Looking for the best massage chairs? There's a variety of different massage chair types with exotic names, like air massage chairs and anti gravity massage chairs.
On top of that, there are dozens of brands to choose from - with so many chairs on the market, how do you make the right decision? We're here to help.
Below you'll find an explanation of some of the most popular types of massage chairs, as well as detailed looks at some of the best massage chairs offered by top brands in the industry.
Air massage chairs make use are chairs that make use of air jets to massage your body. These chairs are quite advanced and most models can mimic a variety of massage styles. Good air massage chairs have different setting that allow you to change the pressure of the massage as well as the style of movement, so you can make it feel as if someone is lightly stroking your back, kneading it with a fist, or a range of sensations in between.
Sunpentown is one company known for producing chairs of this sort. Their A-668B is a particularly popular model. It includes airbags supporting virtually every part of the body, including the calves, so you can literally get a full body massage all at one time.
As opposed to an air massage chair, which uses air jets, an anti gravity massage chair makes use of air pads or pockets which are designed to make you feel like you're floating. These chairs are considered by many to be the ultimate in relaxation, allowing you to take all the downward pressure off your joints. Not only are they excellent for de-stressing after a long day, they can have some impressive long-term therapeutic value for someone with ongoing back pain or joint problems.
Human Touch is the brand name which is most commonly associated with anti gravity massage chairs. Towards the top end of their range is the HT-7450, with a price tag of around $3500. This massage chair combines advanced technology and is designed around scientific principles, targeting pressure points on your body to relieve tension on your spinal nerves. One of the features that gives the chair its 'anti gravity' quality is its memory foam cushioning, which contours to your body and helps create the feeling that you're floating.
The Brookstone massage chair line is one of the most well-known brands in the marketplace. Brookstone creates full-body, fairly high-priced chairs (in the $2000 and above range, for the most part). However, for the more budget-conscious consumer who doesn't want to splash out on a full recliner chair, Brookstone also makes small back-massage devices that can be place on a normal chair. A shiatsu massage device like this, for example, is about $150.
Brookstone offers a few anti gravity massage chairs, most notably the OSIM uAstro, which is one of their most expensive models but which is also rated as one of their best products by satisfied customers.
Although many of Brookstone's new products are expensive, they also sell second-hand goods which makes them a good option if you're looking for a reasonably priced chair with a wide range of functions and a reliable extended warranty. In addition to full-body chairs, you can also buy Brookstone devices made specifically for massaging a certain body part - your calves, for example.
We're now moving away from automated massage chair territory into products designed for professional masseurs. Pisces Productions, the maker of Dolphin chairs, is one of the leading brands for tables and chairs designed to be used by professionals, although they offer a few products that can also fit nicely into the home of anyone who cares a lot about ergonomics.
The Dolphin II chair is the very definition of unusual design - when you first see one, you might have a hard time figuring out how you're even supposed to sit on it. But this strange design has been planned to allow masseurs to get better angles as they massage the various parts of a client's body. The design has also been thought out so that the masseur's own body weight plays a role in the massage. The design essentially makes it easier for a masseur to give massages all day without doing any damage to his or her own back by bending out of shape.
Dolphin chairs are so fascinating and unusual, they deserve a more detailed look. The frame is made of titanium and the front part where the chest and face rest can be adjusted to various levels, so you can lie flat, sit upright or find a point somewhere in between. Although the chair is designed for professionals, if you or your spouse are handy at giving massages, this chair would be an ideal addition to a home gym.
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