people's choice

The Best Electric Back Massagers on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Courtesy Retailer

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve covered massage chairs and recliners, foot massagers (both manual and electric), and a percussive massage device beloved by professional athletes, here we’ve rounded up the best electric back massagers, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated electric back massager

Zyllion Shiatsu Back Neck Massager

A favorite of both Amazon reviewers and Strategist readers (it’s been one of our best-selling products after appearing in several gift guides), this shiatsu massager relieves back pain with heat and kneading. One reviewer calls it “maybe my best Amazon purchase of the year! Bought it for my husband for Christmas but everyone in our family fights over it. The massage pressure is perfect and the heat option takes it over the top!” Another writes, “This little massager is incredible in working out the pain for me. It has helped every area of my back — and in between my shoulder blades, which is so difficult to get to.”

Lots of reviewers like how it’s cheaper and more convenient than getting regular massages. “While I thoroughly enjoy full-body massages, my massage therapist moved to another state about a year ago and since then I haven’t found the ‘right’ one for me yet,” writes a reviewer. “So, with pain in my shoulders, neck and upper back, I resorted to spending some of my Christmas money and get this massager as a gift for myself. First let me say, I wasn’t expecting much, but boy was I pleasantly surprised. It works so well that it has become my nightly ritual to sit with this massager on my back and shoulders for 30 mins as I settle down before bed. I feel like a noodle when I get done, often so relaxed I sometimes catch myself dozing off while this thing is on.” And this reviewer adds, “this product has been amazing in helping me with my sleep and general quality of life — not to mention the money I would pay for a professional massage therapist.”

Best-rated (less expensive) electric back massager

MaxKare Neck and Back Massager Massage Pillow With Heat

With a heating feature and kneading massage nodes, this more affordable massager is very similar to our top-rated model, and many reviewers are impressed by how strong it is for the price. A reviewer says, “I don’t know what I ever did without this in my life! I was afraid to buy it thinking it may not be strong enough because I prefer deep tissue massage but it gets in there and feels just like real hands kneading your muscles. I really love this massager and it has done wonders for my sore muscles after working 12 hour shifts,” and another raves, “this is the deepest massage I think I have ever had and for the price I’m honestly amazed!”

And now for some micro-picks for every type of electric back massagers you might be looking for.

Best over-the-shoulder electric back massager

Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager

Perfect for those with neck, back, and shoulder pain, reviewers call this massager “my miracle,” a “little beast of a machine,” and “probably the best thing money can buy.” A reviewer who has “chronic shoulder pain — the kind that keeps me awake, and causes me to tear at my hair,” says, “everything about this is awesome. Not only is it easy to slip on, it actually works. The heat and massage together causes a nice tingle that goes down your spine.” Another reviewer writes, I love using this so much and use it every couple of days just to keep my neck and shoulders in shape. It helps so much. If I sleep funny, I can fully recover after using it for about 30 minutes. I also find it extremely soothing after a hard day at work.”

Best handheld percussive electric back massager

Exerscribe Vybe Personal Percussion Massage Gun

Several reviewers compare this to the popular (and pricier) Theragun, because this massager also uses high-frequency percussion to help sore muscles recover. “I researched all of the percussion massagers currently on the market, and this is going to be your best value,” writes one reviewer. “The amount of time I spend on massaging and recovery had been cut in half and is more effective.” Another adds, “I’ve been in physical therapy for about two years. I’ve paid hundreds of dollars for a doctor to do to my shins essentially the same thing I am doing myself with Vybe,” and this reviewer loves that “this machine works great with getting in there and breaking up the scar tissue along with releasing toxins [and improving] blood flow.”

Best handheld percussive and vibrating electric back massager

Pado PureWave CM-07 Dual Motor Percussion + Vibration Therapy Massager

With a handle that makes self-massage effortless, and attachments for different types of pressure, reviewers love this versatile massager. “This is my best wellness purchase to date,” writes one. “Owning [it] is like having your own personal massage therapist. The unit itself is rugged, sturdy, and ergonomically designed to reach those difficult areas of your back with ease.” Another reviewer says, “the attachments make all the difference and set it apart from other massagers. The main attachment is great on most areas of the body, including the bony bits that were out of the question with other devices. The deep-tissue attachment can really get in deep to loosen up sore muscles.”

Best handheld deep-tissue electric back massager

Renpho Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue Massager

“This portable massager is a game changer,” raves one reviewer who loves that it’s “very comfortable to hold and easy to maneuver, and packs quite a punch on sore shoulders and neck.” Cordless and rechargeable, it’s a handheld massager that can be used anywhere. One reviewer says, “this product is the bomb! I used it on every part of my body [and] I felt like I had a full body massage. I took a shower afterwards and wow, my body felt so carefree and not tight like it usually does. My shoulders are my problem areas but after using this product for the first time my shoulders feel great.”

Best electric back-massage cushion

HoMedics SP-100H 3-D Shiatsu and Vibration Massage Pillow

A heated shiatsu massage pillow, this cushion is a favorite among reviewers for its strength and reasonable price. “I got this cushion for my bad back issues and I just love it,” writes a happy reviewer. “I can move it all over for relief of shoulder and back pain and it works. The heat feature helps to work out the knots. It has helped me a lot and it was a decent price for something this soothing.” Another loves that it’s “small enough to store easily and big enough to loosen tight muscles,” and “can be moved wherever you want it and used with any kind of chair.”

Best cordless electric back-massage cushion

Mynt Cordless Neck Back Massager

While it’s similar to the HoMedics cushion, this shiatsu massage cushion comes with a rechargeable battery so it can be used without a cord. “This device has been a life changer,” writes a reviewer. “The fact that it is wireless makes a big difference, and the fact that the battery lasts through several cycles of 10–15 minutes means that I’ve never had to use it tethered to the power cable.” Others are fans because “the kneading massager changes direction without having to switch it,” and, as this reviewer writes, “it made me so relaxed using it behind my neck I thought I could fall asleep.”

Best electric back-massage chair pad

Snailax Shiatsu Massage Cushion with Heat

Reviewers like that this heated pad can turn any seat into a massage chair — at a fraction of the price. “[Compared to] massage chairs, this one can be carried up or downstairs to use on sofa or chairs and doesn’t require extra space,” writes a reviewer who also loves that “it can be used in both house and car.” One reviewer raves “I haven’t gotten a massage this good from a professional masseuse,” and another agrees “it felt like a professional massage therapist’s hands — powerful and effective.”

Best electric back-massage mat

Snailax Massage Mat with 10 Vibrating Motors

This vibrating massage mat can be used sitting up, lying down, or reclining, and reviewers love using it in any position. “THIS is the massage mat you want for a recliner, especially the zero-gravity kind,” says one reviewer who recommends it for the “excellent, full-length, soft construction with powerful motors that can be adjusted MANY different ways with the attached controller.” Another user says, “I have back issues and I keep this on my bed at all times. It is used several times each night if I wake up and my back is bothering me or I just can’t go back to sleep. It is so soothing.”

Best electric pulse-therapy back massager

Ohuhu Rechargeable Electric Muscle Stimulator Machine

Through pads attached to the skin, this transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device transmits electric current to stimulate and soothe nerves. “I will never live without a TENS unit again,” claims one reviewer. “It’s on my top ‘if you’re stranded what would you want’ list, right next to coffee. I’ve been using this device for several months in what I would say is excessive amounts and it’s holding up beautifully.” Reviewers note other benefits like that the “battery lasts forever and the settings are fun to explore,” and “the power for this little device is substantial for a device this size.” Finally, one reviewer says, “this was a life saver for the constant muscular pain in my back. I would use it when I would have bad flare-ups in my back and in just an hour I’m able to walk and function like normal again.”

Best chiropractic-grade electric back massager

Body Back Company Vibe Dual Speed Electric Professional Massager

For serious relief, reviewers turn to this professional-grade electric massager. “It really feels like it gives you a deep massage, and my muscles feel very relaxed afterward. I could not live without one, and if it were ever to die, I would buy a new one in a heartbeat,” writes one reviewer, and another says, “I highly recommend it for anyone who has muscle tension, back aches, tightness in the muscles in the back, or just wants a relaxing massage. It is perfect after sitting at a desk all day, after driving long distances, or after a workout.”

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Best Electric Back Massagers, According to Amazon Reviews