Best Heated Massagers

Updated March 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

39 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
427 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best heated massagers

Last Updated March 2020

Do you experience soreness, tension, or pain on some part of your body? If you answered yes, then you’ve probably sought relief for some time and tried your fair share of solutions. For a soothing, noninvasive option, consider investing in a heated massager.

While heated massagers don’t replace medical or therapeutic treatment from qualified professionals, they are ideal for at-home relief on demand. And there’s a massage and heating style for everyone. Whether you prefer the intensity of a shiatsu massage or gentle, heated kneading, you can customize your massage experience with one of these devices. Other bells and whistles in heated massagers include traveling kneading knobs, cordless function, and timer settings.

If you’re ready to unwind and start feeling more like yourself, keep reading our buying guide to explore the different heated massagers on the market, and check out a few that we think stand out from the crowd.

Many people who suffer from migraines invest in a heated massager, especially one that targets the upper shoulders and neck.

Key considerations

Types of heated massagers

Heated massagers are generally classified by their intended target areas. Some massagers are versatile enough to use in more than one area, whereas others are intended for isolated use.

Neck and shoulders: Massagers for the neck and shoulders come in a variety of shapes, though U-shape and pillow-shape styles are the most popular. For these, you need to apply pressure to receive full contact from the kneading knobs. U-shaped units typically have grips for pulling downward. You usually lie on top of a pillow-shaped unit.

Back: This category includes full-length back massagers, as well as lower- and upper-body pillow massagers. Full-length massagers are intended for use while sitting, though many of them can be flattened to use lying down. There are also heated back massagers specifically designed for use in cars, which come with adapters. Pillow massagers are much smaller than full-length massagers. They offer focused therapy in one place at a time, such as between the shoulders or in the lumbar area. Given their smaller size, these are popular for travel, and many of them come with a carrying case.

Feet: Turn your barking dogs into hush puppies with a foot massager. These come in a number of designs, including full-coverage boots and pillow massagers. Boot styles completely encase your feet up to the ankle and use various therapeutic modalities. As expected, they tend to be more expensive. Foot massagers that are similar to pillow designs don’t completely encase the feet; they mold around your soles instead.

Handheld: Handheld massagers resemble giant showerheads. These can reach your lower back, lower body, and other hard-to-reach areas. They often come with interchangeable heads for customized therapy. You’ll enjoy a deep, targeted massage with these, but some consumers cite fatigue after holding the vibrating massager for extended periods.

Knee and calf: Other popular heated massagers target the knees and calves. These are often used by athletes, individuals with arthritis, and recovering surgical patients. Their designs are more complex because they are more akin to medical devices.

EXPERT TIP

Avoid using a heated massager on freshly moisturized skin. Lotions and oils can be absorbed by the device’s cover and leave permanent stains.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Controls

Heated massagers are operated by controls located on the unit or by a remote control. Buttons are generally located in convenient areas. Heated massagers intended for use in hard-to-reach areas, such as the lower extremities, often come with cordless remote controls. These are usually on the smaller side, so make sure to store the remote someplace where it won’t get lost.

Heat settings: The heat settings in heated massagers vary considerably between models. Inexpensive units tend to have only two or three settings, whereas premium models provide as many as a dozen. Heat can be constant, or you can set it to increase in intensity the longer it’s operating. If heat is a primary concern, spend more on a heated massager with more settings to achieve maximum relief. If you view heat as more of a perk, you can get away with a less expensive model.

Massage settings: Like heat settings, massage customization is dramatically different between heated massagers. Depending on the model, you can adjust the speed, direction of rotation, massage location, vibration, and pressure. Basic heated massagers offer at least three or four settings, which is more than enough for some people. Advanced heated massagers utilize various modalities, including acupressure or reflexology.

Timer: If you’re concerned about nodding off during a state of total relaxation, don’t worry about your heated massager. Many units are equipped with a timer, which is either automatic or customizable.

Power

Heated massagers are either powered by batteries, AC adapters, or car adapters. Most heated massagers can be plugged into wall outlets, and these usually come with a longer power cord. Select heated massagers are intended for use in vehicles, so they come with car adapters. Battery-powered massagers can be expensive to operate, but they’re ideal for travel, especially rechargeable units.

Travel

Heated massagers have also become a popular travel accessory, especially compact pillow styles. These massagers often come packaged with various adapters, a carrying case, and even a travel blanket. Travel massagers are also popular among office professionals and college students.

EXPERT TIP

Those with insomnia can benefit from integrating a heated massager into their bedtime routine. Heat and tension relief can help make them sleepy more quickly.


Staff  | BestReviews

Heated massager prices

Heated massagers cost between $25 and $300, based on the quality of construction, as well as how customizable the settings are.

Inexpensive: Expect to spend $25 to $40 for a budget-friendly heated massager. These usually target a single area of the body, so they’re ideal if you have concentrated pain or soreness. Generally speaking, heat and massage settings will be very limited on these.

Mid-range: Heated massagers of better quality cost $40 to $100 and include far more customizable settings. Units in this bracket can target a single area or are versatile enough to use all over the body.

Expensive: Those seeking maximum relief and relaxation can expect to spend up to $300 for a heated massager. These units provide a deep, thorough massage experience that can be customized down to the rotations per minute of the kneaders.

EXPERT TIP

If you intend to use a heated massager while driving, make sure it doesn’t lull you to sleep or distract you.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Keep a massager in the office. If you spend several hours a day at a desk job, treat yourself to a heated massager to keep muscle tension and soreness at bay.
  • Invest in a heated massager if you’re an athlete. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be tough, and a heated massager can help alleviate some of the discomfort. 
  • Use a massager as an alternative to an electric blanket. If you’re chilly at night, invest in a heated massager with an automatic shutoff setting. It will help you achieve the right level of warmth without feeling overheated.

Other products we considered

If you don’t see what you need in our matrix, we also like the heated Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager. This massager encases your feet up to the ankles for a concentrated, intense massage. Enjoy a combination of air pressure, acupressure, reflexology, and kneading. It comes with a wireless remote for effortless operation, and it has a removable cover for easy cleaning.

For those who need a gentle yet effective massage in the knee area, we like the HailiCare Heated Knee Massager. It comes as a pair of units that attach to knees like braces, lasting for up to six hours of use. The heat and vibration modes help relieve joint swelling, leg weakness, and numbness. Best of all, it’s an affordable option for simultaneous bilateral relief.

If you plan on using a heated massager in a place without a nearby outlet, either invest in an extension cord or choose a cordless unit.

FAQ

Q. Will I get burned by my heated massager if I use it on my bare skin?
A.
It’s unlikely. Heated massagers have protective covers and multiple layers covering the kneaders and heating elements. If your skin is somewhat sensitive, the combination of heat and rubbing may cause redness. As a result, some people prefer wearing a thin garment when using heated massagers.


Q. Can my kids use a heated massager?
A.
They can, though it’s best to only let older kids or teens use one. There are some parts that could be hazardous or dangerous for younger kids. Not every heated massager has user-friendly operation either, so it’s better for older kids who can understand how they work, even if it takes some trial and error.


Q. Will I really end up using a heated massager?
A.
If you invest in a quality unit that targets the right area of the body, then yes. They’re often treated like gimmicks or odd gifts, but in fact one can provide relief when used correctly. Many people invest in heated massagers that they can use while doing another activity, such as sitting at a desk or reading in bed. This means you can optimize your time while giving yourself a little dose of self-care.


Q. Are heat settings always on at the same time as massage settings, and vice versa?
A.
It depends on the design. Most massagers have heat as a secondary option, so you can simply use the device for only massage if that’s what you prefer. It’s much less common to find a heated massager in which the heat operates alone. Heated massagers are dual-purpose devices, so if you only need one functionality, save money and opt for a heating pad or a basic massaging unit.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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