Whether you’ve got an achy back from working at home on a less-than-stellar office chair, you slept funny, or your anxiety has got you craving some tension relief, there’s nothing better than a good massage if you’ve got a few kinks to work out. Unfortunately, we don’t all have a professional massage therapist on speed dial (we wish), but there are plenty of ways to feel amazing with the right equipment to help you treat your own aches and pains at home.
The best massage tools either work on large areas to give you some total body relaxation, or offer targeted relief to help work out those tough knots that even a talented masseuse’s hands might not be able to dig into. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to go manual or electric — electric massagers will better simulate the rolling and kneading motion of a pair of hands, and can just do their ache-reducing business with the touch of a button.
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While foam rollers or spikey balls are a manual, no-frills way to ease up a specific point of tension, say, after a workout or a long run, it’s up to you to distribute the right amount of pressure, which is where massage guns and vibrating rollers come in.
Whether you’re looking for athlete-approved targeted relief, or the gentler, chiropractic-like touch of a shiatsu massager, there’s something for everyone who wants a little extra comfort in their day. Here are our picks for the best at-home massage equipment and tools to help you feel a little less out of whack.
1. Theragun PRO Percussive Therapy Device
BEST MASSAGE GUN
We can’t praise the Theragun enough for its deep tissue impact, but it’s already been a favorite for a while in the athletic world for being one of the easiest-to-use, at-home massage guns.
If there’s a specific kind of muscle relaxation you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it here — with six attachment heads, four unique angles to get at hard-to-reach spots, and a screen that shows how much force is being exerted, you’ll always get the tension-taming you need. What makes this massage gun really stand out, though, is the 16 mm extension, which allows for that deep tissue relief if you’ve been struggling with a specific muscle group.
To top it off, the Theragun has two interchangeable batteries with a whopping 300 hours of battery life, so you can always take your muscle recovery on the go. Its Bluetooth connection lets you easily track and monitor your results, too.
2. Resteck Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
BEST NECK MASSAGER
If you’ve been hunched over at a desk all day staring at a computer, odds are you could probably use a good electric massager to ease out the knots on your neck and shoulders. Enter: the Resteck Shiatsu Massager.
Worn like a shawl over your shoulders, this massager could not be easier to use. It has convenient and comfortable arm straps that fit around your shoulders no matter if you’re sitting at your desk or resting on the couch. Just make sure you’re in range of a power outlet (it’s not battery operated or rechargeable), and you’re ready to get some relief.
The device has multi-directional rotating nodes that move in an ergonomically-designed U shape to give you full coverage. An auto-shutoff function makes sure you don’t accidentally give yourself even more muscle tension. That being said, even on the Resteck’s lowest setting, we were impressed by how gentle yet strong the nodes were on the more tender muscles of the neck.
Just slip your wrists through the holders, choose from four adjustable speeds, and let it get to work. Bonus: an optional heating function also warms and softens the muscles on your neck.
3. Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
BEST FOAM ROLLER
One of the ultimate warmup and recovery tools is a foam roller, and Hyperice’s Vyper 2.0 high-intensity vibration makes for a pretty great massage solution. Made from a high-density, polypropylene foam, the 12-inch Hyperice roller offers premium muscle relaxation whether you’re a pro athlete, or just someone who wants to stretch out on an average Tuesday.
You don’t need to be a sporty to get the benefits of this foam rolling, but this model packs enough features to make it suitable for any pro locker room — the combination of smooth and grooved textures allow for a more comfortable roll, but it’s all amplified by three powerful speeds of vibration. These muscle-penetrating, pain-alleviating vibrations will get deeper into your muscles than your average foam roller.
Choose from three levels of intensity with a single-touch button. Its rechargeable battery will also give you enough juice (2+ hours per charge) to get through your entire stretch routine. Sleek, powerful, and durable, the Hyperice Roller can’t be beat.
4. Cloud Massage Shiatsu Foot Massager
BEST FOOT MASSAGER
Unlike foam rollers or balls, which you have to manually move around to get a good massage, electric foot massagers have built-in nodes that knead, roll, and just melt the tension away. We love this Cloud Massage Shiatsu Foot Massager that gives warm, soothing pressure to help ease some of that stress.
Especially if you’ve been on your feet all day, this device gently kneads your feet to relieve aches and pains. Featuring multiple settings for heat, pressure and vibration, this massager is more versatile than you would think. Other massagers will only target the bottom of your feet, but this device is roomy enough to work on your legs, calves, and ankles too.
5. Esright Massage Recliner
BEST MASSAGE CHAIR
We’ll say it now — if you’re looking for something that will hit all the right spots on your body at once, a massage chair is a worthy investment. But Esright’s Massage recliner is proof that you don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars for a large and bulky model you’d see at massage parlors (or the mall) to get that same full-body functionality.
This massage chair stands out precisely because it doesn’t look like one at first glance — this chair can double perfectly as a regular recliner, which is a big plus. It looks right at home in any living room, or area that you’d normally shove a recliner into, with the added benefit of a surprisingly good back rub while you watch your latest show or movie.
On the lounge recliner category, it’s got a 140-degree manual control, 360 swivel, and a plush exterior going for it. Little details like cupholders and extra storage bags for things like various remotes and newspapers also make it feel like a true household companion. Okay, so how’s the massage, though? While we’ve found it’s not as strong as your typical “official” massage chair, the eight points of vibrating massage coverage still hit all the points you’d want it too (including a soothing heat function for your back).
Ready for the den, and ready to give you some much-needed relief, this versatile recliner is a pretty great substitution for your higher-end massage chairs.
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