If you’ve heard the hype about percussive massage and its many benefits you’ll probably have come across a handheld massager called a massage gun. They’re not JUST hype though – for sore muscles they really work. In the last year they’ve become a must-have gadget for any household. We’ve extensively tested the top models on the market, and in this article we’re going to detail our findings (and hopefully help you find the best massage gun for your needs!). Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, or just need some help with aching muscles, we’ll help you find a device in your price range that will bring you relief AND results!
Best Massage Gun 2020 (Top 8 Tested & Reviewed)
- Best Overall: Ekrin B37
- Best High-End Smart (Bluetooth & App incl.): Theragun PRO
- Best Theragun Alternative (For Power): Lifepro Pulse FX
- Best Portable Massager: Hyperice Hypervolt
- Quietest Massage Gun: Timtam Power Massager
- Best Massage Gun Under $150: Lifepro Sonic
- Runner up Budget Massage Gun: Exerscribe Vybe
- Best Battery Life: Gocheer
Our Top Massage Gun Picks For 2020
Ekrin B37 (Top Pick Overall For 2020)
In the interest of transparency, we’re going to tell you the truth here. We’ve tested hundreds of massage guns and it’s impossible to tell you one particular model is the “best of the best” on the market. There are lots of fantastic percussion massagers available – many with very similar features and specs – and any of the picks on this page would make a great investment in your sore muscles. So although this is our top recommendation, we’ve tested ALL the products on this page and found them all to be excellent in their own way. We love the Ekrin B37 and will explain why, but have a look through the page and decide for yourself which you like.
As our top recommendation you might think that this will actually be the most expensive, but actually it’s not. Unlike other massage gun reviews, we didn’t want to pick the most expensive just for the sake of it. The B37 is one of the most affordable models for the specs, coming in at less than $200 with our exclusive 20% off promo code.
One of the things we love the most about the Ekrin is the fantastic customer service. We contact all the companies of products we choose to feature, and Ekrin Athletics have consistently been one of the most helpful and responsive. They also offer an impressive 2 year warranty.
The massage gun itself is sturdy and durable, with a 15° angled handle which is ergonomically designed for multiple grip positions, making it easy to reach all parts of the body. As you can see from the image above, it comes with 4 attachment heads and a custom travel case for on the go.
One thing that really impressed us was the stall force of 56lbs (only 4lbs off the high end Theragun’s 60lbs) and only a slightly lower amplitude of 12mm. That’s powerful, especially for a massage gun of this price. With 5 speeds of up to 3200rpm the specs of this massage gun are probably closest to the Hypervolt (which we mention further on this article) but the B37 is far more affordable.
The massager itself is lightweight enough to be used comfortably, but heavy enough to be sturdy and durable (it’s no flimsy toy!). The premium lithium ion battery gives a more than long enough usage time of around 4 hours per charge – especially as most people only use a massage gun for about 10-15 minutes for a session.
Because we enjoyed using this product and felt it was a great investment we managed to secure an exclusive 20% off discount for our readers. Just visit the official website and use our coupon code TFF20 and it will save you $46!
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Theragun PRO (Best High-End Massage Gun – App & Bluetooth incl.)
The Theragun PRO is our top high end massage gun pick for 2020. This 4th generation massager is brand new to the market this year and is the upgraded version of 2019’s G3 PRO (the Theragun G3 Pro although still may be some stock available, has been discontinued). This isn’t cheap, but we think the features can justify the expense. It is powerful and high in quality and is one of the most popular on the market. This percussive massage gun weighs around 3 lbs and has a noise level 50% quieter than its predecessor, with new QX150 motor featuring QuietForce technology.
It is used and endorsed by many top athletes and professional trainers, footballers, basketball players and other sports people around the world. That doesn’t mean it’s just for the elite though, this is a massager that any sports or fitness enthusiast (of any level) can own and use from the comfort of their own home.
This powerful percussion massage gun delivers up to 2400 rpms (device comes with 5 speed settings), and can withstand up to 60 pounds of force to release spasms, cramps, knots or tightness, without stalling. The triangular shape and 4 angle adjustable arm allows you to get to all body parts, particularly back areas using different grips. Its amplitude of 16mm is the highest available – matched only by our favorite Theragun alternative, the Pulse FX (coming up next). Amplitude is how deep the massage head “punches” into the muscle and higher amplitude = more power.
The Theragun PRO is supplied with 2 swappable batteries (total battery life is an impressive 300 minutes – 150 mins each). No downtime needed as you can charge one while you use the other! It also comes with 6 massage heads, dampener, large ball, standard ball, wedge, thumb and cone (these are the massage heads) included. These precisely engineered shapes make it suitable for everybody’s needs and make it easy to target any muscle group for area specific relief. You also get a black travel case making it easily portable, whether you’re travelling, or just want to take it to the gym.
What makes this new Theragun REALLY stand out though?
This is the first Smart Percussive Therapy™ device! It comes with the Therabody app and Bluetooth® connectivity. There are built in app guided preset routines available (making it easier than ever to get the most from your massage gun). The app can also deliver customized routines based on data from your favorite health apps including Samsung Health, Apple Health, Google Fit etc.
The following site is our favorite place to buy this professional-grade massager – a 2 year warranty is included. Shipping is FREE!
(Option to pay in installments available)
As previously mentioned, price wise it’s at the top end, but is well worth the investment if you can afford it. It’s extremely durable so should last through years of robust use! However, if this is a bit beyond your budget and you’re looking for something with similar specs, read on for some more excellent options. Our next pick, the Lifepro Pulse FX, is up there with the Theragun as one of the most popular brands, and works just as well (with a few differences), but is a lot cheaper!
Lifepro Pulse FX (Best Theragun Alternative)
A lot of buyers really want the Theragun G3 Pro just because it’s known as the “gold standard” of massage guns and is hugely popular among celebrities and professionals. It’s one of the first that came on the market and is still one of the most powerful available. However at $599 RRP it’s VERY expensive, and if you check out percussion massage gun reviews you’ll find that there are models with similar specs and features but MUCH cheaper. The Lifepro Pulse FX is our favorite Theragun alternative.
Not only does it look a bit like it (a similar ergonomic design with adjustable arm) but it’s very similar in power and features. You really aren’t missing much (except the name) if you choose this instead of the Theragun. You get a lot more value for money though!
In fact you’ll find that like the Theragun, the Pulse FX has the same stall force of 60lbs, the same 16mm amplitude and actually has a higher RPM of 3200 . That means that with regards to power, it’s on a par with one of the most expensive models on the market.
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Where it really wins though is with battery life. It doesn’t have a removable battery, but the battery life can last up to 7 hours on a single charge. That’s a pretty long time for any massage gun.
In case you were wondering why Kraftgun isn’t in this list, Pulse FX is almost exactly the same product (possibly even made by the manufacturer but branded differently). Kraftgun has a problem with shipping though – it takes 6-9 weeks to ship which is a LONG wait for anyone. Lifepro offer fast, free shipping from their website and have plenty of stock available.
At nearly half the price of the Theragun (and with a charging stand included) you’re getting a lot more bang for your buck with the Pulse FX
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Hyperice Hypervolt (Best Portable Massager)
The Hyperice Hypervolt is different to the G3 Pro in a number of ways. First of all, its much quieter than the Theragun (which goes up to 75 decibels) – the Hypervolt registers at just 60-65 at its highest setting. The shape of the Hypervolt is almost like a T-shape or 7 and it’s lighter in weight (about 2.5lbs). Unlike the Theragun, the main arm of the Hypervolt is not adjustable so you can’t change angle to help you reach different areas of the body. This isn’t a big deal as you should still be able to hit your target areas (albeit with maybe a bit more twisting and turning!)
The battery compartment is larger and the battery should last up to 3 hours and is rechargeable (charging time is about 2 hours). The Hyperice Hypervolt has 3 variable speed settings and delivers up to 3200 percussions per minute. Although this is a higher RPM than Theragun’s 2400 percussions per minute (speed usually determines the massage intensity), the Theragun has a higher amplitude and so it actually feels more intense even though the speed is lower.
So, although it may not even be noticeable if you were to test the two one after the other, the Theragun is capable of giving a more aggressive massage (which may swing you in its favor, or you may prefer the (slightly) less intense massage of the Hypervolt). Whichever one you choose will give you an excellent deep tissue massage though, and with the different speed settings you can get the targeted relief you want from either model.
A few more things about the Hypervolt before we finish this short review: It comes with 5 different head attachments which can target a variety of specific areas and muscle issues including bullet, round, fork, cushion and flat heads. It doesn’t come with a carrying case or extra battery so these will cost a bit extra should you want to invest in them (they’re handy, but not necessary).
If you’re looking for something with a bit more power, there is also a Hypervolt Plus model available (it’s a bit more expensive, but 30% more powerful – here’s a Hypervolt vs Hypervolt Plus comparison)
Overall, this is an excellent massager, and whether you choose this or our #1 choice, you’ll almost certainly be very happy with the power and versatility they offer!
If you’re new to massage guns and you’re still on the fence about paying top dollar for a product you’re not sure you’ll use regularly, we have a few cheaper options coming up. Our next pick is the TimTam Power Massager.
TimTam Power Massager (Quietest + Best Bundle Deal)
This handheld percussion massager with ergonomic design is actually a lot quieter than the Theragun, comes in at 25dBs and its a lot cheaper. So if noise reduction and saving money are your priorities then this massage gun may suit you better.
The battery life lasts one hour per charge which is more than enough for a good massage, but you’ll need to recharge more often.
The TimTam Power Massager is lighter than TheraGun weighing just 2.2 lbs and comes with a carry case. The light weight is helpful for users with weaker wrists or wrist pain.
This device includes just one head a round black ball at the tip of the massage gun, if you want varying heads then you need to buy them separately. You can alter the main massage nozzle to hit different muscle groups or body parts. It has just one powerful speed, just push the trigger and away it goes. The TimTam has a similar stall force (about 60 pounds of force) to the other tools mentioned, and it delivers 2500 rpm in terms of speed.
The Timtam brand has been featured on the popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast (you can find out more about it on the official website here)
Lifepro Sonic (Best Affordable Massage Gun Under $150)
At first glance this device looks like a T shaped handheld power drill. It has 5 speed settings and 5 interchangeable head attachments. The speeds increase at increments from low to powerful, 20Hz being the lowest and 45Hz being the most powerful. The changeable heads allow you to reach any hard to reach body parts, like your back.
This device delivers 70 pounds of force on your targeted muscle group or body part, which is actually more than our high end pick (the Theragun delivers approx 60lbs which is still A LOT of force). It does have a lower amplitude of 12mm, but this is still more than enough for most users. The brushless motor makes it powerful but relatively quiet.
There is an option to set the variable speed and force without holding the trigger down, which means you can work your desired area with the full use of your hand.
The battery has two chargeable options, one while in the gun and other plugged into the mains. This machine won’t break your bank balance, and is far cheaper than most of the highly rated massage guns on the market. Also, this device come with an impressive lifetime warranty. After testing this model extensively our opinion is that this is definitely one of the best value buys for the price.
The best place to buy this is on the LifeproFitness official website (FREE shipping and the best discounts). This is a very sturdy and powerful massage gun and is excellent value for money.
(And get an extra $10 Off with coupon code TFFSAVE10)
Exerscribe Vybe (Runner up Budget Massage Gun)
Surprisingly for the price, the Exerscribe is quite comparable to our top pick, the TheraGun, for power, frequency and amplitude. It also comes with two batteries, 3 massage heads, carrying case and 6 variable speeds. You will not need to hold the trigger on this one, its one-click to power on, and one-click to stop.
This device is one of the cheapest guns on the market, but still has very positive user reviews which suggest that it’s more than up to the task. It does have a few downsides though (which you’d expect at this price point).
For instance, the materials its made from don’t look or feel as durable as the top two. The actual massage ball is made from a tough, durable foam material, which gives a bit of a cheap look to the product, but it does get the job done.
Just remember, this device is NOT quiet and the noise might be an issue for some users.
It comes in at around 80-100 decibels which is far louder than any of the others we have mentioned (doesn’t have a brushless motor like the others). If the noise doesn’t bother you though (you might need to wear earplugs if using the gun around the shoulder or neck area) then it’s a good product for the price.
Gocheer Deep Tissue Massager (Best Battery Life – Up to 8 Hours)
The Gocheer is quite a lightweight device, weighs slightly over 2lbs, comes with 4 head attachments and it can operate for up to 8 hours once fully charged up. This depends on what level you use it at, but in comparison some of the more expensive models only last 1.5-3 hours on a single charge.
At low speeds this is one of the quietest models (only about 35dB) but it does go up to around 60 dB at high speed.
It actually has 20 speed levels from 1200-3180 strokes per minute. Although you won’t ever need THAT many speed levels, it’s still nice to have plenty of choice!
The entire outer shell is made from nylon and glass fiber which is very durable and will last for years to come. It is advertised as an “anti drop shell” which means that if you drop it from 6ft, it shouldn’t break. I wouldn’t go about testing this theory though!
There is also a heat dissipation function which should stop the massager from overheating (this is sometimes a problem with cheaper models).
Why would you choose this one? It’s got great reviews from users, it’s lightweight, the battery life lasts up to 8 hours per charge, and the noise level is very quiet (especially at lower speeds). Like the Sonic and Vybe, this is also one of the more affordable models available on the market.
I didn’t see a carrying case mentioned in the listing, and at the low price I didn’t really expect one, however it DOES actually come with a nice looking fitted carrying case for your massager and accessories.
What is a massage gun and what does it do?
Massage guns work by delivering pulses of concentrated pressure deep into your muscle tissue. This is known as percussive therapy. We have all experienced massage therapy at various points in our life but this is an entirely different concept – you don’t need a massage therapist because this will do the same job (and for a lot cheaper!) from the comfort of your home.
This percussive therapy type of deep tissue massage is to relieve muscle soreness, working the knots and tension out of them. The fast pulses from the percussion massage gun serve to soften deep muscle tissue. This will have a lasting relaxing impact on your sore and tired muscles and provides a more targeted massage than a vibrating foam roller. It also increases blood circulation and range of motion, shortening recovery time after exercise.
The best massage guns are being widely used by physiotherapists/professionals to minimize muscle tension and joint pains troubling their patients. The good news is you can buy and own your personal one. You can use it after the gym or just at home when you feel the need.
Massage Gun Benefits
There are many different benefits to owning one of these guns:
- Eases soft tissue pain
- Releases lactic acid
- Goes to work to accelerate muscle recovery
- Works to stimulate muscle growth
- Vastly improves blood flow and circulation
- Improves your range of motion
- Gradually and gently stretches your muscles (improves your flexibility)
It’s no secret that these relatively new massage guns can provide much needed relief to professional athletes who may be doing competitive training. These are not just for the professionals though – anyone from the ordinary gym goer or sports enthusiast to someone suffering from muscle problems can benefit from using a massage gun.
How To Use A Massage Gun
Massage guns are very easy to use. If you want to know how to use a massage gun just simply rest it on the target area and let it go to work. There are a few things you should keep in mind:
You start by turning it on so that the head has begun to pulsate. Then you gradually just float it along the desired muscle you wish to loosen or warm-up in preparation for exercise (or for recovery afterwards). Please note there is no need to exert any pressure on your part no need to use any force. It’s the pulses that do all the work. When you come across any extra knots or soreness in muscle tissue just rest it there a little longer and again the pulses will bring relief.
The following video is one demonstrating the Hypervolt being used for legs (all massage guns are used in a similar manner):
What To Look For When Buying Your Massage Gun
- Speed and Power – The speed settings and power output you choose depends on your needs. Are you looking for a high intensity deep tissue massage after a hard workout, or just a more relaxing massage to relieve some muscle soreness?
- Type of Motion – Do you want just vibrations, vibrations plus thumping, vibration plus a circular motion or a combination of all of these massage techniques?
- The Size/Portability – If you travel a lot and need the assurance of your massage gun then you need models which fit into your bag or suitcase, preferably one which has its own carry case. Although these massage guns are handheld, some can be bulky and weigh a few pounds.
- Attachment Heads and Accessories – The amount of attachment heads and extras depends on which muscle you want to massage. If they are the large body parts like back, leg, arms then you won’t need too many. If you want to massage feet or neck then other accessories will be required (most massagers offer a variety of different attachments).
- The Power Supplied by Batteries (battery life) – Your battery power is very important. You don’t want it to fade too fast if you won’t have a chance to charge the battery. Some massage guns give you a spare battery which you can use while the other is charging.
- Price and Cost – You need to consider a massage gun within your budget. The one which costs the most money usually offer more speed settings, power and motion settings. The less expensive might have way less decimal power (that’s not always the case though). For example the Theragun G3 PRO costs $599, but there are many cheaper models e.g. the Opove M3 Pro that get the job done just fine for a lot less.
So, are you ready to try one of the best massage guns?
A massage gun can quite literally change your life if you suffer from any kind of muscle pain, whether its soreness from working out, just general muscle pain, or even a condition such as sciatica. Massage guns are an excellent way to administer an (almost) professional massage to yourself, at a time and place of your choosing. Most have numerous different types of attachment heads that can help you target your massage to any muscle group or part of your body. They are much easier to use and offer more muscle relief than a more basic foam roller. They certainly get the job done!
Although some percussion massagers can be expensive (our top pick is very affordable), you can purchase an alternative model for as little as $150 if your budget is tight. Remember, this is an investment in your health though, and will ultimately be a lot cheaper than regular visits to a massage therapist to work out the kinks and assist in muscle recovery. If you’re not sure if you need a percussive massage gun it’s worth visiting a site like Amazon to check out reviews of best massage gun 2020 from real users: