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Which neck massage pillow is best?

Whether you need to social distance right now or if you merely want an at-home method of addressing the knots on your neck and back, picking up a neck massage pillow may be an excellent option for you. 

Their small and versatile design lets you easily maneuver their position on your body and control the massage pressure with your body weight. The best neck massage pillow will include roll rotation control, heat and straps for better handling. A top pick is the Etekcity Cordless Neck Massage Pillow

What to know before you buy a neck massage pillow


The best neck massage pillows boast two sets of up to four nodes, one set for each shoulder, that rotate clockwise and counterclockwise under its fabric lining. This rotation should automatically shift directions to replicate a massage from a therapist. However, you should also be able to control that direction with the push of a button.

The pillow’s settings control the speed of the rotating nodes, but the pressure is determined by how hard you rest your weight on it when you are lying down or sitting or how hard you pull the straps toward your body while standing.


The best neck massage pillows are available in three main designs. First, there is the traditional pillow, which is intended to be used only while lying down. Those designs can optionally come with added elastics on the back, so you can use it while lying down or sitting on a chair. 

The third design includes straps with handles that let you better control its position and pressure regardless of whether you are standing, sitting or lying down.

Plug-in vs. cordless

The best neck massage pillows will either include a rechargeable battery or a cord that you must plug into the wall. 

The downside to the plug-in design is that it prevents you from moving away from the power source while using it. Because of that, rechargeable pillows are often best. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that you will often need to recharge it after 80-180 minutes of use. 

What to look for in a quality neck massage pillow

Massage options   

The best neck massage pillow will give you two sets of four nodes that rotate in a circular motion. While you may see some neck massage pillows with two nodes on each side, you will get a better massage with a four-node design.

You control the nodes’ pressure with your body weight, but the machine determines the speed, so buying one with multiple speed settings is ideal. 


The best neck massage pillows include a heated massage option, and some even let you select from either high or low heat settings. 


While traditional designs function incredibly well as a neck massage pillow, it is best to get one that includes handles so that you have the option to move around without disrupting your massage. 

How much you can expect to spend on a neck massage pillow

You can find the best neck massage pillows between $30-$60. 

Neck massage pillow FAQ

Is it possible to press too firmly on your neck massage pillow?

A. While it might feel like you are getting rid of knots by bearing down on your neck massage pillow, you should be aware that doing so could do more harm than good. In addition to putting undue stress on your muscles, ligaments and bones, you could also harm your skin. Apply firm pressure, but ease up when it gets uncomfortable. 

Can you use your neck massage pillow on your legs and calves?

A. Many neck massage pillows include other areas of your body such as your lower back, arms, thighs and feet as an appropriate area of use. However, it is always best to consult the product description to ensure that it can be used where you need it.   

What’s the best neck massage pillow to buy?

Top neck massage pillow

Etekcity Cordless Neck Back Massager

Etekcity Cordless Neck Back Massager

What you need to know: This is the best neck massage pillow if you want a cordless experience and straps so that you can get a great massage and remain mobile. 

What you’ll love: It lasts 3 hours on one charge, and it massages with eight rotating nodes that change directions every 60 seconds. Pick between three speed settings and two heat settings. It works on your neck, back, arms or legs. 

What you should consider: It is not recommended to use this neck massage pillow while driving, even though the product description shows a customer using it while driving.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top neck massage pillow for the money

Nekteck Store Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

Nekteck Store Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

What you need to know: This is an affordable plug-in neck massage pillow with three settings that let you control the speed of your massage. 

What you’ll love: It comes with eight rotating nodes for deep tissue or shiatsu massage with optional heat. The nodes automatically switch between clockwise and counterclockwise every 60 seconds. You control the pressure with its built-in straps, and it automatically shuts off after 15 minutes. 

What you should consider: This neck massage pillow only works while it is plugged in. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Snailax Cordless Neck Back Massager

Snailax Cordless Neck Back Massager

What you need to know: It gives you a wireless massage for up to 80 minutes on a single charge and comes with straps for more control. 

What you’ll love: It has eight optionally heated nodes that will knead your knots away with a shiatsu massage. It gives you two speed settings, and it automatically shuts off after 15 minutes. You can use it on your neck, back, thighs, legs and feet.

What you should consider: You can get a plug-in neck massage pillow with similar functionality for less.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Ella Scott writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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