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Last updated: May 31, 2021
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A portable massage chair is an effective solution for professional massage therapists and a household item that is especially necessary for the elderly and people who have had surgery. These products come with several features found in the standard versions but with the added convenience of portable space-saving sizes.
In our quest to help you find the best portable massage chair, we reviewed 15 models that would provide great value for money. Based on individual features and customer feedback, we narrowed down to five of the best chairs that are rated highly in terms of performance, comfort, durability, and competitive pricing. In particular, the EARTHLITE Portable Massage Chair, which is our Editor’s Choice has received glowing user reviews for sturdy construction with aircraft-grade aluminum, comfortable sternum pad, and shoulder strap, lightweight of 15 pounds, multiple adjustment settings, and an attractive lifetime warranty.
Some of the features you should consider before choosing the best portable massage chair are the weight of the product and its dimensions for easy transport and storage. To accommodate users of varied height and weight, you will also need to factor in the chair’s working capacity and whether it allows for height adjustment. This resourceful review includes a comparison table, deep analysis of the features of each recommended model, and a comprehensive buying guide.
The EARTHLITE Portable Massage chair is the lightest on our list. The light weight of 15 pounds is only one of the several notable features that make it the best professional portable massage chair. The aircraft-grade aluminum construction makes this model light but robust enough to support a maximum weight of 300 pounds.
Our Editor’s Choice also comes with dual-density Pro-Lite cushioning, and Natursoft upholstery that is available in 8 varied color options and a rugged nylon carry case with padded shoulder strap and sternum protection pad. You can choose from Vanilla Creme, Latte, Sterling, Burgundy, Amethyst, Mystic Blue, Teal, and Black.
There are multiple adjustments for the face, chest pad, arms, and the seat to customize the chair to each client. For buyers who find it hard to fit the foldable chair in the bag, the manufacturer advises them to lower the chest pad to the lowest position.
The downsides include non-removable pads and rubber feet coming off. Some users also find the armrest too low. Otherwise, majority of customers who have bought the EARTHLITE Portable Massage chair for business find it comfortable, user-friendly, and cost-effective.
This premium model is made of aircraft-grade aluminum frame and nylon parts fortified by fiber-glass. The Master Massage Rio Portable Massage Chair is one of the best rated portable massage chairs for flexibility and comfort. It accomplishes this with adjustable height and angle for armrests, forward and backward adjustment for chest pads, and removable face cradle and kneeling pads that offers users more control over their positioning.
Apart from the two knobs used to change the headrest height, the rest of the adjustments are done with levers, which some customers prefer to knobs and screws.
The upholstery features the Company’s exclusive small cell foam cushioning that has a buttery feel.
This professional portable massage chair is equipped for a working weight of up to 600 pounds.
To enhance mobility and storage, the chair is foldable into dimensions of 24.6 x 14.7 x 14.4 inches, and it comes with a spacious carrying case with wheels. Additionally, it features handles at the top and front for convenient disassembly and a support stand that folds and retracts for compact storage.
Buyers who expected to receive a hard case have been disappointed with the nylon luggage style case. You also cannot adjust the seat.
The STRONGLITE Ergo Pro II has an impressive weight capacity of 600 pounds and weighs 26 pounds. It owes this stability to the patented double tube design and the sturdy heat-treated T6 aluminum alloy. The exterior powder-coated finish lends this professional portable massage chair a clean glossy look. What’s more, the Nature’s Touch PU upholstery is eco-friendly and available in five different colors; Black, Royal Blue, Teal, Burgundy, and Purple colors.
Another appealing quality is the wide height range of 4’6″ to 6’6″ that makes it suitable for massage therapists with several different clients of varied height.
Along with the flexible armrests, users can also adjust the face cradle, the sliding and tilting chest pad, and the seat by raising, lowering or tilting it.
When you buy this mobile model with wheels, you will also receive a detachable pouch for sundries and a carry case made of rugged ballistic nylon. The case includes handles, a zipper, and a padded strap.
Customers like the Cloudfill padding of the face pillow, the rugged construction, the support for a broader range of height, and high working weight limit. The main complaints are the squeaking noise the chair makes and the inability to adjust armrest height since it only tilts. This is a heavy massage chair although that is expected considering its high weight capacity.
The Giantex Portable Light Weight Massage Chair is a budget-friendly product that is sturdily made of powder-coated aluminum frame and textured PU leather that is resistant to oil and water. It also features a comfortable two-inch thick high-density sponge with small-cell foam padding, protective foot pads for the floor, and a foldable flat design that saves space.
The compact chair, which comes with a carrying bag with a shoulder strap weighs 20 pounds but supports weight of up to 350 pounds. You can set the height from 43 to 47 inches, and adjust the face cradle, chest pad, armrest, and seat to customize the chair for different individuals. When changing the height of the face cradle, hold the chest plate in position so that they both don’t move at the same time.
Owners who recommend it as the best portable folding massage chair like its affordability, portability, and durability. Some who have been recovering from eye surgery appreciate the ability to adjust the headrest parallel to the floor, and others have removed the headrest to transform it to a standard office chair that is more comfortable.
Although the chair has knobs to tighten it, a number of buyers have noted that it keeps coming loose and wobbles. The head cushion could also be bigger.
The main appealing quality of BestMassage Portable Massage Chair is the low cost which suits shoppers who need an affordable model for personal use. Buyers like the customizable headrest that offers a comfortable angle, the adjustable height for the cushions, arm rests and leg pads, and the ease of installation.
It is a low end starter chair that comes with a quick release lock mechanism and a canvas bag with additional space for accessories. This is why it is popular with students and owners who only intend to use the massage chair occasionally.
However, the BestMassage Portable Massage Chair has limited features and capacity and would therefore not be an ideal portable folding massage chair for professional massage therapists. For instance, it has a low working weight limit of 250 pounds although the advertising claims it holds much heavier weight.
The chair is padded with 2.5-inch thick high-density sponge that some users find thin and uncomfortable. There are also complaints from customers who received damaged units or products with missing components.
All in all, the reason it is among the best rated portable massage chairs is because it performs better than expected considering the price. As long as you manage your expectations, this model would offer you great value for money.
Why did it make our list?
Quick release lock system
Easy to assemble
What is not ideal about it?
Low weight capacity
Things to Consider
Choosing the right portable massage chair makes the difference between a good and bad investment. Earlier we mentioned the key features we used in our review. You will find further details on them in this guide, learn the advantages that come with a portable massage chair, and learn more about maintenance in the FAQ segment.
Advantages of getting a portable massage chair
Professional portable massage chairs offer mobility that allows physical therapists to travel to their clients, especially customers who may be recovering from injuries and surgery or struggling with disability.
They come in compact and foldable designs that store and transport easily to holistic and wellness events.
Compared to regular visits to spas and massage parlors, a portable massage chair at home offers you a more affordable option to relax and relieve back pain from the comfort of your home.
Features to consider when choosing a portable massage chair
There are several factors to consider before buying the best rated portable massage chair for home, educational or commercial use. A valuable purchase would be versatile enough to accommodate people of different heights, weight and body sizes.
The best rated portable massage chairs are easy to transport because they are either lightweight like the EARTHLITE Portable Massage Chair which weighs 15 pounds, or they come with features that improve mobility. Example of these features are the Master Massage Rio Portable Massage Chair and the STRONGLITE Ergo Pro II have a high working capacity and are unsurprisingly heavy, but they come with wheels that roll the chairs smoothly. The former’s wheels are on the case and not attached to the chair itself.
Working capacity refers to the pressure that a professional portable massage chair can bear when it is in operation, also known as working weight. It factors in the pressure you apply as well as the weight and movement of the client. It is dynamic and its limit is approximately 25 percent lower than that of static weight which does not include any movement or exertion of pressure. High weight threshold models such as the Master Massage Rio Portable Massage Chair and the STRONGLITE Ergo Pro II can accommodate a wider variety of body sizes and weights because they both have a working weight limit of 600 pounds.
The size should obviously matter especially if you will be taking your professional portable massage chair to your clients. Fortunately, these models are compact with retractable and foldable designs that reduce the overall dimensions for convenient storage. When folded, the EARTHLITE Portable Massage Chair and the BestMassage Portable Massage Chair have almost similar dimensions of 40 x 20 x 9 inches and 39 x 20 x 9 inches respectively.
Even the most basic portable folding massage chair features standard parts like face cradles, armrests, headrest, chest pads, knee rests and the seat. However, you need to confirm whether your intended chair supports adjustment of these parts for comfortable and flexible positioning options. This also allows you to customize the chair to different individuals. The Master Massage Rio Portable Massage Chair is one of the best rated portable massage chairs that allows you to adjust the height and angle of armrests and headrest, move the chest pads forwards and backwards, and remove the face cradle and kneeling pads if you wish. However, you cannot adjust the height of the seat.
A good portable massage chair should be comfortable, breathable and easy to clean. Different models use different material such as imitation leather, PU leather and Vinyl in their upholstery because they are resilient and you can wipe them down. The Giantex Portable Light Weight Massage Chair features powder-coated aluminum frame and textured PU leather that is resistant to oil and water. The STRONGLITE Ergo Pro II comes with the eco-friendly Nature’s Touch PU upholstery while the Master Massage Rio Portable Massage Chair upholstery has a buttery feel derived from the Company’s exclusive small cell foam cushioning.
Look for thick high-density cushions that can support heavy people comfortably for extended sessions.
All the best rated portable massage chairs we have reviewed come with a bag or case for storage and transport. The Master Massage Rio Portable Massage Chair is available with a roomy luggage style wheeled carrying case. Along with the carry case made of rugged ballistic nylon, and which comes with handles, a padded shoulder strap and a zipper, the STRONGLITE Ergo Pro II includes a separate pouch for extra storage.
Caster wheels: These are convenient when transporting professional portable massage chairs.
Ease of assembly: One of the qualities that make the best rated portable massage chairs is user-friendliness which includes the ease of assembly. Majority of these models are shipped almost fully assembled so it would take buyers only a few minutes to attach the headrest and other parts and to adjust the height and angle for a comfortable position.
Colors: A color that can conceal stains well would be preferable to a lot of people, but having several options to choose your favorite color is much better because you can match it to your style and personality. The EARTHLITE Portable Massage Chair is available in eight different colors: Vanilla Creme, Latte, Sterling, Burgundy, Amethyst, Mystic Blue, Teal and Black.
Removable leg pads: This is beneficial for clients who are injured or disabled.
Will I have to do it each time I unfold it? Portable folding massage chairs require minimal assembly such as attaching the headrest and the pads and adjusting the height and angles to your preference. The instructions for your specific product would generally be included in the manual. Foldable models do not need to be assembled each time you unfold them since most of them retract or fold into compact sizes without requiring you to remove any components.
Face cradles could be replaced but you have to confirm that they are compatible with the particular brand and model of your chair so they can fit. Therabuilt Apex Face Cradle is a versatile replacement that works well with portable massage chairs from various brands.
Use a damp cloth to wipe dirt, dust, and hair from the chair after every use. Since most portable folding massage chairs use faux leather in upholstery, you should avoid harsh cleaning agents or letting the agents come in contact with the moving components such as the joints. Consider upholstery that can be removed for cleaning and allow it to dry first before replacing it back.
Our top three picks are all incredible products in their own unique ways, but we gravitated to the EARTHLITE Portable Massage Chair as our Editor’s Choice because it is a reasonably priced and the lightweight model that offers several adjustment and color options and comfortable dual-density cushioning, making it the best portable folding massage chair.
The Master Massage Rio Portable Massage Chair is a user-friendly product that is equipped to hold user weight of up to 600 pounds, roll smoothly in a luggage design large case and retract and fold for a smaller storage footprint. We also found the fact that you can remove the kneeling pads and the face cradle outstanding for a portable massage chair.
In addition to accommodating users with a height of 4’6″ to 6’6″ and having a maximum working weight capacity of 600 pounds, the STRONGLITE Ergo Pro II features sturdy rugged construction that makes a stable and durable investment. This makes it the best professional portable massage chair for heavy clients. It is also available in multiple colors and comes with a pouch and a case.
Can’t find the professional massage chair you are looking for? Visit Massage King for more portable massage chairs.