Theragun Vs Thumper : Handheld Massager Battle

If you are wondering whether the Theragun or the Thumper would be the best for you, then you have landed on the right page!

In this comparative review, I am going to take a close look at two popular massagers from each brand so that you can make a better-informed decision.

As you might already know both companies have several models, and I have picked the Theragun Prime and the Thumper Mini Pro for the comparison because they are both popular and resemble each other in terms of functions and pricing.

The short answer: most people will be happy to spend more money on the Theragun Prime since the product is “up-to-date” and packs a lot of power.

Continue reading to learn more about the two products and how they differ. Below you will find:

  • Short summarizing comparison table
  • Presentation of each product
  • The product comparison (the Theragun vs Thumper part)

Product Comparison Table

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Thumper Mini Pro
  • Reach” hard-to-reach” spots by yourself
  • With a power cord, you never have to worry about battery life
  • Cover a larger area with the unique dual massage head design
Theragun Prime
  • Advanced capabilities with phone app integration
  • A powerful massage without much noise
  • Built to last! Very strong and durable build

Increase In Popularity

Lightweight and handheld percussion massagers have seen an extreme rise in popularity in the past years.

Since massage devices are nothing new, perhaps the rise in popularity has something to do with the fact that there is an increasing variety of massagers available that actually work well.

An interesting thing to take note of is that Therabody (the company behind the Theragun) is a fairly new in the industry and have had big commercial success.

A bunch of athletes and celebrities have been seen using massagers from Therabody, and if you are interested in that sort thing you can read more about it here.

On the other hand, the company behind the Thumper designed and patented its first massager back in 1974. Obviously, they have made design improvements since then.

Of course, there is also scientific evidence that shows both percussion and vibration massage therapy works, which are exactly what these massagers do.

Theragun Prime: New Massager On The Block

After suffering from a motorcycle accident that caused a disc herniation, the founder (who is both a chiropractor and athlete) spent 8 years developing the Theragun with the purpose tof creating a less expensive, more efficient and accessible product than its competitors.

Since 2014 the Theragun has been used by professional teams and top athletes over the whole world.

The Prime is among the latest iterations in Therabody’s product line. It is designed and marketed to make massagers available for everybody.

Despite incorporating only the essentials, the massager is just as usable for professionals as for new users. You can use it on yourself.

It is powered by powerful batteries and because of its portability, it is probably especially good for people who are often moving around and have active lifestyles.

But anyone who suffers from aches and pains due to the modern lifestyle can bring it to good use.

It has 5 different speed options between 1750 – 2400 Percussions Per Minute (PPM). According to the founder, they optimal speeds for muscle recovery.

The ergonomically designed grip makes it very easy to use.

Included in the purchase is:

  • Thereagun Prime
  • 4 different changeable “massage heads” so you can customize the massage
  • Power adapter
  • Carrying case
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Thumper Mini Pro: Not Just For Pros

The Thumper Mini Pro is the company’s solution for both professionals and non-professionals. It is intended for use at home or at the office.

While it does have a relatively small and light design, its main selling point is not portability and it is operated with a power cord.

It is designed to be used with either one or two hands and because of its long shaft, it is ideal for reaching areas like shoulders and mid-back by yourself.

Like the Theragun G3Pro it is great for people with active lifestyles that need to speed up muscle recovery or treat aches and pains.

The Thumper Mini Pro has two massage spheres/massage heads that operate simultaneously at three different adjustable speeds: 1200, 1800 and 2400 RPM.

It comes with a 2-year warranty.

Check out the Thumper Mini Pro in this super short video.

Theragun And Thumper Features And Specs – Comparison

As I mentioned in the introduction, you will be getting a great massager whether you choose Theragun or Thumper.

The main differences between the products are:

  1. price
  2. portability

The Theragun is the more expensive option. However, unlike the Thumper, it is cordless and more compact in size.

The Theragun batteries are very powerful and should last you 120 minutes, with a recharge time of 80 minutes.

In other words, it is not a great sacrifice that is being made in order to go cordless.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the jigsaw/gun-looking design of the Prime could be considered a newer handheld massager generation than the Thumper.

For a more systematic and easy-to-navigate comparison, I am going to cover the following aspects of each product below:

  • Massaging “power” and versatility
  • The design
  • Price difference

Need a massage? With a handheld massager you don’t have to beg or pay by the hour.

1. Massaging “Power” and Versatility

The Theragun Prime has 5 speeds between 1750 – 2400 RPM. With a stroke length of 0.6″ / 16 mm, the distance traveled with each revolution is relatively long and it packs considerable power.

The Thumper Mini Pro operates at three different speeds 1200, 1800 and 2400 and unlike the Theragun has two massing heads operating simultaneously.

The two massage heads move up and down 0.25″ / 6 mm each and also packs a lot of power but probably not as much as the Theragun.

The Prime should be able to withstand up to 30 lbs / 13.6 kg of pressure. I could not find any information regarding the Mini Pro, but according to several customers, the more recent Mini Pro model that came out 2-3 years ago is not as strong as its predecessor.

Theragun Prime Thumper Mini Pro
Speed (RPM) 5 speeds (17502400) 1200, 1800, 2400
Stroke length 0.6″ / 16 mm 0.25″ / 6 mm
Versatility Ergonomic grip,
4 massage heads
Self-treating upper
and mid back possible

 

With an ergonomic grip and using 4 different changeable heads, the Theragun is the more versatile option.

Since it has a compact size and is battery powered, it is also easier to navigate around on your body.

The Thumper Mini Pro does have a benefit of its larger size though, and that is you can massage upper and mid back by yourself easily using either 1 or 2 hands holding it.

2. The Design

The massagers are both relatively lightweight but have a study design.

I have mentioned before that the Prime is more compact, but as you can see in the table below it is not a big difference. However, having the cord attached is another factor that makes the Mini Pro less compact.

Theragun Prime Thumper Mini Pro
Weight 2.2 lbs / 1 kg 3 lbs / 1.4 kg
Dimensions
(L x W x H)
8.9″ x 6.3″ x 2.9″ /
22.5 cm x 16 cm x 7.3 cm
13″ x 6″ x 5.5″ /
33 cm x 15 cm x 14 cm
Power source Battery (120 minutes) Power cord

 

When comparing the visual design, the Theragun is the winner in my opinion. It does look more modern and cool.

The Theragun also comes with a handy carrying case.

3. Price Difference: Justified?

The Theragun Prime is the more expensive option. With that being said, it does include a lot more, it is newer, more powerful and is battery-powered.

A thing to take note of is that the Mini Pro comes with 2-year warranty while the Prime only has 1-year warranty.

Making The Decision

If you are often on-the-go and want to take the massager with you, then the Theragun Prime won’t disappoint you.

If you just want to use the massager at home and don’t care about the different massage options that the changeable massage heads have to offer, then Mini Pro should be enough for you unless you want more power. Besides, you will be able to massage your back by yourself easily, which I think is what most people really want.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through a link on this page and make a purchase. Read more here.

About the author: My name is Marcus, I am a lawyer (LL.M.) and the founder of this website. Besides sometimes doing lawyer stuff, I like to write about fitness and health and share what I have found “works” for people like YOU. If you want to know more about me and my vision for this website then you can click here.

8 comments… add one
  • ynyslochtyn Apr 13, 2019 @ 9:12

    I would think the difference in stroke length 6 mm vs 16 mm is the most significant difference but what difference does this make to your actual massage experience? If not much, then it is hard to see why the extra expense of a massage gun is justified.

    Reply
    • Marcus Apr 13, 2019 @ 14:53

      Yes, the difference in stroke length is significant. While there is much more to the massage experience than stroke length, you can be sure that the G3Pro is the most powerful option here. Whether that is good or not depends on what you are looking for, a more powerful massage might work better and faster for thicker tissue like neck/upper back and thighs, but probably won’t for the lower back.

      Also, don’t think that stroke length necessarily means a higher price and have in mind that the speed (RPM) is also a relevant metric. Finally, the massage guns tend to be more expensive because they are battery powered. They have a powerful motor which requires powerful batteries.

      I really appreciate your input, as I am very interested in knowing what other people think about these devices. I hope my answer can help you, and please let me know if there is something else.

      Reply
  • tom suate Nov 26, 2019 @ 0:33

    hi…am trying to decide between theragun g3pro and thumper (equine) – which is thumpers’ strongest model….see the stroke length is .6″ for theragun g3 pro….do you know the stroke length for the thumper equine model….thanks

    Reply
    • Marcus Nov 27, 2019 @ 20:33

      Hey Tom!

      The Thumper Equine Pro has a stroke length of 8 mm / 0.31″. Bear in mind that this device is intended for professional use only. Imagine it will be difficult for you to massage yourself with it.

      Hope it helps 🙂

      Reply
      • Jodi Goldsmith Apr 30, 2020 @ 0:16

        I have a Thumper mini pro, and then I have all four of Dr. Noble’s massagers (he created original thumper, & then a new line when he split with Thumper.) And I chose to purchase the Equissager. Actually I think these percussive instruments all have learning curves. Took me a while to feel comfortable and learn how to use. I need all 4 models. And I can actually use the Equissager on my own quite comfortably. I expect the Guns can complement the Thumper/Noble products. Where there is deeper tightness & need to break up scar tissue high force on single spot might where the gun is most effective. But I am research the guns on the market, and haven’t tried any yet.

        Reply
        • Marcus May 8, 2020 @ 4:28

          Hey Jodi,

          Thanks for sharing.

          I think you are right that the two products can complement each other. There are a ton of massage guns out there, do you have any specific requirement?

          Reply
  • Terry May 6, 2020 @ 0:32

    I have owner the Thumper Mini Pro for over 10 years! I use it daily and I mean 365 days a year. I always use it on the highest setting and sometimes wish it was a bit stronger, I like a hard massage. I have taken it apart twice to tighten up the screws that hold the motor and moving parts tight as it has gotten noisy and loosened screws it usually the reason. I would like to try the newer type of massage machine with the longer stroke however the price is pretty steep.

    Reply
    • Marcus May 8, 2020 @ 4:21

      Yep, some of the massagers do come at a steep price, but not all of them 🙂
      For a strong and affordable masssager, you should check out the TimTam all-new power massager.
      If you are not afraid of some DIY action, you can also check out the jigsaw massager adaptor.

      Reply

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