Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: December 21, 2020
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Do you enjoy the sensation of a massage, but cringe at the thought of someone you don’t know touching you? Or perhaps you just can’t find the time to book massage sessions as frequently as you’d like? If the answer is yes to either of these, then it’s likely you would benefit greatly from investing in a massage chair. Lucky for you, the best massage chair is on the market so any consumer can enjoy the benefits in the comfort of their own home.
Good news: by meticulously reviewing the market we concluded there exists a massage chair to suit every budget and every need. We managed to identify and explore all the key features involved in purchasing the best massage chair for your private use. In this article, we share easy to understand, summarized feedback. All is discussed below. We included a list of the relevant FAQ at the end of this article to make your selection process a bit easier—the more you know, the easier it becomes. Take time to consider each one and identify what is of value to you when it comes to these products.
Below, our official pick of the top 13 best massage chairs has been finalized and is ready for your consideration. Make use of our comprehensive reviews of each, complete with a list of most valuable pros and cons. Once you have an overall sense of each product, head over to our buyers guide to help narrow down your selection. We considered the experiences of existing customers when it came to analyzing each of the massage chairs. We then went a step further to consult with experts in the field of physiotherapy for their opinions. With all this information combined, we have no doubt that selecting the perfect massage chair for your body will be easy. Just imagine the blissful moments you’ll have.
Our personal pick for best all-around massage chair is this impressive unit by Relaxonchair. It’s jam-packed with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-end massage chair. The chair revolves around the Shiatsu art of massage and offers a full body experience.
It impressively features both body scanning technology and zero gravity position. This means you’ll enjoy a customized, intensity appropriate massage in the most relaxed reclining position available — all in one unit. The zero gravity technology releases all tension from the back and elevates the feet above the heart. As a result, your heart does little to no work during the massage, and your vertebrae are in their most unstrained positions.
Something worth mentioning about this unit by Relaxonchair is its ability to provide wrist massage. This is a feature not found often in standard massage chairs as the massage area usually stops at the upper arm. The extended armrests in this unit allow for full wrist stimulation as part of any massage setting. On top of this, the chair also has the ability to provide full foot massages. The leg and foot holders deliver an intense massage experience either as part of a full body session or on their own. This is great for anyone who just needs a foot massage after a long day at work and isn’t in the mood for the full body per se.
This is our best-rated massage chair for a number of other reasons as well. The Relaxonchair features lower back heating in the form of two pads built into the back of the chair. This gives an enhanced massage experience. The chair has built-in airbag technology that twists and stretches the body simultaneously. This helps reduce the risk of stiffening post session. The chair has special bags built into the hip area that deliver an alignment sensation into the waist area. This is good for the spine. The rollers perform in an ‘L’ shaped direction which is the most natural way to massage the body.
We love that there are no tools required in the installation process of this chair. It’s easy to set up and begin using with a few simple steps.
When it comes to all massage chairs on the market, the Relaxonchair delivers the closest deep tissue massage compared to actual human performance. It’s easy to see why this was our top pick for best all-around massage chair on the 2019 market.
Our winner for the best massage chair under 1000 is this compact little unit by Giantex. We’ll admit, it did compete for best portable massage chair for a good while due to its compact nature. However, the price is undoubtedly the most impressive factor at play.
For a small fee, you could bring one of these massage chairs into your personal space. The Giantex Leisure performs traditional massages in a kneading fashion. Your muscles and skin are kneaded to relieve pressure in a manner that is simulative of human touch.
Impressively, this unit provides full back and hip heating functions to increase the intensity of each massage. The hip airbags allow for a Shiatsu-like massage experience in the waist region. This is beneficial to the posture of the individual in the chair.
The roller motion between the lower and upper back is designed to extenuate the ’S’ curve of the human body. They call it the S Massage Track.
Perhaps the best thing about this unit is that there is no assembly required. It arrives fully erect and ready to go.
What makes this massage chair unique is the built-in surround sound experience. You’ll be able to enjoy the wonder of the massage in conjunction with the music of your choice. It’s widely believed that combining massage and music is the surest way to the most satisfying experience available. You’ll be able to link your music via Bluetooth or wire connectivity. There is also a USB port.
This massage chair is remote-controlled. There isn’t a built-in keypad in order to command the functions. You’ll have the remote handy throughout the session in order to change music or intensity. The Giantex Leisure is a sensory experience. It’s designed to simulate escapism and full zoned out sensory overload while relaxing into the art of massage. Although the chair doesn’t have the ability to massage arms or legs, it almost doesn’t matter. The features combined are enough to deliver a well-rounded experience on just the back and butt areas alone.
There aren’t many nooks and crannies on this chair making it easy to clean after long periods of use. The leather is wet wipe friendly. You can also pick between red and brown leather.
If you’re looking for a massage chair but aren’t looking to break the bank, then the Giantex Leisure is the chair for you. When you consider features and performance you really are getting value for money. We can conclude this to be the best massage chair under 1000 hands down.
Coming in next is this impressive Kahuna massage chair. It looks and feels a lot like a big, bear hug. The chair itself encloses the entire human body from head to feet. It’s a full body massage experience that simulates human hand techniques.
You’ll begin in this chair by having the smart scan technology assess the shape and needs of your muscular formation. Then the L track technology will begin your massage in the shape most beneficial to your stature.
Most impressively Kahuna offers a three-year limited warranty on each chair sold. The process requires a simple online registration to recognize your purchase for future claims.
There are dual rollers in the foot zone which provide a really stimulating experience. What’s great about this zone is that the lining is also detachable and machine washable, making it extremely hygienic.
We love that the chair is designed around space saving technology. One only requires around three inches of space between the chair and the back wall in order for it to function properly. Instead of reclining backward, the chair slides out and forward when tilting the user horizontal.
The unit is loaded with the brand’s famous SH-Chiro program. This program is designed to massage in such a way that the nerve energy in your spinal cord is unlocked to promote flow up and down the rest of your body. This not only balances posture but also does wonders to reduce stress and encourage energetic alignment for days after the session. In addition to the Chiropractic program, there is a yoga program as well. The Kahuna yoga program is designed around stretching out the entire body to promote circulation. The effects of this can be felt almost immediately.
This Kahuna massage chair could also be dubbed the best full body massage chair when compared to many others on the market. It has the ability to provide Shiatsu massage to the entire body, unlike other chairs where Shiatsu is zone specific. The roller speed can be adjusted up to three levels.
As if this chair isn’t feature-packed enough, there are arm slots carved into the walls of the chair where you’ll enjoy full arm and wrist massages. It’s an all in one wonder.
What we liked:
Chiro & yoga programs
Space saving technology
What could be better:
Foot rollers can be a bit too intense the first few uses
We love this sturdy and stylish unit by Best Massage. This chair was our pick for the best zero gravity massage chair out there. The reason for this is because not only does the chair shift into zero gravity, it does so with 3D technology. This means the recliner can rock back and forth simultaneously to it defying gravity. The sensation of this combined with the massage delivers an experience that is unmatched.
The six high-tech rollers have the ability to roll, knead, knock, press and tap. These programs can be altered on a whim, and there’s no lag time between shifts.
For every roller, there is an airbag. This means the entire body will benefit from air massage as opposed to just one specific zone. No two sessions will be the same.
This unit is able to deliver full foot massages as well as a massage for the soles of the feet. This isn’t an ability often found in massage chairs. Foot soles are usually forgotten when it comes to construction of these devices. The Best Massage, however, has been sure to include a program designed around foot sole stimulation and stretching.
It wouldn’t be a complete best massage chair review if we didn’t mention the iconic space saving technology. This massage chair already takes up so much space, and it would be hard to imagine it needing more in order to recline. Thankfully, the space-saving technology requires just three inches behind the unit in order for a full reclining position to be reached. It’s an undeniably bulky unit, and this feature provides more ability for it to fit into smaller spaces while still being able to use it optimally.
The Best Massage has two interesting massage programs built into the unit. The morning massage is designed to stimulate the acupoints of the body and enhance vitality to face the day ahead. The evening massage is designed to release any accumulated pressure from the day and promote better sleep.
Next, we explore the best full body massage chair on the market; the Kahuna Superior.
While most massage chairs either operate on the S or the L track systems, the Kahuna Superior has opted to operate on both. The chair calls it SL technology and involves an impressive rolling track that covers both angles. There is no part of the body that is left out of the massage. For this reason, it’s easy to see why it rates high on the list of the best full body massage chair options available.
Kahuna equates the sensation of the SL track to being massaged by six different hands at once. The whole body is included and embraced no matter what function you choose.
There are nine programs in total to choose from. Amongst them are yogic stretching, pain relief, and relaxation. The Kahuna also features what the brand calls four “special programs.” These involve massages specifically designed around the needs of an office person, a golfer, and even a senior citizen.
This chair is significantly wider than most massage chairs and can support the weight & width of larger individuals. The footrest can be easily shifted up and down depending on your preference.
We love the addition of LED lighting built into the outer walls of the chair. When being used in a dark space, the LED lights will emit a cool hue and create a calm space in which the massage can be enjoyed.
The foot and calf area will enjoy a wrap around function so that the front of the leg & top of the foot aren’t left out of the treatment.
We must mention the aesthetically pleasing nature of the chair’s design. It looks like a piece of modern furniture and would tie in well with almost all spaces. The chair is also easy to wipe down when needed.
When purchasing this chair, Kahuna will include a two year part and labor warranty. This keeps you covered in the event of anything malfunctioning and will ensure you get optimum life span from your chair. Undoubtedly one of the best full body massage chair models on the market, the Kahuna Superior is a delight in our opinion. Try it for yourself!
What we liked:
LED lights built in
SL track technology
Wrap around leg function
What could be better:
Significantly wider, may not be suitable for petite individuals
This complex unit known as the Medical Breakthrough of massage chairs happens to also be our pick for the best Shiatsu massage chair out there.
The reason for its title is because it’s said over 25 different doctors and chiropractors have approved this chair as a medically advantageous device to use. That means individuals suffering from back, circulation and alignment issues have found benefits through repeated use.
The chair was created by studying the different massage techniques from all around the world and combining them into one. From Turkish to Ancient Egyptian, Greek to Indonesian backgrounds, massage has been used for centuries as a worthwhile form of healing. These global techniques were put into nine unique programs all available within the chair. The chair’s real specialty, however, lies in the art of Shiatsu massage. The technology is so advanced that the experience doesn’t come close to any other Shiatsu based massage chair on the market. This one is undoubtedly the best. The rollers begin by scanning the entire body before commencing with a customized Shiatsu experience.
By combining these impressive abilities with the zero gravity technology the chair delivers a well-rounded massage every, single time. Not only is the body left in near perfect alignment but stress has also lifted, and harmony found.
It operates on a 3D track in a cocoon type body. This allows the entire human body to be fully immersed in the procedure without any limbs being left out. Because of this, the chair is a naturally bulky unit and does require a significant amount of space for operation.
The warranty period on this massage chair is limited to just the first year of use. You’ll be covered in the event of malfunction or breakage.
Although it looks like a complicated dentist’s chair; the Osaki OS is an overwhelmingly inclusive unit with performance to match.
The rollers in this chair are notably smaller than many of its competitors’. This creates a “hand-like” experience during each massage. The chair is also littered with air pockets that inflate and deflate in accordance to the rollers & stimulate areas of the limbs that would otherwise go untouched. There are 25 airbags in total across the entire chair. This is significantly less than the average massage chair. The reason for this is that Osaki chose to reduce the number of airbags and instead increase the volume & surface area of each one. This resulted in fewer valves needed during the chair’s production. There is less stress on the mechanisms within the chair, and the life span has increased drastically because of this. You’ll enjoy the benefits of it for much longer.
There are six different massage styles and five levels of intensity for each, built into the Osaki.
There is a keypad attached to the chair that is easy to use and only an arm’s length away at all times. The chair also has a remote control ability.
The heating pads are located in the lower back region of the chair. This provides a welcome addition to an intense massage session. Heating tends to enhance circulation and blood flow & can be widely beneficial to anyone with mild to severe back pain.
We like that the Osaki OS has a vibrating seat function. This can be used in conjunction with a massage or as a sensation on its own. Vibration has a way of calming the body and significantly reducing the accumulated stress of the day.
Unfortunately, the Osaki doesn’t feature space-saving technology. Considering its size, this would have been helpful. The Osaki, therefore, requires as much space behind it as it does in front, should the user wish to use the reclining feature. It’s perfect for any home or office that has ample space to spare.
We really can’t get enough of this massage chair by Ideal. It became our top pick for the best home massage chair available. This is largely due to its stylish design and complementary leather tones. It’s a welcome addition to any modern or vintage home, as it has the versatility of working well with each type of decor. The versatile tan leather fits into any color scheme, and the material is easy to wipe down when necessary, making it a practical purchase for families with small children.
The chair has four dynamic functions to choose from. With a click of a button, you can shift between Shiatsu, kneading, rolling and vibrating. Using the renowned space saving technology, the chair will take you into ultimate relaxation with your feet raised up higher than your heart.
This chair was a close competitor for the title of best Shiatsu massage chair. The abundance of rollers working together on the inside simulate human touch so effortlessly, and the experience matches. What’s impressive about this chair is that it has a “multi-function mode” as an option. This will combine any number of the chair’s functions together into one session. You’ll alternate between different massage styles without having to select each one individually.
We particularly like that Ideal made an effort to build arm cylinders into the chair sides. The entire length of the arm can enjoy the massage as opposed to just the usual upper arm.
The rolling system is that of an S track. It’s most beneficial to the curve of the human spine, and
after a long day on your feet, nothing compares to coming home and relaxing into this Ideal massage chair. Unlike the rest of your furniture, the benefits are unwavering. It’s the more classic take on massage chair design and suitable for almost any home. Our top pick for the best home massage chair on the market.
Another feature packed massage chair by the best massage chair brand Relaxonchair. The MK-Classic offers similar performance to the aforementioned product from the same brand, with a few notable differences.
Relaxonchair is impressively sharing their new 2nd generation technology in this particular massage chair. Both the body scanning technology and the L track system are state of the art & not seen in many massage chairs as of yet. It’s currently the longest L track system on the market. It can scan anyone between the heights of 5’2″ and 6’5″. This is the first chair with this ability. On top of this, the footrest can be extended an additional 6″ for individuals who are considerably taller. These units are made to last. According to Relaxonchair, the chair can hold individuals up to 300lb in weight.
The zero gravity technology has three resting options. Since not everyone may enjoy the feet above heart position, it’s nice to know this chair gives you additional options. There are seven massage functions built in already, but the chair also offers a full manual mode in which the user can create his or her own program with ease. We particularly like the yoga function that makes use of the air massage technology to stretch out the body. During this program, the chair impressively lifts and lowers the legs & back. This simulates the art of yoga poses without you needing to physically perform them. For those who are more sensitive, there’s an option to switch to “all air” massage and turn the rollers off completely.
There is an individual program that focuses on calf, foot, and sole massage. There are also effective heating pads in the lower back region of the chair. We found these particularly enjoyable during any one of the automatic massage functions.
The chair arrives fully assembled and ready to go. No need to worry about setting it up or having the right tools. The only possible flaw with this chair is its appearance. It looks like a massage chair. There is no possibility of it blending in with a lounge suite or home decor. An office space might be a better fit for this unit. If this doesn’t bother you, however, then the MK-Classic is a great all-rounder massage chair and even best massage office chair.
We enjoyed this unit by Titan Pro. Firstly, the design of the chair deserves some praise. Despite being a modern device, the chair features a timeless shape and texture all branded together under sleek black leather. It’s a welcome addition to any classic home or office space.
The chair can handle weights of up to 250lb and individuals up to 6’3”.
It operates on an L track system and has state of the art buttocks massage technology. The chair delivers a comprehensive massage to the hip, butt and waist areas in a single program. This means after a long day at work you can enjoy just this area of massage individually if need be.
The chair operates on a combination of kneading, rolling, tapping and Shiatsu — or any combination of these mixed together.
We love that the space saving technology means that what you see is what you get. The chair will not require too much additional space in order to function. It can also be lined up to the rest of your furniture that are against the walls as it only requires 3 inches behind it.
Titan Pro installed audio capability into this massage chair. Using a Bluetooth connection, you’ll be able to stream your favorite music through the chair for an enhanced sensory experience. Classical or instrumental music is most recommended during massage sessions. However, any music that you consider relaxing will be perfectly suited.
The new arm design ensures that the upper arms aren’t left out of massage sessions. The arm panels jut out and provide a paw-like cover over each one. The rollers inside each panel deliver the massage.
Overall, the comfort of this massage chair yields the most praise. Even when not delivering massages, the chair is incredibly comfortable to lounge in. Many happy customers report using this chair as another piece of furniture for evening relaxation and watching television.
The iJoy chair by Human Touch is our winner for best portable massage chair on the market. It’s one of the most compact massage chairs in the world, and it fits in almost anywhere. For this reason, with the right transport, the chair can easily be carted between home and office every so often. Or perhaps you need a massage chair for your mobile business?
Since the chair can’t recline, there is never additional space required in order for it to perform.
The iJoy focuses on back and gluts stimulation. Arms and legs aren’t included in the massage ability of this unit.
This is a great device to use after a workout or a particularly long day on your feet.
As the name suggests, Human Touch is concerned with delivering massage programs as close to human interaction as possible. The inner workings of the chair glide about to simulate the performance of a real massage therapist.
The chair features something that the brand calls a “tech cradle.” In these cradles, there is space for one’s SmartPhone as well as a USB port for charging ability. Your cellular device will never be more than an arm’s length away.
We enjoy the fact that Human Touch offers more than one color option in this model. They call the two options “espresso” and “bone” which are essentially brown & beige shades. The futuristic shape of the iJoy makes us think of lavish penthouse bachelor pads or modern beachfront residencies. The chair would fit in well in a more modern interior and may stick out in homes with a more classic feel.
For anyone looking to get into the massage chair world without breaking the bank then the iJoy is a serious competitor. It’s our pick for best portable massage chair and a beneficial little unit to add to your day-to-day. Our only concern is the seeming lack of warranty provided by this brand. There appears to be no coverage in the event of a malfunction. However, the overall quality of the iJoy makes us think this will never be an issue.
Another beautifully classic piece by trusted brand Forever Rest. The great thing about this brand is that they are so confident in the construction and mechanics of their massage chairs that they offer an impressive five-year warranty on each unit. This is virtually unheard of in products of similar capability.
The technology behind their back rollers is new and extremely intelligent. They provide an intense, deep massage that affects the core of the back. This in conjunction with the heating pads will have you fully relaxed in a matter of minutes.
The nature of the Forever Rest is of that of a full body, deep tissue massage. It has additional functions too including yoga stretching and Shiatsu. We found the neck massaging ability most impressive, with numerous rollers encompassing the neck and shoulders for an unmatched experience. All in all, there are seven different manual massage techniques, and four automatic massage techniques built into the Forever Rest. Use the included remote to switch between each function as you please.
We love when brands keep the taller folk in mind. This massage chair has an extendable footrest ability of up to eight additional inches. The chair also makes use of space-saving technology when reclining so that storing the chair up close to a wall is a practical option. Naturally, this chair is of the bulkier nature. It’s a cocoon type massage chair in which the whole body is cushioned during the massage experience. This allows for more zones of the body to be reached and more surface area to be covered.
We must point out that the arm panels are extended enough that the wrists are able to enjoy massage as well. By sliding the hands back into the arm panels, it’s possible for the hands to enjoy some of the sensation too.
The padding in the chair makes it an extremely comfortable unit. Sometimes massage chairs neglect padding amongst the rollers and the chairs can become stiff after long periods of use. The Forever Rest seems to have avoided this altogether as the chair is soft and welcoming at all times.
Another tried and tested brand that we’ve grown to love, this unit by BestMassage is feature & performance packed.
At first glance, the chair doesn’t appear to have the all-encompassing body shape that we’ve come to expect from massage chairs: No extended side walls or limb hugging folds everywhere. Nevertheless, the BestMassage chair still delivers an impressive Shiatsu experience through a range of different functions.
This chair is good for rejuvenation and reducing fatigue. It’s best used during the day as preparation for what’s to come. It features an impressive 30 airbags, notably more than most chairs on the market. The airbag massage is vastly different to a rolling massage. With the BestMassage chair, you’ll be able to alternate between both. The foot and calf program is highly enjoyable either as part of a full session or as a session on its own.
The chair is easy to clean, and all parts are wipe-friendly. The wooden panels are exposed but are coated in a waterproof varnish. The mix of the black leather and wooden panels gives a retro finish to this massage chair. We see it sitting perfectly next to a bookcase and perhaps a fire burning quietly nearby.
We love the inclusion of a “just vibration” function that is perfect for evening use and winding down. The sensation of vibrations on the body brings the body into energetic alignment and rids accumulated stress fast.
The most impressive thing about BestMassage is that it will deliver the chair, fully assembled, to any premises of your choice. Most massage chair brands only go as far as delivering the chair curbside. Getting the chair from there to your desired location is usually left up to you. This is quality service from a trusted brand. When you consider that the price-tag also falls under $1000 it really is quite impressive.
Complete with space saving technology and zero gravity ability the BestMassage is a well rounded and well-priced unit for consideration.
What we liked:
Not overly bulky
What could be better:
Little to no experience for the thigh areas
Things to Сonsider
Investing in a massage chair is a welcome addition to any home or business space. Every session spent on the chair should be packed with comfort, satisfaction, and bodily benefits. This buyers guide is designed to give you everything you need to know and consider when looking to pur-chase one of these versatile devices, so your future massages are optimized.
Benefits of having a top-quality massage chair
Buying a quality massage chair that meets all your personal needs will reap the following benefits with each use:
Since the chair will be situated in your personal space, you’ll have access to it at any time. No need to schedule sessions or travel in order to receive a massage.
Consistent stress relief that can be scheduled daily, weekly or even monthly depending on your personal massage needs. You can use it after a long day at work or after prolonged periods of sitting, such as after sewing (check out our guide to the best chairs for sewing rooms) or even gaming (we’ve also reviewed comfy console gaming chairs to prevent back pain ever becoming an issue).
Fun for the whole family. The massage chair can be safely used by anyone at any time. They’re a great choice for those suffering from any kinds of bodily aches and pains, and are a great addition or alternative to a lift chair, even if you’re after a lift chair for elderly people.
Scheduling in-person massages can rack up a hefty bill. By purchasing a massage chair, you avoid any additional cost for the experience; It’s essentially a once off fee.
Regular stimulation of your muscles in a nonstrenuous form of exercise.
Impress your house guests by offering them a session whenever they visit.
If your chair happens to be portable, enjoy the benefit of taking it on vacation or to any remote destination necessary.
Massage chairs have been known to promote better sleep patterns when used regularly in the evenings. This is a sure benefit for anyone suffering from sleep problems.
Modern massage chairs are stylishly designed and will fit in seamlessly with the rest of your furniture.
Features to consider while choosing your massage chair
At this point, the only thing left to do is identify your favorite pick from our list of top 13. The following criteria and breakdowns will help you do just that. Carefully consider each point and whether or not it’s of value to your purchase of the best massage chair for your home or office. Each model is vastly impressive in its own way — it’s essentially the feature specifications that will enable you to identify the most relevant one.
The massage functions and abilities of each massage chair varies from brand to brand. In the same breath, cost of unit plays a big role in determining which and how many functions are built into a single unit.
Some massage chairs might isolate a single, key massage function and revolve solely around this way of massaging. Others might incorporate the range of functions available on the market and allow the user to alternate between them using a built-in keypad or touch screen. It’s not uncommon for massage chair functions to range between 3 to 10 levels of intensity.
Some chairs will also center themselves around a specific style of massage. Shiatsu and Kahuna are the most common functions incorporated into massage chairs. The intensity of each of these will also be controllable as you can pick from different levels.
You’ll also need to consider what kind of massage you desire out of your chair. There are functions that will provide either full body, neck and shoulders, lower back or leg only massages. The chairs operate these functions through a series of the following:
Kneading: A motion designed to tenderize the muscles through repetitive movement. Kneading typically starts off gently and works its way into a more pressure-filled sensation. Intensity can usually be controlled via they chair’s keypad.
Rolling: A number of high-performing rollers are built into each and every massage chair. They’re responsible for the majority of the work that goes on during massage. Rollers are designed to mimic the motion of human hands. They make their way across the body in a variety of shapes and directions.
Tapping: The sensation of tapping during massage provides invigorating awareness to otherwise lame parts of the body. The sensation is designed to “wake up” areas of the body that may have become overly relaxed during the session. Tapping is a great way to prepare the body to get back to its natural state in order to continue with everyday life.
Squeezing: Massage chairs have the unique ability to squeeze certain limbs during the massage session. Many of these functions can be closely equated to the art of yoga. By squeezing the body, it’s actually stretching it. The chair will usually perform this kind of movement after rolling massage as it promotes circulation and gets blood flowing again.
These sensations work together to deliver an experience as close to human massage techniques as possible. There is a multitude of combinations that can be put together to deliver a different massage experience each time. Some are done automatically by the chair and others can be set up manually by you the user. Only you know exactly what function is required for your satisfaction. Make a point of identifying which ones are most important to you and ensure that the unit you select provides all of them. Some of the more advanced chairs will have auto functions and massage timers. These functions can be activated by you.
Dimensions & Extendable Leg Rest
Massage chairs are notorious for their bulky natures. Whether you intend to add them to your home or office space it’s imperative you have a good understanding of just how big the device can be. Measure the space in which the chair needs to fit, and the chair itself. This is a sure way to guarantee that you won’t be caught off guard when the chair arrives.
While most massage chairs are oversized devices, there is a range of more compact massage chairs for smaller spaces. These chairs might offer fewer functions than the full-size options but deliver satisfying massage experiences nevertheless.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to massage chairs is that most of them are extendable. The massage chairs that contain built-in leg rests often have the ability to recline and jut outward. These massage chairs will require additional space in which to extend fully. They generally can’t be placed up against a wall and require a perimeter around them so that the leg rests can properly unfold.
When it comes to the human body, heat promotes blood circulation. A massage chair with heating ability can provide a range of healing benefits, particularly to the back, neck and shoulder areas. There is a number of massage chairs available that have the ability to heat the lower back as well. It’s also usually recommended to warm the muscles before receiving massage in colder climates. This reduces the risk of strain or injury.
Higher-end massage chairs will have heating therapy built into the chair backs. Heating pads will power up upon request and warm the body while the massage takes place. This therapy is particularly useful to athletes whose muscles tend to take a lot of impact in the day to day. Individuals who suffer from chronic back pain have also reported that heating therapy in their massage chairs has been of great benefit. Lower pack heating pads are most ideal for this kind of relief. The Osaki OS-4000T features these in conjunction with a vibrating seat, proving fast and effective pain relief.
Consider if this is a feature that would be of value to your massage experience. Since it isn’t a standard feature in all massage chairs, you’ll need to find a chair that holds this ability specifically. If you want a chair for pain relief, this will be a good investment.
Zero Gravity Mode & Maximum Reclining Angle
It’s believed that there is a specific angle from which maximum enjoyment of a massage can be obtained. By spreading an individual’s body out flat or almost flat, all stress is removed from the body, and a deeper, more intense massage can be experienced. Zero gravity basically involves the massage chair sliding forward until the person is virtually lying flat. It then goes further to where the person’s feet are higher than his or her heart level. This is zero gravity. It is said to be incredibly therapeutic and that the effects of massage from this position can be felt immediately. The idea is that all pressure is lifted from the heart area. The body is left in its most vulnerable yet stress-free state.
Some massage chairs don’t offer zero gravity but rather just a maximum reclining angle for enjoyment. One’s feet will not go higher than your heart, but the chair will recline significantly backward so that a more relaxed position is taken. Some massage chairs have options for a variety of different angles which would provide different types of experiences.
If it’s of interest to you to attain the most optimum massage available, then a zero gravity massage chair is what you need to look for.
Keep in mind these chairs require extra space in order to properly recline, so they’re not suitable for smaller homes.
Space Saving Technology
Space saving technology was designed so that massage chairs could still recline even when there isn’t enough space behind the chair to do so. Instead of simply reclining backward, the chair instead will slide forward while reclining simultaneously. This makes use of the frontal space as opposed to the back. This technology is a great way of ensuring that the chair is able to align with other furniture in the house instead of needing to be further forward to recline. With most present-day massage chairs it’s a standard three inches required behind the chair in order for reclining to take place. Space saving technology also sometimes enables a massage chair to include a rocking experience. Some massage chairs can rock back and forth during massage for an added spatial sensation. The motion of rocking has been used for centuries to promote sleep and relaxation. It’s a welcome addition to anyone looking to get the most out of their massage session and possibly develop better sleeping patterns as a result.
If you’re limited when it comes to space, then space saving technology will become your best friend. It allows for you to enjoy the full reclining experience without impacting the valuable floor space of your home. The Kahuna massage chair has this technology built in as a standard.
A massage chair relies on the interconnected working of airbags and rollers in order to deliver sensations. Airbags are small pockets implanted around the chair that inflate and deflate as needed in order to stimulate a specific body part.
Purchasing a massage chair fitted with airbags is a great way to ensure a well-rounded massage experience. Chairs that rely solely on rollers can become monotonous as the same sensation is being applied each time.
Air massage is much more gentle than a regular rolling massage. It eases into the muscles gradually instead of applying full force over them first thing. It’s a good way to warm up the body and prepare it for a more intense massage later on. Massage chairs usually include between 20 and 40 airbags in one unit. Hip-oriented airbags like in the Giantex Leisure are great for spinal alignment. Airbags are also a better form of massage to use on injured areas of the body. They are soothing as opposed to invasive.
To get the most out of your massage chair, it’s important that you meet the weight requirements laid out by the brand. Different massage chairs will have different weight capabilities. Overloading a massage chair can cause the inner workings to bend or shift. The rollers that work their way up and down the chair will be unable to move. It’s bad for the chair as it can break, and it’s bad for you as you won’t be able to enjoy a successful massage session. Be sure to ask yourself:
Does my weight fit the capacities specified by the manufacturer?
If other people will be using the chair, do their weights qualify as well?
Is there leeway for weight gain or am I riding on the brink of maximum capacity already?
Is there a minimum weight requirement for the massage chair in order for a session to be fulfilling?
If the chair is intended for commercial use, is the weight capacity broad enough for different sized individuals?
The Kahuna Superior massage chair was built significantly wider than standard chairs in order to accommodate larger, heavier individuals. If you’re looking to purchase a chair that will be used in a commercial space where a variety of individuals can make use of it, we recommend going with the chair with the highest weight ability available. This ensures there won’t be anyone bending or breaking the moving mechanisms in the chair due to their weight not being suitable for the unit.
Body Scan Technology
The appeal of a quality massage chair is its ability to provide a personalized massage experience, relevant to the needs of the user in question. Some chairs do this via a very advanced form of body scanning technology. This involves a series of high tech sensors built into the chair that consequently scan each body using the device. The sensors are able to communicate to the chair’s computer a range of information from body weight to muscle mass. With this information, the chair’s computer can calculate and customize the most appropriate massage function for the individual in question. It might choose to spend more time on neck and shoulders & less on lower back.
Body scanning technology is great for anyone who might enjoy a different massage experience each time. Massage chairs without this feature will offer standardized massage sessions without much variation. Body scanning technology means that it’s unlikely for two massages to ever be the same. Individuals who suffer from back or limb problems of any kind would be best advised to invest in a massage chair that is equipped with body scan technology. The Relaxonchair massager incorporates an advanced form of this technology making it a good investment if you’re shopping in this niche for medical reasons.
Massage Chair Rollers
Quite literally the backbone of any massage chair, the rollers can play a huge part in the enjoyment of your device. The rollers are built into the chair on a complex grid that allows them to move and rotate down your vertebrae. Quality rollers will make for a quality massage—It’s that simple.
It’s also important to consider the number of rollers present in the chair in question. However, quantity doesn’t always mean a better experience. Too many rollers in a chair that will be used by a more petite individual can be overwhelming and ultimately painful. The pressure of so many rollers digging into this type of body is hard to enjoy. In the same breath, too few rollers in a chair that will be used by a larger individual could result in an underwhelming and boring experience. It’s all relative to the users in question. Generally, you’ll be able to find a well balanced chair with an industry median in terms of roller quantity.
Some chairs have the added extra: Foot rollers. Most massage chairs neglect to involve the feet, so this is a welcome addition if foot massage is something you enjoy. Check with the manufacturer as to whether your chair has this ability or if it’s something you might consider adding on if possible. For individuals who need relaxation after spending workdays on their feet, this is a wise choice.
Materials & Construction
Generally, massage chairs are made to last. They’re usually made of a combination of woods and leathers. It’s not uncommon for some panels within a massage chair to be of metal too. Due to the active nature of these chairs, the materials need to be durable to avoid the effects of wear and tear for as long as possible. Since these chairs typically don’t run cheap, be sure to consider the materials and construction of the chair you’re looking to buy. It’s sometimes worth spending a few extra dollars on a chair that will guarantee a longer life span as opposed to one that might only last a few months.
We don’t recommend investing in a massage chair that is covered with fabric or suede. These can become particularly unhygienic over long periods of use and are naturally harder to clean. They are also more prone to damage as the fabric will weaken after repeated use. It’s important that the seams of your massage chair are sealed tight and, at the very least, double stitched.
In terms of construction, you’ll need to consider whether you enjoy the chair upright, or if you’d like it to have the ability to recline. Reclining chairs are constructed a bit differently to standard ones. They involve levers and sliders in order to achieve the desired angle. While reclining during massage is no doubt enjoyable, it’s not absolutely necessary. An upright massage chair has equal ability to deliver a satisfying experience. The massage chair by Titan Pro is a good example of a chair that can do both.
Weight & Delivery Options
Let’s be clear: massage chairs aren’t lightweight devices. They’re also not the kind of thing you pop out to the shops for, load into your car and bring home.
Due to the overwhelming size and weight of these gentle giants, it’s likely that a delivery option with your purchase will be absolutely necessary.
With a massage chair of any price point, delivery should already be included in the purchase. Be sure to discuss your options with the retailer beforehand. Ensure to clarify the following:
Will the delivery people assist with getting the chair from truck to house?
Will the delivery team assist with unpacking the massage chair once inside?
Does the chair arrive ready to use or is there a set up required? If so, will the delivery people assist with this?
Is there a specific width of door frame required for the chair to enter a space?
If the chair will be used on the second story of a house, can the floor handle the weight of the unit?
If you do happen to have the means of delivering the chair into your home yourself, consider the carried weight between vehicle and home. You’ll likely need to recruit one or two individuals to help get the chair into place.
Based on our research, it appears most massage chair retailers offer curbside delivery upon making a purchase. This means that the chair and/or its parts will be delivered to the curb of your home and office only. The delivery service will not go as far as to move the chair into its final position inside the premises. Usually, the delivery teams don’t want to take responsibility as it can get ripped or it could fall while you navigate through a building. Therefore, this will be left to you to handle.
There are, however, some retailers who appear to offer help in getting the chair to its chosen spot in the house – but generally, this is only so long as it is located on the bottom floor. They may not handle any instances where the chair needs to be taken upstairs. Make sure you have help on hand so installing it is effortless on the day.
Your massage chair might come with a variety of additional features depending on the manufacturer and price tag. Some brands offer their products in standard versions and upgraded versions. Upgraded versions would be the units that contain the extra features at additional cost.
Some massage chairs feature the ability to perform a shoulder and hip squeeze as an extra sensation prior to or after the massage. This is a good stretching mechanism to reactivate the muscles.
Massage chairs that have the ability to connect to remote controls are handy and practical. You’ll be able to navigate the massage experience of the person in the chair from a distance away or do it while you’re on the chair simply by moving your fingers. If you’re managing it for someone else, it can add some excitement as he or she won’t know what is coming next.
Seat vibration is a wonderful extra to look out for when deciding on too. It’s enjoyable both during massage and on its own as a method of relaxation while watching television or lazing about.
A calf and foot massager is sometimes preferable for some individuals. It doesn’t always come standard in massage chairs and may need to be added as an extra feature.
Audio capability is an interesting additional feature present in some of the newer massage chairs on the market. It’s thought that combining massage with music creates a sensory experience that puts the body much deeper into relaxation than before. The massage chairs equipped with this ability usually have speakers built into the sides, or armrests. They will link to your music playing device by means of Bluetooth or USB.
More uncommon is the inclusion of LED lighting. When enjoying massage in the dark, the LED lights will emit a gentle blue hue that has a calming effect in that space. This is how visual stimulation adds to an experience. It makes the sensation of pitch dark massage less intense, and the mood becomes more controlled.
We touched on this next point briefly earlier in this buyer’s guide. The inclusion of a rocking mechanism in a massage chair is a wonderful extra feature for anyone looking to take their sessions to the next level. Rocking back and forth during a massage reduces the effect of gravity on the body. Individuals who have enjoyed this motion in conjunction with their massage report that zoning out becomes easier and they’re less aware of their physical situation. If you’re battling with pain, this will be a welcome respite. Also, as a result, they enjoyed relaxation of both the body and mind simultaneously. With a rocking motion, one tends to forget that you’re seated in a couch-like unit. Your concept of space is altered as you’re not sitting still at any point during the session. Massage chairs equipped with this ability are fast becoming the sought after units for users worldwide. The BestMassage Full Body Massage Chair comes standard with rocking ability, which is why it’s such a crowd favorite.
A last worthwhile feature:
Because the art of massage has been proactive for centuries all around the world, it’s hard to isolate the best one to fit into a chair. Some chairs will go the extra mile and have a multitude of global massage styles built into one. You’ll be able to flip through each style and try them all out in order to identify your favorite. The Medical Breakthrough massage chair gives you many options to consider, featuring an impressive array of nine massage styles from around the world.
Warranties are essential when it comes to quality massage chairs. Any reputable retailer should provide a comprehensive coverage plan in the event of product malfunction. With so many mechanics and moving parts, it’s important that you’re covered in the event of malfunction.
We would suggest not settling for anything less than a two-year warranty per massage chair. This is most reasonable and an industry standard. It’s not uncommon, however, for massage chairs to feature warranty coverage for up to 10 years. The massage chair by Forever Rest comes with an impressive five-year warranty which proves its quality.
A warranty will not cover you for any damage caused due to negligence of the user. This is why picking the right weight capacity is so important.
It will, however, ensure you’re covered in the event of:
Different brands offer different types of warranty coverage. Some only cover parts, while others will cover both parts and mechanics. Damage to the body of the chair is considered negligence on behalf of the user and will not fall under either of these brackets.
When purchasing your massage chair be sure to follow the requirements laid out by the warranty agreement. Some may require you to keep your original purchase receipt or packaging slip. Others might require you to register your purchase on the manufacturer’s website in order for your warranty to become valid.
As with any investment, price has a big part to play. The price of your massage chair will no doubt determine just how sophisticated the unit can be. The more you pay for, the more you get. That being said there’s still a broad enough market for individuals shopping in all price ranges to be satisfied with their purchases. Whether you only have a few hundred dollars scraped together, or thousands to blow, you have options. Just note that shopping on a budget will require a few compromises. If you’re looking for budget-friendly massage chairs, check out our top picks of the best massage chairs under $500.
Higher end massage chairs come with a price tag to match. They feature many or all of the available functions in the massage chair industry. The experience will be unmatched, and the quality of the chair will also be notably more impressive. Cheaper chairs, on the other hand, will likely feature the standard massage functions with little added extras.
It goes without saying that you should carefully budget before spending money on any of these devices. Also, make comparisons: even if you maybe don’t intend to use the massage chair so frequently, it may be worth investing the extra cost for some of the added benefits that come with it. That along with the quality that tends to come with a higher-cost unit will provide an enjoyable experience all round and saving money in the long run since you won’t have to replace it soon.
Knowledge of the features mentioned above is necessary because price can also be deceptive. There are perfectly good, quality massage chairs on the market that cost next to nothing. And then there are very average massage chairs, with less than impressive functionality with high price tags. The best method is to explore the features of each of the chairs before making yourself aware of the costs. Identifying features that are important to you helps you notice appropriate chairs. It could be the cheaper of the lot that you may not have given a second glance after seeing the price-tag. So shop features first.
This is perhaps the least important point when buying a massage chair, but for some people, design makes a big difference. Since these devices are likely being used within homes or office spaces, they will probably be in the line of sight for you and your visitors. It’s therefore worthwhile for them to be at least somewhat aesthetically pleasing.
In today’s market massage chairs come in an array of different designs to suit a multitude of interior design themes. Gone are the days of the standard black leather chair. Some manufacturers are bang on trend with tan and white leathers. Others feature carefully lined trimmings and multicolored padding. The great thing about this is that a massage chair can now become part of the furniture without standing out too much. It will appear to look like just another comfortable armchair, with its massage abilities buried deep inside. The BestMassage chair is an excellent example of style meeting functionality.
There are massage chairs that look like timeless, classic pieces and then there are massage chairs that appear to be futuristic-like pods in which a user must climb. Consider what you’d like out of the design of your massage chair and seek out one that fits these criteria.
Whenever you’re investing in something new (and as expensive as this niche), it’s always worthwhile to take brand reputation into consideration. Once you’ve narrowed down your search for the best massage chair take time to investigate the manufacturers behind each one. By looking at their history of product reviews and satisfied customers you can ensure you invest in the right place.
There are many websites that expose the true nature of brands and their products. Make a quick search on some of these and review the feedback from dozens before you. This way, you can have peace of mind that you’re putting your money into a product from a worthwhile corporation and not one focused on making a quick buck.
Apart from product quality, weed out the poorer quality brands by looking at the kind of customer service they offer and the warranties attached to your purchase.
This is an important factor that sometimes goes unconsidered during the buying process. Since massage chairs usually encompass the entire body, it’s only natural that they will require cleaning from time to time. Buildup of sweat, hair, and bodily odors can find their way into the seat after repetitive use. Some individuals enjoy using oils on their skin while a massage is taking place—this too will stick to the surface.
Ensure that the material of the chair in question is suitable to clean easily. Most will simply require a wipe, as the leather is waterproof. There may be occasions where areas of discoloration will need to be polished. Suede or fabric covered chairs will be much harder to clean, especially since water can’t be used near the electronics or rollers. Suede cleaner can be purchased at most upholstery stores and used on massage chairs safely.
Cleaning is an important factor to take into consideration if you plan on maximizing the life span of your device. Also be sure to give your massage chair a deep clean whenever it’s used by strangers or visitors. Skin cells and residue tend to loosen during massage & may find their way into the chair’s surface. Both you and your guests deserve a hygienic experience.
All things considered, the most notable tips for selecting the best massage chair would be the following:
Don’t rush your purchase; Do some investigating and finalize your criteria.
Go and test out the chair in person if you’re able to.
Make sure there are no pre-existing back or neck injuries that could become inflamed by use of a massage chair.
Clean your massage chair regularly.
Be vigilant with the chair around children; Mechanics and technology could pose risks in certain instances.
Be realistic about space. Massage chairs are naturally bulky units, and space should be carefully considered when looking to purchase.
Last thought: Share! Invite others to enjoy the experience of the chair with you as often as possible, making the investment as worthwhile as possible.
No, massage chairs are naturally quiet operators. Aside from a light purring sound due to the vibrations, and the slow movement of each roller, there is little to no noise from the chair. The subtle sounds that the chair does emit can actually prove to be quite soothing during a massage session. Chairs that are fitted with keypads or screens may also emit beeping sounds during the function selection process. Most massage chairs will also beep at the end of a session, or play a short melody, to alert a user of the ending.
Some of the newer units on the market are now including music capabilities within the chair’s framework. This will allow the user to stream music of their choice through the chair during a massage session. In this case, yes, the chair’s operation would be considerably louder than massage chairs without this ability. The function is optional, however, and more silent sessions can be enjoyed as desired.
In the event of a particular massage proving to be too strong one can simply use the keypad to adjust the session’s intensity to a more manageable level. Almost all massage chairs have some sort of intensity adjustments. Higher end units will just have a wider range of adjustments. If the chair has been adjusted to the weakest level and it’s still feeling uncomfortable for you, then there are alternative methods of improving your experience. Layer yourself in some thick clothing and then attempt to use the chair. The extra layers will provide a thicker barrier between your body and the massage rollers, making the experience less intense and more enjoyable.
Upper arm areas are usually included in the massage range of the chairs. This is from the elbow upward. The remainder of the arm and hand are unfortunately not reachable by most massage chair units. Wrists will not benefit from most massage chairs at all. There are, however, some units on the market with special wrist panels that do enable this experience. The Relaxonchair featured earlier in our top 13 is one of them as its armrests massage the wrist areas.
Arm massage ability isn’t an industry standard and would have to be specifically selected when purchasing a unit. Certain massage chairs will focus on the neck, body, and legs only. Thankfully wrist massage is growing in popularity, and many of the newer chair models are making sure to include this as a feature, unlike older models.
It really depends on the condition of the chair and the relevance of the technology built into it. If the chair in question was taken care of during its first reign of ownership, regularly cleaned and not exposed to intense sunlight then there is no reason why a used chair couldn’t make a great addition to your home. It must be noted, however, that everything has an expiry date and certain software installed into older massage chairs might not be repairable anymore, should any issues arise in terms of performance. This is a risk you’ll take.
While the idea proves to be a lot of fun and quite intriguing, it’s not recommended that children be allowed to use an adult sized massage chair. Massage chairs are designed in proportion to the average human (adult) body. There are rollers and pressers in specific places to correspond with the adult anatomy. There are neck rollers where the neck would be, and thigh rollers where the thighs would fit, etc. A child would obviously not fit into this anatomical bracket. Their necks might sit where an adult’s lower back sits, and these rollers aren’t necessarily designed to be gentle enough to massage a neck. For this reason, it becomes unsafe to subject a child to an adult massage chair. There is risk of strain or injury due to the rollers no lining up to the correct vertebrae or limbs. Significantly taller children might be able to get away with enjoying a massage or two. If their limbs seem to somewhat align with the layout of the chair, then there will be less risk of strain.
Tip: keep the massage function on the lowest level of intensity whenever a child is making use of the chair.
Certain back problems can actually benefit from the sensation that is massage. Many users have reported eventual relief from back related pain after long term use. It is, however, recommended that you talk with your doctor before starting with massage sessions. A professional will be able to advise you on whether or not your back problems can benefit from massages or if it’s best to avoid them.
Generally, light level massage is perfectly safe for use on even the most severe back issues. The rollers aren’t aggressive enough to inflict damage. It’s still advisable to seek the advice of a professional before commencing.
Massage chair assembling is usually DIY friendly. Most massage chairs will come already erect and ready for use, requiring just a power outlet. In the event of you having to put the chair together yourself there will be basic step by step instructions to follow. Depending on the brand, your massage chair might include home set up by the company itself. If not, you may be able to pay extra to have this done. That being said, most massage chair companies will, more often than not, deliver the chair fully assembled to any curb-side. Delivery usually doesn’t include movement from the curb into the house or premises where the chair will be settled. This you will have to arrange for yourself. You should, however, receive a fully assembled unit outside your door and need not worry about putting anything together yourself.
The overall winner of our top picks for the best massage chair on the market was our best all-rounder: the Relaxonchair MK-II Plus. We love how feature packed and ergonomically designed this unit is. The arm cylinders are the most notable features, providing the ability for full arm and wrist massage—an ability not standard to a lot of massage chairs on the market. The chair is exceptionally well priced considering all the features that are packed into one single vessel. It truly is the full body experience when it comes to at home massage.
Our budget pick followed at a close second as the best affordable massage chair. The Giantex Leisure is a great, compact device suitable for even the most limited of spaces. The chair was one of the first to feature music playing technology and is the perfect massage chair for basic massage functions. With the right transport, this device can also be easily transported between locations.
Finally, we come to the best Kahuna massage chair out there: the Kahuna Zero Gravity LM6800. In spite of being on the pricier side of the spectrum, the brand offers a comprehensive warranty period, and the chair is packed with features. The Chiropractors program alongside the Yoga function is a match made in heaven. This is the best all rounder when compared to other similar units on the market.
We trust that this guide has set you on the right path in selecting the best massage chair for your home or office space. Remember… features first!