Whether you are old or young, fit and healthy, or have your own parking space at your doctor’s office, there will always be occasions when your muscles and joints may feel stiff or sore.
When it comes to reliving these aches and pains, you have many remedies, and one of the most effective is an electric massager which can warm, soothe and massage your muscles and joints.
In this article, we are going to review the best electric massager options currently available, and to further help you choose one, we’ve included a useful buyer’s guide and answered some common FAQs.
In a Hurry? Here’s our Top Pick!
Best Electric Massager Buyer’s Guide
If you have never purchased an electric massager before there might be some terminologies and features you are unfamiliar with. With our goal of ensuring that you have everything you need to make the right choice, here is a buyer’s guide which covers some of the most important features and explains what they are.
Size of the Massager
Electric massagers do not tend to be very big, so most of them can be placed in a bag or rucksack so that you can take them with you to work, or on vacation. Generally, the handheld ones are not any longer than about 14 inches.
Machine nodes are the main functioning part of electric massagers as it is these which come into contact with your skin and thus do the actual massaging of your back, neck or shoulders, for example.
Depending on the massager design there are likely to be either two, four or eight nodes. Look out for massagers which have interchangeable nodes, as this widens the scope of the types of massages the machine can provide.
Vibration of the Massager
All electrical massagers vibrate in some way, but the action that follows from that vibration can differ, depending on the massager type. For example, a percussion massager will induce multiple taps onto the body, whereas a shiatsu massager uses more of a rolling movement to provide the effects.
Many people mistakenly think that intensity relates to the speed of the massager, but it doesn’t. What the intensity relates to is the type of massage that the massager can provide and more specifically how deep and penetrative the effects of the massage are.
Low-intensity massagers are gentle and soft, medium massagers go deeper and often use more heat, and high-intensity massagers can be complex, use high heat settings and are suited more to those who are already exercising, with tuned muscles.
To give you choice in terms of the intensity and type of massage available, electric massagers usually have multiple speed settings. The number of speed options will tend to range from two, up to five, depending on the specific product.
When you select a speed, what you are effectively doing is choosing how fast you wish the massager to vibrate. At faster settings, the massage is going to be relatively intense, whereas at slower speeds it will be a lot calmer.
Best Electric Massager Reviews
Our first review is for a massager that’s loved by many professional athletes. It’s also one of the most portable, for the simple reason that it is powered by rechargeable batteries, so you can use it anywhere you choose.
The massager’s design is akin to a drill or hairdryer in the sense that you hold the handle, and the main section sits at right angles to it. It weighs only 2.5 lbs. so it should be easy to hold, and not cause any weariness to your hands or wrist.
In terms of its massaging action, this is a percussion type, which can produce up to 3,200 actions per minute. There are three speed settings so if you want the massager to operate at a lower speed you can select one so that you get exactly the massage that you need.
When in contact with your skin, it should feel very comfortable thanks to the massager’s ‘Unique Quiet Glide’ technology which incorporates a very smooth surface on the massager’s head, plus it means the noise level when it is operating is very low.
To give you an even greater range of possible treatments, there are four interchangeable massage head attachments. These, in combination with the variable speed settings, allow you to target and massage each specific area of your body in the most effective way.
What’s to like about the Hyperice Hypervolt Portable Massager
With three speed settings and four additional massage head attachments you have a whole spectrum of different massage options which enables users to configure the massager to the exact set up necessary to be the most effective for them.
What’s not to like about the Hyperice Hypervolt Portable Massager
The way in which the attachments are changed leaves a lot to be desired. It not only takes more effort than it should, but the amount of time required is also excessive.
- Powered by a rechargeable battery
- Very lightweight
- Multiple speed settings
- Interchangeable head attachments
- Very quiet operation
- A bit pricy by comparison
Some massagers only soothe specific parts of your body, but this massager from Zyllion can work on any area of your body, plus it can be used just about anywhere.
The Zyllion Shiatsu electric massager is one of the most versatile massagers that you are likely to come across. It is suitable to soothe your back, shoulders, neck, arms, abdomen, thighs, legs and even your feet.
Its effects work using a combination of heat and deep-kneading nodes. These nodes, which are actually two round spheres, change direction automatically every minute for maximum effect.
The heat can soothe your muscles deep down, although if you do not require it, you can use the massager with the heat switched off. For safety, there is a cut-out switch which activates to prevent overheating.
We mentioned in the intro about using this massager anywhere, and as long as you have a power outlet available, you can. That includes your car, where you can use the car power adapter to operate the massager.
With the massager being the size and shape that is, it makes an ideal pillow to place behind your neck. The leatherette material on the exterior gives it a comfortable soft feel and a visually appealing appearance, plus there is a breathable mesh which allows the heat waves through.
It is extremely thin, at just 3.5 inches deep, and as it weighs a mere 4 lbs. you will be able to take it with you to work, or easily pop it in your bag for use later when you are driving.
The adjustable straps on the massager make it very easy for you to secure it to your favorite armchair, the sofa, or the headrest of your car seat.
What’s to like about the Zyllion Shiatsu Electric Back and Neck Massager
The size, weight, and shape of this massager mean it is ideal to take with you into work, on long drives, or merely to have in your bag, just in case you need to soothe your muscles when you arrive at your destination, such as a hotel.
What’s not to like about the Zyllion Shiatsu Electric Back and Neck Massager
Why is the cord on this massager so short? It is less than 7 ft. which means unless you are able to sit or lie close to a power socket, you have the hassle of having to set it up using an extension cord.
- Lightweight and portable
- Soft leatherette exterior
- Adjustable straps
- Can be used in car
- Heat can be on or off
- Only has one speed
This is an electric massager which is very powerful and thus able to give you a very strong massage to get rid of muscle knots, and stiff or aching joints.
The first thing that sets this electric massager apart from the others is its very long power cord. It is 14 ft. long, and the advantage that gives you is that you are able to move around during your massage without interruption, including having to unplug it and move it to another power outlet.
Dual circular heads are at the heart of this device, and they operate on a percussion basis; that means they move quickly in and out so that they touch your body very rapidly, in the same way, drummers hits their drums very quickly with drumsticks, thus the term percussion.
You can vary the speed at which the massager operates to a slow, and relaxing massage, or if you want your muscles to have the maximum stimulation you can slide the selector switch to the top speed. The massager weighs a mere 2.6 lbs. so it will be easy to hold and move around as you use it
You have further options in terms of the sort of massage you have thanks to the set of three different massage heads, which are interchangeable. These each allow for a different type of massage depending on what your needs are.
One set is plain, and circular which provides a simple and relaxing massage. The second set provides a deeper massage as they are able to stimulate blood flow in the deeper tissue of your muscles. The third set allows you to pinpoint more accurately specific and smaller areas of your body which need relief from stiffness or pain.
What’s to like about the Clinical Health Services TheraRub Double Head Electric Massager
Having three different sets of massage head effectively makes this product three massagers in one with soothing, deep and pinpointed massages all possible, not forgetting these can all be done at various speeds for more versatility.
What’s not to like about the Clinical Health Services TheraRub Double Head Electric Massager
The sliding selector switch to change the speed settings does not click into position for each speed. This means you often go past the setting you want and then have to micro-adjust, plus the switch is easily moved so the speed can change unintentionally.
- Variable speed settings
- Three interchangeable massage heads
- Extra-long cord
- Rubber grip has a strong odor
This massager from Snailax is different from the others we have reviewed in the fact that rather than having to hold it or sit against it, you wear it instead, in much the same way that you would wear a scarf.
This is a massager that is specifically designed to give you maximum relief in your neck, back, and your shoulders although it can be used for your abdomen and legs too.
We mentioned in the intro that you wear this like a scarf, and when you see its shape and design you will understand what we mean. It has the main massaging elements in its top section which you place behind your neck. This has a lot of cushioning behind it so when sit and lean back it is extremely comfortable.
The massaging action consists of no fewer than 8 individual rotating nodes which provide deep kneading and help to reduce tension and tightness in your muscles. Add in the heat function and you now have a warm soothing effect too which penetrates deep into aching muscles, and also promotes blood circulation.
As you are using the massager on your neck, on either side of you have long loops which hang down where you can place each arm to keep them supported and comfortable. At the top of the left-hand loop is where the controls are positioned so you can easily adjust it without having to take the massager off.
If wish to massage other parts of your body, you can do so simply by placing the massager unit on to them. You can loop it around your lower back, place it on your abdomen or just position it on a flat surface and then place your legs on to it.
You can use this while you’re in the car thanks to the in-car adaptor, although obviously you keep your hands free for driving, rather than placing them in the loop if you are the driver. You’ll receive a dust cloth with the massager so that you can wipe it clean before and after use.
What’s to like about the Snailax Shiatsu Electric Neck and Shoulder Massager
With the controls being located on one of the loops it means you can get yourself comfortable, then switch on, activate the heat and adjust the speed from where you are sitting or lying, and with the minimum of effort
What’s not to like about the Snailax Shiatsu Electric Neck and Shoulder Massager
The timer has a maximum of 15 minutes which seems too short a period of time. It means every 15 minutes you have to break your relaxation to get up and reset the timer.
- Lots of padding for comfort
- Massages all body areas
- Adjustable speed
- Easy access controls
- Overheating protection
- Handles are too short
Best Electric Massager F.A.Q.
Can I use a back massager when I am pregnant?
While you are pregnant you should always confer with your physician before doing anything new, such as using an electric massager.
Most advice is that it should be safe to use a back massager but ensure you use it carefully and at a low-speed setting. The other caveat is that you should not use the heat function if you are pregnant.
How long should I use the back massager for?
One of the key features of an electrical massager is that they speed up the process, compared to a traditional massage from a masseuse.
For example, a full manual massage might take over 1 hour, with each part of your body being massaged for 20 minutes, including your back. With an electric massager you should, therefore, massage your back for about 10 minutes at a time.
Is it safe to use the heating feature on the electric neck and back massagers?
Unless there is anything that heat might cause problems with, such as you are pregnant, or have any kind of skin condition, it is usually safe to use the heat function. Ensure that the massager you purchase has a heat cut-off function to prevent any danger of overheating,
Is it safe to use an electric neck and back massager in the shower?
Absolutely not! The risk of electric shock is very high if you use any electrical appliance where there is water, so under no circumstances should you use an electric massager in the shower.
Should my back hurt while I’m using a massager?
Given that there are so many conditions that can afflict your back, from stiffness to swollen disks, a back massager will potentially affect different people in different ways while being used.
Generally, they should not cause pain if used correctly, however, if it does occur you should contact your physician to see if there is any underlying back problem which may not yet have been diagnosed.
We hope that you have a better understanding of what you need to look for when purchasing an electric massager and that our reviews have narrowed down your choices to the one you believe will meet your needs.
We conclude every review article by selecting our top choice, and in this instance, we believe the best electric massager is the Clinical Health Services TheraRub Double Head Electric Massager.
This massager is small, lightweight, very easy to use, and has massage choices provided by the variable speed settings and a choice of three different massage heads.
One thing that certainly sets it apart is the extra-long power cord which we are certain many users will appreciate, as they will the very low price too.