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Best neck massager reviews 2021

Best Neck Massager: Reviews for Pain Relief in 2021

Neck pain is one of the most common types of pain experienced by the world’s population, second only to back pain.

So it’s no surprise that the market is bursting with lots of different neck massagers for you to choose from.

AFFORDABLE
Affordable neck massager: Resteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
RESTECK
Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
Uses powerful massage nodes to deliver a deep tissue massage to your neck.
POWERFUL
Powerful neck massager: Theragun PRO
THERAGUN PRO
Percussion Gun Massager
Pounding, penetrating massage with a supersoft head that’s kind on the neck.
HIGH-QUALITY
High-quality neck massager: iReliev Back and Neck Massager
iRELIEV
Back and Neck Massager
Drape 20 massage balls around your neck. Experiment with speed settings and heat.

10 Top-rated Neck Massagers for Pain Relief and Relaxation

Massage products vary hugely in style and features, so to save you time we’ve put together a list of the best neck massagers out there right now:

1. Resteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

A deep tissue massage you control

Choose a massager that delivers an intense and satisfying deep tissue massage by investing in the Resteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager.

Position it around your neck and the kneading pillow will deliver a powerful massage right to the source of your pain.

Select from the eight different massage modes, and use the handles and speed settings to get the intensity you need.

Directional options and a heat function help you further tailor your massage.

Resteck have created this device for use on the go, as it ships with a handy carry case as well as an in car charger.

Neck pain sufferers couldn’t say enough good things about the Resteck Shiatsu massager, particularly drivers looking for ways to stay healthy when they’re stuck in a vehicle most of the day!

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2. Theragun PRO

A powerful device that’s kind to the neck

Your neck is a super sensitive area of your body, so it’s essential that you’re careful when treating pain with a massager.

One device that offers you the intensity of a satisfying massage, with the softness your neck deserves is the Theragun PRO.

As the top-of-the-range device in Therabody’s new collection, it can power 16mm in to your muscle tissue, and handle an incredible 60lbs of applied force without stalling.

You can choose from four adjustable arm positions and three grips, which makes it easy to hold in position when treating your neck.

We recently reviewed the Theragun PRO and did find it a little heavy to hold in place for long periods of time, but the results were more than worth it.

It ships with six heads, including the Supersoft attachment which Theragun recommend using on your neck.

Watch the video below to see how you can use the Theragun PRO to effectively treat your neck pain.

When you invest in a Theragun device you get access to the dedicated app which includes a number of massage programs specially created to treat neck pain, including Tech Neck.

If the PRO is out of your budget there are a number of more affordable alternatives, including iReliev’s Percussion Massager featured a little further down this article.

3. iReliev Back and Neck Massager

Neck pain relief from a trusted brand

You want a name you can trust when it comes to investing in a neck massager — iReliev is that name.

For years they’ve created many high quality pain relief products, including their percussion massager and range of TENS units.

The new iReliev Back and Neck Massager is just as good as you’d expect.

Like the Resteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager you drape it around your shoulders, then use the handles to apply the intensity you need.

However the iReliev offers more nodes than the Resteck device, providing you with 20 balls working to release muscle tension as opposed to eight.

It’s super simple to use, with built-in controls that give you access to three different speed settings and optional heat.

The iReliev Back and Neck Massager is not cordless (it ships with an AC adapter) but it does mean you don’t need to worry about running out of power.

People raved about this product, not just for treating their neck but also for relieving stress (which is one of the top causes of neck pain!).

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4. LifePro 4-Speed Vibrating Massage Ball – Peanut Massager

Roll away your neck pain

Switch on this vibrating massage ball from LifePro and get it to work on your sore neck.

It uses the principles of foam rolling and adds vibration therapy to release tightness in your muscles and help you recover faster.

With four levels of intensity, you’re in control.

Plus when fully charged this vibrating massage ball can last for up to four hours, so you have a pain relief tool you can take with you on the go.

Unlike the belt massagers featured above it doesn’t have nodes, so won’t offer a classic massage technique.

Though the deep vibrations will penetrate in to your neck to break up knots and provide much-needed relief.

The power of the vibration impressed many customers, loving the sensation on their neck and lower back.

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5. Aku Ball

A spiky way to treat your neck pain

Release muscle tension by rolling the Aku Ball on your neck.

The Aku Ball uses acupressure therapy to provide relief from pain, stress and anxiety.

Research has shown that the treatment is highly effective for managing pain, particularly for neck pain.

Covered in 656 metal spikes made from zinc, iron, silver, nickel and copper, it can be rolled up and down your neck — or anywhere that needs relief.

Worried the spikes look a little painful?

We reviewed the Aku Ball and found it felt a little strange at first. However the sensation is soothing and it really does help to relieve pain in your neck.

Love the spikes, but need more?

Take a look at the Aku Mat, that gives you 2,710 spikes to lie back on!

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6. Comfier Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

Turn your favorite chair into a massage chair!

Why settle for just a neck massage when you could have a back massage too?

We recently shortlisted the best massage cushions on the market, and this Comfier seat pad got the number one spot.

In the neck area, four shiatsu massage nodes that you can adjust easily to suit your height, provide a deep tissue massage.

For your back, you get a whole host of different settings, including 2D and 3D finger pressure shiatsu, air compression and a range of vibration functions.

You also get a heat option, but this is only for your back. So if you’re looking for heat to soothe your neck pain you’d be better opting for a belt massager like the iReliev device.

Those suffering with a sore neck appreciated how you could change the direction of the nodes in the neck area, mimicking the hands of a real masseuse.

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7. iReliev Percussion Massager

A simple and effective percussive massage tool

If you’re interested in the Theragun PRO but want a more affordable alternative, then take a look at the iReliev Percussion Massager.

As you’d expect for a lower cost you won’t get all the features, but you still get a powerful tool for treating pain in your neck.

Delivering 10mm strokes, iReliev’s percussive massager has been designed to relieve tension in your muscles and help improve your range motion — perfect for a stiff neck.

It ships with four different attachments, including a Fork Head specially designed for use on the neck.

You also get the option of three speed settings, so you can apply gentle pressure or more intense percussions depending where you’re treating.

Weighing just 1lb, you’ll find it easy to maneuver it to where you need relief and hold it in place.

Those who’d only known iReliev for producing some of the top-rated TENS units around, found the gun both powerful and quiet.

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8. Zyllion Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

A small but powerful pain relief tool!

The shape of the Zyllion Shiatsu Pillow Massager makes it perfect for treating neck pain.

Simply position it on your neck and the shiatsu nodes will deliver a deep massage, changing direction every minute to create the sensation of a professional treatment.

Soothing heat adds to the relaxing experience.

Zyllion’s massage cushion is also perfectly portable thanks to its compact and slim design. Plus it ships with an AC and DC adapter so you can use it in the car.

Made from 100% vegan leather, owners of the pillow loved the quality.

They also couldn’t believe the power of such a small device, appreciating how they could sit back as it got to work on their neck and shoulders.

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9. AccuMassage - Deep Tissue Neck & Back Massager

A simple and effective manual massage tool

If you’d prefer to invest in a manual massage tool then take a look at the AccuMassage.

With two soft rubber massage balls in the center, you place it around your neck and then massage the pain and discomfort away.

The balls can be placed in three different positions depending on where you’re targeting, or remove one arm and use the device more like a percussive massager.

One of the major benefits of this device is that you’re in control. You decide the pressure and position of your treatment.

However if you struggle with your range of motion, or you think your neck pain might be a result of stress, then an electrical neck massager may provide more advantages.

Those looking for a simple device enjoyed how they could easily pick up and use the device, without the hassle of plugging it in or unpacking a complex piece of kit.

They also felt it was so effective for releasing tight muscles and helping their neck and shoulders stay loose.

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10. Nouhaus Massage Chair with Ottoman

A massage chair that will take care of your neck

If you’re going to invest in a massage tool for your neck pain, then why not go the whole nine yards and choose a massage chair!

After taking a look at the top massage chairs out there, we found the Nouhaus Chair with Ottoman to be a strong contender.

Not only does it look great, but it also a neck pillow with hidden nodes that provide an intense and relaxing massage.

Your back enjoys the sensation of massage balls moving up and down the chair to further relax your body.

Even your hips and glutes get a treat, with airbags delivering massage treatment while heat soothes your discomfort.

Users felt the chair was worth the cost for the neck massage alone! They also loved the fact they could pop their feet on the ottoman for complete and utter relaxation.

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Types of Neck Massagers

There are a number of different types of neck massagers available, whether you’re looking for something handy for a recent ache or if you’re looking to make a big investment to deal with chronic daily pain.

Styles of Electric Neck Massagers

Wrap-around

A wrap-around neck massager drapes around your neck and shoulders to truly target the pain. They are available with arm straps so you can apply the pressure you need or velcro straps for a hands free option.

Chair

A chair massager is a piece of furniture that you add to your home, that you can sit in each day. It’s a big investment but it’s probably the closest you can get to a hands-on massage.

Chair Pad

The next best thing to a chair massager is a massage pad (also known as a seat topper) that you can attach to your favorite chair. It normally hooks over the back and reaches up to the neck for a deep massage.

Handheld

A handheld massager is normally a wand or pad that you operate and maneuver around your neck to get to the source of the pain.

Belt

A belt massager can be draped around your shoulders so you can get a deep massage in key areas.

Cushion / Pillow

A cushion or pillow massager is handy for use on the neck so you can tuck it exactly where you need the relief.

Pulse Massager

More commonly known as a TENS unit sends low voltage electrical impulses across the skin that stimulate the nerves.

Styles of Non-Electric Neck Massagers

Cane Massager

A cane massager is a simple device which can be maneuvered to the right part of the body to provide relief.

Wooden Ball Massager

A wooden ball massager is rubbed on the problem area to provide relief. The wooden balls are run up and down the skin to release tension.

S Shaped Massager

An S shaped massager is a stick massager which normally has carefully placed nodes so that the massager can be maneuvered to the exact right position.

3 Prong Mini Massager

A 3 prong mini massager is a simple handheld device that can be used to work out knots and tension in the neck.

Foam Roller

A foam roller has a hard or soft exterior depending on the relief needed. It is rolled up and down the affected area to release tension in the muscles.

Features of Neck Massagers – What to Consider

Shape

The shape of the neck massager is important as you need to make sure it can really target the source of your pain. Whether it’s an S shaped stick or a chair pad, you need to make sure it can reach where it needs to go.

Size

You also need to consider the size, will it give your neck good coverage? Is it too large to be portable? All should be considerations to make the right choice.

Weight

As well as size, weight might be a consideration as you may be draping the device around your neck, or trying to manoeuvre it on to your neck.

Arm Straps

Certain neck massagers come with arm straps, these are so you can control the pressure needed.

Velcro Straps

Velcro straps are another feature offered with wrap-around massagers, that help you position it in the right spot without having to hold it in place.

Electric / Non-Electric

Consider which option is right for you, whether you want to use your massager on the go, or just ensure you can use it in your favorite chair!

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 and users have described this technique as “thundering on your back”, so perfect if you want a deep tissue massage perhaps not ideal if you’re looking for something a little less intense.

Shiatsu

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

Magnetic Field Therapy

Massagers which offer magnetic field therapy as a function essentially include magnetics which, when placed on the body, are believed to improve the natural magnetic energy within us, you can learn more about it here.

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.

Wand

If you want hand-held control then you may opt for a wand massager or a unit that includes a wand.

Vibration

Some units 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, 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.

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.

Intensity Settings

If you have good days and bad days and want a massage that can flex with you then you want to look for a massager with a selection of intensity settings. Some devices only come with one setting so make sure you choose what is right for you.

Speed Settings

As well as intensity settings you need to look at what speed settings are offered if you want something fast and rigorous or if you’re looking for something slow and gentle.

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’re wanting to take the massager on vacation or use it at work then a portable option might be the one you’re looking for, that is an appropriate size and lightweight. You can also choose a massager for in the car, however this can only be used when stationary or as a passenger.

Car Charger

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

Power Cord Length

It may seem an unimportant feature but if you want to use your neck massager in your favorite chair then the length of the power cord is important so certainly worth checking.

Attachments

Some massagers come with attachments to target different areas, such as the face, or with oil stick attachments to allow you to apply creams or essential oils which may be an important feature for you.

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.

Instructional Video

Another extra that may be offered with your neck massager product 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 Neck Massagers

Neck Pain

Of course those who suffer from neck pain will benefit from using a neck massager. Neck massagers 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.

Did You Know?

Women are more likely to experience neck pain than men.

Shoulder Pain

As well as providing relief from neck pain, a neck massager can also work well for shoulder pain. Shoulder pain is one of the most common pain complaints reported in the U.S., and by stimulating the muscles with a massager it is believed that this provides 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, with massagers being suggested as a natural way to treat the pain.

Muscle Tension

Tension in the muscles can also be relieved by a neck massager 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.

Cervical Spondylitis

Massage therapy as a concept is believed to be an effective treatment, however as the neck is incredibly sensitive when you suffer from this condition it’s important that you speak to your doctor before beginning treatment.

Arthritis

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

FAQs

What is a neck massager?

What does a neck massager do?

How do I choose a neck massager?

How long can you use a neck massager for?

Can I use a neck massager while pregnant?

Do you have to be a certain height to use a neck massager?

Can you use a neck massager on other areas of your body?

Can you drive while using a neck massager?

How much does a neck massager cost?

Where can I buy a neck massager?

We hope our handy guide has made your buying decision a little easier, but more importantly, that you find that perfect product to give you relief from your pain. Good luck!

References

  1. Miller, J. (2016). Why does heat feel so good? [Online]. Available from: http://physioworks.com.au/FAQRetrieve.aspx?ID=30990 [Accessed 23 October 2017].
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2006). 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 Accessed 23 October 2017].
  3. Virtual Medical Centre (2015). Neck Pain [Online]. Available from: https://www.myvmc.com/diseases/neck-pain/ [Accessed Accessed 23 October 2017].
  4. The Migraine Trust (2017). Tension-type headache [Online]. Available from: https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-migraine/types-of-migraine/other-headache-disorders/tension-type-headache/ [Accessed 23 October 2017].