Massage guns, also called percussive massagers, have risen in popularity the last few years. According to many consumers, they’re the preferred method to relieve muscle tension and soreness at home — but are they worth it?
It depends. Some people say massage guns end up being much cheaper than getting professional massages. Others feel they’re not worth the investment, since they’re expensive and may not deliver the relief they need.
To help you decide whether a massage gun is worth it, read these pros and cons.
What you need to know about massage guns
How does a massage gun work?
Massage guns deliver relief with rapid pulses or vibrations that boost blood flow to muscles. After repeated impact, muscles warm up, relieving tension or soothing cramping.
Many of these devices come with a variety of attachment heads for targeted massage. A wedge head, for example, is used for scraping shoulder blades, whereas a ball head targets larger muscle groups.
How are massage guns powered?
The majority of massage guns are cordless and run on rechargeable batteries. Depending on the device, their batteries may offer up to 4 hours of mixed use. This is different from continuous runtime, in which most massage guns only run for about 20 minutes at a time.
Is it hard to use a massage gun?
Massage guns are appreciated for their user-friendly design. Some massage guns even have companion apps for in-depth guidance on massage techniques as well as muscle targeting or attachment head use.
Massage gun pros
Cheaper than massages
In the long run, massage guns end up being more cost-effective than getting professional massages.
The average professional massage costs $60-$150 per 60-minute session. Comparatively, massage guns cost $150-$500. It only takes a handful of uses for a massage gun to emerge as a cheaper alternative.
Massage guns offer a controlled, customized experience. Many models are equipped with a variety of speed and pulse settings. It’s also common for massage guns to come with up to six attachments for targeted massage of specific muscle groups or body parts.
Perks of portability
Unlike some types of massagers, such as cushion massagers, massage guns are more portable. Not only are these devices cordless, their compact designs make them travel-friendly. Many massage guns include carry cases as well.
Massage gun cons
Not the same as professional massages
Some people feel having to operate massage guns themselves detracts from the overall therapeutic experience. Instead, they prefer what professional massages have to offer in terms of total relaxation and relief.
A few admit a professional massage is more comprehensive. Massage guns are somewhat limited in their capabilities, whereas a licensed massage therapist may offer deeper, more dynamic massage.
Massage guns are compact, which means users need to stretch, bend or contort their bodies to cover hard-to-reach areas. It’s more difficult to use a massage gun on the back, so many people need to enlist the help of a partner to use the device in these areas.
Considering massage guns range in price from $150-$600, they’re not within everyone’s budget. They’re sizable purchases, and if users don’t plan on using their massage gun on a regular basis, it becomes somewhat of a wasted device.
Are massage guns worth it?
Massage guns are considered a smart buy for individuals who expect to use them frequently to relieve muscle tension, soreness and cramps. While they’re most often used by performance athletes and active individuals, they’re equally as useful for other types of needs.
Best massage guns
This premium massage gun is feature-rich with an ergonomic design, six foam attachments and an adjustable arm for hard-to-reach areas. Each pulse delivers up to 60 pounds of force.
The battery for this affordable massage gun offers 4 hours of runtime. It operates more quietly than comparable models and weighs less than 2 pounds.
Where to buy: iReliev
With six speeds and six attachments, this massage gun delivers a customized therapeutic experience. It has a brushless motor for quiet operation at approximately 45 dB.
Where to buy: PlayMakar
A popular mid-range option, this Bluetooth massage gun is controlled through the Hyperice app. Users can adjust settings to target specific muscle groups or body parts.
Where to buy: Best Buy
Appreciated for its travel-friendly design, this massage gun is great for relieving cramps and soreness on the go. It has three speed settings and its rechargeable battery lasts up to 150 minutes.
This dynamic massage gun has three arm angles to cover hard-to-reach areas, head to toe. It has five speed settings and includes four attachments for enhanced neck and back relief.
Where to buy: Macy’s
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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