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Best Back Massager – Massage Cushion Review

Best Back Massager for Chairs

Gardeners need TLC to match all that tender loving care you dole out to your garden each year! Gardening is good exercise in fresh air, but a good back massager comes in really handy to minimize the aches and pains, especially from all the bending over, digging, raking, planting, weeding and harvesting.

When not gardening, as writers, all in our clan are also desk-jockeys, and sitting for long hours on end takes it toll as well. This year we invested in a fantastic solution to an aching back.

And of course anyone can benefit from this. We got this back massager for our office staff, as you will see below. ?

Our back massager is already saving lots of dollars in health care expenses!!

Imagine every office chair equipped with a back massager! Betting that would make for a more relaxed, healthier and happier staff! If you work for someone in an office, send them this article. ?

Every home, office, or home office needs a back massage cushion!

Review of 3 Back Massagers

Okay, so we’ve only personally tested three back massagers, so that’s what we’re going to write about here. My mom, who lives next door, has one that we’ve borrowed off and on for a couple years now, so we’ll talk about that first.

The Massage Cushion Mom Has

Sometimes called “massage cushions”, she has a HoMedics massage cushion back massager. We’ve been using it so much lately between all four of us, that we decided it was time to get our own.

Mother’s was great but they no longer make the exact one she has, plus there were a few additional features we wanted, so we tried another brand first. That was a mistake.

 

The Back Massager that Didn’t Measure Up

This Snailex company was advertising everywhere on Amazon, and had a number of good reviews for the Snailex Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager, so we ordered it. However, it definitely did not measure up for what we needed. After one try by each of the four in our family, we unanimously decided to return it.

We got this because it had the added neck massage feature, which is nice, however that was not the main thing we needed, and it seemed to compromise the capacity of what we needed most.

This may be a good massager if you:

  • Only need mid-to-lower back work, or are short
  • Need neck work
  • Don’t need deep and focused massage
  • Need a more generalized gentle massage, typically best for senior citizens
  • Like a seat massage too

What didn’t work for us:

  • The gel ball massagers featured here were too gentle for our hard knots. They were too large and soft to do deep tissue work on deep knot problem areas
  • The upper back massager did not get up to the main shoulder blade area that needs the most work, (I’m short at only 5′ 1″, so it was a surprise and disappointment that the kneaders stopped just short of the mid shoulder blade area that’s the biggest minefield of knots in my back).

The rest of the features in this Snailex were great, and also found on the next back massager that we ended up loving.

Best Back Massager

So the Snailex massager was returned without any trouble, and for free shipping round-trip through Amazon Prime. Next, we went back to HoMedics and found a fantastic new and improved version that had the things we wished the original one had.

 

hoMedics back massager
Coleman Alderson enjoying a HoMedics Back Massager.

HoMedics Back Massager

Any back massager with heat is a plus. Heat is soothing for sore muscles and that alone has beneficial healing value, which is a feature you can find in most back massagers. But to recap, here’s a list of features on the HoMedics, and we love them all!

 

HoMedics back massager
LeAura Alderson of GardensAll using the HoMedics back massager

You know how when someone massages your back and you say, “Just a little higher…”, or “Right there… stay on that spot…”? Well, you can dial in on that with the spot function! That’s one of the features we said would be nice in my mom’s original HoMedics, and their newer versions have that and more.

HoMedics Back Massager Features we Love

  • Heat! Heated knobs are approximately 50% of the therapy. Not only does the heat feel good to the back and sore areas, but it adds a healing and relaxing element to the back massager
  • Deep work – strong for deep massage work
  • Taller – Massage knobs travel high enough on upper back 
  • Three+ modes, (and in the order I prefer to engage them):
    • rolling – great for generalized larger muscle groups and to warm up the back for deeper work
    • tapping – stimulates muscles and tissue while priming them for kneading
    • kneading – time to go deep and work on this knots
      • kneading + tapping
  • Three+ areas:
    • Full body
    • Upper back
    • Lower back
      • spot – set it to work only specific areas only; up/down arrows to focus on exact trouble spots 
        • spot + tapping
      • wide – moves kneading knobs wider to narrower
  • Suede fabric seat that prevents your bottom from sliding out while pressing against the back massager. (The older model my mom had is vinyl and I tend to slide from the seat while leaning into the back pressure for deeper reach).
HoMedics comfortable non-slip suede seat with control pocket holder

 

HoMedics Back Massager ~⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

back massager controls
HoMedics back massager control and features

 
Two Features the HoMedics Back Massager Does not Have

The only design flaw we noticed in the HoMedics massage cushion is a minor thing.

The button that turns the spot massage on, doesn’t turn it off again.  To do that requires pressing another function, which actually stops everything.

However, it’s easy enough to immediately restart it all in a nano second, so it’s only a tiny inconvenience… i.e., one extra button press. 🙂

This HoMedics does not have a top of shoulder, neck or head massager.

The only other improvement we’d make to the HoMedics’ massage cushion is with the ‘Spot’

While that would be beneficial added features, it would be heavy and clunky to attach elegantly to a portable chair-back massager.

Perhaps the extra engineering required for that may be why the Snailex model mentioned earlier, didn’t knead or roll up high enough on the upper back.

 

Those are generally the kinds of features you can find in full massage chairs like this best seller massage chair shown here on the right.

The back massager saves money while improves health and wellbeing!

 

Wishlist for Future Massagers

The other feature that would be really cool for summer and muscle and tissue therapy would be if the back massager also had a “cold” mode. Cold packs can be beneficial for reducing inflammation, so would be a cool feature, especially for summer time. However, it would probably make the portable units heavier. Perhaps in future that technology will exist.

 

The Back Massager Pays for Itself

We don’t have the space for a full on massage chair.  However, we’re very happy with our portable massage cushion, the HoMedics back massager, and it ships quickly for free with Amazon Prime.

We calculate that our back massager will save us thousands of dollars a year in massage and chiropractic costs. Earlier this month, we each got a good massage and that cost ~$448 counting tips, and not counting the time and gas to schedule the appointments and drive there and back.

We could buy 2 of these for the price of just one massage therapy trip for all four family members!

In addition, we expect it to save in chiropractic visits, especially if we’re diligent with strengthening exercises and stretching or yoga to maintain body health.

We calculate that our back massager will save us thousands of dollars a year in massage, medical and chiropractic costs.

back massager
LeAura Alderson, enjoying the HoMedics Back Massager while writing this article for GardensAll.com

So Many Wonderful Modes

Investing in our health with this back massager was an easy decision that just makes sense for us.

The hardest part is deciding which massage function to choose between all the possible combinations because they’re all great and each one is beneficial. I just finished a round of kneading with tapping, and after a round of stretching our afterward (highly recommended!) I feel relaxed and yet more energized. 

A great back massage frees up that energy tied up in knots. Like how much better you feel after being sick, a good back massage cushion is absolutely worth the investment!

A great back massage, like growing healthy food, is another tool in your wellness regime. 

back massager, massage cushion, iCreateDaily Tshirt
Coleman Alderson, master gardener at GardensAll enjoying the HoMedics back massager

Notice Coleman wearing one of sister company T-shirts, iCreateDaily.com. #ProductPlacement ?

Doctor Approved

On the afternoon of writing this article, Coleman had a chiropractic appointment as a final follow-up following a tail-end collision where someone plowed into the rear end of our brand new car with only 440 miles on it. Yikes!

Coleman told the chiropractor that he’d been using the back massager, and his doctor said that was great and that he recommended using it everyday. They both noticed that his back was looser and the adjustments subsequently easier to make than any of the previous visits.

Please let us know if you have a favorite back massager and we’ll be glad to add your info to this article.

 

UPDATE on our HoMedics model MCS-750H

We still love ours, however, we did need to exchange for a new one. For some reason the full body option ended up not working all the time. So about 80% of the time it functions properly and about 20% of the time it stays on the lower back only. 

It’s not really a problem, because then we can just manually select upper or lower back, however, since ours is still in warranty, we’re returning it for a new one.

When we phone HoMedics, they very courteously issued us a shipping label to return it, at which point they would send us a new unit.

However, that would’ve been 2-4 weeks without ours, so instead, we opted to return it to Amazon, were we purchased it after first buying a new one, so that we would not be without our new best therapeutic device.

So we still highly recommend the HoMedics back massager!

 

Comments from the Community

Debie Baugher:
Since I have to go back and forth from Iowa to Virginia to take care of my dad. It’s about a 2 day trip one way, I got one of these for my car.

I also bought one of those portable jump starters because they have several USB and standard outlets and that’s a big enough charge to get me there and back. My back hurts so much less now.

Imagine every office chair equipped with a back massager! Betting that would make for a more relaxed, healthier and happier staff! If you work for someone in an office, send them this article. ?

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