Every day, whether you realize it or not, your neck and shoulders are under constant strain almost all of the time. It happens when you’re working at a computer office, looking down at your phone’s screen for hours, or carrying heavy objects without proper posture.
So how would you like a personal masseuse to unwind those knots and soothe your sore muscles? What if you could have this masseuse ready to pop out on-demand and work their magic? Well, you’re basically describing a neck & shoulder massager!
And while we’ve covered all sorts of massagers — including the best foot massagers for plantar fasciitis, the best handheld back massagers, and best foot and leg massagers for diabetic neuropathy — today, we’re reviewing the 9 best neck & shoulder massagers to help you find the right machine for your needs.
We’re also presenting you with a detailed buying guide to make sure you land a suitable purchase. So, let’s not waste any time and get started!
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Best Neck & Shoulder Massagers:
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Kicking off our list with one of the most top rated massagers out there, the RESTECK Neck & Shoulder Massager is an excellent solution for users seeking a luxurious spa experience at the press of a button.
This machine is made of premium-grade leather using high-quality craftsmanship and solid stitching to ensure an extended service time. The RESTECK Massager houses 8 nodes moving together to provide an authentic deep kneading massage to reduce tension and relieve the pain of sore muscles.
This massager has an ergonomic shape designed to fit snugly against the curves of your neck and shoulders. Such proximity boosts the soothing effects of the shiatsu kneading.
To help you personalize your massage experience, the RESTECK Neck and Shoulder Massager carries 4 buttons on the side of the unit that you can easily access and use.
These buttons control the speed of the nodes (lets you select one of 3 different levels), the direction of kneading (allows you to switch between clockwise and anticlockwise motion), as well as the heating function which produces a comfortable temperature to get rid of built-up stress and knots.
The RESTECK Massager is a rather expensive machine. In fact, it’s the most costly option on our list. Then again, it does come with several accessories to make up for the extra cash.
For example, the package includes a leather carrying bag so you can simply pack it when you’re on the move. Besides the regular wall adapter, you also get a car charger for maximum flexibility and portability.
- Premium construction
- Good heating function
- Lets you switch massage direction
- Comes with a leather carrying bag
- Includes car adapter
Sporting thousands of positive reviews, the MaxKare Shiatsu Neck & Shoulder Massager offers outstanding value for money with maximum personal care in mind. You can clearly see this demonstrated by the highly ergonomic design of the machine, which allows it to hug the contours of your neck and shoulders for effective reach.
The exterior of the MaxKare Massager is made of deluxe PU (poly leather) that’s both soft on the skin and easy to clean with a regular wipe.
On the inner side, you can find a mesh layer with holes spread evenly along the length of the massager. Their job is to promote heat penetration and moderate the intensity of the nodes without inhibiting their bi-directional movement.
Speaking of nodes, there are 8 of them working to deliver shiatsu techniques at 3 different levels of adjustable intensity. For a more personalized service experience, you can turn on the heat function to further soothe sore muscles. Thanks to the overheating protection, you don’t have to worry about accidentally hurting yourself.
The MaxKare Massager comes with a shut-off timer to remind you that enough time has passed, and make sure you don’t overstimulate your body. You do have to plug the machine into an outlet if you want it to work; there isn’t a battery option for wireless mode.
Additionally, this machine is UL and FDA approved for safety and quality. You also get a power adapter and a car adapter to enjoy relaxing sessions on the go. As the cherry on top, you receive a 30-day refund if you’re not totally pleased with the product. Make sure you also check our guide to the best tens units for sciatica.
- Premium leather
- 8 nodes for deep kneading
- Overheat protection
- UL and FDA approved
- Comes with a car adapter
- No wireless mode
The Naipo Neck & Shoulder Massager has hundreds of positive reviews praising its effective performance when it comes to improving the general wellbeing of users.
The massager is made out of high-quality PU leather to endure frequent use and the wear that comes along. It’s lined with a mesh layer to support breathability, boost heat distribution, and let you move more freely.
The Naipo Massager delivers great coverage thanks to the ergonomic design that allows you to easily adjust the massager over your neck, shoulder, and upper back areas for a better reach.
It applies shiatsu massage techniques using 8 kneading nodes moving in a bi-directional motion. You can even alter the speed and intensity levels of the massage to match your preference.
For added comfort, the Naipo Massager also offers a warm massage function for extra stressful days. The 4 nodes responsible for heat produce temperatures between 96.8 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s an overheat protection system to ensure your safety.
The Naipo Massager operates rather quietly, with a noise level measuring under 60 decibels. This means you can use the massager in just about any setting without disturbing others, be it at work or at home. The machine also features a 15-minute timer that shuts off automatically to save energy and maintain a risk-free experience.
The control buttons for all the functions we mentioned are quite clear and responsive, but we don’t particularly appreciate their placement on the side since they’re not within comfortable reach.
The Naipo Neck & Shoulder Massager is available in 4 different colors and comes with a 30-day full refund policy to protect your investment.
- Has 8 kneading nodes
- Different massage direction and speed levels
- Gentle on the skin
- Durable material
- Good customer service
- Awkward position of controls
- On the pricey side
For shoppers on a budget, the RENPHO Neck & Shoulder Massager promises impressive tension and stress relief, utilizing 8 massage nodes to provide users with a professional-grade deep-kneading massage experience.
This machine is equipped with 3D massage nodes rotating in a way that simulates human hand movements for a performance as realistic as possible. You can even adjust the massage direction at any given time, granting you more control without sudden changes in pace.
Moreover, you can select the ideal massage intensity or speed (low, medium, high) depending on what your body needs each day. The RENPHO Massager will automatically shut off after 15 minutes to ensure you don’t overwork your neck and shoulders.
Alongside the soothing optional heating function, the RENPHO Neck & Shoulder Massager features a built-in vibration mode. The vibration is actually independent of the shiatsu kneading itself, which means you get to decide when and if you want to turn it on.
The RENPHO Massager is made of durable leatherette material, which is soft to the touch but also sturdy enough to withstand wear and tear.
Like previous models, this massager is fitted with breathable mesh fabric to efficiently dissipate heat, prevent direct contact between your body and the kneading nodes, as well as provide cushioned intensity.
We do appreciate the presence of a heating function, but it can be a bit of a let down if you’re expecting relatively high temperatures from your massager.
- Durable leatherette material
- 15-minute timer
- Independent vibration mode
- 3-speed options
- Heat is somewhat disappointing
- The controls aren’t very clear
If you’re looking to unwind in style, then this Neck & Shoulder Massager from Magic Makers is a fantastic option for you to consider.
It’s made using soft leather and stretchy mesh fabric to give you a buffered, long-lasting performance minus the need for a cushioning cloth. The machine itself is rather elegant, with a brown and off-white color scheme for a luxurious touch.
The Magic Makers Neck & Shoulder Massager has an ergonomic U-shaped design to ensure a snug fit along the contours of the human body. As for the size of the machine, it’s not too bulky so it won’t get in your way or affect your productivity.
This Neck & Shoulder Massager is equipped with 8 massage nodes that offer deep kneading motions, which is great if you’re interested in a more profound impact. Still, you can set the machine to low, moderate, or high intensity to suit your needs.
Additionally, the heat function delivers a comfortable temperature of about 119°F to soothe tension in the muscles without risks. The overheat protection ensures maximum safety, while the shut-off timer prevents overestimation.
The Magic Makers Neck & Shoulder Massager comes with arm slings to let you better adjust its position, as well as a car adapter to power the unit virtually anywhere.
- Snug U-shaped design
- Deep kneading experience
- Arm slings for better positioning
- Automatic timer
- Heat protection
- Heat isn’t very effective
For budget-conscious shoppers, this Neck & Shoulder Massager from Snailax will give you all the benefits of an effective and relaxing massage without breaking the bank.
The Snailax Neck & Shoulder Massager applies the deeply soothing technique of shiatsu massage, under the concept of carefully applying pressure on target tension spots to relieve stress and soothe sore muscles.
This machine features 8 rotating nodes, moving simultaneously to provide you with a thorough massage. Also, it’s equipped with a built-in 3D roller that mimics finger pressure motion against your skin for an extra immersive massage experience.
The Snailax Massager includes an intuitive control panel that enables you to adjust the entire operation of the machine via easy-to-access buttons.
For customization, you can choose a low or high shiatsu intensity and select the kneading direction to be either clockwise or anticlockwise. Moreover, there’s a button to control whether to activate or turn off the heat function
The Snailax Massager carries 2 safety features to make sure you receive risk-free performance.
On one hand, there’s an automatic shut-off timer that kills the operation after 15 minutes to avoid overstimulation. On the other hand, the overheating protection system prevents the temperatures from rising above the acceptable level.
The Snailax Massager comes with an additional removable flap. You can use it to cushion the intensity of the massage. You also get a car adapter so you can enjoy your spa on the road.
- Overheating protection
- Intuitive controls
- Detachable flap for cushioning
- Adjustable kneading direction
- Comes with a car adapter
- Limited speed settings
The Blue Elf Neck & Shoulder Massager is specially built to help relieve pain and wind down the stress of the day. It utilizes 8 kneading nodes with 16 massage heads, providing users with a real-life performance that mimics human hands.
What we really like about this machine is that the nodes switch their massaging direction each minute thanks to the auto-reverse feature. This promotes better distribution of motion for extra relaxing effects.
It also features an infrared heating unit that provides a constant temperature of 113°F to soothe your muscles and enhance blood flow. Moreover, the machine operates quietly with a noise level below 45 decibels so you and the people around you won’t be bothered.
The Blue Elf Neck & Shoulder Massager is made using soft fabric to avoid irritating your skin. It’s also easy to clean and comes with a timer that automatically shuts off for safety. The company offers 24-hour online customer service and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with their product.
- Changes kneading direction every minute
- 16 massage heads
- Constant infrared heat
- Works quietly
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- The cord is on the shorter side
Praised for its incredible value for money, the EAshuhe Neck & Shoulder Massager is packed with impressive features to deliver a convenient and effective performance.
It’s made using 3D mesh fabric that helps increase heat dissipation while being soft on the skin. You can also see a sturdy yet flexible stitching job on the machine for maximum durability and freedom of movement.
Besides being very well made, the EAshuhe Neck & Shoulder Massager is equipped with 8 massage nodes working to give you deep kneading that reduces fatigue and eases stiffness.
Like other candidates on our list, this machine includes 3 intensity levels as well as a heat function with overheat protection to ensure a personalized experience.
You need to plug the machine into a wall outlet whenever you want to run it, but there’s no battery backup for wireless sessions. You do, however, receive a car adapter for on-the-go sessions.
The EAshuhe Neck & Shoulder Massager has a built-in timer that shuts down the operation after 20 minutes to avoid soreness when you’re done. The product is backed up by a 30-day refund policy and a 24-month warranty to guarantee the quality delivered.
- Sturdy stitching
- Soft material
- 20-minute auto shut-off
- Easy to control
- 2-year warranty
- Can be too strong
Last but not least, the InvoSpa Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager is where innovation meets comfort to give you a unique spa experience.
The machine is equipped with 8 massage roller balls, consisting of 4 big nodes and 4 small nodes that are carefully installed to hit all the tension spots with just the right amount of pressure. You can pick the kneading intensity you prefer within 3 levels of ascending speeds.
Moreover, the InvoSpa Neck & Shoulder Massager has a neat feature that allows the machine to alternate between 2 massage directions every minute during the session. The goal here is to deliver the 3D effect with better distribution.
This massager also features a heating function via infrared technology to enhance the overall quality of your massage. The inner mesh lining promotes better heat penetration and cushions the kneading effect.
We like that the InvoSpa Massager comes with a sturdy carrying bag to make transportation easier. The package also includes wall and car adapters to operate your machine indoors or outdoors.
The somewhat bulky size of the InvoSpa Massager makes it a bit awkward to position correctly.
- Smart node placement
- Adjustable speeds
- Includes a carrying bag
- Easy to use
- Somewhat bulky size
How to Choose the Best Neck & Shoulder Massager?
When shopping for the best Neck & Shoulder Massager, there are several features you need to take into account so you can make the most out of your purchase.
First things first, you should be looking at the construction of the massager. Having low-quality materials used in building such a machine means you’ll probably get a week (at best) out of it before it starts to fall apart.
For this reason, you need to make sure the massager is made from premium leather or fabric, with sturdy stitching to endure frequent sessions.
The materials should also be soft on the skin to avoid irritation. We also prefer massagers lined with mesh on the inside because they offer better heat dissipation and improved breathability.
The best neck & shoulder massager is one that offers high adjustability. This includes adjustable speed, intensity, and direction of the massage.
Think about it, if you couldn’t control such aspects of your massage session to match your preferences, then what’s the point?
So, make sure you’ll be able to alter the settings of your massage to create an experience as personalized as possible.
Integrating a heat function is always a plus when it comes to head & shoulder massagers. Heat can help soothe aching muscles and loosen up tension knots, so it really makes a difference if your massager offers the option.
That being said, it’s also crucial that the massager has a built-in overheating protection system to shut down the operation if the temperature gets too high. This is to ensure your safety during each session.
One thing you don’t want to overlook is the controls of the massager. It’s important that the buttons are well located so you can easily reach them when you put on the machine.
The controls should also be clear and simple to understand. This helps prevent user errors and potential risks.
Finally, you need to consider the power source of the massager. Most models require connecting to a wall outlet, in which case you’ll also have to think about cord length and whether or not you’ll need to use an extension cord to move freely.
Some massagers have built-in batteries so you can use them in wireless mode. Other models come with car adapters for sessions on the go.
How to Use a Neck & Shoulder Massager?
Using a neck & shoulder massager definitely requires some learning. You’ll need to figure out how to properly work out the controls as well as achieve a proper position with the massager over the targeted area for maximum effect.
First, take some to get familiar with the buttons on the machine and recognize what function each one corresponds to. Generally speaking, any neck & shoulder massager is equipped with at least 4 buttons to do various functions.
There’s obviously going to be a button that turns on and shuts off the massager, whereas the rest of the buttons will probably allow you to make adjustments to the intensity and direction of the kneading nodes and massage heads.
Your machine may also offer a heat function, in which case you’ll find a button to control this feature.
When you’re confident that you know your way around the controls, it’s time for some action. Place the massager over your neck, with the”flaps” facing forward.
The standard U-shaped design of most of these machines will allow them to wrap around the neck, drape over and cover the shoulders.
One thing you should pay attention to is how snug the massager sits against your neck and shoulders. Make sure it closely hugs the shape of your neck and the curve of your shoulders. This allows you to feel satisfying pressure on your muscles when the nodes are working.
Keep in mind that you’ll probably need to use the massager a couple of times before you can create a perfectly personalized experience. So don’t hesitate to experiment with the machine’s positioning and its massage controls until you find what suits you best.
That being said, here are a few tips on using a neck & shoulder massager:
- If you plan on using heat, always start at a low temperature and work your way up from there as long as you’re comfortable.
Remember, heat treatment isn’t supposed to burn your skin or harm your muscles, so if your unit gets too hot, turn the heat down or ask for a replacement the machine is faulty.
- Similarly, begin your massage at a low intensity and adjust it if you feel you can handle it. Deep kneading can be too intense for many people if they place the machine directly against the skin.
In this case, try to lower the intensity (if possible), or use a towel/cloth to cushion the movement of the nodes.
- Take all kinds of jewelry off before using a neck & shoulder massager.
- If you have long hair, don’t forget to wear it up.
Neck & Shoulder Massagers – FAQs
What are the benefits of having a neck & shoulder massager?
When your neck is stiff, the arteries in the neck area are unable to efficiently supply blood to your brain. The reduced blood flow can cause headaches, insomnia, and anxiety.
Neck massages can help relieve muscle tension and ease stiffness, restoring normal blood circulation and preventing or resolving such symptoms.
Additionally, neck & shoulder massages can help with muscle pains. According to a study published in 2017 concerning the effect of massage therapy for shoulder pain, it was found to result in significant pain reduction over short and long-term treatment.
Can you drive while using your neck & shoulder massager?
We strongly advise you don’t drive while using a massager. You can use it in the car as long as you’re just a passenger.
Is it safe to use a neck & shoulder massager while pregnant?
A neck & shoulder massager can be a great way to destress while pregnant. However, it’s highly recommended that you consult your doctor first before using a massager. While a soft, gentle massage wouldn’t hurt, deep tissue kneading and heat treatments may not be very safe.
Choosing the top-performing neck & shoulder massager can surely get confusing with so many features to consider. This is why we made sure to include the 9 best neck and shoulder massagers so you can never go wrong no matter what you end up picking!
Although it costs a bit more than other candidates, we think that the premium materials and the customizable settings make for a wonderful massage experience. We also like that it comes with its own carrying bag which doesn’t only support portability, but also makes it super giftable!