Everybody wants value for money with all of their purchases and finding the best value massage chair is no different. When considering different massaging chairs to purchase, you want to think about it as more than just a practical machine to reduce tension and ease muscle pain: it’s about the experience, and the best massage chairs offer that luxury escape at highly competitive prices without compromising on the important details.
In this buying guide we’ll thoroughly review the 9 best massage chairs on the market and provide you with handy information regarding the benefits, types and considerations of massage chairs. We’ve also included a summary Review Table for each “best massage chair” for easy and convenient reference. Feel free to jump ahead through the quicklinks in our table of contents, or for a comprehensive review read from the start onwards.
Benefits of massage chairs
There are one hundred and one different reasons why a massage chair is a valuable and worthwhile purchase. From health improvements to pure convenience, there are many benefits to using massage chairs regularly.
Back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain are common symptoms in a world where the majority of the labour force sit stationary at a desk hunched over a computer. Effective massage chairs can relieve back pain, help stimulate soft tissue repair and even reduce muscle tension and arthritis pain. Depending on the functionalities of the specific massage chair, you may even be able to alleviate headaches. Even those people who don’t necessarily work in an office can enjoy alleviation of all sorts of body pain through sustained and moderate massage chair usage. In one form or another, massage chairs will help you feel physically better.
Release Back Knots & Muscle Tension
A muscle knot is when one muscle or a group of muscles contract and become tight. Tight muscles can be uncomfortable, painful or just plain annoying. The best massage chairs, especially ones that incorporate body scanning technology and multiple settings, can be used to accurately pinpoint knots and spots on your back to apply much needed pressure. This pressure will help loosen the knot and ensure you enjoy maximum flexibility and mobility.
Increase Blood Flow
One other way in which the best massage chairs can contribute to your body’s health and general wellbeing is blood flow and circulation. Regular massage sessions can help stimulate your blood flow and improve your circulation beyond just the spot being worked on. Massage chairs are designed to imitate the same sensation. Through a combination of various techniques, settings and mechanisms you can use your massage chair to promote strong, healthy blood circulation.
There are numerous mental health benefits to massage chairs as well. Apart from the relaxing nature of spending 10, 15 or 30 minutes in a comfortable chair and having the tension worked from your body, massage chairs–like hand massages–are also able to actively reduce anxiety, tension and stress. It’s not just the time out either; massage chairs will help you physically feel refreshed which will translate into feeling mentally rejuvenated.
Convenience is everything! Who wouldn’t want a massage whenever and wherever they want? Massage chairs offer users the ability to engage in an effective and helpful massage session without leaving the comfort of their own living room or the ease of their own office. You also get to enjoy the massage at a time that suits you: want to have your massage accompanied by the dawn? No problem. Prefer winding down late at night before heading to sleep? It’s all possible with your very own massage chair.
The best massage chairs offer a variety of modes, speeds, intensities, programs and massage techniques. Shiatsu, kneading, tapping, percussion, rolling… Most people have a preference about what sort of massage they want, or what type they need. A massage chair offers that accessible variety at the touch of a button. It’s the perfect way to customise your massage experience.
Back & Body Stretch
One of the best lesser known functions of a quality massage is its ability to fully stretch the body. Stretching your body is a very important way of keeping yourself limber, flexible and pain-free. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to stretch properly and effectively. Massage chairs take the uncertainty out of back and body stretching. Some massage chairs offer yoga sessions too, while others provide specific stretching functions. Yet all of these variations are designed to allow you to stretch out your body while having it worked on.
This one may be obvious but it shouldn’t be underestimated! Massage chairs are just fun. They’re great tools for taking your TV watching to the next level or for simply treating yourself at the end of a tiring and trying day. Having your own massage chair is an enjoyable luxury that you won’t ever take for granted. And if you’re gonna shell out money for one of these machines might as well find the best massage chair for you.
Types of Massage Chairs
Recliner massage chairs offer the same functionality as normal reclining armchairs allowing you to move the backrest down and letting you recline. Most commonly, this feature combines with a more sophisticated zero gravity functionality but not necessarily. There are some massage chairs that don’t provide reclining options and rather opt for other massage techniques and features. (See below for more details.)
Zero gravity massage chairs are more common nowadays than ever before simply because they offer the best massage possible. This effective function acts to imitate the sensation of being in space or a similar zero gravity environment. Like the recliner chair, this function moves the seat into a horizontal position to take weight off and distribute it as evenly as possible.
Full Body Massage
The market is full of foot-specific massage machines, arm massagers, gun massagers, and even seat pad massagers. The benefit of a full body massage chair is that it covers the entirety of your body. While some models may offer extra shoulder padding, feet massage functions, or even seat vibration, if it’s advertised as offering a full body massage you can rely on it being as close to an actual full body hand massage as possible.
An ottoman is a separate footstool which is often used in conjunction with an armchair. Some massage chairs come with an accompanying ottoman which may simply operate as a regular footstool or feature its own massaging capabilities utilising either massage rollers, airbags or both.
3D and 4D massages refer to the coverage, intensity and customisability of the massage. A 3D massage will allow you to utilise multiple massage mechanisms for a more personalised experience. 4D massages work deeper and harder than a 3D massage and can be super useful for someone experiencing back issues, shoulder pain or acute muscle discomfort.
Airbags are another massaging mechanism included in many massage chairs. These inflatable and deflatable airbags use compression techniques to activate your muscles and ensure a comprehensive and best massage to the entire body. Some massage chairs feature airbags primarily in spots where there are no massage rollers, while others use the two mechanisms in conjunction with each other.
Everyone has a unique body shape, size, and form. Massage chairs often feature a computer body scanning feature that allows its internal mechanisms to focus the pressure on specific points of your body and the chair itself to ensure you fit as perfectly as possible in it to help provide you with the best massage possible. The more sophisticated the body scanning technology on any given chair, the more personalised and thorough a massage you’re going to have.
An L-track in a massage chair refers to the roller or massage system reaching down and into the seat itself. One of the best benefits of this is that the massage function reaches beyond even the lower back to include the buttocks and even hamstrings. Full body massage chairs will often boast an L shaped track.
S-tracks are designed ergonomically to fit the natural curvature of a human spine. Unlike normal chairs which are straight backed or curved and inflexible, the S-track is designed to be as comfortable as possible by conforming to suit the rhythm of your body.
One of the drawbacks to a recliner massage chair or zero gravity chair is that when in use there needs to be extra space to accomodate for the tilting. Space saving technology averts this one inconvenience. How does it work? It’s actually so simple it’s brilliant: when in recline mode the massage chair will actually slide forward one or two inches on its base so that the extra space needed behind is compensated for. This function allows you to keep your massage chair exactly where you want it hassle-free, be it a corner or just right up to a wall.
Every massage chair offers a unique combination of features, functions and modes. Here are the considerations you should take into account when evaluating which one massage chair is most suitable for you.
Track System to Suit Your Needs
Do you need an L-track system or do you plan on only using shoulder, back and lumbar massage functions? There are benefits to the S-track system and certainly exclusive functions to the L form of track. Depending on what you need out of your massage will determine which track you should look out for.
There are a number of different massage types on offer both in real life messaging sessions and in massage chairs. If you’re a fan of a particular type of massage technique, have a close look at the options available in each model we review.
This Japanese form of massage uses hand techniques to offer a pinpoint, high pressure massage. Shiatsu massage chairs are specifically designed to emulate this popular style.
Describing percussion massages as a hammering or thundering style might not sound particularly appealing or enjoyable but the truth is that if you can handle a more intense massage experience, a percussive massage can work wonders.
This classic style of massage emulates the firm yet delicate finger massages that locate specific spots of tension and stress. It’s particularly helpful for acute pain sufferers.
Kneading massages apply pressure to muscles to activate them and remove tension. Massage rollers, massaging nodes and airbags can all be used in a massage chair to simulate a kneading hand massage.
Massage chairs that offer compression sessions often use airbags which inflate and deflate to apply pressure to specific areas of the body. This pressure, punctuated by periods of relief, can be an effective way to reduce pain and increase circulation.
Stretching massages work to pull your joints, limbs and muscles and help stretch you out. This can improve flexibility, ease mobility and help you feel better from top to toe.
Programs & Settings
The best chair massager models offer a variety of speed, intensity and program settings. If you’re going to be using the same technique every time you take a seat, you probably don’t need the fanciest model available that allows for almost endless customisability. If that flexibility in choice is important for you, make sure to go for one with a variety of options.
Seat vibrations can be a wonderful addition to a massage experience but not all types of chairs offer them. If you specifically want your upper thighs and hamstrings to be worked upon, make sure to consider whether the model in question offers vibration functionalities.
Heat therapy is hugely beneficial in back pain relief, tension release and effective massaging. Different massage chairs will have different forms of heat application, if they offer it at all. If you specifically want to enjoy some heat pads as part of your chair-session, bear in mind to check that the chair offers it.
Many massage chairs that incorporate scanning technology fetch a higher price than those that don’t. Yet this is definitely still value for money if you’re a stickler for a truly tailored and body-specific massage. Make sure to check out the level of scanning sophistication on any model you consider.
Size & Weight
There’s even variety in massage chairs when it comes to size and weight. If you’re planning on moving your chair from spot to spot, or simply want that option to be available, make sure to check out how portable it is based on its size and weight.
If you’re tight on space but don’t want to compromise on the zero gravity or reclining functions, a space saving feature is a must. This is the best way to be able to enjoy the best of both worlds without having to worry about your brand new massage chair taking up half your house.
Some good massage chairs don’t offer reclining features. One thing to look out for if this is the case is a swivel base. The ability to swivel the chair can come in handy around the house but is a must if you want your chair for use in the office.
Many manufacturers offer multi-year warranties on their chairs, but not all of them. If the reassurance and peace of mind associated with a warranty is important to you, make sure to check if the company selling the chair offers it.
Specific Massaging Functions
Thanks to the variety in choice, you can be as picky as you want when it comes to functions. Whether you want a functionality to focus on your head massage, specifically foot massages, or extra massage pads around the neck and shoulder, there’s a massage chair out there with your name on it!
Zero gravity functions are a must-have for many people. The weightless sensation is instantly relaxing and allows you to enjoy a more effective and longer lasting massage. Many recliner chairs offer this feature but they often come with a different number of stages and levels.
Airbags or Rollers
Do you have a particular preference for the type of massage you want? If you do, consider whether the chair you’re looking at focuses primarily on airbags or rollers to deliver its massage. Airbags are great for compression while rollers provide flexibility in massage technique.
Your Body’s Fit
Most models of massage chair are fairly suitable for most body types. If you’re particularly tall or short, and need an adjustable footrest, headrest or waist, some massage chairs may be more suitable and comfortable for you than others.
What’s your budget? There’s no question that you can find perfectly functioning models to suit any sized budget, so if you’re particularly price sensitive, focus your search on the massage chairs on the lower end of the budget spectrum.
The extra luxuries are the icing of the cake. With luxury features like Bluetooth, in-built audio speakers, meditation functions and even yog features, there’s a lot of variation in the luxury add-ons from chair to chair. The best massage chairs often include a variety of fancy features to truly offer the best experience.
|RELAXONCHAIR [MK-Classic] Full Body Zero Gravity Shiatsu Massage Chair||Our Top PickThis massage chair is excellent value for money if you want a serious machine to deliver professional-level massages.||* Intelligent body scan technology* L-track system * Heat function* Multiple intensity, gravity full body, and massage technique options * Independent limb massage * Yoga and stretch programs * Hand-held, backlit remote controller||Size 55 x 32 x 49 inchesWeight253 Pounds||$2,099|
|Smart Chairs Full Body Massage Chair||This chair offers a lot of value for a low price and is best suited for those wanting an even and whole body massage.||* Zero gravity function * Arm linkage * Full body airbag wrap * Lower back heating * Remote control * Seat vibration * Timer||Size 39.8 X 25.8 X 17.3 inches Weight175 pounds||$719.99|
|BestMassage Full Body Electric Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner||This massage chair is best for those wanting their chair to do the work for them and offer a ton of excellent features for a truly excellent price.||* Body scanning technology system * Heat function* Multiple massage techniques and intensity levels * L-track system * Adjustable footrest * Pre-set auto massage program options||Size 55 x 42 x 35 inchesWeight300 pounds||$850|
|Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800||This is the best massage chair and great value for anyone looking to really indulge in a high quality massage chair recliner.||* 3 stage best zero gravity function * Sophisticated air cell tech * Body scanning massage feature* L-track * 4 rollers massage system * Heat function* FDA certified * Up top 30-minute timer||Size 48 x 31 x 46 InchesWeight249 pounds||$3,499|
|Real Relax 2020 Massage Chair||This massage chair offers enormous value for a low price with simple yet effective functionality plus a couple of extra luxuries. ||* Bluetooth * 50 airbags * Timer function * Heat function* Adjustable back and footrest * Zero gravity * Intuitive remote controller * 6 auto modes||Size N/AWeight400 pounds||$899|
|Ideal Massage Full Featured Shiatsu Chair||This massage chair has everything that counts at a price that won’t break the bank, making it perfect for anyone wanting a comprehensive full body recliner chair with massage.||* L-track * 10 massage programs * Multiple massage techniques * 48 airbags * Heat function* Foot kneading massage balls * Dual zone air bags * 3D smart scan technology* Quiet operation technology * 3-stage zero gravity function||Size 33 x 55 x 49 inchesWeight200 Pounds||$1,349|
|NOUHAUS Massage Chair with Ottoman||This massage chair is not your usual design or style, but it’s perfect for anyone wanting effective massages in an excellently sized package and at a fair price.||* Four massage heads * Sleek and compact design * Easy to use controller * Heating functionality * Multiple air bags * Accompanying ottoman||Size 47 x 28 x 27 inchesWeight66.9 pounds||$699|
|Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair||This massage chair is perfect for someone looking for a reliable chair from a reputable brand at a relatively decent price.||* Body scanning technology * 6 massage styles and pre-set programs * Airbags, rollers, heat and vibration functionalities * Zero gravity full body feature comes in 2 stages * Adjustable speeds * Unique reflexology for the foot massage||Size 52 x 31 x 34 inchesWeight482 pounds||$1,699|
|Human Touch WholeBody 7.1 Massage Chair||This massage chair is highly recommended for anyone struggling for space and worried about how to fit an effective and highly sophisticated massage chair in their life.||* Highly sophisticated circulation technology * 5 pre-set programs * FlexGlide tech solution * Connected ottoman with foot and calf massage that is also retractable * 55-degree swivel base * Warm air massage function * Retractable||Size 44 x 28 x 40 inchesWeight114 pounds||$1,409|
Recommended For – Our Top Pick!
This massage chair is excellent value for money if you want a serious machine to deliver professional-level massages.
The MK-Classic Massage Chair from RELAXONCHAIR may be among the pricier massage chairs in this review article but that’s because it offers luxury features beyond any run of the mill competitors. The L shape of the track ensures that every part of the body benefits from its dual rollers and the in-built smart body scan technology sensors will automatically customise your massage experience to suit your body type and shape. With adjustable intensity levels, changeable zero gravity positions and even manual massage modes including kneading, tapping, Shiatsu and rolling, everyone can use the MK model to enjoy a massage that’s a lot better than just OK! Where the RELAXONCHAIR massage chair really excels is in the separate arm, calf and foot massage functions combined with heating pads for the lower back and 4 automatic programs including deep tissue pressure and a chilled relax mode.
- Intelligent body scan technology
- L-track system
- Heat therapy
- Multiple intensity, gravity, and massage technique options
- Independent limb massage
- Yoga and stretch programs
- Hand-held, backlit remote controller
Size: 55 x 32 x 49 inches
Weight: 253 Pounds
This massage chair offers a lot of value for a low price and is best suited for those wanting an even and whole body massage.
The Smart Massage Full Body Massage Chair offers a heck of a punch for such an incredibly affordable massage chair. With a zero gravity feature that’s fully capable of going fully tilted, the massage capabilities of this model include airbags to all areas of the body including shoulders, arms, hips, calves and feet. The airbags are designed and placed for a full body wrap and the 8 separate rollers work independently and in complementarity with the airbags with adjustable massage speeds from the remote control device. Lower back heating and an ergonomically designed and extraordinarily comfortable armrest linkage system ensure that every single part of your body enjoys an excellent top to toe sensation. Plus, the footrest (complete with its own rollers) is extendable for extra long users. Additional features include seat vibration and timer function so you can set the length of your session and then sit back, relax and enjoy.
- Zero gravity function
- Arm linkage
- Full body airbag wrap
- Lower back heating
- Remote control
- Seat vibration
Size: 39.8 X 25.8 X 17.3 inches
Weight: 175 pounds
This massage chair is best for those wanting their chair to do the work for them and offer a ton of excellent features for a truly excellent price.
There’s a ton to love about the BestMassage Massage Chair Recliner in addition to its low cost. This excellent quality massage chair includes a whole body massage system utilising 6 different rollers with capability to deliver most massage modes and even four automatic programs: Recover, Refresh, Relax and Extend. Its scanning technology will help fit your massage chair to your body and utilise its multiple airbags arrayed evenly around your shoulders, back, calves, waist and feet to ensure everywhere receives the necessary attention. The 3D zero gravity technology gives you the option to go weightless. An adjustable footrest allows for users of varying sizes and the heat functionality allows you to take your massage session to the next level.
- Body scanning system
- Heat therapy
- Multiple massage techniques and intensity levels
- L-track system
- Adjustable footrest
- Pre-set auto massage program options
Size:55 x 42 x 35 inches
Weight: 300 pounds
Great value for anyone looking to really indulge in a high quality massage chair recliner.
The Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 is another heavy hitter price-wise on our review list but it still offers huge promise for its cost, if your budget is up to it. Utilising both dual roller massage action and sophisticated air cell massage technology, users can enjoy the best of both worlds. The smart body scan works a charm, as do the 6 auto programs, ensuring you enjoy a lifelike massage. Additionally, the double layer of airbags on the shoulders allow for a deep tissue upper body massage too. But that doesn’t mean the lower body is neglected: between the L shaped massage system and the dual roller foot massagers, the LM6800 will take good care of your whole body. There are small little details here as well that just go to show why this model is sold for the price it is. The remote holder is very convenient and offers multiple purposes and uses. The space saving technology allows it to fit snugly in even tight nooks and crannies and the heat function on the legs and lower back is among the most effective on this list.
- 3 stage zero gravity function
- Sophisticated air cell technology
- Body scan
- 4 rollers massage system
- Heat therapy
- FDA certified
- Up top 30-minute timer
Size: 48 x 31 x 46 Inches
Weight: 249 pounds
This massage chair offers enormous value for a low price with simple yet effective functionality plus a couple extra luxuries.
The Real Relax 2020 Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner offers users both high end functionalities at a price point towards the lower end of the scale. Unlike most other models which utilise L or S-tracks, the RR uses a fixed frame which means the roller tracks don’t change position. There are plenty, however, of other features that keep the 2020 model competitive with its contemporaries, like its recline to zero gravity feature, heat feature, and vibration options. The 4 separate and distinct massage programs offer a variety of intensity and styles utilising its 50 airbags for a truly full body experience. It’s the little luxuries that add immensely to the Real Relax 2020 like the Bluetooth audio play, easy to understand remote, footrest extender, feet heating functionality and adjustable backrest. All in all, there’s a lot on offer for such a moderately priced massage chair.
- 50 airbags
- Timer function
- Heat therapy
- Adjustable back and footrest
- Zero gravity
- Intuitive remote controller
- 6 auto modes
Weight: 400 pounds
This chair has everything that counts at a price that won’t break the bank making it perfect for anyone wanting a comprehensive massaging full body recliner chair.
The Ideal Massage Full Featured Shiatsu Chair packs in a lot of valuable features in a tight frame. This full body recliner comes with an L-track roller system with capabilities to engage in a 3-stage zero gravity mode as well as Shiatsu massage, kneading, tapping and knocking techniques. The smart tech 3D scan makes good use of the 48 dual zone air bags, acupressure functionality and roller therapy across its 10 massage programs include unique offerings like Swing, Stretch and Relax mode. The variety of programs means you can control the speed and intensity of each massage you get. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a built in heat function and foot-specific massage kneading balls to round out the full body experience.
- L massage track
- 10 massage programs
- Multiple massage techniques
- 48 airbags
- Heat therapy
- Foot kneading massage balls
- Dual zone air bags
- 3D smart scanner
- Quiet operation technology
- 3-stage zero gravity function
Size: 33 x 55 x 49 inches
Weight: 200 Pounds
This massage chair is not your usual design or style, but it’s perfect for anyone wanting effective massages in an excellently sized package and at a fair price.
The NOUHAUS Massage Chair with Ottoman forgoes the standard armchair recliner model and goes with a much sleeker and more compact design. That’s not to say that it can’t measure up to the massaging task at hand! The unique I-track rollers and adjustable massage airbags still deliver an effective and full body massage at 35 kneads a minute, complemented by the more than adequate heating functionality. Due to its design, the chair does not recline backwards but rather utilises the accompanying ottoman, which matches the main chair’s luxury diamond-cut stitching for pure comfort and relaxation. The easy to use controller means engaging all 4 massage heads is simple allowing you to get started on your massage without a fuss or delay.
- Four massage heads
- Sleek and compact design
- Easy to use controller
- Heating functionality
- Multiple air bags
- Accompanying ottoman
Size: 47 x 28 x 27 inches
Weight: 66.9 pounds
This massage chair is perfect for someone looking for a reliable chair from a reputable brand at a decent price.
The Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Massage Chair is a fantastic quality massage machine. From the polyurethane material for practical comfort to the ergonomic S-track roller system you’ll want to stay in this chair all day! The zero gravity function comes in 2 stages and the pre-set programs come with 6 options, all controllable from an LCD display remote with wireless options. The airbag massage works the entire body with particular squeezing functions on the shoulders and lumbar area. Lower back heating and automatic leg scanning allows you to function on the sometimes more neglected areas of the body. The computer body scan technology will automatically make the roller track adjust to fit your spine and back curvature so that whether you’re using the rollers, air massage or seat vibration features you’ll be in prime comfort.
- Body scanning technology
- 6 massage styles and pre-set programs
- Airbags, rollers, heat and vibration functionalities
- Zero gravity comes in 2 stages
- Adjustable speeds
- Unique reflexology for the foot massage
Size:52 x 31 x 34 inches
This chair is highly recommended for anyone struggling for space and worried about how to fit an effective and highly sophisticated massage chair in their life.
Much like the NOUHAUS model, the Human Touch WholeBody 7.1 Massage Chair eschews the standard massage chair style to boast a modern and sleek design that won’t take up a lot of space or seem bulky. The WB 7.1 boasts an alloy steel frame covered in comfortable polyurethane. It’s massage functionalities work the entire body with 5 separate auto programs, including both relax and sleep modes as well as body part specific options. This state of the art machine incorporates Figure-Eight tech powered circulation technology and seamless orbital massages as part of a FlexGlide massage solution. Sound like technical mumbo jumbo? Take it from us that this compact massage chair can provide a truly effective massage session.
- Highly sophisticated circulation technology
- 5 pre-set programs
- FlexGlide tech solution
- Connected ottoman with foot and calf massage that is also retractable
- 55-degree swivel base
- Warm air massage function
- Retractable footrest
Size: 44 x 28 x 40 inches
Weight: 114 pounds
What is the best massage chair for the money?
While different massage chairs offer different sorts of benefits, we suggest the RELAXONCHAIR model as our top pick. This middle-of-the-range priced chair offers many of the luxuries of the top end competitors making it highly worth the money.
Are massage chairs worth the money?
Absolutely if you plan on using it regularly. Massage chairs can be a heavy investment initially but for regular users this investment can pay for itself many times over considering the number of hand massages it can replace and money thus saved.
What is the best massage recliner chair?
The best massage recliner chair will really depend on the person. Some recliner chairs offer highly sophisticated massaging capabilities while others are more simple and thus cheaper. Check out our Considerations breakdown for a thorough analysis of all the different factors you should take into consideration when choosing the best massage chair for you.
At the end of the day, no matter which of the 9 best value massage chairs you choose to go with, you’re bound to not only enjoy using your purchase but benefit from it physically and mentally. Happy massaging!