Massages are one of the ultimate ways to relax. But then, not everyone has the time to head to a spa or a massage place after their many work responsibilities. Plus, the cost of massages can really add up. And so, this is where the handy dandy best massage chair can really come in clutch.
It can be said that nothing beats coming home after a long day to sit in a massage chair. These days, massage chairs have really become so advanced that they have all sorts of different features. Many of these chairs can even replicate one, two, or even several different massage techniques. Having one of them in your home can offer you a very significant improvement in your quality of life. Just imagine the amount of relief you get right at your fingertips – whenever you feel like you need it.
But then, finding a great massage chair can be rather difficult. There are so many of them available and most of them cost a significant amount of money. With that type of financial outlay, making the right choice becomes crucial. Sometimes, people get affected by choice paralysis.
This is why we’ve put together a list of some of the very best massage chairs we could find. We’ve done our research and all of the testing necessary. From that, we’ve put together this list of 8 that we believe are worthy of checking out.
This ultimate buying guide also contains best massage chair review after review, after review. This is for you, so you can find the best possible chair to suit your needs. So buckle up, cause we are diving in deep!
What’s in This Guide?
In today’s buying guide, we’ll be helping you to find the best massage chair for you. There are many different factors that go into finding the right chair, and we’ll be discussing each and every one of them today. We’ll look at everything that you need to know, including:
- Benefits of massages
- Benefits of having the best massage chair
How massage chairs work
- Your ultimate buying guide
- Features to look for
- A guide for using your massage chair
- Special tips and tricks for your massage chair
Once we’ve given you all the information you need, we’ll be taking a look at the top 8. From these, we hope that you can find the one that you can call the best massage chair for you.
Why Get Massages?
The truth is, not everyone is aware of why massages are beneficial. Many still believe that massages are unnecessary, while others may also believe that they are a waste of time and money. The fact is, there are many different benefits to getting massages.
Massages are something that have been around for as long as humans can remember. In fact, it’s been around ever since the times of the ancient humans. Back then, it was used to help people relieve the pain in their backs.
As civilization progressed, and as human society developed, the habits and behaviors of humans changed. These days, we spend more time in chairs sitting than we do standing or walking around like we should be. This has resulted in even more pain for all of us – lower back pain, tense shoulders, tense necks, you name it. This is exactly where massages become invaluable.
Modern Society Suffers from Bad Posture
Most of us people these days deal with one kind of chronic pain or another. Often, they are caused by problems with posture or ergonomics. In fact, a lot of people even suffer from postural issues and stress without realizing it. They could be going on with their lives as normal, until one day the pain suddenly begins to kick in. It starts as a sore neck or shoulder, and then begins to spread throughout the body. Before they know it, they’re struggling with chronic stress and pain. You yourself might be having some discomfort in your neck, shoulders, and back.
Stress and pain caused by your posture aren’t limited to those areas, however. Fact is, there are other parts of your body that are very susceptible to feeling the pains of stress and bad posture. For example, your gluteals and your lower back can really begin suffering from constantly sitting down. Most people find these parts of their bodies painful. And when these parts begin aching, more parts of the body can often follow suit.
Human bodies were not made for constantly sitting down. The compression on the spine in addition to bad posture can really wreak havoc on the body. This is why these days, standing desks are becoming so much more popular.
Massages Can Help
In the world of office desk jobs and bad posture, massages have now become truly valuable. Massages can help to relieve your muscular pain and ease any pain that you are feeling. They can undo the knots in your body one by one until all the tension slowly fades away. That said, having the best massage chair at your disposal for this very purpose is truly life changing for many.
Massages help you by increasing your blood circulation and improving it to the area being worked. There are studies that show that massage therapy is, as a matter of fact, just as good at treating most back pain as other pharmaceutical or procedural methods. It’s true – massages can relieve a lot of pain and pressure in your body. On top of that, they may even help you with your posture.
In fact, get enough massages and you’ll find that perhaps your sleep quality might improve. Furthermore, you’ll also begin noticing a significant reduction in your stress levels. A massage is one of the best ways to relieve tension and promote relaxation, two things that are guaranteed to lower levels of stress in your body. A good body rub-down (or even just a back rub) can really soothe and calm you.
Why Should I Get a Massage Chair? What are Their Benefits?
Massages offer a ton of different benefits, that’s for sure. But why should you choose to get a massage chair instead of making your way to a spa or massage parlor? What exactly are the benefits that a special chair bring?
Infinite Access to the Best Massage Chair Whenever You Want
One of the biggest benefits to owning a massage chair is the fact that you will literally have 24/7 access. Come home after an extremely long day? Head right over to your chair and plop down for a relaxing session. Feeling a little bit more stressed than usual? Just sit right down in your chair. Indeed, having infinite access to the best massage chair can really improve your quality of life. There’s no need to make any appointments. You won’t need to stress about traveling to the spa/parlor and parking. There’s no need to worry about finding a way to get yourself squeezed into a full parlor schedule. When you have a chair, you can plop down in it whenever you feel like it – whenever you may be in the mood for a massage.
Different Massage Techniques Available
These days, most massage chairs sold in the market are chock full of features. They offer a load of features, including many different massage techniques. Of course, it may vary from model to model. However, any chair worth its salt would have several different techniques or patterns programmed in for you to choose from. It’s truly all about finding the best massage chair for your needs, with all your preferred features and techniques.
Overall Increase in Comfort
There’s no denying that most massage chairs out on the market today are all designed to be incredibly comfortable. Find the right one and you can have it replace your living room chair. You don’t need to turn the chair on and run a program for you to enjoy its benefits. You can simply sink in to your cloud of comfort as you sit there and watch your favorite sitcom on TV or on Netflix. Speaking of – you can even get a massage as you do!
Relief from Lower Back Pain
Most people have felt lower back pain at one point or another in their lives. If you’ve ever suffered from lower back issues, then you’d know how irritating and frustrating it can be. It can really ruin someone’s day, that’s for sure. Some people may use airbags or lumbar pillows to help deal with the pain. On the other hand, other people may use foam rollers. Heating pads and other similar implements like hot water bottles are also often used for this purpose. A good chair, however, often has features to help you tackle issues of the lower back in particular. Some chairs even come with heating features, so you can still get that warmth and relief.
It’s a Good Investment
An investment? It’s true, good caliber chairs can cost a pretty penny. And a lot of people would balk at the thought of spending that kind of coin. However, the truth is that despite the significant initial outlay, a chair is indeed worthy investment. After all, you will get all the worth of your moolah back in the massages you get. These chairs, provided you buy a good quality one of course, are incredibly durable. They all come with very reliable warranties, with other sellers even offering longer warranties for purchase if you need. In the end, when you buy a chair you get infinite access to massages – and an amazingly comfy chair to sit in to boot.
Foot Rubs? Sign Us Up!
A massage chair isn’t just for your back, shoulders, and neck. In fact, these chairs also offer amazing foot rubs and lower leg rubs. In some chairs, these foot massaging extensions are adaptable so you can customize and personalize your perfect experience.
These days, not a lot of people take the time to stretch their bodies – something that we should really all be doing daily. The fact is, sedentary bodies can really suffer from a lot of chronic pain. Often, it is muscular pain brought about by strain and stress due to bad posture. The best massage chair can help you to stretch your body and your muscles. They can do it a lot better, too, than what you would’ve been able to do. There are some special chairs that come with built in features to help simulate muscle stretching like you’d get from doing a session of yoga.
Relieve Your Sore Spine
Sitting in a chair all day can really cause a lot of issues with your back. Certain chairs come with features that help track your sore spine, along with the stressed and knotted muscles around it. The best massage chair will target these areas and really work them in order to bring you the relief you need. And so, your muscles will experience relief. Your vertebrae will also be safely stretched, resulting in great spinal relief.
It’s Incredibly Relaxing
Let’s be real, massages are incredibly relaxing. Having the best massage chair is an amazing way to improve your life. Sit and get a massage for your arms, back, legs, and yes – even your feet.
Your Ultimate Buying Guide: Finding the Best Massage Chair
Whenever you plan to buy anything of significant financial value, it’s important to do all the research so you don’t end up wasting your money. In fact, this is the same regardless of the amount you are spending, big or small. The same most certainly also applies to massage chairs – you need to find the perfect one so you will be completely and absolutely happy with your purchase. This is exactly why we have put together this ultimate buying guide for how to find the best massage chair. Now, before you go right ahead and make your purchase, be sure that you ask yourself the following questions first.
How Much Space Do You Have?
While massage chairs no doubt are amazing, the fact is they are not small. Most of the chairs stocked to the brim with features are actually space hogs. Unfortunately, even the smallest options out on the market are still the size of what your regular living room armchair would be. And so, when you begin your search for the best massage chair, you certainly need to consider its size. You need to make sure that you have enough room for one.
One thing to consider is that folding massage chairs often need much more space than your regular option. You’ll also need at least three inches of room or clearance for some of the models. Then you need to consider the amount of space you’ll need to fully extend them as well.
Will I Fit in the Chair?
All chairs come with different designs as well as different frames. And, naturally, they also come in varying sizes. However, because most of these chairs are designed to fit and accommodate as big of a bracket of people as possible, they will often be suitable for both tall and short people. However, it’s still best to do what you can to make sure that the chair will suit your size. The fact is, for the chair to be comfy, you need to make sure its design will suit your body. Some chairs simply aren’t comfortable for shorter folk, and vice versa.
What Types and Techniques of Massage are You Looking for?
Next thing for you to consider is what type of massage you are looking for. The best massage chair for you will have the types of massage that you crave. You may have your own, personal preference for the technique you like. On the other hand, you may also have a prescribed therapeutic technique indicated to help treat a particular issue you may have. To give you an idea, here are some of the techniques that are usually included in chairs:
Tapping is just like what you might imagine, a percussive technique of massage that is designed for stimulating your body’s muscles. It essentially simulates the striking and pounding movements that a therapeutic professional would do with their fists. This particular technique helps in stimulating local area blood circulation. It also increases the temperature in the area, as well as the elasticity of tissue.
Kneading techniques are the most basic types of massage, both in and out of a chair. This technique uses the compression of your soft tissues against each other. They could also be compressed against your bones beneath. This is a technique often recommended for people who seek relief from pain. It treats knots and tight muscles. As an added bonus, it helps in increasing flexibility.
A lot of people use foam rollers because they can really help relieve a lot of pain issues. They also help with increasing flexibility. And so, rolling is a technique included in a lot of massage chairs. It involved lifting and rolling of skin/flesh. Massage therapists do it by rolling the flesh in between their thumbs and fingers. The best massage chair will do it by employing the use of special rollers. On top of relieving pain and tension, rolling also helps to loosen skin and bring about relaxation.
Shiatsu massage is one of the biggest and most popular techniques all around the world. In fact, almost every single massage parlor and spa offers this technique. Go to any establishment and you will see it on the service menu, in big letters – “SHIATSU MASSAGE”. This technique is applied using the thumbs, palms, and the rest of the hands. It is used on particular stress points on the body. This technique is very popular because it helps in offering relaxation and muscle pain relief. When you’re in a massage chair, this technique is applied through the use of rollers as well as airbags.
Other Special Techniques
Most manufacturers of massage chairs will want you to choose their product. Each one of these manufacturers will claim that theirs is the best massage chair; that their product is better for this or that reason. Manufacturers will put all sorts of different techniques and programs to help attract you to buy their product. Often, these programs and special techniques are their own. These special techniques will vary from chair to chair. However, to help you out, here are some popular ones:
- Hot massages or heated massages
- Spinal relief programs
- Muscle stretching
Of course, each one of these special programs and techniques have their own specific advantages.
You’re probably wondering at this point which massage technique would work best for you. If you aren’t sure, or if you don’t have a lot of experience with chairs or even massages, just go for a model that offers more special features. Look for the features appealing to your taste, like muscle stretching, spinal relief, and yoga.
What Brand Should You Choose?
The next thing to consider is what brand of massage chair you want. There are several manufacturers out there, each one saying that their product is the best massage chair. Some manufacturers have a great reputation owing to their long history in producing products like these. Others, on the other hand, may just be getting their feet wet in the massage chair market.
Regardless of whether the brand you’re looking at is established or new, you shouldn’t immediately judge a product just by its brand. There are many different factors that contribute to what makes a good chair. In fact, some really great chairs are made by brands that aren’t very well known.
One thing we can tell you is that one thing you need to look at is the feedback on the product. You also should consider the feedback on the brand itself. How is their customer service? How is the warranty? Does the brand/manufacturer make sure that they honor the warranty that comes with your purchase? Finding a brand that will respect your warranty and cover repairs where necessary will help to save you a lot of money in the future.
What is Your Budget?
There’s no doubt that massage chairs can get really expensive. This is exactly why you need to decide what your budget is before you begin even looking for the best massage chair. There are a lot of different models and the prices of each of these vary. In fact, the differences in price can be surprisingly big. This is why you need to establish a budget so that you won’t end up wasting your time looking at a model that doesn’t suit you. This way, you won’t be tempted to spend much more than you intend to.
When looking at models of massage chairs, remember that the price of the unit is determined by the quality of the chair, along with its features and capabilities. If the chair you’re interested in comes with several different techniques and features as well as a good design, chances are it will definitely be up there in price.
Do know, however, that pricier units are often more worthwhile investments. These models are usually more durable. They also have way more features, and are also usually much more comfortable to sit in.
Nevertheless, make sure that you choose a model that is well within your budget!
What’s the Warranty Like?
Buying the best massage chair often comes with a warranty. Warranty periods are a year at minimum, but the longest ones on the market are up to five years. Most of the chair manufacturers do offer their guarantee that they will support any repair and part costs – at least for the first year of ownership. Then, this offer or guarantee gets lowered down to covering just the cost of the parts for the 2nd year. On the 3rd year, the guarantee is lowered even further to cover just the integrity of the frame.
You will need to make sure that the manufacturer you are purchasing from will respect the warranty policy they set. It’s unfortunate, but the truth is that there are some manufacturers that do not. This is why you really need to look at reviews, so you can see whether people are complaining about this problem.
What Features Do You Need to Consider?
If you’re absolutely sure you want to invest in the best massage chair for your home, then it’s time to ask more questions. Yes, that’s right – more questions! Let’s look at some of the most important features of massage chairs. These are the exact same reasons that will determine how effective and comfortable your new chair will be. Here are some of the features you need to consider:
What’s the Massage Power?
One of the biggest decisive factors in the quality of a chair is its massage power. Essentially, the power of massage that the chair can offer will decide just how much you’ll be enjoying your massage itself. Some like their massage pressure or power soft, like gentle caresses that don’t exert too much pressure. They like this soft touch because they find it most relaxing. On the other hand, there are people who love the rough massages – the kind that really presses hard and works the knots right out of the body.
You may know which level of intensity you want, but figuring out whether a model offers it in the exact level you want can be difficult. Truth is, most reviews online will offer their subjective opinion on the product. Some people may complain that their massage was perfect, while others might say it was too rough or too soft. To combat this, the best thing you can do is to look for the best massage chair that offers adjustable intensity.
Look for a model that offers as many levels of intensity as possible. This way, you’ll be sure to enjoy your massage. Furthermore, you’ll also be able to ensure that other people in your family will be able to enjoy theirs too – in their intensity of preference.
Does the Chair Have Massage Rollers?
Next thing to consider is whether or not the chair has massage rollers. Some models – usually the ones that are higher end – usually come with rollers. These rollers are used in adding more massage techniques that are programmed into the chair. The rollers help to give you a comfier, nicer experience. They’re also designed specifically to help simulate human hand movement. This way, you get an experience much like the type you would get from an actual massage therapist.
The rollers built into the chair slide upwards, then downwards. They also go from right to left. This produces a really comfortable and soothing massage that can result in amazing relaxation. On top of that, you also get your blood flow stimulated in your back.
A hot bottle or a hot pad is usually recommended for people who need to soothe some muscular pain. This is exactly why heat is also often applied in massages, to even further improve the relaxation that the massage brings. Through the help of infrared rollers or heating pads, massage chairs can make your back rub even more effective. This is because the heat encourages your muscles to relieve stress and relax even further. And, of course, local blood flow is improved even more.
There are many different ways that chairs use to give you the heated massage you crave. Some use heating pads that are placed conveniently in the lower back area. On the other hand, there are other models which use pads for other parts of your body such as your feet and your legs. The higher end models will usually employ the use of infrared rollers. These rollers cover the entirety of your back’s surface, going from your neck all the way down to your buttocks. This results in an incredibly comfortable massage. As a result, you will surely thank yourself for purchasing the best massage chair.
New Tech: Body Scans
There is a feature that is becoming more and more popular on the newer and greater massage chairs. This feature is the body scan. It’s a new technology that allows the best massage chair to customize your massage especially for you and the needs of your body. This technology employs the use of sensors in order to track your spine’s curvature along with many other aspects of your body physically. Once the scan is done, the massage session will be customized to fit your body specifically.
You might think that this feature isn’t really that important or necessary. In most cases, we would definitely agree. However, it does offer many advantages. Each and every person to use the chair will get a massage experience custom to their body. And so, everyone in your family will literally experience the best possible massage for them the moment that they sit in the chair. If it’s a shorter person, the chair will adjust to their needs. The same applies for a taller person. This way, regardless of a person’s build, the chair will cater specifically to them.
Special Massage: Air Compression
Another feature that is often included in newer massage chairs is the air compression feature. It essentially employs the use of air bags in order to enhance your massage and your overall experience in the chair. The air bags will compress and decompress alternately in order to push against your sore muscles and help them to relax and relieve tension. It is a feature that can be used for the entire body – so it doesn’t matter what part of you is sore. The better chairs come with air bags to massage your arms, shoulders, neck, legs, hips, and even your feet. In fact, the more of these air bags that your massage chair has the better your experience will be. Also, for most chairs comma the intensity of this air compression technique is customizable an adjustable.
Special Massage: Vibration
A feature that is found in pretty much every single chair sold on the market today is the vibration massage. High end chairs tend to have vibration features to reach all the way through your body, even down to your buttocks. However, more affordable chairs usually only have this feature available up until your lower back. And then, you get the models that have special seats with vibration features in order to work your leg and buttock muscles. If this is a feature that you know you would enjoy and you know would help you relax your body, perhaps it would be a better idea to seek out a model that has vibration features down to your buttocks.
The next feature we want to mention is zero gravity. This is a feature that is only usually available in higher end models so if you are interested in it be prepared to pay the price. Basically, how this works is that the chair will recline in a specific angle to place your body in a particular position. This position or angle makes it so that your body won’t have to sustain or support your own weight – much like how zero gravity works in space. This is a feature that can really help you to relax and relieve tension because it reduces the strain on your vertebrae and allows though experience of the massage to really penetrate your tense muscles.
Depending on the model, some chairs may have several different stages of their zero gravity features. The last stage of zero gravity will raise the lower half of your body or your legs to a height that is about the same as your heart’. This will allow you are stressed heart to relax a bit while also allowing it to be more efficient because it won’t require as much work to push the blood all the way down to your lower half.
3D Massage Features
If you’re wondering what a 3D massage is and how it is different from a normal massage, we don’t blame you. Quite honestly, there are so many different features included in modern massage chairs that it can be difficult to keep track sometimes. But basically, 3D massages as a feature offered improved depth comparatively. To put it simply, 3D massages will give you a deeper massage experience then what you would get from a normal massage. This effect is achieved with the use of different features included in the chair.
Here is an example to help you understand this feature better: a chair that has airbags will inflate them in order to surround your entire body. Your body will then be effectively locked in place, at which point the massage rollers will begin their work of relieving your muscles of tension. This feature allows your massage experience to be more immersive. Many reviews do agree that a 3D massage is much more satisfying and relaxing than a regular massage.
We do want to say that the best massage chair often comes with a recline feature. In fact, lower end models not equipped with a 0 gravity feature usually use a recline feature instead. The main difference between 0 gravity and recline is the fact that you would still be supporting some of your own weight when you use the recline feature. Your legs also will not be lifted to the height of your heart, which means that there will be no increased benefit when it comes to improved circulation. Although chairs that recline are not as good as zero gravity chairs, this feature is still very much appreciated by many. After all, the ability to recline while you are watching television and getting a massage is still one that can truly improve your overall experience.
Muscle Stretching Massages
Next up on the list is the muscle stretch massage. A lot of models of massage chairs offer this feature. It actually goes by many different names: yoga, stretch, or muscle stretch – it doesn’t matter. Most of these features will have the same core function, which is to help stretch the muscles in your body. This is done by using the airbags and the air compression system in order to first warm your muscles up before proceeding with the stretching exercise.
A lot of people often find themselves surprised by just how much their arms, backs, and even their legs are able to stretch through the use of this muscle stretching massage feature. It is something that usually catches a lot of people off guard, especially if they don’t have a lot of previous massage chair experience.
We can say that this is a feature very much appreciated in situations where the body is sore from exercise. It can be done before your workout sessions or even after them comma and it is also a good feature to help you with any strains or recoveries when it comes to your muscles. When used in combination with heated massages, you’ll find that you’re probably going to be in muscle heaven.
The spinal stretch feature is one that is often included in higher end massage chairs. This particular feature will also come in a variation of different names, but just like muscle stretching massages, spinal stretching in all its different names will all perform the same function. In essence, your back will be stretched so that your vertebrae will experience less pressure. And then, the muscles surrounding your spine will be massaged in order to relieve any pain that you are feeling. This is a great feature for people who find themselves suffering from back pain. In combination with a 0 gravity massage feature, plenty of back relief will be felt.
The best massage chair for you might also include an acupressure point feature. This will enhance your massage further so you’ll truly feel extra relief in your tense areas. Acupressure will feel somewhat like a gripping on your tense body. This would make the massage feel a bit more realistic because it will feel like one given by a massage therapist.
A lot of people find that foot massages are really important for them. This is often true especially for people who spend most of the day on their feet. If you come home from a long day at work with your feet aching like hell, then a foot massage is just what you need. There’s nothing like being able to come home from your exhausting day to an incredibly comfortable chair just waiting to give you an amazing foot rub. It’s true, most chairs do come with foot massage features.
However, the type of foot massage you get from your chair will vary depending on the model you have purchased. Some models use only the included air bags to give you the massage. Then, there are other models employing the use of rollers, or even rotating discs. And of course, you do also get the option of a heated foot massage. Who could say no to that?
One thing that not many people really think is important is an arm massage. The fact is, arm massages aren’t as prioritized simply because they aren’t as prone to soreness like feet or backs are. Still, there is no denying that an arm massage can truly help your body to relax. In most cases, chairs will use the air compression bags for massaging your arms. Some models may even feature specialized pockets for holding your arms in place while the airbags give you massages. Other models on the other hand will perform the massage while you hold your arms against the armrests yourself.
Most if not all modern massage chairs will come with neck massage features. However, the truth is that only the best massage chair will offer head massage features. These chairs will target your muscles on the sides of your head in order to release any tension that you may be holding there. This can result in true relaxation.
Your feet aren’t the only parts of you that will get really sore when you spend most of your day on your feet. The fact is, for most people their hips also become sore from standing and walking around all day. What’s more is that even people who spend a lot of their time sitting in chairs will suffer some hip soreness at one point or another. The best massage chairs already have airbags around the hip area. However, there are some models that have features specifically targeting sore hips. These features are made to help relieve your hips of soreness. Higher end chairs will even have a feature to help align your spine and your hips.
Although it is probably a good idea to get the best massage chair that have pre defined programs, you still want to be sure you get a model that allows for manual control. Sure, pre-defined massage programs are great and all, but the fact is you still need to look for a massage chair that you can control on your own. This way, you can fully customize your massage experience. You can choose which techniques you want and employ the specific techniques that you like. On top of that, you will also be able to define the exact and specific intensities that you want.
A lot of chairs will come with special pre-programmed functions set by their manufacturers. Often, these programs offer you an advantage because it’s literally no muss and no fuss. All you have to do is sit in a chair and select a program – that’s it. These programs usually use a mixture of features and techniques in order to give you a great massage experience. The programs are also usually specially made to work on particular sore parts of your body. They have set purposes so you really don’t need to mess with anything else.
What’s the Chair Made Out Of?
For sure, another thing that you will need to consider when you’re buying the best massage chair for you is – what material is this chair made from? Most of the models out on the market today employ the use of faux leather. In fact, even the higher end models will sometimes make use of faux leather. The reason isn’t because they’re just trying to save money. The truth is, manufacturers choose faux leather because real leather isn’t always capable of handling the pressure that the chair’s features exert. The only real difference between higher and lower end chairs is the faux leather’s quality. If you choose a better, costlier chair, you’ll find that the faux leather they used is thicker and thus more durable.
LED Light Features
One thing that set some chairs apart from others is the inclusion of LED lights. Some chair models include LED lights to give you a better and more immersive experience. These LED lights are usually used more for ambiance purposes than anything. So, you will have to turn off other light-emitting electronics that are in the room. Then, you can enjoy the fully immersive ambiance of your massage.
Accessibility and Ease of Use
Not everybody is comfortable with technology or is well versed in handling it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure that if you purchase a chair, you’ll be able to operate it. For the most part, accessibility and ease of use is only an issue in multiple person households. For example, if you’re looking to buy a chair for you and your family, you’ll want to be sure that everyone in your household will be able to properly use it. Look for the best massage chair that comes with remote controls or easy-to-use control panels. That way, they will be a bit more user friendly.
Speaking of which, you will also most certainly want to get a unit that comes with a remote control. That way, you don’t need to fuss with a control panel that can, sometimes, be placed in a rather difficult-to-reach spot.
Noise Levels During Operation
Something to keep an eye out for is how the unit sounds like while it is in the middle of performing a massage. It’s true that some chairs can be really bulky. Adding to this point, sometimes units are also quite loud during operation. After all, most of these units involve a lot of moving parts, and so it only makes sense that many of them produce significant levels of noise. However, higher-end models often are much quieter by design. If you want to be sure that your chair won’t be annoying you with how loud it is, choose a unit designed to operate quietly.
On Cup Holders and Other Extra Features
There are a ton of other features often included with your purchase of a massage chair. You will want to consider whether you want them or not. In many cases, the following features are not absolutely necessary. Here are just some of them:
- Cup holders – although it would be nice to have a cup holder close by for your convenience, the fact is this is still a rather unnecessary feature. After all, the fact is you can simply put your cup on any nearby surface that is stable enough – like a coffee table or side table. One advantage of having a cup holder, however, is the ability to put the unit’s remote control in it for easy access while you receive your massage.
- Bluetooth connectivity and speakers – some higher end units have extra features like speakers and a bluetooth connection. For a fully immersive experience you can route your audio through bluetooth and have your favorite music play through the model’s speakers. Of course it can be argued that this is nowhere near a necessary feature. After all, you can simply play music through your own speakers
Finally, since most models are usually bulky, the best massage chair for you might just be the one that is most portable. These units are likely much lighter than others. Plus, they’ll also have casters that can allow you to move them much more easily if you want to.
How Exactly Do Massage Chairs Work?
We’ve gone through just about everything there is to know about the best massage chair, its features, and what to look for when you are shopping around for one. Now, it’s time to look at how exactly massage chairs work.
Massage chairs have been around for a while – decades, in fact. But, one thing we can say is that they are not what you would call a novelty. The newer models of these chairs have so many more features compared to the older ones. However, even the new units still function fundamentally the same as the first ones that were ever released. It certainly can be said that massage chairs are a luxury item – at least for most people in the United States. However, in Japan, there are estimates that say at least one out of every five homes has one. These special chairs are practically considered a necessity in Japan. But how exactly do they work?
Under the Hood
Most of the massage chairs these days use a combination of different elements under the hood. Vibrating mechanisms, gears, motors, airbags, rollers – pretty much everything we’ve mentioned in the in-depth guide above. The truth is, most of the mechanisms used back in the day are very much still the same mechanisms we use today. Of course, the difference is the fact that these days, the technology that we use is simply so much better in terms of sophistication.
Although no two units are designed the exact same way, the simple fact is that if you look at the most basic function of these chairs, they are all the same underneath. They have vibrating surfaces that massage your legs and your back. To make the chairs vibrate, the manufacturers employ the use of devices that are small and contain weighted wheels or gears. The weights and wheels contained in these devices are not centered properly, resulting in an imbalance. The motor rotates the device quickly, causing the imbalanced weight to vibrate. It may sound simple, and to a degree it is, but the fact is the manufacturers must take great care to design their chairs in such a way that the sensation provided is pleasant, rather than violent like an earthquake.
If you invest in a massage chair that is somewhat of a higher end unit, most likely you will end up getting a model that employs the use of rollers. These rollers are the mechanism responsible for your chair giving you a massage that feels like one given by human hands. The rollers are powered by electrical motors. These strong motors move the rollers in specific patterns depending on the design of the unit. Some models have rollers that have very limited motion ranges, such as up and down.
On the other hand, you have the units that employ rollers mounted on mechanical arms that have much wider motion ranges. These rollers are able to move from left to right, and can even sometimes rotate. It all depends on the manufacturer. Higher end models will have microprocessors that store the patterns that the arm can do. Then, you can select the pattern you want from the remote control or the control panel.
The intensity of a massage can be adjusted on certain models that allow it. To allow for this, manufacturers design their chairs to allow it to adjust in certain ways. The chairs are given the capability to change the distance that they can move their rollers away from the chair’s frame. Alternatively, the manufacturers mount the chair’s frame on a special pivot. Then, the pivot moves the frame of the chair away from your body.
These days, most of the units on the market are recliners as well, so as a result the manufacturers need to design a special way for their chair to perform these actions in many different positions. This is done either through the use of a motor-powered reclining system. Otherwise, a lever is used for manual reclining.
We’ve discussed air compression at length – namely the use of airbags for massaging. These air bags are inflated and deflated through the use of compressors. A small compressor is installed (hidden) inside of the unit. It is this compressor that inflates and deflates the airbags, with pipes and tubes. Some models use one compressor, while others use several. A processor built in to the chair dictates the way the compressors work.
Like we have discussed, most of these units use several different massage techniques. Here’s how the techniques are performed by the chairs:
- Rolling is done by the rollers that go up and down (or left and right) on your back. Some chairs may use rollers in combination with air bags to do this.
- Kneading is performed by the rollers as well, but this time in circular patterns. In chairs that do not have rollers, the function is performed by airbags that slowly inflate then deflate in a pattern to simulate a kneading motion.
- Tapping is done by rollers slowly pushing and pulling against your body, therefore performing somewhat of a staccato tapping motion. This can also be simulated by airbags.
- Shiatsu is done through rollers pushing against the sensitive points of your body.
- Gripping is performed by airbags that grip your legs and arms then release.
How Often Should a Massage Chair Be Used?
One of the benefits of the best massage chair is the fact that you have 24/7 access to it. That much we’ve already established. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be sitting in it all day, every single day. How often should your chair actually be used? Well, a lot of people would say that it should be done as much as you possibly can. However, you should be careful not to overdo it because you can end up bruising yourself and injuring your muscles. Therefore, you must allow for your body to recover in between sessions. This is what you should do if you want to avoid feeling like you’ve been beat up in between your massages.
Work your way up to the frequency of massage you want. And also, remember that you’ll need to provide more time for recovery in the case of high intensity massages. It is entirely possible for you to get massages far too frequently. Overusing a chair isn’t good for you either. As a result, if you plan to have frequent massages (multiple massages per week), be sure to keep the intensity somewhat lower. Also, make sure that you keep the sessions somewhat shorter (15-30 minutes each). If you plan to do a massage twice weekly, then you can lengthen your sessions.
Most units are designed with timers and the like so that your sessions will not exceed the recommended amount of time.
Massage Chairs During Pregnancy
It’s generally not advisable to use massage chairs while you are pregnant. The reason behind this is the fact that chairs may put pressure on certain acupressure points which can then cause issues such as premature labor. At least, this is the reason in theory. These claims are often not substantiated with proof. Nevertheless, it’s best to consult with your physician or obstetrician before you indulge yourself in these chairs.
There are certainly many different advantages to getting massages while you are pregnant. However, it is up to you to ensure that any and all massages you get are safe for you as well as for the baby.
General Tips and Tricks
There are a lot of different things that can help you to maintain your chair and keep it in shape. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions in terms of cleaning the chair. Use cleaning products that are more gently, in order to keep the faux leather healthy.
- While cleaning your unit, make sure that you are not dripping any cleaning chemicals on important moving parts. Always ensure your chair’s electronic and mechanical parts are far from danger of short circuiting by keeping cleaning chemicals away.
- Regularly clean the parts of the chair that you come into contact with regularly.
- A damp cloth is often enough to clean your chair in some cases. Don’t use cleansing chemicals unless they are absolutely necessary.
- Don’t forget the tiny nooks and crannies in your chair.
- Remember to allow the chair to dry before using. The same applies if you intend to remove the upholstery to clean it – always let the upholstery dry before reinstalling it.
Contenders for the Best Massage Chair
It’s finally time to talk about the best massage chair. Here are the models that we have researched and tried – hopefully it will help you to find the model that you want! Of course, don’t limit yourself to these options. After all, the best massage chair for you might actually be one that isn’t in this list. Don’t be afraid to do your own research and compare all the models on the market!
Product Name: Relaxonchair MK-II PLUS
Product Description: Price: $$$$
Size: 65x30x40 inches
Weight: approx 183 lbs
Max capacity: 250 lbs
Special Features: hip massages, spinal decompression, deep tissue settings
Value for Money
Another option for the best massage chair is the Relaxon MK-II+. This unit is so full of features that it completely pays for itself as an investment in your home. It has 3 different intensities and speeds, five different manual options for massages, and 4 automatic programs. A remote control is included for your convenience. The maximum length of your session is 30 minutes, though the default is set for only 15 minutes. It also has 3 different stages of zero gravity, so that you can truly enjoy your massage. Want complete relaxation? This chair will surely allow it. Heated massages are also included in this unit. Also note that stretching features are also part of the design.
- Value for money
- Quiet operation
- 3 stage 0 gravity
- 4 different auto programs
- 5 manual settings
- Amazing customer service according to reviews
- No body scan technology
- Remote backlight is somewhat dim
Size: 55.5x30x48.5 inches
Weight: Approx 247 lbs
Max Capacity: 320 pounds
Special Features: LED Lights, Zipper covers, Accupressure points
The Kahuna SM-9000 is the ultimate in massage chairs. It may not be in everyone’s budgets, but for those looking for true luxury, this model is a great choice. It’s chock full of features, one of them being a 3D massage system that follows the curve of your spine down to your buttocks. It’s designed to be gentle, as well as silent. It also reclines. Infrared heated rollers give you a tremendous experience in the form of a massage that penetrates deeply. It accommodates people of most sizes, up to a maximum of 6 ft 5 in height, and 320 pounds in weight. You’ll be pleased to know that the seat as well as the shoulders of this unit is at least one to two inches wider than your standard chair.
Size: 46x48x31 inches
Weight: Approx 200 lbs
Max Capacity: 220 lbs
Special Features: 5 different manual massage techniques, 4 roller system, 6 automatic programs
For a unit that is much more affordable than some of the other chairs on this list, the Kahuna LM-6800 is not at all a slouch when it comes to features. The fact is, this model is one of the most popular on the market for a reason. The fact is, the LM-6800 is a premium chair with a robust design. Although it can handle smaller capacities in comparison to some other chairs on this list, the sheer amount of features this has makes up for it.
This chair has five different massage techniques, a four roller system, and 6 automatic pre-programmed massages. You will also get 3 different stages of 0 gravity to go along with the body scans included in the technology. The Kahuna LM-6800 is an all-in-one chair that is sure to give you tons of relaxation.
Zero Gravity - Osakis OS-4000 Massage Chair
Size: 52x31x34 inches
Weight: Approx 255 lbs
Max Capacity: 265lbs
Special Features: Zero gravity, heated massage, remote control
The OS-4000 by Osakis is another chair for you to consider. It is pretty bulky in comparison to other units on this list, but it does have many features that you might want to consider. This chair is rather durable, with six unique programs pre-set. It also has zero gravity, in two different stages. An automatic timer built in allows you to set a massage anywhere from five to thirty minutes a session. It also has five different levels you can choose from in terms of intensity and speed. This chair is also designed to be ergonomic, which means you’ll be able to truly enjoy its comfort. Note that this unit also has a body scan system built in so that it can truly optimize your experience.
Real Relax Massage Chair (Full Body)
Size: 49x33x53 inches
Weight: approx 137 lbs
Max weight: approx 440 lbs
Special features: foot massage, hip massage, foot massage
For a more affordable option, you can opt for the Real Relax Massage Chair. It’s a unit that many have found to be incredibly worth the money. This is a model of chair that offers incredible value for money. As a result, it is certainly a contender for best massage chair. Other people who have tried this product before certainly think so. And while it’s not anywhere as premium as the other chairs on this list, for its price it is certainly worth it. It has zero gravity along with 8 rollers and 50 different airbags. 3 levels of intensity are also available.
It comes unassembled, but includes plenty of instructions to help you along. It is a recliner that has four different auto modes to choose from. A remote control is also included. In terms of portability, you won’t struggle with this seat because it comes with back wheels for easy moving.
Ideal Massage Shiatsu Chair with Full Features
Size: 49x33x53 inches
Weight: approx 200 lbs
Max capacity: approx 300 lbs
Special features: 3D massage, heated massage
For an option that is somewhere in the middle, choose this chair. It can be said that this is the best massage chair for people with a mid-range budget. It offers 30 minute timers for your uninterrupted massages (set it anywhere from 5-30 minutes maximum). You can enjoy a 3D massage for 30 minutes straight, owing to the set up of this unit. It has 4 automatic programs included, including four different styles of massage. Experience spinal rolling, kneading, shiatsu, and vibrating massages. Heating is also included to give you deeper penetrating massages. This model also offers 3 stages of zero gravity, all accessible with simply a press of a button.
Size: 42x35x55 inches
Weight: approx 185 lbs
Max capacity: approx 250 lbs
Special features: compression, tapping, heated massages, stretching
For a really special massage at a more affordable price, look at BestMassage’s EC-06. This unit is certainly in the running for best massage chair. It is a full electric model that offers an amazing experience for its price. It will allow warm ups, while also helping to stretch your legs and your back muscles. Apart from the price that can truly be attractive to many, this unit also comes with plenty of features. Massage sessions can last up to thirty minutes. On top of that, they are customizable for an even better experience.
Unfortunately, some reviews do state that there are some models sold that are faulty. Therefore, there is a small risk when purchasing this unit. However, as long as you make sure your purchase is covered in case of fault, you should be alright.
Last but not the least is the Relaxonchair MK-IV, which is a really high quality model. Many would say that it is their choice of best massage chair. It looks great, it’s incredibly easy to use, and it’s truly space-saving. This model only requires you to have 3 inches of clearance wherever you set it up. It has five different modes for you to choose from. On top of that, it allows you to create your own program as well, just in case you aren’t satisfied with the pre-sets. There are a ton of different features that will truly give you your money’s worth.
This unit comes with a remote control. It also comes with three stages of 0 gravity. Heat therapy is present to give you a deeply penetrating massage. The levels of intensity as well as the speed is customizable for your preferences. You can also enjoy five automatic presets, along with five different massage techniques. Get a relaxing targeted massage, or get one specific spot massaged instead if you wish.
Surely it can be said that finding the best massage chair is a task that is not as simple as it might seem. However, it is entirely possible to find one that will suit your every need. All you need to do is make sure to read through this guide as thoroughly as you possibly can. We’ve listed literally everything that you need to know about finding the right unit for you. Simply remember to set a budget then consider what sort of features you want in your chair. Stick to your guns and make sure that you decide on what compromises you are willing to make with your chair.
The model you decide on will serve you well as an investment you’ve made. Ensure that you look at the reviews of the unit prior to purchase, and you should be able to make a well informed decision! Good luck finding the chair of your dreams – we hope you find one that qualifies as the best massage chair for you!
*A gentle reminder: please make sure that you consult with your medical professional if you are pregnant prior to using a massage chair.