The 8 Best Neck Massagers to Buy in 2018

Relive tension with these at-home devices

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Be it a crick, a kink, a knot or a downright pain in the neck, massage can do wonders to help provide relief. Sure, it would be great if we could hop up on the table and let a masseuse do it for us on demand, but the fact is professional massage can be expensive and appointments aren’t always convenient. Fortunately, there are a whole host of neck massagers on the market that can help work out those kinks, relieve tension, and more whenever you need it.

While you’ll have to play your own spa music and make your own fruit-infused water, some of these massagers do a great job. They come in a variety of styles and offer various benefits, so finding the one that’s right for you is key. Of course, if you have serious neck pain you should always discuss using a neck massager with your doctor. Here are the top neck massagers to consider.

1

Best Overall: Shiatsu Back Neck and Shoulder Massager with Heat

For a massage, anytime, anywhere, there’s this model from InvoSpa. It wraps right around your neck and shoulders, with loops you can thread your hands through to add pressure. It comes with eight massage nodes—four small and four large—and three levels of pressure to choose from so you can get the massage that suits you best. You can turn on the heat too for even more soothing relief.

It comes with both wall and car adapters, so you can get a massage even when you’re driving. A carrying case is included as well, which makes it easy to take on the go. Customers say it exceeds expectations and provides a great massage. “It really feels like a hand working the tight muscles,” one reviewer wrote on Amazon.

2

Best Tens Unit: HealthmateForever YK15AB Tens Unit

This massager takes away pain by sending tiny currents of electricity into your muscles, telling your brain to relieve the tension. It may sound a little odd, but thousands upon thousands of customers say it works and works well. To use, you place the electrodes on your neck or on any other part of your body that’s tense, then select the setting and intensity you want to deliver the massage you need. There are 15 modes and 20 levels of intensity.

It runs on three AAA batteries, so it’s easy to take on the go, and you don’t have to be near an electrical outlet. Customers say it’s easy to use, the battery life is good, and that it’s surprisingly effective at relieving neck pain and pain in other areas of the body as well. It's also relatively affordable, too. The manufacturer does caution that people with certain health issues, including high blood pressure and some skin conditions, check with a health professional before using, so make sure you read the warnings.

3

Best for Headaches: LuxFit Neck and Shoulder Trigger Point Manual Muscle Massage

While it looks more like a toy than the tool of relief that it is, this neck massager helps ease headaches and other tension pain, according to hundreds of customers. There’s no need for batteries or electricity. You simply glide the balls over your neck, and they knead out the knots and kinks with a feeling much like that of real hands. You can control the pace, pressure, and angle at which you apply it with the ergonomic handles.

Customers say it provides great headache relief and comes as close to the feeling of a real masseuse as possible. They also love that you can control the pressure so precisely and say it makes a great gift. The price is low too, so you have almost nothing to lose by trying it except your headaches. Plus, no batteries required! 

4

Best Heated: Etekcity Shiatsu Massager

This massage pillow from Etekcity brings the heat. With eight rollers, it delivers deep shiatsu massages to relax your tired neck, and the optional heating makes it even better. It’s equipped with Velcro straps so you can attach it to a car seat for on-the-go massages or any chair without worry about holding it in place. It shuts off automatically after 20 minutes so you don’t have to worry about it overheating, and it comes with a car adapter and washable cover as well.

While it fits perfectly behind the neck, you can also use it on other achy body parts. Customers love this massager and say it’s great for kneading out knots in the neck and elsewhere, and that the heat is warm but not too hot, just enough to provide an extra element of tension relief.

5

Best Cordless: LiBa Cordless Shiatsu Massager Pillow With Heat

There’s no need to be tied to cords with this cordless shiatsu massaging pillow from LiBa. It runs on a rechargeable battery, so you can take it anywhere you want the tension relief to go. It comes with a stretchy strap, so you can attach it to any chair or your car seat, and you can use it with or without heat.

The pillow measures 12" x 7" x 4.5", and its massagers change direction after each minute to make sure your muscles are getting worked from every angle. The battery runs for up to 1.5 hours, and customers say it works remarkably well, especially for the price.

6

Best With Cold Therapy Option: Wahl Hot-Cold Therapy Massager

While a warm massage feels great sometimes, other times a cooling treatment can help, especially when it comes to swelling and inflammation. This handheld massager from Wahl gives you the option for either. There are seven different attachments you can swap out to vary your massages and it comes with a zippered case to hold them all.

Powered by electricity, you must be near an outlet to use it, and some wish the handle was longer so it could reach further down the back. Overall though, customers say it works well, and they love the variety of options it provides.

7

Best Shiatsu Massager: NURSAL 3D Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager

The Japanese have used shiatsu massages for centuries. It translates into “finger pressure,” and shiatsu massagers, like this one from Nursal, mimic that feeling. It does so with four rotating balls that knead with the same feel as human hands. You can adjust how deeply they knead by selecting one of three strength levels (low, medium, or high), and its heat function lets you warm things up to provide even more tension relief. It will automatically shut off after 15 minutes to prevent it from overheating in case you nod off during all that relaxation.

It wraps around your neck and has hand straps you can thread your hands through to adjust the pressure, while still keeping them free to work while you do so. The brilliant thing about this design though is that the hand straps are also equipped with a vibrating function to give your hands a massage at the same time. It comes with both a wall charger and a car charger so you can use it on the go for a much more relaxing commute. Customers say it also works great on other parts of the body from your back to your feet.

8

Best Neck Massage Ball: Massage Roller Ball by Vive

Roll your way into relaxation with these massage roller balls by Vive. The devices fit right in the palm of your hand, so you can control which muscles are getting massaged and how deeply. Two come in a pack, so you can keep one at home and one in the office or in your purse to pull out whenever you might need some quick stress relief. There are no wires or batteries to mess with, and you can use them alone or with massage oil or lotion.

Customers say they do a great job working out knots and are easy to use on yourself or on someone else.

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