Massage has been used for centuries to relax sore and tired muscles, and to manage pain. When a professional massage session isn't feasible, you can try a handheld massager. We try some out to see if one soothes better than the rest.
Handheld massagers can be a manual tool (usually wood or plastic) that your roll/rub over your muscles, or a power model that provides a deeper, penetrating massage.
Power massagers are available with various power and speed settings, as well as different attachments tailor your massage. The more bells and whistles, the higher the price.
Many people prefer different levels of massage intensity, so find a power massager with various speeds.
A massager with a thumping or percussive motion delivers a deeper massage by getting through the skin to the muscle. However, a massager with a constant, fast vibration won’t penetrate through the skin or bring you much relief
- Attachments can customize your massage and include things like a gel attachment for a gentle massage or an infrared attachment to heat things up.
We treated ourselves to treatments with these four different handheld massagers:
- Fruits of Passion (wooden, manual): $12.00
- Conair Therapy Massager (power with four attachments and infrared heat): $48.35
- Homedics (power with two pivoting heads): $89.99
- Thumper Mini-Pro (power): $269.00
The Conair was favoured for its four different attachments that allowed you to customize your massage with heat.
The wooden Fruits of Passion massager was simple and the most relaxing experience, with no pounding or buzzing to interfere with a serene moment.
- For those who like a deeper tissue massage, the Thumper had the most strength and power.
OUR TOP PICK
For a deep tissue massage, the Thumper is your best bet, if you don’t mind the price. However, the Conair provided the most versatility and customization at a more affordable price, and the wooden Fruits of Passion massager worked well too. Our expert advises that massagers are a quick way to relaxation, but be sure to seek medical advice if you suspect you’ve injured yourself.