Best Neck Massager Reviews: An Ultimate Guide

After nearly a month of sifting through the best neck and shoulder massagers on Amazon, and spending two weeks of thorough product research, we found 5 outstanding devices that passed and even exceeded our expectations in terms of massage quality, versatility, heat function, ease of use, warranty, and portability. From these 5, the Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow With Heat brought home the crown, thanks to its impressive features that effectively relieve neck pain and tension at a very affordable price.

best neck massager

The Nekteck neck and shoulder massager doesn’t have a rechargeable battery unlike other more expensive products. However, what it lacks in portability it makes up for in features that truly matter the most. For first-time users, it’s difficult to distinguish it from other similar yet pricier products. However, a closer examination of its features reveals that the nuances of the massage is what sets Nekteck massager apart from its competitors.

Nekteck comes with 8 deep-kneading Shiatsu massage nodes that rotate in two different directions, mimicking the actions of a massage therapist’s hands. The therapeutic heat, which is warmer than what other neck massagers provide, speeds up muscle recovery by increasing blood circulation. Most importantly, Nekteck neck massager is the only one in its category that offers three speed modes, each one providing users with a custom massage experience.

And while it lacks a rechargeable battery, the Nekteck neck and shoulder massager do have a car adapter, making it easy to charge and use this device while you’re stuck in traffic or in the middle of a long road trip.



Top 5 Best Neck And Shoulder Massagers Overall Rating Product Review Price
nekteck neck massagerNekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow With Heat 4.7/5 Read Full Review Check latest price
trumedic neck massagertruMedic Instashiatsu Plus Neck And Back Massager With Heat 4.5/5 Read Full Review Check latest price
brookstone cordless neck massagerBrookstone Cordless Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager With Heat 4.3/5 Read Full Review Check latest price
bruntmor cordless shiatsu neck and back massagerBruntmor Cordless Shiatsu Neck And Back 3D Heat Kneading Massager 4.3/5 Read Full Review Check latest price
Brookstone Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with HeatBrookstone Shiatsu Neck And Back Massager With Heat 4.2/5 Read Full Review Check latest price


Best Neck Massagers: An Overview.

Neck pain. We’ve all experienced it at one point in our lives. For some, however, it’s becoming more like a cockroach under the fridge that just won’t die.

People who experience neck pain usually have desk jobs that keep them sitting all day everyday. They also include students who have tons of reading materials and almost no time to relax. Both groups have things in common: They have poor posture and usually spend hours hunched over their computers, resulting in neck strains or spasms that drastically affect their productivity.

A recent study reveals neck pain afflicts a lot of Americans, so much so that it accounts for more than 10 million annual medical visits in the country.

Medical interventions for neck pain are usually intended for those with a serious underlying condition. For most Americans who work in their computers, however, a good ‘ol massage is often enough to relieve the pain.

This guide provides everything you need to know about neck pain and how massage–either through the traditional way or the use of the best neck massage machine–can help you cope with it.


What Causes Neck And Shoulder Pain?

Our neck is a delicate structure that supports our head and everything inside it. It’s made of muscles, ligaments, bones, and cervical discs that all work together to ensure your neck moves and functions normally. Thus, any abnormality that affects one of these structures can lead to neck pain or stiffness.

Thus, any abnormality that affects one of these structures can lead to neck pain or stiffness.

best neck shoulder back massager

The most common causes of neck pain include wrong sleeping position, sports-related injury, and poor posture. The last one is best exemplified by office workers or gamers who spend crazy hours in front of their computers while in a slumped position. Other

Other possible causes of neck pain are the following:

⇒Trauma from accidents; whiplash.

⇒Degenerative diseases like arthritis.


⇒Any abnormality in the neck bone or joints.

More often than not, pain in the neck also involves the shoulders as the two are connected through the trapezius muscle. The shoulder is particularly vulnerable to injuries because of the mobility of its ball and socket joint. Some of the common causes of shoulder pain include:

⇒Dislocation or fractures.

⇒Tendonitis due to overuse.

⇒Muscle strains from exercise or contact sports.

⇒Frozen shoulders.

⇒Pinched nerves or radiculopathy.

Neck and shoulder pain can be easily treated with complementary therapies such as massage. In more serious cases, however, a traditional approach is required. If your neck pain persists for more than a week and is accompanied by alarming symptoms, please consult your doctor immediately.


How To Treat Neck And Shoulder Pain?

Treatment for the neck and shoulder pain depends on the severity of the condition. It can range from anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers to surgical procedures in cases involving nerve roots or the spinal cord.

Because of the risks that go along with medications and invasive procedures, more and more patients are now resorting to complementary therapy for pain relief. This includes massage therapy given by trained therapists who know how to safely manipulate the neck and shoulder muscles.

Equally effective are devices designed to mimic the actions of the therapist’s fingers and hands. The best massager for neck and shoulder pain is lightweight and portable, providing you the convenience of getting a relaxing massage without relying on someone else’s hands.


What Is A Neck And Shoulder Massager?

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, a one-hour massage by a professional massage therapist cost $65 on average. Some spas and therapists in other US cities charge even more. The increasing cost of massage–not to mention our lack of time to visit a spa–force many to choose the next best alternative.

Neck and shoulder massagers are affordable devices (with an average price of less than $100) that are designed with different mechanisms to release muscle tension. These massagers are of two types–manual and electric.

best neck massager review
Neck massagers. Photo Credit: via Flickr Creative Commons.

Those in the first category are the cheapest, but require the users to have some arm mobility and flexibility. Therefore, people with severe arthritis in the arms or any condition that restrict arm movements may find it hard to use this massager.

Electric massagers are the more popular options. They run automatically and can provide shiatsu- or percussion-style massage with a click of a button. Choosing between the two types of massagers depend on what kind of massage you prefer.

Do you want full control over the intensity and doesn’t like being stuck near a power outlet just to use the device?Then manual massagers are a good fit for you. However, if you have issues with arm strength and prefers a massager that does all the hard work, then electric massagers are a better choice.


What Are The Health Benefits Of A Neck Massager?

Although more scientific data are needed to prove the effectiveness of neck massage, recent findings have been pointing towards the right direction.

In a study published in 2009 in the Clinical Journal of Pain, 64 adults who had been suffering from persistent neck pain for at least 12 weeks were given either massage or self-care book. After 4, 10, and 26 weeks, the result for each group was measured.

Those who received massage 10 times within 10 weeks reported a more significant improvement in function and symptoms than those who only received a self-care book. At the end of 26 weeks, the self-care-book group also increased their medication intake by 14%, higher than the massage group whose medication use remained the same.

This study, funded by NCCIH and done at the Group Health Center in Seattle, proved that neck massage can treat pain if done regularly.

best shiatsu neck massager

As for the right dose of massage that is most effective in relieving pain, another study published in the Annals of Family Medicineprovides an answer.

Led by Karen Sherman, senior scientific investigator at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, the researchers assigned 228 participants to six different groups, each varying in terms of the duration and frequency of massage they received per week.

When the results were in, they discovered that those who received an hour (60 minutes) of massage for two to three times a week were “five times as likely to have a clinically meaningful improvement in function and over twice as likely to report a clinically meaningful decrease in pain.”


How To Choose The Best Neck And Shoulder Massager: The Criteria.

To separate the wheat from the chaff, we used the same criteria that helped us tremendously in finding the best back massagers on the market. The following criteria have been chosen with the user’s satisfaction and convenience in mind–some more important than others, but all of them necessary to help us find the best neck massager.

The following criteria have been chosen with the user’s satisfaction and convenience in mind–some more important than others, but all of them necessary to help us find the best neck massager.


Massage QualityMassage Quality.

The best neck massagers stand out not because of their design but due to their excellent massage feature. Although nothing can take the place of a therapist’s touch, these massagers should have the technology that closely simulates human massage.

There are basic types of neck and shoulder massager, each of which is designed for a specific purpose. If you want a shiatsu-style massage that doesn’t require users to move their arms, massage pillows are the best option. You simply lean against it and let the rotating nodes do all the hard work.

For more control or a deeper muscle penetration, a manual trigger point massager like Thera Cane or Body Back Buddy can give you the stimulation you need.



The best massager for neck should be flexible enough to provide the same quality of massage to other parts of the body.

Versatility is a key component in an ideal neck massager because not only it adds value to the product but also helps the user deal with body pain that often comes in twos or threes. This means that neck pain rarely hits without also affecting the shoulders and back.

The more parts a neck massager can massage, the higher the value it has.


heat functionHeat Function.

Heat is a crucial part of muscle recovery as it boosts blood circulation. When blood flow is increased in a certain area, both the nutrients and metabolic wastes are delivered or eliminated more efficiently. Therefore, in order for complete healing to be established, the best neck and shoulder massager should provide heat.

And it shouldn’t be any kind of heat: It must have the right amount of temperature–neither too weak that users feel they’ve been tricked nor too hot that it can already cause burns.


Ease of UseEase of Use.

An ideal neck massager is easy to operate even by the elderly users. There should be a designated function for each button so users can easily choose a specific setting without pressing several times.

You should also know when and how you prefer to use the neck and shoulder massager. For example, manual and some electric massagers require the users to have minimum arm strength and flexibility. Examples are devices that need to be pulled down using your arms to achieve the desired pressure.

If you prefer to have an uninterrupted massage while sitting and working in front of the computer, avoid choosing handheld massagers. Instead, buy those that you can attach to your chair—like massage pillows with straps–and that can deliver massage seamlessly without you lifting a finger.



The presence of a product warranty is an indication that the company is serious about their product and is in this for the long haul.

A neck massager should come with at least 1-year limited product warranty. This ensures the device will be fixed or replaced in case it breaks down within 1 year from the date of purchase. Other things you should look for is the manufacturer’s website, customer support hotline/email, and whether or not they offer a money-back guarantee.


Size and WeightSize & Weight.

The portability of the massager is an important consideration if you’re looking forward to using it in your car or putting it inside your luggage during travels.

Some neck massagers are heavier and bulkier than others, making them more ideal for home or office use. Others are extremely lightweight and can be broken into two parts, making them easier to travel with.


Best Neck Massager Reviews: Our Top Picks.

What is the best neck and shoulder massager? To answer this question, we relied on the above criteria and also collated expert opinions as well as customer feedback for each product on Amazon. Lastly, we’ve ensured that the cream of the crop

Lastly, we’ve ensured that all chosen products have at least 4-star rating and that the best neck massager reviews have been verified through to guarantee their accuracy.


Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow With Heat.

nekteck shiatsu deep kneading massage pillow with heat

The Good: It comes with a car adapter so you can use it in the middle of a long commute or road trip. The only neck massager we’ve reviewed so far that offers three speed modes to customize your massage experience. It provides robust massage and a therapeutic heat that is relatively stronger compared to other neck massagers.

The Bad: It doesn’t have a rechargeable battery unlike the more expensive massagers, making it the least ideal to bring during out-of-town trips. The auto shut-off timer restricts operating time to only 15 minutes, a bit shorter than those in other brands. The multiple speed setting also doesn’t offer as much variety as you would have expected.

The Bottom Line: We’ve rated Nekteck neck and back massager as the best in its category due to its excellent heat and massage features. We’ve also taken into consideration other subtle qualities like total number of positive customer reviews on Amazon as well as affordability. So although it lacks a “cordless” design, it compensated by impressing in other aspects. If you want a great product with a good price, Nekteck is the one to beat.

Read Full Review: Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow With Heat Review