Video loading...
Tech & Wearables

Theragun Mini review

The Theragun Mini goes anywhere to give you a decent post-ride recovery massage, but for back massages, go with the Elite.

Review Rating


Basics

150 minutes of battery life; three speeds; swappable massage heads


Pros

Compact; adjustable speeds; feels solid and stable in your hands

Cons

Difficult to position it for use on your back; not as powerful as the larger Theraguns


Price

$200

Brand

Theragun


The Theragun Mini joins the Theragun family as a compact version of its big brothers, offering a convenient way to iron out your muscles post-ride. It’s small and quiet, making it an ideal choice for post-ride recovery when you’re on the road. It’s also more affordable than the larger Theragun units, though it’s more limited in function.

Related:

In a normal year, I spend a lot of time on airplanes, frequently across the Atlantic ocean. That means I’m spending a lot of time in, shall we say, not-optimal body positions. So I start my rides feeling pretty creaky. Imagine how I feel by the end of a few turns up some of the toughest climbs Europe has to offer.

Theragun Mini
Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

While I haven’t gotten the opportunity to take the Theragun Mini with me on such a trip, I fully intend to, once such trips are possible again. This small unit fits perfectly in carry-on or a checked bag, and it stores in its own soft-sided, zippered case (though the charger does not fit in said case, which is sort of a bummer).

Theragun Mini basics

This compact version of the Theragun is about as straightforward as a massage device can get. There’s just one button to contend with, and it turns the unit on and off, and adjusts the speed of the percussions (there are three speeds to choose from: 1750 percussions per minute, 2100 ppm, and 2400 ppm).

The massage attachments can be swapped out simply by pulling on them and swapping them out for another. They stay firmly in place on the percussive head thanks to a ball bearing lock system, much like the kind you would find on a ratchet tool. Of course, the mini only comes with one attachment, so if you want to actually take advantage of the swap-out capabilities, you’ll need to purchase the attachment kit separately.

percussive head
Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

Theragun says the Mini gets 150 minutes of action out of a charge, and while I didn’t time it, that seems pretty accurate based on how little charging I actually had to do with the device. When the Theragun Mini is running, it’s pretty darn quiet — significantly quieter than its larger siblings.

Using the Theragun Mini daily

Theragun sent me both the Theragun Mini and the Theragun Elite to test. I started using the Mini before I even took the Elite out of the box, and based on my experiences early on, I would have been completely happy had I not ever opened the Elite box. (Of course, once I did that, I was very glad I did. More on that in a moment.)

control button
Control button with indicator lights. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

As a daily massage tool, the Theragun Mini does just about everything I need it to do. It’s compact, lightweight, easy to use, and quiet. I found myself massaging my legs, neck, shoulders, arms, and feet frequently, as I sat at my desk for work or laid on the couch watching Netflix. It’s so easy to grab and fire up without disturbing everyone around you.

That said, it’s not ideal if you’re looking to get a more structured massage experience — the Theragun Elite works with an app to provide that — and it’s difficult to use on your back.

The Theragun Mini’s unique triangular shape makes it easy to grip in most situations, but I found it difficult to reach around to the back of my hips and lower back, precisely where I need massaging the most. The larger Theragun Elite is perfect for this, but I couldn’t quite find the right angle of attack with the Mini.

And while the included massage head is nice for a relaxing massage on the legs, feet, ankles, and shoulders, it’s a bit too soft for deep tissue work. The larger Theragun Elite comes with various attachments, while you’re limited to this softer durometer attachment on the Mini unless you plunk down extra cash for the additional attachment kit.

So when I finally did open the Theragun Elite and started using it regularly, that became my go-to for home use. The Theragun Mini, however, is likely to be my travel companion, whether that means international trips or just a drive across town to the parking lot before and after a race or ride.

Verdict

The Theragun Mini is a nifty little device that’s likely to be an ideal massage solution for the vast majority of users, especially those that don’t want to spend twice the money on the more elaborate Theragun Elite. I love it because it’s compact, quiet, and easy to use, but if you’re hoping to iron out knots in your back or hips, you’ll probably want to opt for one of Theragun’s larger units. But for quiet operation and simplicity, the Theragun Mini offers just about everything you need.