HoMedics HMC 500 Massage Chair Review
AIR COMPRESSION MASSAGE8.5/10
USER FLEXIBILITY (HEIGHT/WEIGHT)9.0/10
VALUE FOR MONEY6.7/10
- In Terms Of Aesthetics, HoMedics Have Done A Phenomenal Job With The Design!
- An Incredible 8 Massage Techniques Means The HMC 500 Is Capable Of Performing One Heck Of A Massage!
- I Really Don't Like The Pricing. I Think It Costs More Than It Should!
My Very First Review Of A HoMedics Massage Chair!
Welcome back to yet another massage chair review! COVID or not, we’re going hard all week every week. Today is a special day for me and I’m excited. This is my first time doing a review on a HoMedics massage chair. I’ve heard lots about these guys specifically when it comes to automated handheld and compact back massagers.
In fact when I was in San Diego last Christmas I vividly remember trying out a HoMedics massager in the Macy’s store! I can remember being pleasantly impressed by how good of a massage it gave. That being said, first impression of these guys is in good standing.
Here’s a few fun facts!
I don’t know the answer to this….yet! This very question is what I aim to answer by the end of this post. My goal is to make your life easier and I attempt to do this by completing a detailed review of this chair and seeing how it compares to similar chairs from the big players such as Osaki, Titan, Ogawa etc.
One thing’s for sure. They certainly make a good commercial! (video credit: emassagechair YouTube Channel)
Even though the above video doesn’t give out too much about the HMC 500, I’ve already spotted something I absolutely love! And that something are the heated rollers both on the back and feet! Alright, enough chit chat, let’s dive right into the details!
HoMedics HMC 500 Massage Chair: 5 Noteworthy Features!
#1 It’s Got An S-Track With 2D Rollers!
HoMedics are referring to it as S-Curve. S-Curve or S-Track is one and the same, potato potatoe! Before we talk about S-Track in more detail, let’s look at 2D rollers!
That last part is important to remember, because a whole lot of people think because 2D is old technology, it’s not great. You’d be dead wrong to think this. Yes 2D is old and yes it’s inferior to 3D/4D rollers, but it’s still proven technology that’s been incredibly effective over the last decade, which is exactly why 2D chairs are still sold to date!
Functionality of 2D rollers is pretty simple. 2D stands for 2 dimensions, and that’s exactly how these rollers function. That is, they move up and down along the length of the back and side to side along the width of the back. You can see what this looks like in the image below.
In order for anything to move from point A to point B you need some sort of a track. A good way to think of this is you have a road for your car to travel on when you’re driving from let’s say San Diego to Los Angeles. Without the road, getting from A to B in your car would prove to be an arduous task!
So why do we call it S-Track, is that the shape of the track? Ding ding ding, 100 points! It’s called an S-Track because the track is slightly curved to allow for proper contour of the spine, which if you haven’t guessed yet, is naturally “S” shaped!
Because of this tight spinal contour, S-Track chairs are incredibly effective at performing back massage. If you’ve ever used an S-Track unit before, you’ll know this!
Note: There are other roller tracks which are superior to S-Tracks. These are L-Tracks which offer an extended tracking range (therefore greater massage coverage), as well as SL-Tracks which offer a combination of both S & L tracks.
#2 Comes Loaded With A Total Of 7 Automatic Massage Programs
Automatic massage programs are simply pre-programmed massage routines that can be accessed directly from the remote control. Auto massage modes are really the beauty of massage chairs, and why massage chairs have grown in prominence over the years.
The 7 auto massage modes on this chair are:
- Vigorous—A deep massage routine designed to provide pain relief. Expect high intensity on this one!
- Neck & Shoulder—A routine specifically targeted to work on the neck and shoulders. Particularly great for those who suffer from neck and shoulder pain.
- Stretch—An intense routine that utilizes both the rollers and airbags to perform a comprehensive full body stretch.
- Lower Back—Similar to the neck and shoulder routine, but this one is focused on the lower back, lumbar area.
- Gentle—If you like mild and soothing massage strokes, this routine is right up your alley!
- Relax—Similar to the “Gentle” mode, Relax is a nice way to wind down after an exhausting, tiresome day!
- Demo—A quick demo of all the auto massage routines. Because it’s a demo, I don’t think it’s fair to call this an actual auto mode.
Note: each mode can run for a maximum total of 20 minutes, after which the mode can be restarted.
#3 Can Perform A Total Of 7 Different Massage Techniques!
In #2 we touched on auto modes and how the HMC 500 has 7 different auto modes to pick from. You should also know that the rollers on this bad boy are programmed to perform a total of 7 different massage techniques. These are shiatsu, kneading, tapping, clapping, Swedish, dual action, and rolling.
What are each of these techniques?
- Shiatsu—An ancient technique aimed at relieving pain in specific parts of the body. Shiatsu involves application of pressure to various points.
- Kneading—Everyone’s favourite including mine! Kneading strokes are gentle, circular strokes done to break up fascia and release tension. It’s also incredibly relaxing!
- Tapping—Exactly as you would think, tapping strokes are percussive in nature. It’s about “knocking” a certain part of the body to provide therapeutic relief.
- Clapping—Clapping strokes feel great! Whenever my therapist performs clapping, it’s something I know immediately because of how loud a sound it makes.
- Swedish—Rather than a technique, Swedish is more a type of massage. Similar to how you have Thai massage, you also have Swedish massage. I guess this must be an intense technique as that’s what Swedish massage is typically known for.
- Dual Action—Not entirely sure what this is. I’ve never heard the term “dual action” before, but if I had to guess, it’s the chair’s ability to pick up to 2 massage techniques at any given time. If you know more, please leave a comment below!
- Rolling—Pretty self explanatory. Rolling is the motion of the back and foot rollers moving up and down and side to side around the back. Also incredibly comforting!
#4 30 Airbags Placed All Over The Chair!
I didn’t mention it above, but if you count air compression as a massage technique, then the count for total massage techniques goes up to 8!
Air compression is a massage technique. By itself, air compression is not enough to provide an effective, therapeutic massage to the full body. Air compression is great at improving circulation and breaking up tension at a surface level, but anything beyond, it’s ineffective.
All that being said, the HMC 500 comes equipped with a total of 30 airbags. These 30 airbags are distributed throughout the chair around the shoulder, arms, hands, feet, and calf areas.
In terms of intensity, air compression intensity can be adjusted anywhere from 5 different levels ranging from low to high intensity. I strongly recommend you start off at a low intensity and work your way up! This goes for all massage chairs, not just the HMC 500.
#5 Decent Coverage & Somewhat Decent User Flexibility!
Just like every massage therapist is different in what massages and techniques they are trained to perform, every chair is different in what it can do. In terms of coverage, L-Tracks give you a lot more coverage than S-Tracks. Depending on the chair size, roller track, airbag numbers, every chair will have different coverage. The HMC 500 covers the following regions:
In all honesty, the HMC 500 is a decent chair in terms of coverage. However, it cannot match what an L-Track would provide. Moving on to user flexibility, the HMC 500 does well to accommodate a height range of approximately 5’0-6’3 ft.
I think it would have been nice to have seen more coverage on the lower end, but with 15 inches of coverage, it’s hard to complain!
HoMedics HMC 500 Massage Chair Specifications
- HoMedics HMC 500 Massage Chair Specs
- Roller Type: S-Track
- Roller Length: 30 Inches
- Total Airbags: 30
- Upright Dimensions: 55.6"L x 33.5"W x 50"H
- Full Recline Dimensions: 78"L x 33.5"W x 44"H
- Chair Material: Synthetic Leather
- Height Range: 5’0 – 6’3 ft
- Maximum Recommended Weight: 300 lbs
HoMedics HMC 500 Massage Chair: The Good & Bad!
- Number Of Massage Techniques—One thing that has me impressed is the number of massage techniques the HMC 500 is able to perform. It’s hard to find chairs able to do up to 7 techniques (8 if you count air compression!).
- Beautifully Designed!—Looking just at aesthetics, I love the HMC 500 design. I think everything from the color scheme to the overall look of the chair is stunning. The colors available are ivory and toffee, black and toffee, and black and espresso.
- Pricey For A 2D S-Track Chair—The pricing just doesn’t make sense to me, even after looking at it from different angles. It’s hard for me to digest when I can show you 2D L-Tracks chairs that are cheaper, and even 3D chairs that are cheaper!
HoMedics HMC 500 Massage Chair: Buy Or Pass!?
Moment of truth ladies and gents! Is the HMC 500 worth the $$$ or should you consider something else?
And the reason is simple. The pricing is outta whack as far as I’m concerned! And to prove to you why that is, let’s do a side by side comparison with other 2D chairs. Let’s compare the HMC 500 to the Osaki OS Pro Yamato as well as the Osaki OS Champ.
- Osaki OS Champ
- 5’0 – 6’0 ft & 260 lbs.
- 49″ L-Track
- Music Only
Music & Chromotherapy Lights
- Osaki OS Pro Yamato
- 5’0 – 6’0 ft & 260 lbs.
- 43″ L-Track
- Music Only
Music & Chromotherapy Lights
- HoMedics HMC 500
- 5’0 – 6’3 ft & 300 lbs.
- 30″ S-Track
Music & Chromotherapy Lights
As you can see from the comparisons above, the Pro Yamato and the Champ are quite a bit better than the HMC 500. The biggest thing for me is that these 2 chairs come equipped with an L-Track with far more coverage than the S-Track on the HMC 500.
All that being said, my recommendation is to go with either the Champ or the Yamato. There is a caveat to this however, and that has to do with user flexibility. If you’re well over 6 feet, these 2 Osaki chairs might not be the best option. In this case, the HMC 500 might fare better.
Agree/Disagree? Leave A Comment Below!
And that brings us to the end of this review post. I hope you enjoyed reading and got some value out of this. If you did, please consider sharing.
Finally, do you agree/disagree with my final recommendation?
What I consider important might not be so for you and vice versa. Anyways, that’s the beauty of it all! We can have debates and discussions and still not agree on what we think is the best massage chair. In the spirit of good old fashion debate, I encourage you to drop a comment below on what you think. Let’s get some discussion going!
Ciao for now, and as always we’ll see you next week!