Massaging our body is a tradition and practice that goes back to the ancient times, as the Roman and Egyptian aristocrats discovered the benefits of a massage session and used it often. Throughout the years, massage was used to alleviate pain and instill a sense of pleasure, but thanks to the tech improvements we now have devices to help us with such tasks. Trying to find the best back massager can be a very good idea in this regard, but let’s see what is such a device and how it can help you.
What is a Back Massager and What Does It Do?
The back massager is basically a piece of technology that uses hardware in order to simulate a real massage. There are multiple models to begin with, but all of them are designed in order to alleviate stress and make your muscles feel a lot better. After using a back massager you will not only feel amazing, but at the same time the experience will be extraordinary since it will induce a perfect state of relaxation.
Moreover, such a device is portable which means that you can easily take it with you if you want and that on its own can be amazing since it provides complete control over when and where you can receive a back massage.
Best Handheld Back Massager
- Powerful DC motor
- Ergonomic design
- Patented percussive technology designed to penetrate deep into muscle tissue for best massage experience
- Strong, steady hands are needed to handle a 4-pound massager
The Thumper E501 NA is not just an ordinary massager at glance. It is equipped with a heavy duty DC motor which is reliable to give you the best massage experience on the back, neck and shoulder. The patented percussive technology is designed to penetrate deep to reach sore tissues and relieve the pain in a timely manner. This unit is big weighing more than 4 pounds. You need to consider this factor if you can handle a powerful motor plus a heavy weight massager. Compared to its close competitor like HoMedics HHP-350, which is also a percussion massager though cheaper, this unit is much heavier.
The Thumper E501 NA Sport Percussive Massager has a 2-year warranty.
- Cordless operation
- Fast charging Li-ION battery
- Dual powerful motor for percussion and vibration
- 6 massage heads
- Battery is integrated which replaces the whole unit if malfunctions
- The unit has only 1-year warranty compared to its competitors which have 2-3 years
If you’re tired of using corded back massagers, then you might see Pure-Wave CM7 as a good option to switch from. This unit operates cordlessly, up to 2 hours of using. The Li-ION battery can be fully charged up to 1 hour. What’s amazing about this unit is it has a stand where you can place the heads/sticks and the massager. You can choose from the 6 attachment heads for customized massage.
The Pure-Wave CM7 works as percussion if you want it used for the body and you can switch to vibration if it is used for your face. The unit has a 1 year warranty.
See Pure-Wave CM7 in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hdLxYRe7ps
- Easy to handle
- No power needed
- You decide what pressure to apply
- 6 treatment balls for an overall body massage
- Difficult to maneuver on the back especially for starters
The Thera Cane Massager is not the usual back massager you may have seen. So how do this thing work? The cane-shape is designed to reach trigger points on your back. It is crafted with 6 strategically placed balls to reach most part of your body. The purpose of the balls is to help generate pressure to eliminate pain knots on your body. In addition, it also adheres to the softness of the skin and curves.
The Thera Cane Massager is made out of high quality plastic and doesn’t feel flimsy. This product is made in the US.
Best Back Massager Under $50
- Three custom massage heads for better massage experience
- Soothing heat feature
- Balanced weight to give enough pressure
- Bang for the buck
- Ergonomic design
- Extensive warranty
- Vibrates up to your hands
- Very noticeable noise
The HoMedics brings you HHP-350 model which is designed to do a particular job – to massage your back in a graceful manner. The HHP-350 has dual pivoting heads to produce a percussion massage with three variable speed. There are three massage heads to choose from – Firm massage, Gentle massage and Soothing heat. The soothing heat option works great on back pain especially on the upper back. The handle is wrapped with a rubber to ensure strong grip of the massager.
HoMedics HHP-350 is big and quite heavy. You need a strong hands to deliver the percussion massage on your back. Otherwise you can let others handle the job. This product is backed with a 2 year limited warranty.
- Best value for the money
- Strong power that will soothe aching muscles
- Comes with 4 therapeutic attachments to choose from
- Variable Power
- The body is flimsy
- A bit heavy for a hand-held massager
The WAHL 4290-300 is a good purchase especially for the first time users of electric massagers. This is very simple to use, with good quality and best value for the money. This massager has 4 attachments to choose from. They have the new flat disc attachment to cover large area of the muscle, the four finger flex is great for touch massage, the accupoint is used to target deep muscle tissue and the deep muscle soothe and relax muscles – great for a body–wide massage. Choose your intensity level with its adjustable dial to achieve your desired preference.
This massager is not built with premium materials nor has fancy features. However it is backed with a 2 year warranty if any reason the massager stops operating.
Best Professional Back Massager
- Quite, powerful DC motor
- Ergonomically designed for professional use
- Patented Thumper® Action works considerably great to muscle tissues
- Operates inversely proportional ensures no feedback to the user’s hand
- 90 degree handle gives you full control
- Reasonably Heavy
- You need to have good and steady hands to control this massager
Choosing a professional back massager should not be in a haste. For professionals like chiropractors, a great quality massager must be included your tools. Here comes the Thumper Maxi Pro which comes with great massaging power. Packed with a powerful DC motor, this is not your average massage equipment. Designed with 8 massage spheres, it ensures a deep tissue massage, meaning it will alleviate pain faster and does not just rub your skin. Its 90 degree built in handle ensures you to get full control of the massager. You can adjust the speed from 18-35 pulses as well as the pressure with the 4-position knob.
Get the most of this massager as it is backed with 2 year warranty.
Best Back Massager for Chairs
- Massager covers from shoulder to thigh
- Attached remote control for easy access
- Includes AC and DC adapters for home and car use
- Built-in thermostat for heat adjustment
- Extensive warranty
- This unit only vibrates
- Heat is only applied specifically to lumbar and thighs
Are you having a back pain due to a long drive or sitting and facing a computer for a long period of time? The Five S introduces the Five Star FS8812 which is design to massage from shoulder down to thighs. All you need to do is to sit on it and plug this unit on AC (at home or office) or DC (on your car) to start the massage. You can choose from 3 speed settings and 4 options to which part of your back you need a massage. This massage seat cushion can also provide heat for additional comfort. The built in thermostat is very useful to control the heat temperature you desire. You don’t need to worry that you’ll get an over massage because there is an auto shutdown feature. The remote is attached on the seat cushion for ease of access and to avoid losing it.
The Five Star FS8812 is an upgrade of FS8802 and does an amazing job compared to its older model. This unit is backed with an extensive 3 year warranty from date of purchase.
- Total shiatsu back massage
- Vibrates and kneads
- Attached programmed controller for ease of access
- Comfortable memory foam
- Optional heating for additional comfort
- Loud motor
- Doesn’t include DC adapter for car unlike the Five Star FS8812
The Homedics brings the SBM-650H model designed to give you a total back massage experience. This unit works like a shiatsu massage with balls rolling up and down. The vibration helps supplementing the pressure and comfort. The remote is attached on the cushion so you can access it easily. Both heat and vibration can be turned on or off. You can choose which part of your back need massage – lower back, upper back or full back.
You can use Homedics SBM-650H on your office or at home especially for those who works for hours. If you want to use this on the car, you may but you need to buy a power inverter because there is no DC adapter included. This unit has a 2-year warranty.
Best Pillow Back Massager
- Deep penetration shiatsu massage
- Highly Portable
- Can be used at home, office or car
- Includes AC and DC adapters
- Limited to clockwise and counter clockwise functionality
- Intensity adjusts to your pressure against it
- Heat temperature cannot be adjusted
Now you can experience a close to hand massage with Gideon Portable Shiatsu Massage Pillow. It has four rotating nodes that can run clockwise or counter clockwise. What’s amazing about this massager is it is not just for back, neck or shoulder. It can also be used on other parts of your body. Plus you will not just receive a kneading massage but with additional heat just like a hot stone massage in your favorite spa. This unit has AC and DC adapters which is good for home and office use and for a long travel in your car.
If you want to adjust the intensity, you can’t do it on the controller but it will depend on how you will press your body on it. The harder you press, the higher the intensity you feel.
Comparison: Top Rated Back Massagers
|Thumper E501 NA||Electric||Percussion handheld back massager||4.4 pounds||19.5 x 5.8 x 6.5 inches||$$|
|Pure-Wave CM7||Cordless/Electric||Percussion handheld back massager||2.9 pounds||Not Specified||$$|
|HoMedics HHP-350||Electric||Percussion handheld back massager||2.5 pounds||17.1 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches||$|
|Thera Cane Massager||Manual||Cane massager||0.0125 pounds||24 x 15 x 1 inches||$|
|Thumper Mini Pro||Electric||Percussion handheld back massager||3 pounds||13.5 x 6.5 x 5.2 inches||$$|
|Homedics Air Compression and Shiatsu Massage Cushion||Electric||Massage seat cushion||12.1 pounds||27 x 6.5 x 18.9 inches||$$|
|Five Star FS8812||Electric||Massage seat cushion||3.8 pounds||17.7 x 14 x 5.5 inches||$|
Gideon Luxury Six-Program Customizable Massaging Cushion
|Electric||Massage seat cushion||9 pounds||Not Specified||$$|
|Pure-Wave CM5||Cordless/Electric||Percussion handheld back massager||2.6 pounds||15 x 3 x 4.5 inches||$$|
|Homedics SBM-650H||Electric||Massage seat cushion||11 pounds||25.2 x 17 x 5 inches||$$|
|Kneading Fingers Neck & Back Massager||Electric||Kneading Massager||8 pounds||14 x 6 x 9 inches||$$$|
|Gideon Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow||Electric||Kneading Massager||3 pounds||11” W x 7” H||$|
Benefits of Self Massage and Its Downsides
Using the best back massager to reach and massage your have have some benefits including quick relief from the pain. However, dealing back pain with your own hands might have some downsides to it.
- A DIY massage can be a great option sometimes because it allows you to relieve the lower back pain quickly. Back pain is always causing a lot of pressure and discomfort for all of us. If you really want to stay healthy then you have to address the lower back pains immediately. These pains usually appear from sitting in front of the desk during a long period of time.
- Another type of pain that can be addressed with a DIY massage is the upper back. On top of that, such a massage can help you release the ‘feel-good’ chemicals that will induce relaxation in your entire body.
- Aside from that, a good DIY massage can speed up the healing process if you had a back injury, it can promote a better circulation and it also manages to feel very good, something that does matter quite a lot.
- Are there any downsides? Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of them. For example, you are limited in regards to the area you can massage, mainly because your body does limit the amount of movement you can have. This leads to a lower quality massage and thus lower chances to access the benefits presented above.
- Moreover, a DIY massage is efficient only if you have experience in this craft. This means that you need to take lessons, understand what nerves you need to address, so it’s not easy to do nor to learn.
- Then there’s the amount of time you need to do a DIY massage. Even if you can’t cover all areas of your back, you will still need a lot of time to perform a DIY massage properly, mainly due to the limitations of the human body.
Types of Back Massagers
Life is full of stresses – work, bills, kids, nosy neighbors and others. When muscles give up, massage therapy is best for you to relieve you of stress and fatigue. Spas and massage parlors offer various massage techniques but you have no time because you need to get home early. This is when buying a good back massager becomes the best option. But which one will work for you?
a. Percussion Handheld Back Massager
Because it’s handheld, it’s designed to be easy to hold and long enough to enable users to reach the sore spots at the back. The percussion handheld back massager that is heavy enough also provides pressure on the back muscles. Heat, on the other hand, relaxes and loosens up the tightened muscles quickly. These products differ in the way they are used, but normally, you just turn it on (regardless if it is corded or cordless) and place it on your back so you can get to the painful spots. You can change the speed, depending on your preference. To some, the ‘heat’ setting can be adjusted.
b. Shiatsu Massage Cushion
You can use shiatsu massage cushion in the comfort of your home and at your convenience. Just plug it, sit on it and choose your desired settings using the remote control. Its moving massage mechanism goes up and down your back to improve blood circulation and relieve muscle tension, making you feel revitalized. The vibrating motors located at the hip also assist in the relaxation of the body and strengthening of the metabolism. Follow detailed instructions provided by the manufacturer.
c. Kneading Massager
Kneading massager is not the one that vibrates. Instead, it provides steady, pressurized action in your back to get to the muscles using small rollers. It makes you feel like the fingers of a massage therapist rolling and turning in your back. The rotation is in inward or outward movement, depending on the brand of the machine you buy. If lucky, it can be the combination of both. Kneading massager improves blood circulation and energy levels. It reduces tension, stress and fatigue.
d. Vibration Massager
This type of massager (particularly the one that has heat setting) soothes the tired sore muscles in your back. The stimulating vibration, which offers light to firm pressure, relaxes tight muscles in the back. Vibration massager also eliminates pain by numbing the affected area. When buying this, make sure that the frequency is adjustable so you can use it according to your preference.
e. Hook/Cane Massager
This is also a handheld self-massage that offers short-term relief from muscular soreness, tension and stiffness. Using this device, you’ll be able to reach your back with ease. It eliminates stress in your back and increases blood circulation. Some hook/cane massagers are suitable for individuals who want to recover from chronic injuries or muscle surgeries.
How to Choose a Good Back Massager
There are a few factors to consider when looking for a good back massager to buy, but these four are important:
1. Ease of use – You should make an effort to know how to use the device before making a purchase. Choose the product that is easy to use so you can already reap its benefits soon as you open the package and so everyone in the family can operate it.
2. Features – Check the length and the weight, if the item you will buy is handheld. It should be easy to hold and it should let you reach your back without difficulty. See also the speed if it is adjustable so you can set it according to your preference. Know the materials used to determine its durability so you can use it for a longer period of time. If you require heat, check if the product you are looking at has this feature.
3. Benefits – Remember that you are buying it for your back pain problem. You should make sure that this offers solution relevant to this concern. But it is good to know if the massager you buy offers more benefits.
4. Warranty and support – It is very important to know the warranty of the massager as well as the support. You should have the knowledge of what the warranty covers. Most back massagers are backed with 1 year warranty, even those that are manual.
5. Customer feedback – This is the most common factor especially if you are shopping online. Reading back massager reviews left by customers will help you know more about the product.
As you can see, there are numerous types of back massagers and plenty of opportunities to address the back pain. Don’t hesitate and read our instructions as they will guide you towards purchasing the best possible model out there. Instead of spending a lot of time trying to massage your back on your own, get the best back massager right now. It will help you alleviate back pain and in the end it will promote a healthier lifestyle!