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March 1, 2016 Amelia Wilcox

What Should I Wear For a Chair Massage?

Since chair massages are done while the client is fully clothed, new clients often wonder if there’s anything specific they should or shouldn’t wear.

In this article we’ll go over what you can expect from a chair massage, including the best clothes for a chair massage. We finish with 3 other common questions about chair massage.

best clothes to wear for seated massage


Best Clothes to Wear for a Chair Massage

Clients receiving chair massages don’t undress for the service, like they might for a table massage.

In a chair massage, the massage therapist uses techniques that can be done on top of the client’s clothes. This includes techniques such as compression, petrissage, tapotement, and trigger point work.

Related: Do Massages Hurt?

In order to get the best chair massage possible, there are certain things you should and shouldn’t wear. Some kinds of clothes make it more difficult for the massage therapist to deliver a great massage.


  • Bulky sweaters
  • Sweatshirts
  • Coats or jackets
  • Thermal or waffle shirts
  • Delicate materials (i.e., silk)
  • Hats and glasses 

Best Clothes for Chair Massage

  • Linen / cotton / poly materials
  • Button up dress shirts
  • Slacks
  • T-shirts
  • Light knit tops (not bulky)


What About Skirts?

You can absolutely get a chair massage while wearing a skirt. Though exact designs of massage chairs vary slightly, in most cases it’s easy to get into and out of a massage chair while wearing a skirt.



chair massage tips

Other Questions About Receiving a Chair Massage


Will the therapist use lotion?

Chair massage usually doesn’t involve lotion or oil, unless there is specific work on the neck, shoulders, forearms, or hands — as they areas are usually more exposed and accessible.


 Do I need to take off my shoes?

There’s no requirement to take off shoes during a chair massage. However, some clients like to receive a foot massage as part of the treatment — and it’s certainly possible with a chair massage.

Related: Can You Do Chair Massages on Legs and Feet?


I’m pregnant—can I still get a chair massage?

Most pregnant women are cleared for massage after 12 weeks. Barring any other advice from you doctor, prenatal massage is perfectly safe. And prenatal massage in a chair is possible too!

Depending on which is most comfortable, you’ll sit on the massage chair facing forward as usual, or you can be seated backwards (check out our YouTube video on this.)


Amelia Wilcox

Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement.

Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.

Recently listed as a Forty Under 40, Fast 50, Inc 5000 Twice awarded National Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Licenses, Certifications & Memberships
Licensed Massage Therapist since 2002
Member of American Massage Therapy Association
Served on Utah Worksite Wellness Council from 2012-2015

Attended Utah College of Massage Therapy
Educated in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Utah

Massage Magazine (AMTA's publication)