Being products of complex and sophisticated engineering processes, massage chairs are one of the few products that cannot be produced by small/new companies just starting out in the market. Older and larger companies may make massage chairs, but if they are not constantly improving their product quality and engineering prowess, chances are their offerings will not count among the top massage chairs in the market today. The result is that the privilege of being considered one of the top advanced massage chair brands belongs to a select few. That said, each of them offer unique benefits and have their own price brackets, which may align one brand’s products more closely to your needs than those of others.
Founded by Nichimo Inada in 1962, Inada was a pioneer in the massage chair industry, both in Japan and then in North America. Five decades later, Inada’s annual turnover of $300 million continues to be the highest in the industry, indicating that the company has continued to innovate and improve product quality so as to remain among the top advanced massage chair brands. Such innovation demands high investment in research, and so we find Inada employing 100 full time shiatsu experts and engineers to discover new shiatsu techniques and translate them into massage chair programs via groundbreaking engineering. Further, the company cooperates with 7 universities and over 100 medical clinics to learn about the latest both in the fields of applied medicine and technology and combine them into its world-class massage chairs, including the Inada Sogno Dreamwave Massage Chair – World’s Best Massage Chair.
- Excellent motors and huge number of air bags available
- Excellent user height compatibility
- Warranty period exceeds that of most brands
- Many models include special calf, neck and lower back massage options
- Wide range of premium anti-bacterial upholstery options
- Price range higher than other products
Though unlike Inada Panasonic does not limit itself to massage chairs, it shares many of the characteristics of the former. Though founded in 1918, Panasonic entered the massage chair business in the 1970s and has since become one of the main pillars of the industry. Though Panasonic’s interests are highly diversified, the company puts it a huge share of its profits into research, carried out at its bases in Japan, particularly in the Tokyo and Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture. Further, it has tie-ups with many American and European massage specialists who provide their valuable practical knowledge to the company. Such knowledge, as can be seen in the massage chair reviews, has successfully been translated into a wide range of innovative products. Last but not least, the company is ranked 9th by Greenpeace for producing products that are consistent with their stringent sourcing and engineering guidelines. Further, on 25 December 2014, Panasonic had the honor of releasing the “heritage calendar” in association with UNESCO.
- Higher end products come with Panasonic’s well renowned ceramic heat roller technology.
- “Grasping” massage technique is employed to provide a realistic massage experience.
- Good number of air cells for efficient massage.
- Large number of massage options eg. Panasonic Urban Collection Massage Chair comes with 44 massage modes.
- Compatible with various user heights.
- Products tend to be somewhat heavy and hard to move.
- Program creation option not available.
Like Panasonic, Fujita is a Japanese company that currently works through its headquarters in Brea, California. Starting out almost half a century ago, Fujita has steadily expanded its operations, all the while maintaining its focus on innovation. It has multiple R&D units which focus on creating massage solutions that are as “natural” as possible, and seek to maintain the balance between “human beings and mother nature”. Such efforts have led to the creation of highly acclaimed processes such as “Solution massage”, which is capable of providing multiple massage chair health benefits by kneading away the fatigue and tension in muscles and joints at a rapid pace.
- Products come with “intelligent ergonomics” for maximum therapeutic benefit.
- Chairs come with advanced motors that can reach tailbone and other elusive areas.
- Sturdy build quality and state of the art designs.
- All products certified using certifications like ISO 9002, CE, UL and ETL that are recognized world over.
- NASA-developed zero gravity posture capabilities for maximum impact.
- Range of products is somewhat limited compared to others.
Part of 20 year old Infinity Creative Enterprises (I.C.E.), Infinity Therapeutics may appear relatively new on the block. But true to what we mentioned at the start, Infinity is no greenhorn – it is backed by a team of engineers and therapists who have had long exposure to the world of therapeutic furniture. Unlike larger companies that outsource various production segments, the team works on each and every aspect, thus ensuring homogeneity of product quality and functionality. Though its relative infancy makes a fully functional research unit difficult to achieve, it nevertheless improves its claim to being one of the top advanced massage chair brands by associating itself with medical facilities that work in tandem with its own team of specialists to produce new therapeutic solutions.
- TruGrip V-stretch massage functions for increased effectiveness.
- Deep pressure massage available for people with medical conditions or extreme fatigue.
- Chairs are light enough to be moved easily.
- Large number of programs targeting every part of the body.
- Highly affordable massage chair range.
- Few upholstery color options available.
The name OSIM is derived from O (which stands for the globe) and SIM, the surname of Ron Sim, who founded the company in 1980 in Singapore. From 1989 onwards, the company has been focused on producing healthy lifestyle products, specializing in massage chairs. It works in association with leading physicists (eg. Dr. Anadi A Martel) , therapists (Dr. Koto Takoyoshi of Tsukuba University, Japan) and engineers around the globe, as well as with institutions like the Fiti Testing and Research Institute and Singapore Sports Medicine Centre. This has resulted in the company winning, apart from customer loyalty, a number of awards like the Red Dot Design Award and the “Singapore’s Most Valuable Brands” award for five consecutive years.
- Excellent design using lightweight materials.
- International Safety standards followed to ensure full customer satisfaction.
- Extensive internal and external certification process for quality appraisal and improvement. .
- Lumbar heating system ensures excellent spread of heat to important joints.
- Optical pressure point detection for providing efficient relief.
- Chair sizes are large, not ideal for cramped spaces.
As our massage chair buying guides would suggest, no single entity holds a monopoly in the advanced massage chair market. However, the number of brands capable of coming up with truly advanced massage chairs is not huge either. Within the limited number of brands that have such prowess, we have seen that there is considerable variation of price and features. While the overall features may make two brands equally good value for money propositions, the feature set required by you may render one more suitable for your home than the other. For instance, if you are living in a remote area, patronizing a well established brand may help as it have a better dealer and service center network than a newer company. Though it is never possible to suggest a particular brand for each and every scenario, we believe that with this list you can make an informed decision on which massage chair to purchase before you reach for your wallet.