I love sharing massage chair shopper’s questions with you on this blog because I figure if one person is asking, their are probably others that are thinking the very same thing. So, I post the visitor’s question along with my response…
Here is the inquiry:
“Dear Dr. Weidner
I am extremely hopeful you will assist me in narrowing down my choices for a massage chair as I have never owned a massage chair, but have sat in models (at Relax-The-Back, the chiropractor, Sharper Image and a few furniture stores) made by Sanyo, Human Touch, iJoy and Inada, but not Panasonic or Omega. Relax-The-Back is the only viable option to purchase a chair in my area. However, I will not do so due to their extreme lack of product knowledge of and poor customer service. I am looking for the highest quality chair available equipped to provide a complete deep full body massage from head to toe. Price is not an issue as long as it suits my needs. I am 6’1″ and 225 pounds with a very long torso and a relatively athletic build. The chair need NOT be voice responsive, resemble a fashionable piece of living room furniture or be constructed with real leather. I do not desire an iJoy, and the Sogno Plus is the only option from Inada I will consider. My criteria eliminates a number of chairs so I hope you are able to steer me to my viable options. Thank you so very much in advance for your kind assistance. It is most appreciated. Yours Truly, “
Here is my response:
“Thank you so much for your insightful email. I can tell you have done a lot of research and I hope my input assists you in your search.
I will start off by saying that, hands down, my manager, who is a licensed massage therapist, and I, who am a chiropractor, believe the Inada Sogno PLUS is the best chair out there, with the best and most innovative features, for the dollar spent. We have one in our showroom, along with a number of other Inada chairs, Human Touch chairs, the Panasonic 30007, the Sanyo 5000, and the iJoy 250. We used to carry the Omega Montage in our showroom, but we had so many customer service issues with the chair that we stopped carrying it in our showroom.
The Panasonic is a great chair, but we find that for the money, the Inada Sogno PLUS beats it. The Panasonic chairs seem to be more suited for a shorter body, but it doesn’t have the Dream wave technology or the neck traction feature, both of which are so innovative in the Sogno that it is hard to compare that chair with anything else. We carry the 30007 in our showroom, which retails for $5999, but there are other models in the 30000 family that are less expensive, with the same rollers and internal function, but with some differing features and airbags.
Human Touch makes very good chairs that are quite aesthetically pleasing, but feature-wise, again, they can’t fully compare to the Sogno PLUS. I love the HT-1650, personally, but would still suggest the Sogno PLUS for complete therapeutic benefit.
Here are some other things about the Inada Sogno PLUS massage chair to take into consideration, pros and cons, especially relative to your input in your email to me:
1. it is not voice responsive
2. the pad, to which the cervical traction unit is attached, can be lifted and snapped into a position out of the way so that the user of the chair can have an even more vigorous massage from the rollers. When the pad and traction unit is down, the rollers must work through two pads to get to the spine of the user. Some who want a more vigorous roller massage can lift that pad and traction unit out of the way so that the rollers only have to go through one pad, as is the case with most other chairs. I hope this makes sense. (By the way, if anything I explain doesn’t make sense, feel free to call me at my personal cell number, 1-801-651-2026, and I can explain it moreso over the phone.)
3. the neck traction unit uses air bags and rubber nodular inserts to massage the trapezia and levator scap muscles…it is unlike anything else we have ever seen before. A great neck and shoulder massage.
4. square inch massage coverage for most massage chairs is around 400 sq. inches. The Sogno PLUS covers over 1200 sq. inches of your body. That addresses your comment “a complete deep full body massage from head to toe.” The arm airbags cover your arm, forearm, wrists, and hands (including fingers).
5. the dream wave technology for the hips is absolutely fantastic if you have any acute or chronic low back pain. I use it all the time for an unstable left SI joint in my back and it is wonderful. Also a very unique technology that we have not seen on any other massage chair.
6. it is upholstered in faux leather, a fancy way of saying “fake” leather or synthetic/manmade leather.
7. won a design and engineering award from the international CES symposium in November 2008.
8. it has a heat function in the lumbar region but it is not remarkable.
9. Like the Sanyo and the Panasonic, the vertical track of the rollers go down to the very low back, i.e. sacrum, which, I think is crucial for a low back massage. The Human Touch and iJoy typically do not go so low.
10. customer service on the Inada chairs, like the Panasonic, Sanyo, and Human Touch chairs, is great. Should you ever have a problem with this chair, or any of the chairs we carry, you will have great customer support from each of the manufacturers we represent. The head technician for Inada USA came by our showroom a few weeks ago and told us that they have a .01 percent problem rate on new chairs….which is extremely low. In other words, the chance of you having a functional problem with the Sogno PLUS when you get it is very low.
11. Sogno PLUS comfortably fits persons from 4’11” to 6’4″.
Well, Bruce, I hope I have covered everything. Again, I hope you call me if you have any questions that I can’t answer with the written word. If you have more questions about the other chair models we carry, I can give more info regarding those models as per any future request from you. Again, my number is 801-651-2026.
Just a reminder to you, also, that we offer bonus gifts, free shipping, and a $100 -$300 visa gift card (or $100-$300 off the price of the massage chair) when you purchase from our site. If you decide to get the Inada Sogno PlUS from us, you must call to place the order, as Inada does not permit online purchases of this chair. You will also be free of sales tax if you live outside of Utah. We will also throw in free white glove delivery, which will take care of assembly of the Sogno PLUS (it comes in two boxes) and disposal of all the packing material when your chair is delivered to you. You can expect a 1 1/2 week wait for your chair. Inada delivers quite quickly…even with the white glove service.
I look forward to hearing from you again. Best of luck to you in your massage chair shopping. “
Hope this helps all of you in your massage chair search!
Dr. Alan Weidner