Best massage guns for muscle relief

Best massage guns for muscle relief

The Best Massage Guns of 2023: Soothe Your Muscles with Percussive Therapy

After an intense workout or a long travel day, there is really nothing like a massage to soothe your sore muscles. And, since we can’t always book a massage appointment at a moment’s notice, massage guns are a great way to help relieve sore and achy muscles and aid your body in the recovery process.

Whether your muscles are sore from sitting and working all day (raises hand slowly) or are sore from exercising or training, a massage gun can work into your sore muscles using percussive therapy to provide instant relief. The best massage gun is the Theragun Prime since it comes from the brand that started it all. However, we also included options from Renpho, Hyperice, and more to fit your budget best while still getting into those knots, tension, and aches.

The Best Massage Guns of 2023

Therabody Theragun Prime – Best massage gun overall

Therabody Theragun Prime Image: Therabody/ZDNET


  • Customizable speeds
  • Operates quietly
  • Smart app that pairs with Apple Health and Google


  • Stall force could be higher
  • Expensive

Theragun Prime tech specs: – Battery life: 2 hours – Attachments: 4 – Speeds: 5 (plus customizable ranges) – Stall force: 30 pounds

Therabody is the pioneer brand of the massage gun after a chiropractor invented the device for his own rehabilitation after a motorcycle accident. Therabody has four different Theragun models, but the best is the Theragun Prime since it is a mid-range Theragun model that still packs a punch (so to speak).

The Theragun Prime has an ergonomic handle design that is easy to hold. It comes equipped with Therabody’s QuietForce Technology QX65, which promises quieter noise levels while getting 60% deeper into the muscles than the average massage gun device. Pair the device with the accompanying app, where you can customize your speed as well as get guided treatment routines.

Renpho Active Massage Gun – Best budget massage gun

Renpho Active Massage Gun Image: Renpho/ZDNET


  • Affordable
  • High stall force
  • 10-minute auto-shutoff


  • Issues with charging and battery life

Renpho Active Massage Gun tech specs: – Battery life: 2.5 hours – Attachments: 5 – Speeds: 5 – Stall force: 50 pounds

If you’re not willing to shell out $300 for a Theragun, there are cheaper massage gun options on the market, like the Renpho Active, for just $60. It has five adjustable speeds and five attachments to target different muscle groups.

The massage gun will last about 2.5 hours but also has a 10-minute auto-shutoff, so you don’t waste the battery. It has a relatively high stall force of 50 pounds, allowing it to handle a substantial amount of peak power.

Theragun Pro – Best massage gun splurge

Theragun Pro Image: Therabody/ZDNET


  • High stall force
  • On-screen routines
  • Micro-point attachment


  • Super expensive
  • Heavy at almost 6 pounds

Theragun Pro tech specs: – Battery life: 150 minutes – Attachments: 6 – Speeds: 5 (plus customizable ranges) – Stall force: 60 pounds

Another Theragun option is the Theragun Pro, but you must be willing to spend $600. However, this expensive massage gun has unique features that make it stand out, such as built-in routines on the OLED screen (a total of 18), special attachments like the micro-point for increased stimulation, and a motor that’s 20% quieter than the previous Pro generation.

It also has 60 pounds of max pressure, making it the device with the highest stall force on our list. Other than that, like the Theragun Prime, the Theragun Pro also has an ergonomic design that’s easier to hold and five built-in speeds with the ability to customize between the preset speed ranges.

Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Full Body Massage Gun – Best lightweight massage gun

Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Full Body Massage Gun Image: Hyperice/ZDNET


  • Great accompanying app
  • Lightweight and easy to hold


  • Stall force is just estimated
  • Battery life can be misleading

Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Pro tech specs: – Battery life: 3 hours – Attachments: 5 – Speeds: 3 – Stall force: ~45 pounds

Hyperice’s Hypervolt 2 massage gun is a more lightweight option, which weighs just 1.8 pounds. This massage gun has a patented pressure sensor technology that shows how much pressure you’re applying to your muscles.

Like the Theraguns, it also connects to an app that lets you choose between pre-programmed routines depending on what it picks up from your training programs, such as Garmin or Strava. It also provides wellness insights from physical therapists and elite trainers.

Renpho Lite Massage Gun – Best mini massage gun

Renpho Lite Massage Gun Image: Renpho/ZDNET


  • Heat therapy
  • Small and portable
  • Long battery life


  • Not as strong stall force as other options
  • Attachments could be better quality

Renpho Lite tech specs: – Battery life: 4 hours – Attachments: 4 – Speeds: 3 – Stall force: 18 pounds

If you want something small and portable while traveling, the Renpho Lite is a mini massage gun that’s less than a pound and is just 6.1 x 5.9 inches. While it does have a smaller stall force of 18 pounds due to its smaller build, it has a built-in heat therapy handle that can heat to 100 °F in three seconds to relieve muscle pain even faster.

Because it’s so compact and has less power, this massage gun can be used in the body’s more sensitive areas, such as the neck. Like the Renpho Active Massage Gun, the Renpho Lite also has a 10-minute auto-shutoff.

Which massage gun is right for you?

The best massage gun for you will mostly depend on how much you’re willing to spend and what features (like ergonomic design or an accompanying app) are most important to you. Here are the top options:

Massage Gun Price Attachments Speed Stall Force
Theragun Prime $214 4 5 30 pounds
Renpho Active $60 5 5 50 pounds
Theragun Pro $578 6 5 60 pounds
Hypervolt 2 $199 5 3 ~45 pounds
Renpho Lite $40 4 3 18 pounds

How did we choose these massage guns?

We did extensive research into the market, considering reviews (both good and bad) and renowned brands. We also considered our own experience using massage guns.

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best massage gun:

  • Speed: Massage guns have different speed options calculated in percussions per minute (ppm). Having different options allows you to treat sensitive areas or use full force when getting into a tight muscle.
  • Attachments: Without the attachments, massage guns wouldn’t be anything. We considered devices with a decent amount of attachments and ones with unique attachment heads to target specific muscle groups.
  • Price: Massage guns can be super expensive (especially if you’re looking at buying a Theragun), so we scanned the market for different price points that will line up with various budgets.

Is a massage gun actually helpful?

Yes! Massage guns are a great tool in aiding sore muscles and recovery. According to a study from the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, massage guns “can help improve acute muscle strength, explosive muscle flexibility, and reduce experiences of musculoskeletal pain.”

Just remember to use a massage gun in the proper areas and only concentrate on an area for a short time (1-2 minutes maximum).

What is stall force in a massage gun?

Stall force is the amount of pressure you can apply to the massage gun before the motor stops. Essentially, it is a gun’s peak power. Many massage guns have stall forces between 40-60 pounds. A massage gun with a stall force of 30 pounds is considered relatively weak.

What areas should you not use a massage gun?

You should only be using a massage gun on muscles, so stay away from joints and bones, including the spine and collarbone, as well as organs (like the kidneys, which are located in your back).

Are there alternative massage guns worth considering?

Plenty of massage guns are available on the market today, but not all are created equal. Here are other options worth considering that can help you with sore muscles.