At this point, the name “Theragun” is basically synonymous with “massage gun.” When Therabody (formerly known as Theragun) launched its first device back in 2016, it put percussive therapy (i.e. rapid and repetitive pressure combined with vibration) in the hands of the consumers for the first time — no coach, sports doc, or physical therapist necessary. It’s like having an on-demand masseuse, whether your aches and pains are the result of a tough workout or from riding your desk chair all day.
Plenty of companies have launched their own massage guns since that first Theragun, but none of them have the same name recognition and visibility as Therabody (especially with ambassadors like Christian Ronaldo, Maria Sharapova, DeAndre Hopkins, and Mo Farah). This fall, Therabody launched the Theragun PRO Gen 5, an updated version of their OG massage gun. It’s one of the most expensive devices available, but it’s also one of the most powerful. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re considering the splurge.
The Theragun PRO Gen 5 is the best of the best when it comes to an at-home massage gun. 20% quieter than its predecessor, it’s easy to use and perfect for athletes and office warriors alike. We love the built-in OLED screen and its five pre-programmed speeds. And for the limited-time price of $399, now is the perfect time to splurge on self-care.
At $599, there’s no getting around the fact that the cost of the Theragun PRO is prohibitive (though it is on sale right now for $200 off). I can get five actual massages for that price at my local recovery studio, and while I know you get more than five uses out of a Theragun, it’s a steep price for anyone who’s not absolutely invested in maximizing their performance.
For the average user, the Theragun Elite—which is $200 cheaper—will more than get the job done; the biggest differences are in battery life (120 minutes for the Elite versus 150 minutes for the PRO) and motor power (40 pounds of stall force, or how much pressure it takes to stop the motor, versus 60 pounds).
With so many smaller massage guns available, I struggle with some of the sizes. The Theragun PRO: Gen 5 weighs 2.9 pounds and measures 10 inches by 7.1 inches by 3 inches. Which means that it barely fits in my tote bag if I’m also carrying gym clothes — though It does come with a soft storage case to carry the included six attachments.
It also felt cumbersome to be holding three pounds in one hand sometimes, especially when reaching around to my shoulders and back. But the adjustable attachment arm does try to troubleshoot for that, with a button on the multi-grip handle that lets you move the arm between four positions, giving you about 90 degrees of flexibility.
The Theragun’s biggest competitor is the Hyperice’s Hypervolt Pro 2, which costs $399. It’s slightly lighter, at 2.6 pounds, only comes with five attachments, and has a 14-millimeter amplitude. It also has five speeds of percussion and connects via Bluetooth to the Hyperice App for guided routines — but the motor isn’t quite as powerful as what you’ll find in the Theragun PRO: Gen 5. The HoMedics Therapist Select DuoTemp Pro Percussion Massager, which retails for $399.99, comes with 6 attachments and 4 intensity levels, and while it’s not as powerful as either the Theragun or Hypervolt, it does come with an attachment that enables instant hot and cold therapy.
The Theragun PRO: Gen 5 is a splurge. And that’s OK! If you’re someone who uses a massage gun religiously and wants the best of the best, this is the gun for you. It’s quieter than ever without sacrificing any of the power previous generations were known for; has built-in guidance to teach you exactly how to maximize your use of percussive therapy; and has an adjustable arm and multiple grip options so you can target even the hardest-to-reach areas. But if you’re just a casual massage gun user and the Theragun’s price tag turns you off, you can still get the same benefits and even the majority of the same features in a much more affordable device—even from the same brand.