The 10 Best Massagers of 2021

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Our Top Picks
Best Massage Gun:
TheraGun G3PRO at Theragun.com
"The top-of-the-line massage gun uses powerful percussive therapy to help enhance muscle recovery after exercise."
"Folks who spend long hours on their feet can benefit from regular foot massages, and this quality machine helps you do so."
"The extendable footrest makes it a solid pick for short and tall people alike, while the smart control makes it easy to navigate."
"The alternating grooved and smooth surface of this option adds to the massaging action, giving you the targeted relief you need."
"Targeting tight muscles and trigger points, this option features smooth and wide roller beads and easy-grip handles."
Best Trigger Point Wand:
Thera Cane Massager at Amazon
"Ergonomically designed to help you access pain points, it applies deep pressure with strategical nodules to relieve muscle pain."
"Its layered construction stimulates blood flow better than non-layered tools, helping to effectively ease joint and muscle pain."
"Ideal if you spend the day constantly using your hands or typing, this hand massager features six intensity levels and heat."
"Perfect if you're looking for the portable and affordable version of a massage chair, it features multiple, customizable settings."
"Petite and battery-powered, making it a solid travel buddy, it's complete with a comfy hand grip for easy holding."

Regardless of whether you work at a desk all day or test your body’s limits with intense workouts on the weekends, you’re probably no stranger to muscle aches, soreness, and tension. The good news: The right kind of massager can give you the targeted relief your body needs—and right from the comfort of your own home.

If visiting a massage therapist just isn’t in the cards for you right now, or you’re looking for a little extra TLC in between your regularly scheduled visits, there’s a wide range of massager tools worth giving a try.

Here are the best massagers on the market right now.

Best Massage Gun: TheraGun G3PRO Percussive Therapy Device

Theragun Pro
Pros
  • Versatile massage tool

  • Powerful

  • Top-quality

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Louder than other massagers

The TheraGun PRO is a top-of-the-line massage gun that uses powerful percussive therapy to help enhance muscle recovery after exercise, release stress and tension held in muscle tissue, and soothe muscular discomfort. Its ergonomic grip and rotating arm help you pinpoint even the hard-to-reach muscular areas of your back and hold the massage gun steady as it works its magic.

The customizable speed range allows you to pre-set your preferred levels of force and alternate between them with ease. Meanwhile, it comes with two rechargeable batteries so you can use them interchangeably. It also features six attachment heads for different massage effects across various parts of the body.

Product Weight: 2.9 pounds | Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.9 x 2.8 inches | Massage Type: Percussive Therapy | Heat Feature: No | Compression Feature: No

Best for Feet: Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager, Charcoal Grey

Pros
  • Simple to operate

  • Stores away easily

  • Handy 15-minute timer function

Cons
  • Pays less attention to the tops of the feet and ankles

  • Made for smaller feet

Folks who spend long hours on their feet can benefit from regular foot massages, and this quality machine helps you do so from the comfort of your own home. All you have to do is slide your feet into the massager’s two independent chambers and let it work its magic. 

With various deep kneading, shiatsu rolling, heat, and air compression settings, this machine allows you to customize your massage to provide the exact relief you need. It also comes with two wireless remotes, so you don’t have to bend down every time you want to make an adjustment. What’s more, the covers are removable, so it’s easy to keep the massager clean between uses. It even comes with a full-year warranty.

Product Weight: 12.72 pounds | Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 17 x 10.5 inches | Massage Type: Shiatsu | Heat Feature: Yes | Compression Feature: Yes

Best Massage Chair: Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair

Pros
  • Six auto-massage modes

  • Easy to assemble

  • Bluetooth audio capabilities

Cons
  • Bulky

  • Poor customer service

Bringing a decked-out massage chair into your home can cost a pretty penny, but this design from Real Relax can help keep your budget intact and your muscles soothed simultaneously. The extendable footrest makes it an excellent pick for short and tall people alike, and the smart control makes it easy to navigate and customize your massage experience every time you sit in the chair.

From heat along your back to compression along your legs to targeted relief for foot pain, the chair can tackle all your tension in one go. It even has a zero-gravity feature that makes you feel virtually weightless as you relax. And while it is quite heavy and large for a piece of living room furniture, it features two back wheels that make it easy to tilt and roll wherever you’d like to enjoy your daily massage.

Product Weight: 400 pounds | Product Dimensions: 43 x 25 x 24 inches | Massage Type: Full Body | Heat Feature: Yes | Compression Feature: Yes

Best Vibrating Foam Roller: Hyperice Vyper 2 High-Intensity Vibrating Foam Roller

vibrating roller
Pros
  • Compact

  • Easy to personalize massage

  • Rechargeable battery

Cons
  • Can be difficult to position correctly

  • Top settings are really intense

Ready to take your foam rolling recovery practice to the next level? Add some vibration massage to the mix with the Hyperice Vyper 2. Its three vibration speeds help you address fatigued muscles in a way that caters to your current level of soreness, improving workout recovery time, alleviating activity-related tenderness, and improving your overall range of motion. 

The alternating grooved and smooth surface of the foam roller adds to the massaging action, giving you the targeted and effective relief you need. It runs on rechargeable batteries that provide two hours of use between charges. It’s also TSA-approved, so you can take it virtually anywhere.

Product Weight: 3 pounds | Product Dimensions: 11.61 x 5.31 x 5.31 inches | Massage Type: Vibration | Heat Feature: No | Compression Feature: No

Best Stick: The Stick Original

Pros
  • Total control over depth of massage

  • Very lightweight

  • Easy to store

Cons
  • 100-percent manual massage

  • Difficult to use across the body

If you struggle with tight muscles and trigger points, particularly in your legs, TheStick can provide some much-needed relief. The smooth and wide roller beads, paired with easy-grip handles, allow you to target a problem area effectively, rolling with varying degrees of intensity to relax that particular muscle. And since you determine the amount of pressure used, the level of massage is always within your control.

The design is simple yet super effective. Physical therapists often use it in rehabilitation settings to improve both flexibility and posture alignment. While it won’t be much use for the upper body, it’s a must for your lower half, namely for tight IT bands, calves, and hamstrings. It’s also quite affordable.

Product Weight: 13.6 ounces | Product Dimensions: 24 x 1.1 x 1.1 inches | Massage Type: Deep Muscle | Heat Feature: No | Compression Feature: No

Best Trigger Point Wand: Thera Cane Massager

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Versatile—can be used on many body parts

  • Effective trigger point relief

Cons
  • 100-percent manual massage

  • Improper use can easily result in injury

Struggling with hard-to-reach knots and tension spots along your back, neck, and shoulders? The Thera Cane is ergonomically designed to help you access these pain points, applying deep pressure with strategically-placed nodules to relieve chronic muscle pain and restore muscle function. It’s easy to maneuver and weighs just over 1 pound, so it’s even a great tool for people who struggle with arthritis in their hands.

The Thera Cane features a total of six nodules to give you the total-body massage you need. You control the pressure and intensity at all times, creating a truly customized experience as you ease muscle aches and pains that bother you most. It also comes with manual and clear use instructions to help ensure a safe massage practice. 

Product Weight: 1.1 pounds | Product Dimensions: 24 x 15.2 x 0.5 inches | Massage Type: Deep Pressure | Heat Feature: No | Compression Feature: No

Best Massage Ball: Trigger Point Foam Massage Ball

Pros
  • Targeted muscle tension relief

  • Easy to use

  • Ideal for chronic pain

Cons
  • Not firm enough for some users

  • Requires knowledge of trigger points

If foam rolling isn’t providing the targeted relief you need, try a tool with a smaller surface area, like this TriggerPoint deep tissue massage ball. Its layered construction stimulates blood flow better than non-layered tools, helping to ease joint and muscle pain more effectively and to restore proper movement more quickly. It also features an extra-firm surface, offering a deeper level of massage for more intense relief.

This massage ball works wonders on the glutes, pecs, and trapezius muscles, and it can even provide welcome relief for shin splints. Plus, it’s super small and lightweight, making it the ideal travel companion for people on the go.

Product Weight: 1.2 ounces | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches | Massage Type: Deep Tissue | Heat Feature: No | Compression Feature: No

Best for Hands: Lunix LX3 Cordless Electric Hand Massager

Pros
  • Easy to use

  • Versatile settings

  • Ideal for arthritis and carpal tunnel

Cons
  • Poor customer service

  • Charging can be finicky

If you work with your hands or spend the majority of your day behind a computer keyboard, this hand massager from Lunix can bring you much-needed sore muscle and tension relief. The air compression-based massager applies pressure at six different intensity levels to provide effective therapy without hurting your already sore hand.

The cordless hand massager also features both heat and vibration to help the soft tissues in your hand relax, and the acupressure therapy style is believed to help stimulate pressure points and improve blood circulation. What’s more, it’s rechargeable via USB and comes with an additional manual finger massager. 

Product Weight: 2.2 pounds | Product Dimensions: 13.66 x 7.95 x 6.1 inches | Massage Type: Acupressure Therapy | Heat Feature: Yes | Compression Feature: Yes

Best Massage Mat: Snailax Memory Foam Massage Mat with Heat

Pros
  • Portable

  • Very comfortable

  • Ideal for relaxation

Cons
  • Not an intense massage

  • Too small for tall people

Love the idea of enjoying a full-body, automated massage at home but don’t want to invest the money (or space) in a huge massage chair? Consider this massage mat from Snailax. You can use this portable massage solution on the floor, on the couch, on your bed… wherever makes the most sense for you. Its memory foam construction makes it extremely comfortable and customizable to your body’s dimensions.

The mat features 10 vibrating massage motors, six heating pads, five massage mode options that target different areas of the body from head to toe, and three vibration massage intensity settings. It’s an excellent pick for people looking to melt away stress at the end of a long day.

Product Weight: Not disclosed | Product Dimensions: Not disclosed | Massage Type: Vibration | Heat Feature: Yes | Compression Feature: No

Best Portable: Homedics Marbelous Mini Massager

Pros
  • Travel-friendly

  • Quiet

  • Comfortable hand grip

Cons
  • Lacks intensity

  • Vibration massage only

If you want to be sure you have muscle and tension relief no matter where life takes you, try this classic three-prong massager from HoMedics. It’s petite and battery-powered, making it an easy travel buddy, and its simple design is quite effective at alleviating muscle aches across your entire body. 

The top of the massager serves as a comfortable hand grip, making it an ideal option for people with arthritis, chronic hand pain, or a weak grip. It also turns on and off with the press of a single button, so it’s foolproof to use. 

Product Weight: 8.16 ounces | Product Dimensions: 4.53 x 4.53 x 3.78 inches | Massage Type: Vibration | Heat Feature: No | Compression Feature: No

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a comprehensive and effective home massage solution, you can’t go wrong with the Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair (view at Amazon). It provides heat, compression, vibration, and kneading, all of which are important aspects of a total-body massage.

But if you need a more portable solution, reach for the TheraGun PRO (view at Theragun). It’s powerful, it’s versatile, and it’s top-quality, ensuring that you receive the targeted relief you need right when you need it. 

What to Look for in a Massager

Massage Type

Different massage techniques provide varying degrees of relief and relaxation across different areas of the body, and most massagers offer only one or two types of massage. From deep tissue massage to shiatsu massage, research the benefits of the most common techniques to determine which style is most appropriate for you and your needs.

Heat

Some massagers include a heating element to help warm the sore, achey, or tense area of the body as you massage it. This heat can help increase blood flow to the affected area, making the massage more effective. It can also help reduce muscle spasms and increase both flexibility and range of motion as you navigate knots and tight areas.

Compression

Massagers that include a compression feature can further help to relieve tight muscles, reduce pain and assist with relaxation. Similar to heat therapy, compression encourages vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels, which provides better blood flow and reduces blood pressure in the affected area.

Portability

Some massager tools weigh less than a pound while a fully equipped massage chair for your home can weigh hundreds of pounds. So consider how important portability is to you and your massage needs when narrowing in on a device that can address most (if not all) of the soreness and tension you experience on a regular basis.

What Experts Say

“Massage tools that create vibration can be effective at reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from physical activity. These products can help stimulate the muscle fibers prior to activity and result in reduced pain as early as 24 hours after activity.

A foot or chair massager typically uses rhythmic movement, which is different from vibration but can still have benefits. Similar to a massage provided by a massage therapist, friend, or family member, these massage devices can help improve blood flow to the muscles and promote relaxation, which also helps reduce muscle tension. These benefits are helpful for recovery, as blood flow helps the body naturally heal from normal tissue damage caused by intense exercise.” — Erin DiGangi, a physical therapist at Athletico Physical Therapy in Illinois

FAQs


What is a sports massage?

A sports massage utilizes a specific massage technique that focuses on manually manipulating muscle and soft tissue to address aches, pain, and injuries often associated with playing sports. This style of massage aims to reduce muscle stiffness, aiding the overall recovery process, as well as to inspire relaxation by reducing your heart rate.

How often should I get a massage?

Massage is an excellent way to help relieve stress and tension, but the frequency at which you use this therapeutic modality depends on the type of massage you’re receiving and whether you’re currently dealing with chronic pain or injury. With that said, a monthly 60-minute massage is typically safe and beneficial, and for certain conditions, it can be helpful to get a massage up to twice a week.

Is a painful massage good for you?

According to physical therapist Erin DiGangi, the appropriateness of a painful massage is incredibly subjective because pain tolerance varies so dramatically from one person to another. "It’s also important to note that pain and damage are not the same. For instance, deep tissue massage, whether hands-on or with a device like a foam roller, can be painful but effective for some people. Meanwhile, some painful massages can cause bruising, which is an indicator of minor damage. In the end, if you are not comfortable with the intensity level of your massage, you should always trust your body and discuss your specific needs with your massage therapist," she says.

Why Trust Verywell Fit? 

As a former personal trainer, seasoned health writer, and avid exerciser, Alena Hall understands how critical a quality recovery practice is to a person’s overall fitness routine. She's always exploring the latest and greatest health gadgets as they enter the market, but more importantly, she looks for scientific research that validates their claims. 

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Wang Y, Zhu K, Wang J, Yang L. Numerical simulation of heat induced flow-mediated dilation of blood vessels. J Therm Biol. 2019 Aug;84:323-330. doi:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2019.07.022

  2. Davis HL, Alabed S, Chico TJA. Effect of sports massage on performance and recovery: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2020;6(1):e000614. doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2019-000614