Which shiatsu neck massagers are best? 

A shiatsu neck massager is an excellent investment for anyone who seeks a quick and easy way to alleviate neck pain on their own. While nothing beats the precision of a shiatsu-trained massage therapist, many shiatsu massage devices come close. 

The top choice for a neck massager that can perform deep kneading shiatsu pressure is the HoMedics Shiatsu Deluxe Neck & Shoulder Massager with Heat. However, you should consider several other self-treatment options on the market for neck pain. 

What to know before you buy a shiatsu neck massager 

Shiatsu massage benefits

Shiatsu originated in Japan and translates to “finger pressure,” describing the prominent technique associated with this massage modality. When receiving a shiatsu massage, the therapist will apply pressure into the client’s muscles with their thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet. Shiatsu massage sessions also utilize pressure points that follow Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians for energetic healing. 

Here are the top benefits reported by those who regularly use a shiatsu neck massager:

  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced stress 
  • Headache relief 
  • Promoting healing from injuries
  • Reduced stiff muscles 
  • Improved sleep 

Types of massage devices

Massage devices come in many forms and are individually designed to perform a massage appropriate for specific conditions. 

Here are some of the most common massage devices on the market today: 

  • Handheld electric massagers: A wand or other electoral massage device you control with your hands. 
  • Wearables: An electric massager you wear, such as a massage belt. 
  • Massage cushions and furniture: Any massage device that can be sat, stood or lied on, such as a massage chair. 
  • Shiatsu massagers: A massager with nodes that rotate mimicking finger pressure. 

Common causes of neck pain and discomfort 

Many underlying causes contribute to neck pain. Often neck pain involves the muscles that connect the head to the shoulders and back. As a result, neck pain can lead to tension headaches and backaches. Addressing neck pain requires understanding the underlying causes that result in the onset of pain and discomfort.  

Here are the most common factors that contribute to neck tension and pain: 

  • Poor posture 
  • Sitting for extended periods
  • Overusing the neck muscles causing physical strain
  • Stress leading to muscle tension
  • Injury that causes trauma to the neck muscles, such as whiplash
  • Degenerative conditions associated with aging, such as osteoarthritis 

What to look for in a quality shiatsu neck massager 

Shiatsu neck massagers with heat 

Like an electric heating pad, a heated electric massager is a hot compress that includes moving parts that massage muscles. A heated electric massager utilizes heat which allows messaging mechanisms to soothe tired muscles better and work deeper into muscle tissues. The best shiatsu neck massagers with heat will enable the user to adjust the temperatures. However, most shiatsu neck massager heating components are not adjustable and only include an on/off button.   

Infrared shiatsu neck massagers   

Infrared heating technology utilizes infrared heat to penetrate deeper into target areas compared to traditional heating pads. Some believe that infrared heat can tighten skin and reduce wrinkles and cellulite by promoting better circulation. However, there is little evidence to back up cosmetic health claims associated with infrared heat. Consider purchasing infrared shiatsu for its superior heating capabilities rather than potential beauty benefits. 

Shiatsu neck massagers with vibration 

A popular addition to an electric massage device is a vibration button. The leading shiatsu neck massagers offer different pulse options that vibrate at various speeds. The benefit to multiple vibration speeds is finding the level that soothes different levels of pain. While most users love the vibration option, some find it too intense, especially when combined with the deep tissue shiatsu massage nodes. 

How much you can expect to spend on shiatsu neck massagers 

Shiatsu neck massagers typically range from $35-$75 in price. 

Shiatsu neck massager FAQ

When shouldn’t a shiatsu neck massager be used?

A. Avoid using a shiatsu neck massage before consulting with a medical professional when experiencing any of the conditions listed below: 

  • Heath sensitivity
  • Circulation disorder 
  • Bruising on the neck 
  • Broken skin on the neck 
  • Sensitive skin
  • Recent injury 

How long should a shiatsu neck massager be used? 

A. Experts agree that a massager should not be used in one place for an extended period due to the risk of tissue damage. Holding a neck massager in one spot for more than a minute at a time can negatively affect the blood vessels and cause bruising. You should avoid the front of the neck due to the large blood vessels that run through the area. Maintain a soft and gradual pressure around the neck when using a neck massager.  

What’s the best shiatsu neck massager to buy?

Top shiatsu neck massager 

HoMedics Shiatsu Deluxe Neck & Shoulder Massager with Heat

HoMedics Shiatsu Deluxe Neck & Shoulder Massager with Heat

What you need to know:  A deep-kneading Shiatsu-style massage with heat, vibration, three speeds and four nodes on the neck with handles that you can easily position.

What you’ll love: You can reverse the direction of the massage nodes with the integrated control buttons. 

What you should consider: This device must be plugged in while using. 

Where to buy: Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s 

Top shiatsu neck massager for the money

Sharper Image Realtouch Shiatsu Massager

Sharper Image Realtouch Shiatsu Massager

What you need to know: Features six shiatsu nodes that rotate with the option to include heat in a wireless neck massager that is rechargeable.

What you’ll love: You can use the built-in arm straps to position the massager on the neck or looped around the feet.  

What you should consider: This neck massager is not large enough to reach the upper back.

Where to buy: Amazon and Macy’s

Worth checking out

HoMedics Cordless Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager with Heat

HoMedics Cordless Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager with Heat

What you need to know: This cordless shiatsu massager has a removable and washable cover for a neck and shoulder massage with heat. 

What you’ll love: The gripping and kneading motion of the massaging nodes addresses the upper back, shoulders and neck.  

What you should consider: Must be recharged frequently. 

Where to buy: Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s 


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

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