I covered some pretty significant features in Part 1 of this comparative review between two very popular massage chairs. In Part 2, I will cover the remaining features, #6-10, some of which are quite significant as well.
There aren’t many, if any, chairs that have more airbags than the Inada Sogno. The Sogno boasts 100 airbags, not all of which are utilized for compression. The patented Dreamwave technology of the Sogno, which moves the seat up and down, and side to side, is all deployed by airbags.
The Iyashi has 38 airbags…a far cry from the 100 airbags of the Sogno, but they are used effectively in the feet and hips in conjunction with the back and feet rollers, as mentioned in the Part 1.
The Sogno is the only chair that has a full upper arm airbag massage, in addition to the more typical forearm, wrist, and hand airbag massage. Although the arm airbags of the Iyashi are sequential and work awfully well, it doesn’t have the upper arm massage like the Sogno.
7. Stretch Program
Both chairs have a stretch program, but I prefer that of the Inada Sogno. I don’t k now if it is because it is programmed differently in each chair or if the Iyashi body styling inhibits a full recline stretch like what you get with the Sogno, but I feel the chair back recline and the ottoman drop make for a better and more soothing stretch in the Sogno. If you’ve never experienced a stretch program before, you will come to enjoy that feature very much, regardless of which chair you choose.
8. Body Styling
The Sogno revolutionized the way massage chairs were designed. The more broad chair with arm airbag massage integrated into the body of the arm rests was a completely new way to address arm massage. The designer of the Sogno received awards for his unique and progressive design. Many of the chinese-made chairs began to incorporate the same body styling. You can look at so many models, like the IT-8500, OS-7200, OS-3D Pro Dreamer, Luraco iRobotics 6S, Cozzia 16027, and even the Infinity Iyashi, that have been influenced by the Sogno’s iconic design.
The Iyashi is the first chair to use a hard plastic mold for the body design. It is a very contemporary looking chair and some folks are still not quite ready for it. The Sogno-like styling was a bit hard to swallow for some when it came into the market 5 years ago, but now it would be considered a more traditional body styling because it has been so frequently replicated in so many of the new chairs. The Iyashi, I suppose, could be considered the “next generation” of massage chair body styling. Whether or not it becomes the status quo remains yet to be seen, but it certainly does turn heads when seen for the first time.
8. Japanese vs. Chinese
Although the vast majority of massage chairs in the market are manufactured in China, the best chairs are known to come from Japan. Inada is the second oldest massage chair company in the world and have almost perfected the art of making chairs. That is all they do. They have a failure rate on their chairs of 1% or less…which is pretty extraordinary in the massage chair biz. Other Japanese chairs, i.e. Panasonic (Japanese engineering and quality control though now manufactured in Panasonic-owned Chinese plants), also have a 1% or less failure rate.
This is probably why the Japanese chairs come with a 3 years parts and labor, in-home warranty compared to a more typical 1 year parts and labor, in-home warranty of most Chinese-made chairs. That is also a contributing factor to the higher prices of the Japanese-made chairs. Labor is more expensive in Japan, but the quality control and components are second to none in those chairs.
Chinese-made chairs have a failure rate of 2-5%, from what I am told and from what I have experienced with my own customers. The quality is just not the same. But, since most of the manufacturing is occurring in China now, more of the expertise and talent is being employed in China and more improved chairs continue to come out of that country. Just in the 10-11 years I’ve been in the business, I’ve seen an improvement in the quality of these chairs. I am sure that in the next number of years, the failure rate of the Chinese-made chairs will rival that of the Japanese-made chairs.
The cost of labor and materials is also cheaper in China. So, the trade-off is that for a chair with a bit higher failure rate you are getting more features for each dollar spent. The chairs from China cost less, retail for less, thus they are more highly represented in the US market and sell more.
Iyashi, though a Japanese-sounding word, is a Chinese-made chair; the Sogno is a Japanese-made chair. That is another difference between these two models.
9. Weight Limit
The recommended user weight limit for the Infinity Iyashi is 285 lbs. Inada has a motto that “if you can fit, you can sit,” which means that if you can fit in the chair, regardless of your weight, you can use it without compromise. That is a pretty impressive motto. No other chair carries it; every other chair has a weight limit, be it 265 lbs, 285 lbs, or 325 lbs. So, if you are a heavy person and worried about whether a chair will be able to handle your weight, you can be sure that Inada will be the perfect chair for you…if you can fit in it, that is.
10. Music System/Bluetooth
Inada does not integrate a music system, at all, in any of their chairs currently distributed in the US market. Chinese chairs commonly have a music system, and Infinity is no exception. The Iyashi has a music system that works through bluetooth connectivity from your cell phone.
You can connect via bluetooth and play any music off of your phone over the speaker system of the Iyashi chair. The speakers aren’t bad either! I’ve got some chairs in my showroom that have a very poor speaker system, i.e. Cyber and Dreamer, but the Iyashi, as does the IT-8500 from Infinity, has a great set of speakers. Of course, the great thing about cell phone bluetooth connectivity is that you can play the music from the familiarity of your phone’s music dashboard.
Well, that’s about it for the primary feature comparison between the Inada Sogno and the Infinity Iyashi. I hope it has helped you know the difference and perhaps even assisted you in making a decision about which chair is right for you.
Dr. Alan Weidner