Percussion massage has been shown to reduce the intensity of soreness, and can feel great the day after a tough workout. While Theragun is one of the most well-known home percussion massagers, there are many other brands that can provide the same quality of at-home massage at a lower price. The best Theragun alternatives are percussive massagers with multiple attachments and speed settings so you can customize them to your needs.
First, you'll want to get clearance from your doctor. People with certain health conditions or injuries may not be able to safely use a massage gun. And if you've recently injured your back or another muscle group, you should seek medical treatment (don't try to treat yourself at home with a massage gun).
When it's time to start shopping around, you'll want to consider the number and intensity of speed settings a massager has, which are measured in rotations per minute (rpm) or pulses per minute (ppm). The Theragun Pro has a maximum speed of 2,400 rpm, but some other home massagers can exceed that, going all the way to 3,200 rpm or more. Most massage guns have at least two speed settings, so you can use your massager for warming up and deep tissue massaging, but the more settings it has, the more you'll be able to customize your massage to your needs.
Many Theragun alternatives also come with a variety of different attachments. Blunt attachments, like large balls, work for targeting bigger muscle groups, while narrower attachments provide more intense, targeted pressure. Some massagers also come with attachments that can help you apply creams or natural pain relieving gels for added relief. If you're buying a home massager to relieve a specific area, look for one that comes with an attachment that specifically mentions that muscle group. Otherwise, you'll want to choose a massager with a wide variety of attachments to cover any aches you may encounter.
While most users will only apply around 10 pounds of pressure, Theragun models can apply up to 60 pounds, so keep this in mind when choosing a massage gun. Some gentler massagers may not list pounds of pressure applied, but they can still feel great on sore muscles. Another important feature to look for is a cordless design, which can help you to more easily massage difficult to reach muscles, like your back and shoulders. Cordless options, of course, are battery-powered, so if you plan to use your massage gun for long sessions, make sure it holds a decent charge. It's also a good idea to pick a lightweight model, so you don't get sore just from using your massage gun. And before using any massage gun, be sure to check with your doctor first.
Now that you've learned all about home massagers, check out this list of the best Theragun alternatives below.
1. A Quiet Massage Gun That Packs A Punch
- Attachments: 6
- Speed settings: 3
- Weight: 1.8 pounds
Capable of exerting up to 50 pounds of pressure, this portable massage gun is an excellent pick for anyone looking for a powerful percussion massage. It has three speed settings, ranging from 1,800 to 3,200 rpm, for warm-up, relaxation, and deep tissue massages. Another great feature of this massage gun is that while it''s powerful, it is also lightweight and quiet. It makes only 45 decibels of sound, which is similar to that of an electric toothbrush. This cordless massager is powered by a lithium-ion battery, which can run for four hours on a single charge. It comes with six attachments, including a spinal attachment for back muscles, a wedge attachment for shoulders and IT bands, and a large ball for glutes and quads. It is also a fan favorite on Amazon with over 4,500 five-star reviews.
One fan raved: “This machine is incredible. I am a triathlete aspiring to turn professional and my recovery is every bit as important as my workouts themselves. I run on my toes/forefoot often and have very tight achilles and calves as a result. After using this device for even 10 minutes after a tough run I already felt massive relief that I can only otherwise get from a deep tissue massage. So far I have been using the flat head shaped attachment the most, but the other 5 attachments are all great! Battery life is more than enough for the intended use and the device is easy to grasp and slick looking with the matte black finish. If you’re an athlete of any level I would HIGHLY recommend this!”
2. A Budget Option With Over 20,000 5-Star Ratings On Amazon
- Attachments: 5
- Speed settings: 5
- Weight: 1.8 pounds
With five speed setting and five strength settings, this deep tissue massager can be used to get the kinks out of all your major muscle groups. The top speed setting gets up to 3,600 ppm, and the rechargeable battery can last for 140 minutes (although the motor may need to cool off after 20 minutes of continuous use). This massager comes with five attachments, including a curved attachment for arms and legs, and a one-point head attachment for targeted use. The silicone handle has a nonslip grip, and when you're done with your massage, you can simply store this massage gun in the convenient charging port, which also houses the attachments.
One fan raved: “My husband was initially mocking my purchase as another gimmick but I've turned him into a believer! We both work from home and when I can tell he's stressed out I just walk up behind him with this massager and start using it [...] and he melts into a puddle. It’s far more powerful than I thought it would be. I use it for myself on the lowest setting but my husband prefers it on the max. We've had it for months and it works just as well as when I first got it. The charge lasts for a long time. Very impressed!”
3. A Gentler Option With Both Percussion And Vibration Settings
- Attachments: 6 percussion and 2 micro-vibration
- Speed settings: Variable speed dial
- Weight: 1.75 pounds
If you're looking for a more relaxing Theragun alternative that can still ease aches, this dual-motor massager is a great choice. It has a percussion motor side that gives a powerful massage, and a vibration motor side for a softer, more targeted massage. It includes six percussion attachments and two vibration attachments, including a scalp tip, a cream and gel applicator tip, and a migraine tip. The dial makes it easy to get the exact speed you want, and it can go all the way up to 3,700 rpm on the percussion side and 10,000 rpm on the micro-vibration side. The cordless design is easy to maneuver, and it holds a charge for around three hours of continuous use.
One fan raved: “Wonderful to loosen up really tight areas such as IT bands. Great for low back and shoulders, everywhere really. You can alter the vibration faster or slower as well as change the tips which are fantastic. I am a massage therapist, nurse, Mom of 3 and athlete... so I wanted something for my own use that didn't require my hand strength. Feels like it is quality made, it charges with plug in cord and holds charge for a long time. I am totally satisfied!”
Also Great: A Heated Kneading Massage Pad
This heated massage pad uses a kneading movement instead of a percussive one, but it can help with aches and pains just the same. The four nodes rotate and change direction to knead muscles, and the heated design helps to increase blood flow, which can ease muscle tightness. The exterior is crafted from vegan leather, and this massaging pad can be used continuously thanks to it's plug-in design, although it may shut off if the temperature gets too high. I've used this massager myself, and it helped me to relieve knots in my upper back, although it can be used on a variety of muscles, including calves, quads, lower back, and neck. And this massager isn't just popular with me — it has over 17,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.
One fan raved: “I'm picky when it comes to massages as I need them to be strong and deep. I'm a student and carry stress that's deep in my traps located between my neck and shoulders. The pain can get 10/10 unbearable and my boyfriend was getting tired of massaging me, so I found this. I am so impressed at how deep and strong this massager goes in the tissue. I have noticed reduced pain in my problem area (the trapezius). This does leave me sore sometimes, but that's a good sign! I feel better waking up the next morning. Those on the skinnier side should be aware this kneads deep which can touch the ribs or scapula (ouch, happened to me). If you have similar pain like mine and like it rough, give this a try."