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Best Portable TENS units & EMS machines - Buying Guide: 2024

Portability is one of the most outstanding characteristics of portable electrostimulation devices, since it allows users to apply therapies whenever necessary. Portable electrostimulators can be found in a wide variety of models and provide immediate pain relief to their users.

Despite their portability, these types of devices come in very different sizes and functions, so it is necessary to take several factors into consideration when purchasing a portable electrostimulator. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the different characteristics of portable electrostimulators and which ones to look out for in order to acquire the one that provides the most relief.

Best electrostimulators EMS and portable TENS machines

TechCare Massager - 2-output pulse muscle stimulator device with protective sleeve & 6 electrodes pads
  • Type: Combo
  • Channels: 2
  • Modes/Programs: 24 Modes
  • Intensity: Not specified
  • Wireless: No
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium (up to 20 hours)
  • Electrodes: 6 electrodes
  • Display: LCD
  • Size: Not specified
  • Includes user manual
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Long battery life (up to 20 hours)
  • Portable and small size
  • Good quality
  • Few intensity levels
  • Does not specify size and weight
  • Not suitable for muscle hypertrophy
The TechCare massager is a dual-channel electrostimulation device with a rechargeable battery and a large number of functions dedicated to the application of TENS and EMS massages. It features an LCD display and various modes of use, along with a session timer, and an on-screen indicator of remaining battery time.

It has multiple modes of use and its A-B output channel allows you to apply two types of massage simultaneously, making it one of the most versatile devices available on the market. The package includes 1 control, 1 protective case for the TENS unit, 3 pairs of electrodes, 4 power output cables, 1 USB cable, 1 user manual, 1 plastic case and 1 belt clip.

Mollan - Mini EMS TENS unit with 24 electrode pads for back and shoulder pain relief
  • Type: Combo
  • Channels: 2
  • Modes/Programs: 24 Modes
  • Intensity: 20 Levels
  • Wireless: No
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Electrodes: 24 electrodes
  • Display: LCD
  • Size: 1.2" x 4.8"
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Prevents muscle atrophy
  • Number of electrodes
  • Good quality
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Does not specify battery life
  • No touch screen included
  • No weight specified
The Mollan brand electro stimulator is one of the most versatile and complete despite its compact size. It has EMS muscle stimulation and TENS nerve stimulation capabilities, dual channel function and its 12x2" electrodes are incredibly useful to cover a wide area of skin and reach all desired muscle groups.

It has 24 modes of use and 20 levels of intensity designed to provide different methods of relief for all types of ailments, by means of electrical impulses that stimulate the production of endorphins. Its lithium battery allows up to 30 hours of continuous use and its compact design, 1.2x4.8 inches, allows you to take it anywhere you want at any time.

Omega - Wireless & Portable TENS muscle stimulator with touch screen remote control
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: -
  • Modes/Programs: 6 Modes
  • Intensity: Not specified
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Electrodes: 4 gel electrodes
  • Display: Touch
  • Size: Not specified
  • Improves joint mobility
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Accelerates recovery from sports injuries
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Wireless electrodes
  • Does not specify intensity levels
  • Does not specify measurements and weight
  • Not suitable for muscle hypertrophy
Omega has available this incredibly effective and compact electro stimulator, which stands out for its wireless function and compact size. By means of a remote control, you can switch between the 6 different modes of use and adjust the 20 intensity levels. Thanks to this, it can be considered one of the most practical and easy to use models on the market.

It provides effective and immediate pain relief through the application of low intensity electrical impulses that interact with the nervous system, eliminating the sensation of pain and stimulating the production of endorphins. It is compact, portable, rechargeable and can be applied to any part of the body.

Irest Classic - Mini massager dual channel TENS unit with 6 massage modes and timer
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: 2
  • Modes/Programs: 6 Programs
  • Intensity: Not specified
  • Wireless: No
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium (up to 20 hours)
  • Electrodes: 8 electrodes
  • Display: Digital
  • Size: Not specified
  • Includes user manual
  • Accelerates recovery from sports injuries
  • Portable and small size
  • Long battery life (up to 20 hours)
  • Includes carrying bag
  • No intensity levels specified
  • No heat therapy
  • Does not specify dimensions and weight
The compact electrostimulator of the iRest brand offers a combination of electrostimulation modalities, combining the benefits of TENS and EMS therapy, providing its users with a safe and drug-free method to treat ailments caused by different injuries or diseases, through the application of low-intensity electrical impulses.

It has 6 modes of use that emulate different types of massages to achieve different objectives, along with 10 levels of intensity that provides greater effectiveness. The package includes 1 control, 2 large electrodes, 2 small electrodes, 2 guide cables, 1 user's manual, 1 cable case and 1 treatment guide.

OSITO - Portable & Rechargeable Tens+EMS Electric Pulse Massager for Pain Relief Therapy
  • Type: Combo
  • Channels: Not specified
  • Modes/Programs: 11 Modes
  • Intensity: 25 Levels
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Electrodes: Not specified
  • Display: -
  • Size: Not specified
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Portable and small size
  • TENS+EMS Combo
  • Wireless electrodes
  • Prevents muscle atrophy
  • Does not specify size and weight
  • Does not specify intensity levels
  • Battery life not specified
The OSITO brand has one of the most compact and practical models of wireless electrostimulator on the market, with TENS and EMS electrotherapy functions, which will allow you to relieve any type of ailment, while creating electrical pulses that activate the muscle fibers, greatly improving your physical condition.

Its compact size and long-lasting rechargeable lithium battery make it the epitome of portability, as you can take it anywhere. It has 11 modes of use and 25 intensity levels that allow for a deep soothing effect. Each of the 11 modes provides a different type of massage and because the electrical impulses stimulate the human body's pain tolerance capacity, it does not require the use of medication.

Acculove - dua channel TENS/EMS massager with 5 intensity levels and 4 electrode pads for pain relief
  • Type: Combo
  • Channels: 2
  • Modes/Programs: 35 Programs
  • Intensity: 50 Levels
  • Wireless: No
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: 3 AAA batteries included
  • Electrodes: 4 Pads
  • Display: Digital
  • Size: Not specified
  • Accelerates recovery from sports injuries
  • TENS+EMS Combo
  • Portable and small size
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Includes user manual
  • Does not specify size and weight
  • No heat therapy
  • Powered by AAA batteries
The Acculove brand of physical therapy products provides its users with a professional quality electric massage unit that combines the best of TENS and EMS electrotherapy to create the most complete massage experience, all available in an incredibly compact machine that you can take anywhere you want and use at any time.

This device is powered by 3 AAA batteries that are included in the package. It does not require frequent changes or recharging, due to its efficient power consumption. Additionally, it has a dual channel function, so you can work different parts of the body simultaneously as required.

DOMAS - Dual channel TENS EMS muscle stimulator with 6 massage modes and 13 pads for pain relief
  • Type: Combo
  • Channels: 2
  • Modes/Programs: 6 Modes
  • Intensity: 20 Levels
  • Wireless: No
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Lithium Rechargeable (up to 10 hours)
  • Electrodes: 13 Pads
  • Display: Digital
  • Size: Not specified
  • TENS+EMS combo
  • Long battery life (up to 10 hours)
  • Portable and small size
  • Prevents muscle atrophy
  • Improves joint mobility
  • No heat therapy
  • Does not specify size and weight
  • Some electrodes dry quickly
In DOMAS you will find one of the best electro stimulators available in the market, which allows both the relief of different types of pain, thanks to its TENS technology, and muscle stimulation through EMS electrical impulses. It has a dual output channel through which you can treat two areas of the body simultaneously and has 24 modes of use and 20 adjustable intensity levels.

It has a rechargeable lithium battery that allows you to use your device for up to 20 uninterrupted hours. It can be plugged into wall outlets, or charged via USB connection. It is a perfect alternative for the treatment of ailments without side effects and avoiding the use of drugs.

Compex Mini wireless - TENS/EMS muscle stimulator with 2 Pods for Apple & Android Apps
  • Type: Combo
  • Channels: Normally 2 (Dual)
  • Modes/Programs: 6 Programs
  • Intensity: Not specified
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable (7 hours of use)
  • Electrodes: 2 Pods and 6 electrodes
  • Display: Smartphone
  • Size: Not specified
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Portable and small size
  • TENS+EMS Combo
  • Wireless electrodes
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Size and weight not specified
  • No intensity levels specified
  • No heat therapy
One of the most versatile products of the Compex brand is its Compex Mini electro stimulator, which is focused on providing the greatest possible comfort to the user, thanks to its compact size and its convenient application, which allows you to control it very easily from your mobile device. It consists of 2 pods that use TENS technology controllable from the app, which is compatible for Android and Apple.

It has a rechargeable battery that can provide an autonomy of up to 7 hours per charge, 6 unique training programs focused on different branches of fitness to help you achieve your goals, and compatibility with your mobile for easy use. It is recommended for those physically active people looking for a compact, portable and natural way to deal with workout-related ailments.

TechCare Massager - Portable TENS+PMS unit with 10 rechargeable massage modes and LCD display
  • Type: Combo
  • Channels: 2
  • Modes/Programs: 10 Programs
  • Intensity: 20 Levels
  • Wireless: No
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium
  • Electrodes: 8 Pads
  • Display: LCD
  • Size: 3.3 x 0.2 x 2.5 inches
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • With adjustable timer
  • Accelerates recovery from sports injuries
  • Includes carrying bag
  • Improves blood circulation
  • No battery life specified
  • No weight specified
  • No heat therapy
The TechCare mini massager is an incredibly practical device designed to treat all types of pain safely and effectively. This electrostimulator combines TENS and EMS stimulation modalities, consisting of applying low frequency electrical impulses to effectively eliminate the sensation of pain, while increasing the natural production of endorphins.

It has 10 pre-programmed massage modes and 20 intensity levels that focus on treating various types of pain, and a session timer function that allows you to set the duration of these between 10 and 60 minutes. Additionally, it has a lithium battery that allows you to apply therapy for more than 20 hours at a time.

Easy@Home - Compact rechargeable & wireless TENS+EMS unit for pain relief therapy
  • Type: Combo
  • Channels: -
  • Modes/Programs: 6 Modes
  • Intensity: 20 Levels
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium
  • Electrodes: 1
  • Display: -
  • Size: Not specified
  • Wireless electrodes
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Accelerates recovery from sports injuries
  • TENS+EMS Combo
  • Portable and small size
  • Battery life not specified
  • Does not specify dimensions and weight
  • Does not include touch screen
The electrostimulation device model EHE015, provided by Easy@Home brand, is an FSA certified TENS and EMS electrostimulator, which provides its users with a professional massage experience designed to eliminate ailments caused by injury or illness. It is a compact, comfortable and wireless device that you can take anywhere you want and use it whenever necessary.

It has 6 automated massage modes, and 20 intensity levels that can be adjusted very easily thanks to its two-button control system. Its long-lasting rechargeable lithium battery allows it to operate for several hours and has a timer to program sessions from 10 to 60 minutes.

Video: How to use electrotherapy to improve my health?

Types of TENS machines and muscle electrostimulators that you should know about

Buying guide: What should I take into account to buy the best portable electro stimulator?

Electrostimulators have a large amount of functionality that makes them versatile, since they can be oriented to a specific purpose, or be multipurpose. For this reason, it is necessary to take into consideration certain points when acquiring the appropriate device.

Types of uses

  • Type of use: there are electrostimulators that offer different types of electrotherapy, so you should determine whether you plan to use it for treatment of ailments, rehabilitation, muscle training, or another purpose.
  • User experience: the number of functions and methods of use varies from one electro stimulator to another, making the difficulty of programming them also variable. You should be aware of your own experience with this type of device in order to select one with appropriate ease of use.
  • Time of use: the quality of the electro-stimulators determines in many cases their useful life, so it is necessary to have an idea of how long you will need it for, in order to acquire a device with a useful life adequate for the buyer's purposes.

Technical characteristics

  • Channels: although portable electrostimulators tend to be compact in size, the best quality ones can have a maximum of two channels, allowing the insertion of four lead wires.
  • Pads/Electrodes: the number of adaptable electrodes depends on the number of channels available, with a maximum of eight electrodes in two-channel stimulators.
  • Modes/Programs: this is a determining factor in the amount of ailments or training that can be applied by each device. The most versatile devices can have between 15 and 20 programs, giving them a wide coverage for your treatments.
  • Intensity levels: these are independent of each level and vary depending on the brand and model of the devices. They directly impact the effectiveness of the treatments, since a high intensity level allows the impulses to reach deeper into the muscle and nerve tissue.
  • Type of screen: LCD touch screens offer greater ease of use, since they allow better visibility and smoother handling of the device's functions. This is a feature that mainly impacts on price, since analog screens are much cheaper and offer similar quality.
  • Wireless: by default, portable electrostimulators are wireless, although it depends on the type of power source. They may use lithium batteries, which require the use of a charger, or AA batteries, for which spares need to be on hand.
  • Heat therapy: this is a very useful modality for users who wish to treat rheumatic disorders such as osteoarthritis and gout. It is not present in all devices and impacts the price, so it is advisable to purchase devices with this function only if necessary.
  • Size: the point of a portable device is that it should be compact enough to fit at least in a backpack or purse. There are models of different sizes, so you should select it according to your circumstances and needs.
  • Portable: they should be small enough to be carried on your person, or at least in a backpack.
  • Types of electrodes pads: this is a factor that varies depending on the brand and model of the device. The more expensive ones have their own electrodes, while cheaper brands are compatible with universal electrodes.
  • Battery type: lithium batteries have a much longer life and are much more economically efficient than AA batteries, due to the substantial savings of not having to buy spare parts for the latter.
  • Pre-programmed timer: although not an indispensable feature, it is very useful for keeping track of each electrotherapy application. Purchasing a device with this feature is completely up to the buyer.
  • Combo: the most versatile devices have both Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and Muscle Electrostimulation functions, allowing a greater variety of situations to be addressed with a single device. While offering considerable benefits, the presence of both functions has a significant impact on the price of the machine.
  • Interferential: a very useful feature due to its ability to have a deep tissue effect and no side effects. It is not very common in most devices and those that do have it tend to be expensive.
  • Warranty: the minimum warranty by law for electrotherapy devices in Europe is two years.
  • Price: the importance of this factor is determined by the purchasing power of the buyer, although it should never be a decisive factor when acquiring a device that may have all the features you need.

Differences between TENS and EMS: Which one is better for me?

Electro Muscular Stimulation (EMS) and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) are the most used physiotherapy techniques for the treatment of ailments and muscular rehabilitation, and since both therapies are oriented to different purposes, it is necessary to take into consideration what each of them is for, in order to apply them correctly and obtain optimal results.

TENS Units

  • Treatment of acute ailments: it is an excellent method for treating recent pain, since its electrical impulses quickly inhibit the sensation of pain in the affected area.
  • Treatment of chronic pain: prolonged treatment with TENS electrostimulation presents a gradual decrease in chronic pain.
  • Muscle relaxation: its electrical discharges promote the relaxation of fibrous tissue, decreasing muscle tension and reducing the sensation of pain.
  • Pain caused by hormonal imbalances: TEN therapy is very useful in relieving the sensation of pain caused by hormonal conditions such as endometriosis or dysmenorrhea.
  • Pain caused by rheumatic diseases: it is an option to consider for the treatment of ailments such as those caused by rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica or gout.

EMS electrostimulators

  • Muscle toning: the electrical impulses generate contractions that improve the elasticity and resistance of the muscle fibers worked.
  • Maintaining and resuming physical activity: it is an excellent option to maintain physical activity when it is not possible to perform complete exercises, or to recover muscular condition after a prolonged period of sedentary lifestyle.
  • Rehabilitation of the musculature after injuries: it is widely used in the field of physiotherapy to recondition a muscle or muscle group that has gone through its recovery period after a surgical process or an injury.
  • Increased recovery of muscle tissue: the activation of muscle groups caused by the high intensity electrical impulses of EMS promotes the recovery of muscle fibers.

Contraindications in the use of portable TENS and EMS machines

</p> <h3>Contraindications for electrode placement</h3> <p>
The placement of the electrodes is of utmost importance in electrotherapy, whether TENS or EMS, so here are some things to keep in mind before starting a session:

  • Symmetrical placement: the negative and positive poles of each electrode should be connected symmetrically. That is to say, if we use two pads, we should use one positive and one negative pole on each one, while if we use four, the equivalence should be two positive and two negative.
  • Do not cross the electrodes: you cannot use one electrode in the lower train and another in the upper train and more importantly, never cross the electrodes from the left side to the right side of the body and vice versa, since the current path can negatively affect the patient's health. For this reason it is always recommended to use the electrodes in a localized way.
  • Motor point: at least one of the electrodes, whether positive or negative, must be positioned over the motor point, which is the point where the greatest force is achieved in the muscle in question.
  • Control the intensity: the size of the muscle must be taken into account when choosing the intensity of the current, since the less volume and size the muscle has, the lower the tolerated intensity will be.
  • Be careful with the skin: EMS or TENS should not be used on recently depilated areas since the pores will be open and this could generate skin sensitivity. Do not use on irritated or reddened areas, open wounds or recent scars.
</p> <h3>Contraindications for the use of electrostimulation</h3> <p>
Being a therapy that applies currents to the body, it cannot be used for all conditions, therefore its use should be avoided in cases where the user suffers from the following conditions:

  • Epilepsy.
  • Cardiac pacemakers.
  • Circulation disorders and problems.
  • Abdominal or inguinal hernias.
  • Neurological disturbances.
  • Tendency to bleed.
  • Skin irritation, burns or wounds.
  • Diseases that affect muscle metabolism, such as diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome (diabetes, hypertension and obesity).
  • High uric acid levels.
  • Metabolic disorders and metabolic pathologies.
  • Inflammatory pathologies.

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