There is certainly no shortage of massage chair reviews online. If you’re on the market to buy one you probably already know this. So we researched hundreds of reviews to bring you this detailed guide on the top 17 chairs for 2016 to help you make the right buying choice.
For those who are still weighing up the decision to buy a massage chair we will first cover some of the deciding factors as well as the benefits. We’ll also cover in detail the different features you might want to look out for but most importantly why these features might be important to you.
Our hot list of the 17 best products follows. We have grouped the results in to 3 price brackets displayed in handy comparison tables to help cater for your needs and budget.
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There is good reason why Massage Chairs are considered an important commodity throughout the world. They are made to make you feel comfortable after a long day at work since all it takes is for you to sit and let them do their magic.
Here are the benefits that nobody will tell you about having a massage chair
Why get a massage chair
The main reason to get a massage chair comes down to one word, convenience. Several massage chairs come with different automatic programs so that you don’t have to mess with difficult settings, just push a button and the chair will do the work for you.
This way you don’t have to travel long distances or even get out of home to go to a massage parlour, most recent chairs are built to make you feel like you are inside one of those establishments.
There are people that simply don’t like strangers to touch them but still need to have some sort of comfort, so buying a massage chair is the logical answer.
Some brands come equipped with stereo speakers, this way you can hear your favorite song while getting a massage, they can even alter their programs to the beat and rhythm of said music. So it all comes down to simplicity, and practicality.
What are the health benefits of massage chairs?
assage Chairs have a plethora of benefits to your overall health. They can help alleviate any kind of pain, from back problems to leg and feet ones.
Some are even designed to focus on pressure points, these points are used in acupuncture as a way to help inflammation and treat soreness in different muscle groups.
Another benefit comes in the form of circulation improvement, by targeting specific areas of your body, the mechanisms can help improve the circulation to different tissues which in turn helps improve the organ oxygenation and prevents the appearance of varicose veins.
Stress relief is the prime reason most people use a massage chair. According to research, 1 in every 5 people suffer from some sort of stress. So it is only logical that these products are made to target such issue along with treating migraines and headaches.
Massage chairs also help in correcting posture as they help treat back pain along with being ergonomically designed to adjust to your whole back or vertebral column.
How well do they actually work?
Good Massage Chairs constantly get good reviews. It all depends on the type of chair that is chosen along with their specifications and overall build quality. That is why it is so important to do your research and buy the one that best meets your individual needs.
Are massage chairs safe for everyone?
Even though Massage chairs are suited for almost everyone, from elderly people to young adults, there are several considerations that must be taken when using one.
For example, pregnant women are advised to not use programs or features like pressure points or heat pads since they can lead to premature labor.
People that suffer from some sort of electrical imbalance disease like arrhythmia or epileptic seizures could have some issues when using these electric massage chairs.
Along with that, there are some weight and height considerations to be taken. The average max weight varies from 225 to 300 lbs depending on the model, and the average recommended height varies from 4’6” to 6’2”.
Can Children use a Massage Chair?
It’s ok for kids older than 8 years to use a massage chair. However there are some exceptions, for example if the child suffers from Type 2 diabetes or seizures. It is advisable to consult with your doctor or pediatrician first.
What can go wrong?
The most that can go wrong is that some mechanism fails to work or something is missing in the delivery package, in which case, the warranty covers most of these issues.
Some well reviewed and known companies even include free shipping and 24/7 technical support. Avoid buying models which have received bad reviews or are just cheap or from an unknown supplier. They can end up costing more in the long run.
How to choose a good Massage Chair
Choosing a good chair is certainly not an easy task. It all depends on your specific needs and how much you are willing to spend on it.
Some massage chairs come with different mechanics, programs and focus on different parts of the body. In this section of massage chair reviews we will focus on the different features of a massage chair.
- Full Body Massage: This feature is one that will likely matter the most to you. Most people want a full relaxing massage that targets most sections of their bodies and brings them a deep tissue massage. The idea is to find a chair A massage in a full body chair will feel like a workout and at the same time like you are right there with a human masseuse.
- Foot & Calve Massage: Another distinctive feature that every chair should have. We all know how hard it is on your feet if you’re standing all day at work or have to walk a lot. You need a specific type of massage to ease the pain from the day to day routine. This feature comes in the form of airbags or rollers. Ideally, rollers are better since they target most of the sole of the foot and alleviate pain much more effectively.
- Head & Neck: Most people do not pay attention to this feature since they all assume that every chair has it. This a wrong assumption, there are chairs that do not have this feature, making it difficult for a good massage to be done. Remember that most of your stress and pain is located in the neck area, so it is important to always find a chair that offers either airbag or roller massage and as a rule of thumb, always go for rollers since they cover more areas of your muscles and body tissues.
- Hip Massage: A feature that few chairs have which can help alleviate the pain in the lumbar area significantly.
- Seat Massage: a relaxing massage targeted at your buttocks and upper legs. An important feature to look for if you are one of those people that work sitting in an office for long hours.
- Outer shoulders: Like the neck, the shoulders commonly bear all the pain from stress. This area tends to have the most amount of muscle contraction and as such it is as much an important feature as any other.
The Key Features to look for in a massage chair
There are some other features that are considered to be of key importance when it comes to buying a chair, such as:
- Auto Programs or manual – how many? There is no perfect answer to this question. Ideally you should always choose the programs most suited to your needs. Chair programs range from 4 to almost 8 or more with different techniques and focus areas. Some even have programs that adjust to the type of music you are listening to!
- Adjustable strength, speed & width settings: These are 3 key features that should always be looked for in a chair. Adjusting these settings will give you complete control over the machine so that you can personalize it according to your needs and each family member.
- Zero gravity: The idea of this feature is to provide a reclined position that minimises stress on the body. It’s named zero gravity because it’s the position astronauts take in preparation for take-off from Earth. Chairs that have only 1 zero gravity position will not fully recline to the back while the ones that have 2 will recline you further back so that your legs are higher than your torso. This feature helps you to relax as you don’t feel your own weight.
- 3D Massage: Normally, most chairs come with a 2D roller system which means that the rollers travel up and down the body during the massage. A 3D roller system means that as well as going up and down, the rollers can go inside and out. Giving them a complete range of movement.
- Strength Range – mild, mid-strong, strong or deep tissue: Most people agree that strength is one of the most important features of a chair. This is proportional to the number of motors inside the chair. The more motors it has, the stronger it will be.
Massage Chair Technology
- What is S Track and L Track? These terms refer to the extent of the lumbar support of the massage chair. Most chairs are designed to mimic the S shape of the human spine, the rollers of these chairs are made to follow this S track and provide pain relief right from your head down to your lumbar area. L track technology is a new technology featured on some of the more high range chairs. Whereas the S track gives you a massage that stops at your lower spine, the L track goes down further all the way to your buttocks, thighs and upper legs, mimicking an “L” shape.
- Airbags vs rollers – Which is Best?
This is mainly a personal preference. Rollers have been a staple in Massage Chairs for many years – invented by Mr. Inada, one of the pioneers of massage chairs. Nowadays we see airbags getting more and more attention with newer models. The idea behind airbags is not merely to compress a joint or muscle but to move it in a specific direction in order to alleviate pain and stress. Whereas with rollers the main purpose is to put pressure on and elongate specific muscles or areas of your body.
Airbag functionality is most commonly used in the foot, calf and ankle areas but most new chairs include airbags for other body parts such as the neck, shoulders and even bottom. Massage by rollers can be too intense or perhaps painful for some people.
At the end of the day it boils down to whatever you feel most comfortable with and which suits your individual health needs. Remember, the higher the number of airbags, the better the chair will be able to alleviate pressure in certain areas.
Types of massages
There are different types of massage techniques the average massage chair will offer. The most common ones are;
- Tapping: predominant in most chairs, it consists of light percussion movements targeted at different areas of the body.
- Clapping: A technique that emulates the ones used by a real massage therapist. The idea is to improve the circulation in different tissues by knocking on them with a movement resembling the hands “being clapped”.
- Rolling: Many chairs use rollers to constantly apply pressure on the muscles and loosen them up for other techniques to take effect.
- Shiatsu: comes from the japanese word which means “finger pressure”. This type of massage incorporates stretching, rotating and the so called “pressure points” in order to alleviate pain and restore energy to your muscles and your body.
- Swedish: A technique which is used to relax the muscles by using long strokes that follow the circulation pattern of the returning blood to the heart. It is useful not only for relaxation but for increasing blood and tissue oxygen.
- Vibration Massage: One of the first massage techniques invented for massage chairs. This technique involves applying light to firm shakes to the body to create a sort of numbness. This improves relaxation in the muscles as well as helps ease pain in the effected area.
Some chairs have extra features that add an increased value, for example:
- Leg Extension: This is a great features for people that are tall or have long legs. The leg part of the chair automatically extends in order to better accommodate your legs.
- Memory Feature: A feature that is not commonly seen in cheap chairs, you are able to create a customized set of massage techniques and store it in the memory for later use. An added benefit if more than one member of the family are using the chair!
- Back Heat: The heat helps relax tensed muscles in the back. A very important feature to look for if you suffer a lot from stress or pain.
- Body Scan: An incredible feature to be found in a chair. This system scans your whole body in order to find the exact shape of your spine and its curves, this way the chair can handle most body shapes and forms.
- MP3 Player Connection: Just plug in your favorite song and listen to it while receiving a relaxing massage, some chairs even have a mode that changes their massage techniques to the beat of music.
- Wireless or LED remote: The main function of the remote is to control all of the chair’s features without having to move your body. Particularly useful if your chair provides arm massage as you don’t want to have to remove your arms from the chair to operate it. You can also control the mp3 or music feature via remote if your chair has this functionality.
- Timer: The timer helps with controlling how long you want your chair massage to last. It’s also a safety feature in that in some cases it will automatically turn off after a set period of time in case you fall asleep or lose track of time when you have to be somewhere!
- Built in Castors/Wheels for moving: A good massage chair should have transport wheels in order to better fit most spaces and make it easy to move around the house.
- Removable headrest or back/shoulder pad: The main idea behind removable headrest or back pad is to enable greater control of the intensity of the massage. It also helps with transportation.
Chair Size, weight, aesthetics
The average weight for a chair massage is around 100 to 300 lbs, with some chair being especially lightweight, the more components and features a massage chair has, the more heavy it will be.
Regarding size, the average when in an upright position goes from H: 55 x W: 35 x D: 42 inches to H: 60 x W: 38 x D: 48 inches and for fully reclined position it goes from H: 33 x W: 31 x D: 68 inches to H: 72.8 x W: 35.4 x D: 36.6 inches. There are some variations like irobotics 2580 or the Brookstone React massage chairs which are smaller in size and therefore easier to adjust to more confined spaces.
Some chairs have a “space saving” technology, for example the Osaki Os-400. Such chairs have built in mechanisms which reduce the amount of space occupied when the chair is in fully reclined/zero gravity position.
When it comes to colors, massage chairs have an assortment of them, ranging from black, white, red or even gold. There should always be able to find an appropriate color to suit your décor.
Different types & manufacturers
Some of the most famous manufacturers are Inada, Panasonic, Osaki, Kahuna Massage, Daiwa and Luraco Technologies.
When it comes to types you can always find the perfect one for you, some are complete zero gravity like the Infinity’s Iyashi, some are very small but effective like ijoy irobotics 2580 and some even have chromotherapy features like the Osaki OS-3D massage chair. (Chromotherapy also known as color therapy is a technique of using color and light to affect your mood).
What can I expect to pay for a massage chair?
Ideally, you should always expect to pay a minimum of seven hundred to one thousand or more dollars depending on the quality and features you need. It is always better to avoid buying cheap since these models mostly come with faulty parts or bad quality construction and no warranty. This in the end come at a greater cost not only on your wallet but to your overall general health.
Where is the best place to buy one?
Arguably the best place would be the seller’s website or physical address. But overall the best place to find exactly the chair you want at great prices would be Amazon.com website, they not only offer free shipping in some cases but also a direct communication with the Massage Chair company in case you need to have some questions answered or something happens with your product.
Do the benefits outweigh the cost?
While some chairs might be expensive, there are some that are quite affordable while at the same time giving you enough bang for your buck. You have to understand that the benefits of having a personal automatic masseuse in your house along with all the bells and whistles like automatic programs, a diversity of massage functions and even MP3 or chromotherapy lights outweigh whatever money you have to spend on such products.
In the end, like everybody says. Time is money and relaxation has no cost!
Most popular & trending products in both low/middle and high end price brackets
Here are some of the most popular and trending Massage Chairs in the different brackets so you can choose the best one according to your needs and your budget.
$ 730 Best Massage EC-06C Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner w/Heat Stretched Foot Rest –
An affordable massage chair by BestMassage company, FDA approved with all the normal bell and whistles. A strong point is that the company always answers your inquiries through the amazon channel.
$749 React Shiatsu Massage Chair by Brookstone http://www.brookstone.com/massage/massage-chairs/brookstone-massage-chairs/react-shiatsu-massage-chair/973068p.html
A bit small but packs a punch! This chair was especially designed with shiatsu features from the get go and is quite small that it can be easily transported anywhere.
$789 Human Touch iJoy 2580 Premium Robotic Massage Chair – http://www.humantouch.com/ht2580.html
The ijoy 2580 like its title, it’s a joy to use. Small, practical and with 3 different automatic programs and cup holster so you can put it anywhere in your house and enjoy a nice book and a drink while getting a great massage.
$799 Real Relax
Another FDA approved mid range massage chair with Zero gravity functions included and easy enough to move around the house.
$1249 Luxury Shiatsu Chair Built in Heat True Zero Gravity by Ideal Massage – https://www.amazon.com/Special-Massage-Featured-Positioning-Masssage/dp/B00RQ0E6WA/ref=lp_12713639011_1_1_a_it?srs=12713639011&ie=UTF8&qid=1476423865&sr=8-1&th=1
The Ideal Massage group has managed to pack build in heat and 2 zero gravity modes in this quite affordable chair which brings you all the big boys toys without paying as much.
$1800 Full-Body Zero Gravity Space Saving L-Track Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with heating therapy – https://www.kahunachair.com/product/kahuna-chair-lm6800/
Kahuna is a well known brand in the Massage Chair industry. This chair has heating therapy along with L track -which is something you hardly see in a chair within this price range- and 2 mode zero gravity.
$2395 Osaki os-4000 – http://www.osakimassagechair.com/products/massage-chair/osaki/osaki-os-4000-zero-gravity-executive-fully-body-massage-chair/252,1
Osaki and Massage goes hand in hand. This company has been in the industry for years and the Os-4000 is proof of it. With an LCD display, 2 mode zero gravity, Auto timer, tons of programs and the cherry on top, portable mode for easy carrying.
$2484 Panasonic Panasonic EP-MA10KU Urban Collection Full Body Massage Chair, Black
A recognizable company with a brand of quality. Panasonic’s EP-MA10KU comes equipped with several programs along with a voice guidance feature so you don’t have to even lift a finger.
$4499 Ogawa Active SuperTrac
Another great company. Ogawa created the acive supertrac with all the goodies of a high quality chair. One special feature is its unique automatic patented programs.
$4999 – Fujita SMK92 4D – http://www.fujitamassagechair.com/smk92.html
The fujita company boast to have the first 4D massage program in all of their chairs, and the SMK92 is one of the first to use such technology, the 4D program aims to provide a more stronger deep tissue massage that exactly replicates the human hands.
$4,595 Infinity IT 8500 Massage Chair
Now for the big dogs. Infinity is one of the top companies when it comes to massage chairs, releasing great quality chairs year after year. The IT 8500 screams quality all around, with 38 airbags along with full zero gravity mechanism and tons of automatic programs.
$5699 Cozzia Zero Gravity 3D
Another high end chair by Cozzia. Features Zero gravity, 3D twin rollers along with heating lumbar therapy, Mp3 music features and speakers in the headset.
$5895 Infinity IYASHI
Claiming to be from the future. The infinity Iyashi truly looks like a space craft, boasting spine correction, 49 inch massage, L track feature and bluetooth audio connectivity, this chair aims to please everyone.
$6,295 Osaki os-3d cyber pro
Osaki hits a homerun with the os-3d cyber pro massage chair. Along with all the goodies that every high-end massage chair has, the Os-3D also features chromotherapy techniques to take your relaxation to another level.
$7,397 Inada Sogno Dreamwave Massage Chair
The dreamwave is another great chair with the Inada trademark. It has all the good stuff plus L track and lower back heating.
$8000 U.S Jaclean Daiwa Legacy Massage Chair DWA-9100
The DAW-9100 has, along all the high end massage chair features, a longer L shaped track, rocking rotation technology, bluetooth technology, body scanning and several highly refined massage features and programs that makes everyone feel like they are floating on air.
$8490 Luraco Technologies iRobotics 7 Medical Massage Chair
This is the first chair that boast to have the highest number of airbags of any chair. That being 80 airbags located all around the chair along with L track, 8 automatic programs and voice features. Luraco has truly made a masterpiece with this chair.