In a Nutshell:
An inexpensive, tightly focused chair with surprising therapeutic capabilities. The Fujita SMK8800 massage chair is recommended for chronic pain sufferers on a budget.
Overall Massage Quality
Ease of Use
Are you on a budget?
Do you suffer from chronic pain?
If so, then you’re going to love our detailed Fujita SMK8800 massage chair review. Given its modest price, you’ll be amazed at the therapeutic capabilities it has to offer.
Because it is such a tightly targeted design, there are certain things it can’t do. We’ll go over those as well so you know exactly what you’d be getting if you decide that this is the right model for you.
Let’s get right to it!
Fujita SMK8800 Massage Chair Features
S-Track Design & Quad Rollers
The 8800 has good bones, being built around an industry standard S-Track and quad rollers.
The quad rollers are exceptional because of how closely they mimic the feel of human hands. Plus, the S-Track allows those rollers to move along the natural curve of your spine, resulting in an excellent basic massage.
3D Body Scan
Each time you sit on the chair to get a massage, it takes a scan of your body and makes subtle adjustments to the position of the rollers and the width of the massage field.
If the tech doesn’t place the rollers where you need them, the chair included buttons on the remote that allow you to fine-tune their positions manually and adjust the roller width to taste. This two-pronged approach makes it virtually impossible to get a bad massage experience from the chair and is an excellent addition indeed.
Another technology that enhances the overall massage quality is the presence of 4D Technology. The company refers to this as 3D Tech, but that’s a misnomer. All massage chairs built around an S- or Hybrid L/S Track already see their rollers move in three dimensions.
This technology takes it a step further by mounting the rollers onto the extension arms, which allow them to move up to 3” away from the track itself, resulting in a deeper and more penetrating massage.
A Fair Number of Options
This model is mostly centered around therapeutic benefits, so it doesn’t try to get fancy in terms of techniques and options. Regarding techniques, you get:
That covers the basics and provides you with one advanced massage technique.
Additionally, there are a few auto-programs available:
As you can see, most of these aren’t sophisticated massage routines but rather, with one exception, simply pre-defined zone-based massages. That’s fine, but again, providing a dizzying number of options isn’t the core function of this chair, so we weren’t expecting much more than this.
Nonetheless, the Waist Twist is kind of interesting. We’ll be discussing it in a section a bit later in this review.
Note that these options can be further modified via the remote through three speed and intensity settings.
At maximum power, and in conjunction with the 4D Roller Technology, it gets very close to delivering a deep tissue massage, which has tremendous therapeutic benefit.
Air Massage Mode
The 8800 utilizes a total of 32 Second-Generation Airbags, which is about average for its price range. What makes this model different, though, is that all of its airbags are centered on the lower body, from waist to feet.
This has the distinct disadvantage of not allowing the chair to render a full-body air massage. Then again, it has the corresponding advantage that the lower body massage is excellent — and pound for pound better than other chairs it competes with.
Further, the massage may be modified via the remote through three intensity levels.
If that weren’t enough, it’s also possible to selectively activate airbags by the following body regions:
This enables you to create a highly-customized massage that suits your particular needs and preferences.
“Thai-Style” Body Stretch
This is hands-down the best feature the 8800 has to offer.
Body stretching offers almost immediate pain relief in the same manner that a chiropractic adjustment does. It works by holding your body in place with the airbags located in the leg massage ports, then reclining to an ever-steeper angle.
Even better, this model offers not just one, but a staggering four different stretching routines, each of differing aggressiveness and intensity. This allows you to experiment and select the option that serves as the best fit for your pain level.
Best of all, even if all four options are too intense for you, the 8800 has one more therapeutic trick up its sleeve, which we’ll cover next.
This feature offers the same essential benefits of body stretching, but in a much milder, gentler form. If you find that the stretch options are simply too aggressive for you at your current pain level, then this is a good choice.
The fact that Fujita included this on top of four different body stretches shows just how committed they are to the idea of creating a tightly designed, therapeutic chair.
Foot & Calf Massage
The foot and calf massage is excellent, and in fact, pound for pound better than you’ll find in comparably priced chairs. However, it does suffer from one limitation. There are no rollers at the bottom of the foot wells. The entire calf and foot massage is rendered with airbags.
This makes it somewhat difficult to judge the feature implementation as a whole. On the one hand, the decision to locate all of the 8800’s’ airbags in the lower portions of the chair certainly enhances the experience. On the other, the absence of foot rollers detracts from it.
We judge this to be a slightly above average implementation.
Fujita is excellent about details, and this is a common feature in chairs they produce. The extension module is a great addition and makes it, so this model can accommodate users up to 6’5” in height.
If you’re a taller person, your options are limited. There just aren’t many therapeutically focused chairs that will fit you. So, this model is something that you should definitely add in your short list.
(Somewhat) Adjustable Timer
All massage options default to a fifteen-minute duration, and at your option, you can adjust this to thirty minutes. That’s not bad; it’s just not very flexible.
Not all massage chairs offer a timer adjustment feature, but most of the ones that do offer more granularity than this. So while it’s a useful feature and we’re glad to see it, we note that it’s not well implemented.
Easy To Use Remote
Despite offering a surprisingly broad range of features, the remote that accompanies the chair is no more complicated than the remote you control your television set with.
While there is a slight learning curve, Fujita has done a good job with layout and design. All of the chair’s features are accessible by a single touch. You won’t have any trouble at all mastering this chair, and you’ll be enjoying your first massage in a matter of minutes.
Pros & Cons of the Fujita SMK8800 Massage Chair
It’s fair to say that the 8800 is built around one feature: Body stretching. If you count the waist stretch as a milder form of that, this model offers five different variations of what is widely considered to be the single most powerful therapeutic feature a massage chair can have.
That’s awesome, but such a relentless focus on that single feature has left a few gaps we’d like to be filled in future model upgrades. These include:
None of these are deal breakers, but we feel the model would be even more robust if these were included.
Fujita SMK8800 Massage Chair Review Conclusion
Having read our Fujita SMK8800 massage chair review, it’s pretty easy to see that we’re fans of the model. It’s undeniably a well-designed chair. Imperfect, yes, but we would not hesitate to recommend this model to anyone who suffers from chronic pain.
If you’re a casual or hobbyist user, you’d probably be disappointed. Its intense focus on body stretching means that it doesn’t have as many convenience features or other options that hobbyist users tend to look for. But, for the right user, this massage chair is awesome and will make you feel better.
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