Relaxonchair MK-IV Massage Chair
Bang for Buck
Overall Massage Quality
Ease of Use
An amazing achievement for an off-brand chair. The Relaxonchair MK-IV is filled with features offering lots of therapeutic benefits, offered at a great price. Recommended for anyone; taller users will be especially interested.
*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.
Table of Contents
- 1 Overview of the Relaxonchair MK-IV Massage Chair
- 2 Relaxonchair MK-IV Massage Chair Pros & Cons
- 3 Relaxonchair MK-IV Massage Chair Review Conclusion
Are you indifferent to brand names?
In the market for a massage chair that has all the bells and whistles of a mid-range or top-end chair, but not interested in paying those prices?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then we have a pleasant surprise for you!
Off-brand chairs can be a bit hit-or-miss, but the Relaxonchair is quickly becoming a force in the massage chair market.
If you have never heard of them, you’re not alone, but their latest offering, the Relaxonchair MK-IV, is deserving of your attention and a closer look.
We’ll go over all the features it offers in the sections below, and we think you’ll be pleased by what you find.
Overview of the Relaxonchair MK-IV Massage Chair
We couldn’t help but be impressed by the Relaxonchair MK-IV, but there is one important caveat we have to bring to your attention before diving into the details of this model.
As an off-brand, support is a bit of an issue. It’s a great chair. Well-priced and filled with features you’re going to love, but if something goes wrong, being an off-brand means that you’re going to have to jump through a few hoops to get the chair serviced.
Relaxonchair is better about this than most other off-brand chairs we’ve investigated, but it’s still an issue. If you find that to be an acceptable risk, then read on, and prepare to be impressed!
Hybrid S/L -Track design
Relaxonchair’s latest offering uses the same hybrid track that their earlier offering MK-II chair featured. Unfortunately, it comes with the same basic drawback. The “L” portion of the track is quite short and does not extend very far down your thighs.
Nonetheless, this is cutting-edge massage chair technology, and the fact that a hybrid track is present at all is both superior to a standard S-Track and amazing in its own right. You’re going to get an excellent massage from this chair.
Note that the company describes the chair as a standard S-Track, but they go on at some length about the roller balls for the buttocks and glutes.
The action they’re describing is clearly the rollers, extending down to the seat of the chair. When you’re getting a massage, there isn’t separate roller action in the area of your glutes and thighs. We can only guess that there’s a language barrier issue here and have attempted to correct for it.
3D Body Scan
A great massage starts by ensuring that the rollers make contact with the pressure points in your back. The Relaxonchair MK-IV automates that process via body scanning technology.
Before your massage begins, the chair takes a scan of your body and makes on-the-fly adjustments to the position of the rollers, ensuring a world-class massage, every time.
If the computer gets it wrong, and the rollers aren’t quite hitting the spots you need them to, the remote offers manual roller adjustment options so you can fine tune their position. This includes options to adjust the width of the massage field.
Inspired by NASA, Zero-G seating is a welcome addition to any massage chair that offers it. Normally, if the feature is present at all, you get two seating positions. Relaxonchair MK-IV offers three, all available at the touch of a button.
What makes Zero-G such a great feature is the fact that it enhances the overall quality of the massage experience.
By reclining the user such that the knees are elevated slightly above the heart, most of the body’s weight is pressed down more firmly onto the back of the chair, allowing the rollers to deliver a deeper, more penetrating, and ultimately more satisfying massage.
Designed with home users in mind, Relaxonchair MK-IV was built with space-saving technology. When the chair reclines, it pivots on its base, requiring just three inches of clearance between the back of the chair and whatever wall you set it near.
Since space is at a premium for most people, this is an excellent addition, and a feature we feel should be standard on all massage chairs. Sadly, relatively few models offer it. Relaxonchair MK-IV is one of these.
Some Options Available
Despite some improvements in this area, pound for pound, theRelaxonchair MK-IV offers fewer massage options than many, if not most of the mainstream brands it competes with. There are more options in this offering than there were in the MK-II, so it’s a step in the right direction, but there are still relatively few as compared to other chairs in its price range.
This last addresses a complaint we mentioned in our review of Relaxonchair’s MK-II design, which it bills as a “Shiatsu Massage Chair” without actually offering the Shiatsu technique. We’re very glad to see it in this model!
In addition to these, there are five pre-programmed massages, which are:
- Neck & Shoulder
- Back & Waist
The company took some liberties in describing these as pre-programmed massages. They technically meet that definition, but the last two on the list are simply the basic massage, confined to specific areas, while “Decompress” is merely a one-touch access button for the body stretch feature we talk about a bit later in this review.
All this to say that there are only two actual “pre-programmed massages,” one separate feature, and two minor variations on the list.
This is more than sufficient, and at this chair’s price point, certainly adequate, but listing them the way they do gives the appearance that you’ve got more options than you do. Not a deal breaker, but something to be mindful of.
In any case, all of the massages offered, including the ones you design for yourself, can be adjusted via three different speeds and intensity settings, which gives you a high degree of control over the massage experience.
Air Massage Mode
The Relaxonchair MK-IV features twenty-eight Second Generation airbags. These are not arranged to give a full-body massage, but instead, are focused in the areas of the arms, shoulders, and most of them can be found in the leg massage ports, where they are used to give a world-class calf massage.
We’ll talk about that last bit in its own section. The important thing to mention here is the fact that the massage you get from the Relaxonchair MK-IV is excellent, and can be controlled via the remote, through three different intensity levels.
This is a rare feature, even in chairs offered by mainstream brands, so it’s doubly surprising to see it in the Relaxonchair MK-IV, which provides a total of three memory slots, allowing you to create multiple customized massages and save them, recalling for later use with the single touch of a button. An absolutely fantastic addition.
All of the massages included in the chair default to a duration of twenty minutes. This can be adjusted up or down in five-minute increments, to a maximum of thirty minutes.
While Relaxonchair offered heat in their earlier MK-II model, the Relaxonchair MK-IV ups the ante, utilizing fast-heating carbon fibers to provide heat, not just to the lumbar region, but all the way up through the mid-back.
Heat combined with massage has tremendous therapeutic value, making this an excellent feature we were very pleased to see in the model.
The Relaxonchair MK-IV improves markedly on the body stretch feature first introduced in the MK-II.
The common complaint about the feature in the MK-II was that the stretch feature was too mild. In this iteration, they got it right. It’s just robust enough to provide reliable therapeutic benefit without going to extremes.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, it’s probably because the discs in your spinal column have become compressed (that being the most common cause of back pain). If that’s the case, then the body stretch function will provide almost immediate relief, taking pressure off those discs and improving blood flow and circulation.
Calf & Foot Massage
The calf massage is rendered by numerous airbags in the leg massage ports. In fact, of the twenty-eight airbags the chair has to offer, twenty of them are in the leg ports (ten for each leg). While the air massage you get for the other parts of your body is certainly acceptable, the leg massage function is superb, and not to be missed.
In addition to this, our Relaxonchair MK-IV review would not be complete without drawing particular attention to the foot massage function, which is rendered by Shiatsu rollers. Yes, you read that correctly, a soothing Shiatsu-style massage for your feet!
Why other companies haven’t thought of doing this, we’re not quite sure, but this is a real innovation, and a feature we look forward to seeing in other chairs. Another great addition.
The ottoman’s extension module expands by a stunning eight inches, making it possible for the chair to accommodate users up to 6’6” in height. If you’re a taller user, then you know that many massage chairs just weren’t designed with you in mind. Your choices can be quite limited.
This chair is one of the very few that cater to extremely tall people, making it a real treasure in that regard.
(Fairly) Simple Remote
Despite adding numerous features, including several advanced options, the remote isn’t all that complicated. There’s a mild learning curve, but it’s nothing you can’t master in a single massage session, and you can be reclined back and enjoying your first massage in a matter of minutes.
Relaxonchair MK-IV Massage Chair Pros & Cons
There’s no other way to say it, the MK-IV is an unexpectedly great chair, offered at a steal of a price.
It’s loaded with high-value features that offer tremendous therapeutic benefit but priced such that even hobbyist and casual users will find it attractive.
We always tend to be somewhat skeptical of off-brand chairs, but this one shines.
The only two complaints we have about the model are these:
- No heat controls (it’s binary – either on or off)
- No MP3 support
Both of these are minor issues, but their addition would add another layer of polish and shine to what is unquestionably a solid design.
Relaxonchair MK-IV Massage Chair Review Conclusion
As we said at the start, this chair impressed us, and that’s not easy for an off-brand model to do. It not only compares favorably with the chairs it is in head-to-head price competition with, but it can hold its own against chairs costing significantly more money.
If Relaxonchair MK-IV is any indication, then Relaxonchair is a company to watch. They simply make great products.
References & Resources
- Relaxonchair Massage Chairs, Official Brand Website.
- Relaxonchair MK-IV User Manual.
- About Shiatsu, The Shiatsu Society.
- What is Vibration Therapy?, Healthline.
- Massage therapy—A review, British Columbia Medical Journal.