Last updated: August 5, 2021

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A massage chair is available in a wide variety of versions. First and foremost, it is used to relax the body. But it is also known for relieving tension and pain. Whether at home after work or directly in the office during break time, a massage chair helps you to relax. Thanks to the differentiated product selection options, individual needs can be met.

With the massage chair test 2021 we show you what criteria you can look for when buying a massage chair. In addition, we distinguish between the massage chair with vibration massage and the massage chair with several massage techniques. These points should help you to make a better decision and find the right massage chair for you.




Summary

  • The massage chair is used for relaxation and promotes the well-being of the person. The heat function, adjustable backrest and music function further enhance relaxation.
  • A basic distinction is made between massage chairs with vibration technology and massage chairs with several massage techniques. With several techniques, an individual combination according to need is possible.
  • The health is supported by the use of massage chairs. Blood circulation and the strengthening of the circulatory system are promoted. Damage can be excluded.

The Best Massage Chairs: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for massage chairs

This content section is designed to show you what criteria you should look for when buying a massage chair.

In the following section, various criteria are listed that serve to compare the different massage chairs with each other:

In the following, we will explain the meaning of the individual purchase criteria in more detail.

Massage techniques

Most massage chairs have different types of massages. Depending on the model of the chair, the techniques are applied to different parts of the body. An overview of the different massage techniques is shown in the following table.

Type of massage Description
Rolling massage The rolling massage is performed with rolling movements. This stretches the spine, which leads to relief.
Shiatsu massage Shiatsu massage is also known as finger pressure massage. This type of massage uses pressure to massage along the body meridians.
Kneading massage Kneading massage incorporates vertical and horizontal movements. This creates the sensation of kneading. The intensity of the kneading can be adjusted as needed.
Tapping massage The tapping massage is performed with tapping movements. These tapping movements stimulate the blood circulation.
Air pressure massage The air pressure massage is controlled by waves. The wave movements exert pressure on the body.
Vibration massage Vibration massage works with vibrations, i.e. short oscillations. This makes the muscles tremble and loosen them up.

Most massage chairs have a varied programme with a selection of different massages. Different types of massage can also be combined with each other.

The combination is adapted to the individual wishes. Expensive massage chairs often offer more massage techniques than cheaper ones.

Stand-up function

After a relaxing massage, you don't want to strain yourself too hard. For this purpose, there are massage chairs with a stand-up function to make it easier to get up from a lying or sitting position.

On the one hand, getting up can be made easier by lateral supports. These serve to support the user while standing up. In this way, you shift your weight onto the supports and can stand up more easily.

On the other hand, there is also the electric stand-up function in massage chairs. At the touch of a button, either the entire chair or the upholstered area under the buttocks is lifted. This allows you to get up from the chair without much effort.

The stand-up function is particularly suitable for people who suffer from back problems. Senior citizens and people with physical disabilities also benefit greatly from this additional function.

Heating function

If you want to treat yourself to a higher level of relaxation in addition to a massage, you should pay attention to the heat function on massage chairs. This function increases the feeling of well-being.

The heat emitted by the massage chair is especially beneficial during cold winter days. The body is warmed up and you automatically feel better.

The heat function can be activated by means of a button during the massage. The heat is mostly emitted along the back and in the area of the legs. This also strengthens the effectiveness of the massage.

The temperature is around 40 degrees Celsius. This heat level is warmer than our body temperature, but still pleasant and not too hot.

Adjustable backrest

Basically, the chair is designed for the sitting position. However, the adjustable backrest offers several positioning options.

The adjustable backrest allows you to enjoy moments of relaxation in a reclining position.

You can adjust the backrest so that you are in a sitting to semi-recumbent position. This is done by pressing a button on the built-in remote control.

The flexible adjustment option also allows you to relax and enjoy the massage in a lying position. This function is often combined with the extendable footrest. More about this in the following section.

Footrest

For tall people it is sometimes difficult to sit down in a massage chair. In this case, there is the extendable footrest. Depending on the size of the user, the footrest can be extended or folded back.

However, the support is also used to simply put the feet up after a strenuous day at work. In addition, a full body massage is very relaxing.

A footrest is also defined as an additional stool to the massage chair. Some models do not have a special rest for the feet. Therefore, the stool then simply serves to raise the legs when needed.

Thanks to the extendable footrest, even tall people can enjoy a full-body massage.

Music function

The music function of massage chairs is responsible for a more relaxed mood in the surroundings. Music can be played through one or more integrated loudspeakers.

Music creates a more pleasant atmosphere and more relaxation.

Thanks to the Bluetooth function, various devices can be connected to the armchair. No cable is necessary. This allows you to play music directly from your mobile phone, tablet or computer.

In addition, a USB connection is available in many cases. If your mobile phone battery is running low, you can easily plug your mobile phone into the USB port with your cable. The relaxation time with music can then be continued.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about massage chairs answered in detail

In the guide, we want to answer the most relevant questions about massage chairs. We have defined the questions and answered each of them in a short section. The guide is intended to answer all unanswered questions on the topic of massage chairs.

What types of massage chairs are there?

There are different types of massage chairs. Here we would like to introduce you to the most important ones:

  • Massage chairs: with vibration massage only
  • Massage chairs: with several massage functions

To give you a clear overview, we will briefly present both types of product. This will make it easier for you to decide between the massage chairs.

Massage chair with vibration massage only

The massage chair with vibration function has a simple design. As you can see, the massage works by means of vibrations, which are also called oscillations.

There is no other massage technique with this type of product. However, different strength levels and programmes are also offered here. The body zones to be massaged can also be selected. The price for this massage chair is significantly lower compared to chairs with several massage techniques.

Advantages
  • different strength levels
  • low-priced variant
Disadvantages
  • only one type of massage
  • not very intensive

Massage chairs with several massage functions

The second type of product is the massage chair with several massage functions. Here, many different massage techniques are offered in one chair. Depending on the need, a combination of techniques can be created.

Due to the variety of massage techniques, the massages are much more intensive. The ideal technique and combination can be discovered, which leads to maximum relaxation.

The prices for this product are in the higher range. This is because a high selection of programmes is offered.

Advantages
  • many massage functions
  • combination options
  • more intensive massage
Disadvantages
  • expensive
  • in many cases no vibration massage

What does a massage chair cost?

Prices vary greatly and depend on the type of chair. Depending on your needs and wishes for additional functions, you should expect a higher price.

Type price range
Massage chair with vibration massage approx. 200-500€
Massage chair with several massage functions approx. 500-2000€

If you would like to buy a standard massage chair, you can do so for 200-300€. However, this is limited as far as the selection programme is concerned.

Massage chairs with several massage programmes and additional functions, such as a heat function or music function, tend towards the price of 1000 euros or more. The massages of these chairs are very intensive.

Massagesessel-1

A massage allows you to relax completely and promotes your health
(Image source: Ale Romo / unsplash)

How does a massage chair work?

The operating instructions for a massage chair are very simple. The massage programmes can be selected and controlled via the built-in remote control.

The lying or sitting position is also controlled by the remote control. This allows the ideal position to be adjusted individually.

As we already know, there are different massage techniques. Therefore, it is up to the individual to decide which massage technique to use. Here is a short list to give you an overview:

  • Vibration
  • Rolling movements
  • Wave movements
  • Kneading movements
  • Tapping movements

Better massage chairs allow a combination of several massage techniques. They are also equipped with a heat function and other extras.

Where can I test a massage chair?

To find the perfect massage chair for you, it would be ideal to test different models with various programmes.

Massage centres offer showrooms for this purpose. A showroom is a room where products are presented and can be tested. In addition, professional advice is offered on site.

In the showroom, as already mentioned, you can choose between different models for testing. A test run of the massage programmes makes it easier to make the right choice.

Many shopping centres also have massage chairs for testing. The programmes are much shorter than they would otherwise be, but you get a first feeling of the type of massage. If you are interested, you can ask the manufacturer.

Who is a massage chair suitable for?

Massage chairs are basically suitable for all users who want to relax. However, you should still pay attention to a few points.

Massages relieve pain, but people with severe health problems should consult their doctor before using a massage chair. If a massage chair is used incorrectly or too intensively, pain can be intensified.

It should also be noted that the minimum weight is defined differently depending on the massage chair. It is advisable to inform yourself well before buying. The majority of models have a minimum weight of up to 120 kilograms.

How healthy are massage chairs?

A massage chair is primarily used for relaxation. However, it is also used when tension affects everyday life. Tension in the back and shoulder area occurs due to physically strenuous activities.

The massage chair helps to relieve tension and increase well-being. Massages promote blood circulation in the body and strengthen the body's circulation.

Massage chairs can be a support to your health. When the individual massage techniques are used correctly with the right strength level, the massage works wonders.

If pain persists despite the use of the massage chair, medical advice should be sought. Using a massage chair with too much intensity of the massage does not relieve the pain, but may even increase it.

Massagesessel-2

A massage in a massage chair relaxes the muscles. When used properly, it relieves pain
(Image source: Paraksa/ 123rf.com)

How often should I use a massage chair?

There are no rules for using a massage chair. The frequency depends entirely on the time and one's own need.

Some people are more tense than others. Therefore, it is very individual how often the massage chair is used. You can spend a moment in the massage chair every day after work.

Many massage chairs have a programme of 15 minutes. The reason for this is that you can get tired very quickly during a massage and there is therefore a risk of falling asleep.

After 15 minutes of programme time, a second massage session can be started.

Who repairs massage chairs?

When you buy a massage chair, a guarantee is issued at the time of purchase. The purpose of this guarantee is that in the event of a defect in the device, the defect will be repaired free of charge.

Guarantees are only given for a certain period of time. Depending on the product, it is between 3 and 10 years. Certain damages are excluded from the guarantee, but these are specified precisely.

If the damage to your massage chair is no longer covered by the guarantee, you can still have it repaired. However, this is then binding in terms of costs.

In addition, there are companies that explicitly carry out repairs on massage chairs.

What alternatives are there to massage chairs?

It can happen that a massage chair is not the right option for you, but you still want to benefit from the relaxing feeling of a massage. Therefore, it is an advantage to know alternatives to the massage chair.

In the following section, we will briefly introduce you to the two alternatives to the massage chair.

Alternative Description
classic massage If you can take the time, you have the opportunity to try the alternative of classic massage. This requires a regular visit to a massage practice. The therapist adapts an individual massage form for you.
Other devices with massage function If you don't have time for classic massages and don't want to spend a lot of money on a massage chair, you can turn to this alternative. There are various products with a massage function. The best known are the massage cushion or the massage seat cover. These two products can be used very flexibly and still fulfil the desire for relaxation.

Both alternatives are flexible to use and can be transported from one place to another without much effort. The following video demonstrates how a massage seat pad works. Let yourself be inspired.

Image source: Galitckaia/ 123rf.com

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