Do you suffer from chronic pain? Do you spend tens of hundreds at your local massage parlour every month for your regular massages? Why not get a massage chair so that you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home?
We know what you’re thinking - a massage chair is very, very expensive. What if we tell you that’s not necessarily the case? There are massage chairs at every price range, starting from as low as $100-$200 and they are not as inferior as you may think, if you manage to find the good ones.
Yes, there are massage chairs at every price range for everyone - you just need to find the right one. In this review, we are going to help you with just that - breaking down the staggering number of choices available in the market so that you can find the best massage chair ever for yourself.
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Top 10 Best Massage Chairs Comparison Chart
Before we can do that though, we need to dissect what it really means to call it “the best”.
What Makes The Best Massage Chair?
As you can see, the question as to ‘what is the best massage chair’ is really not that straightforward. The way we look at it, we think they can be divided into 2 categories - an overall best where every box is ticked for us and the other, the best massage chair for the money.
A. 5 Best Overall Massage Chair Comparison Chart
best massage chairs (overall)
63 x 31 x 43 inches
47 x 38 x 81 inches
64 x 31 x 50 inches
Offers just about everything a massage chair should have with features that you'll love. A massage chair for tall people.
Fda, CE, and UL listed (built for safety and medicinal benefits). A therapeutic user's heaven but may be underwhelming for hobbyists.
One of the best foot calf massager in the market. Minimal noise technology with extensive heating for therapeutic purpose.
Longest hybrid S/L track with aggressive yoga stretch program.
Most modern design and middle-range pricing.
Not a good fit for under 5'3"
Single lumbar heating region only
Not a massage chair for tall person
Maximum Weight Capacity
Maximum Height Capacity
[ 4.79 / 5.0 ]
[ 4.65 / 5.0 ]
[ 4.55 / 5.0 ]
[ 4.25 / 5.0 ]
[ 4.0 / 5.0 ]
B. 5 Best Massage Chair for the Money Comparison Chart
best massage chairs
(for the money)
46 x 48 x 31 inches
55 x 32 x 49 inches
44 x 28 x 40 inches
41 x 36 x 40 inches
45 x 45 x 32 inches
Very affordable, feature rich
A good therapeutic massage chair, loaded with extras
Best back massager for chair at this price point
Best foot and calf massager, ideal for those on a budget
3D roller tech, space saving, powerful, multi-purpose chair
Limited number of fancy extra touches
On the expensive side
Limited number of extra touches
No advanced feature
Not a massage chair for tall people
Maximum Weight Capacity
Maximum Height Capacity
[ 4.85 / 5.0 ]
[ 4.75 / 5.0 ]
[ 4.59 / 5.0 ]
[ 4.41/ 5.0 ]
[ 4.39 / 5.0 ]
As we’ve always said in our reviews, what constitutes as our best may not be the same for you and that is perfectly okay. We will discuss a few other top contenders as well in each category and who knows, one may just be the top pick for a particular class of users.
Top 5 Overall Best Massage Chairs Reviews
The Human Touch Novo XT2 Massage Chair is the latest model in the ever-popular Novo series and there really is nothing much we can fault about this one. We recommend this to anyone that can afford it.
Why It Became Our Top Pick
While it is not the perfect chair in that it scores a 5/5 rating from us (we have yet found the one world’s best massage chair), it scores the perfect balance between convenient using for a casual hobbyist yet has sufficient therapeutic features to cater to those suffering from chronic pain. It is this flexibility of being the best for both worlds that it takes the top spot of being the ‘best massage chair in the world’ for us.
Moreover, it has one of the biggest height ranges - from 5’ to 6’9” - so it is able to fit a good lot of people. If you’ve been doing your research, you will know that there aren’t many massage chair for tall person (beyond 6’5”). If they do, they won’t be as comfortable or fitting for smaller-sized people so it’s always one or the other. Not with the Novo XT2.
Hybrid S/L Track
S track is the standard frame massage chairs will give you, but the Novo XT2 steps it up by including a L track line too so you get a hybrid of S/L tracks. The total track length is about 50”, which is one of the longest the industry has to offer.
What this means is that you get a much wider coverage. You see, massage rollers need a track to glide along in order to massage your body. The S track allows them to follow the natural curve of your spine from neck to tailbone but with the inclusion of a L track as well, the rollers can move beyond to go under the seat to massage your glutes and thighs.
3D Quad Rollers
A long track will mean nothing if the rollers aren’t performing up to par. We’re pleased to find that the Novo XT2 has upgraded from its previous dual rollers to now quad rollers with 3D touch.
What this 3D technology means is that the rollers are able to move away from the massage track (up to 3”) to give a deeper massage in general.
Zero Gravity Position
One has to have the zero gravity function to be able to constitute as the worlds best massage chair.
Zero gravity seating is where your feet are elevated slightly higher than your heart level to give you an instantaneous weightlessness (read more about the benefits of Zero G here) besides giving a deeper massage because gravity pulls your body down so that the bulk of your body is pressing against the rollers.
Given the price, we expect the Novo XT2 to possess the maximum 3 positions that technology today can bring but sadly, it only offers 2 positions. It’s not a deal breaker of course, but considering the Kahuna LM6800, which cost only about ⅓ of the price is offering 3 positions, this comes a bit as a disappointment.
This is a big chair, no doubt about that. While you do have to allocate considerable space for it, it may not take up as much floor space as you would have thought.
This is because it uses an innovative technology whereby the chair will shift forward as it reclines, so all you need is just 2 inches from the wall! If you know your massage recliner chairs, you will know what a feat this is. Definitely a great improvement from the previous 9 inches we have to say!
Human Touch goes down the path of high automation, providing a ground-breaking 35 automatic pre-programmed massage routines in the Novo XT2.
We think this is the right move, because many users prefer the push-button option as compared to having to tweak the massage options themselves. Granted, you can still control it manually, with a ‘zone massage’ function for you to interrupt any massage program running and focus the rollers to where it hurts the most.
In terms of massage techniques, it has some of the best:
In particular, the presence of Shiatsu, Swedish and Thai make this one invincible massage chair - you won’t find massage chairs at any price that offer three advanced massage techniques as such. On top of that, you get to select the intensity and speed the rollers operate at 3 different levels.
A good massage chair will not be limited with just roller-based massages, it will come equipped with air massage technology too.
The Novo XT2 doesn’t have a lot of airbags but that does not matter - what it has it implements well. Its Second Generation airbags are placed strategically across the arm, calf, foot, hand, hip, thigh, upper arm and shoulder. You can choose to activate the airbags specifically, and there are three intensity levels for you to adjust.
Dual lumbar heat
While heat is a pretty common element in massage chairs nowadays, the Novo XT2 falls rather short in this department for us. It has two heat pads installed at the lumbar region and while this may be sufficient a few years back (during the old XT version), it is quite underwhelming nowadays.
Its body stretch function is passable, although we think it could raise a few more notches in terms of its intensity. For therapeutic purposes, this may not be enough (though the aggressiveness of the Thai option makes up for this) but for casual users, it may just be the right pressure.
Foot and calf massage
Delivered via a combination of airbags in the footwells and dual rollers at the bottom of each leg port. Both speed and intensity of the rollers can be adjusted independently which is something we really like. Sadly though, and this is one of the reasons why the Novo XT2 fails to get a perfect score from us, is that it doesn’t have heat at the footwells.
Another deducting point is that it does not offer automated body scanning. Truthfully, we’re a little surprised at the lack of it because many high end massage chairs have this function, and the Novo XT2 is certainly one high end machine.
Instead, it has 9 preset modes which (1) you choose the one you think suits best, (2) you tweak and fine tune the position of the rollers manually. Not the most impressive and well implemented, we have to say.
Other Bonus Features
As you can see, there are many things that we like about the Human Touch Novo XT2 Massage Chair, the shortcoming being probably its price only, as well as a few minor issues such as no heat in footwells and no auto body scanning.
Although we think it strikes a good balance between casual and therapeutic fusion, we have to say it skews slightly more towards a hobbyist’s use. For higher therapeutic use, perhaps the Luraco i7 is a slightly better choice. Nonetheless, this is one chair that we’d highly recommend getting, if you can afford it.
An exceptional medical massage chair, the Luraco iRobotics 7 Plus Medical Massage Chair took the top spot in our best full body massage chair review so it is no surprise that it makes it to our Top 10 list here.
About the Luraco i7
Luraco is an American brand with a massage chair line that is fully researched, developed and assembled in the USA. The iRobotics 7 Plus is its latest product, a medical massage chair primarily designed to be a therapeutic model yet simple enough for casual users to get the most out of it.
It has a comparatively shorter massage track (the S-track) that only goes to the small of your back, and this is probably the only thing we’d ‘fault’ the Luraco i7. Nonetheless, it retains quad rollers so the massage quality is every bit as good. Although a hybrid L/S track will be better, considering many other chairs are still using the S track frame, we can’t really count this as a negative.
Zero Gravity Seating
The NASA-inspired technology is also incorporated where your body is reclined to where your knees is elevated slightly above your heart. This allows a deeper massage because gravity pulls your body down so that the bulk of your body is pressing against the rollers. It would be better if there are multiple positions though, as this one here only has 1.
User Memory Settings
It is a wonder why so little chairs offer memory nowadays, given how cheap memory is these days. Not with the Luraco i7. There are an impressive 5 memory slots for you to work with - you can either save 5 different massage varieties for yourself, or leave the extra slots for other family members.
In terms of massage options, you get:
Allow us to explain a bit further here because the company has put a lot of emphasis on this feature.
You see, it is fairly normal nowadays for chairs to let you selectively activate airbags in Air Massage mode, but what makes the Luraco i7 stands out is that it also allows you to do the same thing with their roller-based massage.
Amazing right? This means you can truly customize your massage the way you want it to be. There are a whopping 80 second-generation airbags (which is an incredible number) for you to direct at 6 areas predominantly - neck, upper back, lower back, arms, calves and feet, and 5 intensity levels to choose from.
When need be, you can pause your massage and resume after without having to start all the way from the beginning again. On top of that, there are 9 pre-programmed massage options with manual settings available
For chronic pain users, this may be what’s most relevant and of interest to you.
The Luraco i7 has heat pads installed in the lumbar, seat as well as both footwells. In fact, it has one of industry's best heated foot massager because its intensity can be adjusted into 3 levels. This makes it an ideal best foot massager for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
The presence of heat at these areas enhance relaxation and relief of your body as a result of increased blood circulation. Also, it adds so much more to the massage experience especially during winter.
This is a program where it twists and stretches your body like no other to really loosen up all those muscles. You feel an instantaneous relief of pressure from compressed discs which is what causes 90% of chronic back pain. If this is you, this may be your most-loved feature.
The stretch can be a little aggressive but compared with other chairs with similar program, this one here probably does best.
Foot and Calf Massager
The i7 has one of the best rated foot massager in the industry with its 3-layered advanced foot massage with double rollers and calf massager. It is worthy to note that the rollers are layered 3-folds so the pressure wouldn’t be too much on your feet, as some others may to the extent of causing pain.
The foot ottoman is also extendable to accommodate users up to 6’5”, making it a massage chair for tall person (who often have limited choices).
Integrated Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Monitor
Now this is one of a kind in massage chairs.
This patent-pending feature is especially useful to keep track of your body's condition during a massage session so that you know where your limit is because as common sense as it may sound, you shouldn’t spend too long massaging your body (which is why you normally see a maximum of 30-minute timer in some chairs).
All the above, controllable by a patent pending technically up-to-date, fast-responding, heavy-duty and smart handheld touch-screen control that utilizes the same platform you will find in smartphones. Given the many features, it is surprisingly a user-friendly model.
Other Bonus Features
- Seven human-voice command system (English, Vietnamese, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, and Korean)
- Quality and powerful Bluetooth speakers
- Pause and resume buttons
- Adjustable massage timer
There isn’t much to fault the Luraco iRobotics 7 Plus. The 5-year limited warranty far extends standard industry’s practice, and this goes to show how confident the company is in its quality and workmanship to extend this offer.
If we’d to nitpick, it will be the sole Zero G position which we would like to see an upgrade in future models.
At the end of the day, it is one of the best high end massage chair, with top end features that we will highly recommend. If you can afford it, get it today. If you can’t, don’t sell yourself short and get a lesser model. Save the money and get the massage chair that does it all.
Given that (and also because it’s the highest end of the line), it does not share the friendly price tag that is of its peers, which is probably why it is not as popular as the rest but for those who have bought it, you'll agree with us that it has one of the best massage chair ratings.
S/L Hybrid Track
Like the Human Touch Novo XT2, it has a S/L hybrid track which massage from the neck until the glutes and back of your thighs. This is probably the widest coverage one can get from a massage chair at one time.
Those familiar with Kahuna chairs will know this already. Until the emergence of Human Touch’s Novo XT2, it boasts the least wall space required (3 inches only from the wall) for a massage recliner chair.
Nevertheless, at 3 inch, it is still a great feat to have because well, a massage chair like this is a burly piece of furniture.
The SM9000 has one additional feature that its peers don’t though, that is, it has an ameliorated forward sliding mechanism. This allows a more quiet transition than the old sliding mechanism, so that's another plus point to like.
This newest Air Float technology provides the smoothest and most optimized transitions with minimal noise. The SM9000 has a latest engineered motor that allows for the most silent massages for maximum state of relaxation.
Nothing of spectacularity, though each is installed and engineered well.
It does not have advanced techniques like Thai and Swedish but that’s okay because the infrared heating rollers more than make up for it for therapeutic effect.
Let’s look into its air massage features now shall we?
The SM9000 is designed for a full body air massage that dynamically massages most of the surfaces with minimal number of airbags.
That said, it does install additional airbags on the back and hip areas to enhance its sensational spinal pressure relief to its user.
Other areas with airbags attached are:
These airbags loosen tense muscles by inflating and deflating with gentle pressure to stretch the body while rhythmically squeezing to release tensed muscles and improve circulation.
6 Infrared Heating Rollers
If we’re to point out one stand out feature of the SM9000, it will be its newly invented infrared heating rollers. This means you get heat coverage where the rollers hit, and with a total of 6 of them, it basically means the whole of your back and thighs where the rollers travel. Thanks to this, it gives one of the best therapeutic massages.
The heating rollers provide soothing relief sensation from back pain and it helps ease tensions and reduces stress by transmitting the heat from the rollers through the muscle tissues, allowing the blood vessels to open up, and letting the tensed muscles to relax much quicker. It is also great for relieving arthritis pain and sore muscles because it promotes better blood circulation.
For chronic pain sufferers, this may sound like heaven to you. It is.
3D Foot Massage
It is also one of the best foot calf massager in that department.
Implementing 3 different techniques - scraping, rolling and kneading - all at the same time using fully wrapped airbags, it helps strengthens your foot and ankle area to minimize injuries.
The 3D wraparound squeeze air massage it applies onto the calf is truly a relaxing sensation, taking the tiredness of the whole day away. It is one of the features that we enjoy the most of the SM9000.
Other Bonus Features
- Built in premium Bluetooth speakers
- 7 Kahuna signature programs
- 1-2 inches wider seat and shoulder
The Kahuna SM9000 Air Float 3D+ SM9000 Massage Chair is no doubt the top end of its line, but it is sufficient on itself to stand its ground on par with some of the best massage chairs in the market.
That said, it does come with a hefty price tag which means it is not for everyone. And considering there is a similar high-performing alternative (our all-time favourite), we can understand why it is not a bestseller as it should be.
Another common way of determining the best massage chair is by looking at the number of options and massage combinations available, and weighing that against the price.
If this is your measuring standard, the Ootori SL Massage Chair will be right up your alley.
S/L Track System
Not just a hybrid S/L track system, these double tracks boast a total length of approximately 52 inches so the rollers can walk along the human body curve from the neck down to under the seat area to massage your glutes and thighs.
Smart Body Scan
The computerized Smart Body Scan function will scan your body automatically to detect your body and will self-adjust to allow the chair provide a custom massage according to your body shape and size.
Its leg rest can be extended up to 7 inches/18cm so it is able to fit a variety of body sizes up to 6.3 inches/440lbs.
Like the Human Touch Novo XT2, it utilizes a sliding forward mechanism when reclining so it doesn’t take up much floor space, only 2.5” from the wall.
Not as good as the former’s 2” but nonetheless, a welcoming feature to have.
Designed with 3D massage hands to make you feel like real human massage, the Ootori SL performs massages in kneading, rolling, knocking, finger, tap and dual action motion. Further, the electric massage rollers are adjustable for different shoulder width, from 1.57" to 8.27" with 3 levels.
Airbags are strategically located in the seat, calf, feet, and back area. they contribute in a huge way to the soothing effect of the massage chair. When the airbags are used in concert with the roller system, you will feel like 3 massage therapists are working on you for 30 straight minutes.
On top of that, you get 6 automatic programs with bluetooth connectivity. The Auto Programs allow you to get a full set of massage features, working in perfect harmony, with the simple push of one button.
This recliner chair here is designed with 3 stages of zero gravity system - initial, comfort and deep - with the final stage reaching 180 degrees flat. All these, in one key away.
Press the zero-gravity button to adjust the optimal position by elevating your feet to 10cm higher than your head, and 20cm higher than the heart.
This effectively alleviates the pressure on the vertebrae, relieves the discomfort of back pain, and give your heart a holiday.
Honestly, this is the best zero gravity massage chair out of all in this category. The most that they offer is 2 stages but at more than half of their price, this one here is able to offer the maximum available.
Foot and Calf Massage
Those who suffer chronic pain from standing on long hours, this is a life-saver function to you. There is an all-round scraping and rolling function that can effectively stimulate the plantar reflex zone to reduce your fatigue and improve the body's immunity.
Equipped with 3 rows of foot rollers that stimulate your acupuncture points, as well as the inflation and deflation of the leg airbags squeezing your calves simultaneously, you will get a deep tissue massage with gua sha therapy on your tired feet and legs.
This is where it stands out most for us - its yoga stretch program. It combines the Thai top, pull and pedal method so that your whole body can relax through stretching. We mention the lack of aggressiveness for therapeutic purpose in the Novo XT2’s stretching - this one here is exactly what we mean and are so happy to find.
On auto modes, the airbags will hold your shoulder, arms, waist, hips, legs and feet before having the chair gradually stretch your body, meanwhile, you can also enjoy kneading, shiatsu, padding on manual mode, simultaneously.
When it comes to heating function, it does just the standard - lumbar heating zone only. Nonetheless, two heating pads are provided to help with the air compression technology to give a more effective massage at the lumbar area. Maintaining at a constant 42 degrees, it is just the right temperature to make the body comfortable and relaxed.
Other Bonus Features
- Intelligent hand controller with LCD display
- Bluetooth technology allows user to listen to their favorite music and phone calls on high quality speakers
- LED lights located on side panels help create a relaxing atmosphere
When you put all that together with the Ootori SL Massage Chair's surprisingly easy-to-use remote and its impressive 3 year warranty (more than the standard industry's 2 years), and a comparatively low price point, it's quite hard not to fall in love with this model.
The Osaki OS-Pro Admiral Massage Chair is a fantastic, well-designed massage chair packed with innovative features and functions that both casual and therapeutic users will love. It is priced middle-range and is a chair that is more affordable to the majority mass.
Just about every feature the Osaki OS-Pro has to offer was carefully thought out and well implemented. It may not have as many bells and whistles as other chairs, but what it has, it’s done well.
Automatic Body Scanning
The moment you sit in and switch on the chair, its automatic body scanning feature will measure your shoulder’s height and legs’ lenghts to ensure the rollers are correctly in place to massage you at the right places. This is exactly what we mean when we say the Human Touch Novo XT2 lacks in.
Unlike all the chairs we’ve reviewed thus far, it uses an L track frame here. It’s basically an extension of the S-track where the rollers follow the shape of an ‘L’ starting at the neck and continue down through the curves of the back, then continue even further around to the glutes and hamstring area.
Now if you’re to ask whether S or L track is better, again, the question goes back to your personal condition. If you have a lot of tension in the glutes (which in turn cause back and leg pain), or if you have certain forms of sciatica, then an L-track like the OS-Pro Admiral will be more beneficial to you.
Advanced 3D Massage
Do you often wonder what it means when companies advertise their chairs to be ‘3D technology’? Just like this one does? It is actually an innovative form of engineering where users are allowed to control the length of the rollers that extend out from the backrest. Basically, it means you get to manually adjust the rollers to move away from the massage track (up to 3”) to give a deeper massage.
We have to admit we’re pleasantly surprised with this because it shares the same groundbreaking technology as the Novo XT2 of requiring just 2 inches between the chair and the wall in upright position, but the Osaki OS-Pro Admiral is almost half of the former’s price.
This space-saving technology is certainly welcomed at any home because the chair itself is burly enough, anything that minimizes floor space is a great bonus worthy to be highlighted.
In terms of massage options, there are 6 different massage styles in the form of:
On top of that, it utilizes second generation airbags to render its excellent air massage that can be enjoyed either in full-body mode, or by selectively activating airbags by the following body regions:
There are altogether 16 sets of auto massage programmes which is considered substantial, given the Kahuna SM9000, at almost double the price, has far less. There are 5 levels of intensity levels to control in total.
Zero gravity position where your weight will be evenly distributed throughout the back is offered to provide refined massage and improved blood circulation.
Lumbar and calf heat
Although heat element is present in both lumbar and calf area, the temperature is rather mild and cannot be adjusted. This is where it falls somewhere short compared to its peers, nonetheless, it’s better than nothing because heat helps loosen tensed muscles so it still does serve its therapeutic purposes.
Rollers in the footrest provide a soothing kneading style of massage to relieve tired feet. Combine this with the air pressure on both sides and the massage sensation is heavenly.
Other Bonus Features
- Bluetooth speakers along the headrest allow users to listen to their favourite songs
- USB connector to charge your phone and enjoy your massage at the same time
- Footrest can extend up to 7.1 inches to fit various heights
- Multi Language Support
- Easy to Use LCD Remote
The Osaki OS-Pro Admiral Massage Chair is not cheap, although it is not the most expensive model we’ve covered thus far. It is fairly easy to use though, so even if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you will still be able to master it fairly quickly.
It has by far one of the best design appearance-wise, with quilted backseat and LED light control so if you don’t particularly fancy the bulky outlook of most massage chairs, this one here may appeal to you most.
Top 5 Best Massage Chair for the Money Reviews
So, we understand that different people have different tastes and needs. Your kind of ‘best’ may be different from other people’s - it is a highly subjective matter after all.
While it will be rather impossible for us to cover every kind of ‘best’, we can look at one other common way that people usually encapsulate ‘best massage chair’, that is, measuring the cost against the chair that offers the greatest number of features. In other words, shop for the best value on the market.
Because hey, not everyone has that kind of unlimited money, right? When it comes to the best massage chair for the money, we have a clear winner here and it is not the Novo XT2.
Probably not a surprise there for many, eh? But yes, it is the Kahuna LM6800 Full Body Massage Chair that takes the top spot of our best massage chair for the money category.
If you’ve read some of our reviews before, you will agree that this chair definitely deserves the top spot with its array of features at such an affordable price.
Hobbyist, therapeutic users, the tall and bigger in size - almost everyone will love this chair!
There is a lot to like about the LM6800 - it is built around the same core technologies as the Novo XT2, think quad rollers, space-saving technology and zero gravity seating.
In fact, it trumps over a lot of other competitors in that it offers 3 zero gravity positions. Now, if you’ve read our reviews above, you will know that that is the maximum number current technology has to offer at this age.
For the SM9000 to have this, that is understandable - it is, after all, a high end massage chair but for the LM6800 to have the same feat? That is value for money. If you are to say that this is the best zero gravity massage chair, we wouldn’t disagree with you.
Another thing where it beats the Novo XT2 is that it has computer body scan technology where the chair will automatically scan your body size to customize your massage. See what we mean when we say this is the chair for everyone?
It does, however, use a single L track system only so that’s where it falls short of the Novo XT2. But in terms of coverage, it has a wider scope compared to that of an S track only as it reaches the bottom of your glutes and thighs.
In terms of air massage, although its uses more airbags (36 in total) than the Novo XT2, they are First Generation airbags so not necessarily as advanced. As such, we can only say that their air massage is acceptable but nothing spectacular. There are three levels of air pressure and speed though so that is a good amount of choice to have.
Again, they fall nothing short of the Novo XT2’s (at a fraction of the latter’s price), something we’re still very amazed at. They include:
Yoga Stretch - One of industry’s best, Kahuna’s patented Yoga Stretch program stretches your body fully with just the right pressure and aggressiveness (not too mediocre).
Heating - Not just limited at the lumbar area, it offers calf heat too to soothe the legs.
Foot Massage - Dual rollers with detachable and washable footer area cotton for sanitary purpose. It is one of the best rated foot and calf massager by industry experts.
As one that receives some of the best massage chair ratings among users and industry experts, the Kahuna LM6800 is one of the most feature-rich massage chairs you can find at this price point. If you measure your best according to ‘price per feature’, you’ll see how superb it is in terms of value for the money just by doing a little maths.
Truly an amazing chair, offered at an amazing price.
Another strong contender in the best value massage chair category is Relaxonchair’s MK-Classic. Again, this is another chair that made it to our best massage chair under $2000 category and it is one that resembles the LM6800 in many ways.
Featuring a similar L-track system but longer at 50 inches, the MK-Classic contours the back and glides from the lower skull all the way down to the buttocks and under thigh area.
Given its track being one of the longest in the market, it is able to accommodate up to 6’5” tall which, although not as much as the Novo XT2 and Luraco i7, is still deemed substantial as a massage chair for tall person.
Similarly, it offers intelligent body scan technology and 3 zero gravity positions up to 160 degrees recline. What it has that others don’t is a feature called ‘Sleep Mode’, whereby the chair will maintain your pre-set position (be it recline or zero gravity) even after the massage has ended so that you won’t be interrupted if you’ve fallen asleep during the session.
Again, it resembles the LM6800 in its massage options - Kneading, Tapping, a combination of both, Shiatsu and Rolling. Likewise, there are 3 levels of intensity and speed control as well as quad rollers that are adjustable up to 3 different widths for your back massages.
What it differs though is its air massage system. Although using the same First Generation airbags, this one here compensates by having A LOT of airbags (42 to be exact) installed strategically across the chair in the arms, hips, shoulder, thighs, calves, and feet area.
These airbags are programmed to inflate/deflate separately which causes the body to twist and stretch on shoulders, lower back, hips, and thighs. You can choose to have them working simultaneously or alternatively, selectively activate them to perform individually on the spots you require most.
The MK-Classic falls a bit short in this regard in that it doesn’t offer heating anywhere else except the lumbar region. It also only utilizes a sole massage roller at the bottom of the foot massager so certainly not the most ideal when it comes to foot massage.
Nonetheless, the multiple airbags on the sides and back of the legs provide a good compression massage to relieve fatigue.
It has a remarkable Yoga Stretch program though. This program has several ‘mini programs’ that work simultaneously - while one stretches your upper body, the other stretches your legs and thighs during massages.
By getting massages while your muscle is either stretched or squeezed, your tired muscles will be rejuvenated faster and get more energy than in one fixed position.
We should probably say something about the Relaxonchair MK-Classic price. While it may still be a rather substantial amount to spend on, it actually costs less than you may think. Most chairs that offer this level of functionality have a high-end price tag but the MK-Classic is at most a mid-range chair.
We will say it is a rare combination of form and function at an outstanding price, a value for its money buy.
The Human Touch Wholebody 7.1 Massage Chair did not take the top spot like the Novo XT2 does, however, it’s worthy to take a look at this chair for those who love the Human Touch modern ergonomic design but not the price tag.
This one here has a much more affordable price point but with more basic, frequently-used features.
The standout feature has to be its patent-pending FlexGlide and 3D orbital massage technologies. Free from the pinching and friction associated with typical massage chairs, every contour of your body is therapeutically touched by an unparalleled flexibility and seamless glide. As the company itself puts it, it feels much like a masseuse upgrading you from a dry to a warm oil massage.
It utilizes a dual motor system so that you can adjust your back and leg rest independently. There is also a 55 degree swivel base so you get to enjoy your massage from any angle,
The Wholebody 7.1 utilizes 4 massage techniques: Stretch, Flex, Tone, and Glide.
While it’s named differently, the effect they have are rather similar to the basics that we are all familiar with.
In terms of in-built massage programs, there are altogether 5 that aim for pain relief, stress relief, physical therapy, and relaxation:
When it comes to therapeutic effects, nothing beats Human Touch’s touch on back pain (pun intended).
Do you know that their massage chairs are the only chairs endorsed by the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) that serve as an effective tool for back pain patients?
It goes as far back as 1979, where these chairs provide measurable physical and psychological benefits to a wide range of users including back pain patients, active seniors, sports and outdoor enthusiasts, and those living with stress and chronic pain.
All 5 of the expertly designed massage programs help the body recover from a variety of physical conditions, including Back Pain, Sciatica, Arthritis & Fibromyalgia.
Different from other massage chairs where you’ll only feel the effect after finishing one cycle of massage, the Wholebody 7.1 gives you an instant relief right where you need it by using what it calls the ‘BodyMap PRO’ function. This remote allows you to simply press a button to indicate where you want to feel better, and the chair will pinpoint the massage rollers on targeted locations.
Patented Warm Air Technology
The chair’s patented Warm Air Technology targets the shoulders to lumbar area to soothe and relax you, preparing your muscles for a deeply-penetrating massage. 2 lumbar heat modules are encompassed to gently envelope your back, soothing tight muscles and relieving pain
Retractable Foot & Calf Massager
The ottoman on the WholeBody 7.1 converts to a foot and calf massager with CirQlation Technology to massage your legs in an upward motion, forcing blood to the body's core. This is especially beneficial for those with high blood pressure, low blood pressure, sleep issues, fibromyalgia, etc.
It also rotates into an ottoman to provide a comfortable place to relax your legs when a massage is not what you have in mind.
So as you can see, the Human Touch Wholebody 7.1 Massage Chair is focused more on the basics, as compared to the Novo XT2 of the same brand. If you suffer from back issues or chronic pain, this is one massage chair that we will highly recommend without any reserves.
Another chair at an amazing price, the Forever Rest FR-5Ks Premier Back Saver is, like its name, one best lower back massager for those suffering from back pain.
It has an incredibly robust design that is filled with both convenience and therapeutic features. Most importantly, it is very easy to operate. We recommend this chair to anyone as long as you’re not taller than 6’3”.
Unlike most massage chairs, this one here uses an unconventional I track back quad roller mechanism, which is a powerful intelligent system that provides a great and healthy deep tissue massage. The rollers are able to glide not just from your neck to your glutes but also across the shoulders and hips and this is why it is regarded as one of the best chair for lower back pain sufferers.
When it comes to massage options, this one here has 8 different types:
That is value for money, considering many of the same price range offer a maximum 5 massage options. All the massage options have adjustable speed and intensity of up to 3 levels, and you get to manually adjust the width of the rollers too (3 widths) to suit your body size.
There are 5 different automatic programs to choose from, including a full body yoga stretch. This is where your feet and legs will be squeezed before being pulled downwards to the ground as the backrest pulls your core (upper body) back into the recline position.
We will have to say that their yoga stretch is pretty impressive, although everything else is rather standard. By no means we mean they are not good, they get the job done well.
Apart from the utilisation of the I track, Forever Rest also does things differently with their zero gravity function. Not limited to just the industry’s standard of 3 recline position, you get to adjust the reclining angle any way you want to, into the most comfortable position.
This is because it uses dual reclining motors in its design. What this means is that you get to control the reclining of the back and legs separately, and individually. This way, you get a true zero gravity positioning for the ultimate relaxation.
Another therapeutic feature that stands out is its foot massage. Unlike most chairs in this price range that can only offer acupressure massage, it offers both foot rolling and foot and calf acupressure simultaneously. If you’ve not tried this combination before, you probably wouldn’t know but oh, the difference it makes! Once you’ve tried it, you won’t be able to turn back.
At slightly over $1,000, we have to say the Forever Rest FR-5Ks Premier Back Saver is value for the money. But keep in mind, you have to be under 6’3” to reap its optimal benefits.
Last but not least, it is the Real Relax 3D Massage Chair Recliner that we want to talk about.
If you like our top pick here in our best massage chair under $1000 review, you will love the better but slightly more expensive version of this Real Relax full body shiatsu massage chair here.
The only massage chair in this category with a hybrid S/L track, it has ‘robot rollers hands; that will glide from your neck down to your hips and glutes area. Once you sit in the chair, an automatic computer scan technology will detect your body shape before adjusting the back roller position to give you a custom fit.
A stand out feature is that it can be used as an individual recliner chair to sleep, rest or watch tv in when not in use. You do not need to select a certain massage program to tune it to a recline position for you to relax comfortably. As such, it makes for one of the best home massage chair to have for those looking for one.
It wouldn’t take up much space at your home, because it utilizes a space-saving technology of only 1.96 inches required from the wall. It comes fully assembled, all it requires is just plug in the power, put the footrest down and you are good to go.
As pictured above, there are 6 massage options for you to choose from. You can either choose one for the whole body, or choose a different one according to different body parts.
There are 4 automatic programs with a timer of up to 30 minutes to choose from. In manual program, the robots hands rollers width is left and right adjustable. There are altogether 3 speed and intensity each for you to adjust.
Zero gravity position is available but what’s worthy to mention is the chair’s foot roller and airbag system. For the latter, it now has an upgraded vertical wraparound airbag so that you can put and keep your arms in the airbag effortlessly.
This is something a lot of people struggle with we find, as it’s always either having difficulty putting your arms through to the arm slots, or that the slots are too loose to hold your arms secure in place with many massage chairs. With this more ergonomic design, your arms are snug and will not slip and slide around yet not too tight to the point that it’s difficult to get through it.
In terms of its heat function, there’s only heat at the waist area so that’s something it falls short on. You see, if companies choose to go down the route of having one heating region only, it will be the lumbar area because that’s probably where the majority will require. To not have that but in the waist area instead is a bit risky, we have to say.
Its foot massage is incredible though, providing a Thai type scrapping massage to relieve any foot stress or pain.
The reason the Real Relax 3D Massage Chair Recliner didn’t score a higher spot in our list is due to its height restriction. The most it is able to accommodate is 6 feet (and that is slightly pushing it already) and that is rather limiting to a good majority of people.
It is a good, basic massage chair nonetheless. If you’re under 6 feet, it might just be the best massage chair ever for you.
Why You Should Get A Massage Chair
As mentioned in the beginning of this review, a lot of people is concerned over the price of a massage chair. It is perhaps the biggest reason holding many back from getting one, really.
Yes, there are massage chairs that can cost a rather substantial amount, but there are also an extensive number of good cheaper alternatives likewise as you can see by now.
Think about it: how much do you spend on your regular massages per month? Say, the average cost per hour is around $75 - $90, that’s an average of $350 per month, $4,200 per year. For those with chronic pain/posture problem, the amount it costs for chiropractors’ visits are probably even more.
That amount would have easily find you a more than decent massage chair with all the bells and whistles, one that could last a good 5 years at least (or more). When put this way, does it make much more sense now to get a massage chair?
Price aside, there are actually many health benefits you can reap from regular massages (read more below). All in all, a massage chair is really a worthy investment to make if we look at it the long term way.
Types of Massage Chairs
Does a big, bulky cushy chair comes into mind when you think of massage chair? We don’t blame you. However, know that a massage chair isn’t just that.
There are actually many types of massage chairs - some with many features while others specialize on just one category. Some are way over $8,000 to $10,000, then there are those that cost a few hundreds only.
Massage Chair Pads
This is the most affordable massage option. It can be placed on chairs or on your couch and while they may not provide the strongest massages comparatively, there are some really decent ones out there that will surpass your expectations.
Standard Massage Chairs
These are middle-ground chairs as we would call them - massage chairs with just the very basic functions and massage techniques, but nonetheless a chair that is more than just a piece of pad, at the very least.
They don’t massage every inch of the body but if engineered and programmed well as these are found, they do get the job done and a rather decent job at that too.
Full Featured Massage Chairs
These are more like your preconception of massage chairs - cushy and bulky. They have a lot of features and functions and are able to (usually) massage every part of the body from head to toe. They have slots for the arms, hands and legs and most would have heating function too to boost circulation. As you’d expect, they don’t come cheap, with the basic entry-level being $1,500 and above.
Zero Gravity Massage Chairs
This may not be a foreign language to you if you’ve done your research on massage chairs. It is one of the best massage position to be at, where your legs are raised slightly above your heart level to give you an instantaneous weightless feeling. Read more about zero gravity position and its benefits here.
Portable Massage Chairs
As one can deduce from its name, these chairs are easy to move around. They are lightweight and can be folded into a compact size and most will come with a matching carry bag. They are more of a professional massage therapist’s arsenal especially those always on the move, but there are a few finds here that are perfect for self home use too if that’s what you’ve been looking for.
Massage Recliner Chairs
For us, if you’re getting a massage chair, you might as well go all the way for one that reclines. It is so much more comfortable and it feels like you’re laying down on a massage table at a professional spa, but really you’re just at the comfort of your own home.
Most massage chairs have the reclining feature anyway, the difference being mostly whether it’s manual/automatic, and the maximum reclining angle it can go.
Massage Office Chairs
Last but not least, massage office chairs. They look like your ordinary office chair, but with massagers at the whole of the back (usually) or some at the lumbar region only. It is also called massage gaming chair by some and it goes without saying that they are perfect for gamers, web designers, programmers or anyone that spends a lot of time in front of the computer.
Massage Chair 101: All You Need To Know
Rollers vs. Airbags
Modern massage chairs generally operate on one of the two methods: rollers or airbags.
If it feels like a pair of human’s hands are massaging you, these are roller-type massage chairs. Depending on the structure of the frame, rollers move in a variety of patterns and their movements are supported by electric motors.
For chairs with a limited range of motion, their rollers can only move up and down the back of the chair because they travel along a track (usually L-shape) that is attached to the frame.
On the other hand, more sophisticated models have their rollers mounted onto a mechanical arm that can move both laterally and vertically so that the rollers can go left, right and even in circles.
The most common type of roller-based massages include:
To describe it aptly, you can think of it this way - hands that grip and squeeze your muscles firmly for a few seconds before releasing them. Chair who have them usually concentrate on two main areas - arms and legs.
This is because these are the most common areas where fatigue muscles are located, further, they are the safest to isolate any extremities because if squeezed too hard on more vulnerable parts, the user can be easily injured.
Although there certainly are some massage chairs which have airbags in the seat and backrest as well. They are more of the high-end, pricier models though.
How airbag massages work is that by rapidly inflating and deflating the airbags, the chair can simulate the tapping method of massage. Essentially, the intensity of it depends on how fast and how much air is pumped into each bag at one time. Inflating the bags at a slower rate resembles rolling or kneading whereas an airbag that is pumped up very fast will put a lot of massaging force on the body.
Generally speaking, massage chairs at the lower end of the price spectrum usually have roller-based massages whereas high-end massage chairs are more likely to incorporate airbags.
It does not mean there isn’t any exception, it’s just a matter of finding them. Some of the best massage chair in the world utilizes both so you get the best of both worlds.
L-Track vs. S-Track
You must have came across these terms very often if you've been reading our best massage chair reviews. Wonder what's their difference? Here's what:
You see, a track is needed for rollers to glide along to so that they can massage your body accordingly (just like a train needs a railway to follow its course).
An L Track is precisely that - a track that is shaped like the letter 'L' , starting from slightly under your head, from the neck all the way down to the buttocks, then forward to under your thighs.
As you can probably envision, an L track is generally longer due to its shape so for massage chairs utilizing this frame, they typically have a wider coverage because massage rollers have a longer track to cover.
On the other hand, S track, as you would have guessed it, is where the track is shaped like the letter 'S'.
This type of track is an ergonomic design for various spine shape because it contours the natural curve of your body following the shape of your spine.
It has to be that way, because imagine, if the track is a straight vertical line, it wouldn't feel too comfortable at the back would it when the rollers poke at wrong place, say your bones instead of your muscle?
However, as you can see from the pictures, an S track is typically shorter than an L track so the most the rollers can reach is your lumbar / lower back region. Your glutes, buttocks and under thigh area will not be reachable so those places will not get any massage.
From the looks of it, it seems that the L track is better than the S track, predominantly on the basis that it has a bigger reach. We will have to say that that is not in particular incorrect - an L-track massage chair can often sit at a higher price bracket than an S-track massage chair and is especially beneficial for people that has a lot of tension in the glutes, or for people with certain forms of sciatica.
However, many S-track massage chairs today have air bags positioned in the seat area to provide pressure to the glutes so getting an S-track massage chair doesn't necessarily ( or no longer) mean that this part of your body is missing out.
At the end of the day, both tracks have their own functionality and purpose, which is why the best is probably a hybrid - a combination of both. There are a few chairs that are these, namely:
Massage Chair Buying Guide: The Top 10 Tips
What is the best massage chair? As we’ve repeatedly said in many of our reviews, getting features that you specifically require is what’s best for you. A massage chair may be equipped with a million features, but when you don’t need it, you don’t need it.
Regardless, there are a few key things that we think you should take into consideration before pulling the trigger.
Yes, as much as we want that massage chair, we have to look at our budget. This is probably the biggest factor for many when they’re looking to invest in a massage chair, and a good starting point too we think.
If you’re new to massage chairs and don’t know where to start with, we highly recommend you to read these reviews before anything else because it will give you a clearer perspective and better head start into finding the perfect massage chair for yourself.
One thing to note: be sure to check whether the price listed for your desired chair is inclusive of shipping cost (or not) because mind you, they can actually add up rather substantially to the overall cost. This is something often overlooked by many, so keep an eye out for that.
2. Functions and Programs
Apart from price, functionalities and programs are perhaps the second most important aspect to look at. The varieties across different chairs can be so many, it can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Do you have mobility issues? Or is this a massage chair for an elder? A power lifting chair will make all the difference. Severe sufferer of plantar fasciitis? You want to look for one that comes with a top foot massager.
For severe back pain, you may want to choose one with preset programs that will focus on certain parts of the back. It’s actually advisable to find one that has adjustable rollers so that you can pinpoint a specific area to tackle. Heat is probably essential and its coverage is worth looking at too.
On the other hand, if you’re just a casual hobbyist looking for a massage chair, the number of automatic programs may be a deciding factor for some.
3. Massage Techniques
Next is to look at the types of massage a chair can perform. Almost all would have at least the basic:
For more advanced ones, you may find shiatsu, Thai, Swedish and the likes. Unfortunately, it seems to be the case where the more expensive a massage chair is, the more and advanced massage techniques that are featured.
However, if you don’t have any chronic pain or issues, the basic massage techniques should suffice when they’re engineered/performed well.
4. Size and Space
If you’re planning to get a massage chair, you would probably have already allocated sufficient space for it so this may be a little redundant to you.
If, on the other hand, you’re struggling with space i.e. you live in an apartment or have limited space to work with, then the size of the chair may be a very key determinant.
You can get the best portable massage chair that can be folded compactly and stowed away when not in use, or you can look for a space-saving model like this one here without sacrificing on the features.
5. Weight and Height Capacity
It may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised at just how many people actually overlooked this criterion.
There’s no one size fits all, at least not in the massage chairs that we’ve came across (and we have tested and reviewed hundreds of them, no, seriously) but there are chairs that are specifically built for taller and bigger users.
Most massage chairs have heating function nowadays, even the less expensive ones so it may not be that big a deal. Still, there are quite a number that does not have it so definitely keep an eye out on that.
Heat improves blood circulation and provides a deeper layer of relaxation and pain relief. You may think you don’t need it, but we’ll be honest - it makes a whole world of difference to the overall massage experience especially during the winter, or if you suffer from chronic pain.
Here’s a little tip - the longer and more comprehensive the warranty is (for any product, really), the better the quality it is. Why? Because it signals the fact that the manufacturer is actually confident in the quality of their product to that they are not afraid to offer these adversarial terms (at least from their perspective).
If you’re stuck between two choices and couldn’t quite make up your mind, this may be a deciding factor. Follow by this rule, and you’ll almost always get it right - trust us.
8. Chair Material
Real leather, PU synthetics and fabrics are the most common upholstery used in modern massage chairs. There’s no one better than the other in our opinion, for instance, you may have to forego breathability for easy-to-care quality (or vice versa) so ultimately, much of this comes down to individual preference.
When you have a bigger budget, things like bluetooth connectivity, inbuilt music entertainment, HiFi fidelity and the likes are extra options you can consider. A headphone port and phone chargers will be nice extras to have, likewise for a cup holder though none of them being absolutely necessary, rather, simply extra features to enhance your overall massage experience.
10. Other Massage Options
If you simply aren’t willing to fork out that much money on a massage chair, it doesn’t mean that you have to forego the benefits of massage. These are some massage alternatives to consider - they cost considerably less and most have the benefits of portability. They don’t, however, provide full body massage though.
So there you have it, the top 10 things to really consider before you click on that “Buy” button. We hope this list will help you one way or the other as we don’t want you to waste any kind of money, no matter how big or small the amount.
Benefits of Massage
If you ask what is it about massages that make people like them so much, to the point that they are willing to fork out so much money to regularly visit their local massage parlour or, invest in a massage chair, the most common answer you will see is ‘it makes you feel good’.
But is that it?
The benefits of massage are actually aplenty, but we can probably round them up into 5 solid ones:
1. Stress Reduction
One of the most notable effects of massage is a greater feeling of calm and relaxation. Don’t underestimate the importance of these two emotions, because their effect on your overall well-being is extensive.
At Zero G position, you feel a sense of weightlessness, probably the best state your body can get.
The soothing pampering benefits of massage increase the release of endorphins - the feel-good hormones - that reduces both emotional and physical stress, while at the same time, stress-inducing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are vastly reduced.
Now you know why massage is often recommended in stress and anxiety treatment programs.
2. Immunity Boost
As a result of the lower level of stress hormones in your body, negative side effects like lack of sleep and bad diet are kept at bay while your immune system gets to work more efficiently without impairment.
The immune system’s cytotoxic capacity i.e. ability to fight off bacteria and infection is stronger so you won’t fall sick easily and the effectiveness of your immune system gets a major boost when your lymphatic drainage is improved by increased circulation due to massages.
3. Pain Relief
This one is the most obvious and well-known benefit. Regular massages are proven to be a great tool for pain management.
Massages can focus in on specific problem areas - neck, shoulder and back being the most common ones - to gradually loosen stiff muscles by increasing blood circulation. These actions actually alleviate pain resulted from injuries, arthritis or other conditions.
Modern massage chairs are able to achieve just that for you, with some even better than professional masseuse because a sophisticated massage chair is able to target your problematic areas simultaneously, as compared to a single pair of human hands.
4. Improved Posture
Do you slouch over your desk or slump in a chair at some point? Poor posture like these can cause tension in the back and neck which resulted to neck and back pain over time.
With regular massages, your bad posture can be corrected. The massage itself will loosen up muscles and alleviate any pain caused by your bad posture. For example, yoga stretching program like this and this will pull and twist your body to align it back properly. Over time, your body will begin to naturally position itself in a healthy posture and you will see improvements in digestion and even breathing capacity.
5. Improved Skin Tone
With reduced tension in the skin and adjoining tissues as well as an increase in circulation, the nutrition cycle in and under the skin is improved tremendously and this encourages cell regeneration.
In addition, it helps improve suppleness, moisturise and soften dry skin so down the road, you see healthy and even-toned skin.
As you can see, regular massages give you chain-like benefits on your overall health. One thing’s improved, the others will follow.
Our Conclusion: So, What Is The Best Massage Chair In The World?
There are many massage chairs of different kinds and brands, but there aren't many that are good or to word it better, worth the price tag.
As you can probably tell by now, trying to figure out what is the best massage chair to buy is a lot more complicated a question than first meets the eye. The worst that can happen is you having to pay a substantial amount of money for something that is inferior and breaks after a couple of uses.
However, we can safely say that those included in this review are some of the best massage chair on the market we can find. But, there simply is no one world’s best massage chair that fits everyone in every aspect, at least not at the moment this review is written.
We will continue to update this article as new models emerge when new technology is introduced but till then, we hope this piece will be of instrumental in guiding you make the best buy for yourself.