At $199, the Theragun Mini doesn’t come cheap. But it is the cheapest model available from Therabody, a brand known for its super high-end devices — and considering the price, you may be surprised by how many features are packed into this compact massage gun.
As a general rule, the bigger the massage gun, the bigger the motor. Which, in turn, gives the device more power when it comes to providing percussive therapy to maximize recovery, reduce pain and soreness, and improve flexibility and mobility. But, as with more popular electronics like smartphones or TVs, technological advancements have made it possible to deliver some of the same benefits in a smaller, lighter package.
All this makes the Theragun Mini a great entry-level portable massage gun option, as well as a thoughtful choice for those who are new to percussive therapy or who take a more casual approach to using massage guns.
A less expensive iteration of Theragun’s more powerful massage guns, this mighty mini model is 20% smaller than its previous iteration and comes with three pre-programmed speeds, a quieter motor and is easier to pack up and take with you anywhere. A bit of a splurge, it’s still great value for the price.
What we liked
For a “miniature” device, the Theragun Mini packs a lot of power. It’s got a 12 millimeter amplitude, which means it won’t penetrate your muscles quite as deeply as the Theragun PRO (which has an amplitude of 16 millimeters), but the QX35 motor delivers the same revolutions per minute (a range of 1750 to 2400) with three pre-programmed speeds instead of five. When I used the Mini on my sore calves during my first week back to running after a little break, I definitely didn’t feel like I was sacrificing any power by skipping out on the PRO. I also felt that the Mini was even quieter than the PRO, which is a nice touch for a device you’re meant to travel with.
I don’t think I’ve used a massage gun smaller than the new Mini, which is 20 percent smaller and 30 percent lighter than its predecessor. It weighs in at one pound—which is lighter than even the Recovery R1 massage gun, which I loved traveling with—and measures 5.55 inches by 4.92 inches by 1.93 inches. Plus, it’s super compact, making it easy to stow in a purse, tote, or carry on (I do wish the carrying case was slightly bigger in order to accommodate the three included attachments, but that’s a minor complaint). The triangular shape was unique; I personally didn’t love that aspect as much as the standard “gun” shape because it felt awkward to hold, especially for longer periods, but Therabody did adapt the grip to be more ergonomic (read: reduce strain on your hands and wrists).
What we didn’t like
The lack of screen
A number of newer massage guns — like the Theragun PRO, Lyric Massager, and Gravity Relax Deep Tissue Massager — have built screens right into the device. This not only displays the settings of the device, but also shows off preset routines that can help you figure out how best to use it. With nearly five inches of surface space on either side of the Mini, I was surprised Therabody didn’t incorporate a screen. However, the device is Bluetooth-enabled, which allows you to sync it to the Therabody app for guided routines. Even without the screen, I liked being able to keep this one 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 power. On the plus side, it’s $200 cheaper than the Theragun PRO. But you can get the comparable R1 for $129, which is a lot easier to stomach. With Therabody, you’re definitely shelling out more for the brand’s reputation within the industry—and some people are totally OK with that. But there are other devices that may be more accessible for people on a budget.
How it compares
The Theragun Mini’s most direct competitor is likely the Hypervolt Go 2. It’s also priced at $199 and has three speed settings (with a range of 2200 to 3200 rpm), but is slightly larger (and a half pound heavier), doesn’t come with any Bluetooth capabilities, and has a battery life of three hours compared to 150 minutes for the Mini. Meanwhile, the R1 is only $129 and comes with four speed settings (1800 to 3200 rpm, which is a wider range) but no Bluetooth, plus a battery life of seven hours—which significantly outperforms the other two.
The bottom line
With massage guns, a lot of the purchasing decision comes down to personal preference and budget. If you’ve got the budget for a higher-end model like the Theragun Mini, it’s worth the splurge. Even better: This miniature version of Therabody’s pricier models offers a lot of similar benefits, which can make it a more accessible purchase as long as you’re not looking for top-of-the-line features. For casual massage gun users, the Theargun Mini offers great value for its price.