Best Shiatsu Massage Chairs

We’re all busy! Anxiety, stress, work, exhaustion… Life can certainly be draining. It’s no wonder that people are itching to run away on holiday or escape into a TV show–everyone just wants an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. Which is exactly why massage chairs are becoming more and more popular as well; few things offer as rejuvenating and relaxing an experience as your very own massage chair. When you come home from a long, hard day and plop yourself comfortably into the seat, you’ll truly feel like you’re on vacation in your very own living room!

Massaging chairs, defined simply as a chair with massage capabilities and functions, come in all designs, shapes, sizes, colours and fabrics. They also, however, come with a range of massaging techniques. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage therapy that seeks to emulate the principles and effects of acupuncture. Basically, this means that it applies pressure to specific points of the body using hand-massage techniques to achieve the same outcome.

Shiatsu massage chairs work to the same goal. Through the use of various technologies, including airbags, rollers, heat pads and more, a Shiatsu chair applies similar techniques to parts of the body or the full body, depending on the specific model.

The Benefits of Shiatsu Massages

There are many reasons why massage chairs, and Shiatsu recliners in particular, are good for you aside from the enjoyable sensation you’ll experience using one.

Relaxation

Relaxing one’s body and mind can be easier said than done in today’s fast-paced and unrelenting world. Taking the time out to sit in a massage chair and enjoy the therapeutic sensations will not only ease the body but also relax the mind.

Pain Relief

Whether you have aching shoulders or sharp lower back and lumbar pain, a good massage chair will offer customisable massaging to pinpoint the uncomfortable area. Designed to mimic a real massage session, Shiatsu massage chairs provide effective, instant and prolonged pain relief.

Tension

You may not realise it, but we hold our stress and tension primarily in our shoulders and back. Our muscles tense when we do and tighten up often causing us to experience pain. Regular sessions in an effective massage chair will ease that tension regularly and allow your muscles to truly relax.

Blood Circulation & Metabolism

Some lesser known benefits of Shiatsu massage chairs include improved blood circulation and metabolism. Some specific massage chairs, like the Real Relax Recliner Shiatsu Massage Chair, are built to incorporate certain functionalities that specifically aim for these sorts of benefits.

Shiatsu Massage Chair Features To Look Out For

Not all massage chairs are equal, even in the world of Shiatsu recliners! Every model offers different functions, features and benefits. Here’s a breakdown of the different considerations you should keep in mind when going to purchase a Shiatsu massage chair.

Vibration

Not all massage chairs offer a specific vibration functionality and nor is the vibrating sensation in a massage chair right for everyone. If you want a vibration feature, when you’re looking for a Shiatsu massage chair,make sure to check what sort of specific massage settings and programs it offers.

Comfort

Most Shiatsu massage chairs will be comfortable enough for the average user. If you want to make the most out of your investment, we recommend paying attention specifically to the material the massage chair is made of. For example, the R Rothania Ospirit Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair boasts uniquely soft and comfortable synthetic leather for the ultimate luxury experience. Less comfortable materials on massage chairs can cause blisters during prolonged or extensive use.

Size Adjustments

While it’s more and more common for massage chairs nowadays to include some sort of body scanning technology to adapt to your spine and curvature, not all Shiatsu massage chairs take into account other variations in the human body. If you’re on the rather tall or short side, take care to make sure your chosen chair offers adjustable height modifications, just like the Mr. Direct New Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair does.

Zero Gravity Massage Chair

Gravity chairs work by taking the stress and weight off of your spine and lifting your feet up above the heart, imitating the zero gravity sensation of space. One upon a time the zero gravity feature may have been a real eye-opener (and wallet opener). Modern day Shiatsu massage chairs generally come with a zero gravity functionality as relatively standard. That’s not to say that they’re all equally effective though. Some Shiatsu gravity massage chairs, like the RELAXONCHAIR Shiatsu Massage Chair Full Body, offer a more impressive and wider range of zero gravity movement based on the degree the chair is able to recline in.

Power

Some people prefer more powerful and intense massages whilst others like the softer sensation–luckily both are available in Shiatsu massage chairs. Every model and design will come with a different number of preset and in-built styles, sessions and modes, with many of them offering the ability to adjust power, speed and intensity to find the perfect balance for you.

Customer Service

Your chair massager should ensure a completely relaxing experience, and part of this is the customer service you receive. This can range from how easy to use the chair is, how easy to set up it is, and the availability of a warranty. If customer service is something that’s important to you make sure to check out what related offerings the massage chairs under consideration offer.

Scanning Technology

This is another feature that seems luxurious until you realise you simply can’t do without it. Shiatsu massage chairs often incorporate some sort of body scanning technology. The purpose of this is to configure your chair to match and complement the individual curves and shape of your spine. This ensures a truly customised and pitch perfect massage experience.

Extra Features

All of the models we cover in this review offer a number of extra special specs and features. Depending on your personal intentions, requirements and preferences, you might decide that one feature is more important to you than another. It might be the heat pads of the R Rothania Ospirit Full Body Massage Chair, the foot rollers of the Real Relax Recliner Massage Chair or the mobility of the Medical Breakthrough Massage Chair, take your time reading through this article to find the right massage chair for you.

Price

If you’re particularly price conscious, it will interest you to know that there’s quite the variation in price between the top models and the cheaper models. Prices can range from the $900 Real Relax Recliner Shiatsu Massage Chair to the almost $4,000 Medical Breakthrough Massage Chair. Is the higher priced model worth it? Well, it all depends on what sort of chair you want and what sort of features you want it to have. Every consumer is different and, luckily, there’s a perfectly priced shiatsu massage chair for any budget.

Shiatsu Chair Review Summary

It can be pretty confusing comparing all the features, benefits and differences of each massage chair – so we’ve assembled a handy table for you to refer to!

ModelBest ForMassagerFeaturesSize/WeightManufacturer WarrantyPrice
Ootori Zero Gravity Shiatsu Electric Massage ChairSomeone looking for a reliable and reputable recliner that won’t break the bank.
Shiatsu
Zero gravity
Easy to use
Highly customisable
FDA approved
Size: 51.1 x 33.46 x 29.13 inchesWeight: 213 poundsYes$1,100
Medical Breakthrough Massage ChairSomeone who wants all the gadgets and isn’t price sensitive.Shiatsu
Zero gravity
Designed by doctors
Body scan function
FDA registered
Size: 65 x 32 x 40 inchesWeight: 250 poundsNot specified$3,800
Real Relax Recliner Shiatsu Massage ChairSomeone who wants a simple recliner that still offers a great massage.Shiatsu
Zero gravity
Easy to set up, use and clean
Armrest linkage system
Size: 44.88 x 42.91 x 32.68 inchesWeight: 176 poundsYes$900
Ideal Massage Luxury Shiatsu ChairSomeone who loves bells & whistles but doesn’t want to splurge on price.Shiatsu
Zero gravity
3D scanning technology
Heat function
Ergonomic design
Size: 33 x 55 x 49 inchesWeight: 200 poundsYes$1,400
Mr. Direct New Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage ChairSomeone looking for a more affordable model without unnecessary luxuries.Shiatsu
Zero gravity
VFD screen
35 airbags
Size: 33 x 55 x 49 inchesWeight: 185 poundsNo$750
RELAXONCHAIR Shiatsu Massage Chair Full BodySomeone looking for effective results in a short amount of time.Shiatsu
Zero gravity
Back heat function
No assembly needed
In-built programs
Size: 55 x 32 x 49 inchesWeight: 253 poundsYes$1,500
R Rothania Ospirit Full Body Shiatsu Massage ChairSomeone who prioritises soft and comfortable seating.Shiatsu
Zero gravity
In-built sensor
Soft, synthetic leather
Calf/foot massager
UnavailableNot specified$1,000
RELAXONCHAIR MK-II PLUS Shiatsu Massage ChairSomeone who wants the extra luxuries and is willing to pay a bit more for them.Shiatsu
Zero gravity
Smart body technology
Footrest rollers
Heat therapy
Size: 52 x 32 x 46 inchesWeight: 232 poundsNot specified$1,800

Product Review

Ootori Zero Gravity Shiatsu Electric Massage Chair

The Ootori Zero Gravity Shiatsu Electric Massage Chair does exactly what its name suggests: provides a truly zero gravity massage experience with Shiatsu massaging capabilities. This massage recliner uses both air massaging and gentle massage rollers to apply an even yet effective massage to relieve the entire body. It’s perfect for both personal use at home and for more heavy commercial usage too. The six automatic massage programs offer enough versatility in speed and power to suit everyone’s preferences, and the air bags are specially designed to inflate and deflate independently offering an even massage experience. The automatic chair adjustment functionality means it’s able to adjust to the length of your spine, rather than having you trying to fit yourself into its frame. Featuring a VFD screen for easy operation, this chair won’t take you a month to work out how to use it and enjoy. To top it all off, the Ootori Shiatsu Massage Chair is FDA certified, so you can enjoy peace of mind while enjoying your own piece of heaven.

Pros

6 auto massage programs
FDA certification
Multiple massage speeds
Heating functionality
3-year manufacturer’s warranty
Affordable price

Cons

Relatively heavy
Relatively difficult to move

Massage Chair Dimensions

Size: 51.1 x 33.46 x 29.13 inches

Weight: 213 pounds

Medical Breakthrough Massage Chair

There’s a lot to love about the Medical Breakthrough Massage Chair. Sure its name promises a game-changing experience, but we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. This massage recliner was designed by a collaborative team of doctors specialising in back and muscle pain. Re-designed and built from the ground up, this machine is super customisable and can be manipulated and adapted to suit any body design, shape and size. The aim of the designing team was to create a massage chair that could truly emulate the effects, benefits and sensations of a genuine massage. To that end the Medical Breakthrough massage chair boasts a ton of unique features in addition to the expected zero gravity function to evenly distribute weight. The airbags located in the seat actively work to stretch the back and waist muscles for whole body pain relief. In addition to the Shiatsu technique, this product offers a number of other options in case you want to try something different or new. The intensity level options further allow you to personalise the experience, or you can opt for a pre-programmed massage technique. Last but not least, this wonderfully designed massage chair is more compact and lighter than other models which, along with its four wheels, makes it uniquely mobile.

Pros

Fully customisable
Medical body scan functionality
Excellent zero gravity function
Adjustable intensity level, programs and techniques
FDA registered and doctor designed

Cons

Less user-friendly instructions
Expensive

Massage Chair Dimensions

Size: 65 x 32 x 40 inches

Weight: 250 pounds

Real Relax Recliner Shiatsu Massage Chair

There’s more than one really relaxing aspect of the Real Relax Recliner Shiatsu Massage Chair. This highly durable recliner, backed by a three year manufacturer warranty, offers a plethora of great features. The zero gravity functionality works extremely well and wonderfully complements the Shiatsu massaging technique. The seat of the Real Relax chair offers vibration and heating features to not only gently massage but promote blood circulation and your metabolism. Between the 8 separate massage points and 4 pre-set programs, there are plenty of ways in which you can customise your experience. Uniquely, this massage chair also offers an armrest linkage system and a foot roller feature to truly recreate a full body Shiatsu experience.

Pros

Easy to put together and move
Easy to clean leather
Heater functionality
Armrest linkage system
Multiple pre-set programs
3-year warranty

Cons

Does require installation

Massage Chair Dimensions

Size: 44.88 x 42.91 x 32.68 inches

Weight: 176 pounds

Ideal Massage Luxury Shiatsu Chair

The aptly named Ideal Massage Luxury Shiatsu Chair offers both an ideal relaxation and luxury Shiatsu experience. Among the more popular of models thanks to its fair price, the Ideal Shiatsu Chair still manages to pack in a whole bunch of nice features. The 3D scanning technology customises the experience based on the curvature of your spine and your body’s shape, using zero gravity and in-built heat therapy to take your massage to the next level. With options for quick or prolonged massages that apply genuine-feeling Shiatsu techniques, the 8 massage points work in unison to maximise relaxation and blood circulation. The Ideal massage recliner also offers a special design that focuses on ergonomic effectiveness to ensure the entire body is comfortable and massaged throughout the entire session.

Pros

4 auto massage programs
3D scanning technology
Ergonomic design
Easy to set up
Heater functionality
3-year warranty included

Cons

The tubes can be too short for some users

Massage Chair Dimensions

Size: 33 x 55 x 49 inches

Weight: 200 pounds

Mr. Direct New Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair

The New Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair from Mr Direct offers a ton of handy features for both new massage enthusiasts and the experienced, long-term fans. The high definition VFD screen allows for easy operation and first time usage. The zero gravity functionality and 8 distinct massage points relieves tension and weight from your body whilst simultaneously applying instant pain relief to all areas. This is complemented by the 35 air bags which are placed throughout the massage chair to spread the application of the sensation no matter which of the 3 massage techniques you employ. Additionally, the footrests are adjustable to cater for users of all heights and sizes. The New Electric Full Body Massager Chair is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable whole-body massaging machine.

Pros

VFD screen
8 massage points
35 airbags
Easy to use
Great pricing

Cons

No warranty

Massage Chair Dimensions

Size: 33 x 55 x 49 inches

Weight: 185 pounds

RELAXONCHAIR Shiatsu Massage Chair Full Body

The RELAXONCHAIR Shiatsu Massage Chair Full Body is certainly an excellent purchase choice for the customer looking for strong results in a short period of time. The RELAXONCHAIR is designed to suit the natural contours of the back ensuring that an even massage is applied to the lower back, shoulders and everywhere in between. There’s plenty of opportunity to customise your experience as well. The in-built 7 auto programs provide a wide range of choice and the adjustability of the chair itself makes it suitable for the height and size of all users. The zero gravity positions include everything from 115 to 160 degrees, so it’s up to you to find the angle that suits you best. At the same time the lumbar back heating and innovative spine rollers make for a truly unique massage experience. This massage chair also offers state-of-the-art features like air massage technology and in-built chair sensors. Plus, there are numerous practical features to take note of too: the backlit button allows for easy operation in the dark and the lack of assembly means getting up and started is easier than ever.

Pros

No assembly required
7 in-built programs
3 zero gravity positions
3-year (limited) warranty
Back heating functionality for the lumbar region

Cons

Higher price

Massage Chair Dimensions

Size: 55 x 32 x 49 inches

Weight: 253 pounds

R Rothania Ospirit Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair

If you’re looking for a fantastic Shiatsu-style massage chair, you can’t look past the R Rothania Ospirit Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair. This high quality recliner might boast a compact design that saves space but it doesn’t hold back on any extra features. The in-built sensor automatically scans the spine to measure the length and curvature of the spine for pinpoint massaging accuracy. Utilising airbag massage technology the R Rothania Ospirit inflates and deflates bags independently across the lower back, shoulders, thighs and hips to provide an excellent massage experience. The stretching and twisting effects of the airbags help to stimulate muscle activation and relaxation. The double-heating pads located by the lower back are the cherry on top of the sundae. Additional features include a spinning roller massager for the calf and foot, a full-sized remote controller, and large viewing screen.

Pros

In-built sensor
Independent airbag inflation
Heating pads
Calf & foot massager
Soft, synthetic leather
Light weight for extra mobility
User friendly

Cons

Higher price

RELAXONCHAIR MK-II PLUS Shiatsu Massage Chair

The RELAXONCHAIR MK-II PLUS Shiatsu Massage Chair might be the second recliner from RELAXONCHAIR on this list but it’s an entirely different beast. This popular massage chair offers the ultimate in comfort and pain relief. The high tech Smart Body scanning automatically enhances your massage experience by personalising the fit of the chair to suit your body. Multiple massaging combinations, 4 auto settings, independently inflating/deflating airbags and zero gravity positions give you even more flexibility everytime you sit down. But it’s the small details that really make the PLUS Shiatsu Massage Chair model stand out: footrest sole rollers, deep tissue and full body stretching functions, ergonomic S-track spine shape, heat therapy, and intensity/speed control. The zero gravity functionality is specifically designed to complement the chosen massage technique by balancing the elevation of your feet with the level of your heart. This effective relief of muscle weight, combined with the soft leather material, is the ultimate in luxury. 

Pros

Viewing screen
3 zero gravity positions
Multiple airbags
Smart Body scanning
4 auto settings
Footrest sole rollers
Heat therapy

Cons

Massage Chair Dimensions

Size: 52 x 32 x 46 inches

Weight: 232 pounds

Frequently Asked Questions About Shiatsu Massage Chairs

1. Are Shiatsu massage chairs good?

Yes! Shiatsu massage chairs provide a range of benefits including muscle relaxation, increased blood circulation and stress relief. These massages emulate the effects and sensation of acupuncture, and Shiatsu massage chairs are designed to recreate that same experience for you in the comfort of your own home or office. Whether you’re looking for immediate back pain relief, want to de-stress or just want some ‘You Time’ to rest and relax, Shiatsu massage chairs are a wonderful choice.

2. What is a Shiatsu massage chair?

A Shiatsu massage is a Japanese form of massage derived from the word  for “finger pressure”. The general aim of this form of massage is the emulation of the effects and benefits of acupuncture. To achieve this the massage incorporates kneading, tapping, touching, rolling and stretching techniques. A Shiatsu massage chair offers the same sensation of a Shiatsu hand massage but in the form of a comfortable recliner chair.

3. Which massage chair is the best?

It’s hard to choose just one Shiatsu massage chair. We’ve comprehensively reviewed 8 of the best massage chairs on the market and while they all offer variations in functionality and features, you can’t go wrong with any of the reputable and tried and tested models in this article.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, your Shiatsu massage chair only has to make one person happy: you! Make sure you check out the reviews of any massage chair you’re looking to purchase and check for the functions and features that are most important to you. Happy massaging!