The Panasonic brand massage chairs excel over iComfort massage chairs based on effectiveness and overall user experience.
A closer look at the best models from the two brands shows that Panasonic massage chairs come with more effective core massage technology, a wider range of massage types and techniques, more comprehensive profiles for modern innovative features, and better warranty packages.
In other words, the Panasonic brand simply affords more effective, convenient, and reliable options compared to iComfort. Read on and discover everything you need to know about how the two brands compare.
Panasonic Vs iComfort Massage Chairs [Key Differences]
1. Core Massage Technology (Tracks and Massage Rollers)
Both brands offer models with exceptional core massage technology featuring cutting-edge massage heads/rollers and tracking systems. However, iComfort models come with a distinct advantage over Panasonic when it comes to efficiency.
The IC9500 comes with 5 massage heads to handle the upper body (back, buttocks and thighs) while the EP-MAK1 comes with 4 rollers. This makes the IC9500 much more efficient as it means that it covers a significantly large body area per unit time.
However, this doesn’t mean that the EP-MAK1 is less effective. The chair makes up for its shortfalls in efficiency with a highly adjustable and effective massage head system. The massage heads are adjustable in terms of depth, speed, and intensity.
Furthermore, they incorporate an automatic acupressure point detection system for more effective Shiatsu and Deep Friction massage.
2. Massage Types and Techniques
Panasonic and iComfort brands are exceptional at producing models with the capacity to deliver a wide range of massage techniques.
However, a closer look at the key models reveals that Panasonic is much better at delivering certain types of massage types and techniques.
Again, let’s go through a quick comparison of the most advanced models.
iComfort’s IC9500 is capable of basic and advanced massage techniques such as kneading, knocking, rolling, tapping and deep friction. The manufacturers indicate that the chair is capable of Shiatsu massage, but this needs to be treated with a grain of salt:
Though the chair can deliver localized/point friction massage, it lacks the ability to target specific acupressure/Shiatsu points.
Additionally, the chair comes with a set of rollers and airbags to handle your calves and feet. This makes it a great fit if you’re in for a treat to your feet and calf areas as well, which is something similar to foot reflexology massage.
In the grand scheme of things, the chair proves a great machine for a number of massage types; particularly Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Foot Reflexology.
Panasonic’s EP-MAK1 affords all the techniques provided by the IC9500. The main difference comes in its ability to deliver precise Jinetsu or Shiatsu massage; thanks to the presence of acupressure detection technology.
In case you’re quite new to massage types and techniques, Shiatsu massage involves the use of highly targeted techniques to specific points on the body known as acupressure points.
Like most top massage chairs from Panasonic, the EP-MAK1 is able to detect these points through this technology, which makes it more effective and efficient.
3. Additional premium features
Panasonic comes out on top when it comes to overall user experience and innovative features. In other words, its models tend to provide a lot more than just efficient massage technology.
Both models incorporate heat therapy functionality to complement the effects of massage techniques.
The IC1150 uses a pair of heat pads for the lower back area. On the other hand, the EP-MAJ7’s massage heads are equipped with infrared heat functionality; making it better in terms of depth and efficiency (area covered).
In addition to heat therapy, the EP-MAJ7 comes with a number of impressive features for more convenience and a better user experience.
These include a stretch functionality to target a number of muscle groups, quick keys, and memory settings. A quick look at the specs list shows that these features are hardly found in most top iComfort models.
4. Auto Programs
The best massage chairs come with automatic massage programs to save you the headache of guessing your way through the settings.
The Panasonic brand ensures that it’s not left behind on this important aspect, with all its models featuring a wide variety of automatic massage programs.
Shockingly, iComfort models do not incorporate this convenient feature. Instead, its models come with a number of controls to allow you a level of customizability in terms of massage speed and intensity.
The EP-MAK1 and EP-MAJ7 lead the pack with a total of 31 programs, followed by the EP-M70, which features 30 programs.
Expectedly, a closer look at the prices shows that Panasonic is costlier than iComfort.
Panasonic massage chair models typically fall within $4,500-$15,000 while iComfort models fall within $1,600-$6,300.
Panasonic’s most advanced and expensive model (EP-MAJA7) goes at around $15,000 while its iComfort competitor costs $6,300.
The Panasonic brand is more generous when it comes to warranty packages compared to iComfort.
Panasonic models come with warranty packages ranging from in-home service for 1-5 years on parts and labor.
However, most models’ warranty periods fall within 3-5 years. On the other hand, all iComfort models are limited to a 1-year warranty period for parts and labor.
Comparison of Top Models from iComfort and Panasonic Brand Massage Chairs
|# of Airbags||31||31||30||21||14||12|
|# of Programs||6||9||6||No||No||No|
|Heat Therapy||Yes (Infrared Heat back and Glut Rollers)||Yes (Infrared Heat back and Glut Rollers)||Yes (Infrared Heat back and Glut Rollers)||Yes (Low back)||Yes (Low back)||Yes (Low back)|
|Remote Style||Touchscreen.||Remote controller.||Remote controller.||Remote Controller||Remote controller.||Remote controller|
iComfort Or Panasonic – Which Massage Chair Offers More Value?
The Panasonic brand would be an obvious pick if my choices were limited to the two brands. The reason is simple;
Panasonic consistently proves itself as superior to iComfort in the relevant factors to be considered when choosing massage chairs.
Though iComfort comes out better in terms of massage tech efficiency and cost, it falls behind Panasonic in terms of effectiveness, range of massage types and techniques, additional features, auto programs, and warranty packages.
The EP-MAK1 would be my first pick given a budget within the vicinity of $15,000.
Highly effective core massage technology, a wider range of massage techniques, more additional features and a more attractive warranty package would win the day over iComfort’s masterpiece; the IC9500.
My second pick would be Panasonic’s EP-MAJ7 for the same reasons. Its iComfort competitor, the IC1150, doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to crucial aspects like the range of techniques and modern innovative features.
However, it’s important to note that iComfort offers some awesome options when it comes to budgets around the $5,000 price mark. The IC5500 provides a better option than most Panasonic models within the same price range.