Man using a massage gun on his arm

(© nito - stock.adobe.com)

Discovering the ideal massage gun is a moment of revelation, unlocking a personal key of relaxation. Standing as a remedy for persistent knots and tensions, the best massage guns are a lifesaver. In a comfortable setting, armed with the massage gun seamlessly integrated into your pain points, it becomes a tireless masseuse ready to knead away the stresses of the day, bringing a wave of relief to your muscles.

Massage guns are perfect for those that are on the go and don’t have extra hours to hang out with massage therapists. And surprisingly, you don’t need a 60-minute session to reap the benefits: Researchers from the University of Konstanz say you can achieve relaxation after just a 10-minute massage. And what if you didn’t need to leave the house for that massage? That’s right, with one of these handy little guns you can squeeze in some “you” time whenever you’d like.

Research shows that three-quarters of Americans believe self-care can relieve stress and will try nearly anything to achieve this goal. Respondents listed activities such as “at-home spa rituals” and “exercising outdoors,” but a good massage gun could also do the trick. It’s time to invest in you and your self-care routine.

With its rhythmic hum and precise pulses, the massage gun offers a soothing dance for your muscles, providing a delightful intermission to the daily hustle. We want you to relax in life, which is why StudyFinds found the best massage guns to treat your body to some self soothing. Take a look! If we missed a great model, let us know in the comments!

A man using a massage gun
A man using a massage gun (Photo by Andrey_Popov on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Massage Guns, According to Experts

 

1. Therabody Theragun Prime

First up on our list of best massage guns is the Therabody Theragun. “Theragun is a powerhouse in the massage gun market, and after testing the brand’s most popular massage gun models, the Theragun Prime (4th Generation) was our favorite. In fact, it earned an overall higher rating than the more expensive Theraguns we tested. We felt it was very effective at relieving sore muscles after a workout and was easy to hold and quiet. It’s a budget-friendly massage gun option from the brand that still provides all the features you need for sore muscle relief. It comes with four head attachments—as well as a smart app that is very helpful with initial setup, and even provides how-to video guides. We love that the brushless motor features the company’s QuietForce technology that keeps the device quiet while in use, without losing power. The Prime has five built-in speeds, but you can also select any speed between 1,750–2,400 percussions per minute to customize your treatment in manual mode,” says Very Well Fit.

Therabody Theragun Prime
Therabody Theragun Prime

The most expensive on our list but also, totally worth it. “Try this device if you’re willing to pay top dollar for a powerful, well-designed massage gun with an upscale feel. It’s also Bluetooth enabled, which allows you to pair it with your phone and follow guided programs via the companion app. The compact Therabody Theragun Prime has a triangular handle, which allows for multiple grip options meant to ease ergonomic strain. We found it nice to occasionally switch our grip, and doing so provided added leverage when we wanted to apply more pressure. It has five speeds (from 1,750 ppm to 2,400 ppm) and a 16 mm amplitude—the highest of all our picks,” writes NY Times.

When you’re lonely, you don’t need a massager that tickles the surface, you need it to go deeper. “Therabody is the pioneer brand of the massage gun after a chiropractor invented the device for his own rehabilitation after a motorcycle accident. Therabody has four different Theragun models, but the best is the Theragun Prime since it is a midrange Theragun model that still packs a punch (so to speak). The Theragun Prime has an ergonomic handle design that is easy to hold. It comes equipped with Therabody’s QuietForce Technology QX65, which promises quieter noise levels while getting 60% deeper into the muscles than the average massage gun device. Pair the device with the accompanying app, where you can customize your speed as well as get guided treatment routines,” shares ZD Net.

2. Hypervolt Go 2

Second on our list of the best massage guns is the Hyperice Hypervolt. “The Hyperice Hypervolt Go 2 is our favorite massage gun to take on a trip because it is lightweight and portable. It weighs less than 2 pounds, comes with three plug adapters for international outlets, and is TSA-compliant for carry-on. It comes with two head attachments and three speed settings; in testing, the device was relatively quiet and easy to use, and we could control everything with just one button. We found it effective at relieving muscle tightness and soreness between workouts. Its handle is easy to hold and maneuver. This makes it great for hard-to-reach spots like the low back and feet. The battery life is surprisingly good, and we only needed to charge it twice over a month of regular use,” says Very Well Fit.

Hypervolt Go 2
Hypervolt Go 2

“When it comes to the new Hypervolt Go2, good things do come in small packages. The pocket-sized gadget will easily slip into most gym bags, but it’s more than powerful enough to pummel your waning muscles back to their prime. The sleek white finish gives it a premium feel and our expert was impressed by how easily the head glided over skin. We would’ve liked a case, but the compact, lightweight design cement its portability credentials,” writes Esquire.

It’s a tiny miracle worker that makes you feel like the pain relief angels are near. “Despite its size, the Hypervolt Go2 can still compete with the big boys, blowing our testers away with its strength. It’s also smooth to use and considerably cheaper than its bulkier brother, the Hypervolt Plus. Its condensed design means it’s ideal for carrying around, although it did lose some points due to the absence of a carry case. Still, the Go2 makes up for that with its power and premium design. There are two massage heads and access to Hyperice’s comprehensive app comes as standard, too,” shares Mens Health.

3. Homedics Pro Physio Massage Gun

Number three on our list is the Homedics Pro. “Finding fault with this near-flawless massage gun was like hunting for a needle in a haystack, with our expert awarding it top scores for ease of use, design and performance. It moved smoothly over the muscles, working quickly to dissipate aches without causing any additional discomfort — in short, less pain, more recovery gains. It earned a few bonus points for its instructions too, which contain handy diagrams to help you get the most out of your percussive pistol. The case it comes in may be slightly too big to carry around comfortably, but the gun itself is lightweight and surprisingly quiet, considering its size. This makes it easy to wield, and a perfect partner for an evening recovery session in front of the telly. We also loved the option to crank up the heat or use the frozen massage head, providing hot and cold massages – ideal for a pre-workout muscle primer and thorough cool down, respectively,” says Mens Health.

HoMedics Pro Physio Massage Gun
Homedics Pro Physio Massage Gun (homedics.com)

This massager is quick relief for a hard day. “This massage gun left our tester hugely impressed; its final score speaks for itself. Packed with innovation, you can heat it up to 47C in under two minutes for a warm massage, or freeze the interchangeable cool gel head for four hours for the ultimate cool down. These contrasting temperatures will help prime muscles pre-exercise by promoting blood flow and providing a perfect post-workout cooldown respectively. The HoMedics Pro comes with a carry case, but as it’s on the larger side it isn’t the best for on-the-go use. However, it was surprisingly light for its size, making it easy to manoeuvre at home. No matter which head our tester used, it glided smoothly over skin with minimal noise. They also liked the handy diagrams that showed you how to get the most out of the product,” shares Good House Keeping.

Despite the larger size, this reviewer says it is relatively quiet once it’s activated. “If it’s innovation you’re after, HoMedics has got you covered. This tech-heavy massage gun can heat to 47C, giving a hot massage perfect for getting your blood pumping ahead of a workout. Alternatively, you can pop the interchangeable ‘cold head’ in the freezer for a few hours then attach it for an effective post-gym cooldown — impressive stuff. It was quiet and light for its size, making it easier to wield, and all six massage head attachments moved smoothly over skin without any uncomfortable bumping or catching. The carry case is a bit bulky, so it might not be one for those always on the move, but that was our only gripe,” writes Esquire.

4. Renpho R3

What’s all the hype about this brand? “The Renpho R3 is the perfect massage companion for those who prefer comfort to extra features or a novel shape. It offers a gentle, yet effective massage thanks to 12 millimeters of amplitude and a 20-pound stall force that prevents you from pushing it too deep into the muscle. Its user-friendly interface employs an LED touch display that’s bright and easy to read, and the display still works if your fingers are sweaty after an intense workout. Renpho equips the R3’s handle with a rubberized grip that improves comfort and control—the only massage gun I tested with such a simple, handy feature,” says Forbes.

Renpho R3
Renpho R3 Massage Gun

When we say this is multi-function, we mean it. “Weighing only 1.5 lb (0.68 kg), the Renpho R3 is a good option if you’re looking for a full-size massage gun that’s still lightweight and easy to carry. It features five speeds, comes with a carrying case, and charges using a USB-C cable, which many people find convenient,” shares Healthline.

You don’t just need a motor, you need a brushless motor. “Our number-one pick is the Renpho R3 (model RP-GM171), a compact yet powerful device measuring just 7 x 6 x 2.5 inches and weighing only 1.5 pounds, so it’s a breeze to handle. The high-frequency design offers five speeds ranging from 2500 to 3200 percussive beats per minute. This massage gun also has five interchangeable heads to target tightness at various angles and reach different muscle groups and pressure points. Thanks to the brushless motor, it’s notably quiet, typically running as low as 45 decibels. The built-in battery is pretty impressive, too—you get over a week’s worth of use on a single charge. Compared to other massage guns in its category, the feature-rich R3 is also reasonably priced. The only downside is that the auto shut-off, which occurs after 10 minutes, can happen mid-session,” writes Byrdie.

5. Bob And Brad Q2 Mini

Coming in at number five is the Bob And Brad Q2 Mini. “Like the aforementioned C2, the Bob & Brad Q2 Mini has a few redeeming qualities: it comes with five attachment heads and weighs less than a pound. But these specs are completely overshadowed by the gun’s low amplitude of 7 millimeters. For context, the other mini massage guns on this list, the Ekrin Athletics Bantam and Theragun Mini, offer 10 and 12 millimeters of amplitude, respectively,” says Forbes.

Bob And Brad Q2 Mini
Bob And Brad Q2 Mini

The accessories are plentiful with this massager. “Designed by expert physical therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck, the Mini Q2 makes big claims for such a little gadget. It boasts that it’s a top-quality muscle treatment and one of the most compact models on the market. In the lab, those claims proved well-founded, though. It’s powerful with five speed settings and moved smoothly over the skin. Despite its pocket-friendly size, it also has a generous selection of attachments – five in total, which is even more than some larger, leading competitors – and they all fit into a handy, lightweight carry case. It only lost a few points as the ergonomically designed handle is a bit small for those with larger hands,” writes Esquire.

The best benefit of this massager is its easy handling. “Powerful, easy to use and affordable, our expert tester was blown away by this sleek little massager. Unlike many of its pocket-friendly competitors, it has five speed settings and five attachments for targeting different areas, plus it comes with a sleek carry case that has plenty of room for all the accessories (handy for travel). In the box, you’ll also find an insightful user guide, packed with step-by-step routines showing you how to soothe all manner of aches and pains. According to our tester, it’s a pleasure to use from the get-go thanks to its ergonomic design. It’s lightweight (no aching arms here) and the buttons are perfectly placed for easy access mid-pummel. Performance-wise, our massage experience was extremely smooth, with no painful jogging or juddering when it was moved over our joints,” shares Good House Keeping.

6. MuscleGun Carbon

Number six on our list is the MuscleGun Carbon. “Powerful and effective, the MuscleGun Carbon was able to glide seamlessly over our muscles, providing much-needed relief from some particularly unpleasant post-gym pain. It was the unique long, curved handle that really made it stand out from the crowd though. Our tester found this clever design granted them access to all aches, however awkward they were to reach.”

MuscleGun Carbon
MuscleGun Carbon (muscle guns.com)

Despite the negative attributes, this massager still ranks high. “The massage gun itself was a little heavy for our liking, and the handle vibrates when you crank up the speed. But, the selection of four massage heads, robust carry case, smart handle design and near-impeccable performance still earned it the runner-up spot” says Esquire.

With this massage gun, you get a range of pressure from the massage heads. “This well-designed massage gun earned an instant thumbs up for its long, curved handle that helped our testers reach all their aching muscles. It proved extremely powerful and effective, gliding across skin without pulling for a relaxing massaging experience. It’s a little bulky and heavy, and the handle vibrates heavily at high speed, but it comes with a decent range of massage heads, a comprehensive user guide and a robust carry case. The accompanying app is basic, but it offered some helpful technique tips,” shares Good House Keeping.

Heavy materials for heavy hands makes this a solid recommendation. “From the sleek black and grey colourway alone, you can tell this massage gun means business. The massage arm packs one hell of a punch and proved effective at flushing testers’ aching muscles with blood, helping them recover from high volume sessions. It’s a tad heavy and the grip vibrated quite a lot when we cranked the speed setting to its max. But the long, curved handle meant users could easily reach awkward knots on their back, and all four interchangeable heads were able to glide over the skin, making for a remarkably relaxing massage,” writes Mens Health.

7. Boots Deep Tissue Percussive Massage Gun

At the end of our list is the Boots Deep Tissue Massager. “If you’re after a small massage gun that still offers versatility, consider this fuss-friendly Boots offering. There are three speed settings and four interchangeable heads (a ball, fork, bullet and flat head) for alleviating aches and pains, whether you need some post-exercise relief or you’ve been hunched over your desk for too long. It wasn’t the most powerful massager on test – the first speed in particular was extremely gentle – so it’s not one for serious gym-goers, but it’s still great for releasing tension. It moved seamlessly over the skin with no painful snagging, and it scored top marks for noise level, allowing you to treat sore muscles on the go without attracting attention. We welcomed the compact carry case, which fits all the different attachments and charger neatly inside, and the device itself was easy to operate thanks to a conveniently placed control button and detailed instructions. ” shares Good House Keeping.

This massager has great features like lights that indicate low battery. “It may be a wallet-friendly option, but it doesn’t skimp on features – you get four interchangeable tips (a classic ball, bullet, fork and flat head), three intensity modes and a compact travel case for sweet, sweet relief en route home from the gym. Our expert said it was a cinch to use, with one responsive control button that was easy to reach mid-massage for cycling through the speeds. The lights help show which setting you’re on and will signal when it’s almost out of juice, ensuring you never have to skip a post-workout pummel. This device offers a lighter touch, so it’s better suited to less intense recovery sessions or general R&R in front of the telly. On that note, it was one of the quietest models we tried, scoring almost full marks in our noise tests. Testers’ massaging experience was mainly smooth and comfy,” writes Mens Health.

The best massagers are easy to control. “This simple Boots design offers a decent four interchangeable attachments and three speed settings. It can be customised to suit your needs, whether you’ve been on a long run or sitting at your desk for eight hours straight. Our tester said it lacked the oomph needed to relieve brutal DOMS but found it ideal for less intense recovery sessions. It proved easy to control (there’s just one responsive button so you don’t have to fumble around trying to figure out what to press), it moved smoothly over skin and the quiet motor meant no turning the TV up mid-massage. The short handle felt slightly awkward to grip and made reaching those tight spots on our back difficult, but this is a common issue with smaller massage guns. It felt a little heavy after prolonged use and the design isn’t the most premium, but when you consider the price, it’s hard to complain,” says Runners World.

You might also be interested in:

Sources:

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About Te-Erika Patterson

Te-Erika is the Publisher of The Feisty News for Women, the only full-service news source for women. Te-Erika is also the author of How To Love a Powerful Woman, Leave Your Baby Daddy and Loving Female Led Relationships: Relationships that Empower Women. A graduate of The University of Florida, Te-Erika enjoys a thriving career as a digital content creator that has spanned more than a decade. She enjoys chocolate, wine and solitude, and she is currently living a quiet life in Montgomery, Alabama. Follow her @Te-Erika

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink

Editor-in-Chief

Chris Melore

Editor

Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor