four portable massage chairs

Best Portable Massage Chair Reviews 2020


The value of the best portable massage chair cannot be overstated for the professional therapist. It can double work efficiency and save you a lot of headache down the road.

If you are a massage therapist who is looking to invest in a top portable chair for work, just jump straight to the reviews, we have done all the research for you, tested the chairs, read the reviews from other users and compiled all this info into this easy to read article so you can make an objective buying decision. (1)

If you are either a beginner massage therapist looking to pick up your first chair for practice or considering buying a portable chair for home use, you might want to start with our buyers guide (located under the reviews). We look at the features to consider before deciding on a portable massage chair model.

For those of you in a hurry, here are our top choices by category: 

Best Premium

the best portable massage chair money can buy

Master Massage Rio

  • High quality materials
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Wheeled carrying case

Best Overall

our best overall portable massage chair pick

Earthlite Vortex

  • Light but super sturdy
  • Both for indoor and outdoor use
  • Most versatile portable chair

Best Budget

the best cheap portable massage chair

Best Massage

  • Sturdy and easy to clean
  • Simple to fold and use
  • Great for beginners

Portable Massage Chairs Reviewed

*We select and review all products independently, based on our opinion and customer feedback. Some links on this page are affiliate links and if you make a purchase we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more info on our disclaimer page.

Earthlite Vortex Massage Chair – Best Overall 

The Earthlite Vortex strikes a very good balance between comfort, durability and portability, making it an ideal choice for professional use. Featuring dual density Pro-lite cushions covered by Natursoft upholstery, most people find the Vortex very comfortable.

Built on an aircraft-grade strong aluminum frame, it weighs only 15 lbs making it one of the lightest professional massage chairs on the market. The working weight of the chair is 300 lbs, suitable for most clients but may be too low for some settings such as hospitals. The supplied nylon carry case with padded straps and the light weight makes this chair very easy to travel with.

The setup is a quick and easy process, the adjustment options include multiple seat, arm rest and face support settings. Some users find the size of the face rest narrow. The non-removable pads can be a limiting factor for dealing with injured or disabled clients.

Available in 7 colors. Earthlite offers an industry leading lifetime warranty on the frame and 3 years warranty for the upholstery and cushions.

If you are a massage therapist and looking for only one chair to buy for versatile work, we think the Earthlite Vortex offers the best balance today. Suitable for most clients and light enough to travel with, this chair will suit the needs of most massage professionals. The exception is hospital work or heavy use with larger clients – for this, Stronglite is a better option.

Stronglite Ergo Pro II – Best Heavy-Duty 

Comfortable padding – some people find the face cradle even a little too soft – on a very durable frame, the STRONGLITE Ergo Pro II is designed for the working professional in mind. The best adjustment options on the market – the chest pad tilts as well as slides, the seat tilts, slides and can be height adjusted, removable leg support pads – makes this a very versatile portable massage chair that allows you to work with just about any size clients.

The frame is made of heat treated T6 aluminum that can handle up to 600 lbs of working weight. The chair itself weighs 24 lbs which is on the heavier side but the built-in wheels making it easy to move around.

The durable nylon carry case comes with a padded strap which works OK for shorter commutes. While the wheels help indoors and on solid surfaces, they can be a pain to deal with on outdoor events like festivals.

A point of concern from users is the somewhat limited weight capacity of the arm rest. Another issue comes with the adjustability options – with so many moving parts, some of them is likely to become loose and squeaky after a while so maintenance is something you wanna pay attention to.

The STRONGLITE Ergo Pro II is our top choice for a massage professional who regularly works with a wide variety of clients, heavier persons or people with injuries and disabilities.

The adjustability options make this suitable for any clients. If you are commuting over longer distances and/or often working on outdoor events, this might not be the best choice for you.

Master Massage Professional – Best Middle Range 

Equipped with one of the thickest small cell foam cushions of any portable massage chair, this Master Massage model offers a good level of comfort – if you can get the settings right. While the adjustability options are there for the height of the chair, the face cradle and the chest support, we have found it a little cumbersome to make adjustments for very short or very tall people.

The frame is solid and lightweight, made from aircraft-grade aluminum steel combination. With a weight of just 15.2 lbs, the chair is able to support a 650 lbs working weight which is a really good ratio.

Wheels can be a handy accessory to move portable massage chairs around, but they can also be awkward if the ground is not solid.

Master Massage has found a really good solution for this as they have put the wheels on the carrier bag instead. This makes for an easy commute yet still gives a solid support for working on outdoor surfaces or festivals.

You might want to consider using an additional soft padding on the face area as it can leave a mark on the client’s face. Another small issue is that the leg supports are not removable.

The Master Massage Professional chair is a solid choice for a massage therapist who commutes or moves around a lot. It’s a popular second-chair option complimenting a more robust – and probably heavier – chair for hospital or massage practice use.

Master Massage Rio – Best Premium 

The Master Massage Rio was designed for massage professionals who don’t want to compromise on anything. The small cell foam cushions combined with infinite adjustability options will provide excellent support for just about everyone.

You can adjust or remove the face cradle, infinitely adjust the chest support, change both the angle and the height of the arm rest and adjust the seat. The knee pads can be also removed. All of this is mounted on a sturdy aircraft grade aluminum frame. The plastic parts are reinforced with fiber glass.

While the 24 lbs weight of the chair is not the lightest, it supports a working weight of 600 lbs, enabling it to handle heavy-duty work in any setting. The chair itself does not have wheels so it can be used outdoors as well. The wheeled carrying case makes commute easy.

The Rio is a premium built portable massage chair and it’s reflected in user feedback. Most buyers are very happy with this chair and this includes many professional users.

The comfortable and sturdy design is highlighted in many reviews as well as the fact that this chair is not squeaky – a common problem with some other highly adjustable portable chairs. The chair can be a little bulky for some, but this naturally comes with the bigger frame and more options.

If you are looking to invest in the best portable massage chair today, The Master Massage Rio is your clear choice. It can handle any working environment and any client pool. It’s not as light as some other portable chairs on the market but the handy wheeled carrying case still makes commute easy.

Best Massage Portable Therapy Chair – Best Budget 

BestMassage makes one of the top budget portable massage chairs today. The padded elements offer a good level of comfort for shorter sessions and can be adjusted – although with some limitations. The PU leather upholstery is oil and water resistant and can be easily cleaned.

The frame is sturdy enough but, obviously, not at the level of the professional portable massage chairs. It weighs 23 lbs and can handle a working weight of 300 lbs – although the manual only mentions 250 lbs which is inconsistent with their sales description.

The chair folds well and can be assembled easily. It also comes with a nylon carrying case. As expected, the reviews on this model are mixed as some massage therapists compare it to professional models but this chair is not playing in that league.

We feel that for the price, this BestMassage chair offers a good alternative for beginner users on the budget. Yes, it’s less sturdy, less comfortable and a little heavier than pricier models but it does the job well and can be a great solution for part-time users and beginners who need their first portable massage chair to practice on.

Giantex Portable Light Weight Massage Chair 

Another great low priced alternative on the market in the Giantex Portable Massage Chair. The cushions are made from high density small-cell foam and covered with PU leather. This makes cleaning a breeze as the upholstery is oil and water resistant.

The frame is power-coated aluminum with a working weight of up to 350 lbs. This is a good ratio to the chair’s own weight of 20 lbs. There are no wheels on either the chair or on the carrying case so take that into consideration if you are a smaller person ad planning to commute a lot.

The face cradle, the chest pad, the seat and the arm rest are adjustable, the knee pads are fixed. This portable massage chair is on the larger side, so it fits heavier clients too.

It folds very easily and comes fully assembled. Users are very happy with the stability and durable built of this chair. Many point out the high value it provides for the price.

The Giantex Portable Massage Chair is best suited for home use and as a budget alternative to higher priced professional chairs. If you are planning to travel a lot or often working at events, this might not be the best option for you as it is a larger massage chair without wheels to help carry it around.

Therabuilt Apex Portable Massage Chair 

On the lower end of the portable massage chair range is the Therabuilt Apex. Primarily suited as a first massage chair for someone who commutes a lot, it weighs just 18.5 lbs which makes it easy to carry around even for smaller persons. A durable nylon carrying case is supplied.

The cushions are made of 3.5 inch thick foam and provide ample comfort. The PU leather cover makes it easy to keep the chair clean. It has a working weight of just 250 lbs so it’s not suitable for environments where clients are often heavier.

Adjustablity options include the face cradle, seat, arm rest and chest pad while the knee support is fixed. There is a 1 year warranty against manufacturer’s defect and 3 months warranty on the face cradle.

We would only recommend this chair for light use or as a first massage chair for new therapists who want to work outdoor events like festivals.

Users point out some weak points such as weaker plastic parts, the chest support angles are not fitting some clients and the straps on the carrying case not being comfortable. It gets plus points for the light weight, stability and overall value.

Portable Massage Chair Buyers Guide 

What is the best portable massage chair? 

Just like with the best massage chairs, what’s the best portable massage chair for you depends on your needs and your budget. For a massage therapist who uses the chair every day, it will be one of the professional models from brands such as Master Massage, Earthlite or Stronglite. Keep in mind that these massage chairs designed for heavy-duty use command a higher price tag as they are made from higher quality materials and provide a lot more adjustability options.

a lady enjoying on the white portable massage chair

If you are looking to purchase a portable massage chair for practice or home use, you can find the best fit for your needs a lot cheaper. Giantex or BestMassage manufacture simple, sturdy portable massage chairs that will be more than adequate for you to use on your family members or until you gain enough practice to invest in a professional model.

How to choose a portable massage chair? 

Let’s take a look at the features you want to consider before you make a buying decision.

Price range

Portable massage chairs usually come in the $60 to $450 price range. The lower end models will come with less adjustability options and usually support less working weight.

The higher priced models are designed for professional use and you can expect sturdy frames, better quality materials and more adjustability features. They should come with a longer warranty too, with some high-end models even offering a limited lifetime warranty.

Working weight

This means the maximum weight of a client the chair supports while providing a massage on it. This is different from static weight support which shows the maximum amount of still weight it can hold and is a higher number than working weight.

a man doing massage for a boy

You need to consider the type of clients you are planning to serve during your work. If you are planning to attend outdoor events, a smaller working weight will usually do but if your main practice is in a hospital or you are working with heavier clients in general, you will want to opt for a massage chair with around 600 lbs of working weight.

Comfort

This consists of two parts, the thickness and quality of the cushions and the adjustability options that allow you to find the most comfortable positions for each client. While most models will provide at least a good enough padding, there is a greater variance in adjustability. The relationship between price and overall comfort is usually linear.

Portability

This also comes down to two main factors, weight and how easy it is to move a chair around – over both short and long distances. Let’s start with weight. Most portable massage chairs range between 15 lbs and 26 lbs, the heavier models are usually better suited for therapists with the need to move the chair from one room to another, while the lighter ones can be easily carried around.

The existence of wheels makes a big difference too. Chairs with built-in wheels are great for indoor work while the same wheels can be a pain to deal with in a festival setting. Some models work around this by putting the wheels on the carrying case.

Ease of use

This refers to how easy is to fold the chair for a commute or storage and also the ease of adjustability. Some models can be folded with one move and can be put behind a cupboard while some require a little more work but should still be easy to deal with. The massage chairs with more adjustability usually take a little longer to master as some parts can be sliding, tilting and some parts can be even removed.

What are portable electric massage chairs? 

Portable electronic massage chairs are also called back, neck and shoulder massager or folding shiatsu chairs – such as this popular model. They are one of the many massage devices meant for home use and are different from the professional portable massage chairs we have reviewed in this article. Nevertheless, these handy portable electric massage chairs can be a great choice for elderly parents or for persons with chronic back or shoulder pain.

Grant Moore
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