Nailing down a great massage chair with the best features for your needs can be a rather daunting task. The sheer size of the market alone renders the task more like looking for a needle in a haystack.
In case you’re not aware, the global massage chair market is worth 3.3 billion dollars, featuring hundreds of brands and models. To make it worse, the market’s high value attracts plenty of unscrupulous manufacturers with fake and mediocre products.
Being aware of the best brands on the market, along with key factors to consider before committing to any product is imperative to sound decision-making. However, not everyone has the time to get into the ins and outs of massage chair brands, let alone the specific features of different products.
This article aims to present you the 10 best massage chairs in today’s market, key features to look for, as well as models to consider for different needs. Read on and discover.
1. Panasonic Massage Chairs
Panasonic is one of the earliest manufacturers of massage products for home usage. Its 50-yr history dates back to 1935 with the introduction of the first electronic handheld massager. The company went on to launch its first fully-fledged massage chair in 1969.
Like most top brands, its products have evolved to the current day’s luxurious and high-end models.
Panasonic models are known for several reasons:
- Advanced Full-body Massage Technology Features: This is typical of the latest and high-end EP series of massage chairs, which not only afford multiple massage types/techniques but also the option to tailor them to specific individual needs i.e., Acupoint massage technology.
- A wide range of valuable additional features: Most top models come in with additional complimentary features to massage including advanced stretching technology and rollers equipped with Infrared Heat Therapy.
- Sleek, durable material: Like all top-notch brands, Panasonic models come with a solid build and sleek upholstery with highly durable synthetic material (Faux leather).
2. Human Touch Massage Chairs
Human Touch specializes in producing massage products, with a heavy emphasis on cutting-edge technology aimed at delivering techniques used by massage professionals.
The company has been in business for over 40 years; evolving into a leading supplier of massage chairs in the US with a number of awards.
According to the company’s website, its line of models is the only one recognized by the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) as a safe and effective supplement to standard treatment techniques for back problems.
When it comes to what they bring to the table, Human Touch models a rarely matched in terms of providing a highly personalized massage experience.
For instance, the latest model, known as Super Novo, comes with an Alexa technology-based virtual assistant which helps with customizing existing programs/settings based on your voice and text prompts.
3. Osaki Massage Chairs
Osaki is probably the largest massage chair company in the US; priding itself on being the largest seller in the US for the past decade. The brand was established in 2007 in Japan, before extending its unique line of products to the US population.
The brand is known for its unmatched diversity of models, aimed at meeting a wide range of customer needs.
It incorporates high-end models with typically advanced features (i.e., 4D Roller technology and Artificial intelligence Integration), to relatively low-end models with a more modest feature profile.
In fact, Osaki is one of the few brands with a wide range of moderate-low price models, which still afford typical amenities for high-end products.
For instance, models like the Osaki OS Champ are capable of providing 3D full-body massage with our range of AI features despite costing below $2000.
4. Inada Massage Chairs
Inada is another revolutionary brand with a rich history dating back to the early 1960s. In fact, it was the first brand to introduce an automatic Shiatsu massage chair.
To date, it’s one of the leading Japanese massage chair manufacturers with a wide distribution network across the globe.
Inada is known for being one of the best when it comes to leveraging Artificial Intelligence to provide highly individualized massage.
For instance, all the top 3 models of the brand (Therapina, Robo and Vita) feature AI systems that detect tension/tightness in specific muscle groups before automatically adjusting associated massage techniques accordingly.
5. Infinity Massage Chairs
Infinity is a UK-based brand with an incredible record of excellence in the production of a range of health and wellness products.
When it comes to massage chairs, its focus is appropriately summed up in its mantra; “the ultimate massage experience”.
This is shown in its status as a leader in massage chair innovation, especially when it comes to technology integration and modern design. The latest model, Luminary Siner-D, presents the pinnacle of Infinity’s ingenuity.
On top of having one of the most advanced massage technologies on the planet, the Chair also incorporates Heat and Aromatherapy for an immersive experience.
6. Kyota Massage Chairs
Kyota offers great alternatives if you’re looking to get hold of a proven brand with a wide range of top models to choose from. Like most leading brands, Kyota is a Japanese company with years of experience and complementing accolades.
Kyota chairs are mostly known for their sleek design combined with modern technology, and exceptional customer care service.
For instance, the recently introduced Kyota Nokori model combines highly versatile 4D technology, the capability to execute a wide variety of special techniques, and extras such as Chromotherapy, sound therapy, space-saving technology and Voice control.
7. Titan Massage Chairs
Titan is essentially Osaki’s fraternal twin brother in the sense that they are two different brands but manufactured and distributed by the same company based in Carrolton US.
Expectedly, the Titan brand has lived up to its name over the years with some exceptional models being produced to rival other leading brands in the ever-growing market.
Titan is one of the few brands out there with a wide range of well-designed, featured-packed models at a comparatively affordable price.
Titan’s highest-priced models would typically fall within the mid-price range when compared with other models despite having high-end features.
For instance, AmaMedic 3D Premium goes at under $5000 despite having equally sophisticated massage technology, and plenty of extras to enrich your experience.
8. Luraco Massage Chairs
The Luraco massage chair brand is a brainchild of Luraco technologies, which is dedicated to research, and innovative products for homes, industries, and the military sector.
The company is based in Arlington, USA, and started manufacturing massage chairs back in 2005. Its prowess in producing massage chairs is evident in the fact that it has so far produced 5 award-winning chairs.
For instance, 2016 saw its high-end Luraco Robotic 7 win the Best of Show Residential Systems and Twice awards.
Luraco chairs are known for the sheer engineering and innovation underlying their production. Top-notch chairs within the brand line have an impeccable record for tech features rarely seen in other expensive brands.
For instance, the latest i9 Max Series comes with first-of-its-kind features i.e., Hand stretch mechanisms, patented split Lt track system, butterfly roller technology, hand rollers, and blood pressure monitor.
9. Daiwa Massage Chairs
This is a China-based company with multiple service centers and a very good distribution network in the United States. “Daiwa” is a Japanese word for great harmony, which reflects the company’s philosophy:
“Helping all parts of your body work together and achieve personal wellness through therapeutic massage”.
The brand is known for being one of the best chairs which are specifically designed for Japanese massage techniques, especially Shiatsu massage.
The latest Black Panther massage chair sets a great example as it affords deep Shiatsu massage capabilities rarely seen in other models.
10. Kahuna Massage Chairs
Kahuna is a line of massage chairs produced by AJX.inc, which is based in the USA.
The company has been in business since 1997, with the aim of being the true embodiment of ingenuity combined with diligent workmanship.
The brand proves to be a great alternative if you’re looking for a modestly-priced chair but with all the amenities which are typically found in high-end models from other top brands.
For instance, the LM-6800 only costs $3000 despite having full-body massage functionality, heat therapy, Yoga stretching mechanisms, and body scanning.
How To Choose a Massage Chair? [11 Key Factors to Consider]
Comfort is about achieving a state of physical and mental ease, and this should be reflected in any great massage chair through a number of features.
An effective massage requires a body position that allows you to relax as much as possible. This mostly comes down to how capable the chair is at accommodating your size in different positions. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.
However, the chair needs to be adjustable, or at least be an exact fit in less-than-ideal cases. Most chairs come with a reclining system which is connected to a control panel or remote controller to allow for angle and height adjustment.
The Osaki brand proves one of the best when it comes to adjustability, with the Osaki Platinum Xrest 4D+ as a great example. The Chair comes with an adjustable reclining angle (up to 180 degrees), foot and leg rest, as well as space-saving technology.
The best massage chairs use Synthetic/Faux leather, which comes with a number of advantages. When it comes to comfort, the mechanical properties of this type of leather allow it to easily move with human skin during massage.
Additionally, its texture and flexibility allow it to accommodate the movement of massage rollers, which promotes proper rhythm and seamless motion.
Panasonic proves to be one of the leading brands when it comes to material due to its strong profile for upholstery.
Its models emphasize the use of Faux Leather combined with a well-cushioned neck, back, seat and leg rest. The sleek but solid Panasonic EP-MAJ7 furnishes a classic example.
Other top models from other brands described previously don’t fall short either. Human Touch’s D-Super Novo is not only sophisticated but also affords a solidly built chair with highly comfortable, synthetic material.
Landing a reliable and durable chair comes down to ensuring two main things:
Durable Material: Highly durable massage Chairs use Synthetic/Faux leather as a major component of the Upholstery.
Faux Leather is ideal due to below listed characteristics:
- Better able to withstand mechanical stresses from rollers and body weight.
- More resistant to fading.
- More sweat-resistant due to low absorbent capacity, thus easier to clean.
- Better able to withstand other additional stresses that come with high-end models i.e., Heat Therapy.
Faux leather is a common feature for all the mid to high-end models in all the major brands discussed above.
5. Good Reputation and positive reviews
Despite the use of great material, some chairs may simply not survive beyond a few months mostly due to design flaws. This is why you need to dig into some research on a model’s reputation.
As a general guideline, it’s always prudent to look into reviews in relevant marketplaces in case there are obvious design flaws.
6. Massage Tracks
Most modern Massage Chairs use rubber rollers to deliver an experience that mimics human hands. These move around in different directions by means of a tracking system. Generally, there are two main types of tracking systems based on size and target areas.
This is the most popular tracking system in mid and low-end massage chairs. It’s primarily designed to target your back muscles; thus, it extends along the length of your back. Additionally, it takes a mild S shape, which allows it to be as comfortable as possible as it mimics the natural curvature of the human spine.
Human Touch provides a classic example in the iJoy Total Massage model, which features an efficient S track and a series of air massagers to cover the lower body.
Further advancements through the years saw the development of the L-track, which was basically an extension of the S-track to cover more areas i.e., buttocks, and Hamstrings (the back portion of your Thighs).
Therefore, the tracking system extends to your buttocks and thighs, giving it an SL shape. Some high-end Chairs also feature leg and foot tracks, which accommodate a series of rollers to handle your Calf muscles and feet.
The Loraco brand provides one of the best massage chairs when it comes to comprehensive tracking systems on the planet. The Loraco i9 Max goes beyond the L-track to include hand and forearm rollers (the first of its kind), as well as leg and foot rollers.
7. Massage Intensity Options and Precision
Rollers are classified into three main types based on depth and functionality. While some are limited to a generic light massage, others go the extra mile to deliver deep tissue massage, which can also be tailored to get to a number of hard-to-reach areas.
This is a traditional, basic type of roller, which is limited to providing light massage techniques to superficial muscle groups. The rollers can track vertically and horizontally and may come with an option to control the speed. This type is typical in traditional, mid to low-end models with S tracks.
This is an upgrade of the 2D-Roller design, which offers a more intense massage, covering both superficial and deeper muscles and other soft tissues of the target areas.
The rollers can also move further and adjust to areas that are typically hard to reach by 2D Rollers.
The term 3-D is due to the fact that the rollers can move in all three different planes of motion as they can move vertically, and horizontally, as well as rotation.
Furthermore, 3D rollers come in with controls to adjust the intensity and speed. The downside is that the extra functionality comes at a higher cost compared to the 2D system.
These are basically an upgrade of 3-D rollers, aimed at mimicking a massage practitioner’s hands as much as possible. However, the name can be misleading as there is no fourth dimension or plane of motion that these rollers track into.
The main difference lies in the amount of control it affords over the rollers. Unlike 3Ds, 4D designs automatically adjust the rollers to work on tense areas without the need to use a remote controller.
Body Scans and AI; a roller feature worth looking into
Most modern chairs come with automatic features, which detect your size and adjust the massage rollers accordingly. Back and leg-length Scans offer a great example as they provide a way to customize your massage experience to your body size.
Back scans use mechanical scanning mechanisms, which allows the system to know your Torso’s height while Leg scan uses the same mechanisms embedded in the Ottoman footrest to establish your Leg length.
Models without the scanning technique typically use Spring-loaded systems, which provide push or pull options to allow you to adjust to the appropriate height.
As indicated earlier, the Inada brand proves to be one of the masters at producing models with highly customizable 3D/4D Rollers.
The Robo massage chair provides a classic example due to its AI Hybrid Mechanism, which detects tension areas and adjusts pressure, speed and manipulation type accordingly.
Panasonic also proves another great brand when it comes to rollers. Its high-end EP-MAJ7 also detects and adjust the technique accordingly for an extra edge in terms of overall efficiency.
Titan also affords a good number of lower-priced models with 3D roller systems. The Titan Ace Pro 2 furnishes a great example.
8. Suitable Massage Types
Most Chairs come with light and deep tissue massage functionality. As the name suggests, light massage involves light strokes performed over a wide area, while deep tissue massage involves firm, deeper techniques aimed at deeper muscles and other structures.
Light massage comes in a variety of forms. The most popular is Swedish Massage, which has its own distinctive features in terms of stroking patterns, which are mimicked by several brands.
Some massage chairs can be used for more specialized types of massage as listed below:
- Reflexology: Specialized foot massage incorporated into the footrest.
- Shiatsu: This is native to China, and involves a series of stretching, pressure and rotational techniques similar to acupressure.
- Tapping: Involves percussions or tapping techniques to ease muscle tension and promote relaxation.
- Kneading: Involves lifting, rolling and manipulating tissues.
- Vibration: Incorporate vibration plates to produce the effects of vibration massage.
- Compression Massage: Incorporate a series of Airbags which deliver compression techniques to help with improving circulation and reducing stiffness and soreness.
Most high-end massage chairs with 3D technology afford a wide range of general and specialized techniques.
The Osaki Brand proves one of the best, with the Platinum Xrest 4D+ as a prime example capable of providing both basic techniques as well as Shiatsu massage.
Inada also caps its sophisticated 4D tech with a rich massage-type profile. Both top-end models provide exceptional Shiatsu along with a range of mainstream techniques.
Daiwa also offers prime examples of chairs that come in with a little more when it comes to massage techniques. On top of being one of the best for Shiatsu massage, the Blank Panther also offers a wider variety of basic and advanced techniques.
Most massage chairs come with a control panel or remote control that allows you to either set your own parameters or choose from a series of Pre-set programs.
Pre-set programs are great because they get rid of all the guesswork and allow you to enjoy a well-executed massage session. The key is in choosing the most appropriate program based on your primary needs.
Panasonic provides one of the most comprehensive models when it comes to preset programs.
For instance, the MAJ7 Real Pro model allows you to choose from 6 preset programs, as well as up to 158 combinations of Shiatsu, Swedish, Kneading and rolling massage.
Other high-end models such as Kahuna’s EM 8500, and Infinity’s Circadian Syner-D prove worthy competitors.
10. Additional Unique Features
Advancements have seen the massage chair evolving into much more than just a series of soothing strokes on your back, thighs and feet.
This feature allows you to get into a reclined position that allows you to get both feet above your Heart. This helps to reduce stresses on your Spine, and promote circulation, and general relaxation.
The term “Zero-Gravity” comes from the fact that it’s the optimal position adopted by NASA scientists as a measure against compressive forces associated with gravitational changes when launching into space.
This brings the benefits of tissue heating into the massage experience by incorporating Heat Therapy methods such as Infrared into the Backrest.
This allows you to harness the power of music therapy during your massage session. If music isn’t your thing, it allows you to listen to your favorite podcast, audiobook or any other media that you may find compatible with your massage experience. Some models come with inbuilt speakers to help you create an immersive experience.
Again, Osaki provides one of the most comprehensive models when it comes to additional features. For instance, the OP-Ai Xrest 4D+ is loaded with extra modern amenities i.e., Smart voice control, Zero gravity, App control, Bluetooth functionality and Infrared Heat Therapy for the feet and low back areas.
Luraco’s i9 Max definitely qualifies as one of the top three players as it comes with first-of-its-kind features such as hand stretching, easy entry armrests, and multilingual voice feedback systems.
Panasonic, Human Touch, and Inada prove worthwhile competitors as their top models afford a similar profile. The EP-MA73KU(Panasonic), Super Novo (Human Touch) and Inada Therapina are good examples.
It’s great to remember that even models from the most trusted brands may have some factory faults.
Therefore, it’s prudent to ensure that your investment is protected with a reasonable warranty package. As a rule of thumb, the more comprehensive the warranty is, the better. Warranty periods for massage chairs typically fall between 3 months and 5 years.
Loraco chairs come with the most comprehensive warranty package. This includes 10 years for the upholstery and 5 years for structural frames.
Human touch and Panasonic brands come with a 5-year warranty period for structural faults, and 3 years for individual parts. Though on the relatively lower side, other brands like Osaki and Inada still afford a reasonable period to get things sorted out in time.
Comparison of Top 10 Massage Chair Brands
|Adjustability||Material||Tracks||Rollers||Massage Types||Key Advantages||Weight Limit||Warranty||Price range|
|PANASONIC||Adjustable recline angle (up to 180 degrees)||Faux Leather (Upholstery) and steel.||S and SL tracks||2D-3D||Basic (Rolling, Kneading, Tapping, Vibration, Compression, and advanced techniques (Shiatsu, reflexology).||High precision massage techniques. A wide range of complementary techniques i.e., stretching, Infrared Heat Therapy.||300lbs||3-5 years||$5000-$12000|
|OSAKI||180-degree recliner||Faux Leather (Upholstery) and steel.||S and SL tracks||2D-3D||Basic and advanced massage techniques (Shiatsu, reflexology)||Strong AI integration for highly personalized massage. A wide diversity of models.||300lbs||3 months-3 years||$4000-15000|
|HUMAN TOUCH||180-degree recliner||Faux Leather (Upholstery) and steel.||S and SL tracks||2D-3D||Basic and advanced techniques||Virtual Therapist Technology Integration.||250-300lbs||3 months-5years.||$5000-$12000|
|INADA||180-degree recliner||Faux Leather (Upholstery) and steel.||S and SL tracks||2D-3D||Basic and advanced techniques||Muscle tension detection technology.The most comprehensive Shiatsu massage line of models around.||300lbs||3 months-3years||$5000-$15000|
|INFINITY||180-degree recliners||Faux Leather (Upholstery) and steel.||S and SL tracks||2D-3D||Basic and advanced techniques||Incorporates up-to-date massage technologies in all the key models. A wide range of complementary techniques i.e., stretching, Infrared Heat Therapy.||200-300lbs||3-5 Years||$1200-$16000|
|KYOTA||180-degree recliners||Faux Leather (Upholstery) and steel.||S and SL tracks||2D-3D||Basic and advanced techniques||Ultra-sleek designs.High-end chairs packed with key modern massage technology.||300lbs||2-4years||$6000-$15000|
|LURACO||180-degree recliners||Faux Leather (Upholstery) and steel.||S and SL tracks||2D-3D||Basic and advanced techniques||One of the most innovative brands as evidenced by superior massage tech and additional features.Highly durable material with a sound warranty package.||250-300lbs||10-year warranty for the upholstery, 5 years for the structural frame.||$3000-$55000|
|DAIWA||180-degree recliners||Faux Leather (Upholstery) and steel.||S and SL tracks||2D-3D||Basic and advanced techniques||Incorporates the most sophisticated high-end models.One of the best devices for Shiatsu massage.||200-300lbs||1year Onsite||$5000-$1550|
|TITAN||180-degree recliners||Faux Leather (Upholstery) and steel.||S and SL tracks||2D-3D||Basic and advanced techniques||Features a wide range of affordable with high-value features. Ultra-sleek, durable designs.||250-300lbs||3years||$2000-$5000|
|KAHUNA||180-degree recliners||Faux Leather (Upholstery) and steel.||S and SL tracks||2D-3D||Basic and advanced techniques||Generally affordable despite being packed with modern and advanced functionality.||200-300lbs||1-3 years||$2000-$12000|