The 7 Best Massage Guns to Soothe Your Tired, Achy Muscles
With all of the at-home workouts we’ve been doing these days (not to mention the hours we’ve spent seated in front of the boob tube binging our favorite shows!), our muscles need more than a little TLC. Enter: massage guns. These handy little tools use rapid vibration to hammer their way into your soft tissue, and, in turn, increase your blood flow. According to the Cleveland Clinic, this can be an effective means of reducing knots and decreasing tight muscle tissue ahead of your workouts, which may lessen your likelihood of injury.
Alternately, these gadgets aim to provide relief to pressure points in areas like your neck, back and shoulders, and reduce (or at the very least, delay) post-workout inflammation and soreness by lowering your muscles' ability to create a buildup of lactic acid—the source of all that discomfort. The best massage gun for you will depend on several key factors, including the amount of pressure applied, the speed of vibration, the battery life, the weight and the noise level.
Here are a few key things to look for when purchasing one of these machines.
- Amplitude: The amplitude of a massage gun can tell you just how far the gun can travel on your body and how deep the vibration will go into your muscles. Most full-sized guns range between 9 to 16 millimeters of power, while mini massage guns range between 6 to 8 millimeters.
- Stall force: Stall force, on the other hand, will tell you how much force you can use on the gun before the internal motor will stall. If you're pushing harder than the machine can handle, the other factors won't matter, so you want to make sure you choose one that's sturdy enough for your preferred push.
- Speed: The higher the speed of a massage gun, the more intense the massage will be, so you want to find one that's comfortable for you. Since this will vary from person to person, not to mention the situation (your knotted neck muscles may need a more intense vibration, for instance, than your thigh), your best bet is to choose one that has varying speed settings for you to choose from at any given time.
- Weight: Weight is another important factor to consider when purchasing a massage gun, as an ultra-heavy gun may not be comfortable to use for prolonged periods. Generally, the lighter your gun, the easier it will be for you to maneuver.
- Battery: Generally, a decent massage gun will last you two to three hours, though some may have shorter run times than others. If you're looking to luxuriate in an ultra-long massage, you'll want to choose one with a longer battery life.
- Noise: All that vibration therapy can get a little noisy! If the sound bothers you, this is another factor to consider when making your purchase.
Can Massage Guns Help with Cellulite?
Vibration therapy has proven effective at lessening cellulite, which is a clumpy area on the skin’s surface caused by fat cells multiplying in between the skin and the muscles. Massage guns increase blood flow to the area affected by cellulite, breaking up the fat for the body to absorb.
How to Use a Massage Gun
You can safely use a massager for 15 to 20 minutes two to three times a day, depending on the strength and type of massager. Excessive use of a massager can result in bruising and muscle exhaustion, so talk to your doctor before significantly ramping up your massager use. You should also avoid using a massager on bony areas.
1. Best Overall: Theragun PRO Massage Gun
- Comfortable, ergonomic handle
- 60 percent deeper amplitude than previous models
- Five built-in speeds with additional custom speed options
- Four angled arm positions and six attachments
There’s a reason Theragun is one of the most well-known massage gun brands: Its products have a reputation for being high quality and effective—something ONE37pm fashio
2. Highest Rated: OPOVE M3 Pro Massage Gun
- Anti-drop shell
- Three speed levels
- Convenient carrying case
It may not be a Theragun, but customers seem to love the OPOVE M3 Pro. The ideal compromise between affordability (it’s only $129) and quality, this baby has four different attachment heads that are specifically designed to work each muscle group in different ways. It's got three different speeds can be used to warm up, relax or deeply massage muscles, and it also comes with a convenient carrying case, which we love for runs to the gym.
3. Easiest to Use: LifePro Sonic Massage Gun
- Quiet brushless motor
- Five levels of intensity and eight massage heads
If this is your first foray into the world of massage guns, LifePro has you covered. Its easy-start guide and included video library will show you exactly how to use this machine. Before you know it, using the eight interchangeable heads to improve recovery, loosen tight muscles and release knots will become second nature. The round tool works to reduce soreness post-workout, and the spinal head loosens tight back tissues. For more heavy-duty relief, the bullet-shaped heads are designed to release knots, while the flat tool will simulate a no-nonsense deep-tissue massage.
4. Quietest: Hyperice Hypervolt Massage Gun
- QuietGlide technology
- Three speed settings
- Five massage heads
If you've ever used a massage gun, you know that they can be pretty loud. Not this one. With QuietGlide technology that was developed in collaboration with aerospace engineers, the Hyperice Hypervolt massage gun delivers tension-relieving percussion of up to 3,200 percussions per minute—all while remaining nearly inaudible. That means can use it without waking your finally-asleep baby or even disrupting your partner's Netflix binge. At 5.89 pounds, it is on the heavier side, however, so keep that in mind if you need something light.
5. Longest Battery Life: Medcursor Massage Gun
- Small, palm-sized frame
- Five levels of intensity and six massage heads
- 10-minute timer prevents overuse
No need to wield a heavy-duty piece of machinery when your muscles are already fatigued. Medcursor's 2.5-pound massage gun fits in the palm of your hand, making it easy to hold and use without strain. But just because it's small, doesn't mean it isn’t effective. This device features five levels of intensity (up to an 11-millimeter amplitude) and comes with six interchangeable massage heads to target everything from achy joints to painful back knots. It also has an extra-long battery life of what the company claims is up to eight hours!
6. Most attachments: Fitpulse Muscle Massage Gun
- 17 massage heads included
- 30 adjustable speed levels
- Fast-charging and long-lasting battery
The Fitpulse massage gun offers the most customizable experience of them all, with a whopping 17 different massage heads of varying shapes and sizes, plus 30 adjustable speed levels. In short? It's like having a personal masseuse on hand for every type of muscle ache or pain. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery not only claims to hold a charge for up to six hours depending on the settings, but juice up super quickly if you're on-the-go.
7. Most Powerful: TimTam Power Massage Gun
- 90-degree articulating head
- Delivers 2,500 strokes-per-minute
If you've tried other massage guns and need something more powerful, the TimTam power massager is the device for you. It's been tweaked and refined based on customer feedback, and gets approval from MMA coaches for its ability to reportedly relieve muscle tension in as little as 60 seconds. Unlike other models with fixed heads, this massager features a 90-degree articulating head, which rotates to allow for ideal placement no matter what muscles you're trying to reach. Plus, it has an instant-on trigger, so you won't have to hold the button to keep it powered up.