The 12 Best Back Massagers to Soothe Sore Muscles and Alleviate Tension
Whether you’re working from home or working out, these top-rated picks will be a total lifesaver.
Between slouching in office chairs and staring at cell phones, it’s no surprise that back pain plagues people of all ages. In fact, up to 80% of the population will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Before you concede to suffering in silence, it’s worth considering somes simple solutions that may help—like a personal back massager.
While most people have felt the expedient relief of a massage, a 2017 study published in Pain Medicine confirmed they could provide relief to chronic back pain and even potentially alleviate pain long term. Of course, regular visits to a massage therapist can quickly add up. As a result, it’s worth investing in a portable, at-home option that lets you tackle muscle aches and tension without spending an arm and a leg.
Most back massagers available on the market offer either a shiatsu or percussion massage. The former uses massage nodes designed to mimic the fingers or palms to directly target pains through pressure, while the later uses vibrations to penetrate deep into your muscles to help them relax. Regardless of your preference, you’re bound to reap the rewards by helping your muscles recover or alleviating stress and tension.
To ensure you’re picking the right massager for your lifestyle and needs, we’ve collected the best massagers on Amazon based on thousands of customer reviews. Below, discover our top picks that will be a lifesaver whether you’re working from bed or working out.
- Best Overall on Amazon: Resteck Back and Neck Massager
- Best Cheap: HoMedics Percussion Massager with Heat
- Best for Neck And Back Pain: TruMedic MagicHands truShiatsu Neck and Back Massager
- Best Portable: Mighty Bliss Deep Tissue and Back Massager
- Best for Recovery: Theragun Prime
- Best for Kneading: Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
- Best Heated: Snailax Massage Heat Cushion
- Best Manual Massager: Accuwood Trigger Point Massager
- Best Handheld: Renpho Handheld Percussion Massager
- Best for Recovery: LifePro Sonic Percussion Massage Gun
- Best Trigger Point: LiBa Back and Neck Massager
- Best for Travel: Cotsoco Mini Body Massager
Best Overall on Amazon: Resteck Back and Neck Massager
You back won’t be the only body part grateful for this sleek massager: Its wrap-around construction is versatile enough to use on your neck, shoulders, arms, or abdomen and features 8 powerful deep-kneading massage nodes that move bidirectionally to relieve aches, knots, and muscle tension. Simply loop your hands through the shoulder straps to get a completely hands-free treatment for up to 15 minutes (when the auto shut-off kicks in). Add in the overheat protection and sleek carrying case, and it’s apparent why this portable massager earned more than 7,600 perfect 5-star ratings.
Available at amazon.com, $60 (was $65)
Best Cheap: HoMedics Percussion Massager with Heat
This percussion massager packs a punch with two rapidly moving heads that pump up and down to deliver up to 3,100 pulses per a minute. It features an ergonomic handle with a unique hand grip design that makes it even easier to target hard-to-reach places, like your lower back, and it even has optional heat therapy. Customize your experience to your body’s preference by selecting either a gentle or firm head attachment and selecting your desired intensity level. Best of all, it’s available for just $36 right now, though multiple reviewers say it easily compares to high-end alternatives.
Available at amazon.com, $36 (was $60)
Best for Neck And Back Pain: TruMedic MagicHands truShiatsu Neck and Back Massager
This Oprah-recommended “magic” massager uses 4 powerful nodes to mimic human hands, so you can quickly soothe sore and aching muscles without visiting the spa. The durable unit lets you choose between 3 different pain-relieving speeds and features adjustable arm straps so you can personalize the position of the massager to your body. Plus, one 5-star reviewer says it’s a top pick for anyone seeking relief from chronic pain, while other shoppers said it works great on neck, back, and shoulder pain.
Available at amazon.com, $200 (was $300)
Best Portable: Mighty Bliss Deep Tissue and Back Massager
More than 2,200 reviewers gave this completely cordless massager a 5-star review for providing the perfect deep tissue massage. It uses powerful percussion movement to pulse up to 3,700 times per minute, so you can relieve knotted muscles and painful spasms. Each massager arrives with 6 interchangeable heads, which can be used to target different body parts, and can run for up to 120 minutes off a single charge. The ergonomic design is also super lightweight, so giving your back a little relief won’t require an arm strengthening session, too.
Available at amazon.com, $109
Best for Recovery: Theragun Prime
Theragun is a household name for creating high-quality sports recovery massagers—and now its top-of-the-line tech is available in a more streamlined and affordable model. The new Theragun Prime is quieter than an electric toothbrush, according to the brand, but still powerfully penetrates muscles 60 times deeper than standard recovery tools. Instead of counting pulses, Theragun focuses on how many times the massage head actually lifts off the skin—40 times per second—to ensure targeted relief. Pick from 4 attachment heads and 5 preset speeds.
Available at theragun.com, $300
Best for Kneading: Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
Take on stiff necks and back pain with 8 deep-tissue massage nodes that work together to knead away knots and relieve soreness. The nodes automatically swap direction every minute to ensure your muscles are targeted from each direction—all you have to do is select between the low, medium, or high intensity. You can also make the treatment extra soothing with the heating function, which heats up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit and comes with an auto-shutoff safety feature after 15 minutes. Plus, this massager has accumulated 5-star reviews from more than 2,500 reviewers, some of which called it the “best deep kneading massager."
Available at amazon.com, $56 (was $60)
Best Heated: Snailax Massage Heat Cushion
If you’re seeking a less intense massage, this heated chair cushion with almost 1,100 positive reviews should be your first choice. Instead of kneading the body, it uses 6 motors to gently vibrate and give your whole back, hips, and thighs instant relief. Not only is the cushion itself ultra plush for maximum comfort, but it also features heating pads with built-in heat protection.
Available at amazon.com, $50
Best Manual Massager: Accuwood Trigger Point Massager
You’ll have to put a little muscle behind this massager to maximize your treatment, but with 80% of reviewers leaving a 5-star rating, it’s clear the effort is worth it. This non-electric, sustainable pick is made with beechwood and ergonomically shaped to target different points on the body, including the trapezius and shoulder muscles, as well as the lower back. Not only is the affordable find easy to take on-the-go, but it comes with a detailed instruction manual to ensure you make the most of your full-body massage cane.
Available at amazon.com, $30
Best Handheld: Renpho Handheld Percussion Massager
A single charge of this cordless massager lasts for up to 140 minutes, and you’re going to want to use every last second. It comes with 5 interchangeable massage nodes—including a rounded, one-point, 3-intensive, 3-point, and curved head—to optimize your treatment to your body’s aches and pains. This handheld pick is bound to impress whether you opt for a low- or full-intensity (3,600 pulses for a second) session, considering it’s acquired more than 3,200 5-star reviews.
Available at amazon.com, $46
Best for Sore Muscle: LifePro Sonic Percussion Massage Gun
Your entire body will be grateful for this high-speed massage gun: It deeply penetrates muscles with up to 3,000 strokes per a minute for a targeted therapy that relieves sore muscles and joints post-workout. Depending on your body aches, you can select either a rounded head for muscles, a spinal head for back issues, a flat head for deep tissue penetration, or a bullet head for targeting joints or trigger points. Deemed a “lifesaver” by one of the 2,500 5-star reviewers, its motor is also extremely quiet and lasts up to 6 hours off a single charge.
Available at amazon.com, $150
Best Trigger Point: LiBa Back and Neck Massager
You won’t have to worry about chargers or cords with this ergonomically-shaped massage cane. The lightweight tool—it weighs less than a pound—features 6 different trigger points that can be used to target different body parts, including the lower back and shoulders. All you have to do is find the sore point and use targeted pressure to increase blood flow and alleviate tension. It may sound too simple to be true, but the budget-friendly tool already earned perfect ratings from 83% of reviewers, including an osteopathic physician and massage therapist.
Available at amazon.com, $20
Best for Travel: Cotsoco Mini Body Massager
Whether you’re in the airport or at the office, this miniature massager will offer instantaneous relief through 3 deep-kneading massage nodes. It’s easy-to-use construction includes just one power button and runs on 3 AAA batteries, so you won’t have to worry about cables or chargers. In fact, the only extra thing about this affordable find is it’s colorful LED lights. Reviewers say it’s easy to use, not too noisy, and works great for back pain.
Available at amazon.com, $9
Sign up for our Health Shopping newsletter to get your daily dose of retail therapy with great deals handpicked by our editors — straight to your inbox.