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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

15 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
134 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best portable massage chairs

Last Updated June 2019

Portable massage chairs are a means of livelihood for thousands of massage therapists around the country. They make it possible to bring massage therapy to almost any environment — be it an office, home, or retail shopping area — so you don’t need to rent a workspace.

If you’re a massage professional, choosing a portable massage chair should be done carefully. The key to picking the right portable massage chair is to find one that meets your own needs for practicality with the client’s needs for comfort. It should be lightweight, so you can easily take it on the go, and simple to set up, so you can get to work quickly.

Want your clients to be repeat customers? Look for a chair that is highly adjustable and made with comfortable materials, such as memory foam. Overall, the best way to choose a portable massage chair is by envisioning yourself using each one with your own personal group of clients.

To learn more about the wide array of portable massage chairs available, read our handy shopping guide, which has all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision. If you’re ready to buy, consider one of our top picks.

A good portable massage chair will have many adjustable settings. Ask your client what position is most comfortable before starting.

Key considerations

Weight/portability

Most portable massage chairs weigh between 20 and 45 pounds. Some of the lightest options can be carried with one hand, while others can be quite cumbersome. If you are considering a heavier massage chair, you need to seriously consider whether you are willing and able to store, carry, and stow it. If you’re planning to transport it to multiple locations throughout the day, searching for the lightest and most portable massage chairs available will be your best bet.

Ease of conversion

Time is money. If you’re in the business of flagging down customers in a busy shopping center rather than working by appointment, the faster you can open up for business, the sooner you’ll have clients. For a portable massage chair that will give you the quickest possible conversion, look for one that can be unfolded in as few as two easy steps. Even if you do work by appointment only, you’ll still want one that isn’t too difficult to convert to ensure you stay on schedule.

Ergonomics

All portable massage chairs are not made the same way. Although most have the same basic design, there are a few differences, such as the angle, padding thickness, and size of the face hole. Consider the ergonomic design of each chair before you decide on one. In general, the more you spend on comfort, the happier your clients will be.

Surface material

When choosing the material your clients will be resting on, there are a number of different options to choose from. You’ll want to take into consideration multiple factors, such as comfort and ease of cleaning. Most inexpensive models will be made of an easy-to-clean vinyl. Some of the more high-end chairs will be made with a more comfortable nylon material.

Adjustability

The number of different ways that a portable massage chair can be adjusted will be a determining factor in how enjoyable the experience is for the client. When choosing a massage chair, you’ll want to determine if you need one with maximum adjustability or simply the bare minimum.

Some massage therapists like the ease of just one or two basic adjustable parts. Others, however, want to customize the massage experience as much as they possibly can — which can be more attractive for choosy customers. Before you buy, think about the experience you want to provide.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Because portable massage chairs are so convenient to transport, they can be easily dinged. Be cautious when loading and unloading yours from a vehicle.

Features

Portable massage chairs are becoming stronger, lighter, and more comfortable every year. In order for manufacturers to keep up with their competition, many have had to add additional features to their chairs to set them apart. Consider a portable massage chair with one of these special features if you want to offer your clients the best experience that a massage chair can provide.

High-density memory foam

Some of the most comfortable portable massage chairs are made of high-density memory foam. Clients will love the way the memory foam molds to their body and cradles it in comfort.

Wheels

Some portable massage chairs have built-in wheels, making them easy to move around even when open. The ability to quickly move your massage chair into different positions may just be the difference between making those few extra dollars in a day. Most of the wheels are small and made of a durable plastic that can easily hold the weight of the chair.

Extra weight capacity

If you want to get a portable massage chair that’s going to handle clients of all sizes, you’ll need to find one that can handle extra weight. Some of the highest capacity portable massage chairs can hold up to 1,000 pounds.

Portable massage chair prices

Inexpensive: For $50 to $150, you can find a number of reasonably convenient and comfortable portable massage chairs. However, you won’t likely find many added features on these.

Mid-range: A solid middle-of-the-road portable massage chair will cost between $150 and $250. For this price, you can find chairs made of slightly better materials, such as high-density memory foam. These chairs will be somewhat more comfortable and durable than their less expensive counterparts.

Expensive: In the range of $250 to $600, you will find the highest-quality portable massage chairs available on the market. Most of these chairs will be made of extra-strong materials that can hold a considerable amount of weight.

EXPERT TIP

Always take the opportunity to stretch before you massage someone. Your body needs to be cared for just as much as anyone else’s.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Most portable massage chairs are covered in a sweat-proof material that won’t absorb germs — just be sure to clean it between uses.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Practice folding and unfolding your portable massage chair before using it with clients. You’ll want to perfect your technique before others see you in action.

  • Always test the stability of your portable massage chair before having a client get into position — the last thing you want is for someone to injure themselves.

  • Keep an eye out for any errant plastic or metal on your chair before its first use. These can sometimes be left over from packing and can cause injury.

  • Not everyone has the same preferences. Adjust your portable massage chair to your client’s liking before starting their massage, and regularly check in with them throughout to ensure they are still comfy.

  • Wipe down your massage chair with disinfectant before you begin with each client. Germs that stay on a massage chair can pass illness to multiple people.

  • Only perform massages on your portable massage chair if you have been trained properly. Performing massages when poorly trained or untrained can be dangerous.

Other products we considered

The market is full of high-quality portable massage chairs these days. Although we narrowed our choices down to the five best, we found a few others that might be worth your while. An inexpensive option that’s worth checking out is the Ataraxia Portable Folding Massage Chair. The oil-resistant and sweat-proof synthetic leather is a breeze to clean. If you have a little more to spend, consider the mid-range Master Massage Professional Portable Massage Chair. It’s one of the only portable massage chairs that can hold up to 1,000 pounds. For a high-end option, check out Earthlite’s Avila Pro II Portable Massage Chair. Billed as the most adjustable massage chair on the market, the Avila Pro II will help relax even the pickiest clients.

Add aromatherapy and soothing music to your massage regimen to help your clients relax.

FAQ

Q. Do I need a professional license to practice massage?

A. Yes. Although every state has different laws regarding licensure, you will need to be a certified professional to offer massage for money.

Q. Is a portable massage chair truly portable or is it difficult to transport?

A. The majority of the portable massage tables available on the market are easily moved and set up by an average person.

Q. Do I really need a portable massage chair to give a good massage or will a regular chair do?

A. It is recommended that you use a massage chair because it is ergonomically designed to give the client the best possible experience from a massage. A regular chair simply cannot be used that way.

Q. Do I need years of schooling to become a professional massage therapist?

A. No, you do not. You will likely need to take some basic courses in order to practice as a professional in most states. You will not, however, need years of schooling that you would need for other similar professions.

The team that worked on this review
  • Adam
    Adam
    Writer
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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