The 6 Best Massage Pillows for the Neck & Back (2024 Reviews)


Using a massage pillow for neck and back pain is one of the easiest, low-cost, and portable ways to relieve sore back and neck muscles, and prevent tension headaches – anywhere.


There are dozens of massage pillows on the market – vibrating, kneading (Shiatsu), massagers with heat, without heat – and some that have it all.

In this post, you’ll find how to choose a massage pillow and the 7 best ones (for the money) – in 2024.

massage pillows for neck and back

Anyone who suffers from knots, tight/stiff muscles, muscle spasms, and neck tension headaches will find these relatively low-cost pillows to be their new best friend and will save them a lot of money on chiropractor/masseuse visits.

In a Hurry?

Here’s a quick comparison between the top electric massage pillows, followed by the pros and cons of each device – to help you make a quick and smart choice.

Massage PillowOur RatingFeaturesPrice
Snailax Massage Pillow
🥇Best ValuePortable
4 nodes
Car adapter
Most comfortable
$40 with code VLT30 at Snailax
HoMedics SP-100H
Shiatsu & VibrationShiatsu+vibration
4 nodes
$49 at Homedics
Discount at checkout!
With neck support pillow and flap
Best Budget
4 massage nodes
Car adapter
$38 on Amazon
Nekteck Shiatsu Massage Pillow
Best Wrap Around8 massage nodes
Speed & direction
$32 on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links, at no extra cost to you.

Massage Pillow Pros and Cons

A massage pillow is a low-cost pain and stress relief tool for muscle tension and stiffness that you can use at home, at the office, or on travel.

They are lightweight and easy to carry and they are much more affordable than professional massage treatments for back, neck, and shoulder pain.

The best ones offer adjustable speed and intensity settings, but obviously, they will not be as versatile and effective as a human massage done by the hands of a professional.

Just like massage guns, they are limited in their reach and you’ll have to switch their placement to massage different areas of your body.

They are not powerful enough to be used as a medical tool for complete healing and solving of medical conditions, and some users may find Shiatsu massage pillows too rough.

However, they make a low-cost and effective tool for muscle stiffness, stress, and anxiety.

How to Choose a Massage Pillow

When you choose the best massage pillow, make sure you consider the number of massage nodes (the more the better), whether the nodes get heated (for boosted blood circulation), the number of massage types, the intensity and speed control, and the safety features (overheat turn off).

Finally, check the price and warranty.

Massage Pillow Types

There are 4 types of neck and shoulder massager pillows – all of them can bring immediate neck pain and stress relief – at home, work, or your car.

Neck massage pillows are versatile, and can be used anywhere on your body, including your legs, arms, feet, calves, back, and shoulders!

Here are the 4 common types of neck massage pillows:

1Vibrating massage pillows – gentle to powerful vibrating neck massage to loosen tight muscles.

2Shiatsu neck massager pillows – kneading massage along with motion both outwards and inwards

3Combined – vibrating & Shiatsu neck massage pillows

4. Neck massage pillows with heat – infrared heat is offered along with the massage – for even more blood circulation benefits and deeper penetrating heat. All the devices you’ll find here are heated massage pillows.

The 6 Best Neck & Back Massage Pillows 

Let’s start with our top choice:

1. Snailax Massage Pillow with Heat Best Value

best value massage pillow for neck and back pain

  • Size – 13″ x 2.5″ x 9.5″
  • Weight  3 lbs.
  • Massage nodes – 4

Pros – Heats up quickly, lightweight, has a protective flap and car adapter, most comfortable cover

Cons – May be too intense for some people

$40 with code VLT30 at Snailax

This versatile neck/back/leg massager pillow is our #1 pick for 2024 and through our research is the most versatile, high-quality shiatsu massage pillow – for the money.

Here’s why:

The Snailax shiatsu massage cushion (4 rotation shiatsu nodes) is lightweight and compact, can be used anywhere including your car (comes with a home & car adapter), is covered with a comfy soft plush cover, and has an adjustable flap for protection.

The heat feature is optional, and the straps are adjustable.

An automatic timer is set to shut off after 15 minutes and it has an overheat protection system to keep you safe.

snailax massage pillow review
Comes with a protective flap to reduce massage intensity if needed


  • Versatile deep tissue massage (automatically changes direction)
  • Soothing infrared heat for sore muscles and blood circulation, heats up quickly
  • Can be used on the back, neck, calves, stomach, and shoulders
  • Comes with a car adapter
  • Comes with a protective flap to soften massage intensity
  • The softest and most comfortable cover
  • 2-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Excellent customer service (I recommend buying from the official site


  • Some people may find shiatsu massage pillows to be too intense or uncomfortable

Available at Snailax ($40 with coupon code VLT30) 

We also recommend other massage products by Snailax, see why in our Snaliax Massage Mats Reviews

2. Homedics Massage Pillow – Vibration & Shiatsu

homedics neck massager

  • Size – 14″ x 5″ x 10.5″
  • Weight – 4.2 lbs.
  • Massage nodes: 4

Pros – Has both vibration and Shiatsu, quiet

Cons – Smaller massage balls are hardly felt

$49 at Homedics (discount at checkout!)

The Homedics shiatsu neck massage cushion has it all: vibrating massage, Shiatsu massage, and heat.

But, if you’d like, you can use the shiatsu option without heat or vibration.

The nodules move in a circular motion rolling up and down with each rotation.

The pillow can be placed on different areas of your neck and shoulders to release muscle tension causing neck aches and pains, and headaches.

It is lightweight and easy to carry around, and you can use it on any part of your body other than your neck.

vibration neck massage pillow
Breathable material


  • Durable
  • Lightweight (leaning back into your chair is enough to hold the massager in place)
  • Versatile – choose vibration/Shiatsu massage with/without heat
  • The Shiatsu massage option can be used separately
  • Quiet – can be used in the office
  • Shuts off automatically after 15 minutes.
  • Heat goes up to 108 degrees F
  • 1-year warranty


  • Doesn’t have a car adaptor
  • Smaller massage balls are pointless since they are hardly felt

Available on Amazon ($49) and at Homedics ($49)

Homedics also offers a great cordless massage pillow, with a rechargeable battery that lasts for one hour of continuous use per charge (which takes 3.5 hours), and has a reverse function so you can reverse the direction of the massage nodes’ movement.

cordless rechargeable massage pillow
Homedics Cordless Massage Pillow – view on Amazon

We have reviewed this established brand back seat back massagers, see it in our Homedics back massager reviews

3. Naipo Neck & Back Massage Pillow Ergonomic Design

naipo shiatsu neck back massage pillow review

  • Size – 13″ x 5″ x 8.5″
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs.
  • Massage nodes: 4

Pros – Ergonomic W-shape for the neck, slightly stretches the neck, lightweight, comes with car adapter

Cons – Instructions recommend not to use while driving

$34 at Walmart

The simple and user-friendly Naipo neck massage pillow has 4 Deep-Kneading Shiatsu Massage Nodes (3D), which can be heated to about 112 F.

It’s ergonomically designed with a W-shape to fit your neck, and if you allow your neck to lay on it, you’ll feel a slight stretch on your cervical spine discs.

However, you can use it on any other area of your body.

neck massage pillow for car
Great for travel, not recommended to use while driving

The Naipo neck massager pillow is a high-quality, well-made, and effective massager.

It is easy to adjust how much pressure to apply and to which muscles to target.


  • 30-day money-back guarantee, 2-year warranty
  • Kneading massage direction changes every minute
  • Comes with a car adapter
  • Can be used without heat
  • 20-minute automatic shut-off
  • Firm kneading, strong motor


  • Corded
  • It comes with a car adapter but is recommended not to use it while driving. Maybe when stopping for a quick nap?

Available at Walmart ($34)

4. Nekteck Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager Best Wrap Around

Nekteck shuatsu massage pillow with handles

  • Size – 15″ x 8″ x 7″
  • Weight – 3 lbs.
  • Massage nodes: 8

Pros – With handles to keep in place and control pressure, lightweight, speed and direction control

Cons – The control panel emits some EMF radiation

$37 on Amazon.

The Nekteck self-massage pillow with heat comes with handles to make sure you keep it in the exact place you want it to be.

No need to strap it onto a chair or to keep moving it to adjust its position, and you can also use it as a heated massage belt for lower back pain, waist and hip pain, and pain in your thighs!

The weight of your hands also helps you control the intensity of the massage.

It’s comfortable and lightweight, and it has 8 soft and springy massage heads with a built-in heating function.

It has speed and direction control: you can direct the massager clockwise or counter-clockwise as you prefer, and there are 3-speed levels.

Necktek neck massager review
Highly customizable, but I’m a bit concerned about the EMF radiation from the control panel


  • Nice design, made with genuine leather
  • 8 deep-kneading massage nodes
  • Speed and direction control – highly adjustable
  • Intensity control by using the strap
  • Heat can be turned off
  • Overheat protection and auto shut off after 15 minutes
  • Comes with a car adapter!
  • Quiet


  • Massage may be too intense for some people, but this can be solved by placing a towel between your body and the massager
  • The control panel may emit some EMF radiation near the neck

Available on Amazon.($37)

5. VIKTOR JURGEN Neck Massage Pillow With Neck Pillow

viktor jurgen neck and back massage pillow with heat

  • Size – 17″ x 5″ x 14″
  • Weight – 3.25 lbs.
  • Massage nodes: 4

Pros – Has a cervical support pillow, protective flap, lowest price

Cons – Too intense for some people

$32 on Amazon (with code under the price)

The Viktor Jurgen massager pillow has 4 deep-kneading shiatsu massage rotating balls and an optional eating function, like most massage pillows.

However, this one comes with a cervical support pillow for more neck comfort when you use it.

viktor jurgen massage pillow review
Comes with a removable flap for cushioning the massage

We also liked that it is equipped with overheat protection (turns off automatically at 80 degrees Celcius), and with a removable flap guard that you can use to keep it clean, and to reduce the intensity of the massage nodes.

This massage pillow’s pressure and durability are good, it turns off automatically when you overuse it, the skin-protecting flap is a great bonus, and the price tag is reasonable.


  • Fits most aching body areas – shoulder, lower- & upper back, abdomen, calf, and thigh areas.
  • You can choose the direction of the kneading
  • Comes with a cloth cover to protect your skin against friction.


  • Only has 2 massage speeds
  • Some users reported it broke after 3 months

Available on Amazon ($32)

6. Zyllion Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager Best Seller on Amazon

zyllion neck and back massage cushion

  • Size – 13″ x 2.5″ x 9.5″
  • Weight – 3.5 lbs.
  • Massage nodes: 4

Pros – Good customer service and replacements, holds up well to pressure

Cons – May break down after a few months, more expensive than average

$58 on Amazon 

This compact massage pillow can be used anywhere, including your home, your office, or your car.

The Zyllion comes with a quite strong deep-kneading Shiatsu massage (4 nodes that change direction every minute) and comes with a heat function that can be turned on and off.

It also offers vibrating massage, adjustable handle straps, and a car adaptor.

The company is well known for its good customer service and will replace your adaptor or device if it stops working.


  • Lightweight and compact
  • Durable build, high-quality rollers, and heat function
  • 4 powerful massage nodes
  • Comes with a car adaptor and can be used anywhere, at any time.
  • Two elastic straps that allow users to attach the massager to a chair or car seat
  • Safe to use – comes with overheating protection
  • The textured leatherette cover is soft to the touch and easy to clean


  • Can take up to 5 minutes to heat up
  • More expensive than other devices on this list

Available on Amazon ($58)

Shiatsu Massage Pillow Alternatives

Massage pillows are generally more affordable compared to other massage devices like massage chairs or massage guns, but some alternatives offer a few benefits that they can not provide.

For example, a massage gun offers a much more powerful massage, versatile massage heads, and more speed and intensity levels.

A vibrating massage mat offers full body coverage and ultimate relaxation – without moving a device around or any other effort.

A cordless heated massage belt allows you to choose from different heat settings and temperatures while keeping the massage action on your lower back – which is perfect for any lower back injury – including bulging discs, pinched nerves, and sciatica.

Many people seem to like the My Massage Pillow, which is a pressure-activated vibrating massage pillow, and we believe it just may be the best massage pillow for travel.

vibraing neck massage pillow for travel
My Massage Pillow – view on Amazon

It runs on 2 D-size batteries, has a high/low switch to adjust the speed of the vibrations, and even has an oscillating feature.

And let’s not forget the latest trend – the vibrating foam roller – which is a foam roller on steroids and used by many athletes before and after a workout.

How to Use a Massage Pillow (Safely)

Using a massage pillow for neck and shoulder pain is simple. See the demonstration below:

Please follow these precautions for safety:

  1. Do not overuse to avoid injury from repeated pressure or vibration in the same area.
  2. Read the warnings and look for contraindications.
  3. Don’t use it if you are pregnant – without consulting with your doctor.
  4. Don’t use it if you have a pacemaker
  5. Don’t sleep with the massager on, though all of these come with auto shut-off to prevent that, and to prevent overheating.

To your health and happiness,

The Back-Pain-Relief-Products Team

1 thought on “The 6 Best Massage Pillows for the Neck & Back (2024 Reviews)”

  1. Hi!
    Thanks for this post. For the people like me who are always looking for solutions regarding the relaxation of their neck, this article is very informative.



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