Getting a massage helps you to achieve the ultimate level of relaxation and helps to increase physical recovery. Having the right equipment is vital to giving a great massage that can help someone get back on the road to recovery. This is especially true if you are interested in getting a portable massage chair. Depending on how and where you give massages, the features on a portable massage chair can vary on your needs. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best portable massage chair and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
Best Portable Massage Chair Buying Guide
Lightweight and adjustable manually, portable massage chairs can be set up pretty much anywhere you want. They take up very little space and often include a lot of padding and cushioning to give you client’s the most comfortable experience when they lay on top of it.
There are a lot of options on the market these days, so it can become confusing knowing which is the best option for you. Make sure to read reviews and do your research before you make a decision
Portable Massage Chairs versus Traditional Massage Chairs
When providing a total massage, you want to focus on all areas of your client’s body including legs, arms, shoulders, hands, and neck. If you have an on-site massage business, a traditional massage chair will work, however, if you are a massage therapist that gives massages in different places outside of an office, you will need a portable massage chair.
The main differences between a traditional and portable massage chair are:
Traditional Massage Chair
This chair is difficult to move and massages must be performed at the place where the chair is located. A traditional massage chair can be used in either a home or professional setting and work well on specific points around your body. If you choose an auto massage chair, they are preprogrammed and do not allow you to assess your client’s condition to make appropriate decisions. They can work on specific areas around your client’s body and come with a preset duration for sessions. Traditional massage chairs are difficult to store and tend to be more expensive. They can also be hard to maintain and clean.
Portable Massage Chair
Can be used at any location due to its ease of portability. Not only can it be used in home or professional settings, but it can be used in malls, trade shows, conferences, and events. You can provide customized therapy based on your client’s needs making it a more relaxing experience for the individual. You can also work on different areas of a client’s body. Normally a carrying case is included, and the purchase cost is low. Portable massage chairs are also usually easy to sanitize and clean.
Choosing the Right Portable Massage Chair
When you are looking for the best portable massage chair, you will find several options on the market that have various settings and features to make your client’s massage a comfortable experience. Here are some basic features to keep in mind as you shop.
Quality and Capacity
Quality is a vital factor when choosing a massage chair. You should look for a chair with a robust and strong construction that can support clients of different sizes and weights. No matter what your client weighs, this chair should be able to handle the body weight so that your client is completely comfortable.
If you are looking for a truly portable massage chair, you want a weight that you can actually carry around. Massage therapists that travel or move their chair around a lot so you want something that is not only lightweight but sturdy.
With a folding design, portable massage chairs are simple to set up any place. Make sure to check the assembly instruction before you buy your chair to see if it has an easy setup or needs minor installations.
Simple to Clean
Hygiene and cleanliness are very important in the industry. Your clients don’t want to get on a massage chair that has marks or residue, so make sure to buy a chair that is very easy to sanitize. This is especially true if you use oils, creams, and lotions, so look for a chair that can be easily cleaned with a little water and a cloth.
Portable massage chairs should not be too soft. When your client lays on a chair that is too soft, they will sink into the chair which is not comfortable. This can ultimately ruin how effective the massage is since it will make it harder for you to relieve pressure points. Look for chairs that will conform to your client’s body and then bounce back when no one is on it which is a sign of breathability and shows the chair will last a long time.
You will find that the price range of a portable massage chair runs between $50 and $500. In contrast to other massage products on the market, higher-end portable massage chairs don’t necessarily give you more features. Although, standard features are also becoming more user-friendly and better the more money you spend on a chair.
When considering how much you should spend on a chair, consider how long you have been working as a massage therapist and how much you will use your chair. From there, you can decide what value you will place on your chair, and also remember that your client's experience will happen in that chair, so it is not an area you want to be cheap on.
When buying your first chair, you can usually consider spending less than $100. This price range will give you a chair with basic adjustments, decent cushioning, and a sturdy frame for around $75. Professionals should spend at a minimum $100 where you will find models that will last you years and give your clients a more comfortable experience. Those that work from a spa or studio and only use it on occasion, you won’t need to spend more than $200.
For those massage therapists always on the go, make sure to invest in a premium chair. When you fold and unfold a chair on a daily basis, you can really start to notice the smallest design flaws as well as putting a lot of wear and tear on the frame. Higher end models will have better build quality and are enjoyable to use. You also won’t have to deal with the limitations and frustrations of the cheaper models, and you can adapt them easier to different body types and sizes so all your clients have a comfortable experience.
One area you definitely do not want to skimp on is the frame. Cushioning can always be supplemented or switched out, but you can’t make any substitutions for a good frame. You want an all-metal frame that is rugged, has sturdy bolts, reinforced joints, and a high weight capacity. At a minimum, you want a 200 pounds weight capacity for a portable model.
When checking out the weight, also look at the “working weight” as a means of measuring capacity as manufacturers of lower quality chairs will list a “static weight” instead that can be a lot higher. This is not a rating you should base a decision on so make sure to look for the working weight capacity instead which can tell you what the chair is able to handle including the pressure you will be applying and the lateral movement of your clients as they shift around.
Think about your clientele as you shop as well, especially if you have any larger clients. You want to balance portability as well as capacity when making a decision. A good rule of thumb is the heavier the chair, the more weight it can support, so buy the lightest model that can hold your required capacity.
It is harder to compare the cushions on a portable massage chair than it is the frame. It is hard to rate comfort with a number when it is subjective. Basically, you want to find a cushion material that has some give to it and some firmness to the structure as well. Foam materials are preferable to fiber stuffing as the foam will stand up better over a long period of time. You will find that memory foam and PU are the most common materials, and while memory foam is great, it is usually best when used as an outer layer since it doesn’t have the resilience of polyurethane.
The outside material of the cushion should be a comfortable and durable material that is easy to clean. Imitation leather, synthetics, PU, and vinyl are some of the best outer materials. You don’t want cushions with natural fabrics unless you can wash the covering on the headrest in between clients. Having a synthetic material makes it easier to wipe down and sanitize.
Since materials play a big role in the chairs comfort and its cleanliness, it may be important to you to pick a material like leather that is resistant to bacteria and germs. Massage chairs are normally made of manmade leather that is reinforced with other materials that make them durable enough to resist rips, spills, and stains. This heavy-duty material is one of the most important features of a good massage chair so having bad materials make it more uncomfortable for your client. Plus, cheap materials will also absorb bad odors when clients sweat while getting the massage.
You also need to make sure it can handle your clients’ weight and their basic body shape. You want to be able to adjust the headrest angle, knee rests height, chest pad, leg rest, armrest, and overall height. In a perfect world, you should be able to move the adjustment bolts around easily but have a hard time loosening them accidentally. These adjustable features should be another important concern when buying a chair so you can give your clients a total body massage that relaxes their feet, lower body, and upper body with a relaxing massage.
When you buy a trade tool, it is always a good idea to make sure it has a warranty for long-term use. Read the whole manufacturer’s warranty policy and make sure to pay attention to the exceptions. If you can buy additional coverage that is not a bad idea as that is a great way to get the most out of your investment for very little cost. This will also allow you to deal with a third party for replacement and repairs instead of having to deal with a manufacturer.
Other features that you may want include pads that are removable and wheels that make it easier to transport the chair. Wheels are not always included so if that is important features check to make sure they are included on the carrying bag. Removable pads are usually included in most portable massage chairs, but only for specific areas. If you have specific positions that you prefer to work in, removable pads can help you out a lot.
Best Portable Massage Chair Reviews
One of the lightest portable massage chairs on the market, the Earthlite Vortex weighs only fifteen pounds. This lightweight foldable chair comes with all the features you are looking for including a sturdy aircraft aluminum frame. This is one of the sturdier chairs available that has a lightweight yet rugged frame that will last you for years.
This portable and compact chair folds up easily and is far above its competitors when you look at build quality. The oval tubing in the aluminum frame gives it a slim profile while adding extra strength. Plus, it includes a nylon carrying bag that is durable and has a thick pad that protects your sternum and a padded shoulder strap that is adjustable.
- COMPLETE PORTABLE MASSAGE CHAIR PACKAGE: Includes EARTHLITE Vortex Chair, Rugged Nylon Carry Case, Padded Shoulder Strap, and Sternum Pad.
- TRAVELS EASILY, LIGHTEST CHAIR ON THE MARKET: Only 15 lbs! The innovative oval frame is forged from light and strong aircraft grade aluminum. Compact...
- INCREDIBLY COMFORTABLE: The EARTHLITE Vortex Massage Chair is upholstered with high quality, dual density Pro-Lite cushioning and buttery soft...
The super soft upholstery and double density cushions are loved by both clients and therapists. The Earthlite Vortex is easy to set up and you can adjust the face cradle, seat, and arms quickly to suit any body shape or type. This superior vinyl upholstery coating feels better than the cheap materials used by its competitors, and it won’t discolor, wrinkle, or flake over time.
Earthlite is a well-known and trusted name in the industry backing the Vortex frame with a lifetime warranty and the cushion and upholstery for three years. This is a top-notch chair that won’t break your back when you carry it. This is a great midrange chair if you are a full-time massage therapist that is ideal for portable sessions that has a working capacity of 300 pounds.
STRONGLITE Ergo Pro II
The lightweight but strong and very portable Stronglite Ergo Pro II is made with an aluminum alloy that has been heat treated making it durable and strong. Also featuring a high gloss powder-coated finish, this massage chair has a patented double tube design that gives it more stability while only weight 24 pounds. This highly adjustable massage chair can set clients up to 6’ 6” making it one of the most versatile chairs on the market.
The Ergo Pro II also include adjustments of the chest pad, face cradle, and seat allowing you to slide, tilt, lower, and raise different areas. You also get easy movement with a set of attached wheels, a rugged carrying case, and a valuables pouch. Not only is there chair incredibly portable and lightweight, but the Ergo Pro II features high-quality construction, adjustability, integrated wheels, and fairly light overall weight.
- LIGHTWEIGHT YET STRONG: Very Portable. Made with light and very strong heat treated T6 aluminum alloy in a durable, high gloss powder-coated finish....
- HIGHLY ADJUSTABLE: Comfortably seats clients from 4' 6" to 6' 6". Most versatile chair on the market for easy client positioning. Adjustments include...
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN: The height adjustable seat and moveable armrests ensures that therapists can find the perfect height for ergonomic work & the...
The T6 aluminum alloy is similar to the materials used in the Vortex and features a double tube design that gives it more strength. With slightly heavier metals, the chair’s weight is increased but you also get a 600-pound weight capacity so you won’t have any issues with larger clients. You can accommodate any body shape, and it is easy to adjust for each client.
It also folds up compactly and is easy to pack up store and move. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty that includes a three-year warranty on the upholstery and cushions. The ErgoPro II is one of the better portable massage chairs available which is well worth the price for any full-time masseuse.
Professional Portable Massage Chair Comfort 4
The very economical Professional Portable Massage Chair Comfort 4 is a great choice if you are watching your budget or a professional trying out having a portable chair. You can make easy adjustments to the headrests, armrests, and footrests. Only weight thirty pounds, it can withstand up to 300 pounds.
The cushions are constructed of a soft synthetic leather that has the feel of genuine leather and has 2 ½ inches of soft form inside the padding everywhere but the knee pads. These embedded cushions make the chair a comforting experience as well as durable and very easy to keep clean. You only need a wet cloth with some mild detergent to wipe of off any stains making the Comfort 4 a very practical choice among professionals.
- 100% Ultra Soft PU Surface
- Adjustable seat, hand rest and head rest
- Color: BLACK, Free Carrying Case
One of the Comfort 4’s best features are its manual adjustments. You can quickly with very little time readjust to any desired position. This feature really improves the recovery process since you can help balance out any unnecessary tension points or strain within the vertebrae in a reclined stance. You can also adjust the armrest and footrest enabling you to provide a consistent massage level to your clients.
Not the lightest chair on the market, but you can easily assemble and disassemble this chair following simple directions. The Comfort 4 also comes with a convenient carrying case helps to comfortably transport your chair to client’s homes. This is a good chair if you are looking for one that will remain stationary or won’t be used extensively for traveling.
EARTHLITE Avila II
Made from carbon composite, the Earthlite Avila II is a little heavier than many of its competitors, but it is also very strong and can hold up to 350 pounds. Removable cushion makes it easy to clean and the padded gives you incredible comfort with high quality soft commercial grade upholstery that will last for years. No matter how tall they are, your clients will be comfortable with this easy to adjust chair up to six foot six.
The Avila II gives you endless positions with the ability to adjust to any body type or size. It folds up easily and comes with a sturdy carry case and strap that has heavy-duty built-in urethane wheels. Once you get to where you are going, this is an easy to set up chair that doesn’t require tools.
- MOST ADJUSTABLE MASSAGE CHAIR ON THE MARKET: The Avila II comfortably seats clients from 4' 6" to 6' 6" and features a chest pad that slides and...
- HIGH WORKING WEIGHT: Made with superlight and very strong, patented carbon composite frame with removable and replaceable pads. Weighs only 22 lbs....
- SUPERIOR CLIENT COMFORT: Generously padded with removable cushions and easy to clean, Natursoft 100% PU upholstery and quality, commercial grade...
With a design that is one of the most advanced on the market, the Earthlite Avila II has an ergonomic design that has expertly designed shapes of the legs, seat, and angle of the chair. The design is able to maximize the comfort and support for your client through the best weight distribution. And, it has a unique smart seat design that guarantees you can set it up efficiently and quickly so you aren’t wasting valuable time getting it ready for a client.
The Earthlite Avila II also comes equipped with a Soft Support cushioning system that gives you the most in design and durability when you combine it with the supple NaturSoft upholstery. And, it comes with a uniquely designed smart seat that is able to fit anyone and locks into place. The 3 quick-release levers also create total comfort with infinite adjustability that creates the ideal fit for your client, and you can even make adjustments when your client is in the chair.
The included carrying case also comes with wheels, a sternum pad, and a valuables pouch allowing your client to feel comfortable that their personal items are close by. The Avila Ii is among one of the more popular chairs among professionals, plus this package also offers a deluxe massage chair that comes with massage tools.
Melody Custom Craftworks Massage Chair
The adjustable and functional Melody Custom Craftworks Massage was created to meet your client’s needs with the most support and comfort possible. This lightweight chair weighs only eighteen pounds and is easy to assemble with a weight capacity of 300 pounds. The Solutions polyurethane upholstery is durable and supple, plus it is easy to keep sanitary and clean.
The Melody Massage Chair features adjustments to the seat, arm, headrest, and chest pad angle and height. Its functional design allows you to make adjustments at every point to guarantee your client’s experience is as comfortable as possible. Its ability to adjust to your client makes it the perfect chair to fit a wide variety of body sizes and types since you can custom it to your client’s size.
This is an easy to fold chair making it very portable, plus you can set it up in just seconds with its streamlined closing and opening design. Perfect for massage therapists on the go, the Melody Massage Chair comes with a carrying case making it easy to move and store. It also features a removable sternum pillow, session pillow, and compartments to hold personal items.
The Melody Massage Chair also comes with a black powder coated base and two-inch retardant foam padding. It gives you a five-year warranty on the foam and the frame, a three-year warranty on the upholstery, and a one-year warranty on the hardware, moving components, and accessories. The labor warranty features no charges for repairs done at the Customer Craftworks facility.
Portable massage chairs definitely vary in features and price. Depending on your skill level and how frequently you give massages, you can determine whether you should go for the inexpensive chairs under $100 or the professional level over $200. Either way, with all the portable massage chairs on the market, you should have a problem finding the right chair for your business and your clients.