Many massage gun users swear by the gadget’s ability to help relax muscles, boost post-workout muscle recovery, and prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMs) by increasing blood flow to the soft tissues and reducing lactic acid buildup.
While researchers have yet to confirm the efficacy of massage guns specifically, studies do support the therapeutic capabilities of vibration therapy and massage, both of which are part of percussive therapy.
Our Top Picks :
1-Best Quiet: OPOVE M3 Pro Massage Gun
When searching for a massage gun, experts say noise control should be high on your priorities list—especially if you plan to use it around your neck and shoulders for stiffness and soreness.
“When you use a massage gun, noise is generated by the motor units, which is important to consider when you plan to use the device on muscles closer to the ears,” said Latoya Julce, a fitness professional and registered nurse in New York City.
The OPOVE M3 Pro is one of the quietest massage guns on the market. Its 24-volt, high-torque brushless motor keeps noise between 35 and 55 decibels. Even on the highest of its three different speed settings, it’s quieter than the lowest setting of most other massage guns.
Its battery life is also competitive, clocking in around three hours for one full charge. And at 2.5 pounds, it’s a pretty lightweight option as well. Plus, it comes with a convenient carrying case so you don’t have to worry about misplacing its various attachments.
“Be careful about relying on guns as your only recovery tool. You should also stretch, rest, get massages, and try cold and heat therapies to maintain flexibility and aid muscle recovery.”—Latoya Julce, fitness professional and registered nurse in New York City
Best Budget: Exerscribe Vybe Percussion Massage Gun
Yes, you can enjoy many of the benefits of higher-end massage guns for a fraction of the price. Weighing 2.5 pounds, the Vybe can handle up to 60 pounds of force before stalling (just like the Theragun G3PRO), providing both deep percussion and strong pressure.
You can choose from six different speed settings and feel confident that it can reach any muscle in need, thanks to its adjustable arm. It also comes with two swappable, rechargeable batteries, keeping it going for up to three hours.
This model from Exerscribe is the least expensive of the three they offer, but that doesn’t make it an inferior choice. The only real sacrifice made here is in the noise department—it’s a pretty loud device.
“I would recommend trying a few massage guns before buying one. And while it’s tempting to use the gun for longer sessions, limit percussive therapy to one or two minutes per muscle targeted. Also, if you’re prone to blood clots, you may want to check with your doctor before using a massage gun.”—Cori Giuliani, ACE-certified trainer at OrangeTheory Fitness
Best Portable: Hyperice Hypervolt
The Hypervolt is a favorite among many fitness trainers (including our expert source Cori Guiliani) because it’s easy to transport from location to location and use on a variety of clients for their unique needs.
It weighs just 2.5 pounds and sports an ergonomic design that fits easily in any gym bag. It also comes with five different attachments and offers three different speed settings, making it a versatile tool.
Even better, it’s quick to recharge after a battery life of almost three hours, and it has a gauge that reveals exactly how much battery it has left when it’s turned on. The Hypervolt also delivers on the quiet front, using a proprietary silencing technology to keep the percussion noise to a minimum.
Best High-Intensity: TimTam Power Massager Pro
If you typically opt for more aggressive deep tissue massages, this device is one of your best home alternatives.
The TimTam Power Massager Pro is lightweight, quieter than many other options on the market, and more powerful, so it can help relieve your muscle soreness faster (the manufacturer says in 60 seconds).
It also features a unique, auto-heating tip and a vibration attachment, providing two more soothing elements of a traditional massage in one device.
The TimTam Power Massager Pro features a 175-degree rotating head and makes 50 percent less noise than the brand’s previous model. The only downside: Its battery life is pretty low, clocking in at about an hour.
Best Battery Life: Lnchett Massage Gun
If you’re the person who always forgets to charge your phone, this massage gun is the one for you. Our expert, Latoya Julce, says good battery life is key for massage guns, “especially for trainers on the go tending to multiple clients.”
This massager comes equipped with rechargeable lithium batteries and has a long-lasting battery life of six to eight hours. The LED touch screen will notify when battery is running low and also lets you easily control the speed of the device.
It has six massage heads for total-body relief and 20 speed levels. The brushless high-torque delivers 500 to 3500 per minute, so it’s best for those who enjoy deeper pressure massages.
Best High-End: Theragun G3PRO
Theragun is the pioneer of massage gun products, and the G3PRO is their top-of-the-line option with a price tag to match. With that said, it definitely gets the job done.
It comes equipped with six attachments and an adjustable arm so users of all heights can target any part of their body successfully.
Handling up to 60 pounds of force before stalling, it provides pretty powerful percussive therapy.
While its battery life is only 75 minutes, the GP3PRO comes with two batteries both of which are rechargeable, so you can use them interchangeably.
The percussion speed of the GP3PRO makes it a louder option, which is something to be mindful of if you plan on using it in a public space like the gym. On the plus side, it comes with a nice carrying case and an interactive app.
What to Look for in a Massage Gun
The motors that power massage guns can be surprisingly loud, so it can be a rather unpleasant experience to use them on neck and shoulder muscles. Luckily, lots of newer models have prioritized decreasing this motor noise.
This term refers to the amount of pressure you can apply to the head of the massage gun before the motor stalls. Folks who want deeper, more aggressive percussive therapy typically need massage guns with higher stall force.
Because these devices are often held with one hand, weight is an important factor. You want to feel confident that you can hold the massage gun steadily and safely on the targeted muscle while it’s running at its top speed.
Some massage guns come with a handful of head attachments, some offer an adjustable head angle on the device itself, some provide both of these features, and some neglect both.
Consider customizability as you think about which muscles you typically need to target and how many different types of massage therapy you enjoy using on those muscles.
Our Top Picks
Best Quiet: OPOVE M3 Pro Massage Gun at Amazon
“Even on the highest of its three speeds, this device is quieter than the lowest speed of most other massage guns.”
Best Budget: Exerscribe Vybe Percussion Massage Gun at Amazon
“With this device, you’ll enjoy many of the benefits of higher-end massage guns for a fraction of the price.”
Best Portable: Hyperice Hypervolt at Amazon
“A favorite among fitness trainers who are always on the go and use it on a variety of clients with unique needs.”
Best High-Intensity: TimTam Power Massager Pro at Amazon
“If you typically opt for more aggressive deep tissue massages, this device is one of your best home alternatives.”
Best Battery Life: Lnchett Massage Gun at Amazon
“The massager comes equipped with rechargeable lithium batteries and has a long-lasting battery life of six to eight hours.”
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