Say “Ahhh” With 9 of the Best Neck Massagers for At-Home Relief

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There's a reason the idiom "pain in the neck" is used to describe something super annoying: neck pain is indeed super annoying. You might not typically notice your neck throughout the day, but when something feels off, the pain can be hard to ignore. And it makes sense—we humans have more than 20 muscles in our necks, working hard to hold and move our noggins. 

The good news is that when neck pain has you down, there are plenty of at-home remedies you can try to relieve the tension and discomfort. The better news is that you can purchase a neck massager to give your neck and shoulders some much-needed TLC on a regular basis. We spoke with a certified massage therapist to get device recommendations and learn what to look for, then rounded up nine of the best neck massagers you can use from the comfort of your home. Sayonara, neck pain!

Experts In This Article

The best neck massagers, at a glance:

Shop 9 of the best neck massagers

nekteck shiatsu massager, one of the best neck massagers
Best Shiatsu neck massager: Nekteck, Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager — $50.00

A recommendation of Kyles’, this Shiastu neck massager from NekTeck features eight kneading massage nodes, three speed strengths, and built-in infrared heat. Just sling the device over your neck and shoulders, slide your arms through the holes, and chill out for 15 minutes of bliss. The nodes stay relatively quiet while they work (especially helpful as the device sits so close to your ears) so you can watch TV or hold a conversation with ease. It also comes in three different colors (white, black, and blue) and has an auto shutoff safety feature that kicks in after 15 minutes.

Massage type: Shiatsu with heat

Power source: Corded


  • Deep pressure with infrared heat
  • Three color options
  • Arm slings offer a hands-free massage
  • Quiet


  • Not cordless
  • Rather bulky
hyperice hypervolt 2, one of the best neck massagers
Best massage gun: Hyperice, Hypervolt 2 — $199.00

Another favorite of Kyles’ is the Hypervolt 2 from Hyperice. Weighing in at less than two pounds (which is extremely lightweight for a massage gun), it’s super sleek and offers three speeds (that might not sound like very many, but trust us, it’s all you need.) It also comes with five different head attachments, a carrying pouch for said attachments, and a charging cable. While it’ll feel great on your shoulders, be extra careful when using a percussive device like this on your neck—Kyles advises skipping the front of your neck or any bony areas (like your collarbones) to avoid injury.

Massage type: Percussive therapy

Power source: Rechargeable (runs for 3 hours on a full charge)


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comes with 5 head attachments
  • Cordless
  • Powerful


  • Heat therapy attachment ($59) sold separately
  • Requires extra caution around the neck
theragun pro plus, one of the best neck massagers
Best for contrast therapy: Therabody, Theragun Pro Plus — $599.00

If contrast therapy and massage is what you’re after, look no further than Theragun Pro Plus. In addition to five percussive massage speeds and three vibration speeds (for more sensitive areas), the Pro Plus features three heat settings (up to 131 degrees Fahrenheit) and infrared light therapy. It also comes with five different head attachments, plus you can tag on a separate cold attachment ($89) to round out your self-care routine. You can even work through guided sessions using the device’s LCD screen or via the Therabody app. Of course, the same contraindications as the Hyperice pick above apply here, too: avoid using it on the front of your neck or bony areas.

Massage type: Vibration and percussive therapy

Power source: Rechargeable (runs for 150 minutes on a full charge, depending on the attachment)


  • Attachment for heat therapy included (cold therapy sold separately, which is a con)
  • Includes LED infrared light therapy
  • 3 vibration massage settings for sensitive areas
  • Powerful


  • Pricey
  • Slightly heavier than Hypervolt pick (3.6 lbs)
papillon massage pillow, one of the best neck massagers
Best budget-friendly: Papillon, Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager — $39.00

This pillow-shaped massager features three speeds, four Shiatsu-style nodes that change direction every minute, and gentle warming heat (up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit). In addition to behind your neck, you can slide the pillow down along your back to massage other hard-to-reach places. The pillow shape makes it a great pick for your couch, desk chair, or even the car (it comes with a car adaptor!). It also has a 15-minute auto-shutoff safety feature and comes in three colors: gray, black, or blue.

Massage type: Shiatsu

Power source: Corded


  • Budget-friendly price
  • Easy to maneuver along your neck and back
  • Lower profile makes it easier to take with you (although it does need to be plugged in)


  • Not cordless
  • May be tricky to clean
tiger tail tiger ball, one of the best neck massagers
Best analog: Tiger Tail, Tiger Ball — $29.00

My husband put one of these in my Christmas stocking and I love it. Sure, you can use a lacrosse or tennis ball to massage trigger points, but the rope makes the Tiger Ball so much easier to use. I can use it a few different ways: I either hold the ropes to glide the ball up and down the back of my neck and shoulders, or place the ball between my back and the wall and use the ropes as insurance that it won’t go flying across the room. In addition to my neck, it also feels great on the bottom of my feet, hamstrings, and quads. It does require a little more participation on the user’s end compared to an electric massager but, because you’re in complete control of the pressure, you’re less likely to injure yourself in the self-massage process.

Massage type: Trigger point

Power source: You!


  • Comes in a 2.6 inch or 1.7 inch size
  • Rope makes maneuvering the ball easy
  • Durable rubber and corded polyester
  • Portable and doesn’t require electricity


  • Requires a little elbow grease from you
  • No color options
magic wand rechargeable, one of the best neck massagers
Best wand: Magic Wand, Rechargeable — $140.00

Admittedly, we love the Magic Wand for other reasons. But, in addition to serving up major O’s, the Magic Wand has also helped relieve muscle tension worldwide since the 70’s. This rechargeable model is a newer version of the original Magic Wand and features four powerful vibration intensities, as well as four patterns (although you’ll likely not find those as useful on your neck *wink wink*). The silicone head is smooth, soft, and easy to clean, and the wand-style handle makes it easy to grasp when reaching the back of your neck and trapezius muscles. It will run for three hours on a full charge (you can also use it while plugged in) but powers off automatically after 20 minutes of consecutive use for safety.

Massage type: Vibration

Power source: Rechargeable (runs for 3 hours on a full charge)


  • 4 powerful vibration settings for a deep massage
  • Easy to hold and clean
  • Rechargeable but can also be used plugged in
  • Versatile


  • Straight wand design is more limiting for mid-back massages
power dot uno tens unit, one of the best neck massagers
Best at-home TENS: Therabody, PowerDot 2.0 — $199.00

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, aka, TENS, uses electrical pulses to contract your muscles, encourage relaxation, and reduce pain signals to the brain. This unit from Therabody comes with one rechargeable electrical pod and two electrode nodes (you can also opt for a two-pod set, which costs $349). You stick the nodes to the area you’d like to address via the included sticky electrode pads, then use the Therabody app to conduct a TENS therapy session. The pads, nodes, and a USB charging cable all fit inside snazzy little carrying case, making this a great portable option.

As a runner, I’ve used the PowerDot for the last few years, mostly to relieve knee pain when I’m training for a race. It’s extremely easy to use with the Therabody app, which does basically all of the work for you—just stick on the pads and press “start.” My sticky pads have also lasted a really long time (you can order more via Therabody when they start to lose their stick). The electrical currents encourage involuntary muscle twitches, which is an unusual sensation, especially if you’re squeamish. With that in mind, this type of therapy might not be for everyone. It’s also not intended for pregnant folks, or anyone with epilepsy or a pacemaker.

Massage type: TENS

Power source: Micro USB rechargeable (operates for up to 20 hours on a full charge)


  • Easily portable
  • Guided therapy via the Therabody app
  • Up to 20 hours of use on a full charge


  • The sensation of electrical stimulation may take a little time to get used to
  • Not intended for anyone who is pregnant, has epilepsy, or has a pacemaker
  • Sticky electrode pads need replacing after a while
skg neck massager with heat
Best infrared neck massager: SKG, Neck Massager with Heat — $140.00

This hands-free option from SKG offers red light therapy, three heat settings (up to 109 degrees Fahrenheit), four massage modes, and three intensity levels. It’s specifically designed to sit around your neck, and the cordless design means you can easily use it at your desk, in the car, or chilling on the couch. When fully charged, you can get about ten 15-minute sessions out of it. It also comes with a companion app to control the device, but some folks say it doesn’t work very well.

Massage type: Vibration

Power source: USB rechargeable (up to 150 minutes on a full charge)


  • Hands-free and cordless
  • Heat therapy, red light therapy, and vibration massage in one
  • Low profile makes it easier to travel with or stow away  


  • Companion app isn’t great
  • Can only be used on your neck
voyor trigger point neck massager
Best trigger point: Voyor, Dual Trigger Point Neck Massager — $22.00

For another budget-friendly but more labor-intensive pick, check out this trigger point massager from Voyor. It’s pretty straightforward: once the hook is around your neck, you use the handles to massage the two firm silicone balls against your neck and shoulder muscles. You can also use it along your calves or quads, as the plastic hook is sturdy but somewhat flexible. It’s kind of a funny shape, but it’s also really lightweight (less than a pound!), so you can likely take it with you on the go.

Massage type: Trigger point

Power source: Manual


  • Budget-friendly option
  • Can be used on your legs, too
  • Easy to keep clean


  • Requires a little elbow grease
  • Unique shape limits your options for massage therapy

What are neck massagers?

Neck massagers are exactly what they sound like—they're devices that help you massage the muscles in your neck and shoulders. There are a handful of different types (more on that below) but, regardless of the design, they aim to help release neck tension and relieve pain by applying pressure and stimulating blood flow to the area.

"In the continuous search for wellness, at-home neck massagers have emerged as a key tool, blending modern technology with the healing power of massage," says Clinton Kyles, CMT, a sports rehab specialist and national therapist trainer at Squeeze. "As a massage therapist, I've seen these devices change how we approach self-care, making professional-grade relief accessible anytime," he adds. "By understanding the importance of choosing the right device, recognizing contraindications, and adhering to best practices for use, you can safely incorporate massage tools into your wellness routine, fostering greater neck health and overall well-being."

Types of neck massagers

If you've been searching for a neck massager, you've likely noticed that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Below, Kyles breaks down the different types of neck massagers and what they're best for.

  • Percussion massagers (massage guns): Ideal for deep tissue relief, known for enhancing circulation, alleviating muscle stiffness, and increasing range of motion
  • Shiatsu massagers: Replicate the soothing Japanese kneading technique, and often incorporate heat to deepen relaxation effects
  • Vibration massagers (wands): Offer a lighter, vibrating touch for muscle relaxation, praised for their portability and ease of use
  • Infrared massagers: Utilize deep-penetrating heat to soothe and heal, targeting muscle tension effectively
  • Electric pulse massagers (TENS unit): Use electrical impulses for pain relief, beneficial for tension and discomfort mitigation

What to look for in an at-home neck massager

No matter the type of massager you buy, consider the below:

  • Adjustability: A range of speed and intensity settings allows for a personalized massage experience, catering to different levels of muscle tension and sensitivity.
  • Ergonomic design: The massager should comfortably fit the contours of your neck and shoulders, facilitating ease of use without straining additional muscles.
  • Massage type: From percussion guns to Shiatsu massagers, understanding the various techniques available can help you choose a massager that meets your specific relief needs.
  • Safety features: Automatic shut-off and overheat protection ensure the massager is safe for use, preventing any potential harm during operation. Many massage guns also offer visible feedback and pressure monitoring options to aid in safe application.
  • Battery life and portability: Especially for wireless models, consider the battery life and ease of transport (ie. carrying case).

How to use a neck massager

Kyles recommends starting with 15-20 minute sessions once or twice daily. "Always pay attention to your body's response, and adjust frequency and duration to suit your comfort and therapeutic needs. Sometimes less is more!" he adds.

And, according to Kyles, there are a few areas to avoid. "Directly massaging the front of the neck, particularly over the carotid artery and trachea, should be avoided," he says. "Similarly, avoid using massagers directly on or near the spine and bony landmarks; focus instead on the surrounding muscular areas for safety and effectiveness. Consider starting on the upper traps and shoulder before moving into the delicate muscles of the neck. And always use lower settings while working directly on the neck, and avoid prolonged spot treatments; vertebrae are sensitive and can easily be pushed out of alignment."

Who shouldn't use a neck massager?

While home neck massagers are generally safe for use, Kyles says there are a few groups that should steer clear of using them without the support of a professional:

Recent injuries or surgeries: Individuals with recent fractures, surgeries, or acute injuries should refrain from using neck massagers in the affected areas.
Medical conditions: Those with conditions such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), osteoporosis, nerve disorders, skin conditions (e.g., eczema, psoriasis), and individuals with pacemakers, cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, spondylosis, or diabetes should consult a healthcare provider before use.
Pregnancy: Avoid percussion therapy during pregnancy, and for all other types of massagers it's best to consult a healthcare provider before use.
Sensitivity or pain: Individuals with severe sensitivity, neuropathy, or those in extreme pain should use massagers cautiously, if at all, and preferably under professional guidance.

5 additional neck health tips, from a massage therapist

In addition to massage, Kyles adds that there are a handful of things you can do to ensure your neck stays healthy and strong—after all, it has a big job to do every day.

  1. Stay hydrated. Kyles says that drinking plenty of water after a massage (or using a massager) helps enhance muscle recovery and toxin removal.
  2. Stretch. "Gentle neck stretches before and after massage can further relieve tension and improve flexibility," says Kyles.
  3. Maintain good posture. This one is hard, we know. Try to check in on your posture regularly and avoid straining your neck (ahem, we see you, Text Neck).
  4. Try a pre-massage warm-up: "Applying warmth, such as a heated towel or a warm shower, can prepare the muscles for massage, increasing therapeutic benefits," Kyles says.
  5. Contrast therapy (heat and ice): If you're already experiencing neck pain, Kyles says that alternating between heat and cold treatments can help stimulate circulation, reduce inflammation, and accelerate healing. "Starting with heat to increase blood flow and relax muscles, followed by ice to reduce swelling and numb pain, this method boosts the body's natural recovery process," he says. "Contrast therapy can be applied through warm baths, heated pads, cold packs, or ice baths. The cycle typically lasts for 15-20 minutes, alternating every 2-3 minutes, to effectively enhance recovery and provide relief."


What areas of the neck should not be massaged?

Regardless of the device you choose, Kyles says to avoid the front of the neck as that's where your trachea and carotid artery sit. Additionally, any areas that feel bony or extremely sensitive should be treated with added caution (or avoided entirely).

How often should you use a neck massager?

Most folks should be able to use a neck massager for up to 15 minutes a day, every day. However, if you have an injury, it's best to speak with your healthcare provider to make sure you're cleared for regular use. And if your pain persists after using an at-home neck massager, you'll definitely want to seek the help of a professional.

Are vibrating massagers good for you?

Research suggests that vibration therapy is a safe and effective way to treat muscle soreness. Just be sure to follow each device's directions carefully and, if you're injured, get clearance from your doctor before using a vibrating massager at home.

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
  1. Teoli D, An J. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. [Updated 2023 Jan 22]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from:
  2. Lupowitz, Lewis. “Vibration Therapy – A Clinical Commentary.” International journal of sports physical therapy vol. 17,6 984-987. 1 Aug. 2022, doi:10.26603/001c.36964

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