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“Zero gravity” doesn't mean necessarily being in a state where there is no gravitational force, like in outer space--it just means that the total effect of gravity is balanced out to be zero. A zero-gravity chair is more than a typical reclining chair. It recreates the reclining position that astronauts assume at takeoff. A “0-g” chair distributes your weight equally over the entire chair, by forming a 120°-130° angle between your abdomen and thighs. (Note: That’s not the same as just lying in bed--where your body is perfectly flat.) It allows you to elevate your legs to the level of your heart and reduces pressure on your lower back and joints. They also increase blood circulation, reduce strain on the heart, and can help prevent varicose veins. (You don't get all those zero-gravity effect benefits with your typical pool chair or patio chair.) Also, the physical stress relief provided by a zero-gravity chair can relieve emotional stress as well. That's why reflexologists, hypnotherapists, and psychotherapists recommend these chairs, to get their patients in a highly relaxed state. You can also find models that have a headrest, or support for the lower back. Many lightweight models are also easy to transport, so you can use them when camping or at the beach, on your patio, or by your pool. Some even use them in their office! And it goes without saying that they can be a fraction of the cost of a big, plush living room recliner.
There is quite a variety of zero-gravity chairs available: You can find indoor-only zero-gravity chairs, which have upholstery. Then there are double-seater and extra-large chairs, which are wider and longer, for larger people. There are also massage chairs, which have motors to offer you a massage as well. And there are zero-gravity rocking chairs, where the legs are constructed to rock back and forth.
To help you make the right choice, we have put together this buying guide including everything you need to know about zero gravity chairs to make a good investment. It'll help you:
Choose the right type of zero gravity chair,
See useful tips about that type of zero gravity chair,
Read reviews of different brands of zero gravity chairs, and what customers are saying,
Select the right brand of zero gravity chair, and
Compare prices and find the best deals.
Besides the standard size 0 g recliner, there are a number of specialized models:
Indoor-only: These will be upholstered models, with the look of a regular recliner—just that it's able to recline all the way to a horizontal position. The chair will be significantly heavier, between 80 – 100 pounds, so it's intended to essentially stay in one room.
Double Seater: These are understandably wider chairs, to allow two people to sit at the same time. The weight capacity is increased up to 450-600 pounds. (A problem with this chair is that both people must be reclining at the same time.)
Extra-Large and Oversized: These chairs will be 24” wide between the armrests, as opposed to 19-20” on regular chairs. The seat's area will be 20-22” wide, as opposed to 17” on a standard model.
Ergonomic armrests: Some chairs, such as the Timber Ridge Oversized XL Padded Zero Gravity Chair, have elegant, ergonomic wooden armrests, contoured to the person’s body. This also lends to the relaxing, zero-gravity posture.
Orbital Zero-Gravity Recliner: An orbital recliner is called so because of the shape of its metal frame (the frame is two circular hoops or orbs, arranged to look like the orbits of electrons in an atom). These usually allow for a gentle rocking motion as well.
Zero-Gravity Massage Chair: This goes into the horizontal, zero-gravity position, but they also have a lot of high-tech features and motors. Some have a computer that measures your body size to give you a full-body massage accordingly. You can program the length and intensity of the massage as well. They are rather expensive: they range from $1800 to a $5800 shiatsu model. The Osaki OS-4000 and the Kahuna LM6800 are such zero-gravity chairs that have numerous massage settings.
Zero-Gravity Rocking Chairs: These have arched legs, just like your typical rocking chair. But this way, you can lie flat on your back and still rock back and forth.
Based on all the consumers' reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:
Folds up conveniently: If you want to use these chairs as pool furniture, you'll want to be able to fold them up and put them in a secure place in the winter. Check to see that the chair folds up easily, and doesn't occupy a lot of storage space. For example, the Belleze Premium Zero Gravity Chair is only 37.4 inches in length when folded up, and less than 6 inches thick.
Headrest: There are pillows with a Velcro strip that attach to the recliner. The Timber Ridge Oversized XL Padded Zero Gravity Chair has a headrest pillow that can be removed. It can also be placed lower so that it supports the lower back.
Available in pairs: Many companies, such as the PayLessHere Zero Gravity Chairs offer you a pair of zero-gravity chairs at once. This way, you know that they match in color, size, and design.
Side tray: Many models of zero-gravity recliners include a side tray or cup holder that can hold one or two cups (some, such as the Belleze 2-Pack Zero Gravity Chair, can accommodate two cups: one with a handle, and one without). They also have slots to hold a cellphone or even a book or tablet. The cup holder is detachable so that you can clean it easily.
Other accessories: Other accessories with zero gravity chairs include a carry bag that allows you to carry the recliner on your shoulder, a water-resistant cover, and replacement lacing to attach the fabric to the metal frame.
Durability: A big concern is the durability of the fabric. Some customers who bought a simple 0 g recliner noticed that the fabric started to tear on the frame only after a few months of use. The fabric on the Bellezze Zero Gravity Chairs is made of a durable 600D PVC mesh material. The BestChoiceProducts chair is made from Textilene mesh which is 80%-resistant to ultraviolet rays--this means that prolonged sun exposure will not damage the fabric.
Getting in and out of the chair: Zero gravity chairs rely on balance, sort of like riding a bike. So the chair will give an equal and opposite reaction to how you move: If you try to sit lower, it will try to tilt you upright. If you try to shift your weight upward, the more the chair will tilt back. It takes some time to get used to it. You can get out of the chair by releasing the locks and leaning forward.
Can the chair tip over?: Some people are uneasy in leaning so far back in a chair--but there really shouldn’t be any concern of the chair tipping over. People who have owned them for years report that they have never experienced their chair flipping over.
Good for people after surgery: People who have undergone back surgery find that a zero-gravity recliner is a lifesaver for them. The zero-gravity position has been scientifically-proven to reduce the amount that the body’s muscles are flexed, relieving any pressure on muscles and joints. It relieves the spine by decompressing the vertebrae, and allowing the discs in between the vertebrae to absorb water, and become lubricated.
Increasing lung capacity: When the muscles relax, you are able to breathe more deeply. Therefore, reclining in a zero-gravity chair will also increase your lung capacity, letting you take in more air with each breath.
Canopy: Some chairs have a canopy to protect your face from the sun. For example, you might be interested in the PayLessHere Zero Gravity Chairs--they come with a sunshade, as do the Best Choice Products’ model SKY 2336 (not all of their models have this option).
Chair weight: If you want to take the chair with you, it's important to note how much it weighs. A typical zero-gravity recliner will weigh between 20-40 pounds.
Weight capacity: You want to know how much weight can the chair support without being damaged. It's not uncommon for a zero-gravity chair to support up to 300 lbs, such as the Belleze Zero Gravity Chair and Recliner. If your family members are big people that weigh in the upper 200s—it's good to keep the weight capacity in mind. But then there are chairs for two people, such as the Best Choice Products 2-person gravity chair--they understandably can hold even more weight--as much as 450 pounds!
Length: Some customers noticed that if your height exceeds 6' 3”, your legs will dangle off the edge of some recliners. If that bothers you, consider a longer model.
Adjustable: Most Zero-Gravity chairs are adjustable to a number of reclining positions—from regular sitting to the “zero-gravity” reclining position. Make sure that the locking mechanism works—you won't be able to enjoy the “zero-gravity” simulation if it doesn't lock in that position. The Belleze Zero Gravity Chairs have a knob on the armrest so that you can lock the chair at the desired angle after you find the most comfortable option. You will have to apply the locks on both sides in order to secure the chair in place. The “zero-gravity” position, where the body’s muscles experience a minimum of stress, varies from one person to another. The reclining position can be anywhere from 105-165 degrees. (The same angle will not be optimal for everyone. What angle is best for you will depend largely on your weight and build.) So ideally you should buy a product that lets you set the reclining angle.
Breathable fabric: The seat in many models of zero-gravity recliners is in the form of a mesh. This allows it to be more breathable--it's understandable that proper air flowing through the fabric will cause you to perspire less. That’s especially important when it’s hot outside.
Attachment to the frame: The seat of the Arksen/Bellezza chairs is attached by means of a bungee-like elastic cord. It will stretch in such a way so as to allow the seat to fit your body's proportions automatically. If the elastic loosens over time, it can easily be replaced. Some chairs, such as the Caravan Canopy Sports Infinity Oversized Zero Gravity Chair, have two elastic cords tying the seat to the metal frame. This makes it extra durable.
Maintenance: Even though the polyester mesh fabric in most zero-gravity recliners is resistant to the elements, the metal frame, as well as other metal parts, may corrode over time. So it’s best to store the chair away during inclement weather. Some recommend bringing the chair indoors if they live in a humid climate, which could also cause the parts to rust. Also, the screws on the chair may loosen over time--for personal safety, check the stability of the chair before using it as a recliner.
Caravan Canopy—make a series of canopies. They are based in La Mirada, California. They also make various types of reclining chairs and seat cushions.
Outsunny—is a brand of the company Aosom. Aosom is a retailer of home and outdoor goods, health and beauty products, and pet supplies. Outsunny makes sheds and canopies, picnic and patio furniture, and camping gear.
XtremepowerUS— is a manufacturer of garden tools, pool products (such as water pumps and filters), and home appliances.
Best Choice Products— is based in Ontario, Canada. They are retailers of a wide range of products: health & beauty, kitchen tools, office supplies, patio and garden furniture, sports and fitness goods, and more.
Belleze--is a former brand of Arksen, a company located in City of Industry, California. Belleze makes a wide assortment of chairs for office, home, and recreational use. They make zero-gravity chairs, recliners, bar stools, and computer desk chairs. They also make patio umbrellas, patio heaters, sliding doors, hammocks, and more.