Updated July 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Maple Holistics Muscle Relief Massage Oil
Maple Holistics
Muscle Relief Massage Oil
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

Value-packed and surprisingly effective, Maple Holistics massage oil is one of the best options available.


Features a nutrient-rich formula. Offers fast-acting, deep-tissue pain relief. Essential oils include almond, lemon, and lavender. Contains no artificial ingredients. Pleasant scent.


May leave skin feeling oily for a while.

Best Bang for the Buck
NOW Foods Massage Oil
NOW Foods
Massage Oil
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Bargain Pick
Bottom Line

This oil proves to be a bargain purchase as it comes in the form of a large, 16-ounce bottle.


Warms up in hands to provide more stimulation and comfort. Has a long shelf life when stored properly. Comes in a 16-ounce bottle, making it long-lasting. Has a pleasant and light almond and lavender scent. Absorbs well into skin.


Doesn’t come with a pump-top.

Honeydew Sensual Massage Oil w/ Pure Lavender Oil
Sensual Massage Oil w/ Pure Lavender Oil
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Best for Sensitive Skin
Bottom Line

This is an impressive massage oil for anyone with sensitive skin, with a desirable consistency and scent as well.


This oil is gentle enough to be used on even sensitive skin. Has a pleasant but light scent that isn’t overpowering. Oil warms up quickly in hands. Doesn’t absorb into skin too quickly. Has a thin consistency but it’s greasy.


Cap is prone to leaking.

Fox Envy Massage Oil for Women, Men and Couples
Fox Envy
Massage Oil for Women, Men and Couples
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Best for Couples
Bottom Line

This light and delicious vanilla-scented oil makes it easy to relax and relieve tension through massage.


Oil has a pleasant vanilla scent. Does not feel greasy and absorbs well into skin without being too thick in consistency. Has an easy-to-use pump top for simple dispensing. A small amount of this oil goes a long way. Makes skin soft.


Oil doesn’t warm up in hands the same way other oils do.

Badger Company Deep Tissue Massage Oil
Badger Company
Deep Tissue Massage Oil
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Easiest to Use
Bottom Line

A bottle of Badger Company massage oil is easy to apply and its organic oils feel wonderful on sore spots.


Convenient spray application. Available in ginger and lavender scents. Organic essential oils such as ginger, lemongrass, and sage. Calming and warming sensation.


These 4 oz. bottles are a little pricey.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best massage oil

Massage oils are a must-have accessory for any massage. Whether you’re giving a massage to yourself or a loved one or receiving one from a professional, a good massage oil allows hands to glide over the body without friction. A scented oil can also create a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere.

Before you decide on a massage oil, there are some factors to keep in mind, like the type of massage the oil will be used for. You’ll want a different oil for a deep-tissue massage than for a Swedish massage. Also, consider skin sensitivities, fragrance, the weight of the oil, and ease of application. Ultimately, you want an oil that will enhance the massage without making skin too greasy.

Our buying guide covers everything you need to consider when shopping for massage oils, including how much you should pay. For our five favorite oils on the market, see the matrix above.

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Massage oil serves as a moisturizer and rejuvenates skin. When infused with essential oils, it can even stimulate blood circulation.

Key considerations

High-friction vs. low-friction massage

Different massage types are better suited for different massage oils. You’ll want to use heavier oils for a lighter massage. A Swedish massage, for example, is meant to relax the body with long, gliding strokes toward the heart. Avocado oil and olive oil are ideal for low-friction massages. A heavier massage oil won’t absorb as quickly into the skin, making it easier for hands to glide smoothly over the body.

A deep-tissue massage, on the other hand, is high-friction. Meant to treat chronic pain and aches, a deep-tissue massage stimulates muscles and connective tissue. Since it’s more intense than a low-friction massage, there’s often some discomfort involved. A lighter massage oil will absorb into the skin quicker, so you won’t have to worry about hands slipping off the body during deep work. Coconut oil and grapeseed oil are well-suited for high-friction massages.

Skin sensitivity

Skin irritation can spoil an otherwise pleasant massage experience. Those with sensitive skin should keep an eye out for hypoallergenic massage oils with light or no scent. You may also want to avoid any nut oils. Organic and virgin oil products are purer and typically free of additives. Try a massage oil with a jojoba or grapeseed oil base to lessen skin irritation.

Allergy tests are critical, so remember to dab some oil on a patch of skin to see if there’s any reaction before committing to a more extensive massage. A patch test is a smart idea for anyone, even those without sensitive skin.

"If you intend on giving foot massages, note that the soles of the feet absorb oil faster than any other body part."



For those without sensitive skin, scented massage oils lend a nice ambience to your massage experience. Natural scents are pretty common with massage oils, such as sandalwood, lavender, chamomile, or mint. Some oils, such as coconut, already have a light scent. You can always opt for an unscented oil and add various essential oils as desired. Some essential oils will even enhance the massage oil’s properties. Peppermint oil, for example, is great for pain relief.


For body massages, a bottle with a pump is ideal. That way you won’t have to worry about bottles slipping out of oily hands or fumbling with a top in the middle of a massage. Many massage oils on the market come with a pump. Other massage oils have a flip top or screw top. If you’re set on a particular massage oil with a screw top, you can always buy a pump separately.


Massage oil heaters: Therapist’s Choice Oil/Lotion Bottle Warmer with Auto-Temperature
If you’re a professional or give massages frequently, a massage oil heater is a good investment. Some use a simple flame, while others are electric heaters, like this one from Therapist’s Choice. Its auto-temperature control heats bottles to 140°F and then automatically shuts off.

Massage oil holsters: EarthLite Massage Bottle Holster
A massage oil holster holds massage oil bottles and is worn around the waist. It’s very handy for professionals. We like this holster from EarthLite, which is adjustable and available as a single or double holster.

Essential oils: doTERRA Family Essentials Kit
You can add essential oils to any plain oil base. Just be sure the massage recipient’s skin won’t react negatively to the potent essential oils. This set from doTERRA has every essential oil you might need, from lavender to frankincense.

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Did you know?
Petroleum-based oils, like baby oil, aren’t recommended for massages. They tend to sit on the surface of the skin rather than absorbing, and they don’t have as many health benefits as plant-based oils.

Massage oil prices

Massage oils vary in price depending on the purity of the product. The majority of massage oils fall between $6 and $35.

Like with essential oils, you get what you pay for. Massage oils in the $6 to $10 price range come in smaller amounts – 30 milliliters is common. While there are bargains to be found, you’re more likely to find non-virgin, non-organic oils that may or may not include fillers.

You should have no trouble finding a high-quality massage oil in the $10 to $20 range. Mid-range massage oils usually include pumps for easy use and are packaged in amber bottles for optimal storage.

Massage oils over $20 may come in large quantities, be formulated with organic ingredients, or have extra benefits, such as anti-aging or pain-relief properties.


  • Start with a dime-size amount of product. Warm the massage oil by rubbing it between your hands for 10 seconds. There are devices that warm massage oil, too, but your hands will do the trick.
  • Don’t forget to set the mood for the massage with some dim lights, candles, and gentle music.
  • Those who are health-conscious should be sure their chosen massage oil is paraben-free.
  • Like essential oils, massage oils stay fresh the longest when stored in dark amber bottles in a cool, dry place.
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Massage oil can be pleasant for babies and young children. But check with your doctor before using massage oil on any child younger than two.


Q. Should I use a massage oil or massage lotion?
Whether you use a massage oil or massage lotion all comes down to preference. Oil, of course, is slippery and can cause accidents if you’re not careful. Lotions are more likely to contain synthetic chemicals, and they take longer to warm up than oils.

Q. Does massage oil clog pores?
That depends on whether or not the massage oil is classified as comedogenic, which means likely to clog pores. Jojoba oil and grapeseed oil, two common massage oil bases, are low on the comedogenic scale. Avocado oil, unfortunately, can clog pores.

Q. Will massage oil stain my clothes?
There is a risk of massage oil staining fabrics, and every oil can leave a greasy film. If you can, take a shower to wash off the massage oil after your massage.

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