The 5 Best Handheld Percussion Back Massagers

To tell you the truth, I prefer the good old manual massage. Don’t you?

Nothing fancy, just a basic deep kneading massage.

However, most of us can’t afford regular massages to relieve our achy backs.

The good news is:

A handheld percussion back massager can serve the same purpose – in the comfort of your home – any time you need it.

(For a fraction of the cost)

✅ Looking for a massage gun? the 3 most popular ones compared – Hydragun vs. Theragun vs. Hypervolt

best handheld percussion back massagers

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In a hurry?

See our short comparison table, or jump to our percussion back massagers reviews

Handheld Percussion Back MassagerFeaturesPrice
Renpho Massager
🥇 Best Value
3600 RPM!
5 attachments
$37 at Renpho
Homedics Percussion Pro
Percussion & vibration
Dual pivoting heads
3 attachments
Check Price on Amazon
therarub percussion massager review
Dual head
3 attachments
Check Price on Amazon
Vybe PRO
exerscribe vybe pro review
Percussion massage gun
5 attachments
4-hour battery
Check Price on Amazon
Wahl 4290
Percussion & vibration
7 attachments
Heat option
Check Price on Amazon
Comparing the best handheld percussion massagers for back pain, according to features and price

Electric handheld massagers not only extend one’s reach, but they offer techniques and sensations that are difficult or impossible to replicate with human hands.


how do you find the best handheld personal massager without emptying your wallet?

We’ve done all the research for you, and found the 5 best handheld percussion massagers of 2022 – for quick relief from back pain, workout recovery, sciatica, back muscle spasms, muscle knots, and more.

How to Choose a Percussion Back Massager 

When you look for the best percussion (shiatsu) handheld back massager, look for these important features:

1. Length and design of handle – the back massager handle should be easy to hold on to, otherwise, it’ll be difficult for you to reach and keep the massager over your sore muscles and trigger points. An ergonomic design is best.

2. Back massager total weight – on the one hand, more weight means more pressure on your back muscles, which is good.

On the other hand, a too-heavy personal massager can be difficult to hold for long, which means you’ll need a massage buddy to help you out every time.

3. Cord/Battery – we would recommend a corded personal massager, so you won’t have to change the batteries all the time, or a cordless massager with long battery life.

4. Heat Option – heat helps to relax the muscles and loosen them up faster, so infrared heat is an important feature in a handheld back massager.

5. Speed Settings – speed options are important because when the speed is too high it can get uncomfortable and painful, at least for some people.

6. Noise – a surefire way to destroy your experience is a horrible noise coming from the massager.
All percussion back massagers will be noisy to some point, but the best ones will not be too noisy to bear.

The 5 Best Handheld Back Massagers

They’re easy to operate, they can reach those unreachable sore spots in your back, and can immediately relax your back muscles, anywhere and anytime.

1. HoMedics Percussion Massager with Heat – Best for Deep Tissue

percussion back massager with heat review

Homedics percussion massager with heat – view on Amazon

The Homedics back and shoulder Percussion Massager has dual pivoting heads, speed control, 3 attachments (Firm, gentle, and heat), and a good ergonomic handle.

The heads go in and out like hammers or pistons, you can pinpoint your sore muscle and give it a good shiatsu knead. There is a different button for vibration massage, with several levels.

The Homedics weighs only 2.5 pounds and has 4 speed levels to choose from.

( Read: The Top 8 vibrating foam rollers for back pain & workout recovery)

Through our research, we’ve found that the Homedics is a well-made personal hammer massager, and the power level does not decrease when you increase its level. Great for a healing and relaxing massage.

homedics handheld percussion massager review

From all 5 massagers mentioned in this article, the Homedics handheld massager is the only one with an automatic timer, which makes it shut off after about 15 minutes.


Our research has found that this model is a replacement for an earlier model by the same company. According to consumers, the first one was heavier, better constructed, and lasted for many years.

Many of the users have pointed out this fact, but nonetheless, most users are satisfied with the current model as well.

✅ Price – $49 at Homedics, with free shipping, or check the price on Amazon

Pro Tip
For a more powerful massage (for muscle knots, back stiffness, etc.) – consider using a massage gun for back pain.
hydra gun massage gun

HYDRAGUN massage gun – check price at HYDRAGUN

2. Renpho Percussion Massager – Best Value

renpho massager

Renpho percussion massager – good value for the money

  • Size: 15 x 3 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.76 pounds

The Renpho cordless (100% portable) percussion massager offers a strong deep tissue massage you can use all over your body (back, shoulder, calf, feet, neck, arms, and thighs) – at home, in your office, on travel, or anywhere.

With 5 interchangeable attachments and a powerful motor (3600 pulses per minute), you can use it for almost 2.5 hours on a full charge.

renpho percussion massger review

The charged battery lasts for 2.5 hours

It won’t overheat thanks to the 20-minute auto shut-off feature, the handle is anti-slip, and the infrared heat feature is soothing and pain-relieving.

Price – $37 at Renpho, or check the price on Amazon.

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3. TheraRUB Percussion Massager – Best for Muscle Spasms

  • Size – 14 x 7 x 4 inches
  • Weight – 3.22 Pounds

The TheraRUB electric massager is a full-size professional-strength percussion massager with dual head percussion massage and 3 massage heads.

The TheraRUB offers variable speed settings and has an extra-long 14-foot power cord.

This massager is not exactly quiet, but more like “moderately noisy”. Not unbearable though. But, if the sound is an issue for you, maybe you should go for one of the other options covered in this guide.

therarub handheld massager review


For some people, the TheraRUB percussion massager can get a bit heavy to use and some users say that the massage heads do not fit snugly, so you may find them falling off occasionally.

But, this inexpensive back massager is nothing but cheap. It’s a professional-grade back massager that can do wonders for your aching back.

Price – best price on Amazon.

4. Exerscribe Vybe PRO  – Best for Muscle Knots

bets percussion massager gun for back muscle knots

Percussion massage gun – view on Amazon

The Vybe Pro professional massage gun is one of the highest-rated percussion massagers on Amazon, so we had to check it out.

Don’t miss out on the 5 best massage guns for back pain (2022reviews)

We found that it just may be the best and most powerful cordless percussion massager, and we highly recommend it to loosen back muscle knots and for workout recovery.

Here’s why:

With up to 3400 strokes per minute and 33 lbs max force, the Vybe PRO really feels like a powerful deep tissue massage.

It has 9 speed settings you can choose from, and the rechargeable battery lasts forever (or so it feels like, battery life is 4 hours per charge).

It comes with 5 attachments, made with rubber/soft plastic:

  • Large Ball: for large muscle groups
  • Flat Head: general use
  • Bullet Head and Flat Head: Joints, deep tissue, and trigger points
  • Fork Head: Neck and spine

The attachments serve a variety of needs and each one feels different than the other, and the massager is 50% quieter than most handheld massagers.

It comes with a convenient carrying case so you can take it with you anywhere – including the gym, travel, and work.

Here’s what you get inside:

You get a 30-day money-back guarantee and 2 years warranty, with great customer support.

Weight – weighs a little less than 2.5 lbs

Cons – too powerful to use on bare skin. Use it only with clothes on.

Price – best price on Amazon.

5. Wahl All-Body Therapeutic Massager

Wahl All Body Massager

Wahl All-Body Massager view on Amazon

Wahl is a well-known manufacturer, family-owned since its founding in 1919.

Wahl back massagers are famous for being reliable. You know their products will last for years.

(I’ve had a Wahl handheld massager for 15 years before something went wrong with it…)

The Wahl handheld back massager is sturdy, and well made with a nice collection of attachments (7 of them, to be exact, including heat).

The various attachments make it possible to use it for anything from a light touch for facials to a deep tissue massage.

wahl handheld back massager

The massager is lightweight (2 pounds) and features an ergonomic handle.

The Wahl massager has 2-speed settings and a long cord.

The Wahl makes a soft humming noise, not too loud for anyone. But, it can get louder if you push down on it for long.

Cons – for some people, the relatively low weight can make it harder to get to the deep muscles and would require more pressure and more effort on your side.

Price – check the price on Amazon

Pro Tip
The powerful back massage you’ll experience from any of these devices will boost the blood circulation in your body, which sometimes causes itchy skin (from all the blood flowing rapidly). Use a simple, wooden back scratcher to relieve the itch and relax even more.

Check out our post about the 4 best full-body electric massage mats – if you want to cover more than your back in one massage, or the best massage pillow of 2022.

Percussion Back Massagers FAQ

What is a Percussion Massager?

A percussion massager is a handheld device that applies pulses of concentrated pressure deep into your muscle tissue. Deep tissue massage can quickly release knots and pain from muscles while boosting blood circulation and improving range of motion.

What Are the Benefits of a Percussion Massager?

Percussion massage boosts blood circulation to injured muscle tissues and lymphatic system, relaxes thickened connective tissue, helps to break down internal scar tissue, and increases range of motion and flexibility.

How Long Should I use a Percussion Massager?

We recommend using a handheld massager for no more than 20-30 seconds on each muscle area – for maximum results without overdoing it and injuring yourself.

What’s your experience with handheld back massagers? Did you own the all-time best one and want to share it with us? And which ones would you recommend staying away from?

To your health and happiness,

The Back Pain Relief Products Team

Meital James

Meital James, Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

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