What is the best massage gun? There are two types of these devices: percussion and vibration massage guns. The former ones imitate the movement of kneading hands and are used to warm up before exercise or recover after intense workouts. These machines provide strong pressure reaching deep layers of muscles. Vibration massagers provide pressure only to surface layers of muscle tissues and work better for pain management. That said, many advanced branded massage guns combine both these functions in one device.

From my 20 years of experience using electronic gadgets, I recommend buying not cheap but middle-priced devices over 100 bucks. Purchasing devices from trusted manufacturers who have been on the market for at least 2-3 years is a wise idea. It guarantees the quality of material used and warranty assistance.

Among manufacturers, I trust Theragun and TimTam (price range: over $500), PlayMakar (~$250), Compex (~$200), iReliev (under $150), HoMedics ($150), BOB AND BRAD Mini ($100).

Massage Guns Compared

There are the most trusted manufacturers for the three last years, from 2020 to 2022, who are still the market leaders in producing massage guns.

1. PlayMakar MVP | Best for the money
This medical-grade massage gun weighs 2 pounds and is portable. 6-speed settings. Up to 53 strokes per second/5400 percussions per minute. Ergonomic and cordless. 3-hour battery life. 6 attachments. Equipped with a high-torque motor, applies rapid 10mm strokes. Low-noise operation (45-58dB). Price range: $250


2. Theragun G3PRO
This is a professional deep tissue massager. With two speed options, the device exerts 60 pounds of force and is excellent for athletes. Depth of strokes: 16mm. It comes with six heads and an adjustable arm. Price range: over $500


3. TimTam Power Massager Pro
This is one of the most powerful deep tissue and vibration massage devices. It has an auto-warming vibration tip, an LED display, and a quiet motor. It offers three speeds, five programs, and a 175-degree rotation. Price range: over $500


4. iReliev | Best budget-friendly
This is the best budget-friendly massage gun with the easy one-button operation, 3 levels of intensity, high speed, ergonomic design, and 4-hour battery runtime. iReliev is a trusted American manufacturer with a wide product line ranging from electrotherapy devices and heating pads to percussion, back, and hand massagers. Price range: $150


This guide covers TOP-6 best percussion massage guns currently available on the market, from the most powerful professional-grade deep tissue ones to lightweight models that effectively combine percussion and vibration types of massage. Some models were developed for athletes and have proven to be most effective for recovery after workouts and rehabilitation. You will learn about how percussion guns work and what they are used for. The guide analyzes all the strong points of this method, elaborating on the benefits it offers. It also offers valuable recommendations on using this kind of device, what areas of the body you can treat with it, and in what sequence.

Here You Will See The Best Percussion Massagers:

This is a portable electric device that delivers strokes, sending pulses of pressure into the muscles. These are deep tissue percussion massagers that enhance blood flow and range of motion as well as help to get rid of muscle knots and relieve tension. This treatment also contributes to more rapid recovery, mitigating pain and muscle soreness.

The pulsations it produces soften stiff muscles and soothe the tissue around them, which results in a relaxing effect in the treated area. Although percussion massagers are mainly advertised for home use, they are also in demand among professional physical therapists who apply these devices to their patients to reduce pain sensations. As a rule, we feel muscle pain in several areas of our bodies, which is where the electric massager will come in handy.

Percussion massage is different from a traditional one in that it reduces sensitivity in the area around a sore muscle by affecting its fiber gradually until the area is penetrated. In a traditional massage, a therapist oftentimes may not penetrate deep enough to reach the needed areas. Moreover, the massage itself can be painful, while percussion therapy involves only relief.

Percussion therapy offers a wide array of benefits for the user. Now, let’s take a closer look at them.

Rehabilitation.  This treatment can be recommended as part of rehabilitation in the postoperative period because it can enhance lymphatic and blood circulation, which hastens the healing time. Besides, percussion therapy is helpful for stiff joints and spasms of muscles, as it stretches out their fibers. All this is particularly beneficial for those who, for some reason, cannot attend a physical therapist or cannot do it regularly enough.

With deep tissue massagers, patients suffering paralysis will benefit from muscle stimulation that will prevent atrophy and improve reflexes.

Reach athletic goals. Percussion massagers are used by professional trainers as they are known to help athletes enhance their performance. After intense workouts, they have to deal with sore muscles, which is why recovery is an integral part of professional-level workouts. Providing stronger muscle contractions, these devices reduce recovery time, while the enhanced blood flow decreases fatigue. All this makes the athletes more robust and more durable.

Boost immunity.  Even though you don’t suffer from any disorder or disease, a percussion massager can be helpful for you. Improving blood circulation will make you feel better and relaxed. This therapy is also applied to help reduce the number of muscle toxins. On top of that, this is a good way to boost your immunity, improve digestion and even sleep better.

Coping with stress. With the enhanced blood flow, oxygen consumption is improved, which results in better breathing. The latter, in its turn, brings down stress and relieves anxiety.

Pain alleviation. One of the essential benefits of these devices is that they can decrease pain. The higher amplitude the massager has the more effective it is in pain management. And yet, there is not enough scientific evidence proving that percussion massagers can really alleviate pain. According to Dr. Charles Kim, assistant professor at NYU Langone Health’s Rusk Rehabilitation, while different frequencies are known to impact the muscular healing process and relaxation, there is no convincing study in the field of pain management.

Before anything else, plug the unit if it is corded or insert batteries in a cordless model. Put the required attachments following the label direction and turn on the massager.

  1. Unless the doctor recommends otherwise, the first place you should treat with the massager is your shoulders and the back of your neck. Move the device from one shoulder to another as it is the region where the muscles are often tense. Do not apply it to the areas where bones protrude.
  2. Start with the lowest setting, gradually increasing the speed. Keep in mind that most units can be adjusted throughout a session so that the user can choose the most comfortable setting.
  3. Then, massage your back, moving along your spine. Never put the device directly over your spine, instead, massage the muscles on either side of it.
  4. When you feel that your muscles start to relax, switch to the lower back, where the muscles are usually stiff.
  5. After that, move down to your buttocks, focusing on the hamstrings that often cause lower back issues.
  6. Massage your calves and the ab region, the latter should be treated using the lowest setting.
  7. You can apply the unit to your chest as stimulating the area around the heart enhances the blood flow while massaging the lymphatic nodes improves your immunity.
  8. And finally, move to your arms and wrists.

Since a percussion massager isn't a cheap gizmo, you should consider some aspects before you part with your money.

One-person/two-person. There are models that are larger in size and require someone to move the unit along your body. For some people, this is not a problem as they can ask their partners to do so, while others prefer massager that can be used without assistance. For example, if you have to travel a lot, the latter type will be the best option for you.

Weight. Keep in mind that the heavier the device the more intense pressure it can apply. On the other hand, lightweight models are easier to maneuver and reach specific body areas.

Design. Apart from being a nice-looking product, it should have an ergonomic design. The device should be easy to grasp and operate, and simply feel comfortable in your hand. Keep in mind that the model with a long handle is more convenient.

The number of heads. For the most part, the more heads are built in the unit the better. However, if you want to treat only one spot, a single-head model will work better for you.

Features. The therapy's effectiveness is directly dependent on how many features the product has. By adjusting the speed, you are more likely to achieve your goal.

Material. Your massager will last longer if it is made from a durable, high-quality material. Make sure that the unit has aluminum or stainless steel parts. High-quality material is also safer in case the device overheats.

Pedro Bernardes, an expert on fitness and sports equipment at Gadget Reviews, explains what factors contribute to developing strength.

When you do massages, even with these gadgets, you should always know what you are doing. Otherwise, you take a very big risk of doing more bad than good. This being said, this is a gadget that should only be used by certified professionals.

Like most machines, the more adaptations the better. In this case, the more speed, strength, and heads options, the better. Be careful because cheaper isn’t always the better option and, sooner or later, you will find yourself in need to buy another one. There are some other options you should look for like weight, head articulation, temperature sensors, displays, motor options, or battery usage.

TOP Best Massage Gun Reviews | Best Trusted from 2020 to 2022

Below, you will find the best devices at a price ranging from $150 to $600. We've gathered the most trusted manufacturers for the three last years, from 2020 to 2022, who are still the market leaders in producing massage guns.

These models have different designs, weights, and sizes and exert different amounts of force. The number of percussions varies from model to model, as well as the number of speed options. Some items have as many as six attachments for various body parts — from the large muscle groups to tender areas — which will make the massage more accurate and efficient.

1. PlayMakar MVP Wireless Percussion Massage Gun | Best Trusted for the Money

Recommended by professional bodybuilders, this powerful percussive therapy tool will recover your muscles and relieve muscle strains. Manufactured by a Texas-based company with 20-year experience in the industry, the PlayMakar massage is a high-performance, medical-grade device delivering impressive results. While being powerful, it boasts low-noise operation, with the noise level not exceeding 58dB.


Equipped with a high-torque motor (up to 5400 percussions per minute), the device allows you to choose between six-speed settings so that you can select the most comfortable deep-tissue massage. With a weight of 2 pounds, it is more lightweight than many other competitive models and, therefore, easier to hold and operate. Besides, the massager is cordless and comes with a 2400mAh Li-ion battery, lasting more than 3 hours on a charge.

What we like about this model is quality assembly, power, convenience, and fair price for a professional-grade device.

If you want to learn more about how we tested it, check out our PlayMakar Massage Gun Review.

PlayMakar: Check the current price

2. Theragun PRO Percussive Therapy Device | Best Professional Deep-Tissue Percussion Massager

PRO is the most expensive model on the market that is used to treat muscles, assist recovery, and relieve pain. This brand is well known for its professional-grade products. The Theragun company was set up in 2007 by Dr. Wersland, a chiropractor who made a decision to develop his own product after he had suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident. 


One of the main advantages of this model is that it was designed for professional use and is the most advanced model on the market. It will take you less than a minute to work one muscle group, making it more flexible and stronger. This unit is a real beast as it exerts about 60 pounds of force. The massager offers 2-speed options — a standard one and a lighter one, with the former producing up to 40 percussions per second.

The product comes with six attachments, which can be used depending on your needs. Whether you want to treat tender areas, large muscle groups, shoulders, or the lower back, you will find an appropriate attachment in the kit. The product features a comfortable design with an ergonomic handle, while the arm can be adjusted to 4 angles.

Since this percussion gun is so powerful, no wonder that is operates on two rechargeable batteries. This means that you will not have to spend extra money on purchasing new batteries. Customers rate this model highly, saying that this is an awesome device that provides immediate relief, helping with tight muscles and cramps. Some of them recommend taking advantage of the app that can be used as a good guide. Although this percussion gun is the priciest on the list, it is really worth buying!

Theragun PRO: Check the current price

3. iReliev Percussion Massager | Best Trusted Under $150

While being affordable, the gun delivers a truly deep-tissue massage with a 10-mm stroke length. This means that the massager relieves muscle soreness and stiffness quickly and easily, improving your range of motion. Another feature that distinguishes this model from many other products in the budget-friendly category is its powerful, high-torque motor. What we like about this model is quality assembly, power, convenience, and fair — not inflated — price of $129.95

The machine produces 3,200 RPM, which is a very good speed, given that anything from 1,740 to 2,400 RPMs is already considered pretty powerful. For comparison, the VYBE Percussion massage gun will give you only 500 to 2,400 RPMs, and the more expensive Theragun Pro, which was described above, features a maximum of 2400 RPMs. Additionally, the iReliev percussion massage gun is adjustable with 3 levels of intensity.


Apart from being a potent and efficient massage tool, this device is comfortable to use. In particular, the machine is surprisingly quiet as it emits low-noise vibrations, unlike many other powerful massage guns. With a noise level of just 45dB, it is comparable to the operation of a good household refrigerator or a suburban area at night. In my thinking, it is not just about comfort. A noiseless massage tool is more likely to help you achieve better relaxation, while loud sounds may even cause headaches.

Another advantage of the iReliev massager is versatility. The tool comes with 4 interchangeable attachments that are intended for different applications. If you need a full-body massage, choose a round-head attachment, a forkhead is ideal for the spine area, a bullet head is applied for spot treatment on the feet and hands, while a flat head works great on large muscle groups. And lastly, the machine includes a long-lasting battery with 4 hours of runtime. As an added benefit, the battery is designed to be recharged without needing to remove it from the unit. Just plug it in, and that’s it!

iReliev: Check the current price

4. TimTam Power Massage Guns

In addition to Theragun, there is another reputable brand of high-end massagers — TimTam. Why trust this brand? Well, just look at who the founders of TimTam are — Georges St-Pierre, Canadian professional mixed martial artist and UFC world champion, and Kelly Starrett, physical therapist and coach.

No wonder they have created genuinely professional-grade massagers! Notably, the company’s clients include trainers, athletes, therapists as well as ordinary consumers. That is why those looking for a reliable and powerful massager can safely choose TimTam products.

There are two most popular models from TimTam — PowerMassager™ Pro and Power v1.5. The first one has a unique feature — a heated tip, which significantly enhances the effect of deep tissue massage. The machine has 3-speed settings and delivers up to 2,800 strokes per minute. It comes with a built-in temperature sensor and an LED display. Due to the adjustable arm, you can reach any area of your body without effort. The device has a durable battery lasting up to an hour of continuous operation. With a weight of 4 pounds, it is portable and convenient to use.

The second option, TimTam Power Massager v1.5, is less expensive and powerful as the device will give you 2000 strokes per minute. Nevertheless, this product has its own strong points. Its 90-degree articulating head and interchangeable tips will give you exactly the massage you want.

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

TimTam: Сheck the current price

Expert Opinion: Kelly Starrett, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Trainer

Kelly Starrett, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Trainer

Dr. Kelly Starrett is a trainer, physical therapist, and speaker. In 2007, he received a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Samuel Merritt University. In 2009, he launched his fitness website MobilityWOD. Kelly is among the TOP 100 most influential persons in health and fitness.

“What we do is addressing muscular stiffness or a trigger point. One of the things I can do easily to activate the brain to be part of the solution instead of just hammering away like a jackhammer on my soft tissue is that I can create a muscular contraction under the device. So what ends up happening now is as I timtam myself, I can contract — and I will hold that contraction for five seconds — and then I will be able to release. If I can’t come off tension quickly, it tells me maybe that the system is not clear. I should be able to push on the tissue pretty moderate pressure — and, by the way, that is how we know if tissue is normal or not. If I put some consistently moderate pressure into a tissue system, it should be painless. So if I push on something using percussion and it is painful, stop — you have just found a problem. When I locate an area that is stiff or it is painful, I am going to contract into the implement by creating resistance underneath that area. I am going to hold that for five seconds and I am going to release like a lightswitch”.

TimTam: Сheck the current price

4. Compex Ergonomic Design

The first thing to know about Compex is that it is a brand of the highest quality standard. Founded in Switzerland 30 years ago, the company is now a global leader in the industry of portable muscle stimulators. Complex products are medical-grade devices and are used by professional therapists and athletes. These devices have proved to be practical tools for pain management and muscle recovery. Apply it both before and after workouts to improve your athletic performance and speed up your recovery.


The Compex Fixx massager is particularly good for treating overworked and sore muscles as it provides massage penetrating deep into the muscle tissues. You can customize your massage by both using the device’s speed adjustment feature and putting pressure with your hand. The device comes with 3-speed modes, three arm positions, and interchangeable massage heads. Besides, you can purchase additional attachments — a cone and a pad.

This tool is popular not only with men but also with women. This is because of its ergonomic design and amazingly small weight — just 35 ounces. The more lightweight the device is, the longer you will be able to treat muscles effortlessly.

It has received much positive feedback from general consumers and professionals. For example, Italian cyclist Davide Belfiore is impressed with its ability to provide an immediate effect. Another satisfied buyer, CrossFit athlete Stefano Migliorini, recommends applying the tool after intense exercise to treat stiff muscles and trigger points.

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Compex: Сheck the current price

5. Best Portable Deep Tissue Massage Gun

BOB AND BRAD Q2 Mini Massage Gun is the best compact pocket-sized and lightweight (only 435 grams) gun on the market. It can operate for an extended period — up to 6 hours while charging takes from 2 to 3 hours. There are five modes, with the lower one giving 1800 percussions per minute and the fastest one delivering as many as 3000 rpm.

The pack includes four attachments, one of which is suitable for all body parts, another is intended for large muscle groups, the third one is designed for the upper back, and the fourth one will deliver deep tissue massage. The downside is that the device may interrupt its operation if you put too much pressure on it. Customers suggest applying this massage gun to alleviate muscle tension after workouts or such outdoor activities as hiking.

O`Yeet Massage Gun Review

UPD August 2022.  O`Yeet is my second massage gun (the first was the Play Makar gun I used and reviewed three years ago). This new one is quite impressive.

I participated in their Indigo crowdfunding campaign and received it as an early bird. But I think buying massage guns in online markets or on manufacturers' official websites is more comfortable and fast, ease of delivery, and return in case of warranty problems.

My computer-related work requires proper computer posture, calisthenics, stretching, and visits to an osteopath to prevent neck and back pain. And I found an excellent way to relax spasmodic muscles.

Previously, I used a regular percussion massager, but the problem was in the absence of impact on the deep layers of the muscles. Therefore, when percussion massagers appeared, I switched to them.

O`Yeet machine has been running without problems for over a year now. But if you look at the customer's reviews, not everyone is so lucky. But I think it's typical for all kinds of electric devices.

What differs O`Yeet from other massage guns

  • Charges only through the docking station may be a minus for some.
  • The massager is petite and comes in a convenient carrying case for those constantly traveling; this is a big plus.
  • The kit includes 8 nozzles, and all of them are useful. They allow you to carry out both broad and more localized impacts.
  • I use ball-type nozzles most often; they are the most versatile.
  • A double nozzle is also convenient for working out the paravertebral muscles.

The power of such a small device is awe-inspiring. I don't use more than the third stage. But perhaps more power is needed for professional bodybuilders.

In terms of design and ergonomics — everything is OK; it is convenient to hold due to the rubberized handle.

The battery lasts 40 - 60 minutes of continuous operation (depending on the operating mode used). Thus it probably won't work for professional use by a massage therapist.

There is a charge level indicator, so there are no problems understanding when to charge. The impact power is reduced at the red level, so you know the time to charge has come.


I should say that almost all massage guns from well-known manufacturers in the price range of $150 - $250 are alike. They use high-quality materials and new technologies. They are powerful, well assembled, not noisy, and provide warranty service. You can buy them online on markets or manufacturers' official websites.

12 Best-Selling Massage Guns | Theragun & Alternatives | Comparative Table

Pros And Cons of Massage Guns


  • A drug-free alternative in pain management. Although the treatment should be considered instead as a supplementary measure, it will allow reducing the consumption of medicines that usually have multiple side effects.
  • Portability. These devices are mostly handheld, and the user can typically do without someone’s assistance. This is particularly essential for those who have to travel a lot.
  • Affordable price. Generally, the price isn’t more than $500, but you can easily find a cheap option under $100. Additionally, owning an electric device will cost you less than attending a physical therapist regularly.


  • Jewelry and clothing can be entangled in the device and damaged.
  • Energy consumption. Battery-run models involve extra spending, mainly when used regularly.
  • Contraindications. They are not recommended for pregnant women, diabetics, and people with thrombosis and epilepsy. You cannot use them if you have an implanted medical device.


Percussion massager vs Shiatsu: what is the difference?
Percussion penetrates deeply into the muscles. By using strikes and thumps, the percussion massager stimulates the skin, muscles, and veins. Shiatsu employs acupressure to release muscle tension and fix imbalances in the energy flow.

Is massage gun good for athletes?
Yes, it is. Professional-grade models are available on the market and they have proven to help athletes recover faster and easier. By treating your muscles before and after workouts, you will make them more flexible as well as will improve tissue connectivity.

What is the best percussion massage gun?
Theragun and Play Makar are definitely the best models I have reviewed. While being designed for professionals, it is very comfortable to use.

As to the sound and reasonable price, I think that PlayMakar MVP is the best-trusted massage gun for the money. For about 200 bucks, you get a professional medical-grade, high-powered percussion massager equipped with a high-torque motor (up to 5400 percussions per minute).

Read a detailed insight into trusted percussion massagers in our Buyer's Guide - Best Massage Gun Reviews.

Can you use a massage gun for cellulite?
Yes, it works on the areas affected by cellulite, such as the ab, buttocks, and legs. This kind of device is supposed to make your skin more elastic.

Can you use it for the lungs?
If you suffer from pulmonary diseases, a percussion massager can be very helpful as it facilitates loosening the mucus in your lungs. Debora Leader, a medical writer, specializing in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, suggests using electronic devices for chest percussion. She notes that the best time to perform this therapy is in the morning because your lungs build up mucus while you are asleep.

Vibration Therapy Massager | Best Cheap

A nice sleek design is the first thing that jumps out at you but is by no means the only benefit. This product is recommended by sports trainers and professional therapists, and there are reasons for that. It comes with two motors — one for percussion and the other for vibration. Vibration delivers a soothing massage while percussion gets deep into the muscle tissue.

Its ergonomic design will allow you to treat hard-to-reach areas of your body effortlessly. Another peculiarity that distinguishes this item from the others on the list is that it can be applied directly to the face. This will help to reduce stress and tension in the jaw muscles. There are five attachments for the percussion end, while the vibration side is designed only for a facial attachment.

Customers say that this massager is even more potent than those used by therapists in clinics. They use it for pain relief and recovery, noting that it works well, but the battery dies too quickly. Some buyers complain that attachment falls off the vibration side of their massagers, but these are individual cases. Their other gripe was about the unit turning off once the pressure was applied.

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Purewave: Check the current price

Cheap Alternative under $50

If your budget is limited, you may opt for this item as it is the most affordable percussion massager in our review. It cannot boast the performance of Theragun, produces much noise, and comes only with 3 attachments. 

With a weight of about 3.5 pounds, this unit is lightweight enough. I like its compact and ergonomic design, particularly the massage arm that can rotate 90 degrees. Surprisingly, for the price, it offers more speed levels (6) and can give you up to 2400 strokes per minute. The manufacturer promises that you will feel real percussion that penetrates deep into the muscles. This model also runs on two rechargeable batteries.

Well, judging by the feedback, this thing does the job, helping to cut the time spent on recovery. Customers also speak well of the trigger button, which is very convenient to use as you will not have to hold it down during the treatment. With one click, you will turn on or turn off the unit. But this percussion gun is really very noisy as some customers say that they have to put on their earbuds while using the device.

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other interesting articles about percussion massagers

ZTECH Percussion Massage Gun - Gear Hungry

If you are looking for a portable percussion massage gun to help you with muscle recovery and relaxation, check out the ZTECH Percussion Massage Gun.
Massage Gun Brand Comparison: Hypervolt vs. Theragun and Tim tam vs. Theragun.

Tips and bits of advice on YouTube

How to Use a Percussion Massage Gun for Back Pain Relief

Benefits of Percussive Therapy

Top 5 Best Massage Gun of (2021)

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