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Modern life can literally be a pain in the neck. According to the National Institute of Health, the estimated one-year incidence of neck pain is between 10.4% and 21.3%. With modern technology, we tend to spend a lot of time hunched over the computer or over our work. It is no wonder that neck pain is so prevalent.
Thankfully, there are many things that you can do to find some relief from neck pain. In this article, I am going to focus on neck massagers. There are many great neck massage products. Below are some of my top picks. Before I dig into some of the best neck massagers, I am going to go over some of the benefits of neck massagers as well as some signs that this type of massager may not be for you.
Massage is an excellent choice if you want to get relief for your sore and tense muscles. In addition, massages can also provide a variety of additional benefits Some of these benefits include:
- improved sleep
- lower blood pressure
- fewer headaches
- general relaxation
- improved circulation (from heated massagers)
At the same time, neck massages come with their own set of risks. Please check out my post about areas of the neck to avoid massaging to minimize risk.
*Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. No claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information are made. Visitors are encouraged to review the product page of any product they plan to purchase. Learn more here.
Neck massagers are extremely versatile
One of the advantages of neck massagers compared to other styles is that they are extremely versatile. You can drape it over your shoulder and get a good neck massage, of course. Or you could move it down your back and focus on the tired and sore areas there.
You could drape it sideways across your back if that feels better. You could put it across your stomach and massage sore tired stomach muscles. You could wrap it around your thighs. You could even rest your feet on these massagers and get a foot massage.
The reason that these massagers are so adaptable is because of their ergonomic u-shaped design. They are flexible and designed to fit the curves of the body.
The downside to this design is that they may not hold up as well as other sturdier massage pillows because the components endure stress. One thing that I noticed when reviewing these massagers is the there is a real emphasis on quality. Top quality is essential with neck massagers because they endure so much movement.back to menu ↑
Neck massagers are incredibly portable
If you travel a lot or tend to be on the go, these massagers are an ideal choice. Many of these massagers are cordless so you don’t have to worry about being near an outlet in order to use it. You can expect the battery on many of these cordless massagers to last about 2 hours. A couple of these neck massagers even come with carrying cases.
The portability is ideal if you want to get a massage at work or if you tend to tense up on long plane rides. They can turn a trip from tortuous to enjoyable
If you are interested in portable massagers, you should also check out my list of massage cushions. They provide the luxury of a full back massage at a reasonable price. Some of them provide both a back and a neck massage at the same time.back to menu ↑
Neck massagers can be powerful
One of the most common complaints that I see about shiatsu massagers is that they tend to be too strong for some people.
One of the advantages of a neck massager is that you can control the pressure. If it is too weak for you, you can pull on the arms and increase the pressure a little bit. If it is too strong, you can put a towel around it to get some cushioning.
As I was reviewing these neck massagers, I came across some of the worst injuries that I have seen from massagers. Some people had backs covered in bruises. Some had burns (oddly enough, the customers who had injuries usually still gave their massager a high rating).
Since you can control the pressure, it is possible to take it too far. If you get a neck massager, you have to be careful with the pressure and the heat. On this list, I avoided neck massagers with customer images of bruising.back to menu ↑
You should avoid neck massagers if…
Even though neck massagers have many benefits, they are not for everyone. You should approach products that can affect your health with some caution. You should definitely talk to your doctor if you have chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, or blood clotting disorders.
If you are suffering from neck pain, you should talk to a health professional about it. Many times, neck pain is related to stress or poor posture but you should rule out other underlying causes. If you think that your neck pain may be related to stress or anxiety, you should tell this to your health professional.
Remember, this post is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any health conditions. Please talk to a health professional if you are having health problems.
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The Best Rated Neck Massagers of 2018back to menu ↑
Bruntmor Cordless Shiatsu Neck and Back Heated Massager
- MAXIMUM PAIN RELIEF AND RELAXATION: This shiatsu neck and back massager has 8 kneading nodes that will effectively soothe sore muscles and relieve you from shoulder, back, either lower or upper, calf or foot pain. A powerful, full body massage tool in the form of a portable electric machine!
- ULTIMATE COMFORT USING HEAT: This personal back massager has a selectable heat mode, as heat will help your shoulder, lumbar, neck or back muscles relax and therefore it can deliver the best therapeutic deep tissue massage with the most revitalizing and pain relieving effects.
Coming in at the top of this list is the Brutmor. One of its main benefits is that it is one of the most portable neck massagers on the list. It is cordless and the battery lasts from two to three hours. In addition, it comes with its own carrying case, so you can easily take it with you on the go.
This massager has all of the features that you would expect from a good neck massager. It has multi-directional 3-D nodes which simulate the feeling of real hands. You choose between either clockwise or counterclockwise for these nodes. It also has heat (you can expect for it to get warm but not super hot).
Bruntmor really focused on quality with this massager. The shell is made from a high-quality synthetic leather. This is excellent because synthetic leathers tend to hold up to the stress from the massage nodes and heat much better than authentic leather (and, of course, it is more animal-friendly). In addition, the edges are double stitched.
Bruntmor really seems to make an effort when it comes to customer service and with this massager they offer a one-year warranty. They are extremely responsive to questions about the massager.
The Bruntmor massager isn’t perfect, however. Since it has massage nodes, the massage may be too strong for some people. If you are extremely tall, you may find that the arms are not quite long enough for you. Lastly, the massage nodes can slow down if you put a lot of pressure on them.
Overall, the Bruntmor Cordless Shiatsu Neck and Back Heat Massager offers a premium quality.
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LiBa Cordless Shiatsu Neck, Shoulder, Back Massager
- FULLY PORTABLE, NO CORDS ATTACHED: Designed with rechargeable battery to use without a plug, you can use this massager anywhere and everywhere. Massage any spot on the body without struggling with cables.
- 2X STRONGER MASSAGE MOTORS: The new motors in this therapeutic massager offer deep kneading to effectively relieve pain and soothe sore muscles even in had-to-reach places. The massage nodes can move clockwise and counterclockwise.
The LiBa Cordless Shiatsu massager is also an excellent choice for a neck massager. As of the writing of this article, it is considered a bestseller in the “manual massage balls” category on Amazon.
This particular model became available fairly recently (in September of 2017) and improves upon some of the issues that an older model had. For example, the motors are 2 times stronger, so the massagers are less likely to slow down or stop if you put pressure on them (these motors support up to 250 lbs).
The shell is a good quality and made from a durable synthetic leather. This massager is cordless and the battery lasts up to 2 hours. It is also heated and reach up to about 105 degrees, which is warm, but not hot.
There have been some complaints about the heating not working on some of these massagers. Thankfully, it comes with a risk-free 90 day trial. Some other things that you should know about this massager is that it comes with 4 massage nodes and the handle straps are adjustable to accommodate people of various sizes.
Overall, this is a great massager and it will be interesting to see how it holds up over time.
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Body Back Company Body Back Buddy Trigger Point Self Massage Tool
- MADE IN THE USA - Every Body Back Buddy has been 100% sourced and made in the USA since 1995. Each is made in numbered batch lots from high quality, high density polyethylene; which is a BPA, PBDE, TBBPA free material and subject to US Health and Safety Standards. Not only does this give you an earth conscious, hypoallergenic product you can safely use in the shower, it also gives you a tool we can guarantee for life.
Usually, I tend to focus on electronic massagers in my reviews but the trigger point self massager tool is too good to ignore. The Body Back Company came out with this massager in 1995 sparking an enthusiastic reponse from customers as well as plenty of competition.
Why is this massager so great? Weighing in at only 1.25 lbs, it is incredible portable and easy to manipulate. You can easily store it in the car and keep it with you if you want to take a break and relieve some muscle tension on the road.
In addition, you can do something with the massager that you would never be able to do with an electric massager- you can use it in the shower. It isn’t heated, but then again that doesn’t really matter when you can enjoy the heat from a nice warm shower or bath while using it.
This tool is earth conscious and hypoallergenic. It is free from BPA, PBDE, and TBBPA. It is curved at both ends ensuring that you are able to reach all every area of your neck and has knobs of different sizes to provide different sensations. Some of the knobs imitate a therapists thumbs while others imitate the elbows of a massage therapist.
Yes, it does have a little bit of a learning curve, but for the incredible value that you get with this massage tool, I believe that it is worth it.
Overall, a simple but incredibly effective massager.
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Hueplus Cordzero 5500 Cordless Premium Shiatsu Back Massager/ Neck, Shoulder Massager
1 used from $54.17
- ✔️ HOW IS THIS MODEL DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS? The CORDZERO-5500 model is 'cordless' and can be charged for convenient usage. It is made of premium leather for the outer material. It supports a 'switch rotation direction' feature. It utilizes 3D double-tension massaging technology (concentrated finger-like massage in up, down, left, and right motion). This product is made in Korea.
- ✔️ REAL MASSAGE EFFECT: This self-massager feels like you're being massaged with hands, unlike the ones where it just massages you without any results. This massager will make you comfortable and relaxed. It will not hurt and will feel natural. It uses 8 improved massage nodes with superior deep massage capabilities to target all the hard to reach muscles. The intensity of the massage can easily be adjusted with how much pressure you apply on the massager handles.
The Cordzero is a premium massager with a focus on comfort and quality. With a temperature between 97 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit, is doesn’t produce quite the same level of heat as other massagers.
However, this feature prevents the massager from getting damaged since high heat tends to break down massagers. In addition is shuts down automatically after 15 minutes.
Another interesting feature is that it has a low power consumption. This may be why it is able to work for up to 6 hours without the cord. This massager comes with everything that you could want. It has its own cover, a car adapter, and an AC adapter. It has 8 rotating kneading nodes that change direction every 60 seconds.
It is also made from high quality, stitched leather (though I honestly think that synthetic leather is better for massagers). Since this one has lower heat, the leather may hold up better. This massager offers a lot, but it also has some issues. The massage is quite strong and may be too much for some. In addition, there are some complaints about the battery not working on arrival.
Overall, this is an excellent shoulder massager with a focus on quality and energy efficiency that you rarely see from the competition.
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Nursal Cordless Shoulder Massager
- CORDLESS & RECHARGEABLE - The internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery offers you about 2 hours of wireless massage experience after 3-4hours charging. A great choice to get rid of the wire tangle and do not worry the short cable.
- 3D SHIATSU MASSAGER BALL & HEAT FUNCTION: 3D shiatsu massage balls kneading deeply in all areas of your body, relaxing your tired and aching muscles. Optional heating function transfers warmth to muscles for relieving fatigue and tightness and improving blood circulation.
The Nursal Cordless Shoulder massager covers all of the bases of what I believe makes a solid neck massager.
It has an optional heating function that kicks in after only three seconds. The shiatsu nodes are 3-D and provide a massage that is similar to one from a real massage therapist, rather than a machine.
It is highly adjustable. You can control whether is goes clockwise or counterclockwise. You can also adjust the speed of the massage so that you get exactly the intensity that you need. Safety is a priority with this massager and it turns off automatically after only about 15 minutes. The battery lasts about two hours.
With this massager, Nursal has addressed an issue that frequently plagues over the shoulder massagers. It has extended the arm straps so that taller people can comfortable use it. This massager is actually fairly new, only appearing on Amazon around August of 2017. We will have to wait to see how its durability holds up over time.
It is promising that Nursal is providing a 3 year warranty with this massager so that we can have some sort of peace of mind buying a product that is so new.
Overall, this massager is very solid with all of the features that you would expect from a shoulder massager.
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Feagar Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager With Heat
- EIGHT 3D ROTATING DEEP-KNEADING MASSAGE NODES: Shiatsu Kneading Back and Shoulder massager with heat and adjustable speeds includes 8 nodes can gently relieve muscle tightness and multiple pains on neck, shoulder, upper or lower back, waist, body, arms, calf, legs & foot pain.
- EASY TO USE: With push-to-start panel, no more complicated operations, quite easy to use our electric massager for elder. Breathable&durable mesh cloth takes comfortable and soft massage feelings.
The Feagar is a great option is you want a quality shoulder massager and don’t require for it to be cordless. Though it isn’t battery-operated, the cord that it comes with is about 6.5 feet long providing plenty of room for movement.
You won’t have the freedom of a completely cordless massager, but you also won’t feel as if though you are chained to a wall.
This massager is extremely adjustable. You can adjust the direction, speed, and heat on this massager ensuring that you get the perfect massage. It has 8 deep kneading shiatsu massage rollers. Four of these rollers are small and four large allowing this massager to feel more like it is coming from a person rather than a machine.
It also comes with both an AC adapter and a car adapter and has overheat protection. One thing that really stands out about this massager is how responsive the seller is. They are very active at responding to questions and concerns. They stand by their massager and offer a 60 day money back guarantee in addition to 180 day warranty for quality issues.
Overall, this is a really great massager and a good option for people that simple want a quality massager with a cord.
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Restorology Deep Kneading Heated Shiatsu Massager
- ADJUSTABLE INTENSITY - The Restorology Shiatsu Massager offers three different massage intensity/speed levels, as well as variable direction control. Customize your massage experience based on your personal needs!
- 8 HEATED MASSAGE ROLLERS - Our massager is made with 8 deep-kneading shiatsu rollers with optional heating features, allowing you to enjoy a warm, relaxing sensation while promoting circulation to muscles and ligaments.
The Restorology Massager is a great choice if you want a powerful and deep massage. It has 8 shiatsu kneading nodes that can go both clockwise and counterclockwise.
These nodes are 3-D which means that they feel more like a massage from an actual human. You can also adjust the intensity by choosing between three different speeds.
It is not cordless, but it does come with both a car adapter and an AC adapter ensuring that you will be able to enjoy it wherever you want to go. This massage is also heated and has overheat protection.
The Restorology massager comes with a 30-day money back guarantee so you can have some peace of mind in the event that you find this massager too powerful.
Overall, this massager is a great choice if you are someone who needs a strong massage for your back and shoulders.