If you’re seriously considering buying one of the many massage chairs on the market, you know it’s going to cost you. Such an expensive investment will obviously make anyone second-guess every product they come across, even if it’s out of this world.
Buying a massage chair isn’t easy on the wallet, nor is it easy on you physically the first day (after all, they’re quite heavy). However, depending on what you’re making this investment for, the benefits can be potentially huge and worth the money.
The Best Massage Chairs You Can Buy in 2018
We’re here to help you with your purchase decision. We have selected what we believe are the 5 best massage chairs on the market right now. The price range of these 5 products vary from affordable to premium, giving you the option to narrow it down to your requirements.
To further help you out, there’s also a buyer’s guide at the end of the article.
The Luxury Machine
The Inada Dreamwave, formerly known as the Inada Sogno Dreamwave, is a luxury massage chair that is unparalleled in its features and specifications. It possesses 100 airbags, 8 massage programs, and comes with 3 years of warranty that can be further extended by paying extra. This machine is heavy, expensive, and difficult to assemble, but once it is assembled it is simply unmatched in performance.
The Inada Dreamwave costs and arm and a leg (maybe more), but it’s the best massage experience you can get. This massage chair inspired many others and continues to be unmatched in features and performance.
The No Nonsense Massage Chair
The BestMassage EC-06 looks retro but retains some of the features that you’d normally expect on much more expensive products. This is a full shiatsu massage experience with an L-track system to give a full back massage from your head down to your buttocks. It’s very therapeutic and doesn’t require extravagant spending to own.
When you’re by the idea of paying thousands upon thousands of your hard-earned dollars for a massage chair, the simplicity and effectiveness of the BestMassage EC-06 will certainly be a calming presence. It offers the unadulterated massage chair experience without forcing you to spend a good chunk of your life savings.
Investing in a high quality massage chair is never going to be cheap, and chances are you already knew that when you decided you needed (or wanted?) one.
If you’re looking for the ultimate massage chair experience, few can match the features and performance of the Inada Dreamwave. This massage chair has stood the test of time and still manages to be in a league of its own due to its unique design. It has inspired countless massage chairs that have come after it.
The Inada Dreamwave massage chair is perhaps the only type with over 100 air cells. This allows the chair to simulate the intricacy and nuanced techniques of true Shiatsu professional masseuses. It has 3D roller technology that can provide a total coverage of an impressive 1,200 square inches with 18 different massage types. This can combine together to create 1,000 different massage combinations which can be adjusted according to your body type and requirements with its advanced sensor scan.
Of course, all these bells and whistles and unparalleled performance come at a ridiculous price. The Inada Dreamwave is the most expensive model on the list. Being packed with features also makes it heavy and bulky, which provides a challenge during the initial setup.
Yet, this is the best massage chair money can buy, and that’s why it’s almost unavoidable to consider it the best overall massage chair in the world.
- Unmatched number of air cells
- Adjusts to virtually any body type
- Incredible performance
- High number of massage programs
- Ridiculous price
- Difficult to assemble
It’s hard to decide whether this massage chair looks old-fashioned, strangely modern, or both. Either way, it’s certainly one to turn heads. This simplistic yet fancy looking piece of furniture (if you can call massage chairs that) falls in the “affordable” category of massage chairs.
The Human Touch iJoy-2580 comes with 3 simple and straightforward massage programs. It doesn’t sound like much, but for the price you’re paying you cannot expect more. These programs are: back refresher, neck and shoulder relief, and lower back release. Each program runs for a 15 minutes duration.
Where the Human Touch iJoy-2580 excels though is providing this experience at an excellent cost as well as with great reliability. It simulates various massage methods such as rolling, kneading, compression, and percussion to give a thorough massage of the various regions of the individual’s body.
It has a simple yet effective built-in control panel from which you can adjust the settings. It also provides the basic reclining feature to allow you to sit in more comfortable positions.
At its retail price, the Human Touch iJoy-2580 is a bargain and a simplistic yet effective massage chair. It may not be as feature packed as some of the other models mentioned in this article, but it is a great starting point for anyone looking to buy their first massage chair.
- Simplistic, timeless design
- Simulates various massage techniques well
- Great value
- Lacks more intricate massage features
- Limited body coverage
One of the best massage chairs you can buy for under $2000 is the Relaxon Full Body Zero Gravity massage chair. This chair takes inspiration from the Inada Dreamwave while shedding the scary price tag (and as a result, some of the features, of course).
The Relaxon Full Body Zero Gravity massage chair is quite popular due to its midrange price and reliable performance. You’ll likely see this chair being used in most spas and progressive offices.
This massage chair boasts 3 different zero gravity positions to simulate the most comfortable natural position a human can be in. At these positions, it utilizes L-track rollers, in built heating airbag systems, and deep tissue massage to give a great full body Shiatsu massage.
All this is also available in 10 different massage programs that come with the chair, allowing you to target specific areas of the body or go for a fully body massage. The chair also has a body scanner to measure the length of your spine and other variables to provide a great massage experience.
The chair is also surprisingly lightweight despite its bulky size, making it easy to assemble.
- Good value
- 10 different massage programs are great
- Very reliable
- Surprisingly lightweight
- Material quality could be better
At first glance, the affordable BestMassage EC-06 looks like a comfy couch with a control unit on its side. Looks can however deceive quite a bit.
The BestMassage EC-06 is one of the highest rated and most reviewed massage chairs on Amazon, and it’s because it offers a great combination of features in a comfortable yet incredibly affordable package. This massage chair is made from sleek material that gives it the feel of soft leather.
The moment you sit in this chair you’ll forget the price tag, as this chair delivers a full shiatsu massage experience. It also has a zero gravity position feature that replicates the effect of an individual in space – that’s a feature you’ll normally see in massage chairs that come at twice its price.
All the massaging is also accompanied with waist heating at the lumbar region, rolling foot massage, and the L-track system. The L-track system goes up and down your spine, and further down to your buttocks. You’ll feel like putty in this chair after a 10 minutes session, relaxed and ready to face the day (or end a tiring one).
The control system on the EC-06 is also really good and can be removed and moved around at will. This is a control system that will rival some of the more expensive massage chairs you can buy.
At 300 pounds and lacking features of some of the top end massage chairs, this product is quite heavy. However, given its affordability, you probably won’t might spending a bit for some help to move it around.
- Fantastic value
- Soft leather-like feel
- Great features for the price
- Reliable and great performance
- Price obviously comes with compromise in features
People who are turned away by the ridiculous price tag of the Inada Dreamwave often seek the Osaki OS-4000A as a great alternative. Many will swear that due to the combination of competitive pricing and incredible pack of features (and performance), the Osaki OS-4000T is indeed the best overall massage chair you can buy.
While that can be refuted, there’s no doubt that this is indeed an incredible product. Osaki is a force to be reckoned with in Japan and constantly make some of the best massage products in the world. They have also been around a long time – since 1937.
The Osaki OS-4000 features 6 different massage programs to choose from. These include smart, relax, circulation, healthcase, therapy, and demo. There are 5 different speeds and multiple intensity levels, all controlling the 32 air cells that simulate hands and fingers with different techniques.
The Osaki OS-4000 does not have rollers though, which means if your feet ache after a long day, you’ll have to rely on something different. The heating of the massage chair is also limited just to the lumbar regions, though to be fair to the company that is where heating is mostly required.
At this price point, you can’t expect everything, but the reliability and overall performance of the Osaki OS-4000A do make it an incredible product worth the expense.
- Reasonably priced for the features
- Vibration massage and speed control is excellent
- Great build and design
- Available in different colors
- Lacks heating in the lumbar regions
- No rollers for feet
If you’ve been researching massage chairs, chances are you’ve come across the Zero Gravity term multiple times. No, massage chairs with this feature don’t defy the laws of physics.
The coinage of this term comes from how an individual’s body naturally inclines when you’re floating wieghtlessly in zero gravity (space). NASA uses this alignment as well for the seats used in spacecrafts when sending people out in space.
The benefit of this position is that it relieves pressure points and greatly helps relax your muscles. Massage chairs with the Zero Gravity feature replicate this effect with their ergonomics and recline.
Zero Gravity is an excellent feature (arguably essential) if you’re buying a massage chair for back pain. To make it even better, be sure to go for the L-track feature that combines very well with Zero Gravity to give the most salubrious massage experience for your back pain.
Rollers in the massage chair run down the center and are arguably the most important part of a chair. The rollers and balls together form the main mechanics of a massage chair. They move together to apply pressure to your body and simulate different massage techniques.
Advancements in robotics and ergonomics has led to various types of rollers. There are perhaps as many types of rollers as there are massage chair brands.
Rollers can come in dual setups or even quad setups with four rollers (two large and two small). While the latter may seem like the better choice, it isn’t always so. In fact, dual rollers tend to apply more pressure. The benefit of quad rollers however is that they are more nuanced and can hit more spots, albeit with less pressure.
The second major aspect of the roller design is whether they are 2D, 3D, or 4D. A standard roller that moves up and down is a 2D roller. 3D rollers can also move forward and backward. 4D rollers are practically omnidirectional.
There’s no real point of paying extra for 4D rollers as 3D provide the adequate effects.
Air cells or airbags are basically bags that inflate/deflate with air. These are built inside the massage chair and are used for heating as well as applying uniform pressure on your muscles. Massage chairs with more air cells provide more focused and uniform pressure across the body, providing an incredible experience.
Ideally, you want a massage chair with as many air cells as possible. However, this should never be a deciding factor in your purchase. You should only consider the number of air cells if that is the feature that best serves the purpose of your purchase.
Other considerations include features like Heat Therapy where the massage chair can heat up areas. Most massage chairs restrict this only to the lumbar (lower back) region.
You should also consider the number of programs a massage chair has. Not everyone has time to run the setup manually, and most will just opt to initiate a preprogrammed massage session instead. You should carefully research which programs the massage chair you’re looking to buy offers.
Finally, there is pricing. If you’re buying a massage chair for chronic aches and pains, you should invest as much as possible. Nothing is worth more than your health.
However, if you’re buying for recreational purposes, it’s generally best to get a basic one that is reliable, such as the EC-06. Of course, it’s an entirely different story if your budget allows you to purchase, say, the Inada Dreamwave.
Why should I spend so much on a massage chair?
Massage chairs replace the need for going to spas to get expensive massages. While not everyone needs a massage every other day, individuals suffering from chronic pains or living stressful lives can definitely benefit from massage chairs.
There’s no doubt that investing in a massage chair is an expensive endeavor. You should only buy it if you can afford to and if you need it. The physical therapy from massages is often underrated, but only those who receive it know how beneficial it is to alleviate chronic pain.
Can massage chairs replace furniture?
Many massage chairs are designed so elaborately that they might not always work well with the furniture and accents in your home. However, most mid ranged and higher end massage chairs give you the option of choosing different color schemes.
A massage chair can look quite neat in a home if you know how to mix and match furniture. Just remember that a massage chair is an electronic device, so you’ll need to place it near a electrical socket.
Does brand name/origin matter?
Yes, in the world of massage chairs, brand name and origin do matter. Remember: there’s no such thing as a cheap massage chair that is good. Massage chairs are expensive because of the equipment. Generally, Japanese brands tend to make the best massage chairs due to Japan’s incredible progress in robotics.
What’s the most important feature I should look for in a massage chair?
The most important feature in a massage chair is the one that addresses your need to buy one. Usually individuals with back (lower or upper), shoulders, and/or neck problems are the ones who look to invest in a massage chair.
Make sure you try out as many chairs as possible in your price range before you buy one. A massage chair that puts the right amount of pressure in the correct regions for you is the massage chair you should buy, irrespective of the other bells and whistles.