Therabody (formerly Theragun) has become one of the world’s most desirable wellness brands, thanks in no small part to the success of its ground-breaking range of massage guns. Fitness influencers the globe over wouldn’t be caught without a Theragun lying around in their post-workout gym shot, and now Therabody has given us another percussive massager in the form of the Theragun Mini. Since its release last month, the Mini has rocketed to the top spot in our best handheld massagers guide.
The app-connected Theragun Mini is the baby of the line-up, in terms of size and price, but actually stands apart from the other devices. Therabody’s massage guns, which includes the mighty Theragun Elite and more entry-level Theragun Prime, are primarily designed to target post-workout muscle soreness and relieve tension, and help boost recovery. The Mini does that, but dances to its own beat. In a nutshell, it’s like having your own personal massage therapist on call 24/7, and can make a big difference to how fast you recover after exercise.
Therabody Theragun Mini review: release date and price
The new Therabody massager was released in May and is now the fourth handheld device in the overall Theragun range. It costs $199/£175 and is available for purchase from Theragun itself, as well as from leading online retailers.
The Theragun Mini is by far the most affordable massager you can buy from Therabody, coming in at a cool $100 cheaper than the Theragun Prime and $200 cheaper than the Theragun Elite. There is a professional Theragun available too, the aptly named Pro ($599), but that’s better left for sports professionals.
While the Theragun Mini is affordable compared to its older siblings, it’s still the most expensive product in our round-up of handheld massagers, so this is a sizable investment, depending on how much you’d normally spend on wellness kit. That said, and for reasons we outline below, we think the Theragun Mini’s price tag is justified.
Therabody Theragun Mini review: design
The Theragun Mini is noticeably smaller than any other Theragun that has come before it, and adopts a completely different shape. The others look like triangle-shaped drills designed to beat your muscles into quiet submission. The Theragun Mini will still pummel you, but it does so with a more Insta-friendly design aesthetic.
Because it’s smaller, it’s also lighter and easier to wield than other Theraguns and most of the devices featured in our handheld massagers guide. It performs pretty much on a par with the bigger massagers, using percussion massage therapy as a form of deep soft tissue manipulation. It’s not quite as ‘pocket-sized’ as Therabody says, but the new portable shape is very impressive considering the next-level technology inside.
Therabody has designed the Mini for use on the go, at home, in the office or at the gym. As such, it’s durable enough to be slung in your gym bag, and even though it comes with a one-year limited warranty we don’t expect to be calling on that any time soon.
Battery life: 150 minutes
Speed settings: three (1750, 2100, 2400ppm)
Dimensions: 6 x 5.3 x 2.25 inches)
Warranty: one-year limited
Aside from the unusual shape, the Theragun Mini is minimalist in its design. There’s one button to switch the device on/off and to control all three speed settings, there’s a charging port and, er, that’s it. In the box you get the massager itself, plus a removable Standard Ball Attachment, a power adapter and a soft case for keeping the Theragun Mini protected from dust and grime when not in use.
Additional attachments, used to create a range of different percussive massage experiences, can be purchased from Theragun for $20 each.
The Theragun Mini uses the same QuietForce Technology as the larger Theragun massagers, and runs for around 2.5 hours per full battery charge. While it feels chunky in the hand, the Mini is far smaller than most other handheld massagers and is easier to direct at certain areas of the body.
However, those who prefer devices with a long handle to stretch right down the middle of your back would do well to consider the HoMedics Percussion Pro With Heat Massager too. The other bonus with that one is heat therapy, which the Theragun Mini doesn’t offer. Also take a look at our round-up of the best back massagers.
Therabody Theragun Mini review: performance
There are three speed settings to cycle between: 1750, 2100 and 2400ppm (percussions per minute) - 2400ppm is the same maximum speed offered by Therabody’s flagship handheld massager (see below). On the slowest setting the Theragun Mini could be described as a somewhat relaxing take on percussion massage.
On the highest setting, this thing is on a par with the heftier percussive massagers and will absolutely pummel your muscles. As soon as it kicks into high gear you’ll feel it in your hand too - the vibrations will travel up your hand and into your arm.
The difference between the Mini and the others is a lower threshold of no-stall force. The Mini offers just 20lbs compared to the Elite’s 40lbs and the Pro’s 60lbs. That means the Mini will have to work harder to hit your muscles on a deeper level for longer periods of time. That said, if you’re using the massager to warm-up or to boost recovery post exercise, you won’t be using it long enough to really encounter any issue there.
Therabody describes the Mini as being quiet in use. That’s subjective. You will hear it in action, whether you choose the lowest speed setting or the highest, but it’s all about perspective. What do we mean? Well, compared to other percussive massagers we’ve tried, it is quiet - some of them sound like pneumatic drills. The Mini is far quieter in comparison and much less annoying, but it isn’t quiet quiet.
In terms of how well it performs, the Theragun Mini is pretty much faultless. Charging it is simple, and operating the massager is a question of pushing a button and aiming the massager at whatever muscle you’re targeting. If you use a foam roller you’ll quickly start ditching that in favor of this device. It’s fantastic for use on the back, glutes and legs, and makes a noticeable difference in terms of relieving tension and soreness and speeding up recovery after intense exercise.
Via the updated Theragun app (iOS, Android) you can tailor your massage treatment by syncing your fitness activity (your workouts) with the Therabody app. That means you’ll get personalized advice on which areas of your body to massage based on what type of exercise you’ve been doing. There’s also a Health Survey you can take in-app to help Therabody understand your daily activity levels and how the Theragun Mini can work with you to enhance your wellness.
The Therabody app is also where you can check out different massage routines, such as a sleep routine (six minutes to relax your muscles and calm your mind before sleep), a specific upper back routine to reduce tension and help flush out toxins, and a lower back routine to loosen you up and relieve aches and pains. This was our favorite, as we’ve been experiencing lower back and neck pain during lockdown due to a last-minute home working setup that hasn’t been particularly kind on our body.
Whichever routine you choose, the app will tell you which Mini attachment to use and how long you should target each specific area of your body. This makes the entire process fool-proof and ensures you don’t stress any muscles.
Should I buy the Therabody Theragun Mini?
The Theragun Mini is so easy to use, especially with expert guidance from the Therabody app, that we wouldn’t be without it now. It has made a huge difference to our experience of neck and lower back pain, and we have definitely noticed a faster recovery time when using the Theragun Mini properly after workouts - the fact that the app recommends specific massage routines is very reassuring, especially if you’re new to the more therapeutic percussive massage.
If you regularly suffer from muscle soreness, tension or ‘knots’, or you’re working out multiple times a week and would like a hand warming up and down properly, this is a truly fantastic handheld massager and one we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. The Theragun Mini makes a noticeable difference from the first use, and the fact that you can swap in different attachments to enjoy various types of massage only lends itself to the versatility of this ultra-portable device.
Yes it’s nearly $200, but if you take your wellness seriously, and don’t need a percussive massager that pummels to the same force level as the really big percussion massagers, then the Theragun Mini is a superb investment and one you won’t regret.