The Best Back Massager

LIBA Shiatsu Back Massager

Our Top Pick for 2016: LIBA Shiatsu Back Massager
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $39.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Millions of individuals suffer from back pain every day. Your back is a core portion of your body, so it is important to alleviate this pain. One good way to help relieve the strain and stress causing you back discomfort is to use a back massager. You can get a chair massager that you place in your favorite seat to enjoy a massage as you relax and watch some evening television, or you can decide to purchase a hand held device that you move across your back to massage your muscles. There is not always time to get a professional massage, so this is the next best way to acquire some relief. Finding a versatile back massager can be difficult, especially if you are unsure what to look for. Take a look at our pre-purchase considerations to help you choose a great back massager for you.

Table of contents

Self-massage Any Area
Superior Deep Massage
Moving Shiatsu Massage Nodes
11 Therapy Knobs
Heated Massage
Soothing Heating Function
Easy To Control
Bi-directional Movement
Deep-kneading & Rolling Massages
Relieve Spasms And Tight Muscles
Multi-position Capacity
3 Levels Of Vibration Massage
Made in USA
Must Be Plugged In
Attach Easily To Any Chair

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): LIBA Shiatsu Back Massager

LIBA Shiatsu Back Massager Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $39.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerOur top pick is a back massager that is designed by LIBA. It is a belt style massager that is designed to relax the muscles in those hard to reach areas of your back as well as your neck and lumbar area. It features a Shiatsu style massage, which means that it uses kneading techniques that get deep into the tissue of your back to relieve stress and achy muscles. This specific model is designed to be lightweight; it only weighs about three pounds, which is designed to allow you more ease of use. The handles are easy to hold, which means that you will be able to move the massager around your back when you need to.

This back massager is complete with four massage nodes that are fitted with deep tissue massage capabilities. These nodes can be set to turn either clockwise or counter clockwise, which is a function that can be controlled directly on the handle. There is also a heat button, which allows you to add warmth to your massage. Doing this will soothe the muscles and give your massage a more therapeutic value. You can use this back massager to target specific areas of your back, like your lumbar area, but you can also use it on your neck, shoulders, or waist as well. Some who own this LIBA back massager have expressed that it can even be used to massage your feet, just be careful not to get your feet between the nodes as that could be uncomfortable for you.

To use this massager you must have it plugged into an outlet. There is no battery capability, but it does come with an AC adaptor for your convenience. It also comes with a car charger, which can be a beneficial feature to have if you are traveling or taking a long road trip where you may find yourself with a stiff back. If you are not using the device for about 15 minutes, there is an auto shut off feature that is designed for your safety, which is especially useful for when you fall asleep with the heating function on. This massager is designed to be a durable solution to your back pain that will last you for years, so the company has decided to let you try the product before you buy it. They give you 90 days to try it in your home, and if you are not happy with the back massager, then you can get a full refund.

When it comes to reviews, there are well over 1,000 on Amazon, and 90 percent of those reviews are positive four or five star testimonials. Many are amazed that this belt massager feels so much like a professional massage. Here is one example of a five star testimonial: “I was in a car accident in May this year and have suffered from neck, shoulder, and back pain daily since. My husband got this for me for Christmas and after carrying my 13 month old for a couple of hours in her carrier this afternoon my back was killing me. Normally a muscle relaxer is the only thing that I have found that helps. Tonight I used this for 30 minutes followed by heat for 15 minutes and my back felt great!! “

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Body Back Buddy Trigger Point Self-Massage Tool

Body Back Buddy Trigger Point Self-Massage Tool

View it on Amazon for $28.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerOur silver pick for the best back massagers is a different variety than our gold pick. This time we selected a trigger point massager that is designed to stimulate your muscles and relieve tension in your back. The Body Back Buddy massager is the perfect lightweight solution for getting the kinks out of your back. Design-wise, it looks like a ninja weapon that should be used in some type of martial arts training that was combined with a coat rack.

It is designed with 11 different therapy knobs that can be used together or separately to massage all of the difficult to reach areas of your back. It is a great tool for relieving back spasms that can cause you more pain. It is also a great way to loosen up tight muscles and apply pressure to points on your back where you need it. This type of massager features more of a gliding motion across your back, you can use the knobs to add pressure to a specific point; and in effect, loosen the tension that you are carrying in your neck, back, and between your shoulder blades.

This method of massaging is designed to increase the level of oxygen in your blood as well as increase your actual blood flow, which is great for relieving muscle tension. This back massager is designed in a manner that gives you a lot of leverage when it comes to reaching your entire back as well as control over the amount of pressure you use.

When it comes to the reviews of this self massager, there are over 2,600 reviews posted on Amazon alone. Many of them express how much they love the tool and how effective its massage technology is. Some have explained that it helps with simple back pain, while others have gotten relief for pain that they have experienced for years. One reviewer has explained how this device’s trigger point therapy is the only thing that relieves the pressure points and tension knots in her back.

Out of the reviews on the site, 91 percent of them were extremely positive; in fact, 77 percent of the users who gave a review actually determined that it deserved a five star rating. Here is an example of a five star review: “I have had severe pain and muscle tightness in under my shoulder blades for as long as I can remember. This is the ONLY thing that can apply the amount of pressure needed to get the knots to release (not even professional massage therapy helps those spots as much as this!) I actually sit at my desk in my office with one end over my shoulder and the other hooked under my opposite leg, and can work while it does its magic.”

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Zyllion ZMA-14-BK Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager Cushion

Zyllion ZMA-14-BK Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager Cushion

View it on Amazon for $159.96*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardFor our bronze pick, we have chosen yet another type of back massager. This time we selected the Zyllion ZMA-14- BK, which is a chair massager that is designed to be adjusted to fit over any chair. This type of massager is designed to easily be used in your home, office, or on the go. If you prefer to sit in a chair and let the massager do all of the work, then this may be a great option for you to consider.

First, this chair massager is a cushion, so it can easily be folded up and moved from place to place. It features two different types of massage, which means that you can adjust the setting to soothe your muscles or increase the pressure to get out unwanted stress knots. The first option is a rolling massage that uses the rollers inside the device to gently loosen the tension in the muscles of your back. If you have pressure spots that need attention, perhaps you would sooner utilize the deep tissue option available on this back massager.

This massage chair is designed to relieve your entire back instead of just specific sections of it, but it is also a great way to improve the blood flow in your body as well. The seat itself is designed with three different areas being pinpointed. Each of them are extremely adjustable, so that every muscle in your back receives the attention it needs. Let’s start at the top of the cushion. Here you will find four shiatsu massage heads that will rotate in different directions to give you a great neck and shoulder massage. If you wish to intensify this part of the massage, you can also add heat to the experience.

The middle section of the cushion is designed with four shiatsu nodes as well. They are specifically designed to knead the muscles of your lower back in the same way that a masseuse would. These nodes also give your lumbar region the attention that it needs after a long day of working in an office chair. Heat can also be applied to this section of the chair if you desire. The last section that needs to be considered is the area of the seat that tends to your hip area. Two vibration motors are built-in to this area to oscillate across your body and ease the tension in your muscles. There are three different levels of vibration that you can choose between.

If you are worried about the heating element inside the seat cushion becoming too hot during a massage, then you will be glad to hear that the manufacturer has implemented a safety precaution that will turn off the heat when it reaches a certain temperature. Inaddition, if the device is not being used for more than 15 minutes, there are features in place that will automatically turn off the massage aspect of the cushion as well. If you decide to purchase our bronze pick, you will receive a one year warranty from the manufacturer that covers the labor as well as any parts that need replaced.

When it comes to the reviews of this devoice, there are quite a few good ones. Out of all of the reviews posted on Amazon, about 80 percent of them gave it a positive review of at least four stars. Many of them love the fact that you can choose between two different massage modes. They also love the adjustability of this chair and the way that it feels like a professional massage.

Here is a great five star testimonial from an Amazon user who experienced relief from pain and suffering by using this massage chair: “I have Lupus and Fibromyalgia. I use the massage chair daily and truly love every second of it! For years I have suffered with constant pain that even prescription pain meds have not helped. This massage chair gives me complete relief while I use it. To someone who deals with this type of pain and this often this massage cushion is a gift from heaven!”

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Panasonic EV2510K Easy Reach Rolling Massager

Panasonic EV2510K Easy Reach Rolling Massager

View it on Amazon for $31.09*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickPanasonic’s motto strives for “A Better Life, A Better World”, and throughout their nearly century-long history, the company has been 100 percent dedicated to providing industry leading innovation. From developing electronics that range from DVD players to blenders to their development of modern avionics units, we’ve all been exposed to the products produced by the large multinational Japanese corporation. What’s most impressive is that Panasonic creates such products and keeps them in a very affordable price range.

Thanks to Panasonic, when looking for a great-feeling, comfortable massager, you don’t have to pay prices that would make you feel like you would have been better off going to a professional masseuse. If you are ballin’ on a budget, consider the Panasonic EV2510K Easy Reach Rolling Massager; it’s a great tool for a great massage that doesn’t go for a ton of money.

Aesthetically, this is a very interesting looking massager. It’s primarily comprised of black plastic that is scratch-resistant and durable. Throughout wand-style construction you can find several other color highlight; from the white console area and cabling to the neon green massage surfaces and buttons. You’ll also notice that the head of the unit is mounted on a flexible joint. This flex head allows for the entire head assembly to move when you apply pressure; this adds a bit of give to the whole massage process.

Function-wise, there are three vibration modes:

Point Massage – Use this if you want to get the knots out of tense and strained muscles. Simply apply pressure on the area of the massage head that features the green triangular protrusion. This is a very deep tissue style massage profile, and with it, your muscles will feel better in no time at all.

Massage Roller – This uses the two green wheel-like surfaces on the massage head. Vibrations are added when your roll this part of the roller across your tense muscles; as a result, your muscles will feel much more relaxed and tension will be reduced.

Wavy Surface – This vibration mode utilizes the wavy green surface that is located on the back of the massage head. This wavy massage profile will provide you with a feeling of stress relief. It’s great to utilize after a long day of work.

In addition to these vibration modes, there is also an intensity selection as well. If you feel that you need more vibrations to loosen your muscles, simply select the strong mode. Strong mode vibrates at 6,300 vibrations per minute. If this is too much for your comfort, gentle mode is another great massage option. Gentle mode achieves a much less frequent 5,000 vibrations per minute. Insofar as reviews, 80 percent of the users who reviewer this back massager on Amazon gave it a positive rating of four stars or more.

Pre-purchase considerations

Massage Technique

Different massage techniques are used to accommodate different issues and muscles tension in your back. To get an idea of which type of massage you need to relieve your back pain, you will need to have an idea what the different techniques are and when they are most commonly used. Here are some of the more common techniques used today:

Vibration – This is a type of massage where the device that you are using simply oscillates across your back. It is designed to relax your muscles and ease away any pain that you may be experiencing. This includes pains that may be affecting your organs, because the vibrations created from this type of massager can stimulate them.

Effleurage – This type of massage is often used before a deep tissue massage. It is designed to stimulate your muscles by simply gliding across them. Professional massages also commonly end with this technique.

Friction – A friction massage is designed to utilize a device that will rub against your back and create a warming friction that will soothe your aching back and sore muscles.

Petrissage – This is a kneading technique that is utilized to stimulate the muscles that is used in deep tissue massages.

Tapotement – This is a type of percussion massage that uses sharp striking motions to stimulate your nervous system and release any lymphatic fluid that may be present in your back.

Types of Back Massagers

There are many different back massaging options available on the market today, and each variation differs in size, shape, and utility. You need to purchase a back massager that reaches all of your problem areas and soothes away your unwanted tension and pain. Here are some of the more common types of back massagers that you may wish to research:

Wand massager – This is a small, portable electric massager that is easy to use. Typically, this type of hand held back massager has a few different speed settings to adjust the vibration level as well as an adjustable head that you can set to perfectly massage your back.

Trigger point massager – This model is a handheld option that is designed to simulate the areas between your muscles. It is a portable option that simply rolls over different areas of your back without using any kind of power.

Belt massager – This option is designed to stimulate and massager your lower back. It focuses on your lower lumbar region and the areas of your back that are more difficult to reach.

Chair massage – Exactly what it sounds like. It is a cushion that you place on top of your chair to massage your entire back and loosen the tension in your muscles. Some chair massagers add a heat element to the massage, which helps relax your muscles.

Speed and Pressure Level

Speed and pressure are two aspects of a massage that can give you different result levels. You want a massager that will slowly move across your back. You also need a massager that applies enough pressure to feel the tension release in your muscles, but not so much that it will cause you additional pain and discomfort. Sometimes adding heat to a massage can help loosen your muscles to create a more soothing massage experience.

Area Coverage

Some back massagers focus solely on your back, which is great, but what if you want your neck massaged as well. There are massagers that are versatile, which means they massage more than one area of your body. With a back massager the area that is incorporated is most likely going to be your neck.

Size and Weight

When you choose a back massager make sure that you consider where you will want to use it and benefit from a good back massage. If you will need it most often at home, then you can choose a larger massage device, like a massage chair. If you think that you will be traveling a lot with the device, then it may be a good option to purchase a smaller, more portable back massager. You will want to find a model that is easy to fold up and place in your gym bag, book bag, or purse. If it does not fit there, at least make sure that it is compact enough to fit in your suitcase. Also, consider the weight of the back massager; if it is too heavy to carry around in an airport, then maybe you want to see if there are massage options near where you will be staying. Many malls offer massage chair services that you can use while you are away from home.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

The stress and strain of a hectic daily life can transfer into back pain. This type of pain can last for weeks, so it is best to get ahead of it and find a back massager that can keep you comfortable and relaxed. Take a look at our pre-purchase considerations, and then you can decide which type of back massager is the best for you. Do you want a massager that simply oscillates on the surface of your skin or do you want a deep tissue option that will really massage your muscles? Once you make a decision about what type of back massager you need, then it is all smooth sailing from there, especially if one of our top picks is what you desire. If not, then sit back and relax while you do the research to find your perfect back massager.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!


  1. Liba Heated Massager Overview and Review, Things I Buy Online, March 21, 2016
  2. Rui XinXin, Body Back Buddy Self-Massage Tool Review, Rui Xinxin, December 28, 2014
  3. Samar Pahwa, Body Back Buddy Self Massage Tool Review, Find Health Tips, March 17, 2016
  4. Shiatsu Massager Cushion with Heat (Black) ZMA-14-BK, Zyllion
  5. David, Zyllion ZMA-14-BK Review – Pros and Cons of The Shiatsu Massage Cushion, Massager Online, December 6, 2014
  6. Panasonic EV2510K Easy Reach Rolling Massager Review, Massage Chair Experts, October 5, 2015
  7., Review of Panasonic EV2510K Easy Reach Rolling Massager, Boolpool, October 5, 2014

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