The Best Massage Chairs Of 2020 Complete Buyers Guide


best massage chair buyers guide

Massage chairs can provide a very good therapeutic massage. If you’ve never tried one before I highly recommend it. My first experience was in a mall in my wife’s home town in Taiwan. She told me I had to sit down in one and try it out. I was very surprised by just how much the chair could do and how it could work on different parts of the body. If a massage chair sounds like a good idea to you then read on for our recommendations for the best massage chairs available today.

Below are our top 3 picks for the best massage chairs. Keep reading for more detailed reviews, guide and FAQ.

Top Pick

Inada DREAMWAVE

Best Budget

Osaki OS-4000

Best Value

Real Relax Favor 03 Massage Chair

The Best Massage Chairs Of 2020 Available Today

Below are our top picks for the best massage chairs on the market today. We considered features, price, durability, customer service, and customer reviews in our recommendations.

Best Overall Massage Chair

Inada DREAMWAVE


Summary

The Inada Dreamwave is one of the very best, if not the best, available massage chairs. It can accommodate up to 6’5″ and 300 lbs. The Inada Dreamwave is one of the pricier massage chairs on the market but has a couple of really standout features.

It has 101 second generation airbags. It can give an airbag massage better than any other massage chair in existance. The airbags cover your entire body from shoulder and neck to your feet and even include your fingertips.

The second really standout feature is the 3D rollers that can do 6 different massage techniques. It can do them at different speeds and levels. Combined with the body scan to locate your pressure points, it can give an amazing quality massage to your back.

This brings us to the first downside to the Inada Dreamwave. It only has an S-track. The 3D rollers only cover your back. They can’t massage your glutes and thighs. Several massage chairs at 1/3 of the price have L-tracks that cover those areas.

There are 8 pre-programmed massages and 8 variations of those programs to give you a good variety of massage possibilities.

It has several heat regions for your back and thighs that can be turned on together or independently. There is no temperature control for the heat. You only get one level of heat.

This chair isn’t a space saving design. It can’t be placed close to a wall. Make sure you have enough room for it.

The quality and workmanship are great and what you would expect from one of the best massage chair companies in Japan. It is available with synthetic or natural leathers depending which color you choose.

The amazing airbag massage and 3D roller massage make this our pick for the best overall massage chair available today.

Specifications

  • Track – S-track with 4 3D rollers
  • Airbags – 101
  • Programs – 16
  • Zero G Positions – 1 level
  • Max user size – 5’0″ – 6’5″ up to 300 lbs
  • Chair Dimensions – 55 x 37 x 48 inches
  • Chair Weight – 265 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ 3D Massage rollers and available techniques
✔️ Air massage available from 101 second generation airbags
✔️ Stretching functions
What We Didn’t Like
No temperature control
Short S-track. It doesn’t extend to your glutes and thighs.

Video Review

Best Budget Massage Chair

Osaki OS-4000


Summary

The Osaki OS-4000 is the most basic massage chair from Osaki. It doesn’t have as many features as some other chair manufacturers in this price range. It does everything that it does well.

It only has an S-track that is 30 inches long. It does not massage under your butt or thighs like chairs with L-tracks. It has 6 massage techniques. Rolling, kneading, lapping, Shiatsu, Swedish and a combo technique. This is more than any other massage chair in this price range.

This chair has 48 airbags and can do a very good airbag massage (squeezing and stretching) combined with the rollers. This chair can do a bit more with airbags than most other chairs in this range.

It has a very nice pedestal control that is easy to use for customizing the massage. It also has a small remote that you can hold while your arms are inside the massage chair.

There are calf airbags for massaging your lower legs. This chair has no rollers under the feet for doing foot massage. If you really want a chair that can do foot massage you should look at something else.

This chair is not a space saving design. It needs about 2 feet of clearance to any wall.

Overall the Osaki-4000 is a solid massage chair that can do basic massage very well. It doesn’t have some features such as L-tracks and foot rollers that more expensive chairs have. It gives much better massages than almost any chair that costs less. This makes it my top pick for the best budget massage chair.

See our guide to the best budget massage chairs to see more budget options.

Specifications

  • Track – S-track
  • Airbags – 48
  • Programs – 6
  • Zero G Positions – 2 positions
  • Max user size – 5’2’’ – 6’4’’ up to 265 lbs
  • Chair Dimensions – 52 x 31 x 34 inches
  • Chair Weight – 255 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ 6 massage techniques
✔️ 48 airbags
✔️ Pedastal control and remote
What We Didn’t Like
Only has an S-track
No foot rollers

Video Review

Best Under $3000 Massage Chair

Kahuna Superior Massage Chair SM-7300S


Summary

The Kahuna SM-7300s is one of the most popular and best massage chairs under $3000. It has an SL track (L-track) and 6 rollers. Most massage chairs have 4 rollers to mimic human hands. Having 6 rollers allows this to do motions that hands and 4 rollers can’t do.

This massage chair can fit users up to 6′ 5″ tall and 320 lbs. It is quite a large chair that isn’t that suited to shorter users. See my guide to best massage chairs for tall people to learn more.

This massage chair has 13 programs. It has 9 massage programs and 4 stretching programs. In stretching mode it uses the airbags to squeeze while using the recliner mechanism to stretch the body out.

It can do a variety of massage techniques including kneading, tapping, knocking, and shiatsu massage. It can apply a strong amount of pressure while messaging. If it is your first time using a message chair you may want to use lower levels until you get used to it.

The chair uses a remote for controlling or a phone app. The phone app has a tendency to crash for many users. The remote works okay but is awkward to reach while your getting a massage. It isn’t backlit so it is difficult to use if you dim the room while getting a massage.

There are Bluetooth speakers in the headrest so you can play music for relaxation during your message.
The SL track, 6 rollers and 13 programs make this our top pick for best massage chair under $3000.

See our guide to the best massage chairs under $3000 to see more options in this price range.

Specifications

  • Track – SL track with 6 rollers
  • Airbags – 32
  • Programs – 13
  • Zero G Positions – 3
  • Max user size – 6.5ft or 320 lbs
  • Chair Dimensions – 49 x 29 x 50 inches
  • Chair Weight – 246 lbs

What We Liked
✔️ SL track
✔️ 6 rollers
✔️ 13 programs – variety of massage techniques and stretching
What We Didn’t Like
Phone app crashes a lot
Awkward to use remote with no backlight

Video Review

Best Under $2000

Titan Pro- Alpha Full Body Massage Chair


Summary

The Titan Pro Alpha is a full featured massage chair at a reasonable price. It has a full L-track combined with 4 rollers that can do 7 massage techniques. It also has an adjustable shoulder width so you can customize the massage to your body shape.

Titan is a part of the Osaki company which is a very well known massage chair company in Asia. You can expect good service and reliability from their chairs.

The L-track is a full 50 inches long and can cover your neck through thighs. The 4 rollers can do 7 massage techniques including Kneading, Tapping, Rolling, Kneading and tapping, Shiatsu, Swedish and Combo. For those who find the massage too intense there is a folding back pad that can cover your back. This extra padding reduces the intensity of the massage.

For foot massage the chair has dual action rollers that roll the bottom of your feet and also apply pressure to your heels. This combines with calf and foot airbags to take care of your feet and lower legs.

The design of the arm massage area allows it to stay in place when the chair is reclined. Your arms will always get a good massage no matter what angle the chair is reclined at.

This chair has 2 positions for zero gravity for a more relaxed deeper massage.
The remote is a little complicated and not as easy to use as other massage chairs. It has a little more learning curve than other chairs.

This chair has built in blue tooth speakers in the head area for listening to music during your massage.

The Titan Pro Alpha is a great massage chair value with many good features. This makes it my top pick among the best massage chairs under $2000.

See our guide to the best massage chairs under $2000 to see more chairs in this price range.

Specifications

  • Track – L-track with 4 rollers
  • Airbags – 28
  • Programs – 6
  • Zero G Positions – 2 positions
  • Max user size – 6”3’ up to 235 lbs
  • Chair Dimensions – 72 x 30 x 45 inches
  • Chair Weight – 250 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Adjustable shoulder width
 ✔️ Blue tooth speakers
✔️ Dual action foot rollers
What We Didn’t Like
Only heats in lumbar region
Complicated remote

Video Review

Best Under $1500 Massage Chair

RELAXONCHAIR MK-II Plus


Summary

The RELAXONCHAIR MK-II Plus is a good value massage chair from a lesser known brand. They are not as popular or well known as Kahuna, they still make a good massage chair. Relaxonchair is based in California with its customer service also located in California. For an extra fee, white collar delivery is also available for this chair. For those who don’t want to assemble or move it into their home themselves.

This chair has an L-track with 4 rollers that can do 5 techniques. Kneading, rolling, tapping, kneading and tapping and shiatsu. It has 4 program modes including a Deep Tissue mode. Deep Tissue is the highest intensity that this chair can perform. First time users may want to try the lower intensity programs first.

This chair has 2 heating elements but they cover most of your back. They do not have adjustable temperature settings so you only get heat or no heat.

This chair has a spinal decompression stretching mode that works quite well. It uses the airbags to hold your body while reclining and using the rollers to stretch you out.

It has 3 levels of Zero Gravity positioning. Zero Gravity lays you back and allows a more deep massage from the rollers.

For foot massage, it has calf airbags and foot rollers. Some people thought the foot rollers were on the aggressive side even at their lowest setting. Using a towel or thick socks can help tone them down a bit.

The Relaxonchair Mk II Plus is a really good value massage chair from an American based off-brand. It has a lot of good features such as L-track, zero gravity, and back heating. This makes it my top pick among the best massage chairs under $1500.

See our guide to the best massage chairs under $1500 to see more options in this price range.

Specifications

  • Track – L-track with 4 rollers
  • Airbags – 20
  • Programs – 4
  • Zero G Positions – 3 positions
  • Max user size – 5′ 2″ – 6′ 2″ up to 345 lbs
  • Chair Dimensions – 65 x 30 x 40 inches
  • Chair Weight – 183 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ L-track with 4 rollers
✔️ Back heating
✔️ Spinal decompression stretching feature
What We Didn’t Like
Takes up a lot of space
No temperature control for heating

Video Review

Best Under $1000 Massage Chair

Real Relax Favor 03 Massage Chair


Summary

The Real Relax Favor 03 is one of the best values in massage chairs available today. It has a low price but is still has a lot of functions. It won’t do everything the chairs that cost 2-3 times more will. It will still do a lot.

This chair has 50 airbags for massaging. It has leg airbags and foot rollers for giving foot massages. The biggest compromise comes in the back rollers. Instead of a track with a moving set of rollers, this has an S-track with 8 fixed rollers on it. This are rotating ball type rollers that can only spin. This massage chair can’t do tapping, kneading, shiatsu or any of the techniques that a chair with 4 3D rollers can do.

The back rollers work okay. Most users thought the neck set was not strong enough and the lower back set was too strong. The positioning can’t be changed so how they feel depends how they line up on your body and how you sink into the seat cushions.

The Zero Gravity setting works well for a laid back relaxing massage. The airbag massage modes work well. Some airbags can be a little aggressive when they squeeze.

We miss the 3D rollers and a little more level of control, the chair overall performs very well for it’s cost. If you are looking to save a little bit and still get a satisfying massage, this could be the chair for you. This makes it our top pick for best value in massage chairs.

See our guide to the best massage chairs under $1000 to see more options.

Specifications

  • Track – S-track with 8 massage points
  • Airbags – 50
  • Programs – 6
  • Zero G Positions – 3
  • Max user size – 6’1″ 400 lbs
  • Chair Dimensions – 30 x 63 x 54 inches
  • Chair Weight – 217 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Low cost
✔️ Good airbag technique
✔️ Good back massage for only 8 fixed roller points.
What We Didn’t Like
Chair and legs are narrow for larger (300 lb plus) users
Shoulder rollers are not effective

Video Review

Best Under $500 Massage Chair

OWAYS Massage Chair


Summary

The OWAYS Massage Chair is one of the few under $500 massage chairs to use rollers. This chair has 2 rollers in the adjustable neck and shoulder cushion. It has a second set of rollers on an S-Track under your back. The back rollers are with a set of vibration nodes. Together they can do shiatsu, kneading and tapping and a few other massage techniques.

The 2 shoulder/neck rollers are in an adjustable pillow that can be located higher or lower on the chair. This allows it to work well for a variety of user heights and sizes.

This massage quality from this chair is quite good. There is a single automatic 20 minute program. There are many manual modes with varying intensity and technique controlled from the remote.

This chair is very stylish looking and does not look like a typical robotic massage chair. This is perfect for those who don’t want something really bulky and large in their home or office.

The recliner on this chair doesn’t go back very far. It cannot lay you down into a Zero Gravity position or anything close to it.

Overall this is a really great massage chair for the price. This is my top pick among the best massage chairs under $500.

See our guide to the best massage chairs under $500 to see more options in this price range.

Specifications

  • Track – 2 adjustable rollers under neck. S-track with 2 rollers and 2 vibrators under back. 2 Fixed vibration nodes under thighs
  • Airbags – No
  • Programs – 1
  • Zero G Positions – No
  • Max user size – 330 lbs
  • Chair Dimensions – 51.2 x 29.4 x 19.7 inches
  • Chair Weight – 41 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Massage rollers under neck and back
✔️ Adjustable height for the neck/shoulder massager and cushion
✔️ Massage quality from an inexpensive chair
What We Didn’t Like
Not good for larger users
Chair doesn’t recline very far

Video Review

Best Massage Chair For A Tall Or Large Person

Luraco iRobotics 7 PLUS Medical Massage Chair


Summary

The Luraco iRobotics 7 PLUS is one of the best if not the best massage chairs available in the world. The Luraco massage chair is engineered and assembled in the USA. It can accommodate a user up to 6′ 7″ and 300 lbs making it great for massaging those who fall under the big and tall category.

It features a 4D robotic massage robit with 2 rollers that can move up to 3 inches away from the track. In addition it can do all the standard massage techniques such as kneading, tapping, Shiatsu and Swedish massage. The extra 3 inches it can move away from the track allows it to do a much deeper massage.

This chair only has an S-track so it can’t massage your glutes and thighs. This is one area of dissappointment since many much cheaper massage chairs now feature longer L-tracks.

It has what is referred to as “Full Body Heat”. It has heating areas in the lumbar, seat and footwells. Temperature is controllable giving you the ability to fully customize heat settings.

There are 100 airbag cells allowing this chair to do an amazing airbag only massage. This is more airbags than almost any other chair on the market except the Inada Dreamwave.

The massage chair can do a full body stretch as well which is excellent for relieving spin pressure and compression.

The Luraco iRobotics 7 Plus has a great remote that is very easy to use to customize all the options that this chair has. See the video below for a demonstration of the remote.

The Luraco iRobotics 7 Plus is one of the best massage chairs in the world and our pick for the best massage chair for a tall person or large person.

See our guide to the best massage chairs for a tall person to see more options.

See our guide to the best massage chairs for a large person to see more options.

Specifications

  • Track – S-track with 4D rollers
  • Airbags – 100
  • Programs – 9
  • Zero G Positions –
  • Max user size – 6′ 7″ up to 300 lbs
  • Chair Dimensions – 47 x 38 x 81 inches
  • Chair Weight – 265 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ 4D massage rollers
✔️ 100 airbags for air massage
✔️ Controllable temperature
What We Didn’t Like
No L-track for massaging thighs and glutes
Very high price

Video Review

The below video walks through all the remote control menus and options and shows what the chair is capable of.

Best Massage Chair Pad

Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager


Summary

The Comfier Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager is a great way to relax and get a good masssage. It has 4 rollers on the back and 2 rollers under your neck. It also has airbags on your lower back and under your hips for squeezing massage.

The massage rollers under your neck can adjust height. There is a removeable cushion to reduce the intensity if needed. The back rollers can move up and down while massaging. They have a 3D motion where they can press deeper into your back as well. The massage feeling is very satisfying.

The chair also has vibration and heating which can be turned on independently of the massage rollers.

This cushion is a little bit large for smaller users. People under 5’4″ may find that the neck massager is too far up there head and the back isn’t aligned to their back. They can still use the chair by sitting on a cushion to boost up their height.

This cushion is powered off of 110 volt outlets only. It can’t be powered off of a 12 volt supply to use in your car.
The massage rollers in your back stop wherever they are when the 15 minute massage sequence ends. The cushion can be very uncomfortable to sit on depending on where the rollers are. The rollers provind a really good massage compared to a massage cushion that only vibrates.

Overall this is a really good massage with a lot of massage functions. It is our top pick for best massage chair pad.

See our guide to the best massage chair pads to see more options.

Specifications

  • Massage nodes – 4 back rollers, 2 neck rollers, 2 airbags
  • Heating – Yes
  • Power Supply – 110 volt
  • Capacity – 250 lbs
  • Cushion weight – 24.2 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Massage nodes that move up and down
✔️ Airbag cushions on lower back and seat
✔️Neck massaging rollers
What We Didn’t Like
Shorter users below 5’4″ may need to sit on another cushion to raise them up
Rollers aren’t comfortable to sit on when not getting a massage

Video Review

Massage chair guide

There is a lot things to think about when purchasing a massage chair. It is going to cost a considerable amount of money even for a low end massage chair. I would recommend you try out a massage chair somewhere before buying one to know what they feel like.

Massage chairs don’t make great chairs to sit around and watch TV in. The track and roller mechanisms aren’t comfortable to sit on when you are not getting a massage. You want to make sure you get the massage you are looking for from your massage chair. They don’t really have a purpose in your home otherwise. So what should you look for when buying a massage chair.

Benefits of a massage chair

Massage chairs can provide theraputic massage therapy. Going to a massage therapist on a regular basis can become very expensive. Having a massage chair can allow you to get a therapeutic massage without going to a therapist. Therapeutic massage can provide the following benefits.

  • Health maintenance and/or health promotion – massage helps general tissue health and healthy lifestyle
  • Stress management – Massage helps relieve stress
  • Post-operative care – Massage can help reduce the need for pain medicine and speed recovery
  • Emotional and/or psychological disorders – Massage releases endorphins which can help with depression
  • Terminal illness – Massage helps reduce pain and discomfort that can come from long term bedrest
  • Chronic pain – Massage helps reduce muscle pain by reducing muscle tightness
  • Pre and/or post athletic activity – Helps speed up recovery after participating in athletic activity.

Go here to learn more about therapeutic massage and it’s benefits.

Considerations

Before shelling out tons of money for a massage chair there are a few considerations you should think about. It is a major purchase and you want to get the best fit for you.

Price

Massage chairs can run between $300 at the low end and over $15,000 at the high end. Like everything you else in this world, you get what you pay for. There are some much better values out there than others. From $1500 to $3000 price range, you get most of the key features such as L tracks, 3D robotic rollers, and Zero Gravity reclining positions. Below that price and the chair will have compromises and be missing something. Above that price range and you get more airbags and additional massage techniques.

Warranty

Massage chairs are very complex machines. Some have upwards of 100 independently controlled airbags as well as 3D robotic rollers, tilting mechanism, heating, vibrations, and so on. You get the picture. There is a lot going on inside that chair. A warranty and good customer service are really important. You spend a lot on a good massage chair and need it to last and need to be able to get service if something goes wrong.

Construction and Materials

If your spending a lot on a massage chair then good materials are important. You should look for things such as a steel frame, high quality motors and good materials. Many massage chairs use a combination of real or synthetic leather materials.

Size

Massage chairs have an ideal size range they work for. If you are shorter you may want to look at the chairs by Infinity. If you are taller you might want to look at Kahuna. Make sure you pick a massage chair that is suitable for your size and weight.

Available space

How much space do you have in your house for a massage chair. Some chairs have space saver designs that can be placed within a few inches of a wall. Other chairs need to be farther away. Make sure you have enough space in your home for the chair you want to get.

Massage features

The more you spend on a massage chair the more features it will have. L-tracks, 3D rollers, 4 or 6 rollers, more airbags come on more expensive massage chairs. The materials of the chair also improve with the cost. Choose a budget for your massage chair and find the best chair you can with the best features for your budget.

How often should you use a massage chair?

You should use your massage chair for no more than 3 to 4 times a week for 15 minutes each time. That will give you the maximum therapeutic benefit from the massage chair. See our guide to how often to use a massage chair to learn more.

What do I do if my massage chair stops working?

There are some simple things to try before trying to find a repair man such as unplugging and plugging it back in or resetting it. See our guide for how to fix a massage chair to learn more.

Massage Chair FAQ

Q: Which brand of massage chair is the best?

The following list is some of the best massage chair brands available today. They all make excellent massage chairs with good customer service and durability.

Q: What is the best massage chair for the money?

The Kahuna 6800 is a very full featured massage chair at a reasonable price. It has a space saving design. 4 rollers on an L track, 3 zero gravity positions and a strong warranty to back it up.

Q: What is the difference between an S and L track?

An S-track refers to the track under your neck and back that the massage rollers move along to give you a massage. An S-track has curvature to match your neck and back curvature. Originally massage chairs had straight tracks. They were horribly uncomfortable because your back is not straight.

An L-track or SL-track (Kahuna calls it an SL track) is an extended track that goes around your butt and underneath you. The track is shaped like an L. Imagine your sitting in the L like a seat. All L-tracks are extended S-tracks. The below video demonstrates the difference between an S and L track.

Go here to learn more about the difference between an S-track and L-track.

Q: What is Shiatsu massage?

Many massage chairs claim to perform Shiatsu massage. What is Shiatsu massage? Shiatsu is a Japanese massage technique. Shiatsu means “Finger pressure” in Japanese. Shiatsu massage involves kneading, pressing, soothing, tapping, and stretching. It is performed with finger pressure through light clothing without oils. Shiatsu massage originated in the early 1900’s along with acupuncture and amma massage as part of a resurgence in traditional Japanese medicine.

Go here to learn more about Shiatsu massage. The below video explains more about Shiatsu Massage technique.

Q: Is it worth getting a massage chair?

The average therapeutic massage costs $75. If you were to get a massage weekly for a year the cost would be $3900. Double that if you get one twice a week. You can see that it doesn’t take that long to recover the cost of a $3000 massage chair. You can use the massage chair as often as you wish. Clearly, a massage chair is worth the money even if the chair costs thousands of dollars. To learn more about the costs of massage go here.

Q: Is it bad to use a massage chair too much?

Yes. Using a massage chair too often and for too long can cause bruising and damage to muscle tissues. You should not use a massage chair more than 3 to 4 times a week. You get maximum benefit from theraputic massage sessions after 15 minutes.

Q: Do massage chairs use a lot of electricity?

Most massage chairs use between 100 and 300 watts of electricity while they are running. For comparison a microwave can use 1000-2000 watts. The cost of the electricity to run a massage chair is very minimal and should not be a reason for not getting one. The massage chair will still save you money over getting frequent massages from a therapist.

Q: How long should you use a massage chair?

You get maximum benefit from your massage chair after 15 minutes. After 15 minutes it may still feel good but you are no longer getting any theraputic value from it.

Q: Are zero gravity chairs good for you?

The Zero Gravity seating position was developed by Nasa and is regarded as one of the healthiest postions to sit in. There are many health benefits to sitting in a fully reclined position where your legs and feet are above your heart. Sitting on your back fully reclined gives you a feeling of weightlessness which is where the term comes from. The benefits of Zero Gravity seating include the following.

  • It allows your spine to decompress
  • Increased blood circulation
  • It helps relieve lower back pain
  • It relives pressure off of your heart

To learn more about Zero Gravity Benefits go here.

Q: Where can I try out a massage chair?

There are a variety of places you can go try out massage chairs if you have never tried one. Sometimes they have displays in shopping malls. I tried one out this way in Taiwan.

Costco has them on special some days and you are able to try them out at the display. Some furniture stores sell massage chairs and have a demonstration chair available.

If you have never tried using a massage chair, I highly recommend you give it a try.

trying out massage chair

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an adventure sports fan and an avid skier, sailor, mountain biker who also enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and travel. I take any chance I can get to get out in the snow or water.  I actively run an adventure sports meetup where I get asked many questions.  I decided to start this Gear Craver as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.

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