Are you looking for a simple, easy-to-use self-massage tool that does the job on virtually any muscle in your body?
A percussion massage gun is all you need to soften stiff muscles.
I absolutely love these devices!
Using my own carefully chosen massage gun, I have relieved many sore spots that have existed deep in my muscles for years.
I have tried many massager tools in the past but through using massage guns I have seen the best results by far.
Overall, they have reduced my everyday body pains, helped increase my flexibility and mobility, and helped my muscles function more effectively.
You can also use these power massagers to relieve muscle aches, pain and soreness, speed up muscle recovery and reduce your risk for exercise injuries.
If you don’t know what massage guns are, they are simply a handheld device that sends pulses of pressure that penetrate deep into muscle tissue.
The result can be likened to a deep-tissue massage from a masseuse, and it’s ideal for workout recovery and to relieve pain caused by muscle tightness.
From your neck to your lower back and down to your feet, it can help you relieve tension and pain at home or on the go.
In this post, I’m going to take you through the best massage guns on the market and list their pros and cons, and the one that I finally settled on (although I do own quite a few) and use every day.
But before that it’s important to know a couple of things about massage guns before you make your final choice.
How to Identify a Quality Percussion Massage Gun
There are all kinds of options on the market, including low-quality massagers trying to copy the bigger name brands massage guns.
I’ve tried a lot and have now learnt what to look out for when choosing a good massage gun.
Here’s what you should look for to identify a great percussion massage gun to ensure your investment is worthwhile:
Massage guns typically come in a traditional ‘axe’ shape however they are starting to appear in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
Look for one that comes with a comfortable-to-hold design that also has the ability to hit the hard-to-reach areas of your body.
Long-Handle Percussion Massagers
This point is again linked to design but deserves its own little section.
For the sake of simplicity I like to divide ‘percussion massagers’ into two categories according to their design.
The first is percussion massage guns and the second is percussion massagers with long handles.
While they both deliver percussion massage therapy, the main difference is that a percussion massage gun puts more power behind it and is the more powerful massager.
It’s designed ergonomically to mimic a heat gun, a staple gun or power tool, so you can target a specific point accurately.
The other kind of percussion massagers are more wand- or stick-like meaning that the long-handled percussion massager can make it easier to reach your back muscles, whereas a percussion massage gun may not have as much reach.
On the other hand, the shorter grip on a percussion massage gun makes it easier to control.
If you think a standard percussion massager with a long handle is more for you, check out my post on the best handheld percussion massagers.
In this post we are going to focus on massage guns which pack a lot more power.
Battery matters when it comes to percussion massage guns, because they’re cordless.
An effective massage depends on a strong, long-lasting battery that can power the motor and sustain operation as long as you need for a massage session.
The last thing you want is to fully charge up your battery only for it to die 10 minutes into your session leaving you waiting around for it to charge up again.
There are two ways out of this. Get a massage gun which can deliver long sessions without needing a recharge.
Or look for massage guns that come with interchangeable batteries, so you quickly switch over to a fully charged one if you run out of charge.
In addition, the best massage guns will also charge a depleted battery quickly.
Speed and Power
Speed and power dictate the intensity of massage a percussion gun offers, so it’s important to have a motor with higher wattage and more torque.
If you choose a massage gun without a lot of power you may grow out of it quickly as you get used to it.
You would then need to buy a more powerful massager to get deeper release in your muscles.
However, choosing one that is too powerful will be pointless for you if it’s too painful to use.
Choosing a massage gun with the right power for you is vital.
Head Attachments and Options for Customisation
Percussion massage guns that give you more options, including different speed settings, rotational angles, can give you more value.
But the biggest factor to look out for is the variations and quality of the attachment heads.
For different areas on your body you will need different shaped head attachments. For bony areas you will need a soft head attachment. Thicker and larger muscles may require something with a smaller surface area etc.
The best massage guns should come with a decent number of variations of head attachments. Not only that, but different densities and shapes.
That’s because they reach and target more areas of your body, as you can customise the intensity and size of the percussion head to meet the demands of different muscles.
The noise level of a massage tool is a make-or-break for some. Since massage guns are made to deliver a lot of power they are notoriously noisy.
If it bothers you or others in your home to use a massager on your body that’s as loud as a power tool or blender, look for one that’s designed to be quiet.
However, quieter percussion massage guns do tend to be more expensive and deliver less power, so it’s a trade-off.
The Best Massage Guns on the Market: The Pros & Cons
I’ve done the research on the best massage guns on the market today and listed them in no particular order with the best pick at the end of the article.
I’ve reviewed them for their speed, power, portability, battery life, value, quality and customer satisfaction.
1. VYBE Series Personal Percussion Massage Guns
The VYBE range of massage guns are popular among buyers particularly as they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
i) VYBE PERCUSSION Massage Gun
Hands down, the VYBE personal massage gun gets the job done, as scores of customers have used it regularly to recover from workouts and treat painful chronic conditions.
There are some drawbacks to it, but its ability to give you an effective deep-tissue massage without a masseuse is what makes it a great buy regardless.
It comes with an extra battery so that you never have to wait for your device to recharge before using it again. It also has a carrying case that makes it all-the-more portable.
The biggest downside is the noise it makes.
It’s so loud that the company admits to it in its description of the product. Customers have compared it to a power saw or a blender. Most don’t mind because of how well it works.
However, a few complain they can’t use it for more than a few minutes at a time because of the noise.
It is worth noting that there are other versions of the VYBE Massage Gun available, differentiated according to the level of noise they emit.
- VYBE (this model) – 80-100 Decibels (Loud)
- VYBE PRO – 60 Decibels (Quiet)
- VYBE PRO PREMIUM – 50-60 Decibels (Ultra Quiet)
The other complaint about the VYBE is that the motor isn’t the best. It tends to heat up the device after a few minutes of use and emit an electrical ozone smell.
Nonetheless, the VYBE massage gun has a pretty good track record of withstanding its use over time.
Pros: Very effective in providing deep tissue massage by delivering lots of power, comes with 2 batteries you can switch out, includes carrying case, low price
Cons: Operates loudly, motor heats up and emits a smell, can’t be sure it’s going to last more than a few years
ii) VYBE PRO Massage Gun
While the VYBE personal percussion massage gun offers many features and gives you a ton of value in one product, the VYBE Pro provides even more.
It has a totally different shape and grip, and instead of giving you just 3 massage heads and 6 speeds, the VYBE Pro comes with 5 attachment heads and 9 different speeds.
Made with a 24-volt brushless motor and double-bearing transmission, it’s noise-reducing and much quieter than the original VYBE.
Unfortunately, some of the power is sacrificed with this technology, as the VYBE Pro delivers 33 pounds of maximal force instead of the 60 pounds of force offered by the original.
That means you don’t get the extra pressure required for deeply penetrating tight muscles. The VYBE Pro offers a level of percussion that’s more comfortable, but if you need heavy-duty pressure, go with the VYBE instead.
The new head attachments the VYBE Pro features are the forkhead and the shovelhead. The forkhead has 2 nodes in one attachment head designed to work along your spine without harming the bone.
The shovelhead is a flat edge able to dig into muscles partially hidden beneath bone, like muscles around the spine, hip bones and shoulder blades.
Pros: 3 hours of battery life, operates quietly, slip-resistant silicone grip, comes with unique forkhead and shovelhead head attachments not featured with some other massage guns
Cons: Relatively expensive, doesn’t deliver the maximal force required for penetrating tough muscle tissue
2. Theragun PRO
I do not recommend the Theragun Pro at all.
The Theragun is only on this list because if it wasn’t everyone would assume that it has been forgotten.
It’s also a good opportunity to explain why you should not buy the Theragun or any Therabody products.
I bought a Theragun G3 PRO to test and within less than 6 months of owning it, it has broken down twice. Even the replacement that was sent broke down.
This is totally unacceptable for a $600 product.
I have had other massagers which cost less than a third of the Theragun that have lasted longer.
There is nothing unique about the Theragun Pro.
All the packaging and the presentation of the Theragun and its accessories are top notch but it’s more of a facade to make the Theragun appear like a $600 product.
It comes with a nice travel case, the attachments look good, the unit feels nice and there is an option of using it with an app (which is pointless anyway).
However, there is nothing else to justify the extortionate price tag.
If there is one thing that I like about the Theragun PRO is that it is powerful and it certainly is effective (when it works) in helping with knots and muscle soreness.
But then again so are many other massage guns that cost a fraction of the price.
If the Theragun Pro cost $200 and actually worked over the long-term then this would be the best massage gun on the market.
Pros: Powerful, 2 year warranty
Cons: Overpriced, accessories are overpriced, nothing unique over other massage guns, breaks easily, advertised as quieter than it actually is, no real difference between this and the older PRO model
Related: Theragun PRO review
3. Hyperice Hypervolt Portable Massage Device
The Hyperice Hypervolt massager is on the expensive side like the Theragun, but it’s also a high-quality option for those who need a quieter device.
Hyperice claims they have the quietest massage gun on the market, made with patented aerospace-grade technology.
You get 3-speed levels, and it’s easy to use with great control and accuracy.
You can choose between 4 head attachments, including 2 different sized balls, a cone shape and a flat disk shape for loosening up larger muscle groups.
The Hypervolt works fantastically–until it doesn’t.
Many customers have complained the device is poorly built and highly liable to breaking after a while.
If it breaks within a year, you can have it replaced, as there’s a 1-year warranty.
There’s no guarantee this product will last you through the years.
The worst thing about the Hypervolt is that there is nothing to justify its high price compared to the new competition of massage guns that have now entered the market.
There is nothing overly special about the Hypervolt massage gun.
Pros: Good quality build and feel, very quiet operation, includes 4 attachment heads
Cons: Overpriced relative to competition, liable to breaking, can get the same experience with cheaper massage guns.
Related: Hypervolt Review
4. OPOVE G3 Pro Massage Gun
OPOVE’s original G3 Pro, called the M3 Pro in countries outside the U.S., weighs just 2.2 pounds, making it one of the more lightweight options on the market.
It offers 3 speeds for selecting your intensity level.
The fastest level delivers 3,200 percussions per minute, delivering 30 pounds of force with each pulse. With a brushless motor, it operates quietly.
Choose between 4 head attachments geared toward different parts of the body.
For example, you can target your back muscles using the forked massage head that avoids your spine, and target small muscles or connective tissue with the smallest massage head.
The G3 Pro is made with Nylon 66 and glass fibre, enabling it to withstand being dropped from a 6.6 ft height in case you do accidentally drop it.
Plus, the device comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
With so many raving reviews of this product, the only real complaint has been from users who needed more power than the 30 pounds of force provided.
If you have larger or tighter muscles, you may need something more heavy-duty than this model.
On the plus side, there have been no complaints that the lowest intensity setting is too powerful on this device, so it’s ideal for people who are more sensitive.
Pros: Made with high-quality, durable materials, carrying case included, 3 hours of battery life, option to choose a camouflage red model
Cons: Doesn’t deliver more than 30 pounds of force – which isn’t enough for everyone
5. PlayMakar MVP Percussion Massager
Like the Theragun G3 PRO, the PlayMakar MVP percussion massager comes with 6 different attachment heads.
Whereas the Theragun G3 PRO has just 2 speeds, however, the PlayMakar has 6, making it not just versatile, but highly adjustable.
It’s also a pound lighter than the G3 Pro and costs less.
While it doesn’t pack the same amount of force, users consistently say it gets the job done.
With durable, quality materials and a 2-year warranty included, this product packs a ton of value.
It has a noise reduction feature, 3 hours of battery life and operates cordlessly.
The PlayMakar MVP Percussion Massager is a great option if you want quality at a fair price.
In addition, if you’re new to the world of percussion massagers and want something quiet, smooth and be able to pinpoint a precise intensity that works for you, this is a great massager to go with.
Pros: Lightweight, cordless design with 3 hours battery life, 6 speeds, durable and long-lasting, 2-year warranty included, operates quietly, good value for money
Cons: While it is quiet it lacks some power for those looking for very deep muscle relief, no carry case, head attachments quality could be improved
6. REATHLETE DEEP4S Percussive Therapy Device
Offering 35 pounds of force with a brushless motor for quiet operation, the ReAthlete DEEP4s massage gun from ZESO is powerful and ideal for breaking up muscle knots and helping you recover from an intense workout.
It provides 4 hours of battery life before it needs recharging, and with a travel case included, it’s easy to take on-the-go.
Like the Theragun G3 Pro, the ReAthlete lets you adjust the massage head’s angle to different positions for better reach to different body parts.
You can choose between 4 speeds and 5 interchangeable massage heads, making it versatile and customizable.
The ReAthlete massage gun comes with a 1-year warranty.
Unfortunately, many users have reported malfunctions, defects and problems with their units, which makes you wonder if the product can last you more than a year.
Still, most users are happy with the relief they get with the device and consider it a good value.
Pros: Adjustable and versatile for a custom percussive massage throughout the body, 1-year warranty included, 4-hour battery life, quiet operation with brushless motor
Cons: Prone to breaking within a few months of use according to many buyers
7. Sonic Handheld Percussion Massage Gun Series
Sonic makes high-quality massage guns that pack a ton of power and hold up with heavy use over time.
All their models come with lifetime warranties, and they happen to be more affordable than the other big brands.
i) Sonic Handheld Percussion Massage Gun
Sonic’s original massage gun offers 5 intensity levels and 5 different head attachments for a full-body massage.
It operates with a quiet brushless motor and delivers percussion speeds from 1,200 to 2,800 percussions per minute.
It runs on batteries for 6 hours of use before needing to be recharged, making it the ideal massage gun for people always on the go.
It’s made with a non-slip grip by the grip is a little too wide and thick for some to hold comfortably, especially for longer sessions.
Still, the device has gotten mostly positive reviews from users, who say it’s a lifesaver when it comes to relieving pain.
Pros: 6 hours battery life, 5 different massage heads and 5 speeds for a precise custom massage anywhere on your body
Cons: Not intense enough for everyone, grip is too thick to hold comfortably for some without developing wrist or forearm pain
ii) Sonic LX Professional Massage Gun
Whereas the original Sonic massage gun has 6 hours of battery life, its advanced model has 4. However, its most intense speed is 3,400 percussions per minute, speeds that range from 1800 all the way up to an intense 3,400 percussions per minute–more than the OPOVE G3 Pro.
If you have larger muscles or stubborn knots that require extra deep penetration, you may need this model for the intensity it provides.
The deeper massage is more painful, but gets better results by breaking up tightness beyond surface level.
If you’re recovering from a muscular injury or you frequent the gym for resistance training, the Sonic LX could help.
Like the original, it’s made with a quiet brushless motor to avoid the noisy hammering sound you get with many massage guns.
Besides the extra power, the difference is that the LX comes with 9 speed levels and 10 interchangeable massage heads to choose from.
Some are made of metal instead of foam for use with massage oil.
One complaint some users have with this device, however, is that the lowest speed level is still too intense, making the device usable only on certain muscles despite all the head attachments it comes with.
Pros: High-intensity level at 3,400 percussions per minute, 9 speeds and 10 different head attachments for a high level of precision and versatility, quiet operation with brushless motor
Cons: Less battery life than the original Sonic gun
iii) Sonic FX Heated Percussion Massage Gun
The Sonic FX heated percussion massage gun offers the unique benefit of heating along with the standard features other percussion guns come with.
With 5 interchangeable massage heads, you can target muscle groups all throughout the body to tackle inflammation and sore muscles.
Unlike other massage guns, the Sonic FX features not just different settings to adjust the intensity, but also auto massage programs, which adjust the speed level and turn the heating on and off to provide you with an optimized massage.
Users have called it the best massage gun on the market because of the numerous features it packs into a quality device.
Avid users say the heat feature is a game-changer, and the pain relief the massage gun provides is effective.
Some compare using the heating feature to getting a hot stone massage, and report they get faster results than using percussive massage without heat.
Pros: Versatile for use throughout your body, heating feature, features 3 auto massage programs, you get 5 hours of use before the battery needs to be recharged
Cons: Relatively expensive
8. TriggerPoint Impact
The TriggerPoint Impact massage gun, which is mainly designed with athletes in mind, has 2 percussion settings.
One delivers shorter, faster pulses for warming up your muscles before a workout. The second setting is for after a workout, with slower but longer pulses to penetrate muscle tissue and flush out lactic acid in sore muscles.
It weighs 2.4 pounds and operates quietly, with 2 hours of battery life before it needs recharging.
The TriggerPoint gun’s top speed is 3,300 percussions per minute, which is more intense than most of its competitors, including the OPOVE G3 Pro.
It’s great for penetrating larger, stronger muscles in athletes, as well as for working out extra tight knots in any person.
Where this model falls short is that it only has one massage head, instead of providing different shapes and sizes to target different parts of the body.
This is a major flaw as you need different shape heads to effectively release different parts of the body.
Pros: Quiet operation with a brushless motor, provides adequate power for most users
Cons: Only one massage head, massage head doesn’t adjust angles
9. Bivi Massage Gun
The Bivi massage gun is more on the economic side but packs lots of value. It has 6 speeds and 3 head attachments, including a larger ball, smaller ball and point stick.
It also adjusts to 3 different angles so you can customize the tool to reach and target a wider range of areas.
It works well, but there’s definitely a difference in the level of quality between the Bivi and high-end guns like the Hypervolt and Theragun G3.
It’s very loud and the motor tends to emit a smell when operating.
However, happy customers like the way the Bivi offers a wider range of intensity levels compared to these top brands.
As you continue using a massage gun over time, your muscle tissue loosens up and can handle a higher intensity without the pain.
Pros: Highly customisable, great price
Cons: Operates loudly, motor generates plenty of power but emits a smell when operating, generally low quality
10. TimTam Power Massager
TimTam’s massage gun is one of the the cheapest out of the well known massage gun brands, but it shows in the level of quality.
Rest assured, it’s effective while working, but the materials and workmanship aren’t top-notch.
Many customers have had it break after a while, or ordered a defective unit. Others have complained the rechargeable battery wears down over time, causing it to need frequent charging.
Thankfully, TimTam includes a 1-year warranty with the product. After that, you have to hope it lasts.
Nonetheless, you’re getting great value for the amount you pay, because it really delivers the power and speed to penetrate muscle tissue and loosen tension.
Its noise level is comparable to a power tool, so it’s not at all quiet.
Also, it only has 1 option for speed, so if being able to increase your intensity level incrementally is important to you, don’t go with this power massager.
Pros: Comes with charger and carry case, massage head adjustable to different angles
Cons:Very loud, liable to breaking, battery life shortens over time with use, only 1 speed
Best Massage Gun: Recommended Picks
Massage guns are heavy-duty massage therapy tools, and the right one for you depends on your needs.
The size of your muscles, the degree tightness and other factors play into what sort of features you require.
Best Value Gun for Power
The standard VYBE Personal Percussion Massage Gun is the best value massage gun if you are looking for power.
It has a max force of 60lbs (like the Theragun G3 PRO) and is relatively low priced. However, be warned it is very noisy.
Best Value Gun for Versatility
If a full-body massage or muscle recovery after workouts are important to you, you’ll want a massage gun that lets you customize the massage by changing the settings.
Whereas most massage guns have 2 or 3, the VYBE Pro and Sonic LX both have 9 different speed levels, ranging from 1,800 to 3,400 percussions per minute.
The Sonic LX, however, comes with 10 different attachment heads, whereas the VYBE pro includes 5.
By maximizing your ability to customize the massage for each muscle group, the Sonic LX is the best choice for versatility.
Best Value for Beginners
The PlayMakar MVP Percussion Massager gives you the best value for your dollar, since it costs less than most on the market, comes with a 2-year warranty and is made with quality materials. It’s also very quiet too.
With 6 speed levels and 5 attachment heads, it offers versatility, too, so you can get more out of the device.
The Benefits of Massage Guns
So you’ve chosen the best massage gun for you, now what benefits can you expect when using a massage gun?
First off, the deep-tissue percussion massage provided by massage guns enhances and speeds up the recovery of muscles after workouts.
It releases lactic acid from the muscles, flushing out metabolic waste from a hard workout. It increases blood flow, making oxygen and nutrients available to muscles so they can start building back up.
By penetrating the tissue, percussion massage guns also give muscles a gentle stretch, which helps improve your range of motion.
Using it before a workout can improve your performance and help prevent injury simply by loosening muscles and enhancing their mobility .
Studies show that percussion massages significantly reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after strenuous activity.
Deep tissue massage also helps balance your hormones and improve your mood by lowering cortisol levels and triggering the release of endorphins.
The best part about a percussion massage gun is that it’s easy to take with you on the go.
You can bring it to the gym, use it at your office to combat tightness at your desk, and take it with you when you travel.
Unlike foam rollers and massage balls, percussion massage guns don’t require the effort it takes to push into muscle tissue with your own body weight. It’s also easier to get precise and pinpoint specific trigger points.
Getting Started with Percussive Massage Therapy
There are all kinds of self-massage tools on the market, which can cost you anywhere from $10 to $4,000 and above.
The great thing about massage guns is that they can give you a deep tissue massage on virtually any part of your body, unlike massagers that are limited to use on one area, like your back, neck or feet.
You have a lot of control over the massage and can pinpoint the exact muscle you want to release.
It really gives you the power to be your own masseuse and work on a specific area that’s giving you chronic trouble or loosen up your entire body after a hard workout.
Considering the versatility it provides, it’s a good idea to go with a high-quality, name-brand percussion massage gun so you can really get the most out of percussion massage therapy.