A Buyer’s Guide to Handheld Back Massagers

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Young woman enjoying back massage in beauty spa salon

With our everyday lives being so busy, we are left with little time for any kinds of physical exercise. Consequently, all those hours of hunching over our laptops, sitting at your desk for hours and peering at our phones has more than messed up our backs. More than 50% of the entire population suffers from chronic back problems, but not all of us are rich enough to afford regular visits to a chiropractor or professional masseuse.

This is the reason why Handheld Back Massagers are a very good investment. They are cheap, at least cheap compared to visiting chiropractors on a regular basis, but they are also wonderful when it comes to working on target areas on your back and relieving the pain from a certain group of muscles. As a result of this, a handheld massager can work wonders for spondylosis, aching joints, muscular cramps among a wide range of other problems.

The Top 10 Handheld Back Massagers

We have taken a look at some of the recent kinds of handheld back massagers which are being currently used my tons of people right now and have compiled a list of the top ten best massagers for you. This list is based solely on the reviews and feedbacks of the customers on Amazon.

Best Choice

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Buddy The Body Back Buddy’s open design and natural shape allow you to reach all muscle groups of the body: back, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, hands, buttocks, hips, legs and feet. By varying the amount of pressure applied and the angle at which it is directed, you can release tight, spastic, knotted muscles. You control the amount of pressure and determine the exact spot that requires treatment. Even with minimal strength and effort you can treat areas that are virtually impossible to reach without the Body Back Buddy.
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Detailed Comparison List

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Description

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Company

RENPHO Rechargeable Deep Tissue Massager

Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Massager

HoMedics Percussion Action Massager

Body Back Buddy trigger point massage tool

Pado Pure-Wave CM7 Massager

Thumper Sport Percussive Massager 

Dimensions

15 x 3 x 4.5 inches

10.88 x 16.00 x 6.50 in inches

17.1 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches

27 x 2 x 17 inches

16.5 x 2.8 x 3.5 inches 

19.5 x 5.8 x 6.5 inches

Weight

1.76 pounds

1.6 pounds

2.48 pounds

1.25 pounds

1.75 pounds

3 pounds

Speed

3600 pulses per minute

3350 pulses per minute

3100 pulses per minute

None

3,700 Pulses per minute

20-40 pulses per second

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A Buyer’s Guide to Handheld Back Massagers

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​​​​#1 Body Back Buddy Trigger Point Therapy Self Massage Tool

One of the most popular handheld back massagers, the Body Back Buddy was created for the sole purpose of being an all-purpose equipment that not only works at varying speed, but also reaches various muscles.

The Uniqueness:

It works on a number of principles like Trigger point therapy and vibration technique, and the S-shape along with the attached balls along the curvature help relieve soreness and pain from even the most elusive of muscles in the body, making it perfect to be used by one individual at a time without any necessary help.


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Versatility:

The best feature of this massages is that at every instance, four of its knobs work simultaneously to alleviate stress from the muscle, allow relaxation and penetrate deeper in to the problem area in order to keep the pain from coming back. Two of the knobs are designed particularly for the paraspinal area, which is a problem area for most individuals.

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Benefits:

  • On a technical level, you can use this for a longer period of time without having to worry about developing any kind of cramps since it is manual.  
  • Since it is manual, any inexperienced individual can use it, in order to treat varying levels of pain as the pressure applied on the muscles can be externally controlled.
  • Consists of 11 knobs to act on different pressure points of your back at the same time.
  • Recommended for all kinds of back issues including hunched back.
  • It can be effective in treating spondylitis of lower back region
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Pros:
  • It can be used on a number of places like the neck, back, shoulders, waist and arms due to its unique shape
  • The curvature allows for easy access to back muscles that a straight handle does not allow
  • This handheld back massager can be used either when you are sitting or even lying down in your bed
  • It does not generate any sound and hence can be used in any kind of space without disturbance of any kind
  • Very convenient to use – you just need to adjust the angel to apply greater pressure on certain areas.

Cons:

  • The entire body is made up of plastic, which means if not handles delicately, it can break
  • Since it is big and S shaped, it needs a large storage space and isn’t very portable when it comes to travelling with it

Conclusion:

For a manual back massager, the Body Back Buddy is quite nice and versatile. It does not use electricity or batteries of any kind, which means it the investment is less. However, it does not include any special features like intense vibration frequency, heat generation. It is purely manual, but for a handheld back massager of this price, this is certainly worth it. The shape may not allow for easy portability, but it can be easily stored in your cupboard, put up on a hanger in your closet or any rack. And since it is silent, it can be used anywhere – in your home as well as your office.

#2 Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Handheld Electric Massager

When it comes to electrical handheld back massagers, the Deep Tissue Percussion Massager from Wahl seems to be a favorite and we can definitely see why. For a fair priced appliance, this has a number of features that we would wish in a good massager like a good grip, ease of use and a detailed instruction manual.

Attachments:

This has 4 different attachments, each with its unique shape, size and function. While the basic disc attachment is meant to target larger areas like your shoulder blades and sides, in order to stimulate blood flow and get rid of muscle fatigue, while the smaller discs are meant for deep tissue penetration to help reduce knots and localize action to particular muscle groups. Thus, each individual’s massages can be customized according to their needs with varying styles and speed.

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Acupuncture Point

The Tissue Massager comes with a sharp Acupoint massage head which has been scientifically designed to relive chronic pain that comes from being hunched over all day long at your desk job. Its smooth surface and easy grip is gentle, so that every time you switch it on, it feels like a professional masseuse.

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Benefits:
  • Can be used to treat knots and pain on large as well as small sections of the body with the circular base disc
  • Also, beneficial as it doubles up as a foot massager
  • Has 4 different attachments to target various problem areas of the body
Pros:
  • The additional attachments come with various shapes and sizes, making them easier and more versatile in their use
  • Can be easily used along the back, shoulders, neck and the spine to stimulate blood flow
  • Its small size and portable power cord make it very easy to carry and store it in small spaces
  • The powerful motor can deliver up to 3350 pulses per minute to generate a rough and powerful massage for larger sections of muscles
  • This has a very economic design which allows for a firm grip and easy handling when having to move the massager along the back
Cons:
  • Since it is power dependent, it generates a lot of noise, more than your average electrical handheld massager should.
  • The higher speed can be too strong for some people to use and may require an active barrier
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Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Handheld Electric Massager is certainly a good equipment, if you do not mind the noise and having to maneuver the power cord around when using it, that is. It is particularly good for gentle massages at a low speed setting, which allows for it to be used in a number of different ways. But if it comes down to using the high speed, it is suggested that you do not apply it directly but over your clothes, because the direct vibration effect can be quite jarring. If you can get past this as well as the fact that it is corded, this is definitely worth the price paid for it.

#3 RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue Massager

Certified by FDA and FCC, the RENPHO rechargeable handheld Deep Tissue Massager is made particularly for the ones seeking an all-round massager that works on multiple pressure pints with varying speeds. Small, light and portable, this is also an excellent travel companion, and can be used by just about anyone.

Different Modes:

The RENPHO Tissue Massager comes with multiple settings and modes. It has three strength modes and four different speed modes. The speed can be increased or decreased with the two different “+” and the “-“buttons on the handle. On the other hand, the strength mode makes use of different pulse rate to act on varying layers of muscles to address physical issues like pain and “frozen shoulders”.

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Perfect for Everyone:

This deep tissue massager can be especially helpful for individuals who suffer from long term issues and chronic pain, with daily use. The powerful in-built motor in this massager makes it a great fit for anyone who wants to reduce their level of discomfort. The three point changing head is a game changer with its rotating feature that generates pressure equally on a comfortable scale.

Intense Speed:

At its highest speed setting, this massager generates 3600 pulses per minute, which may sound like a lot, but is very effective in loosening stiff muscles, especially if are not in the habit of working out. It uses the effective percussion technique for the ones looking for a deep tissue massage and can be used to relieve stress.

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Benefits:
  • It comes with five different attachments, each with different size and rotation cycle for effective muscular relaxation
  • Helps to loosen the joints and improve flexibility, especially issues related to arthritis and spondylitis
  • Can be used to treat knots on the back, lower back, pelvic areas, shoulders, feet as well as the neck
Pros:
  • It is battery operated and hence does not have the hassle of handling and maneuvering a power cord while being used
  • The massager automatically stops by itself after being used directly for 20 minutes straight, to prevent overheating
  • Easy and simple design allows for you to reach the muscles on your back with no hassle
Cons:
  • The massager cannot be used while being charged, and since it is battery operated, you need to invest in good batteries
  • The battery can last only up to 140 minutes straight after being charged fully, but stops after every 20 minutes to prevent being overheated
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Conclusion:

If you are looking for a custom massage experience, then the RENPHO Deep Tissue Massager is one of the more affordable and better-quality options for you to have to choose from. The ergonomic design is light and easy to handle, which makes it convenient to use. In terms of technique, it does not have anything extraordinary to boast about but for most people, this will suffice. The various heads make it possible for people to use it for their vertebral joints, stiff shoulders, random muscle cramping and a wide range of other problems.

#4 Pure-Wave CM7 by Pado Cordless Massager Body plus Facial (Dual Mode) for Foot, Legs, Neck, Back, Shoulders

If you are looking to spend a few bucks on state of the art equipment that offers long term benefits for your back issues, then the Pure Wave CM7 Handheld Massager by Pado is definitely worth a try. In this case, the expensive price tag directly translates into a powerful machine that is capable of reaching deep layers of tissue, that is otherwise neglected by most such handheld massagers.

Unique Feature

A unique feature in this handheld massager is that it has the option to detach the head from the handle. You can choose from multiple accessory attachments to get the precise kind of massage that your body requires. For instance, the accessory heads were created to ape techniques similar to acupressure, deep tissue, Shiatsu among a few. Techniques like these are stimulated through the varying speeds used for each different kind of massage head.

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Attachments:

When it comes to attachments, this handheld massager has a lot to offer. There is an Oil massage stick which lets you use essential and therapeutic oils to relieve stress. There is a rotating six head massage stick that concentrates deep tissue penetration to a localized muscle group and is excellent for muscle recovery after a sports injury or any kind of sprain. The best part is the air cushion attachment head, which is patented by Pado, and is particularly effective for neural pain and carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.

Benefits:

  • It works on repetitive acute percussion technology to give instant relief from pains and knots
  • This can help you experience professional level massages with a lot of variety like Swedish, shiatsu and so on.
  • Has an extra attachment that makes it double up as a facial kit.
  • The air cushion stick can also be used for sensitive joints and neural massages for instant relief
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Pros:

  • The design is slick and slim for a firm grip and the handle is extra-long to reach the muscles on your lower back as well
  • Cordless and hence entails a hassle-free handling and usage
  • This can be used continuously for up to 180 minutes at a time.

Cons:

  • Having to use the massager by yourself can lower the quality of the experience as reaching to the lower back can be awkward.
  • This handheld massager cannot be used by an individual while slaying down.
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Conclusion:

This handheld back massager by Pado is definitely one of the pricier ones in the list, but after seeing the beautiful and shiny design, we are sure that individuals would not mind spending those extra few bucks. It is effective, almost an all-rounder when it comes to different kinds of massages and is certainly helpful in treating a wide range of issue. But the best part is that it can be used on the face as well, both for a facial as well as to treat issues like a sore jaw or along the sides of your temples to treat migraine pains. This is certainly a premium device, with the one disadvantage being that you need to be sitting up while using this.

This particular handheld back massager from HoMedics is very simple to use, and unlike all the other handheld massagers in our review, this works on two principles – percussion and heat to provide pain relief that is both effective and long lasting and penetrates through many layers of knots and kinks. Although, in order to effectively use the heat sensation, they need to directly place on top of the muscle group. In terms of shape and size, there are many other handheld massagers that are more appealing to the eye, but this one certainly gets the job done effectively.

The Speed settings:

This percussion massager works on two primary scales – high pressure for larger muscle areas and low-pressure for sensitive joints. The high-speed feature can generate up to 3,100 pulses per minute. You can simply slide the speed switch if you need to increase or decrease the intensity. This particular massager also allows for you to change the speed settings even when the device is running. Thus, you can alter the speed while using it on the target area.

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Attachments:
Unlike most other handheld back massagers, this one only has two attachment heads. While the attachment with the dark heads can be used to perform softer massages for sensitive body parts and to offer a soothing experience, the attachment with light gray heads repeatedly strike the surface of your skin to generate a much firmer massage, should you need it.

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Benefits:

  • The heat massages can be used to treat long term issues of chronic pain and swelling.
  • Can be effectively used for deep tissue penetrating massages to relieve pain
  • The harder attachments along with the high-impact settings can effectively be used as a therapeutic aid for targeted muscle groups
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Pros:

  • The massage head attachments are very easy to attach and take off, and take a few seconds
  • Since it is corded, the motor allows for greater use of power when compared to battery operated ones
  • Attractive and slick design and the handle allows for a better grip

Cons:

  • This massager generates a lot of noise, and hence cannot be used in an office space
  • It only comes with two attachable heads, and hence does not offer a lot of variety massages
  • It requires a power cord to operate and hence maneuvering it around can be a little awkward.
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Conclusion:

Simple and effective, this particular massager is cost effective, when compared to the pricier ones in the market right now. The heat penetration is a particularly effective feature when it comes to using this machine to relieve stress on a daily basis. As for the special features, beyond the two sets of changeable heads, the HoMedic handheld massager also comes with a dual pressure setting which allows you to have even more control over your massage experience. However, since the motor is so powerful, you need to make sure that you have a firm grip on the handle without which this may slip from your grasp and hurt you.

#6 Thumper Sport Percussive Massager 

One of the reasons for the continuous popularity of this handheld back massager from Thumper is that unlike most low quality massagers that just generate superficial circular rotation on the skin, is that this uses a steady pressure and stream of pulses that provides relief to deep tissue problems. The Thumper Massager was particularly designed to deliver relief to almost all kinds of sports related muscle pain, but the versatility of it allows for it to be used for common individuals to solve other back problems as well. There are five different settings for intensity so that you can choose the kind of massage that you want depending on your condition.

Attachments:

Unfortunately, for a machine this expensive, this does not come with any extra attachments. There are only two massage heads that are fixed onto the motor, but even these allow for different styles and deep penetration of pulses.

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Uniqueness:

The massage head is fairly movable and can pivot up and down by ¼ of an inch. It can also generate a variable speed of 1000 to 3000 pulses per minute, allowing you to have a powerful massage for hard area like your thighs, between your shoulder blades or your back, while the low pulses offer soothing and comforting massages for softer areas like your neck and shoulders.

Benefits:
  • Can be used to provide instant relief from soreness of muscles, knots, muscle headache and delayed onset of strain after heavy physical activities
  • The long handle allows you to reach the “unreachable” parts of your back and offer effective remedy from pain and soreness
  • The increased isolation between the head and the handle does not make your hand feel numb as quickly as you would do in other handheld massagers like these
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Pros:

  • The five different kinds of speed settings give you the option to choose from ten different styles and techniques of massages
  • The motor is powerful but does not overheat easily and thus can be used for a long period of time
  • The design and wide space between the two heads allow for easy and effective cleaning with just a cloth

Cons:

  • Compared to other handheld back massagers in the market, this one is very expensive.
  • The design is bulky and comes with a power cord, which does not make it very portable or easy to travel with
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Conclusion:
In terms of design, the long handle makes it very easy to use on yourself, but you need to be in an upright position in order to use this. But for a massager with a price tag like this, the body is pretty bulky and weighs almost 1.5 kilos which means you may need to put it down after a bit so as not to strain your arms, but other than that, this is fairly easy to use. Just place the massager head on the area that needs treatment and press the massage head down gently with just the right amount of force, and let gravity do the rest.

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Description

1st Place 

2nd Place

3rd Place

4th Place

5th Place

6th Place

71aS-BS78eL._SX522_
electric
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back
61NIjbk7aGL._SX522_
91HLtUcSe8L._SX522_

Company

RENPHO Rechargeable Deep Tissue Massager

Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Massager

HoMedics Percussion Action Massager

Body Back Buddy trigger point massage tool

Pado Pure-Wave CM7 Massager

Thumper Sport Percussive Massager

Dimensions

15 x 3 x 4.5 inches

10.88 x 16.00 x 6.50 in inches

17.1 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches

27 x 2 x 17 inches 

16.5 x 2.8 x 3.5 inches 

19.5 x 5.8 x 6.5 inches 

Weight

1.76 pounds

1.6 pounds

2.48 pounds

1.25 pounds

1.75 pounds

3 pounds

Speed

3600 pulses per minute

3350 pulses per minute

3100 pulses per minute

None

3,700 Pulses per minute

20-40 pulses per second

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With so many different kinds and varieties and companies producing so many different kinds of handheld back massagers, we can understand how confused an individual must be when it comes to buying one for themselves, especially if they have never bought one for themselves before.

In light of this, today we take a brief look at ten of the bestselling and most popular handheld back massagers that are selling like hot cakes. But before that, we also look at the finer details and nuances that go into selecting the right kind of handheld back massager that is just right for all of your needs.

What should you remember when buying a Back Massager?

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These are the features that you need to look out for especially, when you are getting yourself a new handheld back massager.

  1. The shape of the handle: As the name suggests, the primary feature of this kind of a massager is that it can be easily held in your hands. Now, the curvature of the handle is very important, because you need it to fit into the palm of your hands and not slip because you will be using it on your back. At this point, you should know to steer very clear of massagers that have straight handles. Of course, the ones with grippers or ridges along the handles are even better because they have even lesser chances of slipping out of your hands.
  2. The speed and adjustability: A good handheld massager will come with varying speed so that you can control the setting of the massage which you want to get. The varying speed features will also ensure the versatility of the massager, because a high speed can only be used on certain parts of your body, while a massager with a low speed setting can be used almost anywhere on the body.
  3. Versatility: Closely related to the speed is the versatility. We understand that we are talking just about handheld back massagers, but wouldn’t it be such a waste if it did only that? A good massager, especially the ones which work on a vibration technology should be able to work on multiple parts of the body like your arms, necks and legs.
  4. The power supply: There are two primary kinds of handheld back massagers – the ones which can be run using batteries or the ones which work on electricity, and both have their pros and cons. For instance, you can use the power charged one directly, but not when there is no electricity. Similarly, you can operate the battery dependent handheld massager anywhere and at any time, but then you also need to invest in some batteries for a long time.
  5. The kind of massage that you want: Various muscular issues needs various different kinds of massaging techniques to help ease the pain. For instance, long term or chronic muscular pain may require you to use a handheld back massager that works on deep tissues and operates on percussive technology. On the other hand, if you need relief from temporary muscle pain, then we suggest that you invest in a massager that uses vibration technology.
  6. The size and Portability: If you cannot carry your handheld back massager with you wherever you go, then what is the point of buying it in the first place? Most cordless massagers, that is, the ones which run on batteries are small, adaptable and therefore portable, which is something that you will not be able to find in the back massagers that work on electricity since they come with a long power cord. However, today there are many handheld power cord massagers which are small enough to be portable. Therefore, make sure that both the power cord and the massager are small and light.
  7. Additional attachments: One of the things that makes any handheld back massager versatile is the set if attachment that it comes with. They come in various shapes and sizes and are particularly designed to hit different muscles at different levels of pain. These extra attachments are what help you to customize the massager according to your needs. Therefore, make sure that the massager that you are buying has at least five different extra attachments along with the main machine.

A Word of Caution:

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While handheld back massagers are an amazing, quick and easy way to get rid of muscle and back pain, we always suggest that if the pain persists you should visit a doctor. You should stop using the massager immediately if your pain seems to get worse with each passing after since you have started using the massager, and under no circumstances should you be using it if you are recovering from any kind of fractures, cracked bones or surgical procedures.

There you go, some of the best handheld back massagers! But did we miss out on some of your favorites? Which of the above-mentioned massagers worked best for you? Do you have more words of wisdom?

Leave us a comment in the section down below and let us know your thoughts. Until then, happy shopping!

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