In a Nutshell:
The iRest A303 Massage Chair is an excellent design for the money, offered by a smaller brand you may not have heard of. It is provisionally recommended for anyone weighing up to 330 pounds, but the A306 by the same company is a slightly better value overall, for not much more money.
Overall Massage Quality
Ease of Use
Value for the Money
Are you tired of your back, legs, and feet hurting all the time? Are you on a budget and looking for a good massage chair to help ease and possibly even eliminate your pain? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’re going to be intrigued by what you read in this—our iRest A303 review.
A couple of provisos before we get started, though. First, let’s talk about iRest. They’re a small brand you may not have heard of, but they’ve been in the game for a while. And although some of their products haven’t been great, the company has certainly introduced its share of hits, and the A303 is one of them.
If, however, you balk at the notion of buying from a smaller, off-brand, then no matter how much praise we heap on this model, you’re probably not going to be impressed. If you keep an open mind, though, and don’t mind shopping the off-brand segment of the market, you really will find a lot to like here.
In the sections that follow, we’ll step you through everything the A303 has to offer, so you’ll have all the information you need to decide for yourself if this is the chair you’ve been looking for. If your interest is piqued, read on, and let’s take a closer look.
iRest A303 Shiatsu Massage Chair Overview
The design team behind the A303 didn’t take any chances when it came to the overall look and feel of their chair. They stuck strictly to convention, and because of that, the A303 looks a lot like most of the other massage chairs on the market today. It makes no attempt to hide its true function, and for most people, that’s okay.
If you’re one of those people who don’t mind paying extra for a massage chair that will blend in more easily with the rest of your living room furniture, then right off the bat, this isn’t the chair for you.
If you’re okay with the vaguely futuristic look, you’ll like this one just fine. And if you decide you have to have one, you’ll be able to order yours in either black, brown, or blue and white.
Bear in mind that this is a fairly substantial piece of furniture. It measures 66.93 “D x 29.92 “W x 33.1 “H when reclined and 50.39″ L x 29.92″ W x 46.46″ H when upright and weighs in at a hefty 183 pounds.
It can support users up to 6’2″ tall and weighing as much as 330 pounds, so it’s capable of accommodating most of the massage chair market, which is excellent.
Despite its impressive size, it does have one feature incorporated into its design that may make it easier to find a permanent home for the chair. It’s built with space-saving technology and only needs about 6″ of space between the seatback and whatever wall you decide to place it near.
The iRest A303 SL-track 3D Doesn’t Skimp On Core Technologies
Most low-cost massage chairs cut corners where core technologies are concerned, so we’re pleasantly surprised to find that the design team here did not, making this a surprisingly strong component of our iRest A303 review.
For starters, the 303 has a 53.15″ SL track, one of the longest in the industry. That means the quad rollers attached to it can massage you from your neck to the backs of your thighs. That, combined with the leg massage ports—which we’ll talk about a little later in this review—makes the 303 capable of giving you essentially a full body massage, which we love.
In addition to that, the track is designed to allow Z-axis movement, making this a 3D massage chair, which means it gives a deeper massage than its 2D counterparts.
Unfortunately, a big part of this functionality is wasted since the chair does not boast intensity adjustments, but it does make the default massage deeper than you’ll get from 2D chairs.
This chair also features body scanning tech, which is essentially a convenience feature. When you order a massage from the chair, it will take a quick scan of your body and adjust the position of the rollers, so they hit your pressure points precisely.
In practice, this is almost always effective, but in those rare instances where something is a little off, you’ll find manual controls on the remote, which allow you to manually tweak the position of the rollers.
Taken together, this is a powerful one-two punch that virtually guarantees a great massage.
The iRest A303-6 Massage Chair Boasts an Impressive Number of Massage Options
Although the A303 doesn’t have anything fancy like voice recognition capabilities, for the money, it does offer a pretty impressive list of massage options. In terms of massage techniques, it offers:
This is about standard for the massage chair market. You find this set of techniques, or something very close to it, on just about every massage chair sold today. Even so, given the low price of this model, we were pleased that no corners were cut here.
In addition to the techniques described above, the iRest A303 SL also boasts eight different auto-programs.
This is a surprisingly robust list for such an inexpensive chair, and note that this model features a very aggressive Thai Stretch, which is similar in function to a chiropractic adjustment, giving this model a very powerful therapeutic feature.
In addition to that, you’ll find five different speed settings. Again, one shortcoming here is the fact that there are no intensity adjustments, so this is a chair that you’ll want to try before you buy to make sure the only intensity level you have access to is a good fit for you.
Overall, there are more massage options and variants here than we were expecting to see. We’re impressed, and we think you will be too!
Three Stage Zero-G Seating
We have to say that we’re incredibly impressed by this feature, and we regard it as one of the strongest components of our iRest A303 review. Less than half of the value-priced chairs on the market today offer Zero-G seating, and most of the ones that do only offer a single position.
You’ll find three here, which is amazing and almost unheard-of on a chair at this price point.
Zero-G seating is both a powerful therapeutic feature in its own right and a “helper” feature you can use to make your massage deeper and more intense than it would otherwise be.
On its own, it can help lower your blood pressure and improve your circulation. It also facilitates healing after surgery.
Earlier, we mentioned that this chair doesn’t offer any intensity adjustments, and while that’s true, you can use Zero-G to bump the intensity up a bit. Here’s how:
Before you start your massage, put the chair in one of the Zero-G positions. That way, your body’s weight is pressing you more firmly against the rollers, which will give you a nominal increase in intensity. We still prefer actual intensity levels, but if you’re looking to coax a bit more functionality out of the chair, this is a good way to do it.
A Respectable Airbag-Based Massage
With airbags strategically placed throughout the chair, the A303 is capable of rendering a delightful airbag-based massage.
Granted, we feel that the airbags are mostly there to support the body stretch feature, but with three levels of intensity to choose from, this is a stronger and more robust feature than you might be expecting. Also, note that if you don’t want to activate all of the airbags at once, you can select specific body regions, choosing from the following:
We don’t feel that it’s good enough to be considered the keystone feature of the design, and it almost certainly won’t be the reason you pick this chair over some other, but it’s very good.
The iRest A303-6 Offers Lumbar Heat And More
Other iRest A303 reviews we’ve seen don’t give this model the credit it’s due when it comes to heat. Neither does the company itself, for that matter.
The sales literature associated with the 303 says this chair has carbon fiber lumbar heat. It does, but the heat is actually much more expansive than that and extends nearly to your shoulder blades when you’re sitting in the chair.
That, combined with the fact that it heats rapidly, makes this an exceptionally strong feature and adds another powerful therapeutic chair to this model’s feature set.
An Awesome Calf and Foot Massage
This is yet another incredibly strong feature, and if you spend several hours of each day on your feet, this may wind up being your favorite aspect of the iRest A303 massage chair’s design.
Most massage chairs render the calf and foot massage this way: airbags for your calves and rollers for your feet. The 303 uses airbags for your calves, yes, but it utilizes both airbags and rollers for your feet, which is far better than airbags alone. It’s superb.
Granted, we would love to have seen heated footwells, but that’s something you almost never see, even on chairs that cost four or five times as much as this one. In any case, if you frequently suffer from sore legs and feet, you’re gonna love this feature.
It’s Got Extras Too!
Most low-cost chairs tend to skimp on extras, but there are some excellent ones on offer here.
You get LED mood lights, Bluetooth speakers, and a massage timer. We’re not overly impressed with the mood lighting, but you may like it more than we do, and the speakers are a very nice touch that definitely adds value to the chair.
The massage timer is basic but effective. All massages default to a 20-minute duration, but you can change that, opting for a 10-minute or 30-minute duration if you prefer.
This is honestly more than we’re expecting, given the modest price of the chair. Kudos to iRest for going the extra mile!
Variants of iRest A303-6 Massage Chair
Pros & Cons of iRest A303-6 Massage Chair
We have no complaints where this model is concerned. While we’d love it if it offered intensity levels, given the price of this model, we’re not surprised that it doesn’t. Everything negative we could say about the design was a conscious design choice meant to keep the cost as low as possible, and we’re perfectly fine with that.
iRest A303 Massage Chair Conclusion
We don’t quite love this chair, but we do like it very much. It offers solid value for the money and even has a few well-implemented therapeutic features on offer. We do think that the A306 (made by the same company) offers a slightly better value overall, but there’s not a thing in the world wrong with this chair, and we recommend it.
Other Options to Consider
If you’re not completely sold on the A303, here are a couple of other models you may want to consider:
This chair is slightly more expensive than the one we just talked about, but it is also slightly more feature-rich and offers a little more value for the money. Both are excellent options, but we do like this one slightly better, and we think you will too.
No discussion about massage chairs at the lower end of the price scale would be complete without talking about the mighty LM-6800.
Kahuna is one of the best companies in the industry, and this chair is nothing short of amazing. We feel that it is the best value in the massage chair industry today—and by a wide margin at that. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, this chair is incredible.
REFERENCE & RESOURCES