Buyer’s Guide 101 – Choosing the Best Handheld Massager

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 massager is marked by its durable and efficient performance.  

It is portable, lightweight, and user-friendly. You can easily work one 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. Today, we will be looking into some of the best handheld massagers that are durable and truly live up to their benefits.

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Our Favorite Handheld Massagers 

Here’s a collection of the top 8 best performing handheld massagers that combine durability, performance, and user-friendliness all in one.

1. Theragun G3Pro Handheld Massager 

Theragun Electric Massager is an amazing deep tissue massager for muscle soreness, fatigue, and tight knots. It’s specially designed with a super-comfortable, ergonomic handle with 4 angled arm positions so that you can work the massaging tool over hard-to-reach spots easily.

For a deep tissue massage in your lower back or neck, Theragun G3Pro delivers throbbing pulses to your muscles. If you’re easily annoyed by noisy tools, then this product will be your go-to handheld massager. Manufactured by MIT engineers, the sound system is gentle and quiet, allowing you to enjoy a high-quality massage without noise disturbances.

Use it on your neck all the way to the bottom of your feet without worrying about the battery running out. With superior construction and design, the product has 6 different attachments and two different speeds so that you can enjoy a personalized massage.

Theragun handheld massager is perfect for post workout muscle relaxation as its heavy force alleviates spasms and releases tight knots. Instead of popping a muscle-numbing pill, treat yourself to an invigorating massage in the morning to feel pumped up for the day.

Things We Like:

  • Instant muscle relief with a deep tissue massage
  • Multiple ergonomic grips to massage hard-to-reach spots
  • Adjustable arm with improved speed
  • Quiet yet powerful motor for an effective massage without noise disturbances
  • Customizable massage with 6 different attachments and 2 different speed adjustments
  • Superior construction and design
  • Durable, rechargeable batteries

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Far more expensive as compared to other handheld massagers
  • Physical benefits for muscles aren’t that convincing

2. Timtam Power Massager 

The next on our list is the Timtam Deep Tissue Massage gun that is known for its rapid muscle therapy. Known as a power massager, 5 minutes with this product is equal to 30 minutes of manual massage. For treating muscle injuries, cramps, tight-knots, and post workout soreness, the handheld massager has a threaded shaft that delivers 2000 strokes per minute. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

When you train too hard, your muscles can get damaged due to micro-tears, leading to an excessive lactic acid build-up. However, the Timtam power massager offers a compact treatment to release this lactic acid. The product increases blood flow to injured areas and rapidly massages tight muscles to relax the contractions.

But, perhaps its best feature is the different thread-on tips that enable a wide variety of motions for massaging your back, neck, and calves. With a 90-degree articulating head, this device is the best massage gun once you begin to feel the power of those 2000 strokes.

Things We Like:

  • Specially designed for post workout muscle recovery with 2000 power strokes per minute
  • Rapidly releases tight knots and relieves muscle spasm
  • 90 Degree articulating head for multiple angle options to target various sections of your body
  • Powerful motor for a continuous massage
  • Ergonomic grip for a deep-tissue massage on targeted body sections
  • Portable, lightweight, and powerful

Things We Don’t like:

  • The motor has only one speed and may get loud over time
  • Screwing the thread-on tips can be time-consuming
  • The 90 degree head may be too short for some areas of your body
  • 20 minutes of battery life after a full charge isn’t enough for a deep tissue massage

3. Hyperice Hypervolt Portable Massage Device 

Hypervolt is built to deliver amazing percussion therapy to your tired muscles. It rapidly hits targeted areas of your body to break up tight knots and muscle fascia. The massager helps with soreness, stiffness, and drastically improves blood circulation.

The medium ball attached to the massager targets large muscle groups all at once. However, if you want a solid kick, Hypervolt comes with a dampener that delivers a powerful massage to aching areas of the body. The massager also has a bullet and a fork, which are both meant for smaller areas of the body.

The product surprisingly doesn’t make any noise, so you can conveniently use it in a public space without disturbing anyone around you. Not every part of your body can tolerate tough pressure, which is why the massager comes with 3 different speed levels with adjustable pressure for a customized massage.

Things We Like:

  • Affordable and lightweight
  • Four special interchangeable heads for targeted relief for muscle stiffness and soreness
  • Portable design for a travel-friendly option
  • Great battery life that runs up to 3 hours after just one charge
  • Unique Glide Quiet Technology for a noiseless yet powerful massage
  • 3 Different adjustable speeds and pressure settings for a personalized massage
  • Comfortable and durable neck massager pad

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Bulky design making it slightly hard to grip for angled positions
  • Doesn’t come with a travel bag

4. Rapid Release Pro 2

Rapid Release products have been built by incredible pioneers – Dr. Stanley Standbridge and Jeff Maier – who believe in non-surgical holistic healing. You don’t need muscle-numbing pills to reduce back-pain. Owing to its promising name, Rapid Release Pro 2 is designed to quickly release aches and muscle stiffness.

The Pro 2 model has remained a long-time favorite of athletic trainers and chiropractors. It quickly warms up large muscle groups before an intense training session. However, the massager also has a wide treatment cap, making it perfect for gentle therapy application. It delivers quick, short strokes to smaller body sections to release trapped tension in your muscle tissues.

For chronic neck or back pain, Pro 2 has an actuator tip that delivers powerful vibration to small muscle groups. We personally recommend it for glutes, hamstrings, and quads as its large surface area can perfectly cover these large muscles.

Things We Like: 

  • High velocity powerful percussion massage
  • Provides instant soothing relief after hard training
  • User-friendly controls
  • Noiseless, powerful, and durable motor
  • Large treatment cap for gentle therapy application
  • A soft tip to massage delicate areas like hands, fingers, feet, and toes
  • Large side surface that effectively targets large muscle groups

Things We Don’t Like:

  • A little pricey
  • Needs an electric outlet for power
  • Can be too hard for sensitive muscle soreness

5. Hyper Muscle Portable Massage Device 

If you like the aesthetic and ergonomic design of a massage gun, then you should definitely try Hyper Muscle massager. But that’s not the reason why it’s so great. Known for its ultra-quiet, high-torque motor, the massage gun helps your muscles quickly release toxins, including lactic acid.

With 5 different speed levels, you can adjust the amount of pressure and speed you want. Delivering up to 3200 percussions per minute, you can expect a powerful warm-up massage to gear up for hard strength training.

It has a long-lasting battery that can be used up to 4 hours in one go, without any disruptions or noises. You can take this to your workplace for a relaxing massage during breaks or treat yourself at home.

Things We Like:

  • Guaranteed muscle relief
  • Improve blood circulation after the first few uses
  • Customer-favorite, enhances muscle flexibility and mobility
  • 5 different speed levels to apply an appropriate amount of pressure
  • Ergonomic design allowing a range of motions for hard-to-reach areas
  • Ideal as a pre-workout warm up massage
  • Ultra-quiet, high-torque motor that delivers 3200 percussions per minutes
  • Portable and lightweight with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 4 hours
  • Features an EVA waterproof case for travel-friendly options

Things We Don’t Like 

  • Pricey
  • Can be a little harsh for sensitive sore muscles

6. Theravolt Percussion Deep Tissue Massager 

The Theravolt Percussion massage gun is a highly-recommended sports massage tool. However, its rigorous power motor is just as quiet when you push it against your tired muscles. The massager has 3 different intensity settings tailor-made for muscle mobility, deep tissue massage, and improved blood circulation.

With 5 different attachment heads that can be changed in a blink, Theravolt is built to target the deeper layers of your muscles. Unlike other jigsaw massagers, this one barely makes a sound as you grind it against your sore muscles. Perfect for a post-workout total body massage, its instinctive motor easily identifies trigger points in both small and large muscle groups.

Helping you massage those hard-to-reach areas without any discomfort, here’s a product perfect for sports, work, and home use.

Things We Like 

  • 5 different, quick-change head attachments for muscle recovery, blood circulation, and deep tissue massage
  • Noiseless motor with Whisper Glide technology with 3 different speed intensities
  • Offers an exceptional pre and post workout warm up massage
  • Total body massage with heads that target both small and large muscle groups
  • Comes with a detailed manual and easy-to-use accessory case
  • 24V long-lasting, quick charger

Things We Don’t Like 

  • Size is too bulky
  • Not as strong as other handheld massagers
  • Can be hard to grip for angled positions

7. 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!

Things We Like 

  • 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

Things We Don’t Like 

  • Pricey
  • The noise may be an issue for some as 65 decibels is not quiet enough

8. 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.

Things We Like:

  • 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

Things We Don’t Like 

  • Batteries aren’t as durable as other handheld massagers
  • The heads aren’t secured properly

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.

What Does the Research Say? 

1. Importance of Blood Circulation 

A study conducted on the “Healing benefits of Percussive Massage Therapy” found that a heat-induced massage drastically improves blood circulation and muscle flexibility. A percussion massager delivers throbbing pulses to the affected area and stimulates blood flow. This, in turn, encourages more oxygen to reach your muscles and can greatly help muscle fatigue.

The study provided thermo-graphic imaging of the calves, shoulders, and abdominal area that visibly experienced greater blood flow after a 3-minute targeted massage. Hence, the study proved that handheld massagers are great for pumping blood in your body.

2. Relaxing Muscles Tissue 

When the massager comes in contact with your skin, the nervous system naturally falls into a relaxation mode. The pressure applied to the soft tissues can help alleviate painful muscles spasms and contractions.

Progressive muscle relaxation – a common practice by psychologists – is one of the best ways to fight stress and anxiety. A handheld massager can offer a tonic dose to your stressed muscles by gradually relaxing your muscle tissues. It does this by reducing nerve compression.

A handheld massager with its tapping and kneading movements can release tension from the compressed nerves. This in turn normalizes your neural functions while relaxing the soft ligaments and tendons.

In fact, it can be hard for a massage therapist to apply pressure to the deeper layers of your body. However, a handheld massager is designed with adjustable heads, pointed balls, and nodes to treat your muscles with a deep-tissue massage.

When your muscle tissues relax, the invigorating benefits also reach your organs and bones. A handheld massager can dramatically improve painful back conditions and improve muscle mobility.

3. Heat Therapy

When heat is paired with a strong, pounding massage, the results are nothing short of spectacular. Recent research by the American Physiological Society proves that long-term heat therapy has the power to improve mitochondrial functions of your muscles.

If you’ve been experiencing “muscle knots” or spasms in the back that activate when you’re walking or sitting a certain way, your body is probably very stiff. In the long-term, a stiff and sedentary lifestyle is linked with disease and disability. Handheld massagers are designed to relieve cramps, restless leg syndrome, and spasms as they’re built for Shiatsu and deep tissue massages.

4. Detoxify Your Body and Improve Digestive System 

The vibratory power of a handheld massager also keeps your muscles mobile, preventing the chances of getting bulky. You will also notice dramatic improvements in your digestive system as healthy oxygen levels are going to perk up your system.

You need to understand the ins and outs of the product to have faith in its pain-relieving claims. You will come across different “types” of handheld massagers, so differentiating between them is important to buy the one that suits you the best.

How to Choose a Handheld Massager that Meets Your Needs

In the end, even when you have a collection of handheld massagers to choose from, your decision will ultimately depend on your personal conditions. Whenever you are choosing a handheld massager, try to consider the following things.

1. Physical Conditions 

· 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 an aching back pain can all be summed as tight muscle knots in different areas of the body.

For this reason, choose a handheld massager with at least 5 interchangeable heads and varying speeds. This way, you will be able to cover the different trouble areas of the body with greater adaptability. The handheld massager should also specifically mention “percussion therapy”.

Percussion therapy is a groundbreaking therapy for soft tissue pain. The handheld massager uses its different heads to deliver short and rapid pulses deep into your muscle tissue. It is perfect for targeted body sections. The Theravolt Percussion Deep Tissue Massager, therefore, is a great choice.

You also need an easy to grip and ergonomically designed massager if you want to relieve tight muscle knots. A handheld massage with an angled grip is easy to push into hard-to-reach spots in your lower back, which makes WASAGUN handheld massager a great choice. Here’s a demonstration on how to use a massage gun for trigger points.

· For Muscle Recovery 

For muscle recovery, look for a massage gun with varying speeds. When you return after a vigorous workout, your muscles are sore and have lactic acid building up. You need a massager that delivers targeted, throbbing pulses to the affected area.

The varying speeds create versatility in the massaging rhythms that can help your muscles gradually relax and release the tension. The Hyper Muscle Portable Massage Device has varying speeds that gradually build up the massaging rhythm and improve blood circulation after a workout.

You should also look for “pointed” balls or nodes that specifically massage trouble areas. The Timtam Power Massager has rapid release action that targets muscle stiffness along with the HypericeHypervolt massager that has a medium-sized ball attached to it.

· For Total Body Warm-Up 

If you want the blood rushing in your body, you’re probably looking for a massager that delivers comprehensive, gentle massages. In this case, a massage gun with pointed balls and heads won’t be a suitable choice. A massager with a huge surface area that targets large muscle groups is what you need.

Rapid Release Pro 2 is the ideal choice since it has a wide cap that delivers gentle pulses to your back, neck, feet, and calves. It really makes for a quick and easy massaging tool for warm up sessions. You can also have a look at TimTam’s “education” section to learn how to perform power massages before and after a workout session.  

2. Versatility 

The second factor is knowing whether the massager can adjust to different situations. Do you want to take the device to the gym or your workplace? For this reason, buying one that needs a power source isn’t reasonable.

You need to invest a handheld massager that has a long-lasting rechargeable battery. Portability is also incredibly important. Choose a massager that is lightweight, easy-to-carry, and has a travel-friendly bag.

The Hyper Muscle Portable Massage Device is a good option as its battery can last up to 4 hours and it comes with a waterproof case.

3. Corded Vs. Cordless

An extension of the previous point, many handheld massagers aren’t portable and require an electric source to operate. However, others can easily last you for up to an hour with rechargeable batteries. You should also check the length of the power cord. You can use a long corded massager and enjoy the freedom of movement.

If you only intend to use the product at home, then it’s fine to invest in a corded massager like Rapid Release Pro 2. It may need an electrical source, but its pain-relieving benefits outweigh this limitation. However, if you want freedom of movement while enjoying a massage, then a battery-reliant device like Theragun G3 Pro is an ideal choice.

These factors can help you choose the perfect massager to meet your needs. However, when it comes to the product, the following aspects also need your attention.

Tips to Choose the Best Handheld Massagers

The features and versatility of a product can tell you a lot about its service life. When looking for a massage gun, here are the things to consider.

1. Product Versatility 

Look for a massager that has a durable motor, varying speeds and head attachments, cordless options, and an ergonomic design. This will make for a flexible and adaptable massage gun that will last you for a long time. Even when it comes with a higher price tag, the investment will be worth it. The RecoveryVolt Handheld Percussion massage gun is a good example of what you’re looking for here.

2. Warranty 

Warranties are worth looking for as they provide more value to the massaging product. A warranty for handheld massagers can be up to 1-2 years or limited. Be careful to buy one with a guarantee to prevent future loss.

3. Ergonomic Design 

Think about the design of your handheld massager. Do you prefer a short, wide, or long unit? Short units like massage guns are perfect for front body areas. For hard to reach places, you might need a longer unit with an ergonomic design.

Longer units have a thinner body for an easier grip like the Homedics Percussion Massger. Wide units are ideal for stimulating large muscle groups like the Rapid Release Pro.  

4. Number of Attachment Heads 

Attachment heads will influence the many ways you can use a massager. Most are featured with up to 5 and 6, but you can also buy additional attachments. There are different components for different areas of the body like a kneading massage head, scalp massage head, and scraper head.

Some units are designed for total-body massages, which makes them suitable for head-to-toe massages. They usually have a soft tip like the Rapid Release Pro 2, which can be used on soft muscle tissues of the feet, hands, and head.  

5. Power and Pressure 

Choose a handheld massager with a powerful, high-torque motor. For an effective handheld massage, the motor should at least produce 2000 pulses per minute like the Timtam massager. If you’re looking for a deep tissue massage, then the Hyper Muscle massager with 3200 pulses per minute is a good choice.

How much pressure you apply will also depend on your muscle condition. A gentle massage doesn’t need lots of force, so you’re good with Rapid Release Pro 2. However, if you want to release knots, then the Theragun massager with a pressure of around 80 lbs will do the job.  

6. Massaging Heads 

There are two types of massaging heads: single and double. Single-head units have better reach as they target specific body sections. If you have muscle spasms in the neck or back, then use single-head massagers like the TimTam Power Massager. Double-head massagers cover large areas of the body quickly and easily, hence, they are ideal for pre-workout warm ups.

7. Weight 

Lightweight massage guns are more travel-friendly and portable like HypericeHypervolt Massage Device. You are likely to use them for a longer period of time as they’re easy to cover and move around on the body. However, be careful. Don’t end up choosing a flimsy massager by focusing on the weight.

Choosing the Brand 

A brand that promises versatility, adaptability, and performance to its customers is the one you should choose. A genuine massager brand will give its customers extra value on the product. This extra value could be in the form of a waterproof case, a superior functioning motor, a manual for shiatsu massage, or an easy-to-grip silicone massage handle for longer use.

A brand that gives intrinsic meaning to its products should be your go-to brand. For instance, Rapid Release, whose motto is non-surgical holistic healing, is known for its high-quality products.

Different brands have different mottos. You should choose a brand whose motto aligns with your needs. TimTam, pioneered by a Canadian Martial artist Georges “Rush” St-Pierre, believes in “Modern recovery” for all. It is designed to improve your fitness regime, so if you’re looking to improve muscle recovery, then this is it. Theragun, on the other hand, specializes in percussion massages and boasts their quietest, elegant massager guns. If your focus is a noiseless product that doesn’t compromise on the value, then the G3Pro is what you need.

In the end, whatever brand you use will depend on what things you value as a customer. Each brand on our list has a fitness, recovery, or healing motto that they abide to. You need to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Customer FAQs 

1. Can I use a Massager Gun myself or do I need a professional chiropractor? 

Yes, you can use a massager gun yourself. They are built for self-use and come with detailed manuals.   

2. When can I not use an electric massager?  

If you have the following conditions, you should practice precaution and care with handheld massagers.

  • Don’t use them if you’re pregnant
  • Don’t use them on a person with defibrillators
  • Don’t apply to bruises, open wounds, or tumors
  • Don’t apply to delicate, bony surfaces
  • If irritation or additional muscle soreness occurs, stop the session immediately

3. What do the different head attachments do? 

Most handheld massagers come with multiple head attachments that target different body sections like the back, neck, arms, scalp, and calves. You can read the manual and see which one is appropriate for you.  

4. Do I get a warranty on the handheld massager? 

Most handheld massagers have a limited warranty. However, you should always look for a money-back guarantee or at least year-long warranty so that you can use the product safely.

Conclusion

From the list of top 8, 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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