Poang Massage Chair

I’ve had an Ikea Poang chair since ~1990 and used it regularly for many years, then it became a driving chair for video games, but in the last few years hasn’t seen much use.

I’ve always wanted a massage chair (who hasn’t???) but could never justify $2000+ for a massive, sure-to-break chunk of furniture.

A few weeks ago in Bed Bath and Beyond I tried out a couple of their Homedics massage cushions and was amazed at how good their “Quad Shiatsu” version felt.

It rolls, kneads, taps and heats just like the fancy chairs for $199 (HoMedics® Quad Shiatsu Massage Cushion with Heat)

Rather than just sit it on a regular chair I checked some measurements and decided to hack apart the old Poang for a proper seat.

How to make a POANG massage chair

Removing the rear arms-to-back bolts allows the seat to swing up so it isn’t in such a reclined position (too much stress on the massager I figured), and makes getting in and out easier (though I may still install 2 or 3″ risers on the bottom to raise the whole chair a little higher).

Took some thinking and fiddling around with scrap wood and clamps to get the angles and dimensions right so the ~5″ thick massage part would sit more or less flush with the existing chair rails, then some fairly complex angle cuts with a miter saw.

Adjusting the POANG to the HoMedics massage cushion

Materials used are 2×4 for the riser blocks, 3/4″x2″ oak for the main horizontal stringer to support the massager, 1/2×2″ poplar strips for the two supports bolted under the seat and also for the vertical back supports, and various 2″ and 3″ wood screws and gorilla glue to hold it together. More solid now than it ever was.

Finally gave the entire thing a light sanding and sprayed with “Colonial Red” primer/paint. Thought it would be a bit darker but looks good in our Asian themed bedroom.

Spray painted the POANG chair

Fitting in the HoMedics cushion

Even with the foam removed from the back of the cover the double layer of corduroy does mute the massaging action somewhat. Still feels great, but if a more intense massage is desired the entire cover can be easily removed to put your back directly on the massager.

Poang massage chair - back

A neck pillow would be nice, thinking about how to integrate one but for now just lay a thin pillow behind the neck.

Very happy to re-purpose a chair I’d have otherwise eventually just thrown out!

IKEA POANG massage chair with slipcover

~ Kurt