For the term “zero gravity”, most people would probably conjure images of floating weightlessly in space (give or take a few aliens). Now take that feeling and imagine you are sitting in a chair on Earth. Zero gravity chairs make users feel like astronauts because of the steep reclining angle and s-shaped back that is designed to exert minimal pressure on the body.
These chairs are therefore perfect for those who want to kick their feet back on a Sunday afternoon instead of getting backstabbed by a cheap plastic lawn chair. The greatly reduced pressure on the body is also ideal for those with lower back pain who need to recline in a comfortable and ergonomic position when taking breaks from standing. Indeed, the zero gravity concept is similar to that used by the zero-gravity treadmill, which helps injured athletes recuperate and exercise without putting too much stress on their lower limbs.
In this guide I review the top 5 best zero gravity reclining chairs currently out there in the market. Five important factors are taken into consideration- durability, ease of reclining, whether the material can withstand the weather (for outdoors), ergonomics, and finally, the cost. Each of these chairs are the best in at least one, if not multiple of these categories depending on your needs. Lets go zero gravity!
Timber Ridge Zero Gravity Patio Lounge Chair– Best Outdoor Zero Gravity Chair
Bottom Line: A super sturdy, well padded chair supported by a bungee suspension system for zero gravity relaxation in most outdoor conditions
|22”L x 21.3”W x 43.5”H. Seat Back Height: 28.9″
Timber Ridge is a well known brand in the lounge and recliners space. Available in earth and camouflage colours, the Timber Ridge zero gravity chair is extremely well built, and perfect for the outdoorsman who needs that break in between setting up camp. This chair is also great for those who want to relax in their backyard or chill with their buddies around the grill.
Enjoy all of nature’s wonderful amenities – the glorious landscape, the refreshing breeze, the warm sunshine – all while reclining in an ergonomically designed chair that will make you feel like you’re on a cloud. The fully padded durable polyester foam seat comes with a removable headrest that allows for a comfortable sit.
The sturdy steel tube chair frame (with wooden armrests to help cool your arms) is supported by a flexible bungee suspension system, further reducing the force of gravity on your spine that can otherwise exacerbate the back pain you may feel when standing or working.
The chair can be locked in reclining mode to maintain a laid-back zero gravity position, and side cup holder for a drink of your choice means that you can spend an afternoon (or a day, we’re not judging) recovering on the ergonomic S-shaped frame that mimics the natural shape of your back.
With a one year manufacturer’s warranty that covers for any defective workmanship and material, you can rest easy (literally and figuratively) with this Timber Ridge Gravity Chair.
- Very sturdy frame that can support most body shapes and sizes
- Padded foam and removable headrest on an S-shaped frame provide ergonomic support
- Bungee suspension system and reclining mode significantly alleviate stress on back for a weightless sit
- Durable material enable protection against mild to moderate elements
- Should not be exposed to heavy rain or blazing sun over the long term – the steel frame will rust
- Manufacturers recommend regularly checking that screws do not become loose.
Timber Ridge Zero Gravity Pool Chair– Best Pool Side and Beach Chair
Bottom Line: Quick drying breathable duramesh fabric and adjustable pillow makes this the ultimate pool or beach side lounge chair.
|22″L x 20″W x 29.9″H. Seat Back Height: 29.5″
For the pool, patio, or beach where the temperature is usually hot, a sturdy reclining chair that can weather the climate is important. Look for a chair covered with a mesh material for good heat dissipation. The Timber Ridge Pool Chair uses a special Duramesh material that’s not only breathable, but dries quickly in the event of rain or repeat visits from the pool. It’s also very durable and easy to clean.
The Timber Ridge Pool Chair zero gravity chair also sports ergonomically curved armrests and a side cup holder. The cup holder retracts and slides underneath the chair when not in use, preventing any unwanted accidents from happening.
One of my favorite features of the Timber Ridge Pool Chair is the innovative headrest that moves up and down along rails to meet your head perfectly. It can even be moved all the way down to provide lumbar support for your back. It’s brilliant.
Another major advantage of the Timber Ridge Zero Gravity Pool Chair is that it can tilt back all the way to an almost fully reclined position. Taking everything into account, this is probably the best zero gravity chair you’ll find for relaxing on the beach, pool, or patio without worrying about the weather ruining the chair.
- Sturdy frame and bungee suspension
- Height-adjustable pillow can be used as a head or back rest.
- Breathable duramesh is great for staying cool on a warm day
- Large degree of recline allows great relaxation
- Chair comes conveniently assembled and is relatively light to carry for its large size
- Some users complain of the stitching coming apart after several months
Cozzia Dual Power ZG Recliner– Best Indoor Zero Gravity Recliner
Bottom Line: A high-end zero gravity chair that blends sophistication with advanced electronic functions such as vibration massage and heat therapy
|42”L x 31.5”W x 46”H. Seat Back Height: n/a
While the previous two chairs were designed for outdoor or backyard use, this zero gravity chair makes for the perfect indoor recliner. The elegantly shaped frame covered with bonded leather looks like a lawn chair for jet setters. Both the headrest and backrest are padded with memory foam, a quality material that contours to your body while also affording great padding.
Why is this zero gravity chair so much more expensive than its outdoors counterparts? It probably has something to do with the timed vibration massage and heat therapy functions that target the lumbar and thighs. Users with back and lower limb pain will love these features. And compared to a full fledged massage chair, the Cozzia 7G Recliner is much more affordable with many of the same functions.
Don’t forget that this is a zero gravity chair – a “one touch” button allows users to toggle between zero and normal gravity modes. In an upgrade from the manually operated zero gravity chairs, the Cozzia chair enables users to independently adjust their headrest and footrest positions via electronic controls (170 degrees max recline).
Cozzia provides a one year in-home service warranty and a two-year parts warranty, a welcome bonus for anyone making such a grand purchase. The customer service has been lauded as outstanding – faulty power functions (possibly due to strain or damage during shipping) are quickly and satisfactorily addressed.
- Quality indoor chair with advanced “one touch” zero gravity functions
- Memory foam covered with faux leather provides excellent ergonomic comfort
- Headrest and backrest positions are independently adjusted
- Vibration massage and heat therapy features help users with back pain relax
- Excellent customer service – company even flies technicians to fix chairs, and provides replacement chairs as needed
- Bonded leather is a letdown given the chair’s price
- Much more expensive than the previous two chairs
- A few reviewers have complained of power functions failing after several weeks
PHI VILLA Zero Gravity Lounge Chair– Best Sun Resistant Reclining Chair with Canopy
Bottom Line: A foldable yet durable zero gravity lounge chair with a UV-resistant canopy that offers your head protection against sunlight
|35.4”L x 25.6”W x 44.1”H. Seat Back Height: 32.48″ – 44.09″
This reclining chair from PHI VILLA resembles the first two chairs in this list, with the addition of a sun protecting canopy that gives it away. It comes fully assembled (which is what we’d expect from a lounge chair) and can be folded up whenever you wish to bask in the glory of nature or your perfectly-grilled steaks.
The skin-friendly and breathable textilene fabric is stain-, weather-, and UV-resistant, cooling the user on a sunny day. With the foldable canopy, this is exactly what this chair is made for. Unlike chairs with wooden armrests, this chair can probably be left outside to withstand much harsher weather conditions.
The chair can be locked in recline mode with a catch lock supposedly more convenient than the twist knobs found in some other recliners. The “stable triangle” below the armrests supporting the reinforced steel tube legs ensures safe load-bearing, allowing a recline angle of 170 degrees for an almost flat position. Combined with the canopy and a cool drink, it’ll be impossible to remove anyone relaxing in this chair. Unfortunately, you’ll have to hold on to these items – the chair doesn’t come with a side holder or tray.
PHI VILLA created this chair with an ergonomics-minded design; while there is no padding, the flexible material conforms to the user’s spine to maintain a natural shape. The headrest is removable like the Timber Ridge chair. This is one of the best lounge chairs that provides quality ergonomic support and protection against the sun for your upper body.
- Nifty adjustable overhead canopy provides visual protection against UV light
- Stain-, weather-, and UV-resistant fabric offers resistance against the elements
- Flexible material ergonomically conforms to the natural curvature of the user’s spine
- Foldable shape for easy storage is still quite durable and sturdy
- Canopy not detachable, though can be flipped back to get out of the way.
- Lack of beer, I mean cup holder
AmazonBasics Zero Gravity Chair– Best Budget Reclining Chair
Bottom Line: All the essentials of a good zero gravity chair in an affordable package.
|43.3”L x 25.5”W x 35.5”H. Seat Back Height: n/a
The breathable textilene material and powder-coated steel frame of this fully assembled chair provide hardy weather protection. I also like the twist lock design used to recline the chair, which is very easy and intuitive to use.
We don’t know if the chair can recline to 170 degrees (apparently the norm for other chairs), although it is longer than many, allowing you to prop up your legs. Like the PHI VILLA chair, no side holder or tray comes with this bare-essentials chair, though a tray can be purchased separately.
The padded adjustable and removable headrest offers good neck support, though unfortunately can’t act as a lumbar cushion similar to the Timber Ridge Zero Gravity Pool Chair. The “double bungee support system” is a simple way to reinforce the chair’s sturdiness, especially when reclined in zero gravity. The curvature near the hip seems to be a thoughtful attempt to reduce the angle of curvature (and thus stress) on the user’s spine.
This is a ultra budget zero gravity chair after all, and this is reflected in the materials used. The chair is very light, with a thin frame covered with a basic mesh-like material. While having the advantage of being more portable, the chair does feel flimsy, and probably won’t last as long as any of the competing chairs above. That said, it is covered by Amazon’s famous 1 year limited warranty if it should fail on you before due time.
- Bare minimum chair that combines ergonomical and economical aspects
- Breathable textilene material and steel frame makes this a great product on a sunny day
- Adjustable/removable headrest and contoured armrests also support the neck and arms
- Great customer service at Amazon
- Feels flimsy and may not last as long as the other chairs listed here.
- Lock mechanisms do not fully hold chair in upright position
- Movement not as fluid as other zero gravity chairs when reclining
Benefits of a Zero Gravity Chair
As mentioned earlier, zero gravity chairs mimic the zero gravity conditions of outer space on the body. Don’t worry though, you won’t be floating off anywhere anytime soon. The reclined position of zero gravity chairs is actually the same as the position that astronauts assume when they take off for their missions beyond the atmosphere. Since they are leaving Earth at such a high speed, astronauts will experience intense effects from gravity, which is why it is important to redistribute those back-breaking forces so that they can safely withstand take-off without feeling like Christian Bale after he fights Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.
To assume this reclined configuration, zero gravity chairs elevate the legs so that the angle of gravity is decreased, which also decreases the pressure on the back. Back problems like herniated or prolapsed intervertebral discs can be exacerbated by obesity and improper gait or exercise posture, which can affect the nerves in the spinal cord and induce pain. Therefore, an ergonomic chair that mimics the natural shape of the human spine helps the user maintain a proper posture when sitting. Moreover, a zero gravity chair that elevates the user reduces the stress that induces back pain by redistributing that stress throughout the body and to the chair itself. For those with back problems due to old age or injuries, this elevation and weight redistribution is especially needed.
In addition, by reducing the pressure on the body – especially on the back – zero gravity chairs alleviate the stress on the heart and lungs, allowing them to operate at a higher efficiency. The raising of the user’s legs also decreases the effects of blood pooling in the lower limbs (which can result in varicose veins over the long term) so that body-wide circulation is facilitated. This increase in blood circulation and lung capacity assists the body in better nourishing its cells. Feel comfortable while helping out your body – winning!
Other than the physiological benefits of a zero gravity chair, sitting in a chair that makes you feel weightless and light will undoubtedly help you relax. Since many of us may sit in office chairs during work, it is a welcome break to recline in a chair that almost lets you lie down. No doubt we’d prefer reclining in a zero gravity chair than a cheap plastic or metal foldable lawn chair that is stiff and non-ergonomic.
What to Look for in a Zero Gravity Reclining Chair
Now that I’ve covered the benefits of a zero gravity chair, what should you look for when buying one of these ergonomic powerhouses? I’ve compiled a brief buyer’s guide for those looking for furniture to help alleviate their back pain and to relax. Note that some functions will exclusively be for indoor or outdoor chairs, where their different environments of intended use will affect chair functions and features. As I may have mentioned in previous posts, nothing is better than actually sitting the chair to get a feel for how well it fits you (though it helps to read reviews, totally not being biased here!).
1. Zero Gravity Support
Obviously a zero gravity chair HAS to do zero gravity well! Does the chair redistribute the user’s weight across the chair so that he or she feels weightless and painless when sitting? Is the chair well-designed to satisfactorily support the user’s weight without breaking? The chair design, structure, and material should be of high quality. Can the chair be easily toggled in and out of zero gravity recline while also being able to maintain recline mode for extended periods? Looking for chairs with a reliable twist lock or clip that is easy to operate can go a long way here.
2. Ergonomic Design
Poor chair design can result in discomfort that can actually worsen one’s posture and cause problems with chronic use. Since zero gravity chairs implement a major aspect of ergonomics – the alleviation of back pain – we will look at other ergonomic aspects here. One important requirement for an ergonomic chair is the maintenance of natural spinal curvature; the chair does this by having a curved backrest to reposition the spine into a physiological S-shape or using ample padding, memory foam, or flexible mesh to accommodate the user’s spine. Including an adjustable or removable pillow for extra head and neck support is also a great bonus. Contoured armrests are great for proper arm positioning and circulation.
Given that zero gravity chairs redistribute the user’s body weight across the chair so that the user feels weightless, expect the chair to be quite sturdy – indeed, most zero gravity chairs are advertised to hold maximum weights of 300 pounds and above. Indoor chairs can utilize heavy or strong materials (steel or wood) that comprise products with large bases; these chairs can take the user’s weight and redistribute it towards the floor over a wider contact surface area.
On the other hand, zero gravity chairs designed for outdoor use need to be foldable for portability and therefore have to be relatively light. Such chairs can implement ingenious designs like triangular and crossed support structures that reinforce the chair as it takes the user’s weight.
4. Quality Material
Outdoor chairs are designed to withstand mild to moderate weather conditions, which is why many of them are made from materials like steel, plastic, and wood. We can’t guarantee that these chairs can handle all weather conditions – heavy rain can cause wooden parts to grow mold, ocean breezes can cause metal parts to rust, and strong sunlight can do all sorts of magic in between. The seat and backrest for outdoor chairs are usually made from weather-, stain-, and UV-resistant and/or breathable materials, so checking for quality material is key.
With indoor chairs, you can go a bit fancier with the material, since you don’t need to worry about portability or rain (unless you plan to produce Aquaman 2 in your house). Indoor zero gravity chairs are generally foam-padded and covered with a type of leather. Lower-end chairs may use polyester foam covered with faux or bonded leather, while higher-end chairs bust out memory foam and genuine leather.
5. Portability and Foldability
Portability is a major feature of outdoor zero gravity chairs, as their designers certainly knew that people would need these chairs when going camping or enjoying a nice barbecue in the park. These chairs therefore have to be easily folded and transported, which obviously means they have to be relatively light (yet robust). We suggest making sure the stretchy cords attaching the backrest and seat to the frame are strong and well-made.
6. Extra Features
Having a side cup holder or tray for your outdoor zero gravity chair is sure useful when you need to put down your book/drink/buyer’s satisfaction to gaze at that amazing sunset or grab some delicious grub. Other miscellaneous things like an adjustable canopy, wider seat, or a nice color can also improve your user experience. Since it’s an outdoor chair, you’ll appreciate a canopy that protects your eyes from bright sunlight, and an aesthetically pleasing chair to protect other people’s eyes from horrible color combinations.
As for indoor chairs, electronically controlled functions like vibration massage (which relaxes the user’s muscles to enter a state of chair-induced bliss) and heat therapy (which stimulates circulation by helping blood vessels dilate) are great features that are beneficial for your body.
If you feel your current lounge or outdoor chair just isn’t cutting it as far as comfort or putting your back at ease, making the switch to a zero gravity chair is a no brainer. Their high level of recline relaxes your entire body, prevents blood from pooling in your legs and feet, and elongates your back just enough to even help with back pain for many people. Oh and they can sit upright just a regular lounge chair.