Are you currently a massage therapist or looking to go into business for yourself as one?  If so, the right equipment matters. 

Most independent therapists use massage tables or chairs or have both available to accommodate all user tastes and preferences but finding the “right” equipment that does what you need it to do and is offered at  a price you can afford can be a daunting task that can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

We can help with that!  We’ve scoured the internet on a quest to find the best portable massage chair on the market today, and we’ve identified a clear winner that stands apart from the rest.  Before we tell you about our top pick, let’s take a broader look at the winner and our other finalists.

Note that when preparing this review, we broke our list of best massage chair for a massage therapist into two distinct groups:  Overall best, and under $300 to provide some attractive low-cost options for people on a tight budget. 

If looking for the best of the best, don’t miss our overall best massage chair ratings review.

Selection Criterion

The “best portable massage chair” means different things to different people, so knowing our criterion will help you better understand our portable massage chair ratings.  You may or may not agree with our findings, but at least if you know what is driving our thinking, you’ll be in a good position to make an informed choice from among the other contenders that might be a better fit for you personally.

When evaluating chairs for possible inclusion on our list and ranking them, we looked at a number of factors, including product durability, portability, utility and value (price and performance).  

In addition to that, we paid close attention to portable massage chairs reviews from around the web to get a feel for what people who use these chairs on a daily basis think about the models they purchased.

From those factors, a picture began to form, which we used to compare our finalists with one another, squaring them off against each other competitively, until a clear victor emerged.  Having done that, let’s take a closer look at our overall winner and our other top contenders:

Comparison Chart

Our Pick
 
 
4.7
4.6
4.5
N/A
N/A
$369.99
20.5 pounds
19 pounds
17.6 pounds
300 pounds
300 pounds
650 pounds
33” x 26” x 44”
32” x 20” x46”
31” x 19” x 51”
Vinyl or top-grain leather (extra charge)
Vinyl
PU
  • Offered in a stunning variety of colors, and you can upgrade to leather upholstery. Hands-down, the most versatile portable massage therapy chair on the market today.
  • Well-loved by those who own them. Receives some of the best portable massage chair reviews on the web. Full featured and well-built.
  • Massive max weight limit, rugged and well built. This is a no-nonsense chair that offers tons of value for the money.
  • Doesn’t come with a carrying case, which you’ll have to buy separately, making this chair even more expensive than its list price would suggest, and it’s already expensive.
  • While slightly less expensive than our top pick, it suffers from the same issue that the “extras” all further increase the price, making this one more expensive than it appears at first glance.
  • Short on “extras” (but it makes up for that in raw practicality and performance).
Our Pick
4.7
N/A
20.5 pounds
300 pounds
33” x 26” x 44”
Vinyl or top-grain leather (extra charge)
  • Offered in a stunning variety of colors, and you can upgrade to leather upholstery. Hands-down, the most versatile portable massage therapy chair on the market today.
  • Doesn’t come with a carrying case, which you’ll have to buy separately, making this chair even more expensive than its list price would suggest, and it’s already expensive.
4.6
N/A
19 pounds
300 pounds
32” x 20” x46”
Vinyl
  • Well-loved by those who own them. Receives some of the best portable massage chair reviews on the web. Full featured and well-built.
  • While slightly less expensive than our top pick, it suffers from the same issue that the “extras” all further increase the price, making this one more expensive than it appears at first glance.
4.5
$369.99
17.6 pounds
650 pounds
31” x 19” x 51”
PU
  • Massive max weight limit, rugged and well built. This is a no-nonsense chair that offers tons of value for the money.
  • Short on “extras” (but it makes up for that in raw practicality and performance).
03/29/2024 02:40 am GMT

Our Pick: Pisces Dolphin II Portable Massage Chair

There’s a lot to like about the Dolphin II portable massage chair.  For starters, it’s got an innovative “U-Shaped” frame that allows you to quickly and easily reconfigure the chair so you can put your clients in a variety of positions, depending on what areas you’re working on. 

If you compare the design of the Dolphin II to any other chair on the market, it’s totally unique, and expertly engineered.  This chair will help take your business to the next level.

A series of eleven images demonstrating how to setup the Dolphin II massage therapy chair

It’s rugged, durable, and built to last.  On top of that, it’s also American-made, so if you want to buy a first-rate piece of equipment and “buy American” this is really the only model to consider.

It’s also surprisingly comfortable.  Granted, your clients won’t be spending endless hours in the chair (at least not all at once), but one of the things that will keep them coming back for more is the fact that the chair is ergonomically designed and well-padded, so they’ll be comfortable while they’re enjoying the massage.

Aesthetically, it’s fun and interesting to look at, so it’s sure to be a conversation starter. Even better, you can order it in a variety of colors and two different upholstery options at the point of sale.  The color options are as follows:

Vinyl Upholstery Offered In:

  • Dusty Blue
  • Black
  • Hunter Green
  • Aqua Blue
  • Teal Green
  • Gray
  • Burgundy
  • Cappuccino
  • White
  • Eggplant
  • Teal Blue

Leather Upholstery Offered In (upgrading to leather will add $75 to the price of the chair)

  • Lapis Blue
  • Forest Green
  • Buff
  • Black
  • Salmon
  • Burgundy
  • Cranberry

The frame itself is powder-coated aluminum and can be ordered in either black or almond.

It comes with two small, but important “extras” a memory foam face rest cushion and a cushioned shoulder strap, which makes carrying it vastly more comfortable.

With its innovative design, versatility, and comfort, we absolutely stand by our decision to name the Dolphin II the best professional massage chair on the market today.

Runner-Up: Oakworks Portal Pro 3 Portable Massage Chair

Runner- Up
Oakworks Portal Pro Portable Massage Chair
4.6

Recommended For: Massage therapists with established businesses looking to upgrade their equipment with an eye toward the long term.

Check Latest Price Read Detailed Review
An image of the Oakworks Portal Pro 3 Portable Massage Chair in blue upholstery

Oakworks Portal Pro 3 Portable Massage Chair

Oakwood has been in the business for a long time.  They’ve been making some of the best portable massage chairs in the industry since 1977, and the Portal Pro 3 portable massage chair is no exception.

Its precision ergonomic design is styled along more conventional lines than our top pick, the Dolphin II, and on that front, we conclude that Oakwood decided not to mess with a proven, classic design.

Constructed of lightweight, high-quality aluminum, the designers placed more emphasis on keeping the chair portable, rather than maximizing the supported user weight (which is 350 pounds – not bad, but certainly not best in class).

It’s got a delightfully small footprint, making it ideal for running an on the go business. Or, if you have a small but cramped office, it’s easy to find a permanent home for the chair until you can expand, which makes it a great choice for those who are just starting out.

Also, thanks to its top-notch design, it provides you, the therapist, with complete ergonomic access to the lumbar and thoracic spine, along with the cervical, scapula and shoulder areas of your clients.

Unlike our top pick, this chair is covered in vinyl only (no option to upgrade to leather) but comes in a wide range of color options, including:

  • Pure White
  • Butter
  • Saffron
  • Opal
  • Clay
  • Taupe
  • Earth
  • Espresso
  • Ruby
  • Orchid
  • Heron
  • Ocean
  • Sapphire
  • Sky Blue
  • Seafoam
  • Sage
  • Bluegrass
  • Forest
  • Stone
  • Pewter
  • Coal

While the Portal Pro 3 comes with a handy carrying case, you’ll have to buy the padded sternum strap separately.  We “get” why companies do this (it makes the price of the chair look a tad lower than it actually is), but honestly, this is a necessary component in our view and should have just been included with the package.

The company also sells a stool to serve as a basic masseuse chair for you if you need one.  It’s reasonably priced, and a good addition.

All in all, this is a solid product and well-deserving of its second-place position.  If you can’t afford the Dolphin II or prefer a more conventional design, this is one of the best portable massage therapy chairs out there.

An image of the Oakworks Portal Pro 3 Portable Massage Chair in pure white upholstery

Budget Pick: Master Massage Professional Portable Massage Chair (Apollo)

Budget Pick
Master Massage Apollo Portable Massage Chair
4.6

Recommended For: ALL. It’s a great chair, offered at an unbelievably good price.

Check Availability Read Detailed Review
An image of the Master Massage Apollo Portable Massage Chair in black upholstery

Master Massage Apollo Portable Massage Chair

Master Massage is unique among manufacturers of massage therapy portable chairs in that they’re the only company to be featured twice in our roundup review.  Once here, placing a respectable third, and again in the budget section, where they place second.

If you scour the web looking for professional massage chair reviews, it’s not hard to understand why. 

Master Massage makes great products that their customers rave about. The Apollo is no exception.  You’ll find a lot to like here.

If you’re just starting out in your new business, money is probably tight, and you might not have the cash to spend on top of the line equipment.  If that describes you, then the Apollo is a great choice, because it’s available for a fraction of what our top pick costs.

True, it doesn’t offer the fun, innovative styling of the Dolphin II, and it doesn’t come in a vast array of colors like both our first and second place chairs do. But honestly, your customers aren’t coming to see you because you have a portable massage therapy chair in their favorite color, they’re coming to see you because they want a great massage!

The Apollo can be adjusted into six different positions, depending on what area of your client’s body you plan to work on, and the seat is well-padded and comfortable.

In fact, one thing your clients will love about the seat is that it’s quite a bit larger than the seats you find on the majority of chairs, which is one of the most often mentioned points in this model’s favor when reading portable massage chair reviews around the web.

It’s the lightest chair on our list of finalists, and it comes with a wheeled carrying case, making it hands-down the most portable.  On top of that, it offers a convenient “session pouch” where you can stash small items for your clients (like eyeglasses and jewelry) during their massage.

On top of that, even though it is a lightweight portable massage chair, it can support a massive 650 pounds of user weight, which is far above what our first and second place picks can handle.

An image of the Session Pouch or Sundries Pouch of the Master Massage Apollo Portable Massage Chair

While it doesn’t offer as many extras and seating configurations as our top picks, there’s no two ways about it – this is one of the best massage therapy chairs out there, and well deserving of its third-place spot on our list.  You won’t be disappointed.

Also Great: StrongLite Ergo Pro II

StrongLite Ergo Pro II Portable Massage Chair
4.3

Recommended For: Anyone with a strong back – it’s a great chair, but heavier than most, and as such, not quite as portable.

Check Availability Read Detailed Review
An image of the StrongLite Ergo Pro II's black carrying case and massage chair in blue upholstery

StrongLite Ergo Pro II Portable Massage Chair

Although StrongLite is not as well-known as Master Massage, they’ve been around a long time, and have a reputation for quality.  In most respects, their Ergo Pro II is the equal of the Master Massage Apollo, offered for slightly less money. 

It’s not quite as well padded, the seat isn’t as wide, and it can only support 600 pounds of user weight, rather than the Apollo’s 650.

But given the similarities, it’s not hard to see that StrongLite modeled the Ergo Pro II after the Apollo and did a reasonably good job at creating a worthy clone of it, right down to offering a sundries pouch (rather than a tray) for storing small client items during the massage.

Again though, at every step, the Ergo Pro II falls just a shade short of the Apollo.  Not quite as much supported weight, not quite as well padded, a storage pouch instead of a tray, and a duffel-style carrying case with no wheels compared to the wheeled carrying case offered by Master Massage.

Of course, the tradeoff is that the StrongLite is a bit cheaper, so if you’re willing to give up the things mentioned above to save some money, this is a worthy option.

Best Portable Massage Chairs – Budget Options (Under $300)

Our Pick
 
 
4.2
4.0
3.6
$340.00
$169.99
$40.99 ($40.99 / Count)
15 pounds
18 pounds
20.7 pounds
300 pounds
500 pounds
500 pounds
29” x 19” x 51”
11” x 14” x 39”
11” x 14” x 39”
PU
PU
PU
  • It’s a more expensive, overall better chair than the Master Massage, but only just.
  • Best value, and highest max weight limit in its class. Master Massage sets the standard that others strive to meet.
  • Surprisingly good and versatile for the money.
  • None – more expensive than the Master Massage Bedford, which offers better overall value for the money.
  • None.
  • Off brand, spotty service and support history.
Our Pick
4.2
$340.00
15 pounds
300 pounds
29” x 19” x 51”
PU
  • It’s a more expensive, overall better chair than the Master Massage, but only just.
  • None – more expensive than the Master Massage Bedford, which offers better overall value for the money.
4.0
$169.99
18 pounds
500 pounds
11” x 14” x 39”
PU
  • Best value, and highest max weight limit in its class. Master Massage sets the standard that others strive to meet.
  • None.
3.6
$40.99 ($40.99 / Count)
20.7 pounds
500 pounds
11” x 14” x 39”
PU
  • Surprisingly good and versatile for the money.
  • Off brand, spotty service and support history.
03/29/2024 02:15 am GMT

Our Pick: Earthlite Vortex

Our Pick
Earthlite Vortex Portable Massage Chair
4.2

Recommended For: Anyone just starting out in the business. Took top honors in the budget segment of the market.

Check Current Price Read Detailed Review

The Earthlite Vortex is right at the top of our $300 dividing line so it won’t save you much money if you’re looking for an alternative to our top picks, but it will save you some.

It’s a somewhat adjustable chair.  The chest pad can be adjusted up or down.  The seat cushion has three different height adjustment settings as does the armrest, which gives you at least some ability to customize the chair to fit your clients better. 

A series of four images showing the different adjustment options of the Earthlite portable massage chair

You’ll notice, however, that adjustability options become fewer and fewer, the further down the price chart you move.

It’s the lightest portable massage chair in its class, weighing in at just fifteen pounds, and the company provides a zippered duffle-style carrying case so you won’t have any difficulty moving it from one client location to the next.

The Vortex is offered in the following colors:

  • Black
  • Amethyst
  • Burgundy
  • Latte
  • Mystic Blue
  • Sterling
  • Teal
  • Vanilla Cream

Note:  In 2007, Earthlite purchased StrongLite.  While the company maintains two separate product lines and essentially operates StrongLite as a subsidiary, they can be considered to be in the same family.  It can support users weighing up to 300 pounds.

Runner-Up: Master Massage Bedford

Runner-Up
Master Massage Bedford Professional Portable Chair
4.0

Recommended For: Anyone. Best value in the budget segment of the market.

Check Current Price Read Detailed Review

Once again, Master Massage storms onto our list of finalists with a brilliant entry that is well-deserving of the “best value” designation in the budget segment. 

The people who buy Master Massage equipment swear by them, which is why the company gets such consistently good massage therapy chair reviews.  They just make great stuff, and they sell it at attractive prices.

Functionally, the Bedford is like a scaled-down Apollo.  It’s physically smaller, with a significantly smaller footprint, slightly less durable, and can support slightly less weight than the Apollo (500 pounds versus 650 for the more expensive chair). 

Even so, 500 pounds is nothing to sneeze at and is heads and shoulders above what every other chair in the budget product segment can handle.

A side view image of an unfolded Brown Master Massage Bedford Chair
An image of a folded Brown Master Massage Bedford Chair

The Bedford is only offered in a single color, but it’s a good one:  a handsome hue of burgundy.

As for the upholstery, it’s what you would expect, standard PU, stretched over foam, although in this case, it’s not just block foam, but the company’s patented Small Cell Foam Cushioning System, it’s remarkably comfortable, and even includes a small storage pouch for storing your client’s personal items during their massage.

Like it’s big brother, the Apollo, it can be adjusted into six different configurations, and comes with a carrying case.  Here though, the case is a simple duffle (no wheels). 

Not as fancy, to be sure, but most people buying in the value segment of the market aren’t looking for fancy, and the chair is lightweight enough that toting it from place to place shouldn’t present much of a challenge.  An exceptional value for the money, just like other Master Massage’s products!

Budget Pick: Noooshi Portable Folding Massage Chair

Budget Pick
Noooshi Portable Folding Massage Chair
3.6

Recommended For: Anyone new to the business who doesn’t have a lot of money to spend, or anyone looking for an inexpensive backup or secondary chair.

Check Alternative Read Detailed Review

Just so we’re clear, we’ll say right from the start that at the price the Noooshi chair is offered, you’ve got to check your expectations.  This is a decent, workable chair. It is by no means a great chair.  If you’re just getting started, and you have almost no money to play with, this is about the best you’re going to be able to find.

It’s marketed as both a tattoo chair and a masseuse massage chair, and that’s accurate.  It can absolutely be used in both capacities.

It’s not as adjustable as the more expensive models we’ve talked about so far, but you will find some ability to adjust the headrest, armrest, chest pad and seat height, which makes it better than we were expecting for the money.

An image of the face pillow or face cradle of the Noooshi Portable Chair
A close up image of the aluminium alloy frame of the Noooshi Portable Chair

Of course, this being an off-brand, don’t expect much in the way of post-sales service and support.  In fact, given the price of the chair, it’s probably not even worth trying to find our buy replacements for anything that might break. 

Our advice would be, at this level, buy it if you must, use it until it breaks, and then reinvest the profits from your growing business into a better, more robust chair. It’ll get you off to a good start in a pinch, but if you can afford to delay your purchase and save money, do that and get a better chair to start with.

Note:  This model doesn’t come with a carrying case, so you’ll either have to soldier on without one, or pick one up separately.

Also Great: Ataraxia Deluxe

Ataraxia Deluxe Portable Massage Chair
3.6

Recommended For: Anyone just starting out and on a very tight budget. Not a great chair but is enough to get the ball rolling.

Check Current Price Read Detailed Review

Okay, let’s be clear:  This is a decent (as in barely above average) chair.  It’s far from being great, and you’ll certainly never mistake it for the “best massage therapy chair” on the market.  That’s not the point, and this little chair wasn’t designed to compete with the big guns.  It doesn’t even try.

If you’re dead-broke and desperate to get into the massage business, this can be a viable option, as it’s “good enough” to start sitting clients down and working your magic.

An illustration of the adjustable parts of the Ataraxia Deluxe Portable Folding Massage Chair including adjustable head support, armrest, chest pad, and seat

As with the Noooshi, this is an off-brand chair, so not terribly comfortable or adjustable.  You get what you pay for, after all.

This model is fashioned with low-end materials, and although the construction isn’t bad, even a master craftsman, working with low-end materials will struggle to create a masterpiece.  That’s the case here.

You’ll find it marginally adjustable, although, given the reliance on low-end material, too much adjusting and the parts and fasteners will start to wear out and struggle to maintain position, so keep your adjustments to a minimum if you’re able.

It’s decent for what it is, but don’t expect it to be able to hold a candle to a Master Massage, Earthlite, StrongLite, Oakwood, or Pisces.  It’s just not even in the same league.

As with the Noooshi, if you’re relegated to buying a chair like this, your best bet is to not worry about trying to repair it when it starts to show its age – just ditch it and use the profits from your growing business to buy something better and more capable.

One small, pleasant surprise, though; this model does come with its own duffel-style carrying case.

All in all, we were as impressed as we could be with the Ataraxia Deluxe.  Given the limitations of the materials and the fact that the company’s main goal was to keep the price as low as possible, they created a surprisingly decent little chair.

It won’t last you very long, as it won’t hold up well to repeated use, but it’ll get your fledgling business off to a running start, and that’s all you’ll need it for, really.

An image of a folded blue Ataraxia Deluxe Portable Folding Massage Chair

Final Thoughts: What Is the Best Portable Massage Chair?

And there you have it!  We stand by the Pisces Dolphin II as our pick for the best portable massage chair on the market today, but the term “best” is a subjective one.  What seems best to us might not be a perfect fit for you.

If you disagree with our conclusion, not to worry.  That’s exactly why we made sure to outline our selection criterion and to provide details on our other finalists.

Even if the Dolphin II isn’t your first pick, we feel certain that lurking somewhere in the depths of this review is the perfect chair for you.  At the end of the day, the only question that matters is “what is the best portable massage chair for YOU?”

Best of luck to you in your business venture, and we hope you found this piece informative and enlightening!

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One Comment

  1. Michelle Catapang says:

    Thank you for the recommendations. Nice content!

Comments are closed.