The Theragun Prime, Elite and Pro are popular percussive massagers made by Therabody - probably the leading brand in the massage gun market.
Ranging in price from $299 to $599 or more, they are not cheap. So what do the Theragun devices offer?
Let's go head to head: Theragun Prime vs Elite vs Pro.
I'm also going to compare them to some alternatives, including the HyperVolt 2 and others.
There's a Cyber Monday sale on at the moment, and not only can you save $100 on various Theragun devices, but there are even bigger discounts to be had as well. Read on to find out.
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 the budget device of the range, the Theragun Prime is still impressive.
With the standard 2,400 RPM of all Theragun devices and the same 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 Theragun range.
Therabody used to be known for the high noise levels their devices produced - but not anymore. Like the rest of the current Theragun range, the Prime is much more quiet than early versions, although still not the quietest massager on the market.
Both the Prime and Elite emit the same amount of noise at about 68dB - and both are slightly 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 come 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.
But the main disadvantage the Theragun Prime has (along with the Pro and Elite) is the limited number of speed settings. While some devices have as many as 30 speeds, the Theragun has only 5.
Some users may find the increments between each of the 5 speeds too steep, and the lowest setting (at 1,750 RPM) of such a powerful device too intense for sore areas.
However, 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 relatively low cost.
Of course, there are many cheaper alternatives, if price is your main concern.
The Theragun Elite is the next step up from the Prime. For $100 more there are some additional features, but most 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.
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.
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 more 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.
This truly is the top of the range Theragun device, and at $599 or more (there is a gold version that retails for over $1,000) it's way outside of the price range of most people. It's one of the most expensive massagers on the market.
That said, the Theragun PRO offers some unique features and for some people it will be worth the cost.
Theragun Pro comes with 6 massage heads (a second, larger, flat head is included) and the same 5 speed settings as the Elite and Prime.
It also includes a carry case.
While the Theragun Elite and Prime are both similar in design and construction, the Theragun Pro is something else - it has a fully rotating arm.
Also unlike other Theragun devices, the battery can be removed. Since the Pro comes with two batteries, the battery life is longer. In total the Pro offers 4 hours battery life across two batteries (2 hours each).
The basic features are the same though - the amplitude, warranty and number of speeds are all the same as other Theragun devices.
Theragun Elite vs Prime vs Pro: Which is Better?
The Theragun Prime, Elite and Pro all offer high quality, powerful and feature packed percussive massage experiences.
While the Pro is in a league of its own in terms of features - and price - the Elite and Prime offer more affordable alternatives.
The build of the Prime and Elite devices are 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.
The Pro is built differently - offering a distinctive design, interchangeable batteries and a rotating arm.
All three devices have the same basic features though: 16mm amplitude, 5 speed settings, bluetooth app, ergonomic design, 2,400 RPM motor.
Some of these features, such as the number of speeds, are limited when compared to alternatives though - even much cheaper alternatives.
The Pro is definitely the stand out device of the range. If you have the money, then it's a real showstopper in terms of both performance and appearance.
If you're interested in the Pro or Elite, the lower-priced models of the range, it may be worth looking at what some alternatives offer as well.
What do the Theragun Prime, Elite and Pro lack?
All three Theragun devices are quite large, and some may find them too bulky, particularly if you have to carry around a spare battery as well. Yet the ergonomic design is good for comfortable use and reaching otherwise hard to reach areas.
But this alone is not a reason to dismiss the Theragun. Even the high price might be mitigated by choosing the more basic Prime or Elite models.
What all Theragun devices lack are some fairly basic features: mainly a versatile range of speeds, but also battery life.
They are also all far more expensive than other comparable devices, even some that have extra features in these areas.
All three devices have a range of 5 speeds, ranging from 1,750 RPM to 2,400 RPM. This is quite limited in terms of number and range, and there are devices with many more speeds and a much wider range.
More speeds and range potentially mean a more customized massage. Fewer speeds means that the increase between them can be steep, and the lowest speed can be quite forceful - perhaps too forceful for sensitive areas or people (remember the Theragun has a top-class, powerful motor).
Some users may therefore find a device with 20-30 speeds more comfortable than a device with only 5 speeds, especially when they feel particularly sore.
Value for Money
The Theragun Pro is the most expensive massager on the market, but the Prime is more reasonably priced at $299.
However, compared to budget massagers (a category the Prime fits into), this is still expensive. Many are available for around half this price.
Even though the Prime is still $299, it doesn't come with a few extras offered by the others in the range. There's no carry case (it comes with a cotton bag, shown below) and it comes with only 4 heads.
The Prime has a much lower stall force than the other Theragun devices - and most other massagers too. It also does not feature some of the more premium features like wireless charging, a rotating arm or an OLED screen that the Elite and Pro have.
While a $150 device could lack these features and still be a good buy, a device costing nearly $300 is starting to look expensive.
Unlike the Prime, the Elite does have an OLED screen, a smooth stylish finish and more accessories, including an extra head and case.
It's a more striking device certainly, but much more expensive at $399.
How does the Theragun compare to the alternatives?
Theragun make some excellent devices, but they are very expensive.
Not only that, but for an expensive device, there are some surprising limitations - like the limited range of speeds.
Alternatives with more speeds include the Exogun ($199), Hydragun ($299) and AlphaGun V6 ($129).
The AlphaGun V6, for example, has 5x as many speeds and a wider range: 30 speed settings in total, ranging from 1,000 - 3,200 RPM.
The battery life of the Theragun Prime and Elite is limited too at up to 2 hours.
The Hypervolt 2 (also $299) and the Exogun ($199) offer up to 3 hours use per full charge. While the AlphaGun V6 and Opove M3 Pro offer up to 4 hours per full charge.
The Theragun Prime comes with 4 massage heads, the Elite has 5 and the PRO has 6.
The competing Hypervolt 2 is priced the same as the Theragun Prime, and $100 less than the Elite, but still comes with 5 heads.
The AlphaGun V6 is less than half the price of the Prime and has 7. The Opove and Exogun both offer 4 heads, but cost $100 less than the Theragun Prime.
While the Theragun Pro is of course, in a league of its own, and at nearly $600, you're paying for a top of the range device with few alternatives.
But if you are looking at a cheaper device, there are many to good options to choose from.
For the same price as the Prime and $100 less than the Elite, the HyperVolt 2 is an impressive alternative.
At the budget end of the scale, the AlphaGun V6 offers over 30 speeds, 7 heads, up to 4 hours battery life and a 3,200 RPM motor for $129 (reduced from $249)
If you are looking for a low-budget alternative, the AlphaGun probably offers the best combination of features and price.
Theragun Prime vs Pro vs Elite FAQ:
Some of the most popular questions about the Theragun Prime, Elite and Pro are answered below. Feel free to ask more questions in the comments, and I'll post answers here!
How much do the Prime, Elite and Pro cost?
The Theragun Prime is $299, the Elite costs $399 and the Pro costs from $599 up to $1,000 for the gold edition.
What is the RPM of each device?
All Theragun devices have an RPM of 2,400
How many speeds does the Theragun have?
All Theragun devices have 5 speed settings.
How many heads does the Theragun have?
The PRO comes with 6 interchangeable heads, while the Elite has 5 and the Prime has 4.