Education: University of Washington, Bastyr University
Expertise: Physical Therapy, Orthopedics, Fitness
Alex Stone is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA). He currently practices orthopedics in Bellevue, Washington, and manages an online health coaching business via social media (@dr.alexstone). He is passionate about health science education and general health/wellness optimization.
If you have muscle tension and need deep tissue massage, massage guns are perfect for the job. They are also great for helping to improve blood circulation, which in turn helps in healing and injury rehabilitation.
However, you often need a couple hundred dollars to afford a decent one. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a way to pay for them without breaking the bank or overstretching your budget?
This article will tell you about the HSA-eligible massage gun and the FSA-eligible massage gun, including Theragun, all of which can help you save some precious tax money.
We recently updated this post to reflect the May 2023 changes to Theragun FSA/HSA eligibility.
The last time we checked the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) lists for certain medical expenses1 that can be reimbursed, a massage gun category was not on the list.
However it’s possible for massage guns to still qualify as eligible items. Specifically, these devices could potentially be covered if they are used for “diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or payments for treatments affecting any structure or function of the body.”
This means that a massage gun, which aids in muscle recovery, relaxation, and can contribute to overall physical wellness, might be a qualified expense. However, it’s important to note that some items may only be eligible for reimbursement from your FSA or HSA if they are specifically recommended by a physician or healthcare provider.
How, then, can you get a massage gun using your FSA funds?
Buy a device that is advertised as FSA/HSA eligible. For example, as of May 2023, Theraguns finally are eligible and Therabody officially included them in their store’s HSA/FSA category. Here’s the recently updated FAQ they published on the matter.
A massage gun from ZarifaUSA, or Aura Revive from FSAstore.com are also good choices.
Still, to be on a safe side, it is recommended to prove that your massage gun is a medical purchase rather than a recreational expense.
Since a massage gun costs a pretty penny, you’ll want to get a recommendation letter from a doctor listing your massage gun purchase as a medical necessity.
Getting a Letter of Medical Necessity (LOMN) shouldn’t be a huge concern. You can ask your doctor or primary care physician to draft one for you. A massage gun is recognized as therapy2 and shouldn’t be difficult to prove as a medical necessity.
However, your doctor or physician has to indicate:
Whether massage therapy is necessary. Massage guns are used for personal massage therapy. They help with easing muscle stiffness, helping with blood circulation, and alleviating pain. Your physician can list any of these in your letter explaining your condition that necessitates the use of a massage gun.
Whether it’s more beneficial to have a personal massage gun rather than let the physician prescribe physical or massage therapy. This may not be needed, but it’s okay to include it as one of the reasons for using your FSA card on a massage gun.
Your LOMN will help you qualify a massage gun as purchasable using your FSA/HSA funds.
Are Massage Guns HSA Eligible?
The same thing applies to HSA cards. You can buy a massage gun if your Health Spending Account (HSA) fund covers it.
Since some massage guns are already listed as medical items (many already are because of their enormous impact on easing muscle tension and relieving pain), you can purchase one using your HSA card.
You need to ask your insurance provider for this information. In case there is no clear answer, you will need a LOMN from your physician or doctor to explain why you need a massage gun.
Again, remember that the kind of massage gun you need has to qualify as an HSA massage gun.
Can I buy a Massage Gun with FSA or HSA Card?
If you have a HSA or FSA card, you should definitely look to purchase a massage gun using the fund in it.
However, it’s important to note that not all retailers accept FSA or HSA cards, especially when it comes to massage guns. We’ve compiled a list of those that do, which can be found below.
If you discover that your preferred retailer doesn’t accept FSA or HSA cards as a form of payment, don’t worry. There’s a workaround for that situation.
You can use a regular debit or credit card to complete your purchase. However, be sure to save your receipt as it’s crucial for the reimbursement process.
The receipt acts as proof of your transaction when you submit a claim to your insurance provider for reimbursement. This process may sound a bit complicated, but it’s a common practice and perfectly legal way to use your FSA or HSA funds.
To avoid any potential hitches in the process, we recommend narrowing your choices to massage guns that are known to be FSA or HSA eligible. As of the time of writing, these include options from Zarifa USA, Aura Revive, and now Theraguns as well.
Again, consider obtaining a Letter of Medical Necessity (LOMN) from your healthcare provider. This letter will help you reinforcing your claim. By taking these steps, you can ensure a smoother process in utilizing your FSA or HSA for a massage gun purchase and avoid any potential issues later on.
Where Can I buy HSA or FSA Approved Massage Gun?
Therabody.com – The creators of Theragun. While they won’t accept FSA/HSA cards, they will provide a receipt for you to save for submission to your insurance carrier.
You can also buy FSA and HSA-approved massage guns from zarifausa.com.
Lastly, you can buy fsastore.com and hsastore.com. However, they only sell one model.
Other Things to Consider
When trying to buy an FSA or HSA approved massage gun, remember that:
Your FSA card can only carry a certain amount (usually up to $2850) per plan year. This money must be spent within that plan year. Your employer can allow a grace period of up to 10 weeks, within which you must spend the money. For rollover cases, only up to $550 can be used for the following year.
The HSA amount is slightly higher – you can contribute up to between $3650 and $7300. These funds don’t expire and can easily be used at any time. If you are thinking of getting a Theragun, this is probably the money you should use.
Not all health expenses qualify as HSA or FSA-eligible expenses. You can interrogate this by finding out whether the ailment is physical or mental, and whether the expense is only beneficial for your general health.
You may pay a 20% tax penalty if you spend your HSA funds on non-qualified items. However, for dependent care (that is, if the person receiving the care is 65 or older, the penalty does not apply.
Is Theragun FSA or HSA Eligible?
Theraguns are great percussion massagers – expensive but effective. So…
Is Theragun FSA or HSA eligible?
Yes, since May 2023 Theraguns are FSA and HSA eligible. You can purchase directly from Therabody with a regular card and submit the receipt to your insurance for reimbursement. They described the process here.
Alternatively, buy with FSA or HSA cards at RecoveryforAthletes.com, an official distributor. Keep all receipts for proof of purchase.
Can I use FSA to pay for Theragun?
Yes, but you can only do it in FSA or HSA-approved stores. These stores allow you to use your FSA or HSA card to buy a massage gun. Theragun’s official store won’t accept any of the cards (but will provide a proper receipt). To buy a Theragun using your FSA or HSA card, buy it at RecoveryForAthletes.com.
They are authorized dealers and sell all Theragun models. They also offer a nice price-match guarantee – the prices aren’t inflated.
Do I Still Need a Letter of Medical Necessity (LOMN) When Buying a Theragun?
While Theraguns have recently been declared HSA/FSA eligible, a Letter of Medical Necessity (LOMN) may not be necessary for proof. Nonetheless, for peace of mind, we recommend obtaining a LOMN from your healthcare provider. This can strengthen your claim if any queries arise.
But do we Recommend Theraguns?
Yes, we extensively tested all four Theraguns and they are fantastic devices. However, they might not be perfect for everyone. For starters, they are punchy devices with 16mm amplitude.
Their intensity emanates from their long stroke lengths. However, they have fewer percussions per minute, not exceeding 2450RPM in our test.
Compared to other FSA/HSA approved guns (described below), Theraguns are punchier and more aggressive, thus likely more effective for most people. Even the Theragun mini will be punchier than the Aura Revive or any of the Zarifa devices.
Besides, Theraguns, especially the new 5th Generation (the newly released Pro, and soon also the others) have some great features like build-in routine presets, bluetooth connectivity and more.
Here are our in-depth Theragun reviews for further reading:
In addition to HSA/FSA eligible Theraguns, we also tested other popular massage guns available on fsastore.com and hsastore.com. We also gave some devices from zarifausa.com a spin to find out whether they were worth the money. We also sought to find out if they have any unique features we haven’t seen before.
Here’s what we gathered:
Devices from these stores aren’t cheap. If you hope to get an under $100 massage gun here, you will be disappointed. The cheapest gun here seems to go for about $200.
Many of these devices are FDA-approved Therapeutic Class I and II medical devices3. This is probably part of the reason they are so expensive (certification costs and whatnot).
All in all, those alternatives aren’t necessary cheaper than Theraguns.
The good news, however, is that these massage guns have the unique features we like. So, take a look at the ones we thought are worth recommending…
Aura Revive – Heated Option
This fsa massage gun caught our eye, not because it’s special (it’s actually pretty basic), but because it has some pretty neat features other than the core massage function.
Even though it’s slightly over the top price-wise, it’s for a good reason. Also, it’s FSA/HSA eligible.
The interesting function that we liked about this gun when we tested it is its heated massage mode. It also has other dynamic modes.
We know that heated massage guns take the experience of using percussion massagers a notch higher. The heat helps to soothe the muscles and provide a relaxing feeling. You also get benefits such as peaceful sleep and reduced symptoms from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
For the Aura Revive device, the therapy goes a notch higher. They claim to have patented the infrared technology – we couldn’t verify if it is infrared, but we tested the heating function extensively, and it works alright.
How does the heating work? You’ll have to first mount the heated attachment (it’s the one with a shiny top), and the heated mode will be available – you will see an icon indicating this (see photos below). There are 7 other attachments that work the normal way.
Even so, the attachments work in 3 different speed modes:
Standard or constant mode – Here, you can change the speeds of which there are 5 settings.
Ascending mode – Here, the percussions (not pressure as they describe it) increase from slow to high setting in short intervals.
Fluctuating mode – Where the percussions fluctuate between low and high settings.
Our thoughts on these features: Dynamic modes are often available on high-end devices. A case in point is the Ekrin B37S, which costs $274. When you add the heating feature to these modes, you have a robust device.
We also love that it’s very well equipped with 8 attachments and a carrying case.
What about the other performance aspects? Think stall force and amplitude.
Here’s where the Aura Revive feels pretty ordinary – entry-level stats. Even though it still does the job, it will not feel like a Theragun because the amplitude here is low. With a 10mm amplitude (advertised as 12mm), you should expect slightly gentler, vibrational hits rather than a hard-hitting, deep percussive ones. We’d still argue that it probably fits this kind of device.
The stall force isn’t spectacular, either. The device might slow down under pressure and in out test, it feels like it could only comfortably handle about 25-30lbs. of pressure.
We believe bodybuilders, pro athletes, and people who prefer an aggressive massage will have to look elsewhere. For the rest of us, ordinary folks, this is probably okay.
It’s a quiet device that won’t disturb your peace when you are using it. However, it doesn’t have rubber on the handle – you may experience sweaty hands when using it.
We also aren’t really excited with the so-so ergonomics here. There is no angled handle – it’s the T-shape that can be pretty hard on your wrists. On the flip side, the gun is reasonably light. We would’ve also like a USB-C charger, but we’ll take the small wall plug provided.
We are not sure how well this device can stand the test of time. We will keep testing it to see how far it holds.
Our comprehensive Zarifa Z-Smart Mini video review. See for yourself how this small device delivers impressive performance in real-world testing.
Since mini massage guns are popular (they are portable and relieve muscle soreness on the go), it would be great to get a decent one with HSA or FSA benefits. This is because many minis simply under-deliver in terms of performance – we know, we’ve tested more than 20 minis.
For starters, it’s pretty light and weighs just 1.25 pounds. That is not the lightest we’ve ever seen but still pretty good if you consider the metallic body. The aluminum body is nice to touch and feels top-quality.
It also came well-equipped with 4 attachments – bullet, fork, ball, and flat. The ergonomics aren’t so bad, either. Even though it’s T-shaped, the protruding part at the top can act as an extra gripping point.
Since we missed the USB-C charging feature with the Aura Revive, this one gets more points for having it. It’s convenient, and you can even charge your device vis a power bank.
What about the performance of the Zarifa Mini?
Well, we measured ~8.5mm amplitude (despite the advertised 12mm) – which is lower than Theragun mini (12mm confirmed), and Hypervolt Go and Ekrin Bantam (10mm, also confirmed). This makes the Zarifa Mini feel highly vibrational.
But that’s OK! You won’t get punchy hits, but you will get plenty of hits – up to 3200RPM. Zarifa advertises the range as 1600-3500RPM, but the real range is closer to 1800-3200RPM – still great.
The stall force isn’t so bad either. However, too much pressure and you will notice the percussions slow down considerably. It’s probably enough stall force to massage the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and feet. Don’t expect Ekrin Bantam-like stall force, but we think it should be enough for most people.
We also love the 5-speed setup here. Most minis have 3-speed settings. With 5, the percussions are spread out well. Overall, this is a very good mini gun – we like it a lot, and can recommend it.
ZarifaUSA’s mini retails for $149.99, but with the MGA coupon you will get 5% discount, which means $142.49. Not a bad deal for a HSA or FSA approved massager. Buy it at Zarifa store here.
Other Zarifa FSA Percussion Massagers – Our Thoughts
There are 2 other full-sized massage guns at Zarifa USA – the Z-Smart and Z-Smart Health+. They are similar in appearance but have different features.
Zarifa Z-Smart and Zarifa Z-Smart Health+
The Z-Smart model has 20 speeds – ridiculous, to say the least. We have done over 70 hands-on massage gun reviews and know that 5-6 speeds are optimal. We can live with 7-9, but 20 is a stretch too far.
Despite our tests revealing that the amplitude and percussion range are overstated (detailed Z-Smart review here), the Z-Smart model proves to be an incredibly powerful massage gun, something we really appreciate.
The more expensive Health+ has 9 speeds, which is acceptable. The main features of the Health+ model are the built-in Heart Rate, Calorie Counting, and Temperature Sensor. These are unique features that we haven’t seen with other massage guns.
Watch our exclusive hands-on video review of the Zarifa Health+ massage gun.
But are these features needed in a massage gun? It’s like a computer turned massage device. We initially questioned the practicality of this, not to mention the viability of the standalone sensors. We found that they might not be as accurate as the ones in your smartwatch. Check our detailed hands-on Zarifa Health+ review to learn more.
We would’ve preferred more percussive therapy features like the ones on the Aura Revive (dynamic speeds and a heated mode). Through our testing, we determined that it doesn’t quite reach the advertised 3500RPM – we found it to max out around 2600RPM. We also found that the amplitude is likely overstated.
Even though both Z-Smart and Health+ are advertised as having Theragun-like 16mm stroke length, our testing revealed it to be much lower – probably about 10mm for each.
Which one should you go for between these two, if you have to?
We’d say go for the cheaper Smart model. It’s $100 less nominally and does the job well. You get the same feeling as the Aura Revive. If you decide to go for it, make sure to apply the MGA coupon to save an extra 5%. You will pay $189.99 instead of $199.99.
Does the Smart or Health+ have the edge over the Aura Revive?
We like Aura Revive’s features more – the heated and dynamic modes are superb. However, Zarifa is also more affordable compared to Aura. However, we still think Theragun is the best option here (even Theragun mini matches them both, if not outperforms them).
We recommend you pick Thereagun if you have to buy a full-sized FSA/HSA-approved massage gun. For a mini device, go for the Zarifa mini – it is a good mini, and is slightly cheaper than Theragun’s counterpart.
HSA/ FSA Approved Massage Gun – Bottom Line
We hope we have sufficiently answered the questions you had, and provided a good overview FSA or HSA eligible massage gun options currently available.
Remember that certain conditions have to be met to buy a massage gun with an FSA or HSA card. Also, only a few stores sell FSA and HSA-approved massage guns, so look out for the right massage guns to buy under these conditions.
Imtiyaz S, Veqar Z, Shareef MY. To Compare the Effect of Vibration Therapy and Massage in Prevention of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). JCDR. Published online 2014. doi:10.7860/jcdr/2014/7294.3971
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 last updated on:
Jun 27, 2023 Updated the section on the Zarifa Z-Smart models to reflect our latest testing results. Added authentic photos and video (taken by Greg), showcasing the real-life use of the Zarifa massagers. Also included links to our detailed reviews for readers seeking more in-depth information. (Author: Greg)
Jun 13, 2023 Zarifa USA discount value update. (Author: Luke)
May 27, 2023 Real pictures of the Zarifa Mini and amplitude measurement results have been added. (Author: Greg)
May 19, 2023 Updated to reflect changes to Theragun FSA/HSA eligibility. (Author: Luke)
Feb 10, 2023 Updated prices of Zarifa devices. (Author: Luke)
December 10, 2023 Added pictures of Aura Revive following our hands-on review. (Author: Greg)
Luke, a Biomedical Engineer with a passion for sports, is our lead reviewer for massage guns and wellness tech products. Alongside a dedicated Experts Board, he 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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