The idea for creating a massage chair is to provide everyone with a personal massage therapy that they can enjoy anytime within the privacy of their home. After all, not all people have the time to visit a spa because of their busy lives. Whether you just want to relax or get a serious shiatsu massage to improve your fitness, there’s always an option out there. In this guide and review, I’m going to show you exactly which one is the best massage chair for you. You will also learn about which essential features that you will want your massage chair to have.
What Is a Massage Chair?
Before we jump over to the list of top 5 massage chairs, let us all agree that the massage chair we’re talking about here is the robotic model, not the traditional one. This robotic chair is designed with a set of motors that empower multiple built-in devices that function as a massager for you. These devices vary in each model, depending mainly on their cost. In the low-end market, some massage chairs only have vibrators. Meanwhile, the top-tier models may have vibrators, airbag, rollers even a full recliner at the same time. With such rich features at disposal, no wonder they can easily cost over $1,000.
Types of Massage Chair
Multiple types of massage chairs are introduced to the market to fit various needs and budgets. In terms of how far the chair can recline, massage chairs are distinguished into two: the partial and full recline. Generally, a chair is considered to perform a full recline position when it can exceeds 170 degrees. As for partial recline seats, usually they can’t lean back more than 155 degrees.
Furthermore, as far as the controls are concerned, there are manual and auto massage chairs. The automatic controls are usually an exclusive feature to the high-end models. Usually, the position of back and leg rest is adjusted using the preset settings. However, in some models, users are allowed to fine-tune each of them separately to maximize comfort. Such controls are commonly done via either wired or wireless remote. For cheaper chairs, in contrast, the position of back and leg rest can be adjusted manually using a conventional release lever, such that we always see in office chairs.
As for how intense the massage, you can opt for between shiatsu chair and regular massage chair. The latter uses either vibrator or air pressure to imitate soft relaxing massage. Meanwhile, shiatsu chair has a set of built-in solid rollers to better simulate human hand massage.
Benefits of Massage Chair
Massage chair is more than just a luxury. It serves as an investment for your health in the long term. The benefit massage chairs can give you are quite a lot. At the very least, they can help you relieve the stress and tension that you get from work. When you’re relaxed and your mind is at peace, you’ll be likely to get more productive and never feel anxious. Moreover, with more expensive models that can provide shiatsu massage, you can even get direct health benefits, like improving your blood flow, easing sore muscles, treating back pain, and fixing your posture.
What to Consider when Buying a Massage Chair
So now you want to know how to get the best massage chair for you? That’s easy. First, you need to be sure of what you really want from a massage chair. Do you want it to provide an extensive massage therapy to ease certain health problem or you just want it to help you relax? Once you figure that out, set your budget. A massage chair can cost as low as $200 all the way to a whopping $8,000. Next, take the most important features into account. These features are like construction and design, massage coverage, massage styles, and customization.
Certainly, you want a chair that is rigid and durable. Leather might be good looking but you have to know that it’s more expensive and not necessarily long lasting. Furthermore, massage coverage on each chair is different. Most only provides a massage for back area. The pricier models, however, may give you a full body massage, from neck to your feet. You also have to look at the massage styles it can perform. Ideally, you will want a chair that can do all massage styles, from kneading to shiatsu, but that’s going to be very expensive. Lastly, after you consider all these features, make sure you the manufacturer covers you with a warranty.
Top 5 Massage Chair Reviews
Osaki OS-4000 is one of the top of the line massage chairs that offers both ease of use and maximum comfort. The zero gravity technology it comes with means that you can recline the chair in any position you want to get the most of your massage. If you don’t really sure about what you want, then simply let the chair handle it. As an advanced model, it’s geared with a body scan technology too that can adjust the entire settings, from the rollers movement to back, neck, and leg rest position, automatically to fit your body’s needs. Moreover, it can perform a full body massage, from neck to legs – your buttocks included, with 6 different massage styles such as shiatsu, kneading, clapping, etc. Again, if you’re not really sure which massage style that brings you the most comfort, just use the auto programs. Just so you know, the preset auto programs are not limited to three or six. This chair has 18 in total.
Inada Sogno Dreamwave
Inada Sogno Dreamwave is definitely not everyone’s massage chair. Bearing a price tag of well over eight-grand, you need to be absolutely sure about your commitment to keep your health. Still, when you look at the amenities it offers, you will know that it’s completely worth it. Among the main benefits it offers is the motion of its rollers that are programmed to realistically mimic the fingers’ movement of shiatsu massage therapists. You will definitely feel the difference on the shiatsu massage of this chair from that of cheaper models. For your info, the national rate for a shiatsu massage therapy in the U.S. is $60 per hour. In other words, it will pay off its own price in less than a year, assuming you will use it regularly. Better yet, it even has a preset gentle massage program for younger users, which is great considering an actual shiatsu massage can be too intense and painful for children.
If you’re sort of tight on budget, you might find Shiatsu EC-69 to be quite an interesting option. Despite its low profile and simple design, this chair still offers a great full body shiatsu massage. You can even set it to a full recline for maximum comfort. While it doesn’t come with preset unique massage programs, it does offer a nice selection of different massage styles, including kneading, shiatsu, compression, and three others. That’s not a big issue I think. You just have to spend more time, experimenting with different styles and see which one refreshes you the most. Anyway, the upholstery is made of high-grade leather imitation. Underneath that layer are power rollers and a set of vibrators which are placed carefully to take the advantage of human anatomy. In addition, around the lumbar and neck areas, the chair is complemented with a heater plate to comfort you even more.
Five Star FS8812
One thing about Five Star FS8812 is that it’s not really a massage chair. It’s a robotic device that’s commonly referred to as massage seat cushion. You can attach it on any seats, including your car seat, your office seat, and your living room seat. Another thing you must notice is that it is not equipped with solid ball rollers, meaning you can’t use it to get a shiatsu massage. This seat cushion only features vibrators. To be exact, there are 10 vibration motor which are placed on strategic spot around your neck, lumbar, lower back and thighs. You can change their speed settings using a wired remote control unit. Likewise, you can also use the available four preset massage programs. You may activate the heating system planted around the lower back area too. All in all, while it may not be enough to treat a back pain, this cushion seat is more than able to relieve you from stress and anxiety.
HT Massage Chair iJoy-2580
What I like the most from HT Massage Chair iJoy-2580 is its built-in control panel. Using wired remote only adds clutter to the chair while wireless remote may even be lost completely. However, that’s not the only thing that draws many people to buy it. The solid rollers movement on this chair is based on the company’s Human Touch massage technology. While it can’t perform shiatsu massage, it is able to thoroughly imitate human hands movement while doing compression, percussion, kneading, and rolling massages. Not to say that it also has three automatic programs that you can enjoy in sequence. It sure is pleasantly convenient sitting on this massage chair.