How to Find the Best Neck Massager [Sample available US only]
Many of our day-to-day activities can put a great deal of strain on our shoulders, back, and of course, neck. From sitting in a bad posture to bending over to tie our shoelaces, our body parts hold plenty of built-up tension.
Since receiving a regular neck massage from a massage therapist is either too expensive or impractical for many people, using a neck massager is definitely the best way to give yourself some much-needed pain relief at home, whenever you need to.
There are lots of different neck massagers out there, including portable handheld devices, those that wrap around the neck, and even handheld massager roller balls. Some come with special features such as adjustable heating controls to help you use heat therapy on painful areas, while others are built to target pressure points in order to provide relief from migraines.
To help you decide on which neck massager will best suit your needs, we’ve put together this comprehensive neck massager buying guide to help you narrow down your options. We’ve also come up with five top picks from various online stores that are highly recommended. In addition to near-perfect ratings, every item on our list has lots of glowing reviews describing why they’re awesome.
Definition of a Neck Massager
A neck massager can help ease pain and tension in the neck. It works by putting pressure on specific points of your body in order to ease pain and relax muscles.
Certain massagers can also apply heat to relax and soothe muscles. If you buy a massager with a heating function, make sure to follow the instructions provided in the manual to minimize the chances of suffering an injury.
Neck Massager Types
Neck massagers are available in many variants, from massage chairs with vibration and heat to little manual rollers. Some simulate types of massage like Swedish or Shiatsu massage.
Popular variants of neck massagers on the market include:
Kneading massage pillows
- Massage balls
- Massage guns/percussive massager
- Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) devices
- Acupressure mats and balls
Neck massagers are available at different prices, sizes, and functions. They can provide a number of benefits if you’re seeking short-term back, shoulder, and neck relief, as well as seeking to lower stress and improve relaxation after a hard day’s work.
Neck Massager Benefits
Sure, a neck massager helps bring a soothing massage. But did you know other benefits of using a neck massager to run down your neck? Well, here are some of the benefits you can receive from using this device.
Relieves Neck Pain
A neck massager can benefit those who have neck pain. The massager simulates the action of a professional massager by stimulating the nerve endings and muscles. Research has proven that massage therapy can effectively treat chronic pain, and neck massagers essentially simulate different massage techniques.
Loosens a Stiff Neck
Whether you suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis or occasionally get a stick neck, you know how uncomfortable that can be. About 10% of American adults experience a stiff neck at some point in their lives, so neck massage can be a good natural way to relieve the pain.
Relieves Shoulder Pain Relief
Apart from providing neck pain relief, a neck massager may also ease shoulder pain effectively. By stimulating shoulder muscles with a neck massager, you can get some much-needed relief from pain.
Eases Muscle Tension
A neck massager can also relieve muscle tension, whether that’s in your neck, back, or shoulders.
Relieves Migraines / Headaches
Massage therapy is both a preventative and treatment technique. The most common type of headache on earth is a tension headache, which often causes both shoulder and neck pain, along with head pain.
Massage therapy may be effective for treating arthritis. However, some types of severe arthritis can be adversely affected by massage, so it’s crucial to consult your doctor before trying any massage technique.
What to Consider When Selecting a Neck Massager
When buying a neck massager, you should consider the following factors:
Different neck massagers obviously offer different massage techniques, depending on the massager’s type and model. Some come with vibration, kneading, and Shiatsu massage.
Different neck massagers use different sources of power. Some get their power from electricity or batteries, so be sure to pick the power source you need.
Get a neck massager with multiple functions—it shouldn’t be restricted to just the neck.
Nothing beats getting pain relief on the go. Whether you need a boost after a gym session or you’re working from home, make sure you understand exactly how your neck massager functions.
If you’re staying home, for the most part, an electric model may be perfect for long-term use. However, if you want something easier to carry around, a battery-powered option may be the best option.
A neck massager’s shape is an important factor to consider when shopping since you have to ensure that it can actually target areas causing you pain. Whether it’s a chair pad or an S-shaped stick, you must ensure it can reach the problem areas.
You should also consider the size of the neck massager you want to buy. Will it provide good coverage to your neck? Is it too huge to be portable?
In addition to size, weight can be a key consideration since you might need to maneuver the massage onto your neck or wrap it around your neck.
Key Neck Massager Features to Check Out
Arm straps: Some neck massagers feature arm straps, which help you regulate the pressure needed.
Velcro straps: Wrap-around massagers also feature Velcro straps, which help you position the device in the right place without having to attach it.
Massager nodes: A neck massager’s massage nodes and how they’re arranged to determine its efficiency. A device with multiple massage nodes will offer better results on larger body parts, such as the back, hips, and legs. It’s also important to consider how many massage nodes a device has if you want an intense and deep massage.
Heat therapy: Heat therapy is useful for removing the knots you might have. In addition, heated massage can increase blood circulation in the body, thereby boosting oxygen supply to the muscles. Some devices even offer infrared heating.
Percussion: Percussion refers to a deep tissue style of massage. It may not be the right feature for you if you want something a bit less intense.
Shiatsu: Check for this feature if you want the closest thing to a professional massager’s kneading action. Some neck massagers have an optional direction function to help you change the direction of the modes for a more effective and satisfying massage.
Kneading: If you want a neck massager that will really work out your knots, then you may want to check for the kneading feature.
Wand: If you prefer handheld control, you should get a massager that features a wand or a wand massager itself.
Vibration: Some neck massagers feature an extra vibration function which could be something you might need for that added pain relief.
Magnetic field therapy: Neck massagers, which feature a magnetic field therapy function, basically have magnets that are placed on the body and are believed to boost the inherent magnetic energy within users.
Timer: A timer may come in handy if you take long to get relief from pain. Simply set a specific time and then sit back to enjoy the relief.
Auto shutdown: This can be a great feature to have since it prevents you and the device from overheating. But if it takes you some time to get pain relief, a brief auto shutdown feature might be frustrating.
Speed settings: You need to consider the speed settings offered if you’re after something gentle and slow or want something fast and thorough.
Intensity settings: A neck massager with a range of intensity settings is the best option if you want something versatile. Some devices come with just one setting, so be sure to pick what’s best for your needs.
Recharge feature: Some neck massagers can be recharged, making them ideal for use on the go or in the office. Watch out for how long the product will work when it’s fully charged.
Speed of charge: It’s also wise to consider how long it takes to fully charge the massager because that could be something important to you.
Car charger: It could be important to be able to use your neck massager in your car, for example, between meetings. Therefore, look for a massager that has an in-car charger.
Power cord length: While this may not seem to be an important feature, you may want to have a neck massage in your favorite chair, in which case, it’s important to check for the length of the power cable.
Attachments: Some neck massagers feature attachments that target various areas, including the face. Others come with oil-stick attachments that let you apply essential oils or creams, which can be a crucial consideration for you.
Recall/memory: Recall or memory functions remember the style, speed, and intensity of your massage, which can be really helpful for the day-to-day use of your massager.
Instructional video: An instructional video is an additional feature that can come with a neck massager. While it may sound like a luxury feature, it can be a useful extra feature if you want to enjoy your device to the fullest.
Our Top Picks
The following neck massagers can be beneficial for easing shoulder and neck pain. In our list below, we’ve included a variety of neck massagers that provide short-term back, neck, and shoulder pain relief, based on the type of massager, massage style, efficiency, and convenience.
Best Overall Neck Massager: InvoSpa Shiatsu Back & Neck Massager
InvoSpa Back, Shoulder, and Neck Massager comes equipped with 8 massager roller balls to provide your entire body with deep tissue relief. Moreover, there are three separate speed settings with a pair of hand loops to help you push the device towards the floor to optimize pressure.
The massager even boasts an infrared heat feature that easily relieves sore muscles, as well as a carrier bag that lets you bring it along wherever you go. If your neck starts aching during a road trip in the future, the massager comes with car and wall adapters that can be used on the go.
- Car and wall adapter available
- Comes with a carrier bag
- Offers deep tissue relief
- Not flexible
- Controls awkwardly positioned
Best Shiatsu Neck Massager: HoMedics Shiatsu Plus Neck & Shoulder Massager
For the best possible relaxation experience, wrap HoMedics Shiatsu Plus Neck & Shoulder Massager around your neck or shoulder. With this lightweight and portable neck massager, you’ll be able to say goodbye to shoulder and neck cramps. It has an ergonomic, U-shape build that can be tweaked to comfortably fit around your neck with loops to let your arms slip through.
The neck massager has a pair of large and small nodes you can set to rotate in whichever direction you want. Of course, you can control them to rotate inwards or outwards, and there’s also a heated massage function. Each time you use this device, you’ll be able to get a regular deep-kneading Shiatsu massage.
- Heated massage feature
- Customizable rotation
- Lightweight and portable
- Wraps around the neck and shoulders
- Doesn’t properly fit smaller necks
- Wears over time
Best Massage Ball Option: Vive Massage Roller Ball
This basic Massager Roller Ball from Vive could be the solution to your neck pain troubles. Each purchase comes in a pair, and the handheld massage balls may be used on different spots or together for quick relief on the go.
This hypoallergenic, latex-free product is durable since it’s made from quality resin that won’t break regardless of the pressure placed on it. It also won’t irritate your skin. Friction will be a thing of the past as well. The roller balls slide smoothly on clothing or bare skin, leaving you with a great, soothing massage.
- Package of two
- Hypoallergenic and latex-free
- Balls can become stuck
- Hard to clean
Best Travel Neck Massager: Papillon Back Massager
With this back massager from Papillon, you can have your neck or back massage wherever you go. It comes with a heat function that provides a heated massage on the go. This device also comes with a car adapter to allow you to use it during cold winter mornings or long drives.
The quality pillow rubs down the uncomfortable knots on your neck by quickly changing direction each minute. The device also generates heat and warms your tight muscles safely.
What’s more, the massager’s ergonomic design ensures that it fits perfectly behind your neck and reaches several areas of your body, such as the upper and lower back, abdomen, thighs, and calf.
- Heat function present
- Has a car adapter
- Works on several areas of the body
- Wire easily unplugs
- Shuts down automatically after 15 minutes
Best Neck Massage Gun: Hyperice Hypervolt Percussion Massage Gun
Bring home the spa with this neck massage gun from the Hyperice Store. The massage gun’s 3-speed setting may deliver as many as 3,200 pulses a minute and features four identical head attachments to give you the precise pain relief you need.
Hyperice Hypervolt Percussion Massage Gun is rechargeable, and each charge can last up to 3 hours, so you never have to worry about it stopping mid-massage. At just 2.5 pounds, the device is lightweight enough to use for longer periods.
- Three speed settings
- Interchangeable head attachments
- Strong pulse
- Cordless with a 3-hour battery life
FAQs on How to Find the Best Neck Massager
Answer: Before buying a neck massager, here’s what to look for:
Functionality: Massagers target various body areas, including the neck as well as the entire body.
Features: Massagers have a variety of features, including different kinds of massage, heat functions, and a remote control.
Price: Massagers come in a wide range of options to suit different budgets.
Answer: The top-rated neck massagers on the market today are:
Renpho Handheld Deep Tissue Massager
Nekteck Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Soothing Heat
LifePro Sonic Neck Massage Gun
Comfier Shiatsu Back & Neck Massager
MoCushle Back and Neck Massager
HoMedics Neck & Shoulder Massager
Coolife Neck Massager
Zyllion Shiatsu Back & Neck Massager
Atombud Intelligent Portable Neck Massager
Resteck Neck & Back Massager
Body Back Company Massage Ball Roller
Mirakel Back & Neck Massager
Answer: Research from 2017 shows that self-massage can offer short-term pain relief as well as benefits like stress relief. Moreover, there’s evidence to show that the relaxation provided by massage can help ease pain.
Answer: Neck massage provides short-term relief from neck pain, and it may be best to get frequent neck massages. One study discovered that receiving a 1-hour massage twice or thrice a week was more beneficial for people with neck pain problems than receiving a 1-hour massage once per week or receiving a few half-hour massages every week.
The Bottom Line On How to Find the Best Neck Massager
Neck massage can be a wonderful way to relieve the strain and pain on your neck. Many kinds of neck massagers on the market can help to alleviate neck, shoulder, and back pain at home, in the office, or on the road.
Our top massager recommendations above can help relieve neck pain resulting from sprains, strains, and conditions like osteoarthritis. Moreover, they can help ease the discomfort resulting from tension headaches or migraines.
Having said that, if you want a reliable neck massager that can provide effective and consistent pain relief with exceptional efficiency, then look no further than the InvoSpa Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager. But if you want a more pocket-friendly option, then give the Vive Massage Roller Ball a try.