Whether you hold your stress in your lower back, upper back, neck, hamstrings, feet, or all of the above, the best thing to restore and relax you is a massage from a professional masseuse. The second best option, and one that is far more convenient and practical, is a quality massage chair.
Such chairs are, unfortunately, not cheap. But if you find yourself regularly sore they can definitely be worth the investment.
When looking at massage chairs, decide on the massage you like best and make sure the chair offers that option. Shiatsu means pressure will be applied to points on your body; Swedish massage is all about rubbing your sore muscles; rolling, meanwhile, is the most common and involves rollers that loosen your muscles. Kneading feels like a deep stretch.
When it comes to price, the basic question comes down to what your comfort is worth when you’re dealing with an aching back. If it is taking longer and longer to get loose once you sit down, the worth of the chair goes up. If you’re not sure you’ll ever use it, skip the purchase. We’ve gathered our favorites to poke, rub, vibrate, and heat you into moving again.
For many, space and price will discourage the purchase of a full-length massage chair. Never fear, the incredibly portable Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow packs away in a closet or spare bedroom when not in use. At an affordable price point, it’s an easy compromise to try.
Pros: The beauty of an external massage chair is that it can turn whatever chair you’re currently sitting in into a relaxation machine. Eight massage balls rotate clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on preference, and a heat function helps loosen up your muscles more quickly. If the massage lulls you into a stupor, its 10-minute auto-off timer will turn off the power around the same time you nod off.
Cons: The lack of adjustability makes this a one-size-fits-all product, which by definitely won’t be great for every body. Its lack of programmable functions also leaves much to be desired, especially when individual problem need special attention that can’t be granted.
While other add-on solutions on this list focus on the upper back, plenty of guys have pain and soreness in their lower backs. The full-length Gideon Shiatsu Back Massager massages the whole back and is just a touch more expensive than partial units.
Pros: Once you slip it onto your chair of choice, four shiatsu nodes travel the length and breadth of your back, while heat radiates out to relax tight muscles. A three-setting vibrating base helps break tension in glutes and hamstrings. It also has three auto-off modes at five, 10, and 15 minutes.
Cons: While providing a remarkably effective product at an affordable price, you’re still at the mercy of by-and-large fixed settings without customization or much adjustability. Still, dollar for dollar, this machine is a killer value and a strong performer.
Few things say fatherhood like an overstuffed recliner. Why not add the luxury of heating, massaging rocking, and vibrating features?
Pros: Spin 360 degrees and recline 150 degrees in this throne, which also comes with two cup holders and four storage bags to stow your remote, magazines, and whatever else you want to keep on hand. All in a package that looks more like a regular chair than a massging machine.
Cons: You can’t lock the swivel feature, which might make it a little too easy for your a kid running around the house to send you spinning mid-massage.
You get 3D finger pressure when you sink into this chair, plus rolling, vibration, and heat functions.
Pros: Instead of just an up-and-down rolling motion, this massage chair has massaging nodes that move inward and outward to really pound out those knots. Plus, it has an optional warming function and three different intensity settings.
Cons: Some report that the heat stops working, in a few cases.
While the Snailax Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager looks like other full-length add-on massagers on this list, its strength comes from its specificity. With an increased cost comes the ability to control neck and back settings individually, including height and width.
Pros: Customizable height and width settings for your back ensure all the right spots are targeted. The same is true for the independently controlled neck settings, which add nodes that target tight necks. Additionally, multiple patterns are available with the click of a button. As you might expect, heat and seat vibration options are also present.
Cons: Ultimately, some found fault with its greatest strength, the adjustability. We think this is obvious, but it nevertheless should be stated. If you’re on the extreme sides of height, you will likely have difficulty achieving full coverage from even the priciest massagers.
OK, so you’ve decided to purchase a stand-alone massage chair. Your first consideration should be the Belmint Folding Massage Chair, which, while offering an affordable product, also upgrades the performance, creating a seat that feels like it’s worth the extra money you spent.
Pros: Next to the fact that this chair folds up for easy storage or travel, the performance of this throne is what sold us. Eight independent massaging balls gave an amazing amount of coverage, while favorites like heat, adjustable intensity and pattern settings, muscle isolation, and vibration sealed the deal.
Cons: You have to accept the fact that it is a souped-up folding chair. And while its portability is nice, it’s only useful if you intend on taking it with you. If not, go with another option.
The first consideration for any massage chair is its performance—does it feel great and get the job done? But if it’s going in the living room, the next consideration is how it looks. The OWAYS massage chair looks as good as it performs, adding to the argument for a dedicated massage tool that’s also furniture.
Pros: Multiple kneading and tapping patterns from eight rollers, along with heat, vibration, and pinpoint precision, make this an ultimately amazing massage chair. But its modern design, multiple wood finishes (either a blonde wood or a darker, maple-like hue), and a rocker design also make this a piece you don’t have to hide under a throw. While the chair is upholstered in textured linen for breathability, from a distance, it has the appearance of a handsome suede.
Cons: Tastes change, and should your significant other hire an interior designer, this chair, once favored, might end up on the chopping block. A few hundred bucks, while certainly not the most you could spend on an armchair, is nevertheless a lot for a piece that could end up a victim of aesthetics. If you’re on the cusp of redecorating, ensure its style fits with the planned décor.
This chair is on the pricey side, though you can certainly spend more, but its impressive suite of features makes it worth the investment.
Pros: You can adjust the eight massage rollers, foot rollers, and 50 airbags to cover everything from your neck to your feet. It also has zero gravity modes that take stress off of your spine and heart for an even more relaxing experience.
Cons: There’s no mistaking this thing for a regular chair, and it’s aesthetics aren’t exactly subtle. It’s also definitely on the heavier side, so expect to rely on the wheels if you want to move this thing around. And if heating is your favorite feature, you might be disappointed that this chair only heats your waist and feet.
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