Best massage gun 2023 to batter away workout pain and release muscle knots

The best massage gun can ease muscle pain and discomfort after strenuous workouts

Best massage gun: Pictured here, a person using the Hyperice Hypervolt GO 2 portable massage gun
(Image credit: Hyperice )

The best massage guns are some of the amazing massage tools to batter away workout pain or ease up stiff areas. Thanks to the powerful motor and the variety of massage heads usually included with percussion massagers, day-to-day muscle maintenance has never been easier.

By now, many devices come with instructions on how to use them effectively and target specific areas in the body – some of them even has apps that can guide users on how to use them correctly. Don't let muscle pain or a stiff neck ruin your night: invest in your well-being by getting a massage gun today.

Alternatively, especially if you run or cycle often, you can give the best foam rollers a try; these massage tools are geared towards working the lower limbs. How do massage guns compare to foam rollers? Find out in our foam roller vs massage gun comparison piece. Also, read our Power Plate Roller review. 'Cause, why should you?

Looking for something less intense? We have a separate guide to the best home massagers and best massage chairs, which includes options more geared towards easing your muscles and helping you relax.

 Best massage guns to buy right now

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Hyperice Hypervolt GO 2 reviewT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
Best massage gun overall

Specifications

Battery life: 3 hours
No of heads included: 2
Speed settings: 3
Stall force: N/A

Reasons to buy

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Great size
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Sleek design
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Powerful enough for recreational massage
+
Comes with two head attachments
+
Different mains-adaptors included in the box

Reasons to avoid

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No pressure sensor or Bluetooth connectivity
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No carry case

The Hypervolt GO 2 is the iPhone SE of the Hyperice family; sure, you can get the all-bells-and-whistles flagship model, but do you need all the features it comes with? Or are you better off paying half as much and getting a massage gun that's not too bulky but does the job just fine?

Smaller it might be than your average massage gun, but the Hypervolt GO 2 feels like a premium device. The updated physical design is more sophisticated, feels good in the hand and looks more premium than its predecessor. Not to mention, the button is more ergonomically placed; finally!

There is no Bluetooth connectivity so if you're desperate to use the Hyperice App with your massage gun, get the Hypervolt 2 or Hypervolt 2 Pro. The same goes for the pressure sensor. We strongly recommend the Hypervolt GO 2 for people who never tried massage guns before and think they can benefit from it but don't want to spend hundreds on a device they might only use a handful of times a week/month.

Read our full Hyperice Hypervolt GO 2 review

Theragun Pro (5th Gen) review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

2. Theragun Pro (5th Gen)

Best Theragun massage gun

Specifications

Battery life: 150 minutes
No of heads included: 6
Speed settings: 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2400 PPM
Stall force: 60 lbs

Reasons to buy

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Redesigned second-gen brushless motor is powerful and quiet
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Pre-set workouts available on the massage gun
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Ergonomic handle is still in a league of its own
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USB-C charging
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Same RRP as previous-gen Pro

Reasons to avoid

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Massively overpowered for everyday use
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Micro-Point head feels pointless with such amplitude
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Battery life has halved since the last iteration

The Theragun Pro has always represented the most cutting-edge technology Therabody had to offer; it's their most powerful, customisable, professional-grade massage gun. The fifth-generation Pro delivers a flawless, firm massage experience that professional athletes crave and that can help speed up recovery or prevent injuries by readying the muscles for exercise before the session.

The redesigned brushless motor is quieter and delivers a lot of force. The high amplitude movement of the Theragun Pro (5th Gen) ensures you get a refreshing massage experience time after time. For those who find this level of percussive power too offensive, the SuperSoft head (included in the box) will help them ease into the 'proper' Theragun experience.

Some of the new features (e.g. pre-set workouts) are probably aimed at less experienced users, which is slightly contradictory, considering the Therabody Pro is the pro's choice, who most likely don't need them. The two new attachments are a bit hit-and-miss, with the thumb being an excellent addition and the Micro-Point – well – pointless.

If you have the previous-gen Pro, there isn't much point in upgrading to the new version, as it offers more or less the same massage experience, only quieter. The reduced noise level is a nice touch, and so is the removable battery (and the USB charging), the latter of which pros will surely appreciate.

Read our full Theragun Pro (5th Gen) review

Theragun mini massage gun on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Therabody)
Best massage gun for neck pain

Specifications

Battery life: 150 minutes
No of heads included: 1
Speed settings: 1750, 2100, 2400 percussion per minute
Stall force: 20 lbs

Reasons to buy

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Portable design
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Long battery life, compared to size
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Ideal for massaging sensitive areas such as the back of the neck

Reasons to avoid

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Less powerful than standard percussion massager
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No Bluetooth connectivity to Therabody App

Therabody came up with a great idea to make the entry-level model of its Theragun range accessible but not cheap, indeed a fine line to walk. The Teragun mini was not designed for athletes but for everyday people who might have a stiff neck or want to quickly blast their sore calves after having to stand all day at work.

It might be advertised as 'pocket-sized', but the Theragun mini definitely won't fit in your jean pockets. You will be able to shove it in your handbag or backpack pockets, though, so it might just be the phrasing that's slightly misleading.

The mini is surprisingly not as quiet as the Hypervolt but quieter than the Elite, and if you want to, you can even use it in public. You might get some funny looks, but who cares when you can relieve your muscles anywhere, anytime? Let others be jealous of your Theragun mini. 

Thanks to the three-speed settings and the high-amplitude percussions, using the Theragun mini will feel powerful enough for people who are not used to sports- or deep-tissue massage. However, for athletes who are, the mini might not be able to effectively relax muscles after rigorous workouts. They can just get a Theragun Elite instead.

Read our full Theragun Mini review

Hyperice Hypervolt Plus massage gun on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Hypervolt)

4. Hyperice Hypervolt Plus

Best massage gun for athletes

Specifications

Battery life: 180 minutes
No of heads included: 5
Speed settings: 3 speed settings, up to 3,200 percussions per minute
Stall force: 55 llbs

Reasons to buy

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Delivers rapid percussions
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Pressure sensor with light feedback
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Near silent operation
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Powerful motor (90W)

Reasons to avoid

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Carry case is extra

The Hyperice Hypervolt Plus (as in hyper-ice, not hype-rice) is the quietest percussion massager I tried yet it is almost the fastest one too: the Hypervolt Plus' max setting is 3,200 percussions per minute. The Hypervolt is not only faster than the Elite but also a bit heavier, not much though, but enough to help you apply some pressure on the body.

Much like Therabody, Hyperice has its own app now and it’s ‘powered by HyperSmart’, a data-driven approach that recommends massage routines based on your workout activities which are being fed into the app through Apple Health and Strava (the app is only available in the Apple App Store at the moment). You can also control the latest generation, Bluetooth-enabled Hypervolt and Hypervolt Plus devices through the app.

The Hypervolt Plus has three-speed settings, the max setting being 3,200 ppm which is pretty fast but even on this setting, the Hypervolt Plus remains quiet thanks to the brushless motor and the Quiet glide technology. To make sure you apply enough pressure on your muscles, there is a LED pressure indicator on the back of the device so you know how firmly the Hypervolt is being pressed against your skin. You can probably feel it too but it is surprising to see how much you need to press the massager gun against the body for the sensor to be triggered.

The five heads included provide slightly more variety than in the case of the Theragun Elite: the flat head covers larger areas easier and the forked head works the muscle around the spine better, but you must get someone else to do that for you as you can’t apply much pressure on your back holding the Hypervolt Plus. On the upside, even if the Hypervolt Plus is being used by multiple people, the battery will last long enough so you won’t need the charge the massager too often.

Theragun Elite massage gun on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Therabody)

5. Theragun Elite

Best massage gun for lower back pain

Specifications

Battery life: 120 minutes
No of heads included: 5
Speed settings: 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2400 percussions per minute
Stall force: 40 lbs

Reasons to buy

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Excellent built quality
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Ergonomic handle is best for self-massage
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Connects to the Therabody App via Bluetooth
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Custom massager patterns
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Carry case included

Reasons to avoid

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 Relatively loud motor

Theragun has been dominating the percussion massager market for a couple of years now, and with its latest Theragun range, the brand offers even more versatility to its customers. Of the four Theragun percussion massagers currently being sold, the Elite represents the Goldilocks zone in terms of features and price: the high-end PRO is more expensive and aimed at mostly professionals, while the Prime lacks the OLED screen.

The Theragun Elite offers deep percussion strokes – 16 mm in amplitude, to be precise – and five-speed options as default: 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200 and 2400 ppm. These speed options will be more than enough for most users, but in case you need some more versatility and would like to set the Elite to 1837 ppm, for example, you can do that through the Therabody App.

The Elite connects to the Therabody App via Bluetooth, and targeted massage sessions can be started through the app plus, you can also update the firmware of your Theragun too. There are quite a few different massaging options available in the app, including wellness, sleep and more. Once the Elite is connected to the app, you can control the massager via the phone, such as starting and pausing sessions.

Thanks to the ergonomic handle, the Elite is excellent for self-massaging specific areas such as the lower back. By shifting from one side of the handle to the other, you can apply pressure even to hard-to-reach areas such as the shoulder blades and the back of the thighs.

Addsfit MAX Deep Tissue Massage Gun on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Addsfit)

6. Addsfit MAX Deep Tissue Massage Gun

Best massage gun for runners

Specifications

Battery life: 270 minutes
No of heads included: 5
Speed settings: 1700, 1900, 2100, 2300, 2500, 2900, 3100, 3300 PPM
Stall force: 26 lbs
Amplitude: 12 mm

Reasons to buy

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9 speed settings!
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Instruction booklet is surprisingly informative
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Carry case included
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Good quality massager heads

Reasons to avoid

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Removing the heads is a bit fiddly

Addsfit is one of the up-and-coming percussion massager brands – est. mid-2019 – and its MAX Deep Tissue Massage Gun is a decent percussion massager, despite the fact that it looks pretty much like every other massage gun on the market today. A closer observation sheds a bit more light on what sets the Addsfit MAX Deep Tissue Massage Gun apart from the competition.

The Addsfit MAX Deep Tissue Massage Gun has nine different speed settings and also the highest percussion rate of all the tested devices (3,300 rpm). On the flip side, the stall force is not the highest at 26 lbs and the 12 mm amplitude is also behind the top dogs a bit.

The massager heads included have a nice feel to them and are not just hard plastic– an unexpected but welcome feature at this price point. The massage heads all share one attachment base, which makes changing them around a bit more fiddly at first, but once you read the booklet, you realise that as opposed to pulling it off, you must pull the heads down to take them off the base.

Talking about the instruction booklet: the Addsfit MAX Deep Tissue Massage Gun comes with the most informative printed instruction booklet that includes detailed info on the heads and the gun itself, great for beginner users. That said, the Therabody App and the Hyperice App both contain a heap load of info and even pre-programmed massage programs, but at the same time, their massagers are three times the price of the Addsfit MAX.

How to choose the best massage gun for you

A lot of percussion massager guns not only provide a similar massaging experience, but they look pretty much the same too. This is understandable as ergonomics pose certain limitations to design: you need a handle so you can apply force with the guns, and said handle would probably also house the battery, making it grip thicker and longer.

Our top pick is the Hyperice Hypervolt GO 2 because it strikes a good balance between price, functionality and power. It might not be the biggest or the most powerful massage gun, but it's powerful enough for most people who use massage guns to treat a sore neck or calves.

Try the Theragun Pro (5th Gen) if you need something more powerful. It features a unique triangle-shaped handle, which helps you apply pressure anywhere in the body, even if you aren't a contortionist. Plus, it has enough power to batter away any and all muscle pain and stiffness, even if you're an athlete.

The bronze goes to the Theragun mini, a super portable percussion massager that's small enough to be carried in a handbag but still packs enough power to be effective. This no-frills percussion massager is great for everyday people who want a simple enough device to treat a stiff neck or massage their feet.

Matt Kollat
Fitness Editor

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and he collaborated with other content creators in the past, such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab). When he isn't working out, he loves roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment, including microphones, cameras and more.