Mail Bag – Inada Sogno Alternatives, $1000 Chairs, & Iyashi “Rubbing”

October 2, 2013
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
October 2, 2013
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

Mail Bag – Inada Sogno Alternatives, $1000 Chairs, & Iyashi “Rubbing”

Another week of great questions from massage chair shoppers. I hope you get something from the questions and my responses. That is why I share them with you!

Email #1

Inada Sogno

Inada Sogno

Dr. Weidner, I’m located in Northern California and had the opportunity to try out the Inada Sogno at a local store but still trying to justify the steep price. I love how the Sogno made me feel wrapped and embraced during the massage. Is that from the 100 airbags and the 1200 sq in body coverage? Does the OS-3D’s airbag size or sq in body coverage come close to the Sogno? In your professional opinion, is the Sogno worth the $2700 difference compared to the OS-3D? Do you know if the Inada plan to come out with a new model that would incorporate foot rollers and zero gravity anytime soon? Linda

My Response #1

Hi, Linda
Thanks for your email and your great questions. Here are my responses along with some comments:

1. Much of the feel of the chair comes from the award-winning design, which gives you that hugging feeling. Most of the areas of the chair body that touch your body include airbags to give you the most therapeutic benefit when the chair is functioning. Those airbags also contribute to the hugging feeling, but it is the design that gets most of that credit.

The body scanning technology of the Sogno also contributes to a very well catered massage for your body. That sophistication of the body scan makes for a great “fit” of the chair to your body.

2. The OS-3D has only 48 airbags, but Osaki has not provided the sq. inch body coverage figure for their chairs. So, I can’t speak to that, but it is certainly not anywhere close to the 1200+ sq. inches of the Inada. I have both chairs in my showroom and the Sogno wins, hands down.

3. Regarding whether the price of the Sogno is justified, compared to the cheaper Chinese-made chairs, I have written a few articles discussing the price differential and whether or not it’s worth it. Here are some links for your reading pleasure…

4. According to Cliff Levin, President of InadaUSA, there are no plans for a zero gravity chair or foot rollers anytime soon.

I hope this helps! I am a big fan of the Inada Sogno, the reasons why being listed in the above-mentioned articles.

Let me know if there are any other questions you have. You can also call me at 888-259-5380 if you want to chat over the phone. I am always at your disposal.

Dr. Alan Weidner
Email #2

Infinity Iyashi

Infinity Iyashi

Dr. Weidner
You mention the “rubbing” feature of the Infinity Iyashi in Part 2 of your review of this chair. I am not able to find the “Rubbing” feature….
Can you please let me know how to access that feature?


My Response #2

Hi, Robert
Thanks for your email. The rubbing feature is a modality used in the auto programs only. It is not a separately adjustable modality that can be turned on or off with a manual setting. In other words, it’s built in to the auto programs. The first time I experienced it I focused on what the rollers were doing during the kneading process and I remember feeling the roller heads move side to side across my spine and not always round and round. It is very subtle, true, but pretty cool as far as transfriction massage goes…the only chair that really does it.
Dr. W.
Email #3

money-glass-1010147-mDear Dr. Weidner, I am looking purchasing my first massage chair for personal use by my sister (5’4, 125lbs) and I (6’2″, 250lbs). I’m presently researching in preparation to make this large purchase, and your site is the best resource I have found by far when it comes to learning about quality massage chairs. Thank you so much for your commitment, your well-considered and unbiased opinions, and your support to the community of people who are sorely in need of some guidance. Speaking to my personal situation, as a college student I need to get the absolute best bang for my buck, and am working with a fairly limited budget of around $1000. In shopping locally, I have found a listing for a recently-serviced Inada D.1 massage chair for $1100. On the surface this looks like a great deal, but I also see that the D.1 is no longer being sold, and doubtless this 2003-era chair is no longer under warranty. I know that Inada has great customer service, but I worry that this chair might have been discontinued due to a high failure or defect rate, or that it is inferior to other chairs in the ~$1000 price range. Frankly, I’m having a hard time finding any online reviews for this model, and this makes me hesitate in purchasing this chair. Do you have any experience with this model, or advice on whether or not this is a reasonable option for me? Finally, although I know that you primarily specialize in top-end chairs, I see a crop of chairs in the $500-$1000 range that are garnering good reviews on Amazon- for instance, the BestMassage EC-69. Obviously they are not Sognos, but are they a reasonable point of entry into the quality-made massage chair market? If not, what models should a new chair buyer look at as a logical step up from the ~$100 Homedics-style pads? Thanks very much again for all that you do, Jeff

My Response #3

Hi, Jeff
Thanks for your email and your kind words. In my opinion any Inada product is awesome. Inada discontinues models not because of problems with the chair but because it’s life cycle has ended and new products have been introduced to the market. I might suggest you give Inada a call and ask them about availability of parts and the reputation of the D1. I’m quite sure they still carry parts for their older, discontinued massage chairs. Their number is 888-769-0555 and you can select ext. 102 to speak to Alex.

Your price point is quite low for a massage chair. The amazon chair is a typical no-name brand massage chair. Be wary of the warranty on these types of chairs, as well as availability and accessibility of customer support. Some warranties are a little goofy in the fine print. I actually wrote a blog post a while back that touches on this topic. Here is a link to it, for what it’s worth…

A “no-name” chair may be a decent chair and last you for a few years, but if a problem arises, how difficult will it be to get support? That is the question!

I hope this helps.

Let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with in your hunt for a massage chair.

Dr. Alan Weidner

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