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241 of 244 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 17, 2007
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Quad-Roller Massaging Cushion is easy to set up and begin operating. You just prop it on a chair or couch (there are straps you can use to tie it in place if your chair allows) and plug it in. There is a remote control pocket attached to the chair on the right. The remote is attached to the chair by a cord: in other words, it won't be joining other remotes in your couch cushions, which is great. The remote control itself is laid out very sensibly, so that it's very easy to operate.

There are two types of massage, shiatsu and rolling, either of which can be used with or without heat. Shiatsu massage is a deeper massage and feels like a knobby ball is being rolled around your back. Rolling massage is gentler and feels like wheels are rolling up and down alongside your spine, which is pretty much just what's happening: there are two rollers on either side of the chair. The horizontal distance between them can be adjusted using the width button. (There is a demo feature on the remote which gives a quick run-through of all the cushion's settings.)

Both types of massage, shiatsu and rolling, can be concentrated on the upper or lower back or set to massage the full back. In addition, in the shiatsu mode you can concentrate the massage on a single spot, adjusting it using up and down buttons.

I haven't tried other massage cushions/chairs, so I can't compare this product with the competition. Nor can I speak to the product's endurance, as I haven't used it yet for a long time. But these are the cushion's pros and cons as I see them:

PROS:
-- Easy to operate
-- Sensibly designed remote control
-- Remote can't get lost
-- Light weight
-- Auto shut-off after 15 minutes
-- It feels pretty darn good

CONS:
-- The rollers don't go up high enough to reach my shoulders (I'm 5'9"). People with upper back problems may not find this cushion helpful.

I used to wake up every morning with a stiff back, feeling like my spine would splinter if I twisted at all. That doesn't happen anymore, but boy would I have wanted this chair then, particularly the rolling full-back massage.

The video should give you a good sense of how the chair operates. Enjoy.

-- Debra Hamel
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110 of 110 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a great product if you don't want to spend too much but want a "real" massage each time. The massage cushions don't seem like they would give such a strong massage but as soon as you turn on the power you know this is a cushion that means business. If you lean back too hard it becomes actually painful.

Having tried out some massage chairs such as iJoy and others which come with hefty price tags, I think Homedics is a great option if you don't want to spend too much and still get a decent massage. Added to that the cushion gives you the flexibility to use any chair you like as your massage chair. However, the best feature about these new models from Homedics is the HEAT...(oh yes!) which you will not get even in most expensive massage chairs.

Aaah! The heat makes such a difference! The four rollers move up and down your back to give you a strong massage, but when you turn on the heat the same rollers feel so much better. The wonderful warmth just relaxes your tense back. Let me caution you however, the massage from this cushion can be too intense for if you just want a comforting light massage in front of the TV. These rollers literally dig into your back, especially if you have a very bony back. So you can either wear a light cotton jacket or just put a towel over the cushion. I prefer to put on a light jersey jacket to get my massage as putting a towel over the rollers (discouraged by the manufacturer) can mar their efficiency. It may also heat up the cushion too much and may damage it.

Each time I've used the heat feature on this cushion, I've been lulled into sleep despite the uncomfortable cushion. The rollers thankfully stop after 15 minutes on their own or I'd wake up with a burned and sore back. Even after the massage stops the cushion stays warm for some time due to the heat, and I don't want to get out of the chair. It just feels so good!

Other reviews have illustrated how the chair works very well so I won't go too much into detail here. It gives you an up and down Rolling massage where rollers move in a straight line up and down. In this mode, you can adjust the width of the rollers. The other mode is Shiatsu in which rollers move in a circular pattern up and down your back and you stop them where you like by using the "spot" feature. Usually, you'll want the shiatsu to get those kinks in your back. Which is why you should also consider the Homedics SBM-300H Therapist Select Shiatsu PLUS Massaging Cushion with Heat cushion made by Homedics.

Although the SBM-300H only has 2 rollers (and therefore is a little cheaper)it also gives the rollers the freedom to spiral up and down in a circular motion during a shiatsu. In the quad cushion, although there are 4 rollers, the 2 on each side are joined together and when they move up and down for the shiatsu they move more in a zig-zag kind of pattern compared to the circular spiral of the 2 rollers in the SBM-300H. The 4 rollers also don't go up as high on your back as the 2 rollers in the SBM300H. Some reviewers in the past (for earlier models without heat feature)have commented that the SBM-300 delivers a more effective shiatsu than the quad QRM-400, which I agree with. To check out how the rollers move up and down in the new models look at the video reviews of both (in the spotlight reviews). They give a fairly good idea of the movement of these rollers and will help you make your decision.

Whichever Homedics cushion you choose, this is a great product at a very reasonable price (cost of 3 massages or less!) The only negative is that the rollers don't go further up your back up to the neck (in SBM-300 they seem to go a little higher than this cushion). Usually, I slide down further into the chair to address that problem. This is perhaps the only point where the massage chairs win over the Homedics cushions. However, given the price difference between a full blown massage chair and the Homedics massage cushions with the wonderful heat function, my vote is for the Homedics cushions!
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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2008
I have been a buyer of the three models of Homedics Massaging cushions.
This means that I have experienced the 200, 300 and 400 different models.
The last one-400 with no heat- was delivered June 2007 and finally broke down and stopped operating in March 2008.
The three Homedics cushions showed the same failure. The plastic vertical guide through which the massaging device goes up and down broke in the same place after about one year use. This means that this weak piece was never tried to be made with a stronger material or different design.
As I live in Argentina I have no ways of returning the massage machine to be replaced within warranty limits. Conclusion: These Homedics massagers can only be bought in the USA. Final comment: The three models perform beautifully while they last but Homedics never made a small effort to correct the defective parts of the three models cushions.
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124 of 136 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 17, 2007
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I opened this baby the moment I received it. I was really looking forward to using this massaging cushion. I read all the scary instructions with a LOT of cautions. Do not use if you are: pregnant, have a pacemaker, diabetic, or have any concerns regarding your health. I attempted to attach the cushion to my chair with the velcro straps provided but they were not long enough (this should have been my first clue). No matter, it fit nicely in my chair with no sliding. The remote is attached to the cushion and has a easy slot, clever little idea. Finally, I plugged the cushion in and pushed the rolling full back massage button. Ahhhh. It felt good on my lower back but when it got to the middle OUCH and then a distinctive CRACK was heard and I jumped off the cushion. There now was a tear in the upper back portion of the cushion and a slight burning smell. This cannot be good. My attempt at relaxation by using this product lasted for about 20 seconds. I am not a happy camper, perhaps the warranty and/or customer service for Homedics will change my view?

Spoke to Homedics representative who stated that this cushion is ONLY TO BE USED ON AN OFFICE CHAIR. They have it displayed this way in-store but there is no way of knowing this if bought online. They were very helpful and told me to mail it back (at my cost) with the authorization code given for a replacement. Replacement received and it works great. I use this cushion often and there have been no problems. I LOVE THIS THING! It's nice to know that this company stands behind their products!!

UPDATE 6/4/10: 3 years later and this massage pad still works nicely. I use in on a leather office chair around 2-3x per month.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2008
Hello friends. I am 5'9" which affects the areas that this cushion can reach. In a local store I sat in three massage cushions: this one, Homedics SBM-500H Therapist Select Shiatsu1 Massaging Cushion with Heat, and HoMedics Therapist Select Shiatsu Plus Massaging Cushion with Heat - Black/ Gray . I bought this one because: (1) the SBM-500H is isolated to shoulders and to lower/mid back and did not reach the upper back between the shoulder blades. This cushion does reach into shoulder-blade territory though I wish it would go up even higher. That appears to be a necessary sacrifice when getting a massage cushion instead of a massage chair or hiring a massage therapist. (2) the rolling feature on the Shiatsu Plus did not have adjustable width and this one does. FYI: The packaging is mostly marketing mumbo-jumbo and not very informative. You have to get the manual to see some helpful details like the following... NOTE: this should only be used for 15-min sessions (or else it will overheat). The machine turns itself off after 15 minutes so there is no need to set a timer. ALSO NOTE: instructions say this is not for use while laying down or in a car. THIRD NOTE: the pressure applied by the other two was perfect for me and this one "digs in" more. The instructions suggest covering this one with a towel if it is painful and that towel trick works fine for me.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2007
I bought this massager couple of days back...SRM 300H and 200H are much more soothing than this one.. Sometimes I feel like its shurting my back more than the pain I am having. It doesnt reaches the upper back as the others do. SO, I prefer to jump back to SRM300H or 200H.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I received this massage cushion about two weeks ago, unpacked and set it up, and immediately sat down to use it.

Bad idea.

I had no idea about how to ease into the use of a massage cushion, and I came away from my first session with a back so sore that I felt pain for the next five days.

Once the pain subsided, I began to use the cushion again, this time for shorter periods of time.

Ahhhh, Relief!

Yes, it does work, and, yes, it does ease my aching back. The heat setting are relaxing, so, now it's a pleasure to use.

What to do?

I suggest that Homedics revise and expand their instruction booklet. I needed to know not only how to set up the cushion but how to get started using it without so much discomfort. If that information had been available in the booklet, I might have been using it successfully much earlier.

Overall, this is a good product that eases the knots out of my back, but the instructions clearly need to be revised.

UPDATE: November 17, 2007

While it worked, it provided a good massage. I had to learn to take it easy and not jump into a full Shiatsu massage at once, but after I conquered the learning curve (about two weeks), I was happy.

Or at least for a week I was happy.

Toward the end of the third week, it died.

Dead.

Just like the saying goes, the lights were on but no one was home.

Yes, it's guaranteed. Yes, I sent it back. And, yes, I expect to get a replacement.

But if the next one breaks, I'll probably just give up. Repacking the machine and lugging it down to UPS is enough of a bother and expense that I won't do it again.

This machine could be a big help for consumers with tired and sore backs. But it's not a throw-away investment, so, without an improvement in quality, I cannot now recommend it. If my experience is typical, Homedics should include a shipping-paid replacement guarantee with this cushion.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have long looked at items like this and wondered how they would feel. I suppose I would go so far as to say I coveted them...I grew up in a house that regularly traded "back scratchings" & my spouse isn't always willing. However, products like this have always been outside the range allowed by my wallet. I have used it now for two weeks. Bottom line of the review before I get into the particulars: I like it, but I don't love it.

First the good: It is very simple to set up. Basically, you slap it in your chair & plug it in. It has a couple straps to hold it in place. We watch television from small cushiony things on the floor called "back jacks" you can get those on Amazon too. This attached easily to my back jack. If it can do that, it can do any chair.

It's also very simple to use. The buttons are all self explanatory. It runs through a cycle of massage and then shuts itself off, so you can fall asleep on it without fearing being massaged black & blue (though you are warned by the small accompanying booklet not to do so especially with the heat on. You can tell when the heat is on by the color of the lights on the rollers (blue cool/red hot)...it looks nice & the smell (very stinky at first) does go away in a day.

Now the not so good: If you have a cat, the mesh fabric that covers the massaging rollers just screams "scratching post" So you'll have to put it away after every use.

The "upper back" setting actually only hits the mid back and the "lower back" doesn't go that low. My shoulders were barely approached & I am not a tall boy. The rolling massage width setting button didn't seem to go wide enough and I am not a wide boy either.

It's kind of loud. I don't like to use it when we are watching television or a movie for fear of covering the sounds of quiet scenes. I only used it when playing my Playstation, so I let it run through a whole shiatsu each time I used it...and though it felt kind of nice, it wasn't quite as wonderful as I was hoping. I do agree with some of the other reviewers that it hurt. I guess nothing beats the hands of a masseur...though I can't say that for sure since they're outta my price range too.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have used recliners that had built-in massage features before and been very disappointed. While those typically had simple vibrate functionality, this massaging cushion is the real deal.

It is a very simple to use product. It comes with a short and straightforward instruction book (yes, you should read it before use). That is where you find that there is a screw that you need to remove prior to usage. You also will find the warnings for 15 minute total usage and 3 minute max on a single spot. Other than that, it is a breeze.

There are two styles of message that you can choose from (Shiatsu and Rolling). Within these, you can choose from full back, upper back, or lower back massages. There is also optional heat. I found the rolling massage to be too gentle; therefore, it did not make much difference to me. However, if Shiatsu is too strong for your taste, this might be just the setting. I loved the Shiatsu setting with heat. My back really feels loosened up after a full 15 minutes. I have also used a concentrated lower back and individual concentrated massage. I was pleased with the results in all cases. I have a desk job, and I start each morning with a full 15 minute Shiatsu massage with heat. It has certainly been a nice addition to my morning routine.

There are a couple of drawbacks to this product that keep it from being a five star item. When not in use, it is not comfortable to have against my back so I have to store it out of the way when not in use. This is minor, but you might want to consider this if you are tight on space. The buttons on the control are a little stiff. Again, this is not a show stopper, but it is a bit annoying. Finally, I am 6' 2", and I would like the cushion to be about three or four inches taller. However, I need it more for my lower back so this is not a major issue either.

Overall, this is a very good product. What sets it apart from the other two models from Homedics is the quad roller system. To me the SBM-200H and SBM-300H would be like getting only half a massage after using the QRM-400H. I think it is worth the difference in price.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2009
After reading several reviews, I realized that most of the negative reviews had to do with personal taste or personal experience with the type of massage. I want to address the fact that the unit is sturdy! I have had mine now for almost two years. It sits at one end of the love seat and is used by myself and my wife, as well as my adult kids and all the grandkids when they come to visit. We all sit the full 15 minutes and sometimes not allowing time for the unit to cool down, someone else is in the chair. It still works as good as the day I bought it.

I can see where someone might not like the feeling at all, or find the shiatsu painful (mine has option for rolling or shiatsu) but that is not really a reflection on the quality of the device or whether it does what it claims. I didn't expect it to last this long with thet degree of use it gets. It seems to be a quality product. Some of the family actually lean their full weight against the back putting a real strain on the motor. But it runs like the energizer bunny.

I would definitely recommend this product as doing what it was designed to do, and for a long time. As for whether you like the massage or not, that is a personal thing, like, some like espresso, some do not. Buy an espresso machine? Well, if you don't like it, that's not the machine's fault. As for the overheating issue, we haven't had a problem (but I would advise following the manufacturer's recommendations) and don't all electrical devices have the potential for overheating? There isn't anything about this product that would not allow me to recommend it to anyone to try.
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