2020 has undeniably changed the work environment for most of us. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably had to commute to work and move around your workplace throughout the day.
But now, you’re probably working in your living room or bedroom, wearing sweatpants and staring at a computer screen all day with little to no physical activity. Now, at the end of your workday, your head and eyes are pounding from staring at your computer screen. And to make matters worse, your body feels like you’ve just carried a boulder up a mountain.
Isn’t that sensation just the worst?
Under normal circumstances, you would probably go to a spa and get a massage to relieve body aches. But with the lockdown, it’s not advisable to go to one now. So, what can you do?
Luckily, there is a great alternative to traditional massage therapy: the massage gun. And there are two popular brands in the recovery scene: HYDRAGUN and Theragun. But between these two, which brand of massage gun is the best?
What Are Massage Guns?
If you’re unaware, a massage gun is a device that helps relieve muscle tightness and improve blood flow. The device delivers rapid bursts of pressure into muscle tissue. In other words, the massage gun is the machine equivalent of professional deep-tissue massage therapy.
Because of how they work, massage guns are primarily used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts as a post-workout or post-training recovery tool. But massage guns are more versatile than you think. Even non-athletes can benefit a lot from using these recovery devices.
Why Is a Massage Gun Good?
When you use a massage gun, tension is released within muscle tissue, which helps improve the circulation of blood, oxygen, and other nutrients. And when blood circulation is improved, muscle soreness is eliminated. This is helpful if you’re working from home and experiencing muscle pains from spending several hours seated in front of a computer.
What to Look for in a Massage Gun
As someone who works from home and about to buy a massage gun for the first time, it can be overwhelming to decide what brand works best for you. To help you out, here are things that you should look out for:
When it comes to massage guns, reliability usually refers to the warranty and customer support. A strong warranty is a good indicator of reliability. But you should bear in mind that a warranty is only as good as the company that honors it. How does a company fare in terms of after-sales support and customer service? How well do they answer your questions before and after you’ve purchased their product?
Massage guns should not just be easy to use, it shouldn’t be too heavy as to cause wrist strain.
Also, the device should have a design that makes it easy for you to hold and to reach the necessary buttons and can reach the tricky parts of your body (like your upper back).
You should also consider the protective case that comes with the massage gun. Can the protective case hold the massage gun and other necessary components? You might not think this is important, but having the massage gun and its accessories all in one place makes things even more convenient for you.
Being power tools, massage guns are notorious for being loud. And since you’re working from home and you’ll probably feel the need to use the massage gun while you’re on a call or working on a report, it’s crucial that a massage gun’s noise level is low.
Anything below 70dB is good, but some brands go lower, with 60–65dB. Some even have 30–45dB. You have a lot of options to choose from.
Battery life is always an important point to consider when it comes to electronics. And it’s even more important now since you’re always at home and you have a lot of electronics that battle for the limited number of electric sockets in your place.
For this reason, you need to pick a massage gun that has a long battery life. 45 minutes to an hour is good, but some brands do better, with battery lives reaching several hours.
There are primarily two things that make up a massage gun’s power: speed (how fast the head oscillates, usually expressed in RPM) and amplitude (the depth at which the head moves). These two things are important because they dictate how comfortable the massage is going to be.
Since a massage is a very personal thing, your massage gun should have variable speeds, allowing you to choose the speed that works for you.
As for the amplitude, it will depend on whether you prefer a light massage or deep massage. If you want a deep massage, you should look for a massage gun with a high amplitude. But if not, you should be okay with a low-amplitude massage gun.
Since massage guns are powerful tools, it’s safe to expect that the price — especially for those premium-quality brands — can be on the high end. That said, there are massage guns in the 300 AUD–500 AUD price range that are of high-quality and will suit your needs just fine. Actively seek those out.
HYDRAGUN vs. Theragun: What Massage Gun to Buy
Out of all the massage gun Australia has available right now, two have risen to compete for the title of the best massage gun: HYDRAGUN and Theragun.
Theragun, having launched in 2016, currently has four available models. Meanwhile, HYDRAGUN launched in Australia in October of this year and has one product model of the same name. As such, I’ve decided that for this review, I’ll only review the HYDRAGUN and the Theragun Pro model. Each comparison point below corresponds to the consideration points mentioned above.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s get into the review.
Both HYDRAGUN and Theragun are reputable brands, so you can expect nothing less from their products. When I first held the HYDRAGUN and the Theragun Pro, I could feel that they’re both made from premium-quality materials. As a result, I don’t expect either of them to get damaged easily.
The only difference between the two brands when it comes to reliability is their warranty period. HYDRAGUN offers a 1.5-year warranty while Theragun offers a 2-year warranty. The difference isn’t really that big, so going for either one of them is a great choice.
Reliability Winner: Theragun Pro. Both brands are great, but Theragun Pro’s 2-year warranty gives it a bit of an edge over HYDRAGUN.
As discussed earlier, three primary components make up a massage gun’s ergonomics: its weight and design.
Let’s start with the weight. According to their websites, Theragun Pro weighs 2.9lbs (1.3kg) while HYDRAGUN weighs 2.3lbs (1kg). As you can see, Theragun Pro weighs a bit more than HYDRAGUN, and though you might initially think that it’s not a big deal, you’ll change your mind once you try both of them several times.
For me, I didn’t mind the weight difference at first, but the longer I use Theragun Pro, the more I notice how heavy it can be. It’s probably gravity that’s making the device heavier, but the difference really is noticeable.
As for design, both guns have different approaches to it. Theragun has opted for a more striking look with its triangular handle, but HYDRAGUN has chosen a simple gun design for its product. There isn’t a clear winner when it comes to this aspect since this relies on your aesthetic preference.
For me, I prefer HYDRAGUN, mainly because I like the simple look it has. Aside from the simplicity, its handle is at a 99-degree angle and is covered in silicon, making it easy for you to hold the device — even when your hands are sweaty.
Ergonomics Winner: HYDRAGUN. While Theragun Pro’s design is undeniably eye-catching, HYDRAGUN’s makes things more convenient.
The protective carrying case that comes with Theragun Pro can only fit the massage gun and its batteries. The six attachment heads have a separate travel pouch. Meanwhile, HYDRAGUN’s protective case can hold the massage gun, six attachment heads, and the charger.
This is a point to HYDRAGUN because having the massage gun and its other necessary components all in one place is extremely convenient. I don’t have to go through my things to look for the attachment heads that I misplaced. The case holding everything saves me time and energy, which I appreciate a lot.
Portability Winner: HYDRAGUN.
Theragun Pro’s noise level is at 75db whereas HYDRAGUN’s is at 30–50db, and this difference really shows.
When I tried both devices, I discovered that the HYDRAGUN is a lot quieter than Theragun Pro — even when it’s at its highest setting. To be more specific, the noise level of HYDRAGUN’s Level 6 is the noise level of Theragun Pro’s Level 2.
I appreciate HYDRAGUN’s low noise level because I can watch movies on my TV and get a massage from the massage gun at the same time. It’s also convenient when I want to get a massage as I’m working, especially when I’m on a Zoom call. All in all, it’s just really nice to get a massage without having a loud whirring noise disrupting my peace and quiet.
Noise Level Winner: HYDRAGUN
When it comes to battery, Theragun Pro comes with an extra battery, just in case the other battery gets damaged. This is undoubtedly an amazing feature, but each battery only offers 150 minutes of use. This means that combined, Theragun Pro’s battery life is only 300 minutes or 5 hours.
This is significantly lower than the battery life of HYDRAGUN’s single battery, which can last up to 7 hours of use. I don’t have to charge the HYDRAGUN often, and I don’t have to worry about its battery suddenly dying out on me as I’m using it.
Battery Life Winner: HYDRAGUN
Theragun Pro has five built-in speeds, and it has an app-controlled customizable speed range as well. Its amplitude is 16mm.
Meanwhile, HYDRAGUN has six settings for speed, and this wide range allows users to customize according to their needs. But its amplitude is lower than Theragun Pro, which means HYDRAGUN’s massage won’t be as deep as Theragun Pro’s.
I don’t think it’s a bad thing that HYDRAGUN’s amplitude is lower than Theragun Pro’s. From my research, deep massages are usually recommended for those people who really undergo strenuous physical activities, such as athletes and other fitness enthusiasts. And since I’m not an athlete nor a fitness enthusiast — I’m just a regular person working at home for eight hours a day — I don’t mind that HYDRAGUN doesn’t give me deep massages all the time.
Besides, I prefer the variety in speed settings that I can find in HYDRAGUN. The rise in intensity is very subtle and gradual, so I find myself switching up the settings every now and then. Sometimes, I enjoy a light massage, but other times, I like the feeling that the device’s highest setting can give me. HYDRAGUN’s speed flexibility has won me over.
Power Winner: HYDRAGUN.
Essentially, Theragun Pro costs 699 AUD whereas HYDRAGUN costs 399 AUD. As you can tell, Theragun Pro’s price is on the higher side, and this is probably because of its power. This massage gun packs quite a punch, so its massage every time is a deep one.
However, we won’t need deep massages all the time. Athletes and other heavyweights probably do, but non-athletes like us don’t. For this reason, I personally might not want to pay 699 AUD for a massage since I’m not a hardcore athlete.
Without any doubt, Theragun Pro is a premium-quality massage gun with a unique design and incredible power. This is definitely perfect for those people who undergo intense physical activity regularly.
But since we’re not professional athletes, investing in a Theragun Pro doesn’t seem reasonable. Personally, I think it’s more reasonable to choose HYDRAGUN. It has a variety of speed settings, its battery life is long, its noise level is low, and its price is affordable for a high-quality massage gun.
In other words, I think you’ll get the best value for your money if you invest in HYDRAGUN.
After reading this post, which massage gun have you decided to buy? Let me know!