How to Choose the Best Massage Chair | 2023 Edition

As someone who’s sold massage chairs for two years, I’ve seen massage chair models come and go, and now I’ll do my best to explain what makes one massage chair different from another. 

Knowing this will allow you to choose the best massage chair for you!

Outside of the main differences that are advertised, such as 4D Massage Chairs, and Body Stretching, there’s a lot more that makes one massage chair better suited to someone than another. 

That’s why it’s important to talk to someone that knows the massage chair well enough, and has used it for a long time to know what really makes the difference between massage chairs. 

Whats the Difference between Massage Chairs?

There’s a few things that I often point out to customers that come in store and ask us about massage chairs. Outside of just asking them what they’ve seen, or what they’re looking for, I’ll also ask them what they’re looking for in a massage chair, and who’s using it. 

One of the biggest things that I worry about is how each massage chair will adapt. I can compare models with their features, but I always struggle with explaining how each massage chair will fit to your body unless you, or someone similar has tried it. 

In addition, not everyone needs to have the most expensive chair. The most important thing is that you get the massage chair you need, and get the most value for your buck. 

So without further ado, let me explain some things that people might not know about massage chairs. 

Massage Chair Difference 1: How Accurate and Precise the Massage is

This is something that makes all the difference between massage chairs, and how well they feel. 

Have you ever gone for a massage, and thought 

“They didn’t press down on the spot I wanted for that long”

That’s because the massage was not precise enough. 

So how would a massage chair go about making sure it’s pressing the right places on your body to give you that massage you want? 

One way is through the multiple massage modes that each massage chair has. Massage chairs tend to have lots of massage modes, which allow you to choose something that targets a specific area. 

Here’s a photo which shows some of the massage modes on the OGAWA Master Drive Plus Massage Chair and where it targets. 

Master Drive Plus Massage Chair Tablet Screen Showing Massage Modes

As you can see in the picture above, there’s four massage modes which you can choose from, three of which are specifically targeted for an area on your body. 

The Sensei massage mode targets the neck and shoulders, the Spine Care massage mode targets the lower back and hips, and the Thermal Kneading massage mode targets the shoulders with a kneading, heated massage mode. 

This allows you to see what a massage chair can do. 

But now that begs the question, how do you know if a massage chair is going to actually massage the right area?

That’s where the massage chair sensors come in

A massage chair sensor is essentially a form of detection to let the massage chair know where the areas of your body are.  

Some sensors may include temperature sensors, heart rate sensors, position sensors, and even more. 

The reason these sensors make such a difference is because they allow the massage chair to adapt to each person that sits in it. This means that if you’re a shorter person, and you share this massage chair with someone else, the massage chair can adapt to your body to give you what you need

The best example of this in action is our OGAWA Master Drive AI Massage Chair, which has 24 sensors inside to adapt the massage to what you need. 

It takes sensors to a whole new level as it incorporates True AI technology, and generates an individualised massage each time. With it’s health assessment mode, it uses its 24 sensors to run a scan of your body, and finds out exactly where you’re sore.

This allows the massage chair to become more accurate and precise. It will also automatically adjust the pressure needed for your body. 

In my opinion, it’s one of the most advanced ways to collect and use biometric data for any piece of technology. Here, it’s used to help generate the perfect massage for you, without you needing to adjust any settings. 

If you’re interested, I’ve linked the product page below, where you can see more specs of the massage chair. There’s a video in the product description which shows how you can use the massage chair, and how it works!

Massage Chair Difference 2: Massage Chair Dimensions

Massage chairs come in different sizes and shapes, which often makes such a big difference. When you’re buying a massage chair, it’s pretty important to know what size you need. 

More often than not, a lot of our customers worry about the space it takes, or worry if it will fit them. While our most advanced massage chairs, such as the OGAWA Master Drive A.I, can adapt, a lot of the others have recommended heights. 

This becomes an issue for people who might be too short or tall, as massage chairs are made to fit within a certain height range. For the most part, our largest massage chairs can support heights up to 6’3, or around 192cm.

On the shorter side, as we have many small massage sofas, which can support minimum heights of 140cm safely. In these situations, it’s always best to let your Irelax staff member know your height so they can recommend you a chair that fits you better. 

Another factor to consider is the width of the massage chair. While you can see the dimensions on the massage chair, until you feel how it presses against you, you won’t really know how it feels.

If you’re someone that’s claustrophobic, then massage chairs which have more airbags might not be as suitable, as they will wrap around your body, and enclose you in. 

However, if you like that hugging sensation, then you would like massage chairs with more airbags. 

Thus, when we talk about how wide a massage chair width, it’s a combination of both:

  1. The actual width dimension of the massage chair, and
  2. How much the airbags will fill the space within the massage chair

These two measurements combined will give you a more realistic understanding of the interior width of the massage chair. A good point of reference I like to consider is how wide the shoulder pads inflate. 

Some massage chairs are able to inflate a lot, which often results in very nice airbag massages. This however varies from person to person, depending on your weight, or how thick your body parts are. 

For example, the calf airbags on a massage chair may feel tighter to some people, and softer to others, depending on how wide their calves are. 

This is often why it’s very important to see the massage chair in action from someone in a similar body shape to you. 

Massage Chair Difference 3: Massage Strength and Firmness

I cannot stress this one enough!

It’s important to know what kind of massage intensity you prefer, as this shapes your entire massage chair experience.

Even though some massage chairs might have better features than another, I always ask what kind of massage my customers prefer before recommending them any massage chair.

The main reason is that if you don’t enjoy the massage, why would you need all the extra features?

That’s often why massage chairs where you can control the strength, such as 4D Massage Chairs, are often priced higher. The strength on each setting is controllable, making each massage mode flexible based on what the person sitting in it needs.

Despite this, it’s still important to know how each massage chair massages you, and why one is softer or firmer than another. 

One example I can give from our Irelax range of massage chairs is the OGAWA Smart Reluxe Massage Chair, which is one of our firmer models. 

Below is a testimonial which shows how prominent the massage rollers are on the massage chair.

As you can see in the video, the massage chair’s rollers are very prominent. This is due to the position of the massage track in the massage chair, in combination with the amount of cushioning on the massage chair. 

These two factors often make up why some massage chairs feel firmer or softer than others.

That means despite what sort of massage roller you have, or what sort of firmness you can control to, your experience is always influenced by the placement of the massage track, relative to the amount of cushioning you have on your massage chair. 

That, is what determines how soft or firm a massage chair can feel. 

Other factors also include the way the massage rollers were built, the material on the rollers, which could be plastic, silicon, carbon fibre or rubber, or the surface area of the rollers. 

Because you’re unable to see the inside of the massage chairs, it’s very hard to tell unless you experience it yourself

Conclusion: Massage Chairs Can Be Complex

At the end of the day, massage chairs are extremely sophisticated machines which have gone through a lot of design and thought to get to where they are now.

When you put your body in the hands of a massage chair, it’s important to know what it’s actually doing, and how it’s doing it. 

For good reference, I’ll also link below a video which shows some of our massage chairs standing right next to each other, and how someone might use them!

This will help you make a better reference when thinking of what sort of massage chair you might want!

Where can I learn more about massage chairs?

The team at Irelax AU are more than happy to discuss the differences in massage chairs, and which one might be best for you.

The easiest way would be to come in store, but we’re more than happy to help you on the phone! Simply give us a call at 1800 296 866 and we’ll be able to explain more in depth!

There are many options, and we can cater to most budget ranges! Feel free to get in contact with us, and learn more about how a massage chair can help you rest better today!

2 thoughts on “How to Choose the Best Massage Chair | 2023 Edition

  1. Pingback: Comparing the Foot Massager in OGAWA Massage Chairs

  2. Pingback: What is the Difference between a 3D and 4D Massage Chair?

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