We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

If you don’t have a massage gun yet, do you even work out? All jokes aside, massage guns have become so ubiquitous in the fitness industry; there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of them available online.

Recovery is equally as important as working out, and massage tools offer a convenient solution for achieving muscle pain relief from the comfort of your own home. A massage gun uses the force of percussive therapy to help reduce lactic acid buildup and promote muscle recovery.

Although the benefits of muscle guns can be invigorating, trying to choose one amongst all the options can incite serious decision fatigue. But don’t worry: We’re here to help with our guide to the best massage guns 2023.  

I’m a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist who’s been testing percussive massage guns since late 2018 when the technology began to explode in popularity.

I’ve used more than 30 massage guns and have spoken with and interviewed owners and execs at some of the biggest percussive massage companies. I understand the technology that powers percussive massage guns and have written about it for several major media outlets, and I know how to decipher terms like amplitude and stall force to tell you about the specs that really matter. 

Best Massage Guns 2024

Best Massage Guns Video Review

Best Massage Gun Overall: Theragun Prime

Good for: Active people looking for the best treatment quality without spending a fortune. 

Theragun Prime

Theragun Prime

Product Highlights

  • Customizable speed ranges
  • Ergonomic multi-grip handle makes it easy to massage your back
  • High-end product with a reasonable price

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Provides deep tissue treatment reaching 16 millimeters into soft tissue
  • Customizable speed ranges
  • Ergonomic multi-grip handle makes it easy to massage your back

Cons

  • Not the most portable massage gun
  • Quieter than previous Theraguns, but still not the quietest option
  • Heavy in hand compared to others

Bottom Line

We recommend the Theragun Prime as the best overall massage gun for people who want powerful percussion without an exorbitant price tag.

Known for its ergonomic triangular handle, sheer force, and customizable speed levels, Theragun—now called Therabody as the brand expands its portfolio of muscle recovery tools—really does make unmatched massage guns. 

I have been testing massage guns for years, and I’m always on the lookout for one that might surpass the Theragun’s quality of treatment at a better price point. I generally don’t encourage the average person splurge on top-of-the-line equipment because most of us just don’t need it.

But I have yet to find a product that does everything the Theragun—specifically the Prime model—does for a better price. After researching dozens of massage guns and testing more than 30, I can confirm that the Theragun Prime is worthy of its $300 price tag. You don’t get the very best of what Theragun has to offer (see the Theragun Pro for that), but you’ll get the best percussive muscle massage you can find for that price. 

Coop using the Theragun Prime.

The Theragun Prime delivers up to 30 pounds of force without stalling and reaches depths of 16 millimeters into soft tissue. It has a speed range of 1750-2400 percussions per minute (PPM), and you can use the companion app to select literally any different speed in that range. That means if 1750 is too slow, but 1760 is too fast, you can choose 1755 PPM. This stands apart from other massage guns, most of which have predetermined speeds 50 to 100 PPM apart. 

I think Theragun has the most ergonomic design, too. The triangular multi-grip handle makes it easy to massage hard-to-reach places compared to the standard single handle on other massage guns. With a two-hour battery life, I find myself charging the Theragun about every 10 days when using it every day. 

The Prime comes with four interchangeable heads: A dampener attachment, which is a mix between a ball and a flat head attachment; a ball attachment; a cone attachment; and a thumb-shaped attachment, which is great for treating lower back pain and trigger points.    

Now that Theragun has implemented a quiet motor and its massage guns don’t sound like jackhammers anymore, the Prime is just too hard to beat. 

Best Massage Gun for Travel: Ekrin Athletics BANTAM

Good for: People who want the most power possible in a small device with a nice carrying case. 

Best Massage Gun for Travel

Ekrin Athletics BANTAM

Product Highlights

  • 35-lb stall force beats Theragun Prime’s 20 lbs
  • Ultra-portable at 1.1 lbs
  • Lifetime guarantee and warranty
  • Carrying case is compact and protective

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Very powerful for its size
  • Lifetime warranty
  • USB charged
  • Comes with travel case

Cons

  • On the pricier side for a mini

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a massage gun that is both powerful and portable, you cannot go wrong with the Ekrin BANTAM Mini Massage Gun. While it may be a bit pricier than its competitors, it offers what most can not. It offers the best of both worlds - the power of a regularly sized massage gun in a super compact and lightweight package.

Previously, the Hypervolt Go massage gun was listed as the best massage gun for travel in this guide. However, after more thorough testing of both products (and a whole lot of other mini massage guns), the Ekrin Athletics BANTAM mini massage gun has officially usurped Hypervolt and wins this spot because it’s a small but mighty recovery tool that can fit in any carry-on luggage. 

While I don’t dislike the Hyperice mini massage gun, the Ekrin Athletics BANTAM is better for many reasons—for starters, it weighs a mere 1.1 pounds and comes with a carrying case that neatly fits the gun, four attachments, and the USB-C charger. The case measures less than 7 inches across diagonally, and it boasts a hard protective shell to keep your massager safe. 

Ekrin Athletics also makes all of the specs of the massage gun as clear as day, while Hyperice fails to list essential product information for its massage gun lineup. 

Ekrin athletics Bantam massage gun

Lots of mini massage guns don’t pack the same power you’d expect to find in a full-size massage gun. That’s not the case with the BANTAM: Not only does this mini massager beat the paltry 20-pound stall force on the Theragun Mini, it also beats out the 30-pound stall force of the Theragun Prime by 2 pounds. 

However, it is worth noting that this is only true at the highest speed setting. See, the BANTAM massage gun features progressive stall force, which means the stall force increases with speed. At the lowest setting, the BANTAM has 28 pounds of stall force; 30 pounds at the middle speed; and 32 pounds at the highest speed. Still, a 28-pound stall force is nothing to balk at in a mini massage gun. 

Speaking of speeds, the BANTAM features three fixed speed levels of 2,000; 2,600; and 3,200 percussions per minute (PPM). The four interchangeable attachments—fork, ball, flat, and bullet—reach into the muscle tissue at an amplitude of 10 millimeters, which is average for a mini massage gun. 

Finally, the BANTAM boasts a battery life up to 6 hours long, so no need to worry about it dying on the plane ride to your destination.  

Best Massage Gun on Amazon: Sportneer Elite D9 Massage Gun

Good for: People looking for a quick—but good—buy on Amazon.  

Sportneer Elite D9 Massage Gun

Sportneer Elite D9 Massage Gun

Product Highlights

  • Slower speeds are great for super sore muscles
  • Comes with six massage attachments, two of which are chrome for hot/cold therapy
  • Quiet motor—listed at 40 decibels

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Slower speeds are great for super sore muscles
  • Comes with six massage attachments, two of which are chrome for hot/cold therapy
  • Quiet motor—listed at 40 decibels

Cons

  • Handle could have been designed with better ergonomics
  • Amplitude is only 11 millimeters
  • Carrying case isn’t the best quality

Bottom Line

The Sportneer Elite D9 massage gun offers good power and a wide range of percussive speeds for a good price. It's a good value massage gun for the money.

Many of the massage guns I’ve tested over the years have come from Amazon. Even various Hypervolt and Theragun models are available on the third-party retailer. The Sportneer Elite D9 Massage Gun is my favorite massage gun I’ve gotten from Amazon that isn’t assigned to a different pick on this list. 

For its price point of $130, this massage gun is a fantastic value. Not only does it provide ample power and feel good in-hand, but it comes with six massage head attachments, two of which have chrome tips you can heat in warm water or freeze for hot/cold therapy. You can also use the chrome attachments for aromatherapy or to massage CBD oil into your skin. The massage gun, attachments, and charging cable all come in a convenient carrying case. 

I think the chrome massage heads are a huge value-add. Not many massagers come with these, and it can totally elevate your percussive therapy experience. 

It has a 220-watt motor that’s equipped to deliver percussive therapy at speeds of up to 3200 PPM, with six speeds total. Depending on the speed settings you use, the Sportneer Elite D9 has a battery life of up to six hours. 

This isn’t the most powerful massage gun I’ve used. The amplitude is only 11 millimeters, but I always felt like it got the job done for me. And for less than $150 and Amazon Prime delivery, what more can you ask for? Because it’s gentler, I like this massage gun for extra sore or sensitive muscles.The faster speeds are good for everyday use. It might not be the best pick for super brawny people with a high pain tolerance, but it’s a great option for people who wince easily. 

Best Deep Tissue Massage Gun: Theragun Pro

Good for: People looking for the best of the best in percussive therapy.

Theragun Pro

Theragun Pro

Product Highlights

  • Deep tissue treatment
  • 5 hours of battery life
  • Stall force of 60 pounds
  • Comes with five attachments
  • Force meter shows how much pressure you’re applying

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Deep tissue treatment
  • 5 hours of battery life
  • Stall force of 60 pounds

Cons

  • One of the most expensive massage guns on the market
  • Not necessary for the average fitness enthusiast
  • Large and hard to travel with

Bottom Line

If you want the most powerful percussive massage gun, you can't go wrong with the Theragun Pro.

Do I think anyone aside from elite athletes needs to buy the Theragun Pro? Absolutely not. Is it hella cool? Absolutely yes! 

The Theragun Pro represents the epitome of percussive therapy. It’s powerful, it’s effective, and it’s high-tech as heck. It’s also totally not necessary. But if you’re looking for the best deep tissue massage and overall percussive therapy experience, I can’t lead you any other way. Like the Theragun Prime, the high-torque brushless motor on the Pro reaches 16 millimeters deep into muscle tissue and has a customizable speed range. 

However, it has a few key features that put it into a class of its own. For one, it has an OLED screen with a responsive force meter, which lets you know exactly how hard you’re pressing the massage gun into your muscles. It also has a rotating arm that locks into four different positions, making it easier than ever to deeply massage all muscle groups. 

Coop using the Theragun Pro.

In comparison to the Prime’s stall force of 30 pounds, the Pro has an impressive stall force of 60 pounds. This means you can press the device into your muscles more deeply without it stalling. 

You can connect the Pro to the Therabody app via Bluetooth, where you can control your speed ranges and automate recovery protocols. 

Last but not least, the Pro has an impressive battery life thanks to the fact that the lithium-ion battery is removable and rechargeable—and your purchase comes with two. Together, the two rechargeable batteries last a total of five hours. 

Quietest Massage Gun: Ekrin Athletics B37 

Good for: People who want a lot of power without a lot of noise. 

Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun

Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun

Product Highlights

  • Ultra quiet
  • Stall force of 56 pounds
  • Impressive 8-hour battery life

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Ultra quiet
  • Stall force of 56 pounds
  • Impressive 8-hour battery life

Cons

  • Round attachment could be denser
  • Handle could be longer to allow for better reach
  • 12-millimeter amplitude may not be enough for some people

Bottom Line

The Ekrin Athletics B37 is one of the quietest massage guns available.

Massage gun technology has come a long way since I first started reviewing these things in 2018. Most massage guns used to rattle your bones and make your hand go numb if you held them too long—and heaven forbid using an old-generation massage gun on your neck, for fear your brain might spill out of your ears. Seriously, older models reached decibel levels above 100 dB, which is equivalent to hearing a jet flyover at 1000 feet. Yikes. 

Now, thank goodness, the standard is much quieter. Innovators understood that people wanted power without too much noise, and even the louder massage guns on today’s market aren’t that bad. The Ekrin Athletics B37 massage gun has achieved the best blend of power and sound in my experience. 

It has a stall force of 56 pounds, which comes close to the Theragun Pro’s 60 pounds. The B37 also rivals Theragun in that it has five speeds from 1400 to 3200 RPM, four attachments, and an 8-hour battery life, which is among the longest I’ve seen. 

Yet even at its highest speeds, the Ekrin Athletics B37 is one of the quietest of massage guns, running at 35 to 55 decibels. For reference, the Theragun Pro runs at about 70 decibels, and the Hypervolt Plus runs at about 55 to 70 decibels. For its highest speed being 3200 PPM, it’s really impressive that the Ekrin Athletics doesn’t surpass the noise level of a refrigerator hum. 

In addition to “proprietary sound insulation,” the quietness could also be attributed to the amplitude of the B37, which is 12 millimeters. Theoretically, since the arm doesn’t have to move as far, the motor doesn’t have to work as hard, thus it wouldn’t be as loud as a massage gun with a higher amplitude. 

Despite the lower amplitude, I’ve never put away the B37 feeling dissatisfied with the quality of treatment. I think the higher speeds available (up to 3200 versus the standard 2400) somewhat negate the need for a greater amplitude. 

Best Massage Gun Under $150: REP Rapidstrike Massage Gun

Good for: Anyone looking for a high-quality, portable massage gun under $150. 

REP Rapidstrike Massage Gun

REP Rapidstrike Massage Gun

Product Highlights

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to travel with
  • Quiet enough to use without disturbing others, even in the same room
  • Unclear specs

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight but powerful
  • Easy to travel with
  • Quiet enough to use without disturbing others, even in the same room

Cons

  • Could use some rubber gripping on the handle
  • Somewhat slow to charge (takes 60 to 90 minutes)
  • REP doesn’t disclose a lot of the specs, like stall force and decibel level

Bottom Line

A small massage gun that offers a ton of value.

Honestly, it’s tough to choose the best massage gun in this specific price range, because there are just. so. many. You can go online and find literally hundreds of massage guns that cost less than $150 and they’re all gonna be pretty similar. Heck, most of them probably come from the same factories and are just rebranded over and over again. 

But, I feel confident recommending the REP Rapidstrike Massage Gun because our team has spent enough hands-on time with it to know it works well. Despite its size, the Rapidstrike massage gun is pretty powerful. I can’t say exactly how powerful, because REP doesn’t disclose specs like stall force, amplitude, percussions per minute, and decibel level on the product page. 

Using the REP Rapidstrike massage gun on calf muscle

I wish they did, but I can make some educated guesses: Based on my experience with other percussion massage guns, I would venture to guess it reaches about 2200-2400 PPM and has an amplitude somewhere between 11 and 13 millimeters. As for decibels, it’s not super loud, but it’s not the quietest I’ve used. At its highest speed, it’s likely running around 60-65 decibels. 

Regardless of the specs, the Rapidstrike does a good job of relieving muscle soreness and tension. It’s super lightweight, so despite the straight-edged handle, it doesn’t cause any wrist or forearm fatigue. 

The massage gun comes with four interchangeable attachments—round, flat head, fork, and bullet—all of which are silicone. It charges with a USB-C cable, but it doesn’t come with a charging brick, so make sure to have one of those handy. It charges in about 90 minutes and should last you up to 8 hours. 

One of the main reasons I prefer the REP Rapidstrike Massage Gun over other devices in this price range is that it comes with an 18-month manufacturer’s warranty, when even the top-tier massage guns only have a 12-month warranty. We also always make sure to keep an eye out to see what type of deals REP Fitness offers during holidays like Black Friday and/or Labor Day, where you can get the best products we recommend at a better price.

Read my full REP Rapidstrike Massage Gun review

Best Budget Massage Gun Under $100: Recoverfun Massage Gun Mini

Good for: People who want a decent massage gun for under $100. 

Recoverfun Massage Gun Mini

Recoverfun Massage Gun Mini

Product Highlights

  • List price of $80, but often on sale for $50 to $60
  • Aluminum alloy massage attachment can be used for cryotherapy massage
  • One of the tiniest mini massage guns

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • 5-hour battery life
  • 4 attachment heads
  • Light weight
  • Up to 3,200 percussions per minute
  • Less than 48 decibel range

Cons

  • Amplitude of 6mm gives a light massage
  • 30-watt motor gets the job done, but isn’t super powerful

Bottom Line

The Recover Fun Mini Massage Gun could be a good option for someone looking for a budget-friendly recovery tool.

When it comes to massage guns, you can’t get much for under $100. But you can get the Recoverfun Massage Gun Mini, which is by far the best massage gun I’ve tried that costs less than three digits. 

Just be aware: The age-old adage rings true when it comes to percussive technology. You get what you pay for. So as a fair warning, don’t expect to spend $79 on the Recoverfun Massage Gun Mini and receive $600-worthy percussive treatment. If you want deep-tissue massage and techy specs, look elsewhere. 

But if you want a decent massage from a device you can fit in the pocket of your favorite cargo pants (no judgement), and you don’t want to spend more than $100, you’re in the right place. The Recoverfun Mini reaches speeds up to 3200 PPM with four preset speed settings. On the slow end, it runs at 1800 PPM. 

The thing only weighs a hair over 1 pound and comes in a tiny drawstring bag. For such a small device, the five-hour battery life is impressive. 

I will say the amplitude is unremarkable. At just 6 millimeters, the massage is definitely light, but I found it to be useful on days I was extra sore or just wanted quick and easy pain relief. It does come with a bullet massage attachment, though, which helps dig into tight spots. In addition to the bullet attachment, the Recoverfun Mini also comes with a fork attachment, round attachment, and an aluminum alloy flat head attachment. 

All in all, this massage gun is exactly what I would expect to get for $79. For a great price, you get a simple device that’s easy to operate and provides decent treatment quality.

I do want to point out that while the Recoverfun Mini made my guide to the best budget massage guns, it doesn’t appear as my overall top pick there, because the cost criteria was $150 and under, so I was able to include some higher-end products. There, you’ll find the Ekrin Athletics BANTAM as my top pick, plus a bunch of other budget-friendly massage guns.

Other Massage Guns We Researched and Tested

Theragun Elite

This is Theragun’s middle-of-the-line model from its fourth generation of products. It rivals the Theragun Pro as the best massage gun for athletes, but I don’t recommend it because it’s not that much more powerful or feature-rich than the Prime, which is my best overall pick, but it costs $100 more. 

Theragun Mini Massage Gun

I wasn’t overly impressed with Theragun’s mini massage gun. It has the best amplitude of all the minis I’ve tried, but it’s lacking in the accessories department and its speed range isn’t impressive enough for me to recommend it over the Hypervolt Go. 

Hypervolt Go

These two are nearly identical. The Hypervolt Go was once my top pick for the best mini massage gun, but the Ekrin Athletics BANTAM ousted it thanks to superb specs at a great price. The Hypervolt Go 2 is the newer version of the Go, but it has the same specs as far as I can tell.

Hypervolt

The original Hyperice massage gun, the Hypervolt, is a good product. However, it’s not available from the Hyperice website anymore, and I think third-party retailers are just selling back stock at this point. I don’t think it has anything special to offer compared to our top picks, anyway. 

Hypervolt Plus

This is basically the Hypervolt but with Bluetooth connectivity and a slightly longer battery life, for about $80 more. It also isn’t available on the Hyperice website anymore, and it probably has been discontinued to make way for the newer models.

Hypervolt 2

Hyperice released this new version of the Hypervolt in 2021. It’s a good product, with a 60-watt motor, a three-hour battery life, and an improved grip.

Hypervolt 2 Pro

Yet another new release from Hyperice, this has the same design as the Hypervolt 2, but with a 90-watt motor and five speeds of percussion versus the three speeds on all of the other models. It’s also the most expensive Hypervolt model at $399. 

Ekrin Athletics B37S

Slightly more powerful than the Ekrin Athletics B37, the B37S comes with extra attachments, a reactive force sensor, and a cool variable frequency feature at the higher speeds. It costs $100 more than the B37.  

Ekrin Athletics 365

This is Ekrin Athletics’ newest massage gun, just released in summer 2021. I haven’t had a chance to get my hands on it yet, but from looking at the specs, it seems like an ergonomically improved version of the B37. 

TimTam All New Power Massage

This thing is just too loud. It’s one of those jackhammer-like massage guns and you’d probably be better off using a car buffer. I tested this one in 2019, so maybe it’s improved since then, but I don’t recommend the version I tried. 

TimTam Power Massager Pro

I have the same sentiment about this TimTam massage gun. It’s overly powerful, and at $500, I don’t think it’s worth it. 

ExoGun DreamPro

We didn’t really like this massage gun. You can read our full ExoGun DreamPro review for full details. 

NordicTrack Percussion Massager

NordicTrack doesn’t list the amplitude of this massage gun, but based on my experience, I’m guessing it’s less than 12 millimeters, maybe less than 10. Basically, it’s not very powerful, and if you want a light massage you could just spend $79 on the Recoverfun Mini. 

TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun

Coming from the foam roller company, I was expecting to be impressed with this one. I was not. It’s another with what feels like shallow amplitude, although I can’t be sure because the specs aren’t listed. 

Compex Fixx 1.0 Massager

There’s nothing remarkable about the Compex Fixx. It has a unique grip, but it only has three speeds and only comes with one massage head attachment. 

Compex Fixx 2.0 Massager

I haven’t tested the newer model of the Compex massage gun, but it seems pretty similar. The only overt differences I’m seeing are: five speeds instead of three, and it comes with five massage head attachments. It also costs $500. 

MuscleGun Carbon

I like that this massage gun has a two-year warranty, but other than that, nothing impressed me about it. It’s your average copycat massage gun, honestly. 

MuscleGun X

It looks like MuscleGun isn’t making this model anymore and is just selling back stock (it’s no longer in the website navigation), which is a shame because the MuscleGun X is actually pretty great with nine speed settings and seven included massage attachments. 

Vybe Pro

This looks and works exactly like the MuscleGun X—it also has nine speeds and comes with eight attachments—so maybe that’s why MuscleGun has discontinued it… patent infringement or something. This is pure speculation, but anyway, I liked the Vybe Pro well enough. It just didn’t impress enough to earn a spot on the top list.   

Vybe V2

This one gave me TimTam vibes and I didn’t like it. It’s one of those annoyingly intense massage guns. 

Sportneer K1 Massage Gun

This is a solid budget-friendly pick. With a list price of $100, it provides a decent massage and has basic features you’d expect from any massage gun. 

Sportneer Mini 3 Massage Gun

This massage gun is comparable—nay, nearly identical—to the Recoverfun Mini, both in price and in features. I only don’t recommend it over the Recoverfun because it didn’t hold up for me. The handle started to come loose and, overall, it doesn’t feel very durable.   

Renpho Massage Gun 

I haven’t tested this massage gun, so I can’t say for sure how well (or not) it works, but the specs look good: five speeds up to 3200 PPM, USB-C charging, five massage head attachments, carrying bag included, weighs only 1.5 pounds, and has a silicone grip. I can’t find any information on amplitude or stall force, though, which I don’t like. 

Pulseroll Pro Massage Gun

This mini massage gun has six attachments, four speeds, and a battery life of up to five hours. Because I haven’t tried the Pulseroll Pro yet, I can’t say if it’s worth the $300+ price tag. Online reviews look good, however, Pulseroll is a European company and I can’t find the Pulseroll Pro online at U.S. retailers. I only see the Pulseroll Mini Massage Gun available in the States. 

Homedics Massage Gun

Homedics is another brand with a lot of buzz online. The Homedics Therapist Select Plus Massage Gun has six intensity settings and six massage head attachments for a rather customizable experience. I haven’t tested this specific product, but it has good ratings and gushing customer reviews.  

Which Massage Gun Should I Buy?

As the old saying goes, there are different strokes for different folks and the same is true for massage guns. For example, you might be looking for a massage gun to help with recovery after long runs, but someone else might want one that’s better suited for their back pain.

Here, we’ll break down what massage gun you should buy depending on your injury history or lifestyle/training goals.

Best Massage Gun for Back Pain

The Sportneer or Erkin Athletics models are probably the best bet for anyone who needs a massage gun for back pain. This is because they’re gentler than something like the Theragun Pro, which we wouldn’t recommend for those with severe back pain.

That said, back pain remedies are super subjective and what helps one person’s pain may not helps another’s. Please speak with your physical therapist or physician.

Best Massage Gun for Athletes

Athletes should reach for the Theragun because, at least to my knowledge, they’re the only massage guns that are capable of reaching 16 millimeters into soft tissue to help aid in recovery after intense training sessions or competitions. Most other massage guns have a high amplitude of around 13 millimeters, which is enough for the average person but not for elite athletes.

Aside from amplitude, athletes should look for a high battery life, assuming they’ll be using the massage gun daily or at least several times per week. Portability will also be key for athletes who travel for training and competition. 

Best Battery Life Massage Gun

Most massage guns have a decent, if not good, battery life these days. However, some of them have superior battery life and/or provide extra rechargeable lithium ion batteries to extend the life even further. For instance, the Ekrin Athletics B37, our top pick for the quietest massage gun, has an impressive battery life of eight hours on one charge. 

There are usually some trade-offs between battery and power. The Theragun Pro is a good example of this: It’s the most powerful massage gun I’ve tested, but one charge only lasts 2.5 hours. Luckily, though, the Pro comes with an extra battery to extend the life up to 5 hours. 

How We Chose the Best Massage Guns 

Using the REP Rapidstrike massage gun on calf muscle

This final list of the best massage guns is a culmination of years of researching and testing massage guns. All of our top picks have actually been in our hands for extended periods of time, allowing us to learn the ins and outs of each of them and determine who they’re best for. 

We made sure to use them for various purposes and in different scenarios. For example, we used them pre-workout as part of a warm-up, after workouts, and even between sets during workouts to fend off fatigue. With the metal attachments, I tried hot/cold therapy and used them with CBD oil. In addition to using massage guns to help with soreness and pain related to resistance training and cardio, I used them for general relief from achiness—the kind I tend to get from sitting at my computer writing guides like this.  

Here are some of the criteria we judge massage guns against: 

  • Portability (weight, size)
  • Charging and battery life
  • Amplitude (depth of tissue the massage gun reaches) 
  • Percussions per minute (speed settings) 
  • Stall force 
  • Accessories (massage head attachments, extra batteries, carrying case etc)
  • Tech capabilities (Bluetooth connectivity, companion app) 
  • Sound level in use and stated decibel levels 
  • Warranty 
  • Ergonomics (how it feels in hand during use) 
  • Price 

Benefits of Massage Guns

Ekrin Athletics b37 massage gun in focus while someone is doing deadlifts in the background

A massage gun is a great workout recovery tool. But what’s really going on when you’re sending bursts of up to 60 pounds of force into your tender muscles? 

Encourage Blood Flow

The intense mechanical action of a massage gun increases blood flow to the targeted area. Applying that sort of force to your muscles essentially tells your brain, “Hey, something’s going on here,” and your body responds by sending more blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to that area. 

Reduce Muscle Damage

Muscle soreness happens because your muscles endure tiny micro-tears during exercise. It’s possible that massage guns could reduce the total volume of muscle damage that occurs during workouts if you use it as part of your warmup. Doing so may also reduce muscle fatigue, or at the very least, your perception of muscle fatigue, during workouts. 

Alleviate Soreness

Like regular massage, the mechanical action of massage guns temporarily relieves muscle pain. You’ll feel the effects of the physical force immediately, but scientists hypothesize that there’s more to it than the pummeling of muscle tissue. It’s thought that the force applied by massage guns helps remove byproducts of workouts, such as lactic acid buildup (specifically blood lactate) and carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. 

Increase Range of Motion

Limited research tells us that using a massage gun may temporarily increase range of motion in the targeted muscle. For instance, one study from 2020 showed that a 5-minute massage gun treatment on the calf muscles increased dorsiflexion of the ankle. Pretty cool, although it’s not clear how long the effects last. 

Do Massage Guns Really Work? 

A hand holding the Theragun Prime outdoors, background is blurred

If massage guns didn’t work, they probably wouldn’t be in college and professional sports training centers or in gym bags all around the world. I’m a firm believer that a good massage gun can have significant effects, but honestly, it’s up to each person to decide. 

The available science on massage guns and percussive therapy is limited, and because the technology is still evolving, it’s hard to say how effective a top-tier massage gun from 2024 is compared to one from a few years ago. Also, much of the existing literature looks at vibration therapy, which isn’t exactly the same as percussion therapy (percussion uses a mechanism that “punches” into the tissue to reach deeper, while vibration therapy doesn’t have as far a reach). 

Many scientific studies support modest temporary effects from massage guns or other modalities of percussive or vibration therapy. For example, one study suggests vibration therapy might be just as effective at reducing post-workout muscle soreness as regular massage therapy. 

Another found that vibration foam rolling has a more significant effect on reduced perception of pain than regular foam rolling. And a 2019 meta-analysis of studies concluded that, yes, vibration therapy might alleviate delayed-onset muscle soreness, but ended with the classic: more research is needed. 

So, honestly, in a scientific situation like this, I say use your own anecdotal evidence. If massage guns work for you—by reducing soreness, improving your pre-workout range of motion, or alleviating tight muscles—use one to your heart’s (and muscles’) content.   

How to Use a Massage Gun

You can, for the most part, use a massage gun how you see fit. Just follow the instructions that came with the device and don’t use it to the point of pain. Here are a few general tips: 

  • Before a workout: Use a massage gun on tight or sore muscles as part of your warm-up to encourage blood flow to the area and to temporarily improve range of motion. For example, using a massage gun on your lower calves, ankles, and thoracic spine before squatting may help with your squat form and depth. 
  • After a workout: Massage the muscles you focused on during your workout to kickstart your body’s recovery process. 
  • General use: Experiment with speed settings and different muscle groups to find ways to use your massage gun for general pain relief and relaxation. 

More importantly, let’s look at how not to use a massage gun… 

Don’t ever use a massage gun on injuries, including pulled muscles (strains) or torn ligaments (sprains), bruises, or open wounds. Be careful about running your massage gun over bony protrusions under the assumption you’re attacking a gnarly muscle knot. Finally, talk to your doctor about safely using a massage gun if you have a musculoskeletal condition such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or fibromyalgia. 

Related: Massage Gun For Sciatica

How to Choose the Best Massage Gun for You

Using the REP Rapidstrike massage gun on calf muscle

Before you bite the bullet on a handheld massager, make sure to take these buying factors into consideration. 

Motion: Percussion vs. Vibration 

This may come as a surprise, but percussive therapy and vibration therapy are not one and the same. They’re used for a lot of the same reasons, but the mechanical actions differ. Percussive therapy reaches deeper into muscle tissue than vibration does, with percussion therapy defined as a treatment that reaches at least 16 millimeters into the body tissues. 

Very few massage guns achieve that level of treatment—most blur the line between vibration and percussion, reaching depths of 12 to 15 millimeters. This isn’t to say a massage gun is bad if it doesn’t reach that 16-millimeter mark. In fact, many people find the “punching” mechanism of true percussive therapy too intense. (For reference, all of the Theragun models reach 16 millimeters.) It’s just something to be aware of. 

Speed and Power

I recommend buying a massage gun that has at least three speed and power settings, because your soreness and sensitivity levels will fluctuate—and you’ll get really frustrated if your massage gun only has one setting and it’s too strong on a particularly sore day. When you have more options, you’ll be able to  use your massage gun more often. 

To dig a little deeper, look for a product that has the actual percussions per minute (PPM) listed, as well as amplitude and stall force. PPM refers to how many times the device “punches” per minute; amplitude refers to how deep into the muscle tissue the massage reaches; and stall force refers to the amount of force the motor can handle before it stalls (the higher the stall force, the more aggressively you can press the massage head into your muscles).

Speed and stall force both come down to preference, but I do think it’s worth analyzing the amplitude on any of your massage gun choices. Amplitude is important because it defines how deep of a massage you’ll get with the device. As mentioned above, a massage gun is only truly a percussion massage gun if the amplitude is at least 16 millimeters. Anything below that is technically vibration, but amplitudes of 12 to 15 millimeters are sufficient for most people’s needs. 

Noise Level

These days, most massage guns are relatively quiet. But once upon a time, they all sounded like jackhammers and chainsaws. Make sure to read customer reviews and look out for warnings about the noise level. I personally would be most inclined to purchase a massage gun from a brand that clearly states the decibel level of their products online. 

For reference, a normal conversation between two people hovers around 60 decibels. Household appliances like washing machines and dishwashers make sounds at about 70 decibels. And the sound of city traffic from inside your car is about 80 decibels. You probably don’t want to buy a massage gun much louder than that. 

Portability

If you plan on traveling with your massage gun, it’s a good idea to choose a smaller one or a miniature one, especially if you’re a frequent flyer. On top of size, consider the quality of the carrying case (don’t want it to fall apart on the road), the number of attachments and accessories (too many might be annoying), and the battery life and type of charging cable (to make sure it doesn’t die and can’t be readily charged). 

Attachments and Accessories

It’s pretty standard for massage guns to come with multiple head attachments these days. Common attachments include the round, bullet, fork, cone, and flat heads. All of these are most often made of some sort of dense foam or silicone; some massage guns come with certain attachments in both materials. 

A less common, but super awesome, type of massage head attachment is the stainless steel kind. If you buy a massage gun with a stainless steel massage head attachment, you can freeze it or warm it up in hot water for hot/cold therapy in addition to percussive therapy. 

Charging and Battery Life 

For the most part, you probably won’t be using your massage gun for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore battery life and charging specs. I recommend buying a percussive massage gun that has a battery life of at least two hours, because then you can likely get a full week of use out of it before needing to charge it. A shorter battery life might suffice for people who don’t use the massage gun every day. 

As for charging, look for perks like removable batteries and extra batteries. Most massage guns don’t have those things, which means if the battery in the device goes kaput, you have to buy a whole new massage gun instead of just a new battery. Generally, only the more expensive models have removable batteries, like the Theragun Pro. 

Quality and Price 

The best products are always the ones that offer a good value proposition. In other words, they provide the best features for the best price. That’s why my top pick is the Theragun Prime: I believe this massage gun offers the best suite of features for most people at a reasonable price. 

In general, you can expect that the pricier a massage gun is, the more (and better) features it’ll come with. However, that’s not always the case, as you’ll notice in the competition section. Some products are simply overpriced. If a massage gun costs more than $300, I recommend looking really closely at the specs and ensuring the amplitude, speed range, and noise level are adequate. Also double-check the attachments and accessories. 

Best Massage Guns FAQs

How often should you use a massage gun?

You can use a massage gun every day if you want to. Many people use percussive massage guns before and/or after their workout each day.

Do massage guns get rid of muscle knots?

Massage guns may not completely eliminate muscle knots, but they can relieve much of the tightness and achiness that occurs when muscle knots form. They do this by increasing the flow of blood, which is rich in oxygen and nutrients, to the affected muscle.

Is a massage gun really worth it?

Massage guns are worth buying if you spend your money on a good product. There are lots of crappy percussion massage guns out there, but there are also lots of great ones. By following our recommendations for the top massage guns, we’re confident you’ll find your purchase worth it.

What are the top five massage guns?

Five of the best massage guns are: the Theragun Pro, Theragun Prime, Ekrin Athletics B37, Hypervolt Go, and REP Rapidstrike Massage Gun.

Further reading

Zeno Gym Promo Code (2024) Cover Image
Zeno Gym Promo Code (2024)

If you don’t have a massage gun yet, do you even work out? All jokes aside, massage guns have become so ubiquitous in the fitness industry; there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of them available online.Recovery is equally as important as working out, and massage tools offer a convenient solution for achieving muscle pain relief from the comfort of your own home. A massage gun uses the force of percussive therapy to help reduce lactic acid buildup and promote muscle recovery.  » Read more about: The 7 Best Massage Guns of 2024  » Read more

The Best Lebert Fitness Coupon Code (2024) Cover Image
The Best Lebert Fitness Coupon Code (2024)

Check out our exclusive Lebert Fitness coupon code to save 15% on your purchase. Read more

Best Hemp Protein Powder (2024): 6 Plant-Based Options That Can Help You Meet Your Goals Cover Image
Best Hemp Protein Powder (2024): 6 Plant-Based Options That Can Help You Meet Your Goals

The best hemp protein powders have clean ingredient lists and a decent amount of protein per serving. Here are our top picks. Read more

One-Dumbbell Workout: Build Muscle With Just a Single Dumbbell Cover Image
One-Dumbbell Workout: Build Muscle With Just a Single Dumbbell

Did you know you can still get a fantastic full-body workout using just a single dumbbell? Try our trainer-approved one-dumbbell workout now! Read more