The Absolute Best Massage Chairs Money Can Buy

There’s nothing quite like getting a feel-good, relaxing massage after a day full of life’s hustle and bustle. It’s not just a blissful way to indulge and get pampered; a good dose of massage may also help you stay on top of your health and well-being.

Traditionally, the best way to work on all those bothersome kinks and knots is to get a massage from an expert masseuse. Your next best bet, and one that’s way more realistic and convenient, is investing in a top-notch massage chair or recliner.

When deciding which massage chair to buy, your choice will likely come down to your budget and personal preferences, including what type of massage you think will work best for you. Are you into Swedish, Shiatsu, rolling, kneading, deep massage or all of the above?

In this review article, we’ll take a closer look at the 10 best massage chairs available in 2020 and beyond. We’ve done the legwork so you don’t have to spend countless hours researching or trying out different chairs.

Whether you tend to hold stress in your feet, hamstrings, lower back, shoulders, upper back, neck or anywhere in between, you can rest assured that you’ll find the best massage chair for you on this list.


1. Infinity IT-8500 X3


Infinity IT-8500 X3 - Full Body Zero Gravity 3D Massage Chair - Featuring Air Compression, Decompression Stretch, Lumbar Heat, and Shiatsu Technique- Black

 out of stock
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  • ZERO GRAVITY: The zero-gravity position reclines your body so that your legs are elevated above your heart. This encourages circulation, reduces heart rate, and releases spine tension and pressure.
  • WIRELESS CONTROL: Use the remote to adjust the massage chair's roller depth from a low intensity to a powerful deep-tissue massage. Or download the APP and control from your phone. Wireless Bluetooth audio speaker integration adds your favorite tunes!
  • LUMBAR HEAT: This massaging recliner's lumbar heat relaxes your muscles for the massage. The heating modules heat gradually to reduce pain, restore healthy circulation, and loosen muscle rigidity.
  • REJUVENATING FOOT MASSAGE: In each foot unit, 8 airbags partner with 6 rolling sole massagers, designed specifically to squeeze, knead, roll, and swing-massage the sole, arch, heel, and ankle.
  • ABOUT INFINITY: To describe what Infinity stands for, we created a new word: "Unlimit"—to remove inhibiting restrictions, or to open up to infinite possibilities. Unlimit yourself with Infinity.

The best mid-to-high-end massage chair

If you’re looking for the best mid-range massage chair for your money, then don’t look beyond the Infinity IT-8500X3. It’s pricey for most shoppers, but it delivers high-end features at well below half their price tags. The 3D body scan tech can help zero in on all pressure points on your body and massage them accordingly.

IT-8500 X3 is quieter than comparable models and comes with thirty airbag compression points coupled with complementary rollers that provide variable depths so you can select the right intensity and kneading style for you. The S-mark rail design enables the chair to hug your natural curves and the shape of the spine. Other notable features include Bluetooth capability, zero gravity, multi-function foot massagers, heat function and state-of-the-art control.

What we liked:

  • Customizable weight and height settings are on point, offering greater flexibility for the user
  • Expect the best foot massage you’ll ever get thanks to calf and foot airbags combined with three rollers
  • Multiple body stretch modes are available with the click of a button
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Incorporates 4D roller technology


  • No memory slots
  • Lacks precise heat temperature controls
  • No calf heat


 2. Snailax Massage Cushion with Heat


Snailax shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat, Full Back Kneading Shiatsu or Rolling Massage, Massage Chair pad with Height Adjustment, Relieve Muscle Pain for Back Shoulder and Neck

$135.99  in stock
1 new from $135.99
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  • Flexible Neck Massager,Snailax deep tissue massage chair pad features 4 unique neck massage nodes to kneading massage for neck & shoulders. The shiatsu neck roller can be adjusted up & down to fit specific user. Suitable for people of 63 inches - 70.9 inches (1.6m-1.8m) height. Timer:15 minutes. UL approval desktop home adapter is included, the adapter is safe to use between 100-240V electrical outlet.
  • Shiatsu Back Massager with Heat, Snailax chair massager has 4 shiatsu rotation balls travel up & down relaxing full back. 3 Selective massage zones: Full/upper/lower back. Spot massage can focus on targeted area for pin-point relaxation. With heating pad for back, this heated back massager can further soothe muscle tension. The detachable FLAP allows you choose a softer or intense massage.
  • Customizable Rolling massage, Snailax Shiatsu Neck back massager with rolling massage along the spine offers soothing massage across the whole back. The width of massage balls can be adjusted to custom fit the body. VIBRATION SEAT MASSAGER, 2 levels of vibrating intensity provides you a comfortable massage to Hips and thighs.
  • Ultimate Comfort: Use this full body massage seat cushion on the sofa, recliner,office chair to make the ultimate comfort seat in the house. The integrated strapping system secures it on chairs in place.
  • Perfect Gifts: Snailax shiatsu massagers for neck and back is a perfect fathers day gift for Dad, for man,friend, wife or husband and any your loved ones for birthday, party or Christmas gift.Warning: Please stop to use your device once you feel the shiatsu too strong for you.

Even though it’s not a true massage chair or recliner, the Snailax massage chair pad is hellishly compact and can work with virtually any chair or couch with a stable straight back. Priced at a sub-$150, it flaunts multiple features you’ll find in mid-range and upscale models.

The sleek massage cushion looks much more contemporary than most recliners on this list. And it packs top-end features that include an adjustable neck massager, shiatsu back massage system with heat function, 3-zone spot massager, rolling back massager with variable width, 2-setting vibration seat massager, and more.

What we liked:

  • Great for home, in-car and office use
  • An amazing gift idea
  • 15-minute auto shut-off so you can doze off without worry
  • Dual-direction use to relax aching shoulders, waist, back and neck
  • 3-year replacement warranty


  • Not rechargeable, meaning you can’t use it away from a power source
  • Ineffective or insignificant heat therapy
  • Very hands-on operation


 3. Real Relax 2020 Massage Chair


Real Relax 2020 Massage Chair, Full Body Zero Gravity Shiatsu Recliner with Bluetooth and Led Light, Black

$849.99  in stock
1 new from $849.99
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as of June 12, 2024 8:34 pm


  • Dual-core S track neck back robots hands rollers up and down, generate a more effective massage to neck stress and back pain, than 8 points fixed back rollers.
  • One button zero gravity, feel ultimate relaxation when the chair is fully reclined.
  • Full body airbags compression on shoulders, arms, foot and hips, relive whole body pain and tense.
  • Altered remote control with a bigger LCD screen and clearer buttons, easier to use and more accessible.
  • More Effective neck massage: Suitable neck massage position can be chosen to fit your height, 3 levels of adjustable massage intensity to meet various needs.

Successor of the popular Real Relax 03 Plus, this upgraded model adds six auto massage programs, adjustable LED light, and Bluetooth capability. Like its predecessor, it sports zero-gravity technology, full recline, vibrations, foot massager, heat therapy function, and a timer.

For a full-body massage experience, it comes with a blend of up to eight back & neck-rollers and up to 50 airbags strategically placed across your body, including your lower back, calves, hips, arms, shoulders, neck, and feet. Priced very competitively, it’s a great choice for people wanting  to tackle tight or sore muscles

What we liked:

  • Great for tight and sore muscles
  • Available in 3 beautiful colors that will fit nicely into your interior décor
  • Adjustable footrest
  • Packed with top-notch features: heat function, zero-gravity function, etc.
  • 50 airbags spread across your body makes it a compression-heavy chair
  • Best massage chair priced under $1,000


  • No actual massage track, so it’s not a good back massager
  • It could be a little gentler


4. Bellmint Folding Massage Chair with Heat Function


Shiatsu Massage Folding Chair with Heat - Features 8 Deep Kneading Rollers, 3 Vibration Settings, USB Port - Adjustable Seat Massager for Back, Neck and Shoulder Muscle Pain Relief

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  • UNWIND & RELAX: The Belmint folding massage chair is a new innovative neck and back massager that provides compression and percussion through kneading rollers, designed to help you relax and loosen up your muscle knots
  • RELIEVE & REVIVE MUSCLE KNOTS: This folding chair back massager features 8 Shiatsu deep-kneading rollers that stimulate your neck and back muscles, to deliver an acupressure massage and relax and soothe achy and tired muscles
  • VIBRATION RELIEF: Vibrating function to targets your lower back, thighs, and hamstring to melt away the tension, swelling, neuropathy, pain, and discomfort. The Belmint deep-tissue chair massager is paramount that offers a great massage experience
  • OPTIONAL HEAT FUNCTION: The seat neck back massager features switchable heat. Turn on the heat function to improve the overall blood circulation of the body and treat muscle fatigue.
  • FOLDABLE & PORTABLE: Our chair massager is foldable and portable so that you can carry it with you anywhere. The armrest has a USB charger for your smartphone and electronics. Makes a great gift for family and friends

Bellmint Folding Massage Chair might look like an ordinary folding chair, but this beast packs a punch in its small footprint. It’s an affordable standalone chair with kneading rollers, heat function, adjustable shoulder and neck massagers, and vibration massage system. All of these powerful massaging systems work in tandem to alleviate swelling, eliminate tension and soothe stiff, aching or sore muscles in your hamstrings, thighs, lower and upper back, and neck.

A few minutes on this seat will make feel like you are in a slice of paradise.  It is definitely worth every dime you spend. Besides, it’s highly portable and foldable for easy carrying and storage.

What we liked:

  • Armrest has a USB charger
  • Lightweight and folds up so you can carry or tuck it away without any fuss
  • Gives you lots of control over pattern, intensity and heat settings
  • Muscle isolation is a huge bonus
  • The 8 independent massage balls offer full-body coverage


  • Poor design – it’s just a souped-up fold-up chair
  • Not exactly a great choice if portability isn’t your #1 priority


5. Best Choice Products Faux Leather Electric Massage Recliner with Footrest


Best Choice Products Faux Leather Electric Massage Recliner Chair w/Stool Ottoman, Remote Control, 5 Modes - Black

$335.98  in stock
1 new from $335.98
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  • MASSAGE + HEAT: Loosen up from top to bottom with heat in the chair's backrest, plus massage points in the seat and ottoman to knead the upper and lower back, lumbar, thighs, and calves
  • CHARMING FURNITURE: This comfy addition to your living space also provides an elegant, inviting appearance that makes the living room and more look and feel like home
  • COMFORTABLE RECLINE: A double-padded backrest reclines for blissful relaxation, while soft armrest, seat, and ottoman cushions provide optimal comfort. You can also keep a book or magazine at your side with a built-in storage side pouch
  • CONTROL OPTIONS: Wireless controller lets you conveniently switch between 5 pre-programmed massages, 9 intensity levels, and 2 modes to get the most soothing lounging experience possible
  • EASY ASSEMBLY: Set this chair up in 3 easy steps; simply attach the ottoman footrest to its base, then attach the chair seat to its base before inserting screws; CHAIR DIMENSIONS: 27"-46"(L) x 29"(W) x 41"(H); Chair Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.

If you want to spend under $250 and not a cent more, then you’ve just found the best massage chair your money can buy! Even though it lacks a foot massager, this super affordable gem is quite the performer with nine intensity levels, five pre-programmed massages, and 2 auto massage modes to knead your calves, thighs, lower back, and upper back.

You will appreciate the comfort level and how easy it is to set up. It’s an impressive choice for anyone looking for a compact home couch recliner, footstool, and decent massager, all rolled into one well-designed product. If you’re interested in deep-tissue massages, however, go with another option.

What we liked:

  • Wireless controller for hands-off operation
  • Easy to set up and clean
  • Multiple, high-quality massage levels, programs, and modes from which to choose


  • Might have an odd smell that will linger for a few days
  • Footrest cannot be hidden when not in use


6. Mecor Massage Recliner Chair


Mecor Massage Recliner Chair PU Leather Recliner Chair with Heat Rocker Recliner with 360 Degree Swivel/Cup Holders/Remote Control for Living Room (Black)

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  • MASSAGE RECLINER CHAIR-8 point massage,a heating system and 5 massage modes for selection ,having a full body massage to relax upper back, lower back,thigh and lumbar, each point can be operated individually to relieve stress, address painful tension, stretch shoulder muscle.
  • SWIVEL RECLINER-360 degree swivel,the chair can be rotated in a full circle;160 degree reclining for optimal comfort ,especially for people after a surgery or with back problems.NOTICE:This recliner chair without lift and down function.
  • MATERIAL-Made of soft 100% high quality bonded leather ,solid wood frame,and luxuriously thick padded arms/seat/back,it is comfortable enough to spend hours in it, especially for people after a surgery or with back problems.
  • ASSEMBLE STEPS-Recliner chair come in 4 pieces:1 Back+1 Seat+2 Arms.Installation Steps: Slip 2 Arm parts onto the seat base, next slip the back part onto the base,then you're complete!
  • DIMENSION-33" Lx33.5"W x42" H, Seat Dimension:21.5"W x20.5"D, Weight Capacity: 330lbs

If you prefer recliner chairs, the Mecor Massage Recliner Chair is another worthy option that will marry well with traditional furniture. It could be the perfect buy for the recreational room in your house. With such a low price, you could buy two, so you can kick back and relax with your partner.

The recliner has earned heaps of praise for its outstanding PU leather construction, heat function, 8-point massage system, and 360-degree swivel. You can also choose from among 5 massage modes, allowing you to receive a relaxing massage for your lumbar, thigh, lower back, and upper back.

What we liked:

  • Elegant and posh design
  • Armrests are padded for extra comfort
  • Do more while getting a massage – swivel, recline, rock or just sit
  • 2 cup holders and 3 pockets offer additional storage


  • Mid-range quality of massage at best
  • Footrest not well-padded


7. OOTORI Massage Chair


OOTORI Massage Chair Recliner, Zero Gravity Full Body Massage, Neck Back Legs and Foot Shiatsu Massager with Heat and Foot Rollers (Black)

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  • Best gift choices for Mother's Day!Zero Gravity Massage Chair - This true zero gravity massage chair will position you in a true zero gravity recline allowing better blood circulation, relaxation and a deeper and more effective massage.
  • Lower Back Heat&Dual Foot Roller Massagers - Placed in the lower back region of the chair are 2 heating pads which enhance the massage experience. The heat is a mild warming heat to help loosen a tight back, Located on the bottom of the feet are 2 rows of spinning reflexology massagers which provide a soothing kneading style application.
  • Control Airbag Strength - You can select your massage style and adjust the speed, strength. There are 3 levels of airbag intensity control and massage speed control and 90-180 degree gravity-free angle adjustment, you can choose your favorite angle to enjoy it all!
  • FULL BODY AIR MASSAGE - 8 rollers to massage the back of the neck, 16 airbags are placed on the shoulders, arms, buttocks, calves and feet, the lower back is heated, and roller massage is performed to relax your whole body!
  • We offer 3 Year "Rock Solid" Warranty guarantees that your qualified product will be replaced or repaired, without cost to you. And we also offer an additional warranty to extend the length of time.

Best zero gravity massage chair for value

This UL-approved massage recliner by OOTORI is a beast in its own right. A zero-gravity shiatsu chair with built-in heat function, it has up to 32 airbags designed to deliver superbly targeted massage to various body parts, including your hips, feet, calves, thighs, shoulders, and back. Equally important, these airbags will allow you to enjoy fuss-free relaxing moments with 3 auto massage modes.

Other top features include two heating pads, zero gravity technology, extendable footrest, and a space-saving function that enables you to back it up to 10 inches from the wall. It’s available in rich brown or black leather with sports brandings such as New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.

What we liked:

  • UL certified for safety
  • With modern design appeal, it can marry well into any living space
  • Three auto massage settings, including refresh, relax and stretch programs
  • 2 heating pads for maximum pain relief
  • Zero gravity function
  • Sturdy cup holder
  • It can accommodate a person up to 350 lbs. in weight, and up to 6’1” in height


  • No music support
  • Food padding may be uncomfortable to some people


8. Massage Chair by iReest SL


iRest SL Track Massage Chair Recliner, Full Body Massage Chair with Thai Stretch, Zero Gravity, Bluetooth Speaker, Airbags, and Thai Foot Massage, Space-Saving (Black)

$1,699.00  in stock
1 new from $1,699.00
Free shipping
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as of June 12, 2024 8:34 pm


  • The manipulator imitates 5 massage techniques of human hands, 8 automatic massage programs, and the speed, width and height can be adjusted.
  • Foot Massage: The airbag wraps the entire instep for a pressure massage, and airbags on the calf area compress the leg muscles and relieve the soreness of the legs. The foot roller massage creates a relaxed body comfort experience.
  • Space Capsule Zero Gravity - There are 3 levels zero gravity angles, clicking the button to adjust a comfortable reclining angle. Meanwhile, our heart and knees are in a horizontal line, which can effectively reduce heart pressure and stimulate blood circulation.
  • SL Track - Combined with human engineering and studied super long"SL" shape space curved rail technology, Massage distance is 135cm, makes you enjoy personal massage from the head to the leg, helps to maintain the human body vertebra "S" shaped curve, achieves relaxing the spine and relieve tense muscles.
  • After-Sale Guarantee – This massage chair is 100% tested for performance and reliability before shipping, and is guaranteed and protected with 3-year warranty.

Best massage chair overall

In a marketplace filled with knock-offs and astonishingly expensive imitations, iRest SL is the best massage chair, pound for pound. It’s a well-designed L-track framed chair fitted with an air-cell and four-roller massage system that works amazingly well on your hips, waist, arms, and shoulders.

Thanks to its ergonomic design, this FDA-registered medical device is super quiet, surprisingly compact, and comes with a raft of high-end features, including heat therapy, 3D massage, zero gravity technology, dual foot rollers, 12 auto programs, memory function, arm airbags, and space-saving technology. It’s best for SH-Chiro, yoga-stretching, and Shiatsu massage therapies.

What we liked:

  • Comes with 12 auto-massage modes, including yoga-stretching and full shiatsu
  • 3D body scan
  • Space-saving technology means it’s impressively space-conscious
  • Best value for money
  • Outstanding arm air massage
  • Great for seniors


  • The arm slots may be a little uncomfortable for some users


9. HoMedics Quad Shiatsu Pro Massage Cushion


HoMedics Perfect Touch Masseuse Heated Massage Cushion | App Controlled, Adjustable Height, 4 Massage Styles | Relief for Back, Shoulder & Neck | Shiatsu, Rolling, Percussion, or Combination Massage

 out of stock
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  • 4 MASSAGE STYLES: Choose from 4 different massage styles including: deep-kneading shiatsu for a deep concentration on pressure points, gentle rolling that works away aches and discomfort, invigorating percussion to aggressively work and strengthen deep-tissue muscles, or a shiatsu & percussion combination which features an alternating massage experience
  • CONTROL YOUR CHAIR WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE: Use your smartphone App to control the settings on your massage cushion! Create your own massage programs, or use the programmed controller, which allows you to select 3 different massage zones and spots
  • CUSTOMIZABLE MASSAGE SEAT: The neck and shoulder massager adjust to your height, allowing any member of the family to use this heated massager. The seat cushion massager also reverses direction, giving you the option of a traveling massage or targeted spot massage allowing you to pinpoint a specific area that needs relaxing
  • OPTIONAL HEAT FEATURE: This massage chair has an optional heating feature. The use of heat helps to penetrate tired muscles in your neck, back and shoulders making your massage even more soothing and relaxing
  • INTEGRATED STRAPPING SYSTEM: Your Perfect Touch Massage Seat has an integrated strapping system that fits most chairs snugly, while the internal cord storage system keeps the room neat when the cushion is not in use

Best massage chair pad

Not everyone is willing to blow big bucks on a full massage chair. If this sounds like you, then HoMedics Quad Shiatsu Massage Cushion just might be what the doctor ordered. It’s among the most sought-after massage chair pads, and deservedly so. The free-standing cushion can be set up on top of any chair, couch or any raised surface, as long it is stable and firm.

Like most good quality chairs, this pad boasts several massage settings, including kneading for deep-tissue relaxation, percussion for a quick-relief massage, and rolling for a light massage. Add heat therapy and zone control to the equation and you’ll enjoy a massage session that works out all of your kinks and calms your overworked muscles.

What we liked:

  • A good quality, durable and capable massage chair pad for the price
  • Excellent integrated strap system means it works with any chair and couch
  • Triple treat – customize your massage with rolling, kneading and percussion massage modes
  • Easy to use and program control


  • There’s no way to recline or lay down, which can be awkwardly limiting
  • Not ideal for use on soft chairs/cushions


10. BOSSCARE Massage Chair


BOSSCARE Massage Chair Recliner with Zero Gravity, Full Body Airbag Easy to Assemble with Bluetooth Speaker, Foot Roller Black

$819.99  in stock
1 new from $819.99
Free shipping
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as of June 12, 2024 8:34 pm


  • 【Easy Installation】The whole products are well installed when they are packaged by factory, and there are only two main parts inside the package. You just need to combine the leg rest and main body of massage chair together, 5 minutes could be fair enough for you to install this massage chair.
  • 【Back Heat Therapy & Full Body Airbag Massage】Back Heating placed in the lower back region of the chair to enhance the massage experience; 45℃ Constant Temperature: targeted heat gently soothes the back to loosen tight muscles, help relieve pain and improve the blood circulation. Air Bag Kneading Massage is applied to squeezing shoulder, arm, buttocks, legs, meanwhile, roller massage is applied on foot since it is more suitable compared with airbag.
  • 【Zero-gravity Technique & Blue-tooth Speaker】Zero Gravity is when your body under the most natural and complete relax position, legs are a little higher than heart. Multiple Zero Gravity: zero gravity floating experience, feel virtually weightless. Zero Gravity can effectively reduce heart pressure and stimulate blood circulation. Blue-tooth Speaker support you to listen to your favorite music while enjoying massage
  • 【Full Body Massage & 6 Auto Programs】8 Fixed Point with 14 Massage Balls to massage your neck, shoulder, back and waist; Six Kinds of Intelligent Massage Modes are preset, so that you can have quick and convenient whole body massage. Personalized Massage Settings: you can make full use of 14 massage balls and 3 levels of massage strength to combine the massage solutions you need.
  • 【Materials & Quality】Faux Leather. Our professional team with more than 10 years' experience is responsible for creating comfortable, reliable and safe products for you. Every link of all products is subject to strict inspection, and only after passing the quality inspection can sales be allowed. It is the best gift for Valentine’s Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, birthdays, anniversary.

This magnificent faux-leather massage chair offers full-body airbag massaging so you can unwind, relax, and de-stress after a hard day’s work. It’s a perfect buy for any rec room, bedroom or living room because the dark upholstery will go nicely with other furniture in the space.

This massage chair is ideal for anyone suffering from neck, back or leg fatigue. With heat function, 3-stage zero gravity, 4-button control, and six massage modes, including shiatsu, air pressure, vibrating, rolling, and kneading, you can focus on aching shoulders, buttocks, calves, and arms.

What we liked:

  • Faux leather is super easy to clean and maintain
  • Rich, high-quality upholstery is elegant
  • Combines vibrations with heat therapy for optimal pain and muscle relief
  • Includes foot rollers to relieve achy, sore or tired feet
  • Easy-to-use remote control with a convenient storage pocket
  • Has both manual and auto massage modes


  • Resets with every stop which can be quite frustrating if you want to start where you left off
  • Needs to be assembled before use


How to Choose the Right Massage Chair for You

In a market flooded by hundreds of brands with more frequently entering the fray, it can be difficult to find a good quality massage chair among so many no-name knock-offs. Even the most popular massage chairs come in a myriad of styles, price ranges, and sizes, which can make the whole process a bit overwhelming.

No worries, though – in this section, we’ve surfaced important things that you need heed so you can pick the absolute best massage chair for you.

What’s your budget?

Massage chairs don’t come cheap, so be prepared to invest handsomely to snag a good quality product that will deliver great results. In the lower end of the market, you’ll find cheap units value-priced below $1,500, but they typically offer a limited set of features and most use dated technologies.

Middle-range models will set you back anywhere between $1,500 and $6,500. Similarly, they will likely sport mid-tier features such as tri/quad rollers, airbags, among others. You may find a few gems with high-end features in this price range, though.

Expectedly, the priciest of the bunch boasts a set of high-end, robust features and loads of extras that are certain to take your massages to a whole new height. With a price tag well over $6,500, you can successfully bet you will get crème de la crème of bells and whistles.

Often, however, you selection comes down to one question: how much do you want to spend? What’s the price of comfort and relaxation for you?

For instance, if you’re dealing with constant muscle spasms, backaches, and neck pain, then the worth of the chair to you definitely goes high up. If you aren’t sure you will ever use the chair, on the other hand, you might be better off skipping the purchase altogether.

What’s your primary motivation for making the purchase?

For most people, massage chairs are just the best way to kick back, veg out, and relax after a hard day’s work. So, anything goes here.

For some people, however, the purchase may be driven by a specific therapeutic need. Perhaps you’re dealing with vexing symptoms related to arthritis, chronic back pain, sciatica, sports injuries, high blood pressure, and so forth. You will need a chair with specific functions to tackle these conditions.


Once you have a budget and motivation pinned down, the next move is to look for features that will fit the bill. Massage chairs and recliners come with a variety of features, all of which can be placed into three categories: core, therapeutic, and convenience.

Core features include primary technologies such as massage tracks, roller adjustment method, air massages, and controls.

Therapeutic features to keep in mind include Zero-G seating (which is present in about a third of chairs), deep tissue massage, foot massage, body stretch, zone/point massage, and heat therapy.

You can think of convenience features as an added luxury.  These might include chromo-therapy (uses color therapy to induce relaxation), air ionization, hideaway Ottoman (in which the chair has a concealable foot massager), and extendable Ottoman (length can be stretched to accommodate taller people). Others may integrate MP3/VR music support, memory slots (to store guided massage routines), and more.

Talking of features, Shiatsu massage chairs focus on pressure points throughout the body through rolling, swaying and pressing movements.

Chairs that integrate Swedish massages employ light kneading and intense rubbing to heal sore or aching muscles. Zero-G chairs recline in such a way that your body has zero gravity to enhance your massage.

There is a boatload of features to choose from, but you are not likely use all of them, so it’s crucial that you determine which parts of your body needs special focus. This way, you can pick a chair with functions that attend to these body parts.

Design and size: where do you plan to use and store it?

Often ignored, location does matter. The vast majority of massage chairs are bulky and you cannot easily just move them on a whim. They are likely to clash with your interior décor, so your living room may not be the best place to keep one.

In many cases, a massage chair will end up in a bedroom or home office, both of which usually have limited space. Most chairs feature foot and head recliners, making it inadvisable to place them close to walls or in a corner.

Measure your target room and calculate the amount of space you have available before you actually buy the chair. Some units are wheeled, making them easier to move. If you plan to store the chair when not in use, be sure to look for models with wheels.

Massage intensity

Most chairs use balls and rollers as the core massaging and therapeutic mechanisms.  Others add airbags and zero-gravity to cushion your body against excess vibrations.

By design, massage chairs are intense in a bracingly comfortably relaxing way. However, you don’t want a chair that’s too vigorous or intense for comfort. There is no point in getting a chair that will make you feel like you are being prodded with rough mason bricks.

The best massage chairs usually have versatile controls that allow you to increase or reduce the level of intensity until you hit your sweet spot.


A massage chair is a complex piece of equipment with much wiring, many digital components, and moving parts, so the chances of things going wrong are very high. Given that you are investing top dollar, there is no question that you want a durable, easy-to-repair chair.

Customer service quality and warranty

This is a huge investment worth protecting right from day 1. Before you purchase a massage chair, determine the length of the warranty and what is covered. Most warranties last between three and five years but make sure the one you buy covers at least parts and labor costs.

When things do go wrong, having responsive and helpful customer support on your side can make your ordeal less painful and stressful. Do a little digging to uncover the quality of customer service for the brand — read online reviews, ask around, and check out user testimonials.

The bottom line is that you don’t need to purchase a chair beyond your means, but do buy a durable unit with the right features that you will regularly use. You can compromise a bit on the look and luxury to garner a chair for a price that’s more suitable for your budget.


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