You can’t deny the fact that getting a massage after a long tiring day can be very relaxing. If you are a job person, you won’t have the time and energy to go to a massage parlor after spending so much time at work.
Massage chairs are comfortable and cozy chairs that replicate multiple massage techniques, and you can actually get a perfect massage in the comfort of your home. They used to cost a fortune but is no longer the case nowadays. Manufacturers have found a way to make functional, affordable massage chairs so that everyone can reap the rewards at home. However, finding a good massage chair can be quite tricky if you don’t have enough knowledge about them.
To help you choose the right massage chair, we have put together this buying guide that includes benefits of massage chairs, factors to consider before purchasing, and a list of recommendations so you can select the best one according to your requirements and budget. Let’s get started.
Benefits of Massage Chairs:
- You can watch your favorite movie while enjoying massage
- Massage for as long as you want without paying any extra to the spa
- Save money on the trips to massage parlors and the service
- Control heat level and strength level of massage
- Get whatever type of massage you want
- Target specific muscle groups
- Can help tackle lower back pain
- Can help stretch your muscles
Types of Massage Chairs
1. Massage Chair Pads
Want the most affordable option? Opting for a massage chair pad is the way to go. These pads can be placed on your chair or couch. They can provide quite a decent massage in the comfort of your home, without breaking the bank. However, some massage chair pads are known to break easily but don’t worry, there are some excellent models out there as well (mentioned below).
2. Standard Massage Chairs
When you are searching for products online, don’t fall for the looks because there is a big difference between a “back massage chair” and a “massage chair”. If budget is a big concern for you, then we recommend that you stay away from standard massage chairs and go for a more affordable pad type piece of equipment. Standard massage chairs are a big investment. You can buy middle-ground chairs that may not get every inch of your body but still work great in hitting the sore areas.
3. Full-Featured Massage Chairs
As the name suggests, this type of massage chairs have slots for arms, legs, hands, and the rest of the body. A high-quality full-featured massage chair can provide users with 1200 square inches of massaging goodness, which means you can get a massage from head to toes without leaving your home. However, these bad boys are very expensive.
4. Shiatsu Massage Chairs
This chair has got its name from the traditional Japanese Shiatsu massage technique. “Shiatsu” translates to “finger pressure”. In a shiatsu massage, a masseur uses his hands, elbows, thumbs, knees, and feet to apply pressure to pressure points of the body. According to Japanese, shiatsu massage can heal the spirit, body, and even emotional issues.
In most cases, the marketers of massage chairs use this popular term to sell their products easily. However, real shiatsu massage chairs are also available in the market that incorporate a system that mimics a shiatsu technique with rollers. Full-featured shiatsu massage chairs can target major pressure points of the body, helping you bring the actual shiatsu experience.
5. Reclining Massage Chairs
Just like a regular big plush recliner, most of the quality massage chairs have a reclining feature. This mimics laying down on a massage table at a professional massage salon but in the comfort of your home.
6. Zero Gravity Massage Chairs
If you have been searching for the best massage chair for some time, then you may have come up with this term “Zero Gravity” a few times. This technology was invented by NASA. This is just a position that elevates the legs slightly above the heart. Zero Gravity massage chairs can simultaneously increase relaxation of the back and neck, eliminate pressure on the spine, increase lung function, and boost your body’s circulation because of the horizontal position.
Features to Consider
- Massage Power
This is the factor that will determine how much you are going to enjoy the massage. Deciding which massage chair is better than the other is very subjective as some people like their massage soft, while others like it rough. So, you have to read a few customer reviews first to see if the chair provides a soft or rough massage.
To increase your chances of finding a model capable of giving you exactly the type of massage experience you want, look for a massage chair that features an adjustable intensity. The more intensity levels in the chair, the better it is for you and your family. This is because more members of your household can enjoy massage according to their preference.
- Heat Massage
Heated massage chairs don’t just relax your muscles but also comfort your body in winters. Massage chairs that have heated pads or infrared rollers produce heat against your back. The generated heat will relax your muscles and promote the local blood circulation.
- Massage Rollers
High-end massage chairs use rollers to provide a comfortable experience. These rollers are specially designed to mimic the movement of the human hand. They slide upwards, downwards, toward the left and the right of your back, producing a soothing massage. The rollers in action are very relaxing and stimulate your back’s blood circulation.
- Vibration Massage
High-end massage chairs are designed to work your full body, while lower-end models will only reach as far as your lower back. These models mostly use a vibration seat to work your legs and buttocks’ muscles.
- Size and Design
This feature matters a lot if you have less space in your home or room. A reclining chair is big and needs some extra space to get fully extended, which means you can’t just place them in a corner or against a wall. Most massage chairs are not aesthetically pleasing. Even when these chairs have a cool design, they will stand out compared to the rest of your furniture in the living room.
Placing your massage chair right next to your regular sofa will create a stark contrast that might not appeal to you or your guests. The best thing you can do is placing your massage chair in your bedroom, office or workout room.
- Durability and Customer Service
Before buying a massage chair, you want to see how durable the product is. This is where the customer review section comes in handy in the buying process. You can look for two things in the reviews section: durability and customer service. Does the chair last for a long time? How well does it hold up after repeated use and hours of sitting?
A massage chair with a long warranty is a good choice because you can repair or return it in case any part goes sideways. The most important parts of the massage chair that have to hold up the longest are:
- Bottom cushion
- Leg rest
- Neck rest
- Rollers and balls
The combination of excellent customer service and warranty makes sure that you get repairs and maintenance done in a timely fashion.
- Massage Intensity
Massage intensity is another important feature that will determine your experience with the chair. If you want to try different types of massages, opt for a chair that has various massage intensity levels. Advanced chairs let you increase or decrease the intensity.
Bonus features such as music players, headphone ports, panel or handheld remote controls, 3D robotic massage, and phone chargers are amazing extras to have.
Our Top Picks
The SM-9000 by Kahuna Massage Chair is a well-built chair that offers lots of interesting features. However, you need to assemble the chair, but don’t panic, the process takes only an hour. The only downside with this chair is that it doesn’t come with a detailed instructions manual. The current one doesn’t provide much information regarding the assembling process.
The chair has a 3D massaging function that works great and is equipped with the infrared rollers and airbags that provide a very comfortable and relaxing experience. The built-in rollers of this chair are surprisingly well-made that you will find yourself immersed in the chair’s padding. On top of everything, it also has a zero-gravity massage feature that will make you enjoy the chair even more.
Unlike most other massage chairs that require a lot of space, the Kahuna SM-9000 only needs a 3-inch clearing to roll and lift you upwards. Once the chair is in the downwards direction, the rollers will cover every inch of your body. Also, this massage chair offers three different feet massage settings. Despite not having calf rollers, the airbags surrounding your feet and calves do a fantastic job at applying pressure in all the right spots.
You will also find a built-in Bluetooth connection, allowing you to easily pair it with your smartphone, TV, laptop, or stereo and play your favorite music directly from the massage chair. Another best thing about this massage chair is that it has LED lights on the side panel that offer an amazing environment when the lights are off. Last but not least, this chair comes with a full 5-year warranty that covers all the parts and labor cost.
This one is a shiatsu massage pad by HoMedics with heat. It is considered one of the top massage pads and a great choice if you don’t want to blow a lot of your hard-earned money on a full-featured massage chair. It is a free-standing unit that you can place on any chair or couch. This pad has kneading, percussion, and rolling massage settings.
If you want a fast and rough massage, percussion is for you. On the other hand, if you need a deep tissue massage, kneading is an amazing choice while for a gentle and tender massage, rolling is the option you want. You can combine any of these settings with heat to work out knots and relax your tired muscles. The only downside is that you cannot recline or lay down with this massage pad.
The LM-6800 is another amazing massage chair by Kahuna that offers multiple features to enhance your massaging experience. It has an L-track design and is equipped with four rollers that massage your back in the best way possible. Its air-cell massage technology inflates and deflates the built-in airbags that stretch your muscles and relax them. This massage chair uses three zero gravity positions that are all very comforting.
If you don’t have enough space in your room, then this massage chair is an excellent choice as it only needs three inches of clearance to transition to a prone position. Additionally, the chair offers six automated massage programs along with five different massage techniques so you can easily choose your preferred one. You can also select the area you want to massage, including your feet. There are two dedicated rollers in the chair that massage your feet.
Heating is also available in this chair, but you can only use this feature on your lower back and legs. That said, the LM-6800 by Kahuna is an excellent choice if you are suffering from lower back pain. It is backed by a 3-year warranty, and you have to register your massage chair on the manufacturer’s website within one month of receiving it. The first year of warranty will cover all the parts and labor costs along with on-site repairs. During the second year, the warranty will cover only the parts. During the last year of the warranty, only the chair’s structural framework will be covered.
If you want a chair that can blend in with your home’s furniture and doesn’t stand out, then this recliner chair by Relaxzen is the way to go. It is available in two colors to choose from: black and brown – both are amazing! This model is made from a faux suede material that is comfortable and best at cleaning. The chair features eight vibration motors inside it that work great in relaxing your upper and mid-back, calves, and thighs.
Its microsuede upholstery and wood base construction will fit into most modern homes’ décor with ease. The chair even offers nine pre-programmed massage settings so you can choose the right one as per your convenience. It weighs 51.7 pounds and measures 32 x 31 x 33 inches.
Relaxonchair MK-II Plus offers excellent value for money as it combines a lot of interesting features and techniques, including zero gravity mode. It also provides a pleasant immersion sensation. With this chair, your feet are elevated as high as your heart level that allows the chair to function efficiently. This elevation also reduces the strain gravity puts on your vertebrae.
The chair has an L-frame design that allows the rollers to glide smoothly from your upper back to under the seat for a thorough massaging experience. For a customized experience, the chair has built-in sensors that detect the length of your spine so the rollers can target the points that need to be targeted for comfort.
Besides rollers, this massage chair uses air massage technology that inflates and deflates the airbags to provide you with an immersive experience. The airbags are located near your lower hips, arms, calves, thighs, and shoulders – all of them can be operated simultaneously or separately. These airbags work great in stretching your muscles and relaxing them in the process.
The chair also features two heating pads that are located in its lower back area to provide you with a comforting sensation. These heating pads are for relieving your lower back muscles. Apart from the four different automatic massage programs that the chair offers, you can create your own customized program using one of three massage techniques available.
Another worth-mentioning feature of this chair is the “beauty hip massager” that is designed to align your lower back to your butt and offer a compression massage. On top of everything, the chair comes with a full-size remote control and a large viewing screen that allow you to control everything and visualize what functions of the chair are activated.
Although Mecor massage recliner chair is a bit bulky for a traditional sofa, it can excellently blend in with your typical home furniture. It could be a perfect addition to your workout room, rec room or even your bedroom. It is made of high-quality PU leather and comes with two easy-to-assemble pieces. This massage chair can cover eight points of your body for a relaxing massage. It has five different massage modes that you can choose from according to the muscles you want to relieve.
As it’s a recliner chair, it can recline at a 160° angle and swivel 360 degrees in a full circle. If you want to spend hours in your massage chair, then this one won’t disturb or tire you after some time. To assemble the chair, all you need to do is slip two arm parts onto the seat base and slip the back part onto the base, and that’s pretty much it!
The chair weighs 97 pounds, has a weight capacity of 330lbs, and measures 33″Lx33.5″W x 42″H.
The Ideal full-featured shiatsu massage chair offers two intensity settings for the airbags, and three intensity and speed settings for the rollers. However, unlike its intensity settings, its vibration feature cannot be controlled but only turned on or off. The chair comes with a remote control that allows you to control the chair’s speed and intensity. Plus, you can see the activated settings on the remote’s display.
It also offers heated and 3D massage. Heated massage is great for relieving your muscles, and the 3D massage involves multiple airbags that create an immersive sensation. It weighs 200 pounds and measures 49” x 33” x 53”. The chair is backed by a 3-year warranty that covers the steel frame, the body, and all the electronic parts. It is available in three amazing colors to choose from according to your home’s décor.
This massage chair by Real Relax offers eight built-in massage points in the backrest that work side-by-side with the airbags to provide you with a thorough massage. Its integrated heating system heats your lower back area to relax your muscles and relieve any soreness. Plus, this feature also improves your blood circulation and even metabolism.
The interesting thing is that several airbags are placed all over the chair, including arms, shoulders, hips, seat, and legs areas. The technology that inflates and deflates all these airbags will provide you with a comfortable massage experience. The pressure all these airbags create is enough to stretch your muscles and relieve soreness.
The chair also features zero gravity mode that lifts your legs so that your back remains in a comfortable position for the best massage experience. This elevated position reduces the amount of stress gravity puts on your back. Want foot massage as well? This chair has got you covered here too!
Real Relax full body massage chair is backed by a 3-year warranty, but many users complained that they only received a 1-year warranty. If you are interested in buying this chair, you should contact the customer support service and ask about the warranty period before making the purchase.
Massage chairs are a great way to relieve your back pain and lower your stress levels in the comfort of your home. Although getting one of these chairs is not cheap, you will get excellent value for money when you buy one and use it.
As you could see that there is quite a variety of massage chairs available in the market. To make sure that you only get the best massage chair, go through our buying guide thoroughly and then make your decision accordingly. Happy buying!