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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: the best 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.

The Best Message Guns at a Glance

RELATED: The 12 Best Back Massagers That Will Soothe Sore Muscles and Work Through Knots

Amazon

1. Theragun PRO Massage Gun

Best Overall

The facts:

  • 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 fashion editor Madison Russell confirms. “I didn’t know how much I’d enjoy owning the Theragun until its percussive hammer burrowed into my aching lower back. With five built-in speed settings and multiple attachments, your entire body will thank you. There have been imitators, but there really isn’t another product like the Theragun PRO,” she explains.

$599 at Amazon

OPOVE

2. OPOVE M3 Pro Massage Gun

Highest Rated

The facts:

  • 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.

Buy It ($200 $129)

Amazon

3. SKG F5 Massage Gun

Best Heated

The facts:

• Heated handle base
• Color signals each gear
• Three attachments

This quick-charging massager (a couple hours and it's ready to go) gets high marks for being lightweight yet pulses butterfly-quick (3200 pulses per minute). And besides three speeds, it has three levels of heat that emanate from the base of the handle, from warm to almost-hot, so that you can massage the heat into a particularly tight or sore area to prep it for a pounding.

$129 at Amazon

Amazon

4. LifePro Sonic Massage Gun

Easiest to Use

The facts:

  • 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.

$180 $95 at Amazon

Lyric

5. the Lyric

Sleekest Design

The facts:

• Touchscreen guidance
• Extension handle
• All-in-one docking station

For those of us who need in-our-face reminders to keep up with self-care, this sleek and effective handheld device is a slam dunk. That's because the attractive charging station, in whichever of five matte colors you choose (terracotta, blueprint, stone, slate and granite), will be a welcome design object right on your countertop or bedroom dresser. Then it'll be automatic to deploy it, using on one of the three-minute guided pre-sets or on manual to really get at a particular sore spot. The Lyric is Wi-Fi enabled, and its designers promise a forthcoming app that will enhance its use.

Buy It ($200)

Amazon

6. Sportneer Mini 2

Best Mini

The facts:

• Ultra-Lightweight
• 5 speeds
• 10 minute automatic shutoff

In the portable category, this little massage gun has enough power to soothe muscle aches without being a whole heavy production like some of the bigger models. The lowest speed is recommended for warming up tight muscles before exercise, while the higher speeds are good for circulating lactic acid post-exercise and pounding any clenched muscles. This palm-sized model is quiet enough (under 45 decibels) for you to keep in your desk drawer after long stretches bent over a computer.

$70 a Amazon

Amazon

7. Hyperice Hypervolt Massage Gun

Quietest

The facts:

  • 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 you 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.

$349 $249 at Amazon

Amazon

8. Medcursor Massage Gun

Longest Battery Life

The facts:

  • 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!

$80 $51 at Amazon

Amazon

9. Fitpulse Muscle Massage Gun

Most Attachments

The facts:

  • 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.

$50 $30 at Amazon

Amazon

10. TimTam Power Massage Gun

Most Powerful

The facts:

  • 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.

$250 at Amazon

Amazon

11. Yunmai SE

Best Intuitive

The facts:

• Stand-up charging port
• Carrying case
• Quiet operation

The Yunmai SE (aka "Slim Elegant") is targeting the sweet spot in the market between weekend warriors and pro athletes with not only three speeds of pulse (from the lightest for pre-workout activation to the heaviest pounding for muscle recover) but also an "intelligent mode." This setting lets you control how strong the device massages depending on how hard you press into whatever area you're focusing on. Combined with four interchangeable heads, this means users get infinite massage possibliities.

$170 at Amazon

amazon

12. VYBE Massage Gun for Athletes

Best Value

The facts:

• Rotating arm
• Up to 2,400 strokes per minute
• Grip handle

This well-priced gadget has a bright blue rectangle body that sets it apart from other massage guns. The grip handle and 90-degree rotating head make it easier to maneuver than some first-gen massagers, and the dual batteries mean when your first battery runs out of juice, it's easy to pop in another one to continue massaging. Six vibration speeds start at a gentle 500 strokes per minute, which super-sore exercisers will appreciate.

$60 at Amazon

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