Comparing the Best Massage Guns & Theragun Alternatives for 2021

best massage guns
Courtesy of Hyperice
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It seems like the whole world is finally in on the amazing, relieving secret that is the massage gun. 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. In fact, we’ve seen more interest in massage guns this year than we have in any other product featured on SPY, and so we’ve made it our mission to test and review as many as we can. We take a lot of pride in connecting our readers with the best massage guns.

The massage gun market is currently dominated by one brand: Theragun. However, thanks to the high price tag (Theragun massage guns cost between $300 and $600), a lot of fit individuals have been looking for more moderately-priced options as well.

  

Best Massage Gun of 2021: Theragun Prime

Last year, Theragun rebranded as Therabody and released a new generation of premium massage guns. Even the “basic” Theragun model, the Therabody Prime, outclasses the best massage guns from competitors. That’s why it’s our top pick among the best massage guns of 2021. While we haven’t actually tried out a massage gun from Therabody, we have tried out a bunch of the other Theragun alternatives on this list. Keep scrolling for our top picks for massage guns in 2021 for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, stressed-out individuals and everyone in between.

theragun therabody prime, best massage guns Courtesy of Therabody

Theragun Prime

$299.00

Theragun Prime

$299.00

This “simplified” percussive therapy massager has a quiet brushless motor and lasts for two hours on a full charge. Noise was a major problem with earlier Theragun products, but the Prime significantly cuts down on the noise. This massage gun has five speed settings that range from 1,750 strokes per minute to 2,400 strokes. Plus, it can connect to the new Therabody app via Bluetooth. Yet at $300, it’s much more expensive than the best massage guns on Amazon (see our top Theragun alternatives below).

  

How We Chose the Best Massage guns

So, why should you trust our massage gun reviews? To help our readers make the right purchase decision, we’ve tested a lot of massage guns over the past two years to see if they delivered on what their product descriptions promise. Recently, one of our editors, Taylor Galla, set up a trial station in her home gym for friends to try out various massage guns and vote on which one they liked best. Taylor is a certified yoga teacher and works out most days of the week alongside her partner and friends, so she had plenty to work from during the trial.

Taylor’s favorite was actually the Mini Massage Gun from addsfit, which came alongside the larger version that also topped the list. She also loved the regular-sized addsfit Massage Gun and the Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun for its slim design and power. Out of her athletically-inclined friends the reviews were mixed, but everyone loved the mini massage gun.

massage gun trial, best Theragun alternatives Image Courtesy of Taylor Galla, Spy Assistant Editor

The massage guns pictured, left to right, are the addsfit Massage Gun, the Ekrin Athletics B37 gun and the TriggerPoint Massage Gun. Reviews and detailed descriptions of all three are included in the round-up below, but these are only a handful of the massagers we’ve tested over the years. Most recently, Spy editors have also tested the new Hypervolt GO massage gun from Hyperice, as well as Sportneer’s line of massage guns, which we’ve also added to the shopping guide below.

We’ve assessed the massage guns in this piece based on a few criteria:

  • Overall design quality and materials
  • Motor intensity, overall power and strokes per minute settings
  • Battery life
  • Effectiveness
  • Quality of massage gun heads
  • Noise levels

Since the benefits of massage guns are somewhat subjective, especially when it comes to easing pain and discomfort, we’ve avoided assessing them solely on their ability to ease muscle soreness, but obviously that was a part of our testing criteria as well.

best massage guns Licensed From Adobe

  

Best Premium Massage Guns of 2021

1. Theragun Elite

Another great high-end massage gun from Theragun is their Elite model. As the middle ground between the Prime and Pro, it costs $400 and has many of the same features as the other two models. It’s got a QX65 motor with QuietForce technology, to keep it from emitting a disruptive sound during your relaxation sesh, and it’s got 120 minutes of battery life on each charge. It’s got a customizable speed range and OLED screen that shows you how fast it’s currently moving. The multi-grip design is signature to Therabody, and gives you multiple ways of grabbing the device. It also, like the Prime and Pro, has smart app integration.

Theragun Elite massage gun, best massage guns Courtesy of Amazon

Theragun Elite Massage Gun

$399.00

  

2. Theragun PRO

There are lots of budget massagers for sale in 2021, and we’ve featured our favorites below. But this isn’t a budget massage gun. If you’re looking for a professional quality massage gun like those used by elite athletes and physical therapists, then the Theragun PRO is one of the finest options in the world.  This Theragun model costs $600, so we only recommend it if you’re willing to make a significant investment in post-workout recovery.

What makes this massage gun so special? The PRO model features a brushless QX150 motor with QuietForce technology, more powerful than the Prime and Elite, but with the same quieting technology. It comes with two rechargeable batteries that each have 150 minutes of continuous battery life on each one, so the gun can theoretically last for 300 minutes total on a single charge. It’s got a customizable speed range between 1750-2400 PPMs, and an ergonomic multi-grip with a rotating arm so you’ve got plenty of flexibility in terms of positioning. It also connects to the Therabody app via Bluetooth so you can get personalized wellness routines sent to your phone, and tailor them based on your behaviors and preferences.

Theragun PRO massage gun Courtesy of Amazon

Theragun PRO Massage Gun

$599.00

  

3. Hypervolt 2 Pro by Hyperice

BEST THERAGUN ALTERNATIVE

Aside from Therabody, Hyperice is the other high-end brand worth paying attention to for top-notch technology and professional-grade recovery. The two brands make similar devices, have similar goals and branding, and basically directly compete with one another.

In September of 2021, Hyperice released a brand new line of massage guns — the Hypervolt 2 and Hypervolt 2 Pro, both revamped, upgraded versions of their original massage gun. SPY E-Commerce Editor Taylor Galla got a chance to try out both guns and thought they were both of superb quality. The Hypervolt 2 Pro is the best alternative to the Theragun Prime, as it’s $200 cheaper but still has a lot of the great features of a high-quality, luxury massage gun. This includes five percussion speeds, a 90W brushless motor, an ergonomic handle and design, and hours of battery life on a single charge.

ON SALE!

Hypervolt 2 pro massage gun, best massage guns Courtesy of Hyperice

Hypervolt 2 Pro

$399.00

Hypervolt 2 PRO

$349.00 $399.99 13% OFF

  

4. Theragun Mini

BEST FOR TRAVEL

The last massage gun in the Therabody lineup is the Theragun Mini, their small, portable and most affordable option. It’s still $200 for a small package, so it’s by no means an affordable massage gun, but it’s great if you want something you can throw in your backpack, gym bag or suitcase easily. It’s got a brushless QX35 motor, less powerful than their other guns but packs a punch for such a small package. It’s got 150 minutes of battery life, the ergonomic, grounded grip is super easy to hold and maneuver, and it’s got three calibrated speeds. If you want to go Therabody but can’t lug around a giant device, this is a great pick.

Theragun Mini Massage Gun, best massage guns Courtesy of Amazon

Theragun Mini Massage Gun

$199.00

  

5. Hypervolt 2

BEST 2021 RELEASE

The Hypervolt 2, their new-and-improved basic massage gun that’s not as technologically advanced as the 2 PRO is still a solid recovery device made with an ergonomic, lightweight design. It’s got a whisper quiet motor made with QuietGlide technology so a loud buzz won’t disrupt your massage session, and the whole gun is integrated with HyperSmart for personalized warm-up and recovery plans. It’s got three speeds, a brushless high-torque 60 watt motor and three pressure sensor levels. It’s also cordless, lightweight and portable and lasts for three hours on a single charge.

ON SALE!

Hypervolt 2 Pro massage gun, Courtesy of Hyperice

Hypervolt 2 Massage Gun

$299.00

  

6. Hypervolt GO

BEST PORTABLE

If the $300 price tag of the Hypervolt gives you pause, Hyperice also has a smaller, portable version of their signature massage gun called the Hypervolt GO. It’s 30% smaller, but just as powerful and feels great on sore muscles. Spy Editor Taylor Galla also got a chance to try out this gun and loved it. The massage gun, despite its smaller size and compact design, feels very high-quality, and weighs heavily in your hand like a tool you want to use. It’s got a powerful motor that’s still, somehow, very quiet. On the first speed setting, you can’t tell the gun is on unless you’re sitting right next to it. The higher the speed gets the louder it gets, but it never reaches a disruptive level. It only comes with two massage gun heads, which makes it easier to travel with, but they’re really the only two most users need — a flat palm head and a trigger point.

ON SALE!

Hypervolt GO massage gun, best theragun alternatives Courtesy of Amazon

Hypervolt GO Massage Gun

$159.00 $199.00 20% OFF

  

7. Hypervolt Plus

BLUETOOTH-ENABLED

Hyperice also has a Hypervolt Plus massage gun that boasts features such as 30% more power, Bluetooth-enabled speed controls and their patented QuietGlide technology. This massage gun is designed to seamlessly sync with an app for custom recovery programs, and the cordless body helps relax and recuperate sore muscles while improving mobility. It also has Hyperice’s Hypervolt Sensor Pressure Technology built in so you always know exactly how much pressure you’re applying to your muscles. It’s got three speed settings that go up to 3200 percussions per minute and lasts for three hours on each charge.

 

Hypervolt Plus by Hyperice Courtesy of Hyperice

Hypervolt Bluetooth

$299.00 $329.00 9% OFF

  

Best Mid-Range Massage Guns of 2021…

8. addsfit Deep Tissue Massage Gun

EDITOR-TESTED

This is an incredible massage gun for the price. It feels and looks very similar to a Hypervolt but costs about half the price. It has nine different adjustable speeds that vary between 1,700 and 3,300 percussions per minute, an amazing range that’s effective in massaging muscles throughout the body. During our testing, we found that even the first level of intensity was powerful enough to soothe sore muscles. It’s also not too heavy but still has enough weight to be forceful in its movements as you’re using it. The silicone massage heads are very well-made and super easy to switch out. We also found this gun to be much quieter than most Theragun alternatives, and it’s actually quiet enough that you can use it while watching TV without any disruption. Finally, like all of the best massage guns, the addsfit massager has a lengthy battery life.

Overall, we’re very impressed with the design and usability of this gun. It’s well-made, powerful and easily adapts to your preferences. It’s a bit bulky in it size and design, but when looking for a massage gun that’ll soothe your muscles, you’re not necessarily looking for something compact.

ON SALE!

addsfit massage gun, best theragun alternatives Courtesy of Amazon

addsfit Massage Gun

$129.98

  

9. Sonic Handheld Percussion Massage Gun

GREAT VALUE

Muscle relief doesn’t have to break the bank. This cheap massage gun from Sonic has thousands of 5-star ratings on Amazon from users, and overall a very positive ranking. 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 has proven extremely popular with SPY readers. If you’re looking for the best massage gun under $200, the Sonic has long been one of our top recommendations, and has been since early 2020, even as new products enter the market.

Read More: The Best Massage Gun Deals

ON SALE!

best massage guns - Sonic Handheld Percussion Massage Gun Courtesy of Amazon

Sonic Massage Gun

$119.99

  

10. addsfit Mini Massage Gun

SLEEK DESIGN

addsfit’s Mini Massage Gun is pocket-sized, sleekly designed and super handy for hitting trigger points or super sore spots throughout the body. It’s very lightweight and stylish, and comes with three different massage gun heads that are easy to change between. It’s got a one-button design so it’s very easy to turn on, off and scroll through the modes. Despite its small size it can still get up to 3200 strokes per minute, making it a powerful addition to your recovery regimen. You can find our full review of the addsfit Mini Massage Gun here.

addsfit mini massage gun, best massage guns Courtesy of Amazon

addsfit Mini Massage Gun

$67.99 $79.99 15% OFF

  

11. Sportneer Elite D9 Massage Gun

BUDGET PICK

We previously named the original Sportneer massage gun as our top Budget Buy, but Sportneer recently released an updated version of this popular massager, the Sportneer Elite D9 Massage Gun. The brand sent SPY this new gun for testing, and once again we’ve been impressed by this budget massager’s features. The newly updated Sportneer Massage Gun is whisper quiet at 30dB-40dB; however, the brushless motor still provides up to 3,200 strokes per minute, which is more than enough power for a satisfying deep tissue massage. Like most cheap massage guns, the massage heads could be of higher quality, and there’s no accompanying app or smart features.

Sportneer Elite D9 Massage Gun Courtesy of Amazon

Sportneer Elite D9 Massage Gun

$129.99

  

12. Exerscribe Vybe Pro

VERSATILE DESIGN

Exerscribe makes a few different massage guns, and we’ve previously recommended the brand’s $150 Vybe V2 massage gun. However, the brand’s new Vybe Pro delivers an impressive 3,400 strokes per minute. In our experience, anything above 3,000 will be painful for many users, especially around tighter muscles and bones, but it’s a powerful deep tissue massager for those looking for an intense deep tissue massage. This is also a highly versatile massager, with nine speed settings and eight massage head attachments. The Vybe Pro has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, nearly 3,100 5-star reviews, and it’s a great mid-tier option for athletes.

Vybe Pro 2 massage gun Courtesy of Amazon

Exerscribe Vybe Pro

$199.99

  

13. TimTam Massage Gun

MOST CUSTOMIZABLE

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, making it a great middle-tier option for athletes. 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 also 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.

tim tam massage gun Courtesy of Amazon

Tim Tam Power Massage Gun

$199.99 $249.99 20% OFF

  

14. Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun

ERGONOMIC DESIGN

We recently tested the Ekrin Athletics massage gun, and we really liked it. This massager has a slim design that’s gotten rid of unnecessary bulk. It has five different speeds built into it, and we appreciated that each setting felt like a substantial increase or decrease. The grip and ergonomic design is this gun’s biggest selling point, and you really can reach many parts of your body because of this. The functionality of the gun and buttons are less clear than other models we’ve tested, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this gun for older, technologically challenged users. The head attachments on the gun also felt less high-quality than on cheaper guns like the addsfit. That being said, we like the variety of options included. It’s also a relatively quiet gun, and the noise level won’t bother you while using it.

Ekrin athletics massage gun, best theragun alternatives Courtesy of Amazon

Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun

$229.99

Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun

$229.99

  

15. Sonic LX Professional Percussion Massage Gun

BEST FOR PROFESSIONALS

The best massage guns are perfect for athletes of all levels, but this product was built for professional bodyworkers like physical therapists, chiropractors and personal trainers, and it shows. This massage gun is powerful — built with a 2,000 mAh motor and 12mm of amps that can deliver an intense deep tissue massage with ease. It has nine different intensity levels, seven different massage heads and is ultra-quiet. It can last for up to four hours on a single charge and comes with a carrying case so it’s easily portable.

Sonic LX Professional Percussion Massage Gun, best massage guns Courtesy of Amazon

Sonix LX Professional Percussion Massage Gun

$179.99

  

Best Budget Massage Guns…

16. TriggerPoint Impact Handheld Percussion Massage Gun

BEST TRIGGER POINT MASSAGE

Trigger point massage is known for targeting a specific muscle, tendon or sore spot and easing tension through targeted pressure. Trigger point foam rollers are known for mimicking this massage therapy at home, and this massage gun is no different. The TriggerPoint massage gun offers four speeds of targeted therapy designed to increase blood flow, hydrate muscle tissue and improve your range of motion so you can prep and recover from workouts effectively. The top-weighted design and angled handle enable you to have better control over the gun and maximize its effectiveness. The motor is quiet, brushless and runs for over two hours consistently on a single charge.

One of our testers liked the weighted design because it enabled him to dig into muscle groups and sore points easier than with other guns. Another liked the feeling of the handle more than other guns. However, SPY editor Taylor Galla thought the plastic heads felt more superficial and less like a deep-tissue massage.

triggerpoint massage gun, theragun alternatives Courtesy of Amazon

TriggerPoint Impact Handheld Percussion Massage Gun

$155.98 $199.00 22% OFF

  

17. Mebak Deep Tissue Massage Gun

QUALITY PICK

This massage gun comes with all the desired features in a great massage gun, including seven different interchangeable heads and five different speeds that tap out at 3,200 RPM. It’s portable, quiet with a noise level range between 35-50dB, and has a long-lasting battery that can work continuously for 2-3 hours, or for 2-3 weeks with consistent, daily use. It’s got a clear LCD touch screen display you can use to change the speeds, and it only weighs 2.1 pounds making it travel friendly. It also has over 8,900 5-star reviews and has been given an “Amazon’s Choice” badge in the product category.

Mebak Deep Tissue Massage Gun, best massage gun Courtesy of Amazon

Mebak Massage Gun

$119.99

  

18. Renpho Portable Massage Gun

QUALITY PICK

This massage gun from Renpho has a perfect Amazon rating after over 8,000 reviews and is built to be portable, silent and powerful with five speeds up to 3200 percussions per minute. The Renpho massage gun comes with five different massage gun heads and a rechargeable battery with a long battery life for extended recovery sessions. It’s got a 10-minute auto-off protection feature designed to protect against muscle damage and the quiet brushless motor taps out at 45 decibels at the highest speed, making it great for the office, gym or home use.

Renpho portable massage gun, best massage guns Courtesy of Amazon

Renpho Powerful Portable Massage Gun

$79.99 $99.99 20% OFF

  

What Are The Best Massage Guns?

We’ve gathered the best massage guns and split them up into two camps — high-end massage guns and mid-range and budget massage guns. You can get a great deal on a massage gun for less than $100, or spend over $500 on a machine built for optimizing athletic performance. The average user certainly can spend that much on their recovery devices, but can also skip some of the higher-end features and still take care of their body.

If you’re looking for premium massage guns, then Therabody massage guns are effective, high-quality tools. Of course, there’s still the problem of the price tag.

You can buy the Theragun Prime for $300, while the new Theragun Elite will set you back $400. The Theragun Pro costs $600 and comes with two rechargeable batteries and an adjustable massage arm, among other bells and whistles. That’s great for pro athletes, but outside most people’s budget. Unfortunately, some of the highest quality alternatives to the Theragun are actually more expensive than the cheapest Theragun models.

In the shoppin guide above, we’ve gathered the best massage guns on the market from high-end brands, Theragun and Hyperice, as well as great options for mid-range and budget massage guns from brands such as Sonic, Tim Tam, addsfit and Cryotex. Mane of the options featured in this guide are available on Amazon, and all of them are built to soothe aches, pains and help your muscles recover after tough training sessions.

  

Benefits of Massage Guns

Massage guns are a great way to supplement professional massage therapy from a masseuse at home, and reduce your muscle soreness and pain with a portable, easy-to-use device. Massage guns are designed to help stimulate blood flow to targeted areas and reduce pain post-workout to help your body recover. They also help to scramble up fascia so your body can reorganize it post-workout and grow stronger in the process. I personally love using massage guns because they’re great for overall muscle maintenance and recovery alongside a rigorous stretching routine and consistent use of a foam roller. They’re great for easing pain in hot spots and super sore areas quickly, and are relaxing to use after a long day or grueling training session.

If you want to invest in the best massage guns, then the brands to know are Theragun and Hypervolt. The lower you go in price, the more you will sacrifice in quality. However, another important factor in receiving the benefits of any massage gun is knowing how to use it effectively. We’ve created a guide on how to use massage guns that any user, new or experienced, will find helpful.

Read More: How to Use a Massage Gun

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Massage Guns

What Are Massage Guns?

Massage guns are percussive therapy devices that provide deep-tissue massage to muscle groups throughout the body anywhere via strong, powerful, relatively quiet motors. They often come with multiple speed and intensity settings, and some come with interchangeable heads. They offer relief and recovery in a handheld package.

What Is the Best Massage Gun?

The best massage gun for you depends on a lot of things — your unique body, your recovery needs and your budget. Therabody makes the best massage guns, they're most known for their Theragun collection. However, their guns tend to be expensive, so we've provided a list of more affordable alternatives here.

How Do You Use a Massage Gun?

Good question. We've got a whole guide on the best ways to use a massage gun. Start on the lowest setting and sense your comfort level from there. Point the gun directly at your muscle and let the head massage your tissues, moving across the muscle group. Avoid joints, bony points or super sore spots. They're excellent for working out knots, kinks or sore muscles — but you want to make sure it's the good kind of discomfort rather than the painful kind. Please consult a doctor or physical therapist before starting any new recovery regimens.

How Often Should You Use a Massage Gun?

This depends on the individual, but no more than once a day is a good rule of thumb. Because of the intensity of percussive therapy, every time you use one you are introducing tiny traumas to your muscular tissues, so you want to be tactful about how hard and often you're using a massage gun. They can be great for quick sessions right before or after a workout, or right before bed to calm the body.

What is the Best Budget Massage Gun?

Massage guns tend to be expensive, but their popularity has spurred the creation of some super high-quality budget options. Currently, our pick for the best budget massage gun is the Sonic Handheld Percussion Massage Gun. It comes with all the features you want from your massage gun, including eight different massage gun heads, five powerful speeds and a quiet brushless motor. It's also available for less than $100, and is regularly on sale.

What is the Best Massage Gun for Travel?

If you're regularly on-the-go and want to take your massage gun with you, then the Hypervolt Go is a solid pick. We've tested this one hands-on, and it's got a compact design that's easy to throw in a suitcase or backpack. It's got a high-torque, QuietGlide motor as well as three different speeds to choose from up to 3200 RPM. It only weighs 1.5lbs, so it's lightweight and easy to use, and it's TSA-approved to bring in any carry on suitcase.

  

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