Studies show that 1 in 5 people in the UK aren’t getting enough sleep, and 1 in 14 of us feel stressed every single day. I, touch wood, am lucky enough to say that I’ve never had an issue with sleep and usually manage to clock up the recommended eight hours per night, but I definitely do feel some level of stress most days. My job is pretty full on, and I sometimes struggle to juggle (poet and I didn’t know it) everything, so I was intrigued when Therabody invited me to review their new SmartGoggles – a product designed to help you relax through the power of facial massage, heat and vibration.
You may know the brand as Theragun, after it went big time for its massage gun series in 2016, but in 2020, the founders renamed it Therabody to allow them to venture into other recovery tools, like the RecoveryAir JetBoots. I’ve tried two variations of the Theraguns (the Theragun Pro and the Theragun Mini – both of which have also been upgraded, more on this to come) and the JetBoots. These have all blown my mind, so to say I was excited to try the SmartGoggles was an understatement. And they didn’t disappoint.
What are Therabody’s SmartGoggles?
Imagine a large but super comfy eye mask made from a buttery-soft fabric fused with a blindfold (you can’t see out of them), then add heat, vibration and massage. You’re about halfway there. Naturally, Therabody went one step further (it is Therabody, after all), incorporating something called SmartSense technology where the goggles are able to recognise your heart rate via the pulse in your temple and slow it down using a little chip you'll see on the inside of the goggles, as your pulse starts to mimic the rate of the massage and vibrations from the goggles.
And don’t just take my word for it. The SmartGoggles can be paired with the Therabody app for you to track your results (it’ll show your heart rate at the start and end of a session). The very first time I used it, after just 15 minutes, my HR had decreased by 6bpm. I know.
They also fold in half and are super lightweight, so easy to travel with. I'll be bringing mine on my next flight.
How do Therabody’s SmartGoggles work?
The Goggles have three modes for you to choose from:
Each of these modes use different levels of massage, heat and vibration, in order to give you the results you’re after. Here’s what you’ll get with each:
Focus: Heat + massage in your third eye and temples
SmartRelax: Heat + undulating vibrations + massage in your temples and orbital pressure points
Sleep: Heat + medium vibration + temple massage
You can also modify each setting. So, for example, if you don't want such an intense massage on the Focus setting, you can turn that down.
You can bolster the effects of the vibrations, heat and massage with sound therapy from the TheraMind app, too. There are plenty of tracks to choose from on the app; I used a ‘bedtime wind’ track last week and, needless to say, I was out like a log. Which brings me onto my next point.
If you’re using the SmartGoggles to help you sleep, you don’t need to worry about staying awake. They’ll switch off after 15 minutes, and they’re comfortable enough for you to sleep through the night in them, if that’s what you end up doing (there’s an adjustable strap at the back for you to get the perfect fit).
How to use Therabody’s SmartGoggles
They genuinely couldn’t be easier to use. There are three buttons on the top: one to turn them on and select which mode you want (Focus, Sleep or Relax), one to alter the heat (there are two levels of heat - one will show an orange light and the hotter will show a red light), and another to turn the vibrations on and off. All you need to do is slip them on, fit them to your head and choose the setting. They'll switch themselves off after 15 mins.
Ease facial tension
Relieve eye strain
Decrease headache pain
Relax your mind
Relax your body
Cycle time: 15 minutes
Adjustable heat/vibration/massage pressure
Battery life: 150 minutes
Weight: less than 1lb
Size: 7.9” x 3.5” (goggles open) or 5.5” x 3.9” (goggles folded)
Comes with: soft case, charging cable
Adjustable strap to fit all sizes
How much are Therabody’s SmartGoggles?
This probably sounds a lot to most of you. But for anyone who has tried any of Therabody’s products (most of which are more expensive), you may well find this a pleasant surprise. I did. For context, the RecoveryAir JetBoots are £799, and though they do entirely different things, I expected the Goggles would be around the £500 mark.
I know it's still not exactly cheap – especially with the cost of living crisis, but if your recovery or mental health is a priority and you do have this level of disposable income in your bank, they’re a lifelong investment.
As mentioned, I’ve never struggled much with sleep, and I’m sure my stress is nothing compared to others’, but even I would say these are worth it. I imagine they'd be a total game-changer for anyone who’s having a super hard time with stress or sleep (or both).
Do Therabody’s SmartGoggles work?
As with every Therabody product I’ve ever tried, yes. For the purpose of this article, I also asked my boyfriend, mum and sister to trial them, just in case my former experiences with products by the brand was skewing my perception at all. When asked if they’d done the trick for them, it was a resounding yes. In fact, my boyfriend and I now have a domestic over who’s using them practically every night.
They work passively – the only effort required is putting them on
You can choose different settings – focus, relax or sleep
You can track your stats on the Theramind app
You can add sound therapy to your experience via the Theramind app
They turn themselves off after 15 minutes, if you fall asleep
They work quickly - I felt the effects after just one use
They're quite noisy if you want to use them to get to sleep, but not so much that it affects their ability to ease stress during the daytime
The price – not cheap, but definitely an investment worth making
The temple massage can feel a little intense, although this may well have been caused by me having the strap too tight
My final thoughts on Therabody’s SmartGoggles
Whenever I try a new Therabody product I’m always sceptical as to whether it’ll work ('surely they can’t have brought out another one'). Yet, every time, the brand proves me wrong. The biggest eye-opener for me with the SmartGoggles was how much of a difference they made when I didn’t perceive myself as someone with particularly high stress or sleep issues.
It got me thinking: though I never have problems falling or staying asleep, the sleep I have after wearing the goggles feels infinitely deeper, so maybe I wasn’t getting such good sleep after all. And on days where I wear the goggles during a lunch break at work, I actually manage to power through an afternoon of writing, when I’m usually at my least productive. I can only dream of what they could do for someone who suffers with significant stress or sleep.
The new Theragun Pro + Theragun Mini
If you've read our reviews on the many Theragun massage guns, you'll know we've been big fans since day dot. It didn't seem possible that they could get any better, but they have. Both the Theragun Pro and Theragun Mini have been upgraded with the following features.
Theragun Pro's new features
New OLED screen to access the Therabody App (where you can use a specific massage programme, such as sleep, workout warm-up, workout recovery)
85% less plastic in packaging
A new attachment called the 'micro point', designed to bring blood flow to the surface for more sensitive areas
Faster charging - it now has a 150 minute battery life, and you no longer need a stand to charge it, just a USB cable
Theragun Mini's new features
20% smaller, 30% lighter
Now works with Bluetooth connection
Two new attachments - the dampener and the thumb, designed to get deeper into the muscles
85% less plastic in packaging
The best bit? Though both of these models have been updated, the prices have stayed the same. Speaking at the launch, Therabody founder Dr Jason Wersland said this was something he was never going to change - his goal is to 'help people', whether that be by easing pain, releasing stress or improving their fitness, and increasing the prices could create a barrier. What a man.
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