Home Icon

Homedics SBM-310P

By Staff writers | 10:13 am 06/02/2008

The Homedics Shiatsu+ Massage Cushion is a great device for relieving back, shoulder or lower back aches and pains in the comfort of your own home while you work, study, read, or simply watch TV. The beauty of this device is that you can use it on most chairs, thanks to a strapping device that allows you to fasten it to the back of most chairs. This strapping device ensures the cushion won’t slip or slide away while you are enjoying a massage. It’s not recommended to use it on wooden chairs, however, as the massaging mechanism could damage the timber and you should be careful using the device on upholstered chairs for similar reasons.

Setting up

You simply remove the massage cushion from its packaging and, using a supplied allen wrench, remove a screw from the back of the unit which was positioned to ensure the massaging mechanism doesn’t move during shipment. A tiny black plug is supplied, to place in the hole left by the removed screw, but this is a fiddly and tiny piece of rubber which, if you aren’t careful, goes missing under the couch. Homedics has advised that this plug is not integral to the working of the massager, thank goodness.

Homedics advises that failure to remove the screw could permanently damage the massaging cushion… so, in a nutshell, read the instruction manual and heed visual warnings! It is very hard to miss the clearly marked, bright yellow warning panel that tells you to remove the screw. Next, you simply plug in the power adaptor, attach your massage cushion to a chair using the handy velcro straps, switch it on (using a handheld controller) and away you go.


The Shiatsu+ gives you a shiatsu-style, deep kneading, circular massage and you can select from three preset programs. The shiatsu massager’s dual mechanism travels up and down your back. You can choose from full, upper, or lower back shiatsu programs by pressing a button on the handheld controller which is attached to the right side of the cushion and an LED illuminates to confirm your program setting.

If you only want to ease the aches in a certain part of your back there’s the spot shiatsu option. When the unit is in shiatsu massage mode you can press either the up or down arrow marked ‘spot’. You adjust the mechanism’s position by holding the button down until you hit the right spot. Once you release the button, the mechanism stays in that place.

There’s another massage available on this device called a rolling massage. Rolling mimics the feeling of two hands or thumbs working up and down your spine. You can choose from three preset programs: upper, lower or full and you operate the handheld controller in the same way as when you are having a shiatsu.

When the unit is in the rolling massage setting, you may also adjust the distance or width between the massage heads. This is great for pinpointing sore spots as it adjusts the area that is being massaged, allows you to customize your massage.

Finally, on the seat you can enjoy an invigorating vibrating massage, choosing from low, medium or high intensities. It is very relaxing.

Homedics has included a 15-minute auto shut-off on the massage cushion, which is simply a precautionary inclusion for consumers that might fall asleep using the massage cushion. You can use the cushion for as long as you desire, simply by switching it back on. Ultimately, it’s about whether it feels right for your individual needs.


While no mechanical device will ever replace the experience of a real shiatsu massage, for $299 this product provides a comfortable, relaxing massage solution for those who want instant relief from aching muscles in the convenience of your own home. This product is all about customising the massage experience according to your personal needs.

You can feel the shiatsu mechanism working hard to access different points on your spine. Having a width adjustment feature available during the shiatsu cycle would be great for accessing hard to reach spots.

The spot mechanism in the shiatsu cycle is a very practical inclusion as you can continually massage a sore point for as long as it’s needed.

Having the handheld controller on the right side assumes every user is comfortable using their right hand to operate it so it would be nice to have a left handed option, or some way of relocating the controller to the left if required.

If you are looking for a more intense massage, you simply lift the protective flap on the chair.


With this massage cushion you get a two-year limited warranty. If you experience a mechanical fault, you can return the device to the store where you bought it and a replacement unit will be supplied by Homedics. If, for example, your dog chews on the power cord and damages it beyond repair, or you want to replace the cushion’s removable flap, Homedics will charge a small fee (about $30 for a new adapter or around $10-15 for a new flap).


The Homedics Shiatsu+ Massaging Cushion (SBM-310P) provides a very satisfying way to relax and unwind at home for a reasonable $299. I think it would make an ideal Father’s Day or Mother’s Day present for Mums or Dads of any age.

Comments are closed.

Price (RRP)


Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Fits most chairs, affordable at-home massage, spot massaging options, full, upper and lower massage settings, dual massage mechanisms

Product Cons

Right handed controller operation only


Latest reviews

  • Review: Leica Q (Typ 116)

    Not all cameras are the same, and Leica’s Q proves it, packing a full-frame 35mm sensor, 28mm f/1.7 fixed lens, and a body that says “camera” more than most…
  • Review: KEF M200 in-earphones

    If there’s one thing KEF understands, it’s audio, with the company producing some of the best speakers we’ve ever heard. Unfortunately, we can’t carry big speakers everywhere we go,…
  • Review: Jawbone Up 2

    Need a bit of help getting in shape? Jawbone hopes to have the answer in an update to its Up 24, with the new sequel, the slimmer Up 2.
  • Review: Samsung Gear VR for Galaxy S6/S6 Edge

    With the upcoming releases of the consumer-ready Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive, virtual reality is about ready for use by regular people. Samsung is there now, though, and…
  • Oppo's 4.85mm thin R5 smartphone reviewed

    Apple may lead the smartphone wars with the iPhone, but Oppo is challenging the big A for some inventiveness, finding a way to make mobiles slimmer than ever with…
  • Review: LifeProof FRE Power for iPhone 6 (battery case)

    Smartphone batteries tend not to go for longer than a day, and Apple’s iPhone 6 is no exception, but the latest case from accessory maker LifeProof isn’t just about…
  • Review: Beats Solo 2 Wireless headphones

    Beats has one of those interesting reputations. Kids and young people love ‘em, while the older generation can’t stand them, but the latest pair tries to win over all…
  • Review: Toshiba Satellite Radius L10W

    Smaller computers are ideal for students and people on the go, and when they’re also technically tablets, they can be even better. Is Toshiba’s Radius L10W a hybrid worthy…
  • Review: LG 65 inch Prime 4K UHD TV

    It's not enough to have a big screen, and this year LG's 4K TVs are about more colours, fast operation, and sharp visuals. Does it succeed?
  • Review: HP Spectre X360

    HP's Spectre was one of the surprise laptops from last year, and a return for HP to the quality laptop space. Can the latest generation of Spectre keep the…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More