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At this point, wellness is more than just a quarantine trend. It’s blossomed into an entire lifestyle with recovery and readiness being equally as important as hitting a personal fitness record or counting your daily macros. We all want to live our best lives, and luckily in 2022, technology and access provides us with tools like infrared sauna blankets and compression boots to better reach optimal health. Another top tool of the moment, and popular wellness gift comes in the form of a handheld deep tissue massage gun.
With Theragun and Hypervolt leading the race, it seemed like these tools went viral overnight (massage chairs had a moment, of course, but quickly lost favor as they’re big and bulky). Despite their recent rise to fame, however, deep tissue massagers have actually been a go-to resource for professional athletes, trainers and physical therapists for awhile now.
Deep tissue massage guns are handheld percussion tools that combine a conventional massage with vibration therapy, offering an accessible way to get in a routine massage to keep you feeling and performing your best. The benefits range from improved mobility and range of motion to reduced onset muscle soreness, so you can enjoy more dynamic warm-ups and static cool downs during your workouts. These tools are also designed to help minimize stress and tension for a happier you day-to-day.
We researched, reviewed and tested dozens of handheld percussion devices at every price point to bring you the 13 best deep tissue massagers you can buy. These gun-style, mobile gadgets will get your body moving and grooving, pain free.
Top Deep Tissue Massagers
- Expert Pick: Theragun Elite Deep Tissue Massager
- Most Stylish Massage Gun: Lyric Theraputic Deep Tissue Massager
- Sharper Image Powerboost Deep Tissue Massager
- Best Value Massage Gun: HoMedics Therapist Select Plus Percussion Massage Gun
- Best Portable Massage Gun: Hyperice Hypervolt GO Deep Tissue Massager
- Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Massager
- Theragun Mini Deep Tissue Massager
- Easiest to Handle Massage Gun: Lola Massage Gun
- Best Heated Massage Gun: SKG Massage Gun
- Sportneer Deep Tissue Muscle Percussion Massage Gun
- Copper Fit Massage Gun
- Renpho Percussion Massage Gun
- Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun
Theragun Elite Deep Tissue Massager
You’re probably wondering, is anything better than Theragun? While it comes at a pretty penny, The Theragun Elite is not only the brand’s latest innovation, but the industry’s too. Sure, you can compare it to other massage guns, but to put it simply, Theragun dominates the space. With 120 minutes of total battery life, an ergonomic multigrip to reduce hand and wrist strain, a QX65 motor with QuietForce technology and a connected Bluetooth app, it doesn’t get any better than this Theragun massager. The intensity is the real deal, which is why this is a go-to brand for pro athletes. The customizable speed and six interchangeable heads let you personalize each massage session for every muscle, aliment and step in your body maintenance or recovery process.
The Lyric Theraputic Deep Tissue Massager
Most Stylish Percussion Massage Gun
The Lyric Theraputic Massager fits right in with your other aesthetically pleasing wellness tools like Bala Bangles and the Beast Health personal blender. It’s stylish as hell with technology that lives up to its good looks. It comes in four chic colors (Blueprint, Terracotta, Stone, Slate and Granite), along with a docking station for storage and four massage head attachments. It’s simpler and easier to handle than the pricey Theragun Elite, making it a better option for storage and travel. It uses something called RhythmTherapy that combines touch and movement with vibroacoustic frequencies to stimulate the nervous system. The optional extension handle makes this one of the best full body massage machines to target hard-to-reach spots.
Sharper Image Powerboost Deep Tissue Massager
If around $100 is your budget for a quality deep tissue massage gun, look no further than Sharper Image’s Powerboost Deep Tissue Massager. This entire system comes complete in an organized carrying case for easy storage and portability. We consider this one of the best deep tissue massagers and back massagers for knots because of its dramatically different interchangeable heads. You get a ball, flat, bar, fork and cone-shaped attachments to customize the type of deep tissue massage your body calls for.
HoMedics Therapist Select Plus Massage Gun
Best Value Massage Gun
This under-$100 massage gun from HoMedics does the trick with technology that puts this in the running of the best. You get six different intensities and six different interchangeable attachments that give you complete control. This percussion gun comes highly reviewed by physical therapists and trainers because of its powerful and adjustable speed and vibration frequency. The only thing lacking about the device is its more minimal four-hour battery life. But for $90? You can’t quite beat it.
Hyperice Hypervolt GO Deep Tissue Massager
Best Portable Percussion Massage Gun
Hyperice offers comparable quality and technology to that of Theragun. It’s much easier to handle thanks its compact size and has a serious muscle-massaging motor. It’s the official technology recovery brand of the NFL and has led the race in recovery products in general. While we love all of Hyperice’s items, the efficiency and portability of the Hyperice Hypervolt GO is unmatched. When it comes to deep tissue massager reviews, this model has some of the best, with over 1,000 near-perfect comments on Amazon. If you’re looking for less to handle with a strong motor, go for the GO.
Wahl Deep Tissue Massager
The unique ergonomic design is what helped the Wahl deep tissue percussion massager make this list. At under-$50, it’s a non-cordless budget massager that works well for those hard-to-reach areas. The variety of attachment heads make this gadget versatile enough for targeting small pressure points to a much wider surface area. The sleek, long handle brings accessible-over muscle comfort to the back, neck, shoulder, legs, hands, feet and full body.
Theragun Mini Deep Tissue Massager
Theragun had to make the list, twice. The Theragun Mini is the brand’s lightest, most portable handheld deep tissue massager. It can be slipped into a jacket pocket (skiers and snowboarders, we’re looking at you) or stowed away in an overnight weekend bag without bulking it up. It brings the Theragun force to the palm of your hand to soothe those cramps and muscle aches when you’re on the go. It lets you choose between 2,100 and 2,400 percussions per minute, which exceeds the industry standard.
Lola Massage Gun
Easiest to Handle Massage Gun
Massage guns were never thought to be chic or stylish until Lola dropped its pink massage gun. One major complaint women specifically have about massage guns are how bulky they are to hold. Lola solved that problem through its minimal, ergonomic design and added a pop of color. You get a U-shape, flat, ball and cone custom attachments and four different speeds. It’s as simple as it gets: lightweight, silent and fast. Plus it’s under $100, making it a great gift for any woman (or to treat yourself).
SKG Massage Gun
Best Heated Massage Gun
The SKG handheld deep tissue massager is the only one on this list that provides combination heat therapy to warm up muscles. It has three speeds, three heat settings and three attachment heads for a variety of use. The heat mimics a warm compress for both relaxation and flexibility. It’s a palm-sized design that users say is easy to operate and change settings with one hand — a convenient feature most other brands don’t think to include. You get up to 3,200 pulses per minute, which is pretty intense for such an affordable tool.
Sportneer Deep Tissue Muscle Percussion Massager Gun
The technology of the Sportneer deep tissue massager gun is pretty advanced for how affordable it is. It comes with four speed levels and four different attachment heads. It also as an “intelligent massaging mode” that increases the intensity when you apply more pressure, a new feature in this category. The one-pound gun might be small, but offering up to 3,200 RPMs, it packs quite the punch.
Copper Fit Massage Gun
The Copper Fit massage gun simplifies all the needed features. With four different percussion levels ranging from 1,600 to 2,4000 RPMs, you get the basics you need to soothe muscles and relieve tension for under $50. The battery only lasts three hours, but should be sufficient for plenty of at-home use while watching TV or hanging with friends.
Renpho Percussion Massage Gun
Renpho’s percussion massage gun brings the most variety on this list. The touchscreen device allows you to choose from 20 different adjustable speeds, so you can get the exact massage your body needs. Plus, it clarifies which speeds awaken muscles, relax fascia, decompose lactic acid to soothe sore muscles and provide a deep massage. And, it even has a professional mode. The range goes from 1,400 RPMs to 3,200. You get eight hours of battery life and six different interchangeable heads. In our opinion, this baby is worth a lot more than $100. Go read the 6,000 five star reviews on Amazon if you don’t believe us.
Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun
Although not as well known as Theragun and Hypervolt devices, the Ekrin Athletics B37 massage gun is another great option. We especially love that the device has a lower handle to accommodate full body reach and higher handle for more precision and power. The gun is perfectly angled at 15 degrees for an easier target on most muscles. With five speed levels that range from 1,400 to 3,200 RPM, the B37 brings a wide range of power to provide deep tissue massage or delicate treatment.
More Information on Deep Tissue Massagers
We spoke to a few renowned physical therapists and personal trainers to learn about the science behind massage guns and why they are an efficient tool in reaching optimum wellness. Whether you’re a CrossFit athlete, a pilates pro or not an athlete at all, these tools can benefit you.
How do Electric Deep Tissue Massagers Work?
Although manual massage tools (like foam rollers) allow for more mobility, electric massage guns give us access to a self-massage without putting in the work of using our body weight.
“It’s nice to use a light tool to place on your sore thigh after a spin class rather than foam rolling (even if it’s a vibrational roller),” says Vinh Pham, physical therapist & founder of Myodetox. “Sometimes you wanna just chill.”
He explains that electric deep tissue massagers “take the therapeutic effects of self-massage and enhance it with vibrations,” targeting specific regions while giving you control over vibration intensity and frequency. “This vibrating sensation increases blood flow to the muscle region and also has positive neurophysiological effects at the skin/fascia/muscle/nervous system level,” he adds.
According to Joluis De Los Santos, Physical Therapist behind ExoArmer Therapy and AIM Sports Medicine a deep tissue massager also help improve range of motion. This is because the device can influence tightness of the myofascia tissue, a flexible connective tissue that surrounds your muscles. It’s interconnected through the entire body and it’s meant to move like thick chewing gum. “When healthy, myofascia is strong and flexible, but when the body experiences an injury or lack of motion to an area, the myofacia becomes taut and inflexible,” De Los Santos says. “This makes the range of motion limited and tissue pliability decreases. A deep tissue massager has a high vibration frequency that can improve myofacia tightness, improving mobility and alleviating tension or pain.”
Additionally, deep tissue massage guns can reduce onset muscle soreness (or what the pros call DOMS) after an intense workout. Muscles soreness occurs as a direct result of microtears in the muscle tissues, which De Los Santos explains are a sign that the body is starting to heal itself by sending growth factors to the targeted area. “The increased blood flow through use of a massage gun helps input nutrients and outpost waste to the area of DOMS, which can decrease pain.”
Types of Electric Deep Tissue Massagers
The best deep tissue massage guns come with interchangeable heads. The most common is the large round head, which works well on large muscle groups like the quads, glutes, hamstrings and lats, while a smaller round head is meant for smaller muscles. A U-shape head is meant to target muscles along the spine or joints. You’ll find a cone or trigger point head that is typically used to pinpoint knots or problem areas. Rarely, you’ll find a flat surface head with acupressure dots, ideal for IT bands, hamstrings and the chest. Any type of wedge attachment is meant to loosen the neck and upper back.
Percussion Massage Gun Safety
Both Pham and De Los Santos agree that a massage gun should be used as needed, for no more than five to 10 minutes at a time. It can be used for a warm up or cool down during exercise, or for therapeutic pain relief.
De Los Santos says to “avoid using hard attachments over bony prominences like the spine, shoulders or knee cap. Move the massager around without keeping it in one spot for too long.” All muscles are different and can handle different frequencies, so it’s important to listen to your body. “Some [muscles] can withstand higher forces like the quads and glutes, while the forearms, hands and feet are thinner and can elicit pain,” he says.
The experts also agree that using a deep tissue massager is just one small part of muscle wellness. “To get the most out of your body and improve muscle wellness one must incorporate stretching, mobility and functional strengthening,” De Los Santos says. “These tools can really help with warm-ups, cool downs and pain relief, but they do not replace professional strength coaches, massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, athletic therapists, sports physicians, orthopedic surgeons and everyone else in between. They are tools meant to help you in a safe manner, and complement your physical activity and well-being.
“You still need to see health care practitioners to optimize your movement goals and address nagging pains that prevent you from moving and participating in life,” Pham adds.