Aug 16, 2023

The 7 Best Massage Guns on Amazon, According to Certified Trainers

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Recovery tools that are easy to order. Plus, easy to return if they don't work out.

LET'S TALK about massage guns–they're one of the latest game-changers in muscle recovery, offering rapid, percussive strokes that massage muscle tissue, stimulate blood flow, and aid in breaking up adhesions. They're great for relief from daily stress, sole muscles, or an otherwise active lifestyle. But frankly, not everyone needs one. And not everyone who wants one can shell out for a top-tier Theragun or Hyperice model (though if that's what you're looking for, check out our full list).

In desperate times of soreness or tightness, Amazon can put you on the fast track to relief with a massager in-hand just a day or two after ordering (sometimes even less). And for the high-ticket massagers we've included below, you'll still likely shell out less than you would for a Theragun or Hyperice. How? These gems are almost always on sale, often 40-60% off (trust us, we've been tracking them for over 6 months). Plus, if the recovery tool isn't a good fit for you, you can return hassle-free through the e-commerce site.

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But here's the thing—a good massage gun is not solely about raw power; it's about striking the ideal balance between amplitude and battery life, particularly on budget models. A powerful motor may appear appealing, but it could result in unnecessary pressure and discomfort during use. So, understanding that more power doesn't always equal better performance is a major key to navigating lesser-known massage gun brands found on Amazon.

To optimize your massage gun experience, remember that less is more. MH Fitness Director and Strength & Conditioning Coach Ebenezer Samuel recommends spending approximately 90-120 seconds on each muscle group, moving the gun along the direction of muscle fibers and avoiding the joints for best results. "Avoid aggressively applying pressure deep into the muscle; using a massage gun should never cause discomfort," he explains.

If you're in search of an Amazon-accessible yet potent massage gun to elevate your recovery routine, you're in luck. We've handpicked some diamonds in the rough off Amazon that compete with the best name-brand models in terms of performance, and are more affordable. Below, the top 7 massage guns on Amazon to shop this year.

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We really love the 45º holding angle and weight balance of this gun, which eliminate any feeling of wrist fatigue or strain when you are angling for hard-to-reach areas. Its 14.5mm amplitude gets deep into the tissue, and feels on par with the Theragun PRO we tested it against.

Despite the hefty power, this massage gun is surprisingly quiet, thanks to sound-absorbing and drop-resistant materials used in the shell. It can also be used continuously for over 3.5 hours, making it one of the longest-lasting options we rated.

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The Compex Fixx 1.0 Massager is bulkier than most, but if power is what you're after (which isn't suitable for everyone), it makes up for it with a solid 3,200 percussions per minute. Although the amplitude isn't disclosed on any product page online, this is another gun that feels up-to-par with the big boys from Therabody and Hyperice.

Despite the chunky design, an adjustable-angle arm works well to finagle reaching all areas of the body with ease. It also comes with four different massage heads, has three different speed settings and an extra rechargeable battery.

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This version from NordicTrack retails for $179 on the brand's site, which makes the $34 price tag on Amazon nearly unbelievable. (We still don't understand it, frankly). But with a 4.5 star rating from buyers on the e-commerce site, it's clearly a deal worth taking advantage of.

It is a little louder than some pricier, weightier options, but with four interchangeable massage heads and five speed settings, this massager is well worth its price.

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Seven interchangeable head attachments and five speed settings packed into a sleek, aesthetic monochromatic tool. In our experience, the Mebak 3 offers a similar experience to higher end models at a more reasonable price. Though still more expensive than some name-brand base models at full-price, it's been on sale for almost the last two years.

We found it portable and quiet, with a working sound level of only 35-50dB. It also weights just over 2 pounds and comes with a compact carrying case for easy transportation with all attachments (which adds to the luxe feel of it all).

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For those who like the idea of a mini massager to throw in a gym, work, or travel bag for on-the-go use, check out the Powerboost Move from Sharper Image. The shape and size lend itself well to packing, however, it surprisingly weighs as much as most full-sized guns (so beware if your work bag or suitcase is already pushing its weight limit).

Nonetheless, it offers 4 speeds, 4 different massage heads, and a level of power than competes well with more traditional options. In terms of battery life, you'll notice a difference with this one tapping out before its bigger competitors, but it still fits the bill for when you need a more compact tool.

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This gun from TOLOCO comes with 10 massage heads and can be used at 8 different speeds—that's far more than most massage guns out there. At just about $90 (plus, it's often on sale), it's the most versatile option we feel is worthy of a recommendation.

It also features a smart touchscreen, where you can adjust the percussion speed and view how much battery life is left in the tank. Meaning you can easily keep an eye on when you need to charge and when your gun will power through. Although it's marketed as lasting up to 6 hours between charges, we found it lasts more like half of that if you have it running primarily on speed levels 4+. (Most guns offer about 3 hours of charge at baseline, so we think this one is still pretty solid.)

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The Power Plate Pulse exceeds most other comparable products on the market when it comes to battery life. Its six vibration intensity levels and 6-hours of use from a single charge make it a cut above the rest.

We love that it is also quieter and lighter (by about 20%) than its predecessor model, making it a great upgrade for current Pulse owners. It now comes with six attachments and features an antimicrobial coating to prevent the spread of everyday bacteria (so don't be concerned about using it while sweaty).

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Renato Sanchez, PT, DPT, C.S.C.S., a physical therapist from Bespoke Treatments San Diego recommends first asking yourself why you’re considering a massage gun in the first place.

"What are you looking to get out of one? Is it for recovery, pain relief, or helping you reach your fitness goals?" Depending on your answer, different features may matter more or less to you.

To learn more about what to look for in a massage gun, we spoke with Pham and Josh Orendorf, a physical therapist, certified personal trainer and the owner of Paceline Physical Therapy, in Franklin, Tennessee.

“The three most important things for me are reliability, noise, and battery life,” says Orendorf. “I need something that I know is well-made and won’t malfunction during operation, especially because I’m using it on injured athletes." Noise is the next most important factor, because you don't want your massager to drown out everything else whenever you use it, he explains.

Reliability: Orendorf notes that reliability is still key and that it’s worth investing in a legitimate brand with high-quality standards rather than a knockoff. “Be prepared to spend at least $250 to $350 for a quality product,” he says. “I would be very suspect of guns in the $100 range.”

Noise: Pham agrees that keeping treatment quiet is a major priority. “Personally, noise to me is number one,” says Pham. “I want to be able to use the massage guns in public, and having it sound like a power tool would make it unusable.”

Battery life: Next up is battery life, as Orendorf says he also can’t have guns dying in the middle of treatment. He says that he expects a massage gun to last several full days without requiring a charge. “You’ll also want to be able to throw the gun in your bag or take it on a weekend trip without worrying about finding an outlet,” he says.

Power and speed: Sufficient power and speed is essential to effectively penetrate the muscles and promote blood flow. Look for a massage gun with a high percussive force and adjustable speed settings so you can deliver adequate force to different muscles.

Attachments: Different attachments can provide different massage techniques and sensations that may be suitable for different muscles. Look for a massage gun that comes with a variety of attachments to target different muscle groups and areas of the body.

Portability: A portable and lightweight massage gun is ideal, especially if you plan to use it on the go or travel with it. Consider the weight, size, and the case included.

Additional accessories and features: Of course, even the best guns leave room for improvement. Some options come with convenient travel cases and charging stands—something Orendorf would like to see more products offer. He also mentions that dishwasher-safe attachment heads would make for easier cleaning. And, as the market continues to progress, he hopes for smaller (yet still powerful) designs and Bluetooth app integration.

If you're looking for relief from muscle pain, soreness, or to speed up recovery, the world of massage guns is a good place to be.

"There’s plenty of research to show massage guns have the ability to increase mobility, decrease pain and soreness, and improve overall performance. It won’t be the fix-all tool to dramatically improve your health, but it will be a valuable supplement to your routine," adds Sanchez.

As in, remember not to slack on proper nutrition, rest, and mobility work whether or not you're using a massager regularly.

Massage guns can also be used as a self-myofascial release tool if you don't have a foam roller lying around, says Vinh Pham, a physical therapist and the founder of Myodetox, a manual therapy and movement clinic with locations in Canada and the U.S. “You can use it pre-workout to warm up the muscles and post-workout to decrease tightness and soreness,” he added.

Pham notes that benefits include everything from decreased stress, pain and tissue tension to enhanced recovery, blood circulation and range of motion.

Want to learn exactly how you should be using one of these buzzy tools? Check out our how-to-use massage guns guide for instructions for best practices before, during, and after workouts.

At Men's Health, we take great pride in providing our readers with reliable and trustworthy product recommendations. We believe that our readers deserve the best, which is why we always make sure to conduct thorough research and testing before making any recommendations.

Our writers and editors are also experts in their own right, using their informed opinions as certified trainers and fitness experts to select products and ensuring that our content is of the highest quality. Our product recommendations are purely editorial, and while we may receive free products to test and review, we only recommend the products we are most impressed by. We never let retailers or public relations contacts dictate our content or product coverage, which is why you can trust us to provide you with reliable and unbiased product recommendations.

For the past two years, Men's Health's Fitness editors and writers have been testing the best massage guns for post-workout recovery and muscle tension relief. Experts, including MH Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. and Fitness and Commerce Editor Talene Appleton, NASM, evaluated and compared the best massage guns on Amazon against those from the two brands we see most credible in the industry: Therabody and Hyperice. We also interviewed experts including physical therapists and trainers to gain diverse perspectives on what sets some massage guns on Amazon above the rest.

When evaluating each device from Amazon, we looked at factors like durability, effectiveness, battery life, amplitude and portability. We also considered price point, as some massage gun models pack a better overall value than others.

Renato Sanchez, PT, DPT, CSCS, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, who practices at Bespoke Treatments San Diego.

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LET'S TALKRead more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Fitness ProductsRead more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Fitness ProductsBest Massage Guns | Best Compression Boots | Best Recovery Slides and Sandals | Best Home Gym Equipment Best Home Gym Equipment Read more: Best Shoes for Standing All DayRead more: Best Compression Pants Best Compression Pants Read more: Best Compression Socks Best Compression Socks Best Compression SocksRead more: Best Weightlifting ShoesRead more: Best Running ShoesBest Running ShoesBest Running ShoesRead more: Best Workout HeadphonesBest Workout HeadphonesBest Workout HeadphonesRead more: Best Indoor Rowing MachinesReliabilityNoiseBattery lifePower and speedAttachmentsPortabilityAdditional accessories and features