Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big back massager test 2021. Here we present all the back massagers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best back massager for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a back massager.




Summary

  • Back massagers come in a wide variety of designs, from massage chairs to massage dolphins.
  • Back massagers can offer many different functions, such as vibration, infrared, heat or shiatsu massage.
  • Back massagers offer relaxation and relief in the comfort of your own home - but some you can take with you at any time.

The Best Back Massager: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a back massager

Who is a back massager suitable for?

Anyone can use a back massager. Back massagers help to relieve tension in the back and have a relaxing effect.

Especially if you sit a lot, a back massager is suitable for you. The massage can help against back pain and prevent it at the same time.

With a back massager you can do something good for yourself at home, relax and get a massage (Image source: unsplash.com/ Nicole Wolf).

With a back massager you can easily do a massage at home in your own four walls. What's more, you can do the massage at any time and don't have to make an appointment at a massage parlour.

However, if you are shorter than average (less than 155 cm) or taller than average (more than 190 cm), you should make sure that you can adjust your back massager to your height.

A back massager is suitable for all tensions between the shoulders and tailbone.

How does a back massager work?

A back massager can stimulate your back in different ways. With heat, vibration or infrared, a back massager can specifically massage your back and relieve tension or blockages.

There are also massagers that gently massage the back by kneading. Most back massagers have many massage buttons that massage several areas at the same time.

Heat or infrared radiation warms up the muscles, making it even easier to relieve tension. If your back massager has a vibration function, it can reach and massage the deep muscles.

A back massager mechanically mimics the movements of a masseur.

What are the alternatives to a back massager?

One possible alternative is to go to a masseur and get a massage from a professional. A masseur can specifically work on your tensions and respond to your individual needs.

However, you usually have to make an appointment some time in advance, whereas you can use a back massager at any time and at home.

You can also prevent tension and pain by exercising regularly and trying to walk or stand rather than sit.

For example, you could get a height-adjustable desk. You could raise it and then work standing up. Another alternative is self-massage.

Decision: What types of back massagers are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between the following types:

  • Shiatsu back massager
  • Back massager with heat function
  • Back massager with infrared
  • Back massager with batteries
  • Back massager with vibration

In the following, we will explain exactly what each type is about to help you make your decision.

What distinguishes a Shiatsu back massager and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Shiatsu comes from Asia and literally means Shi = finger and Atsu = pressure, ergo, finger pressure. Therefore, shiatsu back massagers imitate the massage by real hands.

These back massagers usually have several massage buttons integrated, all of which perform a circular motion.

By applying pressure as well as performing a movement, tensions are released in a targeted manner.

Advantages
  • Relieves tension
  • Has a relaxing effect
  • Can be used at any time
Disadvantages
  • Often short cable
  • Does not replace a masseur
  • Not suitable for chronic pain

What are the features of a back massager with heat function and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Back massagers with a heat function can heat your back in a targeted way. This relaxes your muscles deep down. In addition, the heat is soothing and relaxing.

However, it is something quite individual whether someone finds heat pleasant or unpleasant, so it is not something for everyone.

In addition, the heat produced by back massagers tends to be slightly warm. Most of the time, the massagers get warm around 42 °C.

In addition, it naturally costs more energy and therefore electricity if you use a heat function for your back massage.

On the positive side, the heat stimulates the blood flow to the muscles, which makes them relax more easily.

Advantages
  • Relieves tension
  • Deeply relaxing
  • Can be used at any time
Disadvantages
  • Increases electricity costs
  • Does not replace a masseur
  • Only a few degrees warmer than body temperature

What are the features of an infrared back massager and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

These massagers are equipped with infrared light that can shine on your back. Infrared light is of such a nature that it penetrates deep into your body and can reach deeper muscle layers.

The light has a warming effect, which can relieve sore muscles or tension. Infrared thus has a supportive function during massage.

Infrared is also said to be good for preventing cancer, as good cells are strengthened by the light.

The disadvantage is that the use of light costs more electricity. Furthermore, it is recommended to use the infrared only for a limited time, otherwise it is too intense and can cause pain.

Advantages
  • Relieves tension
  • Deeply relaxing
  • Can be used at any time
Disadvantages
  • Increases electricity costs
  • Slightly more expensive than other models
  • Can only be used for a short time

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a battery-powered back massager?

A back massager with a rechargeable battery does not have to be connected to the power supply all the time. You only need to charge the battery every now and then, and can otherwise use your massager on the move.

This means that you can freely place your back massager with battery in your home, move it at any time or even take it with you. This means you can also take your back massager with you on your next holiday.

The disadvantage is that you have to remember to charge the battery in between. In addition, the battery may weaken over time and you may need to replace it.

Advantages
  • Mobile
  • no increased electricity costs
  • can be used at any time
Disadvantages
  • Battery needs to be charged
  • battery may need to be replaced

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a vibrating back massager?

With a back massager with vibration function, you can set the massager to vibrate in addition to the massage. This adds another massage movement to the kneading, which can relieve your tension.

The vibration loosens up your back in a targeted way. Such back massagers are often available with several different vibration levels so that you can adjust the massage to your needs.

Furthermore, the vibration leads to deep relaxation. However, this function increases the electricity costs.

If used for too long, the vibration might become uncomfortable, so you should only use these back massagers for a certain time.

Advantages
  • Relieves tension
  • Loosening effect
  • Can be used at any time
Disadvantages
  • Increases electricity costs
  • Does not replace a masseur
  • Can only be used for a limited time

Here is a test of different back massagers:

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate back massagers

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible back massagers.

The criteria you can use to compare back massagers include:

  • Material
  • Design or shape
  • Number of massage heads
  • Suitability for body regions

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Material

Back massagers are made from a wide variety of materials. Massage heads are often made of silicone or wood.

The surface of the back massager is usually made of plastic, which is particularly easy to maintain.

All you have to do is wipe it with a damp cloth. Other back massagers have a layer of fabric over the massage buttons.

Here is an overview of possible fabrics and their properties:

Material Description Properties
Cotton Cotton is harvested from a plant that usually grows in the (sub-) tropics. Natural fibres are made from the harvested seed hairs, which are then used to make the hat Cotton has a low allergy potential.
Synthetic fibres Are produced synthetically from man-made fibres. These can be used as yarn for clothing. Feels very soft. The material is also hard-wearing.

There are also back massagers that are not electric and are made entirely of wood or metal. These have to be operated manually.

Back massagers can be made from a wide variety of materials. Before buying, consider what features your massager should have.

Design or shape

Back massagers come in a wide variety of designs. One type of back massager is like an armchair that you can sit in to be massaged.

Similarly, there are also massage mats that you place on a chair or armchair to be massaged.

On the other hand, there are also back massagers in the shape of a dolphin or a stick. Other options are massage cushions that you lie on or place over your shoulders.

Furthermore, back massagers are not only available in different shapes, but also in different colours and from different brands.

So you can choose your massager from a wide range of designs.

Number of massage heads

The number of massage heads is another important criterion, as they perform the massage.

The more massage heads your back massager has, the more parts of your back will be massaged at the same time.

Often back massagers have 8 massage heads. The lowest number is 2 and the highest is 18. It is also important to consider what movement the massage heads perform.

The number of massage buttons also plays into the distance between the massage buttons.

This distance should not be too large, otherwise there will be large areas of your back that will not be massaged.

Suitability for body regions

It is important to pay attention to which body regions your massager is suitable for when buying it.

Some back massagers are only suitable for a part of the back, others can be used for completely different parts of the body, such as a foot reflexology massage.

Therefore, it is best to read the information on the back massager you are interested in buying to find out what it can be used for.

Massage pillows, for example, are often suitable for many different parts of the body, including the back, neck and legs.

Image source: 123rf.com / 97853277

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