Massage guns are all the rage at the moment, and there’s plenty of competing brands on offer – so we unpacked the hype around the top models from Theragun, RENPHO, Hyperice and more.
There’s a new craze sweeping the fitness world, and it comes in the form of a handheld tool that offers the soothing power of a massage with the convenience of portability.
Yep, we’re talking massage guns. You may have seen them pop up on the Instagram feeds of your fave wellness influencers – even Miranda Kerr has sung the praises of her Theragun – and wondered what on earth this strange, vibrating device is (and why they’re on the pricey side).
Well, we’re here to answer your questions. We’ve got the lowdown on everything you need to know about massage guns, whether they’re worth the hype and the top brands to shop – including RENPHO, Theragun, Hyperice, Steady State and more.
What are massage guns?
A massage gun is essentially a handheld, usually portable massaging machine. Think of it as a deep tissue massage you can carry around with you and use at any time! The “gun” part of the name comes from the design of the machine, which features a percussive ball that provides rapid pulses to stimulate growth and repair of soft tissue by increasing blood flow and circulation.
Massage guns are useful for pretty much anyone who experiences stiff or sore muscles, as they’re designed to relax tight muscles, break up scar tissue, minimise muscle soreness, release lactic acid buildup and even aid in injury prevention. So whether you’re a gym junkie who always experiences that next-day stiffness after a big workout, an office worker who’s sick of that ever-present back and neck tension, someone whose job keeps them constantly on their feet or just anyone who spends a lot of time fantasising about just how much they need a massage, you could benefit from buying one.
The cost of investing in a massage gun ranges anywhere from $79.99 to $649. They don’t always come cheap, but it’s worth noting that A) you get what you pay for in terms of quality, and B) they’re designed to replace frequent trips to a masseuse or physio, so in the long run they’re super cost-effective – even the high-end ones!
Best massage guns
RENPHO Massage Gun, $163.99 at Amazon
The number one best-selling electric massager on Amazon, this RENPHO Massage Gun is on the affordable side – but it’s still super powerful, with 20 adjustable speed forces up to 3200RPM. The battery will last up to eight hours after a single charge, and there’s six different heads to target every type of muscle and pain. The device is easy to use with a simple interface and reasonably quiet despite its strength. It comes with a storage case to keep everything neatly together and to make on-the-go usage easy as. Check out more massage devices from RENPHO here.
Buy the RENPHO Massage Gun here
Theragun Prime, $499 at Therabody
Featuring the QX65 Motor with QuietForce Technology so you’re not deafened by the experience, this option from leading brand Therabody gives you everything you need in a massage gun. It’s their second cheapest offering, but it still packs in plenty of bells and whistles – it’s quieter than an electric toothbrush, reaches 60 per cent deeper into the muscle than average massagers, and has a 120-minute battery life. It also has five built-in speeds, can connect to the Therabody App via Bluetooth for guided treatment routines, and comes with four non-porous foam attachments that can be easily cleaned and can suit any area of the body.
Theragun Prime, $499 at Therabody
Wahl Heat and Ice Massage Gun, $329 at Shaver Shop
The Wahl Heat and Ice is a great mid-range option that offers five levels of massage intensity with up to 3200 pulses per minute. The long handle can be adjusted to get to those tricky-to-reach areas, and there’s five interchangeable massage heads to allow you to target multiple muscle groups effectively. The lithium-Ion battery gives you an hour of run time, and as the name suggests, there’s a heat and ice function on the rear of the device to soothe stiff joints and relax muscles.
Buy the Wahl Heat and Ice Massage Gun here
Theragun Mini, $349 at Therabody
Want a massage gun you can take with you wherever you go without weighing you down? The Theragun Mini offers unparallelled portability in a compact yet powerful package – and it’s the cheapest option from Therabody. It still packs in a powerful QX35 motor with QuietForce Technology so you won’t draw too much attention to yourself, as well as 150 minutes of battery life. There are three scientifically calibrated speeds designed to deliver the best therapeutic benefits to the body, and the ergonomic shape means your hands won’t get sore. You can buy it in white, black or red.
Buy the Theragun Mini here
Hyperice Hypervolt with Bluetooth, $599.95 at The Iconic
Another of the most popular massage gun brands out there, Hyperice offer two different models – and this is the basic option. It features QuietGlide technology, a patented pressure sensor, and Bluetooth connectivity so you can pair it with your phone to use preset routines thanks to the HyperSmart intuition – which is great for when you’re too tired to do too much thinking! BTW, you can also buy the device sans Bluetooth, although it won’t change the price. There are three speed settings, five interchangeable head attachments, and a high torque motor that provides up to three hours of treatment.
Buy the Hyperice Hypervolt here
WIWU Muscle Massage Gun, $79.99 at Catch
Looking for a super budget-friendly option? This gun from WIWU is one of the most affordable options on the market, but it still offers great functionality. There are four targeted massage heads for every part of the body, six custom intensity settings allowing you to focus on deep tissue work, increased circulation, or mobility, and a whisper-quiet motor to keep things subtle.
Buy the WIWU Muscle Massage Gun here
Theragun PRO, $899 at Therabody
The most expensive and most advanced offering from Therabody is the Theragun PRO, and it may be quite the investment, but it’s certainly one worth making if you’re looking for the very best option on the market. The 300-minute total battery life means you won’t have to constantly be charging it, and the QX150 Motor with QuietForce Technology delivers professional-grade power while still operating quietly. The four unique adjustable arm positions means you can reach every knot with ease without straining your hands, wrists or arms, the customisable speed range can be controlled via the app to suit exactly how much force you need, and the six easy-to-clean foam attachments are specially designed to pinpoint treatment for every area of the body. You can buy it in red or black.
Buy the Theragun PRO here
Hyperice Hypervolt Plus with Bluetooth, $699.95 at The Iconic
The superior older sibling of the Hypervolt, this massage gun elevates the experience with 30 per cent more power while still featuring the QuietGlide technology. It comes with five massage head attachments, two and a half hours of battery life, a built-in pressure sensor for a more accurate therapeutic session, and Bluetooth connectivity so you can take advantage of auto-adjusting routines from the app. You can also purchase it without Bluetooth here for the same price.
Buy the Hyperice Hypervolt Plus here
Steady State Power+ Massage Gun, $219 at Catch
The favourite brand of the American NBA, Steady State massage guns are another trusted option. The Power+ delivers 4000 pulses per minute, and has 20 speed levels for high and low power applications. The V2 brushless high output motor packs a punch with up to four hours of battery life while keeping things quiet, and there are six massage attachments to suit every limb. It’s also available in black.
Buy the Steady State Power+ here
Theragun Elite, $649 at Therabody
The Elite is the second priciest option from Therabody. It features the advanced sound insulation of the QX65 QuietForce Technology motor, with Active Torque Control to maintain consistent power and force without diluting treatment speed or quality. The battery will last you 120 minutes, and an OLED screen with force meter gives you total control over your treatment. It can connect to the Therabody app via Bluetooth to select the exact speed you desire, and it also comes in three different colours – black, red or white.
Buy the Theragun Elite here
Jollyfit Massage Gun, $90.97 at Amazon
This Jollyfit Massage Gun clocks in at under $100, but according to reviews it still provides a decent massage experience. It includes 30 variable speeds, four massage heads, and has a super quiet operation. It also comes with a nifty carry case for portability.
Buy the Jollyfit Massage Gun here
Are massage guns worth it?
You need only look at the reviews on these devices to see just how worthwhile of an investment they are.
A review of the RENPHO Massage Gun said “I do a lot of running and sports and this massage gun works very well to relieve my muscle tension and aches very quickly. It is very quiet whilst operating and comes in a carry case, which is very convenient to bring around when travelling too. So portable!”
Even the expensive models are supposedly worth it, with one reviewer of the Theragun PRO writing, “20 years ago I dislocated my femur in a sporting accident. The trauma from unnecessary botched surgery has left me with many issues. One issue is scar tissue around the glutes. The TheraPRO has helped reduce the pain and break up the scar tissue more than any massage I’ve had, which in itself is quite incredible. I use the PRO daily on myself, legs, hip, upper back and neck, even my jaw for TMJ pain”.
Cheap models like the Jollyfit Massage Gun get the job done too: “For the price the quality is really good. I was actually shocked tbh. Thought this would be some cheap things compared to the expensive ones. Now I’m left thinking what do the expensive ones history offer over and above,” wrote one reviewer.
How often should you use a massage gun?
According to Theragun, you can use a massage gun up to three times per day. They recommend using your device for at least 15 seconds and up to two minutes per muscle group – and in total, a full-body session shouldn’t last longer than 15 minutes.
Can you use a massage gun on yourself?
You sure can – while you can definitely have someone else to the work, the whole point of a massage gun is to allow for at-home, self-controlled treatment of muscle stiffness and pain. Theragun’s website features multiple instructional videos that show you how to best use the device on yourself for a range of issues and on a range of areas.
Looking for more useful at-home fitness tools? We rounded up the best smart scales, the best fitness trackers, and the best wireless earbuds. Plus, check out our reviews of the necklace that can correct your posture in two weeks, and the Fitbit Inspire 2.