Beurer MG320 Shiatsu Air Compression Seat Cover review: wheezy but wonderful

Multiple massage options and very effective air massage make the Beurer MG320 an excellent all-rounder

Woman reclining on sofa, using the Beurer MG320 massage seat pad
(Image credit: Beurer)
T3 Verdict

Beurer's MG320 Shiatsu Air Compression Seat Cover delivers adjustable massage intensity, heat, infrared light and compression therapy. That latter option comes via airbags in the seat and back that inflate and deflate to give you a gentler kind of massage. It's more comfortable and accommodating than rivals, but it costs a bit more too.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Air pressure massage is very effective

  • +

    Effective heating system

  • +

    Adjustable massage intensity

  • +

    Infra-red light option

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Can be a little bit noisy

  • -

    Roller width isn't adjustable

Many people are fans of Shiatsu massage, which is a fairly full-on kind of kneading, but sometimes Shiatsu chairs at their most intense are a little too much for some people. Beurer has thought of that, and in addition to its moving massage heads its chair uses air compression to inflate and deflate the seat and sides to move your muscles and grip your thighs without feeling like someone's twisting their knuckles between your ribs. 

Beurer is a big name in the world of high-tech health and wellbeing, with a huge product portfolio that includes electrical beauty products, medical monitors, heat lamps, more compact massage cushions and much more. The MG320 is its top of the range massage seat cushion. (For more alternatives, check out our best massage chair guide – or if you're after something smaller, head to our roundup of the best massagers.)

We're a little disappointed to see some online retailers claiming that this chair can alleviate stress, anxiety and depression; there's no solid evidence to back up such claims. What it can do, and what it's really good for, is soothing tired or tense muscles and helping you relax. That's more than enough to justify buying one. Read on for our full Beurer MG320 Shiatsu Air Compression Seat Cover review.

Beurer MG320 Shiatsu Air Compression Seat Cover: design and features

As the name suggests, this is a seat cover rather than a whole chair: it's designed to be slung over your office or dining chair and secured with the included double strap. Although it's not a full chair, it'll deliver a more complete massage experience than a massage cushion (we've also reviewed the Beurer MG 149 Shiatsu massage cushion, if that sounds more your scale).

The frame is strong enough to take your weight on a soft sofa, but if it's a low-backed sofa you'll probably find you end up reclining a little too much. There's also a hanging strap so you can store it on a hanger as if it were a suit.

The seat cover is made of PU leather with removable, machine washable mesh and velour bits over the neck and back areas.

Remote control for the Beurer MG320 massage seat pad

(Image credit: Carrie Marshall)

Beurer MG320 Shiatsu Air Compression Seat Cover: comfort

Our testers found the MG320 to be supremely comfortable, with sides that are more forgiving of larger bodies than some rival chairs. Be careful when you get into it, though: the massage heads sit in the lumbar position when the chair is switched off, which can be an unpleasant surprise if you're not expecting it and makes this unsuitable for sitting on if you're not actually using it. Unlike some other firms' rolling massages, the rollers here can't be made wider or narrower to suit different body styles or preferences, although you can adjust the height of the neck rollers to suit taller users.

As mentioned in the intro, there's also a very effective air compression option – similar to mechanism powering the Homedics Stretch XS mat. As with that product, the trade-off for that more gentle massage experience is noise: with the air compressor on there's slightly more noise as the airbags inflate and deflate.

Close up of head section of Beurer MG320 massage seat pad

(Image credit: Carrie Marshall)

Beurer MG320 review: performance and programmes

There are four massage heads in total, two at neck height and two for your back, and those heads rotate in pairs to deliver Shiatsu-style massages. You can choose from three different intensity levels and three massage areas: lower back, upper back or full back. You can also create a spot massage by moving the heads to whichever bit of your back requires more attention, and enable heat to make your massage even more soothing. 

If you've found other Shiatsu massage chairs to be a little too forceful you'll appreciate the combination of air pressure and adjustable intensity here: you can still have a massage that makes it feel like someone's rearranging your skeleton, but it's nice to have the option of something a little less intense too. The heat and light are very effective too, although using them in the evening with the air massage on felt rather like sitting inside a video game cabinet.

Beurer MG320 massage seat pad on a chair, in a garden

(Image credit: Carrie Marshall)

Beurer MG320 Shiatsu Air Compression Seat Cover review: verdict

The Beurer MG320 Shiatsu Back & Neck Massager costs a little more than some similarly specified rivals – the typical price at the time of writing is £239, compared to about £150 for other brands – but the addition of air compression makes a significant difference to the whole massage experience. It's also useful to have more than one intensity level to choose from, as that makes the chair accessible to more people. It's an excellent all-rounder.

Carrie Marshall
Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).