When folks shop for a high end massage chair, they usually end up trying to decide between the Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair and the Inada DreamWave. The DreamWave has been at the top of the heap, when it comes to high end massage chairs, for as long as I can remember. It was introduced to the US market in 2009 and skyrocketed to the top right away. It was definitely a winner the moment it arrived.
In September 2014, it was updated with some new features and a new price point. Despite it’s perennially high price point, it has steadfastly remained our most popular selling high end massage chair. One of the reasons it has been so successful is because of it’s combination of a wonderfully innovative feature-set and the fact that the chair was assembled, and partly manufactured, in Japan (some Chinese components).
In July 2015, Luraco introduced it’s iRobotics 7 chair. A US made and assembled chair (with some Taiwanese-made components), it immediately became a big seller for us and for Luraco. It provided another alternative to the Inada DreamWave, as well as another high end alternative to the traditionally lesser quality Chinese chairs. Unlike all competing Japanese-made massage chairs, the iRobotics 7 included mechanical foot rollers, zero gravity, and a music system among it’s rich feature-set. This chair just seemed to captivate the interest and imagination of the discriminating massage chair buyer. We currently see it outselling the DreamWave in our local showrooms.
So, I’ve been thinking a long time about penning a comparative review of the two chairs, since they are both so popular. I finally got off my fat duff and am bringing this info to you now. I hope you find this review of their similarities and differences helpful in the process of your due diligence to choose the right chair for you. Part 1 will review the similarities and Part 2 will cover the differences. In both articles, I will mention which chair has the advantage, based on the literature, my personal observations, and feedback from customers.
Inada DreamWave vs. Luraco iRobotics 7 Similarities:
- S-Track – The L-track chairs have become quite the popular models as of late, but the traditional S-track chairs are still the most common. Both the DreamWave and iRobotics 7 massage chairs are purely S-track chairs. The roller track ends at the top of the buttocks area. The length of the roller track is different in each chair, but I’ll get into those in the “Differences” section. Advantage: both
- 100+ Airbags – Both chairs boast over 100 airbags/air cells, but, to be totally honest, if you didn’t know where these large amount of airbags were deployed in each model, you’d never guess that they have so many. It is just a number to most folks who sit on various massage chairs since you’d never really know about the number unless someone tells you. The DreamWave employs quite a few airbags in their Cervical Traction Device (headpiece) and their DreamWave technology in the seat and low back. The iRobotics 7 employs more in the leg massage area as well as the shoulder airbags. Advantage: both
- 3D Roller Technology – Both chairs give the user the ability to adjust the intensity of the roller massage, although they both go about it in a different way. The DreamWave uses airbag technology to move the body further away from and closer to the roller track, to simulate the 3D effect. On the other hand, the iRobotics 7 actually moves the rollers forward and back, into and away from the user’s body, making that technology a little bit more sophisticated. The bottom line is that the 3D technology is a similarity, but the mechanism for deploying it is different from one model to the other. Advantage: iRobotics 7
- Vibration – The vibration feature is not a common feature, although intuitively you would consider vibration as a massage modality. However, the DreamWave and iRobotics 7 both have this feature and both chairs give you the option to turn it off if you don’t want to use it. Advantage: both
- Shiatsu Program – Both chairs have an auto program that provides shiatsu massage. Again, not all chairs offer shiatsu as a massage option, but you can get that auto program on both of these models. Advantage: both
- 170 Degree Reclining Angle – Most massage chairs will recline to 170 degrees or more, as do these two models. The deep reclining angle is particularly useful in the stretch programs. The difference is in the zero gravity seat positioning, which is only available in the iRobotics 7. I’ll go into that feature in the “Differences” section. Advantage: both
- Stretch Program – 90% of the chairs in the market have some form of a stretch program. The DW and i7 use a full recline in their stretch programs accompanied by a leg pull by the calf and foot airbags. It is a great stretch program. The advantage of the i7 is that it uses shoulder airbags to pin the shoulders back and double calf airbag segments during the program to enhance the stretch. Advantage: both
- 3 Years Parts & Labor Warranty – The Japanese and American chairs typically have a better warranty than the Chinese-made chairs. These two models both have a 3 years parts and labor, in-home warranty, with the iRobotics 7 also coming with 2 additional years of parts (thus making it a 5 year limited warranty). And I will say, from personal experience, that the customer support from both companies is outstanding. Advantage: iRobotics 7
- Body Scan Technology – Both chairs employ comprehensive body scan technologies. Chinese-made chairs are notorious for limiting their body scan to locating the top of the shoulders and the skull so that the rollers don’t go too high up the head or too low on the neck at the apex of the roller track. The i7 and DW use a more sophisticated body scan technology wherein the actual shape of the user’s spine is mapped out and the rollers applied based on the body “mapping.” This makes for a more accurate full body scan and full body roller massage experience. Incidentally, the body scan process takes less than a minute on the DreamWave and close to two minutes on the iRobotics 7. Advantage: DreamWave (based on time)
- Seat Massage – Both chairs utilize airbags in the seat portion of their chairs and both create a swivel motion of the seat from side to side. The DreamWave technology is a bit more sophisticated when it comes to seat motion and passive motion of the lower quadrant of the spine. For example, the seat moves from side to side and up and down in a figure 8 motion. Both of these models have airbags that inflate the seat segmentally, as well. Advantage: DreamWave
In Part 2, I will go over the “Differences” between the Inada DreamWave and the Luruco iRobotics 7 massage chairs.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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