Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Review

TL;DR Summary

Let’s start by taking a broad, top-down view of all of the contenders, and later on explain how we chose our top pick, the Luraco i7, to be the best massage chair for neck and shoulders.

Best Massage Chair for Neck & Shoulders Comparison Table

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Luraco i7 Main - Chair Institute

Luraco i7

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Osaki OS7200H White - Chair Institute

Osaki OS7200H

Inada DreamWave

Infinity Iyashi

Price

$$$$

$$

$$$$$

$$$

Track Design

S-Track

S-Track

S-Track

Hybrid L/S Track

No. of Airbags

80

51

101

38

Zero-G Seating

1

2

2

2

Zone/Partial Massage

Advanced Techniques

Shiatsu, Swedish

Shiatsu, Swedish

Shiatsu

Shiatsu

Heat

Lumbar, Seat, and Foot Wells

Lumbar

Back, Seat

Lumbar

Extras

Body Stretch, MP3 Support, 5 Memory Slots, BP and Heart Rate Monitoring

MP3 support, Chromotherapy

Body Stretch

Body Stretch, Waist Twist, MP3 Support, Chromotherapy, Space-Saving

Pros

Tremendous therapeutic value, and a good mix of hobbyist features too. Swedish massage technique.

Swedish massage! Very attractively priced.

One of the finest general massage chairs on the market. Exceptional air massage.

Extremely feature-rich with a good cross-section of both therapeutic and hobbyist features.

Cons

Pricey. S-Track limits massage area.

S-Track limits massage area.

Pricey. Only one advanced technique. S-Track limits massage area.

Only one advanced technique.

Our Verdict

Best in class. Highly recommended for anyone who can afford it.

Recommended for those on a budget who need a good neck and shoulder massage chair.

A tremendous chair, highly recommended, but also, very expensive.

Tremendous value for the money. Recommended as a general massage chair, but there are better models specifically geared toward the neck and shoulder.

Baseline Rating*

4.9 / 5.0

4.9 / 5.0

4.9 / 5.0

4.6 / 5.0

Our Top Pick

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Luraco i7 Main - Chair Institute

Luraco i7

BASELINE RATING*

4.9 / 5.0

PRICE

$$$$

OUR VERDICT

Best in class. Highly recommended for anyone who can afford it.

PROS

Tremendous therapeutic value, and a good mix of hobbyist features too. Swedish massage technique.

CONS

Pricey. S-Track limits massage area.

More Specifications...

Affordable Choice

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Osaki OS7200H White - Chair Institute

Osaki OS7200H

BASELINE RATING*

4.9 / 5.0

PRICE

$$

OUR VERDICT

Recommended for those on a budget who need a good neck and shoulder massage chair.

PROS

Swedish massage! Very attractively priced.

CONS

S-Track limits massage area.

More Specifications...

Second Runner Up

Inada DreamWave

BASELINE RATING*

4.9 / 5.0

PRICE

$$$$$

OUR VERDICT

A tremendous chair, highly recommended, but also, very expensive.

PROS

One of the finest general massage chairs on the market. Exceptional air massage.

CONS

Pricey. Only one advanced technique. S-Track limits massage area.

More Specifications...

Honorable Mention

Infinity Iyashi

BASELINE RATING*

4.6 / 5.0

PRICE

$$$

OUR VERDICT

Tremendous value for the money. Recommended as a general massage chair, but there are better models specifically geared toward the neck and shoulder.

PROS

Extremely feature-rich with a good cross-section of both therapeutic and hobbyist features.

CONS

Only one advanced technique.

More Specifications...

(* ) Note: The Baseline Rating is our starting point for overall rankings, by itself doesn’t tell the whole story. See the details of each model below to get the complete picture!

Before we get to the meat of this roundup review and attempt to answer the question, “what’s the best massage chair for neck and shoulders,” we need to make one thing clear. It’s really hard for a massage chair to “do” neck and shoulder massage well.

There are plenty of models that try and some even succeed to varying degrees. But if you had to name one aspect where a real ​​​​masseuse does a consistently better job, this would be it.

For understandable reasons, massage chairs tend to focus on the back, and to a lesser degree, the calves and feet.

It’s not that neck and shoulder massage isn’t important or doesn’t matter, it’s simply that designers face some pretty steep constraints, with the chief one being the chair itself.

You can use a device like this, the Naturalico Shiatsu Massager:

And typically get a neck and shoulder massage that’s as good, or better than what most massage chairs can deliver, simply because it’s so easy to position this device exactly where you want it.

Try doing that with your three-hundred-pound massage chair! On second thought, don’t try that, because if you do, then you’ll really need a neck and shoulder massage when you’re done!

Having said that, we’ve taken a deep dive into the capabilities of a broad cross section of the models sold today, and have created a short list of devices that render better neck and shoulder massages than most.

If that’s the feature most important to you, then you’re going to love all of the ones on our list.

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Naturalico Shiatsu Massager - Chair Institute

Before we continue to our detailed review, it’s important to understand what exactly drives the quality of a massage chair’s neck and shoulder massage.

  • The neck massage is rendered almost exclusively by rollers, but here, the design of the headrest matters. A chair that offers a recessed headrest will, on balance, deliver a better neck massage than one without.
  • The shoulder massage, on the other hand, is rendered almost exclusively by airbags. So in general, the more airbags a chair has, the better the shoulder massage will be.

We’ve factored both of those heavily into our thinking when compiling this list.

Top 4 Massage Chairs for Neck and Shoulders

Overall Best - Luraco i7

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders

Number of Airbags

Overall Massage Quality

Customization Options

Ease of Use

4.9

Summary

The Luraco i7 is an exceptional therapeutic chair, made in the USA and filled with high-value features. Recommended for anyone who can afford it.

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Luraco i7 Black - Chair Institute

Luraco i7 Massage Chair

The Luraco wins the overall competition because of the design of its headrest, and the number of airbags. It offers the best of both worlds and is our overall top pick as the best massage chair for neck pain, which is the aspect that massage chairs have the hardest time doing well.

Headrest Design

As you can see from looking at the design, your head rests inside a cavity as you lean back into the chair. This allows the rollers to massage not only the entire length of your neck but also around the sides, which is a thing most other chairs can’t replicate.

In addition to that, the rollers can also render a good scalp and temple massage. About the only thing they can’t do is reach all the way to your forehead.

There are a few chairs that offer that feature, but they require you to strap on a “headgear” which is a thing most people aren’t willing to do.

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Luraco i7 - Chair Institute

Airbag + Roller Massage

Additionally, the Luraco i7 has the second highest airbag count of any chair (second only to the mighty Dreamwave, by Inada). And as you can see from looking at the way the shoulder ports are designed, the airbags in that area not only massage the backs of your shoulders but the top and front as well.

This, combined with the action of the quad rollers gives you a quite thorough massage, making this model the best overall back and shoulder massage chair too.

S-Track 

Our only quibble with this model is that it is built around an S-Track frame. It’s true, the S-Track is the current industry standard, but we’d love to see this expanded to a Hybrid L/S-Track at some point, which would allow for a roller-based massage of the glutes and back of the thighs as well.

Feature Summary

In any case, it’s a masterwork, and in addition to being the overall best in class, the design offers an array of other features you’ll love. Here are the highlights:

  • 4D Roller Technology for a deeper, more penetrating massage
  • Single Zero-G seating position
  • Two advanced massage techniques (Swedish and Shiatsu)
  • A mind-blowing number of massage combinations and options
  • Five memory slots to help you manage those options
  • Extensive heat, located in the lumbar region, seat, and the foot wells
  • Thai-style body stretching
  • MP3 music support

In short, it’s not only a world class neck massage chair but is loaded with attractive features, many of which have enormous therapeutic value. 

While the Luraco i7’s one of the best chairs on the market today, there are other excellent contenders that may be more in line with what you’re looking for. While they did not take top honors in this review, they each bring something unique to the table, so to give you a complete picture, we’ll cover those next.


The Osaki OS7200H

While this isn’t the absolute best chair for neck pain, it does render a quite good neck massage and is notable for offering a good mix of price and performance.

As is true of every chair we’ve listed here, you won’t be the least bit disappointed in either the neck or shoulder massage, and the 7200H holds its own surprisingly well with its 51 airbags, compared to the Luraco’s 80, and even compares reasonably well with the Dreamwave’s 101 airbags. 

What you’ll like best, though, is the fact that it can do a few things the much more expensive Dreamwave simply cannot, including:

  • MP3 support
  • 4D roller technology for a more penetrating massage
  • Two zero-gravity seating
  • Outer shoulder massage
Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Osaki OS7200H - Chair Institute

While this last plays an important role in the 7200’s ability to compare favorably with the Dreamwave, the latter design’s huge edge in total number of airbags still allows it to deliver a superior experience. Even so, for a significantly less expensive chair than the Dreamwave, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this entry.


The Inada Dreamwave

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Inada DreamWave - Chair Institute

While not quite the best massage chair for neck and shoulders in our view, the Dreamwave is widely regarded as the best massage chair (overall) in the world.

We’ve done some head to head competitions, comparing this Inada Dreamwave with many other top-end chairs, and while we’ve found a few that have beaten it, they are few and far between.

Airbag + Roller Massage

Regarding the main focus of this review, while this model delivers a relatively good neck massage, it is a superior shoulder massage chair. Thanks to a combination of its quad rollers and the staggering number of airbags it offers.

With 101 airbags, there’s no other chair that can touch this one in terms of the quality of the air massage, which is the main reason it clocks in at number two on our list.

No Headrest

Unfortunately, the absence of a recessed headrest means that the rollers can only reach the back of your neck, making it not quite as comprehensive on that front as the Luraco.

Even so, there’s a lot to like about this chair.​

Feature Summary

  • Single Zero-Gravity seating position
  • More than a thousand massage combinations on offer
  • A legendary 101 airbags
  • Body stretching
  • Back vibration
  • Back and seat heat

While this is an exceptional model, it is also somewhat narrowly focused, which is what turns some people off.

After all, most people don’t use more than 20-30 massage combinations in practice, so offering a thousand is overkill.

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Inada DreamWave Zero G - Chair Institute

In a similar vein, 101 airbags are far and away superior to what any other chair offers. Some have argued that if Inada scaled back slightly in these areas, it would give them more room to add additional features to their design.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a chair that offers the final word in both roller-based and air massage, and includes a great neck and shoulder massage, this is an excellent choice.​


The Infinity Iyashi

At half the price of the legendary Dreamwave, we recently pitted the Iyashi in a head-to-head competition with Inada’s flagship model and were shocked when it came within a hair’s breadth of beating that chair, which is one of the reasons it earned a spot on our list for this review.

Well-priced, and with a fantastic feature set, the neck massage is only about average (so definitely not the best neck massage chair), but it delivers a superior shoulder massage experience, thanks to the “wings” on the chair near the shoulders, which give the airbags more room to envelop that part of the arm.

Although the Iyashi sports fewer airbags than any other chair on our list, the resulting massage is better than you might expect, and it offers a broad range of other popular features you’ll love.

Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Infinity Iyashi Main - Chair Institute

Feature Summary

  • Hybrid L/S-Track Design - the only model on the list to offer this. While it doesn't impact this model's ranking as a great neck and back massage chair, it does give you something close to a full-body roller-based massage, which is a big win. 
  • Space-saving Technology - another nice feature of this model is that it won't take up nearly as much space as the other models we've talked about so far. If space is at a premium in your home, this could be a significant factor
  • Two zero-gravity seating positions
  • Both a Body Stretch and a Waist Twist - these features offer essentially the same benefit, both providing almost immediate pain relief to people who suffer from chronic back pain, but the Waist Twist tends to be far less aggressive than the Body Stretch.
Best Massage Chair for Neck and Shoulders Infinity Iyashi Zero G - Chair Institute

Odds are, you’ll only use one of these two features, but having the option to switch back and forth is part of what makes the Iyashi such a great design.

  • Lumbar heat​​​​
  • Chromotherapy
  • MP3 support
  • Zone and partial massage modes

Pound for pound, no other chair on our list offers quite as many features. True, the Luraco has more therapeutic elements, and the Dreamwave has more massage combinations, but regarding extras and finishing touches, the Iyashi wins, hands down, and is well worth considering.

Best Massage Chair for Neck Pain Conclusion

Everybody’s tastes and preferences are different. After reviewing the models on this list, you might decide that some other chair better meets your personal criteria and stands as the best neck and shoulder massage chair for you.

That’s okay. Our primary goal here was to do an initial assessment, give you our recommendation, that is the Luraco i7 and provide all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

Again, any of the chairs mentioned here will serve you well, and be an excellent addition to your home. All have an impressive set of features, so what it comes down to in the end is finding an answer to the question “which feature or features are most important to you?”

  • If you badly need a good neck and shoulder massage chair, but don't have a huge budget, the Osaki 7200H, will serve you well.
  • In contrast, another highly recommended neck and shoulder massage chair but a very expensive one is the Inada Dreamwave.
  • But if you want a general massage chair that's feature-rich , although not specifically geared toward the neck and shoulder, the Infinity Iyashi would give you tremendous value for money.

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References & Resources

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Tired of your typical neck massager and massage pillows? Check out our top pick for the best massage chair for neck and shoulders for a change.
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