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Theragun Mini vs Theragun Prime (2021): Which Massage Gun Should You Get?

Theragun is arguably one of the leading brands in the percussive massage device market. Although they’ve rebranded to Therabody, these innovative massage devices are still best known as Theraguns. This year saw the release of four new devices as part of its 4th generation of massage guns. Among the new tools are the Theragun mini and Theragun Prime. Both are marketed as entry-level options. If you’re looking for your first massage gun, which is better? Below, we breakdown some key differences between these two devices to help you decide.

Theragun mini vs Theragun Prime Comparison Chart

ModelTheragun miniTheragun Prime
 Amazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon product
Force20 lbs30 lbs
Speed3 built in speeds: 1750, 2100 & 2400 percussions per minute5 built in speeds: 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200 & 2400 percussions per minute

Customizable speed between 1750-2400 percussions per minute via the mobile app
Amplitude12mm16mm
Compatible AttachmentsAll Theragun 4th gen attachmentsAll Theragun 4th gen attachments
Included AttachmentsStandard ballStandard ball, dampener, cone, ball
BluetoothNoYes
Adjustable ArmNoNo
Travel CaseSoft caseProtective carrying pouch
Battery Life120 minutes150 minutes
Charge Time80 minutes80 minutes
Dimensions6 in x 5.3 in x 2.25 in8.9 in x 6.3 in x 2.7 in
Weight1.43 lbs2.2 lbs

Design

The portable Theragun mini ditches the triangle design that the Theragun Prime sports for a no-slip, albeit less ergonomic grip.

Theragun’s compact mini comes in three colors including red. Meanwhile, the Theragun Prime is only available in black.

Theraguns are known for their innovative and ergonomic percussive massagers, and the fourth generation Prime and mini models are no different. Theragun Prime’s triangular shape, however, keeps it closer to the design of other Therabody massage guns like the Elite and Pro. All three devices feature a multi-grip handle that allows users to hold them in different positions. It certainly reduces the strain of working the massagers across your body to target specific muscle groups.

Meanwhile, the Theragun mini puts a premium more on portability. As a result, the multi-grip handle is ditched for a more spade-like appearance. No, this isn’t a percussive massager that would fit in your pocket. However, it’s definitely small enough for most bags and shouldn’t be cumbersome to take with you to the gym or office.

Therabody shares that the mini still features a no-slip design. However, the Prime’s handle definitely gives it an advantage in terms of having an ergonomic grip. This is particularly useful since, unlike the Theragun Pro, the Prime and mini do not boast of adjustable arms. As a result, moving the guns to hard-to-reach areas of your body is all done by hand.

Lastly, if you’re keen about color, you’ll find more options available with the Theragun mini. The compact device comes in black, white, and red. With the Theragun Prime, you only get a matte black version.

Force and Strokes

The Theragun Prime offers more impact force and deeper strokes compared to the Theragun mini.

Theraguns can be used wherever, whenever.

When it comes to the performance of percussive massage devices, two things need to be taken into considerationโ€”stall force and stroke length. Current industry standards deem a stall force between 30 lbs to 50 lbs to be adequate for percussion therapy. Anything higher, like the 60 lbs boasted by the Theragun Pro, is better suited for deep tissue massage therapy. The Theragun Prime just about makes it to the standard, with its 30-lbs stall force. Meanwhile, the mini only comes with about 20 lbs of pressure.

The Prime also has an advantage when it comes to stroke length. Its 16mm amplitude means you get an attachment head that travels further and deeper. As a result, the strokes on the Prime will feel punchier compared to the 12mm amplitude offered by the Theragun mini. For casual users, the difference in stroke length might be negligible. However, if you’re a pro-athlete or someone experiencing persistent back pain, the Prime and mini’s impact force may not be enough.

Speed and Noise Level

Both the Theragun Prime and mini are considerably quieter than previous iterations of Therabody massage guns.

Compared to the Theragun Prime (left), the mini (right) boasts a smaller form for portability.

Despite being entry-level devices, the Theragun Prime and mini do offer variable speed settings. With the Theragun Prime, you get five built-in speeds along with a customizable speed range. The mini, on the other hand, only offers three built-in speeds. Both massage guns offer a maximum of 2,400 percussions per minute.

The Prime and mini use QuietForce technology for its brushless motors. Whereas older Theraguns were particularly loud, these fourth-generation devices are considerably quieter. No, it’s not absolutely noiseless. If you plan to use a Theragun in the office, you’re still most likely going to annoy someone. But the low hum it creates is a huge improvement over the jackhammer sound it used to produce.

Battery Life and Other Features

While the mini boasts a longer battery life, the Prime offers more attachments as well as integration with the Therabody app.

Here’s a quick look at the key features of the Theragun mini and Prime.

As is the case with most massage guns, the larger the device the shorter is the battery life. With the Theragun Prime, you’ll get about 2 hours of runtime. In contrast, Theragun mini can operate for about 2.5 hours. These numbers are still double what was seen in previous iterations of Theraguns. So if battery life is something important to you, the Prime and mini will not disappoint.

The latest Theragun Prime and mini are all also compatible with Therabody’s fourth-generation attachments as well. However, the mini only comes with the standard Ball attachment. If you opt for the Prime, you’ll get the Dampener, Thumb, and Cone attachments in addition to the Ball. The higher-end models will give you more but you can always purchase additional heads you need separately.

Now, because the Theragun mini is the true entry-level Theragun, the device does cut some corners in other aspects. For instance, you don’t get a wireless charging capability. The same goes for Theragun Prime. Nonetheless, the Prime does brandish Bluetooth connectivity so you can integrate it with the Therabody companion app. You can still use both massagers even without the app. But for those who want a more engaging treatment experience, you get more from the Prime compared to the basic functionality offered by the Theragun mini.

Verdict

For first time buyers, the Theragun Prime offers more features compared to the basic functions found in the Theragun mini.

Amazon product

The latest iteration of Theraguns proves the brand’s desire to constantly improve and build upon the success of its percussive massagers. If you’re looking to get your hands on this kind of device for the first time, the Theragun Prime and mini are the entry-level models to consider.

Although it’s quite a capable percussive massage device in its own right, the Theragun mini does feel more basic compared to the Prime. It should probably suffice for the occasional back pain or even a long day at the gym, but the rather low stall force can be a letdown if you need more intensive therapy. Its main draw is really portability, so if you just want an on-the-go massager that isn’t too cumbersome to carry around, this is for you.

The Theragun Prime isn’t going to be as intensive as the Theragun Elite and Pro, but it does incorporate some of the best features of its higher-end siblings. You get customizable speed settings, more attachments compared to the Theragun mini, smart app integration, and industry-standard stall force. Just like the mini, however, the Prime isn’t marketed for professional athletes and trainers. But if you want a no-fuss massage gun that gives you a taste of what the premium Theraguns offer, then the Prime ticks all the boxes.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Theragun Prime compatible with wireless charging?

No, the Theragun Prime does not feature a wireless charging capability.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Theragun mini compatible with the Therabody app?

The Theragun mini does not come with Smart App integration. Only the Theragun Prime, Elite, and Pro are compatible with the Therabody app.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can I get the Theragun Prime in other colors?

The Theragun is currently only available in black.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Theragun mini come with its own pouch or case?

The Theragun mini includes a soft case upon purchase.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.