The neck and shoulders carry a lot of weight, both literally and figuratively. When we’re stressed or anxious, we often tense our neck muscles and raise our shoulders. Working out with poor form can lead to strained neck muscles and sore shoulders, but so can carrying a heavy briefcase or backpack all day, lifting small children into bed at night and even lugging groceries up a flight of stairs. The neck and shoulders go through a lot every day and that’s why it’s important to take care of them with a massager.
Neck and shoulder massagers can relieve tension and knots that may be causing reoccurring headaches. As we spend extended portions of our days with our heads stretch forward while looking at screens, massagers can provide relief on strained muscles and relax users into a more comfortable, natural position. Tight or pulled muscles can be treated thanks to the heat and pressure from a massager.
Treating yourself to a massage at a spa with a registered massage therapist is a great way to relieve sore and tired muscles, but when time and money make that difficult, a high-quality neck and shoulder massager can provide some much-needed reprieve.
1. Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
Bring the heat with the Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager. Designed specifically for the neck and shoulders, the Naipo also provides an intense, heated massage to the lower back, legs and feet. Users can set the massager to their desired temperature up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, helping to warm up and relax muscles. Three levels of speed can be selected for the eight powerful 3-D kneading massage nodes. The Naipo comes with a UL-approved power adapter and car adapter. The ergonomic massager contours around different body parts and the flexible straps provide a convenient place for users to place their hands or pull for added pressure when necessary.
Pros: The Naipo works for 20 minutes before going into the automatic shut off mode, giving users an extended massage time and an important safety feature in one.
Cons: The control panel is positioned high on the massager and can be challenging to reach. Smaller users may find that the nodes deliver too much pressure.
2. Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
For a massager that can be used on just about any part of your body, we recommend the Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager. The powerful massager delivers a 3D kneading Shiatsu massage using powerful nodes that automatically change direction every minute. Even better, the Zyllion provides a heated massage that adds an extra level of relief (with an automatic 15-minute shut-off for safety). The pillow-shaped massager can be used on the neck and shoulders, as well as lower back and legs. The Zyllion must be plugged into a wall outlet to work and does not require recharging.
Pros: The Zyllion comes with a strap to attach to a headrest and an AC adapter, making this a great option for users who wanted a heated massage while driving.
Cons: The inflexible design of the Zyllion makes it difficult to target all the muscles in the neck and shoulders at once. Different heat settings and massage intensity levels aren’t included.
3. RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue Massager
Target trigger points, sore muscles, knots and any areas that need a little TLC using the RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue Massager. The handheld massager features a powerful 3,600 pulses per minute for a deep tissue massage. Depending on the targeted area and desired level of intensity, users can choose from five interchangeable massage heads. Four power or ‘percussion’ levels are available and the massager is designed with a comfortable silicone handle. The Renpho comes with a charging base and indicator light that tells users when it is in charging mode and when it is fully charged.
Pros: The Renpho has an impressive 140-minute battery life after a single recharge (the massager will shut off automatically after 20 minutes as a safety feature).
Cons: The Renpho is not hands-free and users have to hold it when in use. It also does not have a heating feature.
4. Sportneer Deep Tissue Muscle Massager
We’ve tested a lot of massage guns, and for the money, it’s hard to beat the Sportneer Percussion Massage Gun. This massager has a range of speed settings and can deliver targeted relief to sore muscles and hidden knots. This massage gun has an impressive battery life and isn’t too noisy, which is a problem with most budget massagers. You can choose from a variety of massage gun attachments and experiment until you find the right fit for your pain. A list of the best shoulder and neck massagers wouldn’t be complete without at least one massage gun, and this is a great option for anyone with mild to moderate pain.
Pros: This percussive massager delivers intense massage that penetrates deep into your body. Long-lasting battery life. Convenient carrying case.
Cons: Will be difficult to reach the back and neck without assistance from a partner. Can be difficult to hold for long periods of time at higher speed settings.
5. Voyor Neck Massager
Save your hands and apply pressure to trigger points using the Voyor Neck Massager. Rather than pushing your fingers and thumbs awkwardly into your neck and upper back to help relieve tension and massage sore muscles, the Voyor puts pressure on these points using two firm silicone balls. Users can massage or knead sore or tender areas by applying a small amount of pressure, which is comfortable to do thanks to the ergonomic design of the plastic massager handles. The Voyor can help alleviate tension that can cause headaches and it can improve blood flow and circulation. We also like that it is lightweight, making it easy for users who have mobility issues or weakness in their hands and arms.
Pros: The Voyor is an affordable massager that doesn’t require batteries or cords to use, making it a great option for using at the gym or while traveling.
Cons: The balls don’t roll, which would help create a smoother massage. It can be difficult to target other areas, including shoulders and triceps.
6. LiBa Back and Neck Massager
Target trigger points throughout the body with the LiBa Back and Neck Massager. The LiBa is made with hard plastic and has a double hook design with hard balls on various points to give users a wide range of options for reaching sore muscles. The LiBa’s function is to enable users to give themselves a massage and target multiple areas, including the neck, upper and lower back, hips, legs and feet. By using the therapy nodes (small balls) on the hook, users can address pressure points and improve blood flow and circulation.
Pros: Users can give themselves a neck, back, leg and foot massage all while in the sitting position, making this an ideal option for users with mobility issues.
Cons: The LiBa may be too heavy for some users to comfortably maneuver. The massager comes in two pieces and they may loosen over time.
7. RESTECK Massagers for Neck and Back with Heat
The RESTECK Massager for Neck and Back is a shiatsu massager that can be used in the home, in the car, and while traveling. The massager is designed to lay on the back of the user’s neck, where it can target sore and aching muscles with a heated massager. Users can also place the Restek along their upper and lower back, over their shoulders, on their thighs and in front of their abdomen. Four buttons on the side of the massager give users the ability to choose the level of heat, speed, power and direction of the bidirectional kneading nodes for a customized massage. The Restek comes with two power cords including a wall AC adapter and a car adapter.
Pros: The Restek comes with its own carrying case to keep the massager clean and protected between uses.
Cons: Customers must be seated close to an outlet in order to use the Restek. Because of the width of the Restek, it’s difficult for customers to comfortably sit back while using the massager around their neck.
8. Atombud Neck Massager
Get the relief of a hot towel around your neck anywhere you go using the Atombud Neck Massager. The portable, cordless massager is ideal for users who suffer from chronic neck pain and want a massager they can use anywhere, including in the car, on a plane or train, or while moving around the home. The Atombud uses electrical impulses to simulate a variety of massages. The massager comes with a convenient remote control that allows users to choose between three modes and 15 levels of intensity, including a heat function. The massager is made with skin-friendly silicone that is breathable. At only 5.6 ounces, the massager is lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Pros: The Atombud comes with a USB charging cord. One hour of charging equals 15 minutes of use for up to 10 days.
Cons: The Atombud should not be used by people with a pacemaker or any kind of metal implant.