This year a lot of athletes discovered the benefits of massage guns. These workout recovery devices used to be a sports massage and stress-relief secret kept on the down-low by pro athletes and physical therapists. Now, these tools are being adopted by everyone from casual runners to occasional weightlifters. The massage gun market is currently dominated by one brand: Theragun. However, thanks to the high price tag (Theragun massage guns cost between $400 and $600), a lot of athletes have gone looking for reasonably priced Theragun alternatives.
Why is the Theragun so expensive? These small, gun-shaped devices aren’t like the handheld massagers that have come before. Those awkward devices rarely provided any actual relief from pain and soreness, and they were more of a Brookstone novelty than a genuine massage tool. Theragun delivers a major upgrade to regular handheld massagers with a more precise, concentrated 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.
If you’ve got the means, investing in a Theragun is more than worth it. Their G3PRO model is currently priced at $450 on Amazon and has their scientifically-calibrated technology for doing everything from relieving surface-level muscle tension to deeply treating and massaging muscle tissues for faster recovery. The no-strain grip is very comfortable to hold while working through hot spots and kinks. Plus, the high-quality materials used to construct this device create one of the quietest massage experiences available.
What Are The Best Theragun Alternatives?
The Theragun is an effective, high quality tool, but there’s still the problem of the price tag. The Theragun G3 model is currently priced at $400, the mid-range G3Pro costs $450, while the G3 Premium massage gun will set you back $600. That’s outside most people’s budgets. Unfortunately, some of the highest quality alternatives to the Theragun are actually more expensive than the cheapest Theragun models.
Dependable massage guns from trusted brands aren’t cheap. As a result, we went looking for affordable Theragun alternatives, with some starting at just $90. However, not every cheap massage gun you can find on Amazon is worth buying. Whenever a new device becomes popular, a lot of cheap imitations enter the market to capitalize on the trend. We saw the same problem with hoverboards a few years ago. Once hoverboards become the must-have device, offshore manufacturers and drop-shippers flooded the market with look-a-like products, some of which had a tendency to catch fire unexpectedly. Unfortunately, thanks to the popularity of the Theragun and other percussion massagers, you will find a lot of fakes and look-a-likes for sale.
If you want to invest in a massage gun, the best brands to know are Theragun and Hypervolt. The lower you go in price, the more you will sacrifice in quality. That being said, if you’re looking for the best massage guns and low-priced Theragun alternatives available, keep reading for the most popular products.
1. Hypervolt Massage Device
BEST THERAGUN ALTERNATIVE
At $319, the Hypervolt Massage gun (from Hyperice) isn’t that much cheaper than the Theragun, but some sports therapists actually prefer the Hypervolt to the Theragun, and not just because of the lower price. Hypervolt has quietly become one of the best massage gun brands in the market. The Hypervolt costs slightly more than our other options, but it justifies its price tag with a super quiet motor, 3-speed settings that max out at 3200 strokes-per-minute, and the best construction around (other than the Theragun). If you can swing it, the build quality and brand reliability of Hypervolt is worth the extra dough.
The features that set Hypervolt massage guns apart from Theragun:
- Better variable speed and pressure settings
- Super quiet motor
- Comes with five different attachments
- Longer battery life than the Theragun
2. Sonic Handheld Percussion Massage Gun
Muscle relief doesn’t have to break the bank. This massage gun from LifePro has a mix of positive and negative reviews on Amazon, with an overall positive rating. It has a lot of the same features as other popular massage guns but at a much better price point. The Sonic isn’t as loud as some Theragun alternatives, and it costs less than $200. The Sonic also has five speed settings and comes with a variety of attachments. Like the best massage guns, the Sonic delivers a targeted and powerful massage with thousands of percussions per minute. This device ranges from 1200 to 2800 strokes-per-minute, slightly less than the Hypervolt. However, like the Hypervolt, it features a quiet motor, a comfortable grip, and a long battery life.
3. Exerscribe Brushless Massage Gun
BEST BUDGET BUY
In terms of price, this Exerscribe massage gun is one of the best massage guns on Amazon. It has a variable angle massage arm, up to 40 strokes-per-second (the same as the Theragun) and a very reasonable price tag of $125. Reviewers are mostly satisfied, as the gun has more than 1,400 reviews and 4.4/5 stars, with many users noting the gun’s incredible pain-relief abilities. However, not all of the Exerscribe’s massage gun reviews are so positive. This is a really loud massage gun, and multiple users have reported that the device stopped working about 30 days after delivery.
4. Sportneer Percussion Massage Gun
We received a Sportneer massage gun for testing, and after trying it out, we were impressed by this device’s easy operation, compact design and intensity. With a very reasonable price of $140 and similar features as premium massage guns like the Theragun and Hypervolt, Sportneer’s massage gun is well worth the money. While Theragun products only have two speed settings, this product has five intensity levels ranging from 1200 to 3200 strokes-per-minute, which equals the highest setting on the Hypervolt. And like the Hypervolt, the Sportneer has an ultra-quiet motor that maxes out at 55 decibels. We were surprised at how quiet this gun is, especially at the highest setting (which will be too intense for most people).
The attachments that come with the Sportneer could be higher quality. The main massage ball head works very well, as does the fork head attachment. However, some of the massage heads are made out of a lighter, hollow plastic. The massage heads also don’t work as well at an angle, and the Sportneer doesn’t have an adjustable arm like Theragun, TimTam or Exerscribe. Overall, these are minor issues, and this is a great alternative to the Hypervolt or Theragun. Here’s the bottom line: this is one of the best massage guns under $200, with premium features at an affordable price point.
5. TimTam Massage Gun
Another great massage gun under $300 comes from athletic brand TimTam. It offers a slight upgrade over the other budget massage guns on this list. Like the Hypervolt (and unlike the Theragun), the massage head can be adjusted on a 90-degree angle, which helps massage harder to reach areas of the body. This powerful massage gun comes with its own carrying case, a lithium-ion battery charger, and a swappable battery pack. Because you can swap out the battery (buy extra batteries direct from TimTam), this is an excellent Theragun alternative for athletes who travel and sports therapists. The ergonomic design makes this an easy to use massager that provides instant relief to sore muscles.
6. opove Massage Gun
With 4.8/5 stars and more than 4,800 reviews, this massage gun from opove is one of the highest-rated Theragun alternatives on our list. One key feature (that many happy reviewers mention) is a quiet noise level of 35db to 55db. This makes the opove quieter than most other options, which makes a bigger difference than you might expect when massaging while watching TV, working or having a conversation. This massager also features a comfort grip, which is important at the higher settings.
The opove only has three intensity settings, 1800, 2400 and 3200 strokes-per-minute. It’s a powerful massage gun, but there fewer settings to choose from if you prefer a gentler massage. The opove Massage Gun comes with a carrying case for relief on the go and four attachments to customize your massage experience. This massager also boasts a longer charge time than many similar products.
7. LifePro Pulse Fx
BEST FOR TRAVEL
This incredibly compact massage gun has powerful percussion capabilities and comes with its own protective travel case so packing and carrying it is easy. Your average percussive gun comes with 10mm of amplitude, this baby packs 16mm of amplitude that intensely penetrates your muscles, soothing and reshaping fascia in the process. The handle is easy to grip and the head’s arm has three different adjustable angles for getting to those hard-to-reach spots. The powerful vibrations will send ripples of therapeutic relaxing pulses through your muscles backed by a 250W motor with a battery life up to 7 hours. Customize your massage to your needs with three adjustable speeds and a variety of heads for doing different types of massage work.
Spotting Fakes, Dupes & Look-a-likes When Shopping for Massage Guns
Because the best Theragun alternatives also cost more than $300, many athletes are looking for massage gun bargains. Unfortunately, thanks to the sudden popularity of percussion massagers, a lot of sketchy off-shore manufacturers and drop shippers have started selling massage guns, too. In fact, these companies often use Theragun and Hypervolt branding to trick customers.
If you aren’t careful, you may think you’ve found a great deal on a massage gun from a top brand, only to realize you’ve accidentally purchased a low quality look-a-like.
At first glance, the product listing above looks promising. A carbon fiber Hypervolt Plus for only $147. Unfortunately, Hypervolt doesn’t make a $147 carbon fiber massage gun. If an unwary customer were to click this link, they would end up on a third-party website. Even the link that says “See more details at Hypervolt” delivers you to a third-party website, one that does not offer genuine Hyperice products.
To avoid getting ripped off when looking for massage guns and Theragun alternatives, only purchase products from retailers you trust. Also, pay close attention to the product photos. Most popular massage guns feature the company’s branding on the product itself. A genuine Hypervolt massage gun will have the branding “Hypervolt” and “Hyperice” printed on the side and back of the product respectively. Likewise, a genuine Theragun will have “Theragun” printed on the side.
When looking for the best massage guns for sale online, be sure to practice due diligence and common sense. Before making a purchase, double-check the product photos and stick with trusted retailers like Amazon and DICK’S Sporting Goods. Massage gun reviews hosted on retailer websites can also be a reliable indicator.