Inada DreamWave Review – Massage Chair Report

Inada DreamWave Massage Chair
  • Bang for Buck
  • Therapeutic Value
  • Overall Massage Quality
  • Customization Options
  • Ease of Use
  • Brand Reliability*


A masterpiece of engineering and design by a legendary company in the industry. The Inada DreamWave Chair is recommended for anyone who can afford it.

*Brand Reliability is a measure of the strength and longevity of the brand, which by extension, is a measure of the level of support you can expect.

Are you interested in owning what has been described as one of the best massage chairs in the world?

If you are, then keep reading. You’re going to love our Inada DreamWave review.

The Inada family, of Japan, has one of the finest reputations in the industry, earned by their steadfast commitment to excellence which shines through in every aspect of their massage chair.

Getting an Inada DreamWave massage chair is an unforgettable experience, but you should know that it comes at a price. As one of the most expensive massage chairs on the market, it’s not something just anyone can own or afford. If you can, then this chair deserves serious consideration.

Inada DreamWave Massage Chair Overview

Before we get to the features themselves, we do need to clarify one potential point of confusion.

This chair was originally called the Sogno DreamWave. That version of the model was retired in 2015, and the chair was redesigned and re-introduced as the DreamWave massage chair by Inada.

The two models differ slightly. For instance, the original DreamWave used First Generation Airbag technology had a shorter maximum massage duration, had a heating system that wasn’t as comprehensive, and so on, but you would be correct to describe the change from Sogno DreamWave to just DreamWave as more of an evolution than a revolution.

All that to say, if you see the term “Sogno” in other Inada DreamWave reviews, they are referencing the older model of this chair. With that in mind, let’s take a look under the hood, and see what features this model has to offer.

Inada DreamWave Plus Color Variants

Inada DreamWave Massage Chair Features

S-Track Design

Given that we began by saying that this chair has been called the best in the world, it might surprise you to hear that it’s built around a standard S-Track which guides its quad rollers along the curve of your body’s spine.

There’s no doubt that the S-Track delivers a world-class massage, but the DreamWave has a lot more going for it than just that. This feature is merely the tip of the iceberg.

3D Body Scan

As with most top-end chairs, the Inada DreamWave Plus features 3D Body Scanning Technology which locates your body’s pressure points and makes subtle adjustments to the rollers to enhance your massage experience.

Of course, in addition to this, you can also manually adjust the position of the rollers and the width of the massage field from the remote, giving you absolute control.

Zero-Gravity Seating

As you would expect from a top-tier massage chair, the Inada DreamWave offers Zero-G seating, although curiously, only a single position.

It’s unusual, because as we dive deeper into the features, you’ll see that one of the hallmarks of this product is that it gives the user an unprecedented level of control over just about every aspect of the massage experience.

Inada Dreamwave Review Recline - Chair Institute

Given that most other top-tier chairs offer two, and sometimes three seating positions, the presence of just a single option here is a mystery, but it doesn’t detract much from the chair’s overall appeal.

Zero-G seating was inspired by NASA and improves the overall quality of the massage by reclining such that the user’s knees are elevated slightly above the heart. From this position, most of your body’s weight is pressing down against the rollers, which allows for a deeper, more penetrating, and ultimately more satisfying massage.

A Mind-Boggling Number of Options

If we had to list a single feature as being the one that defined this chair, we couldn’t, because there are two of them. The sheer number of massage options it offers is the first of these, and there’s something for everyone here.

No matter what your tastes and preferences are, this chair can cater to them, if not via the sixteen pre-programmed massages, then via the array of manual options you can select from.

Let’s start by looking at the massage techniques on offer in the Inada DreamWave. These are:

In addition to these, here are eight of DreamWave’s pre-programmed massage options:

  • Full Body
  • Full Body Air
  • Youth
  • Quick
  • Morning
  • Night
  • Stretch
  • Dreamwave

The other eight pre-programmed options are “Deep Relaxation” variants of the first eight.

Your precise options vary from one technique to the next, with some allowing for multiple speed adjustments, others allowing for roller width adjustments, and still others allowing modification of intensity settings.

While it sounds complex, the remote does a great job of presenting the various options in a logical, organized fashion so that it’s not overwhelming, and of course, you can modify the massage duration in all cases (the default setting is fifteen minutes, and can be adjusted to a maximum of thirty).

If you count all the possible combinations these features offer, you wind up with more than a thousand massage possibilities, which is simply magnificent.

Air Massage Mode

Our Inada DreamWave review would not be complete if we didn’t call particular attention to the Air Massage this chair can deliver. It is the second of the two biggest stand-out features.

With a staggering 101 Second Generation airbags, there’s simply nothing else like it on the market. No other chair can deliver an air massage that can even touch what you get from the DreamWave.

In addition to being the best air massage you’ll ever experience, it, like the roller-based massages we talked about in the section above, is almost entirely customizable.

You can adjust the air pressure. With separate controls for shoulder, arm, seat and foot airbags, you can selectively activate all of them or only the ones you want. This, of course, in addition to being able to control the massage duration.

Inada Dreamwave Review Diagram - Chair Institute

A final note here is that the air massage is truly a full body experience. Even your shoulders and the tips of your fingers get attention!

Adjustable Timer

As mentioned above, every massage offered (both roller and air) can be time adjusted from its fifteen-minute default setting, in five-minute increments to a maximum duration of half an hour.

Back and Seat Heat

The great thing about the Inada DreamWave massage chair’s heat function is that you can selectively activate it. Do you want heat on your back but not in the seat?

You can do that.

Do you want seat heat, but not back heat? You can do that too. Or both. Or neither. The level of control you have with this chair is unbelievable and allows you to create the perfect massage experience for yourself, every single time.

Back Vibration Massage

While some chairs offer a seat vibration mode, the DreamWave places its vibration plate in the chair back. You can activate this to help foster better blood flow, combining it with any of the other massage options, or using it on its own, at your preference.

Inada DreamWave Review Cream Front - Chair Institute

In our view, this is how vibration massage should be handled. It is useful as a “helper app.” It can enhance the other massage programs offered, but isn’t really designed to be a standalone feature (though you could certainly use it as such if you wanted to). Very well implemented!

Body Stretch

Another important feature of the Inada DreamWave chair and one that offers tremendous therapeutic benefit is the body stretch function.

Listed as one of the pre-programmed massage types on the remote, this could quickly become one of your favorite aspects of the chair if you suffer from chronic back pain because it can provide almost immediate relief.

Studies have shown that the #1 cause of chronic back pain is spinal disc compression. By gently but firmly stretching your body using a combination of airbags to hold your body in place and automatic reclining, the chair takes pressure off the discs in your spine and helps to improve blood flow.

This is not unlike the experience you get when you go to the chiropractor’s office for an “adjustment,” except that you can do it from the comfort of your home, any time you like. A fantastic feature addition.

Calf & Foot Massage

Inada DreamWave Review Red Recline - Chair Institute

The calf and foot massage is as exquisite as you might imagine it would be, rendered by a combination of airbags and rollers that deliver an unparalleled experience. The DreamWave’s foot massage is not to be missed!

Extendable Ottoman

Another nice feature that our Inada DreamWave massage chair review wouldn’t be complete without drawing your attention to is the fact that the Ottoman has an extension module, which allows the chair to accommodate users up to 6’5” tall.

This puts the chair in a very tiny group that caters to taller users, who mostly get forgotten about. If you’re over 6’3” there are only about half a dozen chairs on the market today that are designed with you in mind, and this is one of them.

Full-Featured Remote

A lot of the time, we get to praise the company responsible for the chair’s design for the simplicity of their remote, but in this case, we’d be lying if we said this chair didn’t have a learning curve. It has one.

Yes, the remote is well designed, and the options are laid out in a logical manner, but the reality is that there’s so much this chair can do that no one could have designed a system of accessing all its features that didn’t require a bit of a learning curve.

The company did a superb job, but don’t kid yourself. While you might be able to enjoy your first basic massage in a matter of just a few minutes, it’s going to take some effort to master this chair.

Inada Dreamwave Review Controller - Chair Institute

Intelligible User Manual

This is an admittedly small thing, but we wanted to at least draw your attention to it.

If you’ve bought anything that was made overseas (and you almost certainly have), then you know that the instructions can range from cryptic to downright unhelpful. You’ll be happy to note that the Inada DreamWave manual is clear, concise, and well-written. We’ve linked to it in this review so that you can see for yourself.

That makes it something of a rarity, and while a minor point, it’s still refreshing to see.

Pros & Cons of the Inada DreamWave Massage Chair

While there are a few minor issues we’ll draw your attention to in a moment, the only major drawback there is to talk about is the Inada DreamWave price. While it no longer has the distinction of being the most expensive massage chair on the market, it still carries a hefty price tag, and that’s going to put it out of reach for a significant percentage of the market.

That’s a real shame too, because as you’ve seen, it’s a fine chair by any definition.

There are some things you can do, of course. A Google search on the term “Inada DreamWave Amazon” will reveal any special promotions that the site has running, while a search on the term “Inada DreamWave used” is bound to pull up a few Ebay auctions selling refurbished models.

While both of these are good options, if you go the Ebay route, be sure to check the warranty offered, which probably won’t be as good or comprehensive as the one provided by the manufacturer when you buy new.

Aside from the price, our other complaints are all quite minor, and they are:

  • No Temperature Controls – In keeping with the overall design philosophy of the chair, it would have been nice to see a means of adjusting the temperature of the offered heat, in addition to being able to activate the two heating zones separately.
  • No MP3 Support – The absence of this feature was a genuine surprise, given the great lengths that the designers went to in terms of creating an almost perfect user experience. They even included a pocket to hold your smartphone. It seems that MP3 support would have been the next logical step.
  • Hybrid Track – The length of the S-Track is rather short. In the next iteration, especially since they currently offer seat heat, it would be fabulous to see this chair utilize an extended Hybrid track to allow for a roller massage of your glutes and thighs.
  • Multiple Zero-G Seating Positions – Since it offers one, this would seem to be an easy feature to add.
  • Space-Saving Technology – Another small but important feature that would serve the chair well.

The only other thing to mention here is the weight. This chair is a monster, weighing more than 250 pounds, and being quite bulky. Not only are you going to need help getting it in your home and set up if you ever need to move it, get a friend (or two), and afterward, sit in the chair and stretch your back out!

Inada DreamWave Review Conclusion

It probably looks like there were a lot of things we didn’t like about this chair, but that’s simply not true. This is one of the finest models we’ve ever seen. The things mentioned above are less complaints and more suggestions we’d love to see in future iterations. Even without them, we would recommend this chair without reservation.

Is it the best massage chair in the world?

That, of course, is mostly a matter of opinion.

In our view, it certainly gives the world’s best air massage, and when the Sogno model was first introduced several years ago, there was nothing else like it on the market.

At that point, it’s fair to say yes, it was almost certainly the world’s best all-around massage chair. But in the intervening years, the competition has caught up, and you can now find other top-end chairs that out-perform it in some respects.

It still delivers the best air massage we’ve ever seen, but its dominance in other areas is less certain.

Nonetheless, you won’t be disappointed in the least if you purchase the DreamWave, and it will provide you years of reliable service.


HomeMassage ChairsBrandsInadaInada DreamWave Review – Massage Chair Report

  • Chair Institute
  • January 5, 2021
  • Inada

Leave a Reply 4 comments

BOB C. - December 22, 2019 Reply

The Black Vinyl on my Sogno Dreamwave massage chair cracked and peeled very where on the chair after 4 years. I am so disappointed with the fabric quality on a $8,000 chair. Inada told me the fabric is only guaranteed for 1 year, so if you buy a 8 to $10,000 Inada chair and your chairs fabric falls apart, your are screwed. Inada has gone downhill of the years. After replacing almost all the fabric, I only had 2 more pieces of the chair to replace. Their customer service would not even offer the 2 remaining parts under warranty or reduce the replacement price, due to a defective lot of black vinyl. I would look at other Japanese massage chair manufacturers. With all the issues on this chair, it has given me more stress then relieving my stress. I would not buy this chair again.

    Chair Institute - December 29, 2019 Reply

    Hello Bob, and we’re so sorry to hear about your bad experience with the Sogno. You are absolutely correct that the upholstery is the weak link where this chair is concerned. Honestly, we were surprised to hear that it held up for four years. You must have taken exceptionally good care of it!
    It sounds like you’ve almost completed the re-upholstering of the chair, and given the quality of the rest of the components, that’s a good move that will greatly expand its useful life.
    We were going to suggest taking it to a custom auto-reupholstery shop in your area to have the work done, which we’d recommend the next time the upholstery starts showing its age (unless, of course, that’s something you enjoy doing on your own). If you’d be willing to share some pictures, we’d love to see the results of your work!

Wayne - September 1, 2019 Reply

I read your website diligently and find it engaging. I am wondering if you have any views on the DreamWave M8 massage chair? I can’t find anything about it on your website however am keen on your views and how it compares with Inada.


    Chair Institute - September 1, 2019 Reply

    Hello Wayne, and thank you for the kind words – that’s high praise indeed!

    In answer to your question, we haven’t done a review of the M8 yet, so we only have limited information about it, but it certainly looks like a chair that would be an excellent addition to our collection of reviews.

    My first impressions are these: The Inada Dreamwave is a great chair, no doubt, but it is an older design and we’ve done some comparison reviews where a couple of other more modern chairs have beaten it out in a side by side competition.

    Inada has worked diligently to make incremental improvements to their design but to date, it hasn’t undergone what we’d call an extensive overhaul. That makes the M8 a much more modern piece of engineering, and at a glance, it offers far and away more extra flourishes and finishing touches, including a more robust and comprehensive heat function, foot rollers and more robust stretching.

    The one feature that really jumps out though, is that the M8 also offers an inversion seating position which is incredibly rare. There are only a handful of chairs on the market today that offer that, which paints the M8 as a top-tier therapeutic chair.

    Another thing we really like about the M8 is the “car door” design that makes getting into and out of the chair super easy, which is fabulous, especially for people who suffer from mobility issues of one sort or another.

    We don’t have any firm information about the total number of massage techniques and massage customization options, but it’s probable that Inada’s chair still wins on that point – it offers more massage options than any chair we’ve ever seen.

    Ultimately then, it comes down to what you value more in a massage chair: Raw number of massage options and the ability to almost infinitely customize, or those attention to detail flourishes and enhanced therapeutic functions that the M8 seems to bring to the table. There’s no question though, that the M8 is a top competitor in the market, and since it’s also a Japanese made chair, we’d expect the quality to be every bit the equal of the Inada Dreamwave.

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