Feel like you need to up your recovery game and want a new sports massage gun to help you do it? We’ve taken a look at some of the best options of the market to help you make an informed decision.
But first, what is a sports massage gun, and do they actually work…?
What is a sports massage gun?
Massage guns are portable handheld devices that provide muscle tissue with percussive vibration-based input. The devices output high-frequency, low-amplitude pulses, and are typically wireless, coming with interchangeable attachments such as bullet-, flat-, cushion- or fork-shaped heads.
Percussion and vibration therapies are well utilised in the remedial massage world, with some innovative manufacturers having now created portable devices for home use to provide the same stimulus.
Prices vary from smaller devices through to larger, more powerful ones, but there are also lightweight options designed for athletes on the go.
Do massage guns work?
Manufacturers of massage guns advocate that using the guns can assist with sports recovery and wellbeing, but the current scientific literature regarding massage guns is unclear.
Purported benefits include: increased joint range of motion, muscle activation, force output, and potentially reductions in the perception of muscle soreness and the onset of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Best sports massage guns in 2022
Renpho R3 Massage Gun
Best for value for money
For just shy of £100 you get a lot for your money with the Renpho R3, including a handy carry case and five heads, each suited to a different area of your body.
It can be used on five different speed settings up to 3,200rpm, the same rpm as the Hyperice Hypervolt Go we’ve also reviewed here, but that gun definitely felt more powerful. Despite that, we found the R3 still helped reduce muscle fatigue.
On the lower settings, it was no noisier than an electric toothbrush (45 decibels) but it was more disruptive on higher speeds (55-60 decibels).
It’s easy to use and weighs just 740g, but there’s no Bluetooth connectivity or app and the attachments caught on our clothing at times. But at this price we can forgive its indiscretions.
Hyperice Hypervolt Go
Best for travel
At 669g Hyperice Hypervolt Go is lighter than many competitors, while it has a battery life of 150mins. Considering the size and weight of this sports massage gun, we think that’s reasonable.
It was also comfortable to hold and manoeuvre, allowing us to get to hard-to-reach spots with ease.
The device comes with two attachments, a flat disk and a pointy bullet, but this is quite a limited selection compared to other options featured here. It can be used at three speeds up to 3,200 percussions per minute, each providing a different step in intensity, but many others on the market do offer more options.
In use, noise disruption isn’t too bad at its lowest setting (45-50 decibels), but on the highest it starts to feel quite disruptive (55-65 decibels) and would certainly prove a nuisance if you’re trying to watch TV at the same time.
Along with the device, Hyperice also gives you access to its impressive app, which takes you through routines. There are even personalised recommendations once you’ve connected it to your Strava, Garmin or Apple Health.
Read our full Hyperice Hypervolt Go review here.
Best for versatility
With an RRP of £349, the MyoMaster MyoPro is lining up against some of the big guns (no pun intended) in the market. Namely the likes of Hyperice and Therabody.
The price puts it in direct competition with the Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Pro (£379) that’s also featured here. So how does it compare?
Well, while the MyoPro has five different speed settings from 1,600rpm all the way up to 3,200rpm. That allows you plenty of scope to pick the speed that suits you best. Crucially, it’s easy to operate, too, with the single button control easy to use with the hand you’re already holding the device with.
It feels solid and well built, and getting to difficult spots seemed easy enough, though a weight of 1,106g (without head attached) may cause achy arms for some. A choice of eight different heads is welcome, with different options suited to different tasks, but they can sometimes struggle when being used over clothing.
Now we come onto two key aspects: noise and battery life. The latter comes in at three hours, while the noise levels on lower settings came in at around 40 decibels, while the top setting saw noise output pushing beyond 5o decibels. Compared to some others on test here, that’s not a bad performance.
It’s worth noting that MyoMaster doesn’t have an app to help you with routines, but the brand does have video tutorials on its website. The inclusion of a carry case is also always appreciated.
Hydragun Massage Gun
Best for minimum noise disruption
Hydragun claims its massage gun is ‘the quietest massage gun’. While we’ve not had a chance to get our hands on every massage gun on the market, it’s clear that this sports massager is quieter than most.
Our sound tests had it averaging around 36 decibels on the lowest settings and venturing up to 50 decibels on the highest. That’s impressive, and it bests every other gun featured here, with the MyoPro being its closest competition.
Speaking of different settings, the Hydragun offers six of them, offering a maximum speed of 3,200rpm. Like the MyoPro, switching settings is doable with one hand via the push of a button.
It’s slightly smaller than the MyoPro and Hypervolt 2 Pro and weighs in at 1,033g on our scales. While that’s not as light and portable as the Hypervolt Go or Renpho R3, it makes for a pleasant experience when use and we had no issues getting to awkward sports.
The massage gun comes with seven different attachments, as well as a handy carry case, and claims an impressive six hours of battery life. At £269, the Hydragun seems like very good value for money.
Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Pro
Best for serious athletes
The Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Pro is among the heaviest (1,198g on our scales) on test here, but is it worth the weight and the £379 price-tag?
As you’d expect for the weight and from such an established brand, the Hypervolt 2 Pro oozes quality. It feels robust and packs an incredible punch. The top speed of 2,700rpm is less than others featured here, but the force feels the most powerful.
When used at those top speeds, the effect can feel intense, which is why we think this sports massage gun suits more serious athletes who have high workout loads to recover from and prepare for.
Its size and weight means this isn’t the easiest massage gun to manoeuvre around your body and some people may suffer from achy arms after long massage sessions. Having said that, it does feel nice and comfortable ergonomically.
As well as being the heaviest, this muscle massager from Hyperice is also one of the noisiest, which is perhaps unsurprising due to the force on show. The average noise disruption at its lowest setting is 48 decibels, while it averages around 60 decibels on higher settings and even pushes past 65 decibels at times.
The Hypervolt 2 Pro comes with five different attachments, which we felt was more than sufficient, but there’s no carry case.
That’s slightly disappointing, but we were impressed by the connectivity and functionality with the app. With it, you can follow guided routines, or even let the app automatically adjust the speed settings on your massage gun while using it.
We’ll be adding more massage guns (including devices from Therabody) as and when we test them.
Top image credit: Ivan Balvan/Getty Images