Theragun Review: Pros, Cons, & Model Comparison

Theragun offers four, high-quality percussive therapy device models to support muscle soreness relief. In this review, we give you an honest and accurate comparison.

 

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Last Updated: September 13th, 2021

 

Theragun Overview | Theragun Technology | Models | Theragun Prime | Theragun Elite | Theragun Pro | Product Comparison | Pros and Cons

If you’re an athlete or spend any significant time training in a gym, then you’re certainly no stranger to muscle fatigue and soreness. In fact, it’s expected.

The whole purpose of training is to break the body down in order to build it back up again, to build it back stronger with the hope of performing better.

Of course, this isn’t only true for elite athletes. Casual gym-goers, novice lifters, and weekend runners also experience muscle soreness. It’s true of any activity that pushes your body to the limits.

In order to combat muscle soreness many people have turned to percussive therapy devices, often referred to as personal massage guns. By using rapid, short bursts of pressure, these handheld machines help alleviate muscle soreness by increasing blood flood to targeted areas.

Therabody is one wellness company that offers a whole line of handheld percussive therapy devices — the Theragun.

In this article, we provide an honest review of their popular product by comparing the various models they offer and by uncovering the pros and cons of this handheld device.

Theragun Overview

This tech wellness company started with the creation of Theragun. It was created in 2009 by founder Dr. Jason Wersland. The catalyst for the creation of the Theragun was a traumatic motorcycle accident sustained by Dr. Wersland.

Unable to find a solution for his debilitating post-accident pain, he created his own solution — Theragun Percussive Therapy. This company also boasts some high-profile athletes as brand ambassadors.

Theragun Technology

Since then, this company has sought to provide natural solutions for daily wellness, particularly muscle recovery. Theragun uses cutting-edge technology and patented designs to provide percussive therapy. This percussive therapy uses frequency, torque, and amplitude to reach deep into the muscle layers.

In short, percussive therapy is a form of soft-tissue manipulation that’s designed to help promote range of motion while reducing muscle soreness and soft tissue pain. Although many assume this therapeutic process uses vibration to soothe the muscles, it’s actually a pounding or hammering movement rather than vibrating. 

Each Theragun product is scientifically calibrated and features an industrial-grade motor to help deliver optimal amplitude (16mm). In terms of frequency, each operates at different percussions per minute. Torque also varies by model.

Percussive therapy is no fly-by-night form of massage therapy, it’s clinically proven to work. One study even found that percussion therapy can be as effective as deep tissue massage for preventing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Here’s some of the benefits of percussive therapy:

  • Accelerates the growth and repair of soft tissue by promoting blood flow to the affected area.
  • Relaxes and thickens fascia and connective tissues.
  • Helps break down scar tissues and adhesions due to injuries.
  • Helps increase both venous and lymphatic circulation.
  • Helps increase the range of motion in affected joints. 

Theragun Models

At present, Theragun offers four percussive therapy device models. Most offer similar features, but differences can be found in their features, torque, and price. 

Theragun comes in four device models:

  • Theragun Mini: At 20 lbs. of force, this is their smallest option for on-the-go relief. 
  • Theragun Prime: Considered their basic model, it provides 30 lbs. of force. 
  • Theragun Elite: A step up, this offers 40 lbs. of force and is their quietest model. 
  • Theragun Pro: This professional-grade device is their most powerful model at 60 lbs. of force.
Brand Description Rating Buy Now
$599
The Pro | Theragun
The Pro | Theragun

Powerfully quiet, professional-grade performance.

The deep muscle treatment pros trust with the durability and features they rely on. Enhance muscle recovery, release stress and tension, and soothe discomfort with the smart percussive therapy device in a league of its own. We stand by PRO's professional-grade durability with an industry-leading 2-year warranty.

Affirm Financing Available. Starting at $50/mo. 

Buy Now
$399
The Elite | Theragun
The Elite | Theragun

Our quietest treatment ever in an elevated, premium design.

Our powerful deep muscle treatment, in an ultra-quiet smart percussive therapy device with advanced sound insulation. Elite works deep to melt away tension and release soreness, empowering you to care for your body daily.

Affirm Payment plans available. Starting at $34/mo.

Buy Now
$299
The Prime | Theragun
The Prime | Theragun

Smart. Simplified. The new standard in percussive therapy.

This simplified smart percussive therapy device prioritizes the essential features you need while maintaining the power and effectiveness of Theragun's deep muscle treatment. Ease discomfort, soothe tightness and tension, and recover faster in seconds.

Affirm Payment plans available. Starting at $25/mo.

Buy Now
$199
The Mini | Theragun
The Mini | Theragun

Ultra-portable, on-the-go treatment.

The mini is your pocket-sized partner, giving you Theragun quality muscle treatment with unparalleled portability. Compact but powerful, Theragun mini is the most agile massage device that goes wherever you do.

Affirm Payment plans available. Starting at $17/mo.

Buy Now

Theragun Mini

The Theragun Mini is an ultra-portable option for people looking for treatment on the go. It’s also their least expensive option, commanding a price tag of $199. We found that it’s light and perfect for travel. We could store it in a backpack, gym bag, or even a desk drawer here at the office.

It doesn’t boast the same power as the other models, but it did make a helpful companion for our muscle cramps, knots, and pinpoint tension areas. Like the other models, it also has QuietForce Technology, which made it silent as well as unassuming.

Other features included:

  • QX35 Motor with QuietForce Technology
  • 3-speed settings; 1750, 2100, 2400 percussions per second
  • A total battery life of 150 minutes with its 12V lithium-ion battery

The Theragun Mini comes with a standard ball attachment, power adapter, and soft case. It’s available in four colors: White, Black, Red, and Desert Rose. We liked the classic Black model. It even came with a 1-year limited warranty.

What customers are saying about the Theragun Mini:

I received a Mini as a gift from my daughter last Christmas and LOVE it. It helps my sore muscle, aches and pain a great deal. It’s small, light weight and not noisy, I take it every where I go. Bought one recently as a gift to my brother for his birthday so we can spread the love and help his aching body.

—    Po, 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

Love this small and smooth but powerful tool! It is very portable and effective for muscle therapy! 

—     Melanie, 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

Theragun Prime

The Theragun Prime is their standard model, for those looking for a simple and effective percussive therapy device. Its ergonomic multi-grip design made it a comfortable companion. This model cost $299 but came complete with the essential features we expected for that price.

Like the Mini, it featured QuietForce Technology but boasted a more powerful motor for our aches and pains. It has customizable speed ranges and offered four unique attachments. Plus, it’s scientifically calibrated to reach 60% deeper into the muscle—a difference we could feel.

Other features included:

  • QX65 Motor
  • 5-speed settings; 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2400 percussions per second
  • A total battery life of 120 minutes with continuous use

Unlike the Theragun Mini, the Prime could be controlled via Bluetooth with Theragun’s smart app, allowing us to customize your speed settings. The app also allowed us to access complimentary massage routines. It came with four head attachments (standard ball, dampener, thumb, and cone), a power adapter, and a protective carrying pouch.

This model is only available in Black, but it also boasts the same 1-year limited warranty.

This customer had this to say about the Theragun Prime:

I love this Theragun Prime. It covers everything we need, is extremely ergonomic, and the 5 intensity settings are more than enough to stimulate and get a deep, efficient massage. Has increased speed of recovery for multiple injuries as well. Could be a little quieter, but not that big of a deal. Overall, a great product!

—    Maurice, 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

Theragun Elite

The next step-up model is the Theragun Elite, with a healthy price tag of $399. It’s considered their premium model. It offered the same QX65 motor design with QuietForce Technology as the previous model but boasts a higher torque force at 40 lbs.

This was definitely the quietest model. We could also customize and control the intensity through our smart app, but it featured some other advanced capabilities like an OLED screen, a force meter, and 3 built-in presets.

Other features included:

  • Five attachments; standard ball, thumb, dampener, cone, and wedge
  • 5-speed settings; 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2400 percussions per second
  • A total battery life of 120 minutes with continuous use

We got the same 1-year warranty, but we also got to choose from two more color options than the previous model, Red and White. A power adapter and carrying case was also included.

This customer seems happy with their Theragun Elite:

My Elite Theragun lessen[s] my soreness after an intense workout. Also my foot and forearms that been in pain using Theragun has taking care of that. Thank you Therabody I am pain free.

—    Raymundo, 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

Theragun Pro

The Theragun Pro is considered professional-grade, that’s why it commands a hefty price tag of $599. It also featured the most powerful motor — QX150 with QuietForce Technology. It’s able to maintain a treatment depth with 60 lbs. of pressure.

The other specifications are virtually the same, as compared to the Elite. However, it did offer a rotating arm with four positions, something the other models lacked.

Other features included:

  • Six attachments; Supersoft head, standard ball, thumb, dampener, cone, and wedge
  • 5-speed settings; 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2400 percussions per second
  • A total battery life of 300 minutes with two lithium-ion batteries

This model also stepped up the warranty, featuring a 2-year limited warranty. It came in Black or Red.

It’s clear that this customer thinks Theragun Pro is worth the price:

A therapist hurt my lower left back and my right neck and shoulder. Another therapist helped it but still not enough. I bought the Theragun Pro and I am slowly recovering, thank goodness. It is a Godsend. I use it whenever I need it and it is quick and easy to diminish the pain. Thanks!

—    Judy, 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

Theragun Model Comparison

 

Mini

Prime

Elite

Pro

Stall Force

20 lbs.

30 lbs.

40 lbs.

60 lbs.

Speed

3 built-in speeds; 1,750, 2,100, 2,400 percussions per minute (PPM)

5-speed with custom range; 1,750 - 2,400 PPM

5-speed with custom range; 1,750 - 2,400 PPM

5-speed with custom range; 1,750 - 2,400 PPM

Noise

Quieter than Pro and Prime

Quieter than Pro

Quietest model

Loudest model

Battery Life

2.5 hours

2 hours

2 hours

5 hours (w/ two batteries)

Weight

1.4 lbs.

2.2 lbs.

2.2 lbs.

2.8 lbs.

Attachments

1 massage head

4 massage heads

5 massage heads

6 massage heads

Features

No smart capabilities

Smart capability, LED indicators

Smart capability, OLED indicators, force meters, 3 personal presets

Smart capability, OLED indicators, force meters, 3 personal presets

Price

$199

$299

$399

$599

Warranty

1-year

1-year

1-year

2-year

We bought Theragun directly from their website. But, they’re also available from select retailers. Most ship within 2 – 3 business days once ordered, like ours. Also, they do offer a 30-day return policy with a full refund.

Pros and Cons of Theragun

Theragun certainly has a healthy range of options for anyone seeking to purchase a percussive therapy device. Overall quality was high across the board, and the real purchase dilemmas were over price, size, power, and features.

Their Pro model certainly boasted the most powerful motor and product features, but the price is pretty steep despite the quality. The Mini offered on-the-go portability, but it lacked the deep tissue power of the other two. Even so, there are many benefits to the Theragun product line. Of course, there are some drawbacks too. 

Pros

  • High-quality product design with plenty of power for all ranges of percussive therapy.
  • Great continuous battery life on all models, ranging from 2.5 to 5 hours.
  • Customizable speed settings with plenty of PPM range (Pro, Elite, Prime models).
  • Comfortable design, featuring ergonomic grips on each model.
  • Great range of available models, from standard to professional-grade.
  • Bluetooth connectivity on models to customize settings (except the Mini).

Cons

  • Expensive to buy; the basic model alone costs $299.
  • May not work for everyone; some injuries require more advanced forms of treatment, like continued physical therapy or surgery.
  • Theragun Mini lacks Bluetooth connectivity, so the smart app doesn’t apply to this model.

The Bottom Line

Muscle soreness is a part of life for many people, elite athletes and novice gym-goers alike. Of course, the severity can certainly differ. Even so, the percussive therapy offered by Theragun has helped bring relief to many (us included!), as the customer testimonials can confirm.

Theragun offers a nice range of device options, from standard models to professional-grade. But, these high-quality devices demand a high-quality price. So, if they do strike your fancy, be ready to shell out the cash.

At the end of the day, Theragun offered us an opportunity to manage our own muscle tissue soreness. Though it may not be perfect for everyone, there’s still plenty to offer to those seeking relief from muscle pain and soreness.

Sources:

World-Leading Percussive Therapy Massage Devices | Theragun

The Acute Effects of a Percussive Massage Treatment with a Hypervolt Device on Plantar Flexor Muscles' Range of Motion and Performance | NCBI

To Compare the Effect of Vibration Therapy and Massage in Prevention of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) | NCBI

Compare Devices | Theragun

Therabody App | Massage Gun Routines | Therabody.com