After reviewing back massagers of all shapes, designs, and sizes, we’ve finally found a winner in Zyllion ZMA-13-BK Shiatsu Pillow Massager With Heat. With a very affordable price, you can enjoy lightweight, compact, and portable massager equipped with 4 deep-kneading, three-dimensional, and rotating massage nodes that release tight muscle knots on almost any part of your body–from the neck and back to calves and even your feet.
The heat feature in Zyllion massage pillow is also worth noting. The warmth it gives off is enough to loosen muscle tension, not to mention it’s switchable so you can turn it off if you prefer massage only.
It’s one of the few massagers that come with an adapter both for car and home use; an overheat protection device which automatically shuts it off once the temperature goes beyond recommended level; and an adjustable strap that attaches the massage pillow to virtually any type of chair in your home or office.
The only flaw I can see in Zyllion ZMA-13-BK Shiatsu Pillow Massager With Heat is its lack of vibration and a relatively weaker neck massage compared to other back massagers. But this should be expected as massage pillows like Zyllion’s are “general” massagers and rarely focus on one body part.
Some people may also find it frustrating that you need to constantly change the position of the massage pillow in order to ease tension on the entire back. This is not true in the case of massage cushions like the Gideon™ Luxury Six-Program Customizable Massaging Cushion with Heat.
Shaped like a chair and works like a mini chair massager, this massage cushion has rotating plastic balls that provide Shiatsu and rolling massage–all at the comfort of your own chair. Its bigger size allows it to massage your entire back without you lifting a finger.
The Gideon massage cushion has Velcro straps which makes it very easy to attach to any office chair, sofa, and even car seat. It also features Spot massage, dual speed setting, seat vibration, heat function on both seat and back, as well as auto shut-off timer. Best of all, it offers 3-year limited product warranty, longer than any massage cushions on the market.
As with the Zyllion massage pillow, Gideon massage cushion also offers a relatively weaker neck massage, especially for people who are 5’10” or taller. It doesn’t have an adjustable height so taller users will barely feel the neck and shoulder massage.
Read this guide if you’re looking for a robust massager that specifically targets the neck and shoulders. Or, you can browse this list of massage cushions to find a product tailored for a particular height.
For the most flexible and affordable back massager ever, you can never go wrong with the Body Back Buddy Trigger Point Massager. Relatively cheaper than electric massagers, it has also earned the highest score among the three trigger point massagers we’ve reviewed.
A trigger point massager like the Body Back Buddy releases tight muscle knots in virtually any part of the body. As a self-massaging tool, it can help you remove muscle tension without relying on someone else’s fingers/hands.
Body Back Buddy owes its durability to the high impact glass filled nylon which is its main component. It has more massaging knobs (11, as opposed to TheraCane’s 6), which means more ways to leverage the device to reach hard-to-reach parts of the body.
The only con I can think of for Body Back Buddy is its relatively larger size and difficulty in storing it. If the manufacturers only designed it with something that allows it to be separated into two for travel and storage purposes, it would have been the best back massager ever.
Best Back Massagers: An Overview.
Thanks to technology, the number of Americans who are engaged in remote work has increased tremendously in the past few years.
But with the emergence of work-from-home professionals also comes the risk of muscle pain which often results from sitting in front of the computer for hours on end. The same holds true for office-based workers, nurses, construction workers and even athletes who always push their bodies to the limit.
Of course, there are massage chairs ranging from cheap to high-end that can provide immediate relief from muscle tension without the aid of a human therapist. However, not everyone can afford their hefty price tags, not to mention the space requirements needed at home to accommodate these bulky monsters.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go broke just to give your swelling back some much needed TLC. There are low-cost back massagers in the market specifically designed to give you immediate relief from back pain even while you’re working. You can carry these lightweight devices anywhere you go and are versatile enough to be used as a massager for other parts of your body.
Health Benefits of Back Massagers: A Quick Overview.
Studies that have explored the benefits of massage–particularly back massage–to our health are not conclusive. However, the mere fact that it helps us feel better is enough proof that back massagers are beneficial to our overall well-being in the long run.
As expected, back massage provides great relief from low back pain. In 2001, a study by the Touch Research Institute of the University of Miami found that massage not only reduces pain in patients with low back pain but also improves their mental health and quality of sleep. A similar finding by the researchers of Cochrane Collaboration reveals a combination of exercise and massage is the perfect recipe to combat low back pain.
More studies showed even more compelling results. In 2011, 400 participants agreed to receive massage for their body pains while the control group were allowed to manage the pain on their own. After 10 weeks, those who received massage reported less pain and better functioning, regardless of whether they received full-body or spot massage that targets the back, hips, etc.
A 2010 analysis of at least 17 clinical trials also revealed that massage therapy may help alleviate symptoms of depression. Based on these results, we can conclude that massage, regardless if they’re given by a therapist or an electric back massager, is an underrated method that can be as powerful, if not more potent, as pain relievers and anti-depressants.
How To Choose The Best Back Massager – Our Criteria.
This comprehensive guide is a result of a painstaking and extensive research to find only the best back massager in the market today. To choose the most outstanding products among the dizzying array of choices, we’ve prioritized the criteria we think are the most crucial in bringing user satisfaction:
Just because back massagers are priced lower than massage chairs doesn’t mean the massage quality shouldn’t be on par. An ideal back massager has rotating plastic nodes that feel comfortable and don’t stab the back muscles like a knife. The pressure or intensity should also be adjustable so people who are sensitive or have lower pain tolerance can also enjoy the massage as much as everyone else.
A good back massager is designed with the same level of flexibility as a massage chair. As we all know, stressful lifestyles can take its toll not just on a single area such as the back. More often than not, tension spots ripple from the back towards nearby areas such as the neck, shoulders or butt, and vice versa. Therefore, good back massagers should function like a Swiss army knife, bringing the benefits of the massage to anywhere you place them.
The warm hands of a therapist are one of the few things that set human massage from those given by robotic devices. Although it can’t completely replace the soothing touch from human hands, the best home back massager also offers heat in addition to massage in an effort to mimic the former. Heat must be optional, with the temperature level sufficient enough to loosen tight muscles and relieve pain.
Ease of Use.
The best-rated back massager has intuitive buttons even the elderly and those with poor eyesight can clearly understand. And depending on your preference, the back massager should also have handles which you can push to increase the intensity of the massage, or a strap that allows you to hold the massager in place while you’re using it. There are a lot of features you can look into, but the bottom line is the back massager should be ergonomically designed for your own comfort.
Low-cost massage devices, especially those manufactured in China, often have shorter life span. Unfortunately, most them don’t offer money back guarantee, let alone a product warranty for at least a year, giving an impression that they’re more after the profits than customer satisfaction. Don’t be fooled; choose the best massagers for back that offer at least 1-year limited product warranty.
Size & Weight.
One thing that separates back massagers from massage chairs is how lightweight they are. Choose the best handheld back massager that not only allows you to carry it with your hands but is also small enough to fit in your travel bag/luggage. After all, your need for a quality massage may hit anywhere you go.