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Understanding the Massage Chair Feature Spectrum

Understanding the Massage Chair Feature Spectrum

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Today’s massage chairs offer an array of features designed to deliver a wide variety of benefits, from relaxation and stress relief to improved circulation and faster post-exercise recovery. However, each massage chair model has a unique, carefully chosen feature set. 

This article addresses the massage chair feature spectrum, explaining why functionality varies, what features are available, and which makers and models bookend the feature spectrum. 

Why Do Massage Chair Functions Vary Across Models?

Many people researching massage chairs who learn that functionality varies significantly from the least to most feature-rich models wonder, “Why don’t all models have all the available features?” That’s an excellent question. 

There are multiple reasons for the differences between models, including:

  • Customer needs. Models with fewer features are designed that way based on the manufacturer’s understanding of market expectations. For example, if their research shows a particular audience doesn’t want an air ionizer, they don’t include it. This isn’t to say that an air ionizer is unimportant—many massage chair owners love that feature—just that it isn’t important to some people
  • Price. Unsurprisingly, it’s generally true that the more features a massage chair has, the more it costs. Manufacturers strive to create products that meet the needs and budgets of a wide range of buyers.
  • Advances in technology. In some instances, massage chair makers add newly available features to some of their models and not others, expanding their functionality differences. 

The good news for people shopping for an in-home massage solution is that this approach to developing massage chair lines typically means there is a product that meets all their functional, aesthetic, and financial criteria precisely. 

A Sampling of the Best Massage Chairs Features

To understand the decisions massage chair manufacturers must make in developing their products, it helps to be familiar with the large set of features available to them. The list below isn’t comprehensive by any means, but it provides a sense of what’s possible. Some of the many features you can find in massage chairs include:  

  • Advanced choreography
  • Zero gravity position
  • Body scan 
  • Foot rollers
  • Bluetooth audio
  • Calf kneading
  • Lay flat position
  • Extending leg rest
  • Infrared heat
  • LED remote
  • Space-saving/wall-hugging design
  • Sole massage
  • Air ionizer
  • Dual massage mechanisms
  • Easy access doors
  • Shiatsu mode
  • Intensity sensing and adjustment
  • Automatic recline
  • Chromotherapy

The art of developing massage chairs that deliver exceptional experiences relies, in part, on creating the ideal feature set for each model using these and other capabilities. 

Assessing the Feature Sets in Furniture For Life’s Offerings

Furniture For Life maintains a curated collection of The World’s Best Massage Chairs®. Like massage chair manufacturers, we strive to include products that cover the functionality and price point spectrums. 

Importantly, every chair we offer meets the highest standards for quality and dependability. The fact that some chairs have more features than others doesn’t indicate any difference in those measures. 

It’s also crucial to note that the number of features in different massage chair models is somewhat subjective. What one manufacturer calls a feature, another might consider an inherent characteristic of its product. In other words, there is no definitive system for determining “the most feature-rich” massage chair model. 

That said, there are makers and models that are notable either for their robust feature sets or the company’s accomplishment of identifying and providing only the functionality that buyers want most. Examples include:

  • OHCO. In our estimation, OHCO is among the leaders in massage chair functionality. The OHCO M.8 NEO massage chair, for example, has a robust feature set that includes dual rear-swinging Easy Access Doors unique to the brand, Sensei choreography (developed by Japanese shiatsu sensei Akira Okabayashi in collaboration with OHCO engineers), Sens8™ NEO Massage Mechanism, Arms of Embrace™ proprietary arm massage capabilities, back autoscan, knead and stretch headrest, and others. 
  • Panasonic. Another manufacturer offering feature-rich massage chairs, Panasonic is known for products like the Panasonic MAK1 massage chair. It provides outstanding massages with features that include the Real Pro Ultra 4D Human Intelligence mechanism (which uses real-time data from body sensors to tailor each session), posterior calf acupressure, infrared heated rollers, multiple massage actions, and expanded arm massage. 
  • KOYO. KOYO understands its users’ needs and has designed products like the KOYO 303TS massage chair to meet them at a remarkably affordable price. Its feature set includes a 4D massage mechanism, zero gravity position, auto body scan function, and foot rollers. 
  • Positive Posture. The Positive Posture Sōl is another massage chair with a modest feature set that provides incredibly effective massages. Its functionality includes a True Zero Gravity® recline, Comfort Wave massage mechanism, and infrared heat therapy. 

What Matters Is the Experience the Features Deliver

It would be incorrect to say that the features of a massage chair don’t matter. However, it’s vital to understand that features are a means to an end. 

They are crucial to the extent that they enable a massage chair to provide the user with a particular experience. You might need a chair with a long feature list to achieve your goals. On the other hand, a massage chair at the other end of the functionality spectrum might give you precisely the experience and results you are looking for. This is why we emphasize the need for and value of massage chair “test drives.” 

Imagine that you are blindfolded and treated to demonstration sessions in five chairs with varying features. If you clearly enjoy the experience most in chair #3, you could purchase that model confidently—regardless of the functionality it does or doesn’t have—knowing it feels right and will provide the same satisfying sessions in your home that it did in the showroom. When you take off the blindfold and review the selected chair’s product information, what you find may be interesting, but it shouldn’t necessarily affect your decision. As long as the chair is within your budget (and it would be if we included it on the “shortlist” of chairs that can meet your functionality and price criteria), it’s the one for you.

It’s common and understandable for people to ask which are the “best” massage chairs. We do this all the time as shoppers—striving to separate the best from the rest, so to speak. But when it comes to massage chairs and their features, the goal shouldn’t be to find the best chair but rather the best chair for you!

Identify the Massage Chair That Best Meets Your Needs at Furniture For Life

At Furniture For Life, our friendly Comfort Consultants understand the many types of massage chairs and their features inside and out. They also know how to guide you through careful assessments of the chairs in our curated collection to find the one that produces the experience you are seeking. 

Whether you simply want a chair that provides enjoyable sessions that relax your stiff muscles or you want to capitalize on the many health benefits of massage therapy in the comfort of your home or office, we’ll help you find the model that achieves your goals. 

Visit the Furniture For Life showroom near you today, participate in fun and informative product demos, and identify the perfect massage chair for your needs. 

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