Zero Gravity Massage Chairs
Introduction To Zero Gravity
With absolute certainty, it’s easy to say that zero gravity chairs don’t defy gravity. However, the level of comfort that a zero gravity massage chair provides would easily have you convinced that they do. If you close your eyes, lean back, and imagine yourself in zero-gravity space, the feeling of the chair becomes a reality of comfort and relaxation.
The best zero gravity massage system might make you feel weightless, but the chair certainly isn’t. Your average massage chair weighs nearly 200lbs, so in all likelihood, it probably won’t end up floating away from you.
However, where do these massage chairs actually come from? They take root in a project where a team of engineers at NASA specially designed zero gravity chairs to mimic the design of a chair an astronaut would sit in during takeoff.
Because of the harsh force put on an astronaut’s body while they launch into outer space, engineers came up with a solution to take the pressure and impact off of the body. And the concept behind the design that solved the problem of an astronaut’s discomfort is the “zero gravity position.”
The zero gravity position is a reclined position that evenly distributes the weight of your body across a zero gravity massage chair. The impact of being pulled into your favorite chair fades away in the zero gravity position; it almost simulates a feeling of total weightlessness, or what you’d also typically call – zero gravity.
After careful consideration and testing out a handful of these fantastic recliners, I took the time to go over each of the best options on the market, detailing everything you need to know about the best zero gravity massage chairs out there. So, if you’re looking for a new comfortable addition to your living room or home office, I’m about to give you a crash-course on each of my favorites.
To start things off, we’ll discuss the key features that go into the best massaging chair. And afterwards, we’ll dive right into the reviews showcasing each chair, it’s upsides, downsides and the differences that set it apart from the rest.
What You Need To Know About Zero Gravity
What is a zero gravity massage chair?
You’ve probably often heard astronauts mention “zero gravity” before. That perfect sensation of absolute weightlessness and total relaxation. However, unlike the zero gravity that astronauts experience during take off, this type of massage chair substitutes crushing pressure for a relaxing reclined position. This position helps take the stress off your back and spinal cord while improving blood flow and giving you a nice and deep full body massage.
How to pick out the best massage chair for yourself?
Anyone can tell you what kind of massage chair they recommend, but the final decision when it comes to picking out the best one is entirely up to you. When you’re considering which chair to buy, it’s best to go ahead and try out the test models of different brands and styles of massage chairs with a few criteria in mind. When you sit down in a chair, you can ask yourself a few questions to help weigh in on your decision.
l Is this chair comfortable?
Comfort should be your top priority; if the chair doesn’t fit or if it’s too tight of a fit for your body, move on to the next chair.
l How intense is the massage?
While you try a few massage chairs, you’ll begin to notice that there is a different strength of massages from one chair to another. Some chairs may include bigger or smaller massage rollers, yielding a more or less intense massage. The massage system may also have different movements ranging from short and gentle to rough and highly protruded.
l Do I like the look of this chair?
The appearance of your chair may be incredibly important. After all, it would be pretty silly if it stuck out like a sore thumb among the rest of your furniture, or if it was too big to fit in your living room or office.
l Is this zero gravity massage chair adjustable? Are there comfortable presets?
Zero gravity massage chairs often come with remotes allowing for some different presets related to the position and massage features. You may enjoy some presets on one chair than you would with another. Higher adjustability can be helpful when it comes to maximizing your comfort.
What’s the importance of zero gravity?
As I previously mentioned, zero gravity chairs take a position that distributes your weight evenly across the entire chair. Together, the zero gravity design and massage system will allow your body to rest over the massage rollers of the chair comfortably. These chairs will provide you with a deeper, more relaxing massage experience by comparison to hand held massagers or even the human touch.
What features can I look forward to in a zero gravity massage chair?
The top zero gravity massage chairs provide you with a full body massage. This massage will focus on your neck, back, shoulders, arms, hips, calves, and even wrap things up with a foot massage as well. Your chair should apply heat to the sore spots that are problematic in your day-to-day life. Something to look forward to is Bluetooth capability, allowing you to pair your device to your chair. Each chair will come equipped with easy-to-use remote controls with preset massage programs, tailoring your experience to provide the ultimate level of comfort.
What are the health benefits of using a zero gravity massage chair?
Massage chairs are known to come with an appealing handful of health benefits. In 1996 the Miami school of medicine touch research Institute used in EEG to detect in adults while they used a massage chair. A group of twenty-four adults took a 15-minute break in a massage chair, where scientists were able to determine several beneficial effects.
The results of the EEG determined that the message group, in comparison to the controlled group, were more relaxed, had enhanced alertness, and that they were mentally less depressed.
Additionally, the scientists detected less of the stress hormone known as cortisol in the message group. You can view the study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8884390.
The Miami school of medicine’s research was only the beginning in regards to the benefits of massage chairs. Here’s a list of currently known benefits:
l Improves cardiovascular health
When you reduce stress, you relieve cardiovascular problems. Stress hormones are a crucial factor in cardiovascular disease, contributing to inflammation and high blood pressure. Massage has also continually proven to increase healthy blood flow.
l Relieves and manages back pain
Back pain is currently one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. The worst possible symptoms of back pain may cause muscle aches, shooting pains, or debilitating pains that can drop you to your knees just by standing.
In another study, doctors referred their patients to massage therapy to treat chronic lower back pain. After completing weekly sessions for nearly 2 ½ months, more than 50% of patients reported an improvement in their chronic pain. After a three month follow-up beyond the study, 75% of those who reported improvements still felt much better.
So despite a popular misconception that this type of massage chair can hurt your back – it actually has the opposite effect, as it helps you relieve back pain instead.
l Lessens headaches
Back and neck strain or poor posture can create tension in your body, resulting in headaches. A zero-gravity massage chair can help increase your blood flow, which improves the overall circulation of oxygen-rich blood to vital parts of the body. In turn, this helps release tense muscles, which can put an end to any chronic headaches that you might be dealing with.
l Boosts your cognitive ability
If you take the time to relax and clear your mind, it’s easier to focus on a single thought. However, when you’re stressed out, the source of your stress becomes the focus of your thinking. Removing the cause of your anxiety is like lifting a veil from over your eyes, allowing you to see the enjoyable aspects of life and have a much better control over your thoughts and their clarity.
l Boosts the immune system
The stress chemical, cortisol dampens your immune system’s ability to fight off sickness. Short massage sessions spent relaxing for a few minutes a day in a zero gravity massage chair might be the boost you need to avoid getting sick during the winter season.
The Best Zero Gravity Massage Chairs
Real Relax is one of the newer players in the massage chair game. Since 2015, Real Relax has remarkably undercut the market with high-quality chairs for less than half the price of other major brands. Instead of spending the amount of money you would typically shell out for a well-used massage chair, the Favor 03 plus is a great pick, in just as comfortable of a price range.
The zero-gravity presets come in three different mode. This includes “Comfort Zero Gravity,” “Initial Zero Gravity,” and “Deep Zero Gravity.” Each program will automatically sense your shape and size to give you the perfect custom massage.
Each zero gravity setting will release and relax your joints and muscles to higher, varying degrees. One of the attractive features of Real Relax’s Favor03 Plus chair is that the design comfortably accommodates small and medium-sized bodies. Finding the right snug-fitting chair may have been a difficult task in the past if you were a more modest-sized person. Instead of the extra-large one size fits all chair, this is a perfect fit for thinner (or smaller) human beings. The Favor 03 Plus can easily fit anyone up to a maximum of 400 pounds, and a height of 6’1 ft.
The latest edition of this massage chair currently boasts 50 airbags to keep you firmly in place during your massage. The airbags will gently press into your neck, shoulders, back, arms, waist, hips, legs and calves, and feet as the system provides you with a very comfortable full body compression massage.
The airbags around the waist area deliver a lovely vibrating sensation to release tension in your sore and tight muscles. Instead of using a roller style system, the Favor 03 Plus utilizes eight massage heads that run from the bottom of your neck, down your entire back.
However, that doesn’t mean this massage chair is roller free. The foot area is heated and comes loaded with flexible rollers, that work together to give you a relaxing shiatsu massage and improve your overall circulation.
- Affordability – The features on this chair are comparable to expensive luxury massage chairs, for less than half the price.
- Airbags – The 50 airbag system provides a unique and more targeted massage than most chairs.
- Zero Gravity – The three settings create a perfect zero-gravity experience for anyone.
- Fixed Frame – Other massage chairs come equipped with a track that allows rollers to move around. The Favor 03’s rollers are fixed in place, which limits its ability to cover your entire back.
- Getting stuck – If you manage to hit the wrong button on the Favor 03, you’re stuck with it. You have to wait for the program to complete, or get up, clamber out and do a “hard reset” on the chair.
The Ootori N500 is something to dream about at night. At first glance, this massage chair looks incredibly similar to the Real Relax Favor 03 model. But after a closer look, you’ll quickly realize that this massage system has some incredibly unique features that stand out in comparison to other chairs.
The zero-gravity function comes with three different massage programs, with each being able to decompress your spine, relax your lower back and increase blood flow throughout your entire body.
Moving on to the physical specifications, the Tinycooper is equipped with 30 airbags and eight strategically placed massage rollers. There are also two rollers toward the top of the chair. These rollers deliver a pleasurable and gentle massage to the edges of your neck and your shoulders as the rest work through your full body. The remaining rollers start at the center of your back, moving through your lower back and ending at the bottom, each featuring a pleasurable vibration along with a blissful level of heat.
You have an astonishing amount of control over the rollers in the Ootori C500, as you can set them to a tapping, kneading, or rolling massage setting. The massager effects are a close second to human touch – just imagine a real set of hands rubbing your back. And while we’re at it, one of the more enjoyable technology features is the timer option. You can set it to 5, 10, or 15 minutes for each massage, allowing you to get in short sessions in between work, or even relax and doze off a bit after dinner.
The N500 also has a unique set of heated foot rollers that move in different directions, effortlessly stimulating your feet in various ways throughout your massage.
Overall, the N500 is a more than satisfying zero gravity massage chair with plenty of massage functions that will tantalize your senses. At the end of your first massage experience, you’ll get out in absolute euphoria, while feeling completely refreshed. And did I mention that you’ll also be pain-free? This is all thanks to its incredibly diverse range of technology used in this wonderful chair that makes for its available massage functions.
- Timer Function – It’s easy to fall asleep and forget you’re in a zero gravity massage chair. The timer will beep and move back to its starting position upon completion, giving you complete timewise control over the entire experience.
- Zero Gravity – Three modes of zero gravity are built-in, and the tailored experience in combination with its other cool features make it one of my favorites.
- Easy Assembly – Assembling the N500 only takes approximately 20-30 minutes out of the box.
- Weak Heat – The heating feature on the N500 is significantly weaker than other chairs.
- Low Weight Capacity – Unless you’re relatively slim, this Ootori model isn’t for you. The maximum weight limit is 220lbs, so taller lads beware!
The Real Relax 2020 3D, is an excellent alternative to the Favor models. This chair comes equipped with newer and more advanced technology to give you a perfect massage experience. Posture yourself in your preferred zero gravity setting, and let the chair do the rest of the work.
The cutting-edge new feature called automatic body detection is almost mind blowing. When you sit down in the chair, multiple sensors will scan your body to detect its distinctive shape. After sensing your size and position, it will adjust itself by conforming to your body using its built-in airbags.
If you’re anything like me, at a certain point in life, your lower back and your hips may often become a painful nuisance. The 3D 2020 massage chair remedies the ruthless and unyielding pain with its built-in waist heater and its vast number of awesome massage programs. Between your lumbar, lower back and the rest of your waist, a short concentrated blast of heat therapy and a nice deep rub should provide some much needed relief for those high-stress areas.
One of the key differences between the Real Relax 2020 3D and its relative, the Favor 03 is that it’s equipped with an advanced roller system. The rollers run on the new Real Relax SL Track. Rollers on the L-track can travel in multiple directions to cover more of your back. A massage using an L-track system is incredibly fulfilling due to the fact that it has an unbelievably extensive reach of 57″.
Running out of space indoors can make it challenging to fit in a new recliner. And thankfully, the Real Relax 2020 3D has a solution for this too. The solution comes in the form of it’s very compact design, which allows you to have your massage chair without sacrificing any room space.
- The SL-Track System – The 57″ SL track system immediately wins hearts with its incredibly long roller reach.
- Full Body Heating – Getting a nice bit of heat from the front and around the waist is unique and quite pleasurable. Multi-heating is almost unheard of in the massage chair world, not to mention the full body multi-heating offered in this model.
- Affordability and wide range of massage programs – The Real Relax 2020 3D SL-Track system is affordable and seems to cover all of its bases without sacrificing any quality.
- Suspicious weight limit – Supposedly, this chair can handle up to 400lbs. However, according to most reviews involving weight, this number seems a little “blown up.”
- Ugly Space Saver – The “Space Saver” refers to the chairs fold-up style, which isn’t exactly a pretty sight for the eyes when it comes to your decor.
- No Memory – If you set a custom program, there’s no returning to it. You have to start the entire process all over again, each time you want to have that same massage.
BestMassage EC-77 is an outstanding budget massage chair loaded with more than enough features to curb its higher price competitors.
It differs from other massage chairs in the fact that it’s quite a bit more portable. This massage chair has wheels on the back of the lower frame so you can roll it from room to room after it’s been put together. BestMassage also makes use of a different variety of heating technology than many other manufacturers. This particular model uses a carbon fiber infrared heat system, which applies the heat to your entire back. This heating system is notably the best I’ve seen in any chair, and I can definitely say that it’s had the most immediate effect on my back pain out of all the chars I’ve tried.
The pre-programmed functions, including several different massage modes, speeds, and intensity levels of the airbags put you in absolute control of your massage. In short, with this chair – you call the shots! And you’ve got a whole 35 airbags with varying pressure intensity to prevent any unwanted mishaps like pinching, crushing and anything else that would have you screaming for someone to turn off the chair. The most curious mode of the list is the “Body Stretch Mode,” which is designed to stretch out your back as well as your waist in one go.And if you’re slightly too tall to fit in any of the other chairs I’ve gone over, you’re actually in luck with this model. This massage chair accommodates taller users with a leg extension, which brings out the leg rest an additional 6.3”.
Another small and unique feature that makes a world of difference is the adjustable head cushion, which you can move up and down to a position where you are most comfortable.
All in all, I have to say that this chair is absolutely worth every penny. And being a budget option, it definitely doesn’t lose any ground to it’s higher priced counterparts.
- Portability – Portability is a huge selling factor when it comes to this chair, being able to tuck the chair into a corner and out of sight is a life saver.
- Advanced heating technology – Having full heat from top to bottom makes the EC-77 feel like the spa-tub of massage chairs. It’s one of the coziest features on it’s rep-sheet, and really adds to the benefit of getting a message.
- Full control of air bag pressure – Other brands may want to take a hint from this feature, especially those that can’t be stopped after they’ve been started.
- Parts wear down and break quickly – It’s a budget option after all. With some use, the various bells and whistles start to wear down and break.
- Limited Height Adjustment – Although the leg-rest may extend to accommodate taller people, it might still be a little bit too cramped for the taller populus.
Zero gravity chairs are an easy way to improve your daily health. They can quickly become a gratifying part of your regular schedule. Each of the chairs that I went over today brings rousing and unique features to the table, and all of them have their discerning cons.
Although the Real Relax 2020 3D LT-Track massage chair missed the mark with its space-saver aesthetic, I’d have to recommend it in the highest regard. Besides, the compact design (although not very pretty), saves plenty of space and allows for easy storage.
I think it’s the most comfortable chair on the list because of the L-Track system paired with massaging airbags. In any mode, the airbags and rollers apply the perfect amount of pressure, setting it apart from others, which might occasionally pinch or squeeze a little bit too hard. Getting the most comfortable and relaxing experience was initially the end goal, right?
The full-body heating system is more comfortable than a blanket on a cold winter morning. And hey, waking up in a drafty condo is a little bit more enjoyable when you can sit down in a fully heated massage chair.
Between the Zero-Gravity, and the relaxing massages, it’s safe to say that it WILL improve your overall health. Your blood flow will increase, you’ll become more relaxed and alert, and your back pain will melt away. Where the massage and zero-gravity aren’t enough, the full-body heat will also help liberate you from the most excruciating levels of soreness.
Real Relax chairs may be missing memory features, but the easy to use design more than makes up for the lack of custom settings.
Above all else, this is the best zero gravity massage chair on the market for its price, hands down!