Best Salon Chairs

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
How we decided

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

28 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
372 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Buying guide for best salon chairs

Last Updated September 2020

Does your salon have the best chairs for your clientele? If you’re in the market to outfit a salon or upgrade existing chairs, you might feel spoiled for choice, or you might not know where to begin. We can help.

“Salon chairs” is a catch-all term that includes all the chairs necessary to perform services in hairdressing salons, barbershops, and other personal care establishments.  Beauty salons usually have low-back swivel chairs, while barbershops typically have reclining chairs so barbers can maneuver around clients to trim and shave. There are also massage chairs in which clients can relax to receive waxing, threading, or pedicure services. Chair designs are typically equipped with a variety of adjustable or convertible features that allow stylists to work more comfortably.

Whether your salon has a simple down-home style or boasts an upscale curated design, one thing is for certain: you need salon chairs that are both functional and, to some degree, decorative. To help you find the right salon chairs for your establishment, we invite you to read this buying guide and take a look at some of our favorites.

When you consider your salon’s size before purchasing chairs, make sure to account for ample walking space for clients. This also includes having enough room for those who use walkers, canes, or wheelchairs.

Key considerations

Clientele

While you probably gravitate toward chairs that allow your stylists or aestheticians to work comfortably, it’s important to take your clientele’s needs into consideration as well. If your salon offers haircutting services to children, you might need to invest in salon chairs that raise the youngsters to a reachable height. If you offer waxing and threading services in your salon, you’ll likely need a separate chair for those.

Size

As far as overall size goes, smaller salon chairs aren’t necessarily the better option. If you have a large space but few stylists, small chairs can make your salon appear empty or barely decorated. On the other hand, oversize salon chairs can overwhelm a small or midsize salon, especially if it has a low ceiling.

Footprint: Depending on the size of your salon, the chair’s footprint may also be a concern. It’s ideal to have salon chairs with a generous amount of space between them to allow stylists to work around their clients.

Décor

One of the benefits of being a salon owner is the ability to express your creativity and set the tone of your establishment through interior design. Some owners recommend choosing the salon chairs first and designing the salon around them. Others say it’s better to choose a décor theme first. There are also salon owners who feel their establishment’s décor has nothing to do with the salon chairs because they’re essentially functional pieces of furniture.

Materials

Salon chairs vary considerably in design, but nearly all of them share a few qualities in common. For one, salon chairs are usually upholstered in PVC or leather. Not only do these materials fare well with daily use and last for years, they’re also easy to keep clean. The chairs also have a moderate amount of firm padding that excels at retaining its shape.

As far as frame construction goes, most salon chairs have a steel or aluminum frame. These frames are highly durable, with weight capacities that range from 300 to 700 pounds. These frames are also rust resistant and retain a brand-new look thanks to a high-shine finish.

EXPERT TIP

If your salon chair begins making loud sounds when you recline it or use the hydraulic foot pedal, there’s a good chance that it needs a tune-up.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Depending on the amount of money you’ve invested in a salon chair, it might be cost-effective to hire an upholsterer to repair it rather than buy a new one.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Types of salon chairs

Beauty salon chairs are the low-backed designs often seen in regular hair salons. These chairs swivel and have a hydraulic base that allows the stylist to raise and lower the client as necessary. While beauty salon chairs often have a footrest, they’re rarely adjustable, so clients of shorter stature may not be able to reach them.

Salon chairs in this category tend to have the greatest diversity in terms of design. Traditional salon chairs have a simple padded seat and back. These are usually separate pieces joined by metal components attached to the frame. More decorative chairs have integrated designs and tend to resemble stylish regular chairs.

Barbershop chairs have the most complex designs of all salon chairs. Not only do they have swivel and hydraulic features, they also recline nearly 50°. Unlike beauty salon chairs, these also have a headrest to facilitate beard trimming and shaving. While most headrests are adjustable, only some are completely removable.

Like beauty salon chairs, most barbershop chairs have a footrest. Simple designs feature an all-metal footrest with a plain platform, whereas premium designs are padded from the knees to the feet.

Massage chairs are full-length salon chairs that offer seated positions that vary from upright to completely reclined. They’re used for waxing, threading, pedicures, and even tattooing. More often than not, massage chairs are equipped with a removable headrest that covers a round cut-out for the face for clients lying in a prone position.

While these chairs can be used for massages, as their name indicates, keep in mind they’re very different from traditional stationary massage tables. Massage chairs typically consist of three adjustable sections to offer a variety of positions. Stationary massage tables have only one or two sections, and their construction may not allow for much in the way of upright positioning.

Accessories

Floor mat: Yoshiko Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat
Save your back and feet with an anti-fatigue mat fitted to the salon chair base. This one is made from durable PVC and supportive high-density foam. It’s also waterproof and has tapered edges to prevent tripping.

Booster seat: Tobbi Child Booster Seat
Young kids might be too small for a salon chair, which is why it’s essential to have a booster seat on hand. This one adds 6.5 inches in height to the seat, making it ideal for use with kids between the ages of 3 and 6.

Padded armrests are considered a premium feature in salon chairs, so be prepared to spend significantly more on a design that includes them.

Salon chair prices

Salon chairs have a broad price range, beginning at $130 and going up to $2,000.

Inexpensive: You’ll find a modest assortment of entry-level massage and beauty salon chairs priced between $130 and $250. These chairs are more focused on practicality and handling the basics, so they’re rarely decorative or laden with features.

Mid-range: These salon chairs, including barbershop chairs, cost between $250 and $600. Designs in this bracket offer more adjustability in the chair and range of motion for the stylist. These chairs also are far more decorative than their more affordable counterparts.

Expensive: High-end salon chairs cost $600 to $2,000. As expected, these feature high-quality construction and reliable components that will outlive many lesser-priced options. Not only are these salon chairs more comfortable for clients, they also tend to have ornate or vintage-inspired designs.

Tips

  • Budget for chairs plus spares. There’s a good chance you’re purchasing more than one salon chair to outfit a salon. Because designs can be discontinued, it’s a good idea to invest in a couple spares in the event one of your chairs breaks.
  • Ask for input from staff. Canvass your salon staff for what they’re looking for in a salon chair to make sure you invest in a design that suits their needs.
  • Dedicate time to assemble the chairs. Not every salon chair will arrive at your establishment fully assembled. For that reason, it’s best to block out time to put the chairs together or make an appointment with a pro who can handle it instead.
Before finalizing your purchase, understand the warranty and return policies. In some cases, you might be charged a restocking fee if you return the chair for reasons other than manufacturer defects.
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The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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