Best Back Massager for Knots – 4 Reviews & Guide for 2024

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Written by Penny Cooper

Whether you’re slouching in a chair too much, or you’re tight and stressed from a tiring lifestyle, chances are that you’ve experienced back pain or knots in your back, neck, or shoulders.

Fortunately, home massagers can help you deal with it. Maybe you should think about changing your lifestyle as well, but let’s stay with back massagers for the moment. We are here to help you choose the best back massager for knots.

This article includes affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any of the products we have discussed in this article, we may receive a small commission.

Our top choice is Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager. But, we have reviewed 6 more great massagers to help you find the type that suits your needs best.

Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager
Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
Fusion FX Heated Massage Gun
HoMedics Handheld Massager

Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager

If you need a back and neck massager that’s easiest to use, look no further. The Comfier Shiatsu massager will turn any chair into a strong and lovely massage chair.

418x2hS 77L. SL500

It’s not the most affordable or portable device, but it is very effective when it comes to relieving knots in the back and neck.

It comes with lots of different features and modes such as targeting specific areas and choosing between rolling or pressure massage.

I really liked the waist and thigh air-compression massage. Two airbags gently compress the lower back and hips giving immediate relief from aches and pains.

Nodes on the massager move in and out and around creating a 2D or 3D pressure as you might get from a finger shiatsu massage.

Although I love sunning myself on a Greek island (I did!) I personally don’t like unnatural heat around my back – like heated car seats.

However many people do and this Comfier massage chair has an adjustable heat option. And the infrared heat option will improve blood flow.


  • Full back and neck massage with a simple push of a button.
  • Adjustable 2D and 3D massage.
  • Washable cover for the neck area.
  • 3-level hip and thigh air massage.
  • Heating.
  • 24 month warranty.


  • Large and heavy for frequent relocation.

Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager

We are talking about back massagers, but this pillow-massage will do miracles on the body part of your choice. 

51v6wNS L3L. SL500

A convenient strap and 4 kneading nodes will provide a deep massage and instant relief.

Massage nodes automatically change direction every minute to relax tight muscles and break up those annoying knots. 

You’d like to add some heat? No problem, there’s a heating function.

Finally, a compact design will allow you to use it anywhere: at home, in your car, or at the office.


  • Very compact and portable
  • Powerful deep kneading
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Heating function
  • Easy to use adjustable straps


  • Not rechargeable. It needs to be plugged in, in order to work.

Lifepro Fusion FX Heated Massage Gun

This is another great choice for percussion massage lovers. It’s a heavy-duty massage gun, designed to last. The ergonomic handle and LCD display make it easy to use. 

It is relatively quiet and a lifetime guarantee is a big plus.

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I liked the pause button very much. It allows you to put it on hold and continue without adjusting the settings all over again.

You can’t reach all of your back areas on your own, but that’s the same for all massage guns. 

So, you may need someone to help you, but you’ll get an impeccable massage in return.


  • 5 speeds and 5 massage heads.
  • Pause button.
  • Long-lasting charge (up to 4 hours).
  • Heat attachment.
  • Lifetime warranty.


  • Heat can’t last too long (up to 10 minutes).

HoMedics Handheld Massager

Handheld massagers don’t come with too many bells and whistles, but they are great budget options. 

310nvt+a6uL. SL500

If you need a back massage and knot-breaking massager this model will do it well. 2 massage heads can deliver up to 3100 pulses per minute.

It’s more than enough to break those knots and provide deep tissue massage.

This is a basic massager, but it is versatile enough. You can adjust speed, add heat, and choose attachments for a firmer or gentler massage. So, if you don’t mind holding and guiding the massager, this affordable is a value for money.


  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Heating function.
  • Ergonomic and comfortable handle.


  • A little bit heavy to hold for long periods.

Choosing the Best Back Massager for Knots

I can’t tell WHICH back massager is the best for you. But, I can help you HOW to choose and make the best decision. 

Anyone over 50 will, no doubt, be getting those inexplicable aches and pains to some degree – surely! And a regular massage is going to help with pain relief and enable more mobility and preparedness for everyday living.

First of all, you should decide what kind of massage you prefer. Typically, you can find back massagers that use Shiatsu, percussion, rolling, and heat methods to relieve the pain and give you a proper massage. All of these methods are more or less ancient, effective, and proven. So, it’s up to you to choose.

However, there are some general guidelines and features that differentiate the best products from the rest.

Electric or Manual

Some people still use manual massagers, but they are pretty much out of favor. It’s just a bit cumbersome to do the job and apply the pressure on your own. Okay, it works, but electrical massagers take it to another level of comfort.

Kneading or Vibration

It’s a tie between the two. 

Shiatsu massagers mimic finger or palm massage. So, it uses kneading to provide a deep tissue massage and almost instant relief. It improves the circulation of blood, breaks up knots, and even improves flexibility.

Percussion massagers use vibrations to reach deep muscles. It’s another very effective method to get rid of knots, muscle soreness, and tightness.

So, both techniques are effective and it’s just a matter of personal preferences.


You need a massage, not a tickle. So, your massager needs to have enough power to reach deep and provide relief. There are different designs and ways to achieve the desired intensity.

Stronger massagers always have milder modes as well, while if it’s not strong enough you can’t help it. Percussion and handheld massagers allow you to add extra pressure, but you may end up tired before you get a decent massage.

Speed and Intensity Levels

While most massagers have more than one mode, the more the better. We are all different and will prefer various types of massage. Moreover, it depends on the issue. You may have a stiff back and several knots. Or you just need a gentle massage to relax.

So, the ability to choose different modes and customize your massage is really important.

Heating Function

You may think that you need a massage, not heat. Well, these two can go hand in hand.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m not a great fan but heat does improve the circulation of blood and that’s what you get from a massage as well.

So, although the friction created by massage, whether it’s done manually or with massage tools, produces heat, additional heating soothes the muscles and improves the performance of the massager.


All massagers are designed to be comfortable. However, different people find different things comfortable enough. 

Some massagers require nothing more than a simple setting at the beginning of the session. However, these massagers may not reach or target all areas of importance.

On the other hand, you can guide handheld massagers to target any area you want. On the downside, you need to hold it during the whole session or have someone else hold it for you.

If you’re not comfortable enough, you may not use your massager often enough.


It’s self-explanatory but a massage chair design isn’t going to be easily carried around but a percussion gun, for example, can be taken on vacation.

This is not a crucial feature, but it is one of convenience. If it’s heavy or bulky, it may end up in some forgotten corner of your home gathering dust.

Corded or Cordless

Cordless massagers are more convenient. It’s a feature that goes hand in hand with portability. 

If you like to use your massager in different locations, cordless, rechargeable devices will help you enjoy your massage wherever you are. It’s important to choose a product with high-quality batteries. Some of these devices will only work at low speeds when unplugged.

If your chair and sofa are the only places you plan to use for massage, a corded massager is all you need. Just make sure that the cord is long enough.

Benefits of Back Massagers

Massage feels so great. But, it offers much more than just a soothing satisfaction. It’s one of the oldest healing methods. 

Some people will always prefer visiting a massage therapist. The truth is that no device can match the versatility of a skilled massage therapist.

black woman preferring her best back massager for knots to be done by professional hands

Most massagers use either shiatsu or percussion type of massage, while the therapist can combine these two and more. But, home massagers offer some unique advantages as well.

Use It Whenever You Want

This is the obvious one. You can use back massagers whenever and almost wherever you want. No appointments, no strings attached, and no constant expenses.

Whether your life is hectic or you avoid unnecessary contacts (as is the case for most of us as I write this), you should never underestimate the ability to organize your time efficiently.

Back Massagers Are Highly Effective

Back massagers do what they’re made for. They will save you time, and money (in the long run) while providing most of the benefits of conventional massage. 

If your physical therapist is tired you will notice the difference. Also, the therapist can’t do it faster without getting tired quickly.

Home massagers provide exactly the same effect each and every time. Continual power, higher speed, and intensity allow them to provide relief in just a couple of minutes.

Back Massagers Relieve the Pain

Whether your muscles are tired, tight, or sore, a massage will provide immediate relief to a certain extent. A home device would be a great asset to take care of your back and neck muscles.

If a massager can’t help, you may need to see your doctor to establish any underlying cause of the pain. You might want to do that anyway.

Home Massagers Enhance Muscle Recovery

Workouts or any hard physical labor causes fatigue. Tired muscles are prone to injuries. So, they need time to rest and recover. Home massager will enhance and speed up the recovery process.

The sooner you recover, the sooner you’ll be able to get back to your exercise regime or daily activities.

Massage also facilitates muscle recovery after the injury.

Massage Improves Blood Circulation

This is the basic principle of massage. It all starts with improved blood flow around your muscles. As a consequence, muscles can relax and recover, while pain slowly fades away.

Maybe it won’t improve your whole circulatory system, but healthy blood flow is essential for your muscles.

Massagers Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Back massagers help your muscles as well as the rest of your body to relax. As a result, they stimulate the production of serotonin and dopamine or “happy hormones”, while decreasing cortisol or the “stress hormone”.

Massage Decreases Stiff Neck Problems

It’s not just a heavy workout that makes your muscles sore. A stiff neck is a typical problem of people who work long hours at the office and sit behind the desk for too long. Numerous studies have shown that massage can alleviate most of these problems.

Back Massager Reduces Low Back Pain

This is one of the best benefits of home massagers. So many people experience low back pain. And this is where back massagers shine.

While they may not be enough to get rid of the problem completely, they will always alleviate the pain. Massagers provide top-notch relief from the lower back.

Home Massager May Help with Headaches

This may seem like a stretch, but stiff back and neck are common reasons for headaches. So, a massage is not a cure for headaches, but if the problem comes from stiff and tight back and neck muscles, a massage can help.

It Lowers Blood Pressure

Massage sessions will lower your heart rate and blood pressure. It’s only a temporary effect, but it still counts. Anger, anxiety, and stress are major causes of high blood pressure. The massage is a great way to avoid or relieve stress and anxiety.

It May Boost Your Immune System

Some studies indicate that regular massage can boost your immune system. We still don’t know how it works, but massage somehow increases the number and activity of white blood cells. White blood cells are vital for defending our body from disease.


We have tried to cover various types of back massagers and while the best massager for knots may differ from person to person, some products have undeniable qualities for everyone.

Our top pick, Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager provides a full and perfect massage experience for your back and neck. 

While other models may be more portable or better suited for other body parts, when it comes to back massage, this massager is hard to beat. It is comfy, and offers a wide range of modes for a full back massage or targeting specific areas. Innovative technology allows you to enjoy a true 3D or 2D Shiatsu-like massage

Also, it’s easy to use. With air compression massage for hips and thighs, it covers all you can think of to get a perfect back massage.

While there’s no doubt that a Comfier massager is a great choice, if you prefer vibration technique or prioritize compact design and portability, other models will come with similar benefits.

My favorite for portability and effectiveness is without a doubt the Zyllion Back & Neck Massager. I get pain across the shoulder blades and it eases the pain whatever my seating position. It’s a good price and very well reviewed.

Check out more information on self-massage tools or visit our review on the Chirp Wheel for another method of reaching those hard-to-get-at knots.

Photo of author
Penny is a Personal Trainer currently training as a wellness coach. She gained a BA in English at Edinburgh University. Redundancy from retail management hastened a move to helping people get fit and writing about all things fitness in middle age.

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