Where Is Your Massage Chair Really Made??

luraco made in the usa

luraco made in the usaThe headline of this post alludes to the confusion that can come from trying to figure out where each massage chair model is made. There is so much hullabaloo about a chair being made in Japan or the USA vs. a chair manufactured in China. Typically, we understand that Japanese and American-made products are of a better quality than their Chinese-made counterparts. I am in agreement with that statement, and the numbers bare that out (Chinese-made chairs have a life expectancy of up to 10 years, a failure rate of 2-5%, and typically a 1 year parts & labor warranty. Japanese-made chairs expect to last 15+ years, have a failure rate of <1%, and come with a pretty standard 3 year parts & labor warranty).

Well, when speaking of being “Made in ____”, it may surprise you to know that it is not as simple as being made in one country. Let me explain…

When we talk about the making of a chair, we need to consider a few things, i.e. 1.) where the design and engineering of the chair is done, 2.) where the parts of the chair are made, and 3.) where chair is assembled. In some cases, all three components of the manufacturing process are done in 3 different countries.

china-flag-1444024 Most chairs, nowadays, are made in China. The design and engineering, manufacturing of parts, and assembly are all done in China. The Ogawa chairs, for example, are 100% made in China. Most of the Osaki, Titan, Apex, Omega, and Infinity chairs are made 100% in China.

But, did you know that some of the non-critical components of the Inada DreamWave chair are made in China, too, although it is rightfully claimed to be made in Japan? Did you know that the Luraco iRobotics 7 chair is an American-made, designed and engineered massage chair, but a minority of it’s non-critical components are made in Taiwan? Did you know that the new Navitas Sleep chair from Human Touch was designed and engineered by the Americans and Japanese, but the components are manufactured in Taiwan and the assembly of the chair is done in China? Furthermore, did you know that all the other Human Touch massage chairs are designed and engineered in America, but manufactured and assembled in China?

Panasonic is a Japanese company and their chairs are designed and engineered there, but all production and assembly occurs in Chinese factories. I don’t know what the situation is now, but in the recent past the factories in which the Panasonic chairs have been manufactured were Panasonic-owned factories so that the Japanese parent company could still have complete quality control.

stock-photo-13142341-japan-flagIt might surprise you to know that at the time of this writing, there is only one brand of chair that is 100% designed, engineered, manufactured, and assembled in Japan? That is the Fujiiryoki chair, one of the oldest massage chair companies in the world. Osaki carries a privately labeled Fujiiryoki model and it is called the Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium.

So, have I confused you? I know I was sure confused when I first started learning about all the nuances of what it means to be “Made in the USA”. When Luraco first introduced their line of chairs as being made in America, there was some pushback because a few of their non-critical components were manufactured in Asia. I found out, soon thereafter, that even Inada’s famous DreamWave, touted to be made in Japan, has some Chinese-made components in it.

Manufacturing and/or assembly in China is cost-effective. Cheaper-made product ultimately costs less to the end user…that’s you and I. So, companies have tried to integrate China or Taiwan in some of the process of making a chair to keep costs down across the board.

By they way, why can a chair like DreamWave say it is made in Japan when some of it’s components are manufactured in China? Or why can Luraco say their iRobotics 7 is made in America when some of it’s components are made in Taiwan (Taiwanese products are known to be of a better quality than their Chinese counterparts, in cases you were wondering). You may be asking yourself these questions. I know I did.

All I can say about that is that each country has it’s own guidelines as to what constitutes the term “Made in _____”. I suspect it is slightly different for each country. Below is a video recently released by Luraco that specifically addresses the “Made in the USA” standard. I hope you find this helpful.

If you have any questions about any model we carry or any other model out there, feel free to contact me anytime by phone, email, or chat. I am always at your disposal.

Dr. Alan Weidner

P.S. Give us a “Like”, “Share”, or “+1” and leave me a comment or question below to share what you learned or ask any questions, so other folks can benefit from this material.

12 Replies to “Where Is Your Massage Chair Really Made??”

  1. Hello Dr. Weidner, do you have any feedback on the Medical Breakthrough chairs brand? They claim to be also made in the USA.
    Cheers,
    AG

    1. Hi, Angel
      Thanks for reaching out. I know that their chairs are manufactured in China. The only US-made chair is the Luraco brand (with non-critical components coming from Taiwan). They are a direct-to-consumer chair seller. I don’t know much about their chairs except that they are made in China. One of their models, and I can’t remember which one, is pretty much the same chair as the old Titan Executive, which was a decent chair for $2999. Try to find “real” reviews for the this company’s chairs and support, which are hard to find, to get a true perspective of how they really are. I hope this helps.
      dr. w.

      1. Hi Dr Weidner
        I actually in the process of being potentially scammed by Medical Breakthrough chairs. I tried to be very thorough with doing background checks and found the CEO/owner Max Lun (he goes by many other alias as well) of the company was into website design back around 2008-2009. They also have generated fake reviews which you noted.
        So my story is this: I got a ‘really good deal’ on a chair and the sales rep (who seemed really helpful) explained all the bells and whistles with all the checked boxes that this Breakthrough 5 version 2 had. He gave me a steep discount of 2k which he said he could do because he was the sales manager and their biz is doing so well and he doesn’t;t get commission so he can do that (because I asked). Ok so fast forward a week. My chair got delivered quickly but low and behold it was a different chair!! It was not the one described -nor did it look like the one in the picture! I was flabbergasted and felt duped! Here something that was supposed to ease anxiety and stress created a bus-full! SO of course I emailed the pictures to the sales rep who helped me as he had given me a cell number. It was obvious I had a different chair! Come to find out after much research that the chair I received was a discontinued model #4 which they don’t sell any longer! It is clearly inferior and does not do all he claimed nor have the number of airbags he claimed etc….. ugh!
        So after 3 attempts he did finally call me back – was very defensive and asked why I thought I got the wrong chair! I asked if he had seen the pics I sent him which made it obvious. He then shifted the conversation that it was the shipping departments fault and he had zero control of that part of the deal but ensured me that he would make it right. And let me know on Monday, the 10th of August as it was Saturday the 8th. I said ok: I will give you the benefit of the doubt but I am putting my trust in you that you will do what you said you would do. Alas as this is heavy on my mind, I then discovered that even though I got a #4 not the #5 version 2- that they actually re-designed these old 4’s to read on the side of the chair breakthrough 5!! They also claim that the chairs on made in the USA and that only some of the parts come from Taiwan! They are using yours-Luroco’s claims of manufacturing! I noticed in my poorly written as if made in China owners manual that the picture of the chair is not the same as the one I got and that the remote in the manual actually says Breakthrough 4 on the bottom even though mine says 5 and the chair also. So what it seems like these cons are doing is stripping the old chairs and slapping on a false label on the side to betray the consumer! And being that I couldn’t think quick on my feet as talking to him- I should of said -well if the shipping department sent me the wrong chair ‘by mistake’ then why didn’t they accidentally give me an upgraded chair up and beyond the one I got. Having that said also the PVC off gassing is making me seriously noxious every time I use it. It is usable and it is OK but nothing for the price I paid nor like my friend’s Human touch 7.5k chair-not even close!
        At this point if he doesn’t get back to me by tomorrow-Monday- I will go to my bank and start a fraudulent claim on my debit VISA and get the process going of recouping my funds. I don’t know if I can trust them more than I can through my cheap chair (which since they don’t even sell the 4’s probably is worth 500.00??maybe?)
        But having said all of this-I really think legal action should be made against these huskers! Even though I got shammed- I am sure many others have too without them even realizing it! I did notice some ripoff reports and so honest reviews and shady dealings but I really had to dig for them! Amazon also should be alerted! Do you know how to take legal action against this type of scam? I am unsure how to proceed. I realize I am covered by the FTC and BBB (which the have a A+ rating which means nothing really)I would love your expertise on how to proceed if you have any suggestions. Thank you!

        1. Hi, Mary
          Thanks for your comment. Very interesting information, indeed, and similar to what we’ve already heard in the past. I am not sure what you can do in the legal arena, so if you learn anything beneficial about that avenue, it would be appreciated if you’d share that with us. Posting reviews, like you’ve done here, is the most helpful thing you can do without incurring any costs, even though it’s no secret that those reviews can be manipulated. I promise you that if you do leave a review similar to this one on their Yelp or Amazon listings, you will attract more attention from them than flies to a dung pile. You will be “strongly encouraged” to change your review or remove it altogether. Please feel free to update us all on this thread as things unfold.
          dr. w.

  2. Hello Doctor, do you have any experience or opinion on the Dotast brand? Made in China but appears to have high end features. I am considering the A10. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Armen
      Thanks for your inquiry. I have heard of Dotast but have not known many chairs in the USA that are manufactured there. I don’t know anything about their current models either. I am really not much help to you.
      dr. w.

  3. Dr. Weidner,
    I have a question regarding a massage chair by trumedic mc2000 which is sold at Costco for 2995..00. Other retailers sell this chair for 4695.00 to 4995.00. Can you give me any information on this company and this chair.I have tried this chair and the Osaka 4000ls chair and in my opinion it out performs the Osaka chair.

    Thanks in advance,
    Roger Karstofsky

    1. Hi, Roger
      Thanks for your inquiry. I am not familiar with the Trumedic chairs at all, nor have I ever sat in one. All I know is that they are Chinese-made. I don’t know anything about their warranty or customer support, so I can’t speak to that either. Read as many reviews as you can about them to get an idea of what customers think. I wish I could help out more!
      dr. w.

    1. Hi, Steven
      Thanks for reaching out. I am not very familiar with their chairs at all. I know they are Chinese-made, but know little about their quality or the reputation of the company. I’ve never sat on one. They don’t appear to sell their chairs through a traditional retail network, but, like a lot of the low priced chairs, they sell direct to consumer through Amazon and affiliates pushing their products (you know, those “top massage chairs” sites and reports that link back to Amazon chairs…not very objective or truthful, in my opinion). Other than that, I don’t know much more. I know from experience with other customers that it is very hard to get customer support for their chairs. Maybe check into that. Most folks don’t fully appreciate how important customer support is until they have a problem with their chair. I’ve tried to find their own site, but have had no luck in doing so. I hope this helps.
      dr. w.

      1. Thank you, Dr. Weidner!

        You’ve confirmed for me my opinion that despite the very attractive price, it was too risky to go with that brand. The price just seemed too good to be true, and my research was also not kind to the distributor. The red flags I was seeing.were finally too many. I decided to go with the Human Touch Whole Body 7.1, which is at the limit of my price range. It does all I was looking for, and I’ve never been sold on the air bags — at least not in my price range. I found that they just squeezed me, which I don’t find therapeutic at all.

        I appreciate the effort you put into your expertise. Sadly, there isn’t enough data and in-depth reporting on massage chairs, but your reporting has been instructive for me in my search for a good and affordable chair.

        Thanks for you efforts and your help!

        Steve C.

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