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If you suffer from back pain and have heard good things about zero gravity chairs, you’ve come to the right place. There are so many options out there, it can be really tough deciding which is the best zero gravity chair for back pain. So, we’re here to help.
To put together this guide, we researched 39 different products. When all was said and done, we settled on the Human Touch Perfect Chair PC-420as our Editor’s Choice. Not only is it a strong, durable, and effective zero gravity chair, it’s also extremely stylish and a great addition to your home. If you’re looking for something you can use outside or a chair that can also give you an amazing massage, keep reading! We found something for everyone.
Top 6 Zero Gravity Chairs for Back Pain 2020
When figuring out which of these chairs was the best, we kept a few key features in mind. We considered the weight capacity so you know how much the chair can handle. Weight and dimensions are also important so you know whether or not the chair fits in your home. Some of these chairs are pretty large while others are actually portable. Finally, we looked at any guarantees to make sure your purchase is protected. The first thing you’ll see is a table where you can take a brief look at all of our options, side by side. Next are in-detail reviews of each product followed by a buying guide so you know how to choose the right chair for you.
The Human Touch Perfect Chair PC-420 is our Editor’s Choice. This chair has a lot of features that can help alleviate back pain, including an articulating headrest with a full-support head pillow and extended armrests.
Use the recline lever to slowly position the chair until you feel virtually weightless. The release valve makes it easy to get it just right. This is a really strong, durable chair. It has a weight limit of 400 pounds and is made of high-tensile strength steel that won’t rust or discolor.
We think that this is the most attractive zero gravity chair that we found in our research. The upholstery is made of premium, expertly crafted top-grain leather, premium leather, or imitation leather. Several colors are available, too. As for the base, it’s made of hand-carved wood that’s hand stained to a dark walnut or walnut finish brush brushed aluminum accents that add a bit of modern flair.
People don’t have a lot of complaints about this chair. A few people mentioned that it wasn’t as comfortable when sitting upright. It can also be a bit difficult to get yourself out of a reclined position.
Easy-to-use release valve for positioning
Weight limit of 400 pounds
High-tensile strength steel won’t rust
Choose from top-grain, premium, or imitation leather
We’re calling the Medical Breakthrough Recliner Massage Chair our advanced pick because, although it’s pretty pricey, it’s also one of the most effective chairs we found in our research. The manufacturer spent five years studying massage techniques and worked with more than 25 medical professionals, including doctors, pain specialists, and chiropractors to create the perfect chair.
This high-tech chair scans your body then positions the rollers in just the right place to give you the massage you need. The zero-gravity position helps distribute your weight evenly across the chair to make you as comfortable as possible.
One of the most impressive things about it is that it features multiple types of massage, including Japanese Shiatsu 3D neck and shoulder massage, Greek stress relief, and Indonesian Deep Tissue Therapy. You can customize the chair using the adjustable footrest and shoulder pads and use Bluetooth to connect to your phone so you can listen to music.
This chair weighs just over 400 pounds but don’t worry – there are wheels so you can easily move it around after you get it set up. It holds up to 300 pounds but keep in mind it has a bit of a slim fit and might be a bit tight for anyone over 250 pounds.
Designed with input from more than 25 medical professionals
The Caravan Sports ZGL01151 is our value pick and it’s a great choice for anyone on the heavier side. At 500 pounds, this chair has the highest weight limit of all the options on our list. We also love that this chair is designed to be used outdoors. The iron phosphate powder coating protects the frame against rust and the durable outdoor fabric is designed to last.
This chair features a flip lock that’s located under the armrest and a smooth recline function that makes it easy to get into any position. There’s also an attached headrest for added comfort. All you have to do is lean back until you find the right spot, lock the chair in place, and you’re ready to relax.
One of the things we like the most about this chair is that it’s portable and easily folds up so you can take it with you, wherever you’re going. That said, one of the downsides is that, at 32 pounds, it’s a bit heavy for a portable chair but you’re unlikely to find another zero gravity chair that’s this easy to take with you to the beach or a tailgate.
Technically, this is a love seat which means it was designed for two people. Some people felt that there wasn’t enough support for this.
If you’re looking for a zero gravity chair to use outside, take a look at the Lafuma LFM3120-6135 Futura. It features a padded Air Comfort seat pad that uses a three-layer system that allows air to flow through. Enjoy lounging in the sun without getting stuck to your seat!
This chair easily adjusts into the zero gravity position which is made even more comfortable by the chair’s padded cushion. It also features a removable head cushion, foot glides, and a protective ring for the footrest.
At only 18.5 pounds, this chair is exceptionally portable. It’s durable, too, with a frame made of sturdy steel tubing that’s resistant to fading. Plus, it’s covered in high-quality fabric that’s UV resistant, so you don’t have to worry about sun damage when you use it outside. That’s not all, you can also easily remove the fabric to give it a good wash at the beginning and end of the season.
One of the things that people commented about is that the fabric doesn’t seem to be as durable as they’d hoped, though this was not a common complaint. Another issue brought up in the reviews is that this chair may fit a tall person more comfortably than someone shorter than, say, five feet seven or so.
Designed for outdoor use
Padded three-layer breathable Air Comfort cushion
Folds for transport
Weighs only 18.5 pounds
UV resistant fabric is removable for easy washing
Few people mentioned that the fabric did not seem very durable
Another great option for a zero gravity chair with massage is the Kahuna Massage Chair Superior. This chair features five auto settings (fast recovery, pain relief, yoga stretching, athlete, and relaxation) and four special combinations (office person, senior, golfer, and dynamic sport) so there’s something for everyone.
All these types of massage are done while you’re in a zero-gravity position, increasing the pressure for a relaxing massage. It’s capable of performing the same types of moves as a professional masseur, including tapping, kneading, knocking, and shiatsu.
One of the nice things about this chair is that it uses a mechanism that only requires three inches of space between it and the wall. This is a great feature because it won’t take up as much room when upright and you don’t have to worry about pulling it away from the wall before you use it. That said, it is equipped with wheels so you can easily move it when you have to.
There aren’t a lot of big complaints about this chair. Some people felt that some of the massage techniques were a bit rough and that the chair was a little too wide for an average-sized person. Another issue was that the LCD screen was difficult to read. There is a remote control, but it is somewhat limited.
We also recommend the Osaki OS4000TA for a zero gravity massage chair with a lot of impressive options. There are six different massage styles to choose from as well as five intensity levels and an auto timer.
This one also features a computer body scan to make sure you get the precise massage you need. It uses warm air massagers and calf and foot massagers plus shoulder, lumber, and hip squeezes and more to help you relax, all the while in a zero-gravity position.
There are so many features to this chair, it’s hard to name them all. In addition to the things we already mentioned, you also get a foot roller, automatic recline, leg extension, lumbar heat, vibration seat massage, and a wireless controller.
This chair is available in three different colors (black, charcoal, and cream) and comes with a one-year guarantee on labor and two years on parts. It was weight limit tested up to 300 pounds and recommended for people around six feet tall.
There are not many complaints about this chair. Most people are extremely happy with their purchase, even if it is a little pricey. Keep track of the warranty information just in case you have an issue.
Six massage settings
Five intensity levels
Body scan technology
Multiple types of massage
Little to no complaints from reviewers
If you’ve had it with your back pain and have heard good things about zero gravity chairs and what they can do, you’re in the right place. Before you choose which zero gravity chair is right for you, take a look at this buying guide. It will help you decide the features that are most important to you while shopping.
How zero gravity helps to reduce back pain?
The key to how these chairs work is the whole “zero gravity” bit. When reclined, zero gravity chairs hold your body in a position where gravity has the least effect on your body. It’s a bit of a misnomer to say that zero gravity is working on your body because, of course, it is. But a zero gravity position is when gravity isn’t adding pressure to any one part of your body.
If you experience back pain, you know that it often hurts more at the end of the day when you’ve been up and about on your feet. When you stand upright, gravity is pulling against your head, shoulders, chest, and everything else which puts a lot of pressure on your back. In the zero-gravity position, this isn’t an issue.
Interestingly, this position was largely developed by NASA and replicates the position that astronauts take when the space shuttle is in flight.
Helpful tips to improve back
While time in a zero gravity chair may help your back feel better, there are some other tried-and-true ways to improve back pain.
One of the first things you can do is limit bed rest. Yes, we know that sounds a bit counterintuitive, your back is hurting, and you want to lie down. But the truth is that getting up and moving can improve your back pain a lot faster than days of bed rest.
Don’t push it, though. If you’re having back pain, lifting weights or running a marathon might not be a good idea. Simply taking a long walk is a great way to get your body moving enough to stretch and relieve tension that could contribute to your pain.
Make sure you have a firm mattress to help support your back when you sleep at night. This can help you wake up in the morning with less pain. If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever or, if your pain is severe, talk to your doctor about something stronger. Alternating between hot and cold compresses can also help.
In some cases, physical therapy may be needed. Physical therapists help you learn how to sit, stand, and move with your spine in proper alignment and teach you specialized exercises you need to strengthen your core muscles to better support your spine. Massage is also a great way to relieve tension and ease sore muscles.
Features to consider while buying the best zero gravity chair for back pain
If you want to give a zero gravity chair a try in hopes that it will relieve your back pain, here are the main things to consider.
These chairs come in a wide range of prices. The Medical Breakthrough Recliner Massage Chair costs around $7,000 while the Caravan Sports ZGL01151 costs only about $130. And there are chairs at multiple price points in between. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that the chairs on the more expensive end of the spectrum do much more than hold you in a zero-gravity position. They are often equipped with heat, massage, and many other features that are well worth considering if you have back pain.
These chairs come in a variety of sizes, too. Again, their size directly relates to how much they can do. For instance, the Lafuma LFM3120-6135 Futura easily folds down and only weighs 18.5 pounds so you can easily store it or take it with you to the beach. On the other hand, the Osaki OS4000TA, which has a lot of massage features, weighs more than 200 pounds and measures 38 x 25 x 15 inches.
These chairs vary a bit when it comes to weight capacity, ranging anywhere from 300 to 500 pounds. It’s very important that you stick to this weight capacity as the chair can be unsafe if you don’t.
Materials vary a bit from one chair to the next. One of the reasons we chose the Human Touch Perfect Chair PC-420 as our Editor’s Choice is because of the materials. The wooden base and leather upholstery are beautifully made which makes this chair a stylish choice for your living room. On the other hand, some of the more basic options are designed for durability, even in the outdoors, with powder-coated steel tubing and durable material resistant to UV damage.
Not all of these chairs have massage options but some, like the Kahuna Massage Chair Superior, do. Most of the work by first putting you in a zero-gravity position and then performing the massage. Although it varies from chair to chair, you can find a variety of different massages, from feet to calves, arms to shoulders, and, of course, your back.
Heating and cushioning
The basic zero gravity chairs typically use supportive fabric and may not have a lot of cushioning when compared to the massage chairs. The zero gravity massage chairs have a lot more cushioning, but they are designed to be snug so that your body sits against the massagers in the right way. Note that some of the options we chose also have heated areas, usually on the lumbar or lower spine.
It’s important to consider the guarantee of any zero gravity chair. This is pretty obvious when it comes to the massage chairs as they are loaded with electronics and moving parts. The more technical the chair is, the more things there are that can break so it’s important to know that you’re covered.
That said, pay attention to the coverage for the low tech zero gravity chairs, too. While they don’t have the electronic components to worry about, they do have moving parts.
Also, keep in mind that the zero gravity position puts a lot of pressure on these chairs. They’re essentially removing all the pressure from your body and absorbing it as they hold you in recline. It’s important to know that they’re up to the task and aren’t going to break underneath you.
Standard zero gravity chairs typically have a switch that controls how far you recline. You manually control when the chair moves and use the same mechanism to make adjustments.
The more involved electric massage chairs recline automatically as a part of all the other design features. So, when you choose the massage you want, the chair will place you in the zero gravity position before it gets to work.
These chairs don’t have a lot of accessories because, honestly, everything you need is integrated into their design. Some of them have headrests that can be removed. Others have remote controls to adjust the settings. Some companies also provide extra padding or cushions but these have to be purchased separately.
Indoors or outdoors?
This depends on the chair. It’s pretty obvious that the massage chairs are not appropriate for outdoor use. They are full of electronics and are extremely large and bulky and must be used indoors.
That said, most of the simpler designs were made to be used outside. You’ll find powder-coated frames, material with UV protection, and washable fabric, all suitable for outdoor use.
If you are experiencing back pain, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before trying anything to alleviate it, including zero gravity chairs. While there is no obvious reason that a doctor would tell you not to use one, back pain can be caused by a lot of factors so you might want to check just to be sure.
Generally, it’s not a good idea to allow a child to use a zero gravity chair with massage. In truth, it depends on the child and their age. These chairs are designed for adults of a certain size and are supposed to have a somewhat snug fit. It’s unlikely a child would properly fit which could cause problems when it comes to the location of the massagers and the zero gravity positioning.
Our Editor’s Choice is the Human Touch Perfect Chair PC-420. It features an easy-to-use relief valve that makes it easy to find the perfect position as well as an articulating headrest, head pillow, and extended armrests. This is also one of the best-looking chairs we found in our research.
Next is the Medical Breakthrough Recliner Massage Chair and, while it’s pretty pricey, it’s also loaded with features you won’t find anywhere else. It was designed with input from more than 25 medical professionals and features multiple massage options, a body scan function, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Finally, we recommend the Caravan Sports ZGL01151 as our best value. This is a simple yet effective chair designed to use outdoors. It’s wide enough for two people and holds up to 500 pounds. If you’re looking for the best zero gravity chair for back pain and are trying to stick to a budget, this is a great pick for you.