Theragun Mini review: Best massage gun for some
- Therabody quality at a good price
- Super portable
- Great for general use
- No USB-C charging port
- You’ll need help reaching some parts of your body
- No additional attachments included
In early 2021 I reviewed the top of the range Theragun Pro and loved it. I still use it to this day. Its unmatched power does things to your muscles in five minutes it takes an hour to achieve at the physio. Or at least that's how it feels. But it's not for everyone. Therabody's Theragun Pro is expensive at $899. It's heavy. It's big. And even on its lowest speed setting, it can pack a punch that can be too much for many users.
Cast your eyes down the Therabody ladder and you'll find the Theragun Mini on the bottom rung. But it's far from the poorer cousin of its famed big brother. It has a use case that is not only good, but may even supersede the Theragun Pro for many consumers. In fact, for the right person, it could be the best massage gun you can get.
Let's dive into my Theragun Mini review.
Features - Theragun Pro vs Theragun Mini
You may be wondering what that gap in price and size means for the Theragun Mini in practice when compared to the Theragun Pro.
There's about a 75% drop in engine power with its brushless motor. This isn't as dramatic as it sounds when you consider the Theragun Pro is at a professional-grade level. And you still get the same insane percussion per minute (PPM) range of the Pro, which is 1750 to 2400. But there are some more significant differences.
You can only push the Theragun Mini into your muscles with no more than 9kg of pressure or the engine stalls. Whereas the Pro can go up to 27kg. The Mini has a 12mm range of oscillation, which defines how deep it can get into your muscle. The Pro extends up to 16mm. And you're looking at half the battery time, down from Pro's 300min to the Mini's 150min.
Elsewhere the design is much simpler. There's no OLED screen, no Bluetooth and there's no speed customisation, with only three presets at 1750 2100 and 2400 PPM. You can't move the direction of the arm with the Mini to reach difficult spots. Plus, the Mini only comes with the one attachment included, which is the standard ball.
The Therabody Theragun Mini is the quietest massage gun in the range, however.
The beauty of the Theragun Mini is that there isn't too much to it. It's roughly 14cm wide, 16cm tall and 5.5cm deep. The height can change slightly if you buy the extra accessory attachments, but not by much. To be honest, I've rarely felt a need to go beyond the included standard ball attachment, so I don't think it's necessary to spend more.
At these dimensions, the Therabody Theragun Mini is very portable. It's easy to slip into a backpack, and my wife often carried it around in her handbag. The smooth rounded edges ensure it slides in and out with relative ease.
It's heavy for its size though. Or perhaps a better word is dense. It may be small, but you can really feel the power and technology driving it as soon as you pick it up. And it's wonderfully balanced. The Theragun Mini weighs 650g, which to put in perspective is about 4 times heavier than an iPhone. Yet it's still significantly lighter than the Theragun Pro's 1.3kg might.
The Theragun Mini has an ergonomic shape to it, with the entire body concaving inwards. This makes it quite comfortable to hold for normal adult-sized hands. Plus, your finger can reach around to the large speed adjustment button without having to relinquish your grip. But if you have petite hands, or are a child, it can be a little harder to hold on to.
Perhaps a rubber finish on the top that gives you more purchase than the current plastic finish would have been wise.
The attachment at the end slides on and off easily, should you want to buy additional head units. These come in at around $29 each. You can also customise the plastic chassis' colour by buying a new skin, also at $29 a pop.
Where the Theragun Mini falls down is with the lack of a USB-C charging port or NFC charging. This goes against its focus on portability. You'll need to lug around a bespoke charger for it instead.
As I've made clear above, the saving you make in money choosing the Theragun Mini over the higher models very clearly aligns with a decline in power and features. But that's not necessarily a reason to upscale. On the contrary, the performance of the Theragun Mini will actually be more suitable to a larger range of people than the Theragun Pro.
The Theragun Mini still packs a hell of a punch. It's more than capable of getting deep into your muscle tissue and using its mighty PPM to ease your pains. And it's a heck of a lot easier to use on easy to reach areas of your body due to it lighter weight and size. The portability means it's also something you can much more easily just take with you to work, sport, or on holidays as its footprint is comparatively so small.
The reduced battery life is a bit of a concern, especially as you can't charge it with any old USB-C cable lying about. But I've been using it for six months now, and as you only use it in fits and bursts once or twice a day, we've never had it run out on us. The charger is always just sitting there waiting patiently.
One thing is for sure, with Therabody and Theragun, you're buying genuine quality. The Mini, like the Pro before it, is a brute. It doesn't let up on speed, drive and power at all, even after hundreds of uses. It delivers exactly what it says it will do, bringing you not just a premium performance, but trust.
It's also notably quieter than the Theragun Pro. And I've never noticed it to heat up even after prolonged use.
Who should buy the Theragun Mini?
Personally, I still go to the Theragun Pro for my aches and pains because I have it here. It can go that little bit deeper and harder, and I can angle the head to get it into hard-to-reach places. But I also find myself using the Mini more and more. I use it when I travel, and it's easier to just have sitting by the couch or on the kitchen counter if you want some quick relief. It more than does the job.
I think if I just had the Mini, I would be fine with that. I love the Pro. Love it. But the Mini is no mug.
My wife, on the other hand, almost exclusively uses the Mini now. She loves its portability, finds it easier to control and use, and prefers the gentler percussion depth and pressure maximum. While my kids, who can't handle the Theragun Pro at all, now have something they can use in the Mini for all the same reasons.
As a result, not only does the Theragun Mini have a market outside of just being the cheapest Therabody massage gun, it'll be the preferred option for some, depending on their use case.
Should you buy the Theragun Mini?
- Buy it if you’re looking for a premium quality, portable massage gun that’s not going to break the bank balance.
- Don't buy it if you’re looking for a professional-grade massage gun that will really work you over and be fully customisable.
The Theragun Mini allows you to get the premium quality and experience offered by the best massage guns in the range at a much more affordable price. It's true that you lose out on some features and customisation options, and the power ceiling isn't as high. But unless you're a workout junkie or a power athlete, you're unlikely to notice.
Indeed, the Theragun Mini is likely the better option for a large majority of the population. It's easier to handle, better on sensitive muscles or injuries, and highly portable.
If you want the Theragun experience, you'll get it here, but in a form-factor you might find far more usable. It will continue to be the star in my home, I'm sure.
Pricing and availability
The Theragun Mini is readily available across Australia and retails for $349. I have seen it for as low as $243 on Amazon AU, however, so definitely check out that retailer to see if a deal is running. At that price, it's significantly cheaper than the Theragun Pro. It's worth noting that there are two other models (Elite at $649 and Prime $499) in between, too.
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