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A Waste of Money? Theragun Prime vs Elite

A waste of money - Theragun Prime vs Elite - blog post image

A friend you know or the gym you go to has a Theragun. You test it out. Now you’re hooked and basically have to have one. So you cruise on over to the Theragun website and bam.

Hello shocking price tag.

You consider the least expensive option but is there a big difference between the Theragun Prime vs Elite? Or even better, does Amazon have a better value item that is similar to Theragun?

Well first things first. You won’t see us telling you to run over to Amazon to purchase the knock off Theragun equivalent. Because we’ve been there. We get that the knock offs are so much more affordable. But we made the mistake and decided to get a highly rated massage gun on Amazon and ended up wasting more money in the long run because it truly does nothing in comparison to the Theragun.

When buying a higher priced item, you may have a few more questions than for a usual purchase. So we bought all four Theraguns (so you didn’t have to) in order to put them to the test and understand the real pros and cons of each. With all that research, we put together a detailed buying guide so that it will hopefully make your decision a tiny bit easier at the end of the day.

So without further ado…

Theragun Facts & Lingo Breakdown

Image via Therabody site

Ever seen the massage gun in the image above?

Probably not, because this is what founder Dr. Jason Wersland created for himself after a bad motorcycle accident. Nothing like it existed yet on the market and Wersland found it to be a beneficial tool in managing his pain.

After many an iteration on the design of the massage gun, the Therabody team landed on the patented triangle design you may have come to recognize in recent years.

Now when you watch videos or hear people talk about massage guns, there are two main phrases that you’ll hear tossed around: stall force and amplitude.

What do they mean?

Well for starters, stall force is basically the hardest the gun can actually hit you. The gun will shut off if it detects too much resistance or it’s max “force”. So obviously if you want something that will continue working even under a considerable amount of pressure.

In the Theragun family, the stall force ranges from 20 – 60 lbs depending on the massage gun model.

Now amplitude, is basically how deep the gun can hit you. The amplitude is describing how far the head moves back and forth which plays a role in how deep it can hit.

Every Theragun has a 16 mm amplitude, with the Theragun Mini as the only exception with a 12mm amplitude.

Product Breakdown

Image via Therabody

Theragun Mini

  • Cost: $199
  • 12 mm amplitude* (see above for explanation)
  • Speeds: 1750, 2100, 2400 PPMs (with LED speed indicator)
  • Battery life: 120 minutes
  • Accessories: (3) attachments, charging cable and soft case
  • Bluetooth® compatible with the Therabody app

The second generation Theragun Mini came out with something to say!

It’s no wonder it made the Oprahs favorite things list this year because at the price, you get a ton. It now comes with Bluetooth capability and extra attachments.

For me, the main reason to get the Theragun Mini is the fact that it has a ton of power, at such a great price. If you’ve ever tried a knock off massage gun, the Mini could more than likely beat it in a fight.

But on the flip side, if you’re shopping for a Theragun, get a Theragun. By that I mean get one with the patented triangle handle because it does make a difference.

But hey, maybe you already have a Theragun and just want something powerful but small enough to travel with. If that’s the case, you won’t be disappointed with the power of the Mini.

Image via Therabody

Theragun Prime

  • Cost: $299
  • 16 mm amplitude* (see above for explanation)
  • Customizable speed range with 5 built-in speeds: 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2400 PPMs (with LED speed indicator)
  • Battery life: 120 minutes
  • Accessories: (4) attachments, charging cable and soft case
  • Bluetooth® compatible with the Therabody app

Does the Prime have less overall features than the Elite? Sure, yes.

But does spending an extra $100 on the Elite make up that difference? Absolutely not.

Y’all when it comes to the Theragun Prime vs Elite debate, you are wasting your money if you buy the Elite. I honestly don’t even know why the Elite exists as an option altogether.

With the Theragun Prime, you get the deep tissue power of a first in class brand massage gun. Which also has the sleek, well-made design of Therabody’s triangular handle.

But take a look at our comparison chart further down the page, and you’ll see that the Theragun Prime has our ultimate vote. There isn’t enough of a difference when you compare the Theragun Prime vs Elite to convince us otherwise.

Basically the Theragun Prime is the one you want to purchase and the one that we recommend after testing all four models for ourselves.

Image via Therabody

Theragun Elite

  • Cost: $399
  • 16 mm amplitude* (see above for explanation)
  • OLED Screen with Force Meter
  • Customizable speed range with 5 built-in speeds: 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2400 PPMs
  • Battery life: 120 minutes
  • Accessories: (5) attachments, charging cable and protective carrying case
  • Bluetooth® compatible with the Therabody app

Truth be told, we don’t have a lot to say when it comes to the Theragun Elite.

First of all if you can’t tell from the photos, the Elite is super shiny which is unique from the more matte finishes of the other models. Do you love a good mirror? When then maybe the shiny option is for you?…

The only other compliment to give the Elite is that the Theragun Elite protective case is a little nicer than the Theragun Pro surprisingly. The carrying case feels higher quality with the hard shell and the attachment compartment inside is better designed.

But seriously, I’m just not sure why they made this one. Ask our opinion between the Theragun Prime vs Elite and we will tell you to save your money all day and go with the Prime. At the same time, the Elite is also close enough to the Pro that you may as well spend the money if you have it to spend.

Yeah, so just move on from thinking about the Elite.

Theragun Pro
Image via Therabody

Theragun Pro

  • Cost: $599
  • 16 mm amplitude* (see above for explanation)
  • OLED Screen with Force Meter
  • Customizable speed range with 5 built-in speeds: 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2400 PPMs
  • Battery life: 160 minutes
  • Accessories: (6) attachments with pouch, charging cable and soft case
  • Bluetooth® compatible with the Therabody app

I mean it is super nice, not gonna lie.

You get all you need and some when buying the Pro. Our favorite feature is the interchangeable battery. If you forget to charge things, then you can always buy additional batteries so your Pro never loses its charge. Having the option for extra batteries can be helpful too for businesses like gyms or physical therapists. If you’re sharing the Theraguns with a larger group, they will lose battery quicker so this could be a really nice feature for those cases.

The Theragun Pro is the only model that also has an adjustable head for a wider range of motion. Personally, I don’t see myself using that too terribly often but there may be a time and place where it can come in handy?

To justify getting the Theragun Pro though, you either need to not have budget as a factor or you just really like nice things.

Theragun Pro is an exceptional massage gun, there is no doubt about it. But if you don’t have that kind of money to spend, then don’t. Save $300 by going with the Theragun Prime.

Product Comparison Chart

For a quick reference, we made a chart for you to visually compare the four Theragun models.

Look for yourself when comparing the Theragun Prime vs Elite. But to us, it just doesn’t seem like you’re getting enough more to justify paying $100 extra for the Elite. And with the Theragun Mini lacking in amplitude and having a different handle design, the Prime feels like the overall best Theragun to purchase.

What we recommend: Theragun Prime vs Elite

Thereagun-Prime
Image via Therabody
Theragun-Pro
Image via Therabody

So which Theragun massage model do we ultimately recommend?

Well, after taking a look at all the different options and what they (do or don’t) offer, the Theragun Prime is the best option.

Why?

Because you get a quality massage gun that is $300 less than the brand’s nicest version but still get a powerful massage from it. You don’t a fancy screen on the massage gun itself to lead you through a massage. That part is pretty intuitive, or you can just use the Therabody app if you need something to follow.

Additionally, the Theragun Prime has the same amplitude as the Pro and if you can cause it to stall at 40 pounds of force, I’ll be impressed.

To us, you get the most out of the features that Therabody offers with the Theragun Prime. It should be no surprise to hear that while these massage guns are expensive, they out perform the generic knockoff devices by a long shot.

So if you’re hesitating to get one, don’t! Get the Prime! Or if you want to see a little bit more on the topic, watch our video where we show you each Theragun model.

Theragun Attachments Breakdown

Thumb attachment
Standard-Ball attachment
Wedge attachment
Supersoft attachment
Micro-Point attachment

Part of the amazing design of the Theragun family is the fact that any attachment can fit on any model of Theragun.

You can’t say that there isn’t an attachment for you when it comes to the Theragun either. Whether you want a gentle touch or the hardest of punches, you can make that happen by choosing the right speed and attachment.

Shopping around for an attachment and not quite sure what to get? As a rule of thumb, the pointy-er the attachment, the harder it will hit. If you have a particularly tight spot, you will need a smaller tool to break it up.

There are quite a few attachments by Therabody now. So we made a quick reference chart so you can get an idea of which ones have a higher impact and what areas they were designed to target.

AttachmentTarget AreaImpact Level
SupersoftFor elbows, knees & joints and other delicate areas1 out of 10
DampenerFor tender or bony areas and overall use3 out of 10
Large BallFor large muscle groups like glutes and quads4 out of 10
Standard BallFor overall use on both large and small muscle groups5 out of 10
WedgeFor shoulder blades, IT bands, scraping and flushing5 out of 10
ThumbFor trigger points and the lower back7 out of 10
ConeFor trigger points and small muscle groups10 out of 10
Micro-PointProvides increased stimulation throughout treatment10 out of 10
Details of Therabody Attachments

Visual chart you can pin for later:

The Power of Each Theragun Attachment

Well friends, I think that’s a wrap for us. Hopefully you have a better idea of each Theragun model and what is unique about each of them after reading this post.

Again, we’ve heard a lot of questions around the Theragun Prime vs Elite and the Prime is our answer to that debate.

But if we didn’t answer a specific question you may have had about any of the Theraguns, whether about the Theragun Prime vs Elite or other specifics, let us know. We tested out all of the models so that it would hopefully help you make a more educated purchase.

Thanks for stopping by and if you’re in the shopping mood, you can always check out our detailed post on Rogue racks and which ones we suggest.

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