If you know my work with massage chairs, you are aware that very few models I can recommend that are worth your time & money investment.
Even within some big Reputable Brand (there are just a few reputable brands, to begin with) not that many chairs are worth considering.
The last thing you want to do is to invest money in an expensive chair that will not perform as you expect.
For instance, HERE (do not buy alert) is a chair model from a reputable company that I would never advise you to purchase (not enough features to justify the price point).
On the other hand, the top chair brand (this is TOP #1), Luraco i7 is one of the best massage chairs that I recommend right now.
If case you are busy, below are the top massage chair models as of 2020 / 2021:
It is packed with features and the ONLY chair at the moment that is manufactured in the USA (with some non-vital components are made in Taiwan).
Add to that one of the best Warranties in the Industry (can't stress enough the importance of a good warranty), and you got yourself a winner.
Let me point out that...
Not all of us can afford the top-of-a-line massage chair. And if under $5000 price sounds good to you Read on...
In this case, I picked a definite Winner for you as well (scroll down if you are impatient)
And believe it or not, there are a few under $2000 dollars massage chairs that will perform better than some $5000 models, even $8000+
Some people are joking that today’s robotic massage chairs do a much better job than some half-hearted rub by your spouse (too funny).
But now we have to solve a few problems.
What is the best? How do you choose the best massage chair?
With every company claiming that they have the best, it seems to be impossible to decide.
And that does this guide come into play. I have done exhaustive research to come up with the most up to date, and accurate guide available.
I have looked at every option out there to give you the options that best mimic human touch and give you the relaxing massage you don't know you are missing 🙂
Anyway, I have gone through every possible option starting at the lowest prices and ending with more expensive models.
In addition, I've read all massage chair reviews available, and we have sorted the best from the rest.
In this review, we will highlight the ones that came out on top. Those that made the cut are the best chairs on the market (as of TODAY);
Let’s get started, shall we?
Review Part: Best Massage Chairs & Recliners of 2021
1. Luraco Technologies iRobotics 7 - Best Massage Chair
The Best of the Best [Updated in 2021]
In this buyer’s guide, the Luraco Technologies iRobotics 7 comes out on top.
This is the most luxurious massage chair offers a range of different intensity levels and shiatsu massage settings.
This is an excellent choice all-round, but particularly useful for someone who is stuck in one position all day.
The foot rollers can soothe feet tired from standing all day, and the heat therapy setting is ideal for loosening up muscles stiff from being hunched over your desk.
Climb onto the chair, and it performs a body scan so that its roller track can match your body more precisely.
Once the scan is complete, you can either choose a pre-programmed massage or make up your own using the different massage modes.
This model has the largest number of airbags out of all reviewed to provide maximum stretch function and massage techniques.
2. Human Touch Novo XT
Runner Up [Updated 2021]
While the Human Touch Novo XT does not have all the features that the Luraco iRobotics chair does, it scores points because it takes up less space.
It measures seven inches less than our first choice in width and ten inches less in length.
This Human Touch offers zero gravity massage, heating of the lumbar region, and an excellent full-body stretch.
3. Infinity IT-8500 Deluxe
If you really like the idea of zero-gravity shiatsu, but there is no way that your budget can accommodate one of the options listed above, you can get a comparable machine such as Infinity IT-8500.
This pick uses a lot of the technology that the Infinity Iyashi does but at a much better price.
It is like having access to a group of massage therapists in your own home. It doesn’t offer all the features of the top massage chairs, but it does pretty well.
4. Kahuna LM-6800 Full-Body Zero Gravity
Best Zero Gravity Shiatsu Massage Chair Under $2000
Kahuna 6800 zero gravity massage chair great for those of us who can't really afford to drop $5000 or $6000 for something that really is more of a nice to have.
Now, granted, you are not going to have as many of the snazzy features that the other machines do, but it is still a good option for a robotic chair massager.
This Kahuna recliner is ideal if your back is your main problem area.
To be fair, to get a full-body zero gravity shiatsu massage chair at less than $2000 is a big ask. The company saves costs by limiting the type of massage and by focusing on only the back.
5. Osaki OS-4000 Executive Zero Gravity Shiatsu Recliner
Runner Up Best Shiatsu Chair Under $2000:
Osaki OS4000 executive zero gravity model is a full body shiatsu massage chair, so it will work for you if you have general body aches and pains. It does not have foot rollers to perform for foot massage so will not massage the feet (not great if you need foot massagers)
Naturally, at this price, you cannot expect everything, but if you were to write up a comparison chart of features with the higher-end leisure massage models, you would be surprised how many they have in common.
Also Worth Mentioning
6. Fujiiryoki EC-3800 (Dr. Fuji Cyber-Relax)
This massage chair comes in one of the most expensive of those that we have reviewed. This may come as a surprise to you because it is not a zero-gravity massage system.
Don't be put off by that, though. This is the top-selling brand in Japan and made entirely in that country.
What it does offer that no one else does is a 4D system of rollers.
This leisure massage reclining chair is the one that most closely replicates a deep tissue massage as a result of this feature.
This is an excellent option if you need to have a more intense list of massage sessions.
7. Inada DreamWave (formerly Inada Sogno DreamWave) Total Body
Inada Dreamwave massage chair is the grand-daddy of massage chairs and is one that must be considered when choosing the top massage chair. It includes 3D roller technology, more than 100 air cells, 18 massage types to give a whole massage that provides over 1,200 square inches of total coverage.
It will be good for you if you are looking for something that is reliable, but does be prepared for the sticker shock – this is the most expensive model we looked at.
8. Osaki OS-4D JP Pro
This Osaki OS-4D JP Pro model is made under license by Fujiiryoki and takes advantage of the same technology. The primary difference here, though, is that this chair does allow you to heat your lumbar region and feet.
9. Infinity Iyashi
This Infinity Iyashi massage chair model may turn some heads. It has a 49-inch L-track which makes it suitable for those taller people among us as well and doesn’t take up too much space.
10. Kahuna SM-9000 Superior SL-track
LUXURIOUS and ADVANCED SM 9000 AIR FLOAT 3D+ SIGNATURE NEW SL-TRACK Models features EXCLUSIVE (PATENTED BY AJX) 6 INFRARED HEATED ROLLER. The innovative technology of AIR FLOAT 3D+, 6 infrared heated roller mechanism of KAHUNA SM-9000 is a high-end model designed to provide superior relaxation.
- Advanced space-saving technology with a sliding mechanism provides a gentle charge and requires only 3 inches off from the wall
- Specially designed arm pads press acupoints and rub your arms and hands
- LED Lights (Multi-color) on the side provide a peaceful atmosphere and creates a calm effect even in dusky light conditions
- Auto zero gravity position is achieved by one touch to create a perfect position
KAHUNA's long-term dedication to product development and innovation formed the advanced technology of FLOAT 3D+ mechanism engineered by Air Pressure. IT provides less pressure on your spine and added relaxation during your massage.
11. OHCO M.8 (New Addition for 2020)
The OHCO chair line takes its name to a completely new level of quality innovation. The OHCO M.8 is a Japanese-made that offers unique features never before present in the industry. Such features include: side door entry, aromatherapy, aromatherapy, air ionizer, neck pillow rollers, LED lighting on approach, heated rollers, Sens8 engine, calf kneading (Thera-Elliptical).
That is to add to already premium packed features you can expect to have in a high-quality chair, such as a 3D L-track roller mechanism (MaxTrack), BlueTooth, foot rollers, zero gravity, and more.
Some features include:
3 Year in-Home Warranty (Parts & Labor)
If anything goes sideways with your chair, you receive a 3-year Parts & Labor warranty from OHCO simultaneously with excellent customer support
You will definitely love the color choices of the OHCO M.8: Saddle Brown, Bordeaux, Walnut Brown, Midnight Black, and Pearl. Simply beautiful color choices to fit in any furnishing!
The OHCO M.8 holds infrared heating components directly on the rollers that provided a special warm feeling along the length of the roller track, including the neck rollers built-into the headpiece. The M.8 additionally has a heat feature found in the feet, hands, and seat.
The feature set encompasses most of what you expect from a new and premium.
Here are some of the features:
- Stretch Program
- 14 Automatic Programs
Space Saving Recline
- Mechanical Foot Rollers
- Heat Tech
- Shoulder Air bags
- Quad Rollers
- Body Scanning Tech
The Top-Rated Pick If You Are a Little Shorter
If you are on the shorter side, and you prefer an option that is better for your budget, this Panasonic chair rates highly.
A Few More Brands And Models to Consider
The Ogawa Active model from Ogawa brand and Panasonic massage model ( Panasonic EP1285KL Leather Urban Collection ) are mid-range robotic chairs that can offer great value. The Ijoy Active, also by Human Touch, is an excellent entry-level option for those on a limited budget. Relaxzen 60-425111 massage recliner or Flash Furniture BT-7600P are entry-level ottoman style equipment you can use in your office.
Also take a look at WholeBody 7, kahuna superior, BestMassage 06C recliner heat (EC-06C shiatsu recliner stretched foot rest (with foot massage)), EC-69, WholeBody 5, Zerog 5, AcuTouch, InstaShiatsu, MCombo Recliner Heat Stretched Foot 3D massager 6160-8886W, EC77 electric massage recliner zero gravity, Authentic Beautyhealth Shiatsu, BHealth Premium, Bestmassage ec06s, ijoy2580. 2019 Real Relax, Ideal massage shiatsu, medical breakthrough massage chairs. Some models are good but we decided to induce in our review for one reason or another (some a bad quality some from top brands but lack in massage features). Most products are available on Amazon.
So, there you have it. That is a rundown of each top massaging recliner on the market today.
Still not sure exactly what to look for?
Want to know more about what features this comparison has brought to your attention?
Is it worth spending a couple of thousands of dollars on a chair that, mostly, you will be using for around half an hour at a time?
In the second part of our buyer's guide (buying guide), we will answer all those questions and more.
Do I Need a Massage Chair?
Our modern life is stressful. We sit hunched over our desks all day, and this unnatural position takes its toll on our health. Our blood flow begins to stagnate and, while the blood circulation never actually stops, we start feeling the effects.
Wastes in the bodies are not as efficiently removed, and our muscles and skin do not get the optimal amount of nutrients. We are left feeling tired and achy and, as if that were not enough, the unnatural positions that we have forced upon our bodies start to strain the muscles as well.
Add in the stress and tension most of us go through, and it doesn't become hard to figure out why your body feels so sore and tired. You know that you should exercise but, when it comes down to it, you just cannot be bothered to do so.
All you want to do is to flop onto the couch and veg out in front of the TV. It’s understandable, but it won’t be doing your body any good or get the circulation moving. One of the primary health benefits of massage is that it gets the blood pumping and stimulates the lymphatic system.
It is also extremely beneficial in the fight against depression and anxiety because of its soothing effect on the mind. Deep massage can help to unravel tense trouble areas that are triggered as a result of too much stress and pressure.
Massage can help you fall asleep and to have a more restful night’s sleep too.
A weekly massage is one of the best preventative measures against diseases caused by stress and tension that you can take.
It improves blood flow and helps clear out toxins in the bloodstream.
If you have a spouse that is willing to give you a full body massage at least once a week or can afford the time and cost of a regular weekly massage session, you don’t need an electric massage chair.
Money to Spend on Massage Chairs. Is It Worth It?
Sure, it is a lot of money to shell out. But think of the potential benefits. All you need to do is to flop into your chair at the end of a long day and hit a few buttons for a relaxing massage session.
You don’t have to beg and plead with your spouse or take time out of your busy schedule to see a therapist.
Basically, you are doing what you normally would; it just got a whole lot more relaxing for you.
Think about the costs of not getting one of these massage chairs:
- Booking time with a professional massage therapist that is convenient for them is not always when you actually need the appointment.
- Then you need to get to the appointment itself.
- The significant disadvantage, though, with going to a therapist, is that you have to get up and leave after a nice, relaxing massage. That’s a big plus with any type of massage chair – you can fall asleep in it if you like.
- Add up all the costs of seeing the therapist – the time taken out from work, the cost of the appointment, getting to the appointment.
- Now also consider the cost of reduced circulation in terms of your health. The lower immunity rates, the higher the chance of developing chronic pain, and the increased costs of dealing with stress and tension.
All in all, the expense of the chair at first seems like a lot. If you consider the amount of money you can save in the future on related expenses, the time it will save you, and the improved health and pain relief aspects, it is not that much more than a standard recliner and ottoman.
What Do I Need to Consider When Buying Massage Chairs?
It is still a substantial investment, and so you need to understand what the essential features mean. Every brand is going to try and dazzle you with jargon.
In this section, we cut through the jargon, so you know exactly what they are talking about.
This is not a decision that you can base solely on price – you need to figure out which features are most important to you when it comes to the different types of massage chairs.
Here we will look at what the most important features are.
The Zero Gravity Feature of Massage Chairs
Having grown up watching tales of space adventure, this was one feature that I was keen to try out for myself.
Don’t laugh but I really thought that somehow I would levitate above the seat.
Maybe someday technology will make this true, but for now, you have to keep your butt firmly on the massage cushion.
What zero gravity means in this context is that your body weight is distributed as evenly as possible.
It is the natural position when you are floating weightlessly in space.
The benefit for the body is that it relieves pressure points and helps your muscles relax more. This is especially important for your lower back.
Any reclining massage chair is going to help you achieve a similar position but if you truly want a real relax massage chair, look for one with this setting.
To come as close to it as possible your body should be tilted at a degree of 30 degrees and the angle between your butt and your back should be 120 degrees.
Should you hold out for zero-gravity?
If you have significant back pain, chairs with zero-gravity positions are better options for pain relief. It is the most relaxing option for your back in general.
You do need to take care of the type of rail that the chair has, though.
If it has a standards-track with this feature, it might not be long enough to massage your butt as well as properly.
See the difference for yourself by trying to get your body in as close to the body zero gravity position as possible.
Does it make a huge difference for you? Then look for a real relax massager that offers this feature.
How Many Air Cells Does the Chair Have?
A reclining massage chair has two massage systems – rollers and airbags. This might also be referred to as an airbag (air bag).
The rollers physically rub or use vibration massage (a vibrating mechanism) for the flesh, and we will talk more about them later.
However, what about the areas of the chair that you cannot use rollers in, like the legs, for example.
The airbags inflate to apply pressure to the muscles and tissues of your body.
You will usually find a few different pressure settings on your remote control depending on the type that you choose. This is a type of air massage.
It is like when you get your blood pressure measured – the cell inflates and deflates and that increases the pressure on your body.
While this is not technically massaging, it has the same effect.
What Rollers Does the Chair Use and How Many Are There?
You need to pay attention to the types of rollers used and how many rollers there are in total. Remember how we said above that the air cells inflating gave similar effects to massage?
Where they are not effective is at working on knots – pressure works to some extent, but you need rollers to get the proper full-body effect.
Dual Rollers and Quad Rollers
Check whether the rollers have two heads or four heads.
Two-headed rollers increase the amount of pressure on the site, and this improves the blood flow quite a bit.
With four heads, the pressure is reduced because the force is spread over more heads.
For my money, two-headed rollers are the better choice. After all, most body shiatsu massage chairs allow you to decrease the pressure of the massage.
You do not want to be in a situation where you feel that you need more pressure but cannot get it.
A-One Tracked Mind
The massage rollers need to be attached to a rail in the back. That’s where S-track and L-track come into play.
This is something that boggled my mind a bit. If you think about your spine, which sounds better, S-tracks or L-tracks?
You would think that the curve of the S would be preferable to a straight up and down L, wouldn’t you?
The joke is that they are both the same shape, it is just the length that varies. The L-track is actually preferable in most cases because it is a longer track.
If you have trouble with tight glutes or are taller, it is worth looking for L-track chairs.
If, however, it is your neck and shoulder muscles that cause more issues for you, you might not need the extra length at all.
2D or 3D or 4D?
Your standard roller can either move up or down, to the left or the right. This is what is known as a 2D roller, and it was the first type invented.
More popular now are 3D rollers because they can also move forward and backward. So, in addition to rolling up and down the length of your back, they can also pummel it.
So, how is 4D even possible? It is the way the motion of the roller is controlled that makes it 4D.
Which type should you pay extra for? The simple fact is that a 3D roller is all that you will need in most cases.
You may be able to save a bit by choosing a model with 2D rollers, but if you want the full benefit of massage, you really should stick to 3D at least.
Heat therapy can be a very useful benefit of massage chairs. Now, it does not have to be a deal-breaker – you could always use a heating pad in conjunction with the chair.
However, this can be something of a clumsy solution. I feel that if you have a problem with tense muscles that are really tough to relax, you need to look for a chair that has a heating option.
Does it need to be all overheating? Now that is where you can probably save a bit of money.
Most of the massage chairs featured here offer to heat only in the lumbar region. For the most part, this is more than sufficient.
What Programs Should Massage Chairs Get?
Check to see what the massage programs are. You do not need anything too complex here, but it is nice to have an affordable model that has a few different moves.
These will primarily be:
- Kneading: This is where the rollers spin in a circular motion
- Rolling: This is just the straight up and down movement
- Shiatsu: This is where the foot roller applies pressure to specific points to relieve the pressure
- Tapping: You will need 3D rollers for this. This is where the machine taps your back – kind of like the chopping motion that therapists use
For any model on the market to truly be considered a shiatsu chair, it must have a computerized body scanning program and kneading, tapping options. If your chair design does not include a scan, how will it find the right points to work on?
Stretching is another good program to look out for, as is vibration. Outside of these basic programs, and the massage techniques listed above, there really are not a lot more massage techniques that you need.
Body Scanning (body scan technology)
Just how effective great massage can be is not as dependent on the chair features as you might think.
More important is how and where those massage techniques are applied.
So, even if a chair comes with a few other features, scanning is important.
The chair should be able to adjust to your body and the positioning of a tender spot. What works for a petite woman would not be as effective on a tall man. You need a machine that can adjust for those differences, especially if more than one person is using the chair.
Check the measurements of each of the massage chairs featured to make sure that your body will be comfortably accommodated.
Check what height range the machine can accommodate, and also the maximum weight.
Can I Use Massage Chair Everyday?
No. If you are used to a bodywork massage or your body is already warmed up, you are not going to get much of a benefit by using a massaging chair everyday. The typical massage chair does not provide enough vibration or massaging power to bring up the dead and relaxed tissue. The best thing to do is just take the chair to your office and use it periodically for a few minutes. You should not be using it daily for 15 or 20 minutes. If you have soreness in your back, arms or shoulders or hip flexors, massage your legs or feet once every two to three days. The best way to do this is to use your arms and then massage the backs of your legs.
Avoid using your neck, back or any of your legs, especially if you are a runner, swimmer, cyclist, or involved in other vigorous physical activities that might cause your legs to be sore. Should You Try to Massage Yourself? No. I understand that this may be very tempting when you are having a muscle or soreness that you cannot get relief from by simply going to the massage chair. However, it's not necessary. There is no need to jump right into it and start massaging your own back. You should first consult your chiropractor. He can test your range of motion by having you push against his hand for three seconds with your shoulder blade flat. If your range of motion is between 60 to 100 degrees, you might be able to massage your own back.
What Added Features in Massage Chairs Are Important to You?
The added features may be an extra expense, but this may be worthwhile if they are important to you.
Let’s say, for example, that the chair comes with built-in speakers.
Someone who enjoys listening to music while they relax would find this very soothing.
It also pays to see what kind of manual settings you can use.
While it is nice to be able to access programs by pressing a button on the remote, some customization can help to improve your already good massage experience.
Do you want your massage chair recliners to focus more attention on your neck and shoulders?
Can you opt-out of the body zero gravity shiatsu massage to focus on this if you are short on time?
How customizable is the routine in general?
Stay in Control with Massage Chair Remote Control
The remote is something that you will need to have a look at as well.
Do you need to be a rocket scientist to work it? (That’s great if you want to pretend to be an astronaut with your new zero gravity chair, but not so great when you need to operate it.)
And, how good is the interface? Do you need a university degree to switch it on?
The more comfortable the interface is, the less stressful and easy it will be to use the chair overall. If you are into tech, this is not such an issue.
Generally speaking, though, the simpler, the better. I am just going to give you a stupid example here – a good few years ago, I got a BlackBerry.
(Yes, it was a while back.) It was a great phone, except for one thing – I couldn't figure out how to change the time.
So, there I was with what was at the time one of the most advanced phones and I couldn’t even use it to see what time it was.
I ended up using my old beat-up phone for three months after getting the new one for that reason.
Where is it Going in Your House or Office?
These chairs are much bulkier than your usual chairs. If you have limited space, consider getting a smaller chair
What you want to look for in a small space are the wall hanger models. These do not literally hang on a wall, but they can be pushed up closer to them.
You also need to consider how noisy the chair you are considering is. It’s no good buying one if you can never use it because your family wants to watch TV, or work in silence. It seems obvious, but I'm going to mention it anyway. The chair will need to be plugged in so do plan for this when you are thinking about where to put it.
Who Does It Take to Set it Up?
The chairs usually come in pretty much assembled. There is not usually a need to follow complicated set up instructions. I do advise white glove delivery, though. This is for the very simple reason that someone will drag that chair to where it needs to be and do whatever needs to be done to complete the assembly.
It’s not a good idea to cheap out now. It usually won’t cost a lot more to get this option.
Do Your Research
Treat this like you would any other large investment. Who knows, maybe the chair costs more than your first car did. (I know that is true in my case.)
So, naturally, you want to make the right decision with both the chair and the company that makes it.
Find out first and foremost what kind of warranty is offered. If a company is only offering six month’s warranty on something like this, you have to wonder why.
What happens if something does go wrong with the chair? Our parts and labor covered? Is it an onsite warranty or will you have to get the chair back to the manufacturer?
The type of warranty you get offered will depend on what you intend to use the chair for. Commercial use of the chair will usually shorten the warranty period.
Even if the company is offering a very attractive warranty, you still need to do your research.
How well-established is the company?
Are they a reputable brand?
What is their after-sales service like?
Will they honor the warranty conditions?
As tempting as it is to be able to save a buck or two, this kind of philosophy could cost you a lot if the chair breaks down after a few months and it is just about impossible to get them to honor the warranty.
The longevity of the company is also important when it comes to fixing your chair once the warranty is finished. How easy would it be to get a part replaced when it wears out?
Your Budget when Investing in Massage Chair
Yes, the dreaded B-word. As you have seen in this review, product prices can range from five hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
As a general guideline, chairs that are made in Japan tend to be more expensive than those made in the USA or China.
What you don't want to do is to rush out and buy any old chair. If your budget is more limited, work out which features are most important for you and focus your search on those features.
A good quality massage chair that just has six programs is still a better buy than something that has been thrown together with a bunch of features that you don’t need.
Look at this like a significant purchase – you might need to save a little and wait to get a better quality option.
Our top choices do have high price tags, especially when you look at our best budget options, but you also have to consider the high quality.
How effective is the massage function on the really cheap options?
How long will the parts last? Is it really that cheap if you need to replace it completely in a couple of years’ time?
Most companies will have some financing options available to you if you don’t have the cash to put in upfront.
As with any credit facilities, you do need to check how good the terms are, but they can make it easier for you to afford the chair that you want.
Get As Much Information as Possible
You have seen the factors that we have looked at in this review. If you are considering chairs products outside of the ones that we have covered, you need to scrutinize what is being offered carefully.
How do they stack up against our choices?
How will they meet your specific needs? Are you paying for features that you do not really need or that you won’t use? Be wary of gadget envy. I myself am guilty of this quite often. I look at the latest gadget and have to have it no matter how much it costs.
At the end of the day, I use it for a while and then end up adding it to the drawer of other useless purchases that have accumulated over the years. Now, the chair is not something that you can hide in a drawer, but you get the idea.
Are you buying a really expensive junk collector? Or are you buying something that you will get years of use out of? Massage therapy is one of the best ways to proactively protect your health.
It improves blood circulation, you can expect your skin to look clearer and younger.
It will also help to smooth out painful knots and detoxify your body. This could make it easier to lose weight.
But, perhaps most importantly of all, regular massage can help you relax and start to get a better handle on the stressful aspects of your life.
You sleep better, feel calmer, and are thus able to improve your productivity as well.
Does it make sense to carry on with the day to day rat race if you never get time to tune out and do something for yourself?
A technologically advanced massage chair can help you to carve out that time – no one can say that they don’t have five minutes in a day to sit down and relax.
A good chair can be an investment in a healthier and happier you. It’s not going to find you the perfect mate or magically lose ten pounds overnight, but it will make you feel better. I hope you find my reviews & buying guide helpful!
It’s easy & simple – all you have to do is to take a step forward, sit, and relax. No other effort needed!