In a Nutshell:
A good chair, but fairly limited in what it can do. The iDeal Shiatsu Massage Chair is recommended for those who are looking for a good, basic massage with some therapeutic benefit, particularly hobbyists and people who suffer from chronic lower back pain.
Overall Massage Quality
Ease of Use
Are you looking for a budget massage chair that can handle the basics well and provide some therapeutic benefit?
If you don’t mind foregoing some of the bells and whistles offered by more expensive massage chairs, then the iDeal Shiatsu massage chair might be a perfect match for you!
We’ll give you a rundown at the things this massage chair can (and can’t) do in the sections below to help you make an informed purchasing decision
iDeal Shiatsu Massage Chair Overview
If you haven’t heard of the brand iDeal, you’re not alone. They’re not a mainstream, well-established brand, but rather, an online vendor, selling from an Amazon Storefront listed as BH and iDeal Products.
The massage chairs they offer are crafted from components manufactured in China, but assembled and shipped from their warehouse in San Diego, California. While not perfect, they offer surprising value for the money.
iDeal Shiatsu Chair Variants
iDeal Shiatsu Massage Chair Features
The iDeal Shiatsu massage chair is built around an S-Track frame, which guides the quad rollers to run along the natural curve of your spine, resulting in a high-quality massage. In this regard, the iDeal is every bit the equal of not only other chairs in its price range, but also of much more expensive models.
3D Body Scan
A nice feature addition not always found in chairs at the lower end of the price spectrum. Before a massage begins, the chair scans your body to locate your pressure points. Then, based on the scan, it makes subtle adjustments to the position of the rollers to further increase the quality of your massage experience.
Another wildly popular feature not often found in entry-level massage chairs. And in the few instances you do find it, you’re typically offered just a single Zero-G seating position.
This is another area where the iDeal Shiatsu chair excels, as it offers a staggering, three Zero-G positions.
What makes it such an attractive addition to the chair is the synergy it provides. By positioning the user such that his knees are slightly above his heart, most of the body’s weight is pressed against the rollers, which allows for a deeper and more penetrating massage.
Limited Massage Options
As a budget, entry-level massage chair, it’s unfair to expect that the iDeal massage chair would have lots of options; well, it isn’t. The following are the basic massage options on offer, according to its vendor:
4 Massage Techniques
4 Massage Programs
*Note that even though the company counts “vibration” as a massage technique, it’s not actually a massage technique but a “seat vibration” mode, which we will explain later in this review.
Yes, the iDeal Shiatsu massage chair offers a limited number of massage options, but it’s sufficient enough for you to set a total of 14 massage combinations, according to the vendor’s site. Thanks to the manual mode that lets you adjust the rollers and the airbags, as well as the intensity and speed of the massage.
Plus, each massage defaults to a 30-minute duration but can be time-adjusted via the control panel on the chair arm, in increments of five minutes.
Air Massage + Arm & Shoulder massage
Although there is no data offered in the product description on Amazon about the number of airbags this chair has, according to the vendor’s website, the chair has an impressive 48 airbags built into the shoulders, arms, foot and calves and seat areas.
Note that these are First Generation Airbags, but with that number, the iDeal gives an excellent air massage compared to other chairs in its price range. Plus, if you’ve looked around, most budget massage chairs in the market don’t even offer an arm or shoulder air massage, making this an added value to the chair.
When in Air Massage Mode, the intensity can be adjusted through two levels via the control console.
Heat in any form is always a welcome addition. The heat function of the iDeal Shiatsu chair is pretty basic and confined strictly to the lumbar region. Nevertheless, the fact that it’s offered at all in a low-priced chair makes it a perk worth mentioning.
You can turn it on, or leave it off at your option, but you cannot adjust the temperature.
Vibration Massage Mode
There’s a vibration plate in the seat, which can be combined with any of the other massage modes, or left off at your option.
The motors in the chair that run the rollers and inflate the airbags tend to be fairly loud by themselves, and with the seat vibration activated, many users have complained that the noise level rises to unacceptable levels.
It should be mentioned that both the roller massage and the seat vibration are quite intense. Some users have complained that it’s a bit too strong, even when set to the lowest intensity.
These users have solved the problem by laying a blanket, folded double over the seat and back of the chair. Be that as it may, most users don’t find the massage so strong that they have to resort to this.
Calf Massage + Unlikely Foot Massage
Some of the airbags are, of course, located in the leg massage ports, and these provide an excellent calf massage. There are massage balls in the foot well, but these don’t actually move. You can move your feet across them for additional relief, but the chair does not offer an actual foot massage function.
The iDeal Shiatsu massage chair comes with an extendable ottoman, making it suitable for users up to 6’3” tall.
Easy to Use Control Panel
The chair does not come with a remote, but the console on the chair arm is well designed and intuitive. There’s no real learning curve, and you’ll be able to enjoy your first massage almost immediately after taking a seat.
Pros & Cons of the iDeal Shiatsu Massage Chair
For the money, this is a surprisingly solid offering. iDeal is not a well-known, mainstream brand, but they have produced a massage chair that compares favorably to other chairs in its price range, including those offered by brands that are much better established.
Having said that, it’s not without its problems and shortcomings. Let’s address the shortcomings first:
By themselves, neither of these are terribly important but taken together with the shortcomings mentioned above, the combined impact could cause some shoppers to give this model a pass.
iDeal Shiatsu Massage Chair Conclusion
If you’re looking for a good, basic massage with at least some therapeutic benefit, then this chair is a solid choice. You don’t get a lot of the bells and whistles that many better-established brands offer, but what the iDeal Shiatsu massage chair does, it does very well.
Certainly, it’s not for everyone, but for the right user, it can make an excellent chair.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- BH and Ideal Products, Official Brand Website.
- Heat wrap therapy reduces pain and disability in early stage low back pain, Journal of Physiotherapy.
- Stressed? Massage Therapy Can Help, American Massage Therapy Association.
- Massage therapy—A review, British Columbia Medical Journal.
- What is Vibration Therapy?, Healthline.