Best Car Seat Massagers: Our Top Picks for Serious Relaxation
For a comfortable and low-stress car ride, check out these car seat massagers
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BY Katherine Rother / LAST UPDATED ON March 22, 2019
If you spend a lot of time driving, you’re probably aware of the back and shoulder tension that can come along with the ride. Enter the car seat massager. A good massager can alleviate some of the pain, muscle tension, and discomfort you feel while you're driving. In this piece, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to choose the best car seat massager for your needs.
Small, compact, and portable, this massage cushion is easy to take along on trips and powerful enough to relax overused and tired muscles.
- Deep-kneading Shiatsu nodes, overheating protection, an auto shut-off timer, and an advanced heat function to relax sore and tense muscles
- Fabric on top of the nodes is thinner than we’d like, leaving the cushion more vulnerable to rips and tears
This massage seat cushion uses 10 motors to provide a vibrating massage. You can customize the settings (e.g., neck, lower back, or a combination). The cushion is also heated and fits most car, truck, and SUV seats.
- You can set up five different programs and choose from three massage intensity settings
- Three heating pads provide therapy for hips, back, and thighs, as well as heat in winter
- Seat may be uncomfortable when you’re not using the massage function
- There are some reports of the massager not working after a short time
This seat massager comes with a 12V car adapter and has six vibration motors and five massage programs that target specific areas of your body.
- You can use this cushion at home or on the go, and its thick memory foam is comfortable
- Has overheat protection and easily fits in most vehicle.
- Not a shiatsu massager with roller balls
- Cushion won't reach the neck and shoulder areas of larger individuals
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Why Buy a Car Seat Massager?
- Make road trips more comfortable. If you’re a fan of long road trips, you know the aches and pains that can come with all of that sitting. A car seat massager can help keep your body limber, making your trip that much more enjoyable.
- Decrease stress levels. Managing stress is great for your overall health, and a seat massager can help you do just that. Massage helps your body relax, which, in turn, can lower your stress levels and even reduce the amount of cortisol in your bloodstream. That’s especially useful after a hard day’s work.
- Improve your circulation. A deep and invigorating massage can help get your blood moving. Better circulation has a positive impact on your overall health, helping tissue heal faster. Any improvement in blood circulation also helps keep your muscles healthier and reduces soreness.
- Mood enhancement. Besides making you feel relaxed and comfortable, regular massages trigger the secretion of endorphins that quite literally make you feel happier. They also help to quell the perception of pain and stress.
- Improve back pain. Using a massage cushion can help alleviate chronic back pain and tension. It does this through muscle stimulation, which helps calm them down.
Types of Car Seat Massagers
This type of massager looks like a seat and contains massage rollers, nodes, and motors throughout the neck, shoulder, and upper back areas. It offers the most thorough massage and typically includes bonus features like heating or an automatic shut-off. A convenient choice, full car seat massagers fit onto your regular car seat. Their size ensures that nothing slips out of place.
Massaging cushions are smaller than full seats and resemble a pillow in size and shape. They’re used mainly for a rolling massage on the lower back but can also be positioned to work on the shoulders. Many come with a heater and different massage modes.
The smallest of the three types, neck massagers wrap around the neck like a travel pillow, applying gentle pressure on the upper shoulders and spine, often with a vibrating massage. Mainly used to provide some relief from a stiff or sore neck, these massagers are the least expensive out there. As a result, they’re fairly limited in the types of massage they offer.
Top Brands for Car Seat Massagers
Snailax is a company located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's focused on producing high-quality relaxing products such as massagers, cushions, and all kinds of accessories. We find Snailax Massage Car Seat Cushion is one of the company's best-rated and most favored products on the market.
Zyllion has been around for many years making an array of products designed to target fatigue, muscle pain, and soreness. Headquartered in Lake Forest, California, it continues to design a number of relaxing and therapeutic products, including its best-selling Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager.
Comfier was founded in 2007. It specializes in the design and manufacture of electronic massage products. Its ISO- and BSCI-certified plant is located in Xiamen, China. Comfier supplies its foot, neck, back, and full-body massagers to markets in North and South America and Western Europe. Top products include the Comfier Shiatsu Back Massager and Comfier Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager.
Car Seat Massager Pricing
- Under $70: In this price range, you’ll find mostly massage cushions and a small number of seat massagers. Most have vibrating motors instead of rollers. Heating elements are rare here.
- $70-$150: At this price point, you’ll see a number of mid-range models that offer good durability and a variety of massage types and modes. Massagers in this range are more customizable and often have heating and auto shut-off features.
- Above $150: High-end massagers come with all of the bells and whistles. You’ll find models with a wide range of different settings and intensities packed into one unit in addition to high-quality materials and sleek.
Different massage types have different benefits. Shiatsu massages are invigorating and great for pain; vibration massages are good stress and tension relievers. When selecting a seat massager, pay attention to the type(s) of massage it offers. Many models on the market have multiple modes and a variety of intensity levels. Most cheaper models, however, lack this variation.
The design of the massager affects the overall feel and effectiveness of the massage. A good seat has to be comfortable to use, especially during long drives. The motors or rollers must line up with the areas that need the massage the most. Keep in mind, rollers tend to improve blood circulation and relieve tension; motors vibrate to relieve stress and potentially boost your energy.
A higher-end addition, a heater can help ease and relieve lower back pain, decrease stress levels, and promote blood flow. Combined with the massage, this is a very relaxing experience that can make long car rides more comfortable.
- Cushion style: If you’re mainly looking for pain and tension relief, check out massage cushions instead of full car seat massagers. These cushions offer a focused massage on the lower back and are lightweight, durable, and the most portable out there.
- Car seat size: To ensure a comfortable fit, you’ll want to know the exact size of your car seat. Measure both the length and width of the seat. When you’re shopping for a massager, try to match these measurements as much as possible.
- Foam depth: Soft or plush massager cushions offer the most comfort, especially if your existing car seats are hard and tough. Choose a massager with a thick, padded back for the most cushioning possible.
- Convenient use: When it comes to installing a car seat massager, the task should be quick and painless. A good massager straps onto the car seat plugs into the car and then is ready to go. Top models also have a couple of other convenience features like an auto shut-off function and remote controls for easier operation.
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Usage Tips for Car Seat Massagers
- Use your car seat massager in small increments rather than long stretches at a time. 10-20 minutes is a great session length that will give you many of the benefits of a massage without taxing your muscles. A session that’s too long can actually cause soreness and discomfort.
- Regularly clean your car seat massager to keep it functioning well. While it depends on the materials and design of the massager, most can be wiped down with a damp cloth.
- If you get a massager with a heater, be aware that it can overheat, especially with a lot of use. Take care to avoid this problem on long trips.
- Choosing a good position for the massager is an important step. Make sure that it’s even, flat, and centered on the seat. If it has a strap to secure it to your car seat, use it—it will keep the cushion from slipping while in use.
Q: Is it really beneficial to have a massage cushion in my car?
A: The answer is a resounding “yes.” Especially if you’re a busy person, having a massage cushion in your car is extremely convenient. It’s also a great option if you suffer from chronic back or shoulder pain, or if you need some help unwinding after a long day at the office.
Q: Is it safe to use a car seat massager while driving?
A: That’s what they’re designed for—the speed and intensity tend to be on the low side, keeping distractions to a minimum. That being said, if the massage cushion has a high setting, it’s best to save that setting for when you’re the passenger.
Q: How long can I use a massage cushion per session?
A: This depends on the type of massager and the intensity of the particular massage. In general, most massages last between 15 and 30 minutes. The more intense and deep the massage, the less time you’ll want due to a small risk of muscle bruising.
Q: Can I use a massage cushion in the car while I sleep?
A: Unfortunately, this isn’t a good idea since the massager can actually harm your back and shoulders if you sleep on it for a long time.
Q: How often should I use my car seat massager?
A: The more you use it, the more you’ll notice its benefits, as long as you don’t overdo it. Once or twice a day is usually more than sufficient. Even just a couple of times a week can make a huge difference.
Our top pick for the best car seat massager is the Zyllion Kneading Massage Pillow. It offers many functions and is small but powerful.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, check out the Comfier Massage Seat Cushion with Heat.