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The Best Neck Massagers to Relieve Tightness, Stress and Tension

The more we hunch over our phones and stare at our computer screens the more stressed out our necks become.

Luckily there is a range of neck massagers that can help ease up the muscle tension in our neck and shoulders.

Neck massagers are devices that eliminate neck pain caused by several different factors such as stress, improper sleep patterns, incorrect posture and strained muscles.

They work similar to that of a traditional massage, not only aiding in relaxation but also stimulating muscles and nerve endings in the neck.

Neck massagers help to release muscle tension and stiffness, promote blood circulation and reduce chronic aches and pain.

Furthermore, these devices promote relaxation so if you work in a stressful environment, or suffer from anxiety or depression you can benefit greatly from a neck massager.

In this article, we’ll highlight some major benefits of neck massages then we’ll review 12 of the best neck massagers on the market today.

Benefits of Getting a Neck Massager

Neck massages are not just for relaxation purposes, they have psychological and physical benefits as well.

Relieves a Stiff Neck

A stiff neck is not only painful and uncomfortable, but can also lead to other health issues if left untreated.

It may cause malfunctioning of the immune system since a stiff neck can reduce blood flow.  You can also experience dizziness and fatigue as a result.

However, a neck massage can help ease muscle tension and improve neck flexibility.

Helps with Acute Pain

If you suffer from acute pain, which can be caused by muscular tension, muscle overuse or surgery, a neck massager can prove beneficial.

Another common issue, tight muscles can be remedied through massage.

Its other benefits include alleviating inflammation and boosting blood circulation.

During a neck massage, your body temperature increases, and so does the temperature of your connective and muscular tissues, helping to reduce stiffness in the joints and relax the muscles. [2]

Improves your Mood

There are also psychological benefits to be gained.

During a neck massage, the body becomes relaxed; it releases endorphins which improves your mood and helps with relieving depression and anxiety. [3]

A massage also helps to discharge toxins from the body.

Furthermore, those who play sports or engage in physical activities and need recovery assistance can also benefit greatly from a neck massage, since it alleviates temporary and chronic pain.

It Encourages Relaxation

High-stress environments can cause tension to build in your muscles, causing pain and discomfort.

However, one of the most basic benefits of a neck massage is that it reduces tension in the muscles and promotes relaxation.

If you have trouble sleeping, it can be due to high levels of stress so a relaxing massage offers numerous benefits for your well-being.

Features to Consider Before Buying a Neck Massager

The best neck massagers come with certain features that set them apart from the rest.

Here are some of the features you should consider before choosing the best neck massager for your own needs.

Relaxation vs TriggerPoint Release

Not all massagers are created equal.

Electric shiatsu massagers are more for relaxation purposes and deep tissue massage.

Therefore, if you need a form of stress relief, or even if you suffer from tension headaches, anxiety or depression this would be the more ideal option.

Some devices also target trigger points and knots which offer a more intense level of massage.

These tools are mostly manual massagers but they can also come in the form of an electric massager.

Those who suffer from chronic pain, or have a sports-related injury can benefit greatly from a trigger point massage.

Massager Versatility

Some massagers target specific areas such as the neck, while others are multifunctional and can offer pain relief for the shoulders, back, arms and legs.

If you want a massager that can be used on various body parts other than the neck, you’ll need a more versatile device.

Massage Type: Shiatsu, Trigger Point Relief, Deep Tissue

Since there are so many assortments on the market today, the specific type of massager you select will depend on the issues you are experiencing.

Consider whether you want a manual device, which means you’ll have to physically manipulate the machine in order to massage the area and control the intensity of the device.

You can opt for a percussion massager which delivers rapid movement to an area during short intervals.

These are good for muscle recovery since they target trigger points which might be hard to target with a manual device or human hands.

Another selection to consider is a shiatsu massager, which is best for relaxation since it works out tension in the muscles.

It is also an efficient selection if you suffer from sleep disturbances, headaches, anxiety and stress.

Heating feature

Heat therapy has been known to help with muscle spasms, stress and tension, muscle stiffness and even stimulates blood flow.

So, if you are experiencing these symptoms you can benefit from a massager that comes with a heating function.  

The Best Neck Massagers Worth Trying

Today we picked 12 diverse neck massagers with unique features and benefits.

We considered customer feedback, price and quality to bring you the best assortments on the market today.

1. Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager with Heat

With 3 alternating speeds and 8 shiatsu massage nodes, the Naipo neck and shoulder massager not only works on your neck, but you can use it on your back, legs, lower back and shoulders, thanks to the ergonomic, U-shaped design.

The speed options range from high, medium and low, and the flexible straps allow you to access hard-to-reach places on the body.

Furthermore, the  3D-Rotation kneading rollers has a built-in, advanced heat function that helps to relieve tight muscles and alleviate fatigue.

You can use the Naipo neck and shoulder massager at home or even in your vehicle since it comes with a car adapter and a regular adapter.

This massager is made from premium leather complete with breathable mesh fabric.

Some users said their neck massager stopped working after a few months and some wanted more heat from the unit.

However, it does provide full-body relaxation and works best for persons with anxiety or who work in highly stressful environments.

Pros: Targets the neck and shoulders, can also be used as a back massager, massager with heat option

Cons: Needs to be plugged in to use

Related: Best neck & shoulder massagers

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2. RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue Massager

This handheld deep tissue massager from RENPHO is suitable for percussion therapy and works on many parts of the body.

From your neck and shoulders to your legs and calf, this is one of the most multi-functional options on our list.

This FCC-certified device can deliver up to 3600 pulses per minute and is designed to be used in 20-minute intervals.

It auto shuts-off after this time to prevent overheating, plus gives you 140 minutes of battery life.

The RENPHO massager comes with 5 interchangeable massage heads including a curved head, 3-point, 1-point, and round head so you can vary up the massage type to find the type that you feel you need the most.

In addition, this handheld massager is very versatile meaning you can use it all over your body wherever you feel tightness and tension.

This full-body massager is FDA registered and has 4 percussion modes plus a comfortable silicone handle.

Some buyers found that the battery life was short, but if you experience chronic pain, or muscle aches in different parts of the body, look no further than this one.

Pros: Can be used all over the body, handheld massager, portable

Cons: not as relaxing as some of the shiatsu neck and shoulder massagers on the market

Related: Best handheld massagers

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3. MaxKare Massage Pillow

This electric massage pillow allows you to customize your massage experience, offering 4 shiatsu kneading modes.

Equipped with reverse and counter-clockwise rotation, the ‘real hand’ massage experience is sure to relieve pain and discomfort in your lumbar, shoulder, upper and lower back, neck, and even your thighs, since the device is multi-functional.

The MaxKare neck and back massager also comes with an optional heating function and an adjustable strap allowing you to attach the pillow to your chair or car seat to use as a back massager.

This FDA approved device also has an overheat protection mode and a 15-minutes, auto-shutoff option for your safety.

This electric massager boasts and ergonomic design and is made with PU leather and premium, breathable mesh.

Some users said their motor was too weak and some persons found it more effective as a neck massager than for use on the back. 

However, if you don’t want a manual device this electric massager can offer 4 shiatsu options to relieve stress and promote relaxation.

Pros: Versatile, can be used as a back massager, provides deep kneading massage

Cons: If you want to only target your neck then a neck and shoulder shiatsu massager like the Naipo may be more effective.

Related: Best massage pillows

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4. LuxFit Neck Massager

This manual shiatsu massager is quite different from the others on our list in terms of design, and you’ll have to do some work to control the direction, pace and intensity of the massage.  

It has germanium knobs that mimic the hands of a masseuse and allows you to deeply penetrate tight muscles for a deep tissue massage.

It can be used on the shoulder, legs or neck and is designed for targeted pain relief thanks to the ergonomic handles and the soft, yet strong silicone balls.

Some users complained that the device was too small to comfortably fit around the neck, while others noted that the ball in the massager does not roll. 

Nonetheless, if you suffer from migraine or tension headaches, give this one a try, plus you simply cannot beat the price.

Pros: Cheap, light and portable

Cons: Not as relaxing as the electric neck massagers as you have to do most of the work

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5. MagicHands truShiatsu

With over 1 million happy customers Including Oprah – who featured it among her ‘ favourite things’ in 2019– MagicHands must be living up to their name.

This patent-pending device is a full body massager, which works on your calves, shoulders, neck, back and other areas, and has adjustable arm straps as well.

MagicHands reconstructs the feeling of human hands with virtual thumbs to give you an authentic feeling of a shiatsu massage.

It features FAR infrared heat control and 4-kneading massage nodes, plus wrist support and a tri-glide buckle for easy modification.

Just turn on the power button and choose your mode of treatment, then place the unit around your neck, insert your hands into the attached wrist support and enjoy your massage.

It is available in bright pops of orange and green and is made with neoprene fabric and mesh.

While some user found the device heavy and painful it might be the best fit for persons who need a deep tissue massage for sore muscles.

Pros: Versatile, can be used all over the body including the neck and back

Cons: Provides a deep tissue massage which some may find too intense to begin with

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6. Breo Neck Massager

The Breo INeck 2 focuses on acupoints in the neck muscle as it was devised off the concept of Meridian Acupoint massage theory. 

It is somewhat similar in design to MagicHands, and imitates a real masseuse, by kneading, pressing and massaging pressure points on your neck to loosen sore muscles and relieve pain.

The device offers a 42-degree, infrared heat compression and comes with 2 pairs of kneading nodes that rotates both clockwise and anti-clockwise.

These nodes are exclusively positioned to focus on both the cervical muscle and the main acupoints in your neck, thus aiding with proper oxygen supply to the brain.

This gadget boasts ergonomic handles which allows easy access to hard-to-reach areas.

There are 2 massage nodes to choose from, and a simple turn of the knob allows you to adjust the arch width to precisely fit the size of your neck.

If you require a more intense neck massage you can adjust the handles to your liking or remove the handle completely and use the device as a standalone shoulder or leg massager.

This may not be the best option for persons of large stature as the main complaints were that the device was too small to fit around the neck.

Nevertheless, this multipurpose massager aids sore muscles in the legs and shoulders and would be a good pick for athletes.   

Pros: Specifically designed for the neck, quality built shiatsu massager, adjustable heads, rechargeable, provides deep kneading massage

Cons: Expensive, not that powerful, nodes may feel a bit to small for some

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7. Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller

Quite different from the other selections on our list, this massager comes in the shape of a ball, which must be first activated by being put in a freezer for 2 hours. 

You’ll need to lie on your back on a flat surface, and place the ball at the nape of the neck to alleviate neck pain.

However, you can also roll the ball on any part of the body for a deep tissue massage or pain relief. 

This massage from Recoup is ideal for reducing inflammation, and for muscle recovery before and after your workout.

It helps to improve mobility and boasts a patented 2-in-1 design that allows it to be used on different parts of the body, not just the neck.

Recoup Cryosphere can stay cold for up to 6 hours and is easy to clean and sanitize. It is also recommended that the ball be used in 15-minute increments.

One popular complaint is that the ball doesn’t roll properly in the holder, however, if you are an athlete or actively involved in physical activity, this ice therapy and massaging device offers unique benefits.

Pros: Great for athletes, light, portable, suitable for deep tissue massage

Cons: Not as relaxing as a shiatsu neck and shoulder massager

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8. OSITO Electric Pulse Neck Massager

This neck massager offers 9 different modes ranging from acupuncture, rubbing, vibration, shiatsu, and pinching.

It aids in relieving muscle pain not only in the neck, but also the arms, legs, waist, shoulders and back– thanks to the addition of the multi-functional massage pack.

Mimicking the hands of a masseuse, this gadget combines traditional massage and scientific capability to stimulate muscles and nerve ending to ease chronic neck pain and muscle tension.

It has an ergonomic design to properly fit the neck and distributes infrared to the area via its 3 heating preferences.

This feature helps with fast healing of damaged tissues and muscles while improving circulation and blood flow.

There are 50 intensity levels and the device can be timed from 5 to 60 minutes.

This neck massager comes with reusable, multi-layer pads (20-35 uses) and has a rechargeable lithium battery.

Despite the price tag, its multifunctional use is a good reason for purchasing this gadget for muscle recovery.

Pros: Infrared, heating function, rechargeable

Cons: Relatively expensive

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9. Bed of Nails Original Acupressure Pillow for Neck

This holistic acupuncture pillow is unlike any other on our list and is inspired by an ancient Indian healing tradition.

It brings you all the benefits of a massage and an acupuncture treatment in one.

Bed of Nails aims to relieve muscle ache and tension, reduce chronic pain in the neck and back, alleviate headaches and improve sleep.

This ergonomically designed pillow is made from 100% cotton, with PU foam on the inside and covered with non-toxic HIPS, rounded plastic nails.

You also get a polyester carry bag for easy travel.

The pillow can be used on any curved area of the body to include the lumbar, neck and even underneath your feet.

It is designed to be used for 20 minutes per day, by simply placing the pillow underneath the area that is in discomfort.

It aids in releasing toxins from the body and thanks to the compression from the nails, the body can also release endorphins to help improve your mood.

Some persons found the rounded nails painful and for others, it didn’t hold its shape for very long.

Nonetheless, if you suffer from insomnia or inconsistent sleep, this will certainly be an effective tool for easing tension and reducing chronic pain.

Pros: Altenative option to electric neck massagers, light, portable, can use lyring down

Cons: Doesn’t provide a deep tissue massage or shiatsu massage  

Related: Best Acupressure Mats

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10. Cunmiso Intelligent Neck Massage

This 3D neck massager from Cunmiso offers the convenience of being lightweight and hands-free – allowing you to multitask while using the device.

It has a heating function designed for muscle relaxation and to speed up blood circulation.

Plus, it’s contemporary, automated technology mimics human massage and it has intelligent 3D suspension for proper fit and comfort.

This headphone style gadget is made from soft, breathable, silicone material and comes equipped with a built-in sensor for temperature control.

This massager boasts an ergonomic, 4-point design and allows for 10 days of 15 minute daily sessions of use before needing a recharge.

It also comes with a remote control and TENS unit with 6 massage modes.

Some users found this better as a TENS unit than a massager.

Others complained that you can’t specify where it massages on your neck as it depends where the massage points sit on your neck.

Nonetheless, given its multipurpose use, plus convenient remote control you can try this one for neck pain relief and relaxation.

Pros: Light, portable, remote control, rechargeable

Cons: Better as a TENS unit than as a neck massager

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11. iRenew™ Plus TENS + EMS System

This FDA cleared, TENS unit bears some similarities to the SKG neck massager.

It is the ideal for the relief of arthritis, or even chronic leg, back and arm pain. 

It is also designed to strengthen and condition the muscles, thanks to the 6 Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) modes.

It offers medical-grade output strength of 80MA  and includes a total of 14 programs; 1 for arthritis sufferers, 7 for pain relief and 6 modes of muscle conditioning.

iRenew boasts a sizable digital display, which makes it easy to select and adjust your required modes and pulse settings.

The compact device comes with a clip holder so it can be worn on the hip, along with a tote bag for easy travel. 

You will also get 6 self-adhesive, reusable electrodes which differ in size for use on different parts of the body.

Many users complained that the battery requires constant charging.

But if you want to strengthen and condition your muscles, or suffer from arthritis pain give this one a try.

Pros: Great for neck pain and dealing with strains

Cons: More of a pain relief device than a neck massager

Related: Best TENS Units

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12. HOFASON Electric Neck Massager

This electric, ‘headphone style’ massager looks similar to the SKG device, and aids in alleviating neck pains, encouraging blood circulation, and enhancing sleep quality.

It has 30 different levels of intensity, plus 6 pulse modes and 3 pulsation patterns while allowing you to adjust the timer setting to your liking or making use of the auto-shutoff function.

This ergonomically designed device is perfect, for home office or travel and is made with breathable silicone – perfectly fitting the curve of your neck.

Its circular grip progressively adjusts to your cervical posture during use.

Furthermore, the built-in, rechargeable battery is long-lasting, giving you up to 120 minutes of use.

It also comes with a 2-years warranty.

One drawback is that some buyers didn’t find the levels intense enough for a proper massage.

However, if you suffer from sleep-related issues and need a compact, travel-friendly option, give this a try.

Pros: Light weight, portable, rechargeable, made specifically as neck massager

Cons: May not be intense enough for some people

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Best Neck Massager: Recommendations

The best gadget to target tightness in the neck and shoulders is the Naipo Back and Neck Massager, since it has a built-in heat function and rotating kneading rollers.

However, if you need an all-rounder, the massage pillow by MaxKare is relaxing and versatile.

The RENPHO Handheld Deep Tissue Massager is a great choice if you are looking for a massager with versatility.

It also ranks as Amazon’s Choice and is perfect for percussion therapy, and is suitable for a full body massage.

RENPHO boasts a powerful motor with 3,600 pulses per minute and the rechargeable battery lasts 140 hours on a full charge.

Furthermore, it is FCC certified and FDA registered and sells at a very inexpensive price. 

Additionally, if you’re on the hunt for a manual device, the Recoup Fitness Cryosphere cold massage roller can be used on your entire body, and as an icepack replacement.

Selecting the best neck massager for your needs requires a simple understanding of the particular issues you are experiencing, and best devices that can target or remedy those issues.  

Keep in mind also that if you suffer from certain health complications such as heart conditions etc., or if you are pregnant you must consult a doctor before using any type of massage equipment.

It is also important that if you refrain from using these products if you have in a medical implant such as a pacemaker.

Another important note is that you read the instructions for your device carefully, for your own safety and so that you get the best use out of your massager.

Details such as particular areas of use for the device as well as length of time in which the massager should be used, must be adhered to so read these details carefully.