Here at Painless Movement, we spend a lot of time talking about gear that makes your office more ergonomic. This time around, we’re going to switch things as we went on a search for the best massage chair, and you might be surprised by what we found.
A good massage chair can take a load off your shoulders by easing tension and anxiety brought on by those hard days at the office after you’ve stepped away from your desk for the day. While most of our picks are a bit too large for most offices, they can be a great addition to your home. We found something for everyone whether you prefer a shiatsu massage or are looking for a full body zero gravity massage chair.
Best Message Chairs in 2018
1. RELAXONCHAIR MK-Classic
Our top choice is a chair from RELAXONCHAIR, dubbed the MK-Classic. While it shares a similar moniker and feature set with another chair on our list, several key features help set it apart from the pack along with most other chairs on the market.
- 3-stage zero-gravity positions
- Enhanced foot roller
- Seven auto programs & manual mode
- 2nd gen L-Track system
- Three levels of intensity and speed control
- 300-pound weight limit
- The size (it’s pretty big)
- Noisy for some
Whether you need to improve your blood flow or just loosen up some tight muscles, this chair covers all the critical areas. It’s also easy on the eyes and large considering it can handle someone 6’5” and around 300 pounds.
The photos speak for themselves, so we’re going to focus on the laundry list of features the MK-II Classic brings to the table. The 2nd gen L-Track massage system in this chair is 50-inches long and countered to relieve pressure and pain along the spine. The body scanner ensures the massage feature hits all the right spots, and you can choose from 7 different preprogrammed massages or kick it over to manual mode for kneading, tapping, rolling or shiatsu.
Airbag massagers have become increasingly popular and are a great way to hit areas that normally don’t get attention like your arms, wrists, and calves. The MK-2 Classic has 42 bags placed throughout the chair with several levels of control. Heat is provided through two pads placed in the lower back area, and any chair with a dedicated calf and foot massager like this one should always be high on your list.
The MK-2 Classic comes with an improved remote compared to other models from the manufacturer, so the screen and buttons are easier to make out. Other features of interest include zero-gravity positions from 115 to 160-degrees, and the “Yoga & Stretch” program. You’ll find the former on the regular MK-2, but not the latter which is great when you need to limber up quickly and don’t want the full treatment.
You’ll get the same 3-year tiered warranty with the MK-2 Classic, and its FDA approved, but there are two different colors to choose from with Gray and Brown. Just makes sure you have enough room for the Classic as it arrives fully assembled and tips the scales at over 250 pounds. Needless to say, you may want to consider the White Glove service if you’ll need help getting it into your home.
2. Human Touch Novo XT Zero-Gravity Full-Body Massage Chair
There are times in life when you just want the best, and price is not an issue. Vehicles, homes, and even beds fall into that category along with comfort items like massage chairs. The Human Touch Novo XT is one of the pricier home-based solutions around, but well worth every penny if luxury and relaxation are important to you.
- 5-year warranty
- Height range
- Full-body stretch
- Cloud touch acupressure
- Heated lumbar support
- 34 auto-wellness programs
- Pricier than other products
It may look like a new age egg chair or a car set for adults, but trust us when we say the only thing retro about this massage chair is the design. This massage chair rocks both literally and figuratively with built-in Bluetooth speakers, and a Cloud Touch acupressure system you’ll have to feel to believe.
Do you want to have your body stretched out without the going medieval with a stretching rack? The Novo XT can do just that with its full-body stretch tech which increases blood flow and alleviates lower back issues while giving you a proper stretch. The chair also has lumbar support that’s a step beyond the rest thanks to soothing waves of heat that hit you in just the right spot.
Folks that are on their feet all day will be thankful for the extending foot-and-calf massager found in the Novo XT. Under the foot rollers will freshen up those feet, and you can adjust the intensity to suit your needs. The company rates this chair as “Vigorous” on their intensity scale, so the ability to dial things down is an excellent feature to have on hand.
We’re also pleased to say the Novo XT is best in class when it comes down body sizes considering it can take care of people from 5′ tall all the way up to 6’9″ although the weight limit is only 300 pounds which is a bit of a downer as weight typically increases with height. Either way, it can hold 99% of the humans on this planet and has a mode for everyone whether you have Fibromyalgia, arthritis or simply suffer from lower back pain.
While there are far too many features to list with this chair, a few standouts are the Cloud Touch acupressure system which uses aircells to deal with tension and cramped muscles and the full-body stretch. Obviously, we appreciate any chair with built-in Bluetooth speakers, and nobody can deny how well this one performs. In our research, we couldn’t find any real negatives on the company’s high-end chairs in general aside from the price point which automatically rules the Novo XT out for some.
We didn’t see the FDA endorsement tag on this one, but it is endorsed by the WFC, otherwise known as the World Federation of Chiropractic. It also comes with a top of the line warranty of 5-years which includes in-home repair service. You can pick up the XT in Gray, Red, Espresso, Cream or Black.
3. Top Performance Kahuna Superior Massage Chair
While the best massage chair has to have a specific set of features to meet our requirements, some go above and beyond in specific areas. The Top Performance Superior Chair from Kahuna is one of them, and the perfect choice if you have hip issues or just want a luxurious massage chair that can do it all.
- Air-cell massage system
- Nine auto programs
- 21″ wide seat & 24″ wide shoulder area
- Five levels of air massage
- Hip air-cell massage
- Acupressure points arm
- Zero-gravity feature could be better
- Could be too wide for smaller frames
While every good electric massage chair will have “modes” this one does things a little differently. It has four programs geared towards specific types of people with Golfer, Dynamic Sport, Office, and Senior modes. We won’t go through them all, but Senior mode dials things down for a gentler experience while golfers will get targeted relief in the lower back, hips, and legs. The hip massage feature is nice as well and something you don’t see on many other chairs.
In addition to those modes, the Top Performance Kahuna Superior Chair has five levels of air intensity and five pre-programmed modes for Fast Recovery, Pain Relief, Yoga, Relaxation, and Athlete. There are also several styles of massages available with shiatsu, tapping, knocking and more. It may not be a feature in the usual sense, but we like the LED light on the side as well, and we’re big fans of any chair with a solid remote.
This is another chair built for tall people as it can handle folks up to 6’ 5” and 320 pounds despite its streamlined appearance. The seat is 21” wide, and there’s 24” of room in the shoulder area as well which makes it an excellent choice for folks with larger frames. On the flipside, some consumers noted it was a little too large for them so if you have a smaller frame, you may want to try another chair.
The zero-gravity feature is another area some consumers took issue with, but the experience may vary depending on your size and needs.
Overall, there’s a lot to like about this chair, and the few negatives are minor and easily avoided. The price may give you a little shock as well, but it’s hard to argue with what it brings to the table in terms of features. The Top Performance Superior Chair is available in two hues with solid black or dark brown and black with a 2-year warranty and optional white glove service.
4. RELAXONCHAIR MK-II Plus
RELAXONCHAIR has the distinction of making our best massage chair list more than once with their MK-series chairs. The MK-II Plus is a slight step down from our top choice, but has all the features you could ask for from a full body chair like heat, programmable patterns, and several levels of airbag control.
- Four automatic massage programs
- Buttlock L-Track massage system
- Computerized body scan
- Air massage technology
- Lumbar back heating
- Remote issues
- Some complaints about noise and intensity
The first thing we want to talk about with the MK-II Plus is the build quality and design. It’s an eye-catching chair that’s just as comfortable as it looks and built to last. Every chair is tested after it’s manufactured and is covered in soft-grained synthetic leather which gives it a modern style. As it’s a full body chair, you can expect all the key zones to get the proper attention.
This chair will massage you from head to toe with an air system for your feet, calves, hips, hands, arms, and shoulders. A series of rollers take care of head and soles while a heating system handles your lower back. There are four automatic massage levels, three levels of airbag intensity, and 3-speed massage control. If that’s not enough, wait to you hear what he zero-gravity system can do.
A “zero-gravity” chair lives up to its namesake by elevating your feet to the same level of your heart. This position alleviates stress on the spine and is an excellent way to relax. We’re fans of the aptly named Buttlock-L system as well and the dual rollers which loosen up the glutes and can combat issues brought on by sciatica.
The computerized body scan is another cool feature, and something you won’t find on many other chairs. It has sensors which measure the length of your spine to give you a tailored massage experience from the comfort of home. The remote is worth mention as well, and its high-tech with a slew of buttons and a small built-in display. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the few faults with this particular chair.
One of the main complaints users have about the MK-2 Plus is the fact the display on the remote is dimly lit and the buttons are a bit hard to understand. It’s not a deal breaker, but something to be aware of if an easy to use remote is something you’re after. Some consumers also complained about noise, but it may be an isolated quality control issue and doesn’t appear to be widespread.
What you see is what you get with this one which is the chair, remote and a product manual you’re your choice of colors between Chocolate and Charcoal. RELAXONCHAIR provides consumers with a 3-year warranty although it’s tiered with parts and labor covered in the first year and only parts are covered in year two.
5. Real Relax Full Body Massage Chair
If you still haven’t found your perfect massage chair from our option for the best massage chair, the Real Relax Full Body chair may fit the bill. It has a nice mix of features found on our other models, is FDA registered, and Bluetooth audio to help set the mood.
- Seat massager
- Dual heaters
- Four preset massage programs
- Built-in audio player
- 50 air bags
- Some complaints about the intensity
The Real Relax has the usual array of presets along with eight massage points inside the backrest. There’s a roller for your feet, and 50 airbags placed strategically around the frame to relax your body and increase blood flow. It also has a “pulsed massage” feature using those airbags in the arm sections and footrests which extend if you’re tall.
This chair has the popular zero-gravity design with not one, but two heaters for an outstanding heated massage. One is in the footrest and one in the seat which also includes its own massager. The seat can soothe you with gentle squeezes of air or add a little vibration to go along with the heat. The remote isn’t as fancy as other models, but functional with a small display and all the important buttons at the ready.
Another feature we like on the Real Relax is Bluetooth connectivity. It’s something every massage chair should have, but a function we don’t see nearly enough of. In this case, there’s built-in music player with an aux port, USB port, and an SD card slot. The Bluetooth appears to be hit or miss in some cases, but a USB stick will never let you down.
This FDA registered massage chair is affordable and geared towards consumers that want a solid chair, but don’t want to take out a loan to get one. While it’s missing a few things and doesn’t have the luxurious build quality as our top model, it has a 3-year warranty and will definitely freshen you up at the end of a long day.
You can pick this chair up in Black, Silver or Brown. No White Glove service is available although it ships in three boxes so it won’t be as cumbersome to move indoors as larger models.
6. BestMassage Curved Long Rail Shiatsu Massage Chair
Now we’re going to take a look at something different from a traditional massage chair. The BestMassage Curved Shiatsu Massage Chair has a unique design that conforms to your body while delivering soothing sounds and good vibrations.
- Budget-friendly price tag
- Modern design
- Bluetooth 3D surround sound
- USB charging
- Wheels for easy transportation
- Acupressure points arm
- No heat
- Only basic massage features
This back massage chair isn’t as full featured as some of our choices but offers several unique features and a slick, streamlined design. Each side of the headrest has a speaker which gives you 3D sound while you relax. As its Bluetooth enabled, you can sync up your smartphone or other devices from across the room or the slot in the armrest.
You won’t get a remote with this one, but you won’t need one as the controls are built into the side of the chair. A plastic control pod allows you to adjust the strength of the massage, speed or pattern. There’s also a timer set to 15, 20 or 30 minutes along with a demo button and a USB port up top for charging your device while you relax.
When it comes to the massage features, the BestMassage Shiatsu chair is a little basic. There is no heat or air cushioning system, and you can forget about rollers for the soles of your feet. It has the kneading and tapping patterns, and you can adjust their strength and speed, but that’s about it. That may seem like a downer, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re on a budget.
While we wish this chair had a few more features, it’s a basic massage chair that gets the job done without breaking the bank. It’s ideal if you want to freshen up your back and relieve tension quickly, and we’re big fans of the wheels and audio system which makes it a great choice for gamers as well!
7. BestMassage Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair
Most massage chairs have a few things in common including certain sets of features similar design traits. The EC-06 Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair from BestMassage bucks that trend in one area, as it looks more like a high-tech recliner than a modern pod-shaped massage chair.
- Ultra-long range massage
- 30 airbags
- Intelligent roller system
- Targeted neck massage
- Multiple power levels
- Poor support
- Lower quality control
Before we get to the design, we want to talk about what this chair can do. The EC-06 will give you a full body massage thanks to its ultra-long-range which covers your neck to your tailbone. That includes your lower body as well with your thighs, legs, and feet courtesy of a 20 air bag system. This feature helps improve circulation and blood flow – two things you need from a good massage chair.
Your buttocks and thighs get special attention with double-layered bags for the latter and a high-powered vibration motor for your rear. While we couldn’t dig up all the information on the full massage programs installed in this chair, it does have a tapping, knocking, shiatsu, and kneading functions. Another perk is the special massage heads designed to hit “tsubo”” points on your neck. The points are well known in the Far East, and something you can learn more about here.
As for the heat, there are four zones in this chair with two in the lower back and two for the soles of your feet. It’s of average size, so it won’t swallow you whole like some chairs although it’s not necessarily ideal for larger individuals. The build quality is about average as well, so while it’s cushy and well-built, you’re not going to get fine leather on the EC-06.
One unusual design decision that makes this reclining massager stand out is the large remote. It has every button under the sun but needs to remain plugged in. Thankfully, the company built a stand onto the side of the chair to accommodate the remote although it’s not what we would consider svelte. It’s not a negative, just odd considering most of the newer models have wireless remotes these days.
The primary issue consumers have with this chair is quality control as it seems some love it while others say it didn’t last for more than a few years. That leads us to believe quality control may be an issue along with customer support as the company wasn’t as forthcoming with warranty information and tech specs on this chair. That doesn’t mean it isn’t well worth a look, however, just keep those cons in mind.
We hope you found something you like from the massage chairs we chose, as we found there were plenty of poor products in this area and tried to choose only the best.
Just remember, what’s comfortable for one person, may not be for another so don’t be blown away by features and focus on your needs first.
Carl is a freelance writer that specializes in technology and gaming along with researching and reviewing consumer goods. Being a writer, ergonomic health is of the utmost importance in Carl’s day-to-day life as well.