If you’re tired of nursing small aches and pains, it’s time to get your hands on a percussion massager.
These little miracle products have a way of easing stress after a rough day of work, a hard workout, or an awkward night of sleep.
Regardless of your lifestyle, the body always finds a way to complain. Workouts leave you sore, but so does sitting at a desk all day.
Having a proper recovery tool to work through the physical stress you put on the body will cause your mental health to prosper.
In this article, we introduce you to the best percussion massagers of 2021 and help you to pick which massage gun is best for your needs.
We do this after a thorough debrief of the benefits of percussion massagers, the science to back them up, and what to look for when making your massage gun purchase.
Let the good vibrations begin.
|Theragun Pro 4th Generation||– 300 min Battery Life.|
– 6 Attachments
– Deep Pressure Massager
– Lightweight (2.9 lbs)
|Check the Price|
|Legiral Le3 Deep Tissue Muscle Massage Gun||– 20 speeds and six attachments||Check the Price|
|Sonic Handheld Percussion Massage Gun||– Lifetime Warranty||Check the Price|
|Theragun Mini||– Super lightweight|
|Check the Price|
|Homedics – Dual Temp Handheld Percussion Massager||– Easy to use||Check the Price|
|TimTam Power Massager||– Simple, one-touch start||Check the Price|
Hey Science, do Percussion Massagers Work?
It is good to be skeptical, especially when marketing is involved.
Companies want to sell their products, so you must be diligent in understanding whether technology will benefit you as a consumer.
Well, let us save you some time.
In a 2014 study comparing the effects of vibration therapy in the prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), just 5 minutes of vibrational massage therapy (50 Hz) showed significant results.
Subjects who received vibration massage therapy with a massage gun showed a decrease in Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels, faster range of motion recovery, and a reduction in Cretain Kinase (CK) even 48 hours following exercise.
Additionally, subjects who received vibration therapy showed a significant decrease in pain perception, or muscle soreness, early on in recovery.
So I guess science is telling us that there is something to it.
Unfortunately, research is not always as clear as we hope, and there have been other findings that show vibration massage therapy is not as beneficial as some think.
In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Sports Science, subjects were given massage therapy post bilateral bicep curls and measured against a control group.
Preliminary findings showed that most likely due to insufficient mechanical action of vibrations, local vibration (LV) recovery did not have a significant benefit to muscle stiffness.
Regardless of some of the smaller variables attributed to a study showing insignificant results, the recommendation of massage therapy to help with pain therapy has long been given by medical professionals.
Backed by a significant amount of research, massage therapy is a viable option in the treatment of pain management and physical and mental anxiety.
Quick Buyers Guide to Percussion Massagers
Let’s have a quick look at some of the specifications to watch out for when choosing the best percussion massage gun.
While brands have complex marketing strategies, various trademarks, and lots of industry jargon, there are a few simple things that set massage guns apart from eachother.
Pressure and Speed
The relative speed of a percussion massager is measured as percussions per minute (ppm). The higher the ppm’s, the faster (and more effective) massage guns can be.
However, speed is not everything. In fact, depending on what part of the body you are looking to massage, you might require more pressure than you do speed.
Percussion massagers that provide a higher number of “pounds of pressure” can make for a deeper, more productive massage recovery.
If you’re looking for the best massage guns that will help with some deeper tissue issues, you might want to get one with a higher pressure threshold.
For the most part, people who live active lifestyles want their gadgets to keep up. Having a percussion massager that fits easily into your gym bag or your airline carry on should be a priority.
When looking for the best massage gun, find one that suits your portability needs without compromising too much on durability and effectiveness.
Finding a balance between weight and effectiveness can be tricky. Some massage guns offer incredibly lightweight models, yet they compromise in power, speed, and pressure.
Other more powerful massagers are not meant to be taken on the road and are designed to be less mobile but highly effective.
It doesn’t make much sense to have something super portable yet has horrible battery life.
To ensure your percussion massager is in line with your mobility goals, find one with trusted battery life.
While it may be possible to use massage guns when they are plugged in, it often results in a compromise of versatility and the percussion massager not being able to reach the spots you need it to reach easily.
Battery life is key to an effective percussion massage routine, especially when you need the massager to be portable.
While some of the best massage guns are heavy-duty with have less battery life, they can make up for it with multiple, swappable batteries or portable chargers.
This one goes without saying. Your recovery time should be relaxing, so the last thing you want is a loud massage gun disturbing your deep stretches.
Worse yet, having a noisy percussion massager makes it annoying (and embarrassing) to use it in public, at the office, or on the train.
Sometimes, these places are when you need the miracle tool the most, so opt for an instrument that will allow you to recover silently.
When you invest in your health, make sure not to give in to the convenience of a strict budget. Purchasing a massage gun that is durable, reliable, and easily maintained will result in more consistent use and more consistent results.
Cheaper is not always better, so invest in something that works best for you.
The higher the quality of the material, the more expensive a product will be.
Furthermore, trusted brands offer warranties for their massage guns and provide customers with the confidence to know that they are getting a good product that will last for a long time.
Best Percussion Massagers of 2021
All right, enough expository information; it’s time to list some of the best massage guns currently available on the market.
For the chosen products, we have included all the necessary specifications and a quick pros and cons list to summarize.
Finally, we have given some of them a snazzy headline to get across their unique value.
Best Professional Percussion Massager
Coming in as our best professional percussion massager of 2021, the Theragun Pro 4th Generation sets the bar high for the competition.
It’s a top-line and “commercial-grade” deep massage recovery tool designed to give professional-level treatment and durability.
What sets this percussion massager apart is its performance. With 60% deeper amplitude and a threshold to perform under 60lbs of pressure, this is the product for anyone who needs to work out any muscle soreness, deep to shallow.
The Theragun Pro offers four arm positions that allow for purposed angling and optimum effectiveness. The multi-grip design allows for various hand grips, ensuring that you can comfortably attack any muscle from any angle.
Despite its formidable speed and power (micros adjustable 1700-2400 ppm), the Theragun Pro massage gun is perfectly quiet with its QuietForce technology.
And with a continuous battery life of 300 minutes, this product will reliably provide treatment wherever you end up.
The Theragun Pro comes complete with six head attachments (Supersoft, dampener, standard ball, thumb, wedge, and cone) and can be connected to any Bluetooth for smart app integration.
Though this professional-grade percussion massager carries a high price tag, the value of the product is far from subtle.
|300 min Battery Life|
Deep Pressure Massager
Lightweight (2.9 lbs)
|Higher Price Tag|
Sometimes “too powerful” for shallow therapy
Best Attachment Percussion Body Massager
The Legiral Le3 Deep Tissue massage gun wins the award for best versatility through the use of attachments.
This product comes with six replacement heads that allow you to reach any desired muscle easily.
Combined with 20 different speed options, the Le3 is one of the most versatile massagers on the market.
Other notable features include updated noise reduction (<35dB), effective heat dissipation to ensure machine longevity even with frequent use, and a travel case to take it wherever you go.
It also comes with a high-quality rechargeable lithium battery that can deliver a 6-hour battery life when operated at low speed.
Despite being significantly cheaper than the Theragun Pro, the Legiral Le3 brings a high value and durability to the table, making it an excellent alternative for those unable to invest in a professional level massager.
Reviews of this massage gun are overwhelmingly positive, with many costumers comparing it favorably to more expensive models.
|Versatility- 20 speeds and six attachments|
Great Value for Price
|Not as powerful as Theragun for deep tissue therapy|
Slightly heavier than other models (4.1lbs)
Best Value Percussion Massage Gun
Coming in as our best value percussion massager is the Sonic Handheld massage gun by LifePro, a household name in the fitness recovery industry.
This massage gun has rave reviews on Amazon and carries an affordable price tag compared to some of the more expensive models.
While it may not have the most impressive specifications, this model is reliable and effective, meeting most athletes’ criteria for proper muscle recovery.
It packs in a super quiet brushless motor (55-75dB) and has a 5-level intensity scale ranging from 20-45Hz.
The 5 interchangeable heads allow for proper versatility and the ability to engage different muscles in different ways.
Compared to other models, it has a formidable battery life of 6 hours and comes complete with a digital video library to teach you how to conquer the angles and get the most of our product.
If you’re looking for a great massage gun that won’t break the bank, the Sonic Handheld massage gun from LifePro is a great first purchase.
|Best Value for Price|
Lifetime Warranty from a Valued Brand
|Not quite as versatile as other models|
Slightly noisier, especially at higher speeds
Most Portable Percussion Massager
The Theragun Mini takes the professional and effective technology from the other Theragun products and fits it into a lightweight model perfected for portability.
Weighing in at only 1.4 lbs, the Theragun Mini is the smallest and most convenient percussion massager on the list.
Despite its small size, the Theragun Mini massage gun does not compromise the effectiveness and boasts a quiet, compact brushless motor that can withstand 20 lbs of max force.
Its 3-speed options allow for quick, targeted recovery, and its 150-minute battery life is sufficient to get in a proper massage session.
This model is developed to be portable and easy to use without compromising performance.
That being said, the Theragun Mini is not designed to provide the deep tissue massage you might expect from the Theragun Pro or other more powerful (and bigger) massage guns on this list.
We recommend the mini to anyone who requires superficial muscle therapy or wants a second massager for more convenience.
It is designed to be sleek, moderately effective, and ultra-portable.
Super lightweight (1.4 lbs)
|Short battery life (150min)|
Not designed for deep tissue
Best of the Rest
The Homedics Dual Temp percussion massager provides unique hot/cold therapy while delivering a percussion massage.
This gives you the ability to add heat when you have muscle tightness or soreness and provide cold when you have muscle inflammation.
For those with chronic sports injuries or arthritis, the added temperature feature could provide extra relief.
The Homedics ergonomic design allows for comfortable DIY massages to harder-to-reach places such as the feet or back.
It comes with three replaceable massage heads and a 5-speed option to provide varying degrees of intensity.
This percussion massager is perfect for those who desire a product that will provide comfort and ease without too much power.
For those dealing with chronic shoulder or back pain or who deal with arthritis, the Homedics percussion is a great way to bring the ease of a recovery massage into your own home.
|Unique Hot/Cold Peltier Technology|
Long, comfortable handle perfect for back or feet massages
Easy to use
|Requires a cord to be plugged in|
Limited settings and limited pressure
For anyone looking for a more heavy-duty, durable deep tissue massager, the TimTam power massager can provide fast and effective relief to even the most annoying of muscle pains.
Similar to the Theragun Pro, the TimTam massager was designed to deliver professional-grade pressure to the spots that are hardest to reach.
Its 90° articulating head allows for optimum versatility while finding the angels, and the ultra-powerful motor provides deep and powerful relief.
The TimTam Power massager is a favorite among professional training programs, physical therapists, and sports teams worldwide.
As it is designed with performance in mind, the TimTam massager is not as sleek or portable as other models on this list.
It is built to withstand frequent use and comes with a swappable battery and pocket charger to maximize usage time.
The TimTam massager is built with simplicity in mind, having a one-touch design that delivers 2500 ppm worth of speed. This design is perfect for fast relief but does not allow for much individual customization.
|Durable and effective|
Provides ample pressure for deep muscle relief
Simple, one-touch start
|Short runtime (40 min)|
One-speed setting (2500ppm)
If you’re looking for a great way to relieve muscle pain, alleviate arthritis or soreness, or help with muscle recovery, investing in a percussion massager is a good choice.
Regardless of your lifestyle and workout routine, a product on this list will fulfill your needs and provide optimum therapy.
When using massage guns, you want to ensure you pay attention to the warnings and instructions and correctly use the product.
Improper use can result in further injury. As a general rule, percussion massage therapy should not last too long; most sessions recommended being 5-10 minutes.
Some massage guns have automatic shut-off timers to ensure users are getting the best performance out of their massagers.
Of the many factors covered in our buyers guide at the start of this article, most recreational massagers are most concerned about noise and price.
As most of us don’t want to feel like we are using a jackhammer to induce our post-workout recovery, finding a quiet and effective massager will ensure that you use it more often.
The general value of a massage gun comes down to how effective it is, how reliable it is, and whether or not the brand is trusted to provide adequate customer service (refund, warranties, etc.).
All of the products on the list come from trusted brands with years of experience in the industry, and the customer reviews speak for themselves.
Buyers can feel confident that the product they purchase will come with ongoing support.