Both the Theragun Prime and Elite are popular percussive massagers made by Therabody - the leading brand in the massage gun market. Both offer a cheaper alternative to the $600 Theragun Pro. Let's go head to head: Theragun Prime vs Elite - which is the best?
In this review, I'm going to discuss each of these impressive Theragun devices, compare their features to one another, and some other alternatives.
The Theragun Prime is the lowest-cost model of the Theragun range. At $299 it's significantly cheaper than both the Elite ($399) and the Pro ($599).
But despite being cheaper, the Theragun Prime is still impressive.
With the standard 2,400 RPM of all Theragun devices and the distinctive ergonomic body, 2 hours of battery life, and four interchangeable heads, the Prime looks like good value for money compared to the others devices in the range.
Therabody used to be known for the high noise levels their devices produced - but not anymore. Like the entire current Theragun range, the Prime is much more quiet than early versions.
Although the still not the quietest massage gun, The modern Theragun is much less noisy than earlier versions. Both the Prime and Elite emit the same amount of noise at about 68dB - and both are quieter than the top of the range Pro.
Again, like the rest of the Theragun range, the Prime comes with full use of the Therabody app. Once connected to the device, the app makes suggestions about which speed and massage head to use.
The five speed settings and 4 massage heads cover the basics - again, this is the same number of speeds as the rest of the range.
There are drawbacks though. Although all Theragun devices have about the same battery life, at about 2 hours per full charge, they do not last as long as most percussive massagers.
The Prime has fewer heads than the Elite (which has 5) and the Pro (which has 6), and does not comes with a carry case.
The Prime also has a much lower stall force than the Elite, at only 30lb - this is lower than most massage guns, including much cheaper ones.
White the Elite has an OLED screen, the Prime has only basic LED lights indicating the speed settings.
Also, there is no changeable battery and no rotating head - these features are only on the Pro. Wireless charging is not available.
If you have your mind set on a Theragun, but do not want to spend $400+, the Theragun Prime is a good option that has the basics covered at a lower cost.
At $299, although it's the budget device of the range, the Prime is still very much at the more expensive end of the low-cost end of the market.
The Theragun Elite is the next step up from the Prime. For $100 more there are some additional features, but some of the basics are the same:
The Elite has the same amplitude (16mm) as the Prime, the same number of speed settings (5) and the same (non-removable) battery lifespan of two hours. The devices are the same weight and shape. They are covered by the same 1 year warranty.
However, there are several features that the Elite has which the Prime does not.
The Theragun Elite has a wireless charging capability, although the wireless charger must be purchased separately for around $80. A Prime charging stand is also available for an extra $60, but it is not wireless.
In terms of accessories, the Elite comes with one extra massage head (making a total of 5). The additional massage head is a wedge shape, designed for
As mentioned earlier, the Elite has an OLED screen instead of the basic LED lights indicating speed settings.
The Elite has a stall force of 40lb compared to the Prime's 30lb. 40lb is about the average for a massage gun.
The Theragun Elite and Prime have the same number of speed settings (5) and both come with full app functionality. Five speeds is significantly less than some massage devices.
Both the Elite and Prime have a battery life of about 2 hours max. This is also less than most massage guns, but still enough to use the device a lot between charges.
Unlike the Theragun Prime, the Elite is available in three different colours - black, white with a blue band and white with a red band:
Neither the Elite nor the Prime have removable batteries - so they cannot be replaced. Only the $599 Pro has this feature.
The Elite does come with a protective carrying case though, which the Prime does not.
The Elite costs $399, making it one fo the most expensive massage devices on the market.
You can purchase additional warranty cover for the Elite, similar to Apple's ProCare, for $75 (for the Prime this costs $55).
If you purchase the additional warranty, this takes the total cost to $474. With the wireless charging stand as well, the total adds up to $553.
Theragun Elite vs Prime: Which is Better?
Both the Theragun Prime and Elite offer high quality, feature packed, and somewhat cheaper alternatives to the top of the range Theragun Pro.
The build of the two devices is very similar. Although the Elite has a higher-quality feel about it, they both weight the same at 2.2lb and are almost exactly the same shape.
They are both quite large devices, and some may find them too bulky, which is why there is a Theragun mini also on offer (but this has much more basic features, as you'd expect for a much smaller device).
Both have the same basic features: 16mm amplitude, 5 speed settings, bluetooth app, quiet motor, 2,400 RPM motor.
The Prime has a much lower stall force though, and does not feature some of the more premium features like wireless charging or an OLED screen. The Prime also has a lower stall force, which is lower than most massagers.
Both are relatively expensive though, and so those looking for a budget-friendly massage gun should also consider other alternatives as well.
What do they both lack?
The two main issues with both the Theragun Prime and Elite are:
- While they are cheaper than the Pro, at $300-400, neither are cheap.
- There are devices with more speeds, heads, battery life, etc. that are available for at least $100 less.
While the Theragun Prime and Elite are both fantastic percussive massage device, if you are looking for a cheaper device with comparable features and, for example, more speeds and battery life, check out the AlphaGun X.