7 Best Massage Tools in 2020

Our top pick and the best massage tool you can buy today is the VYBE Percussion Massage Gun. This cordless, handheld electric massage tool offers flexibility and power in one convenient, compact form. It has a broad speed range of 500 to 2400 strokes per minute.

To help you choose the best massage tool for relaxation, stress reducing and relief of tension and soreness, we’ve compiled reviews and performed tests on the top rated electric massage tools and physical therapy deep tissue massage tools. We looked for easy to use options that gave consistent results, whether you’re an experienced physical therapist or a beginner looking for good self-massage tools. Keep reading to learn more about the VYBE and the other products on this list.

Top 7 Best Massage Tools

 #1  VYBE Percussion Massage Gun Massage Tool

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This battery powered massage gun offers three different massage tips and a wide range of speed options, plus a very ergonomic design that works for self-massage, making it the best handheld massage tool on our list.

Pros
  • Up to 60-lb of pressure for great results
  • Three different tips, including large ball great for shoulder massage
  • Increases range of motion for self-massage
Cons
  • Noisier than some other massage tools
  • Some may prefer the look of a wooden massage tool

With three different tips included and a speed range of 500-2400 strokes per minute, this powerful electric handheld massage tool is the one of the most flexible and versatile tools on our list. The strong percussion and the availability of a large ball attachment delivering up to 60 lb of force per stroke makes it the best massage tool for shoulders we’ve tested.

It also includes a cone attachment, making it one of the best physical therapy deep tissue massage tools that we tried. It’s easy enough to use that experts and novices alike will find it intuitive and relaxing. The battery lasts up to 2 hours on a charge and the VYBE comes with two interchangeable batteries in the box. It also comes with a handy travel case so you can pack the different attachment heads. Now you don’t need to worry about being sore from too heavy of a workout with the best dumbbell rack.

 #2  MIGHTY BLISS Deep Tissue Back and Body Massager Massage Tool

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This massage tool is easy to carry and convenient to use with a one-handed, long reach design. It offers high speed pulse massage to undo knots and relieve tension, plus a variety of attachments to relax large and small muscle groups.

Pros
  • 6 different heads included
  • 3700 strokes per minute maximum
  • Long reach for self massage
Cons
  • Less percussive force than the VYBE
  • Smaller attachments are easy to lose track of

This curved, long handled electric massager is among the best self massage tools if you’re looking for smooth, high speed vibrations to ease tension in deltoid and trapezius muscles. With a 14-inch reach, it’s also one of the best back massage tools for solo use.

The Mighty Bliss comes with six different attachment heads, more than most competing models offer. While not all of them will be useful for everybody, it’s nice to have options. However, unlike the VYBE massage tool, this one doesn’t offer a percussive back and forth motion, but only rotation, relying on the shape of the heads to simulate percussive pressure. If you want to keep track of your next workout, take a look at the best fitness tracker too.

 #3  RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue Massager Massage Tool

Award: BEST ERGONOMICS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A one-handed massage tool for shoulders, back and waist as well as arms and legs, this electric massager offers 5 different heads and provides the option of high speed vibration at 3600 rpm as well as percussive action.

Pros
  • Applies pressure as well as rotational motion
  • Solid ball head great for physical therapy
  • Also comes with curved head for calf and arm massage
Cons
  • Less forceful than the VYBE
  • Fewer attachments than the Mighty Bliss

This handheld massager offers the flexibility to work as a physical therapy deep tissue massage tool or as a self-massage tool to ease leg cramps, relieve shoulder and back tension and help you relax and recover. It offers 5 different massage heads including a solid, weighty ball that’s good for large muscle groups. It also has a rather unique curved plastic head designed mainly for calf massage.

Speed range is up to 3600 rpm, and like the best electric massagers, it does both percussion and rotation. While it lacks the amplitude and the 60-lb force of the VYBE massage gun, it does have a highly ergonomic design that makes it easy to maneuver and lets you reach your lower back. This massager will be perfect the next time your best Fitbit clocks a several mile run.

 #4  LiBa Back and Neck Massager Massage Tool

Award: BEST MANUAL DESIGN

WHY WE LIKE IT: This handheld self massage tool is made of BPA free hypoallergenic plastic and has a well-designed shape that lets you reach common Fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome trigger points with ease.

Pros
  • Very portable; weighs less than one pound
  • No batteries required
  • Reaches common pinched nerve points
Cons
  • No electric power for breaking up knots
  • Designed for self massage and of limited use as a partner massage tool

Our pick among the best self massage tools that don’t require batteries or electric power, this massage cane benefits from a well-thought out design, eco friendly materials, and a very lightweight of less than one pound. This lightness helps make it more user friendly for those with fibromyalgia or complex regional pain syndrome.

Compared to the electric massage tools on our list, this simple plastic curved rod may seem primitive, but it does have the distinct benefits of quiet operation and never running out of batteries. The design lets it reach the common trigger points for pinched nerve pain and makes it a handy self-massage tool for relaxation and pain relief. If you like this massager, you might also want to look into the best weight lifting gloves.

 #5  Zongs Massage Ball Manual Roller Massager 2-Pack Massage Tool

Award: BEST FOR TRAVEL

WHY WE LIKE IT: Sold in a pack of two, this rolling massage ball fits in the palm of your hand and offers a unique relaxing sensation as well as added leverage for breaking up knots and relieving sore and tense muscles.

Pros
  • Great for use with oils and lotions
  • Smooth, skin-friendly resin surface
  • Hypoallergenic
Cons
  • Limited reach compared to a massage wand
  • Lack of power for physical therapy deep tissue massage

This Zongs roller ball massage tool has the advantage of being ultra compact and thus easy to pack for travel. It’s designed to fit in the palm of your hand and offer a soothing, tension relieving massage via rolling motion, without pinching your skin or relying on harsh percussion. It works best with a few drops of massage oil or lotion and can be used in the bath as well.

Because of its handheld design and limited reach, it may not be the most effective self-massage tool for shoulder and back massages, but it offers a soothing, tension-relieving option for partner massage. It’s also designed to be friendly on sensitive skin and is easy to clean with soap and water. Speaking of tension relieving, you might want to also grab the best heart rate monitor.

 #6  TriggerPoint AcuCurve Massage Cane Massage Tool

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 16.5 inch plastic massage cane is well shaped to give you added leverage for self massage and includes both an extra firm tip for deep tissue and relief of knots, as well as a pair of textured massage balls for more gentle relaxation.

Pros
  • Ergonomic curvature for self use
  • Versatile with different textured tips
  • Quieter than electric massage guns
Cons
  • Fewer points of contact than the LiBa Back and Neck Massager
  • More fatiguing to use than an electric massage tool

With a three-point design and differently textured firm and soft massage heads, this handy 16.5 inch manual massage cane is one of our favorite self massage tools for dealing with back and shoulder tension. While it may lack some of the versatility of an electric massage wand with multiple modes, such as the RENPHO deep tissue massager, it is much lighter at just .6 lbs, and much quieter.

The two massage ball ends are well situated to reach commonly sore and tense lower back muscles on most adults, and the firm drop tip is angled to allow leverage enough for physical therapy deep tissue massage and to relieve knots. It’s also one the best budget friendly massage tools out there.

 #7  Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager Massage Tool

Award: BEST FOR CAR

WHY WE LIKE IT: With reversible directions and a comfortable design for back and shoulders, this hands-free shiatsu massage pillow is one of the easiest ways to treat yourself to a relaxing Shiatsu style massage at home or even in the car.

Pros
  • Bi-directional kneading and rotation
  • For use on sofas, in bed or to add comfort to car seats
  • Comes with 12V car plug
Cons
  • No battery so it’s less portable than the other electric massage tools on our list
  • No deep tissue or pinched nerve options

This electric massage pillow allows you to enjoy a soothing Shiatsu style massage at home or in your car, giving you the option of hands-free, high tech comfort. It’s ergonomically designed and fits neatly on most couch backs and car seat backs. Great for pain and soreness relief, it’s one of the best relaxation and massage tools we’ve come across for low-effort, hands-free self massage.

It’s shaped to the contours of the upper back and neck area, and flexible enough to also be used to relieve lower back muscle and abdominal cramps, with a gentle rotating motion that changes directions and helps break up tension. It’s not as portable as the other electric massage tools on our list and doesn’t offer the percussive deep tissue massage or trigger point therapy that you can achieve with a massage cane, however.

How We Decided

In order to bring you the best massage tools you can buy, we limited our selection to massage tools that offered some flexibility and could work as self massage tools as well as for partner use.

We only picked handheld electric massage tools that offered a choice of speeds, since for different purposes like physical therapy deep tissue massage, or the relief of pain from repetitive activities, you may want very different rotational speeds. A percussion as well as rotation setting was considered a bonus.

We limited our search to massage tools made from hypoallergenic materials and without potentially irritating chemical coatings. We looked for BPA-free plastics and hard resin construction.

For non-powered self massage tools, we only considered products with an ergonomic curve that provided leverage for neck and back massage, and were between 14 and 18 inches long, so as to be the right size for versatile massage on most adults.

Best Massage Tool Buyer’s Guide

Features to Consider

  1. Head shapes
    Depending on what kind of massage you’re looking for, the best massage tools may feature hard, pointy heads or large, smooth round heads. For deep tissue massage, a firm point and good leverage are a must, while for breaking up knots, a hard, 1.5-3 inch diameter ball usually works best. If you’re looking at an electric massage gun, consider one with a diverse array of head attachments.
  2. Percussion
    The best electric massage tools will likely give you a percussion feature as well as rotating the heads. This pressure helps break up tension and knots better than just a high-frequency and low amplitude vibration or a rotating motion.
  3. Reach
    Especially when it comes to self massage, the size of the tool is important, since it determines where you can easily reach. If you’re looking for the best massage tool for shoulders, make sure it lets you comfortably reach your shoulders. For handheld massage tools, we’ve found that a length of 14-18 inches works for most people.
  4. Powered vs Manual
    Electric massage tools use a motor to deliver massaging force, helping to break up stubborn knots and relieve tension. However, some people may prefer the more natural feel of a manual handheld massage tool. In addition, electric massage tools can be loud and require battery recharging or a plug.

Massage Tool FAQs

Which is the best massage gun to buy?

If you’re looking for a great all around massage gun that works for gentle soothing as well as having enough punch for satisfying deep tissue massage, look for one with a broad speed range and at least 50-lb of percussive impact force, such as you can find with the VYBE Percussion Massage Gun, our top pick.

What is the most important tool that massage therapists use?

Massage therapists use a wide variety of specialized tools for different purposes, including rolling balls for gentle soothing and to break up knots, hard points for localized pain relief and pressure point therapy, and sometimes various oils and brushes. Most professionals use manual tools, but occasionally find a use for electric massage tools.

What is the best handheld deep tissue massager?

If you’re looking for a powered deep tissue massager, we recommend an electric massage gun with a percussion feature and a dense, 1 to 1.5-inch head attachment, such as the VYBE Percussion Massage Gun. For a manual handheld deep tissue massager, look for one with plenty of leverage, like the LiBa Back and Neck Massager.

Is a massage gun worth it?

If you’re looking for a versatile way to take some of the muscular strain out of massage work, a massage gun can be a deeply relaxing investment. It may not offer the reach of a long-handled self massager, but a massage gun is typically more effective at delivering consistent pressure to break up knots and provide deep tissue massage.

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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