9 Best Massage Chairs Consumer Reports: under 1000, Zero Gravity, Full Body, Shiatsu, Cushion and more

We live in a day of constant work. You work long hours at the office and often bring work home with you. This stressful lifestyle is painful. Physically painful. Stress causes muscles to tense up and joints to harden. This is why massage chairs have become so popular in recent times. They tend to cost a lot of money, so you want to be careful before you buy one. To help you out, we have listed the best massage chairs on the market below. Go through this list and find something that is perfect for you.

How to Buy a Massage chair that’s Perfect for you?

Sitting in a massage chair is a great way to relax at the end of a long day. Massage chairs can be quite expensive, so it is important to do your research before you end up buying something. There are also a lot of options for you to buy. Choosing the right type of chair is important because not all chairs will work for everyone. Provided below is a buying guide to help you buy the right massage chair. There are tips to keep in mind, features to look for and overall explanations that will help you understand massage chairs better.

Figure Out What Type You Want

There are lots of different types of massage chairs. Here are some types that are offered:

Zero Gravity: This chair is meant to emulate the feeling of being in space. The vibrations give you a weightless feeling which can be quite relaxing. This type of massage chair is particularly good for pain relief because you are not placing pressure on any part of your body during the massage program.

Full Body: A full body massage chair gives you a massage that closely resembles a real human massage. It involves an almost zero gravity feeling, but zero gravity chairs offer superior weightlessness. Full body massage chairs are often the most expensive products on the market because they offer the highest quality massages.

Shiatsu: These massage chairs offer a specific type of massage, namely the shiatsu massage. This style of massage originated in Japan, and is focused on deep, focused pressure on certain points of the body. Shiatsu massages are very popular and very stimulating, and shiatsu chairs are often more affordable than full body massage chairs.

Recliner: This is one of the simpler massage chairs on the market. It can be used as simple furniture in your home as well. The massage is not very intense but it gets the job done and is a lot more affordable than the full body or zero gravity massage chairs.

Seat Pad: This is the most affordable massager on the market. It’s not much of a chair, more of a cushion that you can sit on with a backrest. This type of massager usually offers one dimensional massages but it is quite affordable so it gives good value for money.

Features to Look For

Another factor that affects your choice of massage chair is the features that it offers. Features are often common across various chair types as well. Here are the features that are available in massage chairs:

Automated programs: These are common throughout most massage chairs, especially the more expensive kinds such as zero gravity and full body chairs. These programs are designed to give you good massages automatically.

Manual control: A good chair will give you at least some level of control over the intensity of the massage and how long each massage lasts. Some lower cost chairs don’t offer automated programs but give you control over what kind of massage you get which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Airbags: Only higher quality chairs will have this feature. Airbags give flat, even pressure to muscles. Shiatsu chairs often don’t have them because they don’t apply concentrated pressure. Full body massage chairs use these profusely, however. If you want a good chair that uses airbags, make sure it has them in the legs, back and neck regions where they would be most effective.

Intensity levels: In this regard, shiatsu chairs often win out. They offer the highest levels of intensity. Full body and zero gravity massage chairs often don’t offer as much intensity, although they do provide a fair amount. Seat pads usually offer no intensity because they usually offer heat based massages.

Rollers: Much like airbags are used for even massages, rollers are meant for more direct and concentrated massages. Shiatsu chairs use them liberally. They are great for getting rid of deep tissue pain.

Accessories: More expensive chairs often come with a lot of accessories. Cup holders, remote controls, Bluetooth speakers and feet extenders are just some examples. Pay close attention to what accessories your chair offers before you buy it. Some, like feet extenders and neck rests, are going to be necessary.

Practical Considerations

Not all of the factors affecting your purchase will be technical in nature. Some of them will have to do with practicalities, but these factors are equally important to consider. These practical considerations can help you narrow down your choices while choosing a massage chair. Here are the important things you should consider:

Space: While full body and zero gravity chairs are excellent, they take up a lot of space. Recliners, shiatsu chairs and seat pads are better for people that are short on space in their room.

Budget: This will narrow your options down a lot. If you are a budget conscious shopper, zero gravity and full body chairs are not for you. You would do better to go for recliners, or if you really want something affordable a seat pad would work nicely. It’s also important to remember that a chair doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. There are expensive classes of chairs, but within those classes are relatively affordable options you can look into. For example, a good full body massage chair can cost potentially thousands of dollars, but you don’t have to buy the most expensive one to get the best quality massage.

Warranty: While there are a lot of products you can buy without worrying about the warranty, a massage chair is not one of them. Massage chairs are expensive and technical issues are more common than you think. Make sure you get a chair with a good warranty.

Now that you have made it through this buying guide, you are finally fully equipped and prepared to find a massage chair that would give you everything you are looking for.

Top 9 Massage Chair Reviews by Consumer Reports

1. Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner Stretched Foot Rest 06

 

Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner Stretched Foot Rest 06

Features

  • Power rollers
  • Automated massage programs
  • Specially designed massage heads
  • 24 inch back range

What We Liked

Wide back range: When you get a massage, you would want to focus on your back a lot. This massage chair has a two foot massage range for your back. This helps the chair cover every inch of your back until all of the muscles in that area are relaxed. This makes it great for people that do labor intensive jobs and want to loosen up a little after work.

Contoured shape: Your back is not straight. Forcing it to lie on a straight surface can damage it a lot. This massage chair is contoured so that it can support your back. This makes it a very comfortable chair to sit in as well. The massage becomes a bit of a bonus because this massage chair is so comfortable to sit in!

Intelligent massage programs: Every massage chair has automated programs, but this chair has the best programs you can find. Firstly, it has a built in heating system. Heat helps your muscles loosen up. This massage chair strategically uses heat to make the massages more efficient.

Special massage heads: This is a shiatsu massage chair. That means that the massage heads target tsubo points in your body. These tsubo points are places where tension tends to accumulate over time. Loosening up these points can make your whole body feel relaxed.

Good for posture: You will stand up straighter after you use this massage chair. Your muscles will be aligned and relaxed as will your spine. This is perfect for people that work long hours sitting in a chair in an office.

What We Didn’t Like

Requires maintenance: This chair is meant to relax you, but often it will give you stress. This is because it requires maintenance otherwise the electronics might not last.

 

2. RELAXONCHAIR [MK-II PLUS]

 

RELAXONCHAIR [MK-II PLUS]

Features

  • Built in sensor and body scanner
  • 3 levels of airbag intensity and massage speed
  • Made of soft, synthetic leather
  • 9 massage programs

What We Liked

Sensor: As has been mentioned before your back is an important area of your body when it comes to massages. This massage chair comes with a sensor that detects the length of your spine. It would then adjust its massage pattern accordingly. This will help you get the best massage possible each time you use this chair.

Control over airbag intensity: Sometimes you would want a heavy massage, sometimes you’d want something lighter. With this massage chair you get three levels of massage intensity. This would affect each of the nine massage programs this chair comes with.

Material: This chair is covered in soft, smooth synthetic leather. Sitting in it feels like you’re sitting in a cloud! The material is durable and doesn’t stain easily. This makes it perfect for people that have kids, because kids can often wreck things by being too rowdy.

Built for big people: A lot of excellent massage chairs are useless because they can’t support your height and weight. This is a massage chair that was designed to benefit tall and heavy people as well! It can support people that are up to 6’2” tall and weigh up to 280 pounds.

What We Didn’t Like

Price: The Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair at the top of this list provides a lot of the same benefits for less than half the price. This is a branded model so it is understandable that it would cost more, but a price this high is difficult to excuse.

Slightly noisy: If you plan on talking to someone while using this massage chair you can forget it. It makes far too much noise while massaging you for this to be possible.

3. ideal massage Full Featured Shiatsu Chair

 

ideal massage Full Featured Shiatsu Chair

Features

  • Multiple massage times
  • Built in heat therapy
  • Multiple zero gravity positions
  • Quiet operation

What We Liked

No noise: As you can read above, the Relaxonchair is great but rather noisy. This is a great option for people that want an excellent massage without the noise. When you get a massage after a long day’s work, you want it to be as relaxing as possible. This chair’s quiet operation helps make that possible.

Zero gravity massages: A zero gravity massage can help your muscles fully loosen up. The massage chair vibrates in a way that makes you feel completely weightless. This can help make the massage a more isolating experience. You will no longer have to deal with distracting external stimuli which is a huge bonus.

Price: While not quite as affordable as the Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massager, this chair is still relatively affordable when you compare it to other similar items on the market.

Heat therapy: This feature is very useful for people that work out a lot or play sports. Such strenuous activity leads to sore muscles, and nothing is better for sore muscles than heat therapy.

What We Didn’t Like

Insufficient cushioning in head area: Resting your head on the cushion will be a little uncomfortable. You might have to add something a bit softer if you want to relax while using this massage chair.

Not adequate for larger people: While this chair beats the Relaxonchair in terms of noise, it fails in terms of size. This chair isn’t big enough for people over six feet tall or people that are heavier than average. This is a bigger problem than noise and bumps this chair down to third place in spite of its many good qualities.

4. Inada Sogno Dreamwave Massage Chair

 

Inada Sogno Dreamwave Massage Chair

Features

  • Proprietary Dreamwave technology
  • Complete body massage
  • Youth massage program

What We Liked

Accurate shiatsu motions: This massage chair comes with proprietary Dreamwave technology. This technology helps the massage chair move in a flowing motion. This makes it feel very similar to an actual shiatsu massage.

Full body massage: This massage chair can cover every square inch of your body. It manages to accurately press all of the pressure points and gives some of the broadest coverage of any massage chair on the market.

Special program for kids: Your kids might want to try the cool massage chair out. However, a lot of the programs these chairs come with are not suitable for kids because they apply too much pressure. This chair comes with special massage programs for children under fourteen.

What We Didn’t Like

Exorbitantly expensive: This massage chair costs more than a used car. It is so expensive that it is out of the reach of most consumers which is a huge drawback.

Unsatisfactory back massage: This massage chair fails to give a back massage worthy of the price. Most other areas work fine, but an unsatisfactory back massage is inexcusable at this price range.

 

5. Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner

 

Zero Gravity Full-Body Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner

Features

  • 6 massage programs
  • Body scan technology
  • Air cell technology

What We Liked

Surprisingly compact: This massage chair comes with space saving technology that folds it in when you’re not using it. This helps make it more compact than it looks. You would be surprised at how easily it fits into smaller areas of your home, especially when you see how easily you fit into it.

Computerized body scan: This massage chair gives you the exact massage your body needs by scanning its dimensions.

Excellent massage programs: You get a lot of programs to choose from. Some are for your legs, some are for your arms and some give full body massages. The back massages are particularly good.

What We Didn’t Like

Uncomfortable rollers: The foot rollers that this chair comes with are meant to stimulate pressure points in your feet. However, they end up being painful instead because they are poorly designed.

Difficult to use: Making your own programs is next to impossible with this massage chair. You will have to set up the whole process from scratch every time which can get quite frustrating. This really decreases the value of this chair which is why it couldn’t get a higher place on this list.

 

6. Relaxzen Deluxe Leisure Recliner Chair

 

Relaxzen Deluxe Leisure Recliner Chair

Features

  • Eight massage motors
  • 9 massage programs with 5 intensity levels
  • Microsuede upholstery

What We Liked

Easy to clean: Most of the massage chairs in this list are good at what they do but a nightmare to clean. This chair has microsuede upholstery which is a lot easier to clean.

Lots of massage programs: You can get up to 45 different massages with this chair. Each massage program offers five different intensity levels. This can help you get the massage you want.

Supports a lot of weight: This massage chair doesn’t look like much but it can support up to 300 pounds of weight. This makes it perfect for heavy people.

What We Didn’t Like

Not enough padding: You will feel a little uncomfortable after sitting on this chair for a long time. This is because it does not have enough padding. This takes away from the chair’s overall value.

Very loud: You will have to speak at the top of your voice while this chair is functioning. It is so loud that you might not use it very often. This is a serious setback for buyers looking for a peaceful and relaxing massage.

7. Mecor Heated Recliner Chair

Mecor Heated Recliner Chair

 

Features

  • Made of bonded leather
  • Easy to assemble
  • Weight capacity of 400 pounds

What We Liked

Weight capacity: This chair manages to beat the Relaxzen Deluxe Chair quite emphatically. It is able to support up to 400 pounds of weight which is the highest weight capacity of pretty much any chair on this list.

Easily assembled: This massage chair comes in two pieces. Each piece fits into the other easily and doesn’t require the help of a professional. This also makes the chair more portable. You can just disassemble it and take it wherever you want to go.

Even vibration: A massage chair needs to reach all of the areas of your body equally. This chair distributes vibration very evenly. This means that each part of your body will be equally stimulated.

What We Didn’t Like

Not built for daily use: This massage chair is meant for occasional use. Using it every day could cause it to break down. Durability is definitely an issue when it comes to this chair.

Not enough control: You get both heat and vibration with this chair. However, you will have to use both. There is no option for just heat or just vibration. This lack of control means you won’t always get the best massages.

8. FIVE S FS8812 10-Motor Vibration Massage Seat Cushion with Heat

FIVE S FS8812 10-Motor Vibration Massage Seat Cushion with Heat

 

Features

  • Two built in heaters
  • Four massage programs
  • Ergonomic design

What We Liked

Full body massage: This is one of the few massage chairs on the market that gives you a good full body massage. Your arms, back and legs will all be thoroughly pampered.

Price: While not exactly cheap, this chair does provide excellent benefits at a relatively low cost. You get a full body massage with built in heaters at half the price of Ideal Massage Shiatsu Chair. This is a good alternative for people on a budget.

Handy aux and USB ports: If you want to listen to music during your massage you can plug it in and press play. This is quite convenient and can help relax you. There is also built in spa music if you want something simple.

What We Didn’t Like

Not suitable for tall people: This chair is ranked lower than the Mecor recliner because it costs more and isn’t as suitable for tall or heavy people.

Inadequate butt massage: A good butt massage is an important part of any full body experience. This massage chair fails to deliver something worthwhile in this department.

9. Fully Assembled Curved Long Rail Shiatsu Massage Chair

 

Fully Assembled Curved Long Rail Shiatsu Massage Chair

Features

  • Built in speaker
  • Consists of a single piece
  • Wheels for easy movement

What We Liked

Speaker: Listening to music during your massage is a lot of fun. This massage chair lets you do it with a built in speaker. This is convenient because you won’t have to get a speaker separately. The speaker is compatible with Bluetooth.

Futuristic design: This chair looks like it was made in the 60s by someone trying to picture the future. This aesthetic is called retro futurism. It gives the chair a great look. It can serve as a great decoration piece when you are not using it.

Wheels: Keeping a massage chair in one place can be a hassle. You might want to move it around based on where it looks best. The wheels on this massage chair will help you do that.

What We Didn’t Like

No full body massage: You will be disappointed if you try to get a full body massage with this chair. It will mostly focus on your arms and legs, with little to no focus on your lower back.

Weak massages: A lot of people have complained about the massages not being deep enough. This is a problem for those that like more intense massages. This chair won’t be able to handle stronger massages that sportsmen or people that work out might need.

Related Massage Products to check out:

Each of the massage chairs listed above have something incredible to offer you. If you want something that can support a lot of weight, the Mecor recliner is a good bet especially if you are tall as well. However, the Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage chair is clearly the winner here. It gives a fantastic massage at an affordable price point. It just goes to show that you don’t have to spend tons of money to get a good product.

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