Bringing the concepts of Shiatsu massage to electric massage chairs, the BestMassage EC-03 is a great mid-point between luxury and economy. With a sensible price tag and a range of programs, the EC-03 brings deep massage functions and is also a stylish and practical piece of furniture. The EC-03 also includes leg compression and vibration, although unlike others in the range this BestMassage model does not have hand or arm massage capabilities. If you are looking for hand and arm massage capabilities you might try another BestMassage chair, the similarly priced BestMassage EC-06c.
BestMassage EC-03 features
While it doesn’t have all of the features of some the higher priced massage chairs, the BestMassage EC-03 does have a lot to offer for its modest price tag. Here are some of the stand out features we thought were worth highlighting.
Shiatsu is a Japanese massage technique that translates as ‘finger pressure’, and this is what the EC-03 aims to replicate through roller technology. Pressure from the oscillating rollers is applied directly to the back, neck and shoulders to relieve pain and tension in the muscles. The feature is very effective, although some may find this pressure a bit strong and prefer to lessen the effect with a blanket.
Extendable leg supports
If you're quite tall, finding the right massage chair can be challenging: many are designed in a way that suits people up to 6ft, and after this the chair's effects are lessened or imprecise. The BestMassage EC-03 is a really good option for taller people because it offers extendable leg supports, adding extra height and allowing for adjustment of the chair's massage pressure points.
Vibration and compression
The BestMassage EC-03 is set aside from other budget models by its inclusion of a foot and leg massager, which are normally saved for high-end chairs. The leg feature mixes compression with vibration to give tired, over-stretched leg muscles a break. However, the chair neglects to include an arm massage function so the full-body massage effect isn't quite realized. Vibration is thought to reduce the risk of conditions like deep vein thrombosis, so the chair might be useful for those prone to blood clotting.
Knead and chop massage variations
The EC-03 model uses a variety of massage styles, so you can find what suits you best. There are typical rolling actions but the rollers are also used to knead and chop the muscles, creating the same effect as a traditional hands-on massage would, but from the comfort of your own home. The variable massage feature is unusual for a lower priced massage chair and adds something extra to the EC-03.
- Stylish, sleek and traditional design that will suit most homes
- Variable functions for deep and thorough massage
- Very affordable for a higher-end model
- Highly recommended by users with very little negative feedback
- Armrests not very comfortable and lacking in massage features
- Quite bulky, especially in the recline position
- Ships in pieces so will require some assembly
The chair has a visual-based control that attaches to the chair for easy operation, but the controls themselves are quite complicated compared to similar models like the Osaki OS-4000. The lack of arm massage features is noticeable because of the inclusion of leg pads, so you might feel your arms and shoulders miss out a little with this model. The chair also doesn’t have any extras like music inputs, lighting or auto-recline, though it does offer three different manual seating positions for your comfort.
What customers think about the BestMassage EC-03
The EC-03 has had some great feedback from users and is clearly a very popular model. In fact, it's hard to find any criticism of the chair! That said, a common response was that the rollers can be a bit too rough, especially for older users. However, a blanket over the back of the chair can resolve this very easily, so it's not too much of a problem. One reviewer also suggested that the power saving auto-shutoff feature can be disruptive to anyone who naps in their massage chair.
“Am pleased with what it does. For the lower body, it squeezes the feet using airbags under the upholstery, then it relaxes this pressure and squeezes the legs for several seconds. This has a nice therapeutic effect. At the same time, the back, shoulders, and neck are manipulated with the user's choice of kneading, vibration, and thumping.” – EW
“The quality is great! But pay attention to the other reviews that suggest that you will have to add a blanket to the back because the rollers are a little hard.” – Carter
“Only complaint is when time is up it shuts off and returns to upright position. I fall asleep most often and would like to continue to “doze” but shutting off and returning to upright wakes me up.” – R. Hill
Specifications for the BestMassage EC-03
- Box width 30” – should fit through any standard door easily
- Available in black faux leather with wood effect trim and plastic runners
- Weighs approx. 300lbs as boxed
There's a standard one year warranty on parts and labor when purchased new from a participating retailer, though beware as some online outlets don't include this. This protects you against mechanical and structural faults, though general wear and tear or damage caused by the user is not covered. Outside of the warranty terms, spare parts are available via the internet and repair professionals can help if a problem does occur.
Because BestMassage chairs are sold from a whole seller to individual retailers, there isn’t a parent company to honor the warranty. It’s up to the individual sellers of the chair to decide if they will honor the warranty. This could cause some customer support problems if your chair does break. You’ll have to weigh the risk of poor support with the low price. Some customers have had no trouble with customer support while others have had difficulties getting their warranty honored.
Who the BestMassage EC-03 is for
If you're looking for a stylish massage chair that's highly functional, and if you're not bothered about unnecessary extras that raise the price, then this could be the best chair for you.
The EC-03 is priced higher than other budget models, so it's not the cheapest chair on the market. However, you do get more for your money thanks to the multi-function massage features, and the extendable leg rests make this a really good choice for taller people who struggle to find a massage chair that suits them.
Who this chair is NOT for
Want the full body massage experience? This may not be the best chair for you. Despite the great leg massage function, there's nothing for your arms or hands. The armrests themselves seem designed more for style than comfort, so if your arms ache at the end of the long day you'll probably be better with a chair that works on those too. You might try a more full featured chair, like the Panasonic EP30007. Also the EC-03 returns to an upright position when the timer shuts off, which could soon become annoying if you like to remain lying down once the massage feature shuts off.
Compromise is often the key to choosing furniture for the family home – this chair not only suits lower budgets, but it also delivers powerful massage capabilities and is a stylish piece in its own right.
As a great all-rounder, the BestMassage EC-03 is a really good choice for anyone who's not looking for a specific feature, but wants to get the general benefits of both a massage chair and a standard chair. The little touches such as Shiatsu rollers and extended legroom are worth the extra cost, but luxury chair fans will notice the features that are lacking, too. Other models may outperform the EC-03 in individual categories, but as a midrange, overall the form and function make this a great buy.
While you won’t get the best customer support if something goes wrong with the chair, the incredibly low price and the high reviews might make it worth the tradeoff.