In a Nutshell:
The Ootori SL001 Massage Chair is a fantastic, lower-cost design with a surprisingly broad feature set. Recommended for anyone up to 6’3” who’s on a bit of a budget and looking for a massage chair that offers a ton of value.
Overall Massage Quality
Ease of Use
Value for the Money
Have you always wanted to own a massage chair? Do you have some money to spend but still find yourself having to be mindful of your budget?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’re undoubtedly looking for a company that packs a ton of high-value features into a chair and then offers it at a fantastic price.
If that’s what you’re looking for, our top recommendation is still the Kahuna LM-6800, but the Ootori SL001 massage chair ranks a surprisingly close second.
In the sections that follow, we’ll tell you why. Even if you opt to go in some other direction, we think you’ll agree that for the money, this is an amazing piece of engineering, and you’ll be impressed with everything it can do.
Sure, it’s got its share of limitations. That’s to be expected when you’re talking about a modestly priced chair, but by the time you reach the end of this review, we think you’ll agree; the SL001 punches well above its weight class. We think you’ll be impressed, and if what we’ve written so far has piqued your interest, read on and let’s take a closer look.
An Overview of the Ootori SL001 Massage Chair
The Ootori SL001 massage chair looks like a massage chair. That’s probably the first thing you’ll think when you see it. The designers made no effort to mask the purpose of the SL001, which means that whatever room you decide to place it in, it’s going to stand out. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re looking for a chair that could pass for a conventional recliner at first glance, this isn’t the model you want.
Fortunately, as massage chairs go, it’s not exceptionally large. In fact, it’s only marginally larger than a conventional recliner, measuring 31.5” x 48.03” x 44.88” and weighing in at 179.23 pounds. That means that even if you’re a little cramped for space, it probably won’t be an insurmountable challenge to find a permanent home for the SL001.
Even better, the chair was built with space-saving technology incorporated into its design. You’ll only need about 3” of clearance between the back of the chair and whatever wall you decide to place it near.
Ootori recommends this chair for people ranging in height from 5’1” to 6’3” but note the 330-pound weight limit and the 21.65” seat width. If you fall outside the bounds of either of those measurements, this isn’t the chair for you. Assuming those things aren’t deal-breakers, let’s take a closer look at the specific features this model brings to the table.
L-Track and Quad Rollers
The SL001 features 3D quad rollers moving along a 51.18” L-Track. That’s a mouthful of a sentence, and it contains a lot of data to unpack, so let’s take it one item at a time.
The L-Track allows the rollers to move from the tops of your shoulders down to the small of your back, then under the seat to massage your glutes and the backs of your thighs. Between the track and the chair’s leg massage ports, the SL001 gives you something close to a full body massage.
Quad rollers are the current industry standard, but these are 3D quad rollers.
This means that the rollers have the ability to not just move along the massage track but to actually move a short distance from it, which allows them to knead more deeply into your back, giving a more intense and ultimately more satisfying massage experience.
This is made even better by the fact that you can adjust your massage intensity via three settings from the remote. You’ll also find three-speed settings accessible from the remote. At maximum intensity, this chair doesn’t quite offer a deep tissue massage, but it comes pretty close, which gives it genuine therapeutic value in addition to feeling good.
In terms of massage techniques, the SL001 offers the following:
In short, it’s got the basics covered and provides a single advanced massage technique. It’s relatively easy to find massage chairs that have more options on offer, but these give most users a sufficient amount of variety to offer a satisfying experience.
In addition to that, you’ll find four pre-programmed massage routines available at the touch of a button. These are:
3D Body Scan
Ootori’s 3D body scanning routine is quite good and dynamically adjusts the position of the rollers so that they align properly with the pressure points in your back. The automated routine works more than 95% of the time, but on the rare occasions when it doesn’t, you’ll also find controls on the remote that allow you to manually tweak the roller positions to ensure that you get the best massage the chair is capable of delivering, every time.
This is one of the features that Ootori does very well. Zero-G seating was inspired by NASA and works by reclining you to a position such that your knees are elevated slightly above your heart. Not only is this highly relaxing and extremely comfortable, but it also really does make you feel kind of weightless.
In addition to feeling good, though, Zero-G seating has been demonstrated to lower people’s blood pressure and improve circulation, which promotes faster healing among people who have recently had surgery.
An increasing percentage of chairs on the market today offer Zero-G seating, but most companies only pay lip service to the feature by offering a single seating position.
Ootori has three different positions on offer here, which is nothing short of amazing, especially given the modest price of the chair. Great job, Ootori!
A Very Good Air Massage for the Money
Most lower-priced chairs skimp on the number of offered airbags. You’ll find a total of thirty here, which is quite good. These are strategically placed throughout the chair to give you an airbag-based massage that starts at your shoulders and extends all the way to your feet. Even better, you can customize the intensity of the massage you get through three levels via the remote.
Best of all, you can choose to selectively activate only the airbags you want via body zones, which gives you more control over the kind of massage experience you’ll have. The body zones available via the remote are:
It’s pretty easy to find massage chairs that break this down into even more body zones, but that’s not bad, and when combined with the intensity settings gives you a fairly robust number of options where the air massage is concerned. Not best in class by any means, but not bad at all for the money!
Lumbar Heat Offered
In addition to that, the SL001 also offers lumbar heat. Unfortunately, heat is one thing that Ootori typically struggles with, and you’ll find the feature implementation here to be somewhat weaker than most of the other features in the chair. It’s not bad by any means. It’s just that the heating elements don’t really get hot enough for our liking, and there’s no means of tweaking the temperature from the remote.
Even so, heat in any form is a godsend. It’s a powerful therapeutic feature that definitely enhances the value of the chair and will make any massage feel even better.
No Body Stretch Offered
Many of Ootori’s chairs offer an excellent yoga body stretch, which is highly recommended and is another powerful therapeutic addition to the chairs that have it. Unfortunately, the SL001 is not one of those chairs. If you’ve absolutely got to have body stretching, you’re going to want to save a bit more money and buy a different model.
A Superb Calf & Foot Massage
This is another feature that Ootori has a reputation for getting right. In fact, the implementation of their calf and foot massage in their flagship model is one of the best in the industry.
The implementation you’ll find here isn’t quite that good, but it’s far better than average and, in fact, far better than you’ll find on many massage chairs costing 2-3 times as much.
It’s rendered via a combination of foot rollers, foot scrapers, and airbags and feels absolutely amazing. If you have a job that sees you on your feet for several hours of every day, this will probably wind up being your favorite aspect of the chair.
A Massage Timer, Too!
We’d like to emphasize here in this section of our Ootori SL001 massage chair that this model features the company’s best and most robust massage timer. It allows you to set a massage as short as five minutes and as long as thirty, adjusting the duration of the massage in five-minute increments. It’s simple and effective. We love it, and we think you will too.
Bluetooth Speaker (One)
In addition to offering a couple of excellent therapeutic features, the SL001 also comes with a built-in Bluetooth speaker. Note the word “a” in that sentence. These are usually offered in pairs and are mounted on either side of your head as you’re sitting in the chair.
In a bid to save money, the company removed one of these, and the SL001 only comes with a single speaker. That’s not bad, but the single speaker obviously doesn’t produce the same rich stereo sound that dual speakers are capable of. In any case, it’s a decent, somewhat unusual compromise that saves a bit of money while still offering a nice “extra.”
Curiously, none of Ootori’s chairs come with USB charging ports, which is a fairly standard feature these days on chairs that come with speakers built-in.
Why the company chose to leave the charging port off is a complete mystery to us, given how easy it would be to add one and the fact that adding one wouldn’t do much to increase the cost of the chairs the company sells. We honestly don’t know.
The SL001 Comes Fully Assembled
One of the many things we love about Ootori as a company is the fact that almost all of their chairs come fully assembled. It’s a small detail, but it has a big impact and is just one example of how they take care of their customers. This chair, like most of Ootori’s models, comes ready to use.
Just take it out of the box, put it where you want it, and plug it in. That’s it.
A Very Slight Learning Curve
Although this chair offers a surprising number of features, the remote is well-designed and intuitively laid out. Mastering it is a relatively simple matter that should take you no more than fifteen minutes.
The good news is, you don’t even need to spend that much time on it. The four pre-programmed massage routines are clearly marked on the remote. Just plug it in, sit down, push a button, and relax. You can work the rest out later.
A Better Than Average Warranty
Ootori offers a rock-solid 3-year warranty on every chair they sell. While that’s not the industry’s best warranty, it’s a cut above average and is a sign of the company’s confidence in the quality of its wares.
They’ve also got an excellent reputation when it comes to customer service. If and when you encounter a problem with the chair, help is usually just a phone call away.
Pros & Cons of Ootori SL001 Massage Chair
In no particular order, here are the things we think you’ll like best about the SL001:
On the other hand:
Especially given the modest price of the chair, we don’t find any of the negative points to be deal-breakers and feel that the positive aspects of the design far outweigh the chair’s shortcomings, and we believe that most potential buyers would agree with that assessment.
Ootori SL001 Massage Chair Review Conclusion
The Ootori SL001 massage chair is a very good value-priced chair. While it’s not as good as Kahuna’s LM6800, it competes in the same space, and like Kahuna’s chair, it punches well above its weight class (and costs a few hundred bucks less).
It offers some well-implemented, hard-hitting therapeutic features for a song, and we were impressed by it. If you’re on a bit of a budget or looking to maximize the value of every dollar spent on a chair, we highly recommend it.
Official Manufacturer Support
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Ootori SL001 Massage Chair User Manual.
- How to Choose the Best Massage Chair, Trendy Living Style.
- All You Need to Know About Choosing the Best Massage Chair in the World, KHTS FM 98.1 & AM 1220.