We’ve looked at some other massage cushions – or seats, if you prefer – on this site, but none of them had the built-in features to truly compare to an actual massage chair. There are massage cushions out there with some roller technology built-in, but they generally fall short of what you can experience in an actual chair; the reason being that it’s difficult to build the complex mechanisms you find in a massage chair into a thin portable massage seat that you can take with you anywhere.
While it may be difficult to replicate the massage chair experience in a massage cushion, it turns out it’s not impossible. There is one particular massage cushion on the market that offers an affordable and portable alternative to full massage chairs with many of the same features – that chair is the Homedics QRM-400H Therapist Select Shiatsu & Rolling Massaging Cushion and it’s available for purchase at a price somewhere between $150 and $300, depending upon the time of year. Even at the high end of the spectrum it’s still considerably cheaper than a massage chair.
Custom Command Track
One thing that’s come up time and again as I’ve researched massage chairs and cushions is that the best products allow you to adjust them depending upon your size as an individual. For example, a person that is 6’3” will not have his upper back in the same position as a person that’s 4’5”. Some type of the adjustability is essential in a product like this, and this model doesn’t disappoint. It has a custom command track that allows you to adjust the width with eight different settings.
Six Different Programmable Functions
There are many different massage techniques that actual massage therapists use; these are difficult to replicate in a mechanical device, but not impossible. This massage cushion actually has six different programmable functions to offer different massage techniques and methods – depending on your individual needs – with the focus being on different intensities of rolling massage or a Shiatsu Massage. We might all be created equal, but that doesn’t mean we have pain in the same areas of our body at any one time and it’s comforting to know that this product is designed to help you in different ways.
Easy to Use and Control
All of the features of this chair are controlled from the attached remote, which stores in a pocket attached to the chair cushion when you’re not using it. With the remote you can adjust every setting of the chair including the type of massage you’re using, whether or not you’re using heat, how long your massage will last for, and the placement of the rollers.
Portable Shiatsu Massage
If you’re not really familiar with the difference between a Shiatsu massage and a more typical rolling massage then a brief explanation may be in order. A typical rolling massage will simply roll up and down your body, while a Shiatsu massage will move side to side as well as moving up and down. There’s a general consensus that this type of massage is more effective at covering all of your body and results in a much greater level of relaxation in the individual.
As we’ve already briefly mentioned, this chair does have a built-in heat function which can really enhance the pleasurable nature of your massage. When you turn the chair on, the rollers initially light up with a blue color, but if you turn the heat on the rollers change to red – a nice, easy way to tell if it’s working or not. The great thing about the heat in this chair is that it isn’t limited to a certain area of the body as it’s built right into the rollers and moves with them as they massage your body.
Four Independent Rollers
What makes this massage cushion stand out from other similar products is that the built-in rollers that it uses actually act independently from each other. That’s why it’s able to afford you a Shiatsu-style massage that other massage cushions don’t offer; it’s a feature that’s typically only found in actual massage chairs. The roller actually does a pretty good job of replicating the massage techniques used by a real human therapist. The only drawback with these rollers is that they tend to not go high enough. If you’re a little bit taller you’ll be lucky if the rollers reach the bottom of your shoulders, and they won’t touch on your neck at all. This is a good product if you’re looking for a great back massage, but if you want something that reaches all areas of your body this massage cushion falls a little short.
What I Didn’t Like
The failure to include rollers that can reach your upper shoulders and neck isn’t the only problem with this product – it’s also quite loud. I suppose you can simply turn the television up so that you don’t have to be distracted by it, but it’s still a bit of a disappointment.
Another concern that seems to pop up is the fact that the rollers may actually press too hard for some people’s liking. This seems to be a common complaint with this type of product though, and not an isolated issue at all. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that there are plenty of people that wouldn’t really enjoy a massage by a real massage therapist either; it can actually be quite intense and a little bit painful at first until you become used to it.
One final potential problem to consider with this massage cushion is the fact that it’s quite heavy and awkward. This is likely due to the fact that it has those four independent rollers built in – they’re bound to have a bit of weight to them. We’re not talking an excessive amount of weight here – the product only weighs about 20 pounds – but it’s enough weight to make it difficult to lug around for some people.
A Premium Portable Massage
While the Homedics QRM-400H Therapist Select Quad-Roller Shiatsu massage cushion isn’t a perfect product by any means, it is without a doubt the best portable massage cushion that I’ve found so far. I love the fact that it actually has four independent rollers built in that can replicate the experience of owning an actual massage chair at a fraction of the price. The built-in heat function is also a nice feature. I was a little disappointed that it doesn’t massage your neck or upper shoulders, but overall this seems like a great product.