Choosing the best massage chair can be very challenging. There are a huge variety of models available and that’s not to mention the mound of features they all come packed with.
To get started you need to establish who will be using your massage chair. If it’s a family member or friend, you need to be sure that they meet the height and weight requirements that come with the model you choose.
You then need to establish what type of massage you want your chair to give and whether or not you care for the multitude of additional features now available on the market. For example, heating pads for your back or a custom spine scanning system and a wireless remote control.
To help you, we’ve created this buying guide. In it, we’ll tell you why you should choose an electric massage chair carefully as well as the various features you should pay attention to when making your final decision.
We’ll then share our top five recommendations from some of the best manufacturers in the industry. So, without further ado, let’s get started:
Why You Should Choose Your Electric Massage Chair Carefully
Aside from the fact that a massage chair is a huge investment, it will also have a serious impact on your overall health and happiness.
You’re likely buying a massage chair because you have an injury, a medical disorder or disease, or simply want to be able to relax after a hard day or night at work. With that in mind, it is essential that you take great care when choosing your massage chair.
Massage chairs can play a significant role in spine alignment, relieving stress, improving circulation, and even stimulating the secretion of endorphins. If you don’t pay close attention when choosing your model, you may hurt or injure yourself.
If you go to a massage chair retailer that is not reputable, you may also buy a faulty model that either stops working within a matter of weeks, or worse, completely malfunctions and spontaneously combusts.
The bottom line is: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, so don’t cut corners just to save a little money.
Features To Pay Attention To When Choosing Your Massage Chair
Aside from buying your massage chair from the right manufacturer for the right price, you need to be sure that your chosen model has all the features you want it to have. Here are some key features you should pay attention to when choosing your massage chair:
Size And Weight Capacity
If you are of average weight and height then the opportunities are endless when it comes to choosing a massage chair. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said if you are very tall, short, large or even small.
If you are particularly tall, i.e. more than 6’2” to 6’4” you may find that you do not have the adequate neck support and that your feet dangle off the end of your chair uncomfortably. That said, you can find extra leg extenders as well as adjustable neck supports on some models.
The same goes if you are too short. If you’re less than 5’ the rollers and nodes will most likely hit the wrong spots thus leaving you in quite a lot of pain.
With all the above in mind, check the size and weight capacities on each model to see if the massage chair you choose is right for your stature.
Chair Upholstery Material
Massage chairs are best known as being big armchair-like seats made of leather. While leather may look great it is not necessarily the best material for every armchair. The right upholstery material for your chair will completely depend on how much you use it.
Synthetic materials often offer a lot more leeway if you are using your massage chair on a daily basis. Leather can be known to crack if not treated properly, whereas synthetic materials are designed to not only avoid cracking but also withstand heat.
Most massage chairs now come with a variety of pre-programmed settings that when chosen, target specific areas of the body with a specific massage technique.
These can be accessed very easily with the push of one or two buttons and are usually labeled distinctively, for example, “chiropractor massage”, “restorative massage”, “relaxing massage” and so on.
Low-quality and old models offer very limited massage programs and tend to simply send vibrations through the body without targeting any specific issues you may be having.
While older massage chairs are best known for their lever-powered reclining mode, new ones come with a variety of positions you can choose from. The type of options you have will completely depend on the type and age of the model you choose.
Typically, you’ll at least be able to recline into a lying position. It’s worth noting that some massage chairs only target the back and shoulders. Modern massage chairs can massage the entirety of your body, from the base of your neck to the end of your toes and wrists.
Zero Gravity Option
You can also choose a zero-gravity massage chair which is designed to offer the same feeling of weightlessness that astronauts feel when training to go to outer of space.
This type of chair places your body in a gravity neutral state and is said to boost circulation while also lowering your heart rate, perfect for anyone with high blood pressure and other heart-related conditions.
A zero gravity massage chair is also able to help reduce back pain, alleviate acid reflux, reduce swelling, and improve breathing among other benefits.4
Airbag Massage Option
Some massage chairs use airbags which inflate and then compress your muscles to further stimulate blood flow throughout your body.
This airbag massage option is great for relieving tension and stiffness. It delivers pressurized air to small pouches which are normally located in the areas where you legs, back, and sides sit.
Warranty And Customer Care
A good warranty is important no matter what your circumstances. If the manufacturer offers a short or no warranty then he’s likely not confident that his product is good. On the other hand, a longer warranty often comes with a higher quality product.
If you want to use your massage chair every day then you want your warranty to be particularly high.
Be sure to check what the warranty is when purchasing your massage chair and make sure that the manufacturer’s customer care team is readily available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
This will give you an indication as to how they would deal with any future issues should they arise.
The Best Massage Chairs In 2020 – Our Verdict
Now that we’ve run you through some of the key reasons you should pay great attention when choosing the best massage chair for your home, as well as some of the key features you may want to look into a little further, let’s have a look at some products that have caught our eye:
Best Massage Chair Over $2000
Winner: The Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair
If you have a budget of more than $2,000 to purchase your massage chair and want it to have all the bells and whistles, we recommend you check out the Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair.
Coming in at just under $2,400, this massage chair is equipped with some of the most advanced technology the industry has to offer.
Its state-of-the-art computer body scan system allows the rollers to map your back’s curvature offering you a more precise and personalized massage experience. This coupled with the true ergonomic S-track means it is designed to contour a virtually limitless variety of spine shapes.
The Osaki OS-4000 is both a full-body, zero-gravity, and airbag massage chair. It has airbags around the arms, feet, calves, hips, lumbar, and shoulder areas of the chair.
Its two-stage zero-gravity feature offers you the perfect position to enjoy a massage while also aligning your back with your thighs without disturbing your comfort levels.
With it, you’ll also be able to benefit from a heated massage thanks to its two heating pads which can be found one on each side of the lower back area of the massage chair.
The Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair is great for those of you who are either above or below average heights as it comes with auto leg scanning capabilities which means it adjusts according to your leg length.
Not only this, it comes with a full size easy-to-use remote which allows you to select the type of massage you want, the intensity at which you’d like to be massaged as well as the speed and the location of your massage.
On manual mode, you can choose between kneading, shiatsu, rolling, tapping, Swedish, and combination. This model also comes with a wireless controller which means you can control the main features of the chair without lifting yourself up from your comfortable position.
With nearly 85% of customers giving the Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair a 4-star review or more, it is no surprise that it appears in our list of best massage chairs.
Best Massage Chair Under $2000
Winner: Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800
Another full body massage that we recommend you look at in more detail is the Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with yoga & heating therapy.
Aside from its invincible price tag of less than $2,000 this Kahuna model is packed with a mound of features that make it one of the best value for money that the industry has ever seen.
Equipped with an L-track 4 roller massage system, the massage chair can offer support and massage your neck from the top of your spine all the way down to your back, your buttocks and through your legs and feet.
This system is able to decompress every single vertebra in your spine thus increasing the deep tissue effect the massages offer.
Not only this, the massage chair has a special 3-stage space saving zero-gravity feature which means that instead of reclining backwards it lowers and pushes forward.
As a result, you no longer have to worry about how much space you have behind you as you’ll only ever need three inches.
When in the third stage of the zero-gravity setting, you’ll benefit from your legs being higher than your heart which has a significant therapeutic effect on the body, leaving you relaxed to enjoy your massage.
In addition to all the above, the Zero-Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with yoga & heating therapy comes with computer body scan technology which scans your size and provides you with a custom fit massage.
The advanced air cell massage system brings up the quality of the massage without the added noise, and when these cells inflate, they do so separately, making the body stretch and twist in a way that allows for the chair to offer a deeper massage.
The Kahuna model comes with additional foot padding as well as a remote holder for added convenience. And, if that’s not enough, you can also choose between 5 manual massage techniques, 5 auto programs, as well as heating therapy on the lower back and legs.
With more than 200 reviews and nearly 94% of them being of 4-stars or more, we can’t recommend the Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with yoga & heating therapy enough.
Runner Up: iDeal Massage Full Featured Shiatsu Chair
Our runner up for the best massage chair under $2,000 is no other than this iDeal model. Aside from the fact that it has been top rated by the independent website: the Massage Chair Expert, it is packed with features that will surely satisfy your needs.
With it, you’ll be able to choose between 4 great auto massage programs with the push of one single button.
You can choose between a Shiatsu, kneading, spinal rolling or a vibrating massage all of which can send you into a deep, relaxed trance for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes at a time.
The ergonomically designed S-track rolling system offers the same feeling as that of a real therapist’s hands giving you the sense that you’re in a luxury spa.
Not only this, you can also benefit from an automatic mode which will use different combined forms of massaging as well as a manual mode which allows you to choose the exact type of massage you want, the intensity, as well as the location, among other factors.
In addition to all the above, this iDeal model comes with heat therapy in the back area which further relaxes your muscles thus allowing for a deeper massage.
That coupled with its therapeutic airbags and six simulating kneading balls means that you can receive a deep tissue massage in your shoulders, arms, feet, calves, and back from the comforts of your own home. And, the airbags have two intensities you can choose from.
You’ll be able to choose between 3 different zero-gravity positions at the touch of a button allowing you to choose the best position for your personal needs.
Plus, if all the above isn’t enough to convince you that this is one of the best massage chairs on the market today, you only have to look at the awesome 3-year limited warranty that iDeal has attached to its product. This comes with a 10-day return policy from the day you receive it.
With a price tag of less than $1,300 and about 85% 4 and 5-star reviews, we give this iDeal massage chair our seal of approval as one of the best in the industry this year.
Best Massage Chair Under $1,000
Winner: Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair
This Best Massage model has been voted our favorite massage chair under $1,000 because of its awesome flexibility and feature packed design.
Offering Shiatsu style massages, the massage chair uses power rollers to relax you from any muscle tension and stress you may have. With it, you’ll be able to reduce fatigue and rejuvenate both your mind and body.
The compression and percussion movements improve your overall flexibility as well as the mobility of your legs and your posture.
By using this Best Massage chair, you’ll be able to choose between four programs, the “recovery program”, the “extend program”, the “relax program”, and the “refresh program”.
Not only this, your massage chair is designed to conform to the contour and shape of your back as well as offer a full stress relieving neck massage by targeting the “tsubo points” on your neck.
The EC-06 is an updated design with new functions and features from its predecessors. It comes with ultra-long range massage and reaches all the way from your feet to your tailbone and to the top of your neck.
There are 20 airbags positioned in the bottom half of the chair which offer a full lower body massage through your thighs, calves, and feet. This promotes enhanced blood circulation to the lower extremities of your body.
Best of all is that you can choose between strong and weak massage intensities which can be adjusted on the easy-to-use control panel. By using a higher intensity setting you’ll be able to knead out any tough knots in your muscles.
Aside from the fact that the EC-06 full-body massage chair is less than $760, it has received 4-star reviews or higher more than 85% of the time which reinforces our decision to give it our seal of approval as one of the best massage chairs in the industry.
Runner Up: Real Relax Full Body Massage Chair
As our final product in our buying guide and in our list of best massage chairs for less than $1,000, we’d like to present to you the Real Relax Full Body Massage Chair.
This amazing massage chair features 4 preset auto massage programs which all offer different massage techniques that give you an amazing choice of massage experiences to choose from.
The massage chair has 50 air bags all of which are spread across the back, shoulder, arms, seat, and legs in order to give you a full body experience. There are also roller massagers on the feet which work significantly better than their air massage counterparts.
If you’re taller than the average height, you don’t need to worry because Real Relax has created a footrest which extends for taller people.
Cruising through the various programs and options that this massage chair offers is also easier than ever thanks to the advanced high-definition VFD display screen.
And, if you’re looking for a particularly deep massage experience, you can turn on the built-in heater which promotes blood circulation and can even increase your metabolism.
This massage chair comes in a zero-gravity design which is based on the feeling of weightlessness that astronauts get when training for and being in outer space. This program is the perfect positioning to achieve a full state of physical and mental relaxation.
The Real Relax Full Body Massage Chair is made of high-quality soft and comfortable to sit on leather which is made in the manufacturer’s latest ergonomic design.
Lastly, you can order your Real Relax Full Body Massage Chair in either brown or black, both of which are priced at less than $800 each. And, if that’s not enough, this model received 4-star and 5-star reviews more than 90% of the time.
To find the best massage chair for your needs you need to establish what you want to achieve from using it, who will be using it most, and what your budget is.
If you have the budget to buy a top of the range massage chair, we highly recommend you opt for the Osaki OS-4000. If its price tag is a little bit of a push at the moment, the Kahuna and the iDeal models are both great alternatives that have awesome, modern features.
If you desperately want a massage chair but only have $1,000 or less to spend then the Best Massage and Real Relax models are awesome as well.
While they do not have the same features or versatility as their above counterparts, they are still fine products that will help you relax at the end of a hard day at work.