What's in This Guide?
- 1 Our Choice
- 2 Cushion Shiatsu Elite 2 by HoMedics
- 3 Who This is For
- 4 Massage Therapy – What is it?
- 5 How We Selected
- 6 Testing Methods
- 7 Not a Deal-Breaker, but a Flaw
- 8 Alternatives
Last Updated on September 14, 2021 by Sandra Allens
Shopping for the best massage chair can be stressful if they are symbols of comfort. The Osaki OS-Champ is comparable to a real massage in terms of quality in our test of 12 models from some of the top brands. It often vibrates even when it kneads, and boasts pseudoscientific features that are hard to comprehend. Comfortable, strong, and able to massage the whole body, this chair does just what it says. Also, its heating and reclining capabilities beat more expensive massage chairs.
We found this massage chair to be comfortable, quality, and overall satisfying due to its heating and reclining capabilities – both essential features.
With cushiony faux-leather padding, this recliner hugs the body until you are completely flat. Airbags on the front and sides massage your shoulders, arms, calves, and feet, while massage mechanisms on the inside massage your neck, thighs, and back. This was the only chair we tested that warmed our testers’ bodies better than any other, despite being among the most luxurious and well-constructed chairs that we’ve tested. There is also a three-year warranty offered by the manufacturer. It’s sure to dominate the decor of any room, and that’s our only complaint about the OS-Champ.
The testers of this massage chair gave it an identical score to our most popular massage chair in the overall test. Besides its fully-reclining ability, our top choice also features a built-in massager, and it has a three-year warranty.
In addition to its unattractive design and a warmer heating element that gets less warm than our top choice, the RelaxOnChair MK-Classic has an unintuitive remote. Additionally, the MK-Classic was more expensive when this article was written. The MK-Classic is another good option if the OS-Champ is unavailable. A massager imitates the OS-Champ by letting you recline the MK-Classic all the way to the floor, and it’s similar to how the OS-Champ reclines. With the MK-Classic, you’ll enjoy comfort and durability, and the three-year warranty covers any defects.
We have tested a number of portable best massage chairs and this is the best by far. It is easy to use, to set up, and to transport or store. MCS-845HJ is a massager that treats shoulders, upper and lower back, as well as the neck and shoulders. Its warranty is two years.
Shiatsu Elite II Massage Cushion does not recline like our other picks, can only be strapped to a chair, and will solely massage your neck and back. Whatever your needs are, this is the best massage chair for you. With different styles and intensities, this portable massager is excellent for overnight trips or storage between uses, plus it sits easily in a trunk. It is more than just a feeling of warmth when you sit on the MCS-845HJ. In addition, the assembly and usage are simple. HoMedics backs this model with a two-year warranty and provides a comfortable and sturdy portable model.
Who This is For
The mechanical best massage chair mimics the kneading motions used by a massage therapist by applying pressure with air pockets. The company offers a variety of full-body massages that can address every part of the body. The sculpture is sized like a young rhinoceros and costs several thousand dollars. Several other options are smaller, less expensive, and can be carried in a carry-on suitcase.
It’s not just for the mall kiosks and nail salons that massage chairs are used. It could be that you work physically demanding hours, exercise vigorously, or are suffering from a medical condition. Perhaps you’re looking for a way to relax after a long day or to relieve daily aches and pains. If you get a massage in person, you may be at risk of getting sick if your immune system is compromised. Touch sensitivity is common in people with autism, especially after childbirth or a sexual assault.
As with studies of mechanical massage chairs to treat back pain, only a few have been peer-reviewed, and very few have examined the benefits of massage. For some people, sitting in the best massage chair is a pleasure. After sitting in a full-body massage chair for 20 minutes, the majority of 186 healthy adults in one study reported feeling less anxious and relaxed.
Having been a massage therapist for over 20 years, Barbara Bodner is well aware of the many people who are partial to mechanical best massage chairs. Her situation, however, keeps her from using the chairs as she finds them inadequate.
She explained that a chair cannot regulate itself in accordance with the needs of your body. “When I give a massage, I pay attention to every muscle and tissue in your body. I can ask the person, “Is this a good pressure?” if they do not speak during a massage. It hurts, isn’t it?The chair can’t provide that.”
Compared to a massage from a licensed professional or even a simple back rub from your partner, mechanical massage doesn’t feel as good as the real thing, but it’s a good stand-in until the real thing is available. Choosing a massage chair that closely resembles a regular massage is important. Cornell University’s Alan Hedge says heat (which promotes blood flow) and reclining are two characteristics to look for in the best massage chair.
He says massage is primarily about relaxing muscles. To support yourself when you sit upright, you must contract your muscles. Your muscles are relieved when you recline. Your muscles will benefit more if you relax them.”
Throughout this guide, we have not examined any models that are specifically designed for gaming or driving. Hedge said the built-in massage options in some office chairs are not effective, so we did not test them. Nevertheless, Hedge says some companies provide best massage chairs as a means of enhancing employee productivity and reducing workplace injuries.
Massage Therapy – What is it?
Massage therapy involves holding, moving, and applying pressure to parts of the body. This is a treatment that primarily targets the hands, according to a Cochrane Review from 2015. Increased blood flow, tissue suppleness, decreased swelling, and enhanced immunity are all benefits of massaging an area.
The Cochrane Library who manages these reviews finds some evidence that massage therapy can alleviate short-term neck pain, but further studies are needed to determine its long-term effectiveness. Similarly, there is some evidence that massage can provide short-term relief from low back pain (which is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and a reason people visit the doctor), but little to no evidence that it’s effective long-term. In several instances, massage therapy has been shown to be effective. Patients with HIV/AIDS, for example, have reported improved quality of life. Research should be conducted across a broader spectrum, however.
It is usually necessary to be licensed as a massage therapist in most states. Obtaining a board certification provides additional training. The profession of massage therapy is typically partnered with physical therapy or medicine, as massage therapists do not have medical degrees. Physicians can diagnose illnesses, but they cannot prescribe remedies.
How We Selected
Many massage-chair models available today are of dubious quality, as with most products for self-care. Online reviews, as well as editorial resources and reviews of major retailers including Amazon, Target, and Walmart, were used to identify the most popular brands. The following criteria were used to further narrow our research list:
- Coverage of the entire back. In addition to the general massage cushions, pillows and pads, we tested some that targeted specific areas on the body like the upper back and lower back. If the symptoms are not taken care of as soon as possible, other symptoms may develop, such as a headache, neck pain, shoulder pain, arms, legs and feet.
- Reclining. We required each chair to have at least a partial recline after ergonomics expert Alan Hedge told us that sitting upright makes it impossible to completely relax your muscles.
- Heating. Another important part of massage is getting the blood flowing, according to hedge. A warm towel, hot stones, or a massage therapist’s hands are all effective ways to provide heat to the body. It was for this reason that we insisted all chairs be equipped with this feature.
- The intensity must be set at least twice. The bare minimum functionality would be the ability to switch each chair from low- to high-intensity. In our opinion, more customization options would have allowed users to use the device as they see fit.
- One or more kneading massage settings. The most authentic experience we could find is to knead your muscles, as well as shaking them on vibrating massage chairs, as this is the best way to feel the effects of your massage.
- One year or more of warranty. Since we wanted to test out their features over the course of one year, we chose massage chairs with longer warranties.
- Approximately $3,000 less. It costs about $50 for an hour of massage with Massage Envy. In total, $3,640 is the amount you should spend on a weekly 60-minute massage with tips and membership fees. We think it’s reasonable to spend up to $3,000 on the best massage chair if you use it frequently and get similar enjoyment out of it. Stationary chairs were tested in price ranges from $300 to $1,000. However, chairs in this price range often lack key features such as full reclining and heating. During our test, we found that the cheapest models lasted shorter, were less comfortable, and massaged fewer spots. The cheapest portable model we tested was clearly superior, so we also selected the most expensive. When it comes to chairs, it makes more financial sense to invest more in those that last longer.
- Several useful extras. Aside from that, we found massage chairs with very useful features such as built-in speakers, USB charging ports, timers, spots for lingering, height/width adjustment settings, and integrated USB ports. While none of these features are required, they provide greater customization options.
My portable massage chair tests lasted seven hours as I tried various chair sizes, intensity settings, and features in different areas of my living room. As I was setting up, using, and packing them up, I made notes on how easy they were to use. During the evaluation, I assessed the material appearance and durability. Despite being able to fold into a bookcase or be tucked into a bed, portable massage chairs must protect their aesthetics and be durable, comfortable, and functional.
The members also spent 10 hours testing stationary best massage chairs at the New York City office. Their height varied from 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 11 inches and their weight ranged from 120 pounds to 175 pounds. These various details were noted, as was recline distance, recline ease, whether the heat settings were comfortable, how easy it was to adjust the intensity settings, and which massage-style settings they liked or disliked. As noted by testers, the speakers built in and additional coverage areas provided good audio experience. Several factors were considered in grading it, including the material quality, the build quality, the comfort, and the style. The testers gave each chair a score from 1 to 5 after testing it.
that comes with both heating and recline features, which are two essentials, and at the same time receives top marks for overall satisfaction, comfort, quality, and build.
Massage chairs champion Osaki OS-Champ. Among our testers, it was only beaten by the runner-up pick by a score of 4 out of 5 in terms of overall performance. From head to toe, OS-Champ will swaddle your body with buttery-soft upholstery and massage you from top to bottom until you can see out of this world. We found more types of massage and settings of intensity in this model than in any other, and its heating feature is the most efficient of any we reviewed. Also, the headset is comfortable, durable, and well-made-despite its inelegant appearance. In addition, it is one of our most affordable stationary models. If you like your best massage chair to be the center of attention in your living room, then this is the only chair you will ever need.
It kneads, taps, rolls, compresses, and stretches muscles to massage them. Airbags inflate and deflate to massage shoulders, arms, calves, and feet as mechanical knobs move on a track. Our testers noted how intuitive it was to adjust the intensity settings. This variation pleased me precisely where it was located. Jason Chen, deputy editor, noted that he usually favors softer motion. Having the strongest setting felt like it was “super-strong.” was Claudia Pelczarska’s response.
In our testing, one of the chairs performed the best when it came to heating performance. Compared to other stationary massage chairs, we found that the OS-Champ’s heating feature did a better job of providing comfort than other heating features. With the OS-Champ, you can fully recline, in contrast with chairs like the RelaxOnChair Rio. You lay in a supine position while lying in a “zero-gravity” recliner. Jason said of the OS-Champ that it seated in a way that reminded him more of zero gravity.
Justin Krajeski was blown away by the zero-gravity feature of the chair, saying: “OMG, this is crazy.”. What’s wrong with me? “Awesome chair!” I say. Using the OS-Champ was an enjoyable experience for our testers. Justin prefers the instructions on this chair over those on the other chairs I tested. The chair is explained to me more clearly in each mode that I appreciate.”
The OS-Champ team found the chair to be built from high-quality materials, with a luxurious appearance that was far superior to that of the other chairs in the lineup, despite the fact that not many luxury/best massage chairs exist on the market. My car feels expensive to me. Jason says that it would appear that the OS-Champ is covered in Lexus-like faux leather. Compared to the Osaki TI-Prime, Jason found it to be narrow. The Osaki TI-Prime was recommended by this 5′ 9″ and 155 lb man as remarkably sturdy and durable.
You can easily get a replacement chair if the chair breaks or stops working within three years of purchase. During our review we tested it in a couple of different colors, and it was one of the cheapest stationary best massage chairs available.
Not a Deal-Breaker, but a Flaw
OS-Champ is not one of the prettiest pieces of furniture, and that’s not even close to the truth. There is nothing minimalistic or classic about this chair – as there is with the Riverstone. However, the OS-Champ has a very sleek design compared to other best massage chairs. Though there are some terrible chairs in the room, this chair doesn’t seem to bother me too much.
However, our testers rated it just as highly as top pick despite its slightly cooler operating temperature. With the MK-Classic, you can recline fully while your body is massaged.
When an OS-Champ isn’t available, you can get the ROC MK-Classic instead. In this chair, we found all the features we wanted: a massage function, reclining, and heating. It runs cooler than our top pick, but has all the important features we wanted. The OS-Champ test panel and our testing panel both gave it an average score of 4 out of 5. Though it is more expensive, more difficult to operate, and doesn’t have the luxurious feel of the OS-Champ, it is still the best massage chair for all-purpose usage.
There are mechanical rollers and airbags included in MK-Classics to massage the back, shoulders, thighs, and feet. The MK-Classic offers three intensity settings in addition to its other features. Justin said the situation was about half way between working too hard and treating too lightly.
Meanwhile, others opted for the stronger settings. Jason said the less-intense settings were “fantastic.” Additionally, he likes the MK-Classic’s pre-loaded programs, which include yoga and sleep, which he described as typical massage techniques along with kneading and tapping. The ‘sleep’ activity did not induce drowsiness, but did make him very relaxed nonetheless. The MK-Classic leg massage is, in Jason’s opinion, the best leg massage. Also, your butt gets kneaded.”
Justin thought it was too cold — however, most testers said that the heated feature of the MK-Classic was just right. Like most of our top picks, this chair is suspended weightlessly on your back. According to our testers, it is comfortable. The test subjects all agreed that the MK-Classic had a simplified remote control than the MK-II Plus, primarily due to the selection of icons as opposed to the mix of words and icons on the latter. Our top pick had a steeper learning curve, however.
According to operations manager Leilani Pineda, “you’ll have a hard time getting out in the event you cannot navigate the remote control.” However, our testers found that the MK-Classic is a better overall choice than the OS-Champ regardless of a slight difference in aesthetics and materials. Though they do not have the lux feel of Osaki chairs, the chairs are still nice. It felt comfortable and sturdy even though it didn’t have as fine a grain as real leather,” Jason said.
We have tested several portable best massage chairs, and this one was far and away the best. Setting up, using, and storing or transporting it are easy. A two-year warranty is included with this massager for the back, neck, and shoulders.
Whenever you return from vacation or spend the night in the hospital, you can take the HoMedics Shiatsu Elite II Massage Cushion with you. It has a number of settings and styles for massage, as well as heating and reclining capabilities. The model is very durable, as well as comfortable, simple to use, and well built. This is our preferred portable massage chair after testing multiple models. This item has a longer setup time because it requires strapping. It is not adjustable and only covers the head and neck, unlike the chairs we recommend for stationary use. The MCS-845HJ’s compact size and lower price make these tradeoffs fair.
The MCS-845HJ not only massages upper and lower backs, but also soothes necks and shoulders, a feature we haven’t seen on any other machine we’ve tested. The only heating feature we felt in the portable model we tested is that of this model. A choice of two massage styles are available in three preset programs. Three intensity settings alternate fairly gradually and a staggered mode lets the rollers rest while they work on different areas.
It requires a seat belt to hold this model upright, as it is more of a pad or cushion than a chair. If you are going to sit on a chair, it should have a bit of a recline and be low to the ground. Regardless of how you incline your chair, the MCS-845HJ will remain fastened to it with its unique head strap and back strap. Despite both the remote pocket as well as the Velcro cord strap being small, they both improve the experience on an infinite level.
Additionally, the MCS-845HJ is long and narrow. This makes it easy to store in a trunk, a closet, or underneath a bed because it is a lot heavier. We prefer to bring our favorite carry-on suitcase, which is 29 inches tall, not the MCS-845HJ when rolled up. However, most full-size suitcases fit it when rolled up. It may be a good idea to keep the sturdy cardboard box with the handle as a storage container and for transport.
It seems relatively luxurious and durable for the best massage chair of its size, and the MCS-845HJ is comfortable to sit in. It isn’t horribly ugly either. I like how the chair does not look overpowering despite having such large letters on the front. A combination of words and icons makes this model’s remote very intuitive to use. A timer would have been nice, but it does not have one. You’ll find that the MCS-845HJ comes with a demo mode, so you can set yourself up on the machine and start getting a massage right away.
It’s crucial to ergonomics that the MCS-845HJ portable massage machine can be adjusted for height and width to accommodate the massage programs. Cornell University’s Hedge told us that it’s essential. A lot of office chairs can be adjusted. In general, massage chairs come in fixed sizes. The chair fits perfectly, so that’s great. That would be tough. He explained that the size of your waist can affect your height, or your height can affect your girth.
HoMedic’s massage chair, unlike anything else we tested, has a two-year warranty, which we found to be unique. There will be plenty of time for you to install and use it. In addition to requiring more assembly than our picks for stationary massages, this model massages fewer parts of the body and costs more. For one thing, it weighs 1711.2 pounds, which is about the weight of a small dachshund, which is more than a portable best massage chair. We tested portable models from four manufacturers, and this is the most expensive one.
This semi-reclining massage chair has a minimalist aesthetic that appeals to us, but most people likely would benefit from our bulkier picks for reassurance-or the portable option from HoMedics which can be transported with ease. Because its heating feature was not warm enough, our testers gave it a score of average.
The testing score this app received from our testers is 312 out of 5. This isn’t as high as the scores of our top picks and runner-ups. During times of high price drops, as well as during times of high availability of one of our picks, we will not recommend that particular product.
During our testing we were not impressed with the Overall Score of the RelaxOnChair MK-II Plus. Many users complained that the heating function was too cold and this made it very difficult to use the product. We do not recommend using it.
Overall, our reviewers gave the Rio a score of 312, meaning it received a decent overall rating. In light of these shortcomings, we consider one of our picks to be a better alternative to this chair. Because this chair did not fully recline and did not come with adequate heating, we believe one of our top picks is a better option.
The Riverstone Furniture Collection massage reclining set features a compact design and looks attractive, but overall it didn’t get a high review. When it comes to bulkiness, the HoMedics chair is an excellent choice if you do not care for it.
Movable Best Massage Chairs
Thera-P Shiatsu Massage Cushion produced poor results according to nearly every test we conducted. A light-colored, insubstantial material appears to be used to construct this item. Because the chair has a remote, there is only one available massage style. Furthermore, we were unable to detect heat even when wearing a thin layer of clothing, just as if there was no heat at all. Despite this model’s low price and lightweight, we do not recommend it.
We feared the light color of the Relaxzen 60-2970 would make it easy to get dirty, as the seat cushion is flimsy foam. It had the same insubstantial heat feature as the HoMedics model, and it is also considerably heavier. The chair isn’t recommended.
There are numerous ways to adjust the intensity and styles of massage on Sharper Image’s Shiatsu Massage Chair Cushion. A chair that reads ‘Sharper Image’ in gigantic block letters, while costing more, says “Sharper Image” on the front. Moreover, the heating feature did not produce any heat. There is no point in doing this.
This Snailax 269 has a soft and substantial vinyl seat cushion, but the shape is not very sturdy. You can also add a fabric flap to lessen the intensity of the massage as well as a removable headrest to further customize the fit and comfort of the chair. Additionally, this product offers a smaller size and lighter weight than HoMedics’ pick. Although this best massage chairs had a heating function, the room did not seem warm, which was frustrating.