Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: which massage gun should you buy this Black Friday?

Theragun Mini vs Theragun Elite
(Image credit: Theragun)

Theragun makes some of the best massage guns on the market, including the Theragun Elite and the Theragun Mini. But with a $200 price difference, choosing between the two models might be a tough decision. Is it worth it to pay more for smart features, or is a less-expensive and space-saving design more sensible?

The Elite and the Mini are a part of Theragun’s most current massage gun family, which boasts updated motors and advanced sound insulation. They’re both compatible with all of Theragun’s 4th generation attachments, which are constructed with closed-cell foam for a more comfortable (but still effective) massage. 

But beyond that, the two massage guns have distinctly different advantages. If you’re debating between purchasing the Theragun Elite vs. the Theragun Mini, this face-off can help. We’ve reviewed both, so we'll compare them side by side to help you make the best decision. 

Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: Specs

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Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: Specs
Header Cell - Column 0 Theragun EliteTheragun Mini
Price $399$199
Dimensions 9.5 in x 6.7 in x 2.8 in6 in x 5.3 in x 2.25 in
Weight 2.2 pounds1.43 pounds
PPM1750-2400, with 5 pre-programed speeds and full range with use of the Therabody App1750-2400, with 3 pre-programed speeds
Amplitude 16mm12mm
Noise level60-70 decibels50-65 decibels
Battery life 120 minutes150 minutes
Battery charge time 80 minutes80 minutes
MotorQX65, with 40 pound maximum forceQX35 with 20 pound maximum force
Smart featuresOLED screen with responsive force meter, Bluetooth connectivity, 3 preset treatments None
Carrying CaseHard ShellNeoprene

 Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: Price  

A photo of a woman using the Theragun Mini sat on a yoga mat

(Image credit: Theragun)

You wouldn’t call either of these massage guns cheap. The Theragun Elite is a pricey $399, and though the Theragun Mini is less at $199, it still falls in a more mid-range category of massage gun.  

Driving up the Elite’s price are a lot of — well, elite —  features like Bluetooth connectivity and an OLED screen. The Mini is the most affordable and compact of the Theragun offerings, however, so it lacks the high-tech properties of its brethren.

Sales on Therabody products aren’t frequent, but they do happen every once in a while. If you are lucky enough to find one, don’t expect to get a substantial amount off of the retail price (think around 10%). They are likely to be in the Black Friday sales, so keep an eye on our Black Friday deals page over the next couple of weeks. 

Winner: Theragun Mini

A photo of a woman using the Theragun Elite on her leg

(Image credit: Theragun)

Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: Design 

A photo of the screen on the Theragun Elite

(Image credit: Future/Tom's Guide)

Both the Theragun Elite and the Theragun Mini use a similar shape to their advantage, but they do it in different ways. The Elite looks like a hollowed out triangle, and can be gripped in multiple ways depending on the muscles you’re targeting. The Mini is triangular as well, but it’s shaped more like a solid, flat pyramid. It can really only be gripped one way, but that grip works for most parts of the body. 

The Elite and the Mini also have the same PPM (percussions per minute) range, with 1750 being the slowest and 2400 being the fastest. The Elite allows users to select one of five pre-set speeds (1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, and 2400), or any speed within its range when paired with the Therabody app. The Mini has three pre-set speeds (1750, 2100, or 2400). Since it’s not outfitted with Bluetooth capabilities, the Theragun Mini can’t be paired with the app. 

A photo of the buttons on the Theragun Mini

(Image credit: Future/Tom's Guide)

An OLED display on the top of the Elite displays the current PPM, battery life, and a meter that indicates your force production. There’s no display on the Mini — a sole button on the side powers on and off the device, and toggles between the three speeds. When the battery is low, a red light in the center of the button illuminates.

Speaking of attachments, the Elite comes with five of them: the dampener, the standard ball, the cone, the thumb, and the wedge. The Mini comes with just the standard ball, but it’s compatible with any of Theragun’s 4th generation attachments (which can be purchased separately).

Winner: Theragun Elite

Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: Features 

The Elite’s Bluetooth connectivity can provide additional guidance during usage. Pair the device with the Therabody app, and you’ll get real-time feedback on the correct amount of force to use while following any routine. You also won’t need to worry about selecting the right speed — the app will automatically set the Elite to the correct PPM for the job. You can still use the Mini in conjunction with the Therabody app, but since there’s no Bluetooth, you won’t get the additional guidance or automatic speed setting.

Winner: Theragun Elite

Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: Performance 

Amplitude — the distance that the shaft and attachment extend away from the gun — is important when determining how deep of a massage you’ll get with your gun. The Theragun Elite’s amplitude is an above average 16mm, which Therabody claims will generate a 60% deeper massage. The Theragun Mini’s amplitude is 12mm, which is about average for massage guns.

The Theragun Elite comes  with a QX65 motor that allows for 40 pounds of additional force without stalling, slowing down, or producing a lot of noise.  The Theragun Mini has a similar type of motor, although it’s a less-powerful QX35, and can withstand 20 pounds of additional force before a stall risk. 

Winner: Theragun Elite

Theragun Elite

(Image credit: Theragun)

Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: Noise 

During our testing of the Elite, sound levels ranged between 60 and 70  .Therabody boasts that the Mini’s QX35 compact brushless motor harnesses all the power of a Theragun in a much smaller package, retaining both its sound insulation and treatment quality. This is partially true — the Mini never exceeded 65 decibels during usage, and stayed mostly in the 60-63 decibel range. I

Winner: Theragun Mini

Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: Battery life 

You’ll get more battery life out of the Mini — it can go for 150 minutes before needing a recharge, whereas the Elite can only go for 120 minutes. Charging time for both guns is identical at 80 minutes.

Winner: Theragun Mini

Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: Portability

A photo of the Theragun Elite in its case

(Image credit: Future/Tom's Guide)

The Theragun Elite weighs about three quarters of a pound more than the Theragun Mini. Because of the Elite’s design, it’s wider than the Mini by three and half inches, and taller by a little over one inch. 

The Elite comes packaged in a square hard-shell carrying case, with inner pockets to house attachments, and a cloth handle affixed to the top. It measures 10 inches in length, 8.75 inches in height, and five inches in depth. With the Elite, its five attachments, and a wall charger stored inside, the carrying case weighs almost four pounds.  

A photo of the Theragun Mini in it's carry case

(Image credit: Future/Tom's Guide)

The Mini’s neoprene case is predictably smaller and more form-fitting, and measures six inches at its widest point, seven inches in height, and an inch and a half in depth. When it’s stored inside, the Mini and its case weigh about a pound and a half. You can squeeze the wall charger inside the case as well, but it’s a tight fit. Even with the charger added in, the total weight of the Mini is about half as much as the Elite.

Winner: Theragun Mini

Theragun Elite vs. Theragun Mini: Which should you buy?

The decision to buy a Theragun Elite or a Theragun Mini largely depends on two factors: your experience with massage guns, and where you plan on using one.

If you’re no stranger to percussive massage, and you need a gun to throw in your bag for an out-of-town marathon or long haul flight, the Theragun Mini is an overwhelmingly better choice. Its compact and lightweight design makes it extremely portable, and its longer battery life means you can power it up and leave the charger at home. 

If you’ve never used a massage gun before, you aren’t planning on traveling with one, and you wouldn’t be able to locate your glute medius even if it meant you’d win a million dollars, your best option is the Theragun Elite. Smart features like Bluetooth connectivity and responsive meters help to ensure you’re using your gun correctly, and the multi-grip design makes it easy for users of all levels to address tight, hard-to-reach muscle groups. 

Jennifer Rizzuto

Jennifer Rizzuto is a freelance writer and certified personal trainer based in Long Island, NY. She covers various fitness-related topics and reviews for Tom's Guide. She also writes sketch comedy and short films, and performs frequently as an actor, singer, and improviser. When she's not writing, working out, or performing, you'll find her trying to convince her husband to get a dog.