Different Styles of Massage Chair pads

Back massage cushions are a great way to relax and receive a relieving massage while sat at a desk or even while travelling in the car.

You can place a massage chair pad onto a sofa or a more upright chair to receive a stimulating massage whenever you want.

There are a few different styles of massage cushions available that generally fall into similar price brackets.

The first is the vibration massage chair pads which tend to be priced around $40 – $60. These pads offer a more subtle vibration style massage throughout the length of the pad and also often feature a heat function.

One of the best vibration massage chair pads is featured below, the Snailax vibration massage seat cushion (second in the list).

The next range of options generally fall into the $60 – $100 region and offer better customization when compared to the lower priced vibration massage pads. They provide either a rolling or spot shiatsu style massage that can focus on the whole back or just the upper or lower regions.

Massage chair pads in this price range also feature heat functions and a vibration function in the seat area. You can see two of the best massage pads of this style at number 4 and 5 in the list below – the SNAILAX 2D/3D Shiatsu Full Back Massager with Heat and the Gideon Full Back Shiatsu Massager.

The higher end massage chair pads are often priced around the $150 mark and these cushions provide the most customizable experience overall.

Pads in this price range will often feature a headrest with multi rotational massage nodes that target the neck region. You will also have the option of shiatsu, rolling and spot massage functions in the backrest that can be focused on the full back or the upper and lower back areas.

This style of pad will also feature heat functions and a vibration function in the seat. In the list below you can find the Zyllion ZMA 14 Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager Cushion and the Snailax AL 223 Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager in positions 1 and 3. Both of these options are very good high end massage chair pads to consider.

5 Recommended Back Massage Pads

  • Backrest dimensions: 30 x 15″ (L x W)
  • Seat area dimensions: 15.5 x 16″ (L x W)
  • Neck node track length: 5″
  • Back node track length: 12″
  • 3 massage styles – Rolling, spot and kneading
  • 4 Shiatsu neck massage nodes
  • 4 Shiatsu back massage nodes
  • Heat and vibrate function
  • 15 minute auto shut off protection
  • Vibration function in seat
  • Wired remote control

The Zyllion Shiatsu back and neck massager is one of the most popular massage chair cushions on the market and has a number of extremely positive reviews.

Many remark upon the excellent massage quality that this chair pad delivers and how heavy duty this effective massager is.

The Zyllion massager is great for those who love a strong and deep massage since the motors are fairly powerful. This is especially good since you often find with many massage products that one of the main complaints is that the massage sensation is too weak for most peoples liking.

In fact some users may find that this massager is actually too intense for their liking at first, especially when leaning back and putting their full weight against the pad.

However, you can make the experience less intense by not putting all your weight onto the back of the pad until you get used to the powerful motors.

Overall if you are looking for a very complete massage chair pad, that has all of the features you would expect at this sort of price range the ZMA 14 is one of the best choices available.

It has a range of functions on offer that provide a highly customized experience.

These include a heat function in the neck and back areas and a vibration massage function in the seat.

The massage functions include a dual rotational shiatsu massage in the neck pad and a choice of shiatsu or rolling massage in the backrest for full upper body relief.

You can also adjust the massage to focus on particular areas of the back.

With such a high number of positive reviews and such a complete range of features it is unsurprising that this massage cushion pad is one of the most popular.

You can read all of the buyer reviews for the Zyllion back massager by clicking the product title link above and watch a useful video highlighting all of the features on offer.

  • Backrest height: 25.4″
  • Seat length: 16.6″
  • Width: 18.5″
  • Vibration Massager (Not Shiatsu Kneading)
  • 6 vibrating massage motors
  • 4 focus areas – upper and lower back, hips and thighs
  • 5 vibration modes
  • 4 vibration massage intensities
  • Heat function in full length of backrest and in seat
  • Wired remote control
  • Soft plush polyester material

The first thing to point out is that the Snailax vibration massage seat cushion is not capable of shiatsu style massage. As it says in the title it is a vibration massage pad (hence to lower price).

If you are looking for a low priced shiatsu style massage pad we would recommend taking a look at the last two pads featured on this list. They are not as cheap as this vibration cushion but they are still fairly low in price in comparison to others on the market.

Despite only being a vibration massage cushion, many are very impressed with this chair massager and it is a very good choice if you are perhaps put off by the more intense cushions such as the Zyllion model above.

Many have found the Snailax vibration heat pad to be a great way to provide soothing relief to their back while driving or sat at their computer.

They also find the range of programs, modes and intensities provides a great range of customization to suit their individual needs and requirements.

The Snailax vibration massage cushion is a very comfortable solution that is great for relaxation and it is also a very portable choice that can be used on most chairs.

The heat function seems to satisfy the majority of users and many note that the vibration settings are near perfect since they are not too aggressive or too soft.

If you crave a gentle and relaxing massage cushion to use on your chair at home or in the office this vibration pad is a great choice at a low price.

However, if you are looking for a more intense option you should probably look elsewhere and be prepared to shell out a little more.

Check out the buyer reviews by clicking on the link in the product title.

  • Backrest height: 31″
  • Seat length: 14″
  • Width: 17″
  • 3 massage styles – Rolling, spot and Shiatsu kneading
  • 4 Shiatsu rotational neck massage nodes
  • 4 Shiatsu back massage nodes
  • 3 back massage zones – full, upper and lower
  • Heat function in backrest and neck area
  • Vibration seat massage
  • detachable washable cover
  • Wired remote control
  • Suitable for users – 1.6 – 1.8 m (63″ – 70.9″) in height

The Snailax Shiatsu back and neck massage pad is one of the best rated massage cushions available and is very similar to the Zyllion pad further up the page with regards features and price.

The Shiatsu massager from Snailex is a good choice for anyone wishing to get a safe choice of massage pad as it has barely any negative reviews. Therefore most who decide to opt for this particular pad are likely to be very impressed.

One downside unfortunately is that smaller users may find this massage chair cushion a little large for their liking and many state it is more suitable for those over 5 ft 4″ in height.

This is due to the neck massage area being fairly high up in relation to the rest of the chair. Shorter users can however still benefit from the back massage function.

Much like the Zyllion model further up the page the AL223 from Snailax is quite a powerful massage pad and has plenty of customizable features.

Another great thing about the AL 223 is that if you are not a fan of more intense massages, you can add the included padded intensity control cover to provide a more subtle experience.

Many consider the massage quality provided by this pad to be on a par with more expensive massage related products, making it very good value for money.

Overall the AL 223 by Snailax and the ZMA 14 from Zyllion (shown earlier) are two of the most top end massage chair pads that are currently available.

They are two of the most expensive on the market, but this is because they are the most feature packed and the two of the most highly rated. Both capable of providing a strong and very satisfying massage.

With almost no negativity surrounding it the Snailax AL223 massage chair pad is an excellent option to consider.

  • Backrest height: 26.8″ + 3.54″ headrest pad
  • Seat length: 13″
  • Width: 17.3″
  • Rolling, spot and 2D/3D Shiatsu styles
  • 4 Shiatsu back massage nodes
  • 3 back massage zones – full, upper and lower
  • Heat function in backrest
  • Variable width rolling massage function
  • Vibration seat massage – 3 intensity levels
  • Wired remote control
  • PU Leather and soft mesh material

Once again the Snailax brand make an appearance on this list with another very good massage chair pad.

As with the other two pads listed above from the brand, this particular pad has some very good reviews and it is also one of the cheaper shiatsu massage chair pads available.

The reason this massager is a little cheaper is probably due to the fact it does not feature a neck massage area. If you are are looking for a massage cushion with this feature then this is not an ideal choice, however it does still provide full back coverage.

With regards features this shiatsu style back massage pad has most of the same features as the other top pads listed on this page. You have the option of 2D or 3D shiatsu massage or a rolling back massage as well as spot massage settings that targets certain areas of the back.

In addition to this there is a heating function and a seat vibration function that has 3 intensity settings.

You also have an intensity pad that can be added or removed from the chair cushion,  to provide a little control over how weak or strong you prefer the massage to be.

If you are after a fairly high quality unit at a lower end price then this Snailax massage chair pad is an outstanding choice in this price range.

It provides many of the same features as the more expensive cushions on the market and overall many are extremely satisfied with the control and comfort it provides.

Good Value for Money

Gideon Full Back Shiatsu Massager

  • Height: 2 ft
  • Width: 1.4 ft
  • 14 rotating shiatsu massage nodes
  • Adjustable spot focus massage
  • Variable massage rotation control
  • Massage intensity control
  • Optional heat function
  • Vibration massage seat
  • Wired remote control
  • Plugs into AC outlet or DC car plug
  • 15 minutes auto shut off safety function

The Gideon full back shiatsu massager is fairly similar to the model listed above.

It features 14 shiatsu massage nodes that can be focused upon the full area of the back or just the lower or upper back.

You also have the spot feature to target specific areas of the back.

Since the Gideon back massager is regularly reduced it offers some very good value for money and has a number of very good reviews.

One thing to point out is that if the Gideon is not reduced, it falls into the same price range as the Zyllion model and the Snailax AL 223, both listed above.

So if you are going to spend around $150 on a massage chair cushion one of the two options mentioned above would probably be a better choice for most, over this Gideon model due to more features and functionality.

However, when the Gideon massager is reduced to around half its initial price it becomes a lot more appealing and an outstanding choice when compared to similarly priced models.

Other features of the Gideon massage pad include a heat function and a multi intensity vibration function in the seat of the chair. As well as a timer setting which is also fairly standard in pads in this price range.

Overall the reviews are incredibly positive stating that this massage chair pad provides an excellent massage thanks to the 14 nodes. Many also state that the massage setting is of a good strong intensity and that it is very effective and comfortable.

When the Gideon massage cushion is on sale it is certainly one of the best massage chair pads to consider in the $60 – $80 dollar price range. However, if it is only available at full price there are better rated massage cushions to choose from that allow for more customization.

Features, things to consider and buying tips

What massage functions does each individual massage chair cushion have?

A good way of getting a quick idea of what each massage chair pad is capable of is to look at the remote control. Most manufacturers will include an image of the remote control so you can see all of the settings that can be controlled.

Looking at the remote you can quickly see the massage types that are available (For example, rolling, spot and/or shiatsu) and buttons highlighting where the massage can be focused in on, such as the full, upper or lower back area.

You will also see the buttons for the seat vibrate functions and heat functions if applicable.

You should of course also read the product description to look at the features in more depth.

Massage nodes and directional functionality

Looking at images from the manufacturer is also generally a very quick and easy way of seeing how many massage nodes there are. Manufacturers will often include an image with the nodes highlighted and the direction in which they move will also be illustrated.

A good example of this is shown in the image to the right, taken from the Zyllion ZMA-14 model. It highlights both the movement of the nodes and pairs it to the remote control settings.

Buyer reviews and FAQ’s

As always, buyer reviews and FAQ’s are the most valuable resource to show you whether the massage cushion is likely to be a good choice for you.

Reading buyer reviews can quickly give you a wide range of information such as what the general functionality is like. For example – how intense is the massage provided or is the heat function any good?

You will also find information on how comfortable the pad is and whether it is suitable for a range of body types.

One good example of this is on some massage cushions that feature neck massage areas. In the reviews and FAQ’s you may find out that some back and neck massage cushions are not particularly useful for shorter users who wish to enjoy the neck massage function, due to the dimensions of the pad being a little too long for those under a certain height.

Buyer reviews and FAQ’s are a great way to find out more personalized information that you often wouldn’t find in the product description.

Buyer Ratings

The average star rating system is also a very valuable tool to give you a quick overview on the quality of each massage cushion and should be used along with the buyer reviews.

Reading the more negative reviews will give you a good idea of any problems encountered. And on the other hand, positive reviews will highlight the reasons why that particular massage pad cushion may be a better option over others.


Some brands are better than others and most buyers would obviously rather opt for a more reputable established brand.

As you can see from our list above Snailax are a very good choice that always seem to produce highly rated pads.

Other massage pad brands that often gain a lot of interest and positive feedback are Zyllion, Nursal and Naipo.