Best Shiatsu Massager for Relaxation – Reviews & Buying Guides
Whether you do it for relaxation after a long day at work or for therapy purposes, finding the best shiatsu massager can be tricky. You do have some options out there, not to mention the variety of types. You can find a massager for your whole body, as well as different units for specific parts of your body.
All in all, a good shiatsu massager can successfully replace therapy or professional massage parlors, so better take your time and research your options. Obviously, certain models are better rated than others – that's what you have to focus on. But before going into small details, make sure you know what to look for.
- 1 Understanding The Art of Shiatsu Massage
- 2 Different Types of Shiatsu Massagers
- 3 Best Shiatsu Massager Reviews
- 4 What to Look for in a Shiatsu Massager
- 5 Final Verdict
Understanding The Art of Shiatsu Massage
Different Types of Shiatsu Massagers
Best Shiatsu Massager Reviews
1. Best Shiatsu Back Massager - Naipo Back & Neck Massager
Featuring a two year limited warranty and designed with back relief purposes, Naipo's shiatsu massager for back is built to deliver. It's a compact and portable massager that can be used pretty much anywhere – home, office or even in your car. It's a chair cushion, so all you need is a seat.
Nothing compares to a massage professional's hands and fingers they say. Wrong! This model is designed to perfectly imitate such massages in the smallest details. When it comes to kneading, it features a series of rollers that rotate at the same time.
Most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between human hands and this massager. Deep kneading helps against any part of the body, yet it's more helpful against back, shoulders and neck.
Versatility is a must when you invest in a shiatsu massager. You want it to be able to tackle pretty much any part of your body. For this reason, this model features not less than eight rolling massage nodes. Each of them is built with deep kneading purposes in mind. They can relieve pain and muscular tightness, but also soothe tired parts of your body.
Adjusting massages is fairly simple – just move the nodes up and down. They're suitable for the users between 63 and 71 inches. However, shorter or taller users can also benefit from the massager, only they can't take advantage of such a deep customization.
No matter what the best shiatsu massager for you is, it should definitely feature a soothing heat capability. Many manufacturers overlook this feature, yet it's slowly becoming a default. Basically, the extra heat is excellent against stiff muscles and tendons. When hot, the respective tissues loosen and stretch a little, relieving pain and pressure.
The heat feature is highly recommended to elders, those with stressful jobs and chronic pains. While it might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, its effects are priceless. It usually feels overwhelming on hot summer days, when you're already hot and extra heat is the last thing you want.
Apart from the rolling movements, Naipo's massager also features vibrations for a deeper massage. While the rolling massage targets the top part of the body, vibrations are designed for the lower part. In other words, you'll enjoy a comfortable massage around the thighs or upper hips.
Just like the rolls, vibrations can also be customized. You have three different levels. There are no specific massages to choose from, but just the vibrating intensity – low, medium and fast. Controls are simple and don't require too much knowledge, even if this is the first shiatsu massager you have. They're straightforward and come with instructions, so you just can't go wrong.
Controls and Customization
The shiatsu massage is easy to control due to a remote. You won't have to stand up, turn it around or move too much. Instead, grab the handheld device and hold it as you enjoy the massage. You can change certain settings during the massage, without having to turn it off. There are three massage zones, a pinpoint shiatsu massage and a kneading massage, not to mention the soothing heat feature.
The massager can be used anywhere. If you plan to use it at home or in the office, it has an AC adapter. If you want to use it in the car, it comes with a car adapter, so your options are countless. It's compact, easy to roll, store and transport. You can literally fit it in a backpack and take it anywhere. It weighs around 16 pounds.
Small details often make the difference when hunting for the best massager. When overlooked, their necessity becomes obvious as you use the massager. The massage length is set at 15 minutes. It has an automatic shutdown function. The feature is ideal for those who tend to fall asleep during a massage. It can prevent potential injuries from overusing it.
At the same time, the feature is part of the maintenance as well, since you obviously shouldn't run the massager for hours.
Read our full review here.
2. Best Shiatsu Foot Massager - Brookstone F4
Built as a small box where you can fit your feet in and experience the massage of a lifetime, Brookstone's shiatsu massager for feet can seriously make a difference. Most massagers targeting the lower part of the body can literally massage anything but the actual feet. This one comes to solve a common problem, as it's focused on the parts with the most nerve endings. What else can you ask for?
Just like any other good shiatsu massager, this one comes with a few automatic programs. Sure, you can customize it yourself and make sure it can suit your needs. But when you first get it, chances are you have no idea what you truly need.
Luckily, Brookstone has enhanced it with three programs – energize, pulse and soothe. They're self-explanatory and they're obviously indicated to particular situations. Use the energize function in the morning and choose the soothe one after a long day at work. The pulse program is all about relaxation. Obviously, what works for some people won't work for everyone else, so feel free to experiment.
Kneading features are supposed to imitate a professional's hands and fingers perfectly. The Brookstone back massager does a perfect job. Put your feet inside the massager and choose the right feature, then close your eyes and relax. You'll feel like in a professional massage parlor, with the only difference that you're in your own home.
The kneading massage is applied to all the programs, yet each program has its own small specifications that make it unique.
Controls and Operation
Even if this is your first shiatsu massager, chances are you'll get used to it in no time. You won't even need the owner's manual, as it's quite straightforward. Put your feet inside it and check the control panel. It's located between the feet. You have one button for each of the automatic programs, as well as another button in the middle for extra heat. Two other buttons allow you to choose between low and high intensity. The control panel is backlit to be used in low lighting conditions too.
In terms of operation, the massager doesn't work with batteries, but it must be plugged in. Once on, it features a dynamic squeeze air compression for a more intense massage, not to mention the possibility to stimulate the blood circulation.
Sizing and Convenience
Measuring 16.8 x 8.8 x 14.4 inches, the massager is compact and easy to take anywhere. You can take it to your office and store it under the desk. The cord can be wrapped inside it, so it won't be messy. It weighs around 12 pounds – easy to move around and carry. Moreover, it features a carry handle opposite the control panel, so it's quite convenient.
When it comes to the foot size, it's suitable for almost everyone – up to men's 12.5 and women's 14.5.
The heating function is not always necessary for a good massage, especially after a long day out. However, it does have its benefits. Its main role is to relax the feet and make them more receptive to the massage. You can use the heating function at the same time with any of the three automatic programs. It's easy to turn on – central button on the control panel.
Most buyers claim on this feature during the wintertime, when no matter how thick your socks and shoes are, your feet will still experience cold sensations.
Maintenance and Care
Some things make common sense when it comes to looking after a massager, whether it comes to maintenance or safety. For example, you shouldn't put your feet in if you wear long loose trousers. Jewelry should be removed too. Hair and other similar things must be kept away when the massager runs – such as when you bend over the massager to change controls.
Maintenance is fairly simple. The linings can be removed. They have zippers, so they're easy to clean. You can just as well toss them in the washing machine. Try to do it on a regular basis or sweating feet will inevitably cause unwanted odors inside the massager.
>> Read our full review on Brookstone F4 Foot Massager here <<
3. Best Shiatsu Massage Chair - Zero Gravity BM EC-161
Designed to target the entire body, BestMassage's is practically a large, powerful and multipurpose shiatsu massage chair fitted with a series of useful features. Its main role is to deliver a spa experience without actually being in a spa. It's pocket-friendly and comes with great value for money.
Full Massage Capabilities
While this isn't the only massager aimed to target the full body, it's one of the few that actually delivers. Most chairs will get stuck on the sides. They cover the neck, shoulder, back, hips, thighs and waist. This one goes a bit further though. It's designed like a shell, so it's slightly arched to target the sides of your core as well.
When compared to previous models from BestMassage, the best shiatsu massage chair has a 60% higher massage area. It dominates the segment.
The shiatsu chair massager with heat is highly customizable. You can fix features together and adjust massages for the optimal experience. However, you won't be able to do that out of the box unless you have actually used the same model before.
There's nothing to worry about though. It features a series of automatic settings that can deliver a relaxing massage within seconds only. Each massage setting is self-explanatory and won't require too much education – refresh, extend, recover or relax. Choose the right one based on what you feel like. Each massage is designed to simulate the human hands and fingers perfectly, so close your eyes and imagine you're in a massage parlor.
Unless you live alone, chances are more people will use your massage chair. Your kids will use it, as well as your partner. Even your best friends might pop in more often, just to enjoy a comfortable session in this chair. Fortunately, it can adjust automatically based on the user's size. You don't have to do it yourself and you don't need to be in a certain pattern.
The chair features an OPTO sensor mechanism. Its main role is to locate the shoulders' curve and identify their position. Obviously, each massage setting will then be customized based on the shoulders' position.
Lower Body Massaging
While more people need a massager for their necks and backs, the truth is that it depends on your lifestyle, work and activities. Plenty of people will need pain relief for their legs as well. When it comes to the lower part of the body, BestMassage has a different technique – rolling movements.
The lower part of the chair is fitted with multiple rollers for the whole foot – even for your soles. Such movements increase the blood circulation, refresh tired legs, improve sleeping and immunity.
Although it's not default in many massage chairs, the heating function gains more and more popularity among manufacturers. BestMassage couldn't leave it behind either. It's designed to target the waist – that's where most of the stiffness is. Whether you have a backache, a stiff waist or stomach cold, turn the heat feature on and your condition will improve within minutes.
Even if you're perfectly fine, the heating feature will get your body ready for the massage by loosening muscles.
The massage chair is large and bulky. It's the size of an old armchair. When fully reclined, it will need a few feet around it – both in front and in the back. While portable, it's not the type of chair you want to move around, as it's heavy. Therefore, make sure you find a place for it before you order.
It must be assembled, but the operation is fairly simple. According to some reviews, delivery professionals might do it for you.
>> Read our full Shiatsu Massage Chair Reviews <<
4. Best Shiatsu Neck Massager - Brookstone Cordless Neck & Back Massager
Whether you have a weak neck or your office job implies lots of sitting and typing, the Brookstone's neck massager will work wonders in no time. Most people are too busy to take regular full body massages on a weekly basis. That's when portable massagers kick in. This unit is lightweight and portable, but fully featured for a proper experience, making it one of the top rated shiatsu massage chairs.
Sizing and Portability
Measuring 16 x 5 x 6 inches, this neck shiatsu massager is designed like the classic flight pillows for extra comfort. Practically, it's narrow and easy to fit around the neck. It's longer than those pillows though and it features two handles on each side. You can comfortably rest your arms on these handles while inevitably putting more pressure on your neck and increasing the massage intensity.
As it barely weighs 4 pounds, the massager is easy to carry in a backpack or a bag. You can take it anywhere, even at your office – ideal for breaks or quick sessions of pain relief.
Its portability is not given by its compact size only, but also by its actual operation. It's a cordless device, so you can literally use it anywhere. It works with a lithium-ion battery that must be recharged regularly. In other words, you can take this massager on a camping trip, a flight or your car. Make sure you run it safely though.
Other than that, you can lower or raise it according to your body shape or affected areas. Move it to reach the stiff areas. Believe it or not, it's one of the few massagers that can successfully target the spot right between your shoulders.
Build and Efficiency
The massager is built like a scarf and goes round your neck and down the front core. Despite its small and compact size, it's well built for a complete experience. It has eight different shiatsu massage nodes. They're deep kneading and can perfectly imitate a professional's hands and fingers.
The adjustable and portable profile of this massager makes it ideal for aching muscles, stiff neck and tired tissues.
The heating function is more common in large massages, such as back massagers or full body chairs. Brookstone has taken this venture a bit further and implemented the feature in its compact neck massager as well. Practically, you have a simple setting that overheats the affected area.
Its main role is to prepare the respective area for the upcoming massage, but also to relax it and improve circulation. The feature can be used in addition to other modes, so you can benefit from both heating and a deep kneading massage at the same time.
The neck may not be the largest part of the body that needs a massage, yet Brookstone cordless massager for this area still features a few automatic modes. Simply put, you can choose the single direction mode, which is self-explanatory and basic.
The other mode is known as the automatic reversing setting. It goes in one direction and reverses automatically every once in a while for more diversity and a deeper experience.
Controls and Versatility
The control panel is simple and straightforward. It's conveniently located on the left side as you hold the massager around your neck. You'll get used to operating it without even looking at it after a few uses. It has a power button, as well as two other buttons for the massaging modes. Opposite the power button you'll find the heating function control.
There are four buttons altogether and they're clearly explained, so you won't need the owner's manual. Just recharge the battery out of the box and enjoy a comfy massage.
The long shape of this massager makes it quite versatile and suitable to other parts of the body too. Most commonly, it will also affect the upper part of your back, as well as the shoulders. It depends how you hold and move it though.
Read our full review on Brookstone Cordless Neck & Back Massager here.
What to Look for in a Shiatsu Massager
Most people look for a shiatsu massager for two main reasons – relaxation or pain relief. If you want it for relaxation, chances are you can go with pretty much any massager. Make sure it's qualitative and durable though. All these massagers have certain massage techniques that target a specific part of the body.
Pain management is a different matter. You'll need to research a bit more and ensure that the respective models can thoroughly work on the affected area. It goes without saying that your massager should be designed for a specific part of the body.
Click here if you are looking for a percussion massager instead.
Trying to find the best shiatsu massager can take hours of research, as well as daydreaming. With all these, know exactly what you're willing to spend upfront. Setting an available budget will also save you some time by narrowing your potential massager.
It depends on what type of massager you're looking for. If you want one of those large shiatsu massage office chairs, better make sure you got enough space for an armchair. It's about that size.
You should also leave a few feet in front and behind the massage chair, as reclining positions will require more space. While they're portable, they're not too lightweight to move, so you shouldn't move it all over the place whenever you want a massage.
However, if your space is quite limited you should probably check out the variety of portable massagers here.
Features You Look Into
Shiatsu massagers come with lots of features, yet some of them are more important than others. Body scanning is quite important if you get a full body massagers. Such a chair will accurately scan your body and adjust the massage for a customized experience.
The zero gravity feature implies a specific reclining position and shouldn't miss from the best neck and back massager. Your feet go up for an even distribution of weight. Simply put, you'll feel weightless. Not only will it provide the most comfortable experience in the world, but this position also relieves stress and pressure points.
The massage length is often overlooked and for no reason. Different body types or pains require specific times. For example, some massagers can go for 15 or 30 minutes and must be restarted if you want more. Having the option to customize the massage length is a plus. If you don't have it, at least make sure it's long enough and doesn't require too much restarting.
As a short final conclusion, you do have options when it comes to getting a quality massage in the comfort of your bedroom or office. Choosing the best shiatsu massager depends on what you need it for, as well as the most affected parts of your body. We have created a summary list below to help you recap.
If you are looking for a good shiatsu back seat cushion chair that you can bring along to your office, home or car, then we highly recommend the Naipo Back & Neck Massager.
If you are looking for a good shiatsu foot massager instead, then we surely recommend the Brookstone F4 Foot Massager due to its fit anywhere design and its speciality for both relaxation and pain relief.
The Zero Gravity BM-EC161 Full Body Massage Chair is a super high quality, value for money kind of massage chair. If you have the budget, then we will recommend you this model because it is one of the best shiatsu massage chair in the market.
Lastly, if you want a shiatsu massager that has no cords getting in the way and can find its way to areas for hard to reach muscles, then the Brookstone Cordless Neck & Back Massager will be perfect for you.
Each of the above mentioned models is rated at 4.3 to 4.5 stars out of 5, which means close to 90% of all buyers find them to be perfect or almost perfect. Just like for any other similar tool out there, identify your necessities first and there's no way you can go wrong.