Recovery tools number aplenty these days, but odds are, your stresses and strains aren’t solely the result of physical exercise. There’s plenty of instances where work life, social life and just life in general can affect your body’s overall vibe — and let’s face it, a massage gun probably isn’t the best tool for those specific jobs.
With more and more people realizing that recovery isn’t just an activity for post-workout relief, brands are starting to take a more holistic approach to the discipline. Take Therabody: The brand already boasts one of the best massage guns on the market, but dig a little deeper into their lineup and you’ll see devices targeting aches and pains that aren’t the result of a hard-fought gym PR or lengthy afternoon run. Therabody dipped its toes into holistic relief first with the launch of the TheraFace Pro, and now the brand has gone headfirst into the realm with a number of helpful devices — including its first wearable, the SmartGoggles.
Resembling the all-too-common sleep mask cranked up to 11, this new silhouette is designed to target the eyes and head to help alleviate facial tension, relieve eye strain, decrease headache intensity and relax the mind for improved sleep. SmartGoggles aim to achieve this relief by utilizing heat, vibration and massage modalities, similar to the aforementioned TheraFace Pro.
To see if this bulky, face-hugging wearable was worth its weight, I strapped into the SmartGoggles for several weeks (not continuously, mind you), utilizing all of the available sessions and treatments across its tech-heavy profile. Whether winding down after a hard day’s work, taking a break from the computer screen or just mellowing out on a calm Sunday afternoon, I tested the effectiveness of this compact, portable device to see if Therabody landed in the stars when it comes to revisioning recovery, or simply overshot the moon.
Here’s what I found.
What's Good About Therabody's SmartGoggles?
While bulkier than other sleep masks, the profile still sits comfortably across your face.
To say the SmartGoggles are sleek would be a definite exaggeration. The silhouette is roughly 1.5 inches thick across the frame, which led me to doubt how comfortable this device would feel when resting across my eyes, brow and temples. Despite the thicker profile, however, the SmartGoggles are surprisingly light, and while I wouldn’t say they disappear across my dome when worn, they’re far more comfortable than I initially imagined. I also appreciate the sturdy elastic band that easily adjusts at the back for that ideal fit.
Once on my face, I also appreciated how easy it was to toggle through the various buttons at the top of the device. There is a little bit of memorization required for this — your eyes are covered, after all — but changing the heat and vibration settings was simple to pick up. Plus, Therabody smartly gave the heat and vibration toggles their own designated raised texture, which can be great when trying to turn down the temperature while still keeping with the pre-planned massage pattern.
Lastly, the SmartRelax, Focus and Sleep modes provide a great service, changing up certain pressure points, heat and vibration settings to achieve better relief. I quickly became fond of the Focus modality for mid-day re-centering practices, and the Sleep function was a great way to help my brain turn off before hitting the pillow.
The device packs away easily, making it ideal for travel.
Another benefit worth mentioning when it comes to Therabody’s SmartGoggles is the fact that this mask folds up for easier storage. The convenient carrying case houses both the device and its companion charging cord, keeping your entire operation in one discreet package.
I typically kept my SmartGoggles out across my nightstand during testing, but could easily see the foldability and portability as a true blessing for upcoming travel seasons. I look forward to decompressing for a while with this impressive tool draped across my pupils after the headaches and tribulations of long flights or the nightmares that occasionally pop up during hotel check-ins.
What's Not Ideal About Therabody's SmartGoggles?
It's more of a 'pre-sleep' treatment than a traditional sleep mask.
As stated above, I really enjoyed the Sleep features baked into the SmartGoggles, but I highly recommend running through your evening recovery sessions before you climb under the sheets. While the modality proved its effectiveness in getting my mind ready for catching 40 winks, the thick profile does make it difficult to nod off while wearing the device.
The SmartGoggles do automatically shut off after 15 minutes, so there’s little worry about snoozing before hitting the power button. But as someone that typically switches positions mid-slumber, having a wide protrusion across your eyelids can make for some complicated jostling. I recommend utilizing the Sleep function just before bed, shutting off and taking off the device, then briskly passing out for improved sleep cycles.
It can be awkward to pick and choose modalities once you don the device.
This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, but when your vision is compromised by a large silhouette, it’s not entirely conducive to changing settings or choosing a certain modality. I tried to run a handful of relieving sessions by wearing the mask, powering up and then toggling the settings to my liking, but often found myself giving up after a few seconds and simply taking off the device to achieve the proper benchmarks.
The workaround I found that worked best for this dilemma, however, was pairing the SmartGoggles to the companion Therabody app. Doing so allowed me to choose all my settings and preferred modality ahead of time. Then, I could slip on the device, power up and tap the ‘Go’ button on my phone to kickstart the session — no vision necessary.
Is this the most egregious negative? No, but it's worth noting, especially for those that tend to forgo companion apps and make all their changes on the device.
Therabody SmartGoggles: The Verdict
The SmartGoggles are a niche product, for sure — but I definitely see the value in their existence, offering up a great way to escape the trials of daily stress. The comfort is apparent, and the added benefit of the companion app makes choosing the right use case a breeze. If you’re looking to wipe away that tension lying around your orbitals this year, consider adding the SmartGoggles to your repertoire.
The Therabody SmartGoggles are available online for $199. While it might seem like a lot for an overcomplicated sleep mask, trust me when I say the window for usability is far more expansive than just the night shift when it comes to working away those headaches.