From sciatica pain and nerve damage to minor aches and pains, millions of people suffer from back pain every day. That pain can radiate around a certain muscle or nerve group and shoot up and down your back. You may even experience some pain in your neck and shoulders or lower body too. A massage chair is one of the best home treatments that you can choose. It provides all the benefits of a professional massage but lets you skip those weekly appointments. The cost of the chair will even pay for itself over the next few months.
A massage chair is far from just an ideal piece of furniture for those dealing with back pain though. The stress that you experience at work can carry over into your personal life and leave you lashing out at loved ones. With a massage chair, you can look forward to coming home and getting away from those stressful situations. You can replace an old armchair in your living room and get a massage as you watch television or read a good book. These chairs are also suitable for the bedroom and other spots around your home. Now is a good time to look at the best massage chairs and to find out what goes into picking the right one.
Best Massage Chair Reviews
Sitting in the Kahuna can make you feel as if you’re on a beach in Hawaii when you close your eyes. With seven built-in settings to choose from, you can target any sore muscle group and get the good stretches that your muscles need. It has a music sync mode that massages your body to the beat of your favorite songs and a stretching mode that stretches your muscles and helps remove toxins. The calming mode is one of the top options for those who want to relax at home and escape the stresses of the day.
This chair comes with large built-in airbags that target your entire body. Those bags work with infrared technology to deliver the heat and soothing touch that you need. Six massage roller systems to target your head and neck with similar rollers around the base to massage your legs. With the built-in Bluetooth speakers, you can stream music and audiobooks to the chair. Those speakers also let you hear your favorite television shows and movies while you’re on the other side of the room. Rather than the S track that most chairs feature, the Kahuna massage chair has an SL track that covers your whole spine.
*The SL track design covers the entire length of your spine
*Fits users of up to 6’5” and a maximum of 320 pounds
*Features more shoulder space than similar massage chairs
*Includes heater rollers that can improve circulation and blood flow
*Features seven built-in settings, including calming, stretching, kneading and scraping
*Is more expensive than other chairs
*Some users may find the controls confusing at first
With both a remote control and an app included with this chair, you can control it in two different ways. Both the app and the remote give you access to the top settings and let you choose which areas to target. The Hubot takes the SL track to the next level with an HSL track that covers every square inch of your body from the top of the spine to the base of the buttocks. This track also has an ergonomic design that matches the natural curve of your spine. It can fit the spines of anyone else who uses the chair too.
The six settings let you pick modes that knead, roll and use other motions to mimic the feel of the hands of a massage professional. It comes with 15 massage settings, including some that are only available on the Hubot. They include settings for athletes in recovery, those who need help falling asleep and users who want a massage that reaches deep into their tissues. Rollers inside the legs help improve circulation and target sore muscles in your lower body. You can l up to seven inches in the air too. The Hubot is one of the only chairs that can massage you for an entire hour. The foot rollers are fantastic and your can control the intensity via the remote control.
- Features massage balls that reach all areas of your body
- Includes 15 massage programs that are safe for daily use such as kneading and rolling.
- Follows an HSL track to reach your buttocks and spine
- Uses neutral colors with a metallic finish to match any room
Extends out by up to seven inches on the base
*You might notice that it squeezes your head instead of massaging it
*It’s often easier to use the app than the included remote control
Good reviews and a solid price led to this Medical Breakthrough chair becoming a popular option for shoppers. It has a smart body scan setting that will scan your whole body when you sit down to decide what you need. This setting also ensures that you sit in a way that lets the rollers reach all areas of your body. It has rollers on both the upper and lower parts of the back and rollers in the base and seat to ensure that each one targets a different muscle group. This is one of the only massage chairs designed with the help of doctors and others in the medical community.
Whether you need help falling asleep or just want to take some of the pressure off your body, you can use the full body zero gravity mode. This lifts your body away from the ground and leaves you feeling weightless as you almost float in the air. The manufacturer of the chair added lots of padding and includes extra padding in the box for those who need it. You can choose the massage mode that works best for you and add heat for a realistic touch. The chair comes with small wheels on the base to help you move it around your home.
*Functions as both a massage chair and a recliner
*Doctors and other medical professionals helped design the chair
*Scans your body to determine what you need
*Has a zero gravity setting
*Includes heated and full body massage settings
*Has an L track that might not reach your whole body
*Not suitable for users who weigh more than 250 pounds
Not only does the MK-Classic come with seven massage programs, but it also has two different speed settings. All of those programs will run for a full 15 minutes and include a 30-minute mode for those who want a longer massage. You can opt for a massage that uses just heat, one that mimics the feel of a yoga session or one to help you sleep. This is one of the only chairs with a quick massage setting, which is perfect for those who don’t have much free time. You can choose from three intensity settings based on how much force you want and from three speed settings.
Though this chair has an L track, it is much longer than those found on similar chairs. This allows it to cover more of your back and to match the natural curve between your buttocks and spine. With the body scan setting, you can get an idea of what you need and enjoy a massage that targets those spots. This recreates the experience of telling your massage pro what you want. Two heating pads touch your lower back and rollers that massage the soles of your feet, calves and legs.
*Fits people who are at least 5’2” up to 6’5” in height
*Reclines up to 160-degrees and lets you pick how far you want to lean back
*Includes seven automatic massage programs and modes
*Features massage rollers for your feet and calves
*Has three intensity and speed settings
*Made from synthetic materials that can wear down or rub off
*Can be too slim/thin for larger or heavier users
Kahuna is the manufacturer behind many different massage chairs that users like, including this one. It has a new advanced track that makes direct contact with more of your body. That track works with both the massage balls that come out to touch your skin and the rollers. The premium Bluetooth speakers located inside the headrest sync to an audiobook or a music player. You can even use a setting that will massage your body in time with that music. With five intensity levels to choose from and 17 airbags, this chair allows you to get the complete massage that you need with the intensity that you desire.
In addition to a remote control, this chair comes with a mobile app that is compatible with most devices. This lets you set up the chair before you take a seat and make adjustments in the middle of the massage. It has 15 massage programs that work with the rollers and bags, including some designed for athletes dealing with injuries and people who have troubles sleeping. There are rollers in each of the leg areas too that can target your feet and calves as well as a 60-minute setting that massages you for a full hour.
*Massages for up to 60 minutes at a time
*Includes four sets of rollers along an advanced SL track
*Now comes with new programs for athletes and other users
*Gives you full access to the chair via a mobile app
*Features Bluetooth speakers inside the headrest
*The head massager doesn’t work as directed
*As the remote lacks any lights, it’s hard to see in the dark
This chair fits in any room and can replace a beloved armchair because it functions as a lounger and a massage chair. The L track extends from the shoulders to your lower legs and allows the rollers inside to come into direct contact with your skin. It offers the heat therapy that you need when recovering from pulled muscles and other injuries and places that heat in the lumbar region where you need it the most. Every person in your home can share and use the chair because it has a body scanning mode. Each user can scan their bodies to find out where they need help.
Those who love rocking chairs will also love this model because it functions as a rocking chair. You can rock back and forth while sitting or getting a massage and use it in the zero-gravity mode too. That mode lets you take the pressure off your whole body, which might help you sleep better. There are also speakers near your head that you connect via Bluetooth to other devices. The six massaging modes also help your muscles warm up when you start and slowly stretch out over time. Several modes let you target either your upper or lower body.
*Includes a lumbar heating element in the lower back area
*Features a mode that lets you rock as you get a massage
*The six massage programs can warm-up and stretch your muscles
*Offers a full body massage from your shoulders to your toes
*Evenly distributes your weight across the chair before the massage
*Weighs more than 300 pounds, which makes it hard to move
*Costs more than other massage chairs do
Osaki made this massage chair and added a polyurethane covering that uses shades of cream and brown to match most homes. That covering is quite durable and won’t rub off or wear down as quickly as other materials do. The included remote is large but has a big LCD screen that lets you access the menu and pick your settings and modes. You can also take the remote with you because of its wireless design, which lets you check the settings or menu from another room. The remote and screen both have lights that let you see the controls in the dark.
Inspired by NASA, this chair also features two different zero gravity modes. Both modes let you float almost weightlessly in the air as you lean back in the chair. With the timer mode, you can set a massage to run from just five minutes up to 30 minutes, and it takes only one touch of a button to set up a second massage. Not only does this chair have a built-in heating pad that touches your lower back, but it also causes the seat beneath you to vibrate. You’ll also find that it automatically scans your legs when you take a seat.
*Uses an ergonomic track to match the contours of the human body
*Covered in a polyurethane material that won’t rub off the chair
*Has five through 60-minute massage options
*Uses air pressure from your feet to your shoulders
*Automatically scans your feet and legs when you sit down
*The remote control is very large
*Using the directions can be confusing
With six massage methods and 15 massage programs, this Anga chair can give you the deep massage that you need. It mimics the feel of human hands working on all your body parts and can recreate the same experience you get in a favorite spa. Available in several colors, this chair uses bold shades in blue and pink that can create a focal point in the room and make guests want to try it out. It comes fully assembled and ready to use on your doorstep and only requires that you move it inside and plug the cord into an outlet. This chair requires a standard 220V outlet to use it.
Designed to save space in a room, the chair comes with Bluetooth speakers that work with a music player and other devices. It has a program that stretches out your muscles and another that helps you relax. Before choosing a mode, you can use the body scan feature to find out what your body needs. This scan takes only minutes and picks a massage program based on the height and weight of the user. It also comes with an LDC remote that lets you adjust the rests for your feet and head.
*Offers a massage that simulates the feel of human hands
*Available in some funky colors
*Includes 3D balloons that slowly inflate to apply pressure
*Safe to use in most homes
*Includes 15 built-in massage programs
*Doesn’t fit heavy or tall users comfortably
*May not fit with the style of your home
With just one button, you can turn on the heat setting on this chair to target your lower legs and back, but this feature turns off with a second press of the button. Not only does it include a scanning option that shows what your body needs, but it comes with four-built in programs designed for certain types of people. Those modes can help athletes, office workers, golfers and other types of athletes recover from their injuries at home. Three are four stretching modes available too that help you stretch your muscles, including modes for those who love yoga and those who prefer dynamic stretching.
In addition to those programs, you can choose from five others that can relieve your pain and help you relax. With the music sync mode, you can make use of the Bluetooth speakers. This mode will massage your body in sync with the music you play, which is a completely different experience that most chairs do not offer. A Bluetooth app also comes with the chair and is compatible with Android devices, though the manufacturer plans to introduce an iOS compatible app in the future. This chair also features six rollers that press directly on the pressure points of your body.
*Includes four special programs and four stretching programs
*Fits users of up to 320 pounds and 6’5” tall
*Has three modes to massage your feet and calves
*Includes an automatic body scan setting that scans after you sit
*Uses six wheels as rollers to help you relax
*Seems a little cheaply made when compared to other chairs in this price range
*The airbags can occasionally pop out of the chair
If you’re tired of looking for a massage chair that matches the design of your home, consider this Ideal shiatsu chair. It comes in multiple colors, most of which are neutral in design. Those shades help the chair blend with the style of your home and avoid sticking out like a sore thumb. The four motors inside work together to power the two air pumps. It comes with a seat vibrator that shakes the seat and a heating pad in the back that uses heat to relieve sore muscles. With the remote control, you can choose which program you want to use based on your level of pain or discomfort.
Thanks to the time setting and other features, you can choose a massage that runs for five minutes to a full 30 minutes without the chair shutting down. It has a shiatsu mode for those who want to reach deep into their tissues and a kneading mode that reduces the pressure put on the body and giving you a full body shiatsu massage. The 3D design of the chair mimics the feel of hands touching and rubbing your stiff muscles. This chair is also easy to move because some parts come off and it has wheels on the base.
*Recreates the experience of a shiatsu massage
*Can massage your body for five to 30 minutes at a time
*Includes kneading and three other massage programs
*Some pieces come off for easy moving
*Comes in multiple colors
*Is too slim to use a computer while getting a massage
*Can be too forceful or strong for some users
If you need a massage chair that does double duty as a zero gravity chair, you should consider this one. While other zero gravity chairs require a lot of space, this one can save space in your living room. You can place it just a few inches away from a wall and still access all of its features. Those features include a Bluetooth speaker and six programs. There is a program designed specifically for elderly people and another for stretching. With the Bluetooth speaker, you can connect your phone or another device and also use the chair’s built-in music player.
Those who adjust the settings can easily create a customized massage. Not only can you choose from three widths, but you can also select from three intensity settings and three air settings. Those airbags are in the upper part of the chair and focus on your back and shoulders but can also work on your lower spine and buttocks. The lumbar heating element provides the perfect amount of heat to get your muscles tingling. It uses just a touch of heat though to keep you from feeling overheated. This chair also has a smart body scan option that scans your entire body to make sure you are in the right position for the massage.
*The ergonomic design follows your body from the spine to the hips
*A zero gravity system can reduce significant back pain
*Includes a built-in device that can play music as it massages you
*The chair takes up less space than similar massage chairs
*It has multiple settings that you can adjust for your body
*Is too small to fit all users
*Not as durable as the more expensive massage chairs
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Weight Can a Massage Chair Hold?
This depends on the manufacturer of the chair and what it recommends. Most chairs can only accommodate users of 250 pounds or less, though some chairs can hold more than 300 pounds. The weight capacity often relates to the weight of the chair itself. Those that weigh more can support larger users, but that weight can make the chair quite hard to move.
Do You Need to Assemble the Chair at Home?
Some people worry about buying massage chairs because they worry that they need to assemble them at home. Most of the chairs available today come already assembled or almost completely assembled. You just need to remove the box that surrounds the chair and bring it into your home. Some have arms that come packaged separately in the box, but it only takes a few minutes to fit those arms onto the chair. If you need to move the chair from your porch or lawn into your home, you might consider one with sleek wheels on the bottom.
What is White Glove Delivery Service?
White glove delivery service is a service available for those who worry about putting together a massage chair and getting it into their homes. Though this service costs extra, some don’t mind paying because of what it gives them. The manufacturer will deliver the chair to your home and bring it inside, putting it any room that you want, including those on the second floor. Those workers will also assemble the chair if needed and ensure that it works before they leave. White glove service means that they’ll leave your home as clean as it was when they arrived.
Are There Any Benefits to Using a Massage Chair?
One key benefit of using a massage chair at home is that it relieves sore and stiff muscles. You might notice pain and stiffness after a day of physical activity or because you slept wrong. These chairs can give you the same results that you would get at a spa. A massage chair can also reduce anxiety and stress as well as help you cope with depression. Other benefits include reducing headaches, helping users sleep better and improving your general mood.
Do You Need a Prescription for a Massage Chair?
Though some treatments for injuries and pain require a prescription from a medical doctor, you do not need a prescription to buy a massage chair. You’ll find a variety of options online that match the style of your home and provide all the benefits that you need. As long as you have the money to buy a massage chair, you can get one delivered quickly.
What are some of the Types of Massage Chairs?
The most common types of massage chairs include zero gravity and recliner options. A full body zero gravity chair is one that will lower your back and lift your legs at the same time. It creates a sensation that makes you feel as if you weigh nothing at all and are in the middle of space. These chairs work especially well for those who struggle with back pain. A reclining massage chair is one that looks more like a traditional armchair. You can lean back slightly to make the chair recline and lift your feet at the same time.
There are also full-body chairs that massage every square inch of your body. These chairs have leg rests with built-in massaging bags or rollers and rollers near the buttocks and back too. If you want a chair that you can use at your desk and in your living room, you might opt for a massaging desk chair that comes with a matching ottoman. The ottoman may vibrate too. There are also massaging pads that you can use with most of the existing chairs in your home. These pads can produce both heat and a massaging sensation but generally do not work as well as standard massage chairs do.
How Does an S Track Differ from an L Track?
As you look at massage chairs, you’ll notice that manufacturers use terms such as S track and L track. This refers to the system or track that runs through the chair and how that track will touch your back. An S track specifically matches the natural curve of the spine. It starts at the base of your neck and curves back and forth as it moves towards your buttocks. With the L design, the track looks like an uppercase “L” and fits under your buttocks. Some companies also use an SL track, which combines features of both tracks.
Can Diabetics Use Massage Chairs?
Diabetics can use massage chairs. Those suffering from diabetes can develop conditions when their blood sugar levels are high for an extended period, including neuropathy. This condition causes a pins and needles sensation in the legs and can cause pain and/or numbness. Diabetics can also suffer from poor circulation because they spend too much time sitting down or because of the neuropathy. Massage chairs have rollers and other elements in the leg rests that massage the legs to improve circulation. As more blood flows into the area, the user may notice a reduction in the neuropathy symptoms he or she experiences and feel less pain and numbness.
Buying Guide for Massage Chairs
Whether you want a massage chair that helps you save money on professional massages and to relax at home or one that can help you cope with muscle pain, you need to know what to look for in a massage chair. As you look at the best models, you’ll notice that they aren’t the same. That is why you can use this massage chair buying guide to see what is worth considering and what makes some chairs the best.
One thing you should consider when buying a new massage chair is how much available space you have. While you can move the chair to different rooms, it can take some time and require help from a friend because the chair is so heavy. It’s best to decide where you want to use that chair and measure the available space first. As the leg rests lift and the seat lies flat, some chairs require as much as three foot of clearance around all sides. If you have a limited amount of space, consider some of the space-saving chairs. These models can sit as close as one foot or two feet away from the wall and will still let you use all the available features.
Another thing to look at is the number of built-in massage programs. Also called massage modes or setting, this term refers to the type(s) of massages that the chair performs. Shiatsu is a traditional mode that uses components inside that mimic the feel of human touch. Kneading is the same type of technique that you use when making bread. It produces a rolling sensation that moves along your muscle groups. Stretching is a popular mode too because it helps stretch out individual muscles and groups of muscles. The best chairs typically let you choose from more than one program.
If you spend hours working in a retail store or an office, you might look for a massage chair with specialized settings designed for people like you. Many chairs now have multiple settings such as one designed for athletes. Whether you play basketball or football, you can choose this setting and feel relief almost as soon as you sit down. Specialized settings can include modes designed for those recovering from injuries too. Instead of spending a lot of time and money to work with a physical therapist, you can get some relief at home and recover from those injuries faster.
Intensity vs. Speed
Though you might think that these two terms refer to the same thing, they are quite different. Intensity refers to the strength or the pressure of the massage, while speed refers to how quickly the massaging elements move. With the intensity setting, you can choose a higher level when you have sore muscles or suffer from nerve damage that causes numbness. You can adjust the intensity during the massage too. The speed setting lets you choose between rapid movements and movements that are so slow you barely feel them. Some of the massage chairs available today have just one speed setting.
Body Scan Technology
A common problem that you might experience when using a massage chair is that you use the wrong setting. This often occurs simply because you don’t know what you need. Massage chairs that feature body scan technology work in one of two ways. Some chairs will automatically scan the body when a person sits down, while other chairs will scan the body when the user selects this option from the main menu. This technology lets the chair determine the location of your head, back, buttocks, legs and arms. It can tell you where you need the most help and adjust the settings to focus on the placement of your body parts. Some chairs will even tell you if you need to adjust the way you sit.
Heating Pads and Technology
Anyone who suffers from regular back pain knows that a heating pad is one of the more popular home remedies and pain relief. You can pop a heating pad on your back for 15 to 20 minutes and feel some quick relief. If you suffer from frequent back pain, you should look into massage chairs that use heating technology and/or come with built-in heating pads. These chairs use infrared heat that is safe for the entire body. You can adjust the time setting to use the heat for a short period and then enjoy the full massage, but you can often use heat during your whole massage.
Other Things to Consider
Some of the other features you may want to look at when choosing the best massage chair include:
Length of massage: If you want to start the day off right, you can sit down in some chairs and enjoy a massage that runs for just five to 10 minutes. Other chairs can massage you for 30 or even 60 minutes
Timer: No matter how much time you have available, you might want a chair with a built-in timer. It automatically turns off the massage when the chair reaches the time you set.
Bluetooth speakers and technology: With Bluetooth technology built inside the massage chair, you’ll have no problem listening to music or moves and TV shows as well as reading audiobooks. Chairs that come with built-in speakers are often compatible with most electronic devices.
Remote control: The size and the design of the remote control are two things you might consider. The remote should be large enough that you can easily use it and have buttons that you can touch with one hand. Some might want a remote that lights up too.
USB port: Don’t forget about chairs that come with a USB port too. Some of the top models have at least one port that you can use to charge nearby devices.
Capacity: You should check the capacity of the massage chair also. If the chair cannot accommodate your full weight and height, you will need to return it.