Relaxing after a hard day of work and other routine everyday tasks can do your mental health a world of good. If yoga and meditation isn’t your go-to relaxation technique, massage therapy offers another amazing way to relax. There are several health benefits associated with massage therapy, including reducing stress, relieving muscle tension, as well as improving your quality of life.
Fortunately, you don’t have to visit a professional massage therapist or a spa to reap these benefits. Instead, you can get an at-home massaging device such as a handheld massager or massage gun and use it to get instant relief.
But finding the best hand massager can be quite a challenge. There are many types of hand massagers and features to consider. In our guide to finding the best hand massagers below, we’ve put together five of the best handheld massagers on the market today. These models provide a variety of massage experiences and stand out in their price range.
We’ll also help you understand how hand massagers work, the benefits that they provide, as well as the types of hand massagers and features, to consider so you can be able to choose a model that best fits your taste and needs.
How Hand Massagers Work
Most kinds of massage require the use of hands, but a hand massager does everything for you. Just place one hand in the massager and it will apply kneading, vibration, compression, and other styles of massage to your hand. Do the same with the other hand.
Most hand massagers run on electricity and use heat, vibrations, and air pressure to stimulate nerves, increase blood flow, and relieve hands. This treatment combination eases tension in the joints and muscles, providing you with relief from pain and decreasing inflammation.
Should I Get a Hand Massage?
A hand massage feels nice. Once you start receiving the massage, your entire body will be more relaxed thanks to the presence of reflexology points. That’s not all, though. Here are other benefits of getting a regular hand massage.
- Relaxing effect: A handheld massage can provide a relaxing effect on your whole body. It can also relax your mind and reduce your stress levels.
- Muscle pain relief: Handheld massagers are mightily effective at relieving muscle pain. By improving your blood circulation, they relax your sore muscles and relieve the pain.
- Low back pain relief: A hand massager can help relieve your low back pain. This massager can stimulate blood circulation in the lower back, so your spinal muscles will get more nutrients and oxygen. This will improve the ability of the muscles to recover and will also improve their flexibility and elasticity, making you feel much better.
- Exertion soreness relief: Exertion soreness can occur when you begin working out or you change your workout routine. This muscle pain can also occur at certain times of the year, for example, when you start skiing or surfing. By working your muscles, a handheld massager can help treat your exertion soreness, particularly if it makes use of heat therapy.
- Improved local blood circulation: A hand massager activates your muscles and helps boost local blood circulation, which can help relieve your sore muscles as well as painful joints.
- Improved appearance of skin: By boosting blood circulation under your skin, a handheld massager can help improve the look of your skin.
- Improved sleep: Thanks to the relaxing effect of a hand massager, you can sleep much better. After a 10-20-minute massage session, your stress levels will be significantly reduced and you’ll be able to fall sleep more readily.
Types of Hand Massagers
Each kind of hand massager comes with various benefits and provides different experiences. From relaxing and soft massages to rough and thorough ones, different hand massagers are equipped for different types of massage.
Single-head hand massagers usually have a long handle and a huge, bulb-like head. The head vibrates, letting it get deep inside muscle tissue to provide relief from pain. The long handle of this massager makes it perfect for massaging the back as well as other difficult-to-reach body parts.
This hand massager is the same as the single-head version because it also features a large vibrating head and long handle. But rather than having one massage point, this massager has two vibrating modes. The wider head lets the massager work large groups of muscles.
This gun-shaped hand massager uses vibration or percussive therapy to relieve sore muscles. This massager has a big, ergonomic handle connected to a round-headed short barrel, giving it a gun-like appearance.
When active, the head generates several quick bursts that mimic the pressure made by a massage therapist’s hand. These bursts boost blood flow to the muscle tissue, easing soreness and relieving knots. Massage guns are perfect for post-exercise therapy.
Manual massagers are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and most feature at least two hard ball-shaped ends. When you apply pressure, the balls squeeze your muscles to enhance blood flow and ease knots.
Unlike hand motorized massagers, manual massagers have no power source at all—all the massaging must be done manually by someone else or by the user themselves.
A manual hand massager is perfect for easing leg and arm muscle stiffness. While this kind of massager effectively relieves neck and back pain, these areas must be massaged by someone else.
A regular back massager requires you to hold the gadget in a specific part of your body while it works your muscles. Shiatsu hand massagers are different from standard back massagers because they lie on a surface, like a seat or back of a couch, and you rest against the device as piercing vibrations ease sore muscles.
As Shiatsu massagers have a huge surface area with four massaging nodes and are usually pillow-shaped, they are ideal for providing relief from upper back, lower back, and neck pain.
Key Features to Consider in Hand Massagers
When choosing a hand massager, apart from considering different types of massagers, you also should consider its features. Once you determine that a given massager can provide the specific type of massage you need and can also meet other needs you might have, you’ll know it’s best for you.
Certain features like intensity levels and speed are vital for your kind of massage, while others like versatility, design, and weight are crucial for your overall massage experience.
Most handheld massagers have a heat temperature feature to provide the user with heat compression or heat therapy. If this is important for you, find out the highest temperature the massager can generate. Experts recommend 35°C-40°C for effective pain relief.
Corded vs. Cordless
Cordless and corded hand massagers both come with pros and cons. Cordless models allow you to use the device anywhere without the hassle of a cable, but their use is limited by battery life.
Most cordless models will run for a maximum of 2-4 hours before needing a recharge, which usually takes around two hours.
With 120v of power on average, a corded hand massage can generate more intense massage therapy almost indefinitely—but the cord can be cumbersome when massaging difficult-to-reach areas of the body. Most corded models have a cord that’s 7 to 14 feet long, enabling a wide range of movement.
A hand massager’s shape mainly affects its ease of use. Single- and dual-head massagers feature long, arched handles that allow you to reach groups of muscles in your lower and upper back without putting any strain on other muscle groups.
Other ergonomic features worth checking out are rubberized grips that enable users to firmly grasp the massager, and conveniently located buttons that allow users to easily adjust the intensity levels of the massager.
A hand massager with an adjustable speed feature is more adaptable than one without. Adjusting the speed will let you customize your massage experience.
If you want a soothing massage, you can choose the lowest speed to get one. If you fancy a rougher massage, simply set a higher speed on your massager. This feature can be a really valuable one in the long-term.
In most hand massagers, you can pick the level of intensity that suits how deep or aggressive you want your massage to be.
Most corded and cordless massagers feature different intensity levels, from a soft pulse setting that treats smaller, more delicate groups of muscles like those in the face and neck to a fast pulse setting that removes hard knots from larger muscle groups.
A set of buttons or dial built into the handle lets the user easily switch between different intensity levels.
Cordless hand massagers have the edge over their corded counterparts in terms of portability. Cordless models don’t need a source of power to work, allowing you to use them almost anywhere. However, they do require recharging after hours of operation.
Corded hand massagers are ideal for those staying in hotel rooms, but are perhaps not ideal for use in a gym or after a yoga session on the beach.
Hand massagers generally have a carrying case that houses the massager as well as its attachments, making traveling with them much more convenient.
Massagers usually come with a number of attachments that provide relief to specific areas of your body. Ball-shaped attachments work the triceps, neck, or thigh muscles well, and attachments with many balls can put deep-tissue pressure on different large body parts like the lower and upper back at the same time.
Soft disc massagers may soothe bony areas, like the shoulders and spine, while specialty attachments featuring bristles help to massage the scalp. Some hand massagers even feature small attachments for sensitive facial massage.
Weight obviously affects the portability of a hand massager. The lighter the hand massager, the more portable it will be.
Most massage guns weigh an average of around 2.5 pounds, while hand massagers with long handles weigh an average of 1.6 pounds to 3.25 pounds or more.
Handheld Massager Materials
High-quality handheld massagers are made of long-lasting materials like aluminum. In addition, it’s important to check out the materials used to make the interior.
Your hand is probably going to be in that device for 15-60 minutes, so ensure it’s got a comfortable interior that won’t irritate your skin when using it.
When selecting a hand massager, consider your everyday environment. Manual models generate practically no noise, which makes them perfect for gym or office use. Battery-operated models with motors are probably more apt for home use.
Meanwhile, if you want to target areas near the ears, such as your shoulders, it may be best to go for a quieter model.
What’s the Cost of a Hand Massager
Like most products, hand massagers are available in a range of prices but the best news is that you can find one that fits your budget. The best hand massagers go for anywhere between $30 and $300, so there’s definitely something to suit every budget.
When deciding the budget for your hand massager, consider how much you might spend buying pain medicine, visiting a professional massager, and so on. Getting a handheld massage to decrease stress and pain naturally can be a wise investment.
Our Top Picks
The following are our top handheld massager options. When making our choices, we took into account factors like variety of attachments, portability, motor and, of course, price and quality. Any of these products will deliver a super soothing massage.
Best Overall: Zyllion Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
If you often suffer neck or back stiffness, this Shiatsu neck and back massager from Zyllion makes use of reverse-rotating nodes to work its magic. The nodes switch directions every 60 seconds to target all areas.
While it’s perfect for the neck and back, you can also use the massager on your arms, legs, and feet. For extra relief, turn the heat function on for improved circulation.
Designed for long car drives, Zyllion Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager comes with a car adapter and straps to fasten to your car seat. One caveat, however, is that it must be plugged into a wall outlet. While it’s portable, you’ll need a wall outlet nearby.
Best Handheld Massage Gun: TheraGun Pro
TheraGun Pro is one excellent trend-setting massage gun. If you value versatility, you’ll absolutely love its six different attachments as well as five included speeds for meeting a variety of muscle needs.
It weighs around 3 pounds and features two batteries, for 300-minute battery life, so you can carry it along during your travels.
It also comes with amplitude that gets into your muscle 60 percent deeper than other models on the market—enabling a swift recovery from painful rest days.
Best Budget Massager: DEER JUMP Deep Tissue Massage Ball Kit
This massager from DEER JUMP is the perfect fit if you’re okay with a manual massage that requires considerable effort from you. The portable 6-in-one kit snugly fits inside the featured carrying case, which makes it ideal for use on the go.
If you’re feeling pain from an especially strenuous exercise, just use your weight to relieve soreness or muscle knots. The massage balls may be used all over the body, so you can target specific areas of your back, neck, shoulders, chest, or arms.
To clean the massage balls, all you have to do is rinse them with water.
Best for Shoulders and Neck: Naipo Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
While this Shiatsu neck and back massager from Naipo may resemble a scarf on first viewing, it does so much more than keep your shoulders warm. With three intensity levels, Naipo Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager features both Shiatsu and heat kneading functions.
Originally from Japan, Shiatsu massage therapy focuses on various pressure points, with the aim of restoring balance in your body. While it’s perfect for shoulders, it may also work on your thighs, neck, and back.
Best Foot Massager: RENPHO Foot Massager with Heat
This heated foot massager from RENPHO will warm up the whole of your body. While some massagers soothe the soles of feet only, RENPHO Foot Massager with Heat covers both feet completely, targeting your forefoot, mid-foot, arch, and heel.
You can select from three intensity levels and a 15 to 30-minute session. In addition, you can turn the heating function off.
If you intend to share the foot massager with your family, the unit has removable liners that you can clean after every use. Boasting a compact build, it can snugly fit in front of your sofa or under most desks. It accommodates most sizes of feet, up to size 12 for men.
FAQs on How to Find the Best Hand Massagers
Answer: The best handheld massagers to buy today include:
• Lunix LX3 Cordless Hand Massager
• Breo iPalm520 Hand Massager
• Handsonic Hand Massager
• HoMove Hand Roller Electric Hand Massager
• Breo Wowo S Hand Massager
• Bruntmor Cordless Handheld Massager
• Daiwa Felicity AcuPalm Hand Massager
• iVolconn IN-006H Cordless Hand Massager
Answer: To select a good hand massager, be sure to consider factors like its speed, amplitude, power, and shape.
Answer: The best handheld massagers on the market are:
• Zyllion Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
• DEER JUMP Hand Massage Ball Kit
• RENPHO Foot Massager
• TheraGun Pro
• Naipo Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
• Real Relax Zero-Gravity Full-Body Massage Chair
• Snailax Heated Vibrating Massage Mat
• Lunix LX3 Hand Massager
• RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Massager
• Maxsoft Scalp Care Massager
Answer: Yes, Walmart sells vibrating massagers, including the plusOne Vibrating Personal Hand Massager, 2.0 oz.
Answer: The best hand deep tissue massagers on the market include:
• Chirogun Percussion Deep Tissue Massage Gun
• RENPHO Powerful Portable Deep Tissue Massage Gun
• Opove Massage Gun M3 Pro Max
• MIGHTY BLISS Deep Tissue Back and Body Massager
It’s our hope that our detailed guide to buying a hand massager will help you find the right hand one for your specific needs. As you can see, every manufacturer tries to include as many features and functions as they can in one unit, but you may not need them all.
After reading through our top selections, we’re sure that you can choose the model that’s best suited to your specific needs. Some customers might fancy a model that gives a rougher kneading action, while others might want one that features a heating function.
Remember that you should also check for features you’d like to use. If you’re going to use a hand massager for relaxation purposes only, there’s no use getting the most powerful hand massager on the market.
If you are interested in other massage-related accessories that might be beneficial for you, check out our other guides: