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Massage has been practiced for thousands of years throughout the world in many different countries. In modern times massage is generally considered to be the form of alternative medicine which may have many therapeutic benefits.
According to the National Health Interview Survey, an estimated 18 million adults in the US receive massage therapy every year.
There are 80 different types of massage. Unfortunately there is very little scientific evidence related to massage therapy.
However massage has been shown to have a number of unique benefits for a wide range of medical conditions.
The benefits of massage chairs
Research suggests that massage has been shown to help with:
- reducing stress, anxiety and depression
- relieving pain
- rehabilitating strains or sports injuries
- helping with joint pain
- increasing relaxation and general wellness
In addition, improved blood circulation through massage can help to deliver nutrients to the bones for a healthier skeletal system. It can also help clear the body of toxins which can boost the lymphatic and digestive systems of the body.
Massage chairs vs conventional massage
Massage is not only available to those who can afford to spend hundreds of dollars per session or have the spare time to visit a therapist regularly.
The average massage appointment costs around $ 100- $ 150 per session for sixty to ninety minutes. Not to mention, you may also have to find a therapist who can fit you in. If you have a regular massage every fortnight that adds up to $ 2600- $ 3900 per year!
Do not worry, massage chairs and handheld electronic massagers can save you money and are now sophisticated enough to deliver the extraordinary effects of conventional massage (and in many cases even better).
Plus you’re in direct control of the depth and pressure used in your massage (and how often would you like to have them).
The added benefits of massage chairs
There are a number of benefits of using a massage chair as opposed to a conventional massage:
- Massage chairs can be used anytime in the comfort of your own home . No need to make an appointment and travel to the therapist. It can be done simply and easily for as long as you like and as often as you like.
- The extra powerful vibrations in massage chairs and other electronic massagers allows the massage to penetrate deeper into your skin. This enhances blood flow throughout the skeletal and circulatory systems .
- Many massage chairs give you an option of how deep into the tissue you would like the massage to penetrate. Allow you to customize the pressure according to your personal preference .
- Many massage chairs can incorporate air-compression and stretching techniques which employ air-bag systems to relieve stiffness, knots and address lower and upper back pain .
Best massage chair under $250
Don’t let it’s humble appearance fool you. If you’re looking for an affordable, yet quality massage chair then look no further than the Relaxzen Leisure Massage Chair.
This massage chair features a clean and modern design that is lightweight and will fit beautifully into any décor .
Upholstered in your choice of either black, brown or camouflage simulated leather this chair is easy to care for and could be a chic addition to your home.
The chair itself is super comfy, with reclining abilities and an all-round stress relieving feel.
I have eight different vibration motors that target different muscle groups for total coverage.
Targeting the upper back, lower back, thighs and calves these motors will target each area either individually, or in unison with 9 pre-programmed massage modes (this is more than some $2000 massage chairs). You can pick between five different levels of intensity as well.
To top it off this chair also offers a heated lumbar mode for those with back pain. The heat allows for blood vessels in the back to relax and expand which can increase nutrients and blood flow to the affected area. This acts to reduce back pain and muscle spasms.
Our verdict: 3 stars
This massage chair really does offer a superior relaxation massage at an affordable price.
Pros of Relaxzen Leisure Massage Chair:
- 8 separate massage motors
- 9 Pre-programmed massage modes
- Comfortable and easy to maintain
Cons of Relaxzen Leisure Massage Chair:
- Initial assembly of chair can be difficult
- Features are basic compared with more expensive massage chairs below
Best massage chair under $500
Do not let the clinical look of this massage chair fool you, the Human Touch Active Chair can bring serious comfort into the convenience of your home.
Offering 170 degrees of reclining action, via an easy to pull hand strap, this chair can provide a thorough and penetrating massage to your muscles.
There are three pre-programmed massage modes that concentrate on different areas of stress on your back, neck and shoulders.
Designed to fit into any environment this chair is compact and portable, weighing only 45 pounds. This makes it extremely easy to fold up, transport or change location.
You can also choose between two beautiful upholstery options, Espresso or Cream (both with Taupe accents). However it’s ultra-modern design means that it may not suit all home décor types and styles.
To complete the unbelievable comfort of this modern chair, the comfortable pillow head is included as well.
The Human Touch Active massage chair features FlexGuide Orbital Massage Technology to deliver a top-notch massage that it claims will not disappoint.
The real benefit of the patented FlexGuide technology is that it avoids the pinching and friction usually associated with other massage chairs within its price range. Put simply, it feels more like an oil massage than a dry massage.
In theory, this massage chair is intended to give the sensation of a live hand massage experience, simulating the hand techniques of massage professionals. It aims to incorporate a combination of stretch, orbital and glide motions.
In practice this massage chair does an excellent job (although not perfect) of emulating conventional human massage. It (almost) feels like you are at the day spa.
Our verdict: 3 stars
This massage chair does a great job of emulating human massage. This is an excellent option for those who prefer human-like touch from the convenience of a tethered remote.
Pros of Human Touch iJoy Active 2.0 Perfect Fit Massage Chair:
- 3 Different massage modes, concentrating on high stress areas
- FlexGuide technology that simulates human massage techniques
- 170-degree reclining action
Cons of Human Touch iJoy Active 2.0 Perfect Fit Massage Chair:
- Ultra-modern design may not fit into all home décor types
- Not a full body massager (although a foot massager accessory is available)
- May be a too small for taller individuals (those over 6″4 inches)
If you want to take your massage to the next level, look no further than the Infinity Iyashi Massage Chair for a futuristic and revolutionary massage experience. The Iyashi massage chair can produce a deep tissue massage from your neck to your feet unlike any other.
This chair not only brings you a thorough and relaxing back and neck massage, but with its special track system it also massages all the way down to your feet.
In addition to the extended rollers that massage your back and seat areas, there are also 38 independent airbags that treat the rest of your body for complete coverage. You can also enjoy the heated lumbar support and control the intensity levels quite easily.
The chair’s foot rest provides its own rollers for a deep and comforting foot massage to complete the experience. This machine boats the innovative Zero-Gravity technology that will position your body perfectly for an out-of-body massage experience.
The benefit of Zero-Gravity Technology is that it allows your body to release all weight and tension into the chair (similar to what astronauts experience while out in space). Your legs are then elevated higher than your body, allowing for improved blood flow and circulation and extraordinary tension relief.
Another advantage of the Iyashi massage chair is it’s focus on connectivity. Allowing you to control your chair with your smartphone using the Iyashi application, (both Android and Apple applications available) for total control.
It also features its own built-in speakers, so you can connect via Bluetooth to play and even synchronize your music.
Our verdict: 4 stars
This massage chair has the ability to produce an amazing massage. It’s full body capability and its Zero-Gravity Technology combine to produce a truly out of this world relaxation experience that not even human massage can replicate. The only reason it does not receive 5 stars is because of it’s high price tag.
Pros of Infinity Iyashi Massage Chair:
- 38 Airbags for full body massage
- Zero-Gravity Technology
- Wireless smartphone application
- Bluetooth connectivity, built-in speakers
Cons of Infinity Iyashi Massage Chair:
- Bulky design
- More expensive than most other luxury massage chairs
Best massage chair under $1000
The modern Real Relax Full Body Zero Gravity Shiatsu Massage Chair features plenty of options that will deliver a comprehensive and thorough massage.
Made from top-quality black leather this chair is super comfortable and is designed to accommodate individuals of all sizes.
This chair is one of the only on the market to be registered by the RDA as one of the safest and most effective massage chairs on the market.
With 8 different massage points located in the backseat, 35 independent air bags throughout the body and separate foot rollers this chair can deliver an intensive full body massage.
Zero-Gravity body position and a backrest heater delivers muscle relaxation and improved blood flow.
Our verdict: 4 stars
This massage chair is excellent value. It’s zero-gravity position and 35 independent airbags means It is able to compete with massage chairs that are double its price.
Pros of Real Relax Massage Chair:
- Easy to assemble (usually takes 15 mins)
- RDA registered
- Zero-Gravity design with heated back support
- Suitable for taller individuals
- 3 year warranty
Cons of Real Relax Massage Chair:
- Bulky footrest and leg design
- Lacks elevation adjustment for legs and head
Best massage chair under $2000
This mid-priced Titan Tp-Pro 8400 Full Body Massage Chair delivers all the options and features that its more expensive counterparts offer.
The comfortable and stylish chair boasts an impressive 50-inch L-Track roller system and 24 independent airbags to deliver a comprehensive massage.
The unique benefit of the L-Track Massage Function is that it provides extra support to the neck, back and lumbar areas. This uniques position increases the effectiveness of the massage by individually decompressing and separating spinal disks, increasing blood flow and nutrients within the area.
The zero gravity reclining system will perform full body scan to fully customize your massage experience while offering a heated lumbar support and massage.
Another great feature of this massage chair is it’s stylishly compact design. This allows it to fit easily into your home and décor with upholstery choices in black, gray, brown or tan.
When you sit back you can really feel the Titan enveloping your body in it’s massaging comfort. With the choice of 5 pre-programmed massage modes or you can also customize your massage session with relative ease from the integrated remote.
This chair is fully assembled right out of the package so you can easily setup and start enjoying the massage right away.
Our verdict: 5 stars
This massage chair clearly stands out from the rest in it’s price bracket. For a mid-priced massage chair it packs almost all of the features you would want in a higher end chair. With L-track functionality, zero-gravity and heated lumbar support, you can’t find anything else better for cheaper. Great value.
Pros of Titan Tp-Pro 8400 Full Body Massage Chair:
- 50 inch L-Track
- 5 pre-programmed massage modes
Cons of Titan Tp-Pro 8400 Full Body Massage Chair:
- Only 24 airbags
A powerful and contemporary Infinity IT-8500 Massage Chair produces a deep tissue massage with tons of features.
Classically designed this comfy leather massage chair will fit seamlessly into any home or office with upholstery choices in either black, brown or tan.
This super-quiet massage chair also offers 3D technology like no other.
Enjoy all the standard massage chair features along with the advanced options this chair offers:
State-of-the-art body scanning technology brings a 3D massage to you with intensity control with the S-Track roller track system in the backseat combined with specialized foot massaging rollers and air-bags dedicated to the feet and ankles.
Heating options warm and ready tired muscles for a deep massage.
Airbags deliver stretching and grips your body for a thoroughly relaxing experience. This chair offers the standard Zero-Gravity reclining option with 170-degree recline, but adds another 8-degrees with a secondary reclining option as well.
Built-in sensors automatically detect your shoulders and delivers an intense shoulder massage.
Control this chair with an integrated compact remote and choose from 4 pre-programmed massage modes and 6 different massage styles or customize your massage session with targeted modes.
To complete the ultimate massage session Bluetooth connect and enjoy your favorite music.
Our verdict: 3 stars
Pros of Infinity IT-8500 Massage Chair:
- 3D Massage Technology
- Bluetooth connectivity
- 4 pre-programmed massage modes, 6 massage styles
- 2 step Zero-Gravity technology
Cons of Infinity IT-8500 Massage Chair:
- Bulky Design
- More expensive than most others
This advanced Panasonic EP-MA73KU Massage Chair features quad-style massage technology that delivers satisfying and complete muscle relaxation.
Designed with style and function in mind, this customizable chair offers shiatsu and quad-style massage techniques with 8 pre-programmed massage modes and over 1000 massage combinations.
This machine allows you to enjoy a customized massage with its 3D body scanning technology that adjusts to each individual’s needs.
It also utilizes a unique 3D massage function that allows for greater circulation and muscle relaxation.
Its control panel allows you to fully customize and setup your massage chair. Preset your favorite positions and modes for easy massage sessions startup.
This chair is rather bulky so it is best to use in an area with enough room to accommodate. It features a stylish design with comfortable simulated leather in either black or brown with wood accent trim detail. However it lacks heated lumbar support for those with back pain.
Our verdict: 3 stars
Pros of Panasonic EP-MA73KU Massage Chair:
- Full massage mode customization
- 3D body scan for individual customization
Cons of Panasonic EP-MA73KU Massage Chair:
- A bit heavy and space consuming
- Limited Edition model
- Does not feature heated lumbar support
A beautifully designed chair, the Ogawa Active SuperTrac Massage Chair is a gorgeous addition to any home. Comfortable premium leather adorns this state-of-the-art chair while the newest massage technology delivers a deep massage unlike any other.
The Super-trac roller system performs the S-spinal massage down the back that is specific and detailed. 56 independent airbags create an inclusive full-body compression massage or can be directed in specific areas. Kneaded rollers give attention to tired feet as well. From the neck to your toes the Ogawa relaxes every part of your body.
Pick between four pre-programmed massage modes and six differing massage techniques to take off into relaxation with the use of the integrated remote.
The included adjustable back pad, heated lumbar feature, padded rollers and vibration options will create a complete body relaxation sure to melt your tension away.
This state-of-the-art massage chair also keeps you connected while relaxing you as well as an integrated USB port that allows you to charge your electronics.
Our verdict: 4 stars
Pros of Ogawa Active SuperTrac Massage Chair:
- Lots of massage modes and features
- 56 Independent airbags for total body massaging
- 4 pre-programmed massage modes, 6 massage techniques
Cons of Ogawa Active SuperTrac Massage Chair:
- Heavy at 250 lbs
- May be difficult to assemble with one person
Best massage chair under $3000
This super contemporary Osaki Massage Chair brings you the latest massage technology with tons of new features. Comfort knows no bounds when it comes to the full body relaxing massage brought to you by this chair.
Recline back into the zero-gravity position and enjoy one of the six pre-programmed massage modes or choose to customize your massage with the many different features and options.
Independent airbags will target and air massage target areas throughout your body such as your shoulders, arms and legs. Choose between five levels of intensity and enjoy heated or vibration therapy.
The full-size wireless remote allows you to fully customize your massage . Complete a full body scan so you can adjust your massage for ultimate results and an easy sit-and-massage experience. Sit back and relax with timer mode for those on the go.
Our verdict: 5 stars
Pros of the Osaki Zero-Gravity Massage Chair:
- Computer full body scan for massage customization
- 6 pre-programmed massage modes and 5 different intensity levels
- Zero gravity technology
- Heat and vibration therapy
- Massages down to feet
Cons of the Osaki Zero-Gravity Massage Chair:
- Heavier chair at 255 lbs
- May be difficult for one person to assemble by themselves
Best massage chair under $4000
In the search for the longest and most comprehensive Titan Pro Alpine Zero Gravity L-Track Recliner Massage Chair is the industry leader.
Featuring a 51-inch long massage, this massage chair delivers deep massage from your neck to your upper hamstring muscles.
This advanced chair scans each individual to adapt to each body type and deliver a customized massage.
So, lean back into this zero-gravity recliner and enjoy the comfort of a complete massage whether you are small or tall in stature with its versatile design that is specially built to accommodate taller individuals .
TP-Pro Alpine Massage Technology is embedded into this massage chair with an advanced L-Track for deep penetration along the back and seat areas, but also full-body airbags for deep penetrating relief for your shoulders, lumbar, arms, hands, foot and calves .
A set of heated lumbar pads are incorporated to melt your lower back tension away.
Use the easy remote to choose one of the 6 pre-programmed massage modes or one of the several additional features like hip twist and sway feature for increased blood flow and relaxation.
The Alpine’s design is contemporary and space-saving. Unlike most massage chairs, this chair’s track design pushes the chair forward before reclining, allowing you to place the chair inches away from the wall.
The chair comes almost fully assembled, making it a cinch to set up quickly and easily.
You can choose between black, brown or crème leather upholstery which is sure to add a touch of elegance to your home and match almost any interior decor.
Our verdict: 5 stars
Pros of the Titan Pro Alpine Zero Gravity Massage Chair:
- 51-inch L-Track roller track
- 6 pre-programmed massage modes
- Easy to assemble
- Heated lumbar support (for those with back pain)
Cons of the Titan Pro Alpine Zero Gravity Massage Chair:
- More costly than other massage chairs listed above