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Best Overall: Zyllion Massage Pillow
The Zyllion kneading massage pillow is effective, affordable, and portable. Thanks to three-dimension, deep-kneading Shiatsu massage nodes, no matter how sore your muscles are, they will feel incredibly relaxed when you're finished.
The 13 x 9.5-inch pillow can be used on any part of your body. It fits behind your neck, contours into your lower and upper back, or can be held on your abdomen, calf, thighs, or feet. Because it’s so compact, it can easily be taken on-the-go, and it even comes with straps to secure it to a chair. If that wasn’t enough, there's also a heating function that adds another level of relaxation and muscle-soothing power. Note that this is not rechargeable, and needs to be plugged into a wall outlet to run.
Best Budget: VIKTOR JURGEN Handheld Back Massager
This Viktor Jurgen handheld massager is budget-friendly, but that doesn't mean you'll be sacrificing quality if you get it. It comes with three sets of removable massage heads so you can have a variety of massage options, including intensive, deep tissue, and circular. A double-head design also gives you the effect of two hands for extra pressure. It’s about as close as you can get to feeling like a real masseuse is working on you!
This massager is professional strength, with a powerful motor that runs up to 3,350 pulses per minute. It’s ideal for your neck and back, and the non-slip grip makes using it a breeze. It also features a setting for adjustable intensity, so you can choose modes from slow to fast, depending on your needs.
Best Handheld: RENPHO Handheld Massager
A handheld massager is a lifesaver for a sore back or neck, as you can control where it moves and place it exactly on your sore spots. This RENPHO model is our favorite. The deep tissue massager uses percussion technology to help relax and relieve pain, and it features a powerful motor with up to 3,600 pulses per minute. It also has a safety design, so after 20 minutes, it will automatically stop to prevent the massager from overheating.
This massager comes with a variety of interchangeable head attachments, depending on your preference and needs, including round, one point, curved, three-points, and three-intensive. For even more convenience, this model is cordless and rechargeable, though you can't use it when it's plugged in. On a full charge, the battery lasts 140 minutes.
Best Chair: Real Relax Full Body Zero Gravity Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner
When it comes to relaxation, a massage chair is the ultimate, and it’s ideal for a sore back. This is a larger investment, of course, but if you feel like splurging, you can’t go wrong with this Real Relax chair. It features an ergonomic armrest linkage system, so you’ll feel comfortable while reclining, and a zero-gravity button will make you feel virtually weightless. Eight massage rollers inside the backrest ensure your pain and stress will fade away, and there’s also a foot roller function, as well as 50 airbags placed around the shoulders, legs, calves, arms, and hips.
This chair is a game-changer for your back, but it’ll relax your whole body, too. It even comes with built-in heaters and seat vibration to take your massage up a notch. Customize your massage with a remote manual program, or use one of the preset auto massage programs. When the chair is off, you can use it as a regular recliner, too.
Best for Lower Back: MS.DEAR Lower Back Heating Pad/Heated Waist Belt
It can be difficult to reach your lower back with a handheld massager, so if you’re experiencing pain there, opt for a belt instead. This massaging belt is ideal for your lower back because you can place it exactly over your sore spots, and wear it like a brace as long as needed. It features both heating and vibration modes that are controlled individually, so you can choose to use both functions together, or just use one. The belt is adjustable, and it fits waist sizes up to 48 inches. It has a double layer of adjustable straps so that you can find the best fit for you.
The belt is made of breathable fabric, so aside from using the heating function, you won’t feel too hot while wearing it. The lumbar brace provides extra compression for your back, in addition to massaging it. If you want to use it in the car, you’re in luck—it comes with an extra car charger.
Best Portable: Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager Foot Massager
You don’t just get sore in your house—having a portable back massager in the car or at the office can be a lifesaver. This Naipo back and neck massager is a fantastic choice. Wear the massager over your shoulders to get your neck, place your feet in it, wrap it around your lower back, or even use it against your hamstrings.
An adjustable intensity button provides three different speeds, while eight deep-kneading Shiatsu massage nodes soothe your muscles. It even offers a heat function! For safety, it will automatically shut off after 20 minutes.
This massager comes in an ergonomic U-design for comfort and it has a UL power adapter and a car adapter, so you can take it on-the-go. If you’re packing it in a suitcase, pop it into the included dust bag to keep it clean.
Best Cushion: FIVE S FS8812 10 Motor Vibration Massage Seat Cushion
If you don’t have the budget for a massage chair, consider a massage cushion instead. This one can be placed on a chair, or on a car seat, and you can sit up against it. Sure, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles or the power of a massage chair, but at a fraction of the price, it’s a great alternative. It's best for anyone looking for occasional, lighter massages, rather than deep-tissue kneading.
The cushion features three massage speeds and four preset massage programs, along with an independent heat button. You can opt to massage your neck and upper back, middle back, lower back, thighs, or a combination of multiple sections. If you want to relax while working, driving, or watching TV, this is a great option. A car adapter is included as well.
Best Mat: Snailax Massage Mat with 10 Vibrating Motors and 4 Therapy Heating Pad
Prefer to enjoy your massages laying down? This pick is a great choice to help you relax. It’s got ten massage motors to provide a vibrating, full-body massage. Additionally, it features four heating zones to target your upper and lower back, thighs, and calves. When you’re finished with it, it’s flexible and easy to store. Just fold it up and tuck it away until next time. It works great on a bed, a couch, or even the floor. For safety reasons, it will automatically shut off after 30 minutes of use. According to online reviewers, this is an instant win. “This item is perfect. Warming heat in two areas and varying vibrating massage feels so good after a long day.”