The 7 Best Massage Pillows for Quick Neck & Back Pain Relief

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 2023.

shiatsu massage pillows

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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 wise choice.

Massage PillowOur RatingFeaturesPrice
Snailax Massage Pillow
🥇Best ValuePortable
4 nodes
Car adapter
Most comfortable
$38 with code WMD25 at Snailax
HoMedics SP-100H
4 nodes
Best Price on Amazon
With neck support pillow
4 massage nodes
car adapter
Check price on Amazon
Nekteck Shiatsu Massage Pillow
Best Wrap Around8 massage nodes
Speed & direction
$45 at Walmart
Comparing the best neck massage pillows according to massage intensity, features, and price.

Massage Pillow Pros and Cons

A massage pillow makes 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.

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.  They are also limited in their reach and you’ll have to switch their placement to massage different areas of your body.

Massage pillows are not powerful enough to be used as a medical tool for complete healing and solving of medical conditions, and should not be overused to prevent further injury or pain.

How to Choose a Massage Pillow

When you want to 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 styles, the intensity and speed control, and the safety features (overheat turn off). Finally, check the price and warranty. 

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 cervical 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.

And now, let’s get our full massage pillows reviews and comparison:

The 7 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

Snailax Massage Pillow – view at Snailax

  • Size – 13 x 2.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight  3 pounds
  • Massage nodes – 4

This versatile neck/back/leg massager pillow is our #1 pick for 2023 and through our research is the most versatile, high-quality shiatsu massage pillow – for the money.

snailax massage pillow review

Comes with a protective flap to reduce massage intensity if needed

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 pros

  • 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
  • Softest and most comfortable cover
  • 2-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Excellent customer service (I recommend buying from the official site


  • Haven’t found any

Available at Snailax ($38 with coupon code WMD25) 

👉 RELATED: Snaliax Massage Mats Reviews

2. Homedics Massage Pillow – Vibration & Shiatsu

homedics neck massager

Homedics vibration & Shiatsu massagerview on Amazon

  • Dimensions: 13.8 x 5.1 x 10.4 inches
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Massage nodes: 4

The Homedics’ well-made 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

Homedics SP-100H 3D pros

  • 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
  • Corded and can’t be used on a plane or in a car

Available on Amazon ($42) 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

👉 Related: Homedics back massager cushions reviews

3. Naipo Neck & Back Massage Pillow Ergonomic Design

naipo massage pillow for neck with heat

Naipo massage pillow – view at Walmart

  • Dimensions: 13.1 x 4.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Massage nodes: 4

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

It’s lighter than the Snailax, which makes it a bit easier to carry around.

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.

Available at Walmart ($36)

4. Nekteck Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager Best Wrap Around

best wrap around massage pillow with handles

Nekteck neck massager pillowview on Amazon

  • Dimensions: 15 x 8 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Massage nodes: 8

The Nekteck self-massage pillow with heat comes with handles to make sure you keep 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.

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

Nekteck Pros

  • 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
  • 30-day money-back guarantee, 18 months warranty
  • 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.($50) and Walmart ($45)

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5. VIKTOR JURGEN Neck Massage Pillow With Neck Pillow

viktor jurgen neck and back massage pillow with heat

VIKTOR JURGEN massage pillow with heat – view on Amazon

  • Dimensions: 17 x 5 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 3.25 pounds
  • Massage nodes: 4

The Viktor Jurgen massager pillow has 4 deep-kneading shiatsu massage rotating balls and an optional eating function, like most massage pillows. But, this one comes with cervical support for more neck comfort when you use it.

We also liked that it is equipped with overheat protection (turns off automatically at 80 degrees Celcius), and comes with a removable soft dust guard that you can use to keep it clean.

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


  • Portable, rechargeable – can be used anywhere
  • Fits most aching body areas – shoulder, lower- & upper back, abdomen, calf, and thigh areas.
  • You can choose the direction of the kneading
  • 3-year warranty and 30 days money-back guarantee on Amazon
  • Comes with a cloth cover for protecting your skin against friction.


  • May be too powerful for sensitive people

Available on Amazon ($40)

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

cervical massage pillow

Zyllion cervical/back massage cushion – view on Amazon

  • Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Massage nodes: 4

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 they stop working.

Zyllion Shiatsu pillow massager pros

  • Versatile – choose Shiatsu/vibration/heat
  • 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.
  • Comes with straps to allow adjustment of the pillow before and during massage
  • Safe to use – comes with Overheat Protection
  • Automatic shut off after 20 minutes
  •  The textured leatherette cover is soft to the touch and easy to clean
  • 1-year warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee


  • Corded
  • Takes 5 minutes to heat up
  • More expensive than other devices on this list

Available on Amazon ($59)

7. Gideon Massage Pillow – with 8 Massage Nodes

Gideon Shiatsu massager with heatview on Amazon

  • Dimensions:  13” W x 7” H
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Massage nodes: 8

The Gideon Shiatsu neck massage cushion has 8 Shiatsu massage nodes, a fair price tag, a car adapter, and a good warranty.

On each side there are 4 balls: 2 balls are a little smaller than the others so as they rotate you get a soft touch then the bigger ball comes around and goes a little deeper.

Gideon massage cushion pros

  • 8 rotating massage nodes that penetrate deep into your muscles
  • Can be used at home, at the office, or in a car
  • Comes with a stretchable strap
  • 7-foot power cord
  • 15-minute automatic shut-off
  • Heat can be turned off
  • Best price for a neck massage pillow


  • Some users complained that the kneading is too hard, but you can always adjust the intensity by using it on a recliner or sitting on a sofa.

Available on Amazon ($53)

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.

Massage Pillow Alternatives

The latest buzzing trend in massage treatments for neck and back pain is the vibrating foam roller. It is a much more versatile massaging tool, and we highly recommend it.


A good massage is one of the best ways to relieve neck and shoulder pain at home, but there are a few more effective options you can try:

1. Neck traction device – especially effective for bulging/herniated discs

2. Cervical pillow – to prevent neck pain at night and morning stiffness

3. A high-quality infrared heating pad

Click the links to find out more about these natural treatments for cervical pain.

To your health and happiness,

The Back-Pain-Relief-Products Team

Meital James

Meital James, Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

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