Thu. Jun 20th, 2024

Massage therapy is a popular way to reduce muscle strain and pain.

That said, you don’t have to go to a professional to see results. Percussive massagers — also known as massage guns — provide short bursts of pressure into your muscle tissue.

As a result, they help reduce muscle soreness by increasing blood flow to the targeted area (1, 2).

But with so many of these massagers on the market, how do you find the right product for you?

To help you decide, we’ve rounded up the 10 best massage guns of 2022.

When looking for the best massage guns, we also considered the following criteria:

  • Power. We looked for products with 2,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) or more.
  • Special features. We considered massage guns with special features, such as attachable heads, carrying cases, lightweight design, and multiple massage modes.
  • Customer reviews. All of the products on this list have mostly positive customer reviews.
  • Vetting. The massage guns on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

Most quiet massage gun

Theragun Elite

Price: $$$

The Theragun Elite is a favorite among chiropractors, athletes, and casual exercisers, as it features a powerful motor and five attachable heads for targeted muscle relief.

The device offers five speed options, allowing you to dig deep or go lighter on more sensitive areas.

It’s also quieter than many other massage guns and weighs just 2.2 pounds (1 kg), making it easy to pack in your gym bag.

Best battery life

Achedaway Pro Percussion and Vibration Massager

Price: $$$

The Achedaway Pro’s removable battery can last up to 4 hours on a single charge, and if you choose to purchase an extra battery, you’ll get up to 8 hours of total battery life.

This makes it a great option for those with chronic muscle pain who don’t want to worry about charging their device between sessions.

It also features five speeds and four attachable heads to fit all your post-workout massage needs.

Additionally, the Achedaway Pro Percussion and Vibration Massager is lightweight and gets high customer ratings for its powerful motor.

Most versatile massage gun

Vybe PRO Handheld Deep Muscle Massager

Price: $$

With nine intensity levels and eight attachments, including options for deep tissue massage, the Vybe PRO is one of the most versatile options on the market.

It also features a long battery life, quiet motor, and convenient traveling case.

However, some customers note that the quality of the attachable heads could be better, which may not be a deal breaker, given its affordable price.

Best value massage gun

Lifepro Sonic Handheld Percussion Massage Gun

Price: $$

The Sonic handheld massager offers an affordable yet high powered option for easing sore and aching muscles.

It also features five levels of intensity, eight massage heads, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with up to 6 hours of battery life.

Reviewers note that it’s easy to switch speeds and comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.

While it comes with a lifetime warranty, some customers report difficulties with receiving their refund or replacement parts.

Best high-end massage gun

Theragun PRO

Price: $$$

The Theragun PRO is a good option for serious athletes, as it offers several speeds and attachments for a deep and powerful massage.

The PRO stands out from others on the market, due to its ergonomic grip and adjustable head, which allows you to apply the massager at different angles without tiring out your hand.

Using Bluetooth capabilities, you can also connect the Theragun PRO to the Therabody app for personalized wellness routines.

Additionally, it comes with two rechargeable batteries, so you can charge one while the other is in use.

However, at $599, the Theragun PRO is one of the most expensive massage guns on the market.

Best massage gun for athletes

Legiral Le3 Massage Gun

Price: $$

The Legiral Le3 Massage Gun is a good option for athletes who want the power of the Theragun PRO at a lower cost.

This massage gun has over 24,000 mostly positive reviews online and comes with a whopping 20 speed settings, six head attachments, and a 6-hour battery life.

However, as some customers found the massager to be too intense, the Legiral Le3 is not a good option for people looking for a gentler massage. It’s also one of the heaviest options on this list.

Best lightweight massage gun

Renpho R3 Massage Gun

Price: $$

Weighing only 1.5 lbs. (.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 with you.

It features five speeds, comes with a carrying case, and charges using a USB-C cable, which many people find convenient.

The five attachable heads make it easy to target knots in various areas of your body, such as your neck, shoulder blades, or glutes.

Best massage gun for deep tissue

Vybe V2 Percussion Massager

Price: $

The Vybe V2 Percussion Massager generates up to 60 lbs. (27.2 kg) of percussive force to provide a deep, powerful massage.

With three attachment heads designed to provide deep tissue relief, the cordless device may help loosen up muscle knots, alleviate tension, and improve mobility.

It also offers six intensity levels and a rotating arm, so you can reach most areas of your body.

Just keep in mind that the Vybe V2’s motor is quite noisy.

Best mini massage gun

Renpho Mini Massage Gun

Price: $

The Renpho Mini Massage Gun is a compact, portable device that’s still powerful enough to pack a punch.

It features five intensities geared toward warmup, fascia relief, lactic acid breakdown, deep tissue, and professional impact.

The lightweight massager runs quietly and has four attachable heads, which focus on everyday use, the spinal region, muscle knots, and bony areas.

Plus, thanks to its convenient travel case and lightweight design, it can be easily stowed away in a backpack, purse, or carry-on.

Best massage gun for workout recovery

Hyperice Hypervolt 2

Price: $$

The Hypervolt 2 offers speeds of up to 2,700 percussions per minute and three levels of pressure to help alleviate post-workout aches, soreness, and stiffness. Plus, it’s lighter than the original Hypervolt, has a longer battery life, and features a more streamlined design.

It’s also Bluetooth-enabled, so you can save your preferred settings using the Hyperice app.

While it can also be used to warm up your muscles pre-workout, many reviewers mention that it’s been very helpful for soothing sore muscles after intense workouts.

As a bonus, the Hypervolt 2 is TSA approved and includes three plug adapters and a carrying case for the attachable heads. (You can also purchase a carrying case for the massage gun itself.)

While using a massage gun is fairly straightforward, there are a few important things to know:

  • Avoid massaging any areas with severe pain, especially if your pain worsens over time.
  • Start by massaging the least sensitive areas of your body for short periods of time.
  • To prevent the massager from overheating, always follow the time limit set in place by the manufacturer.

How and when should you use a massage gun?

Kelsey Decker, NSCA-CPT, and education coordinator at StretchLab, told Healthline, “I suggest starting on a lower level of intensity to make sure your body can handle the sensation. You can also increase the intensity by applying more pressure to the area of focus. Spend about 30 seconds to 2 minutes per muscle group area.”

According to Decker, “You can use a massage gun prior to a workout to alleviate tightness and activate your muscles before heading into a dynamic warmup and then your workout. You can also use it for post-exercise recovery to help release tension.”

That said, more research is needed to determine whether using a massage gun before or after workouts is more beneficial and which speeds and durations are most effective (3).

Should you still stretch if you use a massage gun?

Decker pointed out that massage guns are not a substitute for stretching but says you can use the tool in conjunction with stretching to ease muscle tension in tight spots or areas of concern.

She explained, “[A] massage gun can help the group of muscles relax before transitioning into a stretch for the same muscle groups. For example, if you have tight hips and it’s difficult to get them to loosen up while stretching, use the massage gun device for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then go back to stretching your hips.”

When to avoid using a massage gun

To ensure safety, Decker recommends focusing on muscle and fascia, while avoiding bones, tendons, joints, and ligaments.

According to Decker, you’ll also want to avoid using a massage gun:

  • on joint, disc, or bone injuries
  • on metal screws, implants, or pins
  • if you have excessive pain, inflammation, or an acute injury
  • if you have a pacemaker
  • if you have vertigo

Finally, Healthline recommends talking with a healthcare professional before using a massage gun, especially if you have any medical conditions or take medications.

A professional can also advise you on the best practices if you’re healing from an injury or surgery.

Do doctors recommend massage guns?

Many doctors recommend massage guns to help:

  • reduce stress
  • alleviate muscle soreness
  • improve workout recovery

They may advise you on the best techniques and suggest a specific massage gun type or model.

You should talk with your doctor before using a massage gun if you:

  • take medications
  • have a medical condition
  • are recovering from an injury

They can determine whether the devices are safe and appropriate for your needs.

Do massage guns help with arthritis?

While massage is generally considered a safe and effective treatment for people with arthritis, research supporting the effectiveness of massage guns for arthritis is lacking.

Theragun advises against using massage guns on areas of the body that are sensitive to pressure and bony. In addition, the company says that people with certain health conditions should speak with their healthcare professional before use.

Before trying any treatment for arthritis, it’s important to speak with your healthcare professional.

Can you use a massage gun while pregnant?

Using a massage gun during pregnancy may provide similar benefits to prenatal massage. Research from 2021 suggests that relaxing massage during pregnancy may help to alleviate pain, boost mood, and improve sleep (4).

During your first trimester, it’s best to avoid using a massage gun or having any type of massage since this may increase your risk of miscarriage.

Once you enter the second trimester, it’s likely safe to use a massage gun as long as you talk with your healthcare professional beforehand. While using a massage gun, you can sit or lie on your left side. Do not lie on your stomach and avoid lying on your back for any length of time.

Avoid massaging your abdominal area and pressure points. Do not use strong pressure, especially on your legs.

Massage during pregnancy may not be suitable for people with:

  • preeclampsia
  • high blood pressure
  • blood clots or a clotting condition
  • gestational diabetes
  • placenta concerns, including placenta previa
  • deep vein thrombosis (DVT)


By Alan

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