5 Best Handheld Massagers Reviewed (2021)

You can feel the tightness in your muscle, but you can't quite reach the area with your hands to give it the attention it needs.  There is no need to struggle, a handheld massager is the tool that you need.

They can help you get a deep tissue massage to those hard to reach areas on your own.  It will relieve muscle tension and rid your body of pain, like a professional massage experience at home.

If you are wondering - Do handheld massagers work? Is a handheld massager machine right for me? The answer is yes!  Let's find out more about the best handheld massagers.

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What are the Benefits of Handheld Massagers?

Handheld massagers will allow you to give yourself a self-massage at home.  Some areas that are difficult to reach with your hands will no longer be a problem.  Of course, you can use these massagers to give other people massages too.

After a few uses, you will start to notice:

  • Relaxation - We all know that massages are relaxing, and handheld massagers are no different. Professional handheld massagers can relieve muscle tension and remove bodily stress.
  • Pain management – Relieving stress and tension means relieving pain. As your circulation is improved and your muscles and joints are relaxed, pain begins to slip away.
  • Lower-back pain – Handheld massagers are especially good at pinpointing lower-back pain. The portability, flexibility, and ease of use make them great for back massage.
  • Better sleep – When muscles are relaxed and your stress levels are lowered, you will find that sleep comes more quickly, and your overall quality of sleep is improved.
  • Fresher skin – As the blood under your skin is stimulated, your skin is rejuvenated and begins to look better.

Why Purchase a Handheld Massager?

With a handheld, you're getting a similar experience to that which you'd receive under the hands of a professional. With a professional therapist, you're getting mild to intense pressure on your sore muscles depending on whether you have deep knots in them.

A handheld massage allows you to direct the right kind of pressure directly to the muscles. All you need to do is press a few buttons or switch out the heads to receive a personalized massage.

It could be a massage to relax or one that pinpoints a few sore muscles. Headaches, sports injuries, chronic pain, anxiety, and more can be relieved with a handheld back massager.

What to Look for When Buying a Handheld Massager?

The handheld massager that you choose should provide a variety of massages from relaxing massages to deep-tissue work. It's important to understand that the more variety you have, the more relaxation and relief the unit will provide. You might need relaxation one day, but pain relief the next.

Versatility and Focus Areas

You don't want the same massage intensity level for all parts of the body.  In some areas like the neck and shoulders, you'll need a light touch. In other areas like the big muscles of the thighs, you'll want a deep-tissue massager. When you can purchase a massager with various speed and intensity settings, you're getting great versatility.

There are those that have interchangeable heads, too. When you can change the heads as well as the speed, you're getting a customized massage experience. The ability to change the heads to focus on a single spot or a wide area is one of the most important parts of the massage.

If the main areas you want to target are your face and/or eyes, it might be best to consider either a facial massager or eye massager.

Heat Settings

Pain and stress usually result in tight, knotted muscles. A heated handheld massager can penetrate those knots and begin to loosen them.  That pain can start to fade almost immediately as the muscle begins to relax.

Heat can be used during a relaxing massage on the back, the neck or the shoulders, too. Handheld devices with heat have a much better chance of providing serious pain and stress relief to users.

Power Sources

While some devices have cords, others are cordless. They'll have long-lasting batteries that will allow the unit to be more portable. Even with the best cordless handheld massager machines, you might not be getting as much power as you would with a corded unit.  You do get more reach though.

Attachment Heads

It stands to reason that the more attachment heads you have, the more flexibility you have and the more you can do with your massager. Most massagers will come with multiple heads (or they will be available for purchase separately). The more heads you have, the more you will be able to customize your experience and find the massage which works for you.

The Top Handheld Massagers

The 5 best handheld massagers picked for this list are based on tests and research as well as the customer response to the many massagers on the market today. 

They're crafted based on the massage you'd get in a professional spa and meant to give you relief of tension and pains you have in many parts of your body. The massagers have varied speeds and pressures to put mild to moderate pressure on the muscle knots that are causing pain and tension through the entire body. 

Brand

Key Features


HoMedics

  • 2 sets of heads
  • Powerful massage up to 3,100 beats per minute
  • Long cord
  • Heat

Brookstone

  • 3 programs for deep tissue massage: soothing, energizing, and pulsing
  • 5 speed levels
  • Lightweight and durable

MIGHTY BLISS™

  • 6 interchangeable heads for different massage styles
  • 3 speeds
  • Can use with essential oils
  • Cordless and portable

RENPHO

  • Powerful percussion technology up to 3600 beats per minute
  • Cordless and rechargeable.

Thumper

  • 3 speed settings
  • Anatomically designed massage spheres require no additional attachments. it can treat all muscle groups.
  • Patented Thumper Action

1. HoMedics HHP-350 Percussion Action Massager

Some of the best massagers have many features and one of them is heated massage. This is true of the HoMedics HHP-350 Percussion Action Handheld Massager. It's an electric massager that is adjustable to give you a personalized experience.

You can use the handheld massager to deliver heat to those hard to reach spots that can tense up, like your back.  When you have deep-tissue tension or tightness, heat works well to relax knotted muscles.

The HoMedics HHP-350 has two sets of heads that can be changed to give you a personalized massage. The electric massager has high, medium, and low pressure settings with pivoting heads to pound the surface of the skin. That's important if you need a deep massage to ease those knotted muscles.

The hard head attachment pounds deep into the sore muscle. It becomes a form of massage therapy for relieving sore and painful muscles deep within the body.

If the high speed is too intense, you can lower it and switch from the firm head to the soft head, which is much gentler. There are also intensity adjustments that can be made with either head to make it a more personalized massage.

The high speed of the massager provides a maximum of 3,100 beats per minute. That can be therapeutic to those who need a more intense massage. The settings can be changed while the massager is being used on the muscle to get the correct speed and intensity.

The HoMedics HHP-350 has an ergonomic handle that allows you to stay in control of the massager without sacrificing speed and quality. You can add heat to the massage with the press of a button while you are using it. This means you can turn off the heat while it's running, too.

Since this handheld massager is powered by a cord, it can run for longer and provide more intensity.  While this limits where you can use the device, it shouldn't be a huge factor since there is likely a wall socket near your bed or couch.

Overall, the power, heat, and adjustable heads of the HHP-350 give the home user a wand massager that will rival the hands of a professional massage therapist in a spa environment for a lot less money. It provides relaxation and deep tissue massages that can relieve pain and tension.

Click here to check the price and read more reviews.

Things That Customers Like

  • The HHP provides a bit more power and intensity than the average massager.
  • It's simple to reach the back and neck for deep, heated massage.
  • HHP has adjustability that customers love.
  • The cord is long enough for massages anywhere.
  • Good value for the money!

Things That Customers Don't Like

  • The heat wasn't strong enough for some customers.
  • When set at the highest intensity level, the massager can be loud.
  • The unit can be heavy when held in an awkward position too long.

2. Brookstone Max 2 Cordless Dual-Node Percussion Massager

The Brookstone Max 2 can be used while it's plugged into the wall or with the battery. The built-in lithium-ion battery will last for a very long time.  This versatile wand massager comes with a charger that is fast charging, so you'll replenish the battery in no time for cordless use.

A cordless massager offers excellent portability.  Athletes can use this massager in the locker room or carry the unit where it'll provide the most value. You can also take the massager to countries where there might not be a compatible power outlet and use it for hours before the battery runs out.

The Brookstone Max 2 is made with an aluminum body that makes it nearly indestructible while being lightweight, too. The fact that it's lightweight means that you won't get arm strain trying to hold the massager for a long period of time.

The popular massager is easy to control with it's two handles that are ergonomically suited to hold in your hand. You'll never have to worry about your hand cramping as you give yourself a longer massage.

The two massage nodes mean that you don't have apply much pressure. The nodes move themselves while vibrating to give a deeper and more complete massage without as much effort.

There are 3 programs for deep tissue massage called soothing, energizing, and pulsing. The soothing massage program is meant for relaxation. The nodes will smoothly move over your body. For the energizing program, the massager works in small waves that promote blood circulation to the muscles, which will rejuvenate them instantly. The pulsing massage program gives short percussive taps to the muscles.

There are 5 speeds available for your massage with the Brookstone Max 2. The higher the speeds the more intense the massage will be. The lower speeds start at 1750 RMS and max out at 2550 RMS.

Click here to check the price and read more reviews.

Things That Customers Like

  • The massager removes tension in the neck and shoulder muscles quickly.
  • The ability to bring the massager anywhere.
  • Deep-tissue and acupressure massage helps with the sciatic nerve.
  • It's great for massaging legs and calves (not all massagers are).

Things That Customers Don't Like

  • Battery adds weight to the unit.
  • Seems more powerful when plugged into the wall socket.

3. MIGHTY BLISS™ Deep Tissue Back and Body Massager

The Mighty Bliss massager has six interchangeable heads and variable speeds that will give you a personalized massage to relieve the aches and pains caused by knots in the muscles. This massager is lightweight and cordless, but still provides more than enough power to properly massage your neck, thighs, calves, and back as well as other areas where you need relief.

While you can get the deep-tissue massage in the big muscles of the body like the thighs, you can also work on sensitive areas like the backs of your knees or in the shoulder joints.   If you can imagine a massage therapist digging deep into your muscle with force, then you will appreciate the various heads of this sleek massager as well as the powerful motor.

There are 3 speeds that provide relief with the various massage heads. Whether you need soft, medium, or firm speed, the heads can provide various styles of massages. There's a Swedish, Shiatsu, sports massage and trigger point therapy head available with this unit.

One of the heads is a massage oil stick, which makes it easy to use essential oils with your deep-tissue massage.  You can apply essential oils or pain cream directly to the areas like the back are hard to reach without having to bend uncomfortably to do it.

This cordless handheld massager is very similar to the Pure-Wave CM7, but at a lower price.  It is also lighter and comes with a lifetime guarantee.  The lithium-ion battery can be charged for 1 hour to run continuously for 120 minutes

Click here to check the price and read more reviews.

Things That Customers Like

  • Almost as powerful as a professional device.
  • Varied attachments are key to a good massage.
  • Quieter than other massagers
  • Suitable for daily use.

Things That Customers Don't Like

  • Doesn't have heat.

4. RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue Massager

The RENPHO full-body massager is great. The motor has been designed and built to be long-lasting and give you the power you need. With a long-lasting motor, comes a long-lasting Li-ion battery. The combination will keep you massaged, relaxed and stress-free.

This massager can ease any tension in almost all of your joints and muscles. The percussion technology helps you relax.  It's one of the best handheld massager for knots.  It can be used daily and wherever you need it. It is great for use after sports or any other physical activities.

We love additional features in massagers, and this one has plenty. It comes with multiple massage heads that are easy to change.  There is a timer which will turn the unit off after 20 minutes. There is no need to worry about overheating or muscle damage. 

It's simple to operate.  There are four buttons power, increase intensity, decrease intensity, and change mode.  You can choose from four modes (constant vibration, slow intense pulse, medium pulse, and fast pulse).  The handle has a rubber grip to make it easier to hold.

If you need a massage on the go, then this could be the unit for you. The portability and the battery life make this massager an attractive option for someone on the go.  

It is lightweight and comes with a handy charger stand.  The light will turn green when the handheld massager is fully charged which takes about 2.5 hours.  Then it will provide about 75 minutes of therapeutic massage.

It comes with a 1-year limited warranty so you can be confident in your purchase.

Click here to check the price and read more reviews.

Things That Customers Like

  • Easy to operate.
  • One of the most powerful motors on the market.
  • Fully rechargeable.

Things That Customers Don't Like

  • The powerful motor means a bigger unit.

5. Thumper Mini Pro

The Thumper Mini Pro has varied speed settings with a power that makes it the perfect handheld massager for deeper muscle treatments.  It offers a patented thumping action.

With all of the attachments on the massager, it's still lightweight at approximately 3 pounds. The head of the device has two sphere's that can pulse at various speeds. They massage deep into the muscles to provide lasting relaxation. The massager will work on the surface of dry skin as well as over light clothing.

There are 3 different speed settings for the Mini Pro that make it a great choice for a variety of body parts. For example, you can switch the pulses between 40, 30, or 20 pulses per second on the back of the neck or the back of the thighs. The power you use for the muscle group will depend on the massage level that feels comfortable digging deep into muscles.

Relaxing back massages can be had at the slow setting, which is approximately 1,200 pulses per minute.  You can adjust the pressure as you slide it across the body so that you can use it on the back of your calves as well as your arms. For extensive work on big muscles, you can use the high-speed setting, which brings 2,400 pulses per minute to the massage.

The thick, comfortable handle maximizes your reach, so you can give yourself a thorough back massage. This small handheld massager provides 13 inches of reach with only one hand, and it's light enough that using it one-handed won't be a strain. The thick handle puts a minimizes the percussion transmitted to your hand. It won't cause you to lose your grip on the massager while you're trying to reach your back.

Note: This is the latest model (3rd generation) of the Mini Thumper Pro although they no longer include a number in the product name.   The color and packaging of the Mini Pro was refreshed in 2016.  It has the same speeds, the same penetration, and the same weight as the original model.  The new innovations (overheat and overload protection) introduced in the Mini Thumper Pro 2 model are also included.

Click here to check the price and read more reviews.

Things That Customers Like

  • This massager is effective and well-designed.
  • The weight is well-balanced between the handle and the head.
  • Enclosed design prevents any tangling with your hair.
  • Penetrates deep into tense muscles.

Things That Customers Don't Like

  • The strength of the massage is not enough for some people.
  • Quality issues with some deliveries.

What is the best handheld massager?

These handheld body massagers allow you to get the same relief at home you'd get from a professional in a spa or massage therapy office. This tension and pain relief comes with a less expensive price tag and the ability to get this relief in the privacy of your own home.  

The Best Overall Handheld Massager

Mighty Bliss Massager

This massager is portable and lightweight while providing various heads for different massage needs. You can get a Shiatsu or a sports massage with the same unit simply by switching out the heads and changing the intensity of the vibrations. 

The Best Handheld Massager for the Money

Homedics Handheld Massager

The HHP-350 has heat and two heads to customize your massage experience. One head provides a deep percussion massage while the soft head can give a total massage. The speeds are varied and can be changed while the massage is ongoing. This is a great value for the money with the power and variation available in speed as well as power. 

Is a Handheld Massager Worth it?

Yes! A handheld massager costs about the same as 1-3 professional massages (depending on what spa you go to), so after you use it a few times you are saving money.  Plus, it is nice to be able to get to those hard to reach spots whenever you want without needing assistance from anyone else.

First published on October 13th, 2017
Last updated on April 20th, 2021

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Jeanette Lynn
 

Jeanette has been a professional massage therapist since 1998. She devotes her life to helping those who suffer from musculoskeletal pain. She's also a Pilates instructor and has a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN).

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