The Top 10 Best Massage Chairs Reviewed: Ultimate List for 2019

Best Massage Chairs

The best massage chair is the closest you can get to having a live-in massage therapist. Considering the leading models often come at a higher cost, buying a new massage chair can be a serious investment, especially if you choose a model that costs hundreds of dollars.

Whether you need a new massage chair to help work out the kinks in your back or rub your feet after a long day at work, or you’re dealing with a serious medical issue such as arthritis and you’re in dire need of a daily massage, we’re confident that you’ll find the best massage chair for you in our top ten list. 

Each of these chairs excels in a certain area, whether you’re pregnant and in need of back pain relief, or you stand on your feet ten hours a day at work, we’ve got a chair for that. 

Table of Contents

Why You Need One

A massage isn’t just a luxury, for many people, it’s a necessity, especially if you have a job that’s physically demanding. Studies have shown that regular massages can significantly minimize a person’s risk of on the job injuries caused by muscle fatigue and strains. It can also help to reduce pressure on the spine and joints, helps to treat mild edema, and can even work to lower your blood pressure. 

We’ll cover more on the benefits of massages later in our buyer’s guide, but if your uncertainty as to whether or not you really need a massage chair is holding you back, think of it as another way to take care of your body. 

A Massage Chair that can Make a Difference 

You know you need a new massage chair badly, but you don’t know where to start. We’ve included a buyer’s guide that will go over the many benefits massage chairs have to offer, how a daily massage can help, and more importantly, we provide information on what to look for in your new chair. 

These days, massage chairs are pretty techy. They feature intuitive massage techniques designed to mimic the real deal, and they also come loaded with great features such as 3D scan, which will actually scan your body and adjust the massage rollers based on your weight and size. This means several members of the family can use the chair and the chair will adjust each massage to accommodate the new user. 

They also allow you to adjust certain aspects of a massage. As an example, if you’re suffering from lower lumbar pain, you can just press a button and the rollers will remain in the lumbar area until you push the button again to allow the rollers to move on. 

These new and innovative features do an excellent job of mimicking a massage given by a real masseuse. In fact, once you purchase one of these new massage chairs, you’ll have no reason to pay for costly massages every week. 

Finding the Leading Models

Price, features, programs, and size are the main areas buyers tend to focus on when shopping for a massage chair. 

Additionally, many of these chairs now come with preprogrammed massages, each of which offers their own benefits. Some models are specifically designed for relief after an intense workout or a day on the golf course. Others provide gentle relaxing massages for pregnant women or arthritis sufferers. The possibilities are really endless so there’s no reason you can’t find the perfect model that can provide the type of massage you need and want. 

We compared top models head to head, in order to narrow down our choices for the top ten. And we weren’t disappointed with the results. 

Now, we’ll begin our journey by going over a brief summary of each model. These chairs have been split into several categories in order to make it easier for you to choose the right chair based on style, type, and performance.

We’ll begin with the highest rated model in our lineup, the Kahuna 7300 Superior massage chair. 

This chair has quite the reputation in terms of quality, versatility, and performance. While it may come with a steep price tag, it more than makes up for the price with its variety of preset massages, hand and finger-like rollers, and the incredibly comfortable design that will make sharing this chair with other members of the family a real struggle.

The Best of the Best

Need a massage chair that’s affordable, but loaded with different types of massage techniques, styles, and features? Out of the hundreds of massage chairs on the market, we found the three leading models that are totally dominating the market. 

These chairs allow you to customize your massage, which means more than one member of the family can enjoy an effective massage that will reduce pain and stiffness, improves mobility, and leaves you feeling rejuvenated. 

Comparison Chart

ProductMassage ProgramsTypeCostRating
Kahuna LM6800
Kahuna Massage Chair LM6800
Click Here for Price!
6Zero Gravity$$$$4.5
Best Massage 06C
Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair 06C
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5Shiatsu$$4.5
Kahuna 7300
Kahuna 7300
Click Here for Price!
9Zero Gravity$$$$$$5
Best Massage
Full Body Zero Gravity
Shiatsu Massage Chair

Full Body Zero Gravity Shiatsu Massage Chair
Click Here for Price!
5zero gravity/shiatsu$$4
Earthlite Vortex
Portable Massage Chair

Earthlite Vortex Portable Massage Chair
Click Here for Price!
0portable$4
Osaki Japan
Osaki Japan Premium
Click Here for Price!
16luxury$$5
Infinity Altera
Massage Chair

Infinity Altera Massage Chair
Click Here for Price!
6luxury$$$4
Positive Posture
Brio Massage Chair

Brio Massage Chair
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10luxury$$4
Osaki OS-Pro
Osaki OS-Pro Ekon Zero Gravity Massage Chair
Click Here for Price!
6Zero gravity$$$4.5
Human Touch
Novo XT

Human Touch Novo XT Massage Chair
Click Here for Price!
34zero gravity$$$4.5

1st Place- Kahuna 7300 Superior Massage Chair

Kahuna 7300

Our Rating: (5/5)

If you didn’t already know, Kahuna is one of the most popular massage chair manufacturers in the industry. They feature a wide range of massage chair styles, but by far, their line of zero gravity chairs are their biggest sellers. 

The 7300 Superior massage chair, by Kahuna, is, in fact, superior. This model is best described as the Cadillac of massage chairs. This zero-gravity model comes with the patented Kahuna space-saving design that requires just three inches of clearance for the back area, which means even those of you who live in apartments or small homes can enjoy a massive massage chair that has it all. 

This model comes with the 3D scan feature that scans the body and adjusts the chair’s roller system based on the user’s weight and height. So, you’ll be sure to get a custom massage that’s effective. 

If that’s not enough, the chair also can accommodate taller users, up to six feet, five inches tall, weighing over three hundred pounds. 

For the ultimate massage, you can also fine-tune each session using the included controls to adjust the position of the rollers manually. These controls will allow you to make changes to the roller’s massage field and the width.

2nd Place- Human Touch Novo XT Massage Chair

Human Touch Novo XT Massage Chair

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

A massage chair that’s best described as deluxe, the Novo offers some of the best massage techniques and programs on the market. 

The Novo XT by Human Touch is incredibly versatile and can accommodate users ranging from just five feet tall, up to six feet, nine inches tall. It’s also loaded with some great features and allows you to choose from a variety of massage intensity levels, a feature you won’t find on other models in this price range. 

The chair uses four roller balls, 3D roller depth adjustment, and the popular L-track roller system. You can use the included remote to quickly adjust the intensity of a massage, and activate other features, choosing from thirty-four massage programs. 

The chair also comes with the 3D body scan feature for the perfect massage and a timer that allows you to set the length of each session. 

The full body stretch mode is one of the most popular massage features this chair has to offer. It will expertly stretch out your back for immediate relief. Many users have claimed the massage offers an experience that’s similar to a visit to a chiropractor, which makes this chair a great choice for anyone struggling with ongoing back pain, joint pain, and stiffness. 

 3rd Place-Osaki OS-Pro Ekon Zero Gravity Massage Chair

Osaki OS-Pro Ekon Zero Gravity Massage Chair

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Osaki has made it to our top ten list again with their model the OS Pro. The chair comes with both the S and L-track system that’s designed to provide a more intense, human-like massage. 

The chair’s 3D massage allows the rollers to extend for a wider, deeper massage that will work out those stubborn knots in your back. 

If you’re looking for a massage chair that can do it all, then you’ll also be happy to learn that the chair features a foot and calf roller system that includes spinning foot rollers placed on the footrest and along the calves, for an effective lower body massage that will be perfect after a tough workout. 

The chair’s space-saving design is also worth mentioning. This model only requires three-inches of clearance behind the backrest. The chair will slide forward when reclined and won’t take up much space, even in the fully reclined position. 

The chair offers six massage programs. These programs will cater to all your needs, whether you need a massage after a workout, an intense massage that can rub out tight knots, or a relaxing massage that will help you sleep better at night

You can also choose the neck and shoulder massage. This is a twenty-minute massage that specifically targets the shoulder and neck for instant pain relief. 

Top Luxury Massage Chair

What do we mean when we say luxury? These are often the massage chairs that come equipped with the most features, programs, and massage options. They’re also often the most comfortable, easy to use, and versatile. 

Out of all the massage chairs on the market, the Infinity Altera massage chair easily takes the cake in terms of comfort.

If you’re looking for a massage chair that makes you feel like you just saw your masseuse, then this model by Infinity is it. 

Best luxury massage chair- Infinity Altera Massage Chair

Infinity Altera Massage Chair

Our Rating: (4/5)

The Altera by Infinity features an innovative track system that involves roller extension for a more intense, deep tissue massage. If that’s not enough, it also has a space-saving design that’s perfect for any home that’s tight on space. This chair works by pivoting on the base and doesn’t require the standard twelve inches of clearance like your ordinary recliner does. This chair only needs a mere three inches. 

The body scan feature is pretty standard with most high-end models and it’s the latest in massage chair tech. Want a perfect, customized massage that’s tailored to your body? The chair will automatically scan your body each time you sit in the chair and adjust the rollers accordingly. This ensures that each of the rollers hit important pressure points, resulting in a more effective massage. 

The chair also includes a zero-gravity position. If you’ve done your homework, then you know this position not only offers some important health benefits but by pressing your back firmly against the chair’s backrest, you’ll get a more effective massage to boot. 

The chair isn’t lacking any important massage options either. In fact, it also comes with a music sync option, which will move the rollers based on the beat and tempo of a song. Other massage techniques include tapping, kneading, knocking, and rhythm, just to name a few. 

If you’d prefer to just press a button and allow the chair to do its thing, you can also choose from six programmed massages, the length of which can be adjusted based on user preference. 

Top-Rated Choice for Neck and Shoulders

Many chairs on the market focus on total body massages, but if you spend most of the day at a desk, hunched over your computer, or you tend to carry a lot of tension in your shoulders and neck, then you want a chair that specializes in these areas and offers a variety of massage techniques to choose from. After reviewing several massage chairs in search of a model that can do it all, we found the Osaki Japan Premium massage chair, one of the most versatile massage chairs on the market.

Best Neck and Shoulders Massage Chair- Osaki Japan Premium Massage Chair

Osaki Japan Premium

Our Rating: (5/5)

You don’t have to have a physically demanding job to require a massage after work. In fact, most people with desk jobs tend to hold a lot of tension in their neck and shoulders. This can lead to intense pain after a long eight or ten-hour day at the office. Fortunately, this Osaki massage chair specializes in neck and shoulder massages. 

Not only does it excel at upper body massage, it also comes with the Osaki patented ball system, in addition to forty rollers for a shoulder and neck massage that offers a very realistic feel. 

You can also choose between basic and advanced programs, for a total body massage that will leave you sore right after and totally refreshed the next morning. 

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a chair that can provide some relief after a long day at work, the Japan Premium is the perfect fit. 

Best Shiatsu Massage Chair- Best Massage Full Body Zero Gravity 06C Shiatsu Massage Chair 

Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair 06C

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you can’t decide on whether to get a shiatsu massage chair or a zero-gravity massage chair, Best Massage has the answer. 

Considering the chair’s versatility, it’s a great choice in homes with more than one massage lover. 

This chair isn’t just the leading shiatsu massage chair on the market, it’s also a killer zero-gravity chair to boot. Fully loaded, versatile, highly adjustable, and loaded with all the goodies you could ever want in a massage chair, you’ll look forward to heading home every night after work to get one of the best massages in town. 

This chair is that good. 

It comes with adjustable massage features, intuitive controls, and a heavily padded seat and backrest that are the ultimate in luxury. 

This multipurpose massage chair also comes with 3D body scan technology, which scans the user’s body in order to determine weight and size. It then adjusts the chair’s rollers accordingly, so you and your family members will be sure to get a relaxing and effective massage. 

Massage Chair Pregnant Women as Rated by Expectant Moms 

When you’re pregnant, your body goes through a number of changes. During this time, you’ll find that upper back pain and joint pain comes and goes. You can also expect swelling in the lower extremities, trouble sleeping, restless legs, and a stiff neck and shoulders. The best massage chair for pregnant women can help to alleviate pain, naturally. We searched high and low for a chair that not only offered a variety of massage features that target these areas and issues, but we also found a model that’s considered safe to use during pregnancy. 

Top Massage Chair for Pregnant Women- Positive Posture Brio Massage Chair

Brio Massage Chair

Our Rating: (4/5)

When a woman is expecting, at the end of the day she’s going to need a massage chair that’s gentle, yet effective. One that can help with lower and upper back pain, swollen ankles, and tired feet. This model by Positive Posture is the perfect chair for the job. Reliable, versatile, and loaded with some great massage options, the mother to be will instantly fall in love with the features this chair has to offer. 

The chair is highly adjustable and allows the user to control the massage intensity level, making it perfect for expectant mothers. The massage rollers offer a very human-like touch and can provide a total body massage with just the press of a button. 

Of course, the best massage chair wouldn’t be complete without the body scan feature. 3D body scan technology is a must if more than one family member in the home plans to use the chair. Since the feature adjusts the rollers to conform to your specific body type, you can look forward to a more effective massage. 

Other important features include the highly rated foot roller system and heat therapy. Heat therapy is crucial if you’re constantly struggling with lower back pain. The only downside to this feature is the inability to choose a temperature setting. 

Highest Rated Full Body Massage Chair 

Most massage chairs mainly offer massage options for the backrest. They may throw in a basic roller or airbag system for the feet, and that’s about it. Many of these chairs market themselves as full body massage chairs when they really aren’t. A true full body massage chair offers the same amount of massage options for both the upper and lower body. 

We made it our goal to find a total body massage chair that can really deliver, and the Best Massage Full Body Zero Gravity Shiatsu Massage stole the show. 

Total Body Massage Chair Top Choice-Best Massage Full Body Zero Gravity Shiatsu Massage Chair

Full Body Zero Gravity Shiatsu Massage Chair

Our Rating: (4/5)

This chair offers the best full body massage on the market, equally soothing sore tired muscles in the lower and upper body. This chair by Best Massage includes the popular zero gravity position and features a top of the line shiatsu massage feature that will leave you feeling totally rejuvenated the next morning. It comes with a total of five massage programs, not to mention massages that are specifically designed for after workout use. A budget-friendly model that won’t hit your wallet too hard, this multitasking model includes all the essential massage techniques and programs you’ll need in order to enjoy an effective, refreshing massage in the comfort of your own home, whenever the mood strikes you. 

Best Zero Gravity Chair for Home Massages

Nasa created the zero-gravity position in order to minimize the amount of pressure that’s applied to the spine of astronauts during a launch. These days, massage chair manufacturers have begun to include this technology in their leading massage chairs in order to help buyers who are suffering from chronic back pain. 

The zero-gravity position will eliminate the pressure applied to the vertebrae and the spine by natural gravity. Instead, this force is evenly spread across the body. This is accomplished by elevating the legs above the heart and reclining the backrest. Once the body and spine are in the zero gravity position the lower and upper back can fully relax. This positions also allows for a more effective massage since the body is pressed up against the airbag systems and rollers. 

When the body is placed in this extreme reclined position, the lungs will also be able to expand fully due to the decreased pressure placed on the diaphragm. Breathing deeper can help to increase lung function and oxygenates the blood over time. 

In this position the heart can also pump blood more efficiently since it’s working with gravity, pumping the blood horizontally instead of vertically. The result is improved circulation which helps to oxygenate the blood in addition to transporting the blood where it needs to go easily and at a faster rate. 

As you can see, this type of massage chair can offer a wide range of health benefits. Finding the best zero gravity chair on the market wasn’t exactly easy. In fact, most massage chair manufacturers now produce several models of zero gravity chairs, which made the task even harder. 

We reviewed several chairs that received positive buyer feedback and finally found the Kahuna Massage Chair Space-Saving Zero-Gravity Full-Body Recliner LM6800. This chair is loaded with great features, but it also has a reputation for comfort and provides a variety of massage program options. Did we mention it’s also a steal for the price?

Top Zero Gravity Massage Chair-Kahuna Massage Chair Space-Saving Zero-Gravity Full-Body Recliner LM6800

Kahuna Massage Chair LM6800 

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you’ve never sat in a Kahuna massage chair, then you’ve been missing out. This is the ultimate zero gravity massage recliner and it’s loaded with some great features that allow you to truly customize your massage. As you know, the zero-gravity position provides many health benefits, but this model by Kahuna goes one step beyond by offering a total of three zero-gravity positions to choose from. 

If you don’t have much space to work with in the home, don’t worry. This model features an innovative space-saving design that only requires a few inches of clearance behind the recliner, which is more than a little impressive. 

The popular L track system works to increase the effectiveness of each massage by supporting the entire body. Basically, this is a chair that makes every massage really count. 

If that’s not enough it offers some of the top massage features on the market as well, so you can experiment with the six available massage programs and choose the one that best suits your needs. 

If you can’t afford the high weekly cost of getting a professional massage, this chair by Kahuna is the next best thing. 

Top Portable Massage Chair

A portable massage chair isn’t quite like the feature-packed models that cost hundreds of dollars. In fact, these chairs are often lightweight, easy to transport, and don’t come with any fancy features. However, they’re still the perfect option if you work as a massage therapist or enjoy a natural massage in the comfort of your home. We found an affordable model that made its way onto our top ten list. This chair is the epitome of portable and it comes heavily padded to boot. 

Best Portable Massage Chair-Earthlite Vortex Portable Massage Chair

Earthlite Vortex Portable Massage Chair

Our Rating: (4/5)

A massage chair recliner can take up a lot of precious floor space. But if you love a good massage, the people at Earthlite have the perfect solution for you. 

The Vortex massage chair by Earthlite is the top portable model on the market, and it’s available at a reasonable price. The chair really shines in terms of portability and comfort. The frame is made from aircraft grade aluminum, with extra-thick padding that’s supportive, soft, and added on all the right places. 

The chair offers a modern look that will blend in well with your home décor if you decide to leave it out. But it also offers that same type of clean, simplistic look that the professional masseuse is looking for. 

If you don’t have much space to work with in your home and you’re looking for a foldable massage chair that you can easily store in the hall closet, then look no further. 

This chair is a great buy for the pro masseuse or for anyone who enjoys a traditional massage in the comfort of their own home. 

Massage Chair Buyer’s Guide 

Did you know massage therapy is a five billion dollar a year industry? For many, a weekly massage simply isn’t affordable and if you have a physically demanding job, then the odds are that even one massage a week isn’t enough. So, what’s the solution? The best massage chair. 

If you suffer from chronic pain, massage is a great pain management solution. A licensed massage therapist will use specific techniques to work with sore, strained muscles. The best massage chair will perform many of the same basic strokes that a pro uses, and it can be used any time of the day or night, in the comfort of your own home. 

If you’re suffering from a strained back or pulled muscles, immediate treatment can include taking an anti-inflammatory, avoiding physical activity for a couple of days, and applying ice and heat. Chronic pain can indicate an underlying health condition such as a cervical disc problem or arthritis. Treatment will often include regular massages to relieve pain and muscle spasms. 

Massage can help to relieve tension, relax the body, and soothe aching muscles. Some types of massage can even provide other kinds of health benefits such as boosting immune function, improving digestion, stimulating circulation, relieving headaches, and mood elevation. 

Why Get a Massage Chair?

Do you spend one to two hundred dollars on a massage each month? Is your work physically demanding? 

Massage chair technology has come a long way. These days, many chairs come equipped with a variety of massage options, feature beautiful designs that allow them to blend in with the rest of the décor in your home, and can really help to work out those tough stubborn knots that keep you up at night. 

So, if it’s simply not in your budget to spend hundreds of dollars every month on a massage, a massage chair can be an excellent solution, and one that will allow you to relax and enjoy an intense massage any time you want, and in the comfort of your own home. 

There are many health benefits that you can experience with regular massage chair use, but if you’re considering buying a chair, finding the right one can take a lot of research. There are hundreds of popular models to choose from, which can make finding the perfect model even more difficult. 

So, what features should you look for and what specs should you pay close attention to? 

In our buyer’s guide we’ll go over the must-have features and the specs you’ll want to keep an eye out for on your search for the best massage chair. 

Warranty 

Considering a massage chair gets used often, a chair covered by an extended warranty is a must. A chair’s warranty can be a key indicator of the chair’s quality. Usually the longer the warranty, the better the massage chair. At a minimum, a chair should come with a five-year warranty. However, most manufacturers only cover their chairs for three years. When you’re looking at a chair’s warranty, always make sure you read the fine print. Typically, the chair’s frame is only covered for about five-years.

Massage Strength

If you plan on buying a new massage chair, one that can be used by the whole family, then you may want to consider the chair’s massage depth. Most models these days allow you to adjust the depth of the massage, so it’s not too strong for smaller or younger users. Many pros recommend buying a massage chair that’s strong, and one that can be easily toned down with the use of an included remote control. It’s definitely a better option than settling for a chair that you can’t adjust. Most buyers look for chairs that offer deep tissue massages, so search for a chair that offers the best range of motion. 

Right Chair for the Job 

So, when you’re shopping for a massage chair look for one that offers a deeper range of motion. A massage chair’s range of motion is indicated by a 3D rating. 3D indicates in and out in addition with the standard left and right and up and down motions. Some companies claim their chairs feature 4D range of motion, but this is misleading and refers to time and speed which aren’t directional indicators of the motion of the massage rollers. 

A massage that offers a deep or strong 3D motion is similar to working out. The day after a 3D massage your muscles may feel sore, but once your body acclimates to this kind of massage, you won’t feel this type of lasting soreness. However, it’s also important to note that a strong massage doesn’t automatically equal a good massage, especially if it feels mechanical. So, look for a chair that’s well-designed and equipped with smooth massage mechanics that are designed to mimic human touch. While a chair that’s able to provide a deep relaxing massage is great, the best chair is a versatile one that can give you the best of both worlds. Basically, look for a model that’s highly adjustable. 

Space Needs

Some massage chairs are pretty massive. Not only do they weigh in at two or three hundred pounds, but they often have to be disassembled just to get them through a doorway. 

Additionally, they’re known to hog up floor space, so this is something you’ll want to take into consideration before you buy. You’ll also have to factor in the amount of space the chair needs in order to fully recline. 

The Right Chair for the Job 

Not only do you have to worry about the size and sheer mass of your new chair, but you’ll also have to take into consideration whether or not a chair can accommodate your weight and height. On average, most chairs can work for users up to two hundred and fifty pounds and up to six feet tall, while others will come equipped with an extendable footrest that can accommodate a taller user. Make sure you check out the max user weight and height before you hit that buy now button. 

Customizable Features

This is all about choosing the right chair for your unique needs. You’ll need a chair that allows you to custom program a massage. The best choice is a chair that you can customize via a remote. A one-button massage setup is great, and most chairs come equipped with five or six preset programs, but without the ability to decrease or increase depth or focus, the chair will not be able to isolate specific spots. 

We recommend looking for a chair that allows you to store your preferred massage sequences and styles in the remote’s memory, so you can playback those massages anytime you want. This ensures that a chair is the right fit for you and one that will evolve with your changing needs. 

Feet

foot massage

If you’ve ever had a foot massage then you know how rehabilitating and important they can be, especially if you spend most of your time on your feet at work. A good foot massage can have a major impact on how you feel and can also deliver impressive regenerative benefits. Because of this, we recommend a chair that will address the entire foot, not just the sides of the feet via pressure provided by airbags. A chair with foot rollers is the best choice. 

Techniques

One of the best-known types of massages in the West is the Swedish massage. A Swedish massage is perfect for people who don’t often get a massage and have a moderate pain threshold. This technique involves longer strokes from the rollers and helps to warm up the muscles in order to provide pain relief, improve circulation, and minimize joint discomfort. 

Deep Tissue 

This type of massage is a deeper version of the popular Swedish massage and it targets connective tissue and deeper muscles. It’s said to be very effective in areas that are chronically contracted and tense, such as the neck and upper back. While for some, this massage chair technique might promote relaxation, some users will find this feature a little painful or uncomfortable. The massage rollers are designed to work out the deep knots that are hard to access. This technique will focus on muscle tension and chronic pain in order to provide lasting benefits. 

Many chairs employ the art of reflexology located in the chair’s footrest. Right, and left foot reflexology is used to relieve tension in the muscles while promoting relaxation. Reflexology involves a massage style that’s based on the idea of applying pressure to certain areas of the foot in order to improve well-being in the correlating portions of the body with the release of endorphins. Many top of the line massage chairs now offer this type of massage.

Jenetsu

This technique is found in the best massage chairs and it utilizes a type of kneading technique that consists of circular roller motions that are designed to mimic the pro massage therapy Jenetsu techniques in which the thumbs creates circulation motions as a way to loosen tight muscles. 

This type of massage chair option is perfect for people who are in need of a more localized massage. These types of quick circular motions will help to invigorate the muscles and can relieve stress. 

Shiatsu

Shiatsu massage is often considered the equivalent of acupressure. This technique employs pressure and stretching providing a full body restorative effect that helps to reduce depression, anxiety, muscle pain, and stress. 

Kneading 

Kneading 

This massage technique helps to relieve muscle soreness and tension by stretching and lifting the muscles. It also promotes deeper lymph and blood circulation. The kneading style helps to transport important nutrients to the spinal area and can even eliminate toxins from nerve tissue and muscles. A massage chair will utilize this technique in the back using small circular motions applied to each side of the spine. 

Vibration 

Vibration has been used in massage for years and it’s an effective way to improve circulation and reduce muscle soreness. Many styles of massage chairs feature vibration plates within the chairs that can deliver varying levels of vibration. 

Air Compression 

Air compression is delivered to the extremities using the chair’s airbag system. This technique can help to improve blood circulation and relieves stiffness. This technique can also work to stimulate the lymphatic system and remove toxins. 

Air compression massage typically features a variety of intensity levels that the user can tweak and adjust using the manual mode controls.

Rolling 

A rolling massage will focus on muscles located near the spine by applying pressure via the roller system up and down the spine. This will help to loosen and warm up the muscles and can be the perfect choice after a workout. 

Stretch 

A good stretch can be the perfect way to get rid of knots in muscles and can help to loosen up tension in the body. Most models of massage chairs will utilize the airbag system in order to pin the user in the chair, so they can feel a stretch in certain muscles. This technique can help the body to prepare for a deeper massage or can relieve tension in stiff muscles. 

Squeeze

A squeeze massage can be a great way to reduce tension in the thigh and hip areas. Usually, the chair will inflate the airbag system in this section and squeeze different areas in order to help minimize joint pain and relieve stress. This type of massage can also be used with the chair’s back rollers in order to ensure the user reaps the most benefits from a treatment session.

Massage Chair Types 

When you’re searching through the long list of massage chairs available, it can become exhausting trying to compare certain features and specs or trying to figure out which type or style of chair can offer the kind of benefits you’re looking for. In order to get the most value and comfort out of a chair, you should ask yourself what you really value most. If the price isn’t really a priority, then you’ll have plenty of options. But your choice should be based on why you need a massage chair. Is it to rub out sore muscles after a workout? Do you suffer from chronic back pain? Are you pregnant and struggling to deal with the ongoing pressure and strain that’s placed on your upper and lower back?

Learning about the different styles of massage chairs to choose from can further help you narrow down your choices for a chair that’s perfect for you and designed to meet your needs.  

Reclining Massage Chair 

This is probably the most common type of massage chair out there. These are the chairs you’ll often see at the furniture store or at the mall. These chairs are basically traditional recliners that come with some advanced massage features. However, it’s still a big step up from adding a massage pad to your regular recliner. Most models are made out of a nice leather, so it will blend in nicely with your other furniture.

Zero Gravity Massage Chair 

While these chairs have an odd design, they actually work to simulate the position that an astronaut is in when going into outer space. So, what are the benefits of a zero-gravity massage chair? These chairs are designed to relieve bone and joint pain by eliminating pressure. This type of chair can also relieve inflammation and stress placed on the back, however, they often come with a higher price tag. But if you’re dealing with a lot of back pain, then the price is often worth it. 

Full Body Massage Chair 

Considered by many to be the ultimate massage chair, this is a style that often comes with all the bells and whistles you could want. By far, the full body massage chair is the most expensive, but it’s usually also the most customizable and often comes with foot massage rollers for a mind-blowing massage.

Vibrating Chairs 

These chairs plug into the wall and vibrate at different intensity levels. These chairs vibrate as opposed to actually massaging the muscles, however, some people find these chairs very soothing. 

Chairs with Heat 

These chairs are nice for muscle spasms and aches. They come equipped with heat options at a variety of intensities, in addition to a few basic massage modes. The heat is designed to go deep into the muscles, to relieve muscle soreness and muscle spasms. 

Shiatsu Massage Chairs 

These chairs come equipped with rollers designed to mimic the intensity of a Shiatsu massage. The rollers are able to travel deep into the muscles, rolling out knots and easing muscle tension and sorenss. These chairs are a little on the pricey side, but they’re worth it if you often deal with sore muscles and/or back pain. 

Massage Chairs and Pregnancy 

Massage Chairs and Pregnancy 

There are many massage chair manufacturers that warn against using a massage chair during pregnancy. Some of the reasons why some companies claim that massage chairs are not a good idea during pregnancy including the following:

Pressure points: If a massage chair’s rollers go over certain pressure points on the body, premature labor can be a possibility. 

Heat: Some models of massage chairs come with a heating pad or heat features. This type of intense heat can increase the woman’s body temperature, which can spike the baby’s heart rate. So, if you’re pregnant, do not use the heat feature on your massage chair. 

So, are massage chairs unsafe to use during pregnancy?

Other than the issue with the heat feature, most doctors actually do recommend massage chair use during pregnancy.

Here’s why:

Natural pain management: A massage chair can help reduce pain since the expectant mother is carrying several extra pounds on her front, which often causes severe back, shoulder, and neck pain. According to studies, a chair’s vibrating mode can also help to circulate blood in the upper body and can relieve, cramps and pain. 

Relaxation: Some pregnant women are worried that a massage chair can harm their unborn child. However, the vibration from the chair is mild, so there’s no way it can harm either the mother or the unborn child. In fact, the infant won’t even feel anything as mom is getting a massage. 

Massage Chair and Pregnancy Safety

Here are some things you should keep in mind if you’re pregnant and searching for a new massage chair:

  • Avoid using a massage chair during your first trimesters. During this time the body is transforming rapidly. The first trimester has the highest chance of a miscarriage. 
  • Limit the amount of time you spend in the chair. Never spend more than twenty minutes in the chair. 
  • Do not use the massage chair if you have: preeclampsia, a high-risk pregnancy, severe headaches, swelling, or a history of pre-term labor. 

Before you buy a massage chair, discuss it with your OBGYN in order to determine whether or not a massage chair is safe to use during pregnancy. In most cases it is and your doctor may even recommend using one if you suffer from chronic back pain, sciatica, and stress. 

Massage Chair Features 

Airbags: Airbags on massage chairs can be used for foot massages or even head massages. For the head, airbags are used to squeeze the temporal muscles and the back of the skull. For the feet, the airbags work in much the same way by applying pressure. 

Foot rollers: Foot rollers are often found on full massage chairs they’re a popular feature that most people look for if they spend most of their workday on their feet. The pressure from the rollers may seem too intense initially, but after a few uses, you’ll quickly adjust. The foot roller feature combined with a paddle foot massage or an airbag can be very therapeutic. 

Dreamwave: This feature is offered on many leading models and involves the chair moving up and down and side to side.

Kneading: A kneading massage function is one of the most important features a massage chair can offer. The kneading can be firm or gentle. The rollers move side to side across the back platform in order to provide this type of massage. Typically, a chair will have a separate motor dedicated to the massage function. 

Programs: most chairs come equipped with automatic programs. Simply press a button and the chair will take over and deliver the massage. These preset programs are set to control a variety of techniques, duration, and massage systems. All of the automatic programs aren’t created equal. You’ll want to ensure that the auto programs perform the massage therapies you need. If you’re suffering from chronic lower back pain, then you’ll want to make sure the chair you buy features preset programs that provide top of the line lower lumbar massages. 

Music: Many leading models incorporate a massage and music synchronization function. With just the touch of a button, the massage will synch its movement to the rhythm of the music. 

Massage Chair Components 

Most chairs consist of three main components that are designed to closely match popular massage techniques:

Motor: Obviously, the motor is an essential part of any massage chair. It moves and powers the rollers and nodes to specific areas. They also allow the user to make the necessary adjustments. 

Rollers and nodes: These will vary in both shape and size and they’re designed to emulate hands and fingers. A massage chair that’s equipped with large nodes and rollers will provide a more generalized massage approach. Massage chairs that are equipped with smaller rollers and nodes provide more specific, detailed massages. They tend to target specific areas on the user’s back and are able to move in a variety of ways, which are preprogrammed into the chair’s mechanics. As we mentioned earlier, the user can adjust the rollers and nodes on the chair in order to best suit their needs. 

Computer-assisted adjustability: This is one of the most essential components. Most massage chairs are designed to adjust automatically for the width, height, and weight of the user. By measuring the height of the protrusion and the pressure placed on the backrest by the user, the chair’s computer is able to make the necessary adjustments for the width and height of the user. You can also choose from a variety of inputs on the chair’s control panel in order to refine these options. 

While a chair can never exactly replicate the exact feeling of human touch, technology has come a long way toward more closely approximating the necessary factors in a chair that can provide its user with a wide range of benefits with regular use. 

Is a Massage Chair Good for You?

Massage chairs are now more affordable than ever before, but is a massage chair good for you, or is the buzz around the benefits of regular massage merely just hype? 

In the last decade, more and more people have also come to realize how just a single massage a week can make a huge difference in terms of how they feel, their energy level, and pain level. Statistics show that more than twenty-five percent of Americans receive a least one professional massage a year. You see, massages can do so much more than just relax you. A massage can also be used to heal certain types of injuries, they can provide relief from certain symptoms, and they can help to manage specific health conditions. 

Basically, regular massages can help you to improve your overall wellbeing in a number of ways. 

Massages are most commonly used to treat back pain. And they can be a great pain management option when prescription and over the counter medication just aren’t enough. Studies conducted in 2001 showed that a massage was more effective than spinal modification and acupuncture. In the same study, researchers found that a daily massage reduced the need for pain medication by more than twenty-six percent. Additionally, more than one study has proven that migraines and tension headaches can also respond well to massage.

Osteoarthritis Sufferers

Massage has been proven effective in treating the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. Shiatsu massage is considered one of the most effective forms of massage for osteoarthritis treatment. 

Lactic Acid 

It’s a common belief among athletes and trainers that a massage helps to increase blood flow, which can result in the reduction of lactic acid build-up. Repeated relaxation and compression of the muscles will cause blood vessels to be filled and emptied, increasing the removal of lactic acid and other types of waste products. And the result? A daily massage can significantly reduce fatigue brought on by exercise and other types of physical exertion. 

Massage and Cancer Treatment 

In cancer patients, massage can reduce some of the symptoms of cancer and also promotes relaxation. It can also help to minimize the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Massage can also help to improve immune system function. 

Mental Health 

For people suffering from depression and anxiety, a daily massage can help to elevate mood and reduce anxiety. Studies have shown that massage works to lower levels of cortisol by more than half while boosting neurotransmitters that help to reduce symptoms associated with depression. 

Stress and Heart Rate 

The average person is under an enormous amount of pressure, so ongoing stress is very common. Taking personal time to enjoy a massage in the best massage chair can help to naturally reduce stress. Did you know that stress can negatively affect tissue repair, slowing down the healing process? It can also have a major negative impact on blood pressure.

Regular massage is just one way to relax the body and reduce stress in order to lower the heart rate and prevent high blood pressure. 

There have been several studies conducted that have shown that after receiving a massage there was a significant boost in the parasympathetic nervous system of study participants. 

Managing High Blood Pressure 

Massage therapy has been proven to reduce heart rate with intense massages such as deep tissue shiatsu, but it can also help to regulate blood pressure. Hypertension, which is high blood pressure, is very dangerous because it forces the heart to work much harder than it should in order to pump blood throughout the body. This can cause the arteries to harden and can eventually lead to heart failure. People with hypertension who receive more than one massage a week experience less hostility and aggravation and have lower levels of stress hormones, according to recent studies. 

People who are diagnosed with hypertension are encouraged to relax and maintain a low-stress lifestyle. What better way to relax and feel the stress melt away then by enjoying a daily massage? 

Important Massage Benefits

Important Massage Benefits

If you’ve ever had a professional massage, then you already know how an intense, deep tissue massage can instantly change the way you feel. You’ll feel lighter, instantly relaxed, and you’ll definitely sleep better at night. Tension is said to be the number one cause of chronic back pain. So, if you’re in need of a regular massage after a day at the office, a massage chair can be the best thing to ever happen to both you and your back. 

If you can’t afford a massage a few times a week, then purchasing a massage chair can be a great investment. These chairs can be used daily and are designed to relieve muscle tension and pain. Many models will massage the whole body from the feet and legs all the way up to the shoulders, neck, and head. 

Whether you purchase a shiatsu massage chair or a vibrating massage chair, these chairs are designed to make you feel more comfortable at the end of a long day or after an intense workout. 

  • Massage chairs can also reduce anxiety, tension, and stress. Studies have shown that regular massages can alleviate symptoms associated with stress. These same studies have shown that massage therapy can reduce stress on both psychological and physical levels. In one study, the results showed a lower level of cortisol, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption after a ten-minute massage. 
  • Massages can be very relaxing can loosen sore, tense muscles. When you overdo it during a workout, the muscles become sore, tense, and stiff. A regular massage after a workout will work knots out of muscles, relieves muscle tension, and improves blood circulation. This can have a major positive impact on muscle growth and can even prevent delayed onset muscle soreness. 
  • Since massage improves blood flow it can also help to eliminate toxins from the body, stimulates endorphins, and helps to naturally alleviate pain. 
  • A thirty-minute massage can increase the number of lymphocytes in the body. So, what are lymphocytes? They’re white blood cells that help the body to defend against diseases and viruses. They’re in charge of the body’s immune response. When the body increases the number of lymphocytes it’s able to easily resist viruses we encounter every day. 
  • Mobilizes lymphatic circulation. The body’s lymphatic circulation is just as important as blood flow. It’s the drainage network which keeps the body’s fluids balanced and also helps to defend the body against infections. The action of massage chairs, combined with the reclined position helps to move lymphatic fluid through the body, helping to combat disease and inflammation. 
  • Pain reduction is the number one reason people purchase the best massage chair. Studies have shown that a ten to twenty-minute massage can alleviate chronic back, shoulder, and neck pain, body aches, and headaches. 
  • Improves spine alignment. This particular benefit is commonly experienced with zero gravity chairs. Some premium massage chairs also feature programs that are designed to align the spine. 
  • Do you toss and turn throughout the night? Do you have trouble sleeping due to muscle pain, muscle fatigue, muscle spasms, or general discomfort? studies have also shown that a massage can help reduce muscle fatigue and can even improve sleep. 

To learn more about the benefits of regular massages, click here to read our article on what happens during a massage. 

How to Massage Legs in a Massage Chair 

When you think of a massage chair and the types of massages they provide, you probably think of a basic shoulder and neck massage. But if you’re recovering from an injury or suffer from chronic pain in your lower extremities then you need to learn how to massage legs in order to get the most out of treatment. 

During your search for a new massage chair, you can commonly find chairs that provide both upper and lower body massage options. These chairs are usually marketed as full body or total body massage chairs. 

So, what can a massage chair do if you need a massage that can help to reduce the symptoms associated with sciatica? What are the options if you spend most of your day on your feet and you need a massage chair that can also focus on the lower body? 

Fortunately, the best massage chairs will focus on both the upper and lower body, unlike models of the past that would only provide your standard upper body massage treatments. 

Now, let’s learn how a massage chair can help the lower body. 

Lower Body Massages 

There are actually several lower body massage techniques to choose from. The leg and feet massage options will mainly depend on the chair you buy. 

These days, most chairs now include some form of lower body massage. The leg massage feature alone is found on several of the leading massage chairs on the market.  Since most people spend a fair amount of time on their feet, a chair that focuses on leg massage and massaging the lower extremities, in general, can make a world of difference in regard to pain management. 

Many new designs of massage chairs now feature massage mechanisms that provide calf and foot massages. Some chairs will use dedicated rollers for this, while others will use an airbag system. By far, airbags are the most common and they can provide a wonderful massage by applying pressure on the calves and feet, usually sequentially. 

Massage Chair Ottomans 

Every manufacturer has a different take on the standard airbag system and how it’s used to provide a massage. The apparatus for the lower body is usually referred to as an ottoman. 

Usually, the ottoman consists of a single piece that attaches to the chair. The ottoman can massage both the calves and feet. However, since this added component tends to make a massage chair look bulky and unattractive, many models that come equipped with an ottoman feature a retractable design. 

In order to accommodate taller users, some chairs come with a detachable foot massager. This will allow the user to position their calves properly for a more effective massage. 

Leading manufacturers have also designed chairs to accommodate taller users by including a flexible attachment that’s positioned between the chair’s foot massage airbags or roller system and that of the calves. This allows the user to truly stretch out their legs while the massage mechanism for the feet remains perpendicular to the calf’s massage mechanism. 

Some companies will use a roller system for the soles of the feet. This effect is somewhat similar to the system used on the backrest. 

Chairs equipped with an ottoman often come with a higher price tag but considering they’re usually more versatile and can offer a wider variety of massage options, they’re definitely worth the extra cash. 

If you constantly deal with ongoing lower body pain caused by poor circulation, a physically demanding job, or conditions such as arthritis or sciatica, then a regular leg and foot massages can help to reduce pain, stiffness, and can even reduce nerve compression. 

How to Use Your New Massage Chair 

Massage chairs have been on the market for years. During this time many people have realized that these chairs can be great tools to use to improve health, increase mobility, and reduce pain and stress. 

Many of these chairs are pretty pricey but they can offer several health benefits that can help to improve your general well-being. Because of this, it’s important to know how to correctly use one in order to get the most out of your new massage chair, and it’s just as important to know how to take care of it properly so your chair will last for years to come. 

  • Before you get started using your new chair, take the time to read the user’s manual. This will tell you how to adjust the chair’s settings, how to fine-tune a massage, and how to use all of the different features correctly. 
  • Once you’ve read the manual, you can get started setting up your new chair. 
  • Make sure the massage chair’s power switch is set to off before you plug it in. 
  • If you have to use an extension cord for your massage chair, never share the cord with another appliance or device. This also means you should not plug the chair into a power strip. 
  • Based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, make sure you give the chair plenty of clearance in the back. Regular massage chairs can require a foot of clearance, while space-saving designs may require under five inches of clearance. 
  • In terms of care, wipe down the chair using a damp cloth. Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners. 
  • Pay close attention to a chair’s warranty. If you notice any issues when it comes to using a particular massage program, or if some of the airbags or rollers start to malfunction, contact the manufacturer immediately. Some chairs will come with just a six to twelve-month warranty on parts and labor, so you’ll want to take care of any issues right away. 
  • If you notice your chair is running hot, power it down and unplug it. This can occur if you’re using a custom program and have been using the massage features for more than an hour. Overheating more commonly occurs with lower priced chairs but it can happen to high end ones as well. 

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology, also known as left foot reflexology, and foot reflexology, is a type of therapy that’s based on the principle that there are specific, small areas of innervation in the feet and hands that actually correspond to certain organs or muscle groups in the body. The nerve endings in the extremities in this system essentially provide a type of map of the rest of the body. Some examples include the base of the small toe representing the ear or even the foot representing the lungs. With the use of applied pressure on certain areas of the feet, reflexology is believed to promote a wide range of benefits including improved circulation, reduced tension, and improved function in related areas of the body. 

This type of massage is designed to minimize stress and to help the body achieve homeostasis and a deeper level of relaxation. 

Massage chairs that specialize in the art of reflexology are designed to provide a more relaxing experience using an innovative system of airbags and tiny rollers that can expertly apply pressure to the right areas. 

Usually, during this type of massage, you’ll want to remove your socks and shoes and place the chair in a reclined position. If you have a zero-gravity chair, you would place the chair in one of the zero gravity positions. 

The chair’s ottoman or footrest will utilize a miniature roller system that will apply thumb and finger-like rollers using a type of walking pattern that results in a gentle massage and some stretching of specific zones of the feet that are believed to correspond to body organs. 

A traditional reflexology session can last from thirty to sixty minutes, but massage chair reflexology programs typically range from twenty to thirty. If you want a longer foot massage, simply restart the reflexology program. With a traditional reflexology massage, the feet are washed prior to treatment. This can actually help to improve blood circulation and relaxation, so in cases of severe foot discomfort, this step is recommended prior to the massage. 

Is Reflexology Safe for Everyone?

People with open wounds or sores on the feet will want to avoid this type of massage. Certain types of injuries should also be handled with care. A person with active blood clots in the lower extremities should also avoid a reflexology massage. Chronic skin changes or swelling of the lower extremities can lead to vascular problems so reflexology massages should be avoided. 

Learn More 

Our site is dedicated to providing all the information you need to know about massage chairs, the features to look for, and how to use them. You can find more helpful information on massage in our article on massage tips for beginners, just click here.

You can also check out our guide on the best massage techniques for more information on the most effective types of massage. 

Final Thoughts

Buying a massage chair can be an exciting experience. Not only do you get to shop around and search for the perfect chair, but once it arrives, you’ll be able to enjoy a shiatsu massage, a neck and shoulder massage, or even a reflexology massage. It ultimately depends on the type of chair you choose. If you’ve ever had a professional massage, then you know how expensive they can be. These chairs allow you to enjoy a custom massage, right in your own home, anytime you want. 

We hope our buyer’s guide and our reviews of the best massage chairs has helped you to choose a model that will work for you, your massage needs, your home, and your budget.

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The Top 10 Best Massage Chairs Reviewed: Ultimate 2019 List
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The Top 10 Best Massage Chairs Reviewed: Ultimate 2019 List
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Check out the top massage chairs on the market ranging from the most luxurious to chairs that specialize in foot massage, neck and shoulder massages and more.
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