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Best Massage Cushion Reviews for 2021

Discover the Best Massage Cushion (for Pain Relief) in 2021

If you’re shopping for a massage cushion you’ll quickly realize you have so many options!

Do you go for a chair pad that you can use at home or something smaller that you can pop in your bag to use wherever you need it?

SATISFYING
COMFIER
COMFIER
Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager
Experience finger pressure shiatsu that mimics the hands of a masseuse.
VERSATILE
ZYLLION
ZYLLION
Shiatsu Pillow Massager with Heat
Simple, yet powerful, perfect for dropping in your bag when you’re on the go.
AFFORDABLE
SNAILAX
SNAILAX
Gel Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager
A softer but satisfying massage with gel nodes and removable intensity flap.

Our 10 Best Massage Cushion Reviews

To help you make your decision, take a look at our list of the best massage cushions for 2021:

1. Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager

It’s time to experience finger pressure shiatsu

Position this Comfier cushion on your favorite chair and experiment with a whole host of different options.

Choose the rolling setting, which was popular with those reviewing the product, or perhaps go for a relaxing air compression experience.

Opt for 2D and 3D finger pressure shiatsu and the nodes will move in and out of the massage pad to closely mimic the hands of a masseuse.

Vibration and heat functions add to the spa-like experience.

In terms of massaging any back pain, you can target your upper, lower or full back, or use the spot feature to really hit the mark.

People described how easy it was to use and the incredible relief they experienced from their long term back pain problems.

One person said they used it for 10 minutes every day and it had given them their life back!

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2. Snailax Gel Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager

Ready to experience the softness of gel nodes?

Swap uncomfortable firm nodes for a softer gel massage.

Nodes in the Snailax Gel massager have been designed to feel like the hands of a masseuse.

Traveling up and down the length of your spine, you have the option to tailor the different styles of massage for each area of your back and neck. You also get a Spot setting to really get to that niggle.

Fitted with a detachable flap, you get the flexibility to choose between a softer or firmer massage.

If you’re looking for a massager primarily for neck pain, this Snailax chair pad really delivers.

Take a look at the neck area and you’ll see four nodes that can be adjusted to suit your needs, and people of all heights.

Tall people looking for a great massage cushion loved this creation from Snailax.

Also it’s worth mentioning that though the gel makes the sensation softer, users still felt it delivered on intensity.

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3. HoMedics Serenity Shiatsu Massage Cushion with Sound & Meditation

Take relaxation to the next level

Another great product on the market right now is the HoMedics Serenity Shiatsu Massage Cushion.

It really adds another dimension to your treatment as it’s Bluetooth-enabled, connecting with the HoMedics Massage app.

Within the app you can control and customize your massage, and there’s plenty to play around with!

The cushion offers five different massage styles, including shiatsu, rolling and tapping.

HoMedic’s app also gives you access to soothing sounds and guided meditations for deeper relaxation.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, improve your sleep and encourage mindfulness.

Don’t worry though if you want your massage cushion to be a smartphone-free zone. You still get a handy remote control to access all the settings!

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4. iReliev Wireless Relaxable Pillow Massager

A stylish massage cushion that doesn’t compromise on features

If you want a massage cushion that will fit seamlessly into your home then take a look at the iReliev Wireless Relaxable Pillow Massager.

You could place it on your couch and no-one would ever know that the comfortable pillow is a powerful pain relief tool!

Available in four different colors, it’s a tool that’s perfect for lower back pain.

It’s not style over substance though:

Tuck the pillow into your lower back and the circular kneading motion of the two-way massage nodes can really help to loosen up any tight muscles.

Experiment with three different speeds to reach the intensity you need, and enjoy deep penetrating heat from the infrared ceramic bulbs.

Plus it’s cordless, rechargeable and really versatile!

You can position it wherever you need on your back, slip it under tired legs or even ease your neck pain.

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5. Zyllion Shiatsu Pillow Massager with Heat

A small massage cushion with a lot of power

We love the handy size of this Zyllion pillow massager.

At just 13 inches long it’s perfect for dropping in your bag for the office or taking on vacation.

The small size doesn’t mean less power though!

You of course won’t get the intensity and coverage you’d get with a chair pad like the Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager.

However you do still get four deep-kneading shiatsu nodes that change direction every minute in the same way a masseuse would.

Made from 100% vegan leather, it can be easily attached to any chair using the adjustable straps, so you can feel like you have a massage chair with you on the go.

Reviewers looking for a tool to treat their sensitive neck found it a bit too powerful and wished they had the option to change the speed.

If you need that flexibility, take a look at the iReliev Wireless Relaxable Pillow Massager that gives you control over the speed.

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6. Renpho Shiatsu Back Massage Cushion

Enjoy the relief of eight massage nodes

Fitted with an easy to clean leather cover, Renpho’s Shiatsu Back Massage Cushion is a premium product that offers a little more than the competitors.

Compare it to many other seat pads and you’ll see that you get eight nodes, as opposed to four.

It also has an adjustable neck pillow to allow you to get the perfect position to treat your neck pain.

Your back is also well looked after! This Renpho cushion has three zones so you can choose to treat your full, upper or lower back.

Users loved the ability to adjust the neck position, as it was a frustration they’d encountered with previous massage chair pads.

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7. Shiatsu Back Massager with Heat - Portable Massage Cushion

Perfectly portable pain relief!

Another portable massage cushion with great features is this cordless shiatsu back massager from CooCoco.

With an easy carry handle it’s great for the office, or for people who work from home.

Unlike the rechargeable iReliev pillow massager, it does have to be connected to the mains, however that gives you a great level of power.

Despite the compact size, you still get 12 massage nodes and two levels of intensity.

Plus it has a detachable flap that you can add as and when you need it for a softer massage.

Users of this massage cushion loved the power and the way a 15 minute cycle loosens up tight and painful muscles.

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8. Homedics Thera-P Shiatsu Massage Pillow

A soft massage pillow you can snuggle up with

Take a look at most massage cushions and you’ll notice they’re quite industrial in their look and construction.

HoMedics Thera-P Shiatsu Massage Pillow is the opposite.

Instead of being made from leather, this pillow is covered in a soft plush fabric that you can really snuggle up with.

Hiding beneath the fabric are four rotating nodes that you can activate through the integrated control panel.

Like the Shiatsu Back Massager with Heat Portable Massage Cushion it also has a comfort flap to give you more effective control over intensity.

Heat is not a feature of this product so that’s worth bearing in mind. However stroke the super soft fabric and we’re sure you’ll quickly forget!

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9. Zyllion Shiatsu Kneading Massage Seat Cushion

Adjustable massage nodes for neck pain

If you want a chair pad where you’re really in control then we like the Zyllion Shiatsu Kneading Massage Seat Cushion.

Choose the area of your back you want to treat, or just go for a full back massage!

Whether you want a rolling motion or are in the mood for rotating nodes to perform a shiatsu style massage, this chair pad can deliver both as well as heat and vibration.

One of the best features has to be the adjustable neck massage cushion that allows you to move the nodes to exactly where you need them.

Most massage chair pads don’t focus on the neck, so this 8.5” node movement up and down will be welcome if you’re suffering with neck pain.

Seat vibration also gets to work on sore glutes and thighs, almost giving you the full body treatment you get with a massage chair.

Being able to adjust the nodes made the cushion a hit with many reviewers, who felt it really helped them target their pain points.

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10. Belmint Seat Cushion Massager with Shiatsu Vibration

A sleek and simple massage chair pad

Take a look at massage chair pads and you’ll see that many look kinda bulky.

Not only that but they’re typically black, and as mentioned previously, industrial looking.

This Belmint Seat Cushion Massager is sleek and stylish, folding away easily when you’re not using it.

Despite the slim design, you can still enjoy adjustable shiatsu massage nodes.

Sure it doesn’t have the power or flexibility of the Zyllion Shiatsu Kneading Massage Seat Cushion, but you still get a satisfying massage.

Plus it’s one of the most affordable massage cushions on our list!

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Types of massage cushions

There are two main types of massage cushion:

Massage Chair Pad

A massage chair pad is a device that is strapped onto a chair to deliver a full back massage. Massage chair pads often use either rollers, nodes or air chambers, or a combination of all of them.

Massage Pillow / Cushion

A massage pillow or cushion is a device available in various shapes and sizes that includes massage nodes or vibration points. It can be placed at the site of the pain to provide relief.

Features of massage cushions

Design and Dimensions

Shape

Chair pads tend to come in a standard shape to fit any chair. However the shape of massage cushions varies widely so it’s worth considering how you’ll use it to find the right shape for you.

Size

You also need to consider the size, will it give your neck good coverage? Is it too large to be portable?

Weight

If you want a massage cushion you can travel with day to day then consider the weight of the device when making your selection.

Design

Some massage cushions are specifically designed to blend in with a home or office environment, for example a chair pad being so slim that it fits seamlessly into an office chair.

Style of Massage

Air Bags / Pockets

Some chair massaging pads come with air bags or air pockets which are essentially air bags that inflate / deflate to gently squeeze the body, mimicking the hands of a masseuse.

Nodes

The number of massage nodes that the device offers may be important to you if you’re looking for a deep and intense massage.

Percussion

Percussion is a style of massage, with users describing the technique as “thundering on your back”. It’s perfect if you want a deep tissue massage, perhaps not ideal if you’re looking for something a little less intense.

Shiatsu

Look for shiatsu, a Japanese massage technique, if you want to replicate the hands of a masseuse as closely as possible! Some massagers include an optional direction mode so the nodes can change direction for a more satisfying massage.

Kneading

If you have knots and want a massage that is really going to work them out then you might want to look out for the kneading function.

Intensity / Speed Settings

If you have good days and bad days and need a massager that can flex with you, then you want to look for something with a selection of intensity settings (also referred to as speed settings).

Some devices only come with one setting which might be limiting if you’d appreciate being able to switch between rigorous and gentle.

Extra Features

Vibration

Some products offer an additional vibration function which might be something you want to consider for that added extra relief.

Heat

Heat can offer comforting relief from pain as it heats the skin which stimulates the sensors and blocks the pain signals being sent to the brain[1]. Many different massagers include this option so it’s worth looking out for. Infrared heat is also a feature offered by some devices.

Timer

A timer can be handy if it takes you a while to get to the source of your pain, so you can set a period of time and then just sit back and enjoy the relief.

Bluetooth

Some massage cushions now offer Bluetooth and pair with an app, meaning you can control your massage from your smartphone.

Auto Shut Down

Auto Shut Down can be great as it protects you and the unit from overheating. However if it takes you a while to get to the source of your pain, a short auto shut down could be frustrating.

Rechargeable

Some massagers are rechargeable making them handy to be used in the office or on the go. Look closely at the length of time advertised when the product is fully charged.

Speed of Charge

You may also want to consider the speed at which the product goes from flat to fully charged, as that may be something that’s important to you.

Portable

If you want a massager to take on holiday or use at work, then a portable option might be right for you.

You can also choose a massager for in the car, however this can only be used when stationary or as a passenger.

Memory / Recall

If your pain is hard to reach and you get the intensity just right it can be frustrating to have to go through the various settings each time. Memory / recall functions remember the intensity, speed and style of massage you enjoy which can be helpful day to day.

Added Extras

Car Charger

Using your device in your car, between meetings for example, might be important to you, so look for a massage cushion that comes complete with an in car charger.

Instructional Video

Another extra that may be offered with your massage cushion is an instructional video. It may sound like just a nice-to-have but if you want to get the most from your product then it can be a handy extra.

Benefits of massage cushions

Neck Pain

Massage cushions mimic the hands of a masseuse stimulating the muscles and nerve endings. Research has shown that massage therapy is an effective treatment for chronic neck pain, and a neck massager is essentially simulating this technique.

Shoulder Pain

Massage cushions can also work well for shoulder pain. Shoulder pain is one of the most common pain complaints reported in the US[2], and stimulating the muscles with a massager is believed to provide relief.

Stiff Neck

Whether you get a stiff neck occasionally or you suffer from chronic daily pain you’ll understand how uncomfortable it can be. It is believed that around 10% of the adult population are suffering from a stiff neck at any one time[3], with massagers being suggested as a natural way to treat the pain.

Muscle Pain / Tension

Tension in the muscles can also be relieved by a massage cushion whether in your neck, shoulders or back.

Migraine / Headache

Massage as a therapy is used both as a treatment and a preventative method. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache in the world, and often cause both neck and shoulder pain along with pain in the head.[4]

Arthritis

Massage therapy can be an effective treatment for arthritis. However for certain forms of severe arthritis it can have a negative effective so it’s important to consult with your doctor.

Back Pain Relief

You might want to invest in a massage cushion for back pain. It stimulates circulation and relaxes stiff muscles and research proves that massage as a technique is very effective for short term relief from back pain.

Lift Mood

Massage can release endorphins which relaxes the nervous system and create feel good hormones. Back massage in general has been shown to be a successful technique for the treatment of anxiety.

Sciatica

Sciatica is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, a massage cushion can help to ease this compression. Massage chairs in particular are suggested as an effective treatment for those suffering from sciatica.

Knots

Muscle knots are when the muscle tightens or contracts even when they’re not being used[5], massage helps to relax the muscle, in turn helping to loosen the knot.

Buttocks / Glutes

Tight glutes can cause back pain, so buttock massage as a therapy can be effective to help relieve those tight muscles.

Feet

A number of massage cushions can be used on other parts of the body including your feet. Regular foot massage has been shown to help improve your circulation and release tense muscles.[6]

Locations to use a massage cushion

There are a number of different places you can use your massage cushion, perhaps even places you hadn’t thought of!

Office

If your back pain gives you difficulty at work then a massage cushion or chair pad attached to your office chair could provide you with real comfort.

Armchair / Couch

If you want to get comfortable there are a number of different massage cushions that will fit comfortably on your armchair and couch, so you can enjoy a massage while enjoying your favorite TV series!

Bed

On really bad days when the pain means you struggle to get out of bed, you can use a massage cushion in bed. If you want one particularly for this purpose then look for a massager that is the size and shape that will mould to your body effectively.

Car / Truck

Some massage cushions come with a car adapter allowing you to use your massager while you’re stationary in your car during breaks on a long journey, or mid travel if you’re a passenger.

FAQs

What is a massage cushion?

What does a massage cushion do?

How does a massage cushion work?

How long can you use a massaging cushion for?

Can you drive while using a massage cushion?

Can I use a massage cushion while pregnant?

Can I use a massage cushion with a pacemaker?

Can I sleep on a massaging cushion?

How do I choose a massage cushion?

How much does a massage cushion cost?

Where can I buy a massage cushion?

We hope our roundup and reviews of the best massage cushions is helpful and puts you on the track to finding just the right product to give you relief from your pain.

References

  1. Physio Works (2021). Heat Packs [Online]. Available from: https://physioworks.com.au/faq/heat-packs-why-does-heat-feel-so-good/ [Accessed 21 October 2021].
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008). QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Reporting Joint Pain or Stiffness, National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2006 [Online]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5717a9.htm [Accessed 21 October 2021].
  3. Health Engine (2004). Neck pain [Online]. Available from: https://healthengine.com.au/info/neck-pain [Accessed 21 October 2021].
  4. The Migraine Trust (2021). Tension-type headache [Online]. Available from: https://migrainetrust.org/understand-migraine/types-of-migraine/other-headache-disorders/tension-type-headache/ [Accessed 21 October 2021].
  5. Cronkleton, E. (2019). How to Treat and Prevent Muscle Knots [Online]. Healthline. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/muscle-knots [Accessed 21 October 2021].
  6. Harvard Health Publishing (2014). Foot massage: The pause that refreshes and is good for you! [Online]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/foot-massage-the-pause-that-refreshes-and-it-good-for-you [Accessed 21 October 2021].