Here at the Strategist UK, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about electronics before — including the best hairdryers, the best toasters, and the best electric toothbrushes — here, we’ve rounded up the best electric back massagers, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated overall massager
This handheld massager by Renpho was the best-rated overall, with nearly twice the number of reviews as the next product on our list. A total of 72 percent of the reviews were five stars, including one person likening it to a “magic wand” after it alleviated 20 years of back pain. Another reviewer, who said their chiropractor used the same model, described feeling as light as a feather after using this on their muscles. The massager comes with five different screw-on heads to offer different kinds of treatments, with the deep-tissue setting singled out as the best in 29 reviews. Though it is designed for all over the body, 60 reviewers said the massager was actually quite heavy, which made using it on the back quite difficult by yourself. Several reviewers attributed this weight to the heaviness of the battery, which offers over two hours of use without charging.
Best-rated mini massager
Though small, many reviewers said this massager by Beurer was extremely powerful. One customer said it was just the thing for restless leg syndrome, while another bought it for his pregnant wife for her aches and pains during her third trimester. The massager is much quieter than larger models and uses AAA batteries, though one five-star review said it was just as good at easing knots with no batteries in whatsoever. It’s also popular with animals — one customer bought it for her 14-year-old Labrador’s sore joints.
Best-rated lower-back massager
This heated massager has 73 percent five-star reviews, and reviewers say it works in a number of different areas, including the neck and legs. But the area with the highest number of reviews was the lower back, both from people with long and short term pains. One five-star review said the gentle heat and soft, oscillating spheres made it perfect to ease the mild aches she got standing up at work all day. Another reviewer, who has had back pain for over a decade, said they cancelled their monthly £60 massages after using this once as it was so effective. Several reviewers noted that though the massager comes with straps for applying to the shoulders, the cushion-like shape makes it optimised for the lower back, and unless lying on your back with it pressing it into your shoulders, it isn’t as effective. The massager turns on with the touch of a button, and the heating element activates with a second push. One common criticism of this model, however, is that the power cable is quite short.
Best-rated neck and shoulder massager
In total, 71 percent of the reviews of this InvoSpa massager were five stars. It came highly recommended by 64 reviewers, who said it was easy to use, and 120 customers commented on the gentle heating properties, too. Though it has three speed and strength settings, this massager is designed for deep-tissue massages, meaning it can be more uncomfortable, according to reviewers. One said it worked wonders on any shoulder and neck pains, while another mentioned the clever arm slings, which make it really easy to manoeuvre the rotating elements towards problematic areas. It’s been purchased by many people who can’t get massages during lockdown, including someone with sciatica, and someone with fybromyalga, who both said it offered welcome relief. The majority of people seemed to use it for 30 minutes at a time, though thanks to the car adapter and carry bag, this can be used in the car or taken with you, too. One customer who takes it on business trips said it has been a revelation.
Best-rated handheld neck and shoulder massager
Though the best-rated overall massager is a handheld model, this physio-style massager by Reviber was highly recommended for the neck and shoulders. Reviewers were particularly enthusiastic about the gentle, tension-relieving setting on this massager, which doesn’t require pressure on the muscles to work. One 43-year-old who regularly works out said she loved this massager after being “pummeled to death” by more aggressive models, and another said it was just the thing to ease a trapped nerve that had bothered them for months. Though 155 customers described it as heavy, it has 75 percent five-star reviews, and 64 reviewers called it excellent.
Best-rated massager (seat cushion)
According to one five-star reviewer, the first time using this shiatsu massager left him feeling like he’d been beaten up. Nevertheless, he described it as a relaxing but intense massage, and one year later says it’s the best thing he’s purchased on Amazon. The cushion fastens to your chair, and has spheres under the surface which you can move to different heights and positions in order to target key areas. One restaurant worker said it makes double shifts far more manageable, while another customer says they feel as good as when they’ve been at their osteopath after using this. More than one in ten reviews said it had helped combat back pain, and though it is one of the more expensive models, 13 people said the cost was more than justified. It was popular with people with all kinds of pains, from neck and shoulders to lower back, and though the intensity was noted by some customers, one said using it while wearing a dressing gown was a good way to get used to the tough kneading motion of the massager. Some taller customers said it came up a little short — so if you’re over six feet in height, you might want to consider a handheld option.
Best-rated massage gun
“Massage guns” work by hitting the muscle repeatedly in bursts – this model by Bozaap says it can deliver up to 3,200 hits per minute. It has 78 percent five star reviews, was popular with tight muscles and gym-goers, one of whom said it delivered a painful, but not unenjoyable massage. It can be used pre- and post-workouts, according to one five-star reviewer, who uses it on his legs before a run and says it achieves a similar effect to stretching. Seven reviewers said it offered value for money, particularly as it was much cheaper than similar brands, like Theragun. The battery life was also highlighted by reviewers, including one who said after 40 minutes of use, it only dropped by 20 percent.
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.