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There are a lot of great reasons to use a massage chair. It can help align your spine, reduce pressure on nerves, and, of course, relax your muscles. But did you know it might also improve posture and blood circulation and can even stimulate the release of endorphins? You might think that a good massage chair is well outside of your budget, but here’s the best part: you don’t have to spend a fortune to find a great version for your home.
To find the best massage chairs under $500, we’ve examined over 40 different models. For this article, we picked the 6 top products that we liked the most with the Relaxzen Massage Recliner 60-079008 being our favorite for several reasons. This fantastic model offers 9 programs with 5 intensity levels, can be controlled remotely, and comes with an ottoman chair. If that is not quite what you were looking for, we have 5 more models in this article.
Top 6 Massage Chairs under $500 Review 2021
We spent hours putting together this article by researching these products, studying manufacturers’ information, and expert reviews. We also took a close look at the comments from the people who use these chairs in their homes every day. As for the features of these chairs, you should pay attention to dimensions when choosing a chair to make sure you have enough open space for it in your home. Plus, remember that if you’re buying a recliner, you need even a little more space. The number of massage settings is important, too. The more programs it has, the more versatile the massage is. We also took weight limit into consideration as well as the warranty coverage. Continue reading, and you will find the detailed reviews of each product, followed by an in-depth buying guide to help you find the best massage chair under $500 for your home.
Our Editor’s Choice is the Relaxzen Massage Recliner 60-079008. This chair is finished with PU leather with extra-plush cushioning and features a swiveling wood base. A matching ottoman is included, which makes this chair super comfortable before you even turn on the massager.
This recliner chair features eight powerful motors that target four zones of your body: the back, legs, thighs, or lumbar. You can choose from five different intensity levels and nine different massage modes, too. There’s also a heat mode for the lumbar area. This chair allows you to program it as you like to achieve the perfect, personalized massage.
Not only is this chair comfortable, but it’s also really convenient. A simple remote control changes the settings, plus there’s a small storage pocket where you can place your gadget or reading glasses while enjoying the massage. It’s also the perfect place to stash the remote.
Most users commented that they loved this chair, but there were a few small complaints. The weight limit of this chair is 300 pounds, and it’s a good size for tall people, though some found the ottoman a little too low. Some users felt that the material got a little too hot when using the heating feature. Also, it’s important to note that this is a vibrating and not a rolling massager.
Next on our list, we have the Recliner Massage Sofa Chair Deluxe by WaterJoy. In addition to customizable massage settings, this chair has multiple reclining options as well as an easy-to-use corded hand control to choose your settings. The convenient side pocket gives you space to store small necessities, and the material comes in black, brown, and beige to match any decor.
This chair features eight vibrating modes that cover your back, lumbar area, thighs, and legs. That’s not all, as you can also adjust the intensity of the massage and even use heat mode for your lower back if needed. However, some users commented that the temperature wasn’t quite as hot as they were expecting.
One of the nicest things about this chair is it’s equipped with an auto-off feature. After 25 minutes of continuous use, the unit turns off. The backrest, armrests, and seat all use premium sponge padding, so this chair is really comfortable to sit in for hours.
Some people commented that the chair was a bit on the smaller side, which could be uncomfortable for some.
The Homegear Recliner Chair is our best pick for big and tall people. The stylish leatherette finish is available in black, brown, or cream color. It’s soft, easy to clean, and durable enough to last a long time.
This chair features an eight-point massage system with multiple settings so you can find your perfect massage. You can select between two intensity levels, four different areas of the body, and five different modes, and the lumbar area heats up for added comfort. This model allows you to set the timer for 15, 30, or 60 minutes, and you’re ready to go. Plus, it rocks, reclines, and swivels 360-degrees, so it’s going to be incredibly comfortable before, during, and after the massage to use this chair.
There are a few nice extras, too, including two cup holders, two side storage pockets, and two front storage pockets. This chair gives you plenty of room to stash all of your items and gadgets. Moreover, it holds up to 485 pounds, which makes it a great choice for larger people.
Unfortunately, some people also felt it was a little noisy, but this wasn’t a common complaint. Next, some owners fount it quite hard to put the footrest back in place.
The BestMassage Shiatsu Chair has an interesting look that really catches your eye. It’s this unique shape that makes this the best full body massage chair in our reviews. Not only that, but it’s one of the few massage chairs available in this price range that doesn’t rely on vibration.
Because of the long rail track, this chair has a generous 35+ inches of massage surface with an ergonomic design that supports the spine. Not only does it massage your back, lumbar spine, thighs, and legs, it gets your neck and shoulders, too. Rather than just vibrating, this chair actually provides a kneading massage that stimulates the blood circulation. You can choose from medium, strong, weak settings and also adjust the intensity level. Moreover, you can set a timer for 15, 20, or 30 minutes of continuous massage.
Despite being loaded with so many great features, this chair has a small footprint, so it fits comfortably in most spaces. It’s covered in high-quality PU leather, which is quite durable.
There weren’t a lot of negative comments about this chair. However, the max weight capacity of this chair is only 200 lbs, so it is not suitable for large people. And, although it looks stylish and has multiple functions, it lacks heat mode.
What we liked:
35+ inches of massage surface
Massages back, lumbar area, thighs, legs, shoulders, and neck
The ComHoma Leather Recliner is a comfortable, welcoming chair that rocks, and swivels 360-degrees. Plus, it can give you an amazing, heated massage when you need one. This chair can hold up to 330 pounds, which makes it one of the best options for people above average weight.
In addition to comfortable and supportive padding, the ComHoma Leather Recliner has an eight-point massage system and four massage modes. It slowly heats up to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit to give your back a soothing feeling.
This chair has some other great features, including two cup holders as well as a side storage pocket, where you can tuck a book, magazine, tablet, TV remotes, or anything else to help you relax during your massage. Plus, it comes in a warm chocolate brown material that’s easy to wipe clean. That upholstery material is incredibly durable, and it should last you for years to come.
There aren’t too many complaints about this chair, but there are a few little things we should mention. Some users had a hard time getting the footrest back in place, and a few people commented that the massage wasn’t as intense as they expected.
Last but not least, here is our budget pick, the JC Home Drammen. This massaging recliner comes with a stationary ottoman to rest your feet and is a great choice for homes or offices. It has a double-padded seat and back, integrated headrest, and comfortable upholstered armrests, plus its classic black color blends into any decor.
This chair uses a simple corded push-button remote control to select the massage intensity, area of the body, and time. There are nine modes for back, lumbar, thigh, and leg areas and five different intensity levels
There’s a small storage pocket on the right side where you can keep a book, tablet, phone, or magazine within reach. It has a full 360-degree swivel base and a small footprint that doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s easy to maintain, too, so you can just spot clean it when needed.
Some people felt that the ottoman was a little too short, and it would be more comfortable if it were angled a bit more. Other people mentioned that there wasn’t enough padding in the seating area and that they found the massagers to be a little weak.
What we liked:
Double-padded seat with integrated headrest
9 massage modes and 5 intensity levels
360-degree swivel base
What could be better:
Some people felt the ottoman was too short
Massagers could be stronger
There are a lot of great benefits to using a massage chair, and when you have one in your own home, you can use it whenever you want. However, it may seem like finding the right model for you is quite hard because of the huge variety of products available on the market. Fortunately, we are here to help you. To make sure you get the most for your money, let’s look at everything you need to know about buying a massage chair for under $500.
Cheap massage chairs – what to expect?
Cheap massage chairs don’t have as many functions as more expensive options. Chairs in this price range typically provide vibrating massage for the back area. However, we did include one chair, the BestMassage Shiatsu Chair, that massages the neck and shoulders, too, but that’s not a feature most of these chairs have. Some less expensive options offer lumber heat, and most function as a regular recliner that can rock or even comes with a 360-degree swivel base.
But you won’t find high-end features like foot rollers or body scanners here as you will in chairs that cost five or six times as much. Still, we think it’s a reasonable tradeoff.
Features to consider while buying the best massage chair under $500
In this section, we are going to take a closer look at the specific things that you should check while choosing an inexpensive massage chair. These include the chair size, massage areas and intensity, upholstery, and more. After reading this part, the purchasing process should become a breeze.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to size. One is the basic footprint, which we’ve already mentioned in our reviews. This tells you whether or not the chair will fit in your space.
The size helps you to makes sure that you can fit properly in the chair. This is especially important for taller or shorter people. We pointed out in the individual reviews whether a chair was particularly good or bad for tall people.
If the massage zones don’t hit the right place on your body, the massage won’t be as effective.
Finally, make sure you pay attention to the weight capacity as well. This is really important if you want the chair to last as long as possible. Exceeding the recommended weight puts a lot of stress on the chair itself as well as the massage elements. Don’t worry, though, because we found a nice range when it comes to weight limits, from the JC Home Drammen that holds up to 225 pounds to the Homegear Recliner Chair that holds up to 485 pounds.
Massage points and intensity
Every massage chair features zones to target different parts of the body. These zones provide effective massage to that specific area. Our picks all target the lumbar spine, and also we found one that works the neck and shoulders. There are a few benefits to having zones instead of one large massaging system. For one thing, the chair lasts longer. Every zone isn’t constantly working since they’re only used to target one area. Individual zones also provide precise control so you can customize your massage to the zones that need it most.
These chairs allow you to adjust the intensity of the massage, too. Generally, this is done by increasing the speed of the vibration, though, by nature, these chairs aren’t going to be as intense as more expensive options.
Most of our picks, including the Recliner Massage Sofa Chair Deluxe, have optional lumbar heating. This is a nice feature, particularly if you suffer from lower back pain. It really takes the massage up a notch.
While a few of our picks include an ottoman, most of them are recliners. The big thing to remember when purchasing a recliner is you need extra space for it to be reclined fully to put your feet up.
Recliners are great, particularly if you’re looking for a chair that you can also use to just relax in front of the TV.
These chairs come in a variety of materials, with the most common being PU leather. PU leather is also known as faux leather. It is made of a blend of different materials, including polyurethane, which makes it really durable and easy to clean. Other synthetic materials are really easy to maintain, too.
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to durability. You should consider the strength of the material just as you would with any chair. However, the massaging action adds more wear than a regular chair, so it’s even more important to choose something that will last.
The durability of the mechanical parts is important, too. After all, without the massaging pieces, your chair is going to lose its functionality. Make sure you choose one that has a good reputation and a lot of good customer reviews. We didn’t find many complaints about any of these chairs breaking down in our research.
These chairs give you plenty of control over zones and intensity. A lot of them also have timers and shut off automatically when the cycle is complete. You can find various models with remote controls, corded controls, and control panels on the chairs themselves.
A massage chair is an example of a product that really needs a warranty. Because there are moving mechanical parts, anything can happen.
You should read your warranty information carefully. For example, it’s a safe bet that exceeding the weight limit will void any coverage.
Relaxing with massage chair guide
You’re probably going to want to jump right in your chair and crank it up to the maximum settings, but that’s not the best way to experience it for the first time. The best approach is to start slow and work your way up through more intense settings.
Work your way through the different zones, too. Eventually, you’ll find the perfect combination of intensity, speed, and location. But to get the most out of your massage chair, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Lay your head against the headrest. You just won’t get the same experience if you’re sitting upright.
Make sure your back, waist, and hips are placed against the back of the chair. Don’t slouch, and don’t leave any space between your lumbar zone and the chair itself. The more contact these zones have, the more effective the massage is.
Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and clear your mind. You have to be as relaxed as possible to get the best results. This also means you shouldn’t eat, drink, or chat with other people. Focus entirely on the massage.
Put your legs up if it makes you more comfortable.
Use the armrests to make sure that your arms aren’t moving around and changing the position of your back.
Massage chairs usually use between 150 and 300 watts. It really depends on how many settings your chair has, how long you use it, and how often. These chairs use about the same amount of energy as a home computer.
Most massage chairs have timed cycles, and doctors recommend doing only one cycle at a time. The reason is pretty simple: running the chair cycle after cycle after cycle can quickly burn out the electrical parts. Sitting in the massage chair for too long can also cause some health issues. That said, if you don’t have the massage elements running, you can sit in the chair as long as you want.
Any of these chairs would be great for back pain, but we really like the BestMassage Shiatsu Chair. It’s the only chair on our list that covers not only the back and lumbar zones but also gets to the neck and shoulders. Plus, it has an ergonomic design that gives your back support it needs making it incredibly comfortable to sit in.
Our top pick is the Relaxzen Massage Recliner 60-079008. It features a swivel wood base and matching ottoman along with multiple massage settings and easy-to-use remote control. The side pocket is the perfect place to stash your items, and the chair has a weight limit of 300 pounds.
Next, we have the Recliner Massage Sofa Chair Deluxe by WaterJoy. It has multiple massage settings and reclining positions plus a padded backrest, armrests, and seat for the utmost comfort. The corded remote is easy to use, and this model automatically turns off after 25 minutes.
Finally, we recommend the Homegear Recliner Chair. The 485-pound weight limit is the highest on our list, which makes it a great choice for larger-sized people. It rocks, reclines, swivels, and has multiple massage settings to choose from. With two cup holders and four storage pockets, this is one of the best massage chairs under $500.