What to Buy Massagers & Pain Management The 8 Best Neck Massagers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed The VIKTOR JURGEN tops the list of the best neck massagers for a straightforward design and effortless pain relief. By Nicole Crawford Nicole Crawford Nicole has been a health and wellness writer and editor for over a decade, and has also worked with clients as a personal trainer, yoga instructor, and birth/postpartum doula. What she loves most: raising her six kids, running, and making nourishing, tasty meals for her family. health's editorial guidelines Updated on February 10, 2023 Medically reviewed by Oluseun Olufade, MD Medically reviewed by Oluseun Olufade, MD Oluseun Olufade, MD, is an Orthopedic Surgeon and Assistant Professor of Orthopedics at the Emory School of Medicine. learn more Fact checked by Richard Scherr Fact checked by Richard Scherr Rich Scherr is an updates strategist and fact checker for Dotdash Meredith brands, including Health and Verywell. He is a seasoned financial and technology journalist who served as editor-in-chief of the Potomac Tech Wire for nearly two decades, and is a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun. He has also been a news editor for America Online and has contributed to the Associated Press and The Washington Post. health's fact checking process Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article Expand Jump to a Section Our top picks Reviews Our Testing Process What to Know About Neck Massagers More Neck Massagers to Consider Your Questions, Answered Who We Are We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Amazon If you’ve ever dealt with neck pain, you know how debilitating it can be. Research suggests 20 to 50 percent of adults suffer from neck pain annually, and 80 percent will face neck pain at some point in their lives, so it’s no wonder the market for neck massagers is on a steady climb. Massage is a time-tested solution for neck pain and may also offer relief from shoulder pain, back pain, and even migraines, when using the massager according to manufacturer recommendations. “Chronic non-specific neck pain is often due to trigger points,” explains physical therapist Zachary Woolever, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedics and clinic director of Pivot Physical Therapy in College Park, Maryland. “Trigger points are taut bands in the muscle that are often tender to palpation. These taut bands don't allow for complete blood flow into this area as it can restrict the capillaries.” Massage and physical therapy techniques work because they reduce pressure and increase blood flow in these affected areas. But as we all know, heading to your local physical therapist or masseuse to relieve neck pain isn’t always convenient or budget-friendly. Enter the neck massager. Neck massagers use basic massage strokes, as well as heat and vibration, to ease the pain. As the market for neck massagers has increased, so has the quality of products available. Gone are the days of having to make do with your grandma’s neck scratcher from the dollar store. Today’s products—including many of the ones on our list—feature heat, vibration, and trigger point relief to beat the toughest cases of neck pain. Whether your neck pain is caused by stress, an underlying health condition, or long hours at the desk, our experts have reviewed the top products on the market to bring you the best neck massagers of 2022. Here are the best neck massagers, according to testing. Our Top Picks Best Overall: VIKTOR JURGEN Back Massager, Neck Massager with Heat at Amazon Jump to Review Best with Heat: Papillon Back Massager with Heat at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Travel: Fusion Black Pro Muscle Massage Gun at Amazon Jump to Review Best Chair: Comfier Neck and Back Massager at Amazon Jump to Review Best Budget: LiBa Back and Neck Massager at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Neck and Shoulders: HoMedics Shiatsu Deluxe Neck and Shoulder Massager at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Migraines: LuxFit Neck Massager at Amazon Jump to Review Best Back and Neck: MoCuishle Shiatsu Back Neck Massager with Heat at Amazon Jump to Review Best Overall VIKTOR JURGEN Back Massager, Neck Massager with Heat 4.9 Amazon View On Amazon Why We Like It: This neck massager delivers just the right amount of pressure, with the option to add heat. It’s Worth Noting: The features are pretty simple, with just two heat settings and two adjustable speeds. The VIKTOR JURGEN back and neck massager provides an amazing massage experience at an affordable price point. It’s designed as a neck massage pillow, so you can either lie down on top of the neck massager or use the adjustable straps to attach it to your desk chair for a hands-free relaxation experience. The product is fairly straightforward, with two speeds, two massage directions, and the choice to add heat; its ease of use was a feature our testers loved. “This was super easy to use. You just set it down, hit the power button, and lay down on it,” one tester said. “You can adjust it to get it on the exact spot you need it to knead. There's nothing tricky about it—it's very straightforward and easy to use.” We love the 15-minute auto shutoff, which allows you to completely relax knowing the VIKTOR JURGEN won’t overheat. It’s also compact and portable, making it a great option if you want to bring it along on a flight or to the office. Its ease of use, affordability, and effectiveness make the VIKTOR JURGEN our pick for the best overall neck massager. Price at time of publication: $43 Product Details: Massage Type: Shiatsu/kneading massageManual or Electric: ElectricHeat: YesSettings: 2 adjustable speeds; option to change direction; auto shut-off after 15 minutesHands-Free: YesAccessories: No Conor Ralph Best with Heat Papillon Back Massager with Heat 4.7 Amazon View On Amazon Why We Like It: The Papillon’s multiple-speed options and added heat create an amazing shiatsu massage experience. It’s Worth Noting: The charge cord is a little on the short side. Like the VIKTOR JURGEN, the Papillon Back Massager provides a heated massage experience. The massager features four massage nodes and three speeds, as well as breathable mesh fabric and the option to turn the heat on or off. Users raved about its ability to target the muscles in the neck and upper back and even take out stubborn knots. “The manual promises a shiatsu massage, and it really felt like I was getting one,” said one tester. “I like that you can control the speeds and the motion of which way the rollers were going. The addition of the heat really made this an all-star product for me.” One of our favorite features is the ability to change the direction of the massage nodes, which allows for an all-over, deep massage experience. It also has a 15-minute auto shut-off, so you can truly relax and maybe even get some shut-eye while experiencing the benefits of a good neck massage. You can lie down on the pillow or attach it to a chair, although some users report that the velcro straps aren’t super sturdy. Price at time of publication: $60 Product Details: Massage Type: Shiatsu/kneading massageManual or Electric: ElectricHeat: YesSettings: 3 adjustable speeds; option to change direction; auto shut-off after 15 minutesHands-Free: Yes Conor Ralph Best for Travel Fusion Black Pro Muscle Massage Gun 4.9 Amazon View On Amazon View On Fusionmassagegun.com Why We Like It: The Fusion Black Pro Muscle Massage Gun is easy to use, convenient for travel, and amazing at targeting sore, overused muscles. It’s Worth Noting: It’s a bit pricier than other massage gun options. The Fusion Black Pro Muscle Massage Gun uses vibration to relieve aches and pains from overuse and stress. We rated it best for travel thanks to its convenient travel case and the fact that it doesn’t require an electric outlet. The massage gun has a touch-screen display that shows battery life and allows you to adjust the speed. Its battery charges quickly and lasts four hours, making it a convenient choice for use at the office or on trips to the gym. We love that this massage gun comes with six massage heads you can use to target different areas of your neck and upper back, such as the traps and shoulders. “I like the rubber on the handle of the gun, which made holding it much easier,” noted one of our testers. “I also love the variation of attachments and that I can take it to go with the travel case.” The price point is a bit higher than other massage guns, but if you’re looking for a strong, targeted massage you can use anywhere, the Fusion Black Pro won’t let you down. Price at time of publication: $200 Product Details: Massage Type: Percussion/vibrationManual or Electric: Battery-operatedHeat: NoSettings: Adjustable speed settingsHands-Free: No Conor Ralph The 9 Best Massage Guns of 2023, Tested and Reviewed Best Chair Comfier Neck and Back Massager 4.8 Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Comfier.com Why We Like It: The Comfier Neck and Back Massager is a great option for anyone looking for a hands-free, full-body massage in the comfort of your home. It’s Worth Noting: This massage chair delivers a pretty firm neck massage, so it’s probably not the right choice if you’re looking for a gentle massage. This massage chair provides the ultimate massage experience, not just for your neck, but for your whole body. The chair uses a variety of massage techniques—including kneading, compression, and vibration—as well as heat to relieve sore muscles and melt away stress. “It has a ton of features, including vibration, heating, rolling, and even air massage,” our tester shared. “I was pleasantly surprised by everything it could do and it was fun to use in addition to feeling great.” The neck massage portion of the chair features four massage nodes with two rotation directions. You can also adjust the location of the nodes to get the best massage experience. Keep in mind that the neck massage isn’t for the faint of heart; it’s a strong massage, making it ideal for people who want a firm, hands-free neck massage experience. Although it’s on the pricier side, the chair comes with a 30-day return option if you’re not fully satisfied. Price at time of publication: $240 Product Details: Massage Type: Kneading/Shiatsu/VibrationManual or Electric: ElectricHeat: YesSettings: 3 intensity settings and optional heatHands-Free: Yes Conor Ralph The 10 Best Massage Chairs of 2023 Best Budget LiBa Back and Neck Massager 4.8 Walmart View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Target Why We Like It: This back and neck massager is surprisingly effective—a perfect budget option if you enjoy trigger point massage. It’s Worth Noting: This is a manual massage cane that requires a little bit of practice. Although the LiBa Back and Neck Massager might not be as fancy as some of our other picks, we were surprised at how effective it is—especially given the low price point. “This is exactly as advertised as a trigger point massager,” one tester noted. “It was very effective with knots and just all around seems like a simple, effective tool.” The massager’s design is well thought-out and allows you to reach challenging areas in your neck and upper back. Since it’s a manual massager, you can also decide exactly how much pressure you want to use. Of course, you won’t get any heat or vibration with this massager, but if you’re looking for a simple way to target some of your sore trigger points, the LiBa could be a perfect fit. Several users also noted its effectiveness for migraine headaches and fibromyalgia. It arrives in two pieces and is easy to assemble; it also comes with a helpful instruction booklet that demonstrates how to use the cane, which does have a little bit of a learning curve. Price at time of publication: $23 Product Details: Massage Type: Trigger pointManual or Electric: ManualHeat: NoSettings: NoneHands-Free: NoAccessories: No Conor Ralph Best for Neck and Shoulders HoMedics Shiatsu Deluxe Neck and Shoulder Massager 4.9 Bed Bath & Beyond View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Best Buy Why We Like It: We love the HoMedics Shiatsu Deluxe Neck and Shoulder Massager because of its intuitive design and targeted tension relief. It’s Worth Noting: The top piece is a bit bulky and might be difficult to position at first, but once you figure it out you’ll be amazed at the quality of massage this product provides. The design of this product is a bit different from the massagers we’ve covered so far, insofar as it wraps around your neck and shoulders instead of resting behind you like a pillow. This design allows for a deep massage that provides amazing relief for tight muscles in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. There are three different speeds to choose from, as well as the option to use heat and reverse the direction of the nodes. With its ease of use and targeted pressure, this is our favorite option for pain relief for the muscles in your neck (especially the base of your skull) and shoulders. It’s a simple product without a lot of fancy bells and whistles, but it provides amazing relief. “This is an excellent basic neck massager. You can't adjust the heat setting, but you can change pressure and direction,” said one of our testers. “There aren't any super clever add-ons, but I was happy with the features offered.” Unfortunately, this item does not have an auto shut-off option, so make sure you stay awake during use. Price at time of publication: $120 Product Details: Massage Type: Shiatsu/kneading massageManual or Electric: ElectricHeat: YesSettings: 3 speed settings, heat, reverse directionHands-Free: Yes Conor Ralph Best for Migraines LuxFit Neck Massager Amazon View On Amazon Why We Like It: The LuxFit is a simple, affordable massage tool that targets the sides of the neck for migraine pain relief. It’s Worth Noting: It’s a pretty simple tool with no heat, vibration, or kneading features. If you suffer from migraines, you know how important it is to relieve tension in your upper neck on a regular basis. This massager doesn’t feature any special features, but that makes it perfect for melting away migraines. As one tester shared, “While this is a manual massager, it did hit the sweet spot on the upper neck that you need rubbed when you have migraines.” The LuxFit Neck Massager has a simple design—it’s basically a large plastic handle that wraps around your head and neck, with two silicone massage balls to provide trigger point relief in tense areas. For a low price point, it’s an affordable purchase that is sure to provide relief from migraines and tension in your neck and upper back. Its design also makes it easy to use on other areas of your body, like your legs or shoulders. Price at time of publication: $17 Product Details: Massage Type: Trigger pointManual or Electric: ManualHeat: NoSettings: NoneHands-Free: No Conor Ralph Best Back and Neck MoCuishle Shiatsu Back Neck Massager with Heat Amazon View On Amazon Why We Like It: The MoCuishle features eight massage balls of different sizes, as well as varying rotation, for a comprehensive massage experience. It’s Worth Noting: Although the product does have a heat feature, we found the heat wasn’t very strong and took a long time to warm up. Like the HoMedics Shiatsu Deluxe, the MoCuishle Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager drapes around your shoulders, with arm openings to control the intensity of your massage. We thought it provided a good massage for the neck, but since you have to pull down on the handles quite a bit to get a good amount of pressure, it’s not the most comfortable option solely for neck pain relief. “To adjust the strength of the massage, you have to adjust your level of pull on the handles,” explained one of our testers. “The massager is very light, so to get a strong massage, you have to pull the handles with a good amount of pressure, which makes it feel a bit like you have to do some of the work.” However, if you’re looking for a massager that does double duty for your back, the MoCuishle is a great option. Simply place the massager behind your lower back while you’re at your desk or on a long car ride for an amazing massage with heat and deep tissue massage strokes. The massager has a 15-minute auto shut-off and is compact and portable for a relaxing massage anywhere. Price at time of publication: $70 Product Details: Massage Type: Shiatsu/kneading massageManual or Electric: ElectricHeat: YesSettings: Changes direction every minute, 15-minute auto shut-offHands-Free: Yes Conor Ralph The 12 Best Pillows for Neck Pain of 2023 Our Testing Process Conor Ralph We spoke with physical therapists and people who have used neck massagers to treat chronic neck pain to determine the best products on the market today. The tested massagers are produced by companies that are known for their quality and customer satisfaction. Our testing team used each massager in our testing lab and rated the top neck massagers based on their effectiveness, comfort, ease of use, features, and overall value. What to Know About Neck Massagers How to Manage Neck Pain Massage and trigger point therapy are tried-and-true ways to manage neck pain, according to Dr. Woolever. “Massage and trigger point therapy can help through two mechanisms. First, it works through neurophysiological means, as the pressure from the massage signals the muscle to relax and decrease resting tone or guarding,” he says. “Secondly, this repeated on/off pressure from the massage or trigger point therapy helps pump more blood flow into the region, therefore delivering more oxygen and reversing many of the effects of the acidic environment.” While neck massagers can help deliver in both of these critical areas, you can also try the following tips to manage neck pain at home. Use a supportive pillow at night to help with spine alignment, no matter your preferred sleeping position Watch your posture during the day and avoid sitting in a slumped-over position Ice the area for 10-15 minutes at a time, or use a heated neck wrap Do gentle neck stretches while you work at the computer to keep muscles from tightening up Type of Neck Massager Just as there is a wide variety of massage styles, there are also many different types of neck massagers. These include: Shiatsu/kneading-style massagers: Provides a massage experience that imitates human hands.Trigger point/vibration-style massagers: Target specific muscles to relieve tension. Massage balls: Commonly used to create a rolling pressure to melt away knots and soreness.Heated massagers: Heated massagers apply warmth to the target areas, which helps relax your muscles. Electric massagers: These are convenient because they are hands-free, but they also allow you to change pressure and speed.Manual massagers: They may not be hands-free, but manual massagers allow you to apply as much pressure as you like. Who Is Using the Neck Massager Neck massagers can be used by almost anyone, but are especially helpful for people who deal with recurring neck pain and related issues such as chronic migraines and back pain. If you work long hours at a desk, a neck massager will go a long way in preventing neck pain before it starts. Comfort and Ease of Use Comfort and ease of use are two important factors when it comes to choosing a neck massager. Some products allow you to lie down and completely relax without worrying about shutting the massager off, while other manual models require a bit more trial and error and are fully hands-on during use. Then you have the fanciest options, such as massage chairs, which aim to replicate a spa experience in the comfort of your home. Extra Features and Versatility Here are some extra features to look for while shopping for the perfect neck massager: Heat: Heated massagers provided an added layer of relaxation by loosening tense or tired muscles. Rotation: Many electric massagers allow you to change the direction of the massage element for a more comprehensive massage. Vibration: Vibration is a great way to relieve tension and target specific areas of pain, like knots in your neck and pain in your shoulders. Attachments: Some massagers come with a variety of attachments to provide targeted relief for specific muscles, like our best for travel pick, which includes six massage heads. Speed: Massagers with speed settings allow you to choose between a slow, rolling massage or faster massage strokes depending on your preference. When to Contact a Healthcare Provider About Neck Pain If you experience chronic neck pain that is not resolved by the use of a neck massager, you should consult your doctor to determine the best treatment plan; your doctor may suggest additional treatments like physical or massage therapy. Additionally, see a doctor if your neck pain comes on very suddenly or is related to a neck injury. More Neck Massagers to Consider RENPHO Handheld Massager at Amazon: This little tool might not look like it could offer much relief, but we were surprised at its ability to provide targeted muscle relaxation. However, it’s not the best product for all-over neck pain relief. Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Soothing Heat: This massager features different speed options, and it’s also simple to use, but we found the heat function wasn’t quite strong enough. Hyperice Hypersphere Mini: This handy little tool is basically a really fancy massage ball with vibration settings. It’s not ideal for those difficult-to-reach areas of your neck and shoulders, but we definitely recommend it for larger areas like the legs. Your Questions, Answered Are neck massagers good for you? As long as you follow manufacturer instructions, neck massagers are a safe, effective way to reduce neck pain. With proper use, they can reduce stress, relieve pain, and improve circulation to tight or overused areas. What type of neck massager is best? It really depends! Quality neck massagers use proven methods—gentle massage, heat, and trigger point therapy—to ease muscle pain and tension. The best product will be easy to use regularly and suitable to your personal needs. For example, if you travel frequently, a portable neck massager is more likely to benefit you than a massage chair. How much does a quality neck massager cost? Simple neck massagers that target the neck and shoulders range in cost from $15 to $30. Electric models with more bells and whistles, like heat and adjustable speed or vibration settings, might fall more in the $30 to $100 range. For a whole-body massage experience, such as a massage chair, expect to pay over $100. How often should you use a neck massager? You can use a neck massager every day or as needed. When you first start out, limit your sessions to ten minutes and gradually increase the time from there. If you find your neck pain is increasing in intensity, seek the help of a physical therapist or massage therapist to help you determine the underlying causes. And, of course, if you experience increased pain or soreness after using a neck massager, discontinue use and consult a medical professional for solutions. Can you sleep with a neck massager on? Most neck massagers are not intended for overnight use. If you like to fall asleep while getting a neck massage, choose options that have an auto shut-off option to avoid overheating. Who We Are Nicole Crawford is a long-time writer and editor, as well as a fitness professional, prenatal and postpartum birth doula, yoga instructor, and avid runner based in Maryland. She received her master’s degree in 2008 and specializes in health, fitness, and nutrition for busy families. She is also a busy mom of six, which is her primary responsibility these days. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Harvard Health Publishing. Turn away from neck pain.