The Best Handheld Massager to Relieve Those Aches & Pains Yourself

Updated on
Written by Penny Cooper

There are just some things you can only do yourself to get the satisfactory relief that you deserve  –  more double entends coming your way shortly –  there are many aids available to get the ultimate pleasure and we have come up with some, and one which is the best handheld massager. What did you think I was going on about?

Who doesn’t love a good sweat at the gym? But waking up with sore muscles? It’s enough to put me off working out for days.

Taking the time to care for your body after physical fitness is just as important as the workout itself. In addition to drinking lots of water and resting, my favorite way to relax those sore muscles is with a handheld massager.

We have an in-depth guide to self-massage tools here.

This article includes affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any of the products we have discussed in this article, we may receive a small commission.

Here are our top picks for handheld massagers:

How to Choose the Best Handheld Massager?

First of all, what kind of pain are you looking to massage away? Is it the result of a killer workout? Are you waking up sore? Is your long commute killing your back?

If your aim is to relieve sore muscles from working out, especially from weightlifting and high-impact training, opt for a percussor-type massager with heat.

Heat is extremely effective in releasing muscle tension and the best handheld massagers come with interchangeable heads that heat up.

If reaching body parts is an issue, either because you have limited mobility or you’re trying to relieve your own lower back, make sure to try a model with a long or adjustable handle for ease of use.

We’ve chosen a mix of styles, the typical percussive gun and the long handled design. The latter go on top simply because most readers here will be less flexible than they were.

If, however, you can reach your target with ease then the gun might be the one.

Product Reviews

When I was in college, I was lucky enough to go to the chiropractor and massage therapist once a week for my bad back (years of ballet and sports had already given me some long-standing soreness).

I wish I had a simple handheld device instead of making the drive to the clinic over and over again! Luckily, today there are a variety of home-use versions available.

RENPHO Extend Massage Gun

This is an “upgrade” to their previous rechargeable deep tissue massager which was enormously popular. So we thought we would give this a go.

We like this handheld massager for it’s flexibility and price – still really good value although a little more than the older model.

41GZaI7nr3L. SL500

It’s cordless and has 4 different head attachments with a built-in rechargeable battery that comes with a power adapter cord.

I thought, looking at the pictures that this unit might not be as powerful as some but it is with 8mm amplitude and 4 speed levels up to 30 lbs of massage force.

Sonic LX Professional Percussion Massage Gun

From the very reasonably priced to the not so.

This massager is one of the most powerful on the market, with up to 3400 revolutions per minute in percussor mode. It has 10 different heads that are easy to interchange.

414+R3ur0cL. SL500

ir?t=midlifehacks0e 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07VX7WXRXThis model isn’t number one on my list only because it’s handle is static. If you have a friend to help you, you’ll get the relief that you need. Why not partner up with that cute divorcee from your spin class and work out those stiff muscles?


  • Battery lasts up to four hours.
  • Users can apply up to 30 pounds of pressure before the unit turns off. Tested to reduce bounce by over 70 percent.


  • Static handle.
  • Higher price point.

We have reviews of more guns including the best percussion massage gun.

Opove M3 Quiet Percussion Gun

The powerful, professional massage therapy gun from Opove has the power to relieve your aching muscles. Opove is a trusted manufacturer of power tools, so it is not surprising that their massager motor is top-notch.

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It has a variety of interchangeable heads depending on your requirements.


  • Anti-crack shell, designed to withstand short drops.
  • Motor specifically designed to be quieter than other models.
  • Nine intensity modes.


  • Percussion gun will shut off after 10 minutes.
  • Static style model.

Thumper Mini Pro

The Thumper Mini Pro is an excellent notch tiny product. Its long handle allows you to easily reach all parts of your body, getting you relaxed and ready to go in record time.

311z2SwuBFL. SL500

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Since it doesn’t need a lot of pressure to give you a massage, just park the unit on the muscle group you’re looking to treat. It’s easy to use for those with arthritis in their hands or difficulty bending.


  • Dual head for extended relief.
  • Small size for easy travel.
  • Ideal for use on upper and lower back.


  • No interchangeable heads.
  • Only three speeds.

Wahl Handheld Deep Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Massager

The Wahl is on this list for two reasons: Its ergonomic design and long handle, and its price. It packs a punch, on its highest setting it can reach over 3,300 pulses per minute, which is comparable to a much more expensive model.

31oAWsGCN5L. SL500

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It comes with four attachment heads and a long handle for you to reach anywhere on your body.


  • Variable speed wheel.
  • Interchangeable head made for cellulite relief.
  • Rubberized heads for a more serious massage.


  • Corded model, so you’re tethered to the electrical outlet.
  • Heavy for its size.

More massage machines can be found on our quest for the best deep tissue massager.

What Is the Best Way to Use Your Massager?

If you’re like me, you take your physical fitness in midlife quite seriously. I use a handheld percussor deep tissue massager to soothe those aches and pains after I do yoga all day, especially after the strength training sessions.

It’s important to find a model that can adjust its angle; after all, even though I practice yoga, there are just parts of your body that are hard to reach!

Simply turn the massager on and aim it at the muscle group you want to treat. Slowly apply pressure to your body, leaving off if you experience pain or discomfort. Move the massager along the muscle, and don’t take too long on one specific spot.

There are often different heads available, from round balls that attack sore muscles to pronged finger-like shapes meant to simulate a massage therapist’s hands. The best handheld massager will be easy to use, comfortable to hold, and last long enough to relieve your tension.

Important Health Information Before Using

While massage is beneficial for many people, it’s important to double-check if it’s right for you.

There are two kinds of precautions: Total and Local Contraindication. This is used primarily by professional massage therapists, but the precautions will extend to your home handheld massager.

You should not use a home massager without consulting your doctor if you have any of the following issues:

  • Healing from surgery or burns.
  • Acute or persistent injuries.
  • Diabetes.

You may want to take precautions and possibly consult your doctor if you have high blood pressure. Since massage can stimulate blood flow, you want to choose less strenuous settings on your massager.

You can still use a massager, but not on affected areas that have:

  • Varicose veins.
  • Sunburn.
  • Bruises.
  • Fractures or broken bones.
  • Thinning skin.

I wish I had known about this last point when I gave a favorite brand to my friend for her birthday! We had to return it for a different model, so it didn’t hurt her skin. Just because it was the best handheld massager that suited me, didn’t mean it was the right one for her.

Massage is meant to refresh and stimulate muscles. Test different shaped heads to see which you like the best. Whatever you do, start slow on the lowest setting and work your way up in speed until you find what feels good.

If you’re experiencing deep or shooting pains, stop using your massager and consult your doctor.

Sweet Relief

You want the best deal for your money, so our winner is the RENPHO massager. It’s design gives great comfort of use. It also has 4 specialty heads, which makes it perfect for a gentle, soothing massage as well as deep tissue rubdowns.

Although the Sonic LX is a more effective handheld massager. It’s of professional grade but quite a professional price too.

And for the awkwardness to get to parts of the body it’s a massage gun and so you may need to find a friend – that may be fun though

When my clients ask me to recommend the best handheld massager, I make sure to ask what they’re treating. If you’re looking for an overall body massager with the ability to soothe those muscles with heat get yourself this, one of the best percussion massagers on the market certainly for the money.

If you’re suffering from aches and pains I hope this review has helped in your choice of a good handheld massager. Let us know how you go.

Photo of author
Penny is a Personal Trainer currently training as a wellness coach. She gained a BA in English at Edinburgh University. Redundancy from retail management hastened a move to helping people get fit and writing about all things fitness in middle age.

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