The best massagers to relieve aches, pains and boost circulation

Ease aches and pains all over your body with the best massager for the job.

best massage tools

by Bryony Firth-Bernard |
Updated on

The best massagers can help ease tension, soothe sore muscles, as well as improve circulation throughout the body. There’s no denying we’d all love to have regular spa massages, but, sadly, they do come at a cost. But that’s where massagers come in — they don’t cost a fortune and if you are someone who does experience regular aches or pains, they’re definitely a handy tool to have at home.

Massagers come in various styles, from mats to cushions and even smaller handheld devices, a massage gun, ball or gua sha tools. So, whether you have tension in your neck, back, feet or even your head, there’s a massager available that can help you.

The best massagers at a glance:

Best massage gun: HYPERICE, Hypervolt Go - Massage Gun
Best foot massager: HoMedics Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat
Best massage chair: HoMedics ShiatsuMax 2.0
Best back massager: Beurer MG149 3D Shiatsu Massage Pillow
Best face massager: NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device

Below we’ve rounded up the best massagers available to buy now — from chairs to scalp massagers and even face ones too. Don’t forget to check out our FAQs at the bottom of this article, where Holly Glynn, Spa Manager at The Spa at Ardencote, helps you choose which massager is best for you.

Best massagers to buy now

Best massage gun

Our review: "I've previously relied on foam rollers to ease my muscles after a heavy HIIT workout, but, let's be honest - they're awful. Uncomfortable, painful and just downright annoying, I was really excited to get my hands on the Hypervolt GO. The lightweight device charges up really quickly, is comfortable in the hand and is really quiet. The green ring around the bottom keeps you updated with the battery life, and so far I've used it at least three times this week for a good 15 minutes and it's still on the green. There are three speeds to choose from - I start out on the lowest and then gradually move up to the highest on each session. There are also two heads to use, depending on where you're targeting. 

"If you've only used foam rollers before, it's a strange phenomenon, but you soon become used to it. I can't quite believe the difference if I'm honest. I use it as soon as I get home from my class, and it immediately releases tension in my thighs and calves, where I suffer most after a workout. It also helps with the day two post-workout ache, which hasn't been nearly as intense since I started using it. 

"It's the perfect size for a gym bag and is great for an at-home massage - useful if you often wake up with cricks in your shoulders or neck. This is a really high-quality piece of kit, and my only disappointment is that I didn't discover it sooner."

Pros

  • Lightweight — only weighs 700g
  • Good for a gym bag

Cons

  • Would be nice to have more than two attachment heads

Best back massager

Whether you suffer from neck, back, shoulder or leg pain — this little massage cushion can combat it all. Its four 3D massage heads rotate to replicate the sense of a traditional shiatsu massage, while the optional light and heat function really helps to soothe those tense areas. It comes with a clip and buckle fastening so that you can attach it to your chair or even around your lower back. It's extremely affordable, and compact so you can easily take it away with you and with all its uses, we think it's great value for money.

Customer review: "It’s not always feasible to go get a massage when you need it, so having a portable machine that you can use while chilling watching TV is a really good idea. When I first used this it actually hurt quite a bit, but the more I used it, the more comfortable and relaxing it was. I guess I was full of stress balls or something, but all turned out well in the end. The four rotating balls underneath the surface change direction every now and then, which is helpful, and they even heat up which is nice."

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compact, great for taking away
  • Good for lots of different body areas
  • Heat function

Cons

  • Only has one-speed setting

Best foot massager

HoMedics foot massager
Price: £129.99 (was £149.99)

www.homedics.co.uk

A slightly more industrial style of foot massager, the HoMedics device offers six rotating massage nodes and 18 massage heads on a portable board, which is big enough for up to size 12 feet. You can also add a touch of heat to your massage using the hands-free controls, and it’s the perfect size for storing away when you’re done. It’s on an automatic 20-minute timer, so you don’t need to worry about being sat there for too long either, as tempting as it may be.

Customer review: "This is such a great investment, I work on my feet all day and when I get home from a long shift this foot massager brings my feet back to life again. It’s got a perfect setting which heats your foot. The massage balls are a great size to really massage the balls on my feet. I’d recommend to anyone who likes a foot rub! Hits the spot perfectly."

Pros

  • Suitable for a large range of feet sizes (up to size 12)
  • Heat function for added comfort
  • Gel massage nodes

Cons

  • Not the best looking foot massager

Best massage chair

If you suffer from considerable back pain and work from a desk all day, then this massage chair from HoMedics is well worth the investment. As well as boasting 14 different massage settings, that can be changed via a remote control, you can attach this massager to any chair for your convenience. The flexible massage mechanism even lets you adjust the height and width of the massage reach so that you can specifically target those achy areas. Simply sit back, relax and let it massage your pain away.

Customer review: "After 8 years of severe back pain, I now have a gadget that supplies relief! I know that this isn't a cure, but to be able to get some respite is fantastic! I've tried so many appliances, none of which has proved of any use. I LOVE this massager. Many thanks."

Pros

  • Targets the whole back
  • A range of massage settings
  • Easily attaches to any chair

Cons

  • Not the easiest to store

Best scalp massager

scalp massager
Price: $7.95

Scalp massagers help to stimulate the blood vessels in your scalp, boosting hair growth. This pretty pink one from FREATECH has over 44,000 five-star reviews, so we're not surprised it's an Amazon best-seller. Its 100 per cent food-grade silicone teeth make it ideal for using in the shower to rub in your shampoo, helping to stimulate blood flow whilst giving your head a little TLC at the same time. Of course, you can also use it on dry hair too and its small, flat handle makes it easy to hold and control. It's available in eight different colours too, so you can choose your favourite.

Customer review: "Really good size, shape, and weight. Makes it feel like I'm really getting into the scalp to give it a thorough clean. It's already really helpful in trying to heal my hairline acne."

Pros

  • Available in a range of colours
  • Very affordable
  • Suitable for wet and dry use
  • Bristles made from silicone for great but gentle stimulate

Cons

  • Handle is a little small

Best face massager

A face massager is a great little tool to add to your skincare arsenal. This petite facial massager is the perfect size to pop in your wash bag so you can add some TLC into your skincare routine wherever you are. Use alongside your cleanser or the NuFACE gel primer and glide across your skin five times a week to reveal more toned, smoother-looking skin.

Customer review: "It really does give you a snatched look. You have to be dedicated to use it, along with the gel. It really does work though. I use it for at least five mins a day."

Pros

  • Compact, easily fits inside your wash bag
  • Comes with gel primer
  • Tones facial muscles

Cons

  • Pricey, but is an award-winning product, so worth the investment

Best mat massager

Another great product from HoMedics is this mat massager, which is perfect for easing tension in your whole back. It's even been designed by a certified yoga instructor, so you know your back will get a decent dose of TLC. Choose from four different programmes — twist, flow, energise and stretch — via the remote to give your body adequate neck, shoulder and back support. The mat has a cushion at the top for extra comfort and once you're finished, this mat has a compact foldaway design, so it can easily be stored.

Our review: “Anyone who suffers from back pain all year round, knows the dread that comes from the onset of winter…. cold days bring more pain. What’s more, whilst you know you need to keep active during those winter months, winter days just make that motivation harder. This is certainly the case in my house and so when HoMedics approached us enthusiastically to test out STRETCH we jumped at the chance to see if this ‘on the pricey side’ machine could really help and what’s more, be worth the price tag… In short, after a month of use, our 5/5 rating says it all!”

Read our full HoMedics STRETCH review.

Pros

  • Easy to store with foldaway system
  • Good value
  • Ideal for shoulder, neck and back pain
  • Created by certified yoga instructor

Cons

  • No heat function

Best massage ball

We'll be honest, these don't look and aren't the most pleasant massager to use, but they're very good for relieving knots. The spikes help reach deep tissue in your body, target trigger points and relax sore muscles. We love that you get three different sizes in this pack, so you can target different areas of your body accordingly. Plus, unlike the other massagers listed above, these don't require any batteries or charging.

Customer review: "These get right into the muscles and you can control the depth and pressure and also size based on area. Great for the price! And very well made."

Pros

  • Good value — get three different-sized balls
  • Great for targeting deep tissue and relieving knots
  • It doesn't require any batteries or charging
  • Small and easy to take on the go

Cons

  • Not the most pleasant massager to use

FAQs

What are the different types of massagers?

Massage gun: These are popular with gym-goers and can provide deep-tissue relief to sore muscles and relieve knots.

Foot massager: If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis, calf pain or plantar fasciitis, a foot massager can help. They aren't the most attractive massagers — they often look like weird joint pairs of slippers — but they can ease pain and boost circulation.

Cushion massager: Cushion massagers aren't only portable, but they're a great versatile massager. They can ease pain in your neck, back, and legs — wherever you decide to place them.

Scalp massager: These look similar to a hairbrush. As well as providing a soothing sensation to your head, a scalp massager also exfoliates your head and increases follicle circulation.

Massage chair: This is almost like a blanket which covers the whole of your chair and has various vibration settings. Some also come with a. heated function too. They're great for homeworkers and long car journeys.

Face massager: A face massager is a beauty product that boosts circulation, helping your skin to look more youthful and bright. They can be used on their own or in conjunction with your favourite cleanser.

Massage ball: These come in various shapes and sizes — some are smooth while some are spiky. They're popular with gym-goers and are good for working out knots and releasing tension.

Massage mat: Almost the same as a massage chair, but instead it's a mat that you can lie on. It's a great type of back massager.

What are the benefits of massage?

When we think of using a massager or going to get an in-person massage, immediately we think of the physical benefits. But, mentally, it’s very beneficial too. “Massage has been proven to reduce stress, relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, promote better sleep and even boost the immune system,” says Holly. “On a deeper level, massage can also be an effective way to manage chronic pain conditions such as arthritis. As a Spa Manager, I always recommend that people have regular massages to experience the full benefits.”

How to choose the best massager for you

This is best done by seeing a qualified therapist, however, if you’re looking for a more affordable and regular option, a massager will do nicely.

“It is always best to consider your specific needs and preferences first,” says Holly. “For example, if you’re looking to relieve muscle tension in a specific area of your body, you might want to consider a handheld massager. Alternatively, if you are looking for a more full-body massage experience, a massage chair might be a better option. You should also consider the intensity of the massage as well as any additional features such as heat or vibration.”

Although Holly does say nothing will beat the trained hands of a professional massage therapist.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us