13 Best Neck Massagers for All Concerns, From Relaxation to Pain Relief

We love InvoSpa’s shiatsu neck massager for its relief capabilities and features

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Whether you're dealing with stiffness from sitting at a desk all day or pain from a serious sports injury, neck massagers can be a remarkably beneficial tool. They’re also great for relaxation and recovery, which are vital components of any recovery routine. At-home neck massagers can relieve uncomfortable symptoms resulting from issues like stiffness, soreness, whiplash, postural issues, muscle strains, and ligament sprains, says Oluseun Olufade, MD, board-certified sports medicine and interventional spine doctor and assistant professor of orthopedics at Emory School of Medicine. 

Reviewed & Approved

The InovSpa Shiatsu Back Shoulder and Neck Massager is our top pick for its ergonomic design, effectiveness, and ample features. We also love the Mirakel Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager with Heat as a budget-friendly option with great overall value.

Olufade also shares an important caution: “Sometimes muscle pain is a manifestation of a deeper issue. So using a neck massager is great, but if you feel like you’re starting to become dependent on it, have additional or worsening pain, or any other issues, it's very important to see a provider.”

It’s essential to know what to look for when purchasing a neck massager, not only for great results but—most importantly—to ensure your safety. That’s why we spoke with three board-certified doctors about the key components of a neck massager, its benefits and risks, safety concerns to be aware of, and more. With advice from our experts, we researched dozens of highly vetted products from the most trusted brands. We assessed each neck massager for its ease of use, added features, safety recommendations, and more. 

According to our research, here are the best neck massagers on the market.

Best Overall: InvoSpa Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

4.9
InvoSpa Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Ergonomic design

  • Comes with a bag

  • Has eight bidirectional nodes for kneading

Cons
  • Requires an outlet

If you’re looking for a high-quality neck massager with ample features that can target a variety of concerns, the InvoSpa neck massager is for you. It’s a deep-tissue pillow massager with eight bidirectional nodes that knead at three different intensities for optimal relief and versatility. 

The optional heat therapy is great for relaxation and comfort, but it also increases blood flow to the area, which promotes healing for more intense injuries. The massager’s control panel is intuitive to use—the power switch, direction button, intensity button, and heater button are all well-labeled and easy to spot. 

The massager has positioning handles and arm loops so you can get comfortable and relax throughout the automatic 15-minute massage. If all of that wasn’t enough, it comes with a portable carrying bag and both a wall and car adapter for easy, on-the-go use.

Price at time of publication: $50

Type: Pillow | Manual or Electric: Electric | Features: Heating, adjustable intensity levels, bidirectional, auto shutdown after 15 minutes | Cordless or Corded: Corded with wall and car adapters  

Best Budget: Mirakel Shiatsu Back Neck Massager with Heat

Mirakel Shiatsu Back Neck Massager with Heat

Amazon

Pros
  • Ergonomic design

  • Soft and breathable fabric

  • Has eight bidirectional nodes for kneading

Cons
  • Requires an outlet

  • Short cord

You don’t have to spend spa-like prices to get a quality neck massage at home, and this massager proves it. The Mirakel Massager is an ergonomically designed massage pillow featuring eight bidirectional nodes that knead at three different intensities for relaxation and relief. 

It has a heat function, which is very helpful, but it will shut down after 15 minutes to ensure safe use. The soft mesh fabric is breathable, which allows for an enjoyable massage without making you uncomfortably hot. At such a great price and with so many features, this Mirakel Massager offers a great experience for the price.

Price at time of publication: $50

Type: Pillow | Manual or Electric: Electric | Features: Heating, adjustable intensity levels, bidirectional, auto shutdown after 15 minutes | Cordless or Corded: Corded with wall and car adapters 

What the Experts Say

“This one is great for overall value. It’s not bulky and sits nicely around your neck, and you can create leverage with the weight of your hands sitting in the arm loops.” —Sevak Khodabakhshian, DC, corrective exercise specialist, and founder and CEO of Omega Rehab & Sport

Best Massage Chair: Comfier Neck and Back Massager

4.8
Comfier Neck and Back Massager

Amazon

Pros
  • Full body massage

  • Removable and washable neck cover

Cons
  • Expensive

A massage chair is great if you’re looking for full-body relaxation and relief. This one targets the neck, shoulders, back, waist, and thighs. It’s an electric shiatsu massage chair that combines kneading, rolling, spot treatment, compression, and infrared heating. 

We love how easy it is to use—simply place the chair onto your sofa, recliner, or office chair, sit down, and turn it on. It’s the most expensive massager on our list, but for a full-body massage at home, it’s worth it.

Price at publication: $240

Type: Chair | Manual or Electric: Electric | Features: Heating, adjustable intensity levels | Cordless or Corded: Corded with wall adapter

Best Massage Ball: Manual Massage Ball Pain Relief Back Roller

Manual Massage Ball Pain Relief Back Roller

Amazon

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Great for knots and trigger points

  • Small and portable

Cons
  • Requires manual effort

Massage balls are great for targeting specific concerns, such as knots, trigger points, muscle pain and soreness, circulation, and overall relaxation and stress relief. The ZONGS massage ball spins 360 degrees for an easy glide and comfortable neck massage. It’s also very affordable. 

To use, simply hold the ergonomic grip and roll the ball over your problem areas. Start with light pressure and work your way up, recommends Khodabakhshian. You want to avoid pressing too hard—this can aggravate the spot and cause more harm than good.

Price at time of publication: $10

Type: Ball | Manual or Electric: Manual | Features: 360 degree spin, ergonomic grip | Cordless or Corded: Cordless

Best Handheld: RENPHO Rechargeable Handheld Massager

RENPHO Rechargeable Handheld Massager

Amazon

Pros
  • Spot treatment

  • Comes with charging stand

  • Can be used on whole body

Cons
  • Requires manual effort

With five intensity settings and five massage heads, the RENPHO Handheld Deep Tissue Massager is the most versatile on our list. The different massage heads can be used to target a variety of issues—from general neck pain to specific trigger points on the neck and whole body. 

We love its extra-long, easy-to-grip handle, which makes it easy to get precise pressure, and the charging stand, which makes it easy to store. This massager requires effort to use because you have to actually hold it in the spot you want pressure, but its unique design and optimal functionality make it a clear choice for the best handheld neck massager.

Price at time of publication: $50

Type: Handheld | Manual or Electric: Electric | Features: Percussion massage, five massage heads, auto shutdown after 20 minutes | Cordless or Corded: Cordless, lasts 140 minutes on a full charge

Best for Neck, Shoulders, and Back: RESTECK Neck and Back Massager

4.6
RESTECK Neck and Back Massager
Pros
  • Comes with bag

  • Ergonomic design

  • Can be used on whole body

Cons
  • Requires an outlet

Whether you have a stiff neck from sleeping funny or an aching back from poor posture, this RESTECK Massager has you covered. The wrap-around pillow is a shiatsu massager with deep kneading performance. You can customize the direction and speed of the kneading nodes, allowing you to use it in many ways. 

We love that it has a customizable heat component—this provides additional comfort and promotes healing by increasing blood flow. Plus, RESTECK’s massager is ergonomically designed, with arm loops and a padded cushion, so you can comfortably target your neck, shoulders, and back. 

It is corded but comes with both a wall and car adapter, so you can use it at home and on the go. The massager shuts off automatically after 15 minutes, so you can safely enjoy your massage.

Price at time of publication: $66

Type: Pillow | Manual or Electric: Electric | Features: Heating, adjustable intensity levels, bidirectional, auto shutdown after 15 minutes | Cordless or Corded: Corded with wall and car adapters

Best for Pressure Points: Thera Cane Massager

Thera Cane Massager
Pros
  • Ergonomic design

  • Lightweight and portable

  • Great for knots

Cons
  • Some users say it’s difficult to operate

Pressure point work came out of the Japanese Shiatsu tradition, in which you apply pressure to trigger points so that it fatigues the muscle. This flushes blood to it, which in turn brings relief, says Khodabakhshian. He likes TheraCane because it targets pressure points and any knots in the neck and back. 

“It's a really brilliant design; the hook allows you to create leverage while applying pressure, creating relief,” Khodabakhshian says. 

He notes that knots are a symptom of lack of strength, forward posture, and more, so it’s important to address the root of your pain, but the TheraCane is a great supplemental tool for relief.

Price at time of publication: $50

Type: Cane | Manual or Electric: Manual | Features: Six treatment balls | Cordless or Corded: Cordless

What the Experts Say

“I have always been a fan of the TheraCane for its simplicity of use. It’s more therapeutic than relaxing,” —Sevak Khodabakhshian, DC, corrective exercise specialist, and founder and CEO of Omega Rehab & Sport

Best Shiatsu: Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager Pillow, Black

Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

Amazon

Pros
  • Can be used on whole body

  • Easy to clean

  • Versatile

Cons
  • Users complain of bulkiness 

MoCuishle’s electric shiatsu neck massager has eight kneading modes that are adjustable to three intensities. The heating feature is a great addition, along with arm loops that make for an ergonomic design. It’s a soothing and comfortable device that can be used for relaxation and to target neck sprains and other muscle strains

Traditional shiatsu massage involves applying pressure from the fingers, elbows, and knees to target areas, with the goal of relieving pain and tension. MoCuishle’s massager works to simulate the feel of human touch, mimicking the powerful Japanese healing treatment. This massager’s great for those seeking a targeted, deep-kneading, shiatsu neck massage.

Price at time of publication: $50

Type: Pillow | Manual or Electric: Electric | Features: Heating, adjustable intensity levels, bidirectional, auto shutdown after 15 minutes | Cordless or Corded: Corded with wall and car adapters 

Best Massage Pillow: Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager with Heat

4.8
Zyllion Neck Kneading Massage Pillow

Amazon

Pros
  • Automatically changes directions every minute

  • Very portable and compact

  • Adjustable hook and loop closure straps

Cons
  • Only one intensity mode

Massage pillows attach to your chair to work. They’re great because they’re super portable and compact, making them easy to bring on the road, to the office, or on your travels. Zyllion’s electric massage pillow has powerful deep-kneading massage nodes that automatically change directions every minute, so you might find yourself carrying this one around with you. 

We like that it has adjustable hook and loop closure straps so that it can be attached to most chairs and seats. Plus, it has a heating function that promotes blood circulation but shuts down after 20 minutes to avoid overheating. If you’re looking for a quality massage pillow, this is a great option.

Price at time of publication: $85

Type: Pillow | Manual or Electric: Electric | Features: Heating, bidirectional, auto shutdown after 20 minutes | Cordless or Corded: Corded with wall and car adapters

Best With Heat: Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Soothing Heat

Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Soothing Heat

Amazon

Pros
  • Easy to clean

  • Automatically changes directions every minute

  • Six-foot long power cord

Cons
  • Not cordless

The NekTeck massager has eight bidirectional nodes that automatically change directions and are customizable to three intensity settings. With an intuitive control panel and ergonomic design, it’s an easy-to-use, comfortable option. 

We also like that it includes an advanced infrared heating function that reaches a safe temperature of 113 degrees. Like many of the other massagers, it automatically shuts off after 15 minutes to avoid overheating. 

Heat is a really great added feature, says Olufade. “When you apply heat, it opens up the blood vessels and increases blood flow. The increase in blood flow will send increased nutrition to the area, helping to heal the muscles and provide relief,” he adds.

Price at time of publication: $46

Type: Pillow | Manual or Electric: Electric | Features: Heating, adjustable intensity levels, bidirectional, auto shutdown after 15 minutes | Cordless or Corded: Corded with wall and car adapters

Best for Headaches: IntiMD CuraCane Handheld Neck Massager

IntiMD’s CuraCane Handheld Neck Massager

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable

  • Budget-friendly

  • Ergonomic handle and grip 

Cons
  • Requires manual effort

The CuraCane Handheld Neck Massager by IntiMD is a good pick for those who suffer from persistent headaches. It’s a handheld massager that targets the suboccipital muscles that are often implicated in tension headaches, says Khodabakhshian. 

To use, place the tool around your neck and gently squeeze. It should be used for 30 seconds at a time with small breaks in between, recommends Khodabakhshian. We like that it’s an easy-to-use tool that can relieve neck pain and tension headaches on the go.

Price at time of publication: $14

Type: Handheld | Manual or Electric: Manual | Features: Ergonomic handles | Cordless or Corded: Cordless

What the Experts Say

“This one is so easy to use, and it’s great for tension headaches.” —Sevak Khodabakhshian, DC, corrective exercise specialist, and founder and CEO of Omega Rehab & Sport

Best Ergonomically Designed: HoMedics Shiatsu Deluxe Neck and Shoulder Massager

4.9
Homedics

Amazon

Pros
  • Soft and breathable fabric

  • Easy to use

  • Comfortable arm loops

Cons
  • Expensive

The HoMedics electric massage pillow is perfect for easy, satisfying relief. It hooks around your neck and has two loops that provide a comfortable place to rest your arms. You can pull down on the arm loops for additional pressure throughout your massage. 

Plus, it has an internal wire that conforms to you, providing a perfect fit. We like that it has a heating function and three different intensity settings, which is great for a really versatile and customizable massage. The massager will automatically shut off after 15 minutes to ensure safe relaxation and recovery.

Price at time of publication: $120

Type: Pillow | Manual or Electric: Electric | Features: Heating, adjustable intensity levels, bidirectional, auto shutdown after 15 minutes | Cordless or Corded: Corded with wall adapter

Best Portable: VIKTOR JURGEN Back Massager, Neck Massager with Heat

4.9
Back Massagers

Amazon

Pros
  • Has handle for easy carrying

  • Automatically changes directions every minute

  • Adjustable hook and loop closure straps

Cons
  • Only has two adjustable intensities

This VIKTOR JURGEN Neck and Back Massager is an electric pillow massager with four powerful deep-kneading, shiatsu massage nodes that help to relieve tight, sore, and painful neck muscles. It’s super compact and has a top handle for easy and comfortable portability. 

The massage nodes are bidirectional, automatically switching between clockwise and counterclockwise every minute. It’s not the most versatile massager, as it only has two speed intensities. But at just 3 pounds, it’s the lightest pillow on our list, making it a great option for when you’re on the go.

Price at time of publication: $43

Type: Pillow | Manual or Electric: Electric | Features: Heating, adjustable intensity levels, bidirectional, auto shutdown after 15 minutes | Cordless or Corded: Corded with wall and car adapters 

How We Selected the Best Neck Massagers

In order to find the best neck massagers on the market, we first consulted three experts—Oluseun Olufade, MD, Sevak Khodabakhshian, DC, and David Kesselman, board-certified chiropractor—for their advice on what to look for in a neck massager, including tips on how to use them, their benefits and risks, and any overall safety concerns. We then researched dozens of top-ranking neck massagers from the most trusted brands. 

With the information gathered from our experts, we assessed each product for type, use, additional features, safety recommendations, and more.

What to Look For in a Neck Massager

Type 

There are many different types of neck massagers, including massage balls, chairs, pillows, canes, and more. Choosing which one depends on many factors, including your specific concerns and budget, plus your desire to manually perform the massage. For instance, massage balls and canes are great to target specific problem areas, knots, or pressure points, while chairs can work to renew the whole body. Khodabakhshian recommends using massage pillows as a relaxation tool for rest and recovery, as well as overall neck stiffness and pain. 

Electric or Manual 

Electric massagers give you a more stable and effortless massage, whereas manual massagers require more effort but allow for greater control of pressure and speed. Choosing the right one depends on personal preference, says Olufade. 

“Sometimes with manual ones, people don't have an understanding of how fast, quick, and aggressive the massage should occur—so if you're going to use a manual one, use it with caution. Too much pressure can be damaging,” he says.  

Safety 

Safety is essential to consider when buying a neck massager. You want to be confident that your purchase will provide relief without risking any injuries. According to Olufade, it’s best to start on the lowest setting when you first begin using your neck massager and slowly ramp it up. This way, you’re aware of how your body responds to the device. 

It’s also important to know your limits. “It might feel uncomfortable in the beginning, but as your body starts acclimating to the massaging, it should start to give some relief. However, if you start feeling more pain, you should discontinue use immediately,” says Kesselman.  

Cordless or Corded

When you're selecting a neck massager, check to see if it’s cordless or requires an outlet for use. This comes down to personal preference, but if you're looking for a portable option, a cordless massager may be best for you. A great cordless option is the TheraCane Massager. Our top pick, the InovSpa Shiatsu Back Shoulder and Neck Massager is corded. 

Battery Life 

Battery life is important in any type of device, especially in neck massagers that are not corded. While most of the neck massagers on our list are corded and require an outlet, the RENPHO Handheld Deep Tissue Massager is a great rechargeable option that lasts for up to 140 minutes on a full charge.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should I use a neck massager for my pain?

    How often you should use a neck massager depends on the origin of the pain, says Olufade. For example, if you have discomfort because you slept oddly, you might use a massager once or twice a day for three to four days. But with whiplash or a sports injury, Olufade recommends using it a few times a day for several weeks. Someone with a chronic neck injury might need to use a massager long-term—in this case, you should definitely consult a health provider. 

    Long story short, “it truly depends on the individual and what they’re dealing with,” says Olufade. “But, it's sufficient to say that twice a day for a week or two is good to start with.”

  • Can you sleep with a neck massager on?

    It is never safe to sleep with any type of mechanical device, says Kesselman. “Especially given that there are time restrictions on using neck massagers—if you start using the neck massager after it has done its job, you're doing more harm than good.”

  • Is vibration massage good for the neck?

    Vibration can be really great for neck stiffness, soreness, and even pain. But it’s important to note that it is user-specific, as some people can tolerate a higher-frequency vibration better than others. As always, if you start to feel additional or worsening pain, discontinue use and consult a provider.

  • Are electric neck massagers any good?

    “Electric neck massagers are great,” says Olufade. “They are low maintenance and often provide an approved template for pressure, time, and tempo. Electric neck massagers require less effort and thought, granting more relaxation and relief.”

  • Is it safe to use a Theragun on the neck?

    Theragun devices are designed to be used on larger muscles, and they’re really fantastic for that, says Olufade. But they can be really dangerous for the neck since it's made of fewer, smaller muscles and mostly bone, he adds. “Using a Theragun on the neck can predispose you to hurt things. The bigger the muscle, the less risk involved in using the Theragun,” says Olufade.

  • How much does a quality neck massager cost?

    You can expect to pay between $10-$200 for a quality neck massager, depending on the type of massager you choose. A massage ball, such as the ZONGS Manual Massage Ball, is often available for less than $10, while a typical massage pillow often lists at around $60. If you’re looking to splurge on a full-body massager, choose a massage chair like the COMFIER Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager, which was $240 when we published this list.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Michelle Parente is a seasoned lifestyle journalist who is passionate about making well-vetted product recommendations. She specializes in health and fitness content, always reading up on the latest wellness research.

3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. George T, Tadi P. Anatomy, head and neck, suboccipital muscles. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022.