Imagine: at the end of a long day, sinking back into a plush, oversized reclining chair, putting your feet up and letting the weight of your body lift from every muscle.
But, it gets better: imagine this comfy chair massaging all along your back, legs and feet as you relax.
Reclining massage chairs let you relax on a piece of comfy furniture without the guilt that goes with it, because you’re doing something good for your body by loosening tight muscles and stimulating circulation throughout your body.
With hundreds to pick from, the task of selecting a reclining massage chair may seem daunting.
In this post, we’ll compare 7 of the best value for money reclining massage chairs on the market so you can get a sense for the features different top-notch chairs provide:
We’ll take a closer look at the following massage chairs:
- Kahuna SM-7300 Superior Massage Chair
- RELAXONCHAIR Full Body Zero Gravity Massage Chair
- Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair
- Kahuna Massage Chair Hubot HM-078
- Kahuna LM6800 Zero Gravity Full-Body Massage Chair Recliner
- Real Relax Rocking S Track Zero Gravity Massage Chair
- Ideal Massage Zero Gravity Shiatsu Chair
High-end chairs have the benefit of being created by experienced doctors and chiropractors and can relieve aches and pains much better than an average massage chair.
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll know what you’re looking for in a reclining massage chair and what some of your best options are, so you can tackle the shopping process head-on.
What to Look for When Choosing Your Massage Chair
Great massage chair recliners are made with innovative technology that goes beyond what most other massage devices are capable of.
Here are some major features:
Unlike a massage chair pad you place on a typical chair, a reclining massage chair allows you to put your feet up and lean back to a position of “zero gravity.”
That is, where your weight is distributed evenly on the chair so that gravity isn’t impacting any parts of your body.
This allows blood to flow more easily throughout your body, and lets your lungs expand more than they would in an upright position.
A quality massage chair features massage technology created by experts. Rather than just digging into your back, quality massage chairs have specific tracks designed to maximize therapeutic value.
An S-track is shaped like an S, because it’s made to massage along the natural curve of spine, from your neck to your lower back.
A massage chair that features an L-track, massages more than the S-track, as it extends beyond your lower back, down to the top of your hamstrings.
By doing so in one sweeping motion, it’s able to relax your body and stimulate better circulation very quickly.
A chair that features a dual-massage track combines the best of S-track and L-track massage motions in order to massages a much larger portion of your body.
This maximizes the therapeutic value and provides the best massage.
Quality of Mechanical and Electrical Components
Reclining massage chairs have a lot of moving parts inside them that must be aligned and secured properly so that the chair’s mechanics don’t break down.
While they can often be repaired, it’s not fun to deal with fixing a broken massage chair.
That’s why you want to invest in a high-end chair with top-quality materials and mechanical components so that you can rely on it well into the future.
Amid all the mechanical components in a massage chair are electrical components, which can also go awry if the chair isn’t well-made.
The company you choose to purchase a massage chair from matters. Not just because of the quality level they put into the chair, but also for their customer service standards.
You want to be able to get ahold of customer support when you need to, so it’s important to choose a company with excellent customer service ratings.
Beyond getting a well-made chair from a great company, you want to secure your investment in a high-end reclining massage chair by getting a warranty on it.
Companies that offer warranties with their massage chairs typically make chairs that are more reliable and durable.
However, a warranty ensures that if something goes wrong and a part needs to be replaced in the chair, you won’t lose the money you invested.
Because reclining massage chairs are huge, heavy items to assemble at home, the ease of assembly is a factor to consider when shopping.
Some chairs are easier than others to assemble, and having good customer support in case you need it also goes a long way in making it a better process.
The Best Massage Chair Recliners
Now that you are armed with the knowledge of what to look for in a good chair, here is a list of some of the best and most popular massage chairs worth considering.
1. Kahuna SM-7300 Superior Massage Chair
- Accommodates large body types
- Space-saving technology
- 5 intensity levels
- Doesn’t accommodate smaller body types
The Kahuna SM-7300 reclining massage chair has 3 extra inches added to the shoulders and hips to accommodate tall individuals up to 6 ft 5 and heavier body types up to 320 lbs.
At the same time, it has space-saving technology so that it takes up less space, with an ameliorated forward sliding mechanism.
It has 6 rollers that massage simultaneously based on the intensity level and auto program you choose. It has 5 intensity levels so you can find the perfect feel, and it provides unique massage modes based on your type of activity.
For example, it has modes for office workers, golfers, seniors and athletes. It also has programs for workout recovery, pain relief and relaxation.
The rollers inside are able to knead, tap, knock and tap specific points on your body to mimic having 6 masseuse hands working on you.
This chair has a user-friendly remote control and a 2-year part and labour warranty. If you want to go all-out on the Kahuna, consider its recent upgraded model, the 7300S. It includes a total of 13 auto programs and up to 1 hour per massage session. It also has a Bluetooth app controller so you can control it from your phone.
If you have a smaller body type, the Kahuna may not be for you. The rollers and their tracks are designed to fit larger builds, and if you’re smaller, you run the risk of the rollers hitting your bones.
2. RELAXONCHAIR Full Body Zero Gravity Massage Chair
- Senses the length of your spine to provide an accurate massage
- Provides heat to warm up your back muscles
- Stretching programs and zero gravity position help with spinal decompression
- Doesn’t provide enough pressure for many who need it
The Relaxonchair zero gravity massage chair stands out by providing a heat feature and scanning your body with sensors to create a personalized massage.
Many massage chair pads provide heat to help melt away muscle tension and stimulate circulation, but most reclining massage chairs don’t have this function.
By elevating your feet to the same level as your heart, it allows you to lay suspended in a zero gravity position. With the combination of heat, the zero gravity position and massage techniques like tapping, rolling and kneading, you can quickly relieve pain, tightness and fatigue throughout your body in this chair.
Its massage programs are designed to provide deep tissue massages, and its stretching programs help decompress your spine to help you maintain spinal health and relieve back pain.
The most amazing thing about this chair is that it’s built with sensors that detect the length of your spine when you sit in it. It uses this data to create a therapeutic massage experience customized to your body size, so that each muscle in your back is targeted accurately.
Its massage nodes are on an L-track, which means it massages your buttocks in addition to your back. While the technology seems cutting edge, many customers have complained that this chair fails to provide adequate pressure for a good massage.
If you have specific muscles that are tight or knotted in your back causing acute pain, it may be more therapeutic for you to use a massage stick or electric percussion massager instead.
3. Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair
- Less expensive
- Good customer support
- 3-year warranty
- Heating function
- Too much pressure without enough padding
- Poorer quality, more liable to break down
The Real Relax zero gravity massage chair is a comparably less expensive option on this list. It provides good value for the money, but the quality of materials are a bit poorer than the more expensive options.
On the plus side, the customer support is good, and there’s a 3-year warranty. While there’s a chance parts can break down, you can have the chair fixed for you within the 3 years.
While many enjoy the massage this chair provides, the problem many customers have with this chair is that it provides too much pressure and not enough padding.
With heat, vibration and 8 massage rollers, it has all the therapeutic features of a great massage chair pad, but it provides you with the benefit of laying at a zero gravity position for spinal decompression.
4. Kahuna Massage Chair Hubot HM-078
- Promotes circulation throughout your body with air-cell movements
- Varied intensity levels
- 3D massage rollers
- Massages head and feet
- Very expensive
- No memory feature for remembering your settings
A high-end, expensive option, the Kahuna Hubot HM-078 has several features that allow you to massage more muscle tissue than what’s possible with most massage chairs. For one, it has a head and feet massage features so you can release tension in your temples, jaw, upper neck and feet.
The chair features 3D massage rollers, which protrude further from the track in order to massage more accurately and effectively, including in places typically neglected by other chairs.
It gives you the best of both an S-track and L-track, and in addition to the massage rollers, the chair itself creates small air-cell movements throughout its surface to ensure your entire body is stimulated for better blood flow.
It also has a heating feature, zero gravity positioning and settings can be controlled from an app on your mobile device.
For people who find some massage chairs too intense and others too weak, this one is designed to meet any preferred intensity with its 5 intensity levels.
Customers have very few complaints with this chair. The only real issue seems to be that it offers so many different customization settings, but with no memory feature that remembers your settings automatically next time you use the chair.
5. Kahuna LM6800 Zero Gravity Full-Body Massage Chair Recliner
- Scans your body size for accuracy
- 3-year warranty
- Great customer service
- Heating for lower back and legs
- Many customers have had parts break down
Like the Relaxonchair, the Kahuna LM6800 massage chair scans your body size for an accurate massage.
It has air-cell technology like the Kahuna Hubot, but it only has 4 massage rollers (without 3D technology) on an L-track, so the massage you get is much more limited.
You get heating therapy on your lower back and legs, plus a foot massage, so you can relieve fatigued feet and legs at the end of the day.
Customers say the chair provides great value because of everything it does, but it’s not built with the best materials and is prone to technical issues. Luckily, there’s a 3-year warranty and great customer service.
6. Real Relax Rocking S Track Zero Gravity Massage Chair
- Rocking feature
- Heating and vibration
- No assembly required
- Not ideal for people very tall or very short
The Real Relax rocking zero gravity chair has back massage rollers that run along an S-track, plus foot massage rollers for the soles of your feet.
The chair also has 50 airbags designed to compress specific points throughout your entire body. Unlike most massage chairs, this one is able to rock, but you can also lay still in a zero gravity position.
It also provides heating and vibration.
One of the best things about this chair is that it comes pre-assembled in the box, so there’s no assembly required and you can start using it right away.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of chair, and people who are shorter or taller than average may find it less comfortable. Without a scanning feature or size adjustments, you can’t customize it to the right fit.
7. Ideal Massage Zero Gravity Shiatsu Chair
- Shiatsu-style deep tissue massage
- Foot roller massage
- Great price
- Not enough neck support
- Doesn’t fit everyone
This chair from Ideal Massage has all the main features of a zero gravity reclining massage chair, for a great price.
Like the rocking chair from Real Relax, however, it’s not a one-size-fits-all, and many customers have complained that the airbags aren’t able to compress their muscles in the right places. Whereas people who fit the chair seem to enjoy the massage, people with smaller frames and people who are very tall find it unhelpful.
For example, depending on your height, the airbags designed to massage your neck may not actually do so for you.
The footrest extends to accommodate taller individuals, but people around 6 ft 2 and taller still find it too short. Many customers have found the headrest uncomfortable and have had to place a pillow behind the neck.
While this chair provides zero gravity positioning and shiatsu massage, it’s not very customizable and it comes down to how you fit in the chair.
Which Massage Recliner Should You Get?
By far, the Kahuna Hubot HM-078 is the chair customers prefer. Though it’s expensive, you aren’t weighing many cons against the benefits of this chair.
It has the most advanced technology that allows you to get the most accurate massage mimicking the hands of a masseuse.
It comes with all the bells and whistles, like heating, remote control with your mobile device and air-cells. Its intensity is very customizable, and it’s able to accommodate your body size by scanning your and massaging you accordingly.
If the Kahuna Hubot is out of your budget, the Kahuna LM6800 is the closest that compares. It also scans your body size for massage accuracy and provides a therapeutic massage with heat.
Massage Chair Recliner Vs Massage Chair Pads?
If you want the benefits of getting a massage at home whenever you want, reclining massage chairs and massage chair pads are both worthy investments.
So which one is for you?
That depends on the financial investment you’re willing to make and whether you want to bring your massager on-the-go.
Massage chair pads can be picked up and placed onto any chair in your home, or you can take it to work and use it at your desk chair. Plus, you can put it in your suitcase and take it on a trip so that you never have to go a day without a massage.
Reclining massage chairs obviously cost a lot more than massage chair pads, but they can offer greater therapeutic value and provide deeper relaxation. However, if you do not feel confident that a massage chair recliner is what you are looking for, then you may first want to consider getting a massage chair pad first.
When shopping for a massage chair, research is everything.
First, make sure you understand the features and decide which features you want your massage chair to have. Then, you can narrow down your options based on factors like price, warranty policies, customer service and more.
Hopefully, this post has helped you get started so that you’re on your way to finding the best chair for you.