Best Back Massager Reviews and Guide / 2020

Are you one of millions of people worldwide who suffer with chronic back pain? Maybe you’re one of several million who often wake up stiff? Do you suffer with anxiety or high-stress? If so, you might want to consider getting the best back massager.

About Back Massagers

Back massagers are one of the most wide-spread home care devices on the market. Largely, in part to their versatility when it comes to the effects of their treatment.

Back massagers are often used to reduce soreness and stiffness in individuals who suffer from degenerative muscular diseases or those that work in careers that require physical strain. There are other benefits of using the machine, though.

Many models and individuals in the fashion industry use regular back massages to improve their posture. When the muscles in the back are relaxed and ready, they work well together to keep the back straight and the head held high.

Regular massage can also improve the immune system and reduce stress and anxiety.

back pain

Factors to Consider when buying Back Massager

Of course, when purchasing the best back massager, some can become overwhelmed with the number of products on the market. How do you know which massager is the best quality and right for you? There are several factors to consider to make this process easier. The factors are:

  • Type of Massage Offerings
  • Heat Offering
  • Price
  • Portability
  • Durability

Factor #1: Type of Massage Offerings

Different machines offer different kinds of massages. A popular choice is a vibrating massage which covers the entire surface area of the massager. The machine, itself, vibrates which sends the vibrations into the tissue of the back. The vibrations can loosen the muscle and help work out tension. Sometimes, heat is also used in conjunction with the vibration for added relief.

Other machines use manual or automatic rollerballs or kneading motors. Some use small electric shocks.

Machines that offer focalized massage options tend to be more beneficial because the more troublesome parts of the muscle see the most benefit.

Factor #2: Heat Offering

Machines that offer heat usually do a better job of loosening tension than those that don’t. Because the heat can penetrate into the tissue, it helps to relax the muscles alongside the progress that the massage, itself, is making.

Additionally, massagers that provide heat normally have a “heat only” setting. This can be hugely rewarding to someone that maybe doesn’t need a massage, but still needs the assistance in relaxation or to bring down swelling in relation to an injury.

It is important to keep in mind, though, that heated machines can be a fire hazard. Look for one with a safety shut-off.

Factor #3: Price

Obviously, when we make purchases, we all look to make that purchase at the most affordable cost. As in any market, back massagers come with a pretty wide variety of price tags.

Normally, the cheaper a product is made, the less effective it will be. This often causes some consumers to overlook a small price tag and look for something mid-range or higher. We should be wary of that line of thought, though. Sometimes a smaller priced machine works just as well as its more expensive counterparts and sometimes the more expensive models fall short of doing the best job possible.

Chances are, whatever your price range, you can find a machine that is affordable for you. Don’t break the bank, but definitely make sure you’re getting the best back massager for your dollar.

Factor #4: Portability

If you need a back massager, you probably don’t just need one at home. Many people who work sedentary jobs in offices or driving require a back massager to help them maintain their posture throughout the day and soothe the aches and pains that come with an immobile lifestyle.

You want to be sure that your machine can travel with you wherever you think you will need it most.

Factor #5: Durability

Another thing that all consumers have in common is that we don’t want to spend our hard-earned money on a product that will stop working too soon. As with any purchase, a consumer should investigate previous reviews as well as the company’s manufacturing practices to determine if the product is built to last. Nothing is more frustrating than buying a product only for it to quit or lose function after a few uses.  This is also a good time to investigate guarantee and warranty practices to see if the company is willing to stand by their product and repair or replace if needed.

Best Back Massager Reviews

Below, we will examine three of the best back massager that is currently on the market. Using our five factors, we will see which products fall short or measure up to consumer demand and weigh them against one another to determine which is best. Each of these models is designed differently and by a different manufacturer. They are:

  • LiteAid Any-Surface Massage Pad from Hammacher-Schlemmer
  • Healthmate Forever YK15AB TENS unit massager
  • Viktor Jurgen Shiatsu Kneading Back Massager

So which is the best back massager for you?  Let’s take a look.

1. Hammacher-Schlemmer LiteAid Any-Surface Massage Pad Review

LiteAid Any-Surface Massage Pad from Hammacher-Schlemmer
LiteAid Any-Surface Massage Pad from Hammacher-Schlemmer

This massage chair pad has a pretty simplistic design. At first glance, it resembles a yoga mat. It can roll up and be put away for easy storage. Inside the mat, there are various motors that vibrate different parts of the body or all of the body, if needed.

Feature #1: Can Be Used on Any Surface

Because of the lightweight and flexible design of this machine, it can be used virtually anywhere. In advertising, there are various photographs of the machine being used in a chair, on the floor, in the bed, or on the sofa. One advertisement even has a lady lying on the mat on the beach- talk about a relaxing afternoon!

It could also, in theory, be used in a car if an adapter is used. Because of the versatility in how this machine can be used, it makes it a seemingly great choice for individuals who travel or need frequent back massages throughout the day. If there is one downside to the design, it is that, once rolled up, the mat is still very long and could be difficult to carry.

Feature #2: Customizable Massage

This machine boasts a focused Shiatsu massage option. Just those words alone are enough to make anyone reach for their wallet. A Shiatsu massage is a deep tissue massage that normally focuses on the trouble areas of the body. With a series of motors throughout the machine, you can elect to have all, a few, or even just one of the motors running at a time. This means that you can reach all your trouble areas separately or together.

When you’re in charge of your own massage, the massage tends to be more effective. This is due to the fact that nobody but you really knows how a certain technique feels at any given time. If something feels wrong, this machine offers you a chance to alter the intensity or placement of the vibration so that it works more to your liking.

Feature #3: Designed to provide a Full-Body Massage

The design of the machine is rather long, which allows for an individual to spread it out fully and actually treat themselves to a full-body massage. Motors near the knees, hips, and ankles can help relieve tension in areas that normally are overlooked by massage machines.

This is a great bonus for people who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other chronic pain disorders because it allows for more trouble areas to be reached without paying top dollar for a professional masseuse.


  • The machine is very portable
  • Features a plethora of customizable massage options
  • Can be used in either the laying or sitting position


  • The massage seems to be very weak
  • This machine has sometimes-faulty mechanics that wear out fast
  • The machine is too noisy for use in a shared setting

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2. Healthmate Forever YK15AB TENS Unit Massager Review

Healthmate Forever YK15AB TENS Unit Massager
Healthmate Forever YK15AB TENS Unit Massager

This electronic pulse massager has an interesting design. It looks like something from a Sci-Fi television program. To explain, it is a remote control device with a series of labeled buttons and wires coming out of it. At the end of each wire is a pad that sticks to a particular area of the body.

When you use the device, you press the buttons to stimulate the muscles in the associated pad. The pad sends an electro-shock wave into the tissue, thus creating the massage.

Feature #1: Offers a Lifetime Warranty

This machine comes with a lifetime warranty. The manufacturer is so confident in the quality of their product, that they offer a full replacement or repair for any of these machines that are purchased if they should wear out or break as a result of factory or design defect.

The warranty covers wires, pads, and remote and is available at no additional charge with purchase.

Feature #2: Provides Acupuncture Simulation

Have you ever heard of an acupuncture machine? You have now. One of the most sought-out forms of alternative healing is available through the use of this device. Instead of actually puncturing the skin, the electro-shock mimics the stimulation that the puncture provides. Because of the simulation of acupuncture, similar results come to light.

This is a great draw for fans of alternative medicine or anyone that feels vibration or heat massage machines aren’t strong or focused enough to meet their needs.

Feature #3: Powered by AAA Batteries for Use anywhere

This machine is powered by AAA batteries, which are easy to find and replace and can be purchased in rechargeable packs. Thanks to the implementation of battery power, this machine is highly portable and does not even require an electrical outlet for use. Remember that photo of the LiteAid on the beach? It could actually be a reality for the Healthmate. Of course, I probably wouldn’t suggest wearing it near the water.


  • Low Cost/High Quality
  • Has many Added Features
  • Portable
  • Provides a Lifetime Warranty


  • There is a Learning Curve for using the machine

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3. Viktor Jurgen Shiatsu Kneading Back Massager Review

Viktor Jurgen Shiatsu Kneading Back Massager
Viktor Jurgen Shiatsu Kneading Back Massager

This model also has a pretty simplistic design. The Viktor Jurgen model is a pillow-like pad that fits into the arch of the lower back. Inside the pad, there are a series of massaging motors and heating pads to help stimulate and relax the muscles in the back. It is recommended for use in the seated position, like in a chair or a motor vehicle.

Feature #1: Provides Lumbar Support

One of the main problems with back pain is poor posture. The Viktor Jurgen back massager provides lumbar support in the lower back, helping the spine stand straight and the shoulders rest back. This improves posture, taking tension off of the weakest parts of the back.

When the back is supported and holding at better posture and the strained muscles are also being treated, this means the effects of the massage will last much longer. Even if you are not using the heat or vibration features of the massager, you can still lean against it in your seat for posture support, which will decrease the frequency of back pain on its own.

Feature #2: Comes Equipped with Power Supply for Car or Home

Because this mechanism is a convenient choice for home or car, it only makes sense that there would be power options available for both. Thankfully, the folks at Viktor Jurgen agree. The massager comes equipped with both an in-home charging unit and one that plugs into the car.

Thanks to the technology of the car adapter, you can take your massage with you wherever you go- even that horrible rush hour traffic!

Feature #3: Built-In Overheating Protection

Remember when we talked about making sure heated devices offered safety shut off? This one has it. After thirty minutes of use with the heating feature, the Viktor Jurgen model will shut the heat off, making you re-select the heating feature to turn it back on. To some, that might sound like a nuisance, but to anyone that has ever fallen asleep on a heating pad and woke up burned or left a heating massager running at home and returned to find a fire, it’s a valuable addition to this massager’s design.

Your homeowner’s insurance policy will thank you.


  • Portable with dual cord options
  • Provides Lumbar Support
  • Has Safety Features
  • Quiet


  • High Price
  • Short Cord

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Comparison between All 3 Models

Now that we have looked at each of these models individually, it is time to see how they measure up to one another. Each model had good and bad qualities and a wide array of consumer opinions attached. When it comes to making a final decision, we need to be conscious of how each of our five factors plays into each of these devices and which one wins out overall.

Let’s take a look.

Comparison Factor #1: Massage Offerings

All three models boast Shiatsu-type massages but seem to operate at varying success.

The LiteAid Model seemed to be the worst of the three, despite its generous offering of full-body and focused massages. Consumers complained that the massage simply was not strong enough.

The Healthmate Model had the added appeal of acupuncture simulation making the experience seemingly the best of the three.

The Viktor Jurgen model offered a strong, quiet Shiatsu massage with lumbar support.

Comparison Factor #2: Heat Offering

Unfortunately, only the Viktor Jurgen model offered heat.

Comparison Factor #3: Portability

All three models claim portability as a plus, but it takes a deeper look into them to determine that this isn’t necessarily the case.

The LiteAid model rolls up for easy carry, but is long and awkward to handle in most situations. The Healthmate is portable thanks to its lightweight design and AAA battery power, but is probably an awkward sight if you use it in most settings with its spider-like wiring and pad placement throughout the body.

The Viktor Jurgen seems to be the victor in the portability category thanks to its alternative power supply options, small size, and ability to fit into any seat.

Comparison Factor #4: Durability

According to online reviews, the LiteAid model was made with a plastic-like fabric that wore out rather fast. In contrast, the Viktor Jurgen model seemed to be quite durable and “sturdy” for upright lumbar support in any seat.

The winner of the durability category, though, is the Healthmate- not only because it is well-built, but because the company stands firmly by their product. Healthmate offers a lifetime warranty on the device and will replace or repair any massager that becomes inoperable due to manufacturer defect.

Final Verdict

After all, things are considered, there is only one clear winner: Of our three choices, the Healthmate Forever YK15AB TENS unit massager wins thanks to its unique design, Shiatsu and Acupuncture offerings, easy AAA power supply, and high affordability at under $50.

With so many positive reviews available online, it’s clear to see that customers of Healthmate would agree that it is the best back massager.