The truth is, most people want the benefits of a great massage gun, but don’t want to spend a fortune either. While they may not deliver the performance of say a Theragun, some so-called “budget” massage guns do come close.
Your options in the affordable massage gun arena are plentiful, but not all massage guns are created equal. Some cheap massage guns are simply not worth your time and hard earned money.
We went hands-on with the Ekrin 365, VI PRO Mini, LifePro Sonic, PlayMakar MVP and the Bob and Brad Massage Gun. These are our thoughts:
Best Budget Massage Gun of 2022
Best Overall Budget Massage Gun: Ekrin 365
The Ekrin 365 is hands down the best affordable massage gun around. Don’t let the price fool you, because the Ekrin 365 at this price is in a league of its own. Not only is it super powerful with 40lbs of stall force (the same as the $399 Theragun Elite!), but shares some smart features found on the more expensive Ekrin B37S model.
Unique to the Ekrin 365 is an integrated USB-C charging port so you can power up your device with nearly any cell phone charger. That’s a convenient feature that won’t leave you in a lurch looking for another power plug.
While we’re on the subject, You might be curious to know that the Ekrin 365 has an ultra reliable Samsung lithium-ion battery that promises 5+ hours of battery life. Assuming you use it the recommended 20 minutes or less per day, that adds up to a couple weeks without the need to recharge.
The Ekrin 365 also has a super quiet 4-speed motor and comes with 4 locking massage heads. You’ll have absolutely no trouble dialing in the perfect massage for wherever you may need it.
Although the body style of the Ekrin 365 is similar to its more expensive counterparts, the 365 is actually quite a bit more comfortable to use thanks to only weighing 1.7lbs! That and the handle is 10% longer, making it much easier to use virtually anywhere on the body without the need to bend over backwards to address those hard to reach aches and pains.
Unlike other no-name, generic cheap massage guns, Ekrin includes a Lifetime Warranty with ever massage gun they sell. Should it ever have a problem, they’ll send you a replacement!
For a comprehensive look at the Ekrin 365, read our full review!
What buyers say: “This thing is AMAZING, I have rotator cuff issues and this thing helps loosen up my shoulder. I use it a few mins everyday and I haven’t had any pain.”
Best Mini Massage Gun: VI Pro Mini
At under $120, the VI Pro Mini is an easy recommendation. It too is one of the best affordable massage therapy guns we have tested. In fact, we feel it rivals some massage guns that are twice the price.
Although labeled as being “mini”, don’t let the size of it fool you, the VI Pro Mini delivers a very strong and powerful percussive massage.
We think you’ll appreciate the build quality of the Vi Pro Mini. Although it only weighs 1.8lbs, it still feels substantial and quality made.
The 3-speed 24V brushless motor offers a powerful, yet quiet operating experience. With a max decibel ranking of 50dB at 2800RPM, it is among the quietest massage guns we’ve ever tested.
The trusted lithium ion LG 3400 mAh battery offers 3-5 hrs of battery life.
Includes a 1 year warranty.
What buyers say: “This massager is whatever you desire, plus a lot more. It can obtain so deep and also alleviate numerous sorts of aches as well as pains.”
Get it 15% off with promotion code “VIGOROUS15“.
Best Budget Hypervolt Massage Gun Alternative: LifePro Sonic
Last we counted, LifePro offers 12 different models of relatively inexpensive massage guns on their website, all of which are pretty spectacular. For that reason, please don’t fault us for attempting to recommend just one. As we said before, they’re one of our favorite massage gun companies because they actually stand behind their products.
Like everything else they sell, the Sonic is well built and delivers an impressive amount of percussive power.
As expected, the 5 speed motor is super quiet and won’t wake the neighbors.
The LifePro Sonic’s battery life is rated at 3-6 hours depending on your use. We never felt like we had to run for a charger throughout our testing.
What buyers say: “The Sonic is SO QUIET, easy to charge, turn on and off, see the battery life, and even choose the amount of power you want.”
Endorsed by professional athletes, the PlayMakar MVP is an unexpected surprise that takes the cheap massage gun value proposition to a whole new level.
We were extremely impressed by not only the overall quality of this massage gun, but the performance too.
The 6-speed motor is not only strong, but whisper quiet too.
The PlayMakar MVP carries a 2 year warranty should it stop working, guaranteeing years of service.
What buyers say: “This budget friendly massage gun is remarkable! Best purchase ever! Super good tool, at a price that other brands can’t keep up with.”
Best Budget Massage Gun Under $100: Bob and Brad Massage Gun
Best known for their YouTube channel, Physical Therapists Bob and Brad released there first line of massage guns late last year. With such a loyal following, they were careful to make sure they put their name on a quality, yet budget massage gun.
In our hands-on review, we noted that the Bob and Brad massage gun was surprisingly powerful for the size and we came away impressed by the low price tag.
The cost may be low, but there is nothing budget about this massage gun. The construction is very solid and it operates very smoothly.
The performance and battery life are both on par with many of the other massage guns out there. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed with either.
What customers say: “This massage gun is incredible and also quiet. Feels and looks SWEET!
Other Budget Massage Guns Worth Considering
The few massage guns we have listed above are truly just a small sample of a lot of really great budget massage guns available. Other worthwhile options would include:
If you’re looking for a mini massage gun that checks all the right boxes — great battery life, plenty of power, fits in your hand perfectly, the BANTAM is a winner.
You can read our full, in-depth review of the BANTAM and decide for yourself, but we really like it. For the purposes of this article, we chose the Ekrin 365 because it met the sub $150 criteria (with our RT20 promo code applied) all while offering a bit more power and versatility over the BANTAM.
Mebak 3 or Mebak 5
Although we prefer the Mebak 3 over the 5 model, both are pretty great massage guns that will only set you back by about $100. In our testing, we found that both over an acceptable amount of percussive power, felt great to hold in the hand, and offered comparable battery life. If you’ve been researching one of those two models, don’t hesitate to mash the buy now button.
Criteria For The Best Massage Guns
If you ever ask yourself whether we actually test these massage guns IRL, the answer is: yes, yes we do! In fact, we’ve probably tested over 100 massage guns up to this point. For that reason, we feel confident in our testing criteria that includes:
- Overall percussive power. How strong is the motor? How fast does it percuss? Does it have enough stall force power to penetrate deep into the muscles? When purchasing a budget massage gun, you want to make sure you get a powerful device, while saving a bit of coin.
- Battery Life. Basically every massage gun comes equipped with a lithium-ion battery that, in most cases, holds a long enough charge to last a couple of days of moderate usage. Depending on your needs, we love to push these massage guns to their limits to verify real-world battery life.
- Ergonomics and Design. The fact of the matter is, some massage guns are simply more comfortable to use than others. Whether that’s because it weighs less, has a better designed grip, or the buttons are just easier to use. Small design decisions that may not seem too consequential initially, can make all the difference with long-term use.
There have been countless studies conducted that have show massage )or the use of a massage gun) to be very beneficial for the human body. Whether it's for muscle recovery, improved lymphatic drainage, or increased circulation, the benefits are many.
That said, every person reacts differently and therefore it's important that you consult with a professional caregiver if you're ever in doubt.
While research on the topic is somewhat limited, some studies have suggested that massage or some form of it, can indirectly facilitate weight loss. When a person is relaxed, has better range of motion, or is de-stressed, their chances of dropping some pounds is substantially better. In other words, if you're using a massage gun on your stomach in hopes of blasting away the fat cells, it's not going to happen.
Theraguns have long been considered the Gold Standard when it comes to massage guns, but is that necessarily true? Not really. Although Theragun did pioneer the massage gun, there's nothing proprietary about how their massage guns percuss. Good marketing has led many to believe that owning a Theragun is the only good option, but it's simply not true. We've reviewed countless numbers of massage guns that have been as good if not better than the Theragun line.