At $199, the Theragun Mini isn’t cheap. But it’s the cheapest model offered by Therabody, a brand known for its ultra-high-end devices—you might be surprised at the number of features packed into this compact massage gun, considering the price.
Generally speaking, the bigger the massage gun, the bigger the motor. This, in turn, gives the device more versatility when it comes to delivering percussion therapy to maximize recovery, reduce pain and soreness, and improve flexibility and mobility. But as with more popular electronics like smartphones or televisions, technological advancements have made it possible to provide some of the same benefits in smaller, lighter packages.
All of this makes the Theragun Mini an excellent choice for an entry-level portable massage gun, as well as a thoughtful choice for those new to percussion therapy or taking a more casual approach to massage gun use.
A cheaper iteration of Theragun’s more powerful massage gun, this powerful mini model is 20 percent smaller than its previous iteration and comes with three pre-programmed speeds, a quieter motor, and is easier to pack and take with you . A bit of a splurge and it’s still great value.
For a “tiny” device, the Theragun Mini packs a punch. It has a 12mm amplitude, which means it won’t penetrate as deep into your muscles as the Theragun PRO (which has a 16mm amplitude), but the QX35 motor has the same RPM (ranging from 1750 to 2400 ) with three preprogrammed speeds and Not five. In my first week of running back after a break, I definitely don’t feel like I’m sacrificing any power by skipping the PRO when I’m using the Mini on sore calves. I also find the Mini to be even quieter than the PRO, which is a nice touch for a device you plan to take with you.
I don’t think I’ve ever used a massage gun smaller than the new Mini, which is 20% smaller and 30% lighter than its predecessor. It weighs 1 pound—lighter even than the Recovery R1 massage gun, which I like to travel with—and measures 5.55″ x 4.92″ x 1.93″. Plus, it’s compact enough to fit easily in a purse, tote bag, or carry around (I do wish the carrying case was a little bigger to accommodate the three included accessories, but that’s a hiccup). The triangle is unique; I personally don’t like that aspect as much as the standard “gun” shape, as it feels awkward to hold, especially for long periods of time, but Therabody did tweak the grip to make it more ergonomic (Read: less stress on hands and wrists).
Many newer massage guns—such as the Theragun PRO, Lyric Massager, and Gravity Relax Deep Tissue Massager—have screens built into the device. This will not only show you the device’s settings, but also preset routines that will help you understand how to best use it. With nearly five inches of surface space on either side of the Mini, I’m surprised the Therabody doesn’t have a screen installed. However, the device is Bluetooth enabled, allowing you to sync it to the Therabody app for guided routines. Even without the screen, I like to keep it in my car for post-run recovery sessions.
It’s hard to justify spending $199 on such a small device, even if it packs some serious features. On the plus side, it’s $200 less than the Theragun PRO. But you can get a similar R1 for $129, which is more palatable. With Therabody, you’re definitely paying more for the brand’s reputation within the industry — and some people couldn’t agree more. But there are other devices that might be better suited for those on a budget.
The Theragun Mini’s most direct competitor is probably the Hypervolt Go 2. It’s also $199, has three speed settings (ranging from 2,200 to 3,200 rpm), is slightly larger (and weighs half a pound), doesn’t come with any Bluetooth functionality, and has three hours of battery life compared to the Mini’s 150 minutes.Meanwhile, the R1 is only $129, has four speed settings (1800 to 3200 rpm for a wider range) but no bluetooth, and a battery life of seven Hours – significantly better than the other two.
When it comes to massage guns, a lot of buying decisions come down to personal preference and budget. If you have the budget for a high-end model like the Theragun Mini, it’s worth it. Even better: This tiny version of Therabody’s pricier model offers many of the same benefits, making it easier to buy as long as you’re not looking for over-the-top features. For the casual massage gun user, the Theargun Mini is great value.