Last updated: August 10, 2021
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A neck or back massage is very relaxing and beneficial for many people. However, it is not always possible to find someone to massage you in everyday life. With a massage cushion, you can give a massage at any time ─ even to parts of the body that you cannot reach on your own.

We have compared several massage cushions in our massage cushion test 2022 and listed some advantages and disadvantages. We want to help you find the perfect massage cushion for your needs and make your purchase decision easier.


  • You can use a massage cushion as a practical wellness tool in everyday life. There are massage cushions not only for the home, but also for the car and at work. These can be used on the move thanks to their battery operation.
  • There are massage cushions that are especially suitable for the head, neck or back. These have different shapes, massage programmes and strengths. You can usually adjust the strength individually according to your wishes.
  • Massage cushions with a heat function are particularly relaxing. Other functions can include an integrated automatic switch-off or a remote control for the massage cushion, which increase your comfort during the massage.

The Best Massage Cushion in the United Kingdom: Our Choices

Massage cushion: Buying and evaluation criteria

Massage cushions can help you relieve tension, provided they are used in the right place and in the right way. We would now like to list the criteria that can be relevant before use:

To make it easier for you to decide which pillow to buy, we will explain some of the criteria and what they are. Which cushion is right for you depends on your personal preferences.

Power supply and safety shut-off

Before buying, you should ask yourself whether a mains-operated or battery-operated massage cushion is more suitable for you. While with a mains-operated massage cushion you have to make sure that you are near a power outlet, a battery-operated massage cushion offers you more flexibility.

When massaging before sleep, a safety switch-off is particularly important.

The safety switch-off on the massage cushion ensures comfort and safety. Here, not only the heat generated by the infrared light is decisive, but also overheating due to prolonged use of the massage heads.

If you do not switch off the massage cushion directly, there is a risk that the device will burn out. If your device has a safety switch-off, it will usually switch off automatically after about 15 minutes and thus protect against overheating.

Intended use

Do you want to use the massage cushion only at home or do you also want to be able to use it in the car and when travelling? For travelling, you should make sure that your massage cushion is not too big and has a relatively low weight.

If the massage cushion is not battery-operated, you should make sure that you can charge it in the car with a car adapter and that this is included in the scope of delivery.

A massage cushion with a fastening strap is suitable for use in the car. You can attach it to the headrest and have your neck massaged comfortably. You can also lean the massage cushion against the backrest to massage your lower back.

If you are driving the car yourself, you must not use a massage cushion. This is only allowed during breaks or, for passengers, while driving.

Also, before you buy a massage cushion, you should know which areas of the body you want to use it for so that you can choose a suitable product. Not every massage device is suitable for massaging the legs, arms or shoulder area.

For example, there are massage cushions that are especially suitable for the neck and upper back area. If you want to use your massage cushion for the entire back, other massage cushions are much more suitable. Pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions.

Number of massage heads and functions

Massage cushions differ in the number of massage heads. They may also have some additional functions, which we would like to list here:

  • Heat or infrared function: Additional options such as a heat or infrared function provide extra comfort and stimulate blood circulation. This can enhance the massage and relaxation effect.
  • Number of massage buttons: When buying, also consider the number of massage heads or nodes. The closer together the knobs are and the more knobs there are, the more even the massage will be.
  • Usability: Another purchase criterion is the usability of the massage cushion. You can usually control the massage cushion with an integrated control element, but there are also massage cushions that you control with a remote control. Depending on your personal preference, you may find one version more pleasant and easier to use.
  • Massage programmes: The number of different massage programmes for massage cushions varies. Find out about them before you buy and try out the massage cushion (if possible) to find out whether the massage meets your expectations.
  • Direction and strength of the massage: The direction in which the massage is given and whether it can be adjusted as desired are also relevant. It is certainly more pleasant and less monotonous for you if the strength of the massage movements can also be adjusted to your needs.

Removable massage cushion covers

Removable and washable covers stand for easy, hygienic use and offer you a feeling of sufficient cleanliness during frequent use. Such a cover can be quickly removed, replaced and washed. You can continue to use your massage cushion without waiting if you have two covers.

Most massage cushion covers are made of a cotton/polyester mixture or imitation leather.

You usually cannot remove the imitation leather cover, but you can use special cleaning agents to prevent impurities from accumulating in the cover. A cotton-polyester cover can be easily cleaned in the washing machine at gentle temperatures.

Massage cushion: Frequently asked questions and answers

Now we would like to help you with the most important questions. We have selected a few questions for you and will answer them shortly. We would like to give you some essential background knowledge about massage cushions.

What effect can a massage cushion have?

In principle, a massage cushion works like a conventional massage. Your tense and cramped muscles are hardened and can be loosened by a masseur with heat or rollers.

The integrated massage heads move along the tense muscles and thus loosen them. Vibrations can also be used here to trigger deeper muscle layers and thus release tension.

Hier ist ein Tablett mit Kerzen, Steinen und etwas Seife zu sehen.

After a stressful day, you can use the massage cushion to take some time for yourself and relax. To create a spa-like atmosphere, you can light some candles and turn on some relaxing music (Image source: Miguel Del Sol / unsplash).

The massage heads of the massage cushion imitate the Japanese shiatsu massage, which involves rolling over trigger points and applying a lot of pressure for a short moment. This triggers the muscle and afterwards, tension can be released through a gentle massage.

With a massage cushion, the rolling balls replace the masseur and provide a soothing and relaxing massage effect. The massage balls exert targeted pressure on areas of tension.

If the massage cushion also has a vibration function, the massage is even more valuable, as this stimulates the blood circulation and extends the massage effect to other parts of the body.

Who is a massage cushion suitable for?

Massage cushions are particularly suitable for people who often experience tension due to an incorrect sitting posture or suffer from back pain due to a poor sleeping position. Doctors generally recommend not using massage cushions with pacemakers or other medical implants.

You should not use an abdominal or vibration massage during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the extra weight can cause tension and cramps. These unpleasant side effects can often be alleviated with a back massage.

You should lie on your side, as the blood circulation could be disturbed if you lie on your back. An abdominal or vibration massage would also loosen the skin that has become loose due to pregnancy.

Hier ist eine Hot Stone Massage abgebildet.

Even if no one else is available to give you a massage, you don't have to miss out. A massage tool, such as a massage cushion, can be used at any time (Image source: engin akyurt / unsplash).

After a herniated disc, the use of a massage cushion is largely discouraged because it massages the spot on which it rests. A physiotherapist or masseur, on the other hand, can specifically massage the pain points.

This avoids massaging the wrong spots and worsening pain or your health condition. A massage cushion is only recommended to a limited extent for chronic pain. Targeted treatment by a masseur or physiotherapist is also the better choice here.

Many women want to do something about cellulite. If the cellulite is hormonal, massage cushions can help to reduce it. In this case, regular blood circulation-promoting massages with special nap or groove attachments are particularly good. You should do a 15-minute massage several times a day to achieve a noticeable reduction.

What types of massage cushions are there?

Some massage cushions are especially suitable for the neck and upper back, others for the whole body.

Type advantages disadvantages
Shiatsu massage cushion suitable for the whole body, intensive massage possible possibly more expensive, heavier than a vibration massage cushion
Vibration massage cushion mostly applicable for all body areas not as intensive as a shiatsu massage
Shiatsu and vibration combination massage cushion very effective massage, combines the advantages of both massage types comparatively lower massage hardness
Back massage pillow ergonomic design, large-area massage usually difficult to transport when travelling
Neck massage pillow especially suitable for neck, shoulders and upper back, vibrating pillow, often comfortable croissant shape not suitable for the whole body
Full-body massage pillow most comprehensive massage, relaxation like in a spa usually difficult to transport when travelling

Here we would like to go into a little more detail about the individual types of massage:

  • Shiatsu massage: Shiatsu massage is a healing massage that originated in Japan. This type of massage can relieve pain and discomfort and contribute to general health. In many shiatsu massage cushions, four massage buttons move in a circular motion, massaging one part of the body.
  • Vibrating massage cushion: This massage cushion works on the basis of vibration or oscillation. It is usually suitable for all parts of the body, but you should pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions before using the vibration massage cushion.
  • Shiatsu vibration massage cushion: The combination of the two massage methods already mentioned is more compact and the massage heads roll vibratingly over the tense muscles, so that the massage also has an effect on adjacent parts of the body.
  • Back massage cushion: These massage cushions have an ergonomic design to stretch the spine and massage you in a way that is perfectly adapted to your body.
  • Neck massage cushion: This massage cushion is specially designed to massage the neck and shoulders. It often has the shape of a croissant cushion to adapt to the natural shape of the body and massage it in the best possible way.
  • Full body massage pillow: With a full-body massage cushion you get the full programme: you can be massaged from head to toe. Here, the blood circulation of the whole body is promoted and you can achieve a great relaxation effect.

How much does a massage cushion cost?

Massage cushions are available in different sizes and with different functions. Here we have listed the price ranges of different massage cushions.

Type price range
Shiatsu massage cushion approx. 20 to 55 euros
Vibration massage cushion approx. 20 to 50 euros
Shiatsu and vibration combination massage cushion approx. 25 to 55 euros
Back massage cushion approx. 20 to 60 euros
Neck massage cushion approx. 30 to 50 euros
Full body massage cushion approx. 30 to 130 euros

The additional functions can also be decisive for the price.

What are the alternatives to a massage cushion?

There are several alternatives to massage cushions ─ from electric to non-electric, from small hand-held devices to entire massage chairs. We have listed a few alternatives here.

Alternative Description
Handheld massager With handheld massagers you can massage any part of the body. However, with a solo massage, some parts of the body are difficult to reach and large-scale massages are not possible.
Massage chair Massage chairs look like recliners. While simple models only massage the back, more elaborate massage chairs can also massage other parts of the body such as the shoulders, legs, feet and arms.
Massage gun Massage guns can be used as therapeutic tools for deep massage. Precise vibrations and jolts can relieve tension and stimulate circulation and oxygenation.

However, there are other massage tools, such as facial rollers or massage gloves. Ultimately, however, these are based on the same or similar modes of action as the massage options already mentioned. Traditional massage by a masseur is also an option.

How long and often can I use a massage cushion?

The massage duration should be a maximum of 15 or 20 minutes. Many devices switch off automatically after this time. This has the advantage that you do not have to watch the time and can fully enjoy the massage.

Hier sind zwei Liegen eines Hotels mit Ausblick auf Berge zu sehen.

You can also take your massage cushion with you on holiday and use it several times a day. This way you are guaranteed to be totally relaxed at the end of your holiday (Image source: Manuel Moreno / unsplash).

If the massage is soothing and pain-relieving, you can use the massage cushion several times a day. As soon as you feel pain, you should stop the massage. If you use it incorrectly or for too long, it can not only cause pain, but also make existing pain worse.


Massage cushions can help reduce tension through their integrated massage technology. A distinction is made between shiatsu massage cushions, vibration massage cushions and a combination of both. The body regions for which the massage cushion can be used also differ from model to model.

Additional functions such as heat or infrared functions can make the massage even more effective and relaxing. Even though the massagers can relieve tension and cramps, regular exercise should not be neglected as this prevents complaints.

Image source: heinteh / 123rf