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Given our current WFH/never-really-go-anywhere-situation, it’s no big surprise that massage guns like Therabody’s Theragun have become more popular than ever. They’re a DIY option for soothing muscle soreness, and if you’re an athlete, they might offer even bigger benefits.

So what’s the catch? While there are a few different models, none of them are exactly affordable. So it’s the kinda buy that demands a deep dive before you add to cart. Here’s everything you need to know.

Therabody’s Theragun is a percussive device — what most of us call massage guns. These electronic appliances send quick, pulsing bursts of pressure into muscle tissue to promote circulation and generate heat, similar to getting an actual in-person massage.

This can potentially help ease muscle tension and soreness, and if you’re an athlete, give you a quicker recovery time and potentially help your muscles go harder for longer.

Plenty of people swear by percussive devices, even just to ease discomfort from sitting at a desk all day. Active folks say it can help soothe that hurts-so-good feeling after a workout, and regular use might even help improve flexibility and range of motion.

The downside? There aren’t any clinical or evidence-based guidelines for how to use these tools safely or effectively. And it’s entirely possible that going too hard with a massage gun could damage muscle tissue — which can potentially cause serious problems.

That’s not to say you need to steer clear. But you should definitely run the massage gun idea by your doc (or a physical therapist or trainer) before buying. They can help you figure out what kind of device will best meet your needs and share some pointers on how to get relief without going overboard.

Theragun PRO

Here’s Therabody’s top of the line massage gun. Designed for professional athletes in mind (with a price to match), it boasts commercial grade power to enhance muscle recovery, ease tension and stress, and soothe discomfort.

  • Key features: rotating arm with ergonomic multi-grip, customizable speed range, can sync with Therabody app via Bluetooth
  • Motor: QX150 professional grade with QuietForce technology
  • Speed: 5 built-in speeds ranging from1,750 to 2,400 PPM
  • Amplitude: 16 millimeters
  • Attachments: 6 total, most of which can easily be wiped clean
  • Max force: 60 lbs
  • Battery life: 300 minutes (2 rechargeable lithium ion batteries with 150 minutes life each) with wireless charging capability
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs
  • Extras included: free percussive therapy live digital course taught by Theragun Master Trainers, 2-year limited warranty
  • Price: $$$$

Theragun Elite

Don’t exactly need pro-level percussion but still want something serious? The Elite is a step down from the PRO, but it’s designed with max power and features to still stand out from other massage guns. And it runs quieter than an electronic toothbrush.

  • Key features: ergonomic multi-grip, customizable speed range, can sync with Therabody app via Bluetooth
  • Motor: QX65 professional grade with QuietFroce technology
  • Speed: 5 built-in speeds ranging from1,750 to 2,400 PPM
  • Amplitude: 16 millimeters
  • Attachments: 5 total, which can easily be wiped clean
  • Max force: 40 lbs
  • Battery life: 120 minutes (1 rechargeable lithium ion battery) with wireless charging capability
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Extras included: 1-year limited warranty
  • Price: $$$

Theragun Prime

If the idea of navigating a clunky device features causes you more pain, here’s a slimmer, more streamlined version that delivers just the essentials. Like the Elite, it claims to be quieter than an electronic toothbrush.

  • Key features: ergonomic multi-grip, customizable speed range, can sync with Therabody app via Bluetooth
  • Motor: QX65 professional grade with QuietFroce technology
  • Speed: 5 built-in speeds ranging from1,750 to 2,400 PPM
  • Amplitude: 16 millimeters
  • Attachments: 4 total, which can easily be wiped clean
  • Max force: 30 lbs
  • Battery life: 120 minutes (1 rechargeable lithium ion battery) with wireless charging capability
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Extras included: 1-year limited warranty
  • Price: $$

Theragun Mini

Small but mighty, the mini can easily fit into a bag or suitcase to give you max massage power on the go. It’s not as powerful as it’s full-sized siblings, but if you’re looking for a transportable budget option, it’s a solid choice.

  • Key features: compact, portable design, customizable speed range
  • Motor: QX35 professional grade with QuietForce technology
  • Speed: 3 built-in speeds ranging from1,750 to 2,400 PPM
  • Amplitude: 12 millimeters
  • Attachments: 0
  • Max force: unspecified
  • Battery life: 150 minutes (1 rechargeable lithium ion battery)
  • Weight: 1.43 lbs
  • Extras included: 1-year limited warranty
  • Price: $

All four of Theragun’s models boast an average 5-star rating, so users are seriously satisfied with these massage guns.

Many users are athletic and use it specifically for easing post-workout muscle soreness, but others find that it helps with lower back pain management and even for joint discomfort caused by problems like rheumatoid arthritis.

In all, one of these babies just might be your ticket to Comfort City.

On the downside, some otherwise satisfied users have pointed out that the battery doesn’t last quite as long as the brand claims.

There’s also the fact that all of the devices except the mini come with multiple attachments, so there’s a bunch of *stuff* to keep track of, swap out, and keep clean. Those aren’t necessarily reasons not to get a Theragun, of course. Just things to keep in mind.

Finally, just another reminder that these devices aren’t proven medical treatments and they don’t come with evidence-based usage guidelines. And it’s possible to get too much of a good thing and potentially end up messing up your muscle.

It’s definitely worth chatting with your doctor, physical therapist, or another medical pro about how to use your massage gun to meet your needs without overdoing it.

Ready to find the massage gun of your dreams?