers will apply direct pressure to your muscles, encouraging them to relax and release.
What makes this specific product stand out is that it has added in the benefit of heat.
The FS8801 has the ability to warm your muscles prior to, and during the massage, helping to not only relax the muscles, but ultimately reduce pain as well.
The benefit to a shiatsu neck massager is that its goal is to relieve pain and muscle tension. For those who suffer from headaches or migraine, shiatsu massage might be an option for helping to lessen the severity of your symptoms.As the FS8801 is completely portable, this model could be used at home, at the office, or even in the car. Powered by an AC adaptor, all you need to do is plug it in and let the neck massager get to work. There is also a car adapter included, allowing you the freedom to reduce your stress and tension while out on the road.
2. truMedic Instashiatsu Plus Neck and Shoulder Massager
Pain and tension does not only limit itself to the neck and back, and for those of us who experience muscle soreness all over our bodies, the truMedic Instashiatsu is an option worth looking at.
This versatile unit can be manipulated in a way that it is able to connect with whatever part of your body needs a massage.
Similar in idea to a full massage chair, truMedic offers the user the control over where they need to unit to be applied to most. Comfortable wrist supports are what are used in order to direct the Instashiatsu to your neck, back, arms, or legs.
The Instashiatsu neck massager also includes an option for heat, providing you with a warm feeling against those tight muscles. With a simply designed control panel, you can turn the heat on or off, as well as control the direction of the kneading.
There is no specific option for intensity, but the arm rests can be used to either increase or decrease the pressure, depending on how tightly you pull them. For those who have more sensitive areas, losing your grip might bring the massage down to a more comfortable level.
One benefit to the truMedic Instashiatsu is that the control panel also offers the user the ability to automatically program the rollers to change direction for you. Either press to change the direction manually, or just sit back and allow the Instashiatsu to move around for you.
3. Neck & Back Shiatsu Massager by Bruntmor
Designed with simplicity in mind, Bruntmor is offering a shiatsu massager that can easily be used by anyone. With its long lasting battery, you can relax and enjoy a massage for as long as you feel it is needed.
Using a combination of 8 massaging nodes, this neck massager is meant to press in to all of your sorest places, reducing tension and helping the blood to circulate properly again.
These nodes can function in two different modes, offering you both a clockwise and counter clockwise rotation. You have the power to select exactly what direction you need the nodes to move in, ensuring that the muscles are worked from both directions equally.
This model also includes a heating option, which is aimed at helping to penetrate deep in to your muscles for the ultimate relaxation. The heat can be turned on and off by simply pushing a button located on the control panel.A highlight of this neck massager is that it is well constructed, using strong materials to provide a long lasting machine. The shell is crafted from PU leather, and is double stitched, to ensure that the body won't wear down easily with use.
What makes the Neckteck Shiatsu Massage Pillow stand out is that it offers both speed and direction control. Offering 3 different speed modes, this allows the user to tweak the massge so that it is more specific to their own needs.
Combined with the 2 direction options, the Neckteck allows you to customise the massage and replicate the feeling of having a masseuse work on your neck and back.
This model is equipped with 8 kneading shiatsu nodes, which press down firmly into your sore and aching muscles. Adding in the option of heat will help relax you during the massage and warm the muscles in order to make them loosen more easily.
Fully portable, the Neckteck is designed to be used no matter where you need it and can travel with you as you’re on the go. The power adaptor has an impressive 6 feet of length, meaning you don’t have to crouch next to an outlet to enjoy a massage.
With the included car adapter, you will be able to plug this in while you drive and hopefully that might help reduce some of the stress that comes with driving. It can be a lot more difficult to experience road rage when you’re in the middle of a full massage!
Using a 3D Rotation technique, the Naipo Shoulder Massager is ergonomically designed to properly fit a human neck. The U-Shaped roller head is meant to allow for close contact and angled to press directly in to your muscles.
With a control panel placed on the side of the massager, you are able to choose from a selection of different options in order to help customize the massage just for you.
Depending on your preference, you can select the speed from three options, low, medium, or high and find the speed that allows for just the right amount of pressure.
Featuring 8 deep-kneading nodes, the Naipo also allows for 2 directional modes, moving from clock-wise to counter-clockwise at the push of a button.
In heat mode, the Naipo Shoulder Massager penetrates in to your muscles to soothe away the tension you’ve built up, and may help improve blood circulation within the area you’re troubled by. For added safety and protection, this massager has a 20-minute automatic shut off for the heat, and is equipped with an Overheat Protection Device, allowing you to relax without worry.One notable addition to the Naipo Shoulder Massager is their inclusion of a dust cover for the device. This mesh covering can offer an added layer or protection between your skin and the rotating nodes. Since the device itself is not waterproof, the mesh covering can simply be removed and thrown in with the wash, cleaning away any sweat or dirt that may have accumulated after each use.
Flexible and versatile, the Brookstone Shiatsu Massager is designed for the neck and back, but has the ability to be used anywhere on the body that you’re feeling pain.
With its handled straps, the Brookstone gives you the control over exactly where you need to move it, and allows you to control the pressure by pulling or releasing the tightness of the device against your body.
Using 8 deep-kneading nodes, this massager should soothe your muscles and relax your body when you need it most. Included is a heating option, providing you with an extra level of relaxation that will gently warm and loosen as you use.
There are two choices when it comes to massage modes, and you can select between auto-rotation or single direction massage. The massage modes will target your muscles, and it aims to not be overly powerful so that it can be enjoyed by those of you who have more sensitive areas.
With a cord length around 3 feet long, you sit back and enjoy a massage without having to worry about running out of battery power or a charge.
What makes the GESS012 unique and stand out is that its heating mode is powered with infrared technology. This type of heat is aimed at helping to penetrate deep in to your muscles for the ultimate relaxation, and goes beyond just warming the surface.
Using infrared heating technology, this GESS012 model relies on electromagnetic radiation to heat your muscles, allowing it to warm deep in to the muscles and help reduce some pain and inflammation.
Fully flexible, this device can be used all over the body, and includes padded straps for your arms while in use. The 8 kneading nodes are designed to target every muscle that they come in contact with, and there are 2 modes to select between for direction.
With the included car adapter, you are able to plug this in wherever you may be, and it is fully portable so that you can have that massage whenever the need strikes.
One of the great features of the Cordless Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager is that you no longer need to use arm straps in order to get a massage. Sometimes we like having the option of working or completing other tasks while still getting the benefits from a personal massager.
With this model they have designed it using Velcro technology, so you can strap it on and leave your hands free to complete whatever else you’d like to do.
This doesn’t mean they’ve removed the straps completely, but you have the option of either choosing to use this hand free, or with straps, depending on what type of intensity you’re after.
Equipped with rechargeable lithium ion batteries, you can use this on the go without the need for a socket to plug in to. Recharge when necessary and enjoy a shiatsu neck and back massage either at home, in the car, or while sitting at your desk at work.
Since the straps are still included, you have the option of moving this massager to whatever area of your body is experience discomfort, and you can control the intensity of the massage based off how tightly you grip it against your body.
The heat from this device will increase with how long you use it for, so you have the option of keeping it low, and turning it off before it gets too warm for you. For those of you who like it more on the warmer side, leave the heating on throughout the whole massage to really feel it warm up your muscles.
Moving away from devices that require straps, the LiBa Shiatsu Neck Back Massager Pillow is a small and compact device that is shaped like a small pillow for your neck.
Designed to be used in the car, this massager pillow can be strapped to the head rest on your seat, allowing you to lean in to it and receive a relaxing and deep massage on the go.
Not only for the car, you can also use this while at home or in the office. Simply place the pillow behind your neck and enjoy the feeling of its 4 kneading nodes working in to your sore areas. All the nodes are heated, and they are created to mimic a hot stone massage, applying warm pressure to sooth and relax.
The built in over heating protector will allow you to use the heat mode without worry, and the warming feature can be turned on or off depending on your preference.
The LiBa Shiatsu Neck Back Massager Pillow can be used exactly like the name says, as a pillow, and you can lay down in bed and rest your body while getting all of the benefits of a shiatsu massage. The one-minute timer will automatically change the direction of the nodes, so you don’t have to focus on pressing a button in order to have both directions covered.With its ergonomically designed U-Shape, the LiBa Shiatsu Neck Back Massager Pillow is crafted to properly fit against your neck and back without feeling awkward or overly bulky.
Crafted with a unique 3D Design, the Zyllion ZMA13KB pushes deep in to the muscles, providing you with a powerful massage in your sore muscles.
The shape is both ergonomic and compact, designed to fit your neck properly without any extra bulkiness or weight.
Because of its small shape and light weight design, the Zyllion ZMA13KB Shiatsu Pillow Massager is versatile and portable, making it a great choice for those who prefer their massages on the go.
The small straps on the back of the massager are meant for strapping to the headrest of your chair or car seat, allowing you to work on those tight and sore muscles no matter where you are. But the straps are not only for connecting to a chair, and the multipurpose handles allow you the option to adjust both the placement as well as the intensity depending on your needs.
The Zyllion ZMA13KB Shiatsu Pillow Massager includes the option to have it heat up, providing you with soothing warmth to help relax and release your muscle tension. With a built in Overheat Protection Device, and automatic 20 minute shut off, you can enjoy the heat without worry.
The 4 kneading nodes are programmed to automatically change direction every minute, so there is no need for you to have to press anything in order to get a full rounded massage.
What is “Shiatsu”?
Many personal neck massagers offer a specific type of massage, referred to as a shiatsu massage, but what exactly does this mean?
Originating in Japan, and pulling from traditional Chinese therapy, Shiatsu Massage is intended to aid the body in using its own self to help heal whatever muscle and pain problems you are experiencing.
With a masseuse, and Shiatsu Massage involves using fingers, palms, and even elbows to apply firm pressure to tense and sore muscles. The intention is promoting a flow of energy to that specific area, and to create more and better blood flow throughout the body.
Shiatsu Massage is credited with being able to relive both stress and tension, as well as deeply relaxing the person who is receiving the massage. The pressure being applied to certain body parts may help regulate the various bodily systems, and some believe that this can help aid in the relief of various conditions. Those who experience chronic pain, joint issues, and other conditions may find relief from Shiatsu Massage.
For at home use, Shiatsu Massagers employ the same techniques as a masseuse, recreating the use of fingers with kneading nodes instead. These balls are designed to apply firm pressure wherever they are placed, and claim to provide the same benefits as a professional Shiatsu Massage.
Benefits to Neck Massagers?
Consistent neck and back massages can have a wide variety of benefits on the body, and people with all types of conditions or discomforts may find relief with a Neck Massager.
Not only are Massagers great for discomfort, there is evidence that massage can help relax your body and mind. By lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, some people find that massage can help them reach a deep state of relaxation, giving them a moment to unwind and distress.
Physically massage is beneficial in reducing tension tightness, things we all have experience throughout our lives. From poor posture, to medical conditions, to simple over use, our muscles can get tight and sore easily, and massage is a useful tool in helping relive those symptoms.
The motion of physically moving the muscles can cause blood to flow in to the area, and increases circulation of both your blood and lymph systems. Increased circulation means that more oxygen and nutrient will move in to the muscle, promoting a healthier and looser area.
For those who experience nerve compression or pain, massagers can go deep in to your back or neck, helping to lessen the nerve tightness and reduce the frequency and intensity of spasms.
With personal neck massagers you are afforded all the benefits of a massage, without the necessity of having to leave your own home. This means you have the tool for relief at your fingertips when you need it most, not having to worry about setting an appointment, or waiting for someone else to help you.
Neck Massagers can be used at any time, and many are designed so that they are portable and easy to travel with. No longer are you limited to only finding relief in a doctor’s office, and instead you can bring relaxation and relief with you in the car, at your desk, or even simply at home on the couch.
No matter what your need for relief is, Neck Massagers provide you with the tool you need to push deep in to your muscles and remove the discomfort you’ve built up.
Different Features of Neck Massagers
Not all Neck Massagers are created equally, and different brands and models offer a variety of unique features to help you get the most out of your massage. When looking at the different options, there are some features that you will see repeated over and over again, and these are some of the key things to notice when deciding which Neck Massager is right for you.
Each option has the ability to be both a positive or a negative, depending on your own body, so it’s important to consider all of the different features before settling on a decision for which to buy.
Some key features to look for are the number of nodes contained within the device, how intense the device can be, whether or not there is heat included, and if that heat is created with infrared technology or not.
These key features are included in most Neck Massagers, but each brand and model will offer a varying degree on each one, meaning you can choose a model that offers the right combination of features for you.
Number of Nodes
Many Massagers rely on kneading nodes, or balls, in order to provide the feel of a massage. These nodes are designed in a way that they provide both pressure and movement, digging deep in to the muscles for relief.
The number of nodes in a device can have an impact on the massage you get, and selecting the correct number will determine how the device is used, as well as where on the body it is best suited for.
Ranging from around 4 to 8 nodes, those that offer less tend to be more small and compact models. These are great for those who want something they can use at their office desk or in their car, and they don’t want bulkiness or a Neck Massager this is overly noticeable.
With 4 nodes they tend to be set wider apart, so while providing a good general massage, they may not get deep in to the smaller muscles that make up your neck. The 4 node models also lean more towards using larger sized nodes, so those with very small or delicate features may find they are a bit too large and up pinching the skin more than actually massaging the muscles.
For Neck Massagers that have 8 nodes, they are often split in to 4 large nodes and 4 smaller nodes, giving more options for both large and small muscles. With 8 nodes you have more of an ability to control exactly what muscles are being targeted, and those with smaller bodies, or who want to use the device on small areas such as limbs or feet, the 8 node model is better suited.
Unlike with 4 nodes, however, 8 node models tend to run on the larger size, and can be both bulky and noticeable depending on the brand and model you select.
The ability to add heat to a massage has it’s own benefits attached to it, and many people find that they prefer options that allow them to use heat either before or during the massage.
Heat has been known to relieve muscle stiffness and tightness, and many masseuses include a heat element in order to stimulate circulation and prepare the muscles for what’s to come. By loosing the muscles prior to massage, it becomes easier to undo any knots that have been created, because the muscle starts to work with you instead of against you.
If you suffer from muscle spasms, heat can help reduce the amount of spasms as well as the intensity, and it can soothe the muscle helping it to loosen up and reduce joint pain. Continuing to apply heat during the massage will ensure that the muscles don’t attempt to tighten back up, aiding you in getting the best results possible.
Not only is heat beneficial from a medical standpoint, but many people also find that the heat itself is soothing for the body and makes you feel warm and comforted. For those of us who have endured a long and stressful day, having a warm Neck Massager draped around you can decrease our stress levels and provide a similar feeling to a long, warm hug.
The way a Neck Massager heats can vary, and some devices keep the process simple with just a warmer, while others include infrared technology to go deeper.
If you prefer just the warmness on your skin and a soothing heat applied to the muscles, a basic warming Neck Massager should meet your needs. The downside to a traditional warming method, however, is that the warmers tend to increase with duration, so the longer you leave it on, the hotter it will get.
If you prefer a more constant, yet deep type of heat, infrared warming may be a better option for you. This type of technology uses electromagnetic radiation to transfer heat from the device to your body. What this means is that the heat is a lot more direct, and can penetrate deeper into the muscles for a more intense loosing of the stiffness. Infrared heaters also do not take time to warm up, nor will the heat increase with the duration. Instead, infrared technology heats up instantly and maintains the same degree of warmth throughout the massage.
One major feature that always needs to be considered is how intense the massagers power is designed to be.
For people who deep tissue conditions, you may want a Neck Massager that has more power, and can press firmly and deeply in to your problem muscles. Neck Massagers that offer carrying intensity levels, or those that come with straps so that you can intensify the massage, are best suited for people who are looking to relieve pain symptoms, and less for those who are just wanted to distress after a long day.
Things to Consider to Find the Best Neck Massager on the Market
Some of us choose to purchase a Neck Massager because we spend our day dealing with a lot of stress, and all we want is something that is going to soothe us and give us a deeper sense of relaxation.
For others, you may be dealing with a health condition or injury and you’re in the market for something that is going to help you combat your physical discomfort and help you heal quicker.
Whatever your desired outcome is, it’s important to factor those needs in to your purchase decision. By focusing on the different features like we previously listed, you can be sure that you’re going to end up getting the results you need.
Just as there are different types of massage therapists, there are also different types of massagers that offer a variety of techniques. Shiatsu is one of the most popular types of massage, but not everyone wants pressure on their muscles, and so there is the option of Neck Massagers that simply vibrate or rumble. The devices that do not apply pressure tend to be older models, and oftentimes individuals feel like it’s less of a massage and more of a sensation. If this sounds better for you, though, you should look through the different types available on the market.
If driving to and from work every day causes you a lot of stress and tension, looking at a car specific Neck Massager may be ideal for you. Not all models are meant for every situation, so it is important to know whether your specific Neck Massager can be used in a vehicle, while away from home, or in an area that doesn’t have power.
For those who want a massager that they can use at work, you’re probably going to go after one that is compact and discreet, so there is no need to let the entire office know that you’re enjoy a relaxing massage! Choose a pillow shaped neck massager that straps to your chair and you will be able to enjoy all the benefits without having to use your hands to keep it in place.
When it comes to at home use, you can opt for a more varied approach to devices, as most people can plug their Neck Massager in and don’t have to worry about whether the model is cordless or not.
Cordless, Plugged in, and Rechargeable models will all impact when and where they can be used, and for how long you can use the Neck Massager for. In order to get the most out of your device, it’s important to consider where you are going to be using this the most often, and then find a model that suits your needs.
Many models include a car adapter with the purchase, but not all, so if you specifically want it for your vehicle it’s necessary to check and see what is included. Also, when it comes to driving, using a Neck Massager that requires you to hold on to straps is unsafe and not recommended, so you will want to make sure that whatever you choose is safe to use while driving.
If you spend time away from home in a location that lacks any power or outlets, choosing a Neck Massager that is battery-operated or rechargeable is essential, and depending on how frequently you plan on using it you will want to consider how long it will run off of a single charge. For long term use away from electricity, a battery-operated model will allow you to pack spare batteries and increase the duration of use as needed.
Where the Pain is Located
Muscle pain isn’t just located in the neck or back, and you may be wanting something that can be used on your entire body. This is another important thing to consider, since not all Neck Massagers are versatile, and if you need something that can do multiple locations then you need to read carefully to make sure it will fit the area you are looking to target.
For people who want to use their Neck Massager on small areas such as limbs or feet, it is necessary to select a model that can wrap around smaller places and still provide an effective massage.
If a model is designed only for the neck or back, then you may have trouble getting the results you need in other areas, and it may limit your overall satisfaction with the massager. Most massagers that contain longer straps and multiple nodes are better suited for an all over massage, as the straps give you more control on how and where you place the device.
Some of us only experience pain in the neck and/or back specifically, however, and for those individuals you may want to consider a model that is designed just for that area. There are Neck Massagers that are ergonomically designed to fit the neck properly and snuggly, providing you with a very localized and specific type of relief. The nodes within a neck specific massager are aligned in a way that best hits your neck muscles and can get deep in to the tissue of such a small and delicate area.
Wherever you pain or discomfort is, keeping that in the back of your mind will help you get more satisfaction out of your Neck Massager. Some models are completely versatile, while others are exacting and precise, what you choose is a matter of personal preference and need.
With all of the options that are currently on the market, it’s likely that you will be able to find something that provides you with exactly what you need. By doing your research, considering all of the above points, and focusing on what you want you can narrow down your search and find the best neck massager for you.