The Best Massage Guns

best massage guns
Courtesy of Therabody

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Narrowing in on the best massage guns took some work. It’s a product category that has continued to expand in the past couple of years, as fitness and massage enthusiasts alike have embraced the convenient portability of these popular devices. In our experience, a massage gun can be a very useful tool for recovering from intense workouts, easing muscle soreness throughout the body and providing satisfying deep tissue massage anytime, anywhere. They usually weigh only a few pounds but can provide powerful relief through multiple speeds and intensity levels, making them a device almost anyone can benefit from.

SPY has been testing massage guns ever since these products first came on the market. To bring you the most elite products, we tested over 20 different massage guns from 10 different brands, including the entire collections from Therabody and Hyperice. We’ve also called in a number of the highest-rated massage guns on Amazon and the most popular budget massage guns. We performed rigorous testing on these products to assess criteria such as ergonomic design, battery life, motor power and portability. After years of testing and staying on top of the latest massage gun trends, we’ve narrowed down our selection to a list of five different massage guns, which represent a variety of designs and price points.

If you’re looking for the best massage guns, we’re confident you’ll find them in our guide below.

selection of the best massage guns in front of brick wall A selection of massage guns tested by SPY.com. Taylor Galla | SPY
  

How We Chose the Best Massage Guns

Why should you trust our ranking? We’ve tested a lot of massage guns over the past few years. Between all members of the SPY team, we’ve tested upwards of 20 different massage guns from 10 different brands including high-end, splurge guns from Therabody and top-rated budget options from Amazon.

Senior E-Commerce Editor Taylor Galla has tested the majority of our picks, setting up a testing facility in her home gym where she analyzed everything from grip design to battery life, massage gun head quality and the durability of the cases.

massage gun testing A selection of the massage guns tested by SPY.com. Taylor Galla | SPY.com

It’s no surprise that Therabody took many of the top spots in our ranking, as the quality of their guns is hard to beat. However, they also have price tags that are outside of most people’s budgets, so we made sure to factor that into our rankings as well.

We assessed all of the massage guns we tried according to the following criteria:

  • Speed Range: Number and range of speed settings
  • Battery Life: How long does the brand claim the battery lasts, and how long it actually lasts
  • Motor: The power, depth and force of the motor
  • Overall Design: Is the gun ergonomically designed? Any “wow” factors? Is it easy to use?
  • Quality and Effectiveness of the Treatment: Does the massage gun feel like it’s making a difference? How effective was it at easing soreness?
  • Noise Level: How loud is it? Is it disruptive?
  • Storage Options: Does it come with a case? How easy is it to store and move around with?
  • Self Massage vs. Others: How easy is it to massage yourself? How about another person?

A note about massage gun heads: 

Many massage guns tout the number of interchangeable massage gun heads included with the gun as a plus, and use them as a selling point. However, our product testers found that the number of attachments a gun has matters less than the quality of the gun itself. Also, the most used massage gun heads in our tests were the palm, trigger and ball-shaped heads. All the others were barely used and largely deemed unnecessary.

  

Is Bluetooth Worth It When Buying a Massage Gun?

A few of the luxe massage gun options from Therabody included in our picks above come with Bluetooth capabilities that enable you to build a custom recovery plan in the Therabody app, sync it with your gun and run it from there. This recovery plan may include switching between different intensities for different amounts of time, and moving the gun to certain parts of your body depending on the intensity being used, much like a physical therapist would.

Our editors didn’t find this feature particularly useful, and more a way for the brand to bolster their products and call them “smart.” In reality, we believe that most folks will turn on their massage gun, adjust the speed based on where their body needs soothing and go from there. You don’t need to overcomplicate it with Bluetooth, and you can receive the same benefit from using the gun without using an app.

Man using Bluetooth features with Theragun PRO Courtesy of Therabody
  

Why Trust SPY When Shopping for the Best Massage Guns?

We’ve tested many of the top-rated massage guns over the course of the past few years, and our Senior E-Commerce Editor Taylor Galla spent weeks testing the newest massage guns for this guide. We carefully tested every feature, interchangeable head and button they come with. Some of our favorite massagers offered more than we knew was possible in a small handheld device, while others fell short of what we were expecting and didn’t make the cut. Every massage gun on this list has been compared to dozens of other models and tested against the strict criteria we outlined above.

After all of this time, we’re experts in this product category, and won’t steer you wrong. Every massage gun on this list is one we would purchase for our loved ones suffering from muscle soreness, or our partners whose necks cramp up after sitting at a computer all day.

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.

In reviewing the Theragun Prime, we felt that it was the Goldilocks option between the more expensive Therabody offerings. The PRO and Elite are designed for professional athletes and bodyworkers. If you’re an athlete or a physical therapist, these may be worth it. But for the average gym-goer, the Prime will deliver on the necessary features. It has five speeds and an ergonomic grip, but none of the features go overboard.

Pros: Ergonomic grip, quiet, powerful motor and convenient app integration.

Cons: Less affordable price tag than other massage guns.

theragun prime massage gun, best massage guns Courtesy of Amazon

2. VYBE Premium Massage Gun

In our tests, VYBE rose to the top of the heap for those shopping for economical, budget-friendly massage guns. We found that with other budget massage guns, our reviewers had to turn up the vibration to at least the third intensity level to get results. VYBE, on the other hand, has a powerful motor and five different intensities which are useful at each level.

The massage gun delivers 30 pounds of force, and the top vibration intensity reaches 3200 reps per minute. It offers 10 millimeters of depth and comes with five interchangeable massage gun heads that are very easy to switch out.

Lastly, the user controls on this gun are very easy to use. The massage gun is controlled by a single button, and the lights on the handle clearly display the speed and battery life.

Pros: Economical option. Works at lower modes as well as higher levels. Heads are easy to change

Cons: Not as powerful as top picks.

massage gun Courtesy of Amazon

3. Theragun PRO

In our tests, we felt that the Theragun PRO lived up to its name (and price tag). While the average person likely doesn’t need the power and features the Theragun PRO delivers, its performance is undoubtedly impressive.

Compared with other Theragun massagers and other brands, this option is larger and heavier, but also more powerful. It also packs a longer battery life. It comes with two removable lithium batteries for recharging, allowing you to swap out the batteries between uses.

The grip on the back makes it easier to hold, despite its substantial heft. This isn’t the most portable option because of its size, but the carrying case still makes it manageable to throw in your gym bag and take on the go if you needed to. The rotating arm makes it easier to reach every trouble spot on your body. Plus, the foam massage gun head is great for gentle therapy for any injured or sensitive areas.

Pros: Premium performance. Two removable batteries for longer use between charges. Easy to hold despite size.

Cons: Less portable than other options. More expensive.

massage gun Courtesy of Amazon

4. Theragun Mini

Despite trying many, many premium options, one of our reviewer’s favorites was the Theragun Mini, which is small and easy to use. Despite the lack of a traditional handle, the Mini is surprisingly easy to hold. Plus, it makes it easier to apply direct pressure, since the grip is directly above the head, rather than offset. For your regular workouts, this is one of the best options.

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 three speeds that are calibrated to maximize relief.

Pros: Portable option. Three speeds. Comes with a handy carrying case. Quiet. Small size is easy to grip.

Cons: Some options have a longer battery life.

massage gun Courtesy of Amazon

5. Hyperice Hypervolt GO Massage Gun

Most massage guns are at least kind of portable, but the Hypervolt GO makes it extra easy to toss it in your bag and take it on the move. Plus, it’s a streamlined option that strips away unnecessary features. There are no excessive heads that won’t get used; only palm and trigger point massage heads are included, which is really what you need. And the silicone grip is easy to handle.

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.

Hypervolt GO massage gun, best massage guns Courtesy of Amazon

6. Sportneer Percussion Massage Gun

With massage guns, you really do get what you pay for. While we like the Sportneer massage gun, it doesn’t deliver the same motor power that we expect from top brands like Theragun and Hypervolt. That said, this is one of the best budget massage guns, and it comes with handy design details that make it easy to use.

This Sportneer gun has a handy dial on the back to adjust the speed, and there are six interchangeable massage gun heads. It has a nice weight to it without being too heavy, and the handle has silicone material on it for grip. It comes with a large case with slots for each gun head, a charger and the body of the gun itself.

Like other budget massage guns, this one includes more massage gun heads than are really necessary, perhaps in a bid to stand out from the competition. That said, in our tests, we found that Sportneer’s massage gun delivers solid results.

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.

Percussion Massage Gun Courtesy of Amazon