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
$50

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

Beurer Handheld Mini Body Massager with LED light
$10

Nearly one-fifth of reviewers affectionately describe this massager as “little,” and they appreciate the controlled and targeted massage experience. “This helps to push out the tight spots and provide some comfort,” says one reviewer recovering from knee surgery, adding, “Good handling operation. Three prong but can use one at a time to concentrate on a troublesome spot or all together for the greater area covered.” And due to its size, it provides a mild vibration, which makes it “Comfortable in the hand and gives a nice vibration enough to ease kinks and sore muscles but not so hard that it beats you up,” according to another reviewer. And while people find this provides comfort on their neck, back, and legs, some have found more creative uses for it. One reviewer who swears they aren’t a crazy cat lady writes, “Believe it on not I bought this for my cat. He enjoys it when I run it up and down his spine and especially behind his ears.”

Best chair electric back massager

Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager
$170

This chair massager is “the next best thing to a real massage or owning the chair,” writes one reviewer, because, “It hits most major areas of the neck and back with just the right amount of pressure.” And reviewers say that this really does hit all the necessary spots. “The rollers are STRONG and sturdy giving you a REAL massage from your lower to upper back,” one writes. “The neck rollers are what I love the most, really helps to relieve tension and tight muscles after driving or doing anything that forces you to sit for a long period of time. The neck rollers go up far enough to the base of your skull where you’ll really begin to feel relief.” They add it even has “air support for the buttocks and lower back relieves your muscles allowing the vibrations to loosen you up.” Dozens use this in their office chair, but it can be used in lots of different situations “like sofa, couch, recliner, office chair or dinning chair,” one says. “I use this at my sofa when watching TV or when sitting at the office.” One reviewer even use it while driving: “I place this product in my truck for long road trips and it’s been a life saver!”

Best electric massage pillow

MaxKare Neck and Back Massager Massage Pillow With Heat
$30

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!”

Best over-the-shoulder electric back massager

Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
$50

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 transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation massager

Ohuhu Rechargeable Electric Muscle Stimulator Machine
$30

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 handheld electric back massager with heat