Achy joints, tired muscles, sore back? They’re all very common complaints!
Massage devices are a quick and easy way to remedy sore and tight muscles whilst helping us unwind and relax – a golden combination.
Bad posture and other neck or shoulder strain can cause arthritis and other conditions later in life so it’s important to take them seriously whilst you can. Massage devices can also soothe and ease existing musculoskeletal issues, injury, or arthritis.
If you’re looking to buy one online, then it’s a great idea to do some extra research on the products available.
This article will review the best neck and shoulder massager brands available in the UK as well as factors to consider when buying one.
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Best Overall – Donnerberg Shiatsu Back Neck and Shoulder Massager with Heat
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An exceptionally high-quality premium Shiatsu massager, the Donnerberg Shiatsu Back Neck and Shoulder Massager even comes with a crazy 7-year warranty!
This German-engineered massage device is professionally made to provide Shiatsu massages to the back, neck, shoulders and pretty much any other body part.
It’s exquisitely well-made with both infrared heat therapy technology and additional vibration to provide a pretty comprehensive Shiatsu-style massage.
This excellent massage device has 3 massage speeds; gentle, medium and strong. There are also 2 heat settings and a vibration toggle. Turn everything up to the max for a serious deep-tissue Shiatsu massage!
Donnerberg is a highly reputable German brand who are well-known for their build quality and it’s pretty obvious that the Donnerberg Shiatsu Back Neck and Shoulder Massager meets expectations in this department.
The faux leather and mesh cover is soft but durable and can be removed for machine washing.
Like other Shiatsu-style massage devices, it has two wings that help you strap the device around the affected muscle group/body part. The controls are easily accessible from the wing.
A fantastic premium massage device with excellent build quality and enough settings and options to provide anything from a deep tissue massage to a lighter, more gentle relaxing massage.
Remember, if a Shiatsu massage feels too intense to begin with then you can pad it out with a towel until you’re used to it!
- Shiatsu-style massage device
- Infrared heating
- Faux-leather construction
- Superb built quality throughout
- Heat and vibration for more intense massages
- 7-year warranty
- Machine washable faux-leather cover
Runner Up – Snailax Cordless Neck Back and Shoulder Massager with Heat
The Snailax Cordless Neck Back and Shoulder Massager is a massage belt that is ideal for massaging the back of the neck and lower back, but can also be used across the stomach and legs.
It’s a Shiatsu-style massage device which means it has interlocking rolling balls which knead the muscles and soft tissues.
This is a fully wireless massage device with a rechargeable battery. It can be used when sitting at a desk or chair and will run for approx. 70 to 80 minutes on a single charge.
There are two levels of massage intensity and it’s also possible to change the direction of massage.
It has a heating mode too, so heat can be applied to the massage, and the intensity can be adjusted up or down. Overall, then, this is a pretty flexible device for its cost and is ideal for Shiatsu veterans as well as beginners.
The control panel is conveniently located on one of the arms of the device and the device itself is made from soft PU leather. It’s nice and ergonomic and fits snugly to the back. The best neck and back massager in the lineup.
- Back and neck Shiatsu massager
- Heating mode
- Adjustable intensity
- Wireless functionality
- Battery operated
- Widely adjustable settings
- Soft PU leather
- Excellent massage performance
Best Budget – RENPHO Massager Rechargeable Cordless Handheld Massager
As you can see, this is not a Shiatsu massager.
The RENPHO Massager Rechargeable Cordless Handheld Massager is a percussion massage device/massage gun which is best suited to more targeted massaging.
It’s still excellent for massaging the neck, back and shoulders but is also suitable for massaging sore spots within the legs, abdomen and arms. It’s a versatile piece of kit that is useful for both day-to-day massaging and sports massaging.
This is an innovative percussion massager with 4 modes and 5 different intensities.
It caters for anything ranging from light, relaxing massages on tired or sore muscles to full-blown intense sports massages for removing knots from calves and other muscles.
The RENPHO Massager Rechargeable Cordless Handheld Massager also comes with 5 removable heads designed for targeting different parts of the body/muscles.
There are heads specifically designed for the calves/shins, neck, spine/back and shoulders. The device is easy to charge from its own dedicated charging cradle/dock, which is great.
It auto shuts-off after 20 minutes of use, fantastic if you accidentally leave it turned on.
- Percussion massage device
- 4 modes and 5 massage intensities
- 5 removable heads
- Charging cradle/holder/dock
- Suitable for all-over and targeted massages
- Deep tissue massages are possible – great for athletes/the physically active
- Easy to use and safe
- Can’t be used whilst static/sitting (as you need one hand to operate it)
Well Reviewed – Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Soothing Heat
Yet another great Shiatsu-style massager, the Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Soothing Heat has 8 massage balls and 3 selectable intensities.
It also has an infrared heat toggle. It’s a flexible device that can provide deep massages if required.
The 8 massage balls are bi-directional and auto-reverse every minute to ensure an even and consistent massage.
Like others, this Shiatsu massage device massages in rolling, kneading motions – best suited to the back, shoulders and neck.
But like other Shiatsu massagers, including all of those in this list, it can effectively be used on other body parts like the legs and abdomen.
The massage it provides is quite intense – you can pad it out with a towel if you’re not used to it.
The Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Soothing Heat has wings on each side which allow you to strap it around your back or other body parts.
The controls are mounted on the wing for easy access. Overall, a fantastic Shiatsu device at a great price.
- Shiatsu-style massage device
- 8 bi-directional massage balls
- Heat therapy
- Strong mesh cover
- Superb budget Shiatsu massager
- Optional heat therapy
- Easy to use
- Capable of deep tissue massages
- Cover not a thick or soft as others
Best Neck and Back Massager Pillow – Comfort Supplies Shiatsu Back Massager Neck Massage Pillow with Heat
This budget neck and back massager is cheap but effective. It provides a high-quality Shiatsu-style massage complete with infrared heating to soothe muscles and soft tissues.
It has 4 large massage nodes that rotate in both directions and heating is togglable on and off. The shape and format of this massage device suits it to the neck and back, but it’s totally feasible to use it on the stomach and legs too. It has velcro tabs so it can be secured to chairs.
This is a cabled massage device, so it will need to be plugged into the mains to work.
However, it does come with a 12v car adapter so it can be strapped to a car seat and used in a car or other vehicle. The build quality is good – it has a breathable mesh cover and will automatically shut off after 15 minutes of use.
The Comfort Supplies Shiatsu Back Massager Neck Massage Pillow is not particularly large but can be easily transported. This makes it ideal for use on the go, or when transporting the device between rooms, etc.
It’s obviously a simple massage device but it gets the job done at an excellent price and has to rate as that best budget neck and back massager.
- Back and neck Shiatsu massager
- Heating mode
- Portable design
- Car adapter
- Light and easy to carry
- Can be used in vehicles
- Velcro straps
- Soft yet durable mesh cover
- Lacks extra features
Great Value Massage Pillow – iKristin Back Neck Massager Muscle Massage Pillow with Heat
Another pillow-style Shiatsu massager, the iKristin Back Neck Massager Muscle Massage Pillow is a very capable portable device with 4 modes/intensities and a lockable power lead that prevents you from accidentally detaching it during use.
It has a pretty low profile, making it easier to carry around.
This is another Shiatsu-style massage device in pillow form. It works like most other Shiatsu massage devices, with massage balls that knead the muscles in clockwise and counterclockwise motions.
It also has optional heat settings to provide a deep-tissue warming massage for particularly sore muscles and joints.
As a pillow massager, this is pretty easy to place on any body part ranging from the abdomen to back, shoulders, legs and neck.
Like other Shiatsu massagers, you might want to pad it out with a towel or blanket if you’re not used to the massage motion or intensity – in time you will get used to it and learn to enjoy it more and more!
The iKristin Back Neck Massager Muscle Massage Pillow also has a high-quality faux leather cover that is soft and easy to clean.
- Pillow Shiatsu-style massage device
- 4 selectable modes
- Heat mode
- Lockable power cable
- Portable and low profile
- Versatile – can be used on many parts of the body
- Heat for deeper massages
- Easily cleaned PU leather cover
The Benefits of Massage Machines
Massage machines bring the superb benefits of a massage into your home.
Most are easy to use and totally safe. If you do plan on using one for medical purposes then it’s best to consult a doctor but the truth is, many of us can benefit from a massage device, even if you’re not really sure whether you need one or not.
Often, you don’t know how stiff and sore your muscles are until you get a massage!
Massage machines improve tissue circulation by stimulating blood vessels under the skin. This can vastly improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage, improving blood flow to affected muscles.
This helps rehabilitate muscles by encouraging a fresh supply of nutrients to the affected area.
When left unattended, muscles tend to tighten up. This is particularly bad for those with unnatural or bad posture (e.g. when seated for long periods of time).
Just like an elastic band, muscles lose their elasticity and flexibility if left unstimulated. Massage machines stimulate the muscles to loosen them up and relieve tightness.
Relax The Body
Massages are both physically and psychologically relaxing. Massage machines can help you relax and unwind after a stressful day, all without the cost or hassle of a real massage!
Tighten Skin and Muscle Tone
By promoting a supply of fresh blood and nutrients to an area, massages can tighten the skin and muscles, improving tone and structure.
Types of Massage Machines
Massage machines come in a few different forms and picking the right one for you is important.
Shiatsu Massage Machines
The Japanese Shiatsu massage style uses kneading to work the muscles from all angles, massaging tissues and dramatically improving flexibility and tone.
The Shiatsu technique is one of the most popular and famous massage techniques and is fairly straightforward to replicate with massage machines.
A Shiatsu machine has rotating balls which compress, decompress and knead the neck, shoulder and back muscles. They can easily be operated whilst sitting, which is a bonus.
Shiatsu massages can feel pretty intense the first few times you have one. If your Shiatsu massage feels too intense then you can pad it out with a towel or blanket. You will get used to it, though, and it will feel great!
Percussion Massage Sticks
Massage sticks or guns use percussion – powerful vibration – to provide a more targeted deep tissue massage.
These are optimal for treating particularly sore spots, muscle injuries or knots and areas of tightness. Massage sticks are more targeted than Shiatsu massage machines and are particularly useful in sports therapy.
Some awesome massage devices here, no matter what type of massager you’re looking for or the budget you have.
Be sure to do your research and you’ll have all the benefits of a massager in your own home in no time.