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Massage therapy can be relaxing, and it may reduce pain. However, in-person massages can be costly and difficult to schedule. Due to this, some people opt to purchase devices to help them enjoy some of the benefits of massage therapy at home.

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Some of the benefits of massage therapy may include:

  • promoting relaxation
  • providing relief from some types of chronic pain
  • leading to better sleep
  • promoting muscle recovery
  • increasing blood flow

In-person massages may be expensive or difficult to schedule, though. Therefore, a person might consider purchasing an in-home device, such as a back massage chair.

Learn more about the benefits of massage here.

Back massage chairs are chairs built with mechanisms that mimic the technique of a live massage therapist.

One of the most common styles looks like a recliner and massages targeted parts of the body, such as the lower back. Chairs of this style tend to be less costly compared with other back massage chairs.

Another type, the zero-gravity back massage chair, leans the user back. It aligns the body to distribute the person’s weight evenly. This relieves pressure on specific body parts and might make people feel “weightless.” Chairs with this design usually provide more of a whole body massage.

Back massage chairs can be expensive, and a person may wish to consider the size of their home or office space before purchasing one. The best option for a person will depend on their preferences regarding the key features of massage chairs, which include:

  • Cost: Prices range from under $200 to thousands of dollars.
  • Style and speed of massage: Some massage chairs offer many different types of massage, such as rolling, kneading, or shiatsu. Some also have different speeds and levels of intensity.
  • Targeted areas: Some people might prefer a whole body massage, while others may wish to target specific parts of the body, such as the lower back, neck, or feet.
  • Size and assembly: Individuals who have limited space or technical ability might prefer smaller units that come preassembled.

Below, we look at eight of the massage chairs available on the market.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.

Human Touch WholeBody 5.1 Massage Chair

Best retractable ottoman

This massage chair has three auto-massage programs, orbital massage technology, and a swiveling base. It comes with a retractable ottoman with a foot and calf massager that uses an upward, figure-eight motion.

It can accommodate users who are between 5 feet (ft) and 6 ft 9 inches (in) tall and weigh up to 285 pounds (lb).

The company offers a 3-year limited warranty and free shipping within the 48 contiguous United States.

When the chair is upright, it is 40 in long (L), 28 in wide (W), and 40 in high (H). When reclined, it is 67 in L, 28 in W, and 28 in H.

It costs $1,499 and is available in two colors.

Recliner for Living Room Massage

Best for lower budgets

This back massage chair has two vibrating points that target the lumbar spine and a dual-function foot extension. It also reclines and comes with a remote control. It is waterproof and available in a range of colors.

The chair can accommodate users weighing up to 275 lb.

It has the following dimensions:

  • 39.8 in L
  • 27 in W
  • 34 in H

It costs between $144.88 and $182.99, depending on the color.

Best Choice Product Faux Leather Electric Massage Recliner

Best for heating

This back massage chair features a heat option and massage points in the seat and ottoman.

It has two massage modes, five pre-programmed massages, and nine intensity levels. It also comes with a remote control.

Some assembly is required, so it might not be a good option for people who prefer preassembled products.

These are the dimensions:

  • 46 in L
  • 29 in W
  • 41 in H

The color determines the cost, which is between $259.99 and $269.99.

Esright Massage Recliner Chair

Best for targeting different areas

This back massage chair vibrates, rocks, swivels, and reclines. It also has a heating feature.

The chair has eight different vibrating modes, which target four different body zones, and it comes with a remote control to switch between modes. It also has two cupholders and side pockets.

The dimensions are:

  • 35.8 in L
  • 33.5 in W
  • 43.2 in H

Some assembly is required, and it costs $409.99.

Real Relax Massage Chair

Best for people with more weight

This zero gravity massage chair has six automatic modes, Bluetooth connectivity, and LED lights. It also comes with a remote control to switch between modes.

It has eight back neck rollers and 50 airbags that are positioned around the shoulders, arms, hips, calves, and feet. It also has a foot roller and lower back heating.

It has a maximum user weight of 400 lb and can accommodate people with a height between 5 ft 2 in and over 6 ft. Some assembly is required.

There are two different dimensions listed on the Amazon product page, depending on the color of the chair:

  • 43 x 25 x 24 in
  • 34 x 30 x 63 in

This chair costs $899.99.

LatitudeRun Reclining Heated Full Body Massage Chair

Best for a zero gravity feel

This zero gravity, full body massage chair has a heating function and comes with a remote control. It offers air compression, compression, kneading, rolling, foot and calf, stretch, vibration, and shiatsu-style massages.

It also has Bluetooth connectivity and a weight capacity of 350 lb.

Shipping is free, and the product comes with a limited 1-year warranty.

The dimensions are:

  • 57 in H
  • 30 in W overall, with a 22-in wide seat
  • 46 in deep (D)

However, it is important to note that the chair requires 8 ft of rear clearance to recline.

It costs $819.99.

SGorri Massage Chair

Best hidden Bluetooth speakers

The eight rollers inside this full body back massage chair target the neck, shoulders, arms, back, hip, legs, calves, and feet. It also has heating capability and hidden Bluetooth speakers.

A person can use the chair immediately with no installation.

The dimensions are as follows when the chair is upright:

  • 51 in H
  • 30 in W
  • 41 in D

When the chair is extended, its dimensions are:

  • 63 in H
  • 30 in W
  • 31 in D

This product costs $1,099.99.

Relaxonchair MK-Classic

Best range of features

This full body massage chair offers multiple functions and features. For example, it has a 50-in track of rollers, 42 airbags for compression massage, and seven preset programs for 30-minute massages.

The massage techniques that it uses include kneading, tapping, rolling, and shiatsu. It also has a lower back heating unit.

The chair is suitable for people between 5 ft 2 in and 6 ft 5 in tall who weigh up to 300 lb.

It is 55 in L when upright and 67 in L when extended, but it also requires 16.5 in of clearance from all walls.

It comes with a limited 3-year warranty and costs $3,499.

Some people may wish to consult a doctor before using a back massage chair, particularly those who have serious underlying medical conditions or are pregnant.

A back massage chair is most effective when a person uses it as the instructions suggest — usually in 15–30-minute sessions. Longer sessions will not provide greater benefits.

A 2020 study found that a back massage chair can be a cost effective way for people with lower back pain to reduce the pain and improve their quality of life. However, the researchers found that physical therapy was significantly more effective than massage chairs in reducing pain and improving quality of life.

Massage may provide many mental and physical benefits, from relaxation to increased blood flow. Purchasing a back massage chair may help people enjoy some of these benefits at home.

Many different options are available, and a person should carefully consider what they are looking for in a back massage chair before committing to a purchase.