Best Electric Muscle Stimulator Reviews

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Best Overall Pick

  • Multiple pre-programmed massage modes
  • Adjustable timer setting
  • 8 large electrodes included

Electric muscle stimulation, or EMS for short, is a trusted physical therapy procedure. It is used to help patients recovering from strokes, managing fibromyalgia, and patients with back injuries. 

It works by sending mild electrical pulses through your skin to help bring back feeling to injured muscles while simultaneously modifying your nerves to reduce the pain you feel. 

EMS can also be used for muscle building. By creating a cycle of rapid or long-lasting muscle contractions, it tricks your body into thinking that you’re working out your muscles, and it builds up your strength accordingly. 

Although it’s often prescribed by a doctor and conducted by a professional, various home products are available. Picking up one of these devices can be a great way to save on expensive medical bills and improve your physical fitness. 

What is the best EMS unit? We’re here to help you determine the perfect unit for your needs with our electric muscle stimulator reviews.

Best Electric Muscle Stimulator Summary

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Product

Purchase

Best Overall Electric Muscle Stimulator

TechCare TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator

TechCare TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator

  • Combination TENS and PMS system
  • 20-hour battery life
  • A-B output for two separate users
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Best Overall Electric Muscle Stimulator Runner-Up

Unimed TENS Unit Massager

Unimed TENS Unit Massager

  • Stimulates nerve fibers and increases natural endorphins
  • Combination TENS and PMS
  • Adjustable timer control
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Best Budget Electric Muscle Stimulator

FEATOL TENS Unit

FEATOL TENS Unit

  • 12 durable electrode pads
  • Dust-proof, anti-fall, portable storage box included
  • 24 modes on offer
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Best Budget Electric Muscle Stimulator Runner-Up

KEDSUM Tens Unit

KEDSUM Tens Unit

  • 16 rectangle pre-programmed modes
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Use 4 pads at once
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Best Wireless Electric Muscle Stimulator

iReliev Wireless Therapeutic Wearable System

iReliev Wireless Therapeutic Wearable System

  • Completely wire-free design
  • Up to 60 minutes of treatment time
  • Isolated and synced pod settings
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Best Massager Electric Muscle Stimulator

FURTIME Neck Massager

FURTIME Neck Massager

  • 3 color choices
  • Cordless and portable
  • Targets neck soreness and shoulder tiredness
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Best Battery Powered Electrical Muscle Stimulator

Graham Field Grafco Digital EMS Unit

Graham Field Grafco Digital EMS Unit

  • 4 reusable electrodes
  • Molded carrying case included
  • Covered controls prevents accidental usage
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Best Back Pain Electrical Muscle Stimulator

Zewa Body Relax II Back Pain Relief System

Zewa Body Relax II Back Pain Relief System

  • Attaches to and treats back
  • Support belt and extension included
  • 8 computer controlled programs
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Best Abdominal Electrical Muscle Stimulator

eAnjoy Abs Stimulator

eAnjoy Abs Stimulator

  • USB charging functionality
  • Superlight, ultrathin material
  • Targets ab muscles
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Best TENS and EMS Electric Muscle Stimulator

iReliev TENS + EMS Combination Unit

iReliev TENS + EMS Combination Unit

  • Combines TENS and EMS into one unit
  • 25 levels of intensity
  • Lock function included
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Top 10 Best Electric Muscle Stimulator Reviews

Product Specifications and Features

  • Weight: 1.08 lbs.
  • Battery: 1 lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Dimensions: 6.97” x 4.02” x 2.6”
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Pain Relief
5/5
User Friendly
5/5

What we like

What we don't like

Description

This is the best muscle stimulator available on the market right now. It performs well, relieving pain precisely when we needed it to, and it’s got a load of convenient features.

You’ll immediately notice that it combines powered muscle stimulation abilities with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and powered muscle stimulation (PMS). This means we could take advantage of the pain-relieving and muscle building functionality in a single unit.  

It’s one of the best electronic muscle stimulators for bodybuilding, and because of its customizable electrodes, you can target the areas that hurt. It has lots of modes, each fine-tuned for different functions like calf, ankle/foot, or lower back treatment. We weren’t able to find a single spot that it couldn’t help soothe.

This is all incredibly intuitive to use as well. The whole system is controlled through a touch screen, making it simple to click on the setting we wanted. It runs for an impressively long 20 hours, meaning we rarely had to stop and charge it.  

It’s even got massage modes that emulate tapping, acupuncture, and deep tissue treatments. The only thing we didn’t like is the overwhelming number of options ー, but that’s a good problem to have.

Product Specifications and Features 

  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Dual-channel output function
  • Battery: Rechargeable internal lithium battery, up to 20 hours
  • Lifetime warranty policy
Pain Relief
4.9/5
User Friendly
5/5

What we like

What we don't like

Description

The Unimed TENS Unit Massager is a close runner-up for the title of the best electric muscle stimulator. 

It comes with an adjustable timer that lets you set increments of runtime.

Like the last unit it offers both PMS and TENS functions for different purposes. It’s very close in operation, even boasting a similarly impressive 20-hour battery life. The only area it falls short is in the amount of modes on display – there are only 6 which, while not low in and of itself, does fall short in comparison.

No Unimed massager review can be complete without mentioning the available massage techniques in more depth. Its 6 modes emulate a variety of popular massages, including foot-focused options and cupping. 

The build quality is also quite lovely. It has a nice metal finish that makes it feel like a little iPod. Its size and ease of use only serve to cement this impression.

Best of all, it comes equipped with a total lifetime warranty so that you can use this unit forever. It shows how confident the manufacturer is in its products. 

This is a long-lasting model that you won’t regret choosing.

Product Specifications and Features 

  • Weight: 1.02 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 7.36” x 4.96” x 2.51” 
  • Modes: Dual channel operation
Pain Relief
4.8/5
User Friendly
4.7/5

What we like

What we don't like

Description

If you’re looking for the best EMS machine that you can get at a reasonable price, this unit is the one to select. Despite packing in 12 electrode pads, its price is a fraction of what other units go for.

Of course, performance is still critical. The FEATOL TENS Unit excels here. We had no trouble sticking the pads on, and once the electrical current began flowing, we felt the pain relief very quickly. 

You can choose between rectangle, palm, and square shapes for the attached pads, depending on where you need to place them. 

We also appreciated how the channels allowed us to set different intensity levels for output areas. For instance, our team member with a bad lower disc used a higher current on her lower back while simultaneously stimulating her upper back and shoulders with a lower current for tension relief. It was great for ensuring that we weren’t over or undertreating any one area.

The screen display is nice and vibrant, but we can’t say as much for the interface. It was very confusing with symbols that weren’t entirely clear, and it took us longer than we’d like to admit to get to the point where we could take advantage of all its functionality. 

You’re getting a lot in this affordable package. It’s a great deal.

Product Specifications and Features 

  • Weight: 0.71 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 5.67” x 3.03” x 2.99”
  • Battery: 10 hours continuous use
Pain Relief
4.6/5
User Friendly
4.8/5

What we like

What we don't like

Description

If you look through EMS reviews, a model that’s sure to come up is the KEDSUM TENS Unit. It stands out for its excellent price point and its sterling performance, but it doesn’t quite match up to some of the other products on this list.

This is because the pads that it comes with have an exceptionally short lifespan. They’re only suitable for 20 to 30 uses, and even when we put water on to increase the longevity, it didn’t make much of a difference. This means you’ll frequently need to get replacement pads, adding to the cost and undercutting the budget audience this product is intended to appeal to.

If you can get past that hurdle and only need a TENS unit for occasional use, there is still a lot to love, like the control you have over strength level. You can adjust it between 20 different power settings, meaning it’s easy to fine-tune the electric shocks to a level that you’re comfortable with.

We also liked the animated backlit LCD because it was easy to use and quite pleasant to look at.

Product Specifications and Features 

  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Quad-channel output design
  • Output Strength: 80 mA
  • Battery: 5-10 hours of charge for remote, 3-5 hours of charge per pod
  • 14 programs, including pain relief, arthritis, and muscle conditioning
Pain Relief
4.7/5
User Friendly
4.8/5

What we like

What we don't like

Description

We were blown away by how high-tech this unit is. Unlike other models, it operates without wires. The electrodes are connected through an attached device and can be adjusted and turned on from the disconnected remote. It minimized the time we previously spent untangling wires and carefully moving nodes around.

As a result of this innovation, the unit is more expensive than other stimulators. Even on sale, it’s costly, but we think it’s worth the price

It comes with 14 programs that include uses for pain relief, arthritis, and muscle conditioning. It’s a solid package that does it all. 

The remote feels and looks like an iPod, while the 2 pods you can attach similarly appear to be premium. The build quality is also very nice. We’re not worried about how long this unit will last.

The pods can be set to treat for up to 60 minutes and can be operated in complete isolation or in sync with each other, allowing targeted relief and strength building. 

The only surprise here is how the electronic muscle stimulation reviews we’ve seen haven’t mentioned this product at all.

Product Specifications and Features 

  • Weight: 0.65 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 6.9” x6.5” x 2.3”
  • Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)
  • 3 modes, 15 levels of intensity
Pain Relief
4.2/5
User Friendly
4.5/5

What we like

What we don't like

Description

Many people who wonder, “Do electronic pulse massagers work?” find this question answered by this unit. All the electric pulse massager reviews point towards the FURTIME Neck Massager as the best electronic pulse massager.

We agree with the consensus. It only targets the neck and shoulders, but it does a great job of this. Its low-frequency electric pulse therapy relieved our sore necks and tired shoulders, and with the improved blood circulation, we even felt improvements in our overall body tension.

Its appearance is also fantastic. It looks like a set of high-end headphones, so you can wear it around the house or office while you’re completing other tasks. 

Building on its aesthetics is its functional design. It’s suspended with intelligent 4D, which gives it the perfect shape to fit our neck comfortably. The material is skin-friendly and breathable, so our skin was not irritated after more extended sessions.

The heat feature only added to this comfort. It heats up to 107°F, providing a sensation akin to a hot towel on our neck. 

This is the best pulse massager you can get.

Product Specifications and Features

  • Output Voltage: 0-40v
  • Battery: 70 hours at normal settings
  • Power: 9V battery included
  • Pulse Intensity: 0-100mA peak, constant current
Pain Relief
4.5/5
User Friendly
4.4/5

What we like

What we don't like

Description

This battery-powered model stands out for its incredible runtime. Off a single 9-volt battery, it’s capable of running for approximately 70 hours if you have it set to normal voltage levels.

This lifespan means that you can use the unit for weeks or even months before you need to swap out the battery. We didn’t have to change it out at all in the time that we had with the stimulator.

Performance-wise, it can send out pulses with up to 100mA of power at a width of 30 to 300 microseconds, which was enough to treat the back pain we were struggling with. The symmetrical bi-phasic square pulse hit us hard, in a positive sense.

We were also able to track how long we’d been using the unit. It comes with a compliance timer that tracks sessions up to 999 minutes. It worked well for ensuring that we weren’t running too short or too long.

Another safety feature we appreciated was the covering of controls. Although it did mean we had to pop open the lid at the beginning of every session, it also stopped us from accidentally changing settings once we had begun.

The only thing we didn’t like was the limited amount of electrodes. Only 4 can be used at a time, which rules out full-body treatments.

Product Specifications and Features 

  • Weight: 0.2 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 2.3” x 1.2” x 3.9”
  • 8 intensity levels with 2 channels
  • 4 conductive pads, 2 connection wires, 1 9V battery, and 1 black nylon storage bag included 
Pain Relief
4.6/5
User Friendly
4.4/5

What we like

What we don't like

Description

The Zewa Body Relax II Back Pain Relief system targets the back, where other muscle stimulators cover much broader areas. In exchange for this flexibility of use, it offers a custom back pain-focused experience perfect for hitting those hard to reach lower back areas.

Putting it on is as simple as wrapping the support belt around your waist. It includes an extension to accommodate all body shapes. We had to place electrodes on the belt for setup, connect wires, and put in batteries. It was an easy process that took us only a few minutes.

After putting it on, we cycled through its 8 modes and found that all of them worked well, albeit for different purposes. This was easy to do because the bright LCD display made all the settings crystal-clear.

We did wish that there was a bit more control in the intensity levels. Some of us found it hard to find the perfect electricity level as the increments jumped up or down too much.

Another thing we noticed was how light this unit was. It was comfortable to wear for long periods, and we could see ourselves bringing this with us while traveling or even just walking around the house.

Product Specifications and Features

  • Weight: 0.81 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 9.5” x 7.45” x 1.95”
  • 6 modes, 10 intensity levels
  • 1 to 3 charging cable, 1 midsection pad, and 2 arms/legs pads included
Pain Relief
3.9/5
User Friendly
4.6/5

What we like

What we don't like

Description

We’ll spoil this ab stimulator review for you. The eAnjoy Abs stimulator is a rock-solid product. We used it for about 20 minutes a session, with 1-2 sessions in a day, and within a few weeks, we’d noticed that our abs felt a lot firmer even if our 6-pack still wasn’t quite visible.

It was still a great result, given how little effort it takes to strap on this stimulator and get it running. As a consequence of its focus on muscle training, it doesn’t relieve pain. Our abs were occasionally sore after using the device, and while the pain did subside at the start of each session, we still wouldn’t recommend it for the sole purpose of pain relief. 

Other abs stimulator reviews seemed to authenticate this, with most other users commenting on the muscle-building applications, with no mention of treating aches or sore spots.

Recharging the unit was convenient. Because it uses USB charging, you can plug it into your computer or charging brick anywhere.

In addition to abs, some users put this machine on their arms and legs to stimulate muscle development. However, we feel that other models target those areas more effectively.

This is the best EMS machine for muscle growth, so as long as that’s what you’re focused on, you won’t be disappointed.

Product Specifications and Features 

  • Weight: 0.94 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 7.09” x 5.63” x 2.24”
  • Dual-channel modes of operation
  • 80mA intensity
  • Includes 8 small electrodes, 4 large electrodes, and 2 lead wires
Pain Relief
4.6/5
User Friendly
4.2/5

What we like

What we don't like

Description

TENS and EMS systems are often used interchangeably. The TENS vs. EMS debate is completely sidestepped here with this combo model. Its Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation works great for pain, as it stimulates the nerve fibers to block the pain signal from reaching your brain. Meanwhile, its Electrical Muscle Stimulation function offers muscle contraction that’s great for athletes, strength training, and rehab. 

You will no longer have to ask, “What is the best TENS & EMS combo machine available?” This unit delivers with its suite of features. Consider its 14 different therapy modes that work to relieve pain, treat specific conditions, or build up your strength, which it can offer due to its dual functionality. 

The levels of intensity it offers are another highlight. With 25 levels, each of us in the office found the perfect current level for our preferences. We’re confident you can as well.

However, the maximum power setting was a bit lower than the range available on other models. We found it to be enough, but if you need the highest power, you might be disappointed.  

Another minor feature we appreciated was the included belt clip. It made it easy to walk around while we were getting treated, which was great for those who liked to walk or do things while the unit was active.

Conclusion

The TechCare Tens Unit Muscle Stimulator is the one we would recommend to anyone looking for a suitable EMS device. It’s lightweight and backed by a limited lifetime warranty that means you’ll be using it for the long-haul.

It combines soothing pain relief and muscle strengthening into one convenient package. More importantly, it can target various areas from the calf to the lower back, with specialized treatments.

It’s also got massage modes like tapping, acupuncture, and deep tissue treatments, giving you a lot of versatility in what you want to experience at any given time.

The touch screen means it’s intuitive to use – we were swapping between modes within minutes.

Electric Muscle Stimulator Overview

Electric muscle stimulators are incredibly useful for both pain relief and muscle-building purposes. However, if you’re looking for a targeted muscle group stimulator or particular current level, consider several of the features and benefits before selecting a model.

How Does it Work?

EMS devices use low-level electrical currents to imitate the behavior of signals coming from the cells in your nervous system. They are mild and typically target your muscle or your nerves.

If you’re focused on muscle recovery, the device sends pulses that cause your muscles to contract, improving blood flow, and helping to heal damaged tissue.

For pain relief, the pulses are on a different wavelength, allowing them to hit the nerves. In doing so, they can block pain signals from being sent to the brain. 

Actual operation of the device involves placing small electrodes on your body. Around the targeted area, several are placed, usually connected by wires to the main unit. From there, it fires a steady flow of electrical current through the wires, which you can adjust at any time.

Features to Consider When Buying

The first thing to look at it is what type of stimulation the device uses. The 2 main types are transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, and electrical muscle stimulation, or EMS. Some models also include powered muscle stimulation (PMS).

TENS is used for short-term and longer-lasting pain. This type of unit sends pulses at the nerves, blocking pain signals from reaching the brain. EMS uses more electricity and contracts the muscle cyclically. This is more for athletes and bodybuilding.

Another facet to consider is the number of electrodes and lead wires the unit has. This determines how many pads you can put on at once. Depending on the area’s size, you may want a unit with more pads and wires to offer better coverage.

The power emitted is also important. Look at how many milliamperes (mA) the model says it can output. This will determine the strength of the current. More power isn’t always better, as, at higher levels, it can get uncomfortable, particularly if the unit contracts your muscles.

What are the Benefits of an EMS Device?

There are benefits in terms of pain relief and treatment in physical rehab environments. There are also other pluses to using these devices.

They have been shown to stimulate muscular blood flow, particularly when using lower frequencies. Because the muscles contract and relax, the blood inside pumps, pushing oxygen-rich blood into the tissue while simultaneously clearing out the old.

EMS also increases strength and power. It doesn’t replace normal training but has been shown to improve muscular contraction rates and overall power in athletes. This is perfect for rehabilitation purposes as it activates and retains muscle without needing weight or potentially damaging exertion.

TENS units can work well for pain relief. Used in conjunction with physical therapy or a chiropractor, TENS and EMS can promote healing of the muscular tissue damaged by injury, reducing discomfort.

Getting the Most Out of Your Unit

In practical terms, use is simple; you just have to connect the electrodes and turn on the devices.

Where it gets more complicated is when it comes to the frequency and intensity of your use. You have to balance the need for treatment with the risk for injury or muscle damage.

It’s recommended for an EMS unit that you do 25-minute sessions 2 times a week as it can take up to 2 days for the body to recover. 

TENS models can be used more. Start with a 15-minute therapy session to see how it feels. After that, you can go up to 3 times a day, which makes sense, given that you want to treat recurring pain.

Safety Considerations

Generally, electric muscle stimulation is safe.

The most likely issue that you’ll encounter is skin irritation. This is because of the sensitivity to the gel or the material that the electrodes use.

The considerably more significant risk is in regards to your heart. For anyone with a pacemaker or other electrical heart device, electrical stimulation can be dangerous and even life-threatening

It’s also advised that pregnant women steer clear of EMS devices since electrical pulses can stimulate contractions.