The Theragun Prime and Theragun Elite are two of the most popular massage guns on the market. Each one offers unique features and benefits, but they also have drawbacks.
I’ve tested both, and as a health and recovery coach, I've worked with clients who’ve tried one or the other. In this head-to-head review, let’s see whether the Theragun Prime or Elite is better to help you recover from workouts.
So, is the Theragun Prime or Elite better? The Prime is more budget-friendly with five-speed settings, Bluetooth connectivity for guided massages, and a 2,400 RPM max speed, making it ideal for home or gym use. The Elite is more expensive but offers a higher 40 lb stall force for deeper massages, an additional wedge attachment, and quieter operation.
If you’re serious about your workout routine, read to the end. You don’t want to waste money on a massage gun that won’t help you take your strength gains to the next level.
Keep reading as we compare Theragun Prime vs Elite:
- Who should choose the Theragun Prime or Elite?
- Theragun Prime Review
- Theragun Elite Review
- Theragun Prime vs Elite: Head-to-head comparisons
Learn the differences between Theragun Prime vs Elite massage guns and which is the best choice for powerlifters, weightlifters, and athletes.
Theragun Prime vs Elite: Which Should You Choose?
Who Should Choose the Theragun Prime?
The Theragun Prime is suitable for those who:
- Are shopping on a tighter budget
- Will be using the massage gun at home or in a gym where there is a plug socket
- Want to follow guided massage tutorials via an app on their smartphone
- Aren’t bothered about having an LED display screen
Who Should Choose the Theragun Elite?
The Theragun Prime is best for those who:
- Have a higher budget
- Want to use their massage gun on the go with wireless charging
- Want a deeper level of massage
- Want to follow guided massage sessions on their smartphone
- Are searching for a massager with a range of heads, including a wedge attachment
- Want a slightly lighter massage gun than the Prime model
Theragun Prime Review: Pros, Cons, Specs
- Ergonomic triangular handle
- Bluetooth connectivity to an accompanying app on your smartphone
- QuietForce Technology to reduce the noise of the motor
- Short battery life of 2 hours
|Design and Materials||Triangular ergonomic handle|
|Size and Weight||12 inches x 3 inches x 12 inches 3.09 Pounds|
|Charging||Cable and plug|
|Battery Life||Two hours|
|Stall Force and Amplitude||16 mm, 30 lbs|
|Percussion and Speed||2,400 rpm, four speed settings|
|Bluetooth Capabilities and Smart Features||Bluetooth connectivity to smartphone app|
|Accessories and Attachments||Four attachments (ball, thumb, cone, and dampener) Carrying case|
|Noise Level||68 decibels|
|Mobile App Compatibility||Yes|
The Theragun Prime is a great massage gun for weightlifters and will give you a good massage to relax your muscle tension.
The Prime is an even more attractive pick if you're watching your wallet. It's got a variety of speed settings that go up to 2,400 RPM and four different attachments, so you can tailor your massage session to what your body needs.
I found it easy to handle, thanks to its light weight and comfy triangular grip. But let's talk about the noise. While using the Prime, I noticed it's a bit louder—around 68 decibels. Not a deal-breaker, but it's something to consider if you're into more quiet relaxation.
Now, if you've got a bit more to spend and you're looking for that deeper massage, the Elite has got you covered. It has a larger stall force, meaning you can really dig into those muscles. I loved that aspect, especially after a tough workout.
Both massage guns link up to an app on your smartphone for relaxing guided sessions, but the Elite takes it up a bit with a quieter operation.
But before deciding between these massage guns, let’s look more closely at the Theragun Elite.
Theragun Elite Review: Pros, Cons, Specs
- Premium stall force of 40 lbs
- OLED display screen
- Five attachments and Bluetooth connectivity to smartphone app
- High price tag
|Design and Materials||Triangular ergonomic handle|
|Size and Weight||4.72 inches x 1.18 inches x 4.72 inches 2.2 lbs|
|Charging||Cable and plug and wireless charging available|
|Battery Life||Two hours|
|Stall Force and Amplitude||16 mm, 40 lbs|
|Percussion and Speed||2,400 rpm, five speed settings|
|Bluetooth Capabilities and Smart Features||Bluetooth connectivity to smartphone app Can save up to three custom massage routines|
|Accessories and Attachments||Five attachments (ball, thumb, cone, dampener, and wedge) Carrying case|
|Display Screen||Yes, OLED display screen|
|Noise Level||Equivalent to an electric toothbrush|
|Mobile App Compatibility||Yes|
The Theragun Elite is a premium massage gun with a higher price tag than the Prime model but it also has a wider range of features. It’s available in three colors (black, white and red, or white and blue).
The Elite has the same speed settings as the Prime (four), the same amplitude of 16 mm, and the same battery life of two hours. But here's the kicker—the Elite has a stall force of 40 lbs, compared to the Prime's 30 lbs. Trust me, you'll feel that extra force. It digs deeper into the muscles, and after a grueling workout, it's a game-changer.
Let's talk about the extra wedge attachment. It might not sound like a big deal, but having used it, I can say it adds a whole new layer of versatility to your massage sessions. Oh, and the OLED display is handy for tracking your speed settings.
Noise-wise? The Elite is your quiet companion; think electric toothbrush level of noise.
Now, you're probably asking, “What's the catch?” Well, the downside is that all these extra features make the Elite costlier than the Prime. So, if you're on a budget, that's something to consider.
The Elite is the way to go if you want to invest a bit more for a quieter, more powerful experience with some extra perks. Otherwise, the Prime is still a super solid choice!
Theragun Prime vs Elite: Head-to-Head Comparison
Let’s compare the Theragun Prime and Elite massage guns to see how they perform in several categories.
The Prime is a cheaper model than the Elite and one of the least expensive Theragun massage guns.
The Theragun Elite is more expensive than the Theragun Prime, so is only suitable for those with a higher budget.
The Winner: The Prime takes first place as the best affordable model because of its lower price point. Price is the main difference between Theragun Prime and Elite models.
Check out my comparison of the Theragun Elite vs Theragun Pro if you’ve got a higher budget and want to invest in one of the more expensive Theragun massage guns.
2. Design and Materials
The Prime has an ergonomic triangular handle that enables you to use a variety of grip angles to suit your needs.
The Elite also has an ergonomic triangular handle that offers multiple grip options.
The Winner: The Theragun Prime and the Theragun Elite both offer a top-level design that fits comfortably in my hands.
3. Size and Weight
The Prime weighs just over 3 lbs and measures 12 inches x 3 inches x 12 inches.
The Elite is a lot smaller than the Prime model, measuring 4.72 inches x 1.18 inches x 4.72 inches. It weighs less than the Prime, too, with a total weight of 2.2 lbs, so it feels more comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
The Winner: The Theragun Elite wins this category for being the lightest and most compact of the two massage guns.
The Prime battery is not chargeable, and wireless charging isn’t available. You’ll need to plug the massage gun into the main power supply to use it.
The Elite has wireless charging capabilities, but you need to purchase the wireless charger separately, which will cost you an additional $80 on top of the massage gun’s price.
The Winner: If you want to use your massage gun on the go, you’ll be better off getting the Theragun Elite, which has portable, wireless charging capabilities.
5. Battery Life
The Prime battery lasts two hours when fully charged.
The Elite also lasts around two hours in total before you need to recharge it.
The Winner: The battery life is the same for these massage guns, so they’re both good choices.
6. Stall Force and Amplitude
The Prime has a stall force of 30 lbs and an amplitude of 16 mm.
The Elite model of the Theragun massage gun has a slightly higher stall force of 40 lbs, which means the gun penetrates more deeply into the muscles. It has the same amplitude of 16 mm as the Prime model.
The Winner: The Theragun Elite takes first place for this category because of its slightly larger stall force than the Theragun Prime and equivalent amplitude.
7. Percussion and Speed
The maximum percussions per minute for the Theragun Prime massage gun is 2,400, and five different speed settings are available.
The Elite massage gun matches the Prime model in terms of percussion and speed, reaching a maximum of 2,400 rpm with five different speed settings.
The Winner: Comparing the Theragun Prime vs. Elite mini massage guns for percussion and speed, there is no clear winner. Both the percussion and speed are the same in both models.
8. Bluetooth Capabilities and Smart Features
Bluetooth connectivity is available with the Prime massage gun. You can use Bluetooth to connect your device to your smartphone, where you can download an app and follow along with guided massage tutorials.
An accompanying app with guided massage sessions is also available with the Elite. You can connect your handheld massager to your smartphone via Bluetooth. On the app, you can save up to three custom massage sessions.
The Winner: The Elite model wins because you are able to save three custom massages through the app on your smartphone, which is something that is not available with the Prime model. But it's a close call between the Theragun Prime vs. Elite for Bluetooth connectivity because both have this feature.
9. Accessories and Attachments
You’ll receive four attachments with your Prime (a standard round ball, a flat head, a bullet-shaped head, and a U-shaped head). You’ll also receive a carrier and a cable for the charger.
The Elite comes with the same four attachments as the Prime and one additional wedge-shaped head. It also comes with a carrier and cable. You can purchase a wireless charging port for your Elite massage gun if you wish to charge it on the go.
The Winner: The Theragun Elite wins with better attachment options and accessories. However, the massage heads available with the Prime model will be enough for most people.
10. Display Screen
The Prime does not have a display screen.
Unlike the Prime model, the Theragun Elite has an OLED display screen that shows the selected speed setting. The display screen sits on the top of the massage gun, so it is easy to see when you are holding the device in front of your body.
The Winner: The Theragun Prime doesn’t have a display screen, so the Elite model takes first place in this category. It has a clear and easy-to-read LED display screen that informs you of the selected speed setting.
11. Noise Level
When the Prime Theragun operates, its noise levels are around 68 decibels. This is a low to average noise level for a handheld massage gun, as though the Prime does have QuietForceTechnology to reduce noise as much as possible.
The Elite is quieter than the Prime and emits the equivalent noise level of an electric toothbrush.
The Winner: Because it’s so quiet, the Elite Theragun is the winner when comparing the noise levels of the two Theragun devices during operation. It is ideal for use in a public gym, and you can use it while watching television or listening to music without any trouble.
12. Mobile App Compatibility
The Prime massage guns connect via Bluetooth to the Therabody app, where you can access different massage guides and tutorials and follow along with them.
Like the Prime model, the Theragun Elite is a handheld massager connecting to the Therabody app on your smartphone. You can also follow guided massages on the app and save up to 3 custom massage sessions with the Elite.
The Winner: Both models enable you to connect to the Therabody app. However, the winner is the Theragun Elite because you can save your own massages in the app to use again in the future.
Why You Should Trust PowerliftingTechnique
At PowerliftingTechnique, we are a team of expert powerlifters and coaches who have been training, coaching, and competing for years in professional powerlifting and bodybuilding competitions.
To create accurate articles for PowerliftingTechnique readers, we combine our professional opinions and personal experience on the top fitness products on the market.
How We Tested and Compared the Theragun Prime and Theragun Elite
We have tried and tested both the Prime and Elite percussive massage guns from Theragun for several weeks to identify their best features and their potential drawbacks.
We used the massagers after tough powerlifting workouts that left our muscles feeling sore to determine how effective they were at relieving muscle soreness and tension and also considered factors like battery life, speed settings, price, size, weight, ease of use, and additional technological components.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the RPM of Each Device?
Both the Theragun Prime and the Theragun Elite massage guns run at maximum rpm of 2,400. They both have five different speed settings so that you can reduce the speed for more sensitive areas of the body or when you’re massaging over a powerlifting injury.
How Many Speeds Does the Theragun Have?
When comparing the Theragun Prime vs. Theragun Elite muscle massage guns, there is no difference between the number of speed settings. Both models offer five different speed settings for you to enjoy.
How Many Heads Does the Theragun Have?
There is only a slight difference between Theragun Elite and Prime massage guns when looking at the number of heads that come with each one. The former has five different heads, including ball, thumb, cone, dampener, and wedge attachments. You don’t get the wedge attachment with the latter, but it comes with the other four heads.
How Long Is the Theragun Warranty?
Whether you're going for the Theragun Prime or Elite massage guns, the standard warranty is the same. You get two years of coverage for the device itself and 30 days for the massage heads.
Is Theragun Prime strong enough?
The Theragun Prime packs a punch despite being on the more budget-friendly side of the Theragun lineup. With a maximum speed of 2,400 RPM and a stall force of 30 lbs, it's more than strong enough for most people's recovery and relaxation needs.
Is Theragun Pro Stronger than the Elite?
The Theragun Pro model is a more powerful massage gun. It features a higher stall force, allowing for a deeper and more intense muscular treatment. Based on empirical testing and application in various therapeutic settings, the Theragun Pro is often the preferred choice among healthcare professionals for its enhanced capabilities. Therefore, if your requirements include more vigorous and deeper tissue engagement, the Theragun Pro is advisable.
Is There A Better Massage Gun Brand Than Theragun?
Theragun is undoubtedly one of the leading massage gun brands, known for its high-quality devices, versatility, and robust suite of features. However, other reputable brands may offer specific advantages. For example, Hyperice's Hypervolt line is lauded for its Quiet Glide technology and lighter weight. Brands like OPOVE and Ekrin Athletics offer budget-friendly options without significantly compromising on quality.
Final Verdict: Is the Theragun Prime or Theragun Elite Better?
Personally, I don’t feel that the 10 lbs extra stall force and the extra wedge attachment are worth the additional cost of the Elite compared to the Prime.
Therefore, I feel that the Theragun Prime is the best option. It’s more budget-friendly than the Elite but offers five different speed settings, four unique attachments, and Bluetooth connectivity to the Therabody app.
You can still enjoy a variety of massage styles and techniques with the Prime and its four attachments, so it’s a great choice for those who don’t want to pay the premium price tag of the Theragun Elite.
However, if you prefer more deep tissue massage and the extra money isn’t a large consideration, I think you’ll be happy with the Theragun Elite.
About The Author
Athina is a Biochemistry and Genetics graduate, and a qualified personal trainer with a passion for women’s health and fitness. She is passionate about helping women to learn more about the importance of the menstrual cycle and how to balance their hormones. She is the host and producer of Fertility and Freedom podcast, which covers all things women’s health and hormones.