Best massage guns to suit every budget: tried and tested

Massage guns can be expensive pieces of kit, here's why you should invest in the best massage gun UK.

Best massage guns to suit every budget - Sport Physical Pain Physiotherapy And Muscle Recovery

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Whether you have sore, tight muscles after exercise that need a little TLC, or you’re in need of some deep-tissue relief similar to a body massage, then finding the best massage guns can help. They’re a natural way to relieve tight muscles, increase blood flow and help regular gym-goers with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). There are two different ways that massage guns do this: using either percussion therapy or vibration therapy.

Unlike a back massager, which specifically targets just one area of your body or a foam roller which requires quite a bit of manoeuvring, a massage gun is easy to use and can be used across the entire body. It's also a very compact bit of equipment too, with many massage guns coming with travel cases. Plus, a lot of designs are small enough to fit inside your gym bag. A scalp massager will fit nearly in your bag. On the other hand, a massage chair certainly wouldn't.

Massage guns range in price too, with cheaper models starting at around £40, while more expensive designs can range up to £150 plus. As well as carrying out extensive research into the best massage guns currently on the market, a number of our team here at Yours have also put a few to the test to see just how well they function and if they’re really worth the buck. They'll pair perfectly with some soothing and nourishing massage oil, too.

We have found 16 different massage guns to suit every budget. Whether you're happy to splurge on the best sports massage guns or hoping to count the pennies with a cheap massage gun, we've got you covered.

Best massage guns at a glance:

• Best lightweight massage gun: Hyperice, Hypervolt Go Massage Gun 2 - Buy now on Amazon UK
• Best portable massage gun: Theragun mini - Buy now on Therabody
• Best original massage gun: Theragun Elite - Buy now on Therabody

Best massage guns to buy this year

Best lightweight massage gun

HYPERICE - Hypervolt Go - Massage Gun
Price: $129.00
Alternative retailers
Lowe's$199.00View offer

The Hypervolt GO 2 is a game-changer for post-workout recovery. Ditching the discomfort of foam rollers, this lightweight, quick-charging device offers a quiet, comfortable experience. With a battery life indicator, three speeds, and two heads for targeted relief, it effectively eases muscle tension, especially in the thighs and calves. Perfect for gym bags, it's ideal for at-home massages, reducing post-workout aches significantly.

Our review: "I've previously relied on foam rollers to ease my muscles after a heavy HIIT workout, but, let's be honest - they're awful. Uncomfortable, painful and just downright annoying, I was really excited to get my hands on the Hypervolt GO. The lightweight device charges up really quickly, is comfortable in the hand and is really quiet. The green ring around the bottom keeps you updated with the battery life, and so far I've used it at least three times this week for a good 15 minutes and it's still on the green. There are three speeds to choose from - I start out on the lowest and then gradually move up to the highest on each session. There are also two heads to use, depending on where you're targeting.

"If you've only used foam rollers before, it's a strange phenomenon, but you soon become used to it. I can't quite believe the difference if I'm honest. I use it as soon as I get home from my class, and it immediately releases tension in my thighs and calves, where I suffer most after a workout. It also helps with the day two post-workout ache, which hasn't been nearly as intense since I started using it.

"It's the perfect size for a gym bag and is great for an at-home massage - useful if you often wake up with cricks in your shoulders or neck. This is a really high-quality piece of kit, and my only disappointment is that I didn't discover it sooner."

Pros

  • Only weighs 700g
  • Good for a gym bag and travel
  • 3 speeds of percussion
  • Approved by TSA for carry-on

Cons

  • Would be nice to have more than two attachment heads
  • Only three hours of battery life

Best mini massage gun

The Hydragun Atom Mini Massage Gun is a compact device, perfect for fitness enthusiasts. Its sleek design fits easily in gym bags, and the package includes a smart travel case. With three attachment heads and speed variations, it prioritises quality, offering effective relief for sore muscles, especially after intense workouts like weightlifting. The flat head, is made of solid aluminium, and is well-built overall.

Our review: “I gym around four times a week and do a lot of weightlifting, which puts a lot of strain on my body, especially my lower back. I was truly blown away by the Atom Mini Massage Gun. It arrived beautifully packaged and even came with a smart travel case, to fit everything snug inside. The Atom Mini itself has a sleek, stylish and modern design. It’s smaller than other massage guns, which I loved, as it meant I could fit it inside my gym bag and use it throughout my workout.

“Unlike other massage guns, the Atom Mini only comes with three attachment heads and three different speed variations, but this massage gun focuses on quality over quantity. My favourite massage head was the flat head made from solid aluminium and designed to glide seamlessly over your clothes. After using it for 10 minutes (the Atom Mini automatically turns off after this time, so you don’t overdo it), the next day the tight areas in my body were in considerably less pain. My partner, who does powerlifting, thought the Atom Mini was fantastic too. With big competition looming meant a lot of intense heavy lifting, but thanks to the Atom Mini helping ease his muscle soreness, he managed to squat 300kg, pain-free, and took home a new British record. 

“The price is the only thing that may stump people with this product, as £179 isn’t cheap, but this is an investment purchase. Hydragun has hit the nail on the head in so many ways with this product, from the three-speed variations (honestly why do we need six anyway?), to the design and its whisper-quiet motor.

“For those looking for a high-quality massage gun to relieve tension and soreness, I would 100 per cent recommend the Atom Mini, especially for those who do a lot of intense exercises. There’s no denying it’s an expensive product, but this is an investment piece; you aren’t going to be replacing this massage gun anytime soon. It will last and deliver the results you need. It may be small, but it really is mighty.”

Pros

  • Uses percussive therapy to stimulate your muscles and reduce pain
  • Five hours of battery
  • Comes with accessories and storage box
  • Made from aerospace-grade aluminum

Cons

  • A mini may not be required for everybody

Best hot and cold massage gun

The Donnerberg Massage Gun is a top-tier choice for anyone seeking relief from joint pain or muscle tension. Its excellent build and powerful performance make it a great allrounder and has six washable attachments and eight settings, it adeptly targets aches and tense areas. The gun's design is user-friendly and comfortable, even featuring heated and cool settings for personalised therapy.

Our review: "As someone who suffers from joint pain, I was keen to try the Donnerberg Massage Gun. It promised to relieve tension - and boy did it deliver. It is a powerful premium massage gun, perfect for gym goers as well as anyone who suffers from tension. The gun has six washable attachments and eight settings that make it great for getting into any aches and tense areas.

"From the moment you open the box, you can tell this is a premium quality massage gun. The hard shell case makes it perfect for travelling or taking to the gym. Each attachment is perfectly placed in the box. The gun itself is weighted but very comfortable to use. The instructions are incredibly user-friendly and although it has a multitude of settings it is very easy to operate.

"The gun offers both a heated and cool setting. I enjoyed the heat more than the cold but that was due to the nature of its use.

"Although this is a higher price point than some of the other massage guns on the market, I would argue it is justified. After using this product, I felt relaxed and most importantly, my body felt great. It feels like a professional massage from the comfort of your own home."

Pros

  • Comes with six attachments
  • Comes in a convenient storage box
  • Made with aluminium
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • Some may not need it to be high-tech

Best heat treatment massage gun

This Homedics massage gun offers convenience and quiet operation. Its three power modes, easily selected with a rotating dial, integrate seamlessly into post-workout routines. The package includes six heads, each tailored for specific body areas.

Our review: "I've used a cheaper massage gun before and found it beneficial but wasn't blown away, it was noisy and a faff to set the power to the right level and this made it less convenient to use. This Homedics unit is a different thing entirely - you select which of its three power modes you want using a rotating selector and it's super quiet in operation. It is now a regular part of my post-workout routine.

"You get six heads and a sheet showing which is best for what areas of your body, and some examples of how to use them. I find the barrel one brilliant for my IT band and the arrow wince-inducing on my calves after a long ride on my bike. I'm not entirely sold on the physical benefits of the heating head (which takes two minutes to get to full temp) but it feels really soothing a day after training and has become my go-to. There's a cold head that you have to put in the freezer in my experience it didn't stay cold enough for long enough, but then again, I quite like an ice bath, so maybe I've just desensitised myself to its benefits."

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Comes with a storage bag
  • Quiet operation
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Made from plastic may not be as durable

Best portable massage gun

Despite its intimidating power, delivering up to 2400 percussions per minute, the Theragun mini is surprisingly user-friendly and effective. Perfect for home use, it relieves stiffness in the back and feet, providing immediate relaxation. Plus, its quiet operation and compact size make it gym-bag friendly, promising to ease muscle pain during workouts.

Our review: "This changed my life - it's a bold statement, but it's true. I had a car accident a few years ago and my shoulder/lower back has never been the same. Since using the Theragun mini, I've seen some good improvements. At first, I was intimidated by this bit of kit because it's so powerful (up to 2400 percussions per minute to be exact). However, once I overcome the hesitation from the speed, I never looked back. While working from home, the stiff feeling in my back has gone from bad to worse. I've been using the gun on my back and the bottom of my feet for a few weeks now. Within a few minutes of applying, I felt totally relaxed. Once I'm able to get back to the gym, I don't doubt that this will ease muscle pain, because it's doing it already. That said, is a massage gun worth it? Absolutely. The benefits don't stop there, I like how quiet it is and the fact its compact size means it could effortlessly fit in my gym bag."

Pros

  • Compact but mighty
  • Bluetooth-enabled to access whole library of personalised wellness routines 
  • Two colours: black and rose

Cons

  • Could come with more heads

Best for design

The MAGNITONE London Beat it Deep Tissue Massage Gun is a great tool for those suffering from pain, especially with its variety of heads and speeds. The spherical head, in particular, offers instant relief for targeted areas like sore shoulders. This massage gun comes with four interchangeable heads and a convenient pouch.

Our review: “Since being involved in a car accident when I was a teenager, I’ve suffered on and off with back and shoulder pain. All it takes is for me to sleep funny or reach down to grab something at an awkward angle, and I’m in agony for weeks. Wanting something to help manage the discomfort without resorting to painkillers, I tried the MAGNITONE London Beat it Deep Tissue Massage Gun.

"I have to say I was a little sceptical at first as to whether this would do anything for me, but it’s worked wonders. Having tried all the heads and speeds, I’ve found the best one for me is the sphere. I pop it on and whack up the speed to target my sore shoulder and I feel instant relief. I love how it comes with four different heads and a pouch to store them all in. The pink colour and the price are an added bonus for me too.”

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Comes in a bag
  • Four attachments

Cons

  • Gets hot quickly while using it

Best original massage gun

Like the sound of the Theragun Mini? Well, you can take it one step further with the Theragun Elite. Other than size, the main difference between these devices is the Elite's stronger force. Don't be intimidated by this as it allows for better circulation and releases tension.

Customer Review: "My recovery from an ankle fracture had stalled, but after getting and using the Theragun Elite, everything changed and I saw dramatic improvements in the flexibility, discomfort levels, and general well-being in the ankle and the areas around the foot, ankle, and leg."

Pros

  • Compatible with app
  • Can be synced with routine
  • Good value

Cons

  • One reviewer says it's loud

Best plug-in massage gun

Not technically a gun per se, but still a handheld device that will improve blood flow and loosen up your muscles. Our favourite thing about this machine is that it uses infrared heat to work, which means that you'll instantly feel the benefits. Although this is heavier than others on the list, it still gets a thumbs-up from us.

Customer Review: "Perfect for aching calf muscles."

Pros

  • Adjustable intensity
  • Affordable option
  • Corded if that is your preference

Cons

  • Heavy to hold for long periods
  • One speed setting

Best massager for sore knees

When it comes to massagers for sore knees HeatPulse Knee Massager is an excellent solution for injuries or strenuous activities. It combines heat and gentle vibration to target deep-seated discomfort. Its soft material and adjustable straps ensure a comfortable fit, not just for knees but also elbows and shoulders. A valuable investment for anyone seeking targeted joint relief.

Our review: "Not strictly a massage gun, we know, but a brilliant complimentary addition if you suffer from sore knees, either from old injuries or overdoing it. Or, in my case, both. I switched running for cycling after it became pretty clear all that tarmac (and probably poor technique) had prematurely aged my joints, and while this has been a good move on the whole, I get pain in my knees that neither a sports massage nor a massage gun seems to be able to reach.

"The Hydragun Knee Massager combines heat and gentle vibration to ease discomfort - the massaging buzz locates an area I find impossible to target with a percussive massager (because I usually miss and end up smacking my kneecap, which makes everything worse) while the warmth somehow finds it way deep inside the joint.

"It's made of soft material and held in place securely with hook and loop style straps, so you can get a fit that suits you. It also works on your elbows and, utilising the supplied strap, your shoulders too, which is an additional benefit.
"Charged via a USB-C cable, it promises 30 mins of treatment on each knee. If you were feeling particularly flush (and short on time) you could buy two, but the price may inhibit this. That's my only complaint really - it's a lot more expensive than simply wrapping a hot towel around your knee. But then again, it's also a lot more effective."

Pros

  • Made with a breathable, moisture-wicking polyester
  • Charges via USB-cable

Cons

  • Just for knees

Best massage guns FAQs

How do I choose a massage gun?

It's been 14 years since the Theragun was born, and the massage gun market has boomed; there are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of options available. Although this equipment is still predominately used by athletes, additional people around the world are using this tool to improve muscular pain when suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis, speed up rehabilitation and get a deep tissue massage.

Whatever your reason for wanting to buy a massage gun, you need to understand what you want this machine to do as well as set yourself a price range - as these devices can end up costing hundreds of pounds. If you need one to combat serious aches and pains, you’ll want to allow yourself a bigger budget. Also think about the noise, quality of the product and the speeds. If it's your back that needs help, we recommend a back massager.

Love a deep tissue massage - but need something more thorough? Read our tried and tested review of the Donnerberg Premium Neck and Shoulder Massager, which we were very impressed with.

How do massage guns work?

The best massage guns use attachment heads to apply pressure to target areas by using vibration or percussive therapy. Percussion massage is when speedy, short pulses from your massage gun hit into the soft tissue on your body. Not only does this help increase the blood flow in the areas you're targeting, but it encourages growth and repairs damaged muscles too. Whereas vibration therapy uses vibrations to make your muscles contract and relax. As well as these benefits, it also increases bone density, reduces joint pain and boosts metabolism.

Are massage guns worth it?

Yes, if you purchase a decent massage gun and buy one for your requirements. For example, if you're an athlete, there are massage guns on our list that have been designed by chiropractors for performance and recovery. Whereas, if you're just looking for a massager that will help you relax after a long day, a cheaper model can cut it.

It’s also important to use it correctly. A lot of people will whizz a massage gun over their body and wonder why they’re not feeling any benefits from it. Move the massage gun slowly along your muscles and take your time spending around one to two minutes on a particular muscle. If you come across an area that feels uncomfortable, then spend a little more time there. But, don’t push down with the massage gun.

Most brands will also allow you to return the device if you find it isn’t right for you either. So, this takes a little of the pressure off if you do make an expensive purchase and find it isn’t for you.

Are cheap massage guns any good?

As mentioned above, cheap massage guns can still be a good investment, depending on what you’re using it for. If you’re a hardcore gym-goer, you’re better off investing in a more expensive gun as the technology. After all, the pressure it will offer will be better. But if you’re just looking to relax your muscles, then a cheaper model will do. If you do want a massager to last for years to come, it's worth splashing out on an expensive model. These devices will usually come with a bigger warranty and will be more cost-effective in the long run.

Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for Yours, specialising in natural health and beauty. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.

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