Buying Guide for Massage Guns
Why buy a massage gun?
Some doctors and physical therapists prescribe regular deep-tissue massages as part of the recovery process from exercise or muscle injuries. However, a professional massage at a spa can be pricey or hard to fit into your busy schedule. That’s where home massagers can come in handy. Many come with their own convenient and portable traveling cases, too.
Massage guns (aka percussion massagers) are a specific type of massager that move back and forth to comfortably tap or hammer out your tense muscles. Simply turn the massager on, place it close to the affected area, and let it go to work. They can be used to target any part of the body that you need or want to massage instead of being specially geared for the feet, back, neck, etc.
What should you consider in a massage gun?
- Power and Speed: The speed and amplitude at which a massage head moves can vary considerably depending on the model and its settings. The further a massager’s head travels, the deeper a massage it offers. Most massagers are equipped with two to five different speeds and settings on average. Whether you prefer a soft and gentle massage, a deep tissue massage, or something in between, you should be able to find a massager that can be adjusted to your personal comfort levels.
- Heads: Nowadays, almost every percussion massager on the market comes with at least a few interchangeable heads. Different types of heads are optimally shaped to better target certain muscle groups or body parts. For example, a big round head is ideal for larger muscles like the quads and glutes, while a smaller, more pointed head is better for smaller body parts like the hands and feet. Some massagers will only have three or four extra heads, while others may have ten or more. If you want to specifically target and massage certain parts of your body, a model with more interchangeable heads may be the right choice for you.
- Battery Life: While there are still some plug-in corded options out there, most modern-day percussive massagers are cordless and run on batteries. This makes them more portable and conveniently doesn’t require an outlet to operate them. Some will be rechargeable, while others will require batteries to be replaced. Rechargeable batteries may also require a few hours to fully charge. And not all massagers are created equal when it comes to battery life. Some may offer a two- to three-hour battery life; others may offer as much as six hours. Keep in mind that higher speeds will drain batteries faster than lower speeds.
Where should you avoid using a massage gun?
While massage guns are designed to be versatile enough for full-body massages, there are spots on the body that shouldn’t be targeted by a massage gun. They’re meant to be used on muscles, so you should avoid nerves and bones. Also, avoid the head, kidneys, any wounds or scabs, and other sensitive spots.
It’s also important to note that massage guns are not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have a serious injury or chronic pain, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional before attempting to treat yourself with a massage gun.
Our Picks for the Best Massage Guns
Cholas Massage Gun
A noise-reducing massage gun that comes with 10 heads and 30 different speeds.
Pros: The Cholas Massage Gun is a professional-grade massage recovery tool designed for individuals who lead an active lifestyle. It comes with 10 different massage heads that are specifically designed to target different muscle groups and provide a variety of massage techniques, especially since it’s equipped with 30 different speed settings. These heads can be easily interchanged, allowing users to customize their massage experience. Also notable is this massage gun’s long battery life. It can run for up to six hours on a single charge, making it a convenient tool for those who are always on the go. There’s also a noise-reducing feature to help you relax even better.
Cons: Some users wished this option packed a bit more of a punch. Since it’s not as powerful as expected, it may not be able to effectively give you a deeper or more intense massage if that’s what you’re after.
Bottom Line: This massage gun has all sorts of settings and features to help you feel fresh and loose. With so many interchangeable heads and available speeds, it’s a great tool that will help you relieve stress and relax your muscles, no matter where on the body you might use it.
BOB AND BRAD Q2 Mini Massage Gun
Experience deep tissue massage and powerful pain relief on the go with this portable massage gun.
Pros: With a new proprietary brushless motor and USB-C charging, this device is designed for maximum convenience, portability, and ease of use. It also features five adjustable speeds and five massage heads, making it perfect for targeting every muscle group. Whether you’re an athlete on the go or just need some quick relief at home, the Q2 MINI delivers quick relief and relaxation that fits conveniently in your carry-on or backpack.
Cons: While effective, this massage gun may not be as powerful as larger models, in spite of its higher price tag. You may also experience issues with some of the parts breaking off after normal use.
Bottom Line: The Q2 MINI is a compact and portable massage gun that packs a powerful punch. Despite its small size, this massage gun delivers a deep-tissue massage that can effectively relieve muscle soreness and tension. Its compact design makes it easy to take on the go, making it a great option for anyone who needs relief on the spot.
Mebak Massage Gun
A percussion massager that operates at a low volume for even better relaxation.
Pros: Powerful motors tend to produce loud whirring, clicking, or other irritating noises as they run. The Mebak Massage Gun is designed to operate as quietly as possible without sacrificing speed or power. The five speed settings start at 640 and go up to 3,200 rpm for deep tissue massages, with a mere 35 to 50 decibels of sound. Each speed setting is ideal for a different body part or muscle group. It can also provide percussion massages to relieve muscle soreness or stiffness. The lithium battery can last for two to three hours at a time on a single charge, depending on the massage intensity.
Cons: This is a powerful massage gun that may take a little time to figure out how to use at first. With its powerful motor and multiple speed settings, users may need to spend some time experimenting to find the right settings and techniques for their individual needs.
Bottom Line: This massager is an all-around great option. It weighs just over two pounds, so it won’t strain your wrists or hands during use. Besides the massager itself, you receive seven interchangeable heads, a charger adapter, a user manual, and a portable traveling case to take it on the go.
Theragun PRO Deep Tissue Muscle Treatment Massage Gun
A quality choice that will give your muscles a fresh feeling and last for years.
Pros: The Theragun PRO Deep Tissue Muscle Treatment Massage Gun is a premium option that delivers everything you want and more in a massage gun. It includes 300 minutes of battery use and two rechargeable batteries. You can customize the speed for the right setting for your ideal massage. Plus, there’s an ergonomic handle and rotating arm to help you deliver the best massage. As one more perk, you can even link this massage gun to an app.
Cons: The main disadvantage of a massage gun being loud is that it can be disruptive and annoying to some users, especially if they are trying to use it in a quiet or public environment. Additionally, the noise level can potentially cause discomfort or irritation for some users, particularly those with sensitive hearing or who are prone to headaches.
Bottom Line: This premium massage gun delivers a powerful massage with a long-lasting battery that’s capable. Just be aware that its power means more noise, which may prove distracting or bothersome to those who are sensitive to loud noises.
TOLOCO Massage Gun
Revitalize your body with the upgraded silent massage gun, featuring seven speed levels and 15 replaceable massage heads.
Pros: If you’re looking for a powerful and effective way to relieve muscle fatigue and pain, promote blood circulation, and restore your body to its best state, the upgraded massage gun with seven speed levels and 15 replaceable massage heads is the perfect solution. Additionally, the massage gun is equipped with a USB charging cable, making it easy to charge and use anywhere for up to six hours. The multiple speed levels and interchangeable massage heads make it versatile and suitable for use on various parts of the body, including the back, neck, arms, legs, and muscles. You can enjoy a high-power massage with low noise levels at home, in the gym, or at the office. The simplified storage and transportation with a carrying case and user manual make it a convenient and practical choice for those on the go.
Cons: While this massage gun is marketed as being powerful, some may find that it does not live up to their expectations in terms of intensity or effectiveness. You may also experience issues with the gun stopping working after a relatively short period of time, so it may not hold up to daily use.
Bottom Line: With its silent operation and ergonomic design, this portable cordless massager is an ideal way to rejuvenate your body. Overall, this product seems to be a great investment for anyone looking to relieve muscle fatigue and pain and restore their body’s best state.
Gently hammer the tension in your muscles away with the help of a high-quality massage gun. These options will serve you well whether you need to target sore muscles, increase blood flow, or work a knot out of your neck.