Portable VS. Luxury Massage Chairs: A Guide to Their Pros and Cons

The list of massage chair manufacturers within today's ever advanced world is neverending. 

I consider myself to be an absolute PRO within the industry with an aggregate of more than 10+ years of experience.

Still, I do acknowledge that there are some massage chair manufacturers that even I have not tried out. 

The statement before this sentence sums up the versatility and diversity of the massage chair industry.

However, the vast world of massage chairs is still no excuse to not indulge in the beneficial pleasures that massage chairs have to offer each user. 

If in case you are new within the massage chairs market sphere unaware of which chair type to opt for then BINGO, you have hit the jackpot. 

This post is solely dedicated to discussing the pros and cons of portable vs. luxury massage chairs.

advantages of portable massage chair
Credit: Freepik

Although, to an inexperienced eye, as I was back in my early young age, opting for a luxury massage chair over a portable massage chair seemed like the best option. 

At the very same time, it is necessary to consider that each massage chair regardless of their type has a significant number of benefits offered. 

The benefits delivered depend upon the massage chair features and model, along with the requirement of each prospective buyer. 

So, without any delays, let's get into the benefits and comparisons right away, shall we! 

For better understanding, I am initially going to begin by comprehensively briefing you about portable massage chairs. 

Then we will move onto discussing the benefits luxury massage chairs have to offer!

We ought to begin, so keep on reading! 

portable massage chair

When it comes to mobile massage chairs, prospective buyers need to keep in consideration several core factors including the weight, the frame material, the upholstery, etc. 

How do portable massage chairs differentiate themselves from luxury massage chairs? 

Well, the answer is a lot simpler than you think. 

Each of the factors given below will help in not only understanding the dynamics of portable massage chairs but also help analyze whether they are the best massage chair type for you!

The Purpose

A portable Massage chair is almost always either utilized by professional masseuse within the industry.

Therapists or even at times couples also utilize portable massage chairs for delivering intimate massages to their loved ones. 

The first time I got myself an Earthlite portable massage chair was mainly to practice, as well as, boost off my massaging skills to my wife. 

Let me tell you though, after practice I realized I was not even half as good of a masseuse in comparison to my wife. 

Thus, I chose to stick to reviewing massage chairs, rather than being the one to deliver a massage session. Funny huh?

A portable massage chair is mainly for those intending on delivering a massage session to others, rather than being the one to avail the massage motions without any additional aid.

So if you consider yourself to be a provide-at-home massage therapist, then a Portable Massage Chair serves your purpose and is what you should preferably purchase.

Advantages of a Portable Massage Chair


Unlike the usually bulky massage chairs present in the market sphere, portable massage chairs, as the name itself suggests, are highly lightweight massage chairs.

Their light weight is what ensures sheer portability.

While purchasing a luxury massage chair, there have been numerous times, when I had to additionally pay a significant amount to carriers.

Not only did I pay for transporting the chair to my home, but also for setting it up inside the premises.

The extra charges were a necessity since I alone, could not possibly transport it even though I own a relatively large SUV Van. 

Fretting over the additional delivery charges and setting up the massage chair will never be an issue when it comes to portable massage chairs. 

Such is the case since they rarely ever weigh above 75 lbs, with the lightest ones in the market going as low as 11 lbs. 

Such chairs are definitely for you if you like delivering massages on the go without being bound to one place. 

The Earthlite Vortex, for example, weighs an aggregate of only 15 lbs.

Shocking right?

That's as lightweight as two newborn babies; thus, making portability an utmost ease. 

An Ergonomic Structure

Do not know what an ergonomic design is? 

That's okay, you are not the only one who doesn’t know what it means. 

A majority of my friends when I use ‘Ergonomic’ while discussing  massage chairs almost always give baffled looks in return. 

An ergonomic structure is what we refer to foldable, easily adjustable chair structures. 

An ergonomic design; thus, allows for utmost convenience, ease and helps fit your massage chair in tight spaces, even as compact as the back of your car. 

Luxury massage chairs do offer space-saving features; however, do not be fooled, since lack of easy portability is among the biggest flaws of owning a full-fledged massage chair.

Water & Oil Proof Upholstery

Let me tell you, getting an oil stain on the massage chair is as devastating as getting an oil stain on your brand new jacket, and I am talking from experience.

A non-removable oil stain stays as a grave reminder every time a user decides to utilize their massage chair.

Being a clean freak myself; it is of utmost importance to purchase a massage chair which features water and oil proof upholstery. 

Portable massage chairs are primarily utilized for delivering manual massage based sessions which involve both essential oils and lubricants. 

Massage chair upholstery needs to be kept looking fresh and grease-free, no one likes laying down on a dirty looking chair.

Thus, portable massage chairs offer utmost convenience with cleaning with the help of water-proof and oil resistant surfaces. 

Highly advanced, easily cleanable upholstery is offered to prospective buyers of such chairs, even featuring appealing color options for enhanced aesthetics. 

Disadvantages of a Portable Massage Chair

Absence of Automatic Massage Settings

The major downside of a portable massage chair is the lack of massage motions it has to offer in the form of integrated massage settings. 

They are an excellent base for delivering a massage session to another individual via a masseuse therapist. 

However, the portable chair itself cannot be used as an effective form of attaining a massage session without any additional assistance. 

Luxury, full-sized massage chairs offer users a vast variation of highly specialized automatic massage programs for delivering maximized user convenience. 

For a customized session,  manual massage settings are also offered by luxury massage chairs.

Although I may not be the biggest fan of portable massage chairs, my wife is considering she's a professional massage therapist herself.

I can definitely say that with the right massage therapist in hand, a portable massage chair can do wonders with delivering relaxation and physical rejuvenation. 

Now that I’ve talked about portable chairs, I’d like to jump right into the crux of luxury full-body massage chairs.

Luxury Massage Chairs

automatic full body massage chair

Luxury, full-sized massage chairs are what you will find most commonly within the market sphere.

Regardless of whether you are in search of a massage chair on the digital sphere or even in person, such chairs are what mostly run the show. 

They serve a completely different purpose than portable massage chairs; thus, you will find out that they also have a diverse clientele of prospective buyers and users.

The Purpose

Unlike portable, luxury massage chairs are manufactured primarily to attain ultimately two purposes; sheer relaxation and optimized physical recovery. 

How they achieve either of their two set purposes is well, with the help of several features integrated inside which work in perfect harmony. 

Each of the technological components incorporated inside a luxury chair either deliver maximized relaxation via massage therapy or stimulated recovery through specialized programs.

Thus, they are ideal for those like myself, whom of which expect a fully specialized massage experience via the massage chair itself. 

For a better understanding, I will intend on discussing the pros and cons of luxury massage chairs so that prospective buyers like you can fully make up their mind regarding the purchase. 

Advantages of a Luxury Massage Chair

Specialized Automatic and Manual Massage Settings

Luxury massage chairs have their users holistically covered when it comes to delivering all forms of optimized relaxation via an effective massage. 

Both physical rejuvenation and maximized physiological relaxation are delivered with the integration of an array of massage features.  

Portable massage chairs require a masseuse or a professional therapist to deliver the massage, but luxury chairs have automatically preset massage motions and nodes integrated inside for the purpose. 

Automatic massage sessions are preset and designed with the help of professionals in the industry.

The integrated programs aim to mimic the benefits of a 3D-like massage session, each featuring varying intensity, massage type, speed and timings. 

For sheer customization, luxury chairs also offer users the advantage of creating the massage session they desire.

Although it sounds complicated; however, I learned the mechanics of setting up the typical manual session by playing around over time. 

Manual massage settings pertain around setting varying massage types, motions, intensities and speed, a talent you will learn with much ease too without hesitation over time. 

Massage Featuring Airbags and Rollers

Although portable massage chairs at times do have massage nodes integrated inside; however, they are only in the form of vibrators. 

Luxury massage chairs on the other hand not only incorporate large sums of airbags within the massage technology but also merge their massage settings with deep-tissue 3D rollers.

The rollers are specifically present within the chairs to satisfy those buyers whom of which give preference to an intense massage experience. 

Both the rollers and airbags work in perfect harmony to enhance blood circulation by loosening up otherwise strained and compressed nerves. 

Once nerves are released from the pressure placed upon them due to a labour-intensive lifestyle, blood circulation is better stimulated. 

An increased blood-circulation in return works in enhancing not only the anatomy wellbeing but also the physical posture of users. 

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is another significant feature offered by luxury massage chairs, which portable massage chairs do not provide. 

Personally regardless of whether it may be the hot summers or even the freezing winters, an adequate amount of heat penetrating my body is essential to loosen up tight muscles effectively. 

Luxury massage chairs ensure consistent heat transmission to users.

The transmitted heat delivers a relaxing massage experience along with stimulates tightened muscles for enhancing muscle healing and growth. 

If you are in search of a massage chair which delivers comforting warmth during the massage session itself, then luxury full-body massage chair regardless of its price tag is the best option for you!

Disadvantages of a Luxury Massage Chair

Relatively Big Size

When it comes to massage chairs, with luxury comes both, a high price tag along with a relatively large structure in size. 

A massage chair  is quite a hassle when it comes to not only transporting it from the buyer to your home but also setting it up inside the house itself. 

It can range from 110 lbs to even a whopping 300 lbs depending upon the number of features integrated inside.

The overall size of the such chairs further makes them extremely difficult to move around, even inside one room without any additional help.

Portable massage chairs, on the other hand, deliver sheer portability with a lightweight structure as well as an ergonomic design. 

Depending upon your preferred choice, if you intend on keeping the massage chair within the vicinity of your home, or even one room, I would recommend luxury massage chairs. 

But there are numerous times when the sheer weight and size of such chairs can prove to be much of a hassle with moving around.

Additional carrier charges turn out to be a sucker; however, are a necessity when transporting luxury full-fledge massage chairs. 

Although I am among the biggest fan of luxury massage chairs; yet, at the same time, my beloved wife prefers portable massage chairs above the conventional style any day. 

The decision of which out of the two types of massage chairs would best suit you and your needs depends not only on the advantages and disadvantages of each class but also your own individualistic needs and requirements. 

Keeping each of the components I have reviewed in this post carefully into consideration. I am sure you will make the right decision with whichever purchase you finalize, so good luck! 

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