Neck and shoulder pain is all too common. Many of us do a number of activities throughout the average day that can contribute to muscle pain and tension, and it seems as though the neck is a regular trouble spot. Everything from sitting at a desk to repetitive motions to an intense workout can lead to a stiff and aching neck. Most people don’t have proper posture while sitting at their computer or looking at their phones, which can also lead to pain and tension. Thankfully, a good neck massager is a simple and effective way to relieve the discomfort so many face.
Purchasing a good neck massager can be a worthwhile investment. Regular use of a neck massager can help relieve muscle tension and help you relax. While some people choose to visit a spa to have a massage therapist do the work, these trips can be costly and force you to schedule a good bit of time out of your day. But purchasing a neck massager will allow you to receive a massage at your own home and on your own time with only a one-time payment. You’ll see the biggest benefits from massages when they are received on a regular basis, so having a neck massager at home can truly maximize the positive effects of the practice.
Regular massages will help relieve any muscle tension that might develop over the course of the day, which can help prevent future pain. They can also help improve flexibility and encourage good posture. Massages have even been shown to provide an increase in energy, boost mental ability, and aid in better sleep. They do this by increasing the blood flow to your muscles and stimulating the nerves in the area, which leads to your muscles feeling refreshed and limber. Most neck massagers can easily be used on other parts of the body as well, especially the lower back, legs, and feet.
What are the best neck massagers available? There are a lot of products to choose from and not all are created equal. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many options claiming to be the best one. These best neck massager reviews will help you decide which one’s right for you.
Table of Contents
- 5 Best Neck Messagers
- Best Portable Neck Massager – LiBa Shiatsu Neck Back Massager Pillow, Shiatsu Massager w/ Heated Balls Car Massager
- Best Shiatsu Neck Massager – Brookstone Cordless Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat
- Most Intense Massage – Neck Shoulder Back Tapping Massager Heated Therapy
- Best Budget Neck Massager – HoMedics NMS-375 Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager with Heat
- Best Manual Neck Massager – LuxFit Neck and Shoulder Shiatsu Deep Tissue Trigger Point Manual Self Muscle Massage
- What to Look for When Buying a Neck Messager
5 Best Neck Messagers
Best Portable Neck Massager – LiBa Shiatsu Neck Back Massager Pillow, Shiatsu Massager w/ Heated Balls Car Massager
This massager features an ergonomic design that is made to comfortably fit against your neck, back, calves, and thighs – so it can easily be used as more than just a neck massager. Its compact size allows you to easily bring it with you wherever you need it, making it especially convenient for people who need it at the office or in the car as well as at home. You will need to be near an outlet since this massager needs to plugged in to operate, but it does have a good length cord as well as a car adapter – making it the perfect choice for anyone on the go. Since it’s a pillow, you can tuck it between yourself and a chair, making it the perfect choice to use while working or driving.
There is an option to toggle the heat setting on and off, which can assist in relaxing tense muscles. It also features an option that has it switch direction every minute – making it easy to have all of your muscles targeted without having to constantly adjust its position or the settings. The automatic shut-off will turn the unit off after 20 minutes – a great safety feature for those that might worry about falling asleep while using it. The simplicity of the unit also makes it incredibly user-friendly.
Best Shiatsu Neck Massager – Brookstone Cordless Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat
In today’s world, it’s not uncommon to expect devices to have a wireless option – neck massagers are no different. Thankfully, there’s no need to sacrifice quality for convenience with the cordless Shiatsu massager by Brookstone. The Shiatsu massage will provide the relief your sore and tense muscles need while allowing you to take it anywhere you want to use it. There is also a vibrating option which can be used on it’s own or in conjunction with the other modes. Like most other massagers, this is easy to use on various parts of the body for ultimate relaxation.
This massager uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which will hold a charge long enough for you to get the relaxing massage you need. It also has a heating feature and is easy to position with the handles.
Most Intense Massage – Neck Shoulder Back Tapping Massager Heated Therapy
In need of a more intense massage? This tapping neck massager will deliver. Two separate motors power the tapping massagers to provide a deep and effective massage. There’s no shortage of options either – there are 22 different massage patterns programmed in for you to choose from and you can adjust the intensity to truly customize the experience. While it’s specifically designed to target the neck and shoulders, it can also be used on the lower back and legs to relieve muscle pain in other commonly troubled areas. The drum-massage is said to penetrate muscles more efficiently than other types of massagers and can even help burn fat.
The hand grips make for an easy way to adjust the massager and target muscles that would otherwise be difficult to reach. The neck massager does have a heating function to further assist in relieving muscle tension and aid in relaxation. It also features an auto shut-off which will power down the unit after 10 minutes – which some users might find to be too short of a duration. This unit is also larger than many other neck massagers, which might be a problem for those looking for a more portable option. But even with it’s fairly short running time, this neck massager delivers a powerful massage that can ease severe muscle tension, and it can always be turned back on with the press of a button.
Best Budget Neck Massager – HoMedics NMS-375 Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager with Heat
A more affordable alternative to the Brookstone model, the HoMedics massager still provides plenty of essential features at a lower price. It also features Shiatsu, vibrating, and combined massage options – along with a heating function. The handles will allow you to adjust the unit with ease to target trouble spots and control the intensity. It needs to be plugged in while in use, so it does have limited portability.
The downside to this model is that it isn’t as flexible as others, so it’s not ideal for use on other parts of the body. But if your focus is solely on tense and painful neck muscles, then this is a great affordable option.
Best Manual Neck Massager – LuxFit Neck and Shoulder Shiatsu Deep Tissue Trigger Point Manual Self Muscle Massage
If you have no interest in powered neck massagers, this is an effective manual option. You’ll use the nodes to apply pressure directly to your trigger points and release muscle tension. Since there’s no need for a power source, it’s completely portable and light enough to take anywhere. And since it’s entirely manual, you control every aspect of your massage – from the intensity to the speed to the precise location.
Of course, you do lose some features by eliminating the mechanical features. There’s no heating option, and you do need to use your arms the entire time, so it’s not a great option if you like to sit back and relax while something else does the work. But sometimes less really is more, and this is perfect if you’re seeking a no-frills pain relief option.
What to Look for When Buying a Neck Messager
Seeing all of the different options available will undoubtedly have you wondering what to look for when buying a neck massager. Every neck massager will have a different set of features which are important to keep in mind while deciding which one is best for you.
Perhaps the most important thing to look at is what technique the neck massager actually offers. Vibrating neck massagers relieve tension by delivering vibrating pulses against the skin which encourages muscles to relax. A Shiatsu style massager features node that rotate to knead your muscles.
In addition to the style, you’ll want to take into consideration how the pressure against your body is actually generated. Some options will require you to utilize your own arm strength to pull the massager against your body – this makes for easy adjustments but is hardly the most relaxing option. If you find yourself suffering from tight muscles in specific, hard to reach areas, then this style is probably the option you want since it’s so simple to apply precisely the right amount of pressure exactly where you need it.
Other styles will have the user utilize their body weight by leaning against the massager – this makes it more difficult to adjust the massage area but provides a more relaxing experience and consistent pressure. This is most likely the option you’ll want if you seek a massage over general tense areas, but don’t need precise control over specific spots.
One of the biggest variables in neck massagers is the sizes they are available in. Neck massagers can come in large sizes or can be small enough to tuck away into a bag and take anywhere. Each one has it’s own advantages – larger massagers tend to cover a larger area without the user making adjustments, while smaller massagers make it easy to take to different locations.
The power source may also play an important part in your purchasing decision. Many neck massagers need to be plugged into an electrical outlet to operate. While this eliminates the need to recharge or worry about dead batteries, it will limit the portability of the device – so think about where you might use it before you buy. There are plenty of wireless options available as well, and while you will be able to use them anywhere, you will have to recharge them on a regular basis. There are also manual options available that require no power but require the user to do more work.
Controls on neck massagers also vary and are worth looking into before you buy. While most are user-friendly and only feature a few buttons to control the functions, others are controlled by more complex remotes and may take a bit of learning to get them to function the way you want.
There are a few other bells and whistles some massagers offer that might be beneficial depending on your needs. Many feature a heating element which assists in muscle relaxation and makes it even easier to relieve tension. Some also feature adjustable straps that can help secure the unit against a chair.
Safety is another factor to account for when purchasing a neck massager. Nearly all massagers come with auto-shutoff features to minimize the risk of an accident. They are generally safe to use for everyone – but if you have any lingering injuries, medical conditions, or if you have chronic severe pain, you should consult with a doctor before use.
While all neck massagers have features that can relieve discomfort and muscle tension, it’s important to find the one best suited to your needs. Taking this into consideration, the Brookstone Cordless Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat is the best overall neck massager. It has all the features you need to relieve pain in your neck and shoulders while being flexible enough to use on other parts of your body. The cordless power option allows you to take it anywhere comfortable rather than being forced to sit near an electrical outlet. Additionally, the heating feature gives you another way to eliminate discomfort.
If you’re seeking a cost-effective and convenient way to relieve muscle aches and tension in your neck, purchasing one of these high-quality neck massagers should help you find the relief and relaxation you need. With so many options available, you’re sure to find the perfect neck massager to suit your individual needs and budget.