- 1 The Best Massage Chair Reviews Of 2020
- 1.1 1. Kahuna Exquisite Rhythmic Massage Chair
- 1.2 2. Kahuna superior massage chair SM-7300
- 1.3 3. Relaxonchair MK-II Plus Massage Chair
- 1.4 4. Kahuna Massage Chair LM 6800
- 1.5 5. Real Relax Massage Chair, Full Body, Zero Gravity
- 1.6 6. ideal massage Full Featured Shiatsu Massage chair
- 1.7 7. Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair
- 1.8 8. BestMassage EC-06 Massage Chair
- 2 What Are The Benefits Of A Massage Chair
- 3 A Complete Buying Guide For Massage Chairs
- 4 How Do Massage Chairs Work?
- 5 How Often Should You Use a Massage Chair
- 6 Pregnancy And Massage Chairs
- 7 Where Would You Put Your Massage Chair?
- 8 How To Clean And Maintain Your Massage Chair
- 9 Best Massage Chairs Comparison Chart
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions
- 11 Summary
We can all agree that after a stressful day there’s nothing better than getting a massage. But there are only so many hours in a day, and going to a massage therapist takes time. But there’s another way.
You can get the same comfortable experience by using a massage chair. Choose between multiple massage techniques in the very comfort of your home, and all it takes is a push of a button. But how do I find the right chair for me?
You know the value of a massage chair, but not what to look for. That’s why we created this comprehensive guide to help you find the best massage chair of 2019.
We’re positive that after reading our massage chair reviews, you will have all the tools needed to make a wise decision to kickstart your new healthy life.
|Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair|
Dimensions: 52 x 31 x 34”
Weight: 255 lbs
Special Features: Heated Massage / Zero Gravity / Remote Control
Max weight: 265 lbs
|Kahuna LM-6800 Massage Chair|
Dimensions: 48 x 31 x 46″”
Weight: 249 lbs
Special Features: 4 roller massage system / 5 Manual Massage Techniques / 6 Auto Programs
Max weight: 220 lbs
|Relaxonchair MK-II PLUS Massage Chair|
Dimensions: 65 x 30 x 40”
Weight: 183 lbs
Special Features: Spinal Decompression / Beauty Hip Massager / Deep Tissue Massage
Max weight: up to 250 lbs
|Ideal Massage Full Featured Shiatsu Chair|
Dimensions: 49 x 33 x 53”
Weight: 200 lbs
Special Features: Heated Massage / 3D Massage
Max weight: 300lbs
|Real Relax Full Body Massage Chair|
Dimensions: 49 x 33 x 53”
Weight: 136.6 lbs
Special Features: Hip Massage / Foot Massage / Heated Massage
Max weight: 440.9 pounds
|BestMassage® EC-06 Massage Chair|
Dimensions: 42 x 35 x 55”
Weight: 185 lbs
Special Features: Heated Massage / Compression And Percussion / Stretching Feature
Max weight: 250 lbs
|Kahuna Exquisite Rhythmic Massage Chair|
Dimensions: 52" x 31" x 48"
Weight: 305 lbs
Special Features: 15 Auto Programs / 96 individual air-cells / Bluetooth Speakers
Max weight: 330 lbs
|Kahuna Superior Massage Chair SM-7300 |
Dimensions: 48" x 28" x 47"
Weight: 236 lbs
Special Features: 9 Auto programs / Zero gravity / SL-Track 6 rollers system
Max weight: 320 lbs
The Best Massage Chair Reviews Of 2020
1. Kahuna Exquisite Rhythmic Massage Chair
The Kahuna Exquisite is one of the most luxurious massage chairs in the market. Its mix of luxury and intelligent technology will offer one of the finest massages to anyone who uses it. Developed as a more intelligent and sensual massage chair, it can accommodate all body types, and thanks to its 15 unique massage programs, you will not get tired of this chair.
One unique feature is the 4D technology which can reach every inch of the body. Combine that with the 96 individual air cells, and you got a recipe for success. What not to forget is the big display with full customization and apps such as youtube.
With so many features this model is a beast, and although the price is a bit hefty, it’s one of the finest massage chairs in the market, and even celebrities such as Martha Stewart and Neil Patrick Harris all use the Kahuna Exquisite.
Read more: Kahuna Exquisite Rhythmic
2. Kahuna superior massage chair SM-7300
Kahuna has always been a favorite among users across the globe, and this model is not an exception to this fact. With 6 rollers and triple hip airbags, this chair provides the ultimate comfort.
Its embedded technology allows it to perform different techniques like stretching, tapping, kneading, knocking and more. With this model, you’ll have the freedom of selecting the area you want to be massaged with the highest level of precision. It will feel like getting a massage from a professional masseur.
The best part is, this model can accommodate any size or weight. With its 6 innovative roller technology, you can avail of an experience of being massaged by six different hands, and the touch is very human-like.
All these great features make this superb model a must-buy of 2019.
Read more: Kahuna superior massage chair SM-70300
3. Relaxonchair MK-II Plus Massage Chair
The MK-II by Relaxonchair is a well-built massage chair. It combines many different techniques and features, including a zero-gravity mode.
Apart from the zero-gravity feature, this chair comes with an easy to use remote control. The heat feature combined with the rollers and airbags will warm your back, arm, and leg muscles, this will ensure a more thorough massage.
What drew our attention to this model was the spinal decompression program. It will target your spine and stretch the nearby muscles, this is great if you spend most of the days sitting.
Read more: Relaxonchair MK-II PLUS Massage Chair
4. Kahuna Massage Chair LM 6800
Kahuna LM6800 is one of the most popular massage chairs in the market. This model comes with several features such as 6 auto programs, double-layered shoulder airbags, extra foot padding, and a 30-minute timer. These features are sure to give you a very relaxing massage session that you cannot resist.
A unique feature included in the 6 auto programs is the special yoga feature, meant for full-body stretching. Only requiring 3 inches of space from the wall, the space-saving technology makes sure it fits neatly in any apartment or house.
Overall, this model is suited for those who want some of the features represented in high-end massage chairs, without having to break the bank.
Read more: Kahuna LM-6800 Massage Chair
5. Real Relax Massage Chair, Full Body, Zero Gravity
The Real relax is one of the few budget massage chairs good enough to make the top 8 on our list. Although it comes with a limit amount of features, it will still provide an enjoyable experience.
Even though it’s a cheap model, it still has a zero-gravity feature, and if you’re worried about getting bored with this chair, you can relax. The 4 predefined programs are well enough to keep you satisfied, and a bonus is that you can massage individual areas by turning on and off features you don’t use.
But let me be frank, as you can see this model doesn’t have the fancy techniques and features as other models do, and the techniques it uses tend to be repetitive, but all some all it still very effective, and if money is a concern then I highly recommend this one.
6. ideal massage Full Featured Shiatsu Massage chair
This mid-priced massage chair by ideal comes with a nice mix of features and techniques that will meet most people’s needs. The smart 3D technology will scan the curvature of your back and other physical aspects of the body to ensure a perfect fit.
Just relax and let the auto programs do their work. You can choose between kneading, shiatsu, spinal rolling, and vibration.
All in all, the ideal shiatsu chair offers plenty of features at a fraction of the cost of other models. If you’re looking for the best value massage chair then this is the one for you.
Read more: Ideal massage Full Featured Shiatsu Chair
7. Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair
The Osaki OS-4000 is an easy to use deep tissue massage chair that comes with a wide variety of features. Like most models, this chair comes with a reliable zero gravity feature, and this will let the user customize the massage after their preferences.
With an easy to use control panel and a large LCD display, you can keep track of any changes you make, and the broad selection of massage techniques let you choose between seat vibration, heat therapy, air massage, and more.
Low priced massage chairs usually come with a shorter warranty, but not this model. Osaki wants to bond with the customer, and that’s why this model comes with a 3-year warranty.
Read more: Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair
8. BestMassage EC-06 Massage Chair
This fully-electric massage chair by BestMassage is great if you’re on a strict budget. It’s not well made, but it will still offer a comfortable massage experience. You can adjust the angle according to your liking, and it comes with 3 levels of intensity controls. The features it offers will help in reducing the stress load on your shoulders, neck, waist, back, and legs.
What we liked was the model’s functional diversity in the form of seven massage modes. This includes tapping, kneading, shiatsu, stretching, combo, and air pressure. Its heat therapy is okay, nothing extraordinary.
Overall, this is a low priced massage chair that offers a wide variety of features. However, the downside is that up to 8% of the models produced have been faulty, and the poor customer service might encourage you to look at other models.
Read more: BestMassage® EC-06 Massage Chair
What Are The Benefits Of A Massage Chair
People who read our guide often write back to us saying that their physical health has become better, that’s no coincidence. Massage chairs are designed to better the state of your health and will provide your body with the necessary relief after a long day at work
What Are The Benefits Of Receiving a Massage?
Cultures around the world have throughout history depended on massage as their primary treatment for pain relief. Even today it’s still used by many cultures, which proves its effectiveness. As society progress, we spend more time doing things our bodies aren’t meant for. One example is sitting at your desk for long periods. That’s why massage comes in handy, as a large number of people nowadays deal with some sort of posture problems. Some may even suffer from what’s called postural stress without even knowing it. Postural stress manifests itself in the shoulder and neck area. You might have felt some soreness or discomfort in those particular areas yourself.
Besides the neck and shoulder area, the lower back and the gluteal are also areas prone to develop postural stress. Stretching these areas may give you some temporary relief. However, stretching won’t just do if these areas are continuous being compressed.
Fortunately, massage can relieve a huge part of the tension in your muscles and ease the pain. It will improve your sleep, reduce stress and straighten your back to improve the posture. It will increase the levels of dopamine your brain produce and decrease the amount of cortisol “stress hormone” your body releases. This will minimize the risk of getting depressed. But massage is not only suited for people with chronic pain and regular discomfort. Several studies have shown it can be used to help combat drug addiction. even improve your cardio without having to work out. Getting a massage will decrease the amount of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which takes the strain of the heart by letting the blood flow more easily through your heart chamber. Which is great for people who have diabetes.
Using a massage chair has numerous kinds of health benefits. They are designed to reduce stress, improve blood circulation, stretch and soften up your muscles, and can even make you happier. The relaxation that a massage gives helps the brain release the body’s own “feel good” chemical called endorphin, which is one of the neurotransmitters that controls our well-being. A professional massage chair will help you with that.
P.S Try Combine Massage & Meditation For Optimal Relaxation.
What Are The Benefits Of Owning A Massage Chair?
- Open 24/7 – We all have busy lives and often do we not have the time to go and see a professional. Having your very own massage chair will spare you time and cut the middleman out. You can get a massage in the morning before work, or how about one in the evening before bed?
- Multiple Massage Techniques – Most models come with a wide selection of massage techniques, and the rule of thumb is to choose the massage chair that offers the most techniques. This way you’re sure to find one to your liking.
- Pain Relief – The models of today use all kinds of different features to relieve you of any aches and pain. Some may use rollers and airbags, while others may use heated pads for loosening up the muscles, to provide better relief.
- Great Investment – Although the initial cost of a massage chair can be a bit hefty, you will save money in the long run. By getting a high-quality massage chair you will get a sturdy chair with a long-lasting warranty, and all the health benefits that come along.
- Full Body Massage – One downside with a massage therapist is that he/she can’t work multiple areas at the same time. This makes an ordinary massage a very time-consuming process. Massage chairs use a combination of rollers and various other features to massage several areas at the same time.
- Muscle Stretch – As we get older we get less flexible and our tendons becomes weaker. That’s why some models have special features such as muscle stretch to prevent this from happening. It simulates the same muscle stretch you would get from a yoga session.
- Optimal Comfort – There’s no need to leave your home to get a massage. With a push of a button, you’re ready, and you can even watch your favorite tv show at the same time, isn’t that great
- Relaxation – We all need to relax and unwind after a busy day. So why not sit down in your favorite chair and watch a show on Netflix while getting a massage?
- Better Sleep – If you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, then you should consider a massage chair. Studies have shown that massage chairs can improve the sleep and make you less fatigue. It’s really something we all can benefit from.
A Complete Buying Guide For Massage Chairs
Finding the best massage chair is not that easy as one might think. That’s why we created some ground rules to make things easier for you.
A. Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before Buying A Massage Chair
- Consider Your Available Space
Getting a massage chair only to find out that it’s taking up too much space, will not be a pleasant experience. So check the dimensions before buying. One thing to take into consideration is that folding massage chairs take up more space than regular ones. Some models may need a large amount of clearance. If space is a concern, then it could be worth looking into some high-end massage chairs that use space-saving technology.
- Who Will Use The Massage Chair?
One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is who will use the massage chair. Grab a pen and write down some names and think about what needs they might have. Do they have certain areas that need attention? What are their height and weight? What are their body types? This will help you get an idea of what kind of features you need to look for.
- What Type Of Massage Do You Need?
Massage chairs offer many different types of massage techniques. But which techniques are the best for me? Are there any areas that need a certain type of massage, or are relaxation your number one priority? These are the questions you need to ask yourself. Here are a few of the most common techniques found in massage chairs.
- Kneading – Kneading is a technique recommended for pain relief and tight muscles. It stretches the muscle to ease soreness and relieve tension. It works on any body part, but most people apply it on their neck, back and shoulder areas, as that’s usually where we carry most of the tension.
- Tapping – Tapping involves a combination of pounding and striking with the fists and fingertips against a certain area. Masseuses use tapping to relax the muscle and release tension. This prevents future muscle cramps and stiffness from being formed, while also improving the blood circulation.
- Rolling – Rolling will release muscle tension, increase flexibility and loosen the skin. Often used post-exercise or to treat deep tissue injuries. It will gently pull the skin away from the muscle and roll it in a continuous forward motion. This way it softens the tissue, which produce a very relaxing effect. In massage chairs, the same technique is replicated by the rollers.
- Shiatsu – One of the most common and effective techniques, shiatsu involves the usage of the hand, palms, and thumbs against certain pressure points. The diversity of this technique makes it great for both relaxation and muscle relief. Massage chairs succeed in replicating this technique by using the airbags and rollers.
- Swedish – When mentioning massage most people think about a classic Swedish one. It’s a relaxing technique that involves gentle strokes in the direction that the blood flows to the heart. Known for providing a deep state of relaxation, it’s very sad to see that only a few models offer this technique.
Many feel overwhelmed by all the different massage techniques, and it’s easy to see why. If you never used a massage chair, how can you know which techniques suit you the best.
The recommendation is to pick a model that offers the most techniques. This will allow you to try different types of massages and see what you like. Don’t forget to take a closer look at models with special features that might interest you, such as spinal relief, yoga, or muscle stretch.
Make sure the chair is well made and produced by a respectful brand, and take a look at the max weight capacity. Massage chairs will typically have a capacity of around 300 pounds. It’s also wise to check the optimum duration of each session and any maintenance the chair might require.
There are many brands that sell high-quality massage chairs. Some have been in the industry for a long time, while others have become relevant to the market in the recent years.
When it comes to these types of units, the decision shouldn’t be based on how long the brand has existed. There are some very good models manufactured by less known brands, that will truly knock your socks off.
What makes a brand great is the customer support. You should always look for a manufacturer that respects the warranty and includes repair expenses, as this might save you money in the long term.
Massage chairs range in price. Some entry-level massage chairs can provide a good experience, but their life span will be a lot less. In massage chairs, you get what you pay for. The key is to figure out what you would be comfortable spending, then compare that to the features and functions that you want. Does your budget match your needs?
Always check the warranty coverage of any massage chair you’re thinking of buying. It’s your long term protection from defects in materials and workmanship. Warranties vary by model and by the manufacturer and can range from 1 all the way up to 5 years. When the guarantee is longer than 1-year it covers less after each year. So take your time and look through each model’s coverage.
- Customer Service
Good customer service is important to any company selling a product or service. Make sure there are a toll-free number and an email address to contact customer service for any questions or concerns.
Many times companies supply an online chat system for any questions or concerns. You can always take a look at the customer reviews on the particular massage chair you are contemplating on purchasing to see what customers are saying about the chair and their customer service.
B. What Features Are Important To Consider When Buying a Massage Chair?
Now that you’re sold to the idea of owning a massage chair, let’s take a closer look at the features that define how a unit works and how useful they are.
- Massage Power – The amount of power your massage chair can generate will be a decisive factor in the overall experience. Some like their massage rough, while others like a more gentle, soft massage. Sadly, there is no accurate way to tell which model generates the most amount of power, as manufacturers tend to hold this information for themselves.
One way to determine how powerful your chair will be is by looking at the reviews and see what other people say. But take it with a grain of salt, as it is very subjective. Your best option is to find a model with adjustable intensity, as this lets you customize the strength of the massage to your liking.
- 3D Massage – With a 3D massage, the rollers can extend on to your back and retract them to their original starting position. You will get a more realistic massage as it allows the rollers to mold themself after your back. In contrast to regular rollers, the 3D rollers don’t have a static vertical and horizontal movement, and this will let you fine-tune the intensitive of the massage.
- Heat Feature – Heat allows sore and tense muscles to relax and is very important if you tend to use your massage chair for medicinal purposes. It softens the muscles to make them easier to process.
How a model produces the heat may differ, but most use heated pads to deliver the warmth on to your lower back, an area sensitive to stress.
Some models may even have a heated massage feature for your feet, its the same pads used for the lower back. This feature is very enjoyable and great for sore feet. Infrared rollers are more advanced and commonly found in high-end massage chairs.
These rollers will cover the whole surface of your back, from the neck to your buttocks, and will provide a very comfortable massage experience.
- Massage Roller – Take note of how many rollers the model have, as this makes a big difference in how you will experience the massage. Two to four are standard, and although you can find models with more rollers, these are most likely fixed in a specific position.
With more rollers, you will get a more realistic massage experience, as this lets you combine different massage techniques. Try to find a model with “grasp and knead” rollers. These act the same as a pair of human hands and will massage the neck and shoulders to remove tension and inflammation.
- Roller Reach – The reach and length of the rollers are important to the effectiveness and overall experience. High-end models have better reach and will cover a larger surface area. This not only allows them to massage your entire body, but the rollers can extend and mold themself after your back and head.
Budget models tend to have shorter rollers and less reach, often only goes so far as the neck, leaving head massage out of the question. More expensive massage chairs can on the other hand massage the entire body from feet to head, offering a more therapeutic experience.
- Track System – The rollers in a massage chair are attached to a track system. Depending on the model you buy, the track can be extended from the shoulders to the lower back, all the way to the hamstrings. Like a train track, the rollers can freely travel up and down to massage different areas, and some manufacturers have included the capability to move the roller’s horizontal. Which track system your model use will influence how you will experience your massage.
- S Track- Pretty much every massage chair nowadays has an S-Track roller system. The S-Track allows the rollers to move up and down the back of the user, following the curvature of the spine. It moves more forward for the neck and the lower back while retracting a bit in the mid-back and tailbone area. If the track was just a straight line, the neck, and lower back would be left out, and the mid-back would get beat up pretty good.
- L Track – The L track is the extended version of the S track but with a straight track from the head to the lower back. The roller system will go down to the lower back and go under the seat. It massages all the way down to the buttock from the head, however, it is without curvature on the track.
If you suffer from tight/sore muscles or if you have piriformis syndrome/sciatica secondary to the pelvic musculature, you might find the L-Track to be an amazing addition to your treatment protocols.
- SL Track – SL is the most advanced track system today and usually found in high-end models. Its a combination of the S and L track, and can reach all the way down to the buttocks. This ensures optimal comfort for the user.
- Zero Gravity – Nowadays most massage chairs have a zero-gravity feature. It will raise the feet and legs above the heart to reduce the stress on the spine. The highly reclined position will distribute your weight evenly and thereby reducing the force of gravity.
In a reclined position, less pressure is put on the heart as it does not have to work against the force of gravity.
- Recliner Functionality – How far you can recline says a lot about the quality of the massage chair. All models offer some sort of reclining feature, and the best ones will let you fully recline. A rule of thumb is that you should be able to recline to an angle of 170-180 degrees. When in a reclined position your body experiences less gravity. This will reduce tension in the muscles and make the massage more effective.
- Vibration Massage – While premium models have a reach that stretches from your head down to the buttocks, the budget chairs will only go so far as the lower back. To compensate for this, they use a vibration seat to massage your buttocks and leg muscles.
- Muscle Stretch Massage – All the top-rated massage chairs have some sort of stretch feature, although the name may vary they all fill the same function.
Some of the different names are muscle stretch, yoga or simply stretch. They use air compression to warm up and stretch the muscle, and if you don’t have any previous experience of using a massage chair, you will be amazed by how well your back, arms and legs can stretch when using this feature.
It’s perfect before/after a physical exercise, or when recovering from a strain or injury.
- Spinal Stretch – Like muscle stretch, each manufacture labels this feature differently. Its usually found in more expensive massage chairs and works by stretching the lower back to increase the space between the vertebrae. The chair will then massage the muscles around your spine to relieve any pain. Its a very effective treatment for spinal pain, and the positive effect will be enhanced by the zero-gravity feature.
- Body Scan Technology – This technology gives you the most accurate and precise massage. It will mold the chair after your body by using sensors to track the curvature of your spine and other physical aspects. The necessary adjustment is then done to make sure of a perfect fit. This is great as every user will get a tailored massage after their specific build.
- Foot Massage – If you spend most of your days standing, you will eventually get sore feet, perhaps even blisters. Massaging them after each day can prevent this while providing a satisfying means of relaxation.
Depending on the model it will use different features to perform the foot massage. Some may use airbags to massage your calves and feet, while others may use rollers for the feet but airbags for your calves.
There are even models who use rotating discs for your feet, and some high-end models even offer a heated massage feature.
- Head Massages – Most models will have some sort of feature to massage your neck. Some will even have a specific predefined program that will massage the muscles located on the side of your head. This can be very relaxing and helpful if you often have headaches or migraines.
- Arm Massages – Massage chairs use air compression and airbags to massage your arms. These will inflate and deflate at different intervals to simulate all sorts of massage techniques. Depending on the quality of your model. It will either use specially designed pockets or a simple armrest to hold your arm in place while the airbags compress the muscle.
- Hip Massages – Airbags are used to massage your hips, and in some models you can find specially designed auto programs that will massage every muscle around the hip. Predominately designed for pain relief, it will align your hips to your spine and compress the muscles with the help of the airbags.
- Air Compression Massage – Air compression is a very common feature. It uses airbags to enhance your massage experience and can be used to work any body part.
By applying gentle pressure in the form of air pockets, it will push against the muscle in order to perform a thorough massage. These airbags are often located near your neck, arms, shoulder, hips, legs, and feet.
The more airbags a model has, the better the experience. Most massage chairs will allow you to control the intensity settings for a more comfortable experience.
- Acupressure Points – You may come across models that use acupressure points to enrich the massage. When performed by a masseur he/she will use the fingers, palms, elbows or feet to apply pressure to certain acupoints on the body’s meridians.
Massage chairs are very good at replicating the same experience and will produce a gripping feeling similar to that of a massage therapist’s hands.
- Automatic Programs – Having the ability to choose from a broad selection of automatic programs is always an advantage. These programs are a mix of different massage techniques and features.
They are there to provide the best possible experience, and each program fills a certain purpose. Some will help you relax, while others will assist in providing pain relief.
- Customizable Settings – Even though having lots of automatic programs is not a bad thing. It’s always nice to have the ability to adjust the intensity and speed settings to ones liking. Perhaps you would like to combine different massage techniques at a certain intensity. Then having a model with customizable settings will come in handy.
- Additional Massage Features – Manufactures add extra features to their models to attract customers. They are there to enhance the massage experience, and each brand takes great pride in developing these features to separate themselves from their competitors. It’s often specially designed auto programs directed towards certain age groups and lifestyles.
- Easy Accessibility – How user-friendly your massage chair will be is determined by its control panel. It should be straightforward and not difficult to customize. Some models tend to overcomplicate things by having uncategorized menus. So always look for a model that comes with an easy-to-read and easy to use control panel.
- Speakers and Bluetooth – Some massage chairs come equipped with preinstalled music systems. The inbuilt adapter will allow you to connect it to any Bluetooth device. They may even have music and movie apps such as Spotify, and Netflix intergraded in the display.
- Massage Chair Material – Massage chairs are commonly upholstered in either synthetic or real leather. Although real leather might seem like the best choice, synthetic leather is just as good at withstanding the heat generated by the moving components. Real leather needs more maintenance and is more likely to fade and crack if you don’t look after it properly.
- Remote Control – To make things easier some models come with a remote control. The remote control acts the same as a control panel and can be used in various ways. You can switch between different massage techniques or increase/decrease the intensity and speed of the massage. Or to turn on and of the chair.
- Cup Holder – Pockets and cup holders can be very practical. They can be used to store food and drinks, or simply your glasses. This can be very convenient, as you don’t need to stop the massage and walk all the way to the kitchen in order to grab yourself a snack or a drink.
- LED Lights – You can find models that use LED lights to create an ambiance of relaxation. These lights are not purely designed to improve the look of the massage chair. Sound and light have a great influence on our minds and behaviors, and certain types of lights and colors make us relax easier.
- Noise Reduction – Most massage chairs don’t produce a lot of noise, but some models do. Having a quiet model can be very beneficial for you and the rest of the household. It makes sure you do not get disturbed by noise during your massage session. The rest of your household will thank you as they can go on with their activities, such as reading or studying without getting interrupted.
- Portability – Portable massage chairs weigh less than regular units. They have casters and use them to make the transition from one room to another easier. This is practical if you move around a lot or like to refurnish your house often.
- Surge Protector – If you live in a tornado alley or experience frequent power cuts, then investing in a surge protector is a must. It’s a small investment that will pay off in the long run. Remember that your warranty does not cover any damages caused by an outage, so play it safe.
How Do Massage Chairs Work?
Massage chairs have been around since the early 80s, and even though the technological advancements thru-out the years have made them more comfortable. Not much has changed since the first models were released. Often seen as a luxury item here in the west, they’re quite common in Japan. Some estimates say that more than 20% of Japanese households own one.
Massage chairs will provide the user with a comfortable and relaxing experience, but how do they work?
Most modern models use a combination of gears, motors, rollers, and vibrating mechanisms to provide you with the best possible experience. Some of these principles are still used in a similar way today, but with much more sophisticated technology.
As manufacturers use different designs, no two massage chairs will be identical. But there will still be some techniques that apply to most models.
Today’s models still differ from one another, and even the simplest massage chairs don’t over complicate things. They use multiple vibrating surfaces to massage your body. These vibrations are created by small units within the chair that contains a weighted wheel or a gear. By avoiding the weight being centered on the wheel, it prevents the chair from becoming unbalanced. The electric motor will then rotate the wheels at a high pace, and this is what causes the vibrations. To avoid the feeling of being tossed around, The unit will use several of these devices across its surface without unbalancing the entire chair.
If you move up a price class you’re likely to find one that uses rollers. They act the same as a pair of human hands and are powered by electric motors. The structure of the frame determines the pattern of the rollers. Some have a limited range of motion, and this allows them to only move up and down your back. That’s because of the track being attached to the frame. Others are more complex. They are still powered by an electrical motor, but the rollers are mounted onto a mechanical arm that can move laterally as well as vertically even in circles. The microprocessor will store all the recorded patterns the mechanical arm can make, and lets the user choose the automatic movement it wants it to perform.
The Intensity Of The Massage
Apart from vibrations and rollers, more advanced models will have different massage intensities. Depending on what the manufacturer prefers, the chair can either decide for itself how far the rollers should extend from the frame. Or the frame can be mounted on a pivot and the frame itself moves away from the user.
Nowadays, many models are recliners, so manufacturers have to come up with solutions for the chairs to perform in multiple positions. This can be achieved by either installing a motorized reclining system or a lever. The first one will change the chair’s position with a simple push of a button, while the latter the user need to manually pull a lever and push against the backrest in order to recline.
Air Compression Massage
In the recent years this has become one of the most popular features, and this comes as no surprise. The usage of multiple airbags squeezing your legs, arms, shoulders, and hips can be very relaxing, but how does it work?
Hidden deep inside the chair is a small air compressor, this compressor is connected to a series of tubes and pipes that are hooked up to the airbags. Instead of interacting with all the airbags at once, high-end models use a switch to open and close a specific airbag without interacting with the rest. Budget models use instead several compressors for each set of airbags, they will have a built-in processor that connects the chair to the compressors.
Types of Massage Techniques
By now you know that massage chairs offers different kinds of massage techniques, but how do they perform them?
- Rolling – The rollers are mounted on a track and this allows them to travel across your body. Airbags or a mix of airbags and rollers are then used to carry out the technique
- Shiatsu & Thai Massage – The rollers will push certain acupoints along the back. This is good for relieving muscle tension and ease soreness.
- Kneading – This technique is performed by moving the rollers in a circular motion. The airbags will then slowly inflate and deflate.
- Tapping – This technique can be performed in two ways. The chair can either extend and retract the rollers of your back at an alternating interval. Or use airbags that will inflate and deflate.
- Gripping – The airbags will grip the muscles and then release them. How fast this happens is determined by the chosen intensity. Higher intensity will provide a more rougher massage.
Now that you have seen the bigger picture, let’s take a closer look at how a massage chair works.
Automatic Massage Sessions
All models come with a list of automatic massage programs. With the push of a button, you can select your favorite program and relax. You can either choose the desired program via the remote, or the control panel if your chair has one. Since there’s no need to start up your chair without sitting in it. Most chairs will have a wired remote, not wireless.
The microprocessor will store all the information about each program, even save your favorite settings. It works by sending the requested information to every component involved in the massage. Tho your model might not allow the massage patterns to be changed, you will still be able to alter the intensity and speed of the massage. The processor will then forward the new intensity and speed settings to the components, making them perform accordingly.
Body Scanning Function
If you go the extra mile and buy a high-end model, take notice of how it forms itself after your body. A series of infrared sensors will detect when different parts of your body come in contact with the chair.
The sensors then inform the microprocessor which of them is activated, and the microprocessor will then position the rollers accordingly. By scanning the body’s position unnecessary components can be turned off to minimize noise and discomfort.
So, before your next massage session, take a moment and truly appreciate the technology behind it.
How Often Should You Use a Massage Chair
Massage chairs are a very convenient way of getting a massage in the very sanctuary of your home. There’s no need to schedule expensive appointments at a masseur. Save your time and money by investing in your health.
If you ever wonder how often you should use your chair, you’ll be pleased to learn as often as possible. Each session can be beneficial to your overall health and could ensure a faster recovery from any injury you may have.
We can say with confidence that you should use your newly bought chair every day. But we want you to use it in a safe way, and that’s why we always recommend reading the manual that comes with your chair.
Massage Chairs for Pain Relief
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who often experience lower back pain or aching neck and shoulders. Then masseurs recommend 3 to 4 massage sessions every week to gather all the benefits of massage. Always remember, you don’t have to rush the process, let it happen gradually, especially if you’re new to massage chairs.
Start off slowly and pay attention to the way your body feels after a massage, and adjust the settings accordingly. It’s better to take some time and get the milage than complaining about sore muscles for a week. In time you’ll find the balance between deep muscle relief and feeling at your physical best.
Massage Chairs for Optimal Relaxation
You can use the massage chair any time you want to relax, perhaps even meditate. If you would’ve used the service of a professional masseur, he/she would likely schedule you with 1 – 3 massage sessions per week.
When you have your very own chair at home, there’s no limit on how often you’ll be able to use it. Just be cautious and always listen to your body. This way you reap all the benefits of a massage without any of the downsides.
Overusing a Massage Chair
Yes, you can overuse a massage chair, and the key to avoid this is not to use it for too long. When using it for a longer period, the pressure put on the muscles can cause slight residual pain and headaches.
But how long is too long? Well, according to the experts, 15 minutes is more than enough to reap all the benefits a massage can provide. Even if you persist to think that exceeding the recommended 15 minutes will relieve you of more pain, that’s not necessarily true.
A massage session that lasts longer can cause bruising of the tissue in your muscles. Especially if you’re new to massage chairs. The risk of doing permanent damage to the tissue also increases.
To prevent this most models use a timer that will make sure the massage session doesn’t exceed the recommendation. Some of them even have automatic programs that will stop after the time has passed. Others won’t allow you to create longer customized session. This is especially important if you happen to fall asleep while the chair is still operating.
After your massage session, doctors advise you to stretch the legs and move around a bit, any light exercise will do. The physical activity will remove any toxins that’s been build up in your body during the massage. It’s also good to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and to speed up the toxin removal process.
Pregnancy And Massage Chairs
It’s not uncommon to experience aches and pain during the pregnancy period, and this can cause mood swings and a general feeling of tiredness. Massage chairs can help ease some of the pain and there are definitely many benefits to reap. So, should you use one during the pregnancy?
Well, it’s disputed that massage chairs can possibly stimulate some pressure points and accidentally cause premature labor. However, there is no proof to support this claim.
While being in the womb, the baby is wrapped in many layers, including muscles and fluid. These layers act as a cushion against the outside world. An ordinary massage does not differ much from a massage chair and thus not more dangerous.
Also, there’s no proof that the electromagnetic fields from a massage chair can be dangerous to you or the baby.
Are Massage Chairs Safe To Use While Pregnant?
Even though they are considered safe to use during pregnancy, always talk to your physician before using one. High-risk pregnancies and other medical conditions might stop you.
Massage provides a lot of benefits and can help ease labor. Lower back pain and cramps are an issue to many pregnant women, and the vibrating massage feature does a fantastic job of easing these types of aches. These vibrations will not hurt your baby, in fact, more movement is created while walking than sitting in a massage chair.
But keep in mind that your physician might be against using a massage chair during the first trimester of the pregnancy. That’s because the risk of miscarriage is higher during this period.
If you choose to use one during the pregnancy, remember to never exceed the recommended 15 minutes per massage session.
Never try to force yourself into a massage chair if you can’t properly fit in it.
Massage Chair Features To Avoid While Pregnant
Massage chairs are safe to use during pregnancy, but there are some features you should avoid.
- Heated Massage – Heated pads and infrared rollers provide the heat in massage chairs. Sure, this feature will increase your comfort, but it will also put your unborn child’s safety at risk. It will raise your body temperature, which can increase the baby’s heart rate, leading to cardiovascular issues.
- Shiatsu Massage (Pressure Points) – Shiatsu massage will target certain pressure points along the body, and some of these acupoints can cause premature birth. Even though the odds are slim, it’s better to be safe and avoid them completely.
When Should You Avoid Massage Chairs During Pregnancy
Avoid using a massage chair if you have the following medical conditions:
- High-risk pregnancy
- Swelling or severe headaches
- History of pre-term labor
Benefits Of Using Massage Chairs During Pregnancy
Massage during the pregnancy period is beneficial for both you and the baby. We will here provide you with facts about some of the benefits.
- Eases Back And Leg Pain
When you’re pregnant the body goes thru many different physical changes. You will first start to experience pain and aches in the muscles, and this is due to the enlarging of the uterus. Indulging yourself with a massage every now and then will ease the pain.
- Eases Your Labor
Massage makes the body release its own feel-good chemical called endorphin. It’s a natural pain-killing and mood-lifting chemical that’s produced in the brain.
- Lowers Stress Levels
Pregnancy can be a stressful period in your life. The body goes through multiple changes and your hormones are all over the place. This can lead to depression and anxiety. However, massage can considerably lower your stress levels.
Where Would You Put Your Massage Chair?
Before purchasing a massage chair, check if there’s enough space for one. These types of units are bulky and that’s why they’re often found in large offices and houses. Remember to discuss the placement of the chair with the family. You might feel it would make a great addition to the living room, while the rest of the household might disagree.
If your unit is going to be tucked away in some corner, be sure that it fits in with the design of the room and that you’re still able to recline it. One way to determine how much space is needed between the wall and the chair is to go to the manufactures website.
Massage chairs are heavy and not easy to move around, but you can find a few selected models that have wheels that make them more portable. This is great if you regret the original placement of the chair.
You may come to the conclusion that there’s not enough space. If that’s the case, then consider something more portable like a handheld massager. Although they do not have all the features of a massage chair, their portable and meet most people’s needs.
How To Clean And Maintain Your Massage Chair
No matter how expensive your model may be, the upholster will still need a good clean from time to time. By following our advice, not only will it be clean, but you’ll be able to enjoy your massage chair for years to come.
- Cleaning Agents – Most massage chairs covers are made of faux leather. It’s very durable, but try to avoid powerful cleaning agents as it will damage the upholstery.
- The Moving Parts – Keep the damp cloth with the cleaning agent applied, away from the moving parts. If detergent gets in the mechanical parts, it might cause your chair to malfunction and the warranty won’t cover it.
- Clean The Contact Areas – Even though manufacturers recommend to clean the whole chair every now and then, you should still make a routine of wiping down the areas you come in contact with after each massage session.
- Remove The Upholstery When Possible – Dust forms in the most peculiar places and removing the cover will allow you to clean it easier.
- Use A Damp Cloth – You don’t have to use harsh chemicals every time you clean the chair. You can use a damp cloth after each massage session and use cleaning agents every so often.
- Mind The Details – Strive to clean all the nooks and crannies of your massage chair, as dirt and hair can hide in areas that might seem clean to the naked eye.
- A Spray Bottle Will do – Spray bottles are great at dispersing the cleaning agent over a larger surface area. The liquid will not be limited to one area and will therefore dry more quickly.
- Wet Upholstery – Let the upholstery completely dry before putting it back. If not, water might reach the mechanical parts and cause irreparable damage.
Now that you know how to properly clean it, let’s talk about why oiling your unit is good, and how to apply it.
Oiling Your Massage Chair
Natural materials such as leather need some regular oiling once in a while to keep them soft and prevent the leather from cracking. Use oils explicitly made for leather, and look for an oil with a sentence for a more aromatic experience.
Don’t apply the oil before cleaning it, as this will cause the dirt to remain on the surface. Apply the oil in moderate doses and wait for it to be absorbed. Finish off by wiping it down with a dry cloth.
Best Massage Chairs Comparison Chart
|PRODUCT||PRICE||DIMENSIONS||NET WEIGHT ||SPECIAL FEATURES||MAX WEIGHT |
|Kahuna Exquisite Rhythmic Massage Chair||$$$$$||52" x 31" x 48"||305 lbs||15 AUTO PROGRAMS / 96 individual air-cells / Bluetooth Speakers||330 lbs|
|Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair||$$$$||52” x 31” x 34”||255 lbs||Heated Massage / Zero Gravity / Remote Control||265 lbs|
|Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800||$$$$||48 x 31 x 46 Inches||249 lbs||4 roller massage system / 5 Manual Massage Techniques / 6 Auto Programs||220 lbs|
|Kahuna Superior Massage Chair||$$$$||48" x 28" x 47"||236 lbs||9 Auto programs / Zero gravity / 6 rollers||320 lbs|
|Relaxonchair MK-II PLUS Massage Chair||$$$$||65” x 30” x 40”||183 lbs||Spinal Decompression / Beauty Hip Massager / Deep Tissue Massage||250 lbs|
|Ideal Massage Full Featured Shiatsu Chair||$$$||49” x 33” x 53”||200 lbs||Heated Massage / 3D Massage||300lbs|
|Real Relax Full Body Massage Chair||$$||49” x 33” x 53”||136.6 lbs||Hip Massage / Foot Massage / Heated Massage||441 lbs|
|BestMassage® EC-06 Massage Chair||$||42” x 35” x 55”||185 lbs||Heated Massage / Compression And Percussion / Stretching Feature||250 lbs|
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Power Does A Massage Chair Use?
You don’t have to worry about your electric bill. The new-generation massage chairs have the same power usage as a regular desktop computer.
Differences Between Massage Chairs And Massage loungers?
This is something that confuses a lot of people, but massage chairs have many different synonyms. They can be called massage recliners, massage loungers, therapeutic loungers, robotic massage chairs, electric massage chairs, and even shiatsu massage chairs. All of these are the same, so if you happen to stumble across any of these names you now know that they’re identical.
Real Leather Or Faux Leather?
There is no difference in the quality between real leather and faux leather. It all comes down to your preferences. They’re both very durable, but real leather requires more care, such as oiling to prevent it from cracking.
Massage chairs are a popular way of reaping all the benefits of a massage in the very comfort of your home. They’re not cheap, but well worth the money and great at relieving pain and reducing stress.
As you probably notice, many models have a similar price tag, and this is bound to cause confusion. Make sure you select the best massage chair for the money by looking at their features and choose thereafter.
Remember, if you don’t like the certain features of a model, there is sure to be an option out there that meets your specifications. Regardless of their features, you should never buy one purely based on their looks. If they’re stylish but have crappy features, they won’t do you anything good.
Now that you know the pros and cons of owning a massage chair, you can now make an informed decision. If you forgot which massage chair is the best, then make sure to read our massage chair reviews again.