These days, the massage chair market seems to be flooded with Japanese massage chair brands, each of which boasts chairs that offer the latest in massage chair technology. However, many of these brands are actually American based.
But there are Japanese massage chair manufacturers out there. These massage chair Japanese brands are said to produce some of the toughest, best-selling, and tech-heavy models on the market. While these chairs are usually more expensive than competing models, they also offer more features than a traditional massage chair and often focus more on whole body healing.
The leading massage chair Japanese brands include:
These major players in the massage chair industry are at the top for a reason. They continue to strive to be the best. In business for decades, each of these companies is pioneers in the industry introducing a combination of massage chair technology in terms of airbag and track systems, heat therapy, vibration, and airbag systems.
Their award-winning designs and their drive to be the best is why I’m eager to see what these top brands come up with next.
These Japanese massage chair manufacturers are leading the industry in terms of trends and technology. Many of these chairs are equipped with a combination of massage therapy treatments which is one of the many reasons why they continue to remain in the lead over competitors who simply follow suit.
Japanese Massage Chair Design
These best-selling massage chairs are often tech-heavy, equipped with massage programs that can help to relieve pain and treat sore, stiff muscles. They utilize many of the same features that American brand massage chairs do, including roller and airbag systems, heat therapy, and adjustable features that allow the user to pick and choose what massage techniques to incorporate in their session. Below you’ll find a list of the leading Japanese brands in the industry and learn why many of their chairs are currently dominating the market.
Surprisingly, there aren’t many true Japanese massage chairs brands out there, however, many of the leading massage chair manufacturers use a Japanese name. As an example, Osaki is not actually a Japanese owned and operated company. The chairs themselves are made in China, while the company is based in America.
However, there are a few Japanese brands out there, each of which has an impressive track record in the market and continues to produce some of the most innovative chairs around.
We’ll begin with one of the leading companies- FUJIIRYOKI.
This company was founded in 1954 by Nobuo Fujimoto. Fujimoto used a variety of materials to assemble his first massage chair including bicycle chains, softballs, and different types of wood. His first model was called the FUJIIRYOKI Automatic Massage Machine, which he created over a period of several months. This chair was equipped with a type of kneading function that involved softballs moving up and down via the turn of a handle.
This was truly a revolutionary product that introduced people to the first mass-produced massage chair that could tap and knead muscles like a masseuse. After the introduction of the Automatic Massage Machine, the company quickly took off. Today, they produce some of the best massage chairs on the market including their popular Cyber Relax chairs.
These chairs are equipped with the largest protrusion kneading balls out of any massage chairs on the market. These balls are designed to target deep down into the muscle tissue for a more realistic deep tissue massage. The chairs also feature a two sensor set up that can detect the position of the user’s shoulders and the shape of their spine.
This sensor technology provides a more custom deep tissue massage by telling the kneading balls how much pressure to use. The two kneading ball design allows the balls to move back and forth, right to left, and up and down.
Founded in Osaka, Japan in 1962, Inada is another leading Japanese massage chair manufacturer that specializes in Shiatsu massage chairs. Nichimu designed the first automatic Shiatsu massage chair, and through the years, they have somehow remained ahead of the competition, incorporating new technology that delivered a more realistic massage.
Back in 2001, they released their popular i.1 and H.9 chairs complete with infrared scanning technology that scanned the body of each user in order to adjust the system’s rollers for a more custom massage. Their innovative design made their chairs bestsellers and earned them the Time Magazine invention of the year award.
Even though Osaki is not a true Japanese massage chair company, due to their name, they’re often mistaken as such. Based in Texas, this company continues to dominate the market with their feature-packed massage chairs like the Osaki OS-Pro Maestro 4D L-Track Massage Chair, which comes loaded with heat therapy technology, a variety of massage programs to choose from, and realistic massages that provide results.
Osaki massage chairs are on the pricey side, just like many of the other leading massage chair brands that focus more on combining innovative massage chair technology to provide the type of realistic massages that can have you saying goodbye to your massage therapist forever.
DreamWave may be based in Boulder, Colorado, but the company claims it produces chairs using Japanese designs. Compared to the competition, these chairs are very technologically advanced. The chairs offer full body deep tissue massages, state of the art engineering, and designs that have voice control features, and customizable massage features that keep consumers coming back.
They currently produce some of the most expensive massage chairs on the market, however, they also offer some of the best warranty coverage out there.
Why Japanese Massage Chairs are so Hot
If you’ve ever used a Japanese brand massage chair then you know it feels like you have your own personal massage therapist available, any time of the day or night. These high-tech chairs come equipped with top of the line roller systems and thick padding and they work to gently rub out knots and soothe sore muscles, leaving you feeling energized and refreshed.
Many competing Japanese brands feature body scan technology, offering a customized massage, in addition to top of the line heat therapy and roller systems that can tap, knead, and roll over your muscles. Most Japanese style massage chairs tend to focus more on deep tissue massage, at least compared to many of the American massage chair brands.
Their deep tissue massage programs tend to use more pressure compared to American massage chairs, expertly kneading muscles using balls that can penetrate the skin at a deeper level. It comes as no surprise that many first time users complain of muscle soreness and tenderness their first time in one of these chairs.
But most massage therapists will tell you this type of after effect should be expected, even with a deep tissue massage administered by a massage therapist or masseuse. The soreness can be caused by the rollers working out knots in muscles and should only last for a day or two after your first session.
Are Japanese Massage Chairs Better?
Basically, many users feel that Japanese chairs take Shiatsu massage more seriously. But whether or not this is true is debatable. You can also enjoy an intense deep tissue massage using one of the many leading American brand massage chairs. It all depends on the design, the adjustability of the roller system, and the quality of the chair itself.
The included heated massage programs that you’ll find on some of these top of the line chairs are perfect for cooling down or warming up your muscles right after or before a workout, and can also be used first thing in the morning or right before bed. To learn more, click here to read my article why you should hit the massage chair right after a workout.
Where a massage chair is designed and produced doesn’t make for a better massage chair. In this case, Japan was ahead of America in terms of massage chair designs and technology. There are currently many leading American brands of massage chairs
However, the remaining Japanese massage chair manufacturers are still leading the game, simply because these companies have been around for decades, unlike some younger, American based companies.
If you’re familiar with the brands I’ve covered here, then you know that each company continues to dominate the market, however, many American companies are also catching up and even surpassing the types of technology the Japanese brands commonly use. So, in the future, if you’re considering purchasing a new massage chair, be sure to check out companies such as :
- Best Massage
- Positive Posture
- Human Touch
Are Massage Chairs Good for Back Pain?
If you decide to purchase a massage chair, it’s important to first consider where you’re experiencing the pain and ensure that the massage chair you bring home can cater to this need. Another important consideration is the amount of pain you’re experiencing.
For mild pain, a basic massage chair can help to rub out knotted muscles, relieve tension, and promote relaxation. But if you’re dealing with a slipped disc, then you need a massage chair that’s designed to help treat that level of pain. Usually, these are the Shiatsu massage chairs.
These Shiatsu massage chairs can penetrate deep into muscle tissue and can do wonders in terms of pain relief and improved circulation. Your doctor may also recommend going with a zero gravity chair instead. These chairs will place your body in a position that places your feet at heart level. T
his works to take pressure off the spine and the surrounding nerves. If you’re not sure which style of massage chair can help with pain management, consult your physician prior to purchase.
Do Massage Chairs Work?
Yes and no. Some massage chairs will work better than others. If it’s quality you’re after then you’ll need to be prepared to pay more. But these higher priced massage chairs will offer more options in terms of massage techniques, massage programs, reflexology massage, total body massage, and improved adjustability.
Lower priced massage chairs tend to offer one or two massage options in addition to a vibrating mode. If you’re in need of a high-quality massage chair to use to treat an ongoing medical condition or chronic pain, then click here to read my buyer’s guide.
Not only can the buyer’s guide explain many of the important features you should look for in your next massage chair it will also give you a brief glimpse of some of the leading massage chairs on the market.
Do Massage Chairs Take Up A lot of Space?
Yes, most massage chairs do take up a lot of floor space. Weighing anywhere from one to two hundred pounds, these heavily padded monsters really can take up too much floor space, especially when you consider the added amount of space that’s needed for reclining.
There are some models out there that feature a space-saving design that requires a minimal amount of clearance when you recline. In most cases, the manufacturer will state the clearance requirements directly on the spec sheet. Additionally, many models of zero gravity chairs also feature designs that require minimal clearance.
If you’re not sure whether or not a particular model will fit in your home, make sure you take careful measurements of the amount of space available before you buy.
The best Japanese massage chairs are produced by manufacturers that have been around for decades.
The leading massage chair Japanese brands include FUJIIRYOKI, Osaki, DreamWave, and Inada. These are the leading companies that have managed to withstand the test of time and have continued to produce some of the top-selling models of deep tissue massage chairs on the market.
Of course, you can find many of the same features in American made massage chairs, but considering the lengthy history of these leading brands, many believe that Japanese massage chair companies paved the way for the rise and continued evolution of home massage chairs.