by | Mar 8, 2020 | For Mom, Reviews, Z

Last Updated: Sep 9, 2020 @ 1:20 pm.

Can we talk? After hauling a baby or toddler around all day, picking up numerous pacifiers thrown on the floor and lugging a 30 lb. stroller into the back of an SUV, you're going to have some sore muscles. The solution: a percussion massager.

These handheld tools help moms with pain relief and relaxation, thanks to gentle pulses of pressure on sore muscles. We tested 9 different models to find the best bets for tired and sore moms. We judged on ease of use, how long they hold a charge and adjustability of speed and pressure. Here are the winners!

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Best Percussion Massager Wand

Long handle reaches farther
Loved this affordable wand massager, with a comfortable handle and 3 speeds. At 1.8 lbs., it's easy to hold. Critics wish the attachments were rubber, not plastic however.
$39.99 ($39.99 / Count)

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Best Percussion Massager Wand: RENPHO Rechargeable Hand Held Deep Tissue Massager

There are two types of percussion massagers: wands and guns. Each style has its plusses and minuses. When it comes to wands, they are generally lighter in weight, which makes them easier to hold for longer periods. Wands also help you reach back muscles by yourself; guns may require a partner to work on hard to reach areas. 

We tried out nine different percussion massagers, four of which were wands. Of the wands, we liked RENPHO’s wand the best. It has five interchangeable heads—the round one for a general point massage was our favorite. Here’s more

What We Liked

• Long handle = hits hard-to-reach spots. 

• Comfortable to hold. We liked the silicone-coated handle.

• Affordable.

• Weighs 1.8 lbs—that’s half the weight of other percussion massagers.

What Needs Work

• Too much pressure for some folks. We thought the pressure was just right—it has three speeds and four percussion modes. But others thought it was too much even in its softest mode.

• Attachments are plastic. Some folks preferred rubber attachments, since they have more give. Of course, those massagers tend to more expensive.

• Charging issues. We didn’t have any problems, but we see reports that folks said it indicated it was charged but then died quickly. Or won’t hold a charge. Hard to say if this was an isolated quality control issue, but we didn’t experience that.

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Best Percussion Massager Gun

Powerful, quiet and easy to use
This one impressed us—long life battery, quiet and 4 different heads. The u-shaped one for necks was a fave. Charges in 2-3 hours. Worked well for tight muscles.
$99.99

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Best Percussion Massager Gun: RENPHO Massage Gun

Massage guns have one advantage over wands—they can last much longer on a charge. Our pick for best Percussion Massager Gun is the RENPHO massage gun (model: RF-GM168-CA). It can last up to 6 hours on a single charge—wands tend to peter out at two hours or less.

Another key feature: deeper tissue massages. Percussion massager guns have more power than wands, so they can provide more relief for deep tissue pain.

Here’s more on why this pick came out on top:

What We Liked

 20 adjustable speeds. Other guns we tested didn’t have that much choice.

• Carry case which makes it nicely portable.

• Very quiet. We measured the sound of this gun at about 60 decibels—that is the volume level of an average conversation.

• Works well for tight muscles. We liked the heads on this model better than the other massage guns we tested.

• 15 minute auto shut off to save battery (official battery life up to 8 hours. In our testing, it was about 6 hours with varied speeds).

• 4 attachments including a u-shaped accessory for spine, neck and shoulders.

• Protection feature to keep it from being damaged if you apply too much pressure.

What Needs Work

• On the heavy side. At 2.1 pounds, this gun weighs more than the massage wands we tested—and you can feel it. On the other hand, other massage guns in this price range tip the scales at over 3 lbs. in some cases.

• Battery life estimate overly optimistic. The maker claims 8 hours of use when fully charged; it is more like four to six (we got six using varied speeds).

• Tough to use on your back without help from a partner. But that is true for most percussion massage guns.

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Best Lightweight Cordless Percussion Massager

Weighs just 1.25 lbs.
Variable speed dial is the star here. Loved this wand massager that never needs to be charged. Critics note it is heavy and too powerful for some.
$108.17 ($108.17 / Count)

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Best Lightweight Cordless Percussion Massager: MIGHTY BLISS Deep Tissue Back and Body Massager

When it comes to weight and percussion massagers, the less, the better. We tested several lightweight wand-type massagers to find the best performance at the lowest weight. In the end, we thought Mighty Bliss’s back and body massager was the best. Here’s why:

What We Liked

• Weighs just 1.25 lbs. This makes a big difference, compared to others we tested that tip the scales at three pounds!

• Six head attachments. 

• Takes one hour to re-charge. We got a bit less than two hours on a single charge, which is close to the promised battery life.

• Portable. 

What’s Needs Work

• Not best for deep tissue massage. Yes, we realize this product says it can do a deep tissue massage, but in our opinion, it lacks enough power to get the job done. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide pain relief, but if you really want deep tissue massage, go for the recommendations above.

• Rubber parts of the heads can break. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when using this wand—we see reports that rubber parts of the head attachments can break off. This is true, however, for most percussion massagers: too much pressure causes them to either not work well or possibly break.

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Best Corded Percussion Massager

Easy on the wallet
Variable speed dial is the star here. Loved this wand massager that never needs to be charged. Critics note it is heavy and too powerful for some.
$41.99

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Best Corded Percussion Massager: Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Massager

Cordless percussion massagers are nice, but all those rechargeable batteries tend to raise the price. If portability isn’t a big deal, we’d suggest trying a corded percussion massager to go easier on your wallet. After testing a few options, we thought Wahl’s corded percussion massager was the best bet. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Affordable! 

• Never have to wait for it to charge. It comes with a 9 foot cord, which is good.

• Variable speed dial.

• 4 attachment heads, including our fave: the “4-finger flex” head that felt like a finger massage.

What’s Needs Work

• Heavy. At three pounds, this massager is hefty.

• Too powerful for some folks. Even on its lower setting, this wand is still quite powerful! We thought it was excellent, but we understand why others would find it overkill.

• Long handle too long for some users. We thought it was sized nicely, but we could see some smaller moms out there who think the wand is too big.

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