Every now and again, we all want a massage. Nowadays sore muscles are very common, whether it be from standing on your feet all day, rushing around, hunched over a desk or sat with a laptop, and a massage can be a great way to soothe these muscles and give us the much needed relaxation we need. However, it can be difficult to run out to the massage parlour when you lead a busy life, and expensive too. That’s why the best handheld, portable massagers are a great option. You can get a pain-relieving massage form the comfort of your own home, at any time, and only pay one upfront cost.
What are the benefits of a handheld massager?
A handheld massager has many different benefits. As well as relieving muscle pain, they help to reduce your stress levels after a particularly busy hard day, allowing you to unwind and relax your body before going to bed. This can also have a positive impact on your sleep, improving the quality of it so you wake up feeling refreshed. A handheld massager also promotes good blood circulation, allowing your muscles to get the oxygen they need. This can be particularly good for lower back pain or after a workout to soothe aching muscles, allowing you to get back to the gym quicker. Even better, handheld massagers are portable so you can not only use them at home, but also take them with you on vacation or to work, so you can feel the benefits wherever you are.
What should I look for in a handheld massager?
With so many handheld massagers on the market these days, it can be difficult to know which ones are best and what factors you should look for in one. We have complied a buying guide below of the most important things you should look for in a handheld massager.
There are three different main massage techniques that you will find in a handheld massager.
Percussion Massage – A percussion massage is the most common style of massage. It stimulates and relaxes the skin and the muscles, while also improving blood flow. This can be great for relieving muscle soreness and reducing muscle pain, as well as increasing your muscles flexibility.
Kneading Massage – Kneading is the best way to relax tight muscles and relieve any soreness and pain you may be feeling. A kneading massage targets deep muscle tissue and helps to retain the flexibility of your muscles.
Tapping/Vibration Massage – A tapping or vibration massage is generally used to promote blood flow and relieve stress. A tapping massage doesn’t generally reduce pain you may be feeling in your muscles but it can be used to relieve anxiety and stress.
Your handheld massager should have the option to adjust the speed and intensity of the massage that you receive. Different parts of your body will be in different amounts of pain or soreness and while you may want a fast, more intense massage on one area, you might want a gentler massage on other areas. A lower speed is generally more relaxing and a faster speed is designed more for muscle pain. This feature in a handheld massager also allows you to customize your massage to your own needs.
There are a number of different massage heads, also known as massage nodes, on the market, each with their own functions and features.
Wide Massage Head – The width of this massage node makes it better for larger surfaces, rather than an intricate muscle massage. The massage it delivers can be very gentle, making it best for soothing and relaxing you and your muscles.
Rolling Massage Head – This massage node provides a firm, circular massage, again designed for large surfaces of the body. The rolling head node helps to stimulate muscles and increase blood flow.
Kneading Massage Head – The kneading massage node is perfect for a deep tissue massage. Pushing hard against your muscles, it is great if you have knots or need to recover from an intense workout.
Scraper Massage Head – A scraper node helps to exfoliate dead skin cells to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy. It is also great for improving the blood flow under the skin and therefore improves your skin’s health.
Shiatsu Massage Head – A shiatsu massage is a very deep muscle massage that can be quite painful but rewarding. Although most machines don’t come with a shiatsu massage node, it can be great at targeting pressure points in your body and relieving long-standing pain.
Heat therapy is an important factor to consider when buying a handheld massager. It helps to relax and soothe muscles and therefore allows your muscles to feel the full effects of the massage they are receiving. Heat also improves blood circulation so, although handheld massagers with a heat option can be more expensive, they are worth it.
One of the beauties of a handheld massager is the fact that they are portable. If you are buying a handheld massager that is not portable, with very few exceptions, it may not be handheld! They should be easy to hold and fit in your hand comfortably — without being too heavy. You should be able to take your massager with you on vacation or to work, and move it from room to room in your house. Some come battery operated, some come with a rechargeable battery and some come with a cord. Depending on when and where you are going to be using your handheld massager, you should take into consideration it’s power source.
If you’re ready to feel the benefits of a handheld massager, take a look at the ones we recommend on Amazon below.
The Best Handheld Massagers
This handheld massager from Make Lemonade comes with three interchangeable massage heads — a standard head, a pinpoint head and a multi-node head so you can customize your massage to your body. Perfect for sports therapy, this massager gives targeted relief by pinpointing problematic areas such as the back, neck, shoulders and feet. The percussion massage gives rapid bursts of pressure to controlled areas to help relieve any pain you may be feeling. With an ergonomic design, the slim grip on this massager makes it easy to hold and easy to reach hard-to-reach areas. This massager comes with an extra long cord, making it perfect to use in any room of the house.
This high quality handheld massager from LetsFunny helps to relieve muscle stiffness and soreness, helping to improve and enhance muscle recovery and boosting your overall muscle health. This lightweight massage gun comes with five different shaped interchangeable nodes for different parts of the body and can be changed to thirty different speed levels to give you a personalized massage experience, whether you want an intense massage or a relaxing massage. The handheld grip not only allows you to hold the massager easily and reach many areas, but it also minimizes external vibrations for your comfort. There is an LCD display making changing speeds very easy and it shows you the battery level, which is rechargeable, so it can be used anywhere.
The LDX handheld massager with percussion technology provides a deep tissue massage to every part of the body. This massager comes with seven different head attachments for different areas of the body, as well as seven massage modes and six adjustable speeds so you can make sure you are getting the right massage for your body. This massager is perfect for relaxing your body while also increasing blood circulation and reducing stress. The long, anti-slip handle makes it very easy to reach different parts of the body and the streamline, lightweight, cordless design means it can be transported wherever you go. This massager has a built-in auto shut off timer after fifteen minutes, to prevent it from overheating. There is also an easy-to-use control panel and the battery is rechargeable.
The RENPHO handheld massager uses percussion technology to relieve pain in all areas of the body, including the back, shoulders, neck, arms, legs and feet. With a powerful motor, this massager has four different modes giving you different variations of pulses for a customizable massage, as well as the ability to adjust the intensities for different areas of the body. With five interchangeable massage heads you can easily relax all the muscles in your body and the easy-grip handle allows you to reach all areas without having to stretch uncomfortably. This massager helps with blood circulation and increases muscle flexibility, so is perfect for after a workout. Cordless and rechargeable, you can take this massager anywhere, whether it be to the gym or to work.
Available in three different colors, the Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion handheld massager gives a deep tissue massage, relaxing you and helping to restore your muscles. With four unique attachment heads — a flat disc for extra wide coverage, a 4-finger flex to replicate fingers from a real massage, an acupoint head for pin-point relief of tension and a muscle ball to help relax the body — this massager is designed for all parts of the body and is perfect for the end of the day or after the gym. The variable speed gives you the option to adjust the massage from gentle to intense, allowing you to get a personalized massage experience for different areas. The sleek, long handle makes this massager easy to hold and therefore easy to reach all parts of the body, and it also comes with a 9 inch cord for ease.
With three sets of different removable head attachments, the VIKTOR JURGEN handheld massager is perfect for customizing your massage to your needs. Great for massaging the neck, back, legs and feet, you can adjust the intensity and the power of the massager for a personalized massage and with two heads instead of one, this massager really feels like someone else is massaging you. The percussion massage pillow allows you have a deep tissue shiatsu massage, great for relieving built up muscle tension and encouraging blood circulation. The non-slip, comfortable grip allows you to easily reach all areas of your body. This massager is also super easy to transport and has a 71” cord for ease.
The Oster Professional 103 Stim-U-Lax handheld massager has a special contoured design to not only fit your hand, but also reduce hand fatigue while being used. A professional massager, it uses both a hand and mechanical massage at the same time to provide a soothing and pain-relieving experience through your fingertips. The strong motor makes it very reliable and it can be used both on the body and on the scalp. Although it only goes at a single speed, it is heavy-duty and will last you a long time.
This handheld massager from HoMedics comes with dual pivoting massage heads and four different speed control settings, allowing you to enjoy a gentle or vigorous massage wherever you like. With two sets of interchangeable heads, you can enjoy deep kneading modes that mimic human hands to help loosen muscle knots and provide pain relief. The heat function on this handheld massager helps to soothe and loosen your muscles so they feel the full effect of the massage, and the percussion action massage moves rapidly up and down your body to deliver a relaxing experience. The ergonomic handle allows you to massage hard-to-reach areas such as the lower and upper back, and the lightweight design of this electric massager means you can easily take it on vacation with you or to the office.
The TheraFlow handheld massager gives a strong percussion massage, targeting pressure points to soothe muscle pain and soreness. With three different heads — the dual point head for the back, shoulders and around the spine, the bristle head for sensitive areas such as the head and neck and the shiatsu head for a focused acupoint massage — every part of your body can feel the effects of a massage. There is also the option change the intensity of the massage so you can make sure you get the massage that is right for you. This massager comes in an easy-to-hold design and with an extended power cord, ensuring the flexibility of the device and allowing you to massage even the hard-to-reach areas.
A handheld massager can be beneficial in so many ways and we know you’ll find one that you’ll love in the list above. Whether you’re using it to treat muscle pain, for soothing your muscles after a workout, to relax you at the end of a long day or to improve your sleep, a handheld massager gives you the means to have a massage from the comfort of your own home, whenever you like and without having to go to an expensive massage parlor. Handheld and portable, they can be taken with you on vacation or to work so you can enjoy a massage wherever you are.