Rising from the rubble of Sharper Image, home massagers (not those kind, article TK), have become affordable, a fixture on Kinja Deals, and as we found out in recent testing, actually pretty good!
The best back massager we tried, by far, is Naipo’s flagship. It’s no contest really, as the... I’m just going to call it the one with air compression, offers numerous features not found in the competitive set we sat on.
Most interesting are the air bags along the hips and thighs, which are unique to this model, feel great, keep you lined up with the massage rollers, and talk about an anxiety blanket!
Critically, the height of the neck rollers on the flagship have a huge range. This was the only model I tested where I could get the neck rollers and back rollers to be where I wanted them at the same time, and that held true for the other people I had try them all as well. Customizability is key here.
Rather than just vibrating to keep your butt from falling asleep, this model’s seat massages, and that coupled with the heat and the seat being an actual cushion keep sitting with the massager for long periods from becoming fatiguing.
The HoMedics flagship model we checked out, which is slightly more expensive, has app controls, but isn’t black, doesn’t have the air bags, has less customizability, and a slighter cushion.
The first Naipo model we checked out barely has a cushion, but offers many of the features of the two more expensive models for a lot less, and takes up less space.
I have used the shoulder massager a decent amount, and it does a good job loosening up knots (but I could not tell you for the life of me if the heat component actually works). You can really only get so much out of the same rolling, kneading motion over and over again in a specific part of your back, even with the clockwise and counter-clockwise rotations. The straight jacket-like arm straps do help with the pressure issue, but if you pull too hard into your back, it ends up stopping the motors. - Jillian
Those air bags feel great on your lumbar, but they really come into play with massagers you can stick a whole body part inside (again, article TK). Naipo’s foot massager, the “first with tapping”, does a great job of targeting the most important areas of the sole of the foot while using the airbags to loosen things up at the same time.
As with every product in this article, but particularly here since Naipo uses symbols rather than words on the mode buttons, getting these products to do what you want is trial and error, and the manuals are incomprehensible.
We tried HoMedics’ foot massager, but were never able to get our feet into a position where the outsides weren’t getting pinched. Also it’s beige.
Making a throw pillow that doubles as a massager is certainly a good idea, but the pillow is heavy, ugly, beige, and not comfortable to use as a pillow when not using it as a massager.
Foam rollers are great, vibrating foam rollers are great, therefore this vibrating foam roller should be great, right? I realized upon opening the HoMedics Gladiator that it takes four (4) D batteries! I had a friend bring over four (4) D batteries, only to realize that it actually takes four (4) C batteries! Holy shit.