This year a lot of athletic guys discovered the benefits of massage guns. These devices used to be an athletic recovery and stress-relief secret kept on the down-low by pro athletes and sports therapists. Now, these tools are being adopted by everyone from casual runners to occasional weightlifters.
Theragun is currently the dominator in the world of massage guns, but it comes with a price — a hefty one, that is. Don’t get us wrong, while Theragun gets the job DONE, many athletes look for alternatives that won’t cost them a pretty penny.
Theragun products cost a ton because they deliver a major upgrade that your average Brookstone novelties don’t have, by ensuring a precise, concentrated overall functionality. They typically consist of a ball head that rapidly massages your muscles in what’s called percussive therapy (don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt), but sometimes utilizes a rubbing motion as well. Massage guns are built for athletic recovery — loosening tight muscles, reducing chronic pain, relieving soreness, etc — but they’re also great for portable, easy stress-relief.
Whether you’re swooned by the Theragun’s seemingly mystical powers, or you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to balance your back and your bank, check out some of our favorite options below.
1. Theragun Prime Percussive Massage Gun
The Theragun Prime is one of the best massage guns Therabody makes, and comes in their signature ergonomic handle design that allows you to comfortably massage yourself without contorting your arm into awkward positions. The gun has five different speeds and an LED screen that monitors the current speed and syncs up with the Therabody app. The Lithium-ion battery inside offers 120 minutes of battery life on every charge and the QX65 motor has QuietForce technology so the buzzing won’t disrupt the therapeutic physical effects. The app integration is one of the best parts — as you can input your behaviors, preferences and activity level and receive personalized wellness guidance from experts.
Pros: Ergonomic grip, quiet, powerful motor and convenient app integration.
Cons: Less affordable price tag than other massage guns.
2. Sonic Handheld Percussion Massage Gun
The Sonic Handheld Percussion Massage gun is an affordable option that has five speed settings and comes with a variety of massage head attachments. It also boasts a heavy-duty construction that will stay stable at all of the speed settings. The device itself is also on the quieter side when in use.
Pros: Quiet motor, adjustable speeds and massage heads, easy to use and stable construction.
Cons: Vibration can become bouncy on more contoured muscles.
3. Hyperice Hypervolt GO Massage Gun
The Hypervolt GO is a portable, powerful massage gun that’s also Hyperice’s most affordable option. It weighs only 1.5lbs, making it one of the lightest massage guns on this list. It also only has one button on it that controls every function, making it easy to use and simple to pick up whenever you need it. The 18V lithium-ion battery holds 2.5 hours on a single charge and it comes with two interchangeable head attachments. The gun also contains QuietGlide technology so it’s powerful but peaceful at the same time.
Pros: Quiet motor, 2.5 hours of massage with each charge, three different speeds, lightweight.
Cons: It doesn’t come with its own carrying case.
4. Theragun Mini
Theragun is the leader in the massage gun space, but their flagship models can be pretty expensive. The Mini is a more economical (and portable) alternative to the premium options. It has a soft silicone body that’s easy to grip, and it comes with a carrying case that’s easy to throw in your gym bag. The mini can last up to 150 minutes on a single charge, which isn’t jaw-droppingly long, but it’s more than enough to get you through multiple sessions. There are 3 speeds that are calibrated to maximize relief.
Pros: Portable option. 3 speeds. Comes with a handy carrying case. Quiet. Small size is easy to grip.
Cons: Some options have a longer battery life.
5. TriggerPoint Impact Handheld Massage Gun
This massage gun from TriggerPoint is made for triggering different muscle groups, and has an angled handle which makes it easier to maneuver. The brushless motor is quiet and has four different speeds to choose from. The battery is rechargeable and lasts for up to two hours on each charge.
Pros: Quiet motor, four different speeds, long battery life.
Cons: This massage gun is heavier than other options, weighing in at 2.4 pounds.
6. Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Massager
Wahl has been a trusted electric trimmer brand for 100 years, and the brand also produces a solid percussion massager for targeted tissue relief. It has a different design from most massage guns, and looks more traditional. But the long arm allows it to reach further on your back. It relies on an AC cord, so it may not be ideal for taking to the gym, but it’s perfect for using at home. 4 unique attachment heads are included.
Pros: Simple to use. Economical. 4 unique heads included. Up to 3,350 pulses per minute.
Cons: Relies on an AC cord, making it less portable than some other options.
7. addsfit Mini Massage Gun
Imagine taking all the power of your favorite massage gun and condensing it down into miniature size. This addsfit mini massage gun does just that, and is small enough to fit in your pocket. It’s perfect for deep tissue muscle work on specific, targeted areas. It has three different speeds, two different massage heads and offers up to 3200 strokes per minute. It’s made of a full metal body making it more durable than other guns, and it has an aerodynamic, noise-reducing shell so your therapeutic sessions won’t disturb others.
Pros: Battery life up to six hours, three speeds, comes with a trigger point massage head, portable size and design.
Cons: Doesn’t offer the same therapeutic massage for larger areas that bigger massage guns do.
8. Homech Massage Gun
This budget-friendly massager from Homech comes with 6 different attachments, making it a great option for working different muscles and parts of the body. The brushless motor delivers up to 3,200 RPM, and the rechargeable battery can last a long time between charges. The LED panel makes it easy to adjust speed and intensity.
Pros: Comes with 6 different interchangeable heads. Long battery life. Intuitive controls.
Cons: Some options are more powerful.
9. HoMedics Percussion Action Massager
This percussion massager from HoMedics delivers targeted relief for athletes or anyone with sore muscles, but the larger double head makes it easier to cover more surface area more quickly. Plus, it features a heat mode for even greater relief. It doesn’t compromise power for size, though — it still delivers up to 3,100 pulses per minute. The ergonomic handle is easy to hold, no matter how sweaty the workout.
Pros: Dual-head for greater surface area coverage, plus heat relief. Long neck for greater reach.
Cons: Relies on AC power, so not as portable as others.
10. Sportneer Percussion Massage Gun
Sportneer has created a powerful yet affordable massage gun, which boasts a sleek light-up design, easy-to-use controls and a variety of strength settings. On the low end, the Sportneer massage gun delivers a mild 1,200 strokes per minute, while the highest setting delivers an intense 3,200 strokes per minute. The quiet brushless motor won’t make too much noise and lasts for hours on a single charge. At the price point, it’s a quality percussive massager.
Pros: Powerful brushless motor that reduces noise, up to 3,200 strokes per minute and a wide range of speed settings. Lightweight and easy-to-use. Hours of battery life on a full charge. Carrying case included for portability.
Cons: The highest speed setting may be too intense. Massage head attachments could be sturdier and better designed.
11. TimTam Power Massager
TimTam’s massage gun has a super quiet motor that maxes out at 25dB, quieter than a whisper. The motor offers powerful speeds at up to 2500 strokes per minute, and it comes with its own carrying case so traveling with it is easy. The battery is good for up to 40 minutes of use each time, so not as long as other guns but plenty of time to get the therapeutic massage you need. It also comes in two colors — black and grey.
Pros: Powerful motor, carrying case, super quiet.
Cons: Battery life is not as long as other massage guns.
12. Cryotex Massage Gun
Cryotex sounds like some sinister technology from a superhero movie, and their massage gun kind of looks the part, too. But it’s the hero of your workout, because it provides targeted relief thanks to 4 speed levels, 4 smart modes and 6 interchangeable massager heads. There’s also a convenient battery display and settings display. There’s also a handy carrying case.
Pros: Multiple speed levels, 6 interchangeable heads. Includes carrying case.
Cons: Some options are more powerful.