The 8 Best Massage Chairs of 2022

The Real Relax Massage Chair is packed with features at an affordable price

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Though it's not an exact substitute for a professional massage, an at-home massage chair (often styled just like your living room recliner) can offer some of the same benefits: targeted physical relief to areas like the back, shoulders, hips, and feet, using a combination of shiatsu techniques, heat therapy, and compression massage. 

Reviewed & Approved

The Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair was our top pick thanks to its S-track rollers, mimicking the feel of a professional massage. We also liked the RELAXONCHAIR MK-II Plus Full-Body Massage Chair for its emphasis on back pain relief.

According to Preston Brown, DPT, owner of Prestige Therapy Wellness in Wisconsin, massage chairs can reduce muscle tension, improve relaxation within the body, and help decrease pain or muscle tightness caused by chronic conditions like arthritis—all from the comfort of your home. Brown explains that when you are shopping for a massage chair, “consider the size of the massage chair to ensure proper fit, safe access to the chair, and comfort. Some massage chairs have features for enhanced massage experiences like heat, programmable massages, vibration, and reclining features.” 

To help you narrow down your choices, we researched dozens of massage chairs and evaluated them for their number of massage functions, targeted massage areas, heating and reclining capabilities, comfort, and price.

Here are the best massage chairs on the market today.

Best Overall

Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair

4.8
Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair

Amazon

Pros
  • Three levels of adjustable back heating

  • Large LCD remote control screen

  • Dual track rolling

Cons
  • Heavy

  • Pressure may be too intense

Who else recommends it? Men's Health and The Spruce both picked the Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair.

What do buyers say? 81% of 5,700+ Amazon reviewers rated it 4 stars or above.

For first-time massage chair consumers, we like the Real Relax massage chair: It offers a little bit of everything to the majority of users, doesn’t skimp on style or comfort, and comes in at the lower end of the average cost for massage chairs, making it affordable for most people shopping within the market.

The main areas targeted here are the neck, back, and waist, thanks to the chair’s S-track design; what we really love about this chair, though, is that the S-track has two sets of rollers on each side, simulating a two-handed massage by a professional. Its intensity and heat features can be adjusted to your preferences, and it features a zero gravity recline for ultimate pain relief, offers three types of massage (shiatsu, kneading, and knocking), and allows you to control the chair with your voice.

With an extendable footrest allowing petite, average, and tall users to fit comfortably, the Real Relax massage chair is a balanced choice suitable for nearly all users.

Price at time of publication: $1,100

Number of Massage Functions: 6 | Targeted Massage Areas: Neck, back, waist | Heating Capabilities: Yes | Reclining Capabilities: Yes | Dimensions: 34 inches D x 30 inches W x 63 inches H | Upholstery Material: Faux leather

Best Budget

SMAGREHO Massage Chair Recliner

SMAGREHO Massage Chair Recliner

Amazon

Pros
  • Lower-than-average cost

  • Extendable footrest

Cons
  • Limited heating function

In terms of specs, the SMAGREHO Massage Chair is similar to our best overall pick: it has a zero gravity design, targets your neck, back, and waist with a variety of massage modes, includes heat therapy, and provides an extendable footrest for height adjustability. 

The main difference? It costs over $200 less than the Real Relax. It doesn’t sacrifice much in the way of features to do so, either; there’s no voice control but there is Bluetooth, and while its massaging rollers aren’t on a dual-core track, there are still eight massaging heads at fixed points along your spine for a comprehensive massage. 

If you want the versatility of the Real Relax but are willing to compromise on a few points to save some cash, the SMAGREHO chair is a budget-friendly pick of similar quality and style.

Price at time of publication: $940

Number of Massage Functions: 6 | Targeted Massage Areas: Neck, back, waist | Heating Capabilities: Yes | Reclining Capabilities: Yes | Dimensions: 46 inches D x 30 inches W x 57 inches H | Upholstery Material: Faux leather

Best for Lower Back

RELAXONCHAIR MK-II Plus Full-Body Massage Chair

RELAXONCHAIR MK-II Plus Full-Body Massage Chair

Amazon

Pros
  • Full-body stretching targets spine

  • L-track massage for buttocks

  • Lumbar heat

Cons
  • Limited heating function

  • Not as much emphasis on arms and legs

Nearly all massage chairs on the market include the back as a primary target; with 16 million Americans suffering from chronic back pain, it’s no wonder that the makers of these chairs have prioritized back massage above all other types.

What we like about the RELAXONCHAIR Plus is that in addition to offering the usual massage chair fare, it throws in a few extra features that really enhance your back massage experience. Instead of a full-body S-track for massage, this chair includes an L-track, located further down in the chair, to help you target your lower back and buttocks (which is incredibly helpful if you have sciatica or tailbone pain). There are also heating pads in the lower back area to increase your relief, and airbags to massage your hips and pelvis. Lastly, the reclining feature of the chair decompresses and stretches your spine and legs, releasing tension in the lower back.

Price at time of publication: $1,999

Number of Massage Functions: 4 | Targeted Massage Areas: Neck, back | Heating Capabilities: Yes | Reclining Capabilities: Yes | Dimensions: 65 inches D x 30 inches W x 40 inches H | Upholstery Material: Leather

Best for Neck

Snailax Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

Snailax Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

Amazon

Pros
  • Targeted neck and shoulder relief

  • 2D/3D Finger Pressure Shiatsu massage

  • Heating included at neck level

Cons
  • Not a full chair; massage limited to neck and back

We’re going to step outside the conventional box here to suggest a massage chair pad versus a traditional chair. While many chairs feature rollers that can reach up to your neck, it’s often hard to really focus on isolating your stiff, sore neck muscles when you’re reclining in a full-fledged massage chair with a padded headrest. 

This chair pad by Snailax, however, allows for closer contact between your neck and the massaging rollers, which means you can get targeted relief from the flexible, silica-based massage nodes where you really need it. The height of the pad is adjustable, accommodating many different user sizes, and the cover is removable and washable. 

It’s not the same as a full massage chair, but if neck relief is what you’re after, it might actually be better! Plus, the Snailax model offers heat therapy along the full range of the chair, warming your back and neck; many competitor brands only offer heat along the back.

Price at time of publication: $180

Number of Massage Functions: 3 | Targeted Massage Areas: Neck, back | Heating Capabilities: Yes | Reclining Capabilities: No | Dimensions: Adjustable from 21.6 to 25.6 inches high | Upholstery Material: Not specified

Best for Legs

BestMassage Full Body Electric Shiatsu Massage Chair

BestMassage Full Body Electric Shiatsu Massage Chair

Amazon

Pros
  • Heated foot soles

  • Air bags for thighs and calves

  • Space saving

Cons
  • No voice control

  • Poor customer service

Athletes, runners, and people that are on their feet all day can all take advantage of the BestMassage Full Body Chair, thanks to one seemingly small but unique feature: heated foot soles. While many full-body chairs include the feet in their massage coverage, with rollers or air bags placed within the footrests, the BestMassage chair was the only one we found offering heat therapy in the footrest as well. 

If you suffer from leg or foot pain, heat therapy underfoot can help improve your circulation and reduce stiffness in the legs and feet; on top of that, the chair includes air compression massage along the ankles, calves, and thighs for even more relief.

Price at time of publication: $1,499

Number of Massage Functions: 6 | Targeted Massage Areas: Arms, hips, shoulders, legs, feet | Heating Capabilities: Yes | Reclining Capabilities: Yes | Dimensions: 55 inches D x 42 inches W x 35 inches H | Upholstery Material: Faux leather

Best for Arthritis

OWAYS SL Track Zero Gravity Massage Chair

OWAYS SL Track Zero Gravity Massage Chair

Amazon

Pros
  • Zero gravity

  • Body scanning technology

  • Multiple styles of massage

Cons
  • No voice control

If you suffer from arthritis pain, then you know how difficult it can be to do nearly anything some days; even lying in bed can put undue pressure on your joints, making it hard to simply relax (let alone cook, clean, work, or do household chores). 

There are several things we like about the OWAYS massage chair for people with arthritis: Not only does it have a zero gravity feature that allows you to feel truly weightless—free of joint pain and pressure—it scans your body to conform to your unique shape and size, making sure that you get a customized massage rather than a standardized one. Plus, the combination SL-track allows for a broader range of your body to benefit, from your neck to your shoulders and your back down to your hips and buttocks. 

That’s not even all the OWAYS chair can do; it also features heat therapy, rolling foot massage and gentle Thai stretching to decompress your spine. This wide range of strategies should be enough to help the majority of arthritis sufferers get daily relief right at home.

Price at time of publication: $1,700

Number of Massage Functions: 6 | Targeted Massage Areas: Shoulders, arms, hips, legs, feet | Heating Capabilities: Yes | Reclining Capabilities: Yes | Dimensions: 65 inches D x 31 inches W x 49 inches H | Upholstery Material: Faux leather

Best for Injury Recovery

Comfier Portable Folding Massage Chair

Comfier Portable Folding Massage Chair

Comfier

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Portable

  • Neck and back massaging

Cons
  • No massage for arms, legs, or feet

  • No voice control

We’ve got one more unconventional pick for you: this folding massage chair by COMFIER, which—like the Snailax chair pad—isn’t for everyone but still offers a unique experience to the right consumers, especially those with an injury that needs more ongoing support.

While a massage chair may be able to help relieve pain, we like the idea of a folding chair because of its portability; after all, injuries don’t magically disappear when you’re at work or traveling, so having a chair you can take with you allows you to find relief wherever you go.

This chair can’t offer much in the way of support for people with leg, arm, or foot pain, but when it comes to targeting the back and neck, it’s just as soothing as a traditional chair. With multiple massaging nodes, heat therapy, a reclining back, and an adjustable height, anyone who needs back or neck support on-the-go will appreciate that this chair is a massaging powerhouse in a lightweight package.

Price at time of publication: $300

Number of Massage Functions: 4 | Targeted Massage Areas: Neck, back | Heating Capabilities: Yes | Reclining Capabilities: Yes | Dimensions: 35 inches H x 22 inches W x 8 inches D (after folding) | Upholstery Material: Faux leather

Best With Smart Capabilities

iRest Massage Chair with Voice Control

iRest Massage Chair with Voice Control

Amazon

Pros
  • AI voice control

  • Bluetooth connectivity

  • Multiple massage styles

Cons
  • Mid-to-high price point

  • Voice control can be unpredictable

With most of the picks on our list so far, consumers will have to choose between voice control features and Bluetooth connectivity. Not so for the iRest chair, which allows you to operate its functions using AI voice control (say hello to “Alice”!) and connect your chair to your smart device using the Bluetooth function. The chair includes 12 automated massage functions, ranging from soothing massages to fatigue recovery and stretching massages to targeted body area massages, and “Alice” makes it possible for you to switch modes without disrupting your massage by fumbling around for the right buttons. 

Aside from its smart capabilities, the iRest chair includes all the usual features you need in a massage chair: zero gravity, heat therapy, adjustable intensity, and massaging rollers underfoot. It also comes nearly fully assembled—simply attach the footrest and you’re good to go.

Price at time of publication: $2,199

Number of Massage Functions: 12 | Targeted Massage Areas: Legs, hips, waist, back, neck | Heating Capabilities: Yes | Reclining Capabilities: Yes | Dimensions: 61 inches D x 30 inches W x 45 inches H | Upholstery Material: Faux leather

Final Verdict

Anyone looking to buy an all-purpose massage chair with many of the most popular features on the market (read: voice control, zero gravity, and multiple massage modes) would find something to like about the Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair. It targets your back, neck, and waist with dual-core S-track massage rollers, simulating the feeling of a professional, hands-on massage.

If your lower back is your biggest concern, we like how the RELAXONCHAIR MK-II Plus Full Body Massage Chair stretches and decompresses your spine for maximum massage relief.

How We Selected the Best Massage Chairs

To find the best massage chairs, we asked three orthopedic specialists, including two physical therapists and one chiropractor, to tell us what features are the most important ones to consider. They strongly suggested paying close attention to the areas of the body targeted, the adjustability and range of massaging features, and your overall comfort with the chair itself (i.e., how well it fits your body). 

We scoured the internet for popular massage chairs with features like heat therapy, shiatsu massage, “smart” capabilities, and overall quality and comfort. We also kept the price range between $1,000 and $2,000; while there are plenty of more expensive options out there, we believe the vast majority of consumers are looking for a more affordable way to find the relief they need. 

What to Look for in Massage Chairs

Massage Functions

While massage chairs seem to have a lot of bells and whistles, it’s actually fairly important to choose one with many customizable settings, modes, and features so you can make it as comfortable as possible for your unique needs.

“Not all people are built the same, [and] this goes for pain as well,” says Dr. Blessen Abraham, a chiropractor at Brunswick Health & Physical Therapy Center in New Jersey. “Your pain level can change daily, so any massage that you receive needs to adapt to your pain level [each day].”

Dr. Abraham suggests looking for a chair with various levels of pressure, and both reclining and heating features. Regardless of your reason for using a massage chair, most people will require these functions, at minimum. 

Additionally, you should make sure any chair you choose can check off the following boxes:

  • It’s comfortable for you to sit in.
  • Your body fits correctly in the designated areas of the chair (i.e., if you’re very short or tall, make sure your body is aligned properly with the rollers and that you aren’t sinking in or sticking out of the chair too much).
  • It gives you your preferred method of massage, such as shiatsu, kneading, rolling, tapping, and so on.
  • It’s easy for you to control the movement of the chair; whether you prefer voice or manual control, you should be able to quickly direct the chair to do what you want it to.
  • It's safe for elderly users to get in and out of the chair, even if they're using a walker or wheelchair.

Targeted Massage Areas

Different massage chairs focus on different areas of the body; some provide targeted relief to two or three areas, while others market themselves as “full body” massage chairs, offering a little bit of everything from your head to your toes. 

According to Dr. Abraham, any chair you buy should at least be able to address pain or tension in your shoulders and lower back: “The back is a focus for most chairs that are available in the market today, [and] if it can massage your calves or your neck area, that would be [even better].” 

Before purchasing, make sure your chair offers some kind of relief to the area you need it most, whether it’s through rolling massage, heat therapy, or air compression. 

“The body part you want to focus the massage on can influence which massage chair you choose,” says Melissa Prestipino, DPT, owner of Maize & Blue Rehab in New Jersey. “If you have pain in your hands, pick a chair which targets the hands; if you prefer heat therapy, find a massage chair that can heat up or apply infrared heat.” 

Additional Features

As massage chairs have continued to advance technologically, many of them have added even more sophisticated features. But are they worthwhile?

  • Zero gravity. This can give a weightless feeling to the user, which can be a relief for people with all-over pain. But it’s not the only thing you should look for: “There are some chairs that offer zero gravity, meaning you’ll feel [like] there’s no weight on your spine, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to give you all the other features you want.”
  • Bluetooth connectivity. This is a personal preference: If you want to be able to listen to your carefully curated playlist of Zen meditation songs with the touch of a button during your massage, a wireless connection to your smart device or computer will make this a breeze. If you don’t really care about that, don’t pay extra for a chair that comes with it. “Some features for the massage chairs can add to the costs but don't make the chair better,” Dr. Prestipino says. “Adding Bluetooth speakers to a massage chair's headrest does not impact the effectiveness of the massage features.”
  • Appearance and construction. Most chairs in the $1,000 to $2,000 price range are made with synthetic leather, not the real deal—so keep that in mind if it’s important to you. Also think about the size of the chair, which tends to be pretty large, and if it will actually fit in your living space. “Most of these chairs are not pretty, so how it feels in your home can make a big difference on your purchase,” advises Dr. Abraham.
  • Warranty. A massage chair can be a large purchase, so it’s smart to ask if there is any warranty coverage should the chair malfunction or stop working soon after you get it home. Some higher-priced chairs, Dr. Prestipino says, may come with extended customer service or warranty policies, but don’t assume that’s the case. 

Price

Per Dr. Abraham, massage chairs have a wide price range and can cost as much as $7,000 before delivery and assembly; you should consider whether the chair you’re planning to buy is in your budget, or if you can sacrifice some features you don’t really need for a less expensive chair. 

And don’t assume that “settling” for a less expensive chair means you’re getting a chair of lesser quality, either: “A higher price tag for a chair does not necessarily mean it is better quality—a brand name or patented feature could drive the cost of the chair higher,” Dr. Prestipino says.

She also notes that, just like so many other devices we use every day, newly released models may be more in demand—and thus more expensive—than a previous model, even if that previous model works essentially the same as the new one. Take your time to shop around and compare models, making note of the features you truly need and the ones you don’t, before picking a chair that has what you want and fits within your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long should you use a massage chair?

    As far as short-term duration goes, a massage chair can be used for brief sessions once a day or several times per week in most cases; there are exceptions, though, depending on your condition or the reason you’re using the chair. 

    “While there is no set recommendation on how long to use a massage chair, it is best to avoid sitting for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time,” Dr. Prestipino says. “If you would like to sit in the massage chair for a longer duration, it is best to complete shorter bouts of sitting and repeat it two to three times throughout the full day.”

    Why? Because extended sitting, Dr. Prestipino says, can cause strain on your lower back or discs, not to mention increase your chances of blood clots in the legs (which you’re more prone to if you’ve recently had surgery). Sitting too long in the chair can also cause the muscles of your back and neck to tighten, as well as the joints in places like your knees to become stiff—a side effect that Dr. Prestipino says can worsen symptoms in the same areas you’re trying to find relief in.

    As far as the long-term use of a massage chair (as in, how many months or weeks you can use it), she says it depends on the reason for your use. If you have muscle soreness or tightness, a chair could be used several times per week for several months at a time; on the other hand, long-term use if you have herniated discs, neuropathy, vascular issues, or osteoporosis or bone density issues could worsen symptoms or cause damage.

    “If pain in any area of your body is worsening, or existing symptoms are getting exacerbated by use of the massage chair, [you should] see a healthcare provider and discontinue use,” Dr. Prestipino warns.

    One other thing to note, per Dr. Brown: Pregnant women should always consult their doctor before using a massage chair; while they’re not likely to cause any real harm, there are some minor concerns associated with their use that you should get an expert opinion on.

  • Can massage chairs help with injury recovery?

    Yes. According to Dr. Prestipino, massage chairs can help with injury recovery by reducing stress and promoting relaxation, which can speed up the recovery process. She adds that they can also help with injuries by:

    • Increasing circulation and blood flow
    • Decreasing post-exercise soreness
    • Assisting in tissue repair
    • Decreasing inflammation

    While traditional physical therapy is still the gold standard for injury recovery, more research is being done about the effects of massage chairs on pain. One 2020 study in Medicine (Baltimore), for example, suggests that massage chairs can play a role in improving pain and quality of life.

  • Do massage chairs lower blood pressure?

    According to Dr. Abraham, there is no direct correlation between massage chairs and lower blood pressure, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help shift things in the right direction. 

    “In theory, if you’re in pain, that would bring your stress level higher [and] your blood pressure up,” he says. “Once you get the massage, you should be more comfortable, [and that can] bring down your blood pressure.”

  • What are S-track and L-track rollers?

    Both types of rollers refer to the massage rollers in the back of the chair. S-track rollers move between your neck and lower back, following the curve of your spine. L-track rollers, similarly, also follow the curve of your spine, but reach even lower and can massage areas like the glutes and thighs.

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5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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