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If you’re one of the millions of people worldwide affected by chronic back pain, then this one’s for you! A multitude of factors can contribute to chronic back pain, including, but not limited to, poor posture, injury, stress, aging, weight gain, pregnancy, parenting littles, and even poor mental health and genetics can play a role. Not to mention all that time spent hunching over our computers, which can further exacerbate aches and pains in your body.

If you favor couch surfing over actual surfing, you could have a weak core and back muscles which lessens support for the spinal cord and causes more back pain. But here comes the twist: If you pick up an intense exercise routine too quickly in order to fix this, you may also encounter back soreness or pain as a result.

Many people turn to medical professionals and pain medications to quell the chronic pain. However, at-home back massagers can offer inexpensive, non-pharmacological relief. They can be implemented right away in a convenient, comfortable setting to provide easy relief from mild to moderate back pain — and the newest technology on the market allows you to target specific zones related to your issues.

What should you look for in a back massager? 

Just like our bodies, back massagers come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from full massage seat covers to massage guns and belts. In addition to the massagers’ ergonomics, the type of therapy offered can vary, too. No matter what form of treatment you choose, you are bound to get some relief using an at-home back massager, but here’s a breakdown of some forms and what they do. 

Deep tissue massage: This type of massage provides more pressure to the body, which can release toxins that build up in your muscles. It tends to reach the deepest layers of your tissues, offering extended relief from aches and pains. 

Shiatsu massage: Japanese in origin, this form of massage traditionally utilizes pressure from the tips of fingers to free blockages in energy flow. On an at-home massage, Shiatsu massage is achieved through fingertip-shaped nodes within the system that can move in several directions.

Percussion or vibration massage: This rapid and repetitive pressure (like beating a drum) is often combined with vibration therapy and can alleviate pain and improve function in patients with chronic lower back pain.

In addition to the above, several clinical trials have demonstrated that low-level heat therapy on your back, used alone or in conjunction with other massage therapies, can provide relief and improve muscular strength and flexibility. Another option is the back compression belt which increases abdominal pressure and offers support for and stability of the spine. 

Our criteria:

Our editors have researched the top back massagers on the market. These are our favorites effective, easy to use, and affordable for every type of back pain. We regularly update this list with emerging favorites that meet the criteria below.

  • EFFECTIVE | These back massagers are all effective in relieving pain, as testified in hundreds of customer reviews.
  • EASY TO USE | Each device is simple and straightforward from setup to use.
  • AFFORDABLE | This list includes options at a variety of price points so you can find a great option within your budget.

If you’re looking for full body relief, especially for recovery between workouts, check out our guide to the best massage guns and see which one is right for you.

1. RecoveryTherm Back by Therabody

FDA approved
Science backed
Warranty offered

Best For | Vibration and recovery
Features | HSA/FSA accepted, long battery life, heat therapy
Prices Starting At | $249

The RecoveryTherm Back Massager is a one-size-fits-all, hands-free belt that uses heat and vibration for relief of core and mid/lower back pain. This portable belt is the best option to facilitate recovery from muscle soreness. With three hours of battery life, you can wear the portable belt just about anywhere and while doing anything from cooking dinner to driving the kiddos to soccer practice. The RecoveryTherm Back Massager is made of carbon fiber mesh, and the fabric is infused with geranium to improve circulation. This massager also offers three levels of heat and different vibration patterns to cater to your specific needs.

Customer Review | “Exactly what I was looking for to relieve minor cramps and back pain. So glad to have found this product. As always, Therabody produced another high quality product.” – Ericha J. (Read more reviews.)

2. Back Massager with Heat, Rolling, Kneading Seat Massager by SNAILAX 

Warranty offered

Best For | Seated, full-body
Features | 30-day full refund policy, auto shut off, seat vibration, heat therapy, extended warranty
Prices Starting At | $130

SNAILAX offers a fair amount of seat-style massagers but our favorite provides Shiatsu motions of rolling and kneading as well as heat therapy. This is a primo option that delivers a total body massage with eight flexible rotation massage nodes. You can also choose to target one spot, such as a deep tissue massage for the lower back and shoulders, or let the massager travel up and down for relief of the entire back. The Shiatsu massage seat will work on a sofa, couch, recliner, office chair, or dining chair and comes with a detachable flap to tailor the intensity you feel on your back. This option also provides vibration on the seat portion with three optional intensity levels said to relieve stress in the hips and thighs. The SNAILAX is made of PU leather and breathable mesh, so it’s durable and easy to keep clean.

Customer Review | “These versatile massage options allow you to customize your experience based on your preferences and needs.” – Alyssa (Read more reviews.)

3. Venom 2 Back by Hyperice 

Warranty offered
Integrates with other apps and devices

Best For | Lower back
Features | HSA/FSA eligible, TSA approved, heat therapy
Prices Starting At | $249

The Hyperice Venom 2 is another hands-free heat and vibration therapy belt that offers a good range of motion and can be worn while doing a variety of things. The Venom 2 neoprene wrap offers targeted lower back pain relief. It also offers three settings and heats six times faster than a normal heating pad for fast, convenient relief. Venom 2 connects via Bluetooth to integrate with the Hyperice app. High tech, too!

Customer Review | “This is a great product for anyone looking for some relief to their lower back. It provides the right amount of heat and massage needed. Everyone in my family uses it on a daily basis (wife + 2 teenagers). I would 100% recommend this to anyone looking to get some lower back relief.” – Angel V. (Read more reviews.)

4. Relief Theragun by Therabody

FDA approved
Science backed
Integrates with other apps and devices

Best For | Gentle, targeted pressure 
Features | Visual guides and routines offered, designed for hard-to-reach areas, 2-hour battery life, one-year warranty
Prices Starting At | $149 

Research shows Theragun’s percussive massage treatment can deliver the benefits of a 15-minute massage in just two minutes. Cheers to massage efficiency! Theragun Relief is user-friendly, lightweight, and only has one simple button for control. It still offers versatility, however, with three different attachments meant to target different areas of the body: The dampener soothes aches and pains in sensitive areas. The standard ball reduces tension and is good for an all-over body massage. The Thumb attachment is said to be best for your lower back or any trigger points or painful knots. The Relief comes in Theragun’s patented triangle grip shape so users can reach hard-to-reach areas. This massage gun is cordless and can be charged via USB-C. It’s also very quiet.

Customer Review | “Excellent tool for soothing sore muscles. Made from high quality materials and has a solid feel. Highly recommend!” – Erik M (Read more reviews.)

5. Cordless Shiatsu Massager with Heat by Homedics 

Budget friendly
Warranty offered

Best For | Portable pillow
Features | Cordless, heat therapy, affordable, 2-year warranty, risk-free 30-day trial
Prices Starting At | $80

The standout feature of the Cordless Shiatsu Massager from Homedics is its ability to reverse the direction of the massage it delivers every few minutes. This more closely mimics the hands of a masseur. The Homedics massager is a lightweight option that delivers deep-kneading Shiatsu massages, and reviews relay it offers the perfect level of pressure. This looks like a seat back and can be placed sitting in a chair or on the couch for the lower and upper back, but also in use while lying flat in a bed. The Cordless Shiatsu Massager with heat has an hour run time, meaning it will need to be charged often for regular use. Still, it makes for a great, affordable option when it comes to convenience and portability. 

Customer Review | “I’ve tried a few back massagers and this one is, hands down, the BEST! The others either hurt my back because it massages way too hard or not hard enough. This one is perfect. It can be used cordless or plugged in. It has heat and the massage actually feels like how a masseuse would do it.” – Sherry D (Read more reviews.)

6. I-Puffy 3D Massage Cushion by Synca

Natural materials
Warranty offered

Best For | Massage options
Features | Infrared heat therapy, portable, car adapter included, 1-year replacement warranty
Prices Starting At | $139.00

The iPuffy is more than just a massager, it’s a 3-D lumbar massage robot designed to relieve sore muscles and deep lower back pain. The iPuffy utilizes infrared heat for added therapy, is made of breathable cotton fabric, and is lightweight enough to travel with. iPuffy is designed to deliver Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, trigger point massage, acupressure, and Shiatsu massage. The curved shape of this massage robot allows you to target the neck, shoulders, and waist and can even be used on your calves and feet to combat tension and muscle soreness. Yes, please.

Customer Review | “After by many pieces of equipment, this is the best piece I have ever purchased after three back surgeries having chronic pain this is given me more relief than anything else.” – Donnie Romine (Read more reviews.)

7. U-Neck 2 Neck & Shoulders Massager by RENPHO 

Size inclusive
Budget friendly

Best For | Affordable
Features | Portable, hands-free
Prices Starting At | $50

Coming in as the most affordable option in our guide, the RENPHO U-shaped Neck and Shoulder Massager is like wearing a massage scarf. This drape-style unit uses eight nodes for massage and covers the entire back, neck, and waist. To use this one, you put your arms through the straps and wear it. While it’s on, you can increase the pressure by pulling it down for a deeper massage or just let it rest if you are up for normal pressure. The U-Neck is able to change speed and direction and is said to provide gentle, comforting warmth. It has an adjustable neck pillow, is made of PU leather breathable mesh, and contains a pure brass motor. This one can be hands-free but does not offer a huge range of motion while on. 

Customer Review | “I bought this as a gift for my son and ended up ordering one for myself. It’s easy to hold in position along your spine and lower back, and I like that it rotates in the right direction. I use it quite often and so far very happy with it!” – Tobiloba Ogunbanwo (Read more reviews.)

Featured image by Theragun