Normatec Pulse Pro vs Normatec Pulse - Recovery Compression Boots Comparison

Normatec Pulse Pro vs. Normatec Pulse
Normatec Pulse Pro vs Normatec Pulse - what is the difference? This is a question I have received many times and today I will discuss some of the differences between between the Normatec Pulse and the Normatec Pulse Pro.

Normatec makes a more expensive version of the Normatec Pulse recovery compression boot system and calls it the Normatec Pulse Pro.

This comparison review will highlight some of the features and benefits of the Normatec Pulse Pro over the standard Normatec Pulse and why some people may want to purchase a Normatech Pulse Pro over the standard Normatech Pulse system.

Executive Summary

I spent 88 device hours and came to the conclusion that the Normatec Pulse Pro is really designed to be used in rehabilitation facilities and won't benefit most athletes. It has some features that could be beneficial in very specific uses-cases, but the majority of regular Normatec users using recovery boots for general recovery would never even notice them.

The additional Pulse Pro features are mostly software based features that I will discus in more detail below. Ironically most of the useful software based features are already in less expensive recovery compression boots by default. Systems like SpeedHound ($650), which I reviewed directly against Normatec here, have the ability to turn off specific zones & feature different modes just like the Pulse Pro but they go to much higher pressures (250mmHg). You are much better off getting a Normatec Pulse unless you need one of the specific features of the Normatec Pulse Pro.

Normatec Pulse Pro vs Normatec Pulse 

- Price - The Normatec Pulse Pro is $2495 while the standard Normatec Pulse is $1295.

- User Interface - The Normatec Pulse Pro features a touchscreen panel while the regular Normatec Pulse uses tactile buttons with a non-touch panel. I actually prefer the tactile buttons of the regular Pulse and find it to be quicker and much more precise than "hunting" and "pecking" on the Pulse Pro touchscreen. I did notice some lag at times on the touchscreen as well. It is a small difference but I really prefer buttons. However, I can see why Normatec put a touchscreen in the Pulse Pro. Simply put, the touchscreen is a necessary upgrade for the Pulse Pro as the additional features would be far too complex to setup using tactile buttons.

- Modes - The Normatec Pulse Pro features four distinct modes including: Recovery, RehabCustom and Sequential. The Normatec Pulse only includes the Recovery mode.

Mode selection screen. Sequential mode is chosen
 from a different setup menu of the system

- Customization - The Normatec Pulse Pro allows users to customize their treatment. This means users can change how long each zone inflates, how much pressure is in each zone and the pause time between one complete cycle ending and the next cycle starting.

- Zone Control - The Normatec Pulse Pro allows users to disable as many top zones as they would like. For example, you can't have say zones 1, 2, 4, 5 operating while skipping 3. But you could set it up to do zones (1 only) / (1, 2) / (1, 2, 3)  / (1, 2, 3, 4). This is really only useful if you are sharing a pair of longer boots with someone who is too short for them.

Setting the Pro system to only inflate
3 of the 5 zones.

- Precision Controls - The Normatec Pulse Pro has more precise control of pressure thru the use of 10 levels of compression as opposed to 7 for the standard Normatec Pulse. This allows further fine-tuning of the pressure, but both systems go to the same max pressure of 110mmHg with the Zone Boost feature. However, to change the pressure intensity on the Pulse Pro you have to walk down into the UI a screen and click a tiny button instead of having a tactile button right at your immediate finger tips on the display of the standard Pulse. For someone who moves from intensity 5, 6, 7 in a single session it is annoyance on the Pulse Pro.

The "Intensity" screen of the Pulse Pro

- LCD Brightness - The Pulse Pro has a dimmable display. As a sleep guru, I can't stand bright devices especially when I use them right before bed. The standard Pulse has one illumination level and it can be quite bright in a dark room. 

- The rest of the unit is identical. You get the same battery, the units are the same size, the hoses are the same, and attachments (hips, arms, legs) are the same. You get the same 2 year warranty too.

Using the different modes of the Normatec Pulse Pro

The Normatec Pulse Pro has four modes including: Recovery, Rehab, and Custom modes that all use Normatec's patent "Pulse" sequence. The fourth mode, Sequential is an entirely different sequence pattern.

Recovery Flush Mode - operates in an identical manner as the one and only mode on the standard Normatec Pulse model.

Rehab Mode - is designed to target various areas with customized programs for Foot/Ankle, Calf, Knee, Lower Quad, and Upper Quad. Each targeted area has its own specific time and pressures setting for each zone based on what Normatec believes to be the optimal treatment.

Rehab Mode

Custom Mode - allows users to specifically set the pressure level for each zone individually from 30mmHg to 100mmHg in 10mmHg increments. For instance, you could set the first zone of the system to have a higher pressure say 100mmHg and then work down as you get further and further up the leg, say 80mmHg for zone 2, 70mmHg zone 3, 60mmHg zone 4, and 50mmHg zone 5. You can also set the length of time the unit spends in each zone in 15 seconds increments from 15 seconds to 4 minutes.

You can customize each zone with the
"Custom" mode

Sequential Mode - This mode is unlike the other three modes in that it doesn't use Normatec's patented "Pulse" compression sequence. Instead it uses a recovery compression boot industry standard known as "Sequential". In this mode the zones inflate one at a time and none of the zones are released until the 5th zone is complete and then all zones release. This is slightly different than the proprietary "Pulse" mode.

Sequential Mode showing all five zones inflated
They will all be deflated in a second
and a new cycle will start


The Normatec Pulse Pro and Normatec Pulse system area great systems that anyone can benefit from. However, unless you have a specific need to customize your program the standard Normatec Pulse is a far more affordable system and easier to use.

If you are looking for some of the Pulse Pro features I would highly suggest taking a look at the $650 Speed Hound system. Many of the "Pro" features are already in the Speed Hound system. In addition, Speed Hound boots can go as high as 250mmHg max vs Normatec's 100mmHg. They also allow you to turn off zones as well to customize your rehab should you need it. They feature "Recovery Flush" and "Massage" Modes and have super slick UI that is easy to use. At $650 they are hard to beat. Here is a link to the review I did of Speed Hound vs Normatec.

Discussed Links

- Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg System - $1295 on Amazon
Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg System + Hips - $1695 on Amazon
Normatec on eBay - Used and New (Various prices, generally $700-$1200)

Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs - $39.99 - perfect chairs for compression boots recovery if you are on the go or even at home on the patio.

Speed Hound vs Normatec Review
- Air Relax vs Normatec Review

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