Is there something more relaxing than a great back massage? In recent years, the use of massage therapy has increased greatly in popularity to reduce stress, aid in pain management, and enhance relaxation. The trend towards natural wellness and alternative remedies and methods in lieu of those more conventional and orthodox medications doesn’t show any signs of slowing down soon, with interest in such therapies are an all-time high. While many people choose to see highly trained and certified masseuses, spa technicians, or aromatherapists and the like as a means to “get away” or pamper themselves, others are more content to utilize at home therapies, which are arguably more cost effective and better for the pocketbook. Next to all-around massage chairs, back massager pads are a great alternative. Even the best massagers you can get today don’t really break the bank and are definitely worth looking at, if you want to expand your “home spa” equipment and a combination of an individual back and foot massager device will save you money while you’ll still be able to enjoy an almost full-body massage.
Statistics and studies now show that massage can effectively ease most types of muscle pain, help with high blood pressure, arthritis, migraines, blood circulation, tension headaches and improve mood, among a myriad of things. Technology has come a long way in aiding those experiencing muscle discomfort or backaches. Whereas once an over the counter cream, a heating pad or a prescription pill was routine to use, now discerning consumers have the option of considering high-tech gadgetry to aid them in their quest to be pain free and have the ability to live their best life.
With a plethora of home back massager options available on the market in all price ranges, sizes, and designs, consumers need to educate themselves on what type of massager will best suit their needs before running out to purchase one. There are a number of different approaches to massage that can be beneficial for different reasons and also different tolerances. These are a few of the most popular:
- Swedish: probably one of the most recognized and utilized types of massage, Swedish is the standard at many venues offering the practice. Swedish massage practices a full body experience.
Shiatsu: another popular practice, Shiatsu is the Japanese method of massage that focuses on pressure points. The idea here is to simulate acupuncture.
- Percussion/Deep Tissue: a little less than relaxing for some, Percussion is a more intense form of massage involving thumping, kneading or pounding on the back to focus on relaxing muscle knots.
- Hot Stone Massage: a therapist uses small, smooth and or/flat, heated stones at pressure points on the body. It is a slow, languorous massage, quite the opposite of Shiatsu.
Each massage style type is said to offer different benefits as well; Swedish if you are recovering from an injury, Shiatsu for injuries and increasing energy levels, and Deep Tissue for chronic pain, Hot Stone promotes sleep along with relieving tension.
Things to consider when looking for the best back massager
Aside from the types of massage to consider, consumers should also think about what style of massager they will need. Some massagers marketed and aimed towards the back can also be used for your neck, shoulders, and legs. Chair pads and massage cushions should also be thought about, as there are different styles of these as well.
- Do you require a large cushion to be used when sitting on a sofa or chair
- Are straps to hold in place or easily removable required
- Do you want a self- programming massager or something you need to control via a hand held unit
- Do you want to focus on pressure points or a full body massager, targeting tension in spots with adjustable settings that go higher or lower on your back
- Do you want a simple massager or something with lots of bells and whistles; such as nodes, rollers, or air pockets, with lots of extra features / intensity, and a design that will merge effortlessly in your home or office
- Does the back massager need to be easily transportable, or is it going to remain in one place? If it is going to be transportable, you may want to think about getting a more lightweight model that can be carried or packed easily
- Ease of Use – for those less technologically inclined, ease of use can be a big deal when it comes to programming and electronic options
- Comfortability – some of the nodes the back massager cushions come equipped with may be uncomfortable to sit on
- Adjustability – does the massage cushion need to be adjustable for height and /or weight
- Customization – how important is customizing a massage experience for you, or are the installed functions sufficient
Types of massage cushions
There are two main types of massage cushions available;
- Chair pads that can be attached to your seating (armchair, lounger, office chair).
- A pillow or cushion that is available in a variety of sizes and shapes that can be accommodated almost anywhere.
There are many, many back massager options available on the market today. Time and again, these massagers listed turn up on top recommended lists. All are available for purchase on Amazon. If you are inclined to purchase a massage cushion, please make sure to research companies, ratings, and reviews (either from family and friends, or online) on your own and choose what will best suit your needs and concerns.
Zyllion ZMA14 Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager Cushion
If you are in the market for one of those bells – and- whistles back massagers without having to purchase an entire massage chair, this is it. While the Zyllion ZMA14 Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager Cushion (which is so much more than a simple cushion then its name implies), is quite large, it is not a piece of furniture. It is in fact, portable, which means you can take it anywhere, so long as it fits in your luggage. It also costs less then visiting a professional massager repeatedly. Keep in mind Shiatsu is a vigorous massage and may not be relaxing for some people.
This cushion and straps are also adjustable for height and width. Its ergonomic design allows this massage cushion the ability to be set up in any chair, sofa, and can even be used while sitting up in bed. The seat has a vibrating mode for sore glutes and thighs, everything is controllable via remote. The cushion can be noisier than what some consumers would expect (we are still talking about a quiet humming here), and while the massage cushion can be transported it is quite large and could be an inconvenience.
A one-year warranty is available, another added benefit for one of the best shiatsu massagers out there.
- Automatic safety shut off feature to prevent overheating and other damages
- Multiple customizable levels of rolling and kneading massage styles for neck, full back, and hips plus spot focusing
- Heat and vibrating options
- Although the massager can be transported, the cushion is larger than most and could become cumbersome to travel with
- The cushion can be a little noisy for some
- Shaistu is not the massage for everyone and some may find it painful even on the lowest intensity setting
LiBa Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager Car Pillow
While the LiBa neck massager is marketed for car use, it’s not exclusive to being operational only in a vehicle. For long road trips and someone who travels it is an ideal companion, but it can be used anywhere. The U-shaped ergonomic, contoured design will fit perfectly around your neck and also spot massage any place you need it – lower or upper back, thighs, legs, arms, and mid – section; and comes equipped with straps to hold the massager in place. It can be used while sitting up or lying down.
It is ideal for those who have neck and shoulder tension, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and slipped discs, and those for whatever reason have a difficult time using hand held, non-electronic rollers or massage balls. Headache relief is also a side effect, and since the massager is lightweight it will not be an inconvenience to “wear” of that is the issue you want to work out. This pillow does mimic Shiatsu, and can be intense, its best used in 10-15 minute intervals on individual spots- but it can be used more than once a day. At the 15- minute mark it will shut off automatically. The heated balls mimic a spa “hot stone massage”. The reasonably priced, low cost, small and powerful LiBa car back massager does all the work for you.
- Advanced heating option to sooth and knead aching muscles and tension
- Automatic timer that changes directions to cover all the places you need it
- Easily portable due to its size, and comes equipped with a car charger
- Can be used in a car but not by the driver
- The nodes may be too rough for some people are not used to this type of massage and who prefer something a little more relaxing.
Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
This Shiatsu back and neck massage pad is designed a bit differently than the usual full size massager cushions in that it can be wrapped around the back like a stole, snug on the shoulders, and can also be adapted to fit around the waist or parts of the leg. The unique design may take some getting used to, and the straps cannot be adjusted to fit everyone. While it does appear to be strange, it nevertheless performs as one of the best shiatsu massagers on the market, especially given its low price. For those looking for a more cost effective way to solve their pan issues, the Naipo is a great choice. This massager has been established to improve blood circulation, and sore muscle pain.
The massager 3D kneading rollers and 8 massage nodes will soothe tired aching muscles and relieve stress and tension. Depending on where the massager fits you, these features may not reach the areas you need. The amount of pressure you feel is based on the weight you put on the massager.
Due to its original design, the massager can also be used anywhere – home, office, or while in the car and we definitely consider it to be one of the best back massagers for all around use.
- Three different available intensity speeds
- Optional heat mode
- Will automatically shutdown to prevent overheating
- Some people may find it hard to get comfortable due to the massagers unique design
- Straps are non-adjustable and may not fit everyone
- The rollers and nodes may not spot correct the areas you need massaged the most due to the design as well.
FIVE S FS8812 10 Motor Vibration Massage Seat Cushion
This massage cushion does not perform Shiatsu or Swedish massaging with kneading, pounding, rollers or nodes; it is vibration massage only – no rolling balls – and therefore it is ideal for those consumers looking for a less intrusive, forceful massage on the neck, shoulder, back and thighs. Shiatsu massage may be too painful for people with serious injuries. The vibrating cushion comes with an option for heat that is applied to lower back area for extra soothing and increased blood circulation, may even improve blood pressure, and is great for postpartum mothers.
This is a great massage cushion for people who will either be in a sitting or in a prone position for long periods of time. Many jobs, such as programming or customer service, require people to sit in office chairs, and the vibrating seat cushion offers relief for the muscle pain that comes with that. The cushion can also be used for long distance car rides as a driver or passenger, or if a patient is lying in bed unable to move around a lot. The massage speeds and program selects can be used in certain spots or an all over vibration mode, and can also be set for different time intervals.
A good vibrating only cushion can be difficult to find when massaging cushions are more prevalent.
Despite its only vibrating with none of the nodes or rollers to increase its size, the cushion is not thin and quite comfortable to sit on. It is non- adjustable so please keep that in mind. The cushion comes with a 3-year warranty.
- A hand controlled unit offers a variety of 3 massage speeds and 4 different program selects that can be controlled manually or set for automatic vibrating.
- Portable for home, office, and car
- Automatic shutdown
- Non- adjustable, depending on height it may not be comfortable to sit in due to no neck support
- Vibration only massage may not be useful to some
Belmint Shaitsu Massaging Seat Cushion
The Belmint Shiatsu Seat Cushion comes outfitted with 6 customizable programs for a full massage experience with varying intensities, spot massaging, seat vibration, timer duration and heated massage.
Designed for use at home, the cushion provides a deep tissue massage complete with kneading, rolling, and heat, an intensive Shiatsu massage. Some reviewers have likened its’ thoroughness to an actual masseuse. The heat function can get circulation moving. While it does feature various functions, only the back of the cushion provides rolling, with the seat using vibration if wanted. All functions are controlled by an easily operable remote.
The nodes are located in the seat part of the cushion and can be uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time, especially since the cushion is non-adjustable. The straps and fabric do provide a non-slip cushion however. It is ideal for use on upper and lower back and the massage can be tailored to suit your particular needs, aches, and pains.
- Target tension in spots with adjustable settings that go higher or lower on your back
- Has vibrational massage options to aide in relaxing, along with exuding a gentle heat to warm sore muscles
- Timer set options
- Lifetime money back guarantee
- Shaistu is not the massage for everyone and some may find it painful even on the lowest intensity setting
- The nodes can be uncomfortable to sit on
- The massage cushion is non-adjustable for height
Body Back Buddy Self Massage Tool
The only non-electronic back massager on the list, the Body Back Buddy is a hand held S- shaped bar. The Buddy has been around for over twenty years with its unique design. It has 11 strategically placed knobs for accurate placement on your body’s pressure points to relieve tension. Due to its shape it can get to those hard to reach places on your back. It can be a complete game changer when it comes to relieving constant pain, and give you back your freedom of movement, with no more restless, sleepless nights. The Body Back can be stored almost anywhere, and obviously has no wires or chargers attached to worry about hanging out or breaking.
The Buddy is the most cost effective way to get a home massage with no reliance on electricity or worries about the large size, portability, wires, or potentially malfunctioning electronics of a massage cushion. Since it is self-reliant, it can be awkward to use and as a beginner you may have issues getting used to holding the tool or having it reach where you want it to, however once you get the hang of it, the bar can be manipulated to tension places that an electronic cushion cannot reach. The tool comes with an easily readable instruction manual.
- Made in the USA
- Made of 100% ethically sourced materials
- Easy grip and lightweight
- Lifetime guarantee
- Completely self- guided
- Handling may be awkward
In todays’ high stress world, we owe it to ourselves to carve out a few minutes of time each day to unwind at home. Aside from pain management, many people also simply use massage as a way to relax after long hours at work or school, or just to free their minds from daily worries and fears. Coupled with another form of relaxation they may enjoy such as reading, writing, aromatherapy, or simply resting in a darkened room lit with candles, there are many reasons one can use and benefit from regular massages. Getting yourself a good back massager for home use can be the first step to countless of very relaxing and cheap massages.