Massagers are excellent pieces of technology: they help you relax, and can relieve stress and pain, particularly that common ailment among seniors: back pain!
There are perhaps fewer places more constraining and hard on the back than the car. Over time, you feel cramped, sore, and exhausted. That’s why car seat back massagers are such a great purchase- they can make driving a much better experience, and save your back hours of pain in the process.
Read our guide to the best car seat back massagers to learn more and see the top models!
What is a Car Seat Back Massager?
Massage devices use electric motors connected to round rollers to gently apply pressure and work out kinks and knots in your muscles.
Many massagers also include vibration or heat elements that further aid in relieving pain and helping people relax. They’re a great way to relax, reduce stress levels, and treat aches and pains without drugs. Most massagers, except for massage chairs, are also very affordable - typically, they can be purchased for less than $200.
Many people who experience back pain feel it while they drive. If you drive long distances or are planning an upcoming road trip, you may be worried about having to deal with back pain the entire time. Luckily, there are many massagers that will fit in your car’s seat and run on battery power/plug into the car outlet.
These products are very convenient and don’t take up too much space so you can drive and get a massage without becoming distracted or sitting at an awkward angle.
Best Car Seat Back Massagers: 2021
1. Best Car Seat Back Massager (Overall): Sharper Image Go Anywhere Back Massage Cushion
With 12 different Shiatsu Massage nodes and a slim design that covers the entire back, there is no beating the Go Anywhere from Sharper Image when it comes to back massage. It fits nicely into any car seat without feeling bulky or as if you’re leaning against a phone book. The massage nodes gently and firmly work out all the knots and kinks in your back as soothing heat keeps you loose and comfortable. It’s powered by a car adapter, plugging right into your car’s outlet.
The two best things about the Go Anywhere are the number of massage nodes that reach the entire back and neck and the slim, portable design. With this massager, you don’t have to worry about it sitting awkwardly in your car and not flush against the back of your car seat. It’s designed for a snug fit, in every car seat, every time. If you want or need a luxurious full back massage while driving, there is no better option than the Sharper Image Go Anywhere!
2. Best Car Back Massager With Heat: Snailax Vibration Massage Seat Cushion with Heat
This vibrating back massager has six different vibration motors and two separate heating elements. It’s thin and easy to attach to your car’s driver or passenger seat, hardly taking up any noticeable space. The massage it delivers is relaxing, gentle, and warm thanks to the heating elements.
The only thing that is a bit of a letdown about the Snailax Vibration Massage Seat is that you have to purchase the car adapter separately. It costs about $10, and the two together will still cost less than many other back massagers, but it would be much better if they were included in the same purchase.
Outside of that, though, this is the ideal vibration/heat massager for use in the car, at home, or at the office. It’s effective, simple, and makes your day just that much better. If you regularly feel back pain in the car but don’t enjoy the feeling of kneading massage rollers, the Snailax Vibration Massage Seat is exactly what you need!
3. Back Massager for Car and Home: Sharper Image Car Cushion With Massage and Heat
One of the more affordable products at Sharper Image, this thin cushion provides four different massage modes (kneading, tapping, rolling, and pulsing) to your upper back, lumbar area, and thighs. It also has a heating element that makes a great massager and a great deal. You can plug it into your car’s outlet or use a standard wall outlet. It’s lightweight, thin, and easy to move, so it’s simple to take your massager from one room to another, to the car, and back!
If you’re looking for a simple way to relieve back pain while you drive, watch TV, or read, this is it. It costs just under $60, has a remote that is easy to read and use, and delivers an effective massage/heat therapy session in just 15 minutes. When you’re not using it? It’s easy to fold and store away for next time. It’s an all-around great massage cushion that should satisfy just about any senior!
4. Best Lower Back Massager for Car: Mynt Cordless Neck and Back Massager
This cordless massager avoids the biggest downfalls of battery-powered back massagers: short life and low power. The battery lasts for two hours, and it’s strong enough to provide a full 3D shiatsu massage for your lower back. It’s such a good design that it won the iF Design Award in 2018, an accolade no other massager holds.
The Mynt Cordless Massager uses a unique flattened massage node that makes for a more gentle and effective Shiatsu experience compared to traditional round nodes. It feels more like human hands and lessens the occasional discomfort that people feel from Shiatsu-style massages. Like most other massagers, it also has a heating pad function that completes the experience. If you need a lower back massager for the car, this is the ideal product for you!
Pros & Cons of Using a Car Seat Back Massager
Where to Buy Car Seat Back Massagers (Online and In-Store)
When it comes to massage products, physical stores are very hit-or-miss. Most supermarkets and pharmacies (think Walmart, CVS, etc) have a few massage products on hand. However, the items they carry in-store may not be suitable for use in a car. You might get lucky and find that a store has a portable back massager, and you might not. If you want to check out stores in your area, here are some places that might have portable back massagers:
Again, while each of these stores will certainly carry massagers, they might not be the type of massagers that will work well while in a car. Because car seat back massagers are a specific item, your best bet is to shop online!
Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Car Seat Back Massager
Type of Massage
Generally, you can find three types of massage in a car seat back massager:
Battery vs Plug-In
There’s no mistaking the convenience and portability of battery-powered massagers, but do plug-in models have anything to offer? When a massager plugs into the outlet in your car, it usually operates with a bit more strength than a massager that uses batteries. You also don’t have to worry about the batteries dying in the middle of a massage or taking it inside to recharge.
In the end, both battery and plug-in car seat back massagers have their strengths, and neither is obviously better than the other. It’s up to you to decide which type of power works for you!
This one is simple: the longer the battery lasts, the less time you’ll spend taking it inside to recharge the batteries- and the more you’ll likely be paying for it. Because back massagers are generally quite inexpensive, you shouldn’t worry too much about getting a “high-priced” car seat back massager because it will still be more affordable than you’d think. So, if you’re going the battery-powered route, look for the model that fits your needs and has the longest battery life possible!
Wrapping Up: Car Seat Back Massagers
Driving a car for long periods of time can be exhausting. It can also wreak havoc on your back, especially if you already have back issues. If you feel back pain during or after driving/riding in a car, a car seat back massager will help you tremendously. Which car seat back massager is piquing your interest? Leave your comments below!