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. The massage gun market is currently dominated by one brand: Theragun. However, thanks to the high price tag (a Theragun massage gun costs 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’re looking for an affordable Theragun, their lightweight Liv gun is one of our favorites, delivering relief via a fast-moving massage head (40 rates-per-second) and a highly portable design. It’s the creme-of-the-crop when it comes to massage guns, and it’s what you’ll find in the lockers of many athletes and fitness geeks.
Even better, as of January 2020, Theragun dropped the price on the Liv massage gun from $399 to $249, a steep $150 discount. This model may not be available for long, so take advantage of this deal while it’s still available.
What Are The Best Theragun Alternatives?
The Theragun is very high-quality and very effective, but there’s still the problem of the price tag. The Theragun G3 model is currently priced at $400, 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 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 brands in the massage gun 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 rates-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. Exerscribe Brushless Massage Gun
In terms of value, this Exerscribe massage gun is one of the best massage guns on Amazon. It has a variable angle massage arm, up to 40 rates-per-second (the same as the Theragun) and a very reasonable price tag of $150. Reviewers are mostly satisfied, as the gun has over 750 reviews and 4.4/5 stars, with many users noting the gun’s incredible pain-relief abilities. However, not all reviews of the Exerscribe are positive. This is a really loud massage gun, and multiple users have reported that the device stopped working about 30 days after delivery.
3. 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.
4. 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 power passage gun comes with its own carrying case and a lithium-ion battery plus charger. The ergonomic design makes this as easy to use massager.
5. opove Massage Gun
With 4.8/5 stars and over 1,700 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 39db. 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. 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.
6. Reathlete Percussive Massage Gun
BEST FOR TRAVEL
If you’re willing to up your budget a bit, go for this Reathlete massage gun. It boasts a more high-quality, streamlined design than most affordable massage guns, and also features a 3-angle adjustable arm. The gun (plus three other massage heads) fits neatly in a premium carrying case. This upgraded case, plus an impressive 8-hour battery life, makes this gun perfect for traveling and athletes on the road. Plus, the quiet brushless motor won’t wake up the neighbors while you’re trying to soothe your tired muscles.
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.
Before buying a massage gun, 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.