They can be useful before a workout, too, warming up the body, reducing the risk of injury, and helping boost your performance.
It can be difficult to know just what to look for when choosing the best massage gun for your needs, so I’ve designed this useful guide to help.
First, we’ll take a look at the features to consider before making your choice, then I’ll list my top 7 models and the reasons I recommend them.
So let’s get started!
The 7 Best Massage Guns in 2023
What to Look for in a Massage Gun
The best massage guns will come with at least two different massage heads, designed to provide relief in different areas.
These usually include a ball attachment for larger muscle groups and a bullet, which is a single pointed head to work on tough knots and activate deep tissue.
Depending on the brand, these can be made from soft foam or hard plastic.
If the massage gun you prefer doesn’t come with the attachment you want, don’t necessarily let this deter you.
Many brands sell additional attachments separately.
Other things to think about include:
#1: Battery Life
The best massage guns usually come with rechargeable batteries.
I have included the battery life for each of my favorite models in the specs below.
Ideally, you’ll want at least an hour – not because you’ll be using the massage gun for an hour at a time (you won’t!), but just to save you from having to charge it with every use.
A long battery life is also useful if you plan to take your massage gun to the gym, or use it when traveling.
#2: Size and Weight
Decide whether you want a full-size massage gun or a mini version.
Mini massage guns are more lightweight and can be easier to maneuver. They are also more convenient for travel.
However, they tend to be a little less powerful than full-size massage guns, so you’ll need to decide which factor is the most important to you.
#3: Stroke Depth and Stall Force
You’ll see the term ‘stroke depth’ listed in the specs for each of the best massage guns below.
Also known as ‘amplitude’, this refers to the depth to which the massage head will travel into your muscle – so the higher the stroke depth, the deeper the massage.
If you prefer a more gentle massage, you may be happy with a lower stroke depth.
But if you prefer a more aggressive, deep-tissue massage, you’ll want to look for a higher number.
You’ll also need to consider the stall force – the amount of applied pressure the device can stand without stalling.
Again, the perfect stall force depends on how aggressive you want your massage to be – you’d need a higher level for more intense therapy.
The 7 Best Massage Guns
Battery Life: 3.5 Hours, Weight: 2.2 lbs, Stroke Depth: 13 mm, Stall Force: 62 lbs, Noise Level: 36 – 52 Decibels
|Powerful and quiet||May be too powerful for some users|
|Strong aluminum composite housing|
|Comes with a well-made carrying bag|
With a higher-than-average stall force, this powerful model is an upgraded version of the original, capable of giving a deeper massage than ever to help work out those hard knots.
Ideal for use after a long run or a hard workout at the gym, it comes with 6 attachments for targeting different areas.
These include the RecoverFun Flex – previously only sold separately – which is softer and bouncier than typical heads.
This saves you from pain if you accidentally hit a bone and makes the amplitude feel even greater. It also makes this device gentle enough for seniors.
This is one of the quietest models I tried and is excellent value for money, comparing well to models selling for twice the price!
Battery Life: 6 Hours, Weight: 1.8 lbs, Stroke Depth: 12 mm, Stall Force: Not Stated, Noise Level: 40 – 50 Decibels
|7 speed levels||No charging plug included – USB cable only|
|Easy-to-use smart LED touchscreen||Handle diameter feels a bit large if you have small hands|
|Strong carrying case – ideal for travel|
When you’re looking for the best massage gun, ‘budget’ versions are usually best avoided as they just don’t have the power or durability you need.
But that’s not the case with this model – its penetration force is more than enough to soothe aching muscles and it’s quiet enough to use without disturbing other gym-goers or family members at home.
It also has exceptionally good battery life, and whilst the promised 6 hours only applies if you use it at low power, I still found it lasted much longer than other massage guns for regular use.
It comes with a whopping 10 replaceable massage heads – probably more than you’ll actually need but still nice to have – and I really liked the LED touchscreen that makes it easy to change the speed and see how much life is left in the battery.
Battery Life: 2 Hours, Weight: 2.2 lbs, Stroke Depth: 16mm, Stall Force: 40 lbs, Noise Level: Not Stated
|Unique shape makes it easy to reach awkward areas||Lowest setting still too high for some users|
|Comes with a tough protective case|
Theragun’s Elite model is an improved (and therefore more expensive!) version of the Theragun Prime (my overall top pick in this guide).
But if you’re happy to invest a little more, you certainly won’t be disappointed, with the Elite offering a higher stall force of 40 lbs and an additional Wedge attachment.
This is designed for your shoulders and IT bands (the fibers running from the outside of your hips down to the top of your shinbone) and is used for scraping, flushing movements to promote circulation and decrease tension.
(Don’t make this your deciding factor, though – you can buy the Wedge separately and use it with other Theragun models if you prefer).
The Elite does, however, come with a much nicer carrying case than that provided with the Prime, plus it’s exceptionally quiet and has a great OLED screen – nice little extras if you’re happy to pay for them.
Battery Life: Not Stated, Weight: 1.5 lb, Stroke Depth: 8 mm, Stall Force: 40 lbs, Noise Level: 30 – 50 Decibels
|Great for awkward areas like the shoulders and back||Limited stroke depth|
|Comfortable, soft grip handle||No instructions for attachments (although you can find them online)|
If you’ve ever used a Bob and Brad YouTube video to help heal your aches and pains, you’ll know that these guys know their stuff!
So I was excited to try their lightweight massage gun – and I’m pleased to report that I wasn’t disappointed.
Affordable and super quiet, it comes with 5 different attachments, all packed into a good quality case that protects it when traveling.
At 8mm, the amplitude is lower than other massage guns on this guide.
That means it won’t power into your muscles as deeply, but is still more than adequate for those with a smaller build or looking for a less powerful treatment.
Its light weight makes it comfortable to use – even for extended periods of time – and the 5 speed modes make it easy to customize your massage to your needs.
Battery Life: 3.5 Hours, Weight: 2.3 lbs, Stroke Depth: 14.5 mm, Stall Force: 50 lbs, Noise Level: 45 – 55 Decibels
|Compact and quiet||Only 3 speed settings|
|Available in 3 colors|
|High quality, protective case|
It was tough to choose between this and the Theragun Prime as the best massage gun overall.
It has some great features that certainly make it worth considering, with only its lack of speed settings giving the Prime the edge.
With a higher-than-average stall force and impressive amplitude, the Apex will give you a powerful deep tissue massage and soothe away discomfort.
It’s made with a sound-absorbing shell and has a high-precision internal structure that effectively reduces noise, so it was one of the quietest models I tried, even at the highest speed.
There are 6 different massage heads to make it easy to target particular muscles and the overall design is very comfortable to use, with an ergonomic grippy handle that’s easy to hold.
Battery Life: 3 Hours, Weight: 1.5 lbs, Stroke Depth: 13mm, Stall Force: Not Stated, Noise Level: Not Stated
|QuietGlide technology for hyper-quiet sessions||No bag supplied|
|Made with high-quality, durable materials||Only 3 speed settings|
|Comes with power adapters for international outlets|
HyperIce is a leading brand in percussive technology, and its TSA-approved Hypervolt Go 2 is specially designed for traveling.
It’s easy to pop in your bag for a soothing massage after a heavy gym workout, or after long runs when you’re away from home.
It has a premium look and feel, with an Arctic grey color and ergonomic design, plus it comes with 2 interchangeable heads.
This may be fewer than other models, but is all you’ll really need when traveling.
Despite its very light weight, this massage gun packs quite a punch and is much more powerful than its small size would have you believe, delivering on-the-go relief from knots and tension.
Battery Life: 2 Hours, Weight: 2.2 lbs, Stroke Depth: 16 mm, Stall Force: 30 lbs, Noise Level: Not Stated
|Excellent amplitude for effective relief from sore muscles||Carrying bag is not very protective|
|Quiet, powerful motor|
|Useful guidance provided by app|
A slightly more affordable alternative to the Elite model, the Theragun Prime is another excellent offering from a name you can trust.
It is exceptionally comfortable to use, its unique, ergonomically designed handle making it easy to reach areas like the lower back without the contortions required by some of the other guns!
I also like the four attachments that come with it, which are streets ahead in terms of quality than those provided with cheaper models.
They are made from a closed-cell foam that feels pleasant against your skin and include a standard ball and dampener for all-over use, plus a cone and thumb to tackle your toughest knots.
There are 5 speeds built-in which are clearly displayed with LED indicators and you can customize both the speed range and force by connecting via Bluetooth to the Theragun app.
The 7 best Massage Guns: Key Takeaways
A massage gun delivers effective, targeted pressure to a range of muscles and makes an affordable alternative to professional massage therapy.
I hope this guide has been useful in finding a model to suit your needs and that you are soon enjoying the benefits of percussive therapy in the comfort of your own home.