The 10 Best Handheld Massagers

Updated October 14, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Handheld Massagers
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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Why wait for your next birthday or holiday to get a gift certificate to the spa when you can treat yourself to one of these handheld electric massagers? You'll be able to sooth away aches and pains in the comfort of your own home at any time using heat, infrared light and various stimulation methods. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best handheld massager on Amazon.

10. Oster Professional 103 Stim-U-Lax

The Oster Professional 103 Stim-U-Lax allows for easy use. You simply insert your hand and press it directly on problem areas for targeted relief. It's great for pressure points and the scalp, and highly effective for improving blood circulation.
  • causes minimal hand fatigue
  • durable yet lightweight
  • cannot adjust the vibration speed
Brand Oster
Model 76103
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

9. Tapping Pro

The Tapping Pro has knob, finger-pressure and brush attachments. It´s great for reviving the body to feel relaxed and refreshed, as it uses a beating action that can be increased to raise the intensity and overall effectiveness.
  • works well on any body part
  • weighted head to reduce user effort
  • infrared light is on the rear
Brand US Jaclean, Inc.
Model USJ-722
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Marketo 8 Speed Wand

The Marketo 8 Speed Wand is conveniently cordless and has 20 pulsating modes for the most relaxing experience possible. It´s quiet and sturdy, yet gentle enough to use on the face. It´s made with the highest quality materials and meant to last a lifetime.
  • three hour battery life
  • constructed with silicone
  • includes a charging cable
Brand Marketo
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Naipo MGPC-5000

The Naipo MGPC-5000 makes a great gift for anyone, from an office worker to an active athlete, as it has the power of percussion, which is great for deep tissue and sports massages. It´s relieving while being comfortable and convenient.
  • well-placed speed control button
  • backed by a full 30-day refund
  • doesn't heat up very much
Brand Naipo
Model pending
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Nursal 6-Node Percussion

The Nursal 6-Node Percussion features heat, various speed adjustments, and an anti-slip handle. Its design and function provide a good degree of muscle tension relief and minimal user fatigue, making it a great way to relax the body after a long day of physical work.
  • easy to control
  • non-incremental speed regulation
  • helpful at minimizing swelling
Model pending
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. TechCare Pro 24

The TechCare Pro 24 is a device that delivers low voltage pulses to stimulate the nerves for natural pain relief from various inflammatory conditions. It´s FDA approved, used by physical therapists, and has been recommended by doctors for over 4 decades.
  • numerous intensity levels
  • backed by a lifetime warranty
  • may help increase endorphins
Brand TechCare
Model pending
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Thumper E501 Sport

The Thumper E501 Sport is an ergonomic option that works through clothing for ease of use any time. It's manufactured in Canada to ensure the highest possible quality and is very useful at releasing pent-up tension deep within muscles.
  • doesn't require the use of oil
  • simple to clean with a damp cloth
  • produces 20 to 40 pulses per second
Brand Thumper
Model pending
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Brookstone Active Sport

The Brookstone Active Sport has three interchangeable heads, including one for targeting and one for broad coverage to manage specific muscle pain and personal care. It´s used by athletes, from amateurs to professionals to accelerate muscle recovery.
  • long 7-foot cord
  • can customize your massage
  • includes a zippered storage bag
Brand Brookstone
Model 318049
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. HoMedics HHP-350

The HoMedics HHP-350 can be applied anywhere from head to toe with gentle, firm and heated settings ideal for joint and muscle pain. It´s very portable, making it perfect to use at home and the office, and even while traveling.
  • fits securely in the hand
  • may relieve migraines and arthritis
  • two revolving heads
Brand Homedics
Model HHP-350
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

1. Pure-Wave CM7

The cordless Pure-Wave CM7 relieves aches and sore muscles in any part of the body, including the face. It has an extra long handle to get at hard-to-reach spots and can provide shiatsu deep tissue, Swedish and acupressure massages.
  • comparable to physical therapists
  • rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • can be used with creams and oils
Brand Pure-Wave
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

The Lesser Known Health Benefits of Massage

Everyone knows that a massage is the perfect solution for tight, tense muscles after a stressful day at work, or when you've overdone it in the yard again. If you seek out the chiropractor for lower back pain, often your treatment regimen will include some form of massage therapy.

But the benefits of massage go beyond soothing over-worked or injured muscles. Regular massage can be a vital part of maintaining your overall health.

A good night's sleep is as important to your total well-being as nutrition and exercise. A relaxing massage encourages more restful sleep. This total relaxation can help sufferers of insomnia and others who have trouble getting rest due to medical conditions such as anxiety, fibromyalgia, and depression.

A combination of massage and pressure point therapy is an increasingly common treatment to help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.

Researchers have determined that just one massage produces measurable changes in the immune systems of healthy adults by increasing the white blood cell count, which plays a large role in defending the body from disease. This same study also found a decrease in stress-induced cortisol.

Regular massage can keep your skin looking younger. Before you spend money on expensive creams and serums, see what a facial massage can do to improve your complexion. The massaging action stimulates blood flow and encourages lymphatic drainage, allowing toxins to move out and nutrients to move in.

The next time you're looking for an excuse to get a massage, you no longer need to wait for a doctor's prescription or a gift card to a luxury spa. Just say you're doing it for your health.

Choosing the Right Handheld Massager

Truth be told, there's no substitute for a relaxing, full-body massage in a tranquil setting. However, few among us have the time or money to visit the chiropractor or get away to a luxury spa on a regular basis. A high quality handheld massager can be the next best thing.

These portable massagers deliver relief using either soothing vibrations or penetrating percussion. Percussive massagers are designed to mimic the experience of a Shiatsu massage. These units are most effective for those who want to treat sore muscles and back pain; however, some will find the pounding movement painful, especially on the highest setting. If you're just looking for a way to relax before going to bed, a simple massager with multiple vibration settings and a heat option is ideal.

The most important consideration when choosing your massager is what body part you intend to use it on. For a back massage, make sure the unit is long enough to access your entire back so you don't have any frustrating out-of-reach spots. If you want to concentrate on just your neck and shoulders, you can choose a smaller, lighter weight option.

For full body coverage or a customized experience, you can find massagers that come with interchangeable massage nodes in different sizes or a variety of other attachments.

Regardless of which model you choose, check with your doctor to make sure you don't have any underlying health problems that are a contraindication to using your massager. It's also important to follow the instructions carefully to make sure you don't use the unit in one spot for longer than what is recommended.

A Brief History of Massage Therapy

The practice of massage therapy can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Chinese texts and Egyptian tomb paintings.

The original Chinese text, "The Yellow Emperor's Classic Book of Internal Medicine" is said to have been written by the famous Chinese emperor Huangdi around 2600 BCE. This venerable text became a staple in Western massage therapy and other alternative medical training when it was first published in English in 1949.

The occupation of the modern day masseuse in America has its roots in the 1700s. In colonial times they were called rubbers. They assisted doctors in treating orthopedic problems and rehabilitating patients after surgery with manual rubbing and friction. At this time rubbers were uneducated and unlicensed, but many made a good living working with doctors, or as entrepreneurs until the introduction of medical licensing laws and more formal training requirements in the early 20th century.

In the early 1800s, Swedish doctor and gymnast Per Henril Ling developed the "Swedish Movement System," which laid the foundation for the style of Swedish massage commonly used today.

The other most common form of massage practiced in America today is the Japanese Shiatsu method. This modern day practice evolved as a combination of the Japanese practice of Amna and Chinese acupuncture. In 1964 the Japanese government officially recognized Shiatsu massage as a form of medical therapy.

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Last updated on October 14, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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