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Whether you have a bad back, had a tough day at the office, or finished a particularly difficult workout, there is nothing like a soothing massage at the end of a stressful day (or the beginning of the day, for that matter). Enter the massage chair.
The best massage chairs help you stretch and relax, with special mechanisms that roll, knead and vibrate up and down the chair. Unlike the large and bulky chairs you find at massage parlors or spas, the best at-home massage chairs will hit all the right spots functionality-wise without looking totally tacky in your house. Here’s what to look for.
What Are the Best Massage Chairs For Home?
The best massage chairs for your home help ease sore joints and muscles while still providing functional decor as regular seating too. Turn up the settings when you need a massage, or just lounge in the wide, plush seating when you’re watching TV or reading a book. Or, do double duty and get a much-needed massage while watching TV or reading too.
Functions: The best massage chairs come with a wide variety of functions in addition to standard vibration and rolling. These include shiatsu, tapping, kneading, and even zero gravity — which means it reclines to a position wherein your feet are level with your heart to give you a feeling of weightlessness. These functions should also be customizable by strength and size to meet your body’s precise needs.
Airbags: In addition to massage rollers, many massage chairs come with airbags, which deliver pressurized air to small pouches in the chair. When inflated, airbags compress the muscles and help stimulate blood flow.
Heat: Another function we find particularly attractive in a massage chair is its heating function. Localized heat is a known muscle relaxer, which in conjunction with pressure from the massage chair, can aid in deep muscle relief.
Style and Size: Finally, take into account how well the chair is going to fit inside your home. Be sure to take exact measurements of your space to confirm that the chair will be able to fit comfortably both while upright and in the reclining position. Depending on where in your house you plan to keep it, the chair’s design may also be a contributing factor when making your final decision. We’ve found four stylish options with minimalist, contemporary designs that wouldn’t look out of place in your living room, bedroom or den.
1. Real Relax Massage Chair
This massage chair looks like it could belong in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, but Star Wars was never this chill. This chair delivers a full-body massage, with eight neck and back rollers, and 50 airbags for shoulders, arms, hips, and calves, with an airbag and roller combo for an intense foot massage.
It also has lower back heating and six auto modes, as well as three levels for speed and strength.The one button zero-gravity function makes you feel virtually weightless.
There are a couple of other extras to this chair that we think add to the one-stop-shop spa experience, including the Bluetooth audio play to set your own tranquil theme music.
As for size, this massage chair is made to fit heights between 5′ 2 and 6′ 1, with a weight limit of 400 pounds. The extending footrests help to accommodate taller bodies — though some complain this still isn’t quite tall enough.
2. Esright Massage Recliner
We suppose we’d consider this massage chair kind of a hybrid between a massage chair and a regular recliner. This means it looks perfectly at home in any room you’d normally put recliners or theater seats, and can be used to pleasantly surprise guests not expecting a back rub with their movie.
It includes all the must-haves of any lounge recliner, including a 140-degree manual control recline feature, cupholders, and extra storage bags for things like magazines. The massaging function includes heat and five control modes with two intensity levels. The massaging power is not as strong as capital “M” massage chairs, but unlike those models, we like that this one is den or living room ready.
Works well as a traditional living room recliner in addition to a massage chair.
3. Human Touch WholeBody Massage Chair
The first thing you’ll notice about this massage chair is that it is physically a lot smaller than our other picks, with a sleek and minimalist design. It measures 44 x 28 x 40 inches and is best-suited for people under 6′ 2″.
The chair’s “BodyMap” feature lets you choose an area of the body to focus on, while the “Figure-Eight” technology refers to the wave-like motion of the calf massage feature, which optimizes blood circulation from foot to core. The chair’s “FlexGlide” solution is an orbital system that delivers a therapeutic massage without the pinching and friction you often find with other chairs.
Fancy names aside, we do especially love the five auto-massage programs: full, upper, lower, relax, and sleep. To customize your massage experience, you can mix and match between three stationary massage techniques and a glide massage, and use adjustable range and positioning to target just the right spot.
Highly customizable and effective, the slimmer size and titled angle ensures a more effective massage.
4. SGorri Massage Chair
Don’t let its slick black leather and angular good looks fool you: this massage chair is more than just a pretty piece of furniture.
In addition to the six massage settings and eight rollers all over arm, shoulder, seat, and leg areas, we like this chair’s three stages of zero gravity. At the furthest level, your body will have fully reclined, leaving your legs higher than your heart level which many find to be therapeutic.
The chair offers a full-body compression massage, which can be operated with auto settings or manually, with a great heated option too, to warm the hips and back, or the whole body.
Another extremely soothing feature is the intelligent massage hands, which imitate massage therapist kneading techniques and actually feel like real hands. This feature ranges in power from strong to gentle. A slick, modern design is finished with soft, smooth wrapping.
5. Nouhaus Massage Chair with Ottoman
Not all massage chairs have to be big and bulky. This stylish pick took home the prestigious Red Dot Award for its “Incomparable Functionality and Aesthetic,” seamlessly combining studio-worthy looks with some serious massage technology.
We love the curve-hugging design, which makes it feel like you’re being cradled while four robust rollers knead your neck, back and legs. You can select a full body massage or customize the massage to target a specific area. There are multiple massage modes too, from a straight roll to circular kneading to a mixture of styles. You can even turn on the side “airbags” to gently massage your hips and glutes.
The chair itself is the most stylish pick on our list, thanks to its streamlined “egg” shape and matching ottoman. Choose from a pink colorway or a handsome “midnight blue.” The chair features a 15-degree recline and 90-degree swivel.
With a weight capacity of 250 pounds, it’s not as heavy-duty as some of the other options on our list, but we love how easily this massage chair slots into any living room, bedroom or den. Bonus built-in speakers let you pair your favorite tunes to the chair while you lounge.