The Best Massage Chairs For People With Back Pain - Are They Worth The Money?

A luxury item? Sure. But do they help your tight and aching muscles to relax? You bet! Find out which are the best massage chairs for your back pain and if they are worth the money here. 

Now you've probably seen massage chairs in shopping malls and airports before. 

Hell, you may have even had a go yourself. Am I right? ​

If you have then you'll know just how relaxing and soothing they can be. 

Especially for the tight and sore muscles in your back. 

​However while almost everyone I've come across has loved the experience of sitting in a massage chair, very few (if any) have actually considered buying one for themselves to use at home. 

And the reasons for that are totally understandable.

Because massage chairs can be bloody expensive!​

And this kind of price tag puts them out of reach for many of us.

But for those that are​ interested in the idea of owning their own massage chair I thought I'd put together this guide of the best ones on the market for your back pain. 

Because while expensive they can also be a great way to relax both your body and mind at the end of a long day on site.

So read on and I'll explain just how these chairs work, what kind of benefits they bring and review the following ones which you should consider buying:

And I'll end with the ultimate question.....are they worth your hard-earned cash?​

How Does A Massage Chair Work?

How does a massage chair work?

Massage chairs aim to emulate the feel and motions of a masseuses hands and fingers to give you the full massage experience from the comfort of your own home.

Which will help you to relax and relieve stress and muscle tension​.

They do this in a number of ways.

Firstly via mechanically motored nodes and rollers within the chair that apply tapping, vibrating, rolling and kneading motions to your sore and aching muscles.

But most high quality chairs also come equipped with airbags within the seat that inflate and deflate in a rhythm that provides a nice massage.

And there is usually the option to add heat to the lumbar section and legs that allow your muscles to relax more deeply while you are being massaged.​

Now there are generally two massage styles that massage chairs tend to emulate.

The most common one is the Swedish massage style which will give you a gentle and relaxing massage by kneading your muscles gently in circular motions.

But the ones that are better for your back come with the option of a Shiatsu massage style.

This is more intense as the rollers and nodes will press against various acupressure points around your body to relieve tension and get tight muscles to release.

So how do you use one?

First of all the chair will put you into a comfortable reclined position that takes the pressure and strain off your lower back (if they are really good they will have a zero gravity option like the 3 chairs here).

Then using the remote control you simply choose the type of massage you want from the various pre-programmed massage settings.

This will set the nodes and rollers to work and move in a certain way depending on which type of massage you've selected.

And you can also manually adjust the intensity so you can get it just right for you. 

Which is great as you can choose to get right into tough to reach muscle knots or just give yourself a nice, gentle and relaxing massage depending on how you're feeling.​

Also most high quality chairs will automatically adjust to themsleves to fit your height, weight and body dimension.

They do this by using infrared body scanners which then sends messages to the microprocessor to adjust the position of the rollers and nodes to fit your specific size and shape.

Clever stuff!​

And this not only ensures that these nodes and rollers will be able to focus on the exact areas you need massaging.

​It's also a great feature if more than one person will be using the chair as it will adjust itself to fit each individual.

The Benefits Of Using A Massage Chair

Get the relaxing feeling of a massage in your own home.

So what exactly can a massage chair do for you and your back pain when used regularly?

Well the answer to that is very similar benefits to those that you would get from getting regular professional massages.

Which is great because massaging your back is the best way of getting rid of tight kinks, muscle knots and blockages that may be causing you aches and pain.​

This is because massaging these areas of tight and contracted muscles encourages them to release.

And by releasing them your blood flow to the damaged muscles increases which helps to deliver the oxygen and nutrients they need to repair and heal.

It also allows trapped waste and toxins that may have been causing you irritation and inflammation to be flushed away and eliminated.

Which will lead to less pain, tightness and tension in your body.

Great news!​

And that's not all you get from using your massage chair as it can also: ​

  • Reduce tension in your muscles making you more flexible and giving you a greater range of motion.
  • Keep your body well-balanced which prevents muscle imbalances from developing.
  • Help to improve your posture by relaxing your muscles.
  • Lower the levels of pain you feel in your muscles and joints by stimulating the release of endorphins which are the body's natural painkiller.
  • Help you to relax your mind too which allows your muscles to rest, gives you a better night's sleep and lowers stress and anxiety levels.
  • Lower your blood pressure and boost your immune system. 

Which all makes time in the chair time well-spent!

The Best Massage Chairs For Back Pain

There are so many different massage chairs to choose from that I didn't want to overload you any more than is necessary by suggesting a ton of options.

So instead I've chosen 3 chairs at different price points so you can choose the one that best matches your budget.

All 3 are great for helping you to relax and relieve your back pain but obviously the higher up in price you go the more features and better quality massage you get.​

So let's start with one for the high rollers!​

Best High-End Massage Chair

Luraco iRobotics 7 Massage Chair

$$$$$

Luraco iRobotics 7 PLUS Medical Massage Chair (Cream)

Features

  • 3D roller massage system.
  • S-track dual rollers.
  • Zero gravity option.
  • 100 Airbag massage system.
  • Advanced body scan technology.
  • 9 automatic massage programs.
  • 5 memory settings to save customised massages.
  • Mechanical foot rollers.
  • Full body heat option.
  • Noise reduction technology.
  • Built-in MP3 music system.
  • Touch screen remote control.
  • FDA, UL and CE listed. 

Good for the Back?

  • Dual rollers provide a strong massage from the neck to the top of your buttocks.
  • Zero gravity position helps to relieve pressure on your spine.
  • 3D roller system means you can vary the massage intensity on your spine.
  • Heat option allows your back muscles to relax more fully.
  • Body stretching feature helps to decompress your spine.
  • Comes with a pre-programmed Shiatsu massage option.

Support and Warranty

  • 3-year warranty covering parts and labour plus in home repairs.
  • Additional 2-year warranty for parts.
  • 60-day free return period (you just pay for the original shipping costs).
  • US-based after-sales support.

Massage Features

The Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair comes with just about every feature you could think of which is why it's priced at the high-end of the market.

For starters there are three different elements to the massage you get from this chair: rollers, airbags and heat.

The dual rollers run on an S-track between your neck and the top of your glutes to give you a full back massage.

And they work on a 3D system meaning they move into and away from your body at various points to mimic the natural S-curve of your spine (you can adjust the intensity to suit you too).

There are also mechanical rollers in the foot area meaning you can get reflexology treatment too and this feels so relaxing!​

There are also 100 airbags built-in throughout the chair that inflate and deflate to massage various areas of your body.

These work great especially for your shoulders, legs and calves.

​And the full body heat option (with 5 intensity levels) in the feet, seat and back will help to relax your muscles further and allow you to get a deeper massage.

There is also a zero gravity option with this chair where at the touch of button the seat is tilted at a 30 degree angle with the seat and chair at a 120 degree angle to each other.

This places you in an optimal position where the weight and pressure is evenly distributed across the body which relieves strain and puts you in the perfect position to get a deep massage.

Other Features

Luraco iRobotics 7 PLUS Medical Massage Chair (Cream)

​This chair is extremely well made as it is designed and developed in the US (using some structural parts from Taiwan) and it looks good too.

It's comfortable to sit in and a nice feature is that the parts of the chair that come into contact with your skin are made of real leather to give it a luxurious feel.

And there are a few other nice touches to mention.

This chair is the only one on the list that uses noise reduction technology which quietens down what can be the annoying drone that some massage chairs are prone to make.

​There is also a built-in MP3 music system with speakers that allows you to listen to music to help you to relax while being massaged.

And the remote control is a touchscreen device that is easier to use than most and easier to see at night or in low-lighting.​

Why is it Good for Your Back?

Luraco iRobotics 7 PLUS Medical Massage Chair (Cream)

The big advantage of this chair for people with bad backs is the strength and intensity of the massage it gives you.

The dual rollers can really work deep into your muscles and get right into hard to reach muscle knots and trigger points.

This gives you the best chance of fixing your back pain and becoming looser and more comfortable in no time.​

There is a pre-programmed Shiatsu massage setting that is especially great for this.​

Also the 3D roller system ensures your lower back, thoracic spine and neck will all get a firm and consistent massage unlike with 2D chairs.

​You can also adjust the intensity of the rollers and their position if you find it's getting too strong.

The zero gravity position is great for relieving pressure on your lower spine and improving circulation to your back muscles which will help them to heal.

And the airbag system in the seat is brilliant as it introduces a swivel and rotation into your hip muscles which gets your lower back moving and helps to decompress your spine.

There is also a back stretching feature that will help this decompression even further.

And the full body heat option allows your back muscles to completely relax as the rollers work their magic which lets them go deeper.

So all in all this chair works wonders for the stiff and sore muscles in your back.​

However the only down point for me is that the rollers run on an S-track and not an L-track.

This means that they only run between your neck and the top of your glutes whereas on an L-track the rollers continue on through the seat area to work your​ glutes, piriformis and hamstring muscles too.

Which is great as all these muscles become tight and tense when you suffer from chronic lower back pain.

It's not a deal breaker as the airbags in the seat will still give these muscles a good work over but it would have been a nice feature to have.​

Ease of Use

Using the Luraco iRobotics 7 chair couldn't be easier as you can see from the video above.

​Because as soon as you sit in it the full body scanner will get to work on adjusting the rollers and chair to your exact body dimensions for a truly customised massage.

And once this is done it will automatically start on one of the pre-programmed massage settings.

So there is nothing to do unless you want to choose a different program. ​

There are 9 of these to choose from and you should find one that is right for you among them.

However if not you can easily customise the massage to the exact positioning, strength and intensity you desire.

And there are 5 memory slots available so you can save your customised massage settings to use for next time.

This is especially helpful if more than one person will be using the chair.

And the touch screen remote control makes all this as easy as using your iPhone.​

After-Sales Support and Warranty

This chair comes with probably one of the best warranty and after-sales service that you are going to find among massage chair companies.

Because you are fully covered for the parts and labour costs for repairs for the first 3 years.

And after that Luraco will offer you a further 2 years covering replacing parts.

So in total you have a limited 5-year warranty when purchasing this chair which is really good.

And if you order through the links in this article the seller offers a free 60-day return period where you only pay for the original shipping costs if you decide to return it.

They will even come and pick it up from you.

Plus the after-sales service and support is excellent.

And as it is US-based you won't have to endure frustrating conversations with overseas call centres where things get lost in translation. ​

Summary

Luraco iRobotics 7 PLUS Medical Massage Chair (Cream)

In summary I really like the Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair for helping to relieve back pain.

It provides a very strong and targeted massage that can unlock even the hardest to reach muscles.

And it's outstanding for helping you to relax the rest of your body and your mind too.

It comes with so many cool features that they have almost covered every possible base.

​So while this is the most expensive chair in this review, if you are serious about getting a massage chair as a long-term investment in your health then this one is definitely worth considering.

Pros and Cons

  • Provides a strong and intense massage to help to release your sore and aching back muscles.
  • 3 forms of massage (rollers, airbags and heat) work your body simultaneously.
  • 3D roller technology allows the rollers to adapt to the natural S-curve of your spine.
  • The advanced body scanner customises the massage to the exact dimensions of your body.
  • The zero gravity function evenly distributes pressure across your body taking away any strain.
  • Full body heat function deepens relaxation.
  • The mechanical foot rollers are a massive bonus!
  • It's easy to operate using the touchscreen remote control.
  • Suitable for larger people (up to 6' 7" and 300lbs).
  • Fantastic warranty and after-sales service.
  • Having an S-track rather than an L-track roller system means the rollers can't massage your glutes and hamstrings.
  • The built in speakers aren't the best quality.
  • The price tag means it is a big purchase.

Overall Back On Site rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars


Best Mid-Range Massage Chair

Kahuna LM-7800 Shiatsu Massage Chair

$$$$

Best Performance L-Track Shiatsu Kahuna Massage Chair LM-7800 - BLACK

Features

  • 2D roller massage system.
  • L-track quad roller system.
  • 4 different zero gravity settings.
  • 36 Airbag massage system.
  • Smart body scanner.
  • 4 automatic massage programs.
  • Foot rollers.
  • Heating option for your lower back and legs.
  • Built-in speakers.
  • LCD remote control.
  • FDA approved.

Good for the Back?

  • ​L-track rollers mean you can massage your glutes and hamstrings as well as your back.
  • Quad rollers are not as strong as dual rollers but still give an intense massage.
  • 2D system means you can't manage the intensity on your spine as well as with a 3D chair.
  • Zero gravity positions help to decompress your spinal discs.
  • Heat option in the lumbar region allows muscles to relax more deeply.
  • Auto-programs based on Shiatsu massage therapy.

Support and Warranty

  • 2-year warranty covering parts and labour plus on site repairs.
  • 3rd year parts only.
  • 30-day return policy however comes with hefty charges.

Massage Features

The Kahuna LM-7800 Shiatsu massage chair comes with features that you might only expect to see in higher priced chairs.

For instance just like the Luraco chair this one also offers 3 different types of massage simultaneously (rollers, heat and airbags).

This chair also comes with rollers in the foot area so you can get a nice foot massage too.

​And there are quad rollers which run on an L-track from your neck right down to your thighs.

However the 2D roller system is not as intuitive as the 3D roller system on more expensive chairs making the massage a little less intense and consistent along the ​spine.

There are 36 airbags throughout the chair that also work on massaging your whole body.

And this chair has good zero gravity options offering 4 different positions so you can find the ideal reclined angle that suits you best.​

Best Performance L-Track Shiatsu Kahuna Massage Chair LM-7800 - BLACK

There is also the option to add heat to the massage with this located in the lumbar area of the back of the seat and in the legs area.

However one drawback is that you can't adjust the temperature and also you have to heat both areas at once rather than just focusing on your lower back.

Other Features

​This Kahuna chair is very well-made and comes with a space saving feature which means you can recline in it without needing a lot of space between the chair and the wall.

Best Performance L-Track Shiatsu Kahuna Massage Chair LM-7800 - BLACK

So it has a good chance of fitting in most places without taking up too much room.

It's also comfortable and will look good​ in whatever room you decide to put it in.

There are built in speakers which you can connect to your music player if you want to relax to some tunes while being massaged.​

And it comes with an LCD screen remote to control the speed and intensity and select the different massage programs.​

Why is it Good for Your Back?

The Kahuna LM-7800 chair is capable of giving your back a really strong and rigorous massage which is great for releasing tight muscles.

And a big advantage of this chair is the L-track that the rollers run on.

Best Performance L-Track Shiatsu Kahuna Massage Chair LM-7800 - BLACK

Because where an S-track will only run from your neck to the top of your buttocks, an L-track continues on through the seat to your thighs.

Which means your glutes, piriformis and hamstring muscles also get a lovely deep massage.​

And this is great as when you suffer from a tight and painful lower back these muscles also get really tight.

So by massaging and releasing them you are also helping your back to release too.

The quad rollers in this chair will give a strong massage however they are not as powerful as the dual rollers in the Luraco chair.

​But there are 4 good automatic Shiatsu massage programs already loaded for you to choose from.

One is called 'yoga stretching' and is great for decompressing your spine and relieving tension.

And another thing that is good for decompressing your spinal discs are the 4 zero gravity positions which put your body in the optimal position to relieve pressure and strain.

Also similarly to the Luraco chair two airbags in the seat work to twist and rotate your hips getting some movement into your lower back.

Which all makes this chair a really good choice for people with back pain.​

Ease of Use

Best Performance L-Track Shiatsu Kahuna Massage Chair LM-7800 - BLACK

The Kahuna LM-7800 is a really easy chair to get started with.

Firstly it doesn't need much in the way of assembly. You should be good to go almost straight out of the box.

​There is a smart body scan that allows the chair to automatically adjust the positions of the rollers to fit your size and shape.

And it comes with 4 automatic massage programs built in (yoga stretching, active yoga, refreshing and dynamic sports).

​But if none of these suit you it's also fully customisable.

For example both the rollers and the airbags have the choice of 3 different intensity settings and you can also adjust the roller positions and the time of the massage (up to 30 minutes).

The only problem is​ you don't have the option to save these settings so you have to manually adjust them each time.

But it's fairly easy to do using the LCD remote control which while not as easy to use as the touchscreen one on the Luraco chair is still not going to pose you too many problems.​

After-Sales Support and Warranty

This chair comes with a decent warranty and good after-sales support.

You get parts and labour cover plus on-site repairs for the first 2 years then parts only cover for the 3rd year.

Kahuna are also a great company to deal with when it comes to any support issues.

However the returns policy isn't great.

You can return it within 30 days but you are liable for the shipping costs and they will charge you a 'restocking fee' which could be anywhere between 15-35% of the price of the chair.

So it's not really worth returning at that price unless you are really unhappy with it!​

Summary

Best Performance L-Track Shiatsu Kahuna Massage Chair LM-7800 - BLACK

The Kahuna LM-7800 massage chair is the best one in the Kahuna range for providing a strong massage for your back.

Having the L-track system is such a big bonus as you can also relieve tension in your glutes and hamstrings helping you to stay flexible.

And the Shiatsu massage programs work well to stretch, massage and relax your body.

It's also nice looking, comfortable and doesn't take up a load of space like some other chairs can.​

So if you're looking for a chair that can give you a deep massage in the mid-level price range I'd thoroughly recommend this one.​

Pros and Cons

  • Provides a strong massage for your tight back muscles.
  • L-track system is great as it runs from your neck to your thighs.
  • 3 different forms of massage (airbag, roller and heat).
  • Shiatsu massage based automatic programs.
  • Fully customisable.
  • Smart body scanner so you get a massage customised for your dimensions.
  • 4 different zero gravity positions.
  • Foot rollers for reflexology treatment.
  • Quad rollers are not quite as intense as dual rollers.
  • No way to save your settings after you customise the massage.
  • Can't adjust the temperature of the heat setting or isolate it to only one area at a time.

Overall Back On Site rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars


Best Low-End Massage Chair

Kahuna LM-6800 Yoga Massage Chair

$$

Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with Yoga & Heating Therapy (Brown)

Features

  • 2D roller massage system.
  • L-track quad roller system.
  • 3 different zero gravity settings.
  • 25 Airbag massage system.
  • Smart body scanner.
  • 6 automatic massage programs.
  • Foot rollers.
  • Heating option for your lower back and legs.
  • LCD remote control.
  • FDA approved.

Good for the Back?

  • ​L-track rollers mean you can massage your glutes and hamstrings as well as your back.
  • Quad rollers are not as strong as dual rollers but still give an intense massage.
  • Not as intense a massage as the LM-7800 though.
  • 2D system means you can't manage the intensity on your spine as well as with a 3D chair.
  • Yoga stretching program great for stretching out your spine to relieve tension.
  • Zero gravity positions help to decompress your spinal discs.
  • Heat option in the lumbar region allows muscles to relax more deeply.
  • Auto-programs based on Shiatsu massage therapy.

Support and Warranty

  • 1-year warranty covering parts and labour plus on site repairs.
  • 2nd year parts only.
  • 3rd year structural framework only.
  • 30-day return policy however comes with hefty charges.

Massage Features

This is the second chair from Kahuna that I've included in this guide and the LM-6800 deserves to be here because it has so many good features for a chair in it's price bracket.

Again there are 3 different types of massage going on simultaneously (rollers, heat and air bags).

​And just like the LM-7800 chair it also has quad rollers that running on an L-track system from your neck right down to the top of your thighs.

Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with Yoga & Heating Therapy (Brown)

However this chair doesn't give quite as strong a massage as the LM-7800 so it may not be the one if you want to go really deep and intensive.

Again the 2D roller system here will make the massage a little less intense and consistent along the ​spine than in chairs with a 3D system.

But this chair does come with rollers in the foot area which is a nice touch at this price level (although some users have found these rollers a bit too strong for them).

The 3 different zero gravity positions (which you can change at the touch of a button) allow your weight to be spread evenly releasing pressure and strain from your body.

And there are 25 airbags throughout the chair that work on massaging your whole body, although again they are not quite up to the levels of the LM-7800.

But they still do a decent job and along with the rollers and the heat in the lumbar and leg regions you'll get a deeply relaxing and satisfying massage in this chair.​

Again the problem with this heat function is that you can't adjust the temperature and also you have to heat both your legs and back at once rather than just being able to focus on one area.

Other Features

Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with Yoga & Heating Therapy (Brown)

​This Kahuna chair also comes with a space saving feature which means you can recline in it without needing a lot of space between the chair and the wall.

There is also a special 'yoga stretching' program which most users absolutely love!

And it comes with an LCD screen remote to select the different programs and control the speed and intensity of the massage.

However it only comes in one colour (brown) which may not be to everyone's taste.​

Why is it Good for Your Back?

The Kahuna LM-6800 chair won't give you as strong a massage for your back as the other two chairs featured here but it does have a couple of great options that will really help you.

Firstly the rollers run on an L-track which means you get a massage right from your neck to your hamstrings.

Which allows you to keep your glutes, piriformis and hamstring muscles flexible and loose.

The quad rollers in this chair will give a strong massage however these are not as powerful as the dual rollers in the Luraco chair.

But there are 6 good automatic Shiatsu massage programs already loaded for you to select.

These​ are marketed as 'SH-Chiro' and aim to give you a similar experience to what you'd get by visiting a chiropractor.

Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with Yoga & Heating Therapy (Brown)

They are all designed to decompress your spine and restore the natural energy flow along your whole spinal column to keep you healthy.​

And the best of the bunch for your back is one called 'yoga stretching'.

Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with Yoga & Heating Therapy (Brown)

This one will pull your body around by stretching out your legs and back which is great for releasing tension and improving your flexibility.​

And the 3 zero gravity positions will also help to decompress your spinal discs and relieve pressure and strain.

Finally the heated lumbar region will help your lower back muscles to relax more deeply while also increasing blood circulation to the whole area,​

So while this chair doesn't give the most intense of massages it still has plenty of features that will do your back the world of good.

Ease of Use

There is a bit of work involved in the assembly of the Kahuna LM-6800 as you can see from the video above.

But once you are up and running it's a piece of cake to use.

​There is a computer body scan with it that allows the chair to automatically adjust the positions of the rollers to fit to your exact size and shape.

And it comes with 6 automatic massage programs built in which can be selected at the click of a button.

​You can also customise these programs as both the rollers and the airbags have 3 different speed and intensity settings.

But once again you don't have the option to save these settings so you have to manually adjust them each time which can get a bit annoying.

The remote control with this chair has a bit of a learning curve to it but you should get the hang of it quick enough.​

However one thing to note with this chair is it may not be suited to taller or heavier people.

The recommended weight limit is 220lbs and you may struggle to fit into it if you are north of 6 feet tall.

So try sitting in one at your local storeroom before you buy if you are worried you may be too big.​

After-Sales Support and Warranty

This chair comes with a less beneficial limited 3-year warranty period than the LM-7800 but the same excellent after-sales support.

You get parts and labour cover plus on-site repairs for the first year only, then parts only cover for the 2nd year.

​For the 3rd year you get cover for the structural framework only.

Kahuna are a great company to deal with when it comes to any support issues.

However the returns policy is one to avoid.

Again you can return it within 30 days but you are liable for the shipping costs and they will charge you a 'restocking fee' which could be anywhere between 15-35% of the price of the chair.

So it's not really worth returning at that price unless you are really unhappy with it!​

Summary

Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with Yoga & Heating Therapy (Brown)

All in all the Kahuna LM-6800 Yoga massage chair is a fantastic choice compared to other chairs in this price range.

It's packed full of features that you'd only expect to see in much higher-priced models such as an L-track system​ and foot rollers.

Having the L-track system is especially great as you can get a massage right through to your glutes and hamstrings.

And the yoga stretching program that comes with this chair will leave you and your back feeling fantastic.​

Now there are a couple of features that are not quite up to the other chairs here but that is to be expected at this price and none of them are deal breakers in my opinion.​

​So while you won't get as strong a massage compared to the other two chairs, the Kahuna LM-6800 is still capable of providing you with deep levels of comfort and relaxation.

Which makes it a great chair for those on a budget.

Pros and Cons

  • Provides a medium strength and deeply relaxing massage for your tight back muscles.
  • L-track system massages right from your neck to your hamstrings.
  • 3 different forms of massage (airbag, roller and heat).
  • Shiatsu massage based automatic programs.
  • Yoga stretching program is great for your back.
  • You can customise the speed and intensity of the rollers and airbags.
  • The body scanner matches the roller positions to your dimensions.
  • 3 different zero gravity positions.
  • Foot rollers for reflexology treatment.
  • Quad rollers are not quite as intense as dual rollers.
  • No way to save your settings after you customise the massage.
  • Can't adjust the temperature of the heat setting or isolate it to only one area at a time.
  • Only available in one colour.
  • Foot rollers can feel a bit too intense for some people.
  • Might not be suitable for tall people or people over 220lbs.

Overall Back On Site rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars


How To Choose Your Massage Chair

How to choose the right massage chair

The amount of different options can be a bit overwhelming.

Now if you've read through up till now you may be starting to consider the option of buying yourself a massage chair.

Which is great!

The problem is there are so many different models out there in all shapes and sizes and with slightly different functions that the whole process can very confusing.

And for such an expensive purchase you need to make sure you get it right.

So use the following as a checklist to tick off when you are making your selection.​

1. Make Sure the Massage Chair Matches Your Needs​

When shopping for a massage chair you need to be clear about what you want it to do.

Because if you're not then you could end up with one that just doesn't solve your problems.

For instance all massage chairs will have the option of giving a relaxing, vibrating Swedish massage.

Which is wonderful.

But if you want your massage chair to be able to work out the muscle knots that are causing your back pain too then this might not be enough.

So you need to get a massage chair that has the strength and intensity of massage needed to really get into your tight spots and make a difference.

To help you the ones I recommend in this article will do exactly that.​

And a second thing to watch out for is the fit of the chair.

Make sure you find a chair that fits you.

Each chair will be slightly different and this will mean some will be more comfortable than others for you.

I mean we all have our favourite chairs to sit in at home right?

So once you have selected a couple of potential candidates take a trip to your local department store if possible and try them out.​

You'll soon be able to pick the winner after a spending a couple of minutes sat in each one.

Then go home and order online to save yourself some money (shh, don't tell them I said that!)​

2. Buy From a Company That Offers a Free Money Back Guarantee Period

Another good way to ensure you get the right massage chair is to get one that comes with a free trial or money back guarantee period.

These usually amount to about 30 days which is enough time for you to truly road test the chair and make sure it suits your needs​.

Now this isn't always the easiest thing to find but there are some companies that do do this (such as the Luraco chair in this article).​

This will give you peace of mind when purchasing and means you have nothing to lose by ordering one and giving it a go.

Just make sure to check that the money back guarantee is a no questions asked one and doesn't come with any small print.

And confirm with the company whether you would be liable for any delivery, collection or installation fees to avoid any nasty surprises.​

Some companies even charge a restocking fee for returns that can be anywhere between 15-35% of the total cost of the chair.

​So returning the chair would just make no sense really which is a shame.

In those cases you need to be really confident that you've picked the right chair before committing to it.​

3. Check the Warranty

Buying a massage chair is a major purchase and one that should hopefully last you for many years to come.

However it's vital that you read the warranty before you buy and make sure you are covered for any repairs or faults that occur down the line.

Because while these chairs are extremely well made and have a low failure rate they do contain a lot of mechanical, motorised and computerised parts.

Which means there is a chance something will malfunction at some stage.

So read the small print and make sure your warranty is long enough and that you are covered.​

If you buy from a reputable company and double check the warranty beforehand you'll have peace of mind and be fully covered further down the road should anything go wrong.​

4. Read Reviews and Do Your Research

We are lucky in the age of the internet that so much information is available at the click of a mouse.

So use it to fully research your preferred massage chair before buying it.

Research the backside out of it before deciding on a chair.

By educating yourself you can make a truly informed decision (and I hope this article can play a part in helping you in that process. Thanks for visiting by the way!).​

​That way you'll know exactly which features are important to you and which you can do without.

Also make use of the customer reviews on the big sites such as Amazon.

Now while some of these need to be taken with a pinch of salt, there is no better way to find out the good and bad points of a particular chair than from someone that has been using it for a few months.

So do some digging, read a few reviews (both good and bad) and you should be able to gain a balanced overview of what the chair is actually like.​

5. Keep the Missus Happy!

This probably should have been number 1 on the list.

Because if you don't get this right you'll need more than a massage chair to solve your problems!

Don't mess with her colour scheme!

Now as I mentioned previously massage chairs come in all shapes, sizes, colours and materials.

So you don't just need to find one that functions well as a massage chair.​

You also need to find one that fits into the room you are planning to use it in (both from a size and decoration point of view).

So avoid the wrath of the missus and get one that isn't too big, doesn't overpower your current set-up and blends in with what's already there.​

The Downsides Of Using A Massage Chair

In general massage chairs are pretty safe to use as they offer a non-invasive form of treatment and the strength and intensity of the massage can be adjusted to suit your own specific needs.

However there is one thing to take into consideration when using a massage chair.

And that to not sit down in one for too long.

​Now these chairs are super comfy and it can be easy to get so relaxed in one that you spend hours just sitting down and chilling out.

However this is bad news for your back.

Because sitting down for prolonged periods of time in the same position has been shown to lead to the development of lower back pain​.

Don't sit in the same position for too long, even in a massage chair.

So while it's great to sit down in a massage chair and allow yourself to relax be mindful not to do it for too long at a time.

Instead take microbreaks from sitting by getting up every half an hour to walk around, stretch and mobilise your body.

This will get your blood flowing, keep your core muscles active and decompress your spinal vertebrae.​

By getting this balance right you can use your massage chair safely and productively and your back will reap the benefits.​

And Now The Big Question - Are They Worth The Money?

Let's be honest here, massage chairs are bloody expensive!

The hefty price tags mark them out as a luxury item that may be a bit too much of an extravagance for most people.

And I'd have to say I totally agree with that.​

This could also be your reaction when you find out how much massage chairs are going for!

​They are an extravagance rather than a necessity.

Because you can get relief from your back pain without ever using a massage chair.

For instance there are many ways you can feel the benefits that massage chairs bring at a much lower cost such as using self-massage tools like foam rollers and acupressure mats.

But while massage chairs aren't a necessity for dealing with back pain they can still be a massive help.

And they can also be extremely comforting.

Just knowing you are going home after a hard days graft and can sit in your chair to massage away your aches and pains can give you peace of mind and something to look forward.

And there's no doubt that these chairs help you to relax which is another vital component in keeping back pain at bay.

So I guess it all boils down to your own personal preference.​

You don't need a massage chair but do you want one?

Would it be something that would make your life more pleasant?

Does the thought of using one every night ​sound appealing to you?

Do you want to see your neighbours face turn green with envy?​

If you answered yes to any of the above then a massage chair would be an expensive but worthwhile investment.

After all sometimes it's not 'what we need' but 'what we want' that makes us happy.

Rounding Up

I hope that after reading through this article you have a better idea of what massage chairs do and how they can benefit you.

​Yes they are expensive but they are also a great way to relax and soothe tight and aching muscles.

And they can be a great addition to your daily routine that could really keep back pain at bay.

So check out the chairs I recommend here and also have a shop around to make sure you make the right choice.​

It's a big investment but it is one that could benefit you for the next 10-15 years.​

Resources used in researching this article:

https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/massage-therapy/choosing-a-massage-chair​

https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/home/massage-chair.htm​

Feature image photo credit: Paul York.​

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Daniel

I'm a Painter and Decorator, psychology graduate, and veteran of 5 spinal surgeries. I want to help my fellow construction workers to fight back against persistent back pain like I have.

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