Sitting for an extended period can have an adverse effect on both your mental and physical health.
It puts you at risk for anxiety and depression, developing certain cancers and has also been linked to heart disease. 
Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain, can cause certain muscles in the body to weaken and can also lead to stiff neck, shoulders and other bodily aches and pains.
If your job primarily involves you sitting all day, then a great solution to avoid these problems is to invest in a chair pad.
There are different types available with a variety of functions and features.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best chair pads on the market and share explain what each one has to offer.
Then we’ll pick our top options from the list.
What are Chair Pads?
A chair pad is a massage cushion that incorporates vibration and shiatsu massage features.
It is placed on a couch, office chair, sofa or car seat, in some cases and delivers a relaxing massage for sore muscles.
Benefits of a Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu incorporates principles of traditional Chinese medicine, while also utilizing western and holistic therapies.
It involves applying pressure using the fingers, hands, elbows, knees and feet along the body’s pressure points to promote relaxation.
A shiatsu massage can treat conditions such as migraines and other headaches, PTSD, anxiety and depression, sports injuries, sprains and strains, arthritis, stress and tension, and muscle aches and pains in the neck and back. 
Benefits of Chair Pads
Since a traditional shiatsu massage is expensive, chair pads offer a way to reap the benefits of shiatsu without the added cost.
Instead of weekly appointments to see a masseuse, the purchase of a chair pad offers years that service in the privacy of your own space, at your convenience.
The device is simple and easy to use.
It is placed on your chair or couch and usually has a remote that allows you to turn on and adjust the massage and/or vibrating features to your desired intensity level.
What to Look for When Buying a Chair Pad
If you’ve never bought a chair pad before, we’ve provided some important features to consider before purchase.
Shiatsu Massage vs Vibration Feature
Not all chair pads are created equal so read the description carefully.
If you want an intense massage, opt for a product that offers shiatsu massage, this will get deep into the muscles.
If you prefer something less intense, there are chair pads that offer vibration only.
If you’re not sure which feature is most ideal, then find a device that offers both shiatsu and vibration.
If you’re under 5 ft or over 6ft tall, this is an important feature to look out for.
Chair pads are designed for the neck and back, but if you’re too tall or too short the product will not line up correctly and you won’t reap the full benefits of the device.
Some manufacturers will state the ideal height range that the product is created for in the description, and some pads are also height adjustable.
Some chair pads are noisier than others, depending on the intensity levels of the massager.
The vibration chair pads might be quieter than the ones that offer shiatsu massage since they less powerful.
For an even deeper muscle penetration or to help with muscle aches and pain, you can try a device that has infrared heating feature.
Purpose/Area of use
Where do you plan to use your chair pad, in an office chair, couch or in your car?
Finding a device for your chair or couch is simple, but not all chair pads can be used in your car.
There are chair pads made specifically for this purpose so pay attention to the product information.
The Best Chair Pads
Now that you know what features to look out for, let’s delve into some of the best chair pads on the market today.
1. Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager
This shiatsu style massager offers 2D and 3D finger pressure and is designed to relieve tension in the neck, back, shoulder, waist and thighs.
It has 4 rotation nodes that move outward and inward during use to create the 2D and 3D effect.
Comfier also boasts a spot massage option that allows it to zone in on a specific area of the body.
It has an infrared heating function to provide added relaxation for tense muscles and you can also adjust the air compression in the airbags and has 3 intensity levels which offers compression massage for your waist and hips.
One the downside, some persons both tall and short complained that the ball rollers did not reach their neck and shoulders.
Another complaint was issues with the heating function, and some users found the device to be noisy during use.
Nonetheless, it does offer a variety of functions for muscle relaxation and unique 2D and 3D functions.
Pros: Provides 2D and 3D shiatsu massage, offers 3 intensity levels for compression, has infrared heating.
Cons: Can be noisy, heating function has issues, neck massager not ideal for certain heights.
2. SNAILAX SL-233 Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat
Much like the Comfier, this massager from Snailax not only offers a shiatsu massage, but boasts a heating function as well.
Snailax also targets the back and waist and features 4 shiatsu massage modes with optional heating function.
It is also designed to target the neck and shoulders, offering 4 deep tissue massage nodes to target those areas.
These nodes can be adjusted up or down for persons of varying heights, and the width of the rolling back massager can also be adjusted.
Additionally, there’s a removable control flap that allows you to control the intensity of your massage, and a vibrating seat with 2 levels of intensity.
Persons of smaller build and height noted that the neck massager was too high to reach the area.
Others complained that the device was too powerful and some users said that sections of the massager malfunctioned after a few months.
On the up side, if you need something powerful for those tight knots and you are of larger and taller built, this might be ideal.
Pros: Has height and width adjustment, offers shiatsu massage and vibration, has 2 intensity levels.
Cons: Not for persons of short stature, some people found it painful to use, some parts of the massager may malfunction.
3. Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager Cushion Pad
This back and neck cushion from Zyllion boasts a heating function and 3 high-intensity massage modes.
It offers a shiatsu massage, plus vibration on the seats with 2 intensity levels to choose from.
The chair pad is made from breathable mesh material and offers overheat protection and extra safety such as 15-minute, auto-shutoff feature.
Zyllion also comes with a remote that controls multiple settings to include the seat vibration, heat function, rolling back massage, shiatsu back and neck massage.
Although there is an adjustable neck tract, this device is designed for persons between 5ft 2 inches and 6ft in height.
Buyers complained that the balls can be hard and sharp, some found it very noisy.
But overall, this chair pad has some enviable features including an auto-shutoff and overheat protection.
Pros: Offers overheat protection, has an auto-shutoff option, offers 2 intensity levels for the seat vibration feature.
Cons: Not suitable for persons under 5ft 2 or over 6ft, some found it hard and sharp, can be noisy.
4. Naipo Shiatsu Neck & Back Chair Pad Massager with Heat
This multifunctional massager from Naipo offers hip vibration massage, back massage and neck massage.
It incorporates 4 rolling back nodes that rotate up and down to target any of the three massage zones: the upper body, lower body or full body.
The spot massage option also allows it to focus on one specific area.
You can adjust the neck of the massager to suit different heights and control the massage direction to go clockwise or anti-clockwise.
Naipo’s shiatsu massage feature has a heating function and is designed to deliver firm pressure to aching and stiff muscles.
The vibrating feature also offers 3 intensity levels for hip relaxation.
On the downside, this is not ideal if you are short.
Persons also reported that the mesh on the device wears out easily while some shared that it was too intense.
Nonetheless, if you want something powerful that offers shiatsu and vibration, this is a good option to consider.
Pros: Offers seat vibration with 3 intensity levels, you can control massage direction clockwise and anti-clockwise.
Cons: Too intense for some users, mesh wears out easily, not ideal for short stature.
5. SNAILAX Vibration Massage Seat Cushion
This massage cushion offers vibration and heating therapy for your home, office or car.
It boasts 6 vibrating motors to massage the next and back, and you can choose from 4 intensity levels.
As for the vibration mode, there are 5 programs to pick from, while the heating function is spread throughout the back and seat.
For added comfort, this seat pad is made from 100% ultra-plush, soft polyester and has nonstick rubber bottoms.
Furthermore, Snailax boasts a universal application making it ideal for use with your car seat, couch, office chair, sofa, or recliner.
If you’re looking for a shiatsu massage pad this is not the option for you as it only provides vibration.
Some users also noted that the heating feature gets very hot and cannot be adjusted, while the seat may also wear out easily.
However, if you need a cost-effective, easy to use vibrating seat, give this one a try.
Pros: Made from ultra-plush material for added comfort, has nonstick rubber bottoms, provides vibration and heat therapy.
Cons: Provides vibration massage but not shiatsu, heating function is too intense, seat wears out easily.
6. RENPHO Shiatsu Massage Chair
This thin, lightweight foldable chair pad from Renpho is perfect for travel, so you can take the device wherever you go.
Renpho’s neck and back massage boast 4 massage heads with 8 massage nodes.
It allows you to customize your massage for deep kneading, and shiatsu while offering clockwise and anticlockwise rolling.
Ideal for your neck and shoulders, lower back and upper back, this device is designed to relieve pain.
Plus, it offers heat therapy along with seat vibration for your waist and hips.
Furthermore, it has a flexible massage pillow at the top of the device which is vertically adjustable to accommodate different heights.
The negatives on this one is that it’s not for use in a driver’s seat, and users complained that it’s not great for upper body since it does not reach up to the shoulders.
Despite this, the travel friendliness of this device cannot be overlooked, neither can the flexible massage pillow.
Pros: Can be vertically adjusted to fit varying heights, foldable and portable, offers heat therapy, shiatsu and vibration.
Cons: Cannot be used in a car drivers’ seat, massage nodes are not high enough for upper body massage.
7. IDODO Vibration Back Massager
If you need a multipurpose chair pad for home, office and your car, then this is a good selection to consider.
It boasts 10 vibrating massage motors, 5 massage modes and 3 massage speeds.
This chair pad focuses on the upper, lower and middle back, along with the lumbar, neck, hip and thighs.
Complete with a warming therapy function, this device is controlled via a microprocessor hand control keypad.
And as a safety feature it automatically shuts off after 15 minutes.
Idodo is made from soft memory foam and is suitable for your car, office chair, sofa bed or couch.
Plus, it easily folds away after use.
Buyers noted that the heating feature is not very effective, and that the device makes a rumbling sound during use.
But it does offer a range of modes and speed and is a good pick for use in your car.
Pros: Auto shutoff safety feature, ideal for use in your car, variation of vibration modes and speeds.
Cons: Not a shiatsu kneading massager, heating feature is not very effective, noisy during use.
8. SNAILAX SL-256 Shiatsu Massage Cushion with Heat Massage Chair Pad
Unlike Idodo, this massaging cushion from Snailex offers both vibration and shiatsu massage.
The back-massager feature has 4 flexible nodes which can adjust to fit the curves of your body.
You can opt for full back, shoulder, neck massage or change the setting to focus on one area.
The device has 2 vibrating massage nodes in the seat to target the hips and thighs, and there are 2 intensity levels to choose from.
Snailax also offers heat therapy for your back, and is equipped with overheat protection thermostats for your safety.
It can be used on a couch, recliner, office chair or sofa and has a strapping system to keep it securely in place.
On the downside, some complaints were about the painfulness of the massaging nodes, while persons also found the item uncomfortable to use in a car due to its bulkiness.
On the bright side, this one offers vibration, shiatsu and heat therapy and sells at a decent price.
So, if you need something for home or office, consider this Snailax chair pad.
Pros: Has overheat protection thermostats, offers heat therapy, shiatsu and vibration, flexible massage nodes adjust to fit the curves of your body,
Cons: Not practical for use in a car due to bulkiness, might be painful for some users.
9. Ujolly Full Back Massager with Heat
This ergonomically designed, deep tissue massager boasts a V-grip technology to give you a targeted press-grip massage to loosen knots in the muscles.
It offers 2 massage techniques; chose from press grip or rolling and tapping or you can combine both.
With the click of a button, you can adjust the shoulder position of the chair pad to target pain points in your neck and shoulders.
Ujolly also offers warmth therapy and the device is equipped with overheat protection thermostats for your safety.
It has a 15-minute auto timer and is lightweight and portable.
Keep in mind that this does not have a vibration feature, and some users noted that the massage nodes were too strong.
But if you want something simple and easy to use this is one to consider.
Pros: Boast v-grip technology and is ergonomically designed, lightweight and versatile.
Cons: Does not have vibration feature, might be too intense for some people.
10. Comfier Shiatsu Back Massager with Heat
This Comfier massager comes at a cheaper cost than the other one on our list.
It offers adjustable deep kneading massage while the Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager boasts 2D and 3D kneading.
This one has 4 rotating nodes and boasts a spot massage option as well.
It offers heat therapy, but unlike its counterpart, this heating mat does not have the air compression feature for the waist and hips.
It does however offer seat vibration with 3 settings to choose from, and the intensity level of the shiatsu massage can be adjusted as well.
The back of the device has an adjustable pad giving you the option of a soft or intense massage, and you can use this chair pad in your home or office.
Buyers expressed that the heat and vibration settings are weak, and some noted that the massager is too rough even on the lowest setting.
Nonetheless, Comfier still has a lot of selling points.
It has heat therapy, vibration mode and adjustable massage settings so if you need something powerful, this might be the best fit.
Pros: Heat and vibration therapy, spot massage option, adjustable pad for soft or intense massage.
Cons: Massage mode too powerful for some, heat and vibration therapy modes not strong enough.
Best Shiatsu Chair Pad: Recommendations
Offering heat therapy, vibration and shiatsu SNAILAX SL-256 Shiatsu Massage Cushion has everything you need for muscle aches and pain.
The back-massage feature has 4 flexible nodes which can adjust to fit the curves of your body.
You can also opt for a spot massage to target a problem area.
The device has 2 vibrating massage nodes in the seat to target the hips and thighs, and 2 intensity levels.
Snailax incorporates overheat protection thermostats for your safety and can be used on a couch, recliner, office chair or sofa.
The price is also quite reasonable compared to similar products.
Best Vibration Chair Pad
You’ll get a great bargain with this vibrating seat cushion from Snailax since it’s one of the cheaper options on our list.
You’ll benefit from the 6 vibrating massage motors that target the upper, middle and lower back along with the thighs.
You can customize your massage with 1 of 4 vibration intensities while enjoying the 100% ultra-plush fabric of this seat cushion.
Ideal for use in your home, office or car and has adjustable straps to keep the item in place during use.
Best Chair Pad for Car
Although it provides vibration and not shiatsu massage, the IDODO Vibration Back Massager was designed for use in your car.
It is budget-friendly, easy to fold and store after use, and has a heating feature to help penetrate sore muscles.
Idodo boasts 10 vibrating massage motors, 5 massage modes and 3 massage speeds for the upper, lower and middle back, along with the lumbar, neck, hip and thighs.
It has an auto-shutoff safety feature and is controlled using a microprocessor hand control keypad.
Other Types of Massage Products Worth Considering
If a chair pad is not the best fit for you, there are other options you can consider.
These products are similar to chair pads, but offer more versatility since they can be placed on a targeted area of the body for instant relief.
There help to relieve muscle tension, arthritis, back pain, headaches, shoulder pain and sore neck, and they range in size, style, features and price.
Related: Best massage pillows
Another viable choice to consider is a massage mat.
These boast vibration and heating features much like the chair pads but the features are not restricted to the upper body.
These mats can be placed on your floor, chair or bed to deliver a relaxing, full-body massage to alleviate tension, stress, soreness and muscle tension.
Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massagers
Here is another device that offers the benefits of a shiatsu massage, and it’s not just for the neck and shoulders, but can be used on the back as well.
These are easy to use, comfortable and comes in both wired and cordless options.
They also offer heating features and the price varies so you can find something to suit your budget.
Related: Best neck and shoulder massagers
Handheld Back Massagers
These are good alternatives that can work on the back and all over the body if needed.
Plus, with a handheld massager you are in full control of the device.
You can move it up, down or in any direction you chose, and you can increase or decrease the intensity level by applying more or less pressure to the area.
There a many type of handheld options to pick from, whether it’s an electric device, a cordless design, a massager with a heat function or a mini back massager for easy travel.
Related: Best handheld back massagers
Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and figure out what will work best for your needs.
Chair pads certainly have their share of benefits from relieving sore muscles and promoting relaxation to easing stress and anxiety.
Whatever option you select, just remember to read the directions carefully to ensure your safety and to get the most effectiveness out of your device.