Top 6 Best Massage Guns 2020: Just Hype, Or Do They Really Work?
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. In this article we’re going to detail the benefits of owning one, and help you find the best massage gun for your needs (and if you’re into fitness or sport you NEED one of these!) First things first though:
- 1 What is a massage gun and what does it do?
- 2 Best Massage Gun 2020
- 2.1 Theragun G3Pro (Best Overall)
- 2.2 Hyperice Hypervolt (Best Overall – Runner Up)
- 2.3 TimTam All New Power Massager (Quietest)
- 2.4 Exerscribe Personal Percussion Gun (Cheapest – Best Massage Gun Under $150)
- 2.5 Sonic Handheld Percussion Gun (Best On A Budget)
- 2.6 Intelitopia Deep Tissue Massager (Longest Working Time – 4-6 Hrs)
- 3 Massage Gun Benefits
- 4 How To Use A Massage Gun
- 5 What To Look For When Buying Your Massage Gun
- 6 So, are you ready to try a massage gun?
What is a massage gun and what does it do?
This is a handheld device which delivers pulses of concentrated pressure deep into your muscle tissue. 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.
The purpose of this 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.
These massage devices are being widely used by physiotherapists/professionals to minimise muscle 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.
Best Massage Gun 2020
Theragun G3Pro (Best Overall)
The Theragun G3Pro is our top massage gun pick for 2020. It’s also the most expensive one on the list, but we think the features more than justify the expense. It is powerful and high in quality and along with our next choice, the Hypervolt, is one of the most popular on the market. This massage gun weighs around 3 lbs and its not the quietest (70-75dBs), however it’s actually 50% quieter than it’s predecessor, the G2Pro. 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.
The powerful percussions deliver up to 2400 rpms (with 2 speed settings, and can withstand up to 60 lbs 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.
The Theragun G3Pro is supplied with 2 swappable batteries (total battery life is 150 minutes, 75 mins each). It also comes with 6 pro attachments, dampener, large ball, standard ball, wedge, thumb and cone (theses are massage heads and head attachments) 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.
As previously mentioned, this is the most expensive model, 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 or you’re looking for a slightly less aggressive massager, read on for some more excellent options. Our next pick, the Hypervolt, 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!
Hyperice Hypervolt (Best Overall – Runner Up)
The Hyperice 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 speed settings and delivers up to 3200 percussions per minute. Although this is a higher RPM than Theragun’s 2400 (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 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 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 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 All New Power Massager (Quietest)
This handheld massager is actually a lot quieter than the other two mentioned, 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 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 to the other tools mentioned, and it delivers 2500 rpm in terms of speed.
Exerscribe Personal Percussion Gun (Cheapest – Best Massage Gun Under $150)
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 speed changes. 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 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.
Also, 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. 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.
Sonic Handheld Percussion Gun (Best On A Budget)
At first glance this device looks like a T shaped handheld power drill. It has 5 speed settings and 5 changeable heads or 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 70lbs of force on your targeted muscle group or body part, which is actually more than our top pick (the Theragun delivers approx 60lbs which is still A LOT of force).
There is an option to set the 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, it costs a bit more than the Exerscribe, but it is still far cheaper than most best massage guns on the market. It’s quieter than the Exercribe too, so is worth paying a bit extra if you can afford it. Also, this device come with an impressive lifetime warranty.
Intelitopia Deep Tissue Massager (Longest Working Time – 4-6 Hrs)
This is second quietest of all the devices we have reviewed so far (Timtam is the quietest). It operates at just 40 decibels so if you dislike noisy machines this might suit you.
The Intelitopia has 3 speed modes the lowest being 1800ppms and highest 3200ppms.There is a carry case included which makes it easy to travel with.
The entire outer shell is made from aluminum metal alloy which is very durable and will last for years to come. The handle will provide you with a comfortable grip.
Why would you choose this one? It’s got great reviews from users, it’s lightweight, the battery lasts from 4-6 hours per charge, and it’s very quiet. Like the Sonic and Exerscribe, this is also one of the more affordable models available on the market.
Massage Gun Benefits
There are many different benefits to owning one of these:
- 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 machines can provide much needed relief to professional athletes who may be doing competitive training. It’s 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
You will be glad to know this handheld device is very easy to use. You simply point it at the target 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. 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 depend 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 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).
So, are you ready to try a massage gun?
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 pain, or even a condition such as sciatica. They 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.
Although some can be expensive (our top pick certainly is), 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 percussion massage device it’s worth visiting a site like Amazon to check out reviews of best massage gun 2020 from real users: