10 Best Back Massagers of 2018 – Reviews, Guide and Comparison

Whether caused by stress, sitting for hours or unhealthy lifestyle, back pain can stop us from doing our daily activities. If you don’t have time to have a massage therapy, having 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.Best Back Massager Reviews

What is a Back Massager and What Does It Do?

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.

So, how should you choose the best back massager suitable for your personal needs? Let’s get started.

Comparison: 10 Best Back Massagers

Product ImageBack Massager NameTypeWeight (lbs)Dimensions (inches)
Thumper Sport Percussive MassagerPercussion handheld back massager3 pounds16″ L x 6″ W x 5″ H
Pure-Wave CM7 Extreme Power MassagerPercussion handheld back massager1.75 pounds16.5" L x 2.75" W x 4" H
Thera Cane MassagerCane massager0.0125 pounds24" L x 15" W x 1" D
HoMedics HHP-350Percussion handheld back massager2.5 pounds17.1" L x 5.9" W x 5.5" H
Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Electric MassagerPercussion handheld back massager3 pounds 6.5" L x 16" W x 10.9" H
Thumper Maxi Pro Professional MassagerPercussion handheld back massager7 pounds8″ W x 10″ L x 7.5″ H
Jeanie Rub Variable Speed MassagerVibration massager6 pounds12" x 6" x 8"
FIVE S FS8812 10-Motor Vibration Massage Seat CushionVibration massage seat cushion3.8 pounds42" L x 19" W x 1" H
Zyllion ZMA14 Shiatsu Neck and Back MassagerShiatsu, kneading, rolling and vibration massage seat cushion15.5 pounds30" L x 16.5" W x 7.9" H
Gideon Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage PillowShiatsu, Kneading Massager3 pounds11” W x 7” H

Best Handheld Back Massager

1. Thumper E501 NA Sport Percussive Massager

Pros:

  • Powerful DC motor
  • No feedback can be felt to the hand
  • Ergonomic design
  • Patented percussive technology designed to penetrate deep into muscle tissue for best massage experience
  • Variable speed to choose from

Cons:

  • 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.

Key Features:

  • Percussion massager
  • Patented technology that transmits energy deep into the muscle tissue
  • 20-40 pulses/sec variable speed – adjust with the rotary switch
  • Long ergonomic handle
  • Easy to clean surface

The Thumper E501 NA Sport Percussive Massager has a 2-year warranty. See it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxrE6CtxBSo


2. Pure-Wave CM7 Extreme Power Full Body Massager

Pros:

  • Multi-function massager – percussion and vibration massage
  • Cordless operation
  • Fast charging Li-ION battery
  • Dual powerful motor for percussion and microvibration
  • 6 massage heads

Cons:

  • 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 3 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.

Key Features:

  • Dual motor cordless massager: percussion massage – 3,700 RPM, microvibration massage: 10,000 RPM
  • Lithium-Ion battery
  • One hour charging time; up to 3 hours of operation
  • 6 massage sticks for body, facial, foot, legs, neck, back & shoulders
  • Long ergonomic handle

See Pure-Wave CM7 in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hdLxYRe7ps


3. Thera Cane Massager

Pros:

  • Easy to handle
  • No power needed
  • You decide what pressure to apply
  • 6 treatment balls for an overall body massage

Cons:

  • 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. If you need manual on how to start your massage with this item, click here.


Best Back Massager Under $50

4. HoMedics HHP-350 Percussion Action Massager

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

Key Features:

  • Percussion massage
  • Dual pivoting heads yp to 3,100 pulses/minute
  • Soothing heat functionality
  • Ergonomic rubberized handle
  • 3 custom massage heads: gentle, firm or heated massage
  • Variable speed control
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.


5. WAHL 4290-300 Deep Tissue Percussion Massager

Pros:

  • Best value for the money
  • Strong power that will soothe aching muscles
  • Comes with 4 therapeutic attachments to choose from
  • Variable Power

Cons:

  • 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.

Key Features:

  • Percussion massage
  • Motor delivers up to 3,350 pulses/minute
  • 4 attachment heads: flat disc, deep muscle, four-finger and accupoint
  • Variable speed: Gentle or Intense

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

6. Thumper Maxi Pro Professional Massager

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

Key Features:

  • Percussion massage
  • 8 anatomically designed massage spheres
  • Variable speed from 18 to 35 pulses per second
  • Fan-cooled DC motor
  • 4-position adjustable knob
  • 90-degree ergonomic handle
This back massager has no carrying case included but you can buy it separately. Get the most of this massager as it is backed with 2 year warranty.


7. Jeanie Rub Variable Speed Massager

Pros:

  • Delivers variable speed
  • Easy to use for professional or personal massage
  • Extensive power cord
  • Rotary switch makes it easy to change speed

Cons:

  • You can feel the vibration on the handle

Getting a professional grade massage is easy with Jeanie Rub Variable Speed Massager. This massager is powerful enough to penetrate deep muscle tissue to relief back pain. It has variable speed ranging from 600-4600 rpm massage action. You may choose the lower speed for soothing massage on delicate muscle groups while higher speed for invigorating massage on larger muscle groups. Changing speed is easy. Just twist the rotary switch clockwise to increase speed and counter clockwise to decrease speed.

The cast aluminum construction makes this massager easier to handle. You can use this unit on yourself too. Just hold the handle tightly to massage your sore muscle. You can also use this massager to massage your arms, feet, calves or hamstrings. Just lay this massager down and put whichever part of your body on top of the pad. On the other hand, you may feel the vibration on the handle. Just don’t hold it much longer or have a break between massage.

Key Features:

  • Vibration massage
  • 600 – 4600 rpm massaging action
  • 12 ft power cord
  • Vibration massage
  • Vinyl pad measures 4” x 9”
  • Rotary switch
  • 1 year warranty
If you want to put oil or lotion on your skin, be sure to use the fleece cover accessory, however sold separately, to lengthen the life of the pad of this massager.


Best Back Massager for Chairs

8. Five Star FS8812 Massage Seat Cushion

Pros:

  • Massager covers from shoulder to thigh
  • Attached hand control for easy access
  • Includes AC and DC adapters for home and car use
  • Built-in thermostat for heat adjustment
  • Portable
  • Extensive warranty

Cons:

  • 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.

Key Features:

  • 10 vibration motor massager
  • With connected hand control
  • Soothing heat
  • 3 massage speed
  • 4 massage programs
  • Automatic shutdown
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.


9. Zyllion ZMA14 Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

Pros:

  • Three relaxing massage styles to choose
  • Heat feature
  • Automatic shutdown and overheat protection
  • Great quality plush leatherette for your comfort
  • Remote control for your convinience

Cons:

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Doesn’t include DC adapter for car unlike the Five Star FS8812

The Zyllion ZMA14 Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager Cushion is designed to give you a total back massage experience. From neck, back, glutes or hamstrings, count this machine on. Choose from three types of massage: Shiatsu, Rolling, Vibration. With added heat feature, you can relax especially when cold weather strikes. This unit has a 20 minute shutdown feature which is great especially if you fall asleep while using the massager. It has also an overheat protection feature that ensures you that is won’t cause you harm. The surface of this massager is smooth and silky making it more comfortable to sit. It has a remote control feature though not detachable but still good for your convenience.

This massager is not for anyone especially you cannot adjust its height. Some people may not utilize its neck massager. In addition, this unit is bulky and heavy.

Key Features:

  • Shiatsu, rolling, kneading & vibration massage seat cushion
  • Soothing heat functionality
  • 4 kneading massage for neck and back and lumbar area
  • Seat vibration with 3 levels of vibration
  • Overheat protection
  • 20-minute auto shutdown
  • Remote control
If you want to use this on your car, you may, but you need to buy a power inverter because there is no DC adapter included. This unit has a 1-year warranty.


Best Pillow Back Massager

10. Gideon Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow with Heat

Pros:

  • Deep penetration shiatsu massage
  • Highly Portable
  • Can be used at home, office or car
  • Includes AC and DC adapters
  • Value for the money

Cons:

  • 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.

Key Features:

  • Shiatsu, kneading massage
  • 4 rotating massage nodes
  • Soothing heat functionality
  • Portable design for car and office
  • Corded hand control
  • Stretchable strap
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.


Benefits of Self Massage Therapy and Its Downsides

Using the best back massager to reach and massage your back have some benefits including quick relief from the pain. However, dealing back pain with your own hands might have some downsides to it.

Its Pros

  • 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.

Its Cons

  • 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 the best back massager becomes the best option. But which one will work for you?

a. Percussion Handheld Back Massager

From the word percussion, you need two objects to create sound like a drum and drumstick. A percussion massager  works similar. It moves in and out that pounds muscles, faster than what you see on a massage therapist’s actual pounding. Most of percussion massagers have spherical heads designed to penetrate into muscle tissues.

See video below how percussion massager works.

b. Shiatsu Massager

Shiatsu originated in Japan. It means “Finger Pressure”. A therapist utilizes his fingers and palm to perform a back rub. Shiatsu massagers mimic this technique. It often combines kneading, rolling and vibrating to achieve the best massage experience especially on the back.

c. Kneading Massager

Kneading massager is not the one that vibrates. Its concept is the same as kneading a dough. It provides steady, pressurized action in your back to get to the muscles using small rotating balls. 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. Kneading massager improves blood circulation and energy levels. It reduces tension, stress and fatigue.

d. Rolling Massager

Rolling massage is an up and down rolling movement with applied constant pressure. This massage helps stretch and loosen muscle.

e. Vibration Massager

This type of massager 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.

f. 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 five are important:

1. Ease of use – Choose the product that is easy to use so you can already reap its benefits as soon as you open the package and so everyone in the family can use it. If you want to buy a handheld back massager, see to it that it has long handle to easily hold and reach your back without difficulty. If you prefer with customization heads, changing should be done effortlessly.

2. Features – Variable speed, soothing heat functionality, cordless operation and massage type – to name a few features you can choose in buying a back massager.

3. Benefits – Remember that you are buying it for your back pain problem. You should make sure that the unit offers solution relevant to this concern.

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.

Summary

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. If your back sores, don’t ignore it and schedule a massage therapy or get your own back massager.

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 back massager.

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