are massage guns worth it

Are Massage Guns Worth It? An Expert Analysis For Informed Decisions

Before we answer the question you ask, ‘Are massage guns worth it?’, it’s important to note that we’ve had our hands on over 70 different models – talk about a hands-on experience, right? As the saying goes, “experience is the only source of knowledge.”

We’re about to dig into the nitty-gritty of whether these massage guns are worth your hard-earned cash. How much does a massage gun really cost, and what’s with the big price tag differences? And who needs a fancy spa when you’ve got a personal masseuse right at your fingertips?

But wait, there’s more!

Ever wondered why Theragun Pro costs an arm and a leg? We’re pulling back the curtain on their pricing strategy.

So, buckle up, it’s time to dive deep!

Are Percussion Massagers Worth It
With 2+ years of testing and reviewing massage guns, we believe we know if they’re worth it. Discover with us.

Understanding the Massage Guns

You know, usually we’d jump right in and say, ‘Hey, you absolutely need a massage gun!’ And we’re not just saying that because we’re uber-fans (okay, maybe a little obsessed, but hey, ‘Be obsessed or be average,’ right?).

But let’s say you’re just dipping your toes into the world of massage guns. Maybe your buddy just recommended one, and you’re scratching your head thinking, ‘What the heck are these things?’

Well, let’s break it down.

Why Are Massage Guns All the Rage?

Massage guns are like your personal, pocket-sized physiotherapists. They’re one of the latest buzz in the world of muscle recovery. Whether you’re an athlete, a gym trainer, or a physio, you’ve got to have one of these handy. The trend started with Theragun, but now, it’s like a party everyone wants to be part of.

And speaking of parties, guess who else is on the massage gun bandwagon? None other than Lebron James (plus a bunch of other NBA players)! That’s right; these nifty gadgets are getting some serious celebrity love.

True Benefits of Massage Guns

But before you join in on the party, let’s be serious for a moment and take a closer look at what you are getting from these trendy devices. This will help you decide if they’re genuinely worth the hype:

  1. Massage guns help to get rid of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)​1​. DOMS are also known as muscle fever, or “workout hangover,” if you like.  You’ve hit the gym hard, and the next day your muscles are screaming at you like a siren!
    This is where massage guns come to the rescue. They use percussive therapy​2​ to say ‘bye-bye’ to inflammation and ‘hello’ to pain relief.
  2. Massage guns help relieve tight muscles. We’ve all experienced that annoying muscle tightness. Maybe you slept in a funny position, sat at your desk for too long, or got a little overzealous with your morning jog.
    Whatever the cause, massage guns are like the best friend who gives you a good back rub—helping to ease that tightness and get you back in the groove. 
  3. They help improve blood flow​3​. Think of your body as a busy city and your blood as the traffic flow. You want those nutrients (let’s call them the VIPs) to get to your tissues (the best clubs in town) as quickly as possible, right?
    Massage guns help clear the traffic jam, speeding up healing and recovery, and reducing inflammation for some much-needed relaxation. 

These are just a few perks of owning a massage gun – if you know how to use one, that is. For the full scoop on the benefits of massage guns, check out our in-depth massage gun benefits article

ekrin bantam woman back massager
Using a mini massage gun to relieve back muscle soreness and pain.

Let’s Talk Money: The Cost of Massage Guns

So, let’s talk dollars and cents. How much is a massage gun going to set you back? Now, we’ve been around the block a few times, and trust us when we say, the answer isn’t as simple as you might think.


The Price Range of Massage Guns

Massage guns range from ‘Wow, that’s cheap!’ to ‘Whoa, that’s a car payment!’

We’ve seen ‘em as low as $30 and as high as $599. And… believe it or not, some can even run you up to $2000. Now, unless you’re a professional physio (or have money trees in your backyard), you’re probably not going to be in the market for something like the Rapid Release Pro 3. So, let’s focus on the ones made for us mere mortals.

Now, you might be thinking, ‘Great, I’ll grab a $30 one.’ Hold your horses there, partner! Remember, you often get what you pay for. And in the world of massage guns, the bargain bin might not be the best place to start.

If you’re on a budget, aim for the $50-$100 range. With a little luck, you might find a hidden gem that won’t break the bank (here are our recommendations for under $100).

But if you really want to feel the benefits, we suggest you look in the $150-$200 range. There are plenty of solid options in that sweet spot (with the Ekrin B37 sitting at the top).

Feeling a little spendy? You can definitely find massage guns over $200 that are worth their weight in gold. These bad boys come with bells and whistles like pressure sensors, OLED displays, and more.

Check out the Bob and Brad D6 Pro, for instance. Some are made with top-quality materials and come with lifetime warranties (think Ekrin devices). Plus, some have a popular name behind them (yes, we’re looking at you, Theragun and Hypervolt).

Or you can combine a few of these extras into one and go for Theragun Pro – the Rolls Royce of massage guns for personal use. 

Let’s look closely at why massage guns go for what they go for…

ekrin b37s review by Greg
Ekrin B37s is powerful, quiet, lightweight, and ergonomically designed. Plus, resonably priced.

Factors That Influence Massage Gun Costs

So, why the huge massage gun price difference? Well, a few factors come into play here.

Let’s break it down:

Brand and Reputation

You know the saying, ‘What’s in a name?’ Turns out, when it comes to massage guns, the answer is ‘a whole heck of a lot!’

Big-name brands often slap higher price tags on their products. Why, you ask? Well, they’ve got to think about maintaining their brand image, keeping their loyal customers happy, and upholding perceived quality.

Plus, let’s not forget about the costs of running a big business. There’s marketing, support, and a whole lot more to think about. So, don’t get too grumpy with Therabody if you can’t snag one of their devices for under $100. They’ve got bills to pay, too!

Research and Development Costs

Ever wonder why some massage guns cost as much as a fancy dinner? Well, it’s because a lot of work (and cash) goes into developing a device that does its job well.

We’re talking about engineering, innovation, product testing – all the cool stuff that ensures you’re getting a top-notch product.

Even though ALL manufacturing is done overseas to save costs, most of the top brands do their R&D right here in the US, and that’s not cheap!

TIP We have a post revealing who and where manufactures their massagers and why NO ONE does it in the USA.

Marketing and Distribution

Let’s not forget about getting the word out there. Brands have to spend a pretty penny to advertise their products and get them into stores (or onto your doorstep).

Some brands even partner with athletes, signing them on as ambassadors. Heard about those sweet endorsement deals, right? Just check out the list of Therabody Athletes and Ambassadors. It’s both impressive and, no doubt, expensive!

Heck, some athletes, like NBA player Jason Tatum, even invest in these brands!

Therabody Athletes And Ambassadors Sm
Just the first 12 of the list… impressive!

Features and Technology

You know those super cool features like sensors and smart connectivity? Yeah, they don’t come cheap.

Brands like Bob and Brad, Urikar, Opove, Therabody, and Hyperice offer devices packed with these features.

Of course, there are cheaper brands that try to mimic them, but let’s be real, they often miss the mark. Just look at some of the Chinese-made devices on Amazon.

Power and Performance

The more powerful the massage gun, the more it’s going to cost. It’s just like cars—the ones with the best performance tend to have the highest price tags.

More powerful motors and advanced percussive tech require thoughtful design, rigorous testing, and better materials, all of which adds to the cost.

Build Quality and Materials

If a massage gun is built using high-quality materials, you can bet it’s going to cost a bit more.

Think of it like this—the better the ingredients, the better the cake. Brands that use top-notch materials and pay attention to quality create products that are built to last.

Hypervolt, for example, might not wow you with their performance, but their devices are solidly built.

Accessories

This one’s pretty straightforward. If a massage gun comes with extra goodies like interchangeable heads, carrying cases, and charging docks, it’s going to have a higher price tag.

TIP If you want to know how many heads are ideal or what materials they’re made of, check out our massage gun heads guide.

Ekrin Bantam And Attachments Protective Case
Well-equipped mini Ekrin Bantam.

Market Demand and Competition

Just like with any product, market forces like demand and competition play a big role in how much massage guns cost. If a particular model is super popular or hard to come by, the price will likely be higher.

But more competition means more chances for great deals and sales, especially around holidays like Black Friday or Father’s Day.

TIP On the hunt for a massage gun? Make sure to check out our Best Deals page.

These factors will affect massage gun prices at all times. So, when you’re shopping for a massage gun, don’t just look at the price. Consider all these factors, and you’ll have a better understanding of what you’re paying for. And who knows, you might even snag a great deal!


Are Percussion Massagers Worth It Over Other Recovery Methods?

But why not just go old school and ease muscle tightness and soreness with tried-and-true methods like foam rolling or a good ol’ fashioned massage?

Well, below we answer the question, are percussion massagers worth it over other methods of recovery?

Foam Rollers (both traditional and modern)

These guys have been the go-to for gym rats, athletes, and everyday people for ages. Before massage guns strutted onto the scene, foam rollers were the top dogs in the recovery industry.

But let’s face it, they’re a bit limited. They can only really target certain areas of your body​4​.

Now, we’re not saying they’re useless – far from it. They’re affordable (maybe that $30 you’ve got lying around can go towards one), and some brands have even jazzed them up with tech like Therabody’s Wave roller series.

But when it comes to getting deep into those pesky knots in your muscles, massage guns take the cake. It’s like choosing between a general practitioner and a specialist—the specialist can just do a bit more for you.

Massage Therapy by Professionals

Now, this is a hot topic. Can a massage gun take the place of a pro physio or chiro?

In short, nope. Massage guns are there to add to the benefits of professional massage therapy, not to replace them. So, don’t start calling your massage gun ‘Dr. Miracle Hands’.

Remember, many of these professionals use massage guns themselves to enhance their work. And yes, a professional massage might cost you a pretty penny (we’re talking around $120 an hour if you’re in California), but think about this: the price of a good massage gun isn’t far off.

If used correctly, a massage gun can warm up your muscles pre-workout, help alleviate soreness post-workout, and help you relax after a long day at the office – all for a one-time cost.

They won’t replace your physio, but they’re a handy tool to have in your recovery arsenal.


Making the Case: Top Reasons Why Investing in a Massage Gun is Worth It

And now, let’s bring the reasons why investing in a massage gun is worth it:

  1. Long-term Value: Massage guns provide a cost-effective solution for long-term muscle maintenance and recovery, especially at home. 
  2. Potential Savings: With a massage gun, you can save money by reducing (but not replacing) reliance on costly therapy sessions. Instead of visiting a spa after a workout, just take out your gun and address the pain points. 
  3. Convenience: You can use a massage gun anytime anywhere. Even on a plane, if you observe the TSA rules. 
  4. Customizable Experience: You can adjust the settings of a massage gun and change the attachments to your liking. This is not the same thing with manual massagers. For instance, in case you want to massage a sensitive area, some guns come with a soft-cushion attachment (or Supersoft with Theragun) that will be gentle on your body. The same cannot be said about a foam roller. 
  5. Durability and Longevity: Investing in a quality massage gun ensures a durable and long-lasting tool for consistent self-care, especially if you get one that has a lifetime warranty. 

So, there you have it. These are all the reasons why we believe massage guns are worth the investment. But there’s one more piece to this puzzle, perhaps the most important one…

What do YOU really need?


You Do You: Why Individual Needs and Goals Matter

Hey, listen, we’ve spent countless hours with these muscle-soothing contraptions, so we know a thing or two about massage guns.

But let’s be real, not everything works for everyone. We’ve found that the best massage guns are the ones that stick to the basics – easing muscle tightness and soreness.

And the best part? You don’t need to break the bank to reap the benefits of a massage gun. The key is to figure out what you want before you dive into the world of percussion massagers.

opove m3 pro woman hand

Last, But Not Least: Are Theraguns Worth It?

We’ve all heard of Theragun, right? It’s the big kahuna of massage guns, and many people wonder, why is Theragun so expensive. Theragun’s popularity isn’t just about the product – it’s also about the brand. They’ve got the resources to make some noise and get their name out there.

But think about it like this: When you’re craving a new smartphone, you don’t necessarily need the latest iPhone. Sure, an iPhone might have some cool features that other phones don’t, but at the end of the day, they all make calls, send texts, and let you scroll through social media.

The same goes for massage guns. It’s not about who has the most bells and whistles or the highest price tag. What really matters is what you want to achieve with your massage gun – enhancing muscle recovery.

Once you’ve figured that out, getting a percussion massager could be one of the best investments you’ve ever made.


Conclusion

So, we’ve had quite the journey discussing ‘are massage guns worth it?’ haven’t we?

We’ve dug into their benefits, examined the price tags, and even chatted about alternatives.

From our enthusiastic viewpoint, massage guns can be a game-changer, but it all boils down to your individual circumstances and needs.

Always remember, it’s not about getting the most expensive one or the one with the fanciest features. It’s about what works best for you in your muscle recovery journey.

If you’re still unsure, don’t shy away from seeking professional advice on our blog or doing more research. Knowledge is power after all!

So, next time you ponder ‘are massage guns worth it?’, you’ll be in a great position to answer with a confident ‘Yes, for me they are!’

Happy massaging!


References
  1. 1.
    Guo J, Li L, Gong Y, et al. Massage Alleviates Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness after Strenuous Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Physiol. Published online September 27, 2017. doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00747
  2. 2.
    Cullen MFL, Casazza GA, Davis BA. Passive Recovery Strategies after Exercise: A Narrative Literature Review of the Current Evidence. Curr Sports Med Rep. Published online July 2021:351-358. doi:10.1249/jsr.0000000000000859
  3. 3.
    Weerapong P, Hume PA, Kolt GS. The Mechanisms of Massage and Effects on Performance, Muscle Recovery and Injury Prevention. Sports Medicine. Published online 2005:235-256. doi:10.2165/00007256-200535030-00004
  4. 4.
    Wiewelhove T, Döweling A, Schneider C, et al. A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Foam Rolling on Performance and Recovery. Front Physiol. Published online April 9, 2019. doi:10.3389/fphys.2019.00376

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Post Update History

Here's a quick rundown of all the tweaks and edits we've made to this article to keep it accurate and up-to-date!

Current version.

December 15, 2023 Interlinking corrected for improved navigation. (Author: Greg)

July 4, 2023 Completely revised article incorporating our over 2 years of experience in testing and reviewing massage guns, now enhanced with new images for better illustration and referencing reliable sources to back the information. (Author: Luke)

May 22, 2023 Editorial update: Revised content for improved clarity and readability. (Author: Greg)

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luke massagegunadvice

Luke Deszczulka

luke massagegunadvice
Luke Deszczulka

Hi! I'm Luke, a Biomedical Engineer with a passion for sports. I'm a lead reviewer for massage guns and wellness tech products at Massage Gun Advice. Alongside a dedicated Experts Board, I ensures each review is the result of thorough testing, in-depth research, and rigorous fact-checking, providing our readers with reliable and comprehensive insights.

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