The 10 Best Massage Cushions

Updated October 27, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Massage Cushions
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Many people don't particularly like having strangers touch them, and they certainly wouldn't go out of their way to pay for it. But if you are suffering from stress or pain, one of these massage cushions will let you enjoy the relaxing benefits of kneading and heat in the privacy and comfort of your living room, or even in your car. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best massage cushion on Amazon.

10. Gideon Powerful

The vibrating motors on the Gideon Powerful may not provide the kind of deep-tissue relief you can get from a set of shiatsu rollers, but they do work well in concert with the unit's two heaters to provide a gentle loosening of tight muscles.
  • backlit lcd remote
  • eight programmed patterns
  • won't strap to low-backed chairs
Brand Gideon
Model No Model
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

9. Wagan IN9989 12V

The Wagan IN9989 12V features a field of ten carefully placed bio-magnets and a pair of infrared heaters dedicated to the lower back. These work in concert with five massaging motors to improve oxygen flow, loosen up tense muscle tissue, and soothe chronic pain.
  • increases circulation
  • long 8-foot power cord
  • migrates despite its tie-down straps
Brand Wagan
Model IN9989
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Relaxzen 60-2910P

Designed with the achy driver in mind, the Relaxzen 60-2910P comes with a DC adapter for use in the car, as well as four sets of straps to wrap the unit securely around your seat. You can adjust its function, speed, intensity, heat, and more.
  • lumbar support pads improve posture
  • handheld electronic controller
  • outer material is low-quality
Brand Relaxzen
Model 60-2910
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Gess 18 Shiatsu

The Gess 18 Shiatsu is full of hot air, but in a good way. It features 13 adjustable airbags built to provide a firm degree of compression alongside the unit's eight shiatsu nodes and capable heating function. It is bulky, however, so it's better-suited to a single chair.
  • shuts off automatically
  • mesh side pocket for storage
  • some remotes arrive in mandarin
Brand GESS
Model pending
Weight 24.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Homedics Air Compression And Shiatsu

The Homedics Air Compression And Shiatsu works wonders on tight muscles while it lets you adjust heat and vibration to provide the specific attention your tired body needs. Its air pressure lumbar treatment gently squeezes your lower back.
  • removable cover for more intensity
  • programmable remote
  • gets noisier with use
Brand Homedics
Model MCS-775H
Weight 14.4 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Belmint Seven-Program Customizable

The Belmint Seven-Program Customizable has a pair of shiatsu rollers that make their way up and down your back at a speed and intensity that you select. You can also park them on problem areas and let them work out pesky knots over time.
  • works at 110 and 220 volts
  • comfortable neck pillow
  • doesn't get hot enough
Brand Belmint
Model pending
Weight 15.8 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Sharper Image Air And Shiatsu

The Sharper Image Air And Shiatsu comes to you from a company known for making durable luxury products. While this model might not be jam-packed with features, you can rest assured that its simplicity is the key to its longevity.
  • three basic settings
  • adjustable air compression
  • too small for users over 6 feet
Brand Sharper Image
Model MSI-CS775H
Weight 14.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Zyllion ZMA-14-BK

The Zyllion ZMA-14-BK relaxes your neck and back at the same time to give you full upper-body relief with four adjustable shiatsu nodes. The seat features a pair of vibrating pads to loosen up your glutes for added relaxation.
  • 15-minute automatic shutoff
  • one-year warranty
  • dedicated neck rollers
Brand Zyllion
Model ZMA-14-BKAVE
Weight 17.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Happy Body Shiatsu Pillow

If you only feel the need to relieve one or two areas of tension, or if a certain spot is so badly injured that you want to protect it, the Happy Body Shiatsu Pillow is small enough to focus on one muscle group at a time. Its size also makes it exceedingly portable.
  • 3-d technology for circular kneading
  • external adapter junction
  • works all over the body
Brand HappyBody
Model pending
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Homedics MCS-750H Quad Shiatsu

The Homedics MCS-750H Quad Shiatsu has four kneading heads that migrate up and down your back while tilting left and right to increase their coverage area. Its zone control lets you dial in on a specific spot for a longer-lasting custom experience.
  • three diverse settings
  • gentle amount of heat
  • very strong rollers
Brand Homedics
Model MCS-750H
Weight 16.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Massage Therapy

It is believed that the first forms of massage began in India some time around 3000 B.C.E. Massage techniques and word of their healing benefits passed down orally from generation to generation of Ayurvedic practitioners. Ayurveda is an ancient holistic form of medicine that has been practiced in India for many millennia.

The first written documentation of massage therapy comes from China around 2700 B.C.E. In ancient China, massage therapy evolved from the combined expertise and methods of doctors, Buddhist and Taoist monks, and martial artists. Laymen at the time were also known to have performed massages for relaxation purposes. In the Chinese culture, the healing benefits of massage are believed to come from their ability to help energy flow through the body more harmoniously, which allows the body to heal itself. Some Chinese massage techniques include amno, accupressure, and tui na.

There are also records of massage therapy being practiced in Egypt as far back as 2500 B.C.E. Tomb paintings have been found depicting people kneading other people. They are credited with being the first culture to use reflexology, in which a practitioner applies pressure to precise locations on the hands and feet to heal other areas of the body.

Japanese monks who studied Buddhism in China brought the techniques of massage therapy to Japan around 1000 B.C.E. Over time, they integrated their own cultural beliefs for healing into the techniques learned in China resulting in anma, which eventually grew into the traditional Japanese massage therapy of shiatsu.

Massage therapy slowly made its way into Western civilizations and the Greeks were practicing it by 800 B.C.E. It was employed by athletes before and after competitions to keep their bodies in peak condition and prevent injuries. It was also used by medical practitioners, who included oils and herbs to treat a range of medical conditions.

Over time, the use of massage therapy declined in popularity in the west until the 1700s, when physicians in Europe documented the many benefits of massage. In the latter half of the 20th century, interest in holistic healing methods created renewed interest in massage therapy in America and other Western cultures.

Health Benefits Of Massage Therapy Using A Massage Cushion

Massage therapy offers a number of benefits that can help you lead a healthier and happier life. Stress is one of the major issues that most people deal with these days. Even the young and physically fit often suffer from stress, which can eventually lead to anxiety, stroke, high blood pressure, headaches, depression, and more.

Massage is a healthy way to relief some of the stress we experience on a daily basis. Just a short massage is known to lower the heart rate, as well as insulin and cortisol levels, all of which contributes to stress relief. It can also help the body enter a more relaxed state.

One of the most obvious benefits of massage therapy is its ability to relax the muscles and reduce or get rid of muscle pain. Muscles can experience pain for a number of reasons. One might overexert themselves at the gym, straining a muscle and causing pain and tightness. Muscles can also get sore and stiff from sitting all day at a desk, which can often lead to back and neck pain. Using a massage cushion regularly can help ease the muscles, reduce pain and stiffness, and increase range of motion.

Choosing The Correct Massage Cushion

When choosing the best massage cushion for you needs, you should keep a couple of things in mind. First and foremost is the basic comfort of the cushion. One must be able to relax when getting a massage. If the cushion is not comfortable to sit on for long periods of time, it won't be relaxing and you will rarely use it, no matter how good of a massage it offers. Next, you should consider the strength of the massage it offers. Some people prefer harder massages while others enjoy a gentler approach. It's often best to get a massage cushion that features adjustable intensity. This makes it perfect for the whole family, and allows you to use more strength for therapeutic purposes, and less strength for relaxation purposes. Massage cushions with highly pronounced rollers and nodes will generally offer a stronger massage.

It is also important to pick a massage cushion that targets the areas you need. Some may only massage the upper back, while others may only target the lower back. Some models can target both the upper and lower back as well as the thighs, neck, and shoulders. Decide on the areas you want to target before making your purchase, and choose a model that hits all of these zones.

One should also consider the number of presets, programmability, and additional features of the massage cushion. If you want one that can offer a number of different types and styles of massage, choose a model with more presets and customization options, including the ability to adjust pressure, heat settings, and rotation and vibration speed. Some models even allow you to program your own massage for a completely customized experience.

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Last updated on October 27, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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