A massage chair is the perfect way to wind down after a hard day at work - or enjoy some personal time over the weekend.
It can also make sense from a financial perspective, considering how expensive massage services have become. Practically speaking, you'll get your initial investment back in a few months' time.
The best massage chair is a mix between ergonomic design, quality (and diverse) features and a decent price.
The UGC team believes Flash Furniture's Massaging Recliner is the best bang for your buck right now. Select from 9 massage modes and 5 levels of massage intensity, all on a very attractive price.
This is far from the only viable choice, though. Especially if you want something with more features and specialized massage technology.
Personally, I've been enjoying a Japanese-import chair with cutting-edge 4D contouring. Unfortunately, it's not found on the US or European market yet:
Let's take a look at a few opportunities for you to grab a comfortable, well-manufactured massage chair.
Middle-of-the-road option combining decent price with premium features & feel.
Uses power rollers to reduce fatigue and rejuvenate the muscles and body.
Its design improves leg mobility, flexibility and posture.
Luxury choice with all the bells and whistles you need. Next level premium features.
Full-body recliner with 4D Zero Gravity technology and shocking amount of features.
Cutting-edge body scanning for fully customizable massage sessions.
Unbeatable price for less-demanding casual users. Good massage quality.
Good reclining experience and durable construction for its price point.
5 intensity levels and 9 massage modes are more than enough for casual use.
History of the massage chair
Some of the best massage chairs can be found in almost every airport and they’re all over the internet. Some of them seem rather costly and some of them seem budget-friendly but where did they come from?
Surely, they’ve been around for quite a few decades, right? You’d be surprised to learn that the best massage chairs actually aren’t that old and are a relatively new invention in terms of our generation. What if I told you that the first chair for massage was introduced in 1986? That’s right! Back in 1986 a man named David Palmer introduced the very first massage gaming chair.
The first factory was located in Santa Rosa, California and even David wasn’t too confident about his own product. He didn’t know if it would take off or if it would be popular. There already was a surplus of places where people could go to get a massage.
The chair was a unique invention that allowed people to experience the comfort of a massage without having to pay for one every single time.
It also allowed people to experience one without having to take off their clothes for strangers to rub them down. These paid massages were also relatively expensive, which is something David realized and wanted to change.
The first chairs for massage were manufactured by a company called Living Earth Crafts and believe it or not, the very first massaging chairs could actually be carried around like a suitcase. They came in a folded position. In 1989, a metal chair - not a wooden one, for massage was invented. However, it didn’t do too well due to how dangerous it was for customers.
While massage chairs were becoming increasingly popular, some people tried to capitalize on this by inventing things such as a massage cradle and a massage bar. The massage bar was made in 1993 and was made to be attached to a countertop. It wasn’t that popular, though.
Then there was the desktop face cradle which was revealed in 1990, just a few years before the massage bar.
Today, massage and proper recliner chairs can range anywhere from $250 to $1400+. A good massage chair costs about the same price as a decent massage table which is why a lot of people prefer the chairs over the tables if they can afford it.
Massage chairs - even those aimed at gamers too, have evolved from wood to find vinyl and plastic rollers inside of the chair since 1986. Obviously, this has drastically improved the overall massage session experience!
Five Best Massaging Chairs & Recliners
This stylish best massage chair is perfect for relaxing in your living room. It comes with an Ottoman for additional leg support, and it’s affordable compared to the high end of the market. This massage gaming chair is not going to replace a masseuse, but it will help to ease stress. The massage gaming chair is also manually adjustable, to fit a range of different positions.
- Both the chair and the Ottoman have massage controls
- Five different presets for massage
- The material is highly durable
- Basic heat controls
- Double padded cushions for additional comfort
- Well reviewed on Amazon, with over 150 five star reviews
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Assembly was difficult for a number of owners
This best massage chair is highly reviewed and is one of the most unique chairs on the market today. You can experience zero gravity in this chair and what it’s like to get a professional massage without leaving home. It not only targets your vital lower back areas but also relax your body all over and allows you to kick up your feet and relax.
The zero-gravity mode lays you out at a 180-degree angle while keeping your body perfectly balanced. The term was coined by manufacturers who’d taken design ideas from the seats that astronauts would use during liftoff.
These seats would recline to a certain angle so that the astronaut’s body was perfectly balanced and would be subjected to the least amount of stress possible.
This chair takes those ideas and applies them a step further, allowing for a unique and comfortable experience while working out those knots and loosening up your muscles after a particularly stressful day.
- Three different levels of zero gravity
- Has a three-year warranty
- FDA has approved this chair as a medical device
- Comes with numerous advanced technologies such as body scanning, air massaging and yoga programs
- Gives a full body massage
- Has two different stages of zero gravity for ultimate comfort
- Even has foot rollers to massage your feet
- One of the highest positively reviewed and best massage chairs on the market
- It does require a little bit of assembly which is easy to understand
- Higher price point
While this looks like something out of a science fiction film, this is a highly advanced and best massage chair that comes equipped with its own footrest. It comes equipped with a multitude of airbags, heat sensors and other wonderful features that give it a well-deserved spot on this list.
The smart cushioning system is designed to target specific areas of your body where you’d normally build up a lot of fatigue after a long and hard day. The chair’s temperature control system provides multiple modes so there’s a little something for everyone to get out of it.
There are a few unique ways that this chair utilizes its feature list. One of those is ways is how it pairs the massage rollers with the temperature controls to target very specific areas of your body with a gentle warm massage.
Our recommended way to use this chair is to turn the heat up and set it to a smooth, slow massage. There’s honestly no better way to wind down from a rough day.
- Comes with highly advanced power rollers that mimic a real deep tissue massage
- Specific key pointed rollers are made to improve flexibility
- Has a feature designed specifically to target your neck
- The roller system conforms to the shape of your neck
- Has over 30 airbags built into the chair for maximum relaxation
- Targets specific key points on your body with an intelligent scanning system
- It needs to be used often or it may stop working after a year
This highly reviewed best massage chair is something you would typically see at a doctor’s office or a lounge. It’s hard to get up from this chair with a remote-controlled massager that allows you to pinpoint and target exactly which areas you’re looking for.
The custom designated massage functions on this chair are great.
You’ve got one that works your shoulders like a real masseuse, another that works your calves and feet, and yet another that targets separate muscle groups simultaneously.
The comfort levels are out of this world as well. The material used on this chair is pretty pliable, and it’s paired with padded rollers underneath.
The sensation feels less like something rolling over your skin and more like have a gentle force run along your muscles. Pairing this with the chair’s highly personal approach to massage modes gives you a relaxing massage that you could sit through for hours, never wanting to get up.
- Remote controlled for your own personal pleasurable experience
- Durable but yet soft rollers for sensitive skin
- Several different options available for massages
- Has a three-stage zero gravity function
- Automatically aligns your feet based on your heart for optimal massage conditions
- A remote control that has 4 different automatic massage options and 3 manual ones
- 3 different levels of airbag control for different intensity
- 3 different speed control levels
- The controls can be a little confusing until you get used to them
With a unique and stylish Beige design, this chair fits well in just about any room of your house and fits with any décor. Has a sleek recline functionality and remote control for people looking for the optimal massage experience.
The materials used on the upholstery of this chair are soft, but they don’t have as much traction as we’d like them to. This isn’t that big of a drawback as it actually feels pretty good when the vibration motors kick in. The temperature controls featured on the chair are also pretty good when paired with the low-friction, breathable material.
The zero gravity reclining modes take some getting used to because of the slipper upholstery and it tends to feel like you’re not as stable as you should be.
The longest preset massage lasts for only 30 minutes, which is disappointing but does help with staying productive. If you decide that you would rather spend more time relaxing, then the easy access console will let you quickly adjust the profile.
- Over four different programs available at the touch of a button
- Offers three different zero gravity positions
- You can choose anything from a quick 5-minute massage to a 30-minute massage
- Comes with different options such as rolling, vibrating and spinal targeting the area most affected
- Has a nice built-in heat therapy for your back
- Will also massage your feet with 6 kneading balls
- People who are shorter than 5’4 may have trouble reaching the bottom of the foot massager
Things to consider before buying a massage chair
These best massage chairs are convenient and they’re very comfortable. However, they don’t all come even and equal. Some massage gaming chairs will be better than others and this depends on your different needs. There are several different factors you need to look at before you take the plunge into buying your first best massage chair. Massaging chairs aren’t cheap and you need to consider several things before buying one of them.
The Warranty/Customer Support
This isn’t like a blender or some other kind of cheap appliance that you could easily replace at your local Walmart. You need to make sure that you’re covered under a premium warranty because massaging chairs work in a complicated way.
You need to make sure that you find out just how long the warranty lasts and that you’re fully covered. You also want to make sure that at the very minimum, all of the parts and labor are covered if you receive a defective chair or a chair that has parts broken down.
These are not chairs you want to try to fix yourself.
While best massage chairs are generally expensive and that they’re usually high quality, there are a lot of moving parts, there’s wiring, there are complicated things inside of the chair that make it work so things sometimes do go wrong. It’s no fault of the manufacturer usually and sometimes things need to be repaired.
When you consider just how much money you’re going to be shelling out for a chair, you definitely want to make sure that you get something durable. Make sure it’s a very durable chair and that its heavy duty.
Another thing to consider is the location of the chair and where you plan on putting it. These chairs aren’t generally something you put in the living room and they require quite a bit of space.
They’re very clunky, they don’t fit in well with most rooms but are so relaxing that you might eventually end up converting a room just for relaxation. Some people like to put them in their office and some people have even been known to devote a room solely to the massage gaming chair.
What kind of budget do you have for the best massage chair? While most chairs range from $300 to over a thousand dollars, there are some chairs on the market for people looking for extra functionality and comfort that can go up into the thousands of dollars.
Those chairs you encounter at the airport aren’t generally a good judge of character for how much chairs cost because they usually buy cheap ones. Some chairs today even have USB ports and headphone jacks for your music.
Finally, what kind of features do you want in a chair? What kind of features are you looking for in terms of comfort and functionality?
Do you want sound? Do you want your chair to be able to connect headphones or music?
Also, what kind of areas would you like to have massaged?
The cheapest chairs usually just include a couple of rollers that caress your spine and go up and down. If you want massage gaming chairs that have various speeds and massage various areas, you’re going to have to invest a bit more.
Benefits of using a massaging chair
There are various benefits to use the best massage chair and owning one over going to the massage parlor on a consistent basis. Aside from the cost, here are some of the health benefits that you’ll see from using a massage gaming chair.
It will be aligned better and it will help alleviate pressure that’s put on your nerves. When people stress out, their nerves tend to stiffen up and they become awry. One of the things that’s affected is your spine and getting a regular massage can help alleviate this. Aligning your spine has been shown to have several positive health benefits.
Another thing that’s important for later life is to maintain great posture. This is what such a chair helps to do as well, promote positive posture. Also, your muscles can tense up and actually form knots on the muscles that constrict blood flow and reduce your overall performance. Massaging chairs will help relieve pressure on your muscles and release those knots.
It's something that people think only affects the mind. Believe it or not, a lot of things you do can be affected by your mindset and whether or not you’re stressed out. If you want to remain stress-free, make sure that your muscles are relaxed and your nerves are open, which is what is accomplished when a chair for massaging is concentrating on the problem areas of your body.
Positive circulation of the blood inside your body is highly important. Without it, blood clots can form, you can feel stressed, get aches, cramps and other side effects. When a massaging chair is helping relax the muscles of your body, your blood will flow more freely and you’ll feel more at ease.
One of the main benefits is the release of endorphins. When you’re more relaxed and when your body is more relaxed, you’ll notice that you feel better, you’re more positive, your body heals wounds faster and that the effects of pain are far less severe. This is because endorphins accomplish all of this on their own.
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My Optima Elite Massage chair is not working properly. How do I get it repaired or replaced?