Skip to main content

Therabody Theragun Mini Review: Mini By Name But Mighty By Design

With its powerful motor and ergonomic design, this compact, travel-friendly massage gun punches well above its weight

Therabody Theragun Mini
(Image: © Sam Rider / Future)

Our Verdict

A compact ergonomic massage gun that punches well above its weight and offers helpful app guidance.

For

  • Useful app offers helpful guidance
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic grip
  • As powerful as top-end model

Against

  • Not the most elegant-looking

The story goes that Theragun (now Therabody) began in 2007 when founder Jason Wersland was injured in a motorcycle accident. He built the first Theragun prototype in his shed to help manage his pain, and since then his company has set the pace in the massage gun market.

However, rivals are catching up quickly. Hyperice is pushing hard. HoMedics and PACT are spearheading new innovation. Even long-established fitness brands such as Power Plate are starting to muscle in on the massage gun game.

Nevertheless, Therabody is still the dominant force in the industry and at £175 (a fraction of the top-end £549 Theragun PRO), the Theragun Mini (opens in new tab) is the one most likely to be waiting for you under the Christmas tree this year. We take a look at its pros and cons.

First Impressions

Therabody Theragun Mini

(Image credit: Sam Rider / Future)
(opens in new tab)

The first and most obvious point to note when you pick up the Theragun Mini is its shape. It isn’t so much a massage gun as a massage triangle. Therabody, which has a history of breaking with tradition by creating curiously shaped massage devices, insists the Mini’s shape affords a smooth, ergonomic grip that’s comfortable to hold while reducing strain on your hands and wrists.

It also means the start/stop button is within easy reach for one-handed operation and while it isn’t quite pocket-sized at 15 x 14 x 8cm, it is certainly compact enough to slip in your gym bag or travel pack. At 650g – roughly half the weight of a Macbook Air – it’s also fractionally lighter than Hyperice’s comparable 680g Hypervolt Go.

Notable Features

Despite its modest dimensions, the Mini can still pack a wallop. It has three preset speed settings: 1,750 percussions per minute (PPM), 2,100 PPM and 2,400 PPM. In fact these are the same minimum and maximum speeds on offer with the Theragun PRO. “Faster isn’t always better,” reads the Theragun’s product page. Each setting has been scientifically calibrated with input from MIT engineers to deliver optimal therapeutic benefits.

At its top speed the Mini fires 40 times per second which, Therabody says, distracts the brain from pain while helping to increase circulation, flush away metabolic waste and support the body’s natural ability to repair and recover.

Therabody Theragun Mini

(Image credit: Sam Rider / Future)

Presumably the engineers also worked on reducing the noise its motor generates – somewhat unsuccessfully. While the Mini isn’t loud, it’s noticeably less discreet than some of the top-end alternatives, which I discovered to my dismay when my bag started vigorously vibrating on a recent commute to work.

With 150 minutes of battery life – 30 minutes shy of Hyperice’s top-end Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Pro – it should have plenty of juice to keep you going on a long weekend away. I put this to the test while attempting to complete the Three Peaks Challenge within 24 hours this summer. While we were all flagging by the time we reached Snowdon, the Mini still had plenty of power from one 80-minute charge.

Added Extras

The Mini comes with one standard ball attachment, yet is compatible with all fourth-generation accessories (opens in new tab) so you can mix and match if you’re lucky enough to own any other Theragun devices. You can also buy the Mini with a dedicated metal stand (opens in new tab), which I assumed allowed you to charge the device wirelessly. I was sadly mistaken. It’s merely – and somewhat pointlessly – designed to hold the device, so you’re better off saving your £29.

Therabody Theragun Mini

(Image credit: Sam Rider / Future)

Far more useful is the Therabody app, which syncs with Apple Health and Strava to track your daily activity. It then can recommend tailored massage routines. If you enter the sports you tend to play and any niggling injuries or challenges you’re hoping to overcome, the app suggests guided drills you can do with your Theragun to prime your muscles for action or speed up recovery.

The model I tested was bright red because it was a special edition collaboration with the Global Fund to support the COVID-19 response and also HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Therabody is donating 2% of every (PRODUCT)RED Theragun (opens in new tab) purchased until September 2022 to support the cause.

Summary

Therabody Theragun Mini

(Image credit: Sam Rider / Future)

While the Mini might not catch the eye quite like the Theragun PRO does, it certainly punches above its weight. I’ve been using this device for an extended period now, and while it’s hard to ascertain exactly how effective percussive therapy is compared with a simple foam roller, I’ve become quite attached to this little red triangle.

Whether I’m heading on an arduous hiking trip or lazy beach holiday, it has become one of the first things I pack for any weekend away. The recommended daily drills, based on your recent activity, also make using the device a doddle, and these quick sessions have now become a staple of my morning routine.

Buy from Therabody (opens in new tab) | £175

Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix (opens in new tab). Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.