10 Neck Massagers That Will Make Muscle Soreness a Thing of the Past

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A well-rounded fitness routine isn’t just about working out regularly. Recovery is a key part of the process. “Post-workout recovery is so important if you want to get the most out of your workout,” Studio SWEAT onDemand trainer Tatiana Koval says. Of course, there are plenty of productive ways to unwind after a workout—or a stressful day, for that matter. You can stretch, take a hot bath, or even get a massage. (Yes, we did just call massages productive—you can thank us later.) 

“Massages are incredibly rehabilitating,” Dani Robertson, Senior Instructor at SoulCycle in Atlanta, says, adding that she sees massages as both a luxury and a necessity. But what if you don’t have the budget to cover a regular massage? Treat yourself to a self-massage, instead. Helpful tools—like neck massagers—abound, making it easy to get a massage without breaking the bank. Opt for a wraparound neck massager that’ll do all the work for you, or try one of those massage guns you keep seeing everywhere. No matter what you choose, rest assured knowing you’re in for a treat.

Read on to learn more about neck massagers—and to see the best neck massagers worth adding to your recovery routine.

Our Top Picks
Get those shoulders and neck loosened up and feeling relaxed with this massager.
This affordable, waterproof massager is ideal for post-workout recovery to get kinks out of your neck and back.
This may seem like a splurge, but this massage gun is a more affordable dupe for the TheraGun.
This handheld, rechargable massager helps you reach those hard-to-get-to spots on your back.
Since the ball is small, you can use it to massage just about anything—including your arms, legs, feet, and more.
A unique design, this cane neck massager allows you to target areas of concern and choose the pressure used.
Best Massage Pillow:
Zyllion Massage Pillow at Amazon
Bedtime and naptime will change forever with this hands-free, work-free massage pillow.
Best for Temperature Therapy:
Wahl Hot Cold Therapy Massager at Amazon
Seven different attachments and a cold and heat setting allow for a dynamic massage.
Best for Headaches:
VOYOR Neck Massager at Amazon
The silicone balls on the massager target your pressure points, and it promises to relieve headaches.
A luxe option, this massage seat is great for soothing muscles during long days in the home office.

Best Overall: RESTECK Neck and Back Massager

RESTECK Neck and Back Massager

If you’re looking for a solid neck massage, nothing beats a wraparound massager. (For the uninitiated, that’s a massager that wraps around your neck and shoulders, getting all those pesky spots you just can’t reach with your hands.) What we love about this device, especially, is that it doesn’t offer a one-size-fits-all massage. It comes with four different adjustable settings, allowing you to make your massage as gentle, intense, or warm as you want it to be.

Best Budget: MagicMakers Neck Massager

MagicMakers Neck Massager

The MagicMakers Neck Massager feels good and looks great. And did we mention it’s also surprisingly affordable? The wraparound massager is designed to target your neck and shoulders, though if you opt for a looser fit, you can get parts of your back, too. The massager comes with three different massage speeds. And since it boasts an adjustable heater, you can indulge in a little warmth any time you want. The cherry on top? The massager is actually pretty cute—which is something we never expected to say about a neck massager.

Best Splurge: Legiral Massage Gun

Legiral Massage Gun

Looking for a massager worth splurging on? Spring for a professional-grade massage gun, like the Legiral Massage Gun. Massage guns have quickly become a must-have in the fitness space, thanks to the intense, targeted pressure they’re able to provide. And if a hyper-intense neck massage sounds a little intimidating, don’t worry—this massage gun comes with 20 different intensity settings, so you can easily customize your massages to meet your needs.

Best Handheld: RENPHO Handheld Massager

RENPHO Handheld Massager

Handheld massagers require a little more work than wraparound massagers—but since they put you in control of the massage, they’re totally worth it. This one is an easy-to-hold pick that’s long enough to target some of those hard-to-reach places. And since it comes with five different attachments, you can get a dynamic massage that suits exactly how you’re feeling on any given day.

Best Massage Ball: Zongs Massage Ball 2-Pack

Zongs Massage Ball 2-Pack

If you don’t mind putting in a little work, a massage ball—like the Zongs Massage Ball—can make a big difference. Simply take the massager in your hand and rub the ball all over your neck and upper back. It will dig into your skin in a way fingers just can’t, leaving you feeling like you just got a lovely massage. What’s nice? Since the ball is small, you can use it to massage just about anything—including your arms, legs, feet, and more. Use it to soothe sore muscles or add a little luxury to your life. Either way, you’re in for a treat.

Best Massage Cane: LiBa Back and Neck Massager

LiBa Back and Neck Massager

There’s nothing wrong with doing things the old-fashioned way—and this LiBa Back and Neck Massager proves it. The cane is basically the massage equivalent of a backscratcher. Loop it around your neck to target common pressure points, or use one of its ball-lined ends to dig into your peskiest problem areas. The obvious downside of a massage cane? It requires you to do a fair amount of work. But the cane can get to those hard-to-reach spots better than your hands ever could—and that counts for a lot.

Best Massage Pillow: Zyllion Massage Pillow

Kneading Massage Pillow with Heat ZMA-13-BK

Massage pillows are neck massagers you can lie down on (yes, seriously), so you can enhance bedtime and naptime with a quick, intense massage. The Zyllion Massage Pillow is crafted from vegan leather and breathable mesh, so you can comfortably lie down on it—without worrying about getting overheated. Alternatively, slide it behind your neck, back, legs, or anywhere else that could use a little attention.

Best for Temperature Therapy: Wahl Hot Cold Therapy Massager

Wahl massager

Hot and cold therapy can take a massage to the next level, and the Wahl Hot Cold Therapy Massager makes it easy to indulge in both. The handheld massager comes with seven different attachments, which you can use to change up the texture—and the temperature—of your massages. Use the hot attachment any time you need some soothing warmth, and opt for the cold one whenever your muscles need a break. When you have seven different options to choose from, you have even more excuses to give yourself a massage.

Best for Headaches: VOYOR Neck Massager

VOYOR Neck Massager

It may seem weird that a neck massager could soothe your headaches, but that’s exactly what the VOYOR Neck Massager promises to do. Simply slip the lightweight massager around your neck and kick back as it does most of the work for you. The silicone balls on the massager target your pressure points, giving you a gentle squeeze you can enjoy—even if you’re relaxing and doing nothing at all. And if you want to up the intensity of your massage, you can manually move the massager around to knead anywhere that needs a little extra love.

Best Massage Seat: Comfier Neck and Back Massager Comfier Neck and Back Massager

Comfier Neck and Back Massager

If you don’t mind a splurge, why not spring for a massage seat (which is basically a more versatile version of a massage chair)? Whereas massage chairs are bulky (and frankly, hard to decorate with), massage seats can fit inside the chairs you already own. Plus, they’re couch-friendly. So if you’re really hoping to relax, you can plop down in your living room and let the massage seat do its thing. The seat is lined with massagers from top to bottom, so you can target your neck, back, and thighs all at once. And since it comes equipped with a back heater, you can get some cozy warmth any time you need it.

Final Verdict

Self-massage can be a great way to make your recovery routine feel more luxurious—without absolutely wrecking your budget. If you’re looking for an effective massager that won’t ask you to do much work, you can’t go wrong with the RESTECK Neck and Back Massager (view at Amazon). The wraparound massager is soft and cozy. And since it’s portable, you can easily take it with you on the go. If you’d prefer a more intense, targeted massage, opt for the Legiral Massage Gun (view at Legiral) instead. Since it’s a handheld massager, you’ll have to do a little work. But what you’ll get in return is an intense massage that’ll target any muscle that needs a little love.

What to Look for in a Neck Massager

Effort Required

There are tons of different neck massagers out there, and some require much more effort than others. If you’re looking for a low-effort massage, opt for a wraparound massager, a massage seat, or a massage pillow. If you don’t mind putting in a little work, choose a handheld option, instead. 

Intensity

Some massagers are more intense than others. If you want a lower-intensity massage, try a non-motorized option, like a massage ball or a massage cane. If you’d prefer a massager with more discreet and diverse intensity options, opt for something with a motor. 

Versatility

Many neck massagers aren’t just neck massagers—they’re total-body massagers you can use on your neck. But some are strictly designed to massage your neck and shoulders. If you’d prefer a more versatile option, opt for anything handheld. Since handheld massagers put you in control of the massage, you can use them just about anywhere. 

FAQ
  • Are neck massagers safe?

    Generally, neck massagers are safe, but as with any form of massage, there are risks. If you apply too much pressure or have a preexisting neck injury, you could risk causing further damage. For example, there is one case documented where a man experienced a stroke after a neck massage. Although this is rare, it's important to make sure you are using your massage device properly to reduce the chances of injury.

  • Can you use a neck massager everyday?

    There is no set limit on how often you can use a neck massager, but generally, it is recommended to only use one a few times a week. In a study of 228 patients with chronic neck pain, a 60-minute neck massage two to three times a week relieved symptoms more than those who had shorter and fewer massage sessions. You can also use them pre- and post-workout. As always, it's best practice to check with your doctor before you begin any treatment.

  • What are the benefits of neck massagers?

    There are many benefits of using neck massagers. Not only can they help save you money from expensive massage sessions, but they help relieve muscle soreness, stress, improve blood circulation, and more.

Why Trust Byrdie?

Byrdie contributor Lindsey Lanquist has years of experience in the health and fitness space. And as an avid shopper, she knows what a bummer a bad product can be. That’s why she makes sure to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and widely beloved by those who’ve tried them.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any neck massagers from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com, and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  2. Sherman KJ, Cook AJ, Wellman RD, et al. Five-week outcomes from a dosing trial of therapeutic massage for chronic neck painAnn Fam Med. 2014;12(2):112-120. doi:10.1370/afm.1602

  3. Should You Reach for a Handheld Massage Gun? Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/should-you-reach-for-a-handheld-massager/.

  4. Sripongngam T, Eungpinichpong W, Sirivongs D, Kanpittaya J, Tangvoraphonkchai K, Chanaboon S. Immediate Effects of Traditional Thai Massage on Psychological Stress as Indicated by Salivary Alpha-Amylase Levels in Healthy PersonsMed Sci Monit Basic Res. 2015;21:216-221. doi:10.12659/MSMBR.894343

  5. Plakornkul V, Vannabhum M, Viravud Y, et al. The effects of the court-type Thai traditional massage on anatomical relations, blood flow, and skin temperature of the neck, shoulder, and armBMC Complement Altern Med. 2016;16:363. doi:10.1186/s12906-016-1282-y

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