The 12 Best Handheld Massagers for Gentle and Deep Tissue Massage 

 March 1, 2021

By  Pham

Introducing a handheld massager into your life can lead to multiple health and mental benefits. A massager is your companion when you can’t afford to go to a professional massage therapist. Having garnered immense popularity, the best handheld massagers is marked by its durable and efficient performance.

Each model is portable, lightweight, and user-friendly. You can easily work them up your back or neck to release tension and fatigue after an exhausting day.

However, choosing a massager that best fits your needs relies on a number of factors. So, in this article, you’ll be looking into the features of some of the topmost handheld massagers that truly live up to their benefits and your expectations.

What Can a Handheld Massager Do For You?

Everyone’s aware of what a handheld massager does in general. However, knowing how it can boost your health and well-being personally isn’t common knowledge. So here’s what research says...

Boosts Blood Circulation

It has been proven that a heat-induced massage drastically improves blood circulation and muscle flexibility. A percussion massager, more specifically, delivers throbbing pulses to the affected area and stimulates blood flow. This, in turn, encourages more oxygen to reach your muscles, thus reducing muscle fatigue.

Relaxing Muscles Tissue

When the massager comes in contact with your skin, your nervous system naturally falls into relaxation mode. The pressure applied to the soft tissues helps in alleviating painful muscle spasms and contractions.

Progressive muscle relaxation (1), a common practice performed by psychologists, is one of the best ways to fight stress and anxiety. That said, a handheld massager offers such a tonic dose to your stressed muscles by gradually relaxing their tissues and reducing nerve compression.

Handheld massagers, with their tapping and kneading movements, also release tension from compressed nerves to normalize neural functions and relax your soft ligaments and tendons.

In fact, sometimes it’s impossible for even a massage therapist to apply pressure to the deeper layers of your body. At such times, a handheld massager’s adjustable heads, pointed balls, and nodes treat those muscles with a deep-tissue massage.

Provides Heat Therapy

When heat is paired with a strong, pounding massage, the results are nothing but relieving. It’s a scientific-backed fact that long-term heat therapy improves mitochondrial functions of your muscles.

So if you’ve been experiencing muscle knots or spasms in the back that activate when you’re walking or sitting a certain way, then it means your body is probably very stiff. And in the long-term, a stiff and sedentary lifestyle is linked with disease and disability.

That said, handheld massagers are designed to relieve cramps, restless leg syndrome, and spasms since they deliver Shiatsu-style and deep tissue massages.

Improves Quality of Sleep

The relaxing effect provided by a handheld massager lowers stress and muscle tension significantly. With just a 10-minute to 20-minute massage session before bedtime, this device can help you sleep better.

Reduces Exertion Soreness

The condition of exertion soreness often arises when you make changes to your workout regimen. Or if you’ve just started exercising. At such times, a handheld massager stimulates your muscles, thus minimizing the soreness (2) and resistance.

Detoxifies the Body and Improves Digestion

The vibratory power of a handheld massager also prevents your muscles from feeling bulky. You’re bound to notice dramatic improvements in your digestive system as well. Because massages tend to boost healthy oxygen levels.

Improves Skin Appearance

It’s only natural for your skin to look better if the blood circulation around it is well-stimulated. And there’s just no denying that handheld massagers and massages in general boost blood circulation.

The Best Hand-Held Massagers We Reviewed

Here’s a collection of the top 12 best performing handheld massagers that combine durability, performance, and user-friendliness all in one.

RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Massager

The one that tops the list is a cordless percussion massager built with a powerful motor and long-lasting lithium-ion battery. If you think handheld massagers cannot relieve deep-rooted pains and aches in the neck, joints, back, shoulders, legs, etc., then you’ve got to be proved wrong with this one.

The multiple massage head attachments target deep tissue and break up stubborn knots in your muscles. The cordless, handheld design allows you to carry this pain and stress reliever wherever you go.

Plus, the simple control panel brings user-friendliness into the relaxing massage experience.

Key Features

  • Rechargeable battery with high capacity (140 minutes)
  • Powerful motor and 5 different massage head attachments
  • Longer handle for hard-to-access areas

TimTam Power Massager v1.5 Deep Tissue Massage Gun

The only gun legal to own should be a deep tissue massage gun like this. What you’re reading about right now is a handheld massager used by many professional athletes, trainers, and physiotherapists worldwide.

After all, TimTam here offers therapeutic benefits like boosting blood flow, releasing stored lactic acid, and breaking down knots.

Its powerful motor delivers around 2,000 strokes each minute, which is bound to speed up muscle recovery. And then there’s the 90-degree articulating head whose movement focuses on different regions of the body.

Key Features

  • Compact, lightweight percussion massager
  • 90-degree articulating head with a suite of tips
  • Powerful motor provides up to 2,000 strokes per minute

Read our full review of this product here.

Hyperice Hypervolt Portable Massage Device

You can relax your stiff and sore muscles for up to 3 hours straight (not at a stretch of course), and QUIETLY. The whisper-quiet operation is a result of the brand’s exclusive Quiet Glide technology.

It’s a state-of-the-art percussion device equipped with three different speeds and a motor that delivers 3,200 strokes per minute. Correcting bad posture and relieving muscle tension due to lifting weights or strenuous workouts; this massage gun does it all.

Key Features

  • Whisper-quiet cordless massager with a rechargeable battery
  • 3-speed settings and 3,200 percussions per minute
  • Easy and lightweight to carry/pack

Read our full review of this product here.

Brookstone 672469 Sport Handheld Massager

Targeted for athletes and trainers, this Brookstone handheld device consists of interchangeable modes that provide relief right where your muscles demand it the most. Speed control is a variable feature to make the massaging experience more relaxing and beneficial.

A lightweight and easy-to-use massager like this feels like a blessing in disguise when it can focus on your lower back, shoulders, neck, as well as your calves and legs.

Key Features

  • Interchangeable massage nodes
  • Heavy-duty massager with variable speed control
  • Very lightweight and handy
Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Massager

Handheld therapy in the form of this deep tissue percussion massager offers targeted and all-around muscle relief. It’s a versatile handheld machine that delivers a deep-penetrating and gentle massage, depending on how sore your muscles are.

4 attachment heads focus on specific muscle concerns. For example, the four-finger flex massager head relieves tension in your neck using finger-like nodes. The other 3 include deep muscle massager head, accupoint massager head, and flat disc massager head.

And you know this is a user-friendly device because of the long, sleek handle AND the long power cable.

Key Features

  • Deep tissue percussion massager delivers 3,350 pulses per minute
  • Adjustable massage intensity
  • 4 versatile massager heads
Vivreal Handheld Back Massager

Back pain being one of the most common concerns among both young and old adults, this deep tissue cordless massager is like a gift you would be giving to yourself. And not just your back, the ergonomic, handheld device features six interchangeable massage nodes. That target your legs, arms, shoulders, and neck.

With this thing, you can now enjoy a shiatsu-style massage without having to leave your home. You get 100 minutes of rechargeable battery life. And around 3,200 percussion pulses per minute.

Moreover, the massager automatically turns off after 15 minutes of use for safety purposes. So there’s no overuse or overheating in case you happen to fall asleep during your relaxing at-home massage session.

Key Features

  • Portable deep tissue massage therapy device
  • Interchangeable massage nodes and adjustable speeds
  • Powerful motor (3,200 pulses/minute) with auto-off safety
MIGHTY BLISS™ Deep Tissue Back and Body Massager

Take my word for it; you couldn’t be more pleased with this deep tissue back and body massager. Your muscle knots and spasms are bound to find relief with the 3,700-RPM capacity of the percussion motor.

The six different massage heads are powerful enough for muscle recovery and at-home therapy. And a never-ending battery life of over 120 minutes on a single charge.

The relative strength of a massager like this is the very reason why it’s so highly recommended.

Key Features

  • Super-powerful percussion motor (3,700 pulses/minute)
  • Slim, lightweight design with 6 massaging heads
  • 60-minute recharge time with 120-minute battery life
Pado PUREWAVE CM-07 Dual Motor Percussion

Do you know why this handheld massager is such a mentionable choice among trainers, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and the like? It’s because the professional-grade device offers dual function. This includes powerful percussion and soothing micro-vibration. The first of its kind I’ll say!

The ripple effects of the exclusive PUREWEAVE percussion with the micro-vibration soothing massage are the most useful for speeding up recovery. You can treat your back, neck, shoulders, head, legs, arms, and feet.

Key Features

  • Dual motor design for percussion and vibration therapy
  • Professional-grade, cordless, and lightweight
  • Adjustable percussive strength with numerous attachments
Theragun G3Pro Handheld Massager

Much quieter than the brand’s previous muscle stimulator (G2PRO), the G3PRO percussive device is among the most advanced handheld massagers of today. Its industrial-grade motor and ergonomic design make the device a true catch among trainers, athletes, physical therapists, etc.

With its 4 adjustable arm angles and 3 ergonomic grips, you can customize your at-home massage experience. With these, you get to even target specific muscle groups for enhancing performance, relieving muscle tension, and speeding up recovery.

What’s more is that the deal includes not one but two swappable li-ion batteries. Each offers a run-time of 75 minutes. That means undisturbed, continuous application.

Key Features

  • 2-speed settings; standard and sensitive
  • Scientifically-calibrated for deep muscle treatment
  • 4 adjustable arm angles, 3 ergonomic grips, and 2 swappable batteries
VIKTOR JURGEN Handheld Back Massager

Just sit back and allow your muscles around the spine to relax like never before. If I were on the marketing team of Viktor Jurgen, then these are the words I’d use to best describe the experience delivered by this handheld back massager of theirs.

It’s a double-head device that features 3 different sets of massage heads for your back as well as your neck, legs, and feet. The professional-strength offers as many as 3,350 muscle-relieving and circulation-boosting pulses per minute.

The grip is also a no-hassle feature with its comfortable, non-slip rubber design. Plus, it’s portable, so you carry it with you wherever you go.

Key Features

  • Double-head massager offers 3,350 pulses/minute
  • Customizable speed settings
  • Non-slip, rubber grip

WASAGUN Professional Handheld Vibration Massager

Stiff necks, bruises, sore shoulders, and chronic back pain – if you can identify with even one of these issues, then WASAGUN is what you need. A power massage gun with 4 interchangeable massage head attachments, the device pulsates and vibrates against affected muscles and pushes out the tension and soreness.

The device comes with an ergonomic 15-degree angled silicone handle that is easy to grip and rub over hard-to-reach places. Up to 4 hours of fully running battery, the massager works to reduce muscle recovery time and rejuvenates your entire body within minutes!

This device is perfect to take to the gym for a warm-up session and you can enjoy a deep, throbbing massage without any noise disruptions with this device!

Key Features

  • 4 Special massage head attachments that target muscle recovery and soreness
  • Ideal for chronic back conditions, stiff neck, and bruises
  • 5 different speed adjustments to adjust the intensity and pressure of the massage
  • Lightweight, portable, and user-friendly
  • Powerful motor with a noise reduction technology
  • Ergonomic, angled silicone handle for a comfortable grip
  • Travel-friendly

RecoveryVolt Handheld Percussion Massager

When it comes to a smart, artistic, and ergonomic design, RecoveryVolt Massage Gun is the best on this list. Its stellar performance comes from its superior quality materials that come together for a durable and long-lasting design. Running on an incredible fully-charged battery of up to 5 hours, the throbbing massage gun delivers 3000 strokes per minutes.  

These powerful strokes are perfect for waking tired muscles and boosting blood circulation. Instead of a pill, try the RecoveryVolt for muscle injury and witness the spectacular pain-relieving results. With 3 customized speeds for a personalized, deep-tissue massage and 5 different attachment tips, this massager intuitively targets all your trigger points and tight knots.

Key Features

  • Varying, custom speeds to target muscle recovery, soreness, stiffness, and warm up
  • Ergonomic design to massage hard-to-reach places
  • Long-lasting battery that runs up to 5 hours without disruptions
  • Noiseless, gentle yet powerful percussion motor that delivers 3000 strokes per minute
  • 5 different attachment heads for targeted body sections

Choosing a Handheld Massager That Meets Your Needs

In the end, even if you have a collection of handheld massagers to choose from, your decision ultimately depends on your personal conditions. So whenever choosing a handheld massager, try to consider the following things...

For Tight Muscle Knots

For tight muscle knots, it’s best to buy a handheld massager that targets trouble spots on your body. Stiff neck, sore calves, and aching back can all be grouped as tight muscle knots. For this reason, choose a percussion handheld massager with interchangeable heads and varying speeds.

Percussion therapy is groundbreaking for soft tissue pain. The handheld massager uses its different heads to deliver short, rapid pulses deep into your muscles. It’s perfect for targeted body areas.

You also need an easy-to-grip and ergonomically designed massager if you want to relieve tight muscle knots. A handheld massager with an angled grip is easy to push into hard-to-reach spots in your lower back.

For Muscle Recovery

For muscle recovery, look for a massage gun with varying speeds. You need a massager that delivers targeted, throbbing pulses to the affected areas after a heavy workout session.

The varying speeds create versatility in the massaging rhythms that help your muscles gradually relax and release the tension.

You should also look for massaging nodes that focus on minimizing muscle stiffness.

For Total Body Warm-Up

If you want blood rushing in your body, you’re probably looking for a massager that delivers gentle massages. In this case, a massage gun with pointed nodes and heads is not a suitable choice. Instead, choose a massager with a huge surface area to target larger muscle groups.

Factors to Take Into Account When Buying A Handheld Massager

The features and versatility of a product tell you a lot about its service life. So when looking for a massager, here are the things to consider…

Corded vs. Cordless

Many handheld massagers aren’t portable and require an electric source to operate. However, others easily operate for 2-4 hours on rechargeable batteries.

Also, make sure the corded handheld massager has a long power cord. So you can enjoy the freedom of movement even with the corded version. Speaking of which, if you only intend to use the product at home, then it’s fine to invest in a corded massager. It may need an electrical source but the pain-relieving benefits outweigh this limitation.

However, if you want complete freedom of movement while enjoying a massage, then a battery-reliant device is an ideal choice.

Portability is also incredibly important in such moments. So opt for a lightweight, easy-to-carry design that comes with a travel-friendly bag.

Ergonomic Design

Think about the design of your handheld massager. Do you prefer a short, wide, or long device? Small, compact massagers like massage guns are perfect for front body areas. But for hard-to-reach places, you might need a longer unit with a comfortable-to-grip handle.

Longer units also have a more sleek and slimmer body for an easier grip. Unlike their wider counterparts that are ideal for stimulating large muscle groups.

Number of Attachment Heads

Attachment heads, no doubt, influence the many ways you can use a massager. Most feature 3-6 massaging head attachments, which, if you ask me, are more than enough.

There are different components for different areas of the body, like a kneading massage head, scalp massage head, and four-finger flex massage head, accupoint massage head, and more.

Some units are designed for total-body massages that you can easily use for your soft muscle tissues all over the body.

Power and Pressure

Choose a handheld massager with a powerful, high-torque motor. For an effective massage, the motor should at least produce 2,000 pulses per minute. But if you’re looking for a deep tissue massage, then there are models with a motor that delivers up to 3,200-3,700 pulses per minute also.

How much pressure you apply actually depends on your muscle condition. A gentle massage doesn’t need a lot of force, so you’re good with just 2,000 pulses/minute. However, if you want to release knots, then only a higher pressure gets the job done.

Massaging Heads

There are two types of massaging heads: single and double. Single-head units have better reach as they target specific body sections. For muscle spasms in the neck or back, you can use single-head massagers.

Double-head massagers, on the other hand, cover large areas of the body quickly and easily. Therefore, they’re ideal for pre-workout warm ups.

Adjustable Speed

With multiple speed settings, you can customize your at-home massage session. Those who prefer a relaxing massage should select the lowest speed. And if your priority is to ease deep muscle tension and soreness, then the higher speed works at such times. Therefore, it’s good to own a massager that offers the best of both worlds.


Needless to say, lightweight massage guns are more travel-friendly and portable. You’re likely to use them for a longer period of time as they’re easy to move around the body. But, at the same time, you don’t want to end up choosing a flimsy massager by focusing on the weight.

In the case of handheld massagers, they’re specifically crafted with a slightly heavier weight. Simply because a little bit of weight makes the device more stable during application. Particularly when a higher speed setting is in action. A small weight and powerful motor does indeed sound like a horrible, unstable, and shaky combination.


Warranties are worth looking for as they add more value to the product. Warranty for handheld massagers, more often than not, spans across 1 to 2 years.

Be careful to also buy one with a guarantee tao prevent any potential damage or loss.

Customer FAQs

Can I Use A Handheld Massager On My Own? 

Yes, you can use a massager yourself without any assistance or help. Handheld massagers are specially built for self-use. Just make sure the device is not very heavy and features a long, sleek handle that gets to the hard-to-reach areas of your body.

Are Handheld Massagers Safe to Use?

The thing about electric massagers is that they do run the risk of burning your skin. Particularly if the device is designed with a heat function. So at the higher speed setting, the unit does indeed heat up.

But then renowned companies construct their massagers with an integrated automatic shut-off feature. This automatically turns off the massager after about 15-20 minutes of use, to prevent overheating of course.

When Not to Use An Electric Massager?

When you have the following conditions...

  • If you’re pregnant.
  • When on defibrillators.
  • On bruises, open wounds, or tumors.
  • On delicate, bony surfaces.
  • If, during use, there’s a lot of muscle soreness or pain, then it’s highly advisable to stop the session immediately

Do Handheld Massagers Provide Professional, Therapist-Like Massages?

Well, this depends. There’s no denying that machines cannot replicate humans. Nevertheless, a handheld massager comes pretty close.

The thing to take into account here is if the device is able to target the specific areas of your body that demand the most relief. No wonder it’s so important to choose a handheld massager based on your physical conditions and personal preferences.

What Do the Different Massaging Head Attachments Do?

The greater part of handheld massagers come with multiple head attachments that target different body sections. For example, your back, neck, shoulders, arms, calves, feet, scalp, etc.

Which Massaging Heads Are the Most Important?

For a gentle and relaxing massage, wide, rolling nodes are the best.

But if you’re an athlete or fitness enthusiast, then you’d be better off with a massager that offers a kneading massage head. For muscle soreness and pain relief, kneading as well as shiatsu heads are the most helpful.

How Quickly Do Handheld Massagers Relieve Muscle Tension?

The body functions differently from person to person. But, generally speaking, long-term muscle soreness and tightness requires a greater number of sessions to get better. As for simple, momentary muscle tension, a single application with a handheld massager is enough for alleviating the problem at hand.

Also, don’t forget that regular massages offer long-term health benefits.

Do I Need Heat Therapy On My Handheld Massager?

Once again, it’s all about personal preferences and your physical condition. Vibration therapy or percussion handheld massagers without the heat function are also very effective when it comes to delivering a deep tissue massage.

But if your focus is recovering from a sports injury or targeting body part-specific pain, such as lower back pain, then heat therapy goes a long way.

For the purpose of stress relief as well heat is actually a very effective remedy for inducing relaxation in the body.

How Often to Use A Handheld Massager?

If you’re new to using an electric massager, then start slow. Maybe 2-3 times a week, and then you can increase gradually to daily or a few times a day. Keep each session short. To be more specific, around 5-10 minutes at the start. And then about 15-20 minutes as your muscles and body get used to the device and its massaging action.

Every brand offers its own recommendations in terms of application. So please take that into consideration very strictly to avoid any mishaps.


From the list of top 12, Hypervolt and Theragun have remained customer favorites for a long time. They are one of the best products for targeted percussion therapy, which is known for its proven health benefits. If you’d like for an informative product comparison between Hypervolt and Theragun, then read this.

In all, choosing a handheld massager depends on a number of factors. However, the most important aspects of the best handheld massager are performance, versatility, and durability. In the end, these qualities are what will truly make your investment worth it.

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Michael Rodriguez

I'm a registered massage therapist out of Vancouver BC. I absolutely hate the information I find on Google about this industry and I started this blog to debunk these myths.

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