Best massage guns UK 2024: Theragun, Lola and more tested

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Our GHI expert tested the top massage guns to find the best for fitness and relaxation Knee Massager

Best massage guns UK 2024: Theragun, Lola and more tested

This article was updated in January to include our review of the Pulseroll Ignite Mini and reflect the latest prices and deals.

The best massage guns make the perfect pocket-friendly substitute for a private masseuse, so it's no surprise they've taken the fitness scene by storm in recent years.

Whether your body often aches after exercise or you urgently need the kind of stress relief that only a deep-tissue massage can provide, it's well worth investing.

Our Good Housekeeping Institute fitness expert put a range of top massage guns from leading brands to the test on their sore muscles and found the best to suit all needs and budgets.

There's a lot of choice out there, making it tricky to know which massage gun to buy. Helpfully, our GHI expert has taken the pummelling for you to find the very best on the market. Here are our winners at a glance, with the full reviews below.

Not only do the best massage guns help aid muscle recovery after exercise, but they can also help anyone looking to relieve muscle pain and increase mobility. So yes, we think they're worth the money!

Over to Vic Paterson, a soft tissue therapist and co-founder of State 11 Soft Tissue Therapy, to explain how massage guns work in simple terms. “It’s called a massage gun, but it's not a massage as you may get from a professional,” she explains. “Instead, it's percussive therapy – pounding, jigging and whacking the muscle. This helps ease muscle soreness by increasing blood flow to the area, which in turn can help reduce inflammation and soreness.”

Massage guns are expensive. Before you part with your cash, ask yourself why you’re buying one and make sure you know which factors to consider. If you mainly want a massage gun for relaxation purposes, a less “punchy” model will likely suffice, and you won’t need to spend so much.

If you’re a serious athlete wanting a powerful machine, note the amplitude — the higher the number, measured in millimetres, the more deeply the massage gun can hit. Look for one with a choice of low, medium and high speed settings, too. These are usually measured in rpm or ppm, which stands for revolutions or percussions per minute.

Choose a model that comes with multiple massage heads, from the standard ball head for bigger muscle groups to cone, wedge and thumb heads for working on smaller and more sensitive areas. If you’re planning to take your massage gun to the gym with you, consider its weight, portability and battery life.

Using a massage gun is surprisingly simple. Simply switch it on, move it slowly over your muscles and let it work its magic. There’s no need to apply extra pressure to enjoy an effective massage.

“Like any piece of medical equipment, you have to be careful when using a massage gun,” says Paterson. “It should come with instructions for safe use, but, in short, don't turn it up to full and stick it on your neck!“Start at the lowest setting and avoid bone because that will hurt.

Instead, concentrate on the big, meaty muscles such as the biceps, triceps, thighs and glutes, and don't use it for too long — it will only make things sorer! Don't use it on strains or sprains and speak to your doctor first if you have osteoporosis or high blood pressure.”

Our expert tester trialled a range of massage guns over a three-week period, using them after a wide range of exercises, from weightlifting and running to HIIT and yoga.

They considered how easy each massage gun was to control, how smoothly it moved over the skin and whether the different massage head attachments were effective, as well as the practicality and intuitiveness of each massager's controls and overall design.

Here are the best massage guns on the market, primed and ready to soothe your aching muscles. Enjoy!

This massage gun left our tester hugely impressed; its final score speaks for itself. Packed with innovation, you can heat it up to 47C in under two minutes for a warm massage, or freeze the interchangeable cool gel head for four hours for the ultimate cool down. These contrasting temperatures will help prime muscles pre-exercise by promoting blood flow and providing a perfect post-workout cooldown respectively.

The HoMedics Pro comes with a carry case, but as it's on the larger side it isn’t the best for on-the-go use. However, it was surprisingly light for its size, making it easy to manoeuvre at home.

No matter which head our tester used, it glided smoothly over skin with minimal noise. They also liked the handy diagrams that showed you how to get the most out of the product.

Powerful, easy to use and affordable, our expert tester was blown away by this sleek little massager.

Unlike many of its pocket-friendly competitors, it has five speed settings and five attachments for targeting different areas, plus it comes with a sleek carry case that has plenty of room for all the accessories (handy for travel). In the box, you’ll also find an insightful user guide, packed with step-by-step routines showing you how to soothe all manner of aches and pains. According to our tester, it’s a pleasure to use from the get-go thanks to its ergonomic design. It’s lightweight (no aching arms here) and the buttons are perfectly placed for easy access mid-pummel. Performance-wise, our massage experience was extremely smooth, with no painful jogging or juddering when it was moved over our joints. If that wasn’t enough, the device automatically turns off after 20 seconds if it’s not in use to preserve battery, and it supports USB-C charging. For some, the petite handle may feel a bit short, but that was our one and only niggle.

Massage guns don’t come more compact than the Theragun Mini. Weighing just 450g, this palm-sized device is easily grabbable on the go – simply hook the stylish travel case onto your bag for sweet relief anytime, anywhere.

Our expert found it ultra quiet, so you can tend to sore muscles with minimal fuss, and its small stature doesn't make it any less powerful. It moved smoothly over skin, with no irritating dragging or pulling, and it was effortless to switch between settings mid-use. The Therabody app particularly pleased our tester; it’s packed with beginner-friendly follow-along routines for exercise recovery, sleep, work, travel and more.

Reaching trickier areas such as the lower back can feel a bit awkward, and you can only fit one head in the case, but these are minor flaws for an otherwise exceptional product.

Dedicated athletes, look no further. Though a considerable investment, the new iteration of the Theragun PRO comes with a host of clever upgrades, including a brushless motor for reduced noise, two new attachments, USB-C charging and a high-resolution OLED screen for following pre-set routines – a feature that earned high praise from our tester. There are four routines to choose from on the device, but they recommend connecting to the user-friendly Therabody app for myriad personalised options that target specific aches and pains.

Despite all its techy features, this sleek massager is surprisingly simple to use thanks to a handy quick-start guide and video tutorials. Its intuitive controls meant no fumbling about changing the speed or turning it on and off, while the triangular shape affords excellent grip and the adjustable arm helps you tackle those harder-to-reach areas. Though bulky, the well-designed carry case means it’s also travel-friendly.

This hero model is hard to fault; it’s a little heavy and our arms started to ache after a while, but that’s a tiny quibble. If you're ready to ramp up your relaxation efforts, the PRO is a worthy choice.

This well-designed massage gun earned an instant thumbs up for its long, curved handle that helped our testers reach all their aching muscles. It proved extremely powerful and effective, gliding across skin without pulling for a relaxing massaging experience.

It’s a little bulky and heavy, and the handle vibrates heavily at high speed, but it comes with a decent range of massage heads, a comprehensive user guide and a robust carry case. The accompanying app is basic, but it offered some helpful technique tips.

In short, it’s a solid all-round buy at a fair price for the quality.

Coming in just behind its older brother, the MuscleGun Carbon, it was hard to find fault with this pocket-friendly massager. Not only does it pack a lot of power for such a small machine, but it’s also relatively quiet, comfortable to hold and is able to glide seamlessly over sore muscles without dragging. Weighing in at just over 500g, it’s also a good option for keeping in your gym bag or taking to the track.

Despite its compact size, it has everything its bulkier counterparts offer, including five different massage heads, with each one designed to target a different muscle group. It also scored top marks for ease of use – there’s just one button for speed control and a handy manual that explains what each head is for and how to use it.

The handle is a little short, making it difficult to soothe aching lower back muscles, but it's compact enough to massage your legs fully, making it a top pick for runners. Overall, it’s an excellent choice if you’re after a powerful mini massage gun.

This massage gun offers excellent value for money (it's currently under £100), given that it comes with five massaging heads. It moves rapidly over your muscles, massaging them to great effect without causing any discomfort. The handle vibrates a lot, especially at full power, but the speed can easily be lowered if your arm starts to ache.

It comes with useful instructions, but their translation from Chinese is patchy. A USB cable is included for recharging its sizeable battery on the go too, but there's no charging head.

Some of the bulkier options on this list may be too cumbersome to take with you on the go, but there was no such problem with this pocket-sized model from Hyperice. The compact design means it effortlessly fits in most gym bags and it's easy to manoeuvre.

The absence of a carry case is disappointing but the Go2 makes up for that with power and ease of use. It packs a considerable punch given its modest dimensions and comes with useful instructions, with our tester praising its seamless movement over their muscles.

The Go2 also ticks the box in terms of aesthetics – its modern design has a decidedly premium feel, and in a sea of black massage guns, the sleek white finish stands out from the crowd.

Note, this machine comes with just two massage heads, which is less than the others on this list, but it you’re after quick and easy muscle relief, it’s no problem.

If you’re after a small massage gun that still offers versatility, consider this fuss-friendly Boots offering. There are three speed settings and four interchangeable heads (a ball, fork, bullet and flat head) for alleviating aches and pains, whether you need some post-exercise relief or you’ve been hunched over your desk for too long. It wasn’t the most powerful massager on test – the first speed in particular was extremely gentle – so it’s not one for serious gym-goers, but it’s still great for releasing tension. It moved seamlessly over the skin with no painful snagging, and it scored top marks for noise level, allowing you to treat sore muscles on the go without attracting attention. We welcomed the compact carry case, which fits all the different attachments and charger neatly inside, and the device itself was easy to operate thanks to a conveniently placed control button and detailed instructions. It’s on the heavy side despite its small stature and the short handle made it trickier to reach sore spots on our backs, but it's a snip for under £50.

Our tester couldn’t emphasise enough how powerful this massage gun is for its pocket-friendly size. It scored full marks both for relaxation and immediately relieving soreness, so expect to become quickly attached!

It’s ideal for taking to the gym or track and it comes with a travel pouch to keep it safe, but charge it up before you leave as the charger doesn’t fit into the bag. The handle can be tricky to grip and you can’t fully cover your back, but it’s a top choice for on-the-go massaging.

Not your typical massage gun, the Vyper 3 is more of a vibrating foam roller, designed to “accelerate your warm-up, speed recovery time and keep you moving better”.

Ideal for those who are after an intense foam rolling experience, it has a smooth shell and diamond-shaped ridges that allow you to get deep into your muscles and address any knots or trigger points.

What’s more, it offers three speed settings so you can vary the intensity, depending on how sore you’re feeling. As it is on the bigger side, we’d say it’s best suited to targeting large muscles.

Note, the Vyper 3 device is rather loud when placed on the floor due to the vibrations, so you’ll have to time your massaging sessions carefully to avoid disturbing others.

Despite the relatively modest price tag, the RecoverFun Plus is up there with some of the more expensive options on our list in terms of charging time, noise levels and the variety of massage heads it offers.

From the bullet head (which allows you to dig deep into your muscles) to the senior attachment (a super-soft bouncy ball that’s ideal for sore, sensitive areas), this versatile massager allows you target specific areas effectively.

Coming in at over 1.1 kilograms, it's a bigger model than many of our other picks, so you won’t be able to throw it in your gym bag. If you want a supercharged experience at home, though, it certainly delivers. What’s more, it’s surprisingly quiet for such a bulky machine – in fact, it was one of quietest massage guns on test.

It wasn’t the smoothest massaging experience but if you’re on the market for a cheaper option that still delivers on quality and performance, this one’s hard to beat.

If you’re willing to splash some cash on a massage gun that will deliver long-lasting results, consider this serious bit of kit. The third Therabody product on our list, the Theragun Elite claims to reach 60% deeper into the muscle than average massagers, thanks to a hardcore 16mm amplitude.

Our testers found it very powerful and effective, but noisy. They rated its triangular handle, which allowed them to massage a wide range of muscles, with good control. They also loved its app, which guides you through warm-up and post-workout massages and issues warnings if you apply too much pressure.

Feeling intimidated by some of the heavy-duty massage guns on our roundup? Try this gentler model, which has a variable speed dial for adjusting the intensity of your massage. Its long handle makes it easy to massage all body parts, even if you have mobility issues.

Its laudable range of massage heads includes a four-finger attachment that mimics a human hand (it sounds creepy, but it’s effective!). For casual use, this tool is a winner, but committed sporty types may find it lacks oomph. Its length makes it a tad tricky to store, too, and it doesn’t come with a case.

This aesthetically pleasing device from up-and-coming massage gun brand Lola is all over the internet right now and after testing it, we can see why. Not only does it look the part, but it also scored highly for design, ease of use and performance. It comes with four interchangeable heads for providing relief in different areas, including a flat head to target niggly spots such as the neck, ankles and calves, and a cone to get deep into your muscles and hit your pressure points. Our experts found it easy to operate and switch between the four speed settings thanks to the responsive, user-friendly buttons on the handle. They also said it was sufficiently powerful, providing instant relief from soreness, even at lower speeds. There were no issues with jolting or juddering over their skin, making for an extremely smooth massage experience. Even better, it’s the same size as an iPhone and comes with a sleek travel pouch, so it’s a great one to take on holiday or to the gym. The quiet motor means it won’t attract any unwanted attention, either. Lola offers a 30-day money back guarantee for peace of mind when investing.

Like our winning HoMedics massager, this shiny new Pulseroll model boasts a heated head, with two temperature settings (45C or 55C) that deliver heat and percussive therapy to your tired, achy muscles. Our tester also loved the unique ‘invigor’ head, a soft attachment designed to stimulate the nerves in your hands and feet. Unlike the larger devices in this round-up, this one is lightweight and easy to hold during lengthy massage sessions. It’s also a cinch to use, with one ergonomic button for all the functions and a clear LED screen to keep track of the speed settings and battery level. The attachments are simple to swap and the novices among you will appreciate the accompanying videos that show you how to use each head properly. If all that wasn’t enough, the motor was super quiet (so you can massage while watching the telly), it has a USB-C port for convenient charging, and it comes with a neat travel case if you want to take it with you. Note, the heat settings aren’t particularly strong, and our tester found the power button a touch slow to respond, but these are minor niggles. All in all, it’s a supremely impressive bit of kit, whether you’re an avid exerciser or want to soothe long-suffering muscles.

Massage guns can be used in any way that is beneficial to your lifestyle, but the folk at Pulseroll recommend using yours no more than two or three times a day for a couple of minutes at a time.

Take it out pre- or post-workout, or even during exercise by incorporating it into your warm-up routine. To promote blood flow, simply focus on each muscle group for between 15 and 30 seconds.

Feeling tight during a gym session? Pause for a short massage to help force lactic acid and toxins out of your muscles. Once you’ve completed your workout, use the massage gun more intensely by spending up to two minutes working on each muscle group to release any tension and prevent soreness.

Yanar was our former Fitness Group Testing Manager. She managed health and fitness product testing across all the magazines, overseeing all testing processes and ensuring our lab and panel tests are conducted to the highest standards. Yanar spent 15 years as a health and wellness content editor and writer for national titles such as Runner’s World, Men’s Health and Women’s Health. Yanar is a Level 3 qualified PT, trained yoga teacher and a registered yoga therapist. She has been into fitness and wellness her whole life. After many years running races and marathons, she now trains and competes in CrossFit and Olympic lifting. She passionately advocates strength training for women to build a stronger mind and body for life. 

Kim Hawley is our health and fitness product tester. Her career in fitness has spanned over 30 years. Prior to joining the Good Housekeeping Institute, she worked as a personal trainer, writer and fitness instructor for some of London’s most prestigious health clubs, including The Harbour Club, David Lloyd and The Chelsea Club. Passionate about women’s health and fitness, especially in pre/post menopause, she is also a Level 4 PT and holds a professional nutritional qualification. Kim is responsible for rigorously testing everything from cross trainers to smart watches.

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Best massage guns UK 2024: Theragun, Lola and more tested

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