Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 28, 2021
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Most of us work long hours and pain and discomfort comes by as a result. However, rather than going to the spa every once in a while for a massage, buying a massage cushion may be the long term solution you have been looking for.
Our team has already reviewed over 30 products in our quest for the best massage cushion. Since this was a merit-based exercise, we concluded that the Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager Cushion Pad should be our editor’s choice product. Some of its more defining features include remote control, automatic shutoff and overheat protection, to name a few. If you don’t find this model appealing, there are seven more listed in the table. The only thing to do is to find one that strikes your fancy. After all, they all have some excellent features.
There are a few critical features that we used to gauge the products. Among them are the massage modes and functions as well as the availability of the heating function. These should tell you the cushion’s aptitude to giving you that massage you so desperately need. Also, the presence of car adapters, dimensions, as well as warranty played a crucial role as well. The result of our labor is a table depicted below, in-detail product reviews and finally a buying guide. As such, buying the best massage cushion should prove quite easy after reading this writeup.
Massage functions: deep-kneading shiatsu, vibration, rolling
Heating function: yes
Car adapter: no
Dimensions: 7.9” x 30” x 16.5”
Weight: 15 lbs. (shipping)
Other features: full-body massager, for people who are 5’2″ – 6″, an automatic 15-minute shut off feature, overheat protection, UL approved power adaptor, four deep-kneading shiatsu nodes, remote control
The Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager Cushion Pad makes quite the significant case as to why it should be the editor’s choice. It is a full body massage item that will cater to the needs of anyone who is between 5’2” and 6’. This covers most of the population.
As to the massage functions, it incorporates three. These are the vibration, deep kneading shiatsu and rolling. The vibration motors feature on the seat part of the cushion whereas the massage nodes are prominent on the backrest. Also, the vibration speed can be adjusted independently.
You as well find that this machine offers three massage variations, where it focuses on different areas. There is the lower back, upper back and full back massage that will no doubt be useful at different times of the day.
Heating elements are as well incorporated into the device. This is, however, limited to the back area where it is most needed.
Users will as well notice that a few safety features have been incorporated into the device. These are the overheat protection and 15-minute shutoff. Add that to the underwriters limited approved adapter and it is almost impossible to hear of any accidents involving the cushion pad.
With the remote control, you can easily switch between various modes for optimal results. Also, with the purchase, you get a full year of warranty coverage. You can as well opt to extend this to two years by registering with the manufacturer.
What makes it special?
UL approved adapter
The heating feature is included
Multiple massage functions
What cons did we find?
Doesn’t come with a car adapter
Some users have mentioned that the cushion is meant for taller people
Another top massage product is the HoMedics Triple Shiatsu Massage Cushion with Heat. The main product as pictured above costs well under $200. However, you may opt to add a few useful accessories that could as well improve the overall experience.
One of the tool’s more impressive features is the number of massage notes available. While it does cover a smaller area, it offers 12 nodes in contrast to four by its predecessor. Couple this with its two massage nodes and you will find yourself relaxing every time you are on this cushion.
This tool as well comes with an attached controller which also has the added advantage of being programmable. As such, it is quite easy to set the device according to your massage needs and save your settings.
Massage modes are two so you can toggle between them to see which one works best at certain times of the day. Also, the massage intensity is adjustable.
You will find that fitting this cushion onto most chairs is a piece of cake. The integrated strapping system is what is responsible for that. Also, the massager comes with a two-year warranty cover.
One disappointing aspect of both the HoMedics Triple Shiatsu Massage Cushion with Heat premium pick and its predecessor is the lack of a car adapter. Nonetheless, the features mentioned above still make this purchase worth the money.
What are its best features?
Adjustable massage intensity
The controller is always within reach
12 massage nodes
What could be improved?
No vibration option
No car adapter included
According to some users, the fabric on the cushion could be better
Portability is as well crucial for most people looking to buy one of these cushions. This is because they want to enjoy the massaging comfort at home, in their offices as well as in their cars. As such, they should be looking to this cushion.
Also, you will be glad to know it comes with a car adapter. This makes it possible to enjoy the deep kneading massage as you drive.
You also find that the 3D rotating balls are something that most users will appreciate. They mimic the feel of a masseuse’s hands; hence why it comes highly recommended.
Also, the manufacturer doesn’t leave out heating, rolling and vibrating elements. Consequently, this tool comes with a lot of value and all at a price point of less than 100 dollars.
What makes it stand out?
Multiple massage functions
Comes with a car adapter
Three vibration levels
Four massage nodes
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
For taller people, the device does not reach their necks and shoulders
The device is also difficult to use for people shorter than 5’2”
Kneading can get uncomfortable if done for too long
This is the second device of its kind from the same manufacturer. As such, you will note some similarities between the two options. There are bound to be some variances as well.
This tool incorporates two different styles of shiatsu. These are the 2D and 3D options. Once the device is delivered to you, then you can try both of these modes. This should give an idea of how each mode feels. Of course, this will help you choose between the two later on
Spot massage is also another feature you get with this tool. You can thus focus the massage where you need it the most. If you need it on your lower or upper back, then you can use the remote to adjust it as required.
Where heating elements are concerned, you have infrared to thank for that. The fact that it doesn’t come with a car adapter is nevertheless disappointing. However, you can find a few other places to use the device such as at home or in your office.
Also, customer service seems to be at the top of the manufacturer’s priority list. This is shown in the 30-day money-back guarantee as well as the 2-year warranty.
Apart from the breathable material on the cushion, the design also includes high-quality leather. This gives a classy look even as it gives you a relaxing massage.
Also, this device has a lot of similarities with the editor’s choice. They both have four shiatsu nodes. Nonetheless, you find that on this device, the nodes work by travelling up and down the back of the cushion. This is what gives you that relaxing massage you get while sitting on this cushion.
You as well get three similar massage modes. The first caters to the upper back, the second to the lower back and the third covers both of these areas.
To add on to this, you also get vibration on the seat. This enhances the whole experience by working on your hip area.
Also, while it doesn’t come with a car adapter, there are a few third-party options of the same available for purchase. You can purchase them as an extra accessory if you feel the need to use this tool in your car. You as well get the integrated strap system which makes it easier to attach the cushion to your chairs.
Why are we impressed?
Variable controls for massage zones and nodes
Includes intensity controls
Integrated strapping system
What negatives must you be aware of?
No car adapter included
The tool is not meant for long periods of use as it gets quite uncomfortable
Another device that comes with a car adapter is the Sotion Shiatsu Back Massage Cushion Pad. It is as well quite reasonably priced since it costs about 74 dollars as at the time of this review.
Once you are seated on this device, and you turn it one, eight nodes move up and down in a coordinated motion. Most of the concentration points are in the back, upper shoulder, and waist. As a result, you should start feeling relief soon after you start using the cushion.
There is as well a heating function included in the device. It might come in handy if you are trying to relax. Nevertheless, if you don’t feel the need, the machine is quite capable of leaving the heat off while it gives you your massage. It can also leave the massage off while providing heat.
Since the FDA also approves this tool, it should prove quite reliable in relieving some of the discomfort and aches in your back. Another noteworthy feature is the fact that the bottom part of the device only includes vibration motors. These should prove useful as well.
At sub-100 dollars the Comfier Shiatsu Back Massager BD423 is another massager you should consider making your own. It weighs a little less than 9 lbs. and comes with a 2-year warranty.
If you are a fan of remote control devices, this as well should have your attention. The tool has a deep kneading shiatsu massage function. As such, it will be hard to tell the difference between the effects of this machine and that of a masseuse’s hands.
Both options will leave you feeling relaxed and in high spirits. The difference comes in from pricing where the masseuse will need to be paid for every session.
On the other hand, you only need to pay once to acquire the tool. That being said, the power utility bill might be slightly higher if you make full use of the cushion.
Construction-wise, you find that four rotating nodes make up the back of the massager. Also, you cannot fail to mention the vibrating seat section.
You as well find that the remote control should remain close by to cater for when you need to change vibration intensity as well as the massage zone.
Why is it special?
Adjustable vibration intensity
Integrated strapping mechanism
What are the flaws?
No car adapter included
Some users are not impressed by how the device performs on the upper back
Those looking for a combination of vibrational and heating massage will like what the FIVE S FS8816 offers. 10 motors delivers vibration to all parts of the back regions and there are three heating zones along the spine. This massage and heating office chair has helped improve the health of many office workers with their experience. In addition to promoting a stress-free work environment, it will help prevent and reduce states of fatigue.
If you don’t have a budget big enough to afford a full seat, this heated massage pad is a more affordable and versatile solution. This type of seat will allow you to massage from the neck area to the lower back. All its activities are controllable using a remote control. The seat cushion is equipped with heating zones and motors delivering shiatsu massage.
It is also equipped with overheating protection by automatically turning off when the temperature is high or after 30 minutes of unuse. It is an accessory designed to fit any seat. Its mesh cover prevents your body from retaining heat from the seat, keeping you cool.
Why did it make our list?
Excellent quality of materials,
Very comfortable and durable
Different vibration intensities
Optimal and pleasant heating
What is not ideal about it?
Not a massager that makes shiatsu kneading
Has no built-in roller balls
Things to Consider
Of course, if you are serious about buying a massage cushion, you are going to want to know the dos and don’ts of the exercise. If so, the buying guide below should prove sufficient in providing the information required.
Benefits of massage cushions
The most obvious benefit of a massage cushion is, of course, relaxed muscles. All the tension you’ve been holding up will quietly dissipate.
Also, just like regular massages, you may come to experience some pain relief once you start using these devices. This should suffice in your back, neck, shoulder, hips and even your thighs. Since these are the areas that come into direct contact with the cushion, they will be the most affected.
It is also possible that the cushions might lead to other benefits such as more productivity for the user since they are in a more relaxed state.
Features to consider when choosing a massage cushion
As you probably know, features can make a world of difference between the two products. They often result in differences in outlook as well as performance. As such potential buyers should make it a point to collect enough information about said features before going to the store. Luckily we have compounded all that information below for your convenience.
Size and shape
The size and shape of these tools will likely affect the effectiveness of the machine as well. Some of the portable massage cushions are capable of reaching even your neck. As such, their functionality is more than that of their counterparts.
However, you still want a device small enough that you can easily carry it from your office to your home and back.
Most electric massage cushions feature the same design. They are made to integrate with most chairs, and hence their bodies will be strikingly similar. You can discern this as well by looking at the images above. However, some have leather accents as well as other high-quality materials. It is as well a good idea to look into the straps to see if they fit your use scenarios.
FIVE S FS8816 is very light and hence may be one of the easiest machines to carry. As such, you should make it a point to always look at the weight of the device as well as how easily it folds. These features will make it easier on you to transport the machine to where it needs to be.
You also want a massage chair with as much coverage as possible. Of course, most of these massage cushions cover the lower and upper back. However, some of them don’t extend their reach to the neck and shoulder region.
As such if you find options with such coverage, you should go for them. Alternatively, you can choose to buy extra accessories to make up for that deficiency in your cushion. Also, you should check for hip massage as that may as well be essential to your relaxation.
Massage modes and functions
You have probably seen the term shiatsu mentioned a couple of times in the list above. It is one of the more common massage forms with origins in Japan. Due to its effectiveness in relieving stress, it is also one of the more common massage modes in these cushions.
You as well find options like kneading, and vibration. As such, going for the tool with more massage mode options will always be a better choice.
Heat therapy is a surefire way to get your body to relax. That is probably one of the reasons why people prefer hot showers. This concept also applies to massage cushions.
Also, if you look at the FIVE S FS8816, you will realize that you don’t have to use the heat at the same time as the massaging elements. However, not all machines of this caliber can separate the two functions.
Timer and auto shut down
A timer is often a great addition to the construction of a massage cushion with heat. It usually comes with a shutdown feature as well. These two can work together, and that will result in energy conservation.
Also, these two will make it safer for you to use the device. After all, it is harder for the tool to overheat if it shuts down every few minutes.
Custom massage function
Most people who go to the spa tend to have some instructions for the masseuse. They can tell them to focus on the lower back if that is the area they feel to be the most problematic.
Of course, this will depend on the individual in question and maybe their line of work. Past injuries could also be a determining factor. Most massage cushions are the same as well.
Consequently, you should look for a device with customizable massage functions as well. This way, you can focus your massages on the areas you feel the most discomfort in. One such machine is the Snailax 2D/3D 2-in-1 Shiatsu Massage Seat Cushion with its spot massage.
Is it rechargeable?
A common trend you will find with most of the cushions above is that they don’t come with batteries. This means they are not rechargeable. However, if you do find one, it could be of great use, especially where there is no electricity. Nevertheless, most of these options come with socket and car adapters so you can use them at home in your car or the office.
Cushions that come with car adapters are a rarity. However, you do find options like the NURSAL Shiatsu Heated Massage Seat Cushion that have the adapter included in the delivery. Other products support car use as well. The only catch is that users may need to buy car adapters which may raise the cost of the device.
PU leather, in addition to breathable material, are some common attributes of massage cushions. The breathable material is often included so that heat can transfer from the heating elements included to your body. All in all, if the materials listed tick your comfort box, then you are free to make the purchase.
Warranties are as well standard with various massage cushion manufacturers. The usual range of coverage offered is between one to three years.
You also probably want to use the tool for a long time to come. In this case, you invest in a device that has the most extended warranty coverage. The result of this choice is that you will have to spend less money on repairs and replacements if your product gets damaged.
An extra feature, such as remote control, is always welcome. It makes it easier for a person to use the device. Other extra features will as well come with benefits. They might even be worth the extra pennies that they cost.
Massage seat cushions are meant to be noiseless. After all, hearing a loud noise as you get your massage may be quite distracting. It might also take away from the stress-free environment that you are trying to create.
However, if you turn on the vibration, you are going to hear a slight humming for some of the options. Nevertheless, most users don’t seem to mind it, and some people find it soothing.
Some medical practitioners theorize that stimulation of specific pressure points may bring about contractions and even premature labor. It is thus quite risky to start using one of these cushions without the right information. However, if you do get a doctor’s go ahead, there is no reason not to.
However, you will still have to make your choice from among these three or the five listed below them in the table. Since we have already provided all the relevant information, it should be a piece of cake for you to do so.