Best Back Massager Reviews: Top 5 Products of 2021 for the Best Back Pain Relief
Have you felt back pain in recent years or missed work because of it?
According to the stats, you probably have, and it’s not getting any better.
Luckily, there are ways to help yourself!
Getting the best back massager you can find will turn your pain into a long forgotten memory – and today we’re going to tell you how to pick the right one!
- Best Neck and Shoulder Massager 2021 Reviews
- Tips on How to Use Your Electric Pulse Massager
- Best Anti-Fatigue Mat Reviews: Top 5 Recommendations In 2021 For A Fatigue-Free Day
- Best Back Massagers: Comparison Chart
- Back Massagers Explained – What They Are and Why You Should Get One
- The Benefits of Back Massagers
- How to Choose the Best Back Massager: 4 Things You Need to Consider
- The Best Back Massagers of 2021: Top 5 Recommendations
- 1. Snailax Massage Mat – The Best Back Massager for Your Entire Back
- 2. VIVREAL Back Massager – The Best Handheld Back Massager
- 3. HoMedics Percussion Action Massager with Heat – The Best Budget Back Massager
- 4. Snailax Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat – The Best Back Massager Overall
- 5. Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow with Heat – The Best Lower Back Massager
- Back Massager FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- The Final Word
Best Back Massagers: Comparison Chart
Back massagers are nothing if not popular – there are tons of them out there and even starting your search can be difficult. To help you we’ve made this chart with the best back massagers of 2021 compared to each other:
|Our Top Picks|
|The Best Back Massager for Your Entire Back|
|The Best Handheld Back Massager|
|The Best Budget Back Massager|
|The Best Back Massager Overall|
|The Best Lower Back Massager|
Back Massagers Explained – What They Are and Why You Should Get One
Massage often tends to be lumped in with a lot of other alternative medicine treatments like acupuncture or chakra healing – which don’t seem to work at all, according to science.
Well, does getting a massage work?
Fortunately, yes – massaging can bring some significant, proven benefits to your life and it’s more than worth getting. You might need it more than you know.
But, back massages can be extremely expensive, and not everyone has the money or the time to get one regularly.
That’s why back massagers exist as a cheaper option that you can use at home!
These machines use electrical motors to massage nodes of different sizes in different patterns, while also vibrating and applying pressure, thus simulating the feeling of a massage.
They can simulate many different massage styles with differing levels of intensity and are better than self-massages.
But are they as good as a regular massage?
Well, most of them aren’t, but they’re close, and they’re certainly better than nothing.
If you can’t get a massage in a parlor or can get it only rarely, back massagers are a great option for help with your back issues.
The Benefits of Back Massagers
Back massagers are not just about providing you with a bit of momentary relief and comfort – they can offer so much more than that.
To help you see that, I’ve made a list of the most notable benefits that back massagers can offer to you:
- The first thing that back massagers can offer is pain relief, both short-term and long-term.
- By stimulating your muscles and other tissues, massagers can help improve your blood circulation and help alleviate swelling and inflammations.
- Massage can also help you feel better and more relaxed since it promotes the release of ‘feel good chemicals’ like endorphin, serotonin, and dopamine.
- Regular back massages can improve your sleep quality too by relieving the tension in your back that might stop you from falling asleep.
- If you’ve had a recent injury massage with a back massager can help speed up the healing process by stimulating the muscles and blood vessels.
How to Choose the Best Back Massager: 4 Things You Need to Consider
When you first go into a shop to buy a back massager, there are a few things that come to mind before anything else – the price, the size and so on.
But there’s more to finding a good back massager than just that – read on to find out all about that!
Back massagers come in almost all shapes and sizes, some of which you probably haven’t even considered.
However, that’s the first thing you should think about, and you should definitely consider more than just the most obvious options. Here are all the different types of back massagers and what makes them special:
- Handheld massagers – These are some of the most commonly seen back massagers. They often look similar to a showerhead and they’re relatively small and inexpensive. You can easily use them on most parts of your body, and they have a lot of versatility with removable head attachments, but they also tend to be less powerful.
- Massage cushions – You’ve probably seen them used already and most massage cushions come with two straps that you can put your hands through. Some of them come without those straps and can instead be fastened to a chair. They’re most often used for neck massage, but they’re also great for lower-back massage and are easily portable but stronger than handhelds.
- Massage chairs – These can be either full chairs with a massage function or so-called chair inserts – large pads with massagers in them that can be fastened onto a chair or a car seat.
- Massage mats – Akin to mattresses, they’re designed to massage your entire back and body. You’re supposed to use them lying down, but most of them are flexible so they can also be used on chairs and sofas.
The more options you have available, the better – after all, that’s the best way to ensure that you can always get the type of massage you want.
Back massagers can have a lot of different settings, including:
- Different intensity levels
- Speed control
- Modes stimulating various massage styles
- Heating options
- Removable attachments
There’s more than that, but those are some of the basics that you should look for. For the most part, you want as many options as possible but watch out for products with gimmicky, useless functions.
Size and Weight
Back massagers can be both extremely small and extremely large. The handheld types can be no larger than a smartphone in some cases, while massage mats can be as big as one-person mattresses.
The question you need to ask yourself is this – where am I going to use it?
That’s what the size you want depends on. For example, if you want to use your massager in the office, you might pick and easily transportable cushion while a massage mat might be more suitable to use at home.
Most back massagers use either batteries or cords for power – and some use both. Both options have their benefits and downsides.
Battery-powered back massagers can be taken and used almost anywhere but have to be recharged often. Those that use non-rechargeable batteries can last longer, but the battery costs can be quite high.
Corded back massagers can be used indefinitely, but only if you have a suitable power outlet nearby. Some of them come with adapters that expand their use, allowing you to use them in a car or with a USB-device. Watch out – they can be huge power hogs.
Consider where you want to use your massager and how you want to use it to figure out which option is the best for you.
The Best Back Massagers of 2021: Top 5 Recommendations
1. Snailax Massage Mat – The Best Back Massager for Your Entire Back
When you have problems with pain in your back, it’s highly likely that you have similar issues all across your body.
If you need something comfortable and functional to deal with all of those problems at once – this massage mat is the solution for you.
You can use it why lying down on your bed or place it on a chair or sofa; it’s incredibly functional. It also allows you to massage each part of your body separately, at the same time – not something that a lot of massagers can boast.
Things I Liked
- It’s made out of nice, soft materials that feel great on your skin
- The additional heat function really helps make you comfortable
- You can massage your whole back and the rest of your body with it
- Has four independently controllable zones with three levels of intensity
- Easy to fold and take with you on a trip or anywhere else
- Can be controlled easily with a small remote
- Comes with a 30-day unconditional return, an offer of a 90-day refund and 24 months of warranty
- Has 5 different massage modes that you can cycle through
Things I Didn’t Like
- When you shut it off, it doesn’t remember your previous settings, so you need to fiddle with it every time
- The pillow attached to it can’t be removed if you need a stiffer one
- It’s a larger power hog than it might seem at first glance
Verdict: If you need something that can massage your entire body at once for full relaxation, the Snailax Massage Mat is about as good as it gets. It might not be the best option if you want a massage that’s pinpoint focused on your back, but it’s great nonetheless.
2. VIVREAL Back Massager – The Best Handheld Back Massager
Handheld massagers are often underpowered, and there’s a stigma around that – but if you want one that’s more than powerful enough to give you a real massage, the VIVREAL back massager is the one.
It’s a wonder that all of this can be done by a cordless, battery-powered massager but it’s true! It also holds a charge for quite a long time, and you can get a lot out of it before you need to recharge it.
The versatility on offer is amazing as well, with six unique attachments that are designed to give you distinct massaging experiences across your entire body, not just your back!
Things I Liked
- It comes with six different head attachments, and each one is useful
- Has a lot of different options for modes, speed, and intensity
- Using it is easy, and it comes with a useful user manual that explains everything
- More than strong enough to provide the feeling of true deep tissue massage
- Long enough so it can reach any area of your back without much trouble
- You can use it for quite a while before the battery runs out
Things I Didn’t Like
- It’s quite heavy and holding it for a long time might hurt your arm
- Charging it takes a long time and you can’t use it while it’s charging
- It can only be used for 15 minutes at a time due to a safety feature
Verdict: When it comes to handheld back massagers, the VIVREAL Back Massager is undoubtedly the best one out there. It might be a bit difficult to hold due to how heavy it is but the power and versatility it offers more than makes up for that.
3. HoMedics Percussion Action Massager with Heat – The Best Budget Back Massager
You always have to be wary with affordable products – but you can rest easily when back massagers are concerned because the HoMedics percussion action massager exists!
It’s an affordable back massager that won’t fail you when you need it the most and offers quite a lot for the price.
There are 4 different levels of intensity and two different sets of massage nodes for the head. The strength is more than good enough, and there’s even an additional heating function that will make the massages feel super-relaxing!
The type of massage it offers can really work on your back, and it’s long enough to reach any area that will need attention.
Things I Liked
- Comes with two different sets of massage nodes that offer different experiences
- Incorporates a heating feature that helps you get a more relaxing massage than you otherwise would
- Relatively lightweight and easy to hold with a well-designed handle
- Made out of good materials and constructed to be durable
- The price is affordable for almost anyone
- Has more than enough reach to massage all area of your back
- The cord has more than enough length so you can use it anywhere
Things I Didn’t Like
- Difficult to use over clothes since it might get stuck on it
- Offers only percussion massage without any other modes
- You might feel some slight discomfort in your hand from the vibrations
Verdict: Getting a cheaper massager might seem like a step down, but the HoMedics Percussion Massager with Heat is more than good enough to feel like a full-priced product while remaining affordable. It does only offer percussion massage, but sometimes that’s more than enough.
4. Snailax Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat – The Best Back Massager Overall
If you’re looking to treat yourself to a massage almost as good as professional one and to cover your entire back – this Snailax massager has got you covered!
It’s made to fit almost any chair, sofa or car seat and it’s exceptionally easy to use with a lot of different functions.
The massage nodes in the backrest can work on your entire back, going up or down or focus exactly on the area you choose while you just sit back and relax.
The heating function will make you feel like you’re getting a real massage and the additional nodes in both the seat and the neck-rest will provide a complete shiatsu experience!
Things I Liked
- Has 4 back massage nodes that can move up and down your back or focus on one area
- Comes with a heating function that makes the massage more relaxing
- Features four neck massage nodes in addition to the back massagers
- There are two vibrating massage nodes in the seat to massage your legs
- You can exchange it within 30 days, and it’s covered by a 2-year warranty
- Can be used on a wide variety of chairs and sofas and most power outlets
- Has two intensity options and the nodes can move in two different directions
- The neck and back covers are removable and washable
- Lighter than it looks and easy to move around
Things I Didn’t Like
- The price point is higher than with most other back massagers
- It’s a bit slippery so you might slide around on it
- Not suitable for people who are too tall or too short
Verdict: While it is a bit more expensive, the Snailax Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat is more than worth the price and offers a complete back massage experience that you won’t soon forget.
5. Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow with Heat – The Best Lower Back Massager
While this is primarily marketed as a neck massager under the Nekteck label, it can also be used for your lower back with amazing results!
The 8 deep-kneading nodes inside it can provide an experience that’s difficult to replicate and combined with a heating function it’s the ultimate lower pain back relief!
Using it is easy, and it comes with three different speed modes and bi-directional movement so you can control the massage to your liking.
You can also use it almost anywhere you like due to its long cord, and it even comes with a free car adapter!
Things I Liked
- Has 8 massage nodes that can offer you a complete deep kneading experience
- Comes with a heating function that complements the massaging incredibly well
- The cord that comes with it is rather long, and you also get a free car adapter
- Easy to use and hold with the hand straps
- The rotors are quite strong and can deliver a powerful massage
- Comes with a lot of different functions included
- Can be used for massaging various parts of your body
Things I Didn’t Like
- Quite bulky and heavy so it might be difficult to move around
- Not as durable as you might expect it to be
- Spends a lot more power than similar massagers
Verdict: While the Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow with Heat is supposed to be a neck massager it does a great job at lower back pain relief and more. It’s a shame that it’s not more durable than it is since it works well.
Back Massager FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
I answered some of the most asked questions about back massagers already – what are they, how they work, how they help you and so on.
In here I’ll answer the rest, so keep on reading!
Is it safe to use a back massager in my car?
Yes, provided you take all the necessary safety precautions and that your massager was designed for use in a car. If the massager is unwieldy, requires multiple adapters to work or interferes with your driving in any way, it’s unsafe to use it.
Should my back hurt while I’m using a back massager?
While some might say that pain while using a back massager is a ‘sign that it’s working’ that is just a common myth. Experiencing slight discomfort and a bit of mild pain when you first start using one is fine, but that should go away within days. If your back massager is making you hurt you need to stop using it and consider getting a different one.
Can my children use my back massager?
That’s a tricky question, but the answer is – it depends. Yes, children around 7 or 8 years of age can use them safely but under supervision. Using back massagers on younger children or letting them use it themselves can be extremely dangerous, so it’s not recommended at all.
Can I wash my back massager and how?
Washing a back massager might seem difficult, but it’s relatively easy. You should wipe it with a damp cloth after every use to make sure it stays relatively clean. If you spill anything on a massager that is covered in some sort of fabric, using a damp cloth with some detergent as quickly as possible is the best option. Never put your massagers in a washing machine.
The Final Word
There’s only one thing left to do now – pick the best of the best, and we know you’re eager to find out which one it is.
The first one is the best model overall, but the other one also has its benefits, especially when it comes to portability.
Both are great – and provide amazing relief for your back – the choice just comes down to where you intend to use them and what you need them for.
You know all you need to know now so go out there and get the best back massager for you!