The 5 Best Massage Chairs, Tested and Reviewed

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For luxurious massages from the comfort of your home.

<p>Real Simple / Jhett Thompson</p>

Real Simple / Jhett Thompson

Fact checked by Shereen Jegtvig

At the end of a long day, getting a massage is the best way to relax tired muscles and relieve tension. With the right massage chair, you can have a personal, mechanized masseuse in the comfort of your home.

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“Stress brings tension to your muscles, can elevate stress hormones, and can lead to many chronic health problems," says Kevin Lees, the director of chiropractic operations at The Joint Chiropractic. "Taking the time to relax, decompress, and get a massage can help reduce some of that added stress.” In addition, massage chairs can also help with circulation and increase spinal joint motion, he says.

There are a variety of options at a wide range of prices, so finding the right massage chair can be daunting. We tested five different massage chairs for comfort, pressure, ease of use, effectiveness, design, and value. We also spoke to Lees for expert tips on what to look for and how often to use a massage chair.

Best Overall Massage Chair: Osaki OS-Champ Massage Chair

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What Stands Out

  • If you’re willing to make an investment, this massage chair is highly adjustable and gives you an effective full-body massage experience.

What Could Be Improved

  • It may not be as intuitive for shorter people to use, and the pressure tends to be high.

With two-stage zero gravity, full-body compression, and Bluetooth speakers built into the headrest, the Osaki OS-Champ Massage Chair is loaded with features for total relaxation.

In our tests, we found the chair to be extremely comfortable, with good cushioning and a perfect recline—so much so that we almost had to force ourselves to get up from a reclined position. There is ample lumbar support, and we found the chair targeted every part of the body. It uses airbag cushioning, which creates compression around the shoulder, arm, calf, and foot areas, so that can take a little while to get used to.

The pressure also tends to be strong, especially for the foot massage, so if you prefer soft or gentle kneading, this chair may not be for you. But for those who like harder massages, we found the chair to give a thorough full-body massage. It has five auto massage modes and a roller system that moves from your neck to your butt and back again. With the auto mode, you can just press a button, sit back, and relax.

One of our favorite parts of the chair was the zero-gravity position, which helps make the upper body and neck massage more effective. After sitting in the chair for 20 minutes, our shoulders felt great. The chair has an adjustable headrest and extended footrest to accommodate different heights, though shorter people may have to spend a little time to get the headrest in the most comfortable position. The most intuitive adjustments are for taller people, and the manual doesn’t include recommendations for shorter or larger bodies. The chair includes a remote and a remote holder.

This massage chair is on the bulkier side, so you need to have ample room for it, but given how relaxed we felt afterward, it’s a reliable option with nice features that will give you an excellent massage.

Price at time of publish: $2,999

Dimensions: 30.5 by 57.1 by 44.1 inches upright, 30.5 by 78 by 33.9 inches reclined | Material: Synthetic leather | Massage Areas: Full body | Heat: Yes | Recline: Yes

Best Value Massage Chair: Real Relax Massage Chair

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What Stands Out

  • It’s easy to use, is a good value for the price, and provides a more gentle massage.

What Could Be Improved

  • Neither the airbag compression or heat features are very powerful.

Instead of fixed rollers, this Real Relax ADV massage chair has S-track robot hands along the neck, back, and waist, which knead to provide a more effective massage. There are airbags on the shoulders, arms, hips, and feet, and rollers for the bottom of the feet, too. You can adjust to zero-gravity mode with a push of a button, which extends the chair to a comfortable, reclined position. For those who are over 6 feet tall, you may find that the robot hands don’t target the correct areas, so we recommend looking at other options from our list.

We found the chair to be very comfortable and well cushioned, with good lumbar support. The backrest angle can be adjusted but not the headrest angle, and the footrest has a foot roller setting. It’s also very easy to use: There are three intensity levels you can toggle between, a 15-minute auto mode, and you can see what body part the chair is targeting on the LED screen.

There’s an airbag compression you can turn on around your shoulders, arms, and calves, but we didn’t feel much of a difference between when the air portion was inflated and when it wasn't. In general, the pressure on the massage chair is good but on the more gentle side; even on its most intense setting, the deep-tissue level wasn’t too hard. There are heating pads on the back area, but the heat did not feel that powerful.

The built-in Bluetooth speakers are easy to use; we were able to connect to them via a phone in under two minutes. The chair has a tablet as its control, an armrest, and a headrest, and it’s large enough to fit different types of body shapes. It’s large but has a modern aesthetic.

After using this chair, we felt relaxed and more limber than before using it, and it was effective at targeting the neck, back, feet, and shoulders. Because the pressure isn’t very intense, this is a chair you can comfortably relax in for a while.

Price at time of publish: $1,000

Dimensions: 52 by 27.6 by 43.3 inches upright, 63 by 27.6 by 33 inches reclined | Material: Leather | Massage Areas: Full body | Heat: Yes | Recline: Yes

Best Portable Massage Chair: Homedics Shiatsu Elite II Massage Cushion with Heat

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What Stands Out

  • It comes with straps so you can use it on most chairs and has impressive pressure for its size.

What Could Be Improved

  • It doesn't target legs or feet.

If you don’t have room for a full-size massage chair or just prefer something more portable, this Homedics portable back massager is a compact yet impressive option. It doesn’t take up much room, making it a good option for small spaces like apartments or on-the-go massages. Since it fits on most chairs, it’s also suitable for a range of different body types.

The chair has three different massage options available, including shiatsu, rolling, or spot to target specific areas. The auto setting runs you through each of the massage techniques, and you have options to choose personalized settings to customize it. The instructions and remote are intuitive, and on the remote, you can select your target areas (upper, mid, low back) and whether you want kneading or rolling. You can also adjust the height and width of the massage.

We were impressed by the effectiveness of the massager given its size and portability, and the shiatsu pressure was intense in a good way. It targets all areas of the back, and we especially felt the massage balls loosening knots around the neck area. The massager was able to get deep into knots and help relieve muscle tension in the neck and back. The heating feature allowed the massage cushion to get pretty hot.

This massager has some cushioning and provides good lumbar support, helping maintain the natural curve of the spine by arching the lower back slightly forward. It does take up quite a bit of space on a chair, so we would recommend using it on chairs that have deeper seats. While it won’t target your feet or legs, this massage cushion gives you the relaxation of a traditional massage chair without a large footprint or price tag—plus, you can use it anywhere, from your office chair to your car.

Price at time of publish: $270

Dimensions: 30 by 7.75 by 19.63 inches | Material: Leather | Massage Areas: Neck, shoulders, back, seat | Heat: Yes | Recline: No

Best Zero-Gravity Massage Chair: iRest Zero Gravity Massage Chair

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What Stands Out

  • It has multiple massage techniques and good compression for the hands and feet.

What Could Be Improved

  • The seat and armrest are narrow, and the control panel on the armrest is hard to use while lying down.

The iRest 2023 Massage Chair comes equipped with three zero-gravity positions, AI voice control, and an auto body scan that allows it to detect your height and shoulder width to adjust the massage accordingly.

There is significant padding on the chair, which makes it very comfortable although narrow—someone who is larger may have a harder time sitting in the seat or tucking their arms in the arm rest. It also may be harder for shorter people, as the foot feature requires your feet to touch the bottom of the footrest.

Overall, the chair has good support, and you are fully enclosed while sitting in it. You can adjust the angle of the recline but not the angle of the headrest. The chair has various massage techniques such as kneading, knocking, tapping, shiatsu, and tapping and kneading at the same time. Even at the highest setting, we found the pressure to be relatively gentle, so this may not be the chair for you if you prefer a more intense massage. It focuses on all areas from your shoulders to your feet, and the heat feature on the back can add additional comfort.

The remote was easy to navigate, but the control panel on the armrest of the chair was a little more difficult to use when you’re lying down (the control panel also only has images, so you may need to refer back to the manual to understand the different buttons). The voice control was a little inconsistent, and sometimes you have to push the voice control wakeup button. The chair has speakers, a USB cord for your phone, and a holder for the remote.

Price at time of publish: $2,199

Dimensions: 1.02 by 29.53 by 45.08 inches | Material: Faux leather | Massage Areas: Full body | Heat: Yes | Recline: Yes

Best Space-Saving Massage Chair: Human Touch WholeBody 7.1 Massage Chair

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What Stands Out

  • It’s compact, and the retractable ottoman doubles as a foot and leg massager.

What Could Be Improved

  • The chair does not have much lumbar support or many additional features.

The Human Touch massage chair looks more like a recliner than a traditional, bulky massage chair, so you can enjoy the relaxation of an at-home massage without compromising your space or style. The base swivels, and the retractable ottoman doubles as a foot and leg massager. You can choose between five auto programs, a stationary or glide massage technique, and whether you want warm-air technology.

In our tests, we found the chair padded but without too much extra cushioning and very little lumbar support. It took some time to adjust the back recline, footrest recline, and neck massagers to get into a comfortable position. The chair has multiple massage settings  stretch, flex, and tone—and the pressure is intense but good. You can customize the pressure by pressing the same button a few times on the remote until you reach your desired level. The most intense setting feels like a deep-tissue massage, the gentle setting is pretty standard, and the foot massager feels perfectly mild on low and quite forceful on high. The massage chair targets the back and foot area together, or you can do just a neck massage.

As for the remote, we found it to be overwhelming and not super intuitive, as there are a lot of settings and controls packed in a small amount of space. We had to read the manual to understand some of the settings, though the manual is very comprehensive, so if you read the details, you can figure out the remote.

It took us a little while to find the right angle, but after using the massage chair, we did feel looser. There was no soreness, but given the intensity of the pressure, sitting on it for more than 30 minutes might change that. The chair might also be better suited for taller people due to the angle of the neck massage.

While we love the design of this chair, it doesn’t have as many advanced features, and the polyurethane material might not be as long-lasting as authentic leather.

Price at time of publish: $1,999

Dimensions: 44 by 28 by 40 inches | Material: Polyurethane, fabric | Massage Areas: Full body | Heat: Yes | Recline: Yes

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Osaki OS-Champ Massage Chair, which is comfortable, cushioned, heated, has zero-gravity features, and offers a great full-body massage. If you want something more portable and affordable, the HoMedics Shiatsu Elite II Massage Cushion provides a quality back massage and can fit on almost any chair.

Our Testing Process

We tested five different massage chairs at various price ranges. First, we plugged in the chair (where applicable), read the instructions and noted how easy they were to follow, and checked which settings were available in terms of different types of massages, intensity, timers, and more.

We then sat in the chair to observe how comfortable it was and whether it would be able to fit a range of different body types. We turned on the chair and used it for 15 to 20 minutes, trying out all the settings at a variety of intensities. While using it, we observed the pressure, how comfortable it was, how easy or difficult it was to switch between settings, whether it had heated features and how effective they were, which areas of the body were being targeted, and if there were any additional features like a remote control or cup holder.

After using each chair, we turned it off and got up. We noted how we felt after the massage, if our muscles were relaxed, and if our posture improved. We also observed how easy or difficult it was to get out of the chair and whether or not someone with limited mobility would be able to use it.

How to Shop for Massage Chairs Like a Pro


Depending on the type of massage you want, you can choose from an array of chairs that tout different benefits and designs. Common massage chair types are 3D or 4D massage chairs, zero-gravity chairs (which recline you into a position that relieves pressure on your back), and multi-function massage chairs that offer a range of massage modes.

Regardless of the type of massage chair, Kevin Lees, the director of chiropractic operations at The Joint Chiropractic, says durability is the most important factor. “Make sure the chairs come with a warranty,” he says. “For most of us, knowing what high-quality parts are vs. cheap parts may not be an option.”

Some of the chairs on our list, like the HoMedics Shiatsu Elite II Massage Cushion and iRest 2023 Massage Chair, have two- or three-year warranties. The Human Touch WholeBody 7.1 Massage Chair offers an extended five-year warranty if you pay an extra fee.


Take measurements of your space before deciding what size of massage chair can fit, and keep in mind that chairs with additional features are usually bulkier. For example, massage chairs with expandable sections to accommodate people of different heights or chairs that recline into zero-gravity positions will need more horizontal room. Also, consider the reclined dimensions when deciding how much space you need. If you don’t plan on using your massage chair regularly or want to move it as needed, a smaller, portable massager cushion can go over most chairs and is easily stored away when it’s not in use.


Most massage chairs are relatively bulky, so finding one that matches your decor is important, especially if you look at it every day. If aesthetics are important to you, opt for a massage chair that resembles a recliner.

The material is also a key decision—our list has faux leather, genuine leather, upholstery, and polyurethane options. Consider your existing decor and what material best matches your style, but also keep in mind that the material should not only be made to last, but be comfortable, too. “Plastics and rubber material may last longer but can also lead to sweating if using a heat mode,” Lees says.


Bonus features make all the difference between a good massage chair and a great massage chair. Air massage technology provides a compressive massage, while rollers can knead, knock, and target pressure points. If you want to personalize your massage, look for a chair with which you can adjust the height, depth, width, speed, and intensity. A reclining chair with heat therapy can also enhance your overall experience.

While features such as built-in speakers, remotes with LCD screens, charging ports, and pre-programmed modes aren’t must-haves for a quality massage chair, they can make your experience even more enjoyable.

Questions You Might Ask

What is the difference between 3D and 4D massage chairs?

“3D [massage chairs] use rollers that move in two different directions as well as increasing or decreasing the depth of the massage. 4D adds one more component of speed,” Lees says. Although the difference between these two massage chair types isn’t drastic, 4D chairs offer more control over the speed and rhythm of your massage.

How many times a week can you use a massage chair?

“Having access to a massage chair allows you to choose your schedule; however, it’s still important to allow your body to recover and respond to the massage, just as it would if it was done by a professional,” Lees says. “Depending on your goals and tolerance, you should probably limit yourself to no more than once every other day.”

How much should you expect to spend on a massage chair?

Massage chairs aren’t cheap—consider them a long-term investment that will serve you for years to come. Prices can range from $200 to well over $1,000, with some high-end chairs costing closer to $10,000. The good news is that you can still get a high-quality, long-lasting massage chair while shopping on the lower end of the price spectrum—know your budget so you can shop for the essential features you need without unnecessary add-ons.

How long do massage chairs last?

“The life of a massage chair will vary depending on the amount of use it gets, and the materials it is made with,” Lee says. “Your massage chair should last at least five years with good care. Those that are more expensive should last longer, from 10 to 20 years. Make sure you talk to the company sales representative about repair and what the most common cost and repair needed might be.”

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Lesley Chen, a contributing writer for Real Simple with experience writing commerce, home, and lifestyle stories. To compile this list, we tested five different massage chairs for comfort, pressure, effectiveness, ease of use, design, and value. type, size, style, and features. For expert advice, Lesley spoke to Kevin Lees, the director of chiropractic operations at The Joint Chiropractic.

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Read the original article on Real Simple.