A massage chair for under $200 sounds like a pipe dream for most buyers. Thankfully, it’s a reality and involves careful shopping and brand awareness. Within the $200 limit are a lot of brand name options, with some of them going on to become even better choices than the products that cost twice as much. At the very least it gives users options, and since a few choices on the list involve manual massage chairs, it’s a great place to look for massage therapist hopefuls.
1. Massaging Black Leather Recliner and Ottoman with Leather Wrapped Base
- 1 1. Massaging Black Leather Recliner and Ottoman with Leather Wrapped Base
- 2 2. BCP Leather Massage Recliner and Ottoman Furniture Set
- 3 3. Relaxzen 60-425111 Leisure Recliner Chair
- 4 4. Best Choice Products Folding Portable Massage
- 5 5. Portable Massage Chair Comfort 4″ Thick Foam Light Weight
- 6 6. Custom Craftworks Melody Massage Chair
As the first choice on the list, this T & D branded massage chair offers a lot for a low price. The first thing you’ll notice is the inclusion of an ottoman, which greatly enhances the comfort level of this chair. All of the most important mechanics are in the main recliner, which is made of leather and polyurethane. It is a soft combination that will hold its form for many years. The ottoman has the same great durability, with a nice height that aligns when reclining in the chair.
There are massage controls for the ottoman, and they are very well done for the size of the included motors. With the full function remote control you can manage everything from heat, vibration, reclining and many other settings. And for the consumers that need a little storage space, the right side pocket is big enough to accommodate smaller items. Even with the nice customizable settings, this low priced massage chair excels with its complete preprogrammed settings. There are up to five total, each with their own intensity levels and motions. As an entry level massage chair, this is a really good deal for any consumer.
2. BCP Leather Massage Recliner and Ottoman Furniture Set
This is a slightly lower priced massage chair with ottoman that has a lot of similar features with the first one on the list. To start, it uses the familiar 5 preprogrammed massage settings but takes it a step further in control. Users can adjust up to 9 intensity levels, with a great assortment of mechanics to handle massaging the thighs, calves and back. The leather is your typical PU model with a metal frame, with double cushion where necessary to make it comfortable. There is a nice plush feel once you relax in the chair, with the ottoman having similar characteristics to its build.
The only downside to the design is that it only supports up to 250 pounds, with the ottoman maxing out at 200 pounds. This isn’t a deal breaker for some, but is still something to consider when making a final buying decision. As a nice tradeoff the entire package weighs less than 45 pounds, so it is easy to move around in your home or office setting. With some minor assembly out of the box, this becomes a great value for anyone that wants to spend a little bit less on a massage chair setup.
3. Relaxzen 60-425111 Leisure Recliner Chair
Available in brown, black and camouflage, this low priced massage chair with ottoman is one of the better choices on the list. All colors available look great, with the camouflage being one that is hard to find. Not a lot of massage chairs in the industry have that color, so for anyone with a matching theme this is a one of a kind item. The leather is manmade and covers 8 massage motors that handles sections of the back, thighs and calves. There is some good lumbar support for those that need it. A total of 9 preprogrammed modes make up the bulk of the massage features, although it would have been nice to have a little more customization. This low priced chair also has five intensity levels, which is roughly a little higher than the average massage chair of this price. A nice heating option for the back is in the right place and will do the correct job on tight backs or stressed areas. With the included remote, consumers can get a top tier experience for only a fraction of the price.
4. Best Choice Products Folding Portable Massage
Buyers will consider this a lot different than the other products on the list. It is made for professional use, but has been purchased for personal use due to its versatility. It is one of the best value travel massage sets in the industry, with everything in the box to get you started. There are several adjustments that can be made for different positions, and there is support for the head, arms, chest and back. Using cushioned PU leather, buyers can get into familiar comfortable positions while getting a massage. Unlike the other massage products on the list, this one is made for manual support and doesn’t come with vibrating motors.
As an advantage, it can be carried and stored anywhere. The included heavy duty carrying case lets you pack it away for travel in mere minutes. When it is fully adjusted, the product can handle up to 350 pounds of weight. The lack of mechanics makes this the lowest priced massage chair on the list, with its size also making it one of the most portable. Weighing only a mere 20 pounds, is a complete solution in a small package. For a solid alternative choice when buying a massage chair, then consider this model as a winning choice.
5. Portable Massage Chair Comfort 4″ Thick Foam Light Weight
Taking a lot of features from the previous model listed, this portable massage chair is another low cost solution that does away with the familiar mechanics. It has an incredible soft PU material that cushions in the correct places while getting a massage. When laying on it, the material also feels really good against the skin. With the included black carrying case it is a complete package, although the case is lower in quality than the previous product on the list.
A small benefit is that it’s lighter, although it won’t protect the massage chair from heavy hits. Buyers should consider this the lightweight option of the manual massage chairs, and with a slightly higher price. That price still puts it firmly in the low price category, so buyers will have a bit of a decision to make if they want to pit this against other manual massage chairs in its class. Other notable benefits of this model are the removable face cradle and adjustable chest pad. In the correct hands this is a very capable massage chair set that will surprise a lot of people with its comfort level. Buyers that want something a little lighter than normal will get their money’s worth with this product.
6. Custom Craftworks Melody Massage Chair
Last on the under $200 list is the Custom Craftworks Melody, a strong contender for the best in its price range. Following the design of the last two chairs, this is another manual/portable model with strong ties to professional massage therapy. What makes this different from the other options is that it is the only one to offer a large variety of colors. Available colors are agate blue, beige, black, burgundy, navy and teal. This is a big deal for anyone that wants to match their massage chair to a certain theme, one where a simple black color wouldn’t suffice. The maximum capacity the unit can handle is 300 pounds, and it takes more of a firm feel to its materials rather than soft.
This is still comfortable for long massage sessions, and does a better job of cupping the face and body rather than soft materials. There are a lot of adjustments that can be made to the seat and even arm height. For more customizability, users can take off the sternum pillow for a completely different experience. Even with the pillow, this model only weighs 18 pounds total. Included in the package is a carrying case and jewelry pouch for storing small items. This is probably the most useful manual massage chair available, with customizations that really make it worth the money.
Brands in the $200 and below category don’t really have a huge name attached to each model. This is where a lot of smaller innovative companies make their mark, and has even been a way for bigger companies to experiment with newer models. A place for both entry level and professional massage equipment, the $200 and under category is a mixed bag that serves a huge portion of the market. Although brand loyalty isn’t built at this price point, it serves as a great way to get customers interested in massage chairs other than the high end versions. This includes hobbyists, aspiring massage therapists and regular customers looking for relief from muscles aches.
In the $200 and below category, prices are steady across the board. Only a select few pieces of equipment will dip into the ultra-low category, and when they do it’s usually manual massage chairs. Price isn’t directly related to quality, as the lowest priced massage chair on the list has the same quality materials as the highest priced model. There are a couple of differences based on the company, but nothing too drastic. Buying decisions in below $200 is rarely affected by the price since it is already low. If two chairs are identical in all features, then price may end up being the deciding factors.
Manual vs. Mechanical
There is a bit of contention between these two types, with the latter being more recognizable by the general public. Manual massage chairs don’t have heat, rumble, motors or any of the other technological goodies of mechanical massage chairs. They are the same type of chairs that the professional therapists use when you go in for a massage. Getting a massage in one of these chairs is an incredible experience, and one that has been life changing for a lot of people. The downside to purchasing it for personal use is that it requires the person giving the massage to know what they’re doing. There is a huge difference between a professional massage and an amateur one. Buyers expecting the same in office experience that they get with a regular massage therapist may be disappointed. Manual massage chairs will only be as good as the person giving the massage, so purchase accordingly. A good reason why they are so popular comes from aspiring massage therapists that need a portable solution for practice and work. These aren’t the only customers buying manual massage chairs, so general use will vary by the individual.
Mechanical massage chairs are a different beast, and they don’t have the requirement of needing a skilled massager. The massage is handled completely by the chair itself, offering a full experience without the hassle of needing anyone present. But because of these mechanics, they are not portable like manual massage chairs. A mechanical massage chair has a permanent place wherever you put it in the home, and requires the use of an electrical socket. This may or may not affect placement, but it does provide a good idea of the best places to set up the chair in your home or office. Since mechanical chairs can now be purchased for the same price as manual chairs, the lines are a bit blurred on which is the better buy. Not everyone is going to have someone with skilled hands nearby, so mechanical will be the most fulfilling buy for the majority of individuals.
Soft Material vs. Firm
Comfort is important, but it is more important to know the difference between soft and firm materials with massage chairs. Soft isn’t always the best choice when you want a full experience with a manual massage chair. For manual models, you want to lean more towards getting firm material. Soft material that sinks will make it harder on the person that is giving the massage to do their job. It will also become uncomfortable since your weight is being pushed hard into the plush materials, cutting the comfort level of it in half. Firm material will hold everything in place while you are getting a massage, and will be more comfortable during long sessions.
For mechanical massage chairs, the story is a little bit different. You want soft materials, but you also want portions of the chair to be firm. This will vary depending on where the motors/rollers are on the chair, and will also make a big difference in how well it gives a massage. You don’t want a mechanical chair to be too soft or too firm, since the material has to be compatible with the type of massage it gives. And don’t forget how uncomfortable it would be to have incompatible material on the heated portions of the chair.
What Makes An Ottoman Massage Worth It?
While it is nice to have a massage chair, the ottoman versions offer a dimensions that isn’t even available with the most expensive massage chair. Having that extra ottoman to rest your foot on makes a big difference to people whose ankles and legs swell up. Elevating your legs and feet when they are swollen allows for better blood circulation. It’s also one of the most natural ways to unwind, which is another reason why reclining massage chairs will always be popular. But with the ottoman, you get a fuller experience from the knees down. You can place the ottoman anywhere, and can even use it separately from the chair itself. When using it with the chair, taller individuals will get a much better experience since they can move the ottoman where they want. Massage functions are limited with ottomans, but still effective enough that it’s worth it for even short sessions.
When you have a couple of people in the home, one can sit in the vibrating chair while the other sits on the ottoman. It is a really cool experience since you can change the program settings from the remote and get a really good massage on both. This tailored experience makes an ottoman massage unique from the other types in the industry, and well worth the asking price since it can be purchased for under $200. This is probably the best entry level massage type there is in the mechanical category, with a lot of features to please multiple groups.
Are Manmade Materials Comfortable?
PU leather and its variants are comfortable, and a great alternative to buyers that are allergic to natural leather material. It is also easier to maintain if it rips, although the chance of that happening is slim. As long as the created material meets your standards for soft/firm, then it should be good to go. Another advantage that the manmade materials have are higher resistance to stains, water and even bacteria. Check out what the material is made of to get a better idea of how good the material is. So can low cost massage chairs with manmade materials provide a top tier massage? The answer is a resounding yes, and it all ties to the research you do for your product. The ottoman types by themselves are an incredible buy, and the greatest way to get into massage chairs for the first time.
Just because these massage chairs are low cost, that doesn’t mean that they lack the top tier punch. You can get a whole new experience with these massage chairs for under $200, and that includes both mechanical and manual versions. So when the time comes to move on to the next price tier, you at least have a good idea of what you like the most.