In a Nutshell:
The HoMedics HMC-100 Massage Chair is a real hidden gem of a massage chair, offered by a respected company in the industry and offering more features than you might think. Recommended for anyone on a budget, although its therapeutic value is somewhat limited.
Overall Massage Quality
Ease of Use
Value for the Money
Are you looking for a great little massage chair for your home or apartment to help you unwind at the end of a long day?
Are you hoping to find something that offers at least something in terms of therapeutic value, while not costing you an arm and a leg?
If so, you’ve probably been pretty frustrated in your search. While there are a ton of massage chairs in the value segment of the market, most of them aren’t very good and are offered by off-brand companies with spotty reputations when it comes to customer service and support.
In other words, pickings are slim. That’s what makes this model, offered by Homedics, such a pleasant surprise. A massage chair with enough features to render a world-class massage and providing a few basic therapeutic benefits at a price that won’t break the bank. What could be better than that?
If you’re intrigued, keep reading. In the sections that follow, we’ll go over everything this awesome little chair can do and make sure you’re aware of its shortcomings and limitations. It doesn’t have many, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
If that sounds good to you, let’s jump right in and see what the Homedics HMC-100 Massage Chair has to offer.
An Overview of the Homedics HMC-100 Massage Chair
Let’s start by discussing aesthetics because that’s what you’ll notice first.
At first glance, two things stand out about this model. First, it bears the unmistakable design influences of a gaming chair, but it also contains enough in the way of conventional styling that it won’t look out of place in your living room.
It’s not what we’d call an attractive chair; it’s relatively small and unobtrusive and will blend in well with most home décor schemes. It’s also offered in two different colors, Ivory or brown, so you’ve got at least some flexibility there.
We mentioned its small size in passing just above, and we’ll have more to say about that in a moment, but let’s take a closer look at the Homedics HMC-100 Massage Chair’s basic stats first.
As you can see, this isn’t a particularly big piece of furniture, so you’ll have an easy time finding a permanent home for it, even if you live in a smaller house or an apartment.
Unfortunately, it’s so small you may not fit comfortably into it; check out that modest supported weight limit!
According to the vendor’s detail page, the chair will accommodate users ranging in height from 4’9” to 6’2”. In our view, that’s probably too generous. If you’re over six feet tall, this chair probably isn’t going to be a good fit.
As long as you fall under the height and weight restrictions, though, there’s a lot about the model you’ll like, but before we take a deeper look at its feature set, we should pause to say a few words about Homedics as a company.
Homedics is not a giant in the industry, but they are a well-respected company, which puts its heads and shoulders above the off-brands that dominate the value segment of the market.
This chair was designed for the company by Cozzia, which, like Homedics, is not a giant in the massage chair industry but is nonetheless a well-respected brand with a reputation for making consistently good chairs.
As you’ll see in the next segment, Cozzia used their expertise to good effect in designing this model!
Dual Rollers and an L-Track
Modern massage chairs use one of two track types. An S-track is relatively short, running from your shoulders to the small of your back. An L-track is longer, extending down under the seat so that the rollers traveling along the track can also massage your glutes and the backs of your thighs.
This model uses an L-track, which we regard as superior because it gives you something closer to a full body massage treatment.
Granted, owing to the small size of the chair, the track itself isn’t terribly long, measuring just 30”, but assuming you fit into the chair, that’s long enough to give you a good massage over much of your body.
The model also features dual rollers that travel along the track. Unfortunately, that’s below the current industry standard. Most more expensive chairs utilize quad rollers which more closely mimic the feel of human hands. Even so, compared to most massage chairs valued under $1000 this one competes with and offers a next-level massage.
Most of the chairs in the value segment of the market utilize a fixed frame with stationary massage heads mounted on it. Since the heads don’t move, the massage they’re capable of rendering is quite limited. This is vastly superior to those types of chairs.
A Few Basic Options & a Wonderful Surprise
The majority of massage chairs sold in the value segment of the market offer a simple, vibration-style massage. This is another thing that sets the Homedics HMC-100 Compact Massage chair apart. It utilizes two actual massage techniques: Shiatsu and Tapping. You can specify which one you want via the wired remote.
Even better, you’ll find four pre-programmed massage routines available on the remote, which makes it easy to sit down and start enjoying a massage in mere seconds. Just settle back into the chair, push a button, close your eyes, and enjoy.
Of course, if you want to create a customized massage experience, you can do that too. The remote allows a few basic customization options, although your options here are limited to selecting your massage technique and your desired intensity level.
Remember, this is a very inexpensive massage chair, and to keep the cost low, there are some things you’ll commonly find on more expensive models that just aren’t here. These include things like:
This last item bears talking more about. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the Homedics chair does have body scanning technology. What that means is every time you sit down in the chair, it will take a scan of your body and tweak the position of the rollers to better hit the pressure points on your back.
More expensive chairs will also offer some means of manually adjusting the roller position in the event that the body scan gets it wrong. Sadly, that’s not the case here.
If the body scan doesn’t put the rollers in the perfect spot for you, you’re out of luck. Short of wiggling around in your seat to try and move your back to the rollers, there’s not much you can do. It’s not a deal breaker because the body scan is generally pretty accurate, but it is a limitation to be mindful of.
Another thing to mention here is the fact that this chair does not recline at all, and there are no leg massage ports. The massage track stops at the backs of your thighs, and that’s that.
On the other hand, this model has one feature we regard as absolutely amazing. It’s got heated rollers!
Heat almost always makes your massage experience better, and it has genuine therapeutic value to boot. If we had to pick just one feature to name as the standout aspect of the design, this would be it, without question. Heated rollers are amazing.
All that to say, sure. This chair has its limitations. It doesn’t do everything, but it has the basics well covered and even manages to offer a surprise. Given its modest price, we love it.
Comes Fully Assembled!
This is another thing we love about this little chair. When the box arrives at your door, there’s nothing for you to do but take the chair out of the box, put it where you want it to go, and plug it in. Everything comes pre-assembled, so there’s no mucking about with pieces and parts.
A Delightfully Simple Remote
While you may find yourself wishing the Homedics chair had more features on offer, one happy side effect of its limited feature set is that the remote is really simple and intuitive. There’s’ no learning curve to speak of here, and even if you’re not especially tech-savvy, you won’t have any trouble mastering the chair’s use.
Even better, the design of the chair features a handy hideaway slot that allows you to store the remote out of sight when you’re not actively using it.
One final thing to mention here, like in other Homedics HMC-100 Massage Chair reviews, is that all of the massages you get from this chair default to a fifteen-minute timer, and there’s no option to tweak the massage duration, up or down.
Of course, there are easy ways to work around this limitation. If you want a shorter massage, just turn the chair off. If you want a longer massage, push the button again when your fifteen minutes is up.
All that to say the fact that the company didn’t include a mechanism to adjust the duration of your massage is hardly a deal breaker. The reality is that there are chairs that cost thousands of dollars that don’t allow users that luxury. Even so, it’s a detail worth bringing to your attention!
Pros & Cons of the Homedics HMC-100 Compact Massage Chair
In the world of value-priced furniture, there are, broadly speaking, two different approaches companies take. The first approach designers in this market segment tend to take is to throw a bunch of features at the wall and hope that at least a few of them are implemented well enough to stick and stand out.
Furniture like this tends to be made with low-quality materials and isn’t designed to last. Fortunately, the Homedics chair doesn’t fall into that category.
The other approach budget furniture designers take is to focus on one or two key features and implement them well, then pretty much let everything else go. That’s an apt description of this chair.
It doesn’t try to do too much, but it covers the basics really well and even manages a pleasant surprise in the form of those heated rollers.
Given that, we have no issues with this chair in its current form. Sure, there are all sorts of things we’d love to see on it, but we understand that the designers made a deliberate, conscious decision to limit the feature set in order to keep the cost down.
They succeeded in their goal. This is a surprisingly good basic massage chair that even manages to include one important extra. If they started adding a bunch of features, sure, the quality of the chair would increase, but so would its price, and then it wouldn’t be a budget offering anymore. We’re happy with it as it stands.
Homedics HMC-100 Massage Chair Review Conclusion
Bearing in mind that this is a basic, value-priced massage chair, we’re very pleased with what the Homedics team was able to put together, and we absolutely recommend this model.
We will say, though, that when buying a massage chair in this market segment, it’s important to go in with your eyes wide open and understand exactly what you’re getting. Just as important is a thorough understanding of what you’re not getting.
As long as you’re mindful of the limitations of the chair and assuming you fall under the height and weight limits we mentioned at the start, we think you’ll be very pleased. It’s quite literally the best massage chair we’ve found at its price point, and it deserves to be on your shortlist for consideration.
References & Resources
- Homedics, Official Brand Website.
- Massage Chair Benefits That You Must Know, The Sports Daily.
- Using Massage Chairs During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?, Parenting.FirstCry.
- 6 Healthy Ways Getting a Massage Benefits Your Entire Body, Prevention.
- Local Back Massage with an Automated Massage Chair: General Muscle and Psychophysiologic Relaxing Properties, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.