MY REVIEW OF THE 2020 LUX ES450 MODEL — THE BEST ‘BIG FOR YOUR BUCK’ PEDICURE SPA CHAIR
It was a WOW from the images and videos, but unlike most pedicure spa chairs, the LUX ES450 model is shockingly more amazing in real life. In this review, I will walk you through its features and compare with those in the same class, go over what I like and dislike, and provide pricing review and my final thoughts.
Before physically touching the LUX ES450 model, I studied it by going into the manufacturer website (www.luxspachairs.com), examined each angle from images and videos, read the user manual and reviews available online. This model is considered to be in the upper mid to high class category of pedicure spa chairs, but its price is very generous at below mid class category (I will dive into price/cost later). Of course, I wouldn’t review a spa chair without actually physically spending a day with it — luckily, I have just installed 18 LUX ES450 pedicure spa chairs for OMG Nail Bar in North Carolina, and here’s what I learned: they look and feel much more luxurious than in pictures and videos. The reason I said ‘shockingly’ is that many spa chairs look and sound great online, but in real life they could look and feel a little ‘cheap’.
Definitely the LUX ES450 model has the luxurious and royal physique. It is about 6 inches taller than a standard pedicure spa chair. Well deliberate color coordination of leather seat, bowl, spa base and armrest. Curl at the top of the headrest and at the armrests. Curvature of the back rest is well aligned with the human body. Acetone resistant top coat enhances glow of the fiberglass armrests and spa base.
Feature descriptions and testings:Leather passed the acetone test! I spilled 1 ounce of 100% pure grade acetone (used by nail technicians) and waited for 5 minutes — normally it would be wiped clean in seconds in a real life situation. 5 minutes passed, I used cotton rolls to soak and wipe off the acetone and the leather was intact, no sign of wear down, no discoloration, and no sign of damage.
Leather is thick and has a premium feeling like the ones in a high end luxury car. Color is consistent throughout and expresses true depth (not too vibrant or glossy, instead, it’s classy). The stitches and patterns are well-sewed by professionals with thick polyester threads.
Cushion is thickly padded with high density polyfoam – feels like a moderate firm (not extra soft and not extra firm). I sat on it for an hour while testing the massage system and it was extremely comfortable — it didn’t give me the ‘butt sore’ feeling when you get off of an extra firm or extra soft seat.
I love that they added a slide prevention cushion. This simple addition makes a big difference! Imagine you sit in a seat and recline back, over time you start to slip off, this added cushion prevents you from slipping out of that comfortable position.
Great idea with the reversible decor padded seat and back cover and headrest. You will never have to change the leather again — simply switch the decor seat cover. They are reversible, and you can customize the colors you desire. They are acetone-resistant premium leather as well. It is actually very good designed and built, and secured perfectly on the seat.
I tested the Pro-Touch massage system, one of its popular features. If offers a full option which includes kneading/tapping, vibrating roller, or combo, from head to lumbar. I programmed a 15-minute session for a quick comparison. This Pro-Touch massage system delivered more accurately of each position I think because of the placement of the system and the contour of the foam. It moved more smoothly from one position to another, and each tap/vibration was more noticeable compared to other pedicure chairs.
Remote control is built-in into the armrest on the right side. It is easily accessible, less crowding of the seating space (compared to remote control with holder and wire), and could prevent damages caused by accidentally dropping. I can see a disadvantage is that it would be more difficult and costly to replace the remote control if it’s broken. And from my experience, the sticker decal covering the remote control could wear out or damage from acetone. I believe this particular model has overcome this issue by applying an acetone-resistant coat.
The spa base is made from composite fiberglass, which is stronger than many metals by weight, and found in similar applications include aircraft, boats, and automobiles. Unlike other pedicure bases of similar design, the LUX ES450 spa base is much thicker (~¾ of inch), more dense (yes, I used the knock test), and color application is phenomenal. I gave it a few good kicks and jumped on it, but it was very unemotional.
The pedicure glass bowl or basin is a beauty but belies a surprising toughness, with designs built to be exceedingly durable. There are 2 different designs, the one I encountered was a silver/gold 3D hand-painted 5/8’’ thick glass 5-liter basin. The manufacturer said it could withstand over 350 pounds of pressure, so I decided to give it a go. I jumped on the corners of the spa bowl multiple times with full force, and it survived with no scratch. I used a flat head screwdriver in an attempt to scratch it, but couldn’t get a scratch in. Benefis I love about glass basins are that they don’t look old over time (always look new and clean), difficult to scratch, and quick and easy to clean. So after 3 years, you could simply replace it with new leather decor padding and make the chair practically look brand new again. A disadvantage I experience with many glass basins is that they can be cracked by extreme change in temperature or most of the time from dropping the hot stones. The salon owner allowed me to do the hot stone drop (Yes, I was more nervous than her). The hot stone was about 3.4 inches in length, 2.7 inches in width, 0.5 inches in thickness, and weigh 135 grams (an above-average size hot stone) and height of dropping is 5 feet from the ground (an average technician shoulder height), and repeated for 10 times on different area of the basin — they withstand normal hot stone drops.
The pipeless magnet jet system operated smoothly and quietly, dual jet stream propelled water consistently and powerfully, yet it didn’t splash. I like the location of the spa jet, which delivers at the front of customer’s toes rather than at the heels. Front position provides customers with a better spa sensation. The housing component is well made and durable, easy to clean and sanitize. I twisted open the magnet jet head and found a standard magnet rotator fan. The dry unit is the motor, it drives the magnet to spin, and it is secured underneath the spa base. There is a built-in protector mechanism to turn off the motor when the wet end is detached.
The two decor side panels are also made from fiberglass and made deliberately to be easily removed to get underneath the spa chair. This is important because you can avoid any damage by having to flip or tilt the spa chair over for quick maintenance or repair. The wave-like LED panels are made of quality acrylic, and controlled by a remote control. There are many options to play with — from colors (7 of them), brightness and tone, color transitions, and speed. Unlike others I’ve seen, the LED panels felt dense and well secured. I like this feature because it helps you quickly set any desired atmosphere or tonality and provides flexibility and nuance in your salon.
The armrests are made from fiberglass, heavy, and acetone-resistant. I personally don’t like wooden armrests because they can easily be scratched or dents, and those marks show. I notice these armrests have leather cover on the sides, which is great because those could be difficult to replace when you want to replace new leather upholstery. Overall, the armrests are well designed and built, and very secured –they don’t ‘slam’ or drop heavily like other armrests.
Drink/manicure trays are acetone-resistant also, and they swing out from the side with minimal effort, very secured and sturdy. It has a cup holder on each side to hold drinks or nail products. This feature is very important because many times drinks got spilled from accidents and vibrations of the massage system. They could be easily folded back by pulling onto the elbow lever — in which I could do with one hand. They easily passed the weight challenge — I slammed a 5-gallon water jug (approximately 19 kilograms ~ 42 pounds) on it.
Ventilation system passed the 1 foot smoke test. Chrome air inlets are located on each side of the spa base. I dispersed visible smoke from a smoke gun a foot away from the air inlet and was sucked into the ventilation system. Although I don’t see many people use this feature, some state boards require your pedicure chair to have a ventilation system.
Footrest is well-built and durable using bigger screws and a thicker metal plate. Flat surface is deliberately designed so that a gel lamp could securely sit on.
LUX One Touch Autofill system is a premium feature (~$189) that could save you up to 2 minutes per pedicure session. I got a chance to play around with this system. So far I can say that most companies don’t invest into this feature, and those who did did not do a complete job. Take the Lexor autofill system for instance, it lacks functionality and is easily broken (yes, I have many complaints from nail technicians about this). LUX SPA autofill system is a better system and I recommend this feature for busier salons. The control panel has 4 touch buttons and is easy to use. All you need to do is to touch the desired temperature and touch the autofill button. After it fills up 4.2 Liter it automatically cuts off the water and turns on the spa jet. It gives you time to prep and serve drinks.
The side purse hooks — a simple feature that makes a big difference! I liked that they are very considerate for installing a high quality purse hook on each side. And they look top notch. You don’t know how many times salon owners asked me to install purse hooks for them, and they don’t usually look this good.
Another simple feature that makes a big difference is the USB power charging station. You have no idea how much this means to your customer, especially if you provide the charging adapter. It just shows how thoughtful you are. This feature is also great for technicians when you need to use manicure equipment like a drill or LED light.
- Standard package has many upgrades
- Premium quality acetone-resistant leather and thick polyfoam – very comfortable
- Free reversible padded decor seat cover
- Love the slide resistant cushion on seat
- Very well designed Pro-Touch massage system with full massage options
- Acetone-resistant from top to bottom
- Smoothly operated and powerful magnet spa jet
- Love the thoughtful accessories like side purse hooks, cup holder in manicure tray, built-in remote control, remote control at spa base for technician, and USB power charging station.
- Love the one touch autofill system — functionality and user friendly
- Delivered pre-assembled; plug and play.
- Free acetone-resistant matching stool
- 3 year warranty compare to standard 1 year
- Manicure tray may be a bit small (for some technicians)
- Combo package (i.e manicure tables, etc) is not available
- No button to poke a hole to drain water if you are using liner — you may have to use a rod.
- Lack of color options and customization.
- The edges of the metal plate of the foot rest need to be filed to prevent accidental injury.
|Features||Feature Description||My Grading (out of 10)|
|Overall Appearance||About 6 inches taller than average, royally designed with modern color coordination||9/10|
|Leather||Acetone-resistant, premium grade, durable, and soft.||9.5/10|
|Base||¾’’ ’Fiberglass, durable, scratch and acetone resistant.||10/10|
|Massage System||Pro-Touch, full options, perfectly aligned and positioned for desired results.||9/10|
|Seat||High density thick polyfoam, slide resistant cushion||9/10|
|Remote Control||Built-in at armrests and spa base||9/10|
|Glass Basin||⅝’’ Thick, passed hot stone drop at 5 feet||10/10|
|Armrests||Acetone-resistant, firmly secured||9/10|
|Drink/Manicure Tray||Swing out, easy to fold/unfold, cup holder, passed 40 pound test||9/10|
|LED Decor Side Panels||Multi-setting and theme colors, easy to remove for maintenance/repair without having to flip the chair over.||10/10|
|Autofill System||A premium feature, touch button panel, and user friendly.||10/10|
|Padded Decor Back and Seat Cover||Reversible, customize color, acetone resistant.||10/10|
|Technician Stool||Matching color and acetone resistant||9/10|
|Accessories||Purse hooks on both sides, USB charging station.||10/10|
|Bonus||3 Year Warranty||10/10|