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.
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.
High-end massage 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 shiatsu massage chair and what some of your best options are, so you can tackle the shopping process head-on.
With hundreds to pick from, the task of selecting the best massage chair may seem daunting.
In this post, we’ll compare 12 of the best massage chairs on the market so you can get a sense for the features different top-notch massage chairs provide.
Is a Massage Chair Right For You?
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.
Related: Best massage chair pads
What to Look for When Choosing Your Massage Chair
The best massage chairs are made with innovative technology that goes beyond what most other massage devices are capable of.
In this section, we’ll look at some major features to look out for when choosing a chair that will provide you the best massage experience.
Unlike a massage chair pad you place on a typical chair, a 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, the best 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
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 chair.
That’s why you want to invest in a high-end massage 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 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 massage chairs are huge, heavy items to assemble at home, the ease of assembly is a factor to consider when shopping.
Some massage 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 for Your Home
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 massage chairs worth considering.
1. Kahuna SM-7300 Superior Massage Chair
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 automatic 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.
Pros: Accommodates large body types, space-saving technology, 5 intensity levels
Cons: Doesn’t accommodate smaller body types
2. Esright Massage Recliner Chair
This massage chair has 8 vibrating massage modes for the thighs, back and legs along with 5 massaging modes and 2 vibration levels.
It also offers a heat therapy function for the back and comes with a remote control for added convenience.
Esright is not only ergonomically designed but the back, armrest and seat cushion are also padded for your comfort.
The surface is breathable PU leather which is water-resistant and easy to clean.
This upholstered chair has a 140 °recline feature, a 360° swivel function and a nice rocking feature.
It also has pockets on both sides to easily store your magazines and remote control, plus 2 cup holders and a foot rest.
Buyers complained that they did not enjoy the reclining feature as it does not stay in place, and some persons also said the massage feature was not strong enough.
Aside from these issues the price is great and the chair is padded for extra comfort.
Pros: Water-resistant and easy to clean, comes with cup holders and side pockets, has massage and heat feature.
Cons: Weak massage feature, recliner can be uncomfortable.
3. RELAXONCHAIR MK-II Plus Full Body Massage Chair
The Relaxonchair MK-II Plus full body 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 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 therapy, 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.
Pros: Body scanning technology senses the length of your spine to provide an accurate massage, provides heat therapy to warm up your back muscles for pain relief, stretching programs and zero gravity position help with spinal decompression, chair offers multiple massage techniques
Cons: Doesn’t provide enough pressure for many who need it
4. BestMassage Full Body Electric Shiatsu Massage Chair
This massage chair offers a full-body massage and has 7 massage modes to include shiatsu massage, kneading, tapping, stretching, combo, air pressure and heating.
There are 9 preset auto massage programs as well as a manual option that puts you in full control of your massage.
Best Massage has speed control, intensity control and width control.
Plus, it offers a custom fit massage thanks to the Smart body scan technology which scans your body and detects your body size.
It can accommodate persons up to 6ft 3inches tall and up to 265 pounds.
This massage chair comes equipped with 21 air bags located in the feet, calves, arms, hips, shoulder, and thighs.
The device also comes with a total of 4 heating pads; 2 for the feet and 2 for the back.
Some buyers complained about faulty control pads, while others said their massage chair stopped working after a few months.
Despite this, the company offers a 100% refund under their 1-year warranty plus the chair is good for different heights and weights.
Pros: Boasts Smart body scan technology, has 7 massage modes and 9 auto massage programs, comes with 4 heating pads.
Cons: Control pad may malfunction, chair may stop working after a few months of use.
5. Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair
The Real Relax 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, but it provides you with the benefit of laying at a zero gravity position for spinal decompression.
Pros: Less expensive, good customer support, 3-year warranty, heating therapy function
Cons: Too much pressure without enough padding, poorer quality – more liable to break down
6. Kahuna Massage Chair Hubot HM-078
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 massage 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.
Pros: Promotes circulation throughout your body with air-cell movements, varied intensity levels, 3D massage rollers, massages head and feet
Cons: Very expensive, no memory feature for remembering your settings
7. Human Touch WholeBody 7.1 Massage Chair
This massage chair is designed for the whole body and offers 5 massage programs to include lower, upper, full, relax and sleep massage.
It is developed with FLEXGLIDE solution and comes equipped with 3D orbital system for a therapeutic massage.
Human Touch boasts a BodyMap PRO feature that allows you to select a specific area for relief.
It also has warm air technology which targets the lumbar spine and prepares the muscles for a penetrating massage.
The massage chair is made with an ottoman attached acting as a foot and calf massager.
Plus the unique CIRQLATION technology is designed to massage the calves, and optimize blood circulation not only in your feet but up to your core.
Buyers noted that their controller stopped working overtime and some felt the massage chair was too small.
But, the BodyMap feature and CIRQULATION technology makes it a good choice to consider.
Pros: CIRQLATION technology for calves, BodyMap pro feature to select target area, has 5 massage programs, offers full body massage
Cons: Expensive, controller may malfunction, massage chair size might be too small for larger statures.
8. Kahuna LM6800 Zero Gravity Full-Body Massage Chair Recliner
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 massage 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.
Pros: Scans your body size for accuracy, 3-year warranty, great customer service, heating for lower back and legs
Cons: Many customers have had parts break down
9. Real Relax Rocking S Track Zero Gravity Massage Chair
The Real Relax rocking massage chair has back massage rollers that run along an S-track, plus foot massage rollers for the soles of your feet.
The massage chair also has 50 air bags 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.
Pros: Rocking feature, heating and vibration, no assembly required
Cons: Not ideal for people very tall or very short
10. Ideal Massage Shiatsu Massage Chair
This massage 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 chair, 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.
Pros: Shiatsu-style deep tissue massage, foot roller massage, great price
Cons: Not enough neck support, doesn’t fit everyone
11. BestMassage Recliner Chair
This reclining massage chair from BestMassage is very cost-effective while boasting 2-part vibrating massage for your back.
It is stuffed with environmental protection cotton, high-density sponge for added comfort and features high-quality leather fabric.
The massage chair also has a durable steel frame and can accommodate up to 275 pounds.
The 3 reclining levels allows for maximum relaxation and there are 8 massage functions to choose from.
The product is designed with a dual function foot extension and it reportedly takes 2 minutes to install.
Buyers were not impressed with the small size of this chair and many noted that the chair does not offer a massage only vibration.
Nonetheless, it is a cost-friendly and easy to install option for persons who want a simple vibrating chair.
Pros: Easy installation in 2 minutes, waterproof material, cost-friendly.
Cons: Very small size, footrest doesn’t always stay in place, does not have a massage feature.
12. Osaki OS-4000 Executive Fully Body Massage Chair
This executive massage chair from Osaki is made from polyurethane for comfort and durability and stands at 34 inches tall when assembled.
It is ergonomically designed to contour to different spine shapes and it comes with 6 pre-set programs and 5 levels of massage speed and intensity.
The device is equipped with a large LCD display and a wireless remote for added convenience.
It offers heat therapy for the lower back, with 2 heating pads for the lumbar.
The massage chair features a computer body scan system and has rollers that map your body to ensure a more precise massage.
It also boasts a 2-stage zero gravity function that puts your body at the ideal alignment for the most optimum level of comfort.
Osaki’s other features includes a shoulder airbag massage, foot and calf massage, arm air massagers. It also provides hip and lumbar squeeze.
On the down side, the device can be very difficult to assemble and it is also very pricey.
But if the price is not an issue this ergonomically designed massager promises maximum relaxation.
Pros: Ergonomic design, large LCD display, has a computer body scan system.
Cons: Hard to assemble, device is expensive.
The Best Massage Chair: Recommendations
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 massage chair.
It has the most advanced technology that allows you to get the most accurate massage mimicking the hands of a masseuse and a high-end massage.
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.
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 massage chair for you.