Many of us can attest to the lumbar pains related to sitting at a desk for endless hours week after week. Even despite using an ergonomic office chair, the reality is that your muscles still need to be stretched and stimulated, otherwise you’ll still end up feeling sore.
High-end massage chairs – don’t get me wrong, there’s a reason they are popular – often look like the pilot’s seat of a spacecraft out of a sci-fi movie with more buttons on the user interface than most people know what to do with. In homes where the residents desire a certain interior design aesthetic, sometimes these high-end massage chairs just don’t seem to belong among the existing decor. This is where Nouhaus CEO and Founder, Roy Lee, found some of the inspiration for his company’s product lines and designs.
“Existing massage chairs were all heavy and expensive. We focused on creating an accent piece, chose not to include outdated features, and took to e-marketing to reduce our overhead and keep prices lower,” said Roy Lee.
At Medgadget we had an opportunity to review the Nouhaus Classic Massage Chair with Ottoman, and despite knowing the function of the chair, I was continually surprised that the beautifully designed chair gives a full-body, deep tissue massage. Nouhaus is a brand that aims to change the look of functional, luxury furniture – in this case, via an award-winning massage chair that won the prestigious Red Dot Award in 2020.
Upon arrival, the unit is simple to assemble with the chair and ottoman only needing to be set on top of its base and legs, and an electrical cord and remote connected to the side panel. The key with the heavier chair (about 70 pounds) was to follow the manufacturer’s assembly instructions and flip the chair upside down, insert the base, and then roll it upright.
Compared to other massage chairs, this one was very compact, sleek, and had mid-century modern charm. It took up even less space than envisioned, though it could be a “con” for taller or larger frames to comfortably sit in this chair (e.g. the shoulder area may feel too tight). Of course, with there being an ottoman, this means this chair does not have foot and calf massage either. The chair reclines to a single angle – 15 degrees – meaning it does not have zero gravity seating and is not adjustable in that way. We should also note that the chair does swivel, but only 90 degrees. Though these initial observations were quickly forgotten after powering on the chair.
Included in the design team for this chair were a posturologist, engineer, creative designer, and an architect, which would help explain its solid craftsmanship and thoughtfulness that went into both its form and function. Genuine leather was used for its exterior, so the chair expectedly feels smooth and soft to the touch. Sitting in the chair itself makes you feel like you’ve just climbed into a seat of a sports car or fancy gaming chair.
Nouhaus’s massage chair has the advanced industry standard S+L track found in the top massage chairs in the market. The S-track follows the natural curve of the spine while the L-track extends underneath the seat. Four rollers operate at 42 deep pressure kneads per minute and move up and down the track to target the head, neck, upper/lower back, waist, and thighs, which allows for either a full body or spot massage. The reason it feels like you’ve just climbed into a sports car seat is because of the airbags. There are a total of four airbags, with two each for the hips and glutes, that can be used individually or together for a custom pressure massage. The chair is also heated, with a three-level ThermoMassage function. Embedded Bluetooth speakers create an immersive massage experience that is similar to that of immersive gaming chairs.
While there are limited advanced features (e.g. a body scan), the available and programmed options still provide a very satisfying and relaxing experience. The techniques used include spot fixed, spot range/rolling, shiatsu kneading, percussive/tapping, a mix of these modes, and a full body massage. Six automatic modes target various parts of the body with certain goals in mind, such as relaxing the upper body, a general recovery mode, or a deep massage mode.
All features are controlled via a wired remote that stows into a pocket on the side when not in use. There’s an automatic timer that turns the chair off every 15 minutes, and the company’s advice is not to exceed 30 minutes a day since excessive massage could lead to additional soreness. One quirk of the remote is that you have to hold the power button down for a few seconds to turn it on or off, so be patient.
When the massage chair is not in use, the designers have thoughtfully thrown in a head cushion that flips behind the chair, as well as a matching throw cushion for lumbar support. Finally, the USB charging port on the side also comes in useful.
Overall, this chair looks aesthetically pleasing with five available color schemes and is very thoughtfully designed. Even though there are seemingly less features, a great massage experience can be had, and the designers did a great job of maximizing the technology onboard this chair. It has easily become a favorite chair for visitors to use and we are pleased to confirm that Nouhaus has succeeded in finding a balance between excellent design and function. This is an elegant accent piece that delivers relaxation and comfort without sacrificing your style.
Product page: Nouhaus Classic Massage Chair with Ottoman