Orthopedic

The 5 Best TENS Units Reviewed For 2019

The Most Effective TENS Units For Pain Relief, Recovery and Muscle Conditioning

TENS units have the ability to help with pain relief, recovery, muscle conditioning, and some even have massage features, perfect for helping you relax and prepare for intense physical activity!

Best TENS Units

 Easy@Home Professional Grade TENS UnitiReliev TENS + EMS Combination UnitOmron Max Power Relief TENS Unit
Pads442
Modes8149
BatteryRechargeable Lithium-Ion3 AAA batteries2 AAA batteries
Customer Ratings4.7 / 5.0 Stars4.4 / 5.0 Stars4.4 / 5.0 Stars

Also see our buyer’s guide, How To Choose The Best TENS Unit For You.


Quick Answer: The 5 Best-Rated TENS Units For 2019

  1. Easy@Home Professional Grade TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager
  2. iReliev TENS + EMS Combination Unit Muscle Stimulator
  3. Omron Max Power Relief TENS Unit
  4. TechCare Tens Unit and Muscle Stimulator
  5. Santamedical Tens Unit Electronic Pulse Massager

Other Orthopedic Products: Back Braces, Neck Massagers, Percussion Massagers, Leg Massagers, Neck Pain Pillows, Foot Spas.


Best TENS Units Reviews

#1 Easy@Home Professional Grade TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager

best tens units reviewed

Easy@Home TENS Unit at a Glance:

  • Backlit Screen? Yes
  • Pads: 4
  • Modes: 8
  • Intensity Levels: 20
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
The Easy@Home Professional Electronic TENS Unit, is perfect for muscle recover and relaxation after intense exercise by both beginners and professionals, alike. The natural, yet highly-effective device works to stimulate the muscles with powerful pulses that are ideal for just about anyone who desires better recovery time and experience.

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With 20 power levels, you’re sure to find an intensity that suits you and your body’s needs, at any time, in any situation. It starts off extremely mind, to very powerful, so be careful of the setting you’re using. It also includes 5 automated massage programs, and 3 traditional massage modes, to get rid of all that stress and soreness from working out.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery is extremely convenient, and can be recharged with either a DC or USB connection, which most of us have within our vicinity at any given point in time. The portable device comes in a little carry storage bag, so you have everything you need, too.

The user-friendly design makes it fast and straightforward to learn, as all you have to do Is push the buttons. The treatment time is clearly displayed on the backlit LCD screen, and you can choose between the auto program and intensity level right there.

All in all, it’s a great option, particularly if you are a beginner and don’t want to be overwhelmed with all kinds of buttons, and need a portable design.


#2 iReliev TENS + EMS Combination Unit Muscle Stimulator

iReliev TENS + EMS at a Glance:

  • Backlit Screen? Yes
  • Pads: 4
  • Modes: 14
  • Intensity Levels: 25
  • Battery: 3 AAA batteries
Offering 14 programs altogether, with 8 of them being TENS and 6 being EMS, you’ll receive a diverse amount of options, each offering something very contrasting to the next. The set, +, and – keys are used to go through the programs and makes for easy operation. You only require the four buttons to do anything.

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As it features two channels, you only need one pad per. One pad easily can do what two would typically do on a competitor device. You only have to place one pad on the affected area, and you’re ready to go. With that being said, if you use two wireless pods and pads with this unit, it would be like using 4 on your regular dual channel device.

You can set treatment times anywhere from 5-60 minutes, and they’re set independently for each channel. With 25 intensity levels, you have quite a bit of control and variation over how intense you’d like your treatment to be.

Setting up the device and pairing it with wireless receiver pods are super easy and quick, probably due to the fact that you didn’t have to pair them with Bluetooth.

Overall, it’s a highly-customizable, flexible product that is simple and pleasant to use.


#3 Omron Max Power Relief TENS Unit

Omron Max Power Relief at a Glance:

  • Backlit Screen? No
  • Pads: 2
  • Modes: 9
  • Intensity Levels: 15
  • Battery: 2 AAA batteries
The Omron Max Power Relief TENS unit is powerful, yet versatile enough to use for the vast majority of people out there.

Not only that, but it’s highly customizable, with 15 levels of intensity, 6 pain modes, and 3 massage modes: rub, tap, and knead. First, you’ll select the pain mode, then choose the intensity level. You can use them for various body parts.

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You’ll have two soft, comfortable pads at a time. They’re each reusable up to approximately 150 times, and are 2.5 inches x 4 inches, which are pretty good-sized. The screen is very easy to read, and straightforward with large buttons that gives you easy operation.

Something that we really love about this particular model, is the size. It’s about the size of a smartphone, so it’s natural and easy for us to carry around with us. If you want to take it with you on the plane, or just with you after practice, it won’t be any hassle at all.

Once you use TENS therapy or experience TENS pain relief, you’ll find yourself wanting to take it with you everywhere!


#4 TechCare Tens Unit and Muscle Stimulator

TechCare Plus 24 at a Glance:

  • Backlit Screen? Yes
  • Pads: 4
  • Modes: 2
  • Intensity Levels: 20
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium
So, you want to get one of the best home TENS units, but don’t want to spend a lot of money. If you’re looking on a budget, there aren’t many great options out there, but the TechCare Plus 24 TENS machine is the best.

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As the name suggests, there are a whopping 24 TENS stimulation modes that come with the unit; much more than you’d find, even on machines twice as expensive. They’re categorized into six groups, including “kneading”, “cupping”, and “reflexology”, among others. Each group features four smaller modes.

Due to the dual channels, you can use it on two body parts simultaneously, saving you time, and even bettering potential results. With 20 intensity levels, it’s not as many as some others, but it’s definitely more than sufficient for most TENS machines.

The round A/B button lets you switch between the two channels, and a + and – allow you to easily and quickly adjust the intensity. Something else that really stood out to us, was the approximately 20 hours of use the rechargeable battery gives.

The backlit, large screen is also great to use in the dark – perfect before you go to sleep.


#5 Santamedical Tens Unit Electronic Pulse Massager

Santamedical Pulse Massager at a Glance:

  • Backlit Screen? Yes
  • Pads: 4
  • Modes: 6
  • Intensity Levels: 20
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium
The Santamedical Pulse Massager is a portable, compact, micro-computer-controlled device that is also another excellent budget TENS electrodes unit. You can use it on various body parts, and the four pads are nice and comfortable to use.

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As it’s so lightweight and small, you can carry it anywhere you go: school, work, to the gym, the spa, travel, and so much more. The safety-approved best electric massager is perfect for getting immediate relief without the need of potentially-harmful medications.

Created using body simulation technology, bionic technology, bio-electric technology, and intelligent microcomputer control technology, the machine works to penetrate muscle groups deeply and efficiently. Choose among various modes, such as Shiatsu, Kneading, and Vibration, among others.

The built-in timer lets you control the time and intensity with ease. As it comes with a rechargeable battery and a USB cord, you can charge it pretty much anywhere, anytime.


TENS Units Comparison Table

Best TENS Units and Muscle Stimulators
 PadsModesBatteryCustomer Ratings
Easy@Home Professional Grade TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager48Rechargeable Lithium-Ion4.7 / 5.0 Stars
iReliev TENS + EMS Combination Unit Muscle Stimulator4143 AAA batteries4.4 / 5.0 Stars
Omron Max Power Relief TENS Unit29 2 AAA batteries4.4 / 5.0 Stars
TechCare Tens Unit and Muscle Stimulator42Rechargeable Lithium4.5 / 5.0 Stars
Santamedical Tens Unit Electronic Pulse Massager46Rechargeable Lithium4.5 / 5.0 Stars

How To Choose The Best TENS Units For You

Whether you’re searching for your first TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit, or are just looking for an upgrade, you’re in the right place.

We used each one individually, and in-depth, to ensure that they were satisfactory, and high-performing enough to make our list. However, not every one is going to be the right one for you and your needs, so we’ve written unbiased reviews on each, in an effort to help you select the perfect, best TENS unit and muscle stimulator.

Now, we’re going to take you through our in-depth buying guide to ensure you know exactly what to look for, ultimately choosing the best TENS unit for you and your body’s needs.

More about TENS technology: Advancements in TENS Technology

 

Omron-Power-Relief-TENS3 guide image

Programs/Modes

It can be overwhelming if you’ve never used a TENS machine to read about all the different programs and modes a machine comes with. Where do you even begin? Most units feature preset programs, designed to make the process simpler for you.

You’ll want to take into consideration which modes/programs each one has, and what they accomplish. Don’t just get a machine that has a cool-sounding mode that you may use once. Some feature less modes, but allow you the flexibility of really narrowing down and customizing your treatment.

With that, keep in mind that just because a machine has a higher number of modes, doesn’t mean it’s better, or is going to be the best one for you.

Number of Channels

You’ll find in the products above that most have dual channels, which give you the ability to use two independent pads, with independent controls. This means you can choose to use it with either two or four pads simultaneously.

This is great if you want to treat multiple parts of the body at the same time. As there’s rarely a notable difference in price between single and dual channels, there’s nothing to be lost on choosing a dual channel device.

Intensity Levels

You may have noticed that products vary in the number of intensity levels. How many do you really need, though? That solely depends on you. If a machine features 40 intensity levels, and another has only 20, that doesn’t necessarily make the former the better choice.

Typically, this only means that you can better fine-tune it, as machines that have more levels are going to increase in smaller increments than one with fewer. Also look into how powerful the device is, in general, so you know how high you can take the intensity.

User-Friendliness

Especially if you’ve never used a TENS unit before, you’re going to want to think about how easy your new product is to use, and how easy it is to learn. There are plenty of portable TENS machines which feature large screens that are also backlit and easy to see.

Directions are straightforward, and can be adjusted to your liking with just the push of a button. You want to look for buttons that are clearly labeled, so you don’t make a mistake, or just get frustrated with it and stop using it, because that’s not going to be of any help to you.

Battery

The devices reviewed above come with two options: AAA batteries, or a rechargeable lithium battery. The preference will depend on you, but most times, people prefer the built-in lithium rechargeable batteries. The reasons are pretty clear.

They’re not only convenient, as you don’t have to worry about them running out of charge all of a sudden, and you don’t have to spend extra money on buying replacement batteries all the time. However, you’ll also want to think about how they’re recharged.

Many can be recharged through a USB cord/port, which is probably the most convenient, as pretty much everyone has a USB cord or port handy on their laptop, at home, or in the car.

Size/Ease of Transportation

While TENS machines aren’t generally large, by any means, they do vary in size. For most people, they want a good balance between portability and ease of use. If you select the smallest-sized machine, you may be happy with how easy it is to take with you, but the screen isn’t going to be as easy to read.

With that being said, one that’s the size of a smartphone is generally a good idea. It’s natural to use, as most of us have a smartphone in our hand a good amount of the time anyway. In addition, the screen size is large enough to see easily, while still being portable, and ideally, lightweight. You probably don’t want to be carrying a brick around.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

We have also answered the most frequently asked questions in regards to the best TENS machines out there, to help you be more confident in the product you select.

 

Q: Are TENS and EMS the same?

They are not! They are often used together, and compared with one another, but they do differ. TENS stimulates the nerves, and is meant to reduce both chronic and acute pain, making it great for just about anybody. EMS makes the muscles contract, making the machine perfect for recovering, training, rehab, prevention, as well as even enhancing appearances, cosmetically.

 

Q: How many channels and pads do I require?

That’s solely up to you, but the most common option is a dual channel unit, as mentioned above, as you can use either 2 or 4 pads simultaneously. Each channel has two pads, and both are need for TENS to work properly, as a charge is sent through one positively, and another, negatively.

With a  dual channel unit, you can also treat two parts of the body at once, which means more effective and quicker treatment.

 

Q: What is the difference between “channels” and “modes”?

To be honest, there’s really not a difference. It all depends on whichever term the manufacturer prefers to use.

 

Q: What are fully-isolated channels?

They are what allow you to operate separate programs on different channels, rather than just controlling the intensity for that channel.

 

Q: What can TENS devices treat?

They can be used for a wide variety of chronic and acute pain, including but not limited to: arthritis, fibromyalgia, foot pain, labor pain, hip pain, knee pain, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, sciatica, neuropathic pain, sports injuries, and much more.

 

Q: Do I require a prescription for a TENS unit?

Nope! They’re available OTC in a number of countries, including the US, Canada, and more. However, we do recommend using the machine only if your doctor or another health professional recommends it.

Buyers Tips

#1: Make sure your skin is both clean and dry before using. Not only that, but make sure your skin is free from any oils or lotion.

#2: If your skin is sensitive, try to use an electrode pad that is made with “skin-friendly blue gel”.

#3: You can change the flow of the electrical feeling if you move the pads further or closer together, or by changing the direction of the pads. Place them either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

#4: Make sure the knobs are all the way turned off on your device when you’re finished, and take out the battery (if you can) if you’re not going to use it for a month or more. Always make sure your unit is turned off before moving the patches to avoid a harsh sensation when taking them off.

#5: Stay hydrated before, during, and after your treatment. As TENS makes your body release endorphins, staying hydrated will help you keep good amounts of helpful chemicals in your body.

Summary

We want to thank you for joining us, and hope that our article on the best TENS units and muscle stimulators have helped you select the best one for you. Each product on our guide is top-of-the-line, and we can tell you that whichever one you choose, you won’t be disappointed by!

Thanks for reading The 5 Best TENS Units And Muscle Stimulators Reviewed. We hope this article has helped you to discover the best muscle stimulation device for your needs and preferences.

Product Quality
Ease-of-Use
Value

The Easy@Home Professional Grade TENS Unit is our Editor's Choice for an all-around great quality unit for the money.

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