If you’ve been on the lookout for your own personal masseuse (and you’ve run through all the massage machines there are), it’s likely that you’ll end up with a massage chair.
A massage chair is a big investment- there’s no doubt about that. It could be pricey and will also take up some space in your home. However, the benefits outweigh those inconveniences.
Every massage chair is special in its own way. They offer a unique mix of features and settings – which may be tricky at first, especially if you’ve never bought one before.
10 Best Massage Chairs (Consumer Reports, 2023)
We decided to take a look at the market for the best massage chairs in stores. We picked out 10 of them that we think are the best — in terms of durability, comfort, features, brand trust, and buyer reviews. We also included a handy buying guide so that you can choose the perfect massage chair for yourself.
1. Real Relax Massage Chair
Well, apart from the fact that this massage chair is everything you’d want in a massage chair, it is modestly priced and doesn’t compromise on any of its features.
Just press a single button on this baby to enjoy zero gravity. And after this, relax and allow its 50 airbags to work miracles on your entire body.
This relaxer has eight massage rollers and six auto modes for your exploration. It can also customize massage settings when you set the rollers to your preferred speed.
That’s not all.
The remote control is user-friendly which means you can play with the options as you unwind. You can also enjoy the benefits of heat therapy which is an added feature to this machine. It has arm clips that will aid and treat your arms throughout the massage. And to top it all off, you can move it from room to room effortlessly, all thanks to the useful built-in wheels.
If you’ve never bought a massage chair before, this piece comes highly recommended. Users say it’s a good product, to begin with since it has all the settings you’ll desire and will get you excellent value for your money.
At the same time, there are people who find the massages a bit intense. However, it comes in highly recommended if you’re looking to relieve your pain after a stressful day. Most people appreciate how you can easily turn off the massage setting and just enjoy the heat and vibrations it provides on the go.
Interestingly, you get to have Bluetooth, a feature that only comes with expensive products. So you can connect your phone to the chair, sit back, relax and enjoy your favorite music tracks.
2. Relaxonchair MK-II Plus
Relaxonchair is famous for designing high-quality massage chairs, and the MK-II Plus is no different. Like its siblings, this machine has massage nodes that move on an L-track which allows you to focus on your lower back.
At the same time, it offers a great range of other features, especially when compared with other models in its price range. Once you select from three zero gravity settings, you can just recline (or lay flat) and let it take the pressure off your whole body.
The airbags deliver a full body massage based on your height. This is due to the body scanning feature that measures the length of your spine.
If you want a full-body stretch, select the Mk-11 plus spinal decompression program. This program also activates heating pads in the lumbar area, making it ideal if you’re looking for a quick fix for backache.
Users gushed about the intensity of the massage this chair gives. They also loved its massive control unit which could be operated easily. Some even said their family fought over who would use it at certain times or not. That’s because it can easily adapt to people of different sizes.
However, if you’re looking for a neck massage machine, this chair isn’t for you. The nodes and airbags won’t reach your neck. So, don’t waste your money. The Snailax Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager would a better option because its designed to knead and massage your neck.
3. Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair
What attracts most people to massage chairs is that it provides heat to your lower back. The Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair does this and also gives your foot a tender loving heat treatment too.
Since it is modeled after Chinese heat therapy, this chair is touted to improve your blood circulation. You can choose from a range of settings to tailor your massage towards. There’s kneading, tapping, and shiatsu. It has 21 airbags located around the hips and waistline. This supports your lower back during the massage.
Just like the Relaxonchair, it comes with built-in sensors that identify the length of your spine and precisely know the right place to deliver a pleasurable massage. Although this chair is not real leather and has a tacky look, many people are still impressed with its quality and ergonomics.
In all, it offers a broad range of attractive features, making it popular amongst many chair lovers. In fact, one user said it’s a great investment for health and comfort.
4. Osaki OS-4D Escape Massage Chair
Once you sink in the Osaki OS-4D Escape Massage Chair, you’ll forget all your worries including your back pain. This machine has so much to offer. It takes relaxation to the next level; the hood calms your mind with chromotherapy lighting.
It has 4D massage rollers that follow an ergonomic S-Track. They map the curvature of your back with precision, making this chair a perfect machine to treat back pain.
When you select one of its two zero gravity settings, you’ll enjoy a weightless feeling that your body will thank you for. The airbags are stylishly positioned to give a pleasurable shoulder and arm massage and there’s also an expandable footrest working on your feet. It’s a top body relaxer. And when you switch on the powerful heating settings, it loosens the muscles in your lumbar and calves.
One of the best features of this beautiful piece is the aromatherapy option; it uses essential oils to make your relaxation cozy and warm. As soon as you place an aromatherapy capsule inside, its scents will spread around the room.
The major drawback of this massage chair is that it cannot be used as a normal, everyday seat- unlike its peers. Also, it occupies a large amount of space. In fact, it’s one of the biggest chairs that were reviewed. And it’s actually pricey for the incredible features it has.
5. iRest SL Track Massage Chair Recliner
This massage chair is designed in such a way that it accommodates all body sizes so you don’t have to worry if you’re slim or small in stature. Just like the Relaxonchair, it will find your height, shoulder width, and weight and give you a thorough massage where you need it the most. Its calf rests extends up to 20cm, although tall users complained that they’ll benefit from the chair if it’s a bit longer.
One of the best features of the iRest that you won’t find on many other massage chairs is the SL track system. Most manufacturers favor an S or L-track massage system for their devices. This refers to how the massage nodes move up and down your back (in either an S or an L shape essentially) when in operation.
It’s fascinating to know that you get both options on this model. This empowers it to give you the best coverage your back could possibly ask for. It has other fascinating features too, like the six massage nodes, a full-body airbag massage, and a lower back heat feature.
You also get a built-in wireless Bluetooth functionality like Real Relax’s latest model. This creates a relaxing environment, further improving your experience.
6. Human Touch WholeBody 7.1 Massage Chair
If you’re looking for a stylish, compact, and moderate massage chair, the Human Touch Wholebody Massage Chair is the answer to your prayers. Compared to its competitors, it gives you a streamlined design and doesn’t compromise on any of its amazing features.
You can just sink into this chair and use its BodyMap PRO feature to select the area you want to massage. There’s also an easy-to-use remote control which gives you control over all the features. You can pick from 5 different programs, including a Sleep function which is specifically designed to help you get a good night’s rest.
Its warm air massage technology provides a warm and soft touch to soothe lower back pain. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a machine that boosts blood circulation, the WholeBody 7.1 has got you covered. It has a setting mode that does exactly that.
Its figure-Eight circulation technology makes it massage your calves in an upward, wave-like motion which gets your blood pumping and your heart exercising. It also reclines and swivels. So, it can be a comfortable chair when you’re not making use of the massage program.
7. Infinity Riage CS, Compact Shiatsu Massage Chair
This chair has suitable body relaxation motions like tapping, rolling, and shiatsu. With this machine, you get to enjoy a full suite of massage styles for an excellent price. You can either take full control over your massage session or select an automatic mode, then sit down, relax and have fun.
It has four massage rollers that are positioned in an L-track, enabling it to deliver a focused and satisfying massage. Despite the great features it has, the Infinity Riage CS is still compact, measuring 23 by 38 inches. It’s the perfect massage chair for small homes.
It’s lightweight and can be moved from room to room effortlessly. It weighs about 87lbs. People who own this beauty love its portable size. They also appreciate how it fits properly into their home without making it look congested.
The intensity level is top-notch. Many people enjoy its energetic massages that can make you wince in a good way.
8. Kahuna Superior Massage Chair
The Kahuna Superior Massage Chair offers just about every element of relaxation you could possibly need. It is designed for everyone irrespective of their body size and posture. It offers everything you could possibly want in a massage chair.
The stress-free zero gravity feature relieves you of massive doses of stress. You can also take advantage of its numerous massage techniques and programs to loosen tense muscles.
This chair works on acupressure points in your arms and puts you in a deeper state of relaxation. Your feet will also feel refreshed after getting a wrap-around squeeze massage from it.
But that’s not all.
This chair incorporates seriously good space-saving technology. You only need to place it 3 inches from the wall to enjoy its zero-gravity feature. It moves to and from about that distance. Its competitors, on the other hand, need like 10 extra inches of space when fully reclined. So this is a good advantage if you want features that won’t take over your home.
The length and width make it fit for every body size, making it a shoulder above the majority of massage chairs. Users love how intense its back massage rollers are, especially when the airbags and foot rollers are combined together. The Golfer setting seems to be most people’s favorite.
The remote was supposed to be a useful and valuable feature. However, most people felt frustrated because it didn’t remember their settings after they’ve used it. On the flip side, it is easy to operate and you can easily find those options you love and want.
9. Snailax Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Heat
You should consider getting this massage chair if you don’t have a big budget or you don’t have a lot of free space in your room. The chair is built in a way that it can be fixed onto your office chair while you’re working from home. It can also be fixed on a seat in your bedroom to relax before bed.
The pad delivers an intense neck massage through the four nodes that pierce deeply into your tissue which loosens tight muscles. They can also be adjusted to suit the user’s height.
The soft rolling setting works wonders on your back. You’ll experience the pleasure of massage nodes moving up and down your spine, with the ‘Spot’ feature targeting and getting every pain out of your muscle fibers. If you think the massage is hard, there’s an intensity control flap from which you can reduce the pressure of the rollers.
People who use it gush about how compact it is. They can carry it to the office for emergency and non-emergency uses. They also mentioned its ‘Spot’ feature repeatedly. Basically, this feature allows the machine to get to the source of their pain quicker and faster.
In addition, this machine uses soothing heat and massage nodes to work on your neck. This will give you extra comfort, making it a fantastic gift for anyone who is often stressed out, especially from work. Most massage chairs don’t cater to the neck, so this is a fantastic benefit that comes with the Snailax.
However, it has one limitation: The pad is only suitable for people of heights between 63 and 70.9 inches. So, if you’re over 6 feet, you won’t enjoy it. The Full Body Electric Shiatsu Massage Chair would suit you better.
10. Oways Rocking Massage Chair and Recliner
The black ‘lazyboy’ style massage chair isn’t for everyone. It may not even fit in with the styling of your home. And that’s because it has a simplistic, contemporary look.
This machine is built on a wooden rocking frame. It comes with several massage nodes and vibrating motors which work together to get rid of tension in your neck, back, and shoulders.
People who use it say its built-in function buttons are discreet and easy to operate. And its adjustable footrest added a lot to their comfort. If you’re struggling with neck pain, you’ll love this device. It has a neck massage pillow that you can adjust until you hit the right spot.
Reclining this chair fully is not possible. So, if you want to lie back and just relax, the Real Relax is a more suitable option.
In fact, you may have to compromise on a few things so that you can enjoy its simplistic design. It doesn’t come with zero gravity functions or different messaging styles like its peers.
However, it’s cheaper than many other massage chairs and still gives you a relaxing massaging session.
Types of Massage Chairs
In order to help you narrow your search, let’s have a look at the different types of massage chairs in the world today.
Recliner massage chairs
This is the most traditional type of massage chair. Usually, it’s cheaper than the zero gravity massage chairs. It offers a comfortable seat with massage features. It will fit well within your home.
Zero Gravity massage chairs
These massagers are inspired by space travel. They are designed to take the pressure off your legs and back and evenly distribute your weight. This way, you can get loads of relief from daily pain.
Full-body massage chairs
A full-body massage chair takes care of the whole body. It’ll cradle you in order to provide relief all over your body. Typically, it costs more than other types of massage chairs because it’s the closest thing to getting a massage from human hands.
Ottoman massage chairs
You can go for these types of massage chairs if you’re looking for a more traditional look. It’s a chair that has a separate footstool, with massage rollers and/or airbags on both of them.
Benefits of a Massage Chair
Here are a few joint and muscle conditions that massage chairs can help you get relief from.
Doctors and chiropractors often use massage chairs to help those with arthritic joints. This improves their flexibility and gets them relief from the pain.
However, massage therapy can cause adverse effects in some types of arthritis. So, you have to consult with your doctor first to see if it’s suitable for you.
Massage chairs are specifically created for you to get relief from back pain. They’ve been proven to do this on a consistent basis. They improve flexibility and reduce tensions in the muscle.
These happen when the muscle tightens or contracts, even when they are not in use. Massage therapy helps relax these muscles, loosen the knot, and provide relief from the pain.
Massage chairs also help relieve muscle tensions, including those in the back, neck or shoulders.
Many research has proven that massage therapy is effective in treating chronic neck pain. Neck massagers imitate the hands of a masseuse in stimulating muscles and nerve endings so that they can loosen and relax. A few massage chairs do the same thing.
Shoulder pain and posture problems
Shoulder pain is one of the most common complaints made by residents of the United States. A massager can help get relief from this pain. It also helps with pains associated with poor posture.