The best massage chair for you is subjective. Each of us has special needs, requirements, and preferences. Yes, personal taste will ultimately guide you. But having an idea of what differentiates one brand from another, and why some brands are inherently better, is a good thing and will help clear away any confusion you have as you move toward purchase.
In this article, we highlight a few things to consider as you engage in your search for the best massage chair:...
Where is it Made?
Underlying that question are three important, secondary questions:
Where was it designed?
Where were the parts made?
Where was it assembled?
Different massage chair brands answer the basic question in different ways, and it helps to understand the strategies that each company deploys.
Many companies locate the entire process—design, engineering, and assembly of their chairs —in China. Made-in-China chairs tend to be less expensive because the costs of manufacture are much lower there. The catch: proper, dependable quality control. Chairs made in China may cost less up front, but be more expensive to maintain, with a shorter lifespan.
Other companies follow a hybrid strategy, choosing to design and engineer their chairs in one location—Japan and the US, usually, produce vital components in those same advanced countries, and then assemble product in China—cutting their costs at the end.
Finally, some do the majority of their production—design, engineering and assembly—in Japan or the US, but outsource less critical components in China. These tend to be the luxury brands with more dependable, durable products.
Knowing all that, it falls to you to decide what you want in your massage chair.
Price and Quality: What Are You Looking For?
If price is a concern, then the massage chair brands you may want to consider will be the ones where all the work is done in China. But remember: Cost isn’t a one-shot deal. If you choose a cheaper chair but it breaks down or doesn’t last, you haven’t saved money. In fact, you may have spent more, with less satisfaction along the way. And why do you purchase a massage chair in the first place if not for dependable quality and maximum relaxation?
If you’re more interested in quality and support and you’re willing to pay a bit more, then you should consider brands that have a global reach, offer superior warranties, and have a sparkling after-sale support reputation.
While we’re on this topic, let us plant this seed about online reviews. When people post an online review, what exactly is it that they’re rating? Here’s the answer: their very FIRST IMPRESSION of the product. These reviews offer zero insight in the long-term happiness of owners nor their experience 1 or 2 years in when some problem or question arises. Great brands are there for you well after you make a purchase. Average brands (and the non-branded massage chair distributors) leave you out to dry.
What Else to Keep in Mind
Beware a development process that occurs entirely within the confines of the factory that produces the chairs. The vast majority of the branded product you see is bought off the shelf from an Asian manufacturer. The brand owner then has to simply stencil their name on the product and the box, offering what the industry calls “private label” massage chairs. 95% of what you see in the market fits this description, and this is why you may have noticed that one brand’s chair looks EXACTLY like another brand’s chair. Can you guess why? That’s right. They ARE the same chair.
What kind of warranty does the brand offer? Companies tell you how much they think of their own quality by the warranty they offer. A good warranty is long, comprehensive, and offers a long at-home service period. Avoid any brand that offers less than a 3-year, in-home service period for their premium products. It’s that simple. And read the fine print.
Even brands that offer 5-year warranties often cover only limited items (like the chair frame) in the fine print. Warranties that exclude all the stuff that is most likely to fail is not worth the paper it’s printed on, and these “warranties” may require you bear massive shipping, parts, or technician costs to service the massage chair.
A warranty also tells you what a brand thinks of you, the customer. A good warranty treats you with dignity and respect. A good rule of thumb: if a brand won’t invest in you, don’t invest in them.
Look for a promise to support the product with parts even AFTER the warranty expires. A brand with any pride in their line will maintain the ability to service massage chairs for at least a few years after they discontinue the product. The benefits of this go without saying.
Pay attention, as well, to commitment to after-sale service. A warranty signals an intention to do this. But look for friendly people who are helpful upfront. That also tells you that the company will invest in you.
Furniture For Life: What We Stand For
The massage chairs and massage chair brands offered by Furniture For Life stores and galleries meet all of the above requirements. They measure up in these and many, many other ways to represent what it takes to be one of the best massage chair brands.
We have carefully curated our selection to suit a wide variety of needs. We’re confident that one of the models we carry will be a good fit for your needs and preferences. Many models we have selected offer unique capabilities proprietary to that brand that will influence your choice.
All our items are from respected, well-established massage chair brands designed in Japan and in the US and sold globally. Some of the brands we offer work with renowned designers in the furniture and industrial design industries, and this adds a level of visual appeal not found more generally in the industry.
OHCO Massage Chairs
OHCO massage chairs are the premium, top-of-the-line brand in the global massage chair industry. It represents the culmination of artistry in design (physical appearance) and artistry in massage experience and choreography. OHCO’s approach is to engage prominent figures in each of these spaces, who, working together, produce the ultimate luxury massage chair.
With a look inspired by the most famous living Japanese designer, Ken Okuyama, and the massage expertise of renowned shiatsu master, sensei Okabayashi, OHCO brings beauty, luxury, and supreme massage comfort into your home.
No other massage chairs in the world are crafted with the care and attention to detail that you find in the OHCO massage chair lineup. The M-Series (comprised of the OHCO M.8LE, OHCO M.8, and OHCO M.DX) took almost three years of intense development to bring to market. The moment you sit in an OHCO massage chair, all the time and attention of the development process will become clear. Others have seen its virtues and showered the M-Series with more rewards and accolades than any other massage chair ever made. The OHCO M.8 is the winner of the CES 2019 Innovation Award, Good Design Award, MUSE award and European Product Design Award. (And OHCO may have won more award since the publishing of this piece!)
The technology at the core of all OHCO massage chairs and the thought behind that technology will transform your entire state of being, set your mind adrift, slow your breath, and take you to a place of the deepest peace and transcendent relaxation.
In addition to basic movements you find in premium chairs, the OHCO’s main massage mechanisms use advanced massage algorithms to mimic the hands of a skilled shiatsu massage therapist, with motor speeds varying from fast to ultra-slow, deepening the human qualities of all OHCO massage chairs.
Herein lies the quiet magic and majesty of OHCO massage chairs. OHCO is the standard bearer of the massage chair industry. It stands alone.
Panasonic Massage Chairs
The Panasonic name is known as one of the best engineering companies and manufacturers in the world The brand is dedicated to improving people’s lives through creating goods needed for society. This ethos is embodied in every component of a Panasonic massage chair. If engineering virtuosity is what you seek, Panasonic delivers the goods!
“Zengineering™” is the heart and soul of all Japanese-designed Panasonic massage chairs, combining the power of modern, state-of-the-art technology with the ancient craft of healing massage. In this nexus, shiatsu meets body-scanning sensors, hot stone massage meets soothing infrared technology, and acupressure meets advanced 3D massage therapy to knead tense muscles like an expert masseuse.
Panasonic massage chairs let you choose from an array of expertly choreographed automatic sessions as well as a wide array of manual massage options featuring heated rollers, ultra-kneading, and full-body air cell coverage all working in concert to provide a luxury massage experience.
Panasonic has been around for more than 100 years, making it the oldest company in the world making massage chairs. Their massage chairs own a dominant share of the Japanese domestic massage chair market. They created the first hand-held electromagnetic massager in 1935, and since then, Panasonic has been an innovator in inventing and refining home massage.
If you are shopping for the best deep, intense massage chair experience, you need to check out the meticulously engineered Panasonic massage chair models.
Positive Posture Massage Chairs
Positive Posture massage chairs offer premium, professional massage in the comfort of home, while in “stay-cation” mode. With three models of the popular Brio massage chair available, you can find the perfect massage chair for your needs. The original Brio massage chair, Brio Sport massage chair, and the new Brio+ massage chair each provide superior therapeutic treatment, targeted for different needs.
The Positive Posture team spent over two years developing the Brio massage experience, focused squarely on making products that work best for you. At its price, the Brio series is the best value in the industry.
The entire trio of Positive Posture Brio Massage Chair recliners provides a True Zero Gravity® full-body, head-to-toe massage which delivers relaxation and relief to areas often missed by other massage chairs. The proprietary Intelligent 4D Massage systemadapts the depth of massage constantly from soft to firm during each programmed session.
The L-Track massage technology means that all Brio models provides a true full-body massage from head to toe, offering coverage from your neck to your glutes, while not missing any of the spots in between. Soft-to-the-touch massage rollers recreate the sensation of human thumbs soothing your back, neck, hips, and your glutes. Finally, low back and calf heat to add to your relaxation experience.
Experience rejuvenation for your body and mind, coupled with distinctive styling for your home with massage chairs from Positive Posture: created to enhance well-being and make your world a more comfortable place every day. Positive Posture stands behind its products with excellent warranties. All Positive Posture products are designed and developed in what National Geographic’s has determined is the Happiest City in the USA: Boulder, Colorado
D.Core Massage Chairs
In D.Core massage chairs, modern science meets traditional Japanese style and beauty. D.Core (short for “Deep Core”) offers superior design and function, combining the experience of renowned Japanese massage therapist Dr. Takehiro Izawa with innovative engineering and harmonious, nature-inspired Japanese design found nowhere else on the market.
In today’s world, the relentless pursuit of perfection in all things often leads to stress, anxiety, and depression. The Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi invites a pause— encourages us to focus on the blessings in our daily lives—celebrating the way things are rather than how they should be.
D.Core’s chairman and founder, Soschu Inada, is the son of one of the early entrants into the massage chair market, and he now carries on the massage chair tradition. After years under his father, Nichimu Inada, the younger Inada split with his father to create his new company where he reinterprets modern technology to create luxurious traditional beauty based on the classic and sensuous mood unique to Japan known as Wabi Sabi design.
D.Core chairs deliver a very high-quality and life-like therapeutic massage therapeutic massage. The massage mechanism and choreography are designed to penetrate deep into muscles to release fascia tissue stuck to muscle fibers which, if unresolved, can form painful and uncomfortable nodules and knots.
D.Core massage chair models apply beautifully executed massage movements to your entire body, while their harmoniously clean lines and real black walnut trim evoke a traditional Japanese sense of beauty that blends artfully into any modern home.
Inada Massage Chairs
When Inada released the Sogno in 2008, it made a big splash here in the United States. The Sogno, designed in collaboration with product designer Toshiyuki Kita, offered a collection of features that were new to the market at the time. In that moment in 2008, Inada massage chairs redefined what a premium massage chair could be.
At one point in their history, Inada was a major player in Japan’s domestic massage chair market. Their more recent designs have not captivated consumers, and they have seen their presence in Japan slip to very low levels, giving up the market to brands like Panasonic.
The models we offer are the most established and deliver great massage to those who prefer a softer touch. These were introduced at the time when Inada was ascendant, and what we have selected for you offers excellent massage quality.
We’re confident that one of our models has the potential to be “the one” for you. Each represents the kind of quality, both in visual design and function, that we would desire in our own home.
The choice, ultimately, is yours. Take the opportunity to “test-drive” any of these premium massage chairs in a showroom near you. The proof, after all, is in the experience you have (and the sensation you feel) in the chair.